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No Fear Translations

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Enter ANTONIO , SALARINO , and SOLANIO
ANTONIO , SALARINO , and SOLANIO enter.

ANTONIO

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,
5 I am to learn.
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.

ANTONIO

To be honest, I don’t know why I’m so sad. I’m tired of it, and you say you’re tired of it too. But I have no idea how I got so depressed. And if I can’t figure out what’s making me depressed, I must not understand myself very well.

SALARINO

Your mind is tossing on the ocean,
There, where your argosies with portly sail,
10 Like signors 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.

SALARINO

You’re worried about your ships. Your mind is out there getting tossed around on the ocean with them. But they’re fine. They’re like huge parade floats on the sea. They’re so big they look down on the smaller ships, which all have to bow and then get out of the way. Your ships fly like birds past those little boats.

SOLANIO

15 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.
20 And every object that might make me fear
Misfortune to my ventures out of doubt
Would make me sad.

SOLANIO

Yes, believe me, if I had such risky business ventures in other countries, I’d be sad too. I’d worry about it every second. I’d constantly be tossing blades of grass into the air to find out which way the wind was blowing. I’d be peering over maps to figure out the best ports, piers, and waterways. Everything that made me worry about my ships would make me sad.

SALARINO

    My wind cooling my broth
Would blow me to an ague when I thought
What harm a wind too great at sea might do.
25 I should not see the sandy hourglass 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
30 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,
35 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
40 Is sad to think upon his merchandise.

SALARINO

I’d get scared every time I blew on my soup to cool it, thinking of how a strong wind could wipe out my ships. Every time I glanced at the sand in an hourglass I’d imagine my ships wrecked on sandbars. I’d think of dangerous rocks every time I went to church and saw the stones it was made of. If my ship brushed up against rocks like that, its whole cargo of spices would be dumped into the sea. All of its silk shipments would be sent flying into the roaring waters. In one moment I’d go bankrupt. Who wouldn’t get sad thinking about things like that? It’s obvious. Antonio is sad because he’s so worried about his cargo.

ANTONIO

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.
45 Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad.

ANTONIO

No, that’s not it, trust me. Thankfully my financial situation is healthy. I don’t have all of my money invested in one ship, or one part of the world. If I don’t do well this year, I’ll still be okay. So it’s not my business that’s making me sad.

SOLANIO

Why then, you are in love.

SOLANIO

Well then, you must be in love.

ANTONIO

    Fie, fie!

ANTONIO

Oh, give me a break.

SOLANIO

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
50 Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus,
Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time.

SOLANIO

You’re not in love either? Fine, let’s just say you’re sad because you’re not in a good mood. You know, it’d be just as easy for you to laugh and dance around and say you’re in a good mood. You could just say you’re not sad. Humans are so different.
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes
And laugh like parrots at a bagpiper,
And other of such vinegar aspect
55 That they’ll not show their teeth in way of smile
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
Some people will laugh at anything, and others are so grouchy they won’t even crack a smile when they hear something hysterically funny.
Enter BASSANIO , LORENZO , and GRATIANO
BASSANIO , LORENZO , and GRATIANO enter.
Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman,
Gratiano, and Lorenzo. Fare ye well.
We leave you now with better company.
Here comes your cousin Bassanio. And Gratiano and Lorenzo too. Goodbye, then. We’ll leave you to talk to them. They’re better company.

SALARINO

60 I would have stayed till I had made you merry
If worthier friends had not prevented me.

SALARINO

I would’ve stayed to cheer you up, if your nobler friends hadn’t shown up.

ANTONIO

Your worth is very dear in my regard.
I take it your own business calls on you
And you embrace th' occasion to depart.

ANTONIO

You’re both very precious to me. But I understand. You need to leave to take care of your own business.

SALARINO

(to BASSANIO, LORENZO, GRATIANO)
Good morrow, my good lords.

SALARINO

(to BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO) Good morning, gentlemen.

BASSANIO

(to SALARINO and SOLANIO)
Good signors both, when shall we laugh? Say, when?
You grow exceeding strange. Must it be so?

BASSANIO

(to SALARINO and SOLANIO) Hello, friends. When are we going to have fun together again? Just name the time. We never see you anymore. Does it have to be that way?

SALARINO

70 We’ll make our leisures to attend on yours.

SALARINO

Let us know when you want to get together. We’re available.
Exeunt SALARINO and SOLANIO
SALARINO and SOLANIO exit.

LORENZO

My Lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio,
We two will leave you. But at dinnertime
I pray you have in mind where we must meet.

LORENZO

Bassanio, we’ll say goodbye for now, since you’ve found Antonio. But don’t forget, we’re meeting for dinner tonight.

BASSANIO

I will not fail you.

BASSANIO

Don’t worry, I’ll be there.

GRATIANO

75 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 marvelously changed.

GRATIANO

You don’t look well, Antonio. You’re taking things too seriously. People with too much invested in the world always get hurt. I’m telling you, you don’t look like yourself.

ANTONIO

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

ANTONIO

For me the world is just the world, Gratiano—a stage where every person has a part to play. I play a sad one.

GRATIANO

    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.
85 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 ’tis my love that speaks—
90 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,
95 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
100 If they should speak, would almost damn those ears
Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools.
I’ll tell thee more of this another time.
But fish not with this melancholy bait
For this fool gudgeon, this opinion.—
105 Come, good Lorenzo.—Fare ye well awhile.
I’ll end my exhortation after dinner.

