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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 moker; But, he! why, he hath a horse better than the Neapolitan's; 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 understands 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 ford, his neighbour?
Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him; for he borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman,
ย a proper man's picture,] Proper is handsome.
and swore he would pay him again, when he was able: I think, the Frenchman became his surety,9 and sealed under for another.
Ner. How like you the of Saxony's nephew?
young German, the duke
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 a little worse than a man; and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast: an 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 spunge.
Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these lords; they have acquainted me with their determinations: 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 absence, and I pray God grant them a fair departure.
Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's
9 I think, the Frenchman became his surety,] Alluding to the constant assistance, or rather constant promises of assistance, that the French gave the Scots in their quarrels with the English. The alliance is here humorously satirized. WARBURTON.
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 fore-runner 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. [Exeunt.
Venice. A publick Place.
Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK.
Shy. Three thousand ducats,-well.
Shy. For three months,-well.
Bass. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.
the condition-] i. e. the temper, qualities.
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;~iny 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, squander'd 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
the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into:] Perhaps there is no character through all Shakspeare, drawn with more spirit, and just discrimination, than Shylock's. His language, allusions, and ideas, are every where so appropriate to a Jew, that Shylock might be exhibited for an exemplar of that peculiar people. HENLEY.
you. What news on the Rialto?-Who is he comes
Bass. This is signior 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,
He lends out money gratis, and brings down
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
Shylock, do you hear? Shy. I am debating of my present store; And, by the near guèss of my memory,
I cannot instantly raise up the
Of full three thousand ducats: What of that?
Will furnish me: But soft; How many months
Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend,3,
the ripe wants of my friend,] Ripe wants are wants come to the height, wants that can have no longer delay.
possess'd,] i. c. acquainted, informed.