Anth. Thou know?st, that all my fortunes are at sea ; Nor have I money, nor commodity To raise a present sum : Therefore go forth ; Try what my credit can in Venice do ; That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermoft, To furnifh thee to Belmont, to fair Portia. Go, presently inquire, and so will I, Where money is ; and I no question make, To have it of my trust, or for my fake. [Exeunt.


SCENE II. A room in Portia's house at Belmont. 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

miferies were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are : And yet, for aught I see, they are as fick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing : It is no mean happiness, therefore, to be feated in the mean; superfluity comes fooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.

Por. Good sentences, and well pronounc'd.
Ner. They would be better, if well follow'd.

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 my own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood ; but a hot temper leaps o'er 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 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 lot.. tery, that he hath devised in these three chefts of gold, filver, 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 nam'ft them, I will describe them ; and, according to my defcription, level at my affection.

Ner. Firft, there is the Neapolitan prince.

Por. Ay, that's a colt,[9] 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 fhoe him himself: I am much afraid my lady, his mother, play'd false with a smith.

Ner. Then, there is the county Palatine.

Por. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, An' if you will not have me, choose : He hears merry tales, and imiles not : I fear, he will prove the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being so full of unmannerly {adness in his youth. I had rather be married to a death's head with a bone in his mouth, than to either of these. God defend me from these two !

Ner. How fay you by the French lord, monsieur Le Bon; Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a

In truth, I know it is a fin to be a mocker ; but, he! why, he hath a horse better than the Neapolitan's; a better bad habit of frowning than the count Palatine : he is every man in no man : if a throstle fing, he falls straight a capering ; he will fence with his own shadow : If I should marry him, I should marry twenty husbands : If he would defpise me, I would forgive him ; for if he love me to madness, I shall never requite him.

Ner. What say you then to Faulconbridge, the young baron of England ?

Por. You know, I say nothing to him ; for he understands not me, nor I him : he hath neither Latin, French, . nor Italian ;[1] and you will come into the court, and swear that I have a poor pennyworth in the English. He is a proper man's picture; but, alas ! who can converse with a dumb show? How oddly he is suited! I think, he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hofe in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour every where.

D] Colt is used for a witiefs, leady, gay youngster, whence the phrase used of an old man too juvenile, that he ltill retains his · colt's tooth." Hen. VII. JOHNS.



[1] A fatire on the ignorance of the young Englih travellers in our auVol. II. B

thor's tiine.


Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord, his neighbour ?

Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him, for he borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman, and swore he would pay him again when he was able : I think the Frenchman became his surety,[2] and scal'd under for another.

Ner. How like you the young German,[3] the duke of Savoy's nephew ?

Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is fober ; and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk : when he is best, he is a little worse than a man ; and when he is worst, he is little better than a beaft: An' the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall make shift to go without him.

Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you should refuse to accept him.

Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee fet a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket ; for, if the devil be within, and that temptation without, I know he will choose it : I will do any thing, Nerissa, ere I will be marry'd to a sponge.

Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these lords: they have acquainted me with their determinations ; which is, indeed, to return to their home, and to trouble you with no more suit, unless you may be won by some other fort than your father's imposition, depending on the caskets.

Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will : I am glad this parcel of wooers are so very reasonable ; for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and pray God grant them a fair departure.

Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's time, a Venetian, a scholar and a soldier, that came hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat ?

[2] Alluding to the constant affiftance, or rather constant promises of afsistance, that the French gave the Scots in their quarrels with the English. This alliance is here humorously satirized.

[3] In Shakespeare's time the duke of Bavaria visited London, and was made knight of the garter.

Perhaps in this enumeration of Portia's suitors, there may be some covert allusion to those of Queen Elizabeth. JOHNS.


Por. Yes, yes, it was Baffanio ; as I think, he was so call’d.

Ner. True, madam. He, of all the men that ever my, foolish eyes look'd upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.

Por. I remember him well ; and I remember him worthy of thy praise.--How now! what news ?

Enter a Servant. Ser. The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave : and there is a fore-runner come from a fifth, the prince of Morocco ; who brings word, the prince, his master, will be here to-night.

Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart as I can bid the other four farewel, I should be glad of his approach : if he have the condition of a faint, and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come, Nerissa.—Sirrah, go before,

-While we shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.


SCENE III. A public Place in Venice. Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK. Shy. Three thousand ducats :-well. Bas. Ay, fir, for three months. Shy. For three months :-well. Baf.For the which, as I told you, Anthonio shall be bound. Shy. Anthonio shall become bound :-well.

Baf. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me? Shall I know your answer ?

Shy. Three thousand ducats for three months, and Anthonio bound? Bal. Your answer to that. Shy. Anthonió is a good man. Bal. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?

Shy. Ho, no, no, no, no ;-my meaning, in saying he is a good man, is, to have you understand me, that he is sufficient : Yet his means are in fupposition : he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies ; I understand, moreover, upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England ; and other ventures he hath squander'd abroad : But ships are but boards, failors but men: there be land rats and water rats, water thieves and land thieves ; I mean pirates ; and then, there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks : The man is, notwithItanding, sufficient.--Three thousand ducats ! Ithink I may take his bond.

Baf. Be affur’d, you may.

Shy. I will be assurd, I may; and, that I may be assur’d, I will bethink me : May I speak with Anthonio?

Bal. If it please you to dine with us.

Shy. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet the Nazarite conjur'd the devil into : I will buy with you, fell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following ; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What news on the Rialto ?-Who is he comes here?

Enter ANTHONIO. Bal. This is fignior Anthonio. Shy. [-Afde.] How like a fawning publican he looks ! I hate him, for he is a Chriftian : But more, for that, in low fimplicity, He lends out money gratis, and brings down The rate of usance here with us in Venice. If I can catch him once upon the hip,[5] I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him. He hates our facred nation ; and he rails, Even there where merchants moft do congregate, On me, my barains, and my well-won thrift, Which he calls intereft : Curfed be my tribe, If I forgive him !

Baj. Shylock, do you hear past

Shy. I am debating of my present store j
And, by the near guess of my memory,
I cannot instantly raife up the grofs
Of full three thousand ducats : What of that?
Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe,
Will furnish me : But soft ; how many months
Do you defire ?Reft you fair, good fignior ; [To ANTH.
Your worship was the laft man in our mouths.

Anth. Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow
By taking nor by giving of excess,
Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend,
I'll break a custom :-Is he yet possess'd,
How much you would ?

Sby. Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.
Anth. And for three months.
[5] A phrase taken from the practice of wrestlers. JOANS,

« 上一页继续 »