Shakespeare's play of the Merchant of Venice Arranged for Representation at the Princess's Theatre, with Historical and Explanatory Notes by Charles Kean, F.S.A.

Shakespeare's play of the Merchant of Venice 
Arranged for Representation at the Princess's Theatre, with Historical and Explanatory Notes by Charles Kean, F.S.A.

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ACT I.

SCENE I.—VENICE.(A) SAINT MARK'S PLACE.(B)

Various groups of Nobles, Citizens, Merchants, Foreigners, Water-Carriers, Flower Girls, &c., pass and repass. Procession of the Doge, in state, across the square.

ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO come forward.

Ant. 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.Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean;There, where your argosies with portly sail,Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood,Do overpeer the petty traffickers,That curt'sy to them, do them reverence,As they fly by them with their woven wings.Sal. Believe me, Sir, had I such venture forth,The better part of my affections wouldBe with my hopes abroad. I should be stillPlucking the grass, to know where sits the wind;Peering in maps, for ports, and piers, and roads;And every object that might make me fearMisfortune to my ventures, out of doubt,Would make me sad.Salar. My wind, cooling my broth,Would blow me to an ague, when I thoughtWhat 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 dock'd in sand,Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs,To kiss her burial.Shall I have the thoughtTo think on this? and shall I lack the thoughtThat such a thing, bechanc'd, would make me sad?But tell not me; I know AntonioIs sad to think upon his merchandize.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 estateUpon the fortune of this present year:Therefore my merchandize makes me not sad.Salar. Why, then, you are in love.Ant. Fie, fie!Salar. Not in love, neither? Then let us say you are sad,Because you are not merry: an 'twere as easyFor you to laugh and leap, and say you are merry,Because you are not sad.Sal. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman,Gratiano, and Lorenzo: Fare you well;We leave you now with better company.Salar. I would have staid till I had made you merry,If worthier friends had not prevented me.Ant. Your worth is very dear in my regard.I take it your own business calls on you,And you embrace the occasion to depart.

Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO.

Salar. Good morrow, my good lords.Bas. Good signiors, both, when shall we laugh? Say, when?You grow exceeding strange: Must it be so?Salar. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.[Exeunt SALARINO and SALANIO.Lor. My lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio,We two will leave you; but at dinner-timeI pray you have in mind where we must meet.Bas. I will not fail you.Gra. You look not well, Signor Antonio;You have too much respect upon the world:They lose it that do buy it with much care.Believe me, you are marvellously chang'd....