Imatges de pÓgina

What stuff 't is 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 on 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.
SOLAN. 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 wind2;
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 Andrewa dock'd 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 merchandise.

ANT. Believe me, no; I thank my fortune for it,

▪ Wealthy Andrew. Johnson explains this (which is scarcely necessary) as "the name of the ship;" but he does not point out the propriety of the name for a ship, in association with the great naval commander, Andréa Doria, famous through all Italy.

Vailing her high top. To vail is to let down: the high-top was shattered-fallen—when the

Andrew was on the shallows.

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SALAR. Not in love neither? Then let us say, you are sad
Because you are not merry: an 't were 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 bagpiper:

And other of such vinegar aspect,

That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.


SOLAN. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman,
Gratiano, and Lorenzo: Fare you well;

We leave you now with better company.
SALAR. I would have stay'd till I had made you merry,
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? Say, when?
You grow exceeding strange: Must it be so?

SALAR. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.


LOR. My lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio,
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, Gratiano;
A stage, where every man must play a part,

My ventures, &c. This was no doubt proverbial-something more elegant than "all the eggs in one basket." Sir Thomas More, in his History of Richard III.,' has-" For what wise merchant adventureth all his good in one ship?"

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 a,
With 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!"
O, 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 fools.

I'll tell thee more of this another time:

But fish not with this melancholy bait,

For this fool-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-time :
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. Farewell: I'll grow a talker for this geard.
GRA. Thanks, i' faith; for silence is only commendable
In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible.

ANT. Is that anything nowe?


* And do a wilful stillness, &c. So Pope, addressing Silence:-
"With thee, in private, modest Dulness lies,

And in thy bosom lurks, in thought's disguise,
Thou varnisher of fools, and cheat of all the wise."

Sir Oracle. So the quartos of 1600; the folio, an oracle.
Who. The original copies have when.

& For this gear-a colloquial expression, meaning, for this matter. The Anglo-Saxon gearwias is to prepare-gear is the thing prepared, in hand—the business or subject in question.

All the old copies read "It is that anything now." Those, we apprehend, did wisely who re

BASS. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice His reasons are two grains of wheata 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 the same

To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
That you to-day promis'd to tell me of?
BASS. T is not unknown to you, Antonio,

How much I have disabled mine estate,
By something showing a more swelling port b
Than 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,
Hath left me gag'd: To you, Antonio,
I owe the most in money and in love;
And from your love I have a warranty
To unburthen all my plots and purposes,
How to get clear of all the debts I owe.
ANT. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
And, if it stand, as you yourself still do,
Within the eye of honour, be assur'd
My purse, my person, my extremest means,
Lie all unlock'd to your occasions.

BASS. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft
I shot his fellow of the self-same flight

The self-same way, with more advised watch
To find the other forth; and by adventuring both
I oft found both: I urge this childhood proof,
Because what follows is pure innocence.
I owe you much; and, like a wilful youth,
That which I owe is lost: but if you please
To shoot another arrow that self way
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,

As I will watch the aim, or to find both

Or bring your latter hazard back again,

And thankfully rest debtor for the first.

ANT. You know me well: and herein spend but time,

jected the it, and rendered the sentence interrogative. Gratiano has made a commonplace attempt at wit; and Antonio gravely, but sarcastically, asks, “Is that anything?" Bassanio replies, "Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing." This is Tyrwhitt's sensible explanation.

Two grains of wheat. The ordinary reading, that of the quartos, is, as two grains, &c. The folio omits as.

b Port-appearance, carriage.

To wind about my love with circumstance;

And, out of doubt, you do me now a more wrong

In making question of my uttermost,

Than if you had made waste of all I have.
Then do but say to me what I should do,
That in your knowledge may by me be done,
And I am prest unto it: therefore speak.
BASS. In Belmont is a lady richly left,

And she is fair, and, fairer than that word,
Of wond'rous virtues. Sometimes from her eyes
I did receive fair speechless messages:
Her name is Portia; nothing undervalued
To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia.

Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth;
For the four winds blow in from every coast
Renowned suitors: and her sunny locks
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;

Which makes her seat of Belmont, Colchos' strand,
And many Jasons come in quest of her.

O, my Antonio! had I but the means
To hold a rival place with one of them,

I have a mind presages me such thrift,
That I should questionless be fortunate.
ANT. Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea;
Neither have I money, nor commodity

To raise a present sum: therefore go forth,
Try what my credit can in Venice do;
That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermost,
To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.
Go, presently inquire, and so will I,
Where money is; and I no question make,
To have it of my trust, or for my sake.


SCENE II.-Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.


POR. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is a-weary 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

. Me now.

The words are found in the quartos, but are omitted in the folio.



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