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ANTONIO. 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-wit2 sadness makes of me

That I have much ado3 to know myself.

SALARINO. Your mind is tossing on the ocean;

There, where your argosies with portly sail,
Like signiors 5 and rich burghers on the flood,

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SALANIO. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,

The better part of my affections would

Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still 9

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
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 at sea might do.
I should not see the sandy hour-glass run,
But I should think of shallows and of flats,
And see my wealthy Andrew dock'd in sand,"
Vailing 12 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 13 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 bechanc'd would make me sad?
But tell not me; I know, Antonio

Is sad to think upon his merchandise.

ANTONIO. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it,
My ventures are not in one bottom 15 trusted,
Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
Upon the fortune of this present year:
Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad.
SALARINO. Why, then you are in love.

Fie, fie!

SALARINO. Not in love neither? Then let us say you are sad, 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 Janus,'
Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time:
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes
And laugh like parrots at a bag-piper,


And other of such vinegar aspect

That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.





SALANIO. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman, Gratiano and Lorenzo. Fare ye well:

We leave you now with better company.

SALARINO. I would have stay'd till I had made you merry,

If worthier friends had not prevented 20 me.

ANTONIO. Your worth is very dear in my regard.

I take it, your own business calls on you

And you embrace the occasion to depart.

Good morrow, my good lords.

Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? say, when?

You grow exceeding strange : 21 must it be so?


We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.


LORENZO. My Lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio,

We two will leave you: but at dinner-time,

I pray you, have in mind where we must meet.

BASSANIO. I will not fail you.

GRATIANO. You look not well, Signior Antonio;

You have too much respect upon

22 the world:

They lose it that do buy it with much care:

Believe me, you are marvellously changed.

ANTONIO. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano: A stage where every man must play a part,

And 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 24 like a standing pond,
And do 25 a wilful stillness entertain,
With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion 26
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,27

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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.29
I'll tell thee more of this another time:
But fish not, with this melancholy bait,
For this fool gudgeon,3° this opinion.
Come, good Lorenzo.

Fare ye well awhile:

I'll end my exhortation after dinner.

LORENZO. 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.

GRATIANO. Well, keep me company but two years moe,31 Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.

ANTONIO. Farewell: I'll grow a talker for this gear.32 GRATIANO. Thanks, i̇' faith, for silence is only commendable In a neat's tongue dried. [Exeunt GRATIANO and LORENZO.

ANTONIO. Is that any thing now?

BASSANIO. 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.

ANTONIO. Well, tell me now what lady is the same

To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,

That you to-day promised to tell me of?

BASSANIO. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,

How much I have disabled mine estate,


By something 33 showing a more swelling port
Than my faint means would grant continuance :
Nor do I now make moan to be abridged
From such a noble rate;
35 but my chief care
Is to come fairly off from the great debts
Wherein my time something too prodigal
Hath left me gag'd.36 To you, Antonio,
I owe the most, in money and in love,
And from your love I have a warranty

To unburden all my plots and purposes

How to get clear of all the debts I owe.

ANTONIO. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it; And if it stand, as you yourself still 37 do, Within the eye of honour,38 be assured,

My purse, my person, my extremest means,

Lie all unlock'd to your occasions.

BASSANIO. 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 4° watch,

To find the other forth,11 and by adventuring both
I oft found both: I urge this childhood proof,12
Because what follows is pure innocence.

I owe you much, and like a wilful 43 youth,
That which I owe is lost; but if you please

To shoot another arrow that self 44


Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,

As I will watch the aim, or to find both

Or bring your latter hazard back again

And thankfully rest debtor for the first.

ANTONIO. You know me well, and herein spend but time

To wind about my love with circumstance;


And out of doubt you do me now more wrong

In making question of my uttermost


Than if you had made waste of all I have:
Then do but say to me what I should do
That in your knowledge may by me be done,
And I am prest 47 unto it: therefore speak.

BASSANIO. In Belmont is a lady richly left;
And she is fair and, fairer than that word,
Of wondrous virtues: sometimes 49 from her eyes
I did receive fair speechless messages:
Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued 50
To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia :


Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth,
For the four winds blow in from every coast
Renowned suitors, and her sunny locks

Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;


Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand,52
And many Jasons come in quest of her.

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