Imatges de pÓgina
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Por. If to do, were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages, princes' palaces. It is a good divine, that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot temper leaps o'er a cold decree: such a hare is madness the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel the cripple. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to chuse me a husband:-O me, the word chuse! I may neither chuse whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike; so is the will of a living daughter curb'd by the will of a dead father:-Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot chuse one, nor refuse none ? 214

Ner. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, at their death, have good inspirations; therefore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three chests, of gold, silver, and lead (whereof who chuses his meaning, chuses you), will, no doubt, never be chosen by any rightly, but one who you shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors that are already come?

Por. I pray thee, over-name them; and as thou nam'st them, I will describe them; and, according to my description, level at my affection.

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Ner. First, there is the Neapolitan prince.

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Por. Ay, that's a colt, indeed, for he does no

thing but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great

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appropriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe him himself: I am much afraid my lady his mother play'd false with a smith.

Ner. Then, there is the county Palatine.

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Por. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, An if you will not have me, chuse: he hears merry tales, and smiles not: I fear, he will prove the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being so full of unmannerly sadness in his youth. I had rather be married to a death's head with a bone in his mouth, than to either of these. God defend me from these two! 240

Ner. How say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le Bon?

Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a mocker; But, he! why, he hath a horse better than the Neapolitan's; a better bad habit of frowning than the count Palatine: he is every man in no man: if a throstle sing, he falls straight a capering; he will fence with his own shadow; if I should marry him, I should marry twenty husbands: If he would despise me, I would forgive him; for if he love me to mad ness, I shall never requite him. 252

Ner. What say you then to Faulconbridge, the young baron of England ?

Por. You know, I say nothing to him; for he understands not me, nor I him he hath neither Latin,

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French, nor Italian; and you will come into the court and swear, that I have a poor pennyworth in

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the English. He is a proper man's picture; But alas! who can converse with a dumb show? How oddly he is suited! I think, he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour every where. 263

Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord, his neighbour?

Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him; for he borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman, and swore he would pay him again, when he was able: I think, the Frenchman became his surety, and seal'd under for another.

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Ner. How like you the young German, the duke of Saxony's nephew?

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Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober; and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk : when he is best, he is a little worse than a man; and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast: an the worst fall that ever fell, I hope, I shall make shift to go without him.

Ner. If he should offer to chuse, and chuse the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you should refuse to accept him. 281

Por, Therefore, får fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket; for, if the devil be within, and that tempta. tion without, I know he will chuse it I will do any thing Nerissa, ere I will be marry'd to a spunge.

Ner. You need nat fear, lady, the having any of these lords; they have acquainted me with their determinations:

terminations: which is, indeed, to return to their home, and to trouble you with no more suit; unless you may be won by some other sort than your father's imposition, depending on the caskets.

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Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will: I am glad this parcel of wooers are so very reasonable; for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and I pray God grant them a fair departure.

Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's time, a Venetian, a scholar, and a soldier, that came hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat? 301

Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, so he was call'd.

Ner. True, madam; he, of all the men that ever foolish eyes look'd upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.

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Por. I remember him well; and I remember him worthy of thy praise. How now ! what news?

Enter a Servant.

Ser. The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave: and there is a fore-runner come from a fifth, the prince of Morocco; who brings word, the prince, his master, will be here to-night.

Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart as I can bid the other four farewel, I should be glad of his approach: if he have the condition of a saint, and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he

should

should shrive me than wive me. Come, Nerissa. Sirrah, go before. Whiles we shut the gate uponone wooer, another knocks at the door.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

A public Place in Venice.

Enter BASSANIO and

SHYLOCK.

Shy. Three thousand ducats,well.

Bass. Ay, sir, for three months.

Shy. For three months,-well.

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Bass. For the which, as I told you, Anthonio shall be bound.

Shy. Anthonio shall become bound,-well.

Bass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me? Shall I know your answer?

Shy. Three thousand ducats, for three months, and Anthonio bound.

Bass. Your answer to that.

Shy. Anthonio is a good man.

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Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?

Shy. Ho, no, no, no, no ;-my meaning, in say ing he is a good man, is, to have you understand me, that he is sufficient: yet his means are in supposition he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies; I understand moreover upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for Eng

land,

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