The Merchant of Venice - Entire Play
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Navigate this workThe Merchant of Venice - Entire Play
Antonio, the merchant in The Merchant of Venice, secures a loan from Shylock for his friend Bassanio, who seeks to court Portia. Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, recalls past insults from Antonio and, instead of asking interest on the loan, asks instead—in what he calls a “merry sport”—that if the loan is not repaid, Antonio will owe a pound of his own flesh.
Bassanio sails to Belmont, where the wealthy heiress Portia is being courted by suitors from around the world. Her father’s will requires that the successful suitor solve a riddle involving chests of gold, silver, and lead. Where others have failed, Bassanio succeeds by selecting the right chest. Portia marries Bassanio; her waiting woman, Nerissa, marries his friend Gratiano.
Shylock’s daughter, Jessica, has eloped with Bassanio’s friend Lorenzo, taking her father’s money with her. Shylock is devastated. When Antonio cannot repay the loan, Shylock demands the pound of flesh. When the news reaches Belmont, Bassanio returns to Venice. Portia and Nerissa also travel to Venice, disguised as a lawyer and his clerk. Portia uses the law to defeat Shylock and rescue Antonio.
0001 In sooth I know not why I am so sad.
0002 It wearies me, you say it wearies you.
0003 But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
0004 What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born,
0005 5 I am to learn.
0006 And such a want-wit sadness makes of me
0007 That I have much ado to know myself.
0008 Your mind is tossing on the ocean,
0009 There where your argosies with portly sail
0010 10 (Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood,
0011 Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea)
0012 Do overpeer the petty traffickers
0013 That curtsy to them, do them reverence,
0014 As they fly by them with their woven wings.
0015 15 Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
0016 The better part of my affections would
0017 Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
0018 Plucking the grass to know where sits the wind,
0019 Piring in maps for ports and piers and roads;
0020 20 And every object that might make me fear
0022 Would make me sad.
SALARINO 0023 My wind cooling my broth
0024 Would blow me to an ague when I thought
0025 25 What harm a wind too great might do at sea.
0026 I should not see the sandy hourglass run
0027 But I should think of shallows and of flats,
0028 And see my wealthy Andrew ⌜docked⌝ in sand,
0029 Vailing her high top lower than her ribs
0030 30 To kiss her burial. Should I go to church
0031 And see the holy edifice of stone
0032 And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks,
0033 Which, touching but my gentle vessel’s side,
0034 Would scatter all her spices on the stream,
0035 35 Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks,
0036 And, in a word, but even now worth this
0037 And now worth nothing? Shall I have the thought
0038 To think on this, and shall I lack the thought
0039 That such a thing bechanced would make me sad?
0040 40 But tell not me: I know Antonio
0041 Is sad to think upon his merchandise.
0042 Believe me, no. I thank my fortune for it,
0043 My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,
0044 Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
0045 45 Upon the fortune of this present year:
0046 Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad.
0047 Why then you are in love.
ANTONIO 0048 Fie, fie!
0049 Not in love neither? Then let us say you are sad
0050 50 Because you are not merry; and ’twere as easy
0051 For you to laugh and leap, and say you are merry
0052 Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed
0055 55 Some that will evermore peep through their eyes
0056 And laugh like parrots at a bagpiper,
0057 And other of such vinegar aspect
0058 That they’ll not show their teeth in way of smile
0059 Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
Enter Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano.
0060 60 Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman,
0061 Gratiano, and Lorenzo. Fare you well.
0062 We leave you now with better company.
0063 I would have stayed till I had made you merry,
0064 If worthier friends had not prevented me.
0065 65 Your worth is very dear in my regard.
0066 I take it your own business calls on you,
0067 And you embrace th’ occasion to depart.
0068 Good morrow, my good lords.
0069 Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? Say,
0070 70 when?
0071 You grow exceeding strange. Must it be so?
0072 We’ll make our leisures to attend on yours.
Salarino and Solanio exit.
0073 My Lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio,
0074 We two will leave you. But at dinner time
0075 75 I pray you have in mind where we must meet.
0076 I will not fail you.
0077 You look not well, Signior Antonio.
0078 You have too much respect upon the world.
0080 80 Believe me, you are marvelously changed.
0081 I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano,
0082 A stage where every man must play a part,
0083 And mine a sad one.
GRATIANO 0084 Let me play the fool.
0085 85 With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come,
0086 And let my liver rather heat with wine
0087 Than my heart cool with mortifying groans.
0088 Why should a man whose blood is warm within
0089 Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?
0090 90 Sleep when he wakes? And creep into the jaundice
0091 By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio
0092 (I love thee, and ’tis my love that speaks):
0093 There are a sort of men whose visages
0094 Do cream and mantle like a standing pond
0095 95 And do a willful stillness entertain
0096 With purpose to be dressed in an opinion
0097 Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,
0098 As who should say “I am Sir Oracle,
0099 And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark.”
0100 100 O my Antonio, I do know of these
0101 That therefore only are reputed wise
0102 For saying nothing, when, I am very sure,
0103 If they should speak, would almost damn those ears
0104 Which, hearing them, would call their brothers
0105 105 fools.
0106 I’ll tell thee more of this another time.
0107 But fish not with this melancholy bait
0108 For this fool gudgeon, this opinion.—
0109 Come, good Lorenzo.—Fare you well a while.
0110 110 I’ll end my exhortation after dinner.
0111 Well, we will leave you then till dinner time.
0112 I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
0113 For Gratiano never lets me speak.
0114 Well, keep me company but two years more,
0115 115 Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own
0117 Fare you well. I’ll grow a talker for this gear.
0118 Thanks, i’ faith, for silence is only commendable
0119 In a neat’s tongue dried and a maid not vendible.
⌜Gratiano and Lorenzo⌝ exit.
ANTONIO 0120 120Is that anything now?
BASSANIO 0121 Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing,
0122 more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as
0123 two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you
0124 shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you
0125 125 have them, they are not worth the search.
0126 Well, tell me now what lady is the same
0127 To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
0128 That you today promised to tell me of?
0129 ’Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
0130 130 How much I have disabled mine estate
0131 By something showing a more swelling port
0132 Than my faint means would grant continuance.
0133 Nor do I now make moan to be abridged
0134 From such a noble rate. But my chief care
0135 135 Is to come fairly off from the great debts
0136 Wherein my time, something too prodigal,
0137 Hath left me gaged. To you, Antonio,
0138 I owe the most in money and in love,
0139 And from your love I have a warranty
0140 140 To unburden all my plots and purposes
0141 How to get clear of all the debts I owe.
0142 I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
0144 Within the eye of honor, be assured
0145 145 My purse, my person, my extremest means
0146 Lie all unlocked to your occasions.
0147 In my school days, when I had lost one shaft,
0148 I shot his fellow of the selfsame flight
0149 The selfsame way with more advisèd watch
0150 150 To find the other forth; and by adventuring both
0151 I oft found both. I urge this childhood proof
0152 Because what follows is pure innocence.
0153 I owe you much, and, like a willful youth,
0154 That which I owe is lost. But if you please
0155 155 To shoot another arrow that self way
0156 Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,
0157 As I will watch the aim, or to find both
0158 Or bring your latter hazard back again,
0159 And thankfully rest debtor for the first.
0160 160 You know me well, and herein spend but time
0161 To wind about my love with circumstance;
0162 And out of doubt you do me now more wrong
0163 In making question of my uttermost
0164 Than if you had made waste of all I have.
0165 165 Then do but say to me what I should do
0166 That in your knowledge may by me be done,
0167 And I am prest unto it. Therefore speak.
0168 In Belmont is a lady richly left,
0169 And she is fair, and, fairer than that word,
0170 170 Of wondrous virtues. Sometimes from her eyes
0171 I did receive fair speechless messages.
0172 Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued
0173 To Cato’s daughter, Brutus’ Portia.
0174 Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth,
0175 175 For the four winds blow in from every coast
0177 Hang on her temples like a golden fleece,
0178 Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos’ strond,
0179 And many Jasons come in quest of her.
0180 180 O my Antonio, had I but the means
0181 To hold a rival place with one of them,
0182 I have a mind presages me such thrift
0183 That I should questionless be fortunate!
0184 Thou know’st that all my fortunes are at sea;
0185 185 Neither have I money nor commodity
0186 To raise a present sum. Therefore go forth:
0187 Try what my credit can in Venice do;
0188 That shall be racked even to the uttermost
0189 To furnish thee to Belmont to fair Portia.
0190 190 Go presently inquire, and so will I,
0191 Where money is, and I no question make
0192 To have it of my trust, or for my sake.
PORTIA 0193 By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary
0194 of this great world.
