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Duke of Venice.
Prince of Morocco,
Prince of Arragon,
} Suitors to Portia.
ANTONIO, the Merchant of Venice. .
Bassanio, his Friend.
SALARINO, Friends to Antonio and Bassanio
LORENZO, in love with Jessica.
SHYLOCK, a Jew.
TUBAL, a Jew, his Friend.
LAUNCELOT GOBBO, a Clown, Servant to Shylock.
Old Gobbo, Father to Launcelot.
SALERIO, a Messenger from Venice.
LEONARDO, Servant to Bassanio.
BALTHAZAR, Servants to Portia ·
Portia, a rich Heiress.
Nerissa, her Waiting-maid.
Jessica, Daughter to Shylock.
Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice,
MERCHANT OF VENICE
Enter Antonio, Salarino, and Salanio.
Ant. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad.
It wearies me; you say, it wearies you ;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn ;
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.
Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean ;
There, where your argosies,' with portly sail,
Like seigniors and rich burghers, on the flood,
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea,-
Do overpeer the petty traffickers;
That court'sy to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.
Salan. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
The better part of my affections would
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
Plucking the grass, to know where sits the wind;
Peering in maps, for ports, and piers, and roads ;
And every object that might make me fear
Argosies are large ships either for merchandise or war. The word has been supposed to be derived from the classical ship Argo, as a vessel eminently fan:ous; and this seems the more probable from Argis being used for a ship in low Latin.
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt,
Would make me sad.
My wind, cooling my broth,
Would blow me to an ague, when I thought
What harm a wind too great might do at sea.
I should not see the sandy hour-glass run,
But I should think of shallows and of flats,
And see my wealthy Andrew docked in sand,
Vailing' her high-top lower than her ribs,
To kiss her burial. Should I go to church,
And see the holy edifice of stone,
And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks,
Which, touching but my gentle vessel's side,
Would scatter all her spices on the stream,
Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks,
And, in a word, but even now worth this,
And now worth nothing ? Shall I have the thought
To think on this ; and shall I lack the thought,
That such a thing, bechanced, would make me sad?
But tell not me; I know Antonio
Is sad to think upon his merchandise. .
Ant. Believe me, no. I thank my fortune for it,
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,
Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
Upon the fortune of this present year ;
Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad.
Salan. Why, then, you are in love.
Salan. Not in love neither ? Then let's say, you
Because you are not merry; and 'twere as easy
For you to laugh, and leap, and say, you are merry,
Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed
Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time;
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes,
And laugh, like parrots, at a bagpiper
And other of such vinegar aspect,
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
Enter BassANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO. Salan. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble
kinsman, Gratiano, and Lorenzo. Fare you well ! ; We leave you now with better company. Salar. I would have staid till I had made you
If worthier friends had not prevented me.
Ant. Your worth is very dear in my regard.
I take it, your own business calls on you,
And you embrace the occasion to depart.
Salar. Good morrow, my good lords.
Bass. Good seigniors both, when shall we laugh!
Say, when ?
You grow exceeding strange. Must it be so ?
Salar. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.
[Exeunt SALAR. and Salan. Lor. My lord Bassanio, since you have found
We two will leave you ; but, at dinner-time,
I pray you, have in mind where we must meet.
Bass. I will not fail you.
Gra. You look not well, seignior Antonio.
You have too much respect upon the world.
They lose it, that do buy it with much care.
Believe me, you are marvellously changed.
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A stage, where every man must play a part,
Aud mine a sad one.
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 love thee, and it is my love that speaks,
There are a sort of men, whose visages
Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond;
And do a wilful stillness entertain,
With purpose to be dressed in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;
As who should say, I am sir Oracle,
And, when I ope my lips, let no dog bark !
O, my Antonio, I do know of these,
That therefore only are reputed wise,
For saying nothing ; who, I am very sure,
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears,
Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools.
I'll tell thee more of this another time;
But fish not, with this melancholy bait,
For this fool's gudgeon, this opinion.-
Come, good Lorenzo.-Fare ye well, awhile ;
I'll end my exhortation after dinner.
Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner-time.
I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
For Gratiano never lets me speak.
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 com-
In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible.
[Exeunt GRA. and LOR. 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