« AnteriorContinua »
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 fashion to chase me a husband: O me, the word, chuse! I may neither chuse whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike ; fo 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 ?
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 chufes his meaning, chules you), will no doubt never be chosen by any rightly, but one whom you shall rightly love. what warinth is there in your afl'ection towards any of these princely suitors that are already come?
for. I pray thee, over-name them; and as thou nam'st them, I will defcribe them; and, according to my description, level at my affection. Ner. First, there is the Neapolitan Prince.
Por. Ay, that's a colt indeed, for he doth nothing but talk cf his horfe; and he makes it a great appropriation to his own good parts, that he can fhoe him him elf.
I am much afraid my Lady his mother play'd file with a smith.
Ner. Then, there is the Count Palatine.
Por. He doth nothing but frown, as who should say, If you
will not have me, chuse. He hears merry tales, and smiles noc; I fear he will prove the weeping philofopher when he grows old, being so full of unmannerly favnets 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 iay you by the French Lord, Monsieur Le Poun?
Por. God made him, and therefore let him pafs for a man ; in truth, I know it is a fin to be a mocker ; but he! why, he hath a horfe better than the Neapolitan's ; a better bad habit of frowning than the Count Palitire; he is every man in no man; if a throstle fing, h. fills strait a capering ; he will fence with his own fhadow. 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 fhall never re
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 ; and you may come into the court, and fwear, 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 hofe in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour
Ner. What think you of the Scottish Lord, his neighbour?
Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him; for he borrow'd 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 lurety, and sealed under for another.
Ner. How like you the young German, the Duke of Saxony's nephew ?
For. Very vilely in the morning when he is fober, 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; and the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall make shift to go without him. Ner. If he thould offer to chufe, and chuse the right
should refuse io perform your father's will, if you should refuse to ccept him.
Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, fet a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket; for if the devil be within, and that temptation without, I know he will chute it. I will do any thing, Neriffa, ere I will be marry d io a spunge.
Ner. You need not fear, Lady, the having any of these lords: they have acquainted me with their duterminations, 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.
Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtain’d 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 doat on his very absence, and wish them a fair departure.
Ner. Do you not remember, Lady, in your father's time, a Venetian, a scholar and a foldier, that came hither in company of the Marquis of Mountferrat ?
l'or. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think he was so call’d.
Ner. True, Madam; he, of all the men that ever: my foolish
look'd upon, was the best deserving a fair lady,
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 forerunner 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 fo good heart as I can bid the other four farewel, I should be glad of his approach ; if he have the condition of a laint, and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me, than wive me. Come, Nerissa. Sirrah, go before; while we shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.
Enter Bassanio and Shylock.
Ball. For the which, as I told you, Anthonio shall be bound
Shy. Anthonio shall become bound ? well.
BalMay you stead me? will you pleasure me? fhall I know your aniwer?
Shy. Three thousand ducats for three months, and Anthonio bound.
Ball. Your answer to that.
Shy. 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 Argofie bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies; I understand mureover upon the Ryalto, he hath a third at. Mexico, a fourth for England; and other ventures he hath squander'd abroad. But fhips are but boards, failors but men; there be land-rats and water-rats, water-thieves and land-thieves, I mean pirates ; and then there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks. The man is, notwithstanding, fufficient; three thoufand ducats ? I think I may take his bond.
Bas. Be affur'd you may.
Shy. I will be assur'd I may; and that I may be assur’d, I will bethink me. May I speak with Anthonio?
Bal. If it please you to dine with us. Shy. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your Prophet the Nazarite conjur’d the devil into! I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and fo following ; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray
What news on the Ryalto? who is he comes here?
Bal. Shylock, do you hear ?
Shy. I am debating of my present store,
[To Anth. Your Worship was the last man in our mouths.
onth. Shylock, although I neither lend nor borrow, By taking, por by giving of excess; Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend, I'll break a custom.---- Is he yet possess’d, How much you would ?
Shy. Ay, ay, three thousand ducats. Anth. And for three months. Sly. I had forgot, three month's you told me fo; Well then, your bond; and let me fee,- but hear you, Methought you
neither lend nor borrow Upon advantage.
Anth. I do never use it.
Shy. When Jacob gras'd his uncle Laban's sheep,This Jacob from our holy Abraham was (As his wife mother wrought in his behalf) The third poffeffor ; ay, he was the third.
Anth. And what of him? did he take interest ?
Shy. No, not take int'rest; not, as you would say, Direály, intret; mark what Jacob did. When Laban and himielf were compromis'd, That all the yeanlings, which were treak’d and pied, Should fall as Jacob's hire; the ewes, being rank, In th’end of autum turned to the rams.;, And when the work of generation was Between there woolly breeders in the act, The skilful thepherd peeld me certnin wands ; And, in the doing of the deed of kind, He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes ; Who, then conceiving, did in yeaning time Fall party-colour'd lambs, and thofe were Jacob's. This was a way to thrive, and he was blels'd ; And thrift is blefling, if men steal it net.