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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,
Anth. Your worth is very deere inmy regard.,
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,
Grat. You looke not well fignior Anthonie,
Ant. I hold the world but as the world Gratiane
Gra. Let me play the foole,
with mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come;
And let my Liver rather heate with wine,
Sleepe when he wakes? and creepe into the laundies.
Ifoue thee, and tis my loue that Ipeakes.
There are a fort of men, whofe vifages
Doe dreame and mantle like a standing pond,
If they should fpeake, would almost dam those eares,
But fish not with this melancholy baite,
Loren. Well, we will leaue you then till dinner time.
Gra.Well,keepe me company but two yeares moc,
Gra.Thanks ifaith, for filence is onely commendable
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
Baff.Tis not vnknowne to you Anthonio,
How much I haue difabled mine eftate,
By fomething fhewing a more fwelling port,
Autho.I pray you good Baffanie,let me know it,.
Baff. In my fchoole dayes,when I had loft one shaft,
The felfe-fame way, with more aduised watch
Ant. You know me well, and heerein spend but time
In making queftion of my vttermoft,
And I am preft vato it, therefore fpeake,
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth,
To hold a riuall place with one of them,
Ant. Thou knowst that all my fortunes are atfen,
Enter Portia with her wanting Woman Nerrissa.
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,
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