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Duke of Venice.
Prince of Arragon,
friends to Antonio and Bassanio.
suitors to Portia.
Lorenzo, in love with Jessica.
Tubal, a Jew, his friend.
Launcelot Gobbo, a clown, servant to Shylock.
Old Gobbo, father to Launcelot.
Salerio, a messenger from Venice.
servants to Portia.
Portia, a rich heiress.
Nerissa, her waiting-maid.
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
MERCHANT OF VENICE.
SCENE I. Venice. A street.
Enter Antonio, Salarino, and Salanio.
Ant. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad;
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean;
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, * Ships of large burthen.
But I should think of shallows and of flats;
And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks?
Is sad to think upon his merchandize.
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 merchandize makes me not sad. Salan. Why then you are in love.
Fye, fye! Salan. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you are sad,
Because you are not merry: and 'twere as easy
Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time:
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 well;