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Then do but say to me what I should do,
That in your knowledge may by me be done,
And I am preft unto it: therefore speak.

Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,
And she is fair, and fairer than that word,
Of wond'rous virtues; sometimes from her

eyes I did receive fair speechless 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

coast Renowned suitors. O my Antonio, had I but the means To hold a rival place with one of them, I have a mind presages me such thrift, That I shall questionless be fortunate. Ant. Thou know'st that all my fortunes are

at fea; 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, ev'n to the uttermoft, To furnish thee to Belinont, and 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.

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Por. By my troth, Neriffa, my little body is weary of this great world,

.

Ner. You would be, sweet madam, it your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are. And yet, for aught I fee, they are as fick 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. Ner. They would be better, if well followed.

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' pajaces. 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. But this reasoning is not in the falhion to chufe mę a husband :

-O me, the word chuse! I may

neither chuse whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike; so is the will of a living daughter

с

curbed

curbed by the will of a dead father.-Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot chuse one, or refuse

none ?

Ner. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, at their death, have good inspirations ; there. fore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three chests, of gold, silver, and lead, (whereof who chuses his meaning, chufes you,) will, no doubt, never be chosen by any rightly, but one whom

you

shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princeJy suitors, that are already come.

Por. I pray thee, over-name them; and as thou namest them, I will describe them; and, açı cording 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, there is the count Palatine. "? Por. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, An if you will not have me, chuse: he hears merry tales, and smiles not: I fear, he will prove the weeping philosopher when he grows

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old, being fo 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. Defend me from these two !

Ner. How say you by the French lord, Monsieur le Bon?

Por. Nature made him, and therefore let him pass for a man. 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 hufbands! If he would despise me, I would forgive him ; for if he love me to madness, I shall never

requite him.

Ner. "What say you then to Falconbridge, 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 ; 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 is he fuited ! I think he bought

his

C.2

his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour every where.

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; and sealed under for another.

Ner. How like you the young German, the Duke of Saxony's nephew?"

Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober ; 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 beast: an the worst fall that ever fell, I hope, I shall make shift to go without him.

Ner. If he should offer to chuse, and chuse the right casket, you would 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 chuse it. I

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