PORTIA: If it were easy to do as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches and poor men's cottages 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 my 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 co'er. It is not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one nor refuse none?
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You think it’s that easy? If doing good deeds were as easy as knowing how to do them, then everyone would be better off. Small chapels would be big churches, and poor men’s cottages would be princes' palaces. It takes a good priest to practice what he preaches. For me, it’s easier to lecture twenty people on how to be good than to be the one person out of twenty who actually does good things. The brain can tell the heart what to do, but what does it matter? Cold rules don’t matter when you’ve got a hot temper. Young people are like frisky young rabbits, and good advice is like a crippled old man trying to catch them. But thinking like this won’t help me choose a husband. Oh, the word “choose” is strange! I can’t choose who I like, or refuse who I dislike. I’m a living daughter still controlled by the wishes of her dead father. Isn’t it a pain that I can’t choose or refuse anyone, Nerissa?