Act 1 - Scene 2
Belmont. A room in PORTIA'S house.
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA
By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of
this great world.
You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in
the same abundance as your good fortunes are: and
for aught I see, they are as sick that surfeit
with too much as they that starve with nothing. It
is no mean
happiness therefore, to be seated in the
mean: superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but
Good sentences and well pronounced.
They would be better, if well followed.
If to do were as easy as to know what were good to
do, chapels had been churches and poor men's
princes' palaces. It is a good divine that
follows his own instructions: I can easier teach
twenty what were
good to be done, than be one of the
twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may
devise laws for
the blood, but a hot temper leaps
o'er a cold decree: such a hare is madness the
youth, to skip o'er the
meshes of good counsel the
cripple. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to
choose me a husband.
O me, the word 'choose!' I may
neither choose whom I would nor refuse whom I
dislike; so is the will of a
living daughter curbed
by the will of a dead father. Is it not hard,
Nerissa, that I cannot choose one nor
Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men at their
death have good inspirations: therefore the lottery,
he hath devised in these three chests of gold,
silver and lead, whereof who chooses his meaning
you, will, no doubt, never be chosen by any
rightly but one who shall rightly love. But what
there in your affection towards any of
these princely suitors that are already come?
I pray thee, over-name them; and as thou namest
them, I will describe them; and, according to my
level at my affection.
First, there is the Neapolitan prince.
Ay, that's a colt indeed, for he doth nothing but
talk of his horse; and he makes it a great
his own good parts, that he can
shoe him himself. I am much afeard my lady his
mother played false with
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