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Enter Ballanio, Lorenfe, and Gracianon
Salan, Here comes Balanie your moft noble kinfman,
Gratiano and Lorenfe: Faryewell,
We leaue you now with better company.
Salar. I would haue ftaide till I had made you merry,
If worthier friends had not presented me.
Anth, Your worth is very deere inmy regard..
I take it your owne bufineffe cals on you,
And you embrace the occafion to depart.
Salar. Good morrow my good Lords.
Baff. Good figniors both, when thall we laugh? fay, when? You grow exceeding ftrange: muft it be fo?
Salir, Wee'l make our leyfures to attend on yours..
Exeunt Salaring and Salani
Lor. My Lord Baffanio,fince you have found Antbexio,
we two will leaue you; but at dinner time
I pray you haue in minde, where we must meete.
Baff.I will not faile you.
Grat. You looke not well fignior Anthonie,
You haue too much respect vpon the world:
They loofe it that do buy it with much care,
Beleeue me you are meruailoufly chang'd.
Ant. I hold the world but as the world Cratiano,,
Aftage, where euery one muft play a part,
And mine a fad one..
Gra. Let me play the foole,
with mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come;
And let my Liver rather heate with wine,.
Then my heart coole with mortifying grones.
Why should a man whofe blood is warme within,
Sit like his Grandfire cut in Alablafter?
Sleepe when he wakes ? and creepe into the laundies.
By being pecuifh? I tell thee what Anthario,
Iloue thee, and tis my loue that Ipeakes.
There are a fort of men, whofe vifages
Doe dreame and mantle like a ftanding pond,
And do a wilfull ftilneffe entertaine,
With purpose to be dreft in an opinion
Of wifedome, grauity,profound conceit,
As who fhould fay, I am fir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips,letno dog barke.
Omy Anthonio, I do know of those
That therefore onely are reputed wife
For faying nothing; when I am very fure
If they should fpeake, would almost dam those eares,
Which hearing them would call their brothers fooles,
Ile tell thee more of this another time.
But fish not with this melancholy baite,
For this foole gudgin,this opinion:
Come good Lorenzo,farwell a while,
Ile end my exhortation after dinner.
Loren. Well, we will leaue you then till dinner time.
I must be one of these fame dumbe wife men,
For Gratiano neuer lets me fpeake.
Gra.Well,keepe me company but two yeares moe,
Thou shalt not know the found of thine owne tongue.
An. Farwell, Ile grow a talker for this geare.
Gra.Thanks ifaith,for filence is onely commendable
In a neats tongue dried,and a maide not vendable.
An.It is that any thing now.
Baff.Gratiano fpeakes an infinite deale of nothing,more then any man in all Venice, his reasons are as two graines of wheate hid in two bushels of chaffe: you fhall feeke all day ere you finde them, and when you haue them, they are not worth the search.
Ant.Well,tell me now what Lady is the fame
To whom you fwore a fecret pilgrimage,
That you to day promifd to tell me of.
Bal.Tis not vnknowne to you Anthonio,
How much I haue difabled mine eftate,
By fomething fhewing a more fwelling port,
Then my faint meanes would grant continuance,
Nor do I now make moane to be abridg'd
From fuch a noble rate,but my cheefe care
Is to come fairely off from the great debts
Wherein my time fomething too prodigall
Hath left me gag'd: to you Anthonio,
I owe the most in money and in loue,
And from your loue I haue a warranty
To vnburthen all my plots and purposes
How to get cleere of all the debts I owe.
Autho. I pray you good Baffanie,let me know it,.
And if it ftand as you your felfe ftill do,
Within the eye of honour, be affured
My purfe,my perfon, my extremeft meanes
Lie all vnlockt to your occafions.
Baff. In my fchoole dayes,when I had lost one shaft,
Ifhot his fellow of the felfe-fame flight
The felfe-fame way, with more aduised watch
To finde the other foorth, and by aduentring both,
I oft found both: I vrge this child-hood proofe,
Because what followes, is pure innocence.
