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All wanton as a child, skipping, and vain;
Form'd by the eye, and, therefore, like the eye,
Full of strange shapes, of habits, and of forms,
Varying in subjects as the doth roll
To every varied object in his glance:
Which party-coated presence of loose love
Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes,
Have misbecom'd our oaths and gravities,
Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults,
Suggested us to make. Therefore, ladies,
Our love being yours, the error that love makes
Is likewise yours: we to ourselves prove false,
By being once false for ever to be true
To those, that make us both,-fair ladies, you:
And even that falsehood, in itself a sin,
Thus purifies itself, and turns to grace.
Prin. We have receiv'd your letters, full of love;
Your favours, the embassadors of love;
And, in our maiden council, rated them
At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy,
As bombast, and as lining to the time:
But more devout than this, in our respects,
Have we not been; and therefore met your loves
In their own fashion, like a merriment.
Dum. Our letters, madam, show'd much more than
Long. So did our looks.
Ros. We did not quote them so.
King. Now, at the latest minute of the hour, Grant us your loves.
Prin. A time, methinks, too short
To make a world-without-end bargain in :
No, no, my lord, your grace is perjur'd much,
Full of dear guiltiness; and, therefore this,-
If for my love (as there is no such cause)
You will do aught, this shall you do for me:
Your oath I will not trust; but go with speed
To some forlorn and naked hermitage,
Remote from all the pleasures of the world;
There stay, until the twelve celestial signs
Have brought about their annual reckoning:
If this austere insociable life
Change not your offer, made in heat of blood;
If frosts, and fasts, hard lodging, and thin weeds,
Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love,
But that it bear this trial, and last love;
Then, at the expiration of the year,
Come challenge, challenge me by these deserts,
And, by this virgin palm, now kissing thine,
I will be thine; and, till that instant, shut
My woeful self up in a mourning house;
Raining the tears of lamentation
For the remembrance of my father's death.
If this thou do deny, let our hands part;
Neither intitled in the other's heart.
King. If this, or more than this, I would deny,
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
The sudden hand of death close up mine eye!
Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
Kath. Yet swear not, lest you be forsworn again.
Long. What says Maria?
Mar. At the twelvemonth's end,
I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend.
Long. I'll stay with patience; but the time is
Mar. The liker you; few taller are so young,
Biron. Studies my lady? mistress look on me,
Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
What humble suit attends thy answer there;
Impose some service on me for thy love.
Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Birón,
Before I saw you: and the world's large tongue
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks;
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts;
Which you on all estates will execute,
That lie within the mercy of your wit:
To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain;
And, therewithal, to win me, if you please,
(Without the which I am not to be won,)
You shall this twelvemonth term, from day to day,
Visit the speechless sick, and still converse
With groaning wretches; and your task shall be,
With all the fierce endeavour of your wit,
To enforce the pained impotent to smile.
Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast.
Biron. And what to me, my love, and what to me?
Ros. You must be purged too, your sins are rank;
You are attaint with faults and perjury;
Therefore, if you my favour mean to get,
A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest,
But seek the weary beds of people sick.
Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of
It cannot be; it is impossible:
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.
Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,
Whose influence is begot of that loose grace,
Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools:
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it: then, if sickly ears,
Deaf'd with the clamours of their own dear groans,
Will hear your idle scorns, continue then,
And1 will have you, and that fault withal;
But, if they will not, throw away that spirit,
And I shall find you empty of that fault,
Right joyful of your reformation.
Biron. A twelvemonth? well, befal what will befal,
I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital.
Dum. But what to me, my love? but what to me?
Kath. A wife!-A beard, fair health, and honesty;
With three-fold love I wish you all these three.
Prin. Ay, sweet my lord; and so I take my leave.
King. No, madam: we will bring you on your way.
Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old play;
Jack hath not Jill: these ladies' courtesy
Might well have made our sport a comedy.
Dum. O, shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife?
Kath. Not so, my lord;-a twelvemonth and a day,
I'll tark no words that smooth-fac'd wooers say:
Come, when the king doth to my lady come,
Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some.
King. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day, And then 'twill end.
Biron. That's too long for a play.
Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me,-
Prin. Was not that Hector?
Dum. The worthy knight of Troy.
Arm. I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave: I
ama votary; I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the
plough for her sweet love three years. But, most estee-
med greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two
learned men have compiled, in praise of the owl and
the cuckoo? it should have followed in the end of our
King. Call them forth quickly, we will do so.
