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Gratiano, and Lorenzo: Fare you well;
Salar. I would have staid till I had made you merry,
Ant. Your worth is very dear in my regard.
Salar. Good morrow, my good lords.
Say, when ?
[Exeunt Satarino and Salanio.
Bass. I will not fail you.
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
Let me play the fool:
Come, good Lorenzo:-Fare ye well, & while;
Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner time:
Gra. Well, keep me company but two years more.
Ant. Farewell: I'll grow a talker for this gear.
Gra. Thanks, i'faith; for silence is only commendable 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,
noble rate; but my chief care
Anth pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
Bass. In my school days, when I had lost one shult,
As I will watch the aim, or to find both,
Ant. You know me well; and herein spent but time
Bass, In Belmont is a lady richly left,
Ant. Thou kuow'st that all my fortunes are at sea;
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA.
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
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:- 15 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 ihree 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 doth nothing but frown; as who should say, An if you toill 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 his mouth, than to either of these. God defend me from these two!
Ner. How say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le
Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a mocker;
these lords; they have acquainted nie with their
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 sing, he falls straight a capering: he will fence with his own shadow: if I should marry him, I should marry me:
forgive him ; for if he love me to madness, I shall never requite him
Por. You know, I say nothing to him; for he
nor Italian: and you will come into the court and swear, that I have a poor penny-worth in the English. He is a proper man's picture : But, alas! who suited! I think, he bought his doublet in Italy, his Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord, his
Por. How like you the young German, the duke of
Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober ;
worst, he is little better than a beast; and
ever fell, I hope, I shall make shift
Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee,
know he will choose it. I will do any thing,
home, and to trouble you with no more suit, unless