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Dramatis Perfonæ.

DUKE of Venice.

Morochius, a Moorish Prince,


Suiters to Portia.

Prince of Arragon,

Anthonio, the Merchant of Venice.

Baffanio, his Friend, in love with Portia.




Friends to Anthonio and Baffanio.

Lorenzo, in love with Jeffica.

Shylock, a Jew.

Tubal, a Jew, his Friend.

Launcelot, a Clown, Servant to the Jew.

Gobbo, an old Man, Father to Launcelot,

Leonardo, Servant to Baffanio.

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Portia, an Heiress of great Quality and Fortune.

Neriffa, Confident to Portia.

Jeffica, Daughter to Shylock.

Senators of Venice, Officers, Jailer, Servants and other Attendants.

SCENE, partly at Venice; and partly at Belmont, the Seat of Portia upon the Continent.





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 ftuff '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;
There, where your Argofies with portly Sail,
Like figniors and rich burghers on the flood,
Or as it were the pageants of the sea,
Do over-peer the petty traffickers,

That curtfie to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.
Sola. Believe me, Sir, had I fuch venture forth,
The better part of my

affections would

Be with my hopes abroad. I should be ftill
Plucking the grafs, to know where fits the wind;
Peering in maps for ports, and peers, and roads;
And every object, that might make me fear
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt,
Would make me fad.

Sal. 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 fee the fandy hour-glafs run,
But I fhould think of fhallows and of flats;
And fee my wealthy Andrew dock'd in fand,
Vailing her high top lower than her ribs,
To kils her burial. Should I go to church,
And see the holy edifice of stone,

And not bethink me ftrait of dang'rous rocks?
Which, touching but my gentle veffet's fide,
Would scatter all the fpices on the stream,
Enrobe the roaring waters with my filks;
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 fuch a thing, bechanc'd, would make me fad?
But tell not me; I know, Anthonio

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Is fad to think upon his merchandize.

Anth. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it, My ventures are not in one bottom trúfted,

Nor to one place; nor is my whole eftate

Upon the fortune of this prefent year:

Therefore, my merchandize makes me not fad.
Sola. Why then you are in love.

Anth. Fie, fie!

Sola. Not in love neither! then let's fay, you're fad, Because you are not merry; and 'twere as eafy For you to laugh and leap, and fay, you're merry, Because you are not fad. 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 others of fuch vinegar afpect,


That they'll not fhow their teeth in way of fmile,
Though Neftor fwear, the jeft be laughable.

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 business calls on you,
And you embrace th' occafion to depart.
Sal. Good morrow, my good lords.

Ba. Good Signiors both, when fhall we laugh? fay, when?

You grow exceeding ftrange; 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.
Ba. 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;
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 grandfire cut in Alabafter?

Sleep when he wakes, and creep into the jaundice
By being peevith? I tell thee what, Anthonio,
(I love thee, and it is my love that speaks :)
There are a fort of men, whofe vifages
Do cream and mantle like a standing pond;
And do a wilful ftilnefs entertain,

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With purpose to be dreft in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;
As who fhould fay, I am Sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark!
O my Anthonio, I do know of those,
That therefore only are reputed wife,
For faying nothing; who, I'm very fure,

If they fhould fpeak, would almoft damn those ears, (1)
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's 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 fame dumb wife men;
For Gratiano never lets me speak.

Gra. Well, keep me company but two years more, Thou shalt not know the found of thine own tongue. Anth. Fare well; I'll grow a talker for this gear. Gra. Thanks, i'faith; for filence is only commendable In a neats tongue dry'd, and a maid not vendible. [Exeunt Gra. and Loren.

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 fhall

(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 Hiftory of Scripture. Mr. Pope, in his laft Edition, has vouchfafed to borrow the Correction and Explanation. 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.

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