Arm. Holla! approach.
Enter Holofernes, Nathaniel, Moth, Costard, and
SALARINO, 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.
PORTIA, a rich heiress.
NERISSA, her waiting-maid.
JESSICA, daughter to Shylock.
Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of
Justice, Jailor, Servants, and other Attendants.
SCENE,-partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont, the Seat of Portia, on the Continent.
SCENE I.-Venice. A Street.
Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO.
Ant. 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, whereofit 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,
The better part of my affections would
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.
Salar. 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 upon his merchandise.
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 merchandise makes me not sad.
Salan. Why then you are in love.
Salan. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you
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 noble
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.
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,
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
That you to-day promised to tell me of?
Bass. "Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate,
By something showing a more swelling port,
kins-Than my faint means would grant continuance.
Nor do Inow make moan to be abrigd'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 gaged: to you, Antonio,
I owe the most, in money, and in love;
And from your love I have a warranty
To unburthen all my plots, and purposes,
How to get clear of all the debts I owe.
Gratiano, and Lorenzo. Fare you well;
We leave you now with better company.
Salar. I would have staid till I had made you merry,
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,
And you embrace the occasion to depart.
Salar. Good morrow, my good lords!
Bass. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh?
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 Antonio,
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;
Ant let my liver rather heat with wine,
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.
Why should a man, whose blood is warm within,
Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?
Sleep, when he wakes? and creep into the jaundice
By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio,-
I love thee, and it is my love that speaks;-
There are a sort of men, whose visages
Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond;
And do a wilful stillness entertain,
With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;
As who should say, I am Sir Oracle,
And, when I ope my lips, let no dog bark!
O, my Antonio, I do know of these,
That therefore only are reputed wise,
For saying nothing; who, I am very sure,
Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
And, if it stand, as you yourself still do,
Within the eye of honour, be assur'd,
My purse, my person, my extremest means,
Lie all unlock'd to your occasions.
Bass. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same 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 lost; but if you please
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 latter hazard back again,
And thankfully rest debtor for the first.
Ant. You know me well, and herein spend but time,
To wind about my love with circumstance:
And, out of doubt, you do me now more wrong,
In making question of my uttermost,
Than if you had made waste of all I have.
Then do but say to me what I should do,
That in your knowledge may by me be done,
And I am prest unto it: therefore, speak!
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears,
Which hearing them, 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.
Lor. Well, we will leave you then till dinner-time:
I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
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 undervalued
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: and her sunny locks
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece:
Which makes her seat of Belmont, Colchos' strand,
And many Jasons come in quest of her.
O, my Antonio, had I but the means
To hold a rival place with one of them,
have a mind presages me such thrift,
That I should questionless be fortunate.
Ant. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at sea; Nor have I money, nor commodity
SCENE II.-Belmont. A room in Portia's house.
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 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 lives longer.
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 he is suited! I think, he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet inGermany, 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?
Pro. 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 little worse than a man ; and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast: and the worst fall that ever fell, I hope, I shall make shift to go with
Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced! Ner. They would do 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 cot-out him. tages, princes' palaces. It is a good divine that follows Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right his own instructions. I can easier teach twenty what casket, you should refuse to perform your father's were good to be done,than be one of the twenty to fol- will, if you should refuse to accept him. low mine own teaching. The brain may devise laws for Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set the blood; but a hot temper leaps over a cold decree: a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket: such a hare is madness, the youth, to skip o'er the me- for, if the devil be within, and that temptation without, shes of good counsel, the cripple. But this reasoning is I know he will choose it. I will do any thing, Nerissa, not in the fashion to choose me a husband. - O me, the ere I will be married to a sponge. word choose! I may neither choose, whom I would, nor Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these refuse, whom I dislike; so is the will of a living daugh- lords; they have acquainted me with their determinater curb'd by the will of a dead father. -Is it not hard, tions: which is indeed, to return to their home, and Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none? to trouble you with no morę suit; unless you may be Ner. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, won by some other sort,than your father's imposition, at their death, have good inspirations; therefore, the depending on the caskets. lottery that he hath devised in these three 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.IfI 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 reasonable; for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and I 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? Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, so was he called.
Ner. True, madam; he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes looked 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.
