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Bass. I will not fail
Gra. You look not well, signior Antonio; You have too much respect upon the world; They lose it, that do buy it with much care. Believe me, you are marvellously chang'd.
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A stage, where every man must play a part,
Gra. Let me play the Fool: With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come; And let my liver rather heat with wine, Than my heart cool with mortifying groans. Why should a man, whose blood is warm within, Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? Sleep when he wakes? and creep into the jaundice
By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio,-
I'll tell thee more of this another time:
Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner-
I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
Gra. Well, keep me company but two years more, Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue. Ant. Farewell: I'll grow a talker for this gear. Gra. Thanks, i'faith; for silence is only commendable
In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible. [Exeunt GRATIANO and LORENZO.
Ant. Is that any thing now?
Bass. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice: His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff; you shall seek all day ere you find them; and, when you have them, they are not worth the search.
Ant. Well; tell me now, what lady is this same To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage, That you to-day promis'd to tell me of?
Bass. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
5 a more swelling port, &c.] Port, in the present instance, comprehends the idea of expensive equipage, and external pomp of appearance.
And, if it stand, as you yourself still do,
Bass. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same way, with more advised watch,
Ant. You know me well; and herein spend but
To wind about my love with circumstance;
Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,
prest unto it:] Prest may not here signify impress'd, as into military service, but ready. Pret, Fr.
For the four winds blow in from every coast
Ant. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at
Nor have I money, nor commodity
Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA.
Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.
Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are: And yet, for aught I see, they are as sick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing: It is no mean happiness therefore, to be seated in the mean; superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.
Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced.
Por. If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages, princes' palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot temper leaps over a cold decree: such a hare is madness the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel the cripple. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband:-O me, the word choose! I may neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike; so is the will of a living daughter curb'd by the will of a dead father:-Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none?
Ner. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, at their death, have good inspirations; therefore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three chests, of gold, silver, and lead, (whereof who chooses his meaning, chooses you,) will, no doubt, never be chosen by any rightly, but one who you shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors that are already come?
Por. I pray thee, over-name them; and as thou namest them, I will describe them; and, according to my description, level at my affection.
Ner. First, there is the Neapolitan prince.
Por. Ay, that's a colt, indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great appropriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe him himself: I am much afraid, my lady his mother played false with a smith.
Ner. Then, is there the county' Palatine.
7 is there the county Palatine.] County and count in old language were synonymous.