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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, 90 And do a wilful stillness entertain,

With purpose to be dress’d in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,
As who should say “I am Sir Oracle,

And when I ope my lips let no dog bark !” 95 O my Antonio, I do know of these

That therefore only are reputed wise
For saying nothing, when, I am very sure,
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears

Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools. 100 I'll tell thee more of this another time:

But fish not, with this melancholy bait,
For this fool gudgeon, this opinion.
Come, good Lorenzo. Fare ye well awhile:

I'll end my exhortation after dinner.
105 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 moe, Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue. 110 Ant. Farewell: I'll grow a talker for this gear.

Gra. Thanks, i' faith, for silence is only commendable In a neat's tongue dried and a maid not vendible.

[E.ceunt GRATIANO and LORENZO. Ant. Is that any thing now?

Bass. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more 115 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 the same



120 To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
That you to-day promised to tell me of?

Bass. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate,

By something showing a more swelling port
125 Than my faint means would grant continuance:

Nor do I now make moan to be abridged
From such a noble rate; but iny

chief care Is to come fairly off from the great debts

Wherein my time something too prodigal 130 Hath left me gaged. To you, Antonio,

I owe the most, in money and in love,
And from your love I have a warranty
To unburden all my plots and purposes
How to get clear of all the debts I owe.

Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
And if it stand, as you yourself still do,
Within the eye of honour, be assured,
My purse, my person, my extremest means,

Lie all unlock’d to your occasions. 140 Bass. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,

I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same way with more advised watch,
To find the other forth, and by adventuring both

I oft found both: I urge this childhood proof, 145 Because what follows is pure 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 you did shoot the first, I do not doubt, 150 As I will watch the aim, or to find both

Or bring your latter hazard back again
And thankfully rest debtor for the first.

Ant. You know me well, and herein spend but time
To wind about my love with circumstance;

155 And out of doubt you do me now more wrong

In making question of my uttermost.
Than if


had made waste of all I have : Then do but say to me what I should do

That in your knowledge may by me be done, 160 And I am prest unto it: therefore, speak.

Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left;
And she is fair and, fairer than that word,
Of wondrous virtues: sometimes from her eyes

I did receive fair speechless messages :
165 Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued

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 suitors, and her sunny locks 170 Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;

Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand,
And many Jasons come in quest of her.
O my Antonio, had I but the means

To hold a rival place with one of them, 175 I have a mind presages me such thrift, That I should questionless be fortunate!

Ant. Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea; Neither have I money nor commodity

To raise a present sum: therefore go forth; 180 Try what my credit can in Venice do:

That shall be rack’d, even to the uttermost,
To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.
Go, presently inquire, and so will I,

Where money is, and I no question make 185 To have it of my trust or for my sake.


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