I owe you much,and like a wilfull youth,
That which I owe is loft, but if you please
To shoote another arrow that felfe way
Which you did shoote the firft, I do not doubt,
As I will watch the ayme or to finde both,
Or bring your latter hazard backe againe,.
And thankfully reft debter for the first.
Ant. You know me well, and heerein spend but time,
Towinde about my loue with circumstance,
And out of doubt you do me now more wrong.
In making queftion of my vttermoft,
Then if you had made wafte of all I haue:
Then do but fay to me, what I fhould do,
That in your knowledge may by me be done,
And I am preft vato it, therefore fpeake,
Baff. In Belmont is a Lady richly left,
And he is faire, and fairer then that word,
Ofwondrous vertues. Sometimes from her eyes
I did receiue faire fpeechleffe meffages
Her name is Portia ; nothing vnder-valew'd
To Catos daughter, Brutus Portia.
Nor is the wide world ignorant ofher worth,
For the foure winds blow in from euery coale
Renowned futors, and her funny lockes
Hang on her temples like a golden gece,
which makes her feat of Belmont, Colches Brond,
And many lafons comes in queft of her.
Omy Anthonio, had I but the meanes
To hold a riuall place with one of them,
I haue a minde prefages me fuch thrift,
That I fhould questiontesse be fortunate.
Ant. Thou knowft that all my fortunes are atfen,
Neither have I money, nor commodity,
To raise a prefent fumme. Therefore go forth,
Try what my credit can in Venice do,
That fhall be rackt ouen to the vttermoft,
To furnish thee to Belmont to faire Pertia.
Go presently enquire, and fo will I
where money is,and I no queftion make,
To haue it of my trust,or for my fake,
Enter Portia with her wasting Woman Nerriffa.
Fortia. By my troth Newife, my little body is a wear ie of
this great world.
Ner. You would be fweet Madam, if yous miferies were in the fame abundance as your good fortunes are: and yet for ought I fee,they are as fick that surfet with too much,as they that ftarue with nothing; it is no meane happineffe therefore to be feated in the meane, fuperfluity comes fooner by white haires, but competency liues Jongen
Portia.Good fentences,and well pronounced.
Ner.They would be bener, if well followed.
Per. Ifto do, were as cafie as to know what were good to do, Chappels had beene Churches, and poore mens cottages, Princes Pallaces ; it is a good diuine that followes his owne inAtructions: I can cafier teach twenty what were good to bee done, then to be one of the twenty to follow mine owne teaching: the braine may deuife lawes for the blood, but a hot temper leapes ore a colde decree, fuch a hare is madneffe the youth, to skip ore the meshes of good counfell the cripple; but this reafoning is not in the faflion to choose me a husband; Ome, the word choose,I may neyther choose who I would,nor refufe who I diflike, fois the will of a living daughter curbd by the will of a dead father: is it not hard Neriffa,that I cannot choose one,not refuse none.
Ner. Your father was euer vertuous, and holy men at their death have good infpirations, therefore the lottry that he hath deuifed in these three chefts of gold, filuer, and leade, whereof who chooses his meaning chooses you,no doubt you wil neuer be chofen by any rightly, but one who fhall rightly loue: But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these Princely futers that are already come?
Por. I prethee ouer-name them, and as thou nameft them, I will defcribe them, and according to my defeription, leuell at my affection.
Ner.Firft,there is the Neapolitane Prince.
Por. I that's a colt indeed, for hee doth nothing but talke of his horfe,and he makes it a great appropriation, vnto his owne good parts, that he can fhoo himfelfe: I am much afeard my La dy his Mother plaid false with a faith.
Ner. Then there is the County Palatine.
Por. He doth nothing but frowne (as who should say,if you will not haue me,choofe; he heares merry tales and fmiles not, I feare he will prooue the weeping Philofopher whe he growes old,being fo full of vnmannerly fadneffe in his youth.) I had ra ther be married to a deaths head with a bone in his mouth, then B