The Merchant of Venice

A comedy written in 1596 by William Shakespeare

1(stage directions)11[Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO]
211ANTONIOIn 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, I am to learn; And such a want-wit sadness makes of me, That I have much ado to know myself.
311SALARINOYour mind is tossing on the ocean; There, where your argosies with portly sail, Like signiors 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.
411SALANIOBelieve 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; And every object that might make me fear Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt Would make me sad.
511SALARINOMy wind cooling my broth Would blow me to an ague, when I thought What harm a wind too great at sea might do. I should not see the sandy hour-glass run, But I should think of shallows and of flats, And see my wealthy Andrew dock'd in sand, Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs To kiss her burial. Should I go to church 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, 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 Is sad to think upon his merchandise.
611ANTONIOBelieve 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: Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad.
711SALARINOWhy, then you are in love.
811ANTONIOFie, fie!
911SALARINONot 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, Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus, Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time: Some that will evermore peep through their eyes And laugh like parrots at a bag-piper, And other of such vinegar aspect That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile, Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
10(stage directions)11[Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO]
1111SALANIOHere comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman, Gratiano and Lorenzo. Fare ye well: We leave you now with better company.
1211SALARINOI would have stay'd till I had made you merry, If worthier friends had not prevented me.
1311ANTONIOYour worth is very dear in my regard. I take it, your own business calls on you And you embrace the occasion to depart.
1411SALARINOGood morrow, my good lords.
1511BASSANIOGood signiors both, when shall we laugh? say, when? You grow exceeding strange: must it be so?
1611SALARINOWe'll make our leisures to attend on yours.
17(stage directions)11[Exeunt Salarino and Salanio]
1811LORENZOMy Lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio, We two will leave you: but at dinner-time, I pray you, have in mind where we must meet.
1911BASSANIOI will not fail you.
2011GRATIANOYou look not well, Signior Antonio; You have too much respect upon the world: They lose it that do buy it with much care: Believe me, you are marvellously changed.
2111ANTONIOI hold the world but as the world, Gratiano; A stage where every man must play a part, And mine a sad one.
2211GRATIANOLet 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. 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 it is my love that speaks-- There are a sort of men whose visages Do cream and mantle like a standing pond, And do a wilful stillness entertain, With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit, 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, 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. Come, good Lorenzo. Fare ye well awhile: I'll end my exhortation after dinner.
2311LORENZOWell, we will leave you then till dinner-time: I must be one of these same dumb wise men, For Gratiano never lets me speak.
2411GRATIANOWell, keep me company but two years moe, Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.
2511ANTONIOFarewell: I'll grow a talker for this gear.
2611GRATIANOThanks, i' faith, for silence is only commendable In a neat's tongue dried and a maid not vendible.
27(stage directions)11[Exeunt GRATIANO and LORENZO]
2811ANTONIOIs that any thing now?
2911BASSANIOGratiano 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.
3011ANTONIOWell, tell me now what lady is the same To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage, That you to-day promised to tell me of?
3111BASSANIO'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio, 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 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 To unburden all my plots and purposes How to get clear of all the debts I owe.
3211ANTONIOI pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it; And if it stand, as you yourself still do, Within the eye of honour, be assured, My purse, my person, my extremest means, Lie all unlock'd to your occasions.
3311BASSANIOIn my school-days, when I had lost one shaft, I shot his fellow of the self-same flight The self-same way with more advised watch, 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 wilful youth, That which I owe is lost; but if you please 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.
3411ANTONIOYou 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: Then do but say to me what I should do That in your knowledge may by me be done, And I am prest unto it: therefore, speak.
3511BASSANIOIn Belmont is a lady richly left; And she is fair, and, fairer than that word, 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, For the four winds blow in from every coast Renowned 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. 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!
3611ANTONIOThou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea; 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 rack'd, even to the uttermost, To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia. 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.
37(stage directions)11[Exeunt]
38(stage directions)12[Enter PORTIA and NERISSA]
3912PORTIABy my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.
4012NERISSAYou would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are: and yet, 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 competency lives longer.
4112PORTIAGood sentences and well pronounced.
4212NERISSAThey would be better, if well followed.
4312PORTIAIf to do were as easy 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 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 refuse none?
4412NERISSAYour father was ever virtuous; and holy men at their death have good inspirations: therefore the lottery, that he hath devised in these three chests of gold, silver and lead, whereof who chooses his meaning chooses you, will, no doubt, never be chosen by any rightly but one who shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors that are already come?
4512PORTIAI pray thee, over-name them; and as thou namest them, I will describe them; and, according to my description, level at my affection.
4612NERISSAFirst, there is the Neapolitan prince.
4712PORTIAAy, that's a colt indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great appropriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe him himself. I am much afeard my lady his mother played false with a smith.
4812NERISSAThen there is the County Palatine.
4912PORTIAHe doth nothing but frown, as who should say 'If you will not have me, choose:' he hears merry tales and smiles not: I fear he will prove the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being so full of unmannerly sadness in his youth. I had rather be married to a death's-head with a bone in his mouth than to either of these. God defend me from these two!
5012NERISSAHow say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le Bon?
5112PORTIAGod made him, and therefore let him pass for a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a mocker: but, he! why, he hath a horse better than the Neapolitan's, a better bad habit of frowning than the Count Palatine; he is every man in no man; if a throstle sing, he falls straight a capering: he will fence with his own shadow: if I should marry him, I should marry twenty husbands. If he would despise me I would forgive him, for if he love me to madness, I shall never requite him.
5212NERISSAWhat say you, then, to Falconbridge, the young baron of England?
5312PORTIAYou know I say nothing to him, for he understands not me, nor I him: he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian, and you will come into the court and swear that I have a poor pennyworth in the English. He is a proper man's picture, but, alas, who can converse with a dumb-show? How oddly he is suited! I think he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany and his behavior every where.
5412NERISSAWhat think you of the Scottish lord, his neighbour?
5512PORTIAThat he hath a neighbourly charity in him, for he borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman and swore he would pay him again when he was able: I think the Frenchman became his surety and sealed under for another.
5612NERISSAHow like you the young German, the Duke of Saxony's nephew?
5712PORTIAVery vilely in the morning, when he is sober, and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk: when he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast: and the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall make shift to go without him.
5812NERISSAIf he should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you should refuse to accept him.
5912PORTIATherefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a deep glass of rhenish wine on the contrary casket, for if the devil be within and that temptation without, I know he will choose it. I will do any thing, Nerissa, ere I'll be married to a sponge.
6012NERISSAYou need not fear, lady, the having any of these lords: they have acquainted me with their determinations; which is, indeed, to return to their home and to trouble you with no more suit, unless you may be won by some other sort than your father's imposition depending on the caskets.
6112PORTIAIf I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will. I am glad this parcel of wooers are so reasonable, for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and I pray God grant them a fair departure.
6212NERISSADo you not remember, lady, in your father's time, a Venetian, a scholar and a soldier, that came hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat?
6312PORTIAYes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, he was so called.
6412NERISSATrue, madam: he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.
6512PORTIAI remember him well, and I remember him worthy of thy praise. [Enter a Serving-man] How now! what news?
6612SERVANTThe four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave: and there is a forerunner come from a fifth, the Prince of Morocco, who brings word the prince his master will be here to-night.
6712PORTIAIf I could bid the fifth welcome with so good a heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his approach: if he have the condition of a saint and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come, Nerissa. Sirrah, go before. Whiles we shut the gates upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.
68(stage directions)12[Exeunt]
69(stage directions)13[Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK]
7013SHYLOCKThree thousand ducats; well.
7113BASSANIOAy, sir, for three months.
7213SHYLOCKFor three months; well.
7313BASSANIOFor the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.
7413SHYLOCKAntonio shall become bound; well.
7513BASSANIOMay you stead me? will you pleasure me? shall I know your answer?
7613SHYLOCKThree thousand ducats for three months and Antonio bound.
7713BASSANIOYour answer to that.
7813SHYLOCKAntonio is a good man.
7913BASSANIOHave you heard any imputation to the contrary?
8013SHYLOCKOh, no, no, no, no: my meaning in saying he is a good man is to have you understand me that he is sufficient. Yet his means are in supposition: he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies; I understand moreover, upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England, and other ventures he hath, squandered abroad. But ships are but boards, sailors but men: there be land-rats and water-rats, water-thieves and land-thieves, I mean pirates, and then there is the peril of waters, winds and rocks. The man is, notwithstanding, sufficient. Three thousand ducats; I think I may take his bond.
8113BASSANIOBe assured you may.
8213SHYLOCKI will be assured I may; and, that I may be assured, I will bethink me. May I speak with Antonio?
8313BASSANIOIf it please you to dine with us.
8413SHYLOCKYes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet the Nazarite conjured the devil into. I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following, but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What news on the Rialto? Who is he comes here?
85(stage directions)13[Enter ANTONIO]
8613BASSANIOThis is Signior Antonio.
8713SHYLOCK[Aside] How like a fawning publican he looks! I hate him for he is a Christian, But more for that in low simplicity He lends out money gratis and brings down The rate of usance here with us in Venice. If I can catch him once upon the hip, I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him. He hates our sacred nation, and he rails, Even there where merchants most do congregate, On me, my bargains and my well-won thrift, Which he calls interest. Cursed be my tribe, If I forgive him!
8813BASSANIOShylock, do you hear?
8913SHYLOCKI am debating of my present store, And, by the near guess of my memory, I cannot instantly raise up the gross Of full three thousand ducats. What of that? Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe, Will furnish me. But soft! how many months Do you desire? [To ANTONIO] Rest you fair, good signior; Your worship was the last man in our mouths.
9013ANTONIOShylock, although I neither lend nor borrow By taking nor by giving of excess, Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend, I'll break a custom. Is he yet possess'd How much ye would?
9113SHYLOCKAy, ay, three thousand ducats.
9213ANTONIOAnd for three months.
9313SHYLOCKI had forgot; three months; you told me so. Well then, your bond; and let me see; but hear you; Methought you said you neither lend nor borrow Upon advantage.
9413ANTONIOI do never use it.
9513SHYLOCKWhen Jacob grazed his uncle Laban's sheep-- This Jacob from our holy Abram was, As his wise mother wrought in his behalf, The third possessor; ay, he was the third--
9613ANTONIOAnd what of him? did he take interest?
9713SHYLOCKNo, not take interest, not, as you would say, Directly interest: mark what Jacob did. When Laban and himself were compromised That all the eanlings which were streak'd and pied Should fall as Jacob's hire, the ewes, being rank, In the end of autumn turned to the rams, And, when the work of generation was Between these woolly breeders in the act, The skilful shepherd peel'd me certain wands, And, in the doing of the deed of kind, He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes, Who then conceiving did in eaning time Fall parti-colour'd lambs, and those were Jacob's. This was a way to thrive, and he was blest: And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.
9813ANTONIOThis was a venture, sir, that Jacob served for; A thing not in his power to bring to pass, But sway'd and fashion'd by the hand of heaven. Was this inserted to make interest good? Or is your gold and silver ewes and rams?
9913SHYLOCKI cannot tell; I make it breed as fast: But note me, signior.
10013ANTONIOMark you this, Bassanio, The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul producing holy witness Is like a villain with a smiling cheek, A goodly apple rotten at the heart: O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
10113SHYLOCKThree thousand ducats; 'tis a good round sum. Three months from twelve; then, let me see; the rate--
10213ANTONIOWell, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you?
