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Duke of Venice.
Friends to Antonio and Bassanio.
Servants to Portia.
Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice,
Jailer, Servants, and other Attendants.
SCENE, partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont,
the Seat of Portia, on the Continent.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.
SCENE I. Venice. A Street.
Enter Antonio, SALARINO, and Salanio.
It wearies me, you say it wearies you ;.
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born, 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;
Salan. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt,
My wind, cooling my broth,
Ant. Believe me, no. I thank my fortune for it,
Salan. Why then you are in love.
Fye, fye! Salan. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you
are sad, Because you are not merry; and 'twere 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 bag-piper ; And other of such vinegar-aspect, That they'll not shew their teeth in way of smile, Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
Enter Bassanio, LORENZO, and GRATIANO. Salan. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble
kinsman, Gratiano, and Lorenzo. Fare you well; We leave you now with better company,
Salar. I would have staid 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.
[Exeunt Salar. und Salan. Lor. My lord Bassanio, since you have found An
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
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 speaksThere are a sort of men, whose visages
Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond;
am Sir ,
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 gear. Gra. Thanks, i'faith; for silence is only commen
dable In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible.
[Exeunt GRA, and Lor. Ant. It is that.-Any thing now?
Bass. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two grains of wheat 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 this same
Bass. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,