NERISSA 0195 You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries
0196 were in the same abundance as your good fortunes
0197 5 are. And yet, for aught I see, they are as sick that
0198 surfeit with too much as they that starve with
0199 nothing. It is no mean happiness, therefore, to be
0200 seated in the mean. Superfluity comes sooner by
0201 white hairs, but competency lives longer.
PORTIA 0202 10Good sentences, and well pronounced.
NERISSA 0203 They would be better if well followed.
0205 good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor
0206 men’s cottages princes’ palaces. It is a good divine
0207 15 that follows his own instructions. I can easier teach
0208 twenty what were good to be done than to be one of
0209 the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain
0210 may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper
0211 leaps o’er a cold decree: such a hare is madness the
0212 20 youth, to skip o’er the meshes of good counsel the
0213 cripple. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to
0214 choose me a husband. O, me, the word “choose”! I
0215 may neither choose who I would nor refuse who I
0216 dislike. So is the will of a living daughter curbed by
0217 25 the will of a dead father. Is it not hard, Nerissa, that
0218 I cannot choose one, nor refuse none?
NERISSA 0219 Your father was ever virtuous, and holy men
0220 at their death have good inspirations. Therefore the
0221 lottery that he hath devised in these three chests of
0222 30 gold, silver, and lead, whereof who chooses his
0223 meaning chooses you, will no doubt never be
0224 chosen by any rightly but one who you shall rightly
0225 love. But what warmth is there in your affection
0226 towards any of these princely suitors that are already
0227 35 come?
PORTIA 0228 I pray thee, overname them, and as thou
0229 namest them, I will describe them, and according
0230 to my description level at my affection.
NERISSA 0231 First, there is the Neapolitan prince.
PORTIA 0232 40Ay, that’s a colt indeed, for he doth nothing but
0233 talk of his horse, and he makes it a great appropriation
0234 to his own good parts that he can shoe him
0235 himself. I am much afeard my lady his mother
0236 played false with a smith.
NERISSA 0237 45Then is there the County Palatine.
PORTIA 0238 He doth nothing but frown, as who should say
0239 “An you will not have me, choose.” He hears
0241 weeping philosopher when he grows old, being so
0242 50 full of unmannerly sadness in his youth. I had
0243 rather be married to a death’s-head with a bone in
0244 his mouth than to either of these. God defend me
0245 from these two!
NERISSA 0246 How say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le
0247 55 ⌜Bon⌝?
PORTIA 0248 God made him, and therefore let him pass for
0249 a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a mocker,
0250 but he!—why, he hath a horse better than the
0251 Neapolitan’s, a better bad habit of frowning than
0252 60 the Count Palatine. He is every man in no man. If a
0253 ⌜throstle⌝ sing, he falls straight a-cap’ring. He will
0254 fence with his own shadow. If I should marry him, I
0255 should marry twenty husbands! If he would despise
0256 me, I would forgive him, for if he love me to
0257 65 madness, I shall never requite him.
NERISSA 0258 What say you then to Falconbridge, the young
0259 baron of England?
PORTIA 0260 You know I say nothing to him, for he understands
0261 not me, nor I him. He hath neither Latin,
0262 70 French, nor Italian; and you will come into the
0263 court and swear that I have a poor pennyworth in
0264 the English. He is a proper man’s picture, but alas,
0265 who can converse with a dumb show? How oddly
0266 he is suited! I think he bought his doublet in Italy,
0267 75 his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany,
0268 and his behavior everywhere.
NERISSA 0269 What think you of the Scottish lord, his
PORTIA 0271 That he hath a neighborly charity in him, for
0272 80 he borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman,
0273 and swore he would pay him again when he was
0274 able. I think the Frenchman became his surety and
0275 sealed under for another.
0277 85 Saxony’s nephew?
PORTIA 0278 Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober,
0279 and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk.
0280 When he is best he is a little worse than a man, and
0281 when he is worst he is little better than a beast. An
0282 90 the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall make shift
0283 to go without him.
NERISSA 0284 If he should offer to choose, and choose the
0285 right casket, you should refuse to perform your
0286 father’s will if you should refuse to accept him.
PORTIA 0287 95Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee set
0288 a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary
0289 casket, for if the devil be within and that temptation
0290 without, I know he will choose it. I will do
0291 anything, Nerissa, ere I will be married to a sponge.
NERISSA 0292 100You need not fear, lady, the having any of
0293 these lords. They have acquainted me with their
0294 determinations, which is indeed to return to their
0295 home and to trouble you with no more suit, unless
0296 you may be won by some other sort than your
0297 105 father’s imposition depending on the caskets.
PORTIA 0298 If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as
0299 chaste as Diana unless I be obtained by the manner
0300 of my father’s will. I am glad this parcel of wooers
0301 are so reasonable, for there is not one among them
0302 110 but I dote on his very absence. And I pray God
0303 grant them a fair departure!
NERISSA 0304 Do you not remember, lady, in your father’s
0305 time, a Venetian, a scholar and a soldier, that came
0306 hither in company of the Marquess of Montferrat?
PORTIA 0307 115Yes, yes, it was Bassanio—as I think so was he
NERISSA 0309 True, madam. He, of all the men that ever my
0310 foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a
0311 fair lady.
0313 worthy of thy praise.
Enter a Servingman.
0314 How now, what news?
SERVINGMAN 0315 The four strangers seek for you, madam,
0316 to take their leave. And there is a forerunner come
0317 125 from a fifth, the Prince of Morocco, who brings
0318 word the Prince his master will be here tonight.
PORTIA 0319 If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good
0320 heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I should
0321 be glad of his approach. If he have the condition of
0322 130 a saint and the complexion of a devil, I had rather
0323 he should shrive me than wive me.
0324 Come, Nerissa. ⌜To Servingman.⌝ Sirrah, go before.—
0325 Whiles we shut the gate upon one wooer, another
0326 knocks at the door.
SHYLOCK 0327 Three thousand ducats, well.
BASSANIO 0328 Ay, sir, for three months.
SHYLOCK 0329 For three months, well.
BASSANIO 0330 For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall
0331 5 be bound.
SHYLOCK 0332 Antonio shall become bound, well.
BASSANIO 0333 May you stead me? Will you pleasure me?
0334 Shall I know your answer?
SHYLOCK 0335 Three thousand ducats for three months,
0336 10 and Antonio bound.
BASSANIO 0337 Your answer to that?
SHYLOCK 0338 Antonio is a good man.
BASSANIO 0339 Have you heard any imputation to the
0342 is a good man is to have you understand me that he
0343 is sufficient. Yet his means are in supposition: he
0344 hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the
0345 Indies. I understand, moreover, upon the Rialto,
0346 20 he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England, and
0347 other ventures he hath squandered abroad. But
0348 ships are but boards, sailors but men; there be land
0349 rats and water rats, water thieves and land
0350 thieves—I mean pirates—and then there is the
0351 25 peril of waters, winds, and rocks. The man is,
0352 notwithstanding, sufficient. Three thousand ducats.
0353 I think I may take his bond.
BASSANIO 0354 Be assured you may.
SHYLOCK 0355 I will be assured I may. And that I may be
0356 30 assured, I will bethink me. May I speak with
BASSANIO 0358 If it please you to dine with us.
SHYLOCK 0359 Yes, to smell pork! To eat of the habitation
0360 which your prophet the Nazarite conjured the
0361 35 devil into! I will buy with you, sell with you, talk
0362 with you, walk with you, and so following; but I
0363 will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with
0364 you.—What news on the Rialto?—Who is he comes
BASSANIO 0366 40This is Signior Antonio.
0367 How like a fawning publican he looks!
0368 I hate him for he is a Christian,
0369 But more for that in low simplicity
0370 He lends out money gratis and brings down
0371 45 The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
0372 If I can catch him once upon the hip,
0373 I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
0375 Even there where merchants most do congregate,
0376 50 On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,
0377 Which he calls “interest.” Cursèd be my tribe
0378 If I forgive him!
BASSANIO 0379 Shylock, do you hear?
0380 I am debating of my present store,
0381 55 And, by the near guess of my memory,
0382 I cannot instantly raise up the gross
0383 Of full three thousand ducats. What of that?
0384 Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe,
0385 Will furnish me. But soft, how many months
0386 60 Do you desire? ⌜To Antonio.⌝ Rest you fair, good
0388 Your Worship was the last man in our mouths.
0389 Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow
0390 By taking nor by giving of excess,
0391 65 Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend,
0392 I’ll break a custom. ⌜To Bassanio.⌝ Is he yet
0394 How much you would?
SHYLOCK 0395 Ay, ay, three thousand
0396 70 ducats.
ANTONIO 0397 And for three months.
