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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

kinsman, Gratiano, and Lorenzo: Fare

you 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?

Say, when
You grow exceeding strange: Must it be so?
Salar. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.

[Exeunt SALARInỌ 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 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 3 entertain, With purpose

to be dress'd in an opinion Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit; As who should say,

I 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, If they should speak, would almost damn those ears, Which, hearing them, would call their brothers, foolse I'll tell thee more of this another time: But fish not, with this melancholy bait, For thiş fool's gudgeon, this opinion..



3 Obstinate silence.

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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,
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 com

mendable In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible.

[Exeunt GRATIANO and LORENZO. Ant. Is that any thing now?

Bass. Gratiàno 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 promis'd 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

my faint means would grant continuance:
Nor do I now make moan to be abridg'd
From such a noble rate ; but

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 ;

e my



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.

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 assurd,
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


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

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


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 presto unto it: therefore, speak.

Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,

4 Ready

sunny locks

And many

And she is fair, and, fairer than that word,
Of wond'rous virtues ; sometimes s 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
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;
Which makes her seat of Belmont, Colchos' strand,

Jasons come in quest of her.
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 should questionless be fortunate.
Ant. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at

sea; Nor have I money, nor commodity To raise a present sum: therefore go forth,


credit can in Venice do ; That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermost, To furnish thee to Belmont, to 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


sake. [Exeunt.

Try what

5 Formerly.

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