10313SHYLOCKSignior Antonio, many a time and oft In the Rialto you have rated me About my moneys and my usances: Still have I borne it with a patient shrug, For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe. You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine, And all for use of that which is mine own. Well then, it now appears you need my help: Go to, then; you come to me, and you say 'Shylock, we would have moneys:' you say so; You, that did void your rheum upon my beard And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur Over your threshold: moneys is your suit What should I say to you? Should I not say 'Hath a dog money? is it possible A cur can lend three thousand ducats?' Or Shall I bend low and in a bondman's key, With bated breath and whispering humbleness, Say this; 'Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last; You spurn'd me such a day; another time You call'd me dog; and for these courtesies I'll lend you thus much moneys'?
10413ANTONIOI am as like to call thee so again, To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too. If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not As to thy friends; for when did friendship take A breed for barren metal of his friend? But lend it rather to thine enemy, Who, if he break, thou mayst with better face Exact the penalty.
10513SHYLOCKWhy, look you, how you storm! I would be friends with you and have your love, Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with, Supply your present wants and take no doit Of usance for my moneys, and you'll not hear me: This is kind I offer.
10613BASSANIOThis were kindness.
10713SHYLOCKThis kindness will I show. Go with me to a notary, seal me there Your single bond; and, in a merry sport, If you repay me not on such a day, In such a place, such sum or sums as are Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit Be nominated for an equal pound Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken In what part of your body pleaseth me.
10813ANTONIOContent, i' faith: I'll seal to such a bond And say there is much kindness in the Jew.
10913BASSANIOYou shall not seal to such a bond for me: I'll rather dwell in my necessity.
11013ANTONIOWhy, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it: Within these two months, that's a month before This bond expires, I do expect return Of thrice three times the value of this bond.
11113SHYLOCKO father Abram, what these Christians are, Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect The thoughts of others! Pray you, tell me this; If he should break his day, what should I gain By the exaction of the forfeiture? A pound of man's flesh taken from a man Is not so estimable, profitable neither, As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say, To buy his favour, I extend this friendship: If he will take it, so; if not, adieu; And, for my love, I pray you wrong me not.
11213ANTONIOYes Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.
11313SHYLOCKThen meet me forthwith at the notary's; Give him direction for this merry bond, And I will go and purse the ducats straight, See to my house, left in the fearful guard Of an unthrifty knave, and presently I will be with you.
11413ANTONIOHie thee, gentle Jew. [Exit Shylock] The Hebrew will turn Christian: he grows kind.
11513BASSANIOI like not fair terms and a villain's mind.
11613ANTONIOCome on: in this there can be no dismay; My ships come home a month before the day.
117(stage directions)13[Exeunt] [Flourish of cornets. Enter the PRINCE OF MOROCCO] and his train; PORTIA, NERISSA, and others attending]
11821MOROCCOMislike me not for my complexion, The shadow'd livery of the burnish'd sun, To whom I am a neighbour and near bred. Bring me the fairest creature northward born, Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles, And let us make incision for your love, To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine. I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine Hath fear'd the valiant: by my love I swear The best-regarded virgins of our clime Have loved it too: I would not change this hue, Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen.
11921PORTIAIn terms of choice I am not solely led By nice direction of a maiden's eyes; Besides, the lottery of my destiny Bars me the right of voluntary choosing: But if my father had not scanted me And hedged me by his wit, to yield myself His wife who wins me by that means I told you, Yourself, renowned prince, then stood as fair As any comer I have look'd on yet For my affection.
12021MOROCCOEven for that I thank you: Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets To try my fortune. By this scimitar That slew the Sophy and a Persian prince That won three fields of Sultan Solyman, I would outstare the sternest eyes that look, Outbrave the heart most daring on the earth, Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear, Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey, To win thee, lady. But, alas the while! If Hercules and Lichas play at dice Which is the better man, the greater throw May turn by fortune from the weaker hand: So is Alcides beaten by his page; And so may I, blind fortune leading me, Miss that which one unworthier may attain, And die with grieving.
12121PORTIAYou must take your chance, And either not attempt to choose at all Or swear before you choose, if you choose wrong Never to speak to lady afterward In way of marriage: therefore be advised.
12221MOROCCONor will not. Come, bring me unto my chance.
12321PORTIAFirst, forward to the temple: after dinner Your hazard shall be made.
12421MOROCCOGood fortune then! To make me blest or cursed'st among men.
125(stage directions)21[Cornets, and exeunt]
126(stage directions)22[Enter LAUNCELOT]
12722LAUNCELOTCertainly my conscience will serve me to run from this Jew my master. The fiend is at mine elbow and tempts me saying to me 'Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot,' or 'good Gobbo,' or good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away. My conscience says 'No; take heed,' honest Launcelot; take heed, honest Gobbo, or, as aforesaid, 'honest Launcelot Gobbo; do not run; scorn running with thy heels.' Well, the most courageous fiend bids me pack: 'Via!' says the fiend; 'away!' says the fiend; 'for the heavens, rouse up a brave mind,' says the fiend, 'and run.' Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me 'My honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son,' or rather an honest woman's son; for, indeed, my father did something smack, something grow to, he had a kind of taste; well, my conscience says 'Launcelot, budge not.' 'Budge,' says the fiend. 'Budge not,' says my conscience. 'Conscience,' say I, 'you counsel well;' ' Fiend,' say I, 'you counsel well:' to be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master, who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil; and, to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself. Certainly the Jew is the very devil incarnal; and, in my conscience, my conscience is but a kind of hard conscience, to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counsel: I will run, fiend; my heels are at your command; I will run.
128(stage directions)22[Enter Old GOBBO, with a basket]
12922GOBBOMaster young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to master Jew's?
13022LAUNCELOT[Aside] O heavens, this is my true-begotten father! who, being more than sand-blind, high-gravel blind, knows me not: I will try confusions with him.
13122GOBBOMaster young gentleman, I pray you, which is the way to master Jew's?
13222LAUNCELOTTurn up on your right hand at the next turning, but, at the next turning of all, on your left; marry, at the very next turning, turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew's house.
13322GOBBOBy God's sonties, 'twill be a hard way to hit. Can you tell me whether one Launcelot, that dwells with him, dwell with him or no?
13422LAUNCELOTTalk you of young Master Launcelot? [Aside] Mark me now; now will I raise the waters. Talk you of young Master Launcelot?
13522GOBBONo master, sir, but a poor man's son: his father, though I say it, is an honest exceeding poor man and, God be thanked, well to live.
13622LAUNCELOTWell, let his father be what a' will, we talk of young Master Launcelot.
13722GOBBOYour worship's friend and Launcelot, sir.
13822LAUNCELOTBut I pray you, ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech you, talk you of young Master Launcelot?
13922GOBBOOf Launcelot, an't please your mastership.
14022LAUNCELOTErgo, Master Launcelot. Talk not of Master Launcelot, father; for the young gentleman, according to Fates and Destinies and such odd sayings, the Sisters Three and such branches of learning, is indeed deceased, or, as you would say in plain terms, gone to heaven.
14122GOBBOMarry, God forbid! the boy was the very staff of my age, my very prop.
14222LAUNCELOTDo I look like a cudgel or a hovel-post, a staff or a prop? Do you know me, father?
14322GOBBOAlack the day, I know you not, young gentleman: but, I pray you, tell me, is my boy, God rest his soul, alive or dead?
14422LAUNCELOTDo you not know me, father?
14522GOBBOAlack, sir, I am sand-blind; I know you not.
14622LAUNCELOTNay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son: give me your blessing: truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man's son may, but at the length truth will out.
14722GOBBOPray you, sir, stand up: I am sure you are not Launcelot, my boy.
14822LAUNCELOTPray you, let's have no more fooling about it, but give me your blessing: I am Launcelot, your boy that was, your son that is, your child that shall be.
14922GOBBOI cannot think you are my son.
15022LAUNCELOTI know not what I shall think of that: but I am Launcelot, the Jew's man, and I am sure Margery your wife is my mother.
15122GOBBOHer name is Margery, indeed: I'll be sworn, if thou be Launcelot, thou art mine own flesh and blood. Lord worshipped might he be! what a beard hast thou got! thou hast got more hair on thy chin than Dobbin my fill-horse has on his tail.
15222LAUNCELOTIt should seem, then, that Dobbin's tail grows backward: I am sure he had more hair of his tail than I have of my face when I last saw him.
15322GOBBOLord, how art thou changed! How dost thou and thy master agree? I have brought him a present. How 'gree you now?
15422LAUNCELOTWell, well: but, for mine own part, as I have set up my rest to run away, so I will not rest till I have run some ground. My master's a very Jew: give him a present! give him a halter: I am famished in his service; you may tell every finger I have with my ribs. Father, I am glad you are come: give me your present to one Master Bassanio, who, indeed, gives rare new liveries: if I serve not him, I will run as far as God has any ground. O rare fortune! here comes the man: to him, father; for I am a Jew, if I serve the Jew any longer.
155(stage directions)22[Enter BASSANIO, with LEONARDO and other followers]
15622BASSANIOYou may do so; but let it be so hasted that supper be ready at the farthest by five of the clock. See these letters delivered; put the liveries to making, and desire Gratiano to come anon to my lodging.
157(stage directions)22[Exit a Servant]
15822LAUNCELOTTo him, father.
15922GOBBOGod bless your worship!
16022BASSANIOGramercy! wouldst thou aught with me?
16122GOBBOHere's my son, sir, a poor boy,--
16222LAUNCELOTNot a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew's man; that would, sir, as my father shall specify--
16322GOBBOHe hath a great infection, sir, as one would say, to serve--
16422LAUNCELOTIndeed, the short and the long is, I serve the Jew, and have a desire, as my father shall specify--
16522GOBBOHis master and he, saving your worship's reverence, are scarce cater-cousins--
16622LAUNCELOTTo be brief, the very truth is that the Jew, having done me wrong, doth cause me, as my father, being, I hope, an old man, shall frutify unto you--
16722GOBBOI have here a dish of doves that I would bestow upon your worship, and my suit is--
16822LAUNCELOTIn very brief, the suit is impertinent to myself, as your worship shall know by this honest old man; and, though I say it, though old man, yet poor man, my father.
16922BASSANIOOne speak for both. What would you?
17022LAUNCELOTServe you, sir.
17122GOBBOThat is the very defect of the matter, sir.
17222BASSANIOI know thee well; thou hast obtain'd thy suit: Shylock thy master spoke with me this day, And hath preferr'd thee, if it be preferment To leave a rich Jew's service, to become The follower of so poor a gentleman.
17322LAUNCELOTThe old proverb is very well parted between my master Shylock and you, sir: you have the grace of God, sir, and he hath enough.
17422BASSANIOThou speak'st it well. Go, father, with thy son. Take leave of thy old master and inquire My lodging out. Give him a livery More guarded than his fellows': see it done.
17522LAUNCELOTFather, in. I cannot get a service, no; I have ne'er a tongue in my head. Well, if any man in Italy have a fairer table which doth offer to swear upon a book, I shall have good fortune. Go to, here's a simple line of life: here's a small trifle of wives: alas, fifteen wives is nothing! eleven widows and nine maids is a simple coming-in for one man: and then to 'scape drowning thrice, and to be in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed; here are simple scapes. Well, if Fortune be a woman, she's a good wench for this gear. Father, come; I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye.
176(stage directions)22[Exeunt Launcelot and Old Gobbo]
17722BASSANIOI pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this: These things being bought and orderly bestow'd, Return in haste, for I do feast to-night My best-esteem'd acquaintance: hie thee, go.
17822LEONARDOMy best endeavours shall be done herein.
179(stage directions)22[Enter GRATIANO]
18022GRATIANOWhere is your master?
18122LEONARDOYonder, sir, he walks.
