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Baff. In my School-Days, when I had loft one Shaft,
I fhot his Fellow of the felf-fame Flight

The felf-fame way, with more advised Watch,
To find the other forth; and by adventuring both,
I oft found both. I urge this Child-hood Proof,
Because what follows is pure Innocence.

I owe you much, and like a wilful Youth,
That which I owe is loft; but if you please
To fhoot another Arrow that felf way
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,
As I will watch the Aim, or to find both,
Or bring your latter Hazard back again,
And thankfully reft Debtor for the fift.

Anth. You know me well, and herein spend but Time To wind about my Love with Circumstance;

And out of doubt you do to me more Wrong,

In making Queftion of my uttermoft,

Than if you had made wafte of all I have:
Then do but fay to me, what should I do,
That in your Knowledge may by me be done,
And I am preft unto it: Therefore fpeak.
Baff. In Belmont is a Lady richly left,
And he is fair, and fairer than that Word,
Of wondrous Virtues; Sometimes from her Eyes
I did receive fair fpeechlefs Meffages;
Her Name is Portia, nothing undervalu'd
To Cato's Daughter, Brutus Portia :

Nor is the wide World ignorant of her Worth;
For the four Winds blow in from every Coast
Renowned Sutors; and her funny Locks
Hang on her Temples like a golden Fleece,
Which makes her Seat of Belmont Cholchos Strond,
And many Jafons come in queft of her.
O my Anthonio, had I but the Means
To hold a rival Place with one of them,
I have a Mind prefages me fuch Thrift,
That I fhould queftionless be fortunate.

Anth. Thou know'ft that all my Fortunes are at Sea,
Neither have I Mony, nor Commodity

To raife a prefent Sum? therefore go forth,
Try what my Credit can in Venice do;


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That fhall be rack'd even to the uttermoft,
To furnish thee to Belmont to fair Portia:
Go prefently enquire, and fo will I,
Where Mony is, and I no queftion make
To have it of my Truft, or for my fake.




Three Caskets are set out, one of Gold, another of Silver,
and another of Lead.

Enter Portia and Neriffa.

Por. By my Troth, Neriffa, my little Body is weary of this great World.

Ner. You would be, fweet Madam, if your Miferies were in the fame Abundance as your good Fortunes are; and yet, for ought I fee,thay are as fick that furfeit with too much, as they that ftarve with nothing; therefore it is no small Happiness to be feated in the Mean; Superfluity comes fooner by white Hairs, but Competency lives longer.

Por. Good Sentences, and well pronounc'd.

Ner. They would be better, if well follow'd.

Por. If to do were as eafie as to know what were good to do, Chappels had been Churches, and poor Mens Cottages Pinces Palaces: It is a good Divine that follows his own Inftructions, I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The Brain may devife Laws for the Blood, but a hot Temper leaps o'er a cold Decree; fuch a Hare is Madnefs the Youth, to skip o'er the Mefhes of good Counsel the Cripple. But this Reafon is not in Fashion to chufe me a Husband: O me, the Word, chufe! I may neither chufe whom I would, nor refuse whom I diflike, fo is the Will of a living Daughter curb'd by the Will of a dead Father: Is it not hard, Neriffa, that I cannot chufe one, nor refufe none?

Ner, Your Father was ever Virtuous, and holy Men at their Death have good Infpirations; therefore the Lottery that he hath devifed in thefe three Chefts of Gold, Silver, and Lead, whereof, who chufes his Meaning, chufes you,. will no doubt never be chofen by any rightly, but one who you fhall rightly love. But what Warmth is there in your Affection towards any of thefe Princely Suters that are already come?


Por. I pray thee over-name them, and as thou nam'st them, I will defcribe them, and according to my Descripti on, level at my Affection.

Ner. Firft there is the Neapolitan Prince.

Por. Ay, that's a Colt indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his Horfe, and he makes it a great Appropriation to his own good Parts that he can fhoo him himself: I am much afraid my Lady his Mother plaid falfe with a Smith.

Ner. Then is there the County Palentine.

Por. He doth nothing but frown, as who should say, and you will not have me, chufe: He hears merry Tales and Imiles not, I fear he will prove the weeping Philofopher when he grows old, being fo full of unmannerly Sadness in his Youth. I had rather to 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 fay you by the French Lord, Monfieur Le Boun?

Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a Man; in truth I know it is Sin to be a Mocker; but he why he hath a Horse better than the Neapolitan's, a better bad Habit of Frowning than the Count Palentine, he is every Man in no Man, if a Taffel fing, he falls ftraight a Capring; he will fence with his own Shadow; if I fhould marry him, I fhould marry twenty Husbands; if he would defpife me, I would forgive him, for if he love me to Madness, I fhould never require him.

Ner. What fay you then to Fauconbridge, the young ron of England?


Por. You know I fay 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 fwear that I have a poor Penny-worth in English; he is a proper Man's Picture, but alas who can converfe with a dumb Show? How odly he is fuited! I think he bought his Doublet in Italy, his round Hofe in France, his Bonnet in Germany, and his Behaviour every where.

Ner. What think you of the other Lord his Neigh bour?

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Por. That he hath a neighbourly Charity in him, for he borrow'd a Box of the Ear of the English-man, and fwore he would pay him again when he was able. I think the French-man' became his Surety, and fealed under for another.

Ner. How like you the young German, the Duke of Saxony's Nephew?

Por. Very vildly in the Morning when he is fober, and moft vildly in the Afternoon when he is drunk; when he is beft, he is a little worse than a Man, and when he is worft, he is little better than a Beaft; and the worft Fall that ever fell, I hope I fhall make shift to go without him.

Nor. If he should offer to chufe, and chufe the right Casket, you should refuse to perform your Father's Will, if you should refufe to accept him.

Por. Therefore for fear of the worst, I pray thee fet a deep Glafs of Rhenifh Wine on the contrary Casket, for if the Devil be within, and the Temptation without, I know he will chufe it. I will do any thing, Neriffa, e'er I will be marry'd to a Spunge.

Ner. You need not fear Lady the having any of these Lords, they have acquainted me with their Determination, which is indeed to return to their Home, and to trouble you with no more Suits, unless you may be won by fome other fort than your Father's Impofition, depending on the


Per. If I live to be as old as Sibilla, I will die as chafte as Diana, unless I be obtain'd by the manner of my Father's Will: I am glad this Parcel of Wooers are fo reafonable, for there is not one among them but I doat on his very Abfence, and with them a fair Departure.

Ner. Do you not remember, Lady, in your Father's time, a Venetian, a Scholar and a Soldier that came hither in Company of the Marquifs of Mountferrat?

Por. Yes, yes, it was Baffanio, as I think, fo was he call'd.

Ner. True Madam, he of all the Men that ever my foolish Eyes look'd upon, was the beft deferving a fair Lady.

Por. I remember him well, and I remember him worthy of thy Praife.


Enter a Servant.

Ser. The four Strangers feek you, Madam, to take their Leave; and there is a Fore-runner come from a fifth, The Prince of Morocco, who brings Word the Prince his Mafter will be here to Night.

Por. If I could bid the Fifth welcome with fo good Heart as I can bid the other four farewel, I fhould 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 Neriffa, Sirrah go before; whiles we fhut the Gate upon one Wooer, another knocks at the Door. [Exeunt.

SCENE III. Venice.

Enter Baffanio and Shylock.

Shy. Three thousand Ducats, well.
Ball. Ay Sir, for three Months.
Shy. For three Months, well.

Baff. For the which, as I told you,

Anthonio fhall be bound.

Shy. Anthonio fhall become bound, well,

Baff. May you ftead me? Will you pleasure me?

Shall I know your Answer?

Shy. Three thoufand Ducats for three Months,

And Anthonio bound.

Baff. Your Answer to that.

Shy. Anthonio is a good Man:

Baff. Have you heard any Imputation to the contrary?

Shy. No, no, no, no; my Meaning in faying he is a good Man, is to have you understand me, that he is fuffi cient? yet his Means are in fuppofition: He hath an Argofie bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies; I understand moreover upon the Ryalto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England, and other Ventures he hath fquandred Abroad. But Ships are but Boards, Sailers but Men; there be Land Rats, and Water Rats, Water Thieves and Land Thieves, I mean Pyrates; and then there is the Peril of Waters, Winds, and Rocks; the Man is notwithstanding fufficient; three thoufand Ducats, I think I may take his Bond.

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