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Where money is ; and I no question make,
To have it of my trust, or for my sake.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II. Belmont. A Room in PORTIA's House. Enter

PORTIA and NERISSA. Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.

Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are : And, yet, for aught I see, they are as sick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing : It is no mean happiness therefore, to be seated in the mean; superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.

Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced. Ner. They would be better, if well followed. 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: 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 over 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 choose me a husband :-O me, the word choose ! I may neither choose 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 choose one, nor refuse none ?

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 chooses his meaning, chooses 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 namest them, I will describe theın ; and, according to my description, level at my

affection. Ner. First, there is the Neapolitan prince.

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ACT 1.

MERCHANT OF VENICE.

15

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man.

Por. Ay, that's a colt, 8 indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his horse ; and he makes it a great 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, is there the county Palatine.

Por. He doth nothing but frown ; as who should say, An if you will not have me, choose : 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 !

Ner. How say you by the French lord, monsieur Le Bon? Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a

In truth, I know it as 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 madness, I shall never requite him.

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, French, nor Italian ; 1 and you will come into the court, and swear that I have a poor pennyworth in 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.

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

[8] Colt is used for a heady, gay youngster, whence the phrase used of an old man too juvenile, that he still retains his colt's tooth. See Henry VIII.

JOHNSON. [9] I am almost inclined to believe, that Shakspeare has more allusions to particular facts and persons than his readers commonly suppose. The count here mentioned was, perhaps, Albertus a Lasco, a Polish Palatine, who visited England in our author's life-time, was eagerly caressed, and splendidly entertained ; but running in debt, at last stole away, and endeavoured to repair his fortune by enchantment. JOHNSON.

til A satire on the ignorance of the young English travellers in our atthor's time. WARBURTON.

Act I. sc. iii.

2

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swore he would pay him again, when he was able

think, the Frenchman became his surety, 2 and sealed under for another.

Ner. How like you the young German, the duke of Saxony's nephew ? 3

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 choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you should refuse to accept hini.

Por. Therefore, for 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 temptation without, I know he will choose it. I will do any thing, Nerissa, ere I will be married to such a spunge.

Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these lords ; they have acquainted me with their determinations: which is ipdeed, 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.

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 reasonable ; for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and I pray God grant tliem 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?

Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio ; as I think, so was he called.

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

[2] Alluding to the constant assistance, or rather constant promises of ase sistance, that ihe French gave the Scots in their quarrels with the English: This is here humorously satirized.

[3] In Shakspeare's time the Duke of Bavaria visited London, and was made knight of the garter. Perhaps in this enumeration of Portia's suitors there may be some covert allusion to those of queen Elizabeth. JOHNSON:

WARBURTON.

ACT 1.

MERCHANT OF VENICE.

17

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 farewell, 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 shrive me than wive me. Come, Nerissa.-Sirrah, go before.

-Whiles we shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.

[Exeunt.

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SCENE III.
Venice. A public Place. Enter BASSANI0 and SHYLOCK.

Shy. Three thousand ducats,-well.
Bass. Ay, sir, for three months.
Shy. For three months,-well.
Bas.For the which,as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.
Shy. Antonio shall become bound, -well.

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

Shy. Three thoussnd ducats, for three months, and Antonio bound ?

Bass. Your answer to that.
Shy. Antonio is a good man.
Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary ?

Shy. Ho, no, no, no, no ;-—my meaning, in saying 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 England, and other ventures he hath, squander'd abroad : But ships are but boards, sailors but men : there be land-rats, and water-rats, waterthieves, and land-thieves ; I mean, pirates ; and then, there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks : The man is, notwithstanding, sufficient ;-three thousand ducats;

I think, I may take his bond. Bass. Be assured you may.

3*

VOL.

II.

Shy. I will be assured, I may; and, that I may be assured, I will bethink me : May I speak with Antonio ?

Bass. If it please you to dine with us.

Shy. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into :4 I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following ; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What news on the Rialto ?-Who is he comes here?

Enter ANTONIO. Bass. This is signior Antonio. Shy. [Aside.) How like a fawning publican he looks I hate him for he is a christian : But more, for that, in low simplicity, He lends out money gratis, and brings down The rate of usance here with us in Venice. If I can catch him once upon the hip, 5 I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him. He hates our sacred nation ; and he rails, Even there where merchants most do congregate, On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift, Which he calls interest : Cursed be my tribe, If I forgive him !

Bass. Shylock, do you hear ?

Shy. I am debating of my present store;
And, by the near guess of my memory,
I cannot instantly raise up the gross
Of full three thousand ducats : What of that?
Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe,
Will furnish me : But soft ; How many months
Do you desire ?-Rest you fair, good signior ; [To ANT
Your worship was the last man in our mouths.

Ant. Shylock, albeit I neither Jend nor borrow,
By taking, nor by giving of excess,
Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend, 6
I'll break a custom : Is he yet possess’d,

[4] Perhaps there is no character through all Shakspeare, drawn with more spirit, and just discrimination, than Shylock's. His language, allu. sions, and ideas, are every where so appropriate to a Jew, that Shylock might be exhibited for an exemplar of that peculiar people.

[5] This, Dr. Johnson observes, is a phrase taken from the practice of wrestlers ; and (he might have added) is an allusion to the angel's thus laying hold of Jacob when he wrestled with him. See Gen. xxxii.24. HENLEY. [6] Ripe wants are wants come to the height, wants that can have no other delay. Perhaps we might read-rife quants, wants that come thick upon him. JOHNSON.

HENLEY

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