182(stage directions)22[Exit]
18322GRATIANOSignior Bassanio!
18522GRATIANOI have a suit to you.
18622BASSANIOYou have obtain'd it.
18722GRATIANOYou must not deny me: I must go with you to Belmont.
18822BASSANIOWhy then you must. But hear thee, Gratiano; Thou art too wild, too rude and bold of voice; Parts that become thee happily enough And in such eyes as ours appear not faults; But where thou art not known, why, there they show Something too liberal. Pray thee, take pain To allay with some cold drops of modesty Thy skipping spirit, lest through thy wild behavior I be misconstrued in the place I go to, And lose my hopes.
18922GRATIANOSignior Bassanio, hear me: If I do not put on a sober habit, Talk with respect and swear but now and then, Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely, Nay more, while grace is saying, hood mine eyes Thus with my hat, and sigh and say 'amen,' Use all the observance of civility, Like one well studied in a sad ostent To please his grandam, never trust me more.
19022BASSANIOWell, we shall see your bearing.
19122GRATIANONay, but I bar to-night: you shall not gauge me By what we do to-night.
19222BASSANIONo, that were pity: I would entreat you rather to put on Your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends That purpose merriment. But fare you well: I have some business.
19322GRATIANOAnd I must to Lorenzo and the rest: But we will visit you at supper-time.
194(stage directions)22[Exeunt]
195(stage directions)23[Enter JESSICA and LAUNCELOT]
19623JESSICAI am sorry thou wilt leave my father so: Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil, Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness. But fare thee well, there is a ducat for thee: And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest: Give him this letter; do it secretly; And so farewell: I would not have my father See me in talk with thee.
19723LAUNCELOTAdieu! tears exhibit my tongue. Most beautiful pagan, most sweet Jew! if a Christian did not play the knave and get thee, I am much deceived. But, adieu: these foolish drops do something drown my manly spirit: adieu.
19823JESSICAFarewell, good Launcelot. [Exit Launcelot] Alack, what heinous sin is it in me To be ashamed to be my father's child! But though I am a daughter to his blood, I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo, If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife, Become a Christian and thy loving wife.
199(stage directions)23[Exit]
200(stage directions)24[Enter GRATIANO, LORENZO, SALARINO, and SALANIO]
20124LORENZONay, we will slink away in supper-time, Disguise us at my lodging and return, All in an hour.
20224GRATIANOWe have not made good preparation.
20324SALARINOWe have not spoke us yet of torchbearers.
20424SALANIO'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order'd, And better in my mind not undertook.
20524LORENZO'Tis now but four o'clock: we have two hours To furnish us. [Enter LAUNCELOT, with a letter] Friend Launcelot, what's the news?
20624LAUNCELOTAn it shall please you to break up this, it shall seem to signify.
20724LORENZOI know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand; And whiter than the paper it writ on Is the fair hand that writ.
20824GRATIANOLove-news, in faith.
20924LAUNCELOTBy your leave, sir.
21024LORENZOWhither goest thou?
21124LAUNCELOTMarry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup to-night with my new master the Christian.
21224LORENZOHold here, take this: tell gentle Jessica I will not fail her; speak it privately. Go, gentlemen, [Exit Launcelot] Will you prepare you for this masque tonight? I am provided of a torch-bearer.
21324SALANIOAy, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
21424SALANIOAnd so will I.
21524LORENZOMeet me and Gratiano At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence.
21624SALARINO'Tis good we do so.
217(stage directions)24[Exeunt SALARINO and SALANIO]
21824GRATIANOWas not that letter from fair Jessica?
21924LORENZOI must needs tell thee all. She hath directed How I shall take her from her father's house, What gold and jewels she is furnish'd with, What page's suit she hath in readiness. If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven, It will be for his gentle daughter's sake: And never dare misfortune cross her foot, Unless she do it under this excuse, That she is issue to a faithless Jew. Come, go with me; peruse this as thou goest: Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer.
220(stage directions)24[Exeunt]
221(stage directions)25[Enter SHYLOCK and LAUNCELOT]
22225SHYLOCKWell, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge, The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:-- What, Jessica!--thou shalt not gormandise, As thou hast done with me:--What, Jessica!-- And sleep and snore, and rend apparel out;-- Why, Jessica, I say!
22325LAUNCELOTWhy, Jessica!
22425SHYLOCKWho bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.
22525LAUNCELOTYour worship was wont to tell me that I could do nothing without bidding.
226(stage directions)25[Enter Jessica]
22725JESSICACall you? what is your will?
22825SHYLOCKI am bid forth to supper, Jessica: There are my keys. But wherefore should I go? I am not bid for love; they flatter me: But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon The prodigal Christian. Jessica, my girl, Look to my house. I am right loath to go: There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest, For I did dream of money-bags to-night.
22925LAUNCELOTI beseech you, sir, go: my young master doth expect your reproach.
23025SHYLOCKSo do I his.
23125LAUNCELOTAn they have conspired together, I will not say you shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on Black-Monday last at six o'clock i' the morning, falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four year, in the afternoon.
23225SHYLOCKWhat, are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica: Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum And the vile squealing of the wry-neck'd fife, Clamber not you up to the casements then, Nor thrust your head into the public street To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces, But stop my house's ears, I mean my casements: Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter My sober house. By Jacob's staff, I swear, I have no mind of feasting forth to-night: But I will go. Go you before me, sirrah; Say I will come.
23325LAUNCELOTI will go before, sir. Mistress, look out at window, for all this, There will come a Christian boy, will be worth a Jewess' eye.
234(stage directions)25[Exit]
23525SHYLOCKWhat says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha?
23625JESSICAHis words were 'Farewell mistress;' nothing else.
23725SHYLOCKThe patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder; Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day More than the wild-cat: drones hive not with me; Therefore I part with him, and part with him To one that would have him help to waste His borrow'd purse. Well, Jessica, go in; Perhaps I will return immediately: Do as I bid you; shut doors after you: Fast bind, fast find; A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.
238(stage directions)25[Exit]
23925JESSICAFarewell; and if my fortune be not crost, I have a father, you a daughter, lost.
240(stage directions)25[Exit]
241(stage directions)26[Enter GRATIANO and SALARINO, masqued]
24226GRATIANOThis is the pent-house under which Lorenzo Desired us to make stand.
24326SALARINOHis hour is almost past.
24426GRATIANOAnd it is marvel he out-dwells his hour, For lovers ever run before the clock.
24526SALARINOO, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly To seal love's bonds new-made, than they are wont To keep obliged faith unforfeited!
24626GRATIANOThat ever holds: who riseth from a feast With that keen appetite that he sits down? Where 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 chased than enjoy'd. How like a younker or a prodigal The scarfed bark puts from her native bay, Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind! How like the prodigal doth she return, With over-weather'd ribs and ragged sails, Lean, rent and beggar'd by the strumpet wind!
24726SALARINOHere comes Lorenzo: more of this hereafter.
248(stage directions)26[Enter LORENZO]
24926LORENZOSweet friends, your patience for my long abode; Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait: When you shall please to play the thieves for wives, I'll watch as long for you then. Approach; Here dwells my father Jew. Ho! who's within?
250(stage directions)26[Enter JESSICA, above, in boy's clothes]
25126JESSICAWho are you? Tell me, for more certainty, Albeit I'll swear that I do know your tongue.
25226LORENZOLorenzo, and thy love.
25326JESSICALorenzo, certain, and my love indeed, For who love I so much? And now who knows But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
25426LORENZOHeaven and thy thoughts are witness that thou art.
25526JESSICAHere, catch this casket; it is worth the pains. I am glad 'tis night, you do not look on me, For I am much ashamed of my exchange: But love is blind and lovers cannot see The pretty follies that themselves commit; For if they could, Cupid himself would blush To see me thus transformed to a boy.
25626LORENZODescend, for you must be my torchbearer.
25726JESSICAWhat, must I hold a candle to my shames? They in themselves, good-sooth, are too too light. Why, 'tis an office of discovery, love; And I should be obscured.
25826LORENZOSo are you, sweet, Even in the lovely garnish of a boy. But come at once; For the close night doth play the runaway, And we are stay'd for at Bassanio's feast.
25926JESSICAI will make fast the doors, and gild myself With some more ducats, and be with you straight.
260(stage directions)26[Exit above]
26126GRATIANONow, by my hood, a Gentile and no Jew.
26226LORENZOBeshrew me but I love her heartily; For she is wise, if I can judge of her, And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true, And true she is, as she hath proved herself, And therefore, like herself, wise, fair and true, Shall she be placed in my constant soul. [Enter JESSICA, below] What, art thou come? On, gentlemen; away! Our masquing mates by this time for us stay.
263(stage directions)26[Exit with Jessica and Salarino]
264(stage directions)26[Enter ANTONIO]
26526ANTONIOWho's there?
26626GRATIANOSignior Antonio!
26726ANTONIOFie, fie, Gratiano! where are all the rest? 'Tis nine o'clock: our friends all stay for you. No masque to-night: the wind is come about; Bassanio presently will go aboard: I have sent twenty out to seek for you.
26826GRATIANOI am glad on't: I desire no more delight Than to be under sail and gone to-night.
269(stage directions)26[Exeunt] [Flourish of cornets. Enter PORTIA, with the] PRINCE OF MOROCCO, and their trains]
27027PORTIAGo draw aside the curtains and discover The several caskets to this noble prince. Now make your choice.
27127MOROCCOThe first, of gold, who this inscription bears, 'Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire;' The second, silver, which this promise carries, 'Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves;' This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt, 'Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.' How shall I know if I do choose the right?
27227PORTIAThe one of them contains my picture, prince: If you choose that, then I am yours withal.
27327MOROCCOSome god direct my judgment! Let me see; I will survey the inscriptions back again. What says this leaden casket? 'Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.' Must give: for what? for lead? hazard for lead? This casket threatens. Men that hazard all Do it in hope of fair advantages: A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross; I'll then nor give nor hazard aught for lead. What says the silver with her virgin hue? 'Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.' As much as he deserves! Pause there, Morocco, And weigh thy value with an even hand: If thou be'st rated by thy estimation, Thou dost deserve enough; and yet enough May not extend so far as to the lady: And yet to be afeard of my deserving Were but a weak disabling of myself. As much as I deserve! Why, that's the lady: I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes, In graces and in qualities of breeding; But more than these, in love I do deserve. What if I stray'd no further, but chose here? Let's see once more this saying graved in gold 'Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.' Why, that's the lady; all the world desires her; From the four corners of the earth they come, To kiss this shrine, this mortal-breathing saint: The Hyrcanian deserts and the vasty wilds Of wide Arabia are as thoroughfares now For princes to come view fair Portia: The watery kingdom, whose ambitious head Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar To stop the foreign spirits, but they come, As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia. One of these three contains her heavenly picture. Is't like that lead contains her? 'Twere damnation To think so base a thought: it were too gross To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave. Or shall I think in silver she's immured, Being ten times undervalued to tried gold? O sinful thought! Never so rich a gem Was set in worse than gold. They have in England A coin that bears the figure of an angel Stamped in gold, but that's insculp'd upon; But here an angel in a golden bed Lies all within. Deliver me the key: Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may!
27427PORTIAThere, take it, prince; and if my form lie there, Then I am yours.
275(stage directions)27[He unlocks the golden casket]
27627MOROCCOO hell! what have we here? A carrion Death, within whose empty eye There is a written scroll! I'll read the writing. [Reads] All that glitters is not gold; Often have you heard that told: Many a man his life hath sold But my outside to behold: Gilded tombs do worms enfold. Had you been as wise as bold, Young in limbs, in judgment old, Your answer had not been inscroll'd: Fare you well; your suit is cold. Cold, indeed; and labour lost: Then, farewell, heat, and welcome, frost! Portia, adieu. I have too grieved a heart To take a tedious leave: thus losers part.