0398 I had forgot—three months. ⌜To Bassanio.⌝
0399 You told me so.—
0400 Well then, your bond. And let me see—but hear
0401 75 you:
0402 Methoughts you said you neither lend nor borrow
0403 Upon advantage.
ANTONIO 0404 I do never use it.
0405 When Jacob grazed his Uncle Laban’s sheep—
0406 80 This Jacob from our holy Abram was
0408 The third possessor; ay, he was the third—
0409 And what of him? Did he take interest?
0410 No, not take interest, not, as you would say,
0411 85 Directly “interest.” Mark what Jacob did.
0412 When Laban and himself were compromised
0413 That all the eanlings which were streaked and pied
0414 Should fall as Jacob’s hire, the ewes being rank
0415 In end of autumn turnèd to the rams,
0416 90 And when the work of generation was
0417 Between these woolly breeders in the act,
0418 The skillful shepherd pilled me certain wands,
0419 And in the doing of the deed of kind
0420 He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes,
0421 95 Who then conceiving did in eaning time
0422 Fall parti-colored lambs, and those were Jacob’s.
0423 This was a way to thrive, and he was blest;
0424 And thrift is blessing if men steal it not.
0425 This was a venture, sir, that Jacob served for,
0426 100 A thing not in his power to bring to pass,
0427 But swayed and fashioned by the hand of heaven.
0428 Was this inserted to make interest good?
0429 Or is your gold and silver ewes and rams?
0430 I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast.
0431 105 But note me, signior—
ANTONIO, ⌜aside to Bassanio⌝
0432 Mark you this, Bassanio,
0433 The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose!
0434 An evil soul producing holy witness
0435 Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
0436 110 A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
0437 O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
0438 Three thousand ducats. ’Tis a good round sum.
0439 Three months from twelve, then let me see, the
0441 115 Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you?
0442 Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
0443 In the Rialto you have rated me
0444 About my moneys and my usances.
0445 Still have I borne it with a patient shrug
0446 120 (For suff’rance is the badge of all our tribe).
0447 You call me misbeliever, cutthroat dog,
0448 And spet upon my Jewish gaberdine,
0449 And all for use of that which is mine own.
0450 Well then, it now appears you need my help.
0451 125 Go to, then. You come to me and you say
0452 “Shylock, we would have moneys”—you say so,
0453 You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
0454 And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur
0455 Over your threshold. Moneys is your suit.
0456 130 What should I say to you? Should I not say
0457 “Hath a dog money? Is it possible
0458 A cur can lend three thousand ducats?” Or
0459 Shall I bend low, and in a bondman’s key,
0460 With bated breath and whisp’ring humbleness,
0461 135 Say this: “Fair sir, you spet on me on Wednesday
0463 You spurned me such a day; another time
0464 You called me ‘dog’; and for these courtesies
0465 I’ll lend you thus much moneys”?
0466 140 I am as like to call thee so again,
0467 To spet on thee again, to spurn thee, too.
0468 If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
0469 As to thy friends, for when did friendship take
0471 145 But lend it rather to thine enemy,
0472 Who, if he break, thou mayst with better face
0473 Exact the penalty.
SHYLOCK 0474 Why, look you how you storm!
0475 I would be friends with you and have your love,
0476 150 Forget the shames that you have stained me with,
0477 Supply your present wants, and take no doit
0478 Of usance for my moneys, and you’ll not hear me!
0479 This is kind I offer.
BASSANIO 0480 This were kindness!
SHYLOCK 0481 155This kindness will I show.
0482 Go with me to a notary, seal me there
0483 Your single bond; and in a merry sport,
0484 If you repay me not on such a day,
0485 In such a place, such sum or sums as are
0486 160 Expressed in the condition, let the forfeit
0487 Be nominated for an equal pound
0488 Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
0489 In what part of your body pleaseth me.
0490 Content, in faith. I’ll seal to such a bond,
0491 165 And say there is much kindness in the Jew.
0492 You shall not seal to such a bond for me!
0493 I’ll rather dwell in my necessity.
0494 Why, fear not, man, I will not forfeit it!
0495 Within these two months—that’s a month before
0496 170 This bond expires—I do expect return
0497 Of thrice three times the value of this bond.
0498 O father Abram, what these Christians are,
0499 Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect
0500 The thoughts of others! Pray you tell me this:
0501 175 If he should break his day, what should I gain
0503 A pound of man’s flesh taken from a man
0504 Is not so estimable, profitable neither,
0505 As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say,
0506 180 To buy his favor I extend this friendship.
0507 If he will take it, so. If not, adieu;
0508 And for my love I pray you wrong me not.
0509 Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.
0510 Then meet me forthwith at the notary’s.
0511 185 Give him direction for this merry bond,
0512 And I will go and purse the ducats straight,
0513 See to my house left in the fearful guard
0514 Of an unthrifty knave, and presently
0515 I’ll be with you.
ANTONIO 0516 190 Hie thee, gentle Jew.
0517 The Hebrew will turn Christian; he grows kind.
0518 I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind.
0519 Come on, in this there can be no dismay;
0520 My ships come home a month before the day.
white, and three or four followers accordingly, with
Portia, Nerissa, and their train.
0521 Mislike me not for my complexion,
0522 The shadowed livery of the burnished sun,
0523 To whom I am a neighbor and near bred.
0524 Bring me the fairest creature northward born,
0525 5 Where Phoebus’ fire scarce thaws the icicles,
0526 And let us make incision for your love
0527 To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine.
0528 I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine
0529 Hath feared the valiant; by my love I swear
0530 10 The best regarded virgins of our clime
0531 Have loved it too. I would not change this hue
0532 Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen.
0533 In terms of choice I am not solely led
0534 By nice direction of a maiden’s eyes;
0535 15 Besides, the lott’ry of my destiny
0536 Bars me the right of voluntary choosing.
0537 But if my father had not scanted me
0538 And hedged me by his wit to yield myself
0539 His wife who wins me by that means I told you,
0541 As any comer I have looked on yet
0542 For my affection.
MOROCCO 0543 Even for that I thank you.
0544 Therefore I pray you lead me to the caskets
0545 25 To try my fortune. By this scimitar
0546 That slew the Sophy and a Persian prince,
0547 That won three fields of Sultan Solyman,
0548 I would o’erstare the sternest eyes that look,
0549 Outbrave the heart most daring on the Earth,
0550 30 Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear,
0551 Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey,
0552 To win ⌜thee,⌝ lady. But, alas the while!
0553 If Hercules and Lychas play at dice
0554 Which is the better man, the greater throw
0555 35 May turn by fortune from the weaker hand;
0556 So is Alcides beaten by his ⌜page,⌝
0557 And so may I, blind Fortune leading me,
0558 Miss that which one unworthier may attain,
0559 And die with grieving.
PORTIA 0560 40 You must take your chance
0561 And either not attempt to choose at all
0562 Or swear before you choose, if you choose wrong
0563 Never to speak to lady afterward
0564 In way of marriage. Therefore be advised.
0565 45 Nor will not. Come, bring me unto my chance.
0566 First, forward to the temple. After dinner
0567 Your hazard shall be made.
MOROCCO 0568 Good fortune then,
0569 To make me blest—or cursed’st among men!
LANCELET 0570 Certainly my conscience will serve me to
0571 run from this Jew my master. The fiend is at mine
0572 elbow and tempts me, saying to me “Gobbo,
0573 Lancelet Gobbo, good Lancelet,” or “good Gobbo,”
0574 5 or “good Lancelet Gobbo, use your legs, take
0575 the start, run away.” My conscience says “No. Take
0576 heed, honest Lancelet, take heed, honest Gobbo,”
0577 or, as aforesaid, “honest Lancelet Gobbo, do not
0578 run; scorn running with thy heels.” Well, the most
0579 10 courageous fiend bids me pack. “Fia!” says the
0580 fiend. “Away!” says the fiend. “For the heavens,
0581 rouse up a brave mind,” says the fiend, “and run!”
0582 Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my
0583 heart, says very wisely to me “My honest friend
0584 15 Lancelet, being an honest man’s son”—or rather,
0585 an honest woman’s son, for indeed my father did
0586 something smack, something grow to—he had a
0587 kind of taste—well, my conscience says “Lancelet,
0588 budge not.” “Budge,” says the fiend. “Budge not,”
0589 20 says my conscience. “Conscience,” say I, “you
0590 counsel well.” “Fiend,” say I, “you counsel well.”
0591 To be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the
0592 Jew my master, who (God bless the mark) is a kind
0593 of devil; and to run away from the Jew, I should be
0594 25 ruled by the fiend, who (saving your reverence) is
0595 the devil himself. Certainly the Jew is the very devil
0596 incarnation, and, in my conscience, my conscience
0597 is but a kind of hard conscience to offer to counsel
0598 me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more
0599 30 friendly counsel. I will run, fiend. My heels are at
0600 your commandment. I will run.