GRATIANO

Then I’ll play the happy fool and get laugh lines on my face. I’d rather overload my liver with wine than starve my heart by denying myself fun. Why should any living man sit still like a statue? Why should he sleep when he’s awake? Why should he get ulcers from being crabby all the time? I love you, and I’m telling you this because I care about you, Antonio—there are men who always look serious. Their faces never move or show any expression, like stagnant ponds covered with scum. They’re silent and stern, and they think they’re wise and deep, important and respectable. When they talk, they think everybody else should keep quiet, and that even dogs should stop barking. I know a lot of men like that, Antonio. The only reason they’re considered wise is because they don’t say anything. I’m sure if they ever opened their mouths, everyone would see what fools they are. I’ll talk to you more about this some other time. In the meantime, cheer up. Don’t go around looking so glum. That’s my opinion, but what do I know? I’m a fool.—Let’s go, Lorenzo.—Goodbye for now. I’ll finish my lecture after dinner.

LORENZO

Well, we will leave you then till dinnertime.
I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
For Gratiano never lets me speak.

LORENZO

All right, we’ll see you at dinnertime. I must be one of these silent so-called wise men Gratiano’s talking about, because he never lets me get a word in.

GRATIANO

110 Well, keep me company but two years more,
Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.

GRATIANO

If you hang around me for two more years, you’ll forget the sound of your own voice. I won’t ever let you speak.

ANTONIO

Farewell. I’ll grow a talker for this gear.

ANTONIO

Goodbye. After that lecture of yours, I’ll start talking a lot.

GRATIANO

Thanks, i' faith, for silence is only commendable
In a neat’s tongue dried and a maid not vendible.

GRATIANO

Thank you. The only tongues that should be silent are ox-tongues on a dinner plate and those that belong to old maids.
Exeunt GRATIANO and LORENZO
GRATIANO and LORENZO exit.

ANTONIO

115 Is that any thing now?

ANTONIO

Is he right?

BASSANIO

Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff—you shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them they are not worth the search.

BASSANIO

Gratiano talks more nonsense than any other man in Venice. His point is always like a needle in a haystack—you look for it all day, and when you find it you realize it wasn’t worth the trouble.

ANTONIO

Well, tell me now what lady is the same
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
That you today promised to tell me of?

ANTONIO

So, who’s this girl, the one you said you were going to take a special trip for? You promised to tell me.

BASSANIO

'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
125 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

BASSANIO

Antonio, you know how bad my finances have been lately. I’ve been living way beyond my means. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about having to cut back.
130 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
135 To unburden all my plots and purposes
How to get clear of all the debts I owe.
I just want to be honorable and pay off the big debts that piled up when I was living the high life. I’m in debt to many people, and I owe most to you, Antonio—both money and gratitude. And because you care about me, I know you’ll let me tell you my plan to clear all my debts.

ANTONIO

I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it.
And if it stand, as you yourself still do,
Within the eye of honor, be assured
140 My purse, my person, my extremest means
Lie all unlocked to your occasions.

ANTONIO

Please let me know your plan, Bassanio. As long as it’s honorable, you can be sure that I’ll let you use all my money and do everything I can to help you.

BASSANIO

In my school days, when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow of the selfsame flight
The selfsame way with more advisèd watch
145 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 willful youth,
That which I owe is lost. But if you please
150 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 debtor for the first.

BASSANIO

Back when I was a schoolboy, if I lost an arrow I would try to find it by shooting another arrow in the same direction, watching the second arrow more carefully than I had the first. By risking the second arrow, I’d often get both of them back. I’m telling you this story for a reason. I owe you a lot, and like a spoiled kid I’ve lost what I owe you. But if you’d be willing to shoot another arrow the same way you shot the first, I’ll watch your arrow more carefully this time. Either we’ll get back all the money I owe you, or else we’ll get back what you lend me this time, and I’ll just owe you what I already owe you.

ANTONIO

155 You know me well, and herein spend but time
To wind about my love with circumstance.
And out of doubt you do me now more wrong
In making question of my uttermost
Than if you had made waste of all I have.
160 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.

ANTONIO

You know me better than that. You’re wasting your breath. All of this talk means you have doubts about my friendship. That’s worse than if you bankrupted me. Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it. Tell me.

BASSANIO

In Belmont is a lady richly left,
And she is fair and—fairer than that word—
165 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,
170 For the four winds blow in from every coast
Renownèd suitors, and her sunny locks
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece,
Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand,
And many Jasons come in quest of her.
175 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!

BASSANIO

There’s a girl in Belmont who’s inherited a huge amount of money, and she’s beautiful and—even better—she’s a good person. I think she likes me. Sometimes the expression on her face tells me she likes me. Her name is Portia. She’s as rich as that famous Roman heroine Portia, the daughter of Cato and wife of Brutus. Her wealth is world-famous. Famous and important men have come in from all over the world to try to marry her. The hair that hangs down on her forehead is like gold, calling every adventurer to Belmont like a gold rush. Antonio, if I only had enough money to hold my own against those suitors, I know I could win her!

ANTONIO

Thou know’st that all my fortunes are at sea.
180 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.
185 Go presently inquire, and so will I,
Where money is, and I no question make
To have it of my trust or for my sake.

ANTONIO

You know right now all my money’s tied up in that cargo that’s still at sea. I can’t give you the cash you need because I don’t have it. But go ahead and charge things to me on credit, as much credit as I can get in Venice. I’ll use all my lines of credit to help you get to Belmont, to Portia. Go see who will lend money, and I’ll do the same. I’m sure I can get something either as a business loan, or as a personal favor.
Exeunt
They exit.