« AnteriorContinuar »
BASS. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
The selfsame way with more advised watch,
To find the other; and by adventuring both
I owe you much; and, like a wilful youth,
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,
Or bring your latter hazards back again,
ANT. You know me well; and herein spend but time
To wind about my love with circumstance;
And out of doubt you do me now more wrong
In making question of my uttermost
And she is fair, and, fairer than that word,
Her name is Portia ; nothing undervalued
Nor is the wide World ignorant of her worth;
Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand,
I have a mind presages me such thrift®
2 for so. success.
go forth; 4 prompt.
5 in time past.
Try what my credit can in Venice do:
SCENE II. Belmont. PORTIA'S House.
Enter PORTIA with her Waiting-woman NERISSA. 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 surfeit with too much as they that starve with nothing. It is no mean happiness, therefore, to be seated in the mean: superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.
POR. Good sentences,2 and well pronounc'd.
POR. If to do were as easy as to know what were good
NER. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, at their death, have good inspirations: therefore the lottery, that he hath devis'd in these three chests of
1 forthwith, out of hand.
gold, silver, and lead, whereof who chooses his meaning chooses you, will no doubt never be chosen by any rightly but one who shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors that are already come?
POR. I pray thee, over-name them; and, as thou nam'st them, I will describe them; and, according to my description, level at1 my affection.
NER. First, there is the Neapolitan Prince.
POR. Ay; that's a colt indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great appropriation2 to his own good parts that he can shoe him himself. I am much afeard my Lady his mother play'd false with a smith.
NER. Then is there the County Palatine.
POR. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say An you will not have me, choose. He hears merry tales, and smiles not: I fear he will prove the Weeping Philosopher when he grows old, being so full of unmannerly sadness 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 say you by the French Lord, Monsieur
POR. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a
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 will come into the Court, and swear1 that I have a poor pennyworth in the English. He is
8 of, to, about.
1 guess you. II: GG
bear me witness.
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' hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour every where.
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 surety, and seal'd under2 for another.
NER. How like you the young German, the Duke of
POR. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober; and
NER. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, you should refuse to accept him.
POR. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee set a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket; for, if the Devil be within, and that temptation without, I know he will choose it. I will do any thing, Nerissa, ere I'll be married to a sponge.
NER. You need not fear, Lady, the having any of these Lords: they have acquainted me with their determinations; which is, indeed, to return to their home, and to trouble you with no more suit, unless you may be won by some other sort3 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 I pray God grant them a fair departure.
NER. Do you not remember, Lady, in your father's time
NER. True, Madam: he, of all the men, that ever my foolish eyes look'd upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.
POR. I remember him well; and I remember him worthy of thy praise.
Enter a Serving-man.
How now! what news?
SERV. 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 so good heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his approach: if he have the condition of a Saint and the complexion of a Devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come, Nerissa.
Sirrah, go before.
Whiles we shut the gate upon one wooer, another
SCENE III. A Public Place in Venice.
Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK.
SHY. Three thousand ducats; well.
BASS. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be
SHY. Antonio shall become bound; well.
BASS. May you stead me? will you pleasure me? shall I know your answer?
SHY. Three thousand ducats for three months, and
BASS. Your answer to that.