Por. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, An if you will not have me, choose: he hears merry Serv. The four strangers seek for you, madam, to tales, and smiles not : I fear, he will prove the weeping take their leave: and there is a fore-runner come from philosopher when he grows old, being so full of un- a fifth, the prince of Morocco; who brings word, the mannerly sadness in his youth. I had rather be mar-prince, his master, will be here to-night.
ried to a death's head with a bone in his mouth, than Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good to either of these. God defend me from these two! Ner. How say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le Bon?
Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass for aman! In truth, I know it is a sin 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 sing, 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 despise 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?
heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I should
be glad of his approach: if he have the condition of a
saint, and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he
should shrive me than wive me. Come, Nerissa.-Sir-
rah, go before!— Whiles we shut the gate upon one
wooer, another knocks at the door.
SCENE III.- Venice. A public place.
Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK.
Shy. Three thousand ducats,-well.
Bass. Ay, sir, for three months.
Shy. For three months, -well.
Bass. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be
MERCHANT OF VENICE.
Shy. Antonio shall become bound, - well.
Bass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me?
Shall I know your answer?
Shy. Three thousand ducats, for three months, and
Bass.. Your answer to that.
Shy. Antonio is a good man.
Bass. 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 supposition: 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, sailors 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, notwithstanding, sufficient; -three thousand ducats; I think, I may take his bond.
Bass. Be assured, you may.
Shy. I will be assured, I may; and, that I may be assured, I will bethink me. May I speak with Antonio? Bass. If it please you to dine with us.
Shy. No, not take interest; not, as you would say,
Directly interest; mark what Jacob did.
When Laban and himself were compromis'd,
That all the eanlings which were streak'd and pied,
Should fall as Jacob's hire; the ewes, being rank,
In the end of autumn turned to the rams:
And when the work of generation was
Between these woolly breeders in the act,
The skilful shepherd peel'd me certain wands,
And, in the doing of the deed of kind,
He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes ;
Who, then conceiving, did in eaning time
Fall party-colour'd lambs, and those were Jacob's.
This was a way to thrive, and he was blest;
And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.
Ant. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv'd for;
A thing not in his power to bring to pass,
But sway'd, and fashion'd, by the hand of heaven.
Was this inserted to make interest good?
Or is your gold and silver, ewes and rams?
Shy. I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast:
But note me, signior.
Shy. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into: I will buy with you, sell 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?
Bass. This is signior Antonio.
Ant. Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul, producing holy witness,
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek:
A goodly apple rotten at the heart;
0, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
Shy.Three thousand ducats,-'tis a good round sum.
Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.
Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you?
Shy. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my monies, and my usances:
Shy. [Aside. How like a fawning publican he looks! Still have I borne it with a patient shrug;
I hate him, for he is a christian:
But more, for that, in low simplicity,
Helends out money gratis, and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudgel bear him.
He hates our sacred nation; and he rails,
Even there where merchants most do congregate,
On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,
Which he calls interest. Cursed be my tribe,
If I forgive him!
Bas. Shylock, do you hear?
Shy. I am debating of my present store;
And, by the near guess of my memory,
I cannot instantly raise up the gross
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 desire?-Rest you fair, good signior;
Your worship was the last man in our mouths.
Ant. 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?
Shy Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.
Ant. And for three months.
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe:
You call me-misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then, it now appears, you need my help:
Go to then; you come to me, and you say,
Shylock, we would have monies; you say so;
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
And foot me, as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold; monies is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
Hath a dog money?, is it possible,
Shy. I had forgot,-three months, you told me so.
Well then, your bond; and, let me sec,-but hear you;
Methought, you said, you neither lend, nor borrow,
A cur can lend three thousand ducats? or
Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key,
With 'bated breath, and whispering humbleness,
Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
You spurn'd me such a day; another time
You call'd me- -dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much monies.
Ant. I am as like to call thee so again,
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too.
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends; (for when did friendship take
A breed for barren metal of his friend?)
But lend it rather to thine enemy;
Who, if he break, thou may'st with better face
Exact the penalty.
Shy. Why, look you, how you storm!
I would be friends with you, and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with,
Supply your present wants, and take no doit
Of usance for my monies, and you'll not hear me :
Ant. This were kindness.
Shy. When Jacob graz'd his uncle Laban's sheep, This is kind I offer.
This Jacob from our holy Abraham was
(As his wise mother wrought in his behalf,)
The third possessor; ay, he was the third.
Ant. And what of him? did he take interest?
Shy. This kindness will I show:-
Go with me to a notary, seal me there
Your single bond and in a merry sport