277(stage directions)27[Exit with his train. Flourish of cornets]
27827PORTIAA gentle riddance. Draw the curtains, go. Let all of his complexion choose me so.
279(stage directions)27[Exeunt]
280(stage directions)28[Enter SALARINO and SALANIO]
28128SALARINOWhy, man, I saw Bassanio under sail: With him is Gratiano gone along; And in their ship I am sure Lorenzo is not.
28228SALANIOThe villain Jew with outcries raised the duke, Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship.
28328SALARINOHe came too late, the ship was under sail: But there the duke was given to understand That in a gondola were seen together Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica: Besides, Antonio certified the duke They were not with Bassanio in his ship.
28428SALANIOI never heard a passion so confused, So strange, outrageous, and so variable, As the dog Jew did utter in the streets: 'My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter! Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats! Justice! the law! my ducats, and my daughter! A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats, Of double ducats, stolen from me by my daughter! And jewels, two stones, two rich and precious stones, Stolen by my daughter! Justice! find the girl; She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats.'
28528SALARINOWhy, all the boys in Venice follow him, Crying, his stones, his daughter, and his ducats.
28628SALANIOLet good Antonio look he keep his day, Or he shall pay for this.
28728SALARINOMarry, well remember'd. I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday, Who told me, in the narrow seas that part The French and English, there miscarried A vessel of our country richly fraught: I thought upon Antonio when he told me; And wish'd in silence that it were not his.
28828SALANIOYou were best to tell Antonio what you hear; Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.
28928SALARINOA kinder gentleman treads not the earth. I saw Bassanio and Antonio part: Bassanio told him he would make some speed Of his return: he answer'd, 'Do not so; Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio But stay the very riping of the time; And for the Jew's bond which he hath of me, Let it not enter in your mind of love: Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts To courtship and such fair ostents of love As shall conveniently become you there:' And even there, his eye being big with tears, Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, And with affection wondrous sensible He wrung Bassanio's hand; and so they parted.
29028SALANIOI think he only loves the world for him. I pray thee, let us go and find him out And quicken his embraced heaviness With some delight or other.
29128SALARINODo we so.
292(stage directions)28[Exeunt]
293(stage directions)29[Enter NERISSA with a Servitor]
29429NERISSAQuick, quick, I pray thee; draw the curtain straight: The Prince of Arragon hath ta'en his oath, And comes to his election presently. [Flourish of cornets. Enter the PRINCE OF ARRAGON,] PORTIA, and their trains]
29529PORTIABehold, there stand the caskets, noble prince: If you choose that wherein I am contain'd, Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemnized: But if you fail, without more speech, my lord, You must be gone from hence immediately.
29629ARRAGONI am enjoin'd by oath to observe three things: First, never to unfold to any one Which casket 'twas I chose; next, if I fail Of the right casket, never in my life To woo a maid in way of marriage: Lastly, If I do fail in fortune of my choice, Immediately to leave you and be gone.
29729PORTIATo these injunctions every one doth swear That comes to hazard for my worthless self.
29829ARRAGONAnd so have I address'd me. Fortune now To my heart's hope! Gold; silver; and base lead. 'Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.' You shall look fairer, ere I give or hazard. What says the golden chest? ha! let me see: 'Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.' What many men desire! that 'many' may be meant By the fool multitude, that choose by show, Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach; Which pries not to the interior, but, like the martlet, Builds in the weather on the outward wall, Even in the force and road of casualty. I will not choose what many men desire, Because I will not jump with common spirits And rank me with the barbarous multitudes. Why, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house; Tell me once more what title thou dost bear: 'Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves:' And well said too; for who shall go about To cozen fortune and be honourable Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume To wear an undeserved dignity. O, that estates, degrees and offices Were not derived corruptly, and that clear honour Were purchased by the merit of the wearer! How many then should cover that stand bare! How many be commanded that command! How much low peasantry would then be glean'd From the true seed of honour! and how much honour Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times To be new-varnish'd! Well, but to my choice: 'Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.' I will assume desert. Give me a key for this, And instantly unlock my fortunes here.
299(stage directions)29[He opens the silver casket]
30029PORTIAToo long a pause for that which you find there.
30129ARRAGONWhat's here? the portrait of a blinking idiot, Presenting me a schedule! I will read it. How much unlike art thou to Portia! How much unlike my hopes and my deservings! 'Who chooseth me shall have as much as he deserves.' Did I deserve no more than a fool's head? Is that my prize? are my deserts no better?
30229PORTIATo offend, and judge, are distinct offices And of opposed natures.
30329ARRAGONWhat is here? [Reads] The fire seven times tried this: Seven times tried that judgment is, That did never choose amiss. Some there be that shadows kiss; Such have but a shadow's bliss: There be fools alive, I wis, Silver'd o'er; and so was this. Take what wife you will to bed, I will ever be your head: So be gone: you are sped. Still more fool I shall appear By the time I linger here With one fool's head I came to woo, But I go away with two. Sweet, adieu. I'll keep my oath, Patiently to bear my wroth.
304(stage directions)29[Exeunt Arragon and train]
30529PORTIAThus hath the candle singed the moth. O, these deliberate fools! when they do choose, They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.
30629NERISSAThe ancient saying is no heresy, Hanging and wiving goes by destiny.
30729PORTIACome, draw the curtain, Nerissa.
308(stage directions)29[Enter a Servant]
30929SERVANTWhere is my lady?
31029PORTIAHere: what would my lord?
31129SERVANTMadam, there is alighted at your gate A young Venetian, one that comes before To signify the approaching of his lord; From whom he bringeth sensible regreets, To wit, besides commends and courteous breath, Gifts of rich value. Yet I have not seen So likely an ambassador of love: A day in April never came so sweet, To show how costly summer was at hand, As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord.
31229PORTIANo more, I pray thee: I am half afeard Thou wilt say anon he is some kin to thee, Thou spend'st such high-day wit in praising him. Come, come, Nerissa; for I long to see Quick Cupid's post that comes so mannerly.
31329NERISSABassanio, lord Love, if thy will it be!
314(stage directions)29[Exeunt]
315(stage directions)31[Enter SALANIO and SALARINO]
31631SALANIONow, what news on the Rialto?
31731SALARINOWhy, yet it lives there uncheck'd that Antonio hath a ship of rich lading wrecked on the narrow seas; the Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very dangerous flat and fatal, where the carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip Report be an honest woman of her word.
31831SALANIOI would she were as lying a gossip in that as ever knapped ginger or made her neighbours believe she wept for the death of a third husband. But it is true, without any slips of prolixity or crossing the plain highway of talk, that the good Antonio, the honest Antonio,--O that I had a title good enough to keep his name company!--
31931SALARINOCome, the full stop.
32031SALANIOHa! what sayest thou? Why, the end is, he hath lost a ship.
32131SALARINOI would it might prove the end of his losses.
32231SALANIOLet me say 'amen' betimes, lest the devil cross my prayer, for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew. [Enter SHYLOCK] How now, Shylock! what news among the merchants?
32331SHYLOCKYou know, none so well, none so well as you, of my daughter's flight.
32431SALARINOThat's certain: I, for my part, knew the tailor that made the wings she flew withal.
32531SALANIOAnd Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was fledged; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam.
32631SHYLOCKShe is damned for it.
32731SALANIOThat's certain, if the devil may be her judge.
32831SHYLOCKMy own flesh and blood to rebel!
32931SALANIOOut upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these years?
33031SHYLOCKI say, my daughter is my flesh and blood.
33131SALARINOThere is more difference between thy flesh and hers than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods than there is between red wine and rhenish. But tell us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss at sea or no?
33231SHYLOCKThere I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto; a beggar, that was used to come so smug upon the mart; let him look to his bond: he was wont to call me usurer; let him look to his bond: he was wont to lend money for a Christian courtesy; let him look to his bond.
33331SALARINOWhy, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his flesh: what's that good for?
33431SHYLOCKTo bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
335(stage directions)31[Enter a Servant]
33631SERVANTGentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house and desires to speak with you both.
33731SALARINOWe have been up and down to seek him.
338(stage directions)31[Enter TUBAL]
33931SALANIOHere comes another of the tribe: a third cannot be matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew.
340(stage directions)31[Exeunt SALANIO, SALARINO, and Servant]
34131SHYLOCKHow now, Tubal! what news from Genoa? hast thou found my daughter?
34231TUBALI often came where I did hear of her, but cannot find her.
34331SHYLOCKWhy, there, there, there, there! a diamond gone, cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfort! The curse never fell upon our nation till now; I never felt it till now: two thousand ducats in that; and other precious, precious jewels. I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear! would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin! No news of them? Why, so: and I know not what's spent in the search: why, thou loss upon loss! the thief gone with so much, and so much to find the thief; and no satisfaction, no revenge: nor no in luck stirring but what lights on my shoulders; no sighs but of my breathing; no tears but of my shedding.
34431TUBALYes, other men have ill luck too: Antonio, as I heard in Genoa,--
34531SHYLOCKWhat, what, what? ill luck, ill luck?
34631TUBALHath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis.
34731SHYLOCKI thank God, I thank God. Is't true, is't true?
34831TUBALI spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the wreck.
34931SHYLOCKI thank thee, good Tubal: good news, good news! ha, ha! where? in Genoa?
35031TUBALYour daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, in one night fourscore ducats.
35131SHYLOCKThou stickest a dagger in me: I shall never see my gold again: fourscore ducats at a sitting! fourscore ducats!
35231TUBALThere came divers of Antonio's creditors in my company to Venice, that swear he cannot choose but break.
35331SHYLOCKI am very glad of it: I'll plague him; I'll torture him: I am glad of it.
35431TUBALOne of them showed me a ring that he had of your daughter for a monkey.
35531SHYLOCKOut upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal: it was my turquoise; I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor: I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys.
35631TUBALBut Antonio is certainly undone.
35731SHYLOCKNay, that's true, that's very true. Go, Tubal, fee me an officer; bespeak him a fortnight before. I will have the heart of him, if he forfeit; for, were he out of Venice, I can make what merchandise I will. Go, go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our synagogue, Tubal.
358(stage directions)31[Exeunt] [Enter BASSANIO, PORTIA, GRATIANO, NERISSA, and] Attendants]
35932PORTIAI pray you, tarry: pause a day or two Before you hazard; for, in choosing wrong, I lose your company: therefore forbear awhile. There's something tells me, but it is not love, I would not lose you; and you know yourself, Hate counsels not in such a quality. But lest you should not understand me well,-- And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought,-- I would detain you here some month or two Before you venture for me. I could teach you How to choose right, but I am then forsworn; So will I never be: so may you miss me; But if you do, you'll make me wish a sin, That I had been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes, They have o'erlook'd me and divided me; One half of me is yours, the other half yours, Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours, And so all yours. O, these naughty times Put bars between the owners and their rights! And so, though yours, not yours. Prove it so, Let fortune go to hell for it, not I. I speak too long; but 'tis to peize the time, To eke it and to draw it out in length, To stay you from election.
36032BASSANIOLet me choose For as I am, I live upon the rack.
36132PORTIAUpon the rack, Bassanio! then confess What treason there is mingled with your love.
36232BASSANIONone but that ugly treason of mistrust, Which makes me fear the enjoying of my love: There may as well be amity and life 'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love.
36332PORTIAAy, but I fear you speak upon the rack, Where men enforced do speak anything.
36432BASSANIOPromise me life, and I'll confess the truth.