Enter old Gobbo with a basket.
0602 the way to Master Jew’s?
LANCELET, ⌜aside⌝ 0603 O heavens, this is my true begotten
0604 35 father, who being more than sandblind, high gravelblind,
0605 knows me not. I will try confusions with him.
GOBBO 0606 Master young gentleman, I pray you, which is
0607 the way to Master Jew’s?
LANCELET 0608 Turn up on your right hand at the next
0609 40 turning, but at the next turning of all on your left;
0610 marry, at the very next turning, turn of no hand,
0611 but turn down indirectly to the Jew’s house.
GOBBO 0612 Be God’s sonties, ’twill be a hard way to hit.
0613 Can you tell me whether one Lancelet, that dwells
0614 45 with him, dwell with him or no?
LANCELET 0615 Talk you of young Master Lancelet? ⌜Aside.⌝
0616 Mark me now, now will I raise the waters.—Talk
0617 you of young Master Lancelet?
GOBBO 0618 No master, sir, but a poor man’s son. His
0619 50 father, though I say ’t, is an honest exceeding poor
0620 man and, God be thanked, well to live.
LANCELET 0621 Well, let his father be what he will, we talk
0622 of young Master Lancelet.
GOBBO 0623 Your Worship’s friend, and Lancelet, sir.
LANCELET 0624 55But I pray you, ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech
0625 you, talk you of young Master Lancelet?
GOBBO 0626 Of Lancelet, an ’t please your mastership.
LANCELET 0627 Ergo, Master Lancelet. Talk not of Master
0628 Lancelet, father, for the young gentleman, according
0629 60 to Fates and Destinies, and such odd sayings, the
0630 Sisters Three, and such branches of learning, is
0631 indeed deceased, or, as you would say in plain
0632 terms, gone to heaven.
GOBBO 0633 Marry, God forbid! The boy was the very staff
0634 65 of my age, my very prop.
LANCELET, ⌜aside⌝ 0635 Do I look like a cudgel or a hovel-post,
0636 a staff or a prop?—Do you know me, father?
0638 But I pray you tell me, is my boy, God rest his
0639 70 soul, alive or dead?
LANCELET 0640 Do you not know me, father?
GOBBO 0641 Alack, sir, I am sandblind. I know you not.
LANCELET 0642 Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might
0643 fail of the knowing me. It is a wise father that
0644 75 knows his own child. Well, old man, I will tell you
0645 news of your son. ⌜He kneels.⌝ Give me your blessing.
0646 Truth will come to light, murder cannot be hid
0647 long—a man’s son may, but in the end, truth will
GOBBO 0649 80Pray you, sir, stand up! I am sure you are not
0650 Lancelet my boy.
LANCELET 0651 Pray you, let’s have no more fooling about
0652 it, but give me your blessing. I am Lancelet, your
0653 boy that was, your son that is, your child that shall
0654 85 be.
GOBBO 0655 I cannot think you are my son.
LANCELET 0656 I know not what I shall think of that; but I
0657 am Lancelet, the Jew’s man, and I am sure Margery
0658 your wife is my mother.
GOBBO 0659 90Her name is Margery, indeed. I’ll be sworn if
0660 thou be Lancelet, thou art mine own flesh and
0661 blood. Lord worshiped might He be, what a beard
0662 hast thou got! Thou hast got more hair on thy chin
0663 than Dobbin my fill-horse has on his tail.
LANCELET, ⌜standing up⌝ 0664 95It should seem, then, that
0665 Dobbin’s tail grows backward. I am sure he had
0666 more hair of his tail than I have of my face when I
0667 ⌜last⌝ saw him.
GOBBO 0668 Lord, how art thou changed! How dost thou
0669 100 and thy master agree? I have brought him a present.
0670 How ’gree you now?
LANCELET 0671 Well, well. But for mine own part, as I have
0672 set up my rest to run away, so I will not rest till I
0674 105 Give him a present! Give him a halter. I am
0675 famished in his service. You may tell every finger I
0676 have with my ribs. Father, I am glad you are come!
0677 Give me your present to one Master Bassanio, who
0678 indeed gives rare new liveries. If I serve not him, I
0679 110 will run as far as God has any ground. O rare
0680 fortune, here comes the man! To him, father, for I
0681 am a Jew if I serve the Jew any longer.
Enter Bassanio with ⌜Leonardo and⌝ a follower or two.
BASSANIO, ⌜to an Attendant⌝ 0682 You may do so, but let it be
0683 so hasted that supper be ready at the farthest by five
0684 115 of the clock. See these letters delivered, put the
0685 liveries to making, and desire Gratiano to come
0686 anon to my lodging.⌜The Attendant exits.⌝
LANCELET 0687 To him, father.
GOBBO, ⌜to Bassanio⌝ 0688 God bless your Worship.
BASSANIO 0689 120Gramercy. Wouldst thou aught with me?
GOBBO 0690 Here’s my son, sir, a poor boy—
LANCELET 0691 Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew’s man,
0692 that would, sir, as my father shall specify—
GOBBO 0693 He hath a great infection, sir, as one would say,
0694 125 to serve—
LANCELET 0695 Indeed, the short and the long is, I serve the
0696 Jew, and have a desire, as my father shall specify—
GOBBO 0697 His master and he (saving your Worship’s
0698 reverence) are scarce cater-cousins—
LANCELET 0699 130To be brief, the very truth is that the Jew,
0700 having done me wrong, doth cause me, as my
0701 father being, I hope, an old man, shall frutify unto
GOBBO 0703 I have here a dish of doves that I would bestow
0704 135 upon your Worship, and my suit is—
LANCELET 0705 In very brief, the suit is impertinent to
0706 myself, as your Worship shall know by this honest
0708 poor man, my father—
BASSANIO 0709 140One speak for both. What would you?
LANCELET 0710 Serve you, sir.
GOBBO 0711 That is the very defect of the matter, sir.
BASSANIO, ⌜to Lancelet⌝
0712 I know thee well. Thou hast obtained thy suit.
0713 Shylock thy master spoke with me this day,
0714 145 And hath preferred thee, if it be preferment
0715 To leave a rich Jew’s service, to become
0716 The follower of so poor a gentleman.
LANCELET 0717 The old proverb is very well parted between
0718 my master Shylock and you, sir: you have “the
0719 150 grace of God,” sir, and he hath “enough.”
0720 Thou speak’st it well.—Go, father, with thy son.—
0721 Take leave of thy old master, and inquire
0722 My lodging out. ⌜To an Attendant.⌝ Give him a livery
0723 More guarded than his fellows’. See it done.
⌜Attendant exits. Bassanio and Leonardo talk apart.⌝
LANCELET 0724 155Father, in. I cannot get a service, no! I have
0725 ne’er a tongue in my head! Well, ⌜studying his palm⌝
0726 if any man in Italy have a fairer table which doth
0727 offer to swear upon a book—I shall have good
0728 fortune, go to! Here’s a simple line of life. Here’s a
0729 160 small trifle of wives—alas, fifteen wives is nothing;
0730 eleven widows and nine maids is a simple coming-in
0731 for one man—and then to ’scape drowning
0732 thrice, and to be in peril of my life with the edge of a
0733 featherbed! Here are simple ’scapes. Well, if Fortune
0734 165 be a woman, she’s a good wench for this gear.
0735 Father, come. I’ll take my leave of the Jew in the
0736 twinkling.⌜Lancelet and old Gobbo⌝ exit.
0737 I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this.
⌜Handing him a paper.⌝
0739 170 Return in haste, for I do feast tonight
0740 My best esteemed acquaintance. Hie thee, go.
0741 My best endeavors shall be done herein.
GRATIANO, ⌜to Leonardo⌝ 0742 Where’s your master?
LEONARDO 0743 Yonder, sir, he walks.Leonardo exits.
GRATIANO 0744 175Signior Bassanio!
BASSANIO 0745 Gratiano!
GRATIANO 0746 I have suit to you.
BASSANIO 0747 You have obtained it.
GRATIANO 0748 You must not deny me. I must go with you
0749 180 to Belmont.
0750 Why then you must. But hear thee, Gratiano,
0751 Thou art too wild, too rude and bold of voice—
0752 Parts that become thee happily enough,
0753 And in such eyes as ours appear not faults.
0754 185 But where thou art not known—why, there they
0756 Something too liberal. Pray thee take pain
0757 To allay with some cold drops of modesty
0758 Thy skipping spirit, lest through thy wild behavior
0759 190 I be misconstered in the place I go to,
0760 And lose my hopes.
GRATIANO 0761 Signior Bassanio, hear me.
