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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, whereof it 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.
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 dockd 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 merchandize.
Ant. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it, My ventures are not in one bottoin 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.
Salan. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you
are sad, 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
Gratiano, and Lorenzo: Fare you well;
We leave you now with better company.
Salar. I would have staid till I had made you
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.
[Ereunt Salarino 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, Gra-
A stage, where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.
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 entertain,
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! 0, 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
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-
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. Farewel: 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.
[E.xeunt 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 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 my chief care
Is, to come fairly off from the great debts,
Wherein my time, something too prodigal,