36532PORTIAWell then, confess and live.
36632BASSANIO'Confess' and 'love' Had been the very sum of my confession: O happy torment, when my torturer Doth teach me answers for deliverance! But let me to my fortune and the caskets.
36732PORTIAAway, then! I am lock'd in one of them: If you do love me, you will find me out. Nerissa and the rest, stand all aloof. Let music sound while he doth make his choice; Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end, Fading in music: that the comparison May stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream And watery death-bed for him. He may win; And what is music then? Then music is Even as the flourish when true subjects bow To a new-crowned monarch: such it is As are those dulcet sounds in break of day That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear, And summon him to marriage. Now he goes, With no less presence, but with much more love, Than young Alcides, when he did redeem The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy To the sea-monster: I stand for sacrifice The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives, With bleared visages, come forth to view The issue of the exploit. Go, Hercules! Live thou, I live: with much, much more dismay I view the fight than thou that makest the fray. [Music, whilst BASSANIO comments on the caskets to himself] SONG. Tell me where is fancy bred, Or in the heart, or in the head? How begot, how nourished? Reply, reply. It is engender'd in the eyes, With gazing fed; and fancy dies In the cradle where it lies. Let us all ring fancy's knell I'll begin it,--Ding, dong, bell.
36832ALLDing, dong, bell.
36932BASSANIOSo may the outward shows be least themselves: The world is still deceived with ornament. In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt, But, being seasoned with a gracious voice, Obscures the show of evil? In religion, What damned error, but some sober brow Will bless it and approve it with a text, Hiding the grossness with fair ornament? There is no vice so simple but assumes Some mark of virtue on his outward parts: How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars; Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk; And these assume but valour's excrement To render them redoubted! Look on beauty, And you shall see 'tis purchased by the weight; Which therein works a miracle in nature, Making them lightest that wear most of it: So are those crisped snaky golden locks Which make such wanton gambols with the wind, Upon supposed fairness, often known To be the dowry of a second head, The skull that bred them in the sepulchre. Thus ornament is but the guiled shore To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word, The seeming truth which cunning times put on To entrap the wisest. Therefore, thou gaudy gold, Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee; Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge 'Tween man and man: but thou, thou meagre lead, Which rather threatenest than dost promise aught, Thy paleness moves me more than eloquence; And here choose I; joy be the consequence!
37032PORTIA[Aside] How all the other passions fleet to air, As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair, And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love, Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy, In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess. I feel too much thy blessing: make it less, For fear I surfeit.
37132BASSANIOWhat find I here? [Opening the leaden casket] Fair Portia's counterfeit! What demi-god Hath come so near creation? Move these eyes? Or whether, riding on the balls of mine, Seem they in motion? Here are sever'd lips, Parted with sugar breath: so sweet a bar Should sunder such sweet friends. Here in her hairs The painter plays the spider and hath woven A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men, Faster than gnats in cobwebs; but her eyes,-- How could he see to do them? having made one, Methinks it should have power to steal both his And leave itself unfurnish'd. Yet look, how far The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow In underprizing it, so far this shadow Doth limp behind the substance. Here's the scroll, The continent and summary of my fortune. [Reads] You that choose not by the view, Chance as fair and choose as true! Since this fortune falls to you, Be content and seek no new, If you be well pleased with this And hold your fortune for your bliss, Turn you where your lady is And claim her with a loving kiss. A gentle scroll. Fair lady, by your leave; I come by note, to give and to receive. Like one of two contending in a prize, That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes, Hearing applause and universal shout, Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt Whether these pearls of praise be his or no; So, thrice fair lady, stand I, even so; As doubtful whether what I see be true, Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you.
37232PORTIAYou see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand, Such as I am: though for myself alone I would not be ambitious in my wish, To wish myself much better; yet, for you I would be trebled twenty times myself; A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich; That only to stand high in your account, I might in virtue, beauties, livings, friends, Exceed account; but the full sum of me Is sum of something, which, to term in gross, Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractised; Happy in this, she is not yet so old But she may learn; happier than this, She is not bred so dull but she can learn; Happiest of all is that her gentle spirit Commits itself to yours to be directed, As from her lord, her governor, her king. Myself and what is mine to you and yours Is now converted: but now I was the lord Of this fair mansion, master of my servants, Queen o'er myself: and even now, but now, This house, these servants and this same myself Are yours, my lord: I give them with this ring; Which when you part from, lose, or give away, Let it presage the ruin of your love And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
37332BASSANIOMadam, you have bereft me of all words, Only my blood speaks to you in my veins; And there is such confusion in my powers, As after some oration fairly spoke By a beloved prince, there doth appear Among the buzzing pleased multitude; Where every something, being blent together, Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy, Express'd and not express'd. But when this ring Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence: O, then be bold to say Bassanio's dead!
37432NERISSAMy lord and lady, it is now our time, That have stood by and seen our wishes prosper, To cry, good joy: good joy, my lord and lady!
37532GRATIANOMy lord Bassanio and my gentle lady, I wish you all the joy that you can wish; For I am sure you can wish none from me: And when your honours mean to solemnize The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you, Even at that time I may be married too.
37632BASSANIOWith all my heart, so thou canst get a wife.
37732GRATIANOI thank your lordship, you have got me one. My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours: You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid; You loved, I loved for intermission. No more pertains to me, my lord, than you. Your fortune stood upon the casket there, And so did mine too, as the matter falls; For wooing here until I sweat again, And sweating until my very roof was dry With oaths of love, at last, if promise last, I got a promise of this fair one here To have her love, provided that your fortune Achieved her mistress.
37832PORTIAIs this true, Nerissa?
37932NERISSAMadam, it is, so you stand pleased withal.
38032BASSANIOAnd do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
38132GRATIANOYes, faith, my lord.
38232BASSANIOOur feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage.
38332GRATIANOWe'll play with them the first boy for a thousand ducats.
38432NERISSAWhat, and stake down?
38532GRATIANONo; we shall ne'er win at that sport, and stake down. But who comes here? Lorenzo and his infidel? What, and my old Venetian friend Salerio? [Enter LORENZO, JESSICA, and SALERIO, a Messenger] from Venice]
38632BASSANIOLorenzo and Salerio, welcome hither; If that the youth of my new interest here Have power to bid you welcome. By your leave, I bid my very friends and countrymen, Sweet Portia, welcome.
38732PORTIASo do I, my lord: They are entirely welcome.
38832LORENZOI thank your honour. For my part, my lord, My purpose was not to have seen you here; But meeting with Salerio by the way, He did entreat me, past all saying nay, To come with him along.
38932SALERIOI did, my lord; And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio Commends him to you.
390(stage directions)32[Gives Bassanio a letter]
39132BASSANIOEre I ope his letter, I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.
39232SALERIONot sick, my lord, unless it be in mind; Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there Will show you his estate.
39332GRATIANONerissa, cheer yon stranger; bid her welcome. Your hand, Salerio: what's the news from Venice? How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio? I know he will be glad of our success; We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece.
39432SALERIOI would you had won the fleece that he hath lost.
39532PORTIAThere are some shrewd contents in yon same paper, That steals the colour from Bassanio's cheek: Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world Could turn so much the constitution Of any constant man. What, worse and worse! With leave, Bassanio: I am half yourself, And I must freely have the half of anything That this same paper brings you.
39632BASSANIOO sweet Portia, Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady, When I did first impart my love to you, I freely told you, all the wealth I had Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman; And then I told you true: and yet, dear lady, Rating myself at nothing, you shall see How much I was a braggart. When I told you My state was nothing, I should then have told you That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed, I have engaged myself to a dear friend, Engaged my friend to his mere enemy, To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady; The paper as the body of my friend, And every word in it a gaping wound, Issuing life-blood. But is it true, Salerio? Have all his ventures fail'd? What, not one hit? From Tripolis, from Mexico and England, From Lisbon, Barbary and India? And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch Of merchant-marring rocks?
39732SALERIONot one, my lord. Besides, it should appear, that if he had The present money to discharge the Jew, He would not take it. Never did I know A creature, that did bear the shape of man, So keen and greedy to confound a man: He plies the duke at morning and at night, And doth impeach the freedom of the state, If they deny him justice: twenty merchants, The duke himself, and the magnificoes Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him; But none can drive him from the envious plea Of forfeiture, of justice and his bond.
39832JESSICAWhen I was with him I have heard him swear To Tubal and to Chus, his countrymen, That he would rather have Antonio's flesh Than twenty times the value of the sum That he did owe him: and I know, my lord, If law, authority and power deny not, It will go hard with poor Antonio.
39932PORTIAIs it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?
40032BASSANIOThe dearest friend to me, the kindest man, The best-condition'd and unwearied spirit In doing courtesies, and one in whom The ancient Roman honour more appears Than any that draws breath in Italy.
40132PORTIAWhat sum owes he the Jew?
40232BASSANIOFor me three thousand ducats.
40332PORTIAWhat, no more? Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond; Double six thousand, and then treble that, Before a friend of this description Shall lose a hair through Bassanio's fault. First go with me to church and call me wife, And then away to Venice to your friend; For never shall you lie by Portia's side With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold To pay the petty debt twenty times over: When it is paid, bring your true friend along. My maid Nerissa and myself meantime Will live as maids and widows. Come, away! For you shall hence upon your wedding-day: Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer: Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear. But let me hear the letter of your friend.
40432BASSANIO[Reads] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and I, if I might but see you at my death. Notwithstanding, use your pleasure: if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.
40532PORTIAO love, dispatch all business, and be gone!
40632BASSANIOSince I have your good leave to go away, I will make haste: but, till I come again, No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay, No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain.
407(stage directions)32[Exeunt]
408(stage directions)33[Enter SHYLOCK, SALARINO, ANTONIO, and Gaoler]
40933SHYLOCKGaoler, look to him: tell not me of mercy; This is the fool that lent out money gratis: Gaoler, look to him.
41033ANTONIOHear me yet, good Shylock.
41133SHYLOCKI'll have my bond; speak not against my bond: I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond. Thou call'dst me dog before thou hadst a cause; But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs: The duke shall grant me justice. I do wonder, Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond To come abroad with him at his request.
41233ANTONIOI pray thee, hear me speak.
41333SHYLOCKI'll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak: I'll have my bond; and therefore speak no more. I'll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool, To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield To Christian intercessors. Follow not; I'll have no speaking: I will have my bond.
414(stage directions)33[Exit]
41533SALARINOIt is the most impenetrable cur That ever kept with men.
41633ANTONIOLet him alone: I'll follow him no more with bootless prayers. He seeks my life; his reason well I know: I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures Many that have at times made moan to me; Therefore he hates me.
41733SALARINOI am sure the duke Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.
41833ANTONIOThe duke cannot deny the course of law: For the commodity that strangers have With us in Venice, if it be denied, Will much impeach the justice of his state; Since that the trade and profit of the city Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go: These griefs and losses have so bated me, That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh To-morrow to my bloody creditor. Well, gaoler, on. Pray God, Bassanio come To see me pay his debt, and then I care not!
419(stage directions)33[Exeunt]
420(stage directions)34[Enter PORTIA, NERISSA, LORENZO, JESSICA, and BALTHASAR]
42134LORENZOMadam, although I speak it in your presence, You have a noble and a true conceit Of godlike amity; which appears most strongly In bearing thus the absence of your lord. But if you knew to whom you show this honour, How true a gentleman you send relief, How dear a lover of my lord your husband, I know you would be prouder of the work Than customary bounty can enforce you.
