• Enter the masquers GRATIANO and SALARINO

    GRATIANO

    This is the penthouse under which Lorenzo
    Desired us to make stand.

    SALARINO

        His hour is almost past.

    GRATIANO

    And it is marvel he outdwells his hour,
    For lovers ever run before the clock.

    SALARINO

    5Oh, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly
    To seal love’s bonds new made than they are wont
    To keep obligèd faith unforfeited.

    GRATIANO

    That ever holds. Who riseth from a feast
    With that keen appetite that he sits down?
    10Where is the horse that doth untread again
    His tedious measures with the unbated fire
    That he did pace them first? All things that are,
    Are with more spirit chasèd than enjoyed.
    How like a younger or a prodigal
    15The scarfèd bark puts from her native bay,
    Hugged and embraèd by the strumpet wind!
    How like the prodigal doth she return,
    With overweathered ribs and ragged sails
    Lean, rent, and beggared by the strumpet wind!

    SALARINO

    20Here comes Lorenzo. More of this hereafter.
    Enter LORENZO
  • RATIANO and SALARINO enter, dressed for the masquerade ball.

    GRATIANO

    This is the roof under which Lorenzo said to meet him.

    SALARINO

    He’s late.

    GRATIANO

    Yes, and that’s surprising, because lovers are usually early.

    SALARINO

    Yes, for new lovers time passes ten times faster than for couples who’ve been married forever.

    GRATIANO

    That’s always true. Who gets up from a meal with the same appetite he had when he sat down? Can any horse retrace his footsteps with the same energy he had when he walked them the first time? We chase everything in life more excitedly than we actually enjoy it when we get it. It’s like when a ship sails out of the harbor with all its flags waving, gently pushed by the wind. When that ship returns, her timber is all weather-beaten and her sails are ragged. That same wind makes the ship thin and poor.

    SALARINO

    Here comes Lorenzo. We’ll talk about this later.
    LORENZO enters.