0762 If I do not put on a sober habit,
0763 Talk with respect, and swear but now and then,
0764 195 Wear prayer books in my pocket, look demurely,
0765 Nay more, while grace is saying, hood mine eyes
0766 Thus with my hat, and sigh and say “amen,”
0767 Use all the observance of civility
0768 Like one well studied in a sad ostent
0769 200 To please his grandam, never trust me more.
0771 Nay, but I bar tonight. You shall not gauge me
0772 By what we do tonight.
BASSANIO 0773 No, that were pity.
0774 205 I would entreat you rather to put on
0775 Your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends
0776 That purpose merriment. But fare you well.
0777 I have some business.
0778 And I must to Lorenzo and the rest.
0779 210 But we will visit you at supper time.
0780 I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so.
0781 Our house is hell and thou, a merry devil,
0782 Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.
0783 But fare thee well. There is a ducat for thee,
0784 5 And, Lancelet, soon at supper shalt thou see
0785 Lorenzo, who is thy new master’s guest.
0786 Give him this letter, do it secretly,
0787 And so farewell. I would not have my father
0788 See me in talk with thee.
LANCELET 0789 10Adieu. Tears exhibit my tongue, most beautiful
0790 pagan, most sweet Jew. If a Christian do not
0791 play the knave and get thee, I am much deceived.
0792 But adieu. These foolish drops do something drown
0793 my manly spirit. Adieu.
JESSICA 0794 15Farewell, good Lancelet.
0796 To be ashamed to be my father’s child?
0797 But though I am a daughter to his blood,
0798 I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo,
0799 20 If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife,
0800 Become a Christian and thy loving wife.
0801 Nay, we will slink away in supper time,
0802 Disguise us at my lodging, and return
0803 All in an hour.
0804 We have not made good preparation.
0805 5 We have not spoke us yet of torchbearers.
0806 ’Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered,
0807 And better in my mind not undertook.
0808 ’Tis now but four o’clock. We have two hours
0809 To furnish us.
0810 10 Friend Lancelet, what’s the news?
LANCELET 0811 An it shall please you to break up this, it
0812 shall seem to signify.⌜Handing him Jessica’s letter.⌝
0813 I know the hand; in faith, ’tis a fair hand,
0814 And whiter than the paper it writ on
0815 15 Is the fair hand that writ.
GRATIANO 0816 Love news, in faith!
LORENZO 0818 Whither goest thou?
LANCELET 0819 Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to
0820 20 sup tonight with my new master the Christian.
0821 Hold here, take this. ⌜Giving him money.⌝ Tell gentle
0823 I will not fail her. Speak it privately.
0824 Go, gentlemen,
0825 25 Will you prepare you for this masque tonight?
0826 I am provided of a torchbearer.
0827 Ay, marry, I’ll be gone about it straight.
0828 And so will I.
LORENZO 0829 Meet me and Gratiano
0830 30 At Gratiano’s lodging some hour hence.
SALARINO 0831 ’Tis good we do so.
⌜Salarino and Solanio⌝ exit.
0832 Was not that letter from fair Jessica?
0833 I must needs tell thee all. She hath directed
0834 How I shall take her from her father’s house,
0835 35 What gold and jewels she is furnished with,
0836 What page’s suit she hath in readiness.
0837 If e’er the Jew her father come to heaven,
0838 It will be for his gentle daughter’s sake;
0839 And never dare misfortune cross her foot
0840 40 Unless she do it under this excuse,
0841 That she is issue to a faithless Jew.
0842 Come, go with me. Peruse this as thou goest;
⌜Handing him the letter.⌝
0843 Fair Jessica shall be my torchbearer.
his man that was, the Clown.
0844 Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge,
0845 The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio.—
0846 What, Jessica!—Thou shalt not gormandize
0847 As thou hast done with me—what, Jessica!—
0848 5 And sleep, and snore, and rend apparel out.—
0849 Why, Jessica, I say!
LANCELET 0850 Why, Jessica!
0851 Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.
LANCELET 0852 Your Worship was wont to tell me I could
0853 10 do nothing without bidding.
JESSICA 0854 Call you? What is your will?
0855 I am bid forth to supper, Jessica.
0856 There are my keys.—But wherefore should I go?
0857 I am not bid for love. They flatter me.
0858 15 But yet I’ll go in hate, to feed upon
0859 The prodigal Christian.—Jessica, my girl,
0860 Look to my house.—I am right loath to go.
0861 There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest,
0862 For I did dream of money bags tonight.
LANCELET 0863 20I beseech you, sir, go. My young master
0864 doth expect your reproach.
SHYLOCK 0865 So do I his.
LANCELET 0866 And they have conspired together—I will
0867 not say you shall see a masque, but if you do, then it
0868 25 was not for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on
0869 Black Monday last, at six o’clock i’ th’ morning,
0870 falling out that year on Ash Wednesday was four
0871 year in th’ afternoon.
0872 What, are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica,
0873 30 Lock up my doors, and when you hear the drum
0874 And the vile squealing of the wry-necked fife,
0875 Clamber not you up to the casements then,
0876 Nor thrust your head into the public street
0877 To gaze on Christian fools with varnished faces,
0878 35 But stop my house’s ears (I mean my casements).
0879 Let not the sound of shallow fopp’ry enter
0880 My sober house. By Jacob’s staff I swear
0881 I have no mind of feasting forth tonight.
0882 But I will go.—Go you before me, sirrah.
0883 40 Say I will come.
LANCELET 0884 I will go before, sir. ⌜Aside to Jessica.⌝ Mistress,
0885 look out at window for all this.
0886 There will come a Christian by
0887 Will be worth a ⌜Jewess’⌝ eye.⌜He exits.⌝
0888 45 What says that fool of Hagar’s offspring, ha?
0889 His words were “Farewell, mistress,” nothing else.
0890 The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder,
0891 Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
0892 More than the wildcat. Drones hive not with me,
0893 50 Therefore I part with him, and part with him
0894 To one that I would have him help to waste
0895 His borrowed purse. Well, Jessica, go in.
0896 Perhaps I will return immediately.
0897 Do as I bid you. Shut doors after you.
0898 55 Fast bind, fast find—
0899 A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.He exits.
0900 Farewell, and if my fortune be not crossed,
0901 I have a father, you a daughter, lost.
0902 This is the penthouse under which Lorenzo
0903 Desired us to make stand.
SALARINO 0904 His hour is almost past.
0905 And it is marvel he outdwells his hour,
0906 5 For lovers ever run before the clock.
0907 O, ten times faster Venus’ pigeons fly
0908 To seal love’s bonds new-made than they are wont
0909 To keep obligèd faith unforfeited.
0910 That ever holds. Who riseth from a feast
0911 10 With that keen appetite that he sits down?
0912 Where is the horse that doth untread again
0913 His tedious measures with the unbated fire
0914 That he did pace them first? All things that are,
0915 Are with more spirit chasèd than enjoyed.
0916 15 How like a younger or a prodigal
0917 The scarfèd bark puts from her native bay,
0918 Hugged and embracèd by the strumpet wind;
0919 How like the prodigal doth she return
0920 With overweathered ribs and raggèd sails,
0921 20 Lean, rent, and beggared by the strumpet wind!
0922 Here comes Lorenzo. More of this hereafter.
0923 Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode.
0924 Not I but my affairs have made you wait.
0925 When you shall please to play the thieves for wives,
0926 25 I’ll watch as long for you then. Approach.
0927 Here dwells my father Jew.—Ho! Who’s within?
0928 Who are you? Tell me for more certainty,
0929 Albeit I’ll swear that I do know your tongue.
LORENZO 0930 Lorenzo, and thy love.
0931 30 Lorenzo certain, and my love indeed,
0932 For who love I so much? And now who knows
0933 But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
0934 Heaven and thy thoughts are witness that thou art.
0935 Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains.
0936 35 I am glad ’tis night, you do not look on me,
0937 For I am much ashamed of my exchange.
0938 But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
0939 The pretty follies that themselves commit,
0940 For if they could, Cupid himself would blush
0941 40 To see me thus transformèd to a boy.
0942 Descend, for you must be my torchbearer.
0943 What, must I hold a candle to my shames?
0944 They in themselves, good sooth, are too too light.
0945 Why, ’tis an office of discovery, love,
0946 45 And I should be obscured.
LORENZO 0947 So are you, sweet,
0948 Even in the lovely garnish of a boy.
0949 But come at once,
0950 For the close night doth play the runaway,
0951 50 And we are stayed for at Bassanio’s feast.