42234PORTIAI never did repent for doing good, Nor shall not now: for in companions That do converse and waste the time together, Whose souls do bear an equal yoke Of love, There must be needs a like proportion Of lineaments, of manners and of spirit; Which makes me think that this Antonio, Being the bosom lover of my lord, Must needs be like my lord. If it be so, How little is the cost I have bestow'd In purchasing the semblance of my soul From out the state of hellish misery! This comes too near the praising of myself; Therefore no more of it: hear other things. Lorenzo, I commit into your hands The husbandry and manage of my house Until my lord's return: for mine own part, I have toward heaven breathed a secret vow To live in prayer and contemplation, Only attended by Nerissa here, Until her husband and my lord's return: There is a monastery two miles off; And there will we abide. I do desire you Not to deny this imposition; The which my love and some necessity Now lays upon you.
42334LORENZOMadam, with all my heart; I shall obey you in all fair commands.
42434PORTIAMy people do already know my mind, And will acknowledge you and Jessica In place of Lord Bassanio and myself. And so farewell, till we shall meet again.
42534LORENZOFair thoughts and happy hours attend on you!
42634JESSICAI wish your ladyship all heart's content.
42734PORTIAI thank you for your wish, and am well pleased To wish it back on you: fare you well Jessica. [Exeunt JESSICA and LORENZO] Now, Balthasar, As I have ever found thee honest-true, So let me find thee still. Take this same letter, And use thou all the endeavour of a man In speed to Padua: see thou render this Into my cousin's hand, Doctor Bellario; And, look, what notes and garments he doth give thee, Bring them, I pray thee, with imagined speed Unto the tranect, to the common ferry Which trades to Venice. Waste no time in words, But get thee gone: I shall be there before thee.
42834BALTHASARMadam, I go with all convenient speed.
429(stage directions)34[Exit]
43034PORTIACome on, Nerissa; I have work in hand That you yet know not of: we'll see our husbands Before they think of us.
43134NERISSAShall they see us?
43234PORTIAThey shall, Nerissa; but in such a habit, That they shall think we are accomplished With that we lack. I'll hold thee any wager, When we are both accoutred like young men, I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two, And wear my dagger with the braver grace, And speak between the change of man and boy With a reed voice, and turn two mincing steps Into a manly stride, and speak of frays Like a fine bragging youth, and tell quaint lies, How honourable ladies sought my love, Which I denying, they fell sick and died; I could not do withal; then I'll repent, And wish for all that, that I had not killed them; And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell, That men shall swear I have discontinued school Above a twelvemonth. I have within my mind A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks, Which I will practise.
43334NERISSAWhy, shall we turn to men?
43434PORTIAFie, what a question's that, If thou wert near a lewd interpreter! But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device When I am in my coach, which stays for us At the park gate; and therefore haste away, For we must measure twenty miles to-day.
435(stage directions)34[Exeunt]
436(stage directions)35[Enter LAUNCELOT and JESSICA]
43735LAUNCELOTYes, truly; for, look you, the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children: therefore, I promise ye, I fear you. I was always plain with you, and so now I speak my agitation of the matter: therefore be of good cheer, for truly I think you are damned. There is but one hope in it that can do you any good; and that is but a kind of bastard hope neither.
43835JESSICAAnd what hope is that, I pray thee?
43935LAUNCELOTMarry, you may partly hope that your father got you not, that you are not the Jew's daughter.
44035JESSICAThat were a kind of bastard hope, indeed: so the sins of my mother should be visited upon me.
44135LAUNCELOTTruly then I fear you are damned both by father and mother: thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother: well, you are gone both ways.
44235JESSICAI shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a Christian.
44335LAUNCELOTTruly, the more to blame he: we were Christians enow before; e'en as many as could well live, one by another. This making Christians will raise the price of hogs: if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money.
444(stage directions)35[Enter LORENZO]
44535JESSICAI'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say: here he comes.
44635LORENZOI shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, if you thus get my wife into corners.
44735JESSICANay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo: Launcelot and I are out. He tells me flatly, there is no mercy for me in heaven, because I am a Jew's daughter: and he says, you are no good member of the commonwealth, for in converting Jews to Christians, you raise the price of pork.
44835LORENZOI shall answer that better to the commonwealth than you can the getting up of the negro's belly: the Moor is with child by you, Launcelot.
44935LAUNCELOTIt is much that the Moor should be more than reason: but if she be less than an honest woman, she is indeed more than I took her for.
45035LORENZOHow every fool can play upon the word! I think the best grace of wit will shortly turn into silence, and discourse grow commendable in none only but parrots. Go in, sirrah; bid them prepare for dinner.
45135LAUNCELOTThat is done, sir; they have all stomachs.
45235LORENZOGoodly Lord, what a wit-snapper are you! then bid them prepare dinner.
45335LAUNCELOTThat is done too, sir; only 'cover' is the word.
45435LORENZOWill you cover then, sir?
45535LAUNCELOTNot so, sir, neither; I know my duty.
45635LORENZOYet more quarrelling with occasion! Wilt thou show the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant? I pray tree, understand a plain man in his plain meaning: go to thy fellows; bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.
45735LAUNCELOTFor the table, sir, it shall be served in; for the meat, sir, it shall be covered; for your coming in to dinner, sir, why, let it be as humours and conceits shall govern.
458(stage directions)35[Exit]
45935LORENZOO dear discretion, how his words are suited! The fool hath planted in his memory An army of good words; and I do know A many fools, that stand in better place, Garnish'd like him, that for a tricksy word Defy the matter. How cheerest thou, Jessica? And now, good sweet, say thy opinion, How dost thou like the Lord Bassanio's wife?
46035JESSICAPast all expressing. It is very meet The Lord Bassanio live an upright life; For, having such a blessing in his lady, He finds the joys of heaven here on earth; And if on earth he do not mean it, then In reason he should never come to heaven Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match And on the wager lay two earthly women, And Portia one, there must be something else Pawn'd with the other, for the poor rude world Hath not her fellow.
46135LORENZOEven such a husband Hast thou of me as she is for a wife.
46235JESSICANay, but ask my opinion too of that.
46335LORENZOI will anon: first, let us go to dinner.
46435JESSICANay, let me praise you while I have a stomach.
46535LORENZONo, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk; I shall digest it.
46635JESSICAWell, I'll set you forth.
467(stage directions)35[Exeunt] [Enter the DUKE, the Magnificoes, ANTONIO, BASSANIO,] GRATIANO, SALERIO, and others]
46841DUKEWhat, is Antonio here?
46941ANTONIOReady, so please your grace.
47041DUKEI am sorry for thee: thou art come to answer A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch uncapable of pity, void and empty From any dram of mercy.
47141ANTONIOI have heard Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate And that no lawful means can carry me Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose My patience to his fury, and am arm'd To suffer, with a quietness of spirit, The very tyranny and rage of his.
47241DUKEGo one, and call the Jew into the court.
47341SALERIOHe is ready at the door: he comes, my lord.
474(stage directions)41[Enter SHYLOCK]
47541DUKEMake room, and let him stand before our face. Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too, That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice To the last hour of act; and then 'tis thought Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse more strange Than is thy strange apparent cruelty; And where thou now exact'st the penalty, Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh, Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture, But, touch'd with human gentleness and love, Forgive a moiety of the principal; Glancing an eye of pity on his losses, That have of late so huddled on his back, Enow to press a royal merchant down And pluck commiseration of his state From brassy bosoms and rough hearts of flint, From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never train'd To offices of tender courtesy. We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.
47641SHYLOCKI have possess'd your grace of what I purpose; And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn To have the due and forfeit of my bond: If you deny it, let the danger light Upon your charter and your city's freedom. You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have A weight of carrion flesh than to receive Three thousand ducats: I'll not answer that: But, say, it is my humour: is it answer'd? What if my house be troubled with a rat And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats To have it baned? What, are you answer'd yet? Some men there are love not a gaping pig; Some, that are mad if they behold a cat; And others, when the bagpipe sings i' the nose, Cannot contain their urine: for affection, Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood Of what it likes or loathes. Now, for your answer: As there is no firm reason to be render'd, Why he cannot abide a gaping pig; Why he, a harmless necessary cat; Why he, a woollen bagpipe; but of force Must yield to such inevitable shame As to offend, himself being offended; So can I give no reason, nor I will not, More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing I bear Antonio, that I follow thus A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd?
47741BASSANIOThis is no answer, thou unfeeling man, To excuse the current of thy cruelty.
47841SHYLOCKI am not bound to please thee with my answers.
47941BASSANIODo all men kill the things they do not love?
48041SHYLOCKHates any man the thing he would not kill?
48141BASSANIOEvery offence is not a hate at first.
48241SHYLOCKWhat, wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice?
48341ANTONIOI pray you, think you question with the Jew: You may as well go stand upon the beach And bid the main flood bate his usual height; You may as well use question with the wolf Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb; You may as well forbid the mountain pines To wag their high tops and to make no noise, When they are fretten with the gusts of heaven; You may as well do anything most hard, As seek to soften that--than which what's harder?-- His Jewish heart: therefore, I do beseech you, Make no more offers, use no farther means, But with all brief and plain conveniency Let me have judgment and the Jew his will.
48441BASSANIOFor thy three thousand ducats here is six.
48541SHYLOCKWhat judgment shall I dread, doing Were in six parts and every part a ducat, I would not draw them; I would have my bond.
48641DUKEHow shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none?
48741SHYLOCKWhat judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong? You have among you many a purchased slave, Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules, You use in abject and in slavish parts, Because you bought them: shall I say to you, Let them be free, marry them to your heirs? Why sweat they under burthens? let their beds Be made as soft as yours and let their palates Be season'd with such viands? You will answer 'The slaves are ours:' so do I answer you: The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, Is dearly bought; 'tis mine and I will have it. If you deny me, fie upon your law! There is no force in the decrees of Venice. I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it?
48841DUKEUpon my power I may dismiss this court, Unless Bellario, a learned doctor, Whom I have sent for to determine this, Come here to-day.
48941SALERIOMy lord, here stays without A messenger with letters from the doctor, New come from Padua.
49041DUKEBring us the letter; call the messenger.
49141BASSANIOGood cheer, Antonio! What, man, courage yet! The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones and all, Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.
49241ANTONIOI am a tainted wether of the flock, Meetest for death: the weakest kind of fruit Drops earliest to the ground; and so let me You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio, Than to live still and write mine epitaph.
493(stage directions)41[Enter NERISSA, dressed like a lawyer's clerk]
49441DUKECame you from Padua, from Bellario?
49541NERISSAFrom both, my lord. Bellario greets your grace.
496(stage directions)41[Presenting a letter]
49741BASSANIOWhy dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?
49841SHYLOCKTo cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt there.
49941GRATIANONot on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew, Thou makest thy knife keen; but no metal can, No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?
50041SHYLOCKNo, none that thou hast wit enough to make.
50141GRATIANOO, be thou damn'd, inexecrable dog! And for thy life let justice be accused. Thou almost makest me waver in my faith To hold opinion with Pythagoras, That souls of animals infuse themselves Into the trunks of men: thy currish spirit Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter, Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam, Infused itself in thee; for thy desires Are wolvish, bloody, starved and ravenous.
50241SHYLOCKTill thou canst rail the seal from off my bond, Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud: Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall To cureless ruin. I stand here for law.
50341DUKEThis letter from Bellario doth commend A young and learned doctor to our court. Where is he?
50441NERISSAHe attendeth here hard by, To know your answer, whether you'll admit him.
50541DUKEWith all my heart. Some three or four of you Go give him courteous conduct to this place. Meantime the court shall hear Bellario's letter.
