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Lorenzo, in love with Jessica,
Launcelot Gobbo, the clown, servant to Shylock.
Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice, Gaoler, Servants to Portia, and other Attendants.'
Scene: Partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont,1 the seat
1 "Dr. Karl Elze maintains that Belmont must have been on the banks oftheBrenta; and Th. Elze . . . narrows the locality to the neighborhood of Dolo, around which, from La Mira to Stra, on both banks of the Brenta, the magnificoes of Venice had, and still have, their palatial residences. . . . Belmont must be supposed to have been not far from the high road between Padua and Fusina." — Dr. Furness.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
Scene I. Venice. A street
Enter Antonio, Salarino, and Salanio.
Ant. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad:
5 I am to learn;
Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean;
10 Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood,
15 Salan. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
20 And every object that might make me fear
Solar. My wind cooling my broth
Would blow me to an ague, when I thought B 3
What harm a wind too great at sea might do. 25 I should not see the sandy hour-glass run,
But I should think of shallows and of flats,
And see my wealthy Andrew dock'd in sand,
Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs
To kiss her burial. Should I go to church 30 And see the holy edifice of stone,
And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks,
Which touching but my gentle vessel's side,
Would scatter all her spices on the stream,
Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks, 35 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 such a thing bechanced would make me sad?
But tell not me; I know, Antonio 40 Is sad to think upon his merchandise.
Ant. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it,
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,
Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
Upon the fortune of this present year:
Solai: Not in love neither? Then let us say you are sad,
Because you are not merry: and 'twere as easy
For you to laugh and leap and say you are merry, 50 Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus,
Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time:
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes
And laugh like parrots at a bag-piper,
And other of such vinegar aspect 55 That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
Enter Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano.
Salmi. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman,
Ant. Your worth is very dear in my regard.
Bass. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? say,
You grow exceeding strange: must it be so?
Salar. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.
[Exeunt Salarino and Salanio.
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
Gra. Let me play the fool:
80 With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come,