0952 I will make fast the doors and gild myself
0953 With some more ducats, and be with you straight.
⌜Jessica exits, above.⌝
0954 Now, by my hood, a gentle and no Jew!
0955 Beshrew me but I love her heartily,
0956 55 For she is wise, if I can judge of her,
0957 And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true,
0958 And true she is, as she hath proved herself.
0959 And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, and true,
0960 Shall she be placèd in my constant soul.
Enter Jessica, ⌜below.⌝
0961 60 What, art thou come? On, gentleman, away!
0962 Our masquing mates by this time for us stay.
⌜All but Gratiano⌝ exit.
ANTONIO 0963 Who’s there?
GRATIANO 0964 Signior Antonio?
0965 Fie, fie, Gratiano, where are all the rest?
0966 65 ’Tis nine o’clock! Our friends all stay for you.
0967 No masque tonight; the wind is come about;
0968 Bassanio presently will go aboard.
0969 I have sent twenty out to seek for you.
0970 I am glad on ’t. I desire no more delight
0971 70 Than to be under sail and gone tonight.
0972 Go, draw aside the curtains and discover
⌜A curtain is drawn.⌝
0974 Now make your choice.
0975 This first, of gold, who this inscription bears,
0976 5 “Who chooseth me shall gain what many men
0978 The second, silver, which this promise carries,
0979 “Who chooseth me shall get as much as he
0981 10 This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt,
0982 “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he
0984 How shall I know if I do choose the right?
0985 The one of them contains my picture, prince.
0986 15 If you choose that, then I am yours withal.
0987 Some god direct my judgment! Let me see.
0988 I will survey th’ inscriptions back again.
0989 What says this leaden casket?
0990 “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he
0991 20 hath.”
0992 Must give—for what? For lead? Hazard for lead?
0993 This casket threatens. Men that hazard all
0994 Do it in hope of fair advantages.
0995 A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross.
0996 25 I’ll then nor give nor hazard aught for lead.
0997 What says the silver with her virgin hue?
0998 “Who chooseth me shall get as much as he
1000 As much as he deserves—pause there, Morocco,
1001 30 And weigh thy value with an even hand.
1002 If thou beest rated by thy estimation,
1003 Thou dost deserve enough; and yet enough
1004 May not extend so far as to the lady.
1006 35 Were but a weak disabling of myself.
1007 As much as I deserve—why, that’s the lady!
1008 I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes,
1009 In graces, and in qualities of breeding,
1010 But more than these, in love I do deserve.
1011 40 What if I strayed no farther, but chose here?
1012 Let’s see once more this saying graved in gold:
1013 “Who chooseth me shall gain what many men
1015 Why, that’s the lady! All the world desires her.
1016 45 From the four corners of the Earth they come
1017 To kiss this shrine, this mortal, breathing saint.
1018 The Hyrcanian deserts and the vasty wilds
1019 Of wide Arabia are as throughfares now
1020 For princes to come view fair Portia.
1021 50 The watery kingdom, whose ambitious head
1022 Spets in the face of heaven, is no bar
1023 To stop the foreign spirits, but they come
1024 As o’er a brook to see fair Portia.
1025 One of these three contains her heavenly picture.
1026 55 Is ’t like that lead contains her? ’Twere damnation
1027 To think so base a thought. It were too gross
1028 To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave.
1029 Or shall I think in silver she’s immured,
1030 Being ten times undervalued to tried gold?
1031 60 O, sinful thought! Never so rich a gem
1032 Was set in worse than gold. They have in England
1033 A coin that bears the figure of an angel
1034 Stamped in gold, but that’s insculped upon;
1035 But here an angel in a golden bed
1036 65 Lies all within.—Deliver me the key.
1037 Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may.
1038 There, take it, prince. ⌜Handing him the key.⌝ And if
1039 my form lie there,
1040 Then I am yours.
MOROCCO 1041 70 O hell! What have we here?
1042 A carrion death within whose empty eye
1043 There is a written scroll. I’ll read the writing:
1044 All that glisters is not gold—
1045 Often have you heard that told.
1046 75 Many a man his life hath sold
1047 But my outside to behold.
1048 Gilded ⌜tombs⌝ do worms infold.
1049 Had you been as wise as bold,
1050 Young in limbs, in judgment old,
1051 80 Your answer had not been enscrolled.
1052 Fare you well, your suit is cold.
1053 Cold indeed and labor lost!
1054 Then, farewell, heat, and welcome, frost.
1055 Portia, adieu. I have too grieved a heart
1056 85 To take a tedious leave. Thus losers part.
He exits, ⌜with his train.⌝
1057 A gentle riddance! Draw the curtains, go.
1058 Let all of his complexion choose me so.
1059 Why, man, I saw Bassanio under sail;
1060 With him is Gratiano gone along;
1061 And in their ship I am sure Lorenzo is not.
1062 The villain Jew with outcries raised the Duke,
1063 5 Who went with him to search Bassanio’s ship.
1064 He came too late; the ship was under sail.
1066 That in a gondola were seen together
1067 Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica.
1068 10 Besides, Antonio certified the Duke
1069 They were not with Bassanio in his ship.
1070 I never heard a passion so confused,
1071 So strange, outrageous, and so variable
1072 As the dog Jew did utter in the streets.
1073 15 “My daughter, O my ducats, O my daughter!
1074 Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats!
1075 Justice, the law, my ducats, and my daughter,
1076 A sealèd bag, two sealèd bags of ducats,
1077 Of double ducats, stol’n from me by my daughter,
1078 20 And jewels—two stones, two rich and precious
1080 Stol’n by my daughter! Justice! Find the girl!
1081 She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats.”
1082 Why, all the boys in Venice follow him,
1083 25 Crying “His stones, his daughter, and his ducats.”
1084 Let good Antonio look he keep his day,
1085 Or he shall pay for this.
SALARINO 1086 Marry, well remembered.
1087 I reasoned with a Frenchman yesterday
1088 30 Who told me, in the Narrow Seas that part
1089 The French and English, there miscarrièd
1090 A vessel of our country richly fraught.
1091 I thought upon Antonio when he told me,
1092 And wished in silence that it were not his.
1093 35 You were best to tell Antonio what you hear—
1094 Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.
1095 A kinder gentleman treads not the Earth.
1097 Bassanio told him he would make some speed
1098 40 Of his return. He answered “Do not so.
1099 ⌜Slubber⌝ not business for my sake, Bassanio,
1100 But stay the very riping of the time;
1101 And for the Jew’s bond which he hath of me,
1102 Let it not enter in your mind of love.
1103 45 Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts
1104 To courtship and such fair ostents of love
1105 As shall conveniently become you there.”
1106 And even there, his eye being big with tears,
1107 Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,
1108 50 And with affection wondrous sensible
1109 He wrung Bassanio’s hand—and so they parted.
1110 I think he only loves the world for him.
1111 I pray thee, let us go and find him out
1112 And quicken his embracèd heaviness
1113 55 With some delight or other.
SALARINO 1114 Do we so.
1115 Quick, quick, I pray thee, draw the curtain straight.
1116 The Prince of Arragon hath ta’en his oath
1117 And comes to his election presently.
Enter ⌜the Prince of⌝ Arragon, his train, and Portia.
1118 Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince.
1119 5 If you choose that wherein I am contained,
1120 Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemnized.
1122 You must be gone from hence immediately.
1123 I am enjoined by oath to observe three things:
1124 10 First, never to unfold to anyone
1125 Which casket ’twas I chose; next, if I fail
1126 Of the right casket, never in my life
1127 To woo a maid in way of marriage;
1128 Lastly, if I do fail in fortune of my choice,
1129 15 Immediately to leave you, and be gone.
1130 To these injunctions everyone doth swear
1131 That comes to hazard for my worthless self.
1132 And so have I addressed me. Fortune now
1133 To my heart’s hope! Gold, silver, and base lead.
1134 20 “Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he
1136 You shall look fairer ere I give or hazard.
1137 What says the golden chest? Ha, let me see:
1138 “Who chooseth me shall gain what many men
1139 25 desire.”
1140 What many men desire—that “many” may be
1142 By the fool multitude that choose by show,
1143 Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach,
1144 30 Which pries not to th’ interior, but like the martlet
1145 Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
1146 Even in the force and road of casualty.
1147 I will not choose what many men desire,
1148 Because I will not jump with common spirits
1149 35 And rank me with the barbarous multitudes.
1150 Why, then, to thee, thou silver treasure house.
1151 Tell me once more what title thou dost bear.
1152 “Who chooseth me shall get as much as he
1155 To cozen fortune and be honorable
1156 Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume
1157 To wear an undeservèd dignity.
1158 O, that estates, degrees, and offices
1159 45 Were not derived corruptly, and that clear honor
1160 Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
1161 How many then should cover that stand bare?
1162 How many be commanded that command?
1163 How much low peasantry would then be gleaned
1164 50 From the true seed of honor? And how much honor
1165 Picked from the chaff and ruin of the times,
1166 To be new varnished? Well, but to my choice.
1167 “Who chooseth me shall get as much as he
1169 55 I will assume desert. Give me a key for this,
⌜He is given a key.⌝
1170 And instantly unlock my fortunes here.
⌜He opens the silver casket.⌝
1171 Too long a pause for that which you find there.
1172 What’s here? The portrait of a blinking idiot
1173 Presenting me a schedule! I will read it.—
1174 60 How much unlike art thou to Portia!