50641CLERK[Reads] Your grace shall understand that at the receipt of your letter I am very sick: but in the instant that your messenger came, in loving visitation was with me a young doctor of Rome; his name is Balthasar. I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant: we turned o'er many books together: he is furnished with my opinion; which, bettered with his own learning, the greatness whereof I cannot enough commend, comes with him, at my importunity, to fill up your grace's request in my stead. I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation; for I never knew so young a body with so old a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.
50741DUKEYou hear the learn'd Bellario, what he writes: And here, I take it, is the doctor come. [Enter PORTIA, dressed like a doctor of laws] Give me your hand. Come you from old Bellario?
50841PORTIAI did, my lord.
50941DUKEYou are welcome: take your place. Are you acquainted with the difference That holds this present question in the court?
51041PORTIAI am informed thoroughly of the cause. Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?
51141DUKEAntonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
51241PORTIAIs your name Shylock?
51341SHYLOCKShylock is my name.
51441PORTIAOf a strange nature is the suit you follow; Yet in such rule that the Venetian law Cannot impugn you as you do proceed. You stand within his danger, do you not?
51541ANTONIOAy, so he says.
51641PORTIADo you confess the bond?
51741ANTONIOI do.
51841PORTIAThen must the Jew be merciful.
51941SHYLOCKOn what compulsion must I? tell me that.
52041PORTIAThe quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown; His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptred sway; It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself; And earthly power doth then show likest God's When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this, That, in the course of justice, none of us Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy; And that same prayer doth teach us all to render The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much To mitigate the justice of thy plea; Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
52141SHYLOCKMy deeds upon my head! I crave the law, The penalty and forfeit of my bond.
52241PORTIAIs he not able to discharge the money?
52341BASSANIOYes, here I tender it for him in the court; Yea, twice the sum: if that will not suffice, I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er, On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart: If this will not suffice, it must appear That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you, Wrest once the law to your authority: To do a great right, do a little wrong, And curb this cruel devil of his will.
52441PORTIAIt must not be; there is no power in Venice Can alter a decree established: 'Twill be recorded for a precedent, And many an error by the same example Will rush into the state: it cannot be.
52541SHYLOCKA Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel! O wise young judge, how I do honour thee!
52641PORTIAI pray you, let me look upon the bond.
52741SHYLOCKHere 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
52841PORTIAShylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee.
52941SHYLOCKAn oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven: Shall I lay perjury upon my soul? No, not for Venice.
53041PORTIAWhy, this bond is forfeit; And lawfully by this the Jew may claim A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off Nearest the merchant's heart. Be merciful: Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.
53141SHYLOCKWhen it is paid according to the tenor. It doth appear you are a worthy judge; You know the law, your exposition Hath been most sound: I charge you by the law, Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar, Proceed to judgment: by my soul I swear There is no power in the tongue of man To alter me: I stay here on my bond.
53241ANTONIOMost heartily I do beseech the court To give the judgment.
53341PORTIAWhy then, thus it is: You must prepare your bosom for his knife.
53441SHYLOCKO noble judge! O excellent young man!
53541PORTIAFor the intent and purpose of the law Hath full relation to the penalty, Which here appeareth due upon the bond.
53641SHYLOCK'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge! How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
53741PORTIATherefore lay bare your bosom.
53841SHYLOCKAy, his breast: So says the bond: doth it not, noble judge? 'Nearest his heart:' those are the very words.
53941PORTIAIt is so. Are there balance here to weigh The flesh?
54041SHYLOCKI have them ready.
54141PORTIAHave by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge, To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death.
54241SHYLOCKIs it so nominated in the bond?
54341PORTIAIt is not so express'd: but what of that? 'Twere good you do so much for charity.
54441SHYLOCKI cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
54541PORTIAYou, merchant, have you any thing to say?
54641ANTONIOBut little: I am arm'd and well prepared. Give me your hand, Bassanio: fare you well! Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you; For herein Fortune shows herself more kind Than is her custom: it is still her use To let the wretched man outlive his wealth, To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow An age of poverty; from which lingering penance Of such misery doth she cut me off. Commend me to your honourable wife: Tell her the process of Antonio's end; Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death; And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge Whether Bassanio had not once a love. Repent but you that you shall lose your friend, And he repents not that he pays your debt; For if the Jew do cut but deep enough, I'll pay it presently with all my heart.
54741BASSANIOAntonio, I am married to a wife Which is as dear to me as life itself; But life itself, my wife, and all the world, Are not with me esteem'd above thy life: I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all Here to this devil, to deliver you.
54841PORTIAYour wife would give you little thanks for that, If she were by, to hear you make the offer.
54941GRATIANOI have a wife, whom, I protest, I love: I would she were in heaven, so she could Entreat some power to change this currish Jew.
55041NERISSA'Tis well you offer it behind her back; The wish would make else an unquiet house.
55141SHYLOCKThese be the Christian husbands. I have a daughter; Would any of the stock of Barrabas Had been her husband rather than a Christian! [Aside] We trifle time: I pray thee, pursue sentence.
55241PORTIAA pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine: The court awards it, and the law doth give it.
55341SHYLOCKMost rightful judge!
55441PORTIAAnd you must cut this flesh from off his breast: The law allows it, and the court awards it.
55541SHYLOCKMost learned judge! A sentence! Come, prepare!
55641PORTIATarry a little; there is something else. This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; The words expressly are 'a pound of flesh:' Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh; But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate Unto the state of Venice.
55741GRATIANOO upright judge! Mark, Jew: O learned judge!
55841SHYLOCKIs that the law?
55941PORTIAThyself shalt see the act: For, as thou urgest justice, be assured Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest.
56041GRATIANOO learned judge! Mark, Jew: a learned judge!
56141SHYLOCKI take this offer, then; pay the bond thrice And let the Christian go.
56241BASSANIOHere is the money.
56341PORTIASoft! The Jew shall have all justice; soft! no haste: He shall have nothing but the penalty.
56441GRATIANOO Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge!
56541PORTIATherefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh. Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou less nor more But just a pound of flesh: if thou cut'st more Or less than a just pound, be it but so much As makes it light or heavy in the substance, Or the division of the twentieth part Of one poor scruple, nay, if the scale do turn But in the estimation of a hair, Thou diest and all thy goods are confiscate.
56641GRATIANOA second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew! Now, infidel, I have you on the hip.
56741PORTIAWhy doth the Jew pause? take thy forfeiture.
56841SHYLOCKGive me my principal, and let me go.
56941BASSANIOI have it ready for thee; here it is.
57041PORTIAHe hath refused it in the open court: He shall have merely justice and his bond.
57141GRATIANOA Daniel, still say I, a second Daniel! I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.
57241SHYLOCKShall I not have barely my principal?
57341PORTIAThou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture, To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.
57441SHYLOCKWhy, then the devil give him good of it! I'll stay no longer question.
57541PORTIATarry, Jew: The law hath yet another hold on you. It is enacted in the laws of Venice, If it be proved against an alien That by direct or indirect attempts He seek the life of any citizen, The party 'gainst the which he doth contrive Shall seize one half his goods; the other half Comes to the privy coffer of the state; And the offender's life lies in the mercy Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice. In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st; For it appears, by manifest proceeding, That indirectly and directly too Thou hast contrived against the very life Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd The danger formerly by me rehearsed. Down therefore and beg mercy of the duke.
57641GRATIANOBeg that thou mayst have leave to hang thyself: And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state, Thou hast not left the value of a cord; Therefore thou must be hang'd at the state's charge.
57741DUKEThat thou shalt see the difference of our spirits, I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it: For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's; The other half comes to the general state, Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.
57841PORTIAAy, for the state, not for Antonio.
57941SHYLOCKNay, take my life and all; pardon not that: You take my house when you do take the prop That doth sustain my house; you take my life When you do take the means whereby I live.
58041PORTIAWhat mercy can you render him, Antonio?
58141GRATIANOA halter gratis; nothing else, for God's sake.
58241ANTONIOSo please my lord the duke and all the court To quit the fine for one half of his goods, I am content; so he will let me have The other half in use, to render it, Upon his death, unto the gentleman That lately stole his daughter: Two things provided more, that, for this favour, He presently become a Christian; The other, that he do record a gift, Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd, Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.
58341DUKEHe shall do this, or else I do recant The pardon that I late pronounced here.
58441PORTIAArt thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say?
58541SHYLOCKI am content.
58641PORTIAClerk, draw a deed of gift.
58741SHYLOCKI pray you, give me leave to go from hence; I am not well: send the deed after me, And I will sign it.
58841DUKEGet thee gone, but do it.
58941GRATIANOIn christening shalt thou have two god-fathers: Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more, To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.
590(stage directions)41[Exit SHYLOCK]
59141DUKESir, I entreat you home with me to dinner.
59241PORTIAI humbly do desire your grace of pardon: I must away this night toward Padua, And it is meet I presently set forth.
59341DUKEI am sorry that your leisure serves you not. Antonio, gratify this gentleman, For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.
594(stage directions)41[Exeunt Duke and his train]
59541BASSANIOMost worthy gentleman, I and my friend Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted Of grievous penalties; in lieu whereof, Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew, We freely cope your courteous pains withal.
59641ANTONIOAnd stand indebted, over and above, In love and service to you evermore.
59741PORTIAHe is well paid that is well satisfied; And I, delivering you, am satisfied And therein do account myself well paid: My mind was never yet more mercenary. I pray you, know me when we meet again: I wish you well, and so I take my leave.
59841BASSANIODear sir, of force I must attempt you further: Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute, Not as a fee: grant me two things, I pray you, Not to deny me, and to pardon me.
59941PORTIAYou press me far, and therefore I will yield. [To ANTONIO] Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake; [To BASSANIO] And, for your love, I'll take this ring from you: Do not draw back your hand; I'll take no more; And you in love shall not deny me this.
60041BASSANIOThis ring, good sir, alas, it is a trifle! I will not shame myself to give you this.
60141PORTIAI will have nothing else but only this; And now methinks I have a mind to it.
60241BASSANIOThere's more depends on this than on the value. The dearest ring in Venice will I give you, And find it out by proclamation: Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.
60341PORTIAI see, sir, you are liberal in offers You taught me first to beg; and now methinks You teach me how a beggar should be answer'd.
60441BASSANIOGood sir, this ring was given me by my wife; And when she put it on, she made me vow That I should neither sell nor give nor lose it.
60541PORTIAThat 'scuse serves many men to save their gifts. An if your wife be not a mad-woman, And know how well I have deserved the ring, She would not hold out enemy for ever, For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you!
606(stage directions)41[Exeunt Portia and Nerissa]
60741ANTONIOMy Lord Bassanio, let him have the ring: Let his deservings and my love withal Be valued against your wife's commandment.
60841BASSANIOGo, Gratiano, run and overtake him; Give him the ring, and bring him, if thou canst, Unto Antonio's house: away! make haste. [Exit Gratiano] Come, you and I will thither presently; And in the morning early will we both Fly toward Belmont: come, Antonio.
609(stage directions)41[Exeunt]
610(stage directions)42[Enter PORTIA and NERISSA]
61142PORTIAInquire the Jew's house out, give him this deed And let him sign it: we'll away to-night And be a day before our husbands home: This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.
612(stage directions)42[Enter GRATIANO]
61342GRATIANOFair sir, you are well o'erta'en My Lord Bassanio upon more advice Hath sent you here this ring, and doth entreat Your company at dinner.
61442PORTIAThat cannot be: His ring I do accept most thankfully: And so, I pray you, tell him: furthermore, I pray you, show my youth old Shylock's house.
61542GRATIANOThat will I do.
61642NERISSASir, I would speak with you. [Aside to PORTIA] I'll see if I can get my husband's ring, Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.
