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We leave you now with better company.
Ant. Your worth is very dear in my regard.
Salar. Good morrow, my good lords.
[Exeunt Salarino and Salanio. Lor. My lord Bassanio, since you have found An
Bass. I will not fail you.
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
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 dress’d in an opinion Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;
* Obstinate silence,
As who should say, I am Sir Oracle,
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,
Come, good Lorenzo :-Fare ye well, a while;
Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner-time:
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 commend
able 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
Bass. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
Wherein my time, something too prodigal,.,
Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
shaft, I shot his fellow of the self-same flight The self-same way, with more advised watch, To find the other forth; and by advent’ring both, I oft found both: I.urge this childhood proof, Because what follows is pure innocence. I owe you much; and, like a wilful youth, That which I owe is lost: but if you please To shoot another arrow that self way 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. Ant. 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 done, And I am prest* unto it: therefore, speak.
Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left, And she is fair, and, fairer than that word, Of wondrous virtues : sometimes † from her eyes I did receive fair speechless messages : Her name is Portia ; nothing undervalued * Ready.
To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia.
Enter Portia and Nerissa. Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is a-weary 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.
Por. He does nothing but frown; as who should say, An if you will not have me, choose : he hears merry tales, and smiles not: I fear, he will prove the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being so full of unmannerly sadness in his youth. I had rather be married to a death's head with a bone in
* An heady, gay youngster. of Count.