Act One Scene One
>>>Start of play
Enter Antonio, Salarino, and Salanio.
---!!! First speech of play
In sooth I know not why I am so sad.
It wearies me; you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it or came by it,
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn;
And such a Want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.
--- to know myself.
Your mind is tossing on the Ocean,
There where your Argosies with portly sail
Like Signiors and rich Burghers on the flood,
Or, as it were, the Pageants of the sea,
Do overpeer the petty Traffickers
That curtsy to them, do them reverence
As they fly by them with their woven wings.
--- their woven wings.
Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
The better part of my affections would
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
Plucking the grass to know where sits the wind,
Peering in Maps for ports and piers and roads;
And every object that might make me fear
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt
Would make me sad.
--- make me sad.
My wind, cooling my broth,
Would blow me to an Ague when I thought
What harm a wind too great might do at sea.
I should not see the sandy hour-glass run
But I should think of shallows and of flats,
And see my wealthy Andrew docked in sand,
Vailing her high top lower than her ribs
To kiss her burial. Should I go to Church
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,
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
Is sad to think upon his merchandise.
--- upon his merchandise.
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:
Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad.
--- me not sad.
Why then, you are in love.
--- are in love.
--- Fie, fie.
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
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 vineger aspect
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
>>> jest be laughable.
Enter Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano.
--- jest be laughable.
Here comes Bassanio, your most noble Kinsman,
Gratiano and Lorenzo. Fare ye well,
We leave you now with better company.
--- with better company.
I would have stayed till I had made you merry,
If worthier friends had not prevented me.
--- not prevented me.
Your worth is very dear in my regard.
I take it your own business calls on you,
And you embrace th' occasion to depart.
--- occasion to depart.
Good morrow my good Lords.
--- my good Lords.
Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? Say, when?
You grow exceeding strange: must it be so?
--- it be so?
We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.
>>> attend on yours.
Exeunt Salarino, and Solanio.
--- attend on yours.
My Lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio
We two will leave you, but at dinner time
I pray you have in mind where we must meet.
--- we must meet.
I will not fail you.
--- not fail you.
You look not well, signior Antonio,
You have too much respect upon the world:
They lose it that do buy it with much care,
Believe me, you are marvellously changed.
--- are marvellously changed.
I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano,
A stage, where every man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.
--- a sad one.
Let me play the fool,
With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come,
And let my Liver rather heat with wine
Than my 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 wilful stilness entertain
With purpose to be dressed 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.'
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 dam those ears
Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools.
I'll tell thee more of this another time.
But fish not with this melancholly bait
For this fool Gudgeon, this opinion.
Come, good Lorenzo. - Fare ye well awhile,
I'll end my exhortation after dinner.
--- exhortation after dinner.
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.
--- lets me speak.
Well, keep me company but two years more
Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.
--- thine own tongue.
Fare you well, I'll grow a talker for this gear.
--- for this gear.
Thanks, i'faith, for silence is only commendable
In a neat's tongue dried and a maid not vendible.
>>> maid not vendible.
Exeunt Gratiano and Lorenzo.
--- maid not vendible.
Is that anything now?
--- that anything now?
Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you shall seek all day ere you find them. When you have them, they are not worth the search.
--- worth the search.
Well, tell me now, what Lady is the same
To whom you swore a secret Pilgrimage,
That you today promised to tell me of?
--- tell me of?
'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate
By something showing a more swelling port
Than my faint means would grant continuance.
Nor do I now make moan to be abridged
From such a noble rate, but my chief care
Is to come fairly off from the great debts
Wherein my time, something too prodigal,
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.
--- debts I owe.
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 unlocked to your occasions.
--- to your occasions.
In my school days, when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow of the selfsame flight
The selfsame way, with more advised watch
To find the other forth, and by adventuring both,
I oft found both. I urge this childhood proof,
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,
As I will watch the aim, or to find both,
Or bring your latter hazard back again
And thankfully rest debter for the first.
--- for the first.
You know me well, and herein spend but time
To wind about my love with circumstance,
And out of doubt you do more wrong
In making question of my uttermost
Than if you 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,
And I am pressed unto it: therefore speak.
--- it: therefore speak.
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.
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
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece,
Which makes her seat of Belmont Cholchos' 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,
I have a mind presages me such thrift
That I should questionless be fortunate.
--- questionless be fortunate.
Thou knowst that all my fortunes are at sea;
Neither have I money, nor commodity
To raise a present sum; therefore go forth:
Try what my credit can in Venice do,
That shall be racked even to the uttermost
To furnish thee to Belmont to fair Portia.
Go presently enquire, and so will I,
Where money is, and I no question make
To have it of my trust, or for my sake.
>>> for my sake.