61742PORTIA[Aside to NERISSA] Thou mayst, I warrant. We shall have old swearing That they did give the rings away to men; But we'll outface them, and outswear them too. [Aloud] Away! make haste: thou knowist where I will tarry.
61842NERISSACome, good sir, will you show me to this house?
619(stage directions)42[Exeunt]
620(stage directions)51[Enter LORENZO and JESSICA]
62151LORENZOThe moon shines bright: in such a night as this, When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees And they did make no noise, in such a night Troilus methinks mounted the Troyan walls And sigh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents, Where Cressid lay that night.
62251JESSICAIn such a night Did Thisbe fearfully o'ertrip the dew And saw the lion's shadow ere himself And ran dismay'd away.
62351LORENZOIn such a night Stood Dido with a willow in her hand Upon the wild sea banks and waft her love To come again to Carthage.
62451JESSICAIn such a night Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs That did renew old AEson.
62551LORENZOIn such a night Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew And with an unthrift love did run from Venice As far as Belmont.
62651JESSICAIn such a night Did young Lorenzo swear he loved her well, Stealing her soul with many vows of faith And ne'er a true one.
62751LORENZOIn such a night Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew, Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
62851JESSICAI would out-night you, did no body come; But, hark, I hear the footing of a man.
629(stage directions)51[Enter STEPHANO]
63051LORENZOWho comes so fast in silence of the night?
63151STEPHANOA friend.
63251LORENZOA friend! what friend? your name, I pray you, friend?
63351STEPHANOStephano is my name; and I bring word My mistress will before the break of day Be here at Belmont; she doth stray about By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays For happy wedlock hours.
63451LORENZOWho comes with her?
63551STEPHANONone but a holy hermit and her maid. I pray you, is my master yet return'd?
63651LORENZOHe is not, nor we have not heard from him. But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica, And ceremoniously let us prepare Some welcome for the mistress of the house.
637(stage directions)51[Enter LAUNCELOT]
63851LAUNCELOTSola, sola! wo ha, ho! sola, sola!
63951LORENZOWho calls?
64051LAUNCELOTSola! did you see Master Lorenzo? Master Lorenzo, sola, sola!
64151LORENZOLeave hollaing, man: here.
64251LAUNCELOTSola! where? where?
64451LAUNCELOTTell him there's a post come from my master, with his horn full of good news: my master will be here ere morning.
645(stage directions)51[Exit]
64651LORENZOSweet soul, let's in, and there expect their coming. And yet no matter: why should we go in? My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you, Within the house, your mistress is at hand; And bring your music forth into the air. [Exit Stephano] How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Here will we sit and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night Become the touches of sweet harmony. Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold: There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st But in his motion like an angel sings, Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins; Such harmony is in immortal souls; But whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it. [Enter Musicians] Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn! With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear, And draw her home with music.
647(stage directions)51[Music]
64851JESSICAI am never merry when I hear sweet music.
64951LORENZOThe reason is, your spirits are attentive: For do but note a wild and wanton herd, Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud, Which is the hot condition of their blood; If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, Or any air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze By the sweet power of music: therefore the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones and floods; Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage, But music for the time doth change his nature. The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night And his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.
650(stage directions)51[Enter PORTIA and NERISSA]
65151PORTIAThat light we see is burning in my hall. How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
65251NERISSAWhen the moon shone, we did not see the candle.
65351PORTIASo doth the greater glory dim the less: A substitute shines brightly as a king Unto the king be by, and then his state Empties itself, as doth an inland brook Into the main of waters. Music! hark!
65451NERISSAIt is your music, madam, of the house.
65551PORTIANothing is good, I see, without respect: Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.
65651NERISSASilence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
65751PORTIAThe crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark, When neither is attended, and I think The nightingale, if she should sing by day, When every goose is cackling, would be thought No better a musician than the wren. How many things by season season'd are To their right praise and true perfection! Peace, ho! the moon sleeps with Endymion And would not be awaked.
658(stage directions)51[Music ceases]
65951LORENZOThat is the voice, Or I am much deceived, of Portia.
66051PORTIAHe knows me as the blind man knows the cuckoo, By the bad voice.
66151LORENZODear lady, welcome home.
66251PORTIAWe have been praying for our husbands' healths, Which speed, we hope, the better for our words. Are they return'd?
66351LORENZOMadam, they are not yet; But there is come a messenger before, To signify their coming.
66451PORTIAGo in, Nerissa; Give order to my servants that they take No note at all of our being absent hence; Nor you, Lorenzo; Jessica, nor you.
665(stage directions)51[A tucket sounds]
66651LORENZOYour husband is at hand; I hear his trumpet: We are no tell-tales, madam; fear you not.
66751PORTIAThis night methinks is but the daylight sick; It looks a little paler: 'tis a day, Such as the day is when the sun is hid. [Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and] their followers]
66851BASSANIOWe should hold day with the Antipodes, If you would walk in absence of the sun.
66951PORTIALet me give light, but let me not be light; For a light wife doth make a heavy husband, And never be Bassanio so for me: But God sort all! You are welcome home, my lord.
67051BASSANIOI thank you, madam. Give welcome to my friend. This is the man, this is Antonio, To whom I am so infinitely bound.
67151PORTIAYou should in all sense be much bound to him. For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.
67251ANTONIONo more than I am well acquitted of.
67351PORTIASir, you are very welcome to our house: It must appear in other ways than words, Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.
67451GRATIANO[To NERISSA] By yonder moon I swear you do me wrong; In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk: Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.
67551PORTIAA quarrel, ho, already! what's the matter?
67651GRATIANOAbout a hoop of gold, a paltry ring That she did give me, whose posy was For all the world like cutler's poetry Upon a knife, 'Love me, and leave me not.'
67751NERISSAWhat talk you of the posy or the value? You swore to me, when I did give it you, That you would wear it till your hour of death And that it should lie with you in your grave: Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, You should have been respective and have kept it. Gave it a judge's clerk! no, God's my judge, The clerk will ne'er wear hair on's face that had it.
67851GRATIANOHe will, an if he live to be a man.
67951NERISSAAy, if a woman live to be a man.
68051GRATIANONow, by this hand, I gave it to a youth, A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy, No higher than thyself; the judge's clerk, A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee: I could not for my heart deny it him.
68151PORTIAYou were to blame, I must be plain with you, To part so slightly with your wife's first gift: A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger And so riveted with faith unto your flesh. I gave my love a ring and made him swear Never to part with it; and here he stands; I dare be sworn for him he would not leave it Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano, You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief: An 'twere to me, I should be mad at it.
68251BASSANIO[Aside] Why, I were best to cut my left hand off And swear I lost the ring defending it.
68351GRATIANOMy Lord Bassanio gave his ring away Unto the judge that begg'd it and indeed Deserved it too; and then the boy, his clerk, That took some pains in writing, he begg'd mine; And neither man nor master would take aught But the two rings.
68451PORTIAWhat ring gave you my lord? Not that, I hope, which you received of me.
68551BASSANIOIf I could add a lie unto a fault, I would deny it; but you see my finger Hath not the ring upon it; it is gone.
68651PORTIAEven so void is your false heart of truth. By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed Until I see the ring.
68751NERISSANor I in yours Till I again see mine.
68851BASSANIOSweet Portia, If you did know to whom I gave the ring, If you did know for whom I gave the ring And would conceive for what I gave the ring And how unwillingly I left the ring, When nought would be accepted but the ring, You would abate the strength of your displeasure.
68951PORTIAIf you had known the virtue of the ring, Or half her worthiness that gave the ring, Or your own honour to contain the ring, You would not then have parted with the ring. What man is there so much unreasonable, If you had pleased to have defended it With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty To urge the thing held as a ceremony? Nerissa teaches me what to believe: I'll die for't but some woman had the ring.
69051BASSANIONo, by my honour, madam, by my soul, No woman had it, but a civil doctor, Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me And begg'd the ring; the which I did deny him And suffer'd him to go displeased away; Even he that did uphold the very life Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady? I was enforced to send it after him; I was beset with shame and courtesy; My honour would not let ingratitude So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady; For, by these blessed candles of the night, Had you been there, I think you would have begg'd The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.
69151PORTIALet not that doctor e'er come near my house: Since he hath got the jewel that I loved, And that which you did swear to keep for me, I will become as liberal as you; I'll not deny him any thing I have, No, not my body nor my husband's bed: Know him I shall, I am well sure of it: Lie not a night from home; watch me like Argus: If you do not, if I be left alone, Now, by mine honour, which is yet mine own, I'll have that doctor for my bedfellow.
69251NERISSAAnd I his clerk; therefore be well advised How you do leave me to mine own protection.
69351GRATIANOWell, do you so; let not me take him, then; For if I do, I'll mar the young clerk's pen.
69451ANTONIOI am the unhappy subject of these quarrels.
69551PORTIASir, grieve not you; you are welcome notwithstanding.
69651BASSANIOPortia, forgive me this enforced wrong; And, in the hearing of these many friends, I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes, Wherein I see myself--
69751PORTIAMark you but that! In both my eyes he doubly sees himself; In each eye, one: swear by your double self, And there's an oath of credit.
69851BASSANIONay, but hear me: Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear I never more will break an oath with thee.
69951ANTONIOI once did lend my body for his wealth; Which, but for him that had your husband's ring, Had quite miscarried: I dare be bound again, My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord Will never more break faith advisedly.
70051PORTIAThen you shall be his surety. Give him this And bid him keep it better than the other.
70151ANTONIOHere, Lord Bassanio; swear to keep this ring.
70251BASSANIOBy heaven, it is the same I gave the doctor!
70351PORTIAI had it of him: pardon me, Bassanio; For, by this ring, the doctor lay with me.
70451NERISSAAnd pardon me, my gentle Gratiano; For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk, In lieu of this last night did lie with me.
70551GRATIANOWhy, this is like the mending of highways In summer, where the ways are fair enough: What, are we cuckolds ere we have deserved it?
70651PORTIASpeak not so grossly. You are all amazed: Here is a letter; read it at your leisure; It comes from Padua, from Bellario: There you shall find that Portia was the doctor, Nerissa there her clerk: Lorenzo here Shall witness I set forth as soon as you And even but now return'd; I have not yet Enter'd my house. Antonio, you are welcome; And I have better news in store for you Than you expect: unseal this letter soon; There you shall find three of your argosies Are richly come to harbour suddenly: You shall not know by what strange accident I chanced on this letter.
70751ANTONIOI am dumb.
70851BASSANIOWere you the doctor and I knew you not?
70951GRATIANOWere you the clerk that is to make me cuckold?
71051NERISSAAy, but the clerk that never means to do it, Unless he live until he be a man.
71151BASSANIOSweet doctor, you shall be my bed-fellow: When I am absent, then lie with my wife.
71251ANTONIOSweet lady, you have given me life and living; For here I read for certain that my ships Are safely come to road.
71351PORTIAHow now, Lorenzo! My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.
71451NERISSAAy, and I'll give them him without a fee. There do I give to you and Jessica, From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift, After his death, of all he dies possess'd of.
71551LORENZOFair ladies, you drop manna in the way Of starved people.
71651PORTIAIt is almost morning, And yet I am sure you are not satisfied Of these events at full. Let us go in; And charge us there upon inter'gatories, And we will answer all things faithfully.
71751GRATIANOLet it be so: the first inter'gatory That my Nerissa shall be sworn on is, Whether till the next night she had rather stay, Or go to bed now, being two hours to day: But were the day come, I should wish it dark, That I were couching with the doctor's clerk. Well, while I live I'll fear no other thing So sore as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.
718(stage directions)51[Exeunt]

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