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Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea,
That curt'sy to them, do them reverence,
That such a thing bechanced, would make me sad?
Is sad to think upon his merchandise.
Ant. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it,
Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO.
Solan. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman, Gratiano, and Lorenzo: Fare you well; We leave you now with better company. [Exeunt SALARINO and SOLANIO. 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.
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
But fish not with this melancholy bait,
Come, good Lorenzo: - Fare ye well a while;
[Exeunt GRATIANO and LORENZO,
Bass. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
And from your love I have a warranty
Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
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,
Ant. You know me well, and herein spend but time,
In making question of my uttermost,
Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth;
Ant. Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea;
SCENE II. Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA.
Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is a-weary 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. 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 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 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 curbed 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 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 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, overname them; and as thou namest
them I will describe them; and according to my description level at my affection.
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.
SCENE III. - Venice. A public Place.
Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK.
Shy. Three thousand ducats,
Bass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me? Shall I know your answer?
Shy. Three thousand ducats, for three months,
Bass. Your answer to that.
Shy. Antonio is a good man.
Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary? Shy. Oh 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, squandered 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. 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,