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MERCHANT OF VENICE.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

A Street in Venice. Enter ANTHONIO, SOLARINO, and.

SALANIO.

;

Anthonio.
N footh, I know not why I am fo sad ::
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 fadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.

Sal. Your mind is tossing on the ocean ;
There, where your argofies[1] with portly fail
Like figniors and rich burghers on the flood,
Or as it were the pageants of the sea-
Do over-peer the petty traffickers,
That curtfy to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings,

Solą. Believe me, fir, had I such venture forth,
The better part of my affections would
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
Plucking the grass,[2] to know where fits the wind ;,-
Prying 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 fad.

Sal. My wind, cooling my broth,
Would blow me to an agué, when I thought

[1]. Whether it be derived from Argo, I am in doubt.
given in our author's time to ships of great burthen, probably galleons,
such as the Spaniards now use in their Welt-India trade.“ JOHNS.

[3] By holding up the grass, or any light body that will bend by a gentle blatt, the direction of the wind is found." This way I used in Thoots ing. Betwixt the markes was an open place, there I take a fethere, or a Tytle graise, and so learned how the wind ftood.” Ascham. JOHNS,

It was a name

What harm a wind too great might do at fea.
I should not fee the fandy hour-glass run,
But I should think of fhallows, and of flats;
And see my wealthy Andrew[3] dock'd in sand,
Vailing her high top lower than her ribs
To kiss her burial. Should I go to church,
And see the holy ediâice of stone,
And not bethink me ftraight of dangerous rocks?
Which, touching but my gentle veffel's tide,
Would scatter all her spices on the stream ,
Enrobe the roaring waters with my filks
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 fad ?
But, tell not me; I know, Anthonio
Is fad to think upon his merchandizę.

Anth. Believe me, no : I thank my fortune for its
My ventures are not in one bottom trufted,
Nor to one place ; nor is my whole eftate
Upon the fortune of this prefent year :
Therefore my merchandize makes me not fad.

Sola. Why then you are in love.
Anth. Fie, fie !
Sola. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you are

sad,
Because you are not merry : and 'twere as easy
For you to laugh, and leap, and say you are merry,
Becaufe you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus, [4]
Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time :
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes, [5]
And laugh, like parrots, at a bag-piper ;
And other of such vinegar-aspect,
That they'll not fhew their teeth in way of smile, [6]
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.

[3] The name of the thip. JOHNS.

[4] Here Shakespeare thews his knowledge in the antique. By Twoheaded Janus is meant thore antique bifrontine heads, which generally represent a young and smiling face, together with an old and wrinkled one, being of Pan and Bacchus; of Saturn and Apollo, &c. There are not uncommon in collections of antiques : and in the books of the antiquaries, as Montfaucon, Spanheim, &c. WARB.

[5] This gives us a very picturesque image of the countenance in laugh. ing, when the eyes appear half fhut. WARB.

[6] Because such are apt enough to sew their teeth in anger. WARB. Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO. Sal. Here comes Baffanio, your most noble kinsman, Gratiano, and Lorenzo : Fare you well : We leave you now with better company.

Sola. I would have ftaid till I had made you merry, If worthier friends had not prevented me.

Anth. Your worth is very dear in my regard.
I take it, your own business calls on you,
And you embrace the occasion to depart.

Sal. Good-morrow, my good lords.
Baj. Good figniors both, when shall we laugh ? fay,

when ?
You grow exceeding ftrange ; muft it be so ?

Sal. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.

Sola. My lord Baffanio, fince you have found Anthonio, We two will leave you ; but, at dinner-time, I pray you have in mind where we must meet. Baj. I will not fail you.

(Exeunt Sal. and SOLA. Gra. You look not well, fignior Anthonio ; 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.

Anth. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A ftage, where every man must play his part ;
And mine a fad one.

Gra. Let me play the fool :[7]
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, whofe blood is warm within,
Sit like his grandfire cut in alabaster?
Sleep when he wakes, and creep into the jaundice
By being peevith? I tell thee what, Anthonio,
(I love thee, and it is my love that speaks),
There are a sort of men, whose visages
Do cream and mantle, like a ftanding pond :
And do a wilful ftillness entertain,
With purpose to be dreft in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit ;

[7] Alluding to the common comparison of human life to a stage-play: So that he delires his may be the fool's or buffoon's part, which was a con Atant character in the old farces ; from whence came the phrase, To play the fool, WARB.

As who should say, I am Sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark !
O, my Anthonio, I do know of those,
That therefore only are reputed wise,
For saying nothing ; who, I am very sure,
If they should speak, would almost damn those cars,
Which, hearing thein, 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 a while ;
I'll end my exhortation after dinner.[8]

Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner-time.
I must be one of these fame 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.

Anth. Farewel : I'll grow a talker for this gear.

Gra. Thanks, 'faith; for silence is only commendable In a neat's tongue dry'd, and a maid not vendible.

[Exeunt GRA. and LOREN. Anth. Is that any thing now?

Bas. 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.

Anth. Well; tell me now, what lady is the same,
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
That you to-day promis’d to tell me of?

Baj. 'Tis not unknown to you, Anthonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate,
By thewing something a more swelling port
Than my faint means would grant continuance ;
Nor do I now make moan to be abridg'd
From such a noble rate : but my chief care
Is to come fairly off from the great debts,
Wherein my time, something too prodigal,
Hath left me gag'd : To you, Anthonio,
I owe the moft, in money, and in love ;
And from your love I have a warranty

[8] Thumour of this consists in its being an allusion to the practice of the puritan preachers of those times; who being, generally very long and tedious, were often forced to put off that part of their fermon called the Exhortation, till after dinner, WARB.

To unburthen all my plots, and purposes,
How to get clear of all the debts I owe.

Anth. I pray you, good Balsanio, let me know it ;
And, if it stand, as you yourself fill do,
Within the eye of honour, be affur'd,
My purse, my person, my extremeft means,
Lie all unlock’d to your occasions.

Bal. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft, I fhot his fellow of the felf-fame flight The self-fame 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 loft : but if you pleafe 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 fatter hazard back again, And thankfully reft debtor for the firft.

Anth. You know me well; and herein spend but time, To wind about my love with circumftance ; And, out of doubt, you do me now more wrong, In making question of my uttermoft, Than if you had made waste of all I have : Then do but fay to me what I should do, That in your knowledge may by me be dones, And I am preft into it :. therefore, fpeak.

Bar In Belmont is a lady richly left, And The is fair, and fairer than that word, Of wondrous virtues ; fometime from her eyes: I did receive fair speechlefs messages :. Her name is Portia ; nothing undervalu'd To Cato's daughter, Brutus’ Portia. Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth; For the four winds blow in from every coaft Renowned fuitors : and her sunny locks Hang on her temples like a golden fleece ; Which makes her feat of Belmont, Colchos' ftrand, And many Jafons come in quest of her. O, my Anthonio, had I but the means

hold a rival place with one of them, I have a mind prefages me fuch thrift, That I thould questionlefs be fortunate. •

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