Ner. Than is there the Countie Palentine

Por. He doth nothing but frowne (as who should say, and you will not haue me, choose: he heares merrie tales and smiles not, I feare hee will proue the weeping Phylosopher when he growes old, being so full of vnmannerly sadnesse in his youth.) I had rather to be married to a deaths head with a bone in his mouth, then to either of these: God defend me from these two

Ner. How say you by the French Lord, Mounsier Le Boune? Por. God made him, and therefore let him passe for a man, in truth I know it is a sinne to be a mocker, but he, why he hath a horse better then the Neopolitans, a better bad habite of frowning then the Count Palentine, he is euery man in no man, if a Trassell sing, he fals straight a capring, he will fence with his owne shadow. If I should marry him, I should marry twentie husbands: if hee would despise me, I would forgiue him, for if he loue me to madnesse, I should neuer requite him

Ner. What say you then to Fauconbridge, the yong Baron of England? Por. You know I say nothing to him, for hee vnderstands not me, nor I him: he hath neither Latine, French, nor Italian, and you will come into the Court & sweare that I haue a poore pennie-worth in the English: hee is a proper mans picture, but alas who can conuerse with a dumbe show? how odly he is suited, I thinke he bought his doublet in Italie, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germanie, and his behauiour euery where

Ner. What thinke you of the other Lord his neighbour? Por. That he hath a neighbourly charitie in him, for he borrowed a boxe of the eare of the Englishman, and swore he would pay him againe when hee was able: I thinke the Frenchman became his suretie, and seald vnder for another

Ner. How like you the yong Germaine, the Duke of Saxonies Nephew? Por. Very vildely in the morning when hee is sober, and most vildely in the afternoone when hee is drunke: when he is best, he is a little worse then a man, and when he is worst, he is little better then a beast: and the worst fall that euer 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 performe your Fathers will, if you should refuse to accept him

Por. Therefore for feare of the worst, I pray thee set a deepe glasse of Reinish-wine on the contrary Casket, for if the diuell be within, and that temptation without, I know he will choose it. I will doe any thing Nerrissa ere I will be married to a spunge

Ner. You neede not feare Lady the hauing any of these Lords, they haue acquainted me with their determinations, which is indeede to returne to their home, and to trouble you with no more suite, vnlesse you may be won by some other sort then your Fathers imposition, depending on the Caskets

Por. If I liue to be as olde as Sibilla, I will dye as chaste as Diana: vnlesse I be obtained by the manner of my Fathers will: I am glad this parcell of wooers are so reasonable, for there is not one among them but I doate on his verie absence: and I wish them a faire departure

Ner. Doe you not remember Ladie in your Fathers time, a Venecian, a Scholler and a Souldior that came hither in companie of the Marquesse of Mountferrat? Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio, as I thinke, so was hee call'd

Ner. True Madam, hee of all the men that euer my foolish eyes look'd vpon, was the best deseruing a faire Lady

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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