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Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus,
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.
Salar. Good morrow, my good lords.
[Exeunt SALAR. and SALAN. Lor. My lord Bassanio, since you have found
Gra. You look not well, signior Antonio;
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano; A stage, where every man must play a part, And mine a sad one.
Let me play the fool: With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come; And let
liver rather heat with wine, Than
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 speaks ;There are a sort of men, whose visages Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond; And do a wilfuld stillness entertain, With purpose to be dress’d in an opinion Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit; As who should
I am Sir Oracle, And, when I ope my lips, let no dog bark! 0, my Antonio, I do know of these, That therefore only are reputed wise, For saying nothing; who, I am very sure, If they should speak, would almost damn those ears, 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 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 4. 3 i. e. an obstinate silence.
4 Gear usually signifies matter, subject, or business in general. It is here, perhaps, a colloquial expression of no very determined import. It occurs again in this play, Act ii. Sc. 2: ‘If Fortune be a woman, she's a good wench for this gear.'
Gra. Thanks, i'faith; for silence is only com
mendable In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible.
[Ereunt GRA. and LOR. Ant. 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,
my faint means would grant continuance:
Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
Bass. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
5 Port is state or equipage. So in The Taming of a Shrew, Act i. Sc. 1.
• Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
I shot his fellow of the selfsame flight
innocence. I owe you much; and, like a wilful youth, That which I owe is lost: but if
you please To shoot another arrow that self way Which
did shoot the first, I do not doubt,
had made waste of all I have:
Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,
6 This method of finding a lost arrow is prescribed by P. Crescentius in his treatise De Agricultura, lib. x. c. xxviii. and is also mentioned in Howel's Letters, vol. i. p. 183, edit. 1655, 12mo.
7 Prest, that is, ready; from the old French word of the same orthography, now prét.
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;
Ant. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at sea;
my credit can in Venice do;
Belmont. A Room in Portia’s House.
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA. Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world. Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if
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 1, but competency lives longer.
Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced.
Por. If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor
e. superfluity sooner acquires white hairs; becomes old. We still say, how did he come by it?