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Duke of VENICE.
PRINCE OF Morocco,
suitors to Portia.
PRINCE OF ARRAGON,
Antonio, the Merchant of Venice.
BASSANIO, his friend.
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.
servants to Portia.
Portia, a rich heiress.
Nerissa, her waiting-maid.
JESSICA, daughter to Shylock.
Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice,
Jailer, Servants, and other Attendants.
Scene, partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont, the
Seat of Portia, on the Continent.
Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO.
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-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 signiors and rich burghers of the flood,
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea,
Do overpeer the petty traffickers,
That curt’sy to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.
Salan. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth.
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
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 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 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 bechanc'd, would make me sad ?
But, tell not me; I know, Antonio
Is sad to think
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 merchandize makes me not sad.
Salan. Why then you are in love.
Fye, fye! Salan. 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, Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed
Janus, Nature hath fram'd 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.
Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO.
Salan. Here comes Bassanio, your most noblc
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,
embrace the occasion to depart. Salar. Good morrow, my good lords. Bass. Good signiors 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 SALARINO, and SALANIO. 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, signior Antonio ;
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.
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano; A stage, where every man must play a part, And mine a sad one. Gra.
Let me play the Fool; With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come ; And let
liver rather heat with wine, Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.