1175 How much unlike my hopes and my deservings.
1176 “Who chooseth me shall have as much as he
1178 Did I deserve no more than a fool’s head?
1179 65 Is that my prize? Are my deserts no better?
1180 To offend and judge are distinct offices
1181 And of opposèd natures.
ARRAGON 1182 What is here?
1183 The fire seven times tried this;
1184 70 Seven times tried that judgment is
1185 That did never choose amiss.
1186 Some there be that shadows kiss;
1187 Such have but a shadow’s bliss.
1188 There be fools alive, iwis,
1189 75 Silvered o’er—and so was this.
1190 Take what wife you will to bed,
1191 I will ever be your head.
1192 So begone; you are sped.
1193 Still more fool I shall appear
1194 80 By the time I linger here.
1195 With one fool’s head I came to woo,
1196 But I go away with two.
1197 Sweet, adieu. I’ll keep my oath,
1198 Patiently to bear my wroth.⌜He exits with his train.⌝
1199 85 Thus hath the candle singed the moth.
1200 O, these deliberate fools, when they do choose,
1201 They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.
1202 The ancient saying is no heresy:
1203 Hanging and wiving goes by destiny.
PORTIA 1204 90Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa.
1205 Where is my lady?
PORTIA 1206 Here. What would my
1208 Madam, there is alighted at your gate
1209 95 A young Venetian, one that comes before
1210 To signify th’ approaching of his lord,
1211 From whom he bringeth sensible regreets;
1212 To wit (besides commends and courteous breath),
1213 Gifts of rich value; yet I have not seen
1215 A day in April never came so sweet,
1216 To show how costly summer was at hand,
1217 As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord.
1218 No more, I pray thee. I am half afeard
1219 105 Thou wilt say anon he is some kin to thee,
1220 Thou spend’st such high-day wit in praising him!
1221 Come, come, Nerissa, for I long to see
1222 Quick Cupid’s post that comes so mannerly.
1223 Bassanio, Lord Love, if thy will it be!
SOLANIO 1224 Now, what news on the Rialto?
SALARINO 1225 Why, yet it lives there unchecked that Antonio
1226 hath a ship of rich lading wracked on the
1227 Narrow Seas—the Goodwins, I think they call the
1228 5 place—a very dangerous flat, and fatal, where the
1229 carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say,
1230 if my gossip Report be an honest woman of her
SOLANIO 1232 I would she were as lying a gossip in that as
1233 10 ever knapped ginger or made her neighbors believe
1234 she wept for the death of a third husband. But
1235 it is true, without any slips of prolixity or crossing
1236 the plain highway of talk, that the good Antonio,
1237 the honest Antonio—O, that I had a title good
1238 15 enough to keep his name company!—
SALARINO 1239 Come, the full stop.
SOLANIO 1240 Ha, what sayest thou? Why, the end is, he
1241 hath lost a ship.
SALARINO 1242 I would it might prove the end of his losses.
SOLANIO 1243 20Let me say “amen” betimes, lest the devil
1244 cross my prayer, for here he comes in the likeness
1245 of a Jew.
SHYLOCK 1248 25You knew, none so well, none so well as you,
1249 of my daughter’s flight.
SALARINO 1250 That’s certain. I for my part knew the tailor
1251 that made the wings she flew withal.
SOLANIO 1252 And Shylock for his own part knew the bird
1253 30 was fledge, and then it is the complexion of them
1254 all to leave the dam.
SHYLOCK 1255 She is damned for it.
SALARINO 1256 That’s certain, if the devil may be her judge.
SHYLOCK 1257 My own flesh and blood to rebel!
SOLANIO 1258 35Out upon it, old carrion! Rebels it at these
SHYLOCK 1260 I say my daughter is my flesh and my blood.
SALARINO 1261 There is more difference between thy flesh
1262 and hers than between jet and ivory, more between
1263 40 your bloods than there is between red wine and
1264 Rhenish. But tell us, do you hear whether Antonio
1265 have had any loss at sea or no?
SHYLOCK 1266 There I have another bad match! A bankrout,
1267 a prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on
1268 45 the Rialto, a beggar that was used to come so smug
1269 upon the mart! Let him look to his bond. He was
1270 wont to call me usurer; let him look to his bond. He
1271 was wont to lend money for a Christian cur’sy; let
1272 him look to his bond.
SALARINO 1273 50Why, I am sure if he forfeit, thou wilt not
1274 take his flesh! What’s that good for?
SHYLOCK 1275 To bait fish withal; if it will feed nothing else,
1276 it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me and
1277 hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses,
1278 55 mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted
1279 my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies—
1280 and what’s his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not
1281 a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions,
1283 60 same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to
1284 the same diseases, healed by the same means,
1285 warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer
1286 as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not
1287 bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you
1288 65 poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall
1289 we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
1290 resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian,
1291 what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong
1292 a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian
1293 70 example? Why, revenge! The villainy you teach me I
1294 will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the
Enter a man from Antonio.
⌜SERVINGMAN⌝ 1296 Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his
1297 house and desires to speak with you both.
SALARINO 1298 75We have been up and down to seek him.
SOLANIO 1299 Here comes another of the tribe; a third
1300 cannot be matched unless the devil himself turn
⌜Salarino, Solanio, and the Servingman⌝ exit.
SHYLOCK 1302 How now, Tubal, what news from Genoa?
1303 80 Hast thou found my daughter?
TUBAL 1304 I often came where I did hear of her, but
1305 cannot find her.
SHYLOCK 1306 Why, there, there, there, there! A diamond
1307 gone cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfurt!
1308 85 The curse never fell upon our nation till now, I
1309 never felt it till now. Two thousand ducats in that,
1310 and other precious, precious jewels! I would my
1311 daughter were dead at my foot and the jewels in her
1312 ear; would she were hearsed at my foot and the
1314 I know not what’s spent in the search! Why, thou
1315 loss upon loss! The thief gone with so much, and so
1316 much to find the thief, and no satisfaction, no
1317 revenge, nor no ill luck stirring but what lights a’ my
1318 95 shoulders, no sighs but a’ my breathing, no tears but
1319 a’ my shedding.
TUBAL 1320 Yes, other men have ill luck, too. Antonio, as I
1321 heard in Genoa—
SHYLOCK 1322 What, what, what? Ill luck, ill luck?
TUBAL 1323 100—hath an argosy cast away coming from
SHYLOCK 1325 I thank God, I thank God! Is it true, is it true?
TUBAL 1326 I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped
1327 the wrack.
SHYLOCK 1328 105I thank thee, good Tubal. Good news, good
1329 news! Ha, ha, ⌜heard⌝ in Genoa—
TUBAL 1330 Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, one
1331 night fourscore ducats.
SHYLOCK 1332 Thou stick’st a dagger in me. I shall never
1333 110 see my gold again. Fourscore ducats at a sitting,
1334 fourscore ducats!
TUBAL 1335 There came divers of Antonio’s creditors in my
1336 company to Venice that swear he cannot choose
1337 but break.
SHYLOCK 1338 115I am very glad of it. I’ll plague him, I’ll
1339 torture him. I am glad of it.
TUBAL 1340 One of them showed me a ring that he had of
1341 your daughter for a monkey.
SHYLOCK 1342 Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal. It
1343 120 was my ⌜turquoise!⌝ I had it of Leah when I was a
1344 bachelor. I would not have given it for a wilderness
1345 of monkeys.
TUBAL 1346 But Antonio is certainly undone.
SHYLOCK 1347 Nay, that’s true, that’s very true. Go, Tubal,
1348 125 fee me an officer. Bespeak him a fortnight before. I
1350 out of Venice I can make what merchandise I will.
1351 Go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue. Go, good
1352 Tubal, at our synagogue, Tubal.
1353 I pray you tarry, pause a day or two
1354 Before you hazard, for in choosing wrong
1355 I lose your company; therefore forbear a while.
1356 There’s something tells me (but it is not love)
1357 5 I would not lose you, and you know yourself
1358 Hate counsels not in such a quality.
1359 But lest you should not understand me well
1360 (And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought)
1361 I would detain you here some month or two
1362 10 Before you venture for me. I could teach you
1363 How to choose right, but then I am forsworn.
1364 So will I never be. So may you miss me.
1365 But if you do, you’ll make me wish a sin,
1366 That I had been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes,
1367 15 They have o’erlooked me and divided me.
