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Enter Ballanio, Lorenfe, and Graciano,

Salan. Here comes Baffanie your moft noble kinfman, Gratiano and Lorenfe: Faryewell,

Weleaue you now with better company.

Salar. I would haue staide 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?

Salar, Wee'l make our leyfures to attend on yours..

Exeunt Salaring and Salania.

Lor. My Lord Baffanio, fince you have found Anthoxið,
we two will leaue you; but at dinner time
I pray you haue in minda where we must meete..
Ba.I will not faile you..

Grat. You looke not well fignior Anthonie,
You haue too much refpect vpon the world:
They loose it that do buy it with much care,
Beleeue me you are meruailoufly chang'd.

Ant. I hold the world but as the world Gratiane
Aftage, where euery one must 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 Anthaviv,

Ifoue thee, and tis my loue that Ipeakes.

There are a fort of men, whofe vifages


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Doe dreame and mantle like a standing pond,
And do a wilfull ftilneffe entertaine,
With purpose to be drest in an opinion
Of wifedome,grauity,profound conceit,
As who fhould fay, I ain 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 thefe fame dumbe wife men,
For Gratiano neuer lets me fpeake.

Gra.Well,keepe me company but two yeares moc,
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 reafons 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.

Baff.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 loùe I haue a warranty
To vnburthen all my plots and purpofes
How to get cleere of all the debts lowe.

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 loft 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 first, 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
To winde 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 should do,
That in your knowledge may by me be done,


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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 of her worth,
For the foure winds blow in from euery coale
Renowned futors, and her funny lockes
Hang on her temples like a gotden Reece,
which makes her feat of Belmont, Colches Brond,
And many lafons comes in queft of her.
Anthonio, had I but the meanes

O my

To hold a riuall place with one of them,
I haue a minde prefages me fuch theifu,
That I fhould questionlesse be fortunate,

Ant. Thou knowst 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 yttermost,
To furnish thee to Belmont to faire Pertia.
Go prefently enquire, and fo will I
where money is,and I no queftion make,
To haue it of my trußt,or for my sake,


Enter Portia with her wanting Woman Nerrissa.

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Fortia. By my troth Neriff, my little body is a wear ie of this great world.

Ner. You would be sweet 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 furfet 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 longer,


Portia. Good fentences,and well pronounced,
Ner.They would be bener,if well followed.

Por. If to 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 eafier 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; O me, 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,nor refuse none.

Ner. Your father was euer vertuous, and holy men at their death haue good infpirations, therefore the lottry that he hath deuised 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 Law dy his Mother plaid false with a fmith.

Ner. Then there is the County Palatine.

Por. He doth nothing but frowne (as who fhould fay,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

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