of all here present ? Seest thou not that all thy plots are exposed ?—that thy wretched conspiracy is laid bare to every man's knowledge, here in the senate?—that we are all well aware of thy proceedings of last night; of the night before; the place of meeting, the company convoked, the measures concerted ?

2. Alas the times ! Alas the public morals! The senate understands all this. The consul sees it. Yet the traitor lives! Lives ? Ay, truly, and confronts us here in council; takes part in our deliberations; and, with his measuring eye, marks out each man of us for slaughter! And we, all this while, strenuous that we are, think we have amply discharged our duty to the state, if we but shun this madman's sword and fury !

3. Long since, O Catiline, ought the consul to have ordered thee to execution, and brought upon thy own head the ruin thou hast been meditating against others! There was that virtue once in Rome, that a wicked citizen was held more execrable than the deadliest foe. We have a law still, Catiline, for thee. Think not that we are powerless because forbearing We have a decree—though it rests among our archives like a sword in its scabbard - -a decree by which thy life would be made to pay the forfeit of thy crimes. And, should I order thee to be instantly seized and put to death, I make just doubt whether all good men would not think it done rather too late, than any man too cruelly.

4. But, for good reasons I will yet defer the blow, long since deserved. Then will I doom thee, when no man is found so lost, so wicked, nay, so like thyself, but shall confess that it was justly dealt. While there is one man that dares defend thee, live! But thou shalt live so beset, so surrounded, so scrutinized, by the vigilant guards that I have placed around thee, that thou shalt not stir a foot against the republic without my knowledge. There shall be eyes to detect thy slightest movement, and ears to catch thy wariest whisper, of which thou shalt not dream.

5. The darkness of night shall not cover thy treason; the walls of privacy shall not stifle its voice. Bafled on all sides, thy most secret counsels clear as noonday, what canst thou now hrive in view ? Proceed, plot, conspire, as thou wilt ; there is nothing you can contrive, nothing you can propose, nothing you can attempt, which I shall not know, hear, and promptly understand. Thou shalt soon be made aware that I am even more active in providing for the preservation of the state, than thou in plotting its destruction !




Act I, SCENE I.- Venice. A Street.

ANT.—In sooth, I know not why I am so sad;
It wearies me; you say

it wearies

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,
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea,
Do overpeer the petty traffickers,

That court'sy to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.

SALAN.-- 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.

SALAR.- 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


his merchandise. Ant.-Believe

me, no;
I thank


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.

SALAR.— Why, then you are in love.
ANT.- Fy, fy!

SALAR.- Not in love neither? Then let's 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 vinegar aspect
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.


SALAN.— 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 regards.
I take it, your own business calls on you,

embrace the occasion to depart. SALAR.— Good morrow, my good lords. Bass.-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.


LOR.- 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. Bass.-I will not fail


GRA.—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 marvelously changed.

ANT.— I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano, A stage where every man must play a part, And mine a sad one.

GRA.— 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 willful stillness 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 damn those ears Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools. l'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.

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