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be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teach ing. The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot temper leaps over a cold degree; such a hare is madness the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel the cripple. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband.-O me, the word choose! I may neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike so is the will of a living daughter curbed by the will of a dead father. Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none?
Ner. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, at their death, have good inspirations; therefore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three chests, of gold, silver, and lead, (whereof who chooses his meaning, chooses you,) will, no doubt, never be chosen by any rightly, but one who you 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 namest them, I will describe them; and according to my description, level at 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 appropriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe him himself. I am much afraid my lady his mother played false with a smith.
Ner. Then, is there the county palatine.
Por. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, An if 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 Le Bon? Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a mocker; but, he! why, he hath a horse better than the Neapolitans; a better bad habit of frowning than the count palatine; he is every man in no man; if a throstle sing, he falls straight a capering; he will fence with his own shadow. If I should marry him, I should marry twenty husbands; if he would despise me, I would forgive him; for if he love me to madness, I shall never requite him.
Ner. What say you then to Faulconbridge, the young baron of England?
Por. You know, I say nothing to him; for he under
stands not me, nor I him; he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian; and you will come into the court and swear, that I have a poor pennyworth in the English. He is 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 neighbor? Por. That he hath a neighborly charity in him; for he borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman, and swore he would pay him again, when he was able. I think the Frenchinan became his surety, and sealed under for another. Ner. How like you the young German, the duke of Saxony's nephew?
Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober; and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk. When he is best, he is little worse than a man; and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast; and the worst fall that ever fell, I hope, I shall make shift to go without him.
Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if 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 will be married to a sponge.
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 suit; unless you may be won by some other sort 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 obtained 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 dote on his very sence, and I pray God grant 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 marquis of Montferrat?
Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, so was he called.
Ner. True, madam; he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady. Por. I remember him well; and I remember him worthy of thy praise. How now! What news?
Enter a Servant.
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 knocks at the door.
SCENE III. Venice. A public Place.
Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK.
Shy. Three thousand ducats,-well.
Bass. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound. 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 Antonio bound.
Bass. Your answer to that.
Shy. Antonio is a good man.
Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary? Shy. Ho, no, no, no, no; - my meaning, in saying he is a good man, is to have you understand me, that he is sufficient. Yet his means are in supposition: he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies; I understand, moreover, upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England, and other ventures he hath, squandered abroad. But ships are but boards, sailors but men; there be land-rats, and water-rats, water-thieves, and landthieves; I mean, pirates; and then, there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks. The man is, notwithstanding, sufficient; three thousand ducats;-I think I may take his bond.
Bass. Be assured you may.
Shy. I will be assured I may; and that I may be assured, I will bethink me. May I speak with Antonio?
Bass. If it please you to dine with us.
Shy. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which
your prophet the Nazarite, conjured the devil into. I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What news on the Rialto?-Who is he comes here?
Bass. This is seignior Antonio.
Shy. [Aside.] How like a fawning publican he looks! I hate him, for he is a Christian.
But more, for that, in low simplicity,
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
Shylock, do you hear?
Your worship was the last man in our mouths.
Ant. And for three months.
Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.
Shy. I had forgot,-three months, you told me so. Well then, your bond; and, let me see, but hear you; Methought you said, you neither lend nor borrow Upon advantage.
I do never use it.
Shy. When Jacob grazed his uncle Laban's sheep,
Ant. And what of him?
Did he take interest? Shy. No, not take interest; not, as you would say, Directly interest. Mark what Jacob did. When Laban and himself were compromised, That all the eanlings which were streaked, and pied, Should fall as Jacob's hire; the ewes, being rank, In the end of autumn turned to the rams; And when the work of generation was Between these woolly breeders in the act, The skilful shepherd peeled me certain wands, And in the doing of the deed of kind, He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes; Who, then conceiving, did in eaning time Fall party-colored lambs, and those were Jacob's. This was a way to thrive, and he was blessed; And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.
Ant. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob served for; A thing not in his power to bring to pass, But swayed, and fashioned, by the hand of Heaven. Was this inserted to make interest good? Or is your gold and silver, ewes and rams?
Shy. I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast. But note me, seignior.
Mark you this, Bassanio;
Shy. Three thousand ducats, 'tis a good round sum. Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.
Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you?