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DUKE of Venice.
Lorenzo, in love with Jeffica.
Suiters to Portia.
Friends to Anthonio and Bassanio.
Tubal, a Jew, bis Friend.
Launcelot, a Clown, Servant to the Jew.
Servants to Portia.
Portia, an Heiress of great Quality and Fortune.
Jeffica, Daughter to Shylock.
Senators of Venice, Officers, Failer, Servants and
SCENE, partly at Venice; and partly at Bel-mont, the Seat of Portia upon the Continent.
A C T
SCENE, a Street in Venice.
Enter Anthonio, Solarino, and Salanio.
N footh, I know not why I am fo fad: It wearies me; you fay, it wearies you; But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born, I am to learn →→→→→→ And fuch a want-wit fadness makes of me, That I have much ado to know my felf.
Sal. Your mind is toffing on the ocean;
Be with my hopes abroad. I fhould be ftill
Sal. My wind, cooling my broth,
And not bethink me ftrait of dang'rous rocks?
Is fad to think upon his merchandize.
"Anth. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it,
Sola. Not in love neither! then let's fay, you're fad,
That they'll not show their teeth in way of fmile,
Enter Baffanio, Lorenzo and Gratiano.
Sal. Here comes Baffanio, your most noble kinsman; Gratiano and Lorenzo: fare ye well; We leave ye now with better company.
Sola. I would have ftaid 'till I had made you merry, If worthier friends had not prevented me. Anth. Your worth is very dear in my regard: I take it, your own bufinefs calls on you, And you embrace th' occafion to depart. Sal. Good morrow, my good lords.
Bal Good Signiors both, when fhall we laugh? fay, when?
You grow exceeding strange; muft it be fo?
Sal. We'll make our leifures to attend on yours. Sola. My lord Bassanio, fince you've found Anthonio, We two will leave you; but at dinner-time, I pray you, have in mind where we must meet. Baff. I will not fail you. [Exeunt Solar. and Sala. Gra. You look not well, Signior Anthonio; You have too much refpect upon the world: They lose it, that do buy it with much care. Believe me, you are marvellously chang'd.
Anth. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano, A ftage, where every man must play his part, And mine a fad one.
Gra. Let me play the fool;
With mirth, and laughter, let old wrinkles come;
Sleep when he wakes, and creep into the jaundice
With purpose to be dreft in an opinion
Lor. Well, we will leave you then 'till dinner-time.
Gra. Well, keep me company but two years more,
Anth. Is that any thing now?
Baff. Gratiano fpeaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice: his reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two Bufhels of chaff; you shall
(1) would almoft damn thofe Ears,] Several Old Editions have it, dam, damme, and daunt. Some more correct Copies, damn. The Author's Meaning is this; That fome People are thought wife, whilft they keep Silence; who, when they open their mouths, are fuch ftupid Praters, that their Hearers cannot help calling them Fools, and fo incur the Judgment denounc'd in the Gospel. The Allufion is to St. Matthew, Ch. v. ver. 22. And whosoever shall fay to his Brother, Raca, fhall be in danger of the Council: but whosoever shall fay, thou Fool, Jhall be in danger of Hell-fire. I had regulated and explain'd this Paffage in my SHAKESPEARE reftor'd; as alfo fhewn, how frequent it is with our Author to allude to Texts and History of Scripture. Mr. Pope, in his laft Edition, has vouchfafed to borrow the Correction and Ex planation. I ought to take notice, the ingenious Dr. Thirlby concurr'd in our Author's Meaning, without knowing what I had done on the Paffage.