1368 One half of me is yours, the other half yours—
1369 Mine own, I would say—but if mine, then yours,
1370 And so all yours. O, these naughty times
1371 Puts bars between the owners and their rights!
1372 20 And so though yours, not yours. Prove it so,
1373 Let Fortune go to hell for it, not I.
1374 I speak too long, but ’tis to peize the time,
1375 To eche it, and to draw it out in length,
1376 To stay you from election.
1378 For as I am, I live upon the rack.
1379 Upon the rack, Bassanio? Then confess
1380 What treason there is mingled with your love.
1381 None but that ugly treason of mistrust,
1382 30 Which makes me fear th’ enjoying of my love.
1383 There may as well be amity and life
1384 ’Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love.
1385 Ay, but I fear you speak upon the rack
1386 Where men enforcèd do speak anything.
1387 35 Promise me life and I’ll confess the truth.
1388 Well, then, confess and live.
BASSANIO 1389 “Confess and love”
1390 Had been the very sum of my confession.
1391 O happy torment, when my torturer
1392 40 Doth teach me answers for deliverance!
1393 But let me to my fortune and the caskets.
1394 Away, then. I am locked in one of them.
1395 If you do love me, you will find me out.—
1396 Nerissa and the rest, stand all aloof.
1397 45 Let music sound while he doth make his choice.
1398 Then if he lose he makes a swanlike end,
1399 Fading in music. That the comparison
1400 May stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream
1401 And wat’ry deathbed for him. He may win,
1402 50 And what is music then? Then music is
1403 Even as the flourish when true subjects bow
1404 To a new-crownèd monarch. Such it is
1405 As are those dulcet sounds in break of day
1406 That creep into the dreaming bridegroom’s ear
1407 55 And summon him to marriage. Now he goes,
1409 Than young Alcides when he did redeem
1410 The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy
1411 To the sea-monster. I stand for sacrifice;
1412 60 The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives,
1413 With blearèd visages, come forth to view
1414 The issue of th’ exploit. Go, Hercules!
1415 Live thou, I live. With much much more dismay
1416 I view the fight than thou that mak’st the fray.
A song the whilst Bassanio comments on
the caskets to himself.
1417 65 Tell me where is fancy bred,
1418 Or in the heart, or in the head?
1419 How begot, how nourishèd?
1420 Reply, reply.
1421 It is engendered in the eye,
1422 70 With gazing fed, and fancy dies
1423 In the cradle where it lies.
1424 Let us all ring fancy’s knell.
1425 I’ll begin it.—Ding, dong, bell.
ALL 1426 Ding, dong, bell.
1427 75 So may the outward shows be least themselves;
1428 The world is still deceived with ornament.
1429 In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt
1430 But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
1431 Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
1432 80 What damnèd error but some sober brow
1433 Will bless it and approve it with a text,
1434 Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
1435 There is no ⌜vice⌝ so simple but assumes
1436 Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.
1437 85 How many cowards whose hearts are all as false
1438 As ⌜stairs⌝ of sand, wear yet upon their chins
1439 The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars,
1441 And these assume but valor’s excrement
1442 90 To render them redoubted. Look on beauty,
1443 And you shall see ’tis purchased by the weight,
1444 Which therein works a miracle in nature,
1445 Making them lightest that wear most of it.
1446 So are those crispèd snaky golden locks,
1447 95 Which maketh such wanton gambols with the wind
1448 Upon supposèd fairness, often known
1449 To be the dowry of a second head,
1450 The skull that bred them in the sepulcher.
1451 Thus ornament is but the guilèd shore
1452 100 To a most dangerous sea, the beauteous scarf
1453 Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
1454 The seeming truth which cunning times put on
1455 To entrap the wisest. Therefore, then, thou gaudy
1457 105 Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee.
1458 Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge
1459 ’Tween man and man. But thou, thou meager lead,
1460 Which rather threaten’st than dost promise aught,
1461 Thy paleness moves me more than eloquence,
1462 110 And here choose I. Joy be the consequence!
⌜Bassanio is given a key.⌝
1463 How all the other passions fleet to air,
1464 As doubtful thoughts and rash embraced despair,
1465 And shudd’ring fear, and green-eyed jealousy!
1466 O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy,
1467 115 In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess!
1468 I feel too much thy blessing. Make it less,
1469 For fear I surfeit.
⌜Bassanio opens the lead casket.⌝
BASSANIO 1470 What find I here?
1471 Fair Portia’s counterfeit! What demigod
1472 120 Hath come so near creation? Move these eyes?
1474 Seem they in motion? Here are severed lips
1475 Parted with sugar breath; so sweet a bar
1476 Should sunder such sweet friends. Here in her hairs
1477 125 The painter plays the spider, and hath woven
1478 A golden mesh t’ entrap the hearts of men
1479 Faster than gnats in cobwebs. But her eyes!
1480 How could he see to do them? Having made one,
1481 Methinks it should have power to steal both his
1482 130 And leave itself unfurnished. Yet look how far
1483 The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
1484 In underprizing it, so far this shadow
1485 Doth limp behind the substance. Here’s the scroll,
1486 The continent and summary of my fortune.
⌜He reads the scroll.⌝
1487 135 You that choose not by the view
1488 Chance as fair and choose as true.
1489 Since this fortune falls to you,
1490 Be content and seek no new.
1491 If you be well pleased with this
1492 140 And hold your fortune for your bliss,
1493 Turn you where your lady is,
1494 And claim her with a loving kiss.
1495 A gentle scroll! Fair lady, by your leave,
1496 I come by note to give and to receive.
1497 145 Like one of two contending in a prize
1498 That thinks he hath done well in people’s eyes,
1499 Hearing applause and universal shout,
1500 Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt
1501 Whether those peals of praise be his or no,
1502 150 So, thrice-fair lady, stand I even so,
1503 As doubtful whether what I see be true,
1504 Until confirmed, signed, ratified by you.
1505 You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand,
1506 Such as I am. Though for myself alone
1508 To wish myself much better, yet for you
1509 I would be trebled twenty times myself,
1510 A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times
1511 More rich, that only to stand high in your account
1512 160 I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
1513 Exceed account. But the full sum of me
1514 Is sum of something, which, to term in gross,
1515 Is an unlessoned girl, unschooled, unpracticed;
1516 Happy in this, she is not yet so old
1517 165 But she may learn; happier than this,
1518 She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
1519 Happiest of all, is that her gentle spirit
1520 Commits itself to yours to be directed
1521 As from her lord, her governor, her king.
1522 170 Myself, and what is mine, to you and yours
1523 Is now converted. But now I was the lord
1524 Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
1525 Queen o’er myself; and even now, but now,
1526 This house, these servants, and this same myself
1527 175 Are yours, my lord’s. I give them with this ring,
⌜Handing him a ring.⌝
1528 Which, when you part from, lose, or give away,
1529 Let it presage the ruin of your love,
1530 And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
1531 Madam, you have bereft me of all words.
1532 180 Only my blood speaks to you in my veins,
1533 And there is such confusion in my powers
1534 As after some oration fairly spoke
1535 By a belovèd prince there doth appear
1536 Among the buzzing pleasèd multitude,
1537 185 Where every something being blent together
1538 Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy
1539 Expressed and not expressed. But when this ring
1540 Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence.
1541 O, then be bold to say Bassanio’s dead!
1542 190 My lord and lady, it is now our time,
1543 That have stood by and seen our wishes prosper,
1544 To cry “Good joy, good joy, my lord and lady!”
1545 My Lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady,
1546 I wish you all the joy that you can wish,
1547 195 For I am sure you can wish none from me.
1548 And when your honors mean to solemnize
1549 The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you
1550 Even at that time I may be married too.
1551 With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife.
1552 200 I thank your Lordship, you have got me one.
1553 My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours:
1554 You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid.
1555 You loved, I loved; for intermission
1556 No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
1557 205 Your fortune stood upon the caskets there,
1558 And so did mine, too, as the matter falls.
1559 For wooing here until I sweat again,
1560 And swearing till my very roof was dry
1561 With oaths of love, at last (if promise last)
1562 210 I got a promise of this fair one here
1563 To have her love, provided that your fortune
1564 Achieved her mistress.
PORTIA 1565 Is this true, Nerissa?
1566 Madam, it is, so you stand pleased withal.
1567 215 And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
GRATIANO 1568 Yes, faith, my lord.
1569 Our feast shall be much honored in your marriage.
GRATIANO 1570 We’ll play with them the first boy for a
1571 thousand ducats.
GRATIANO 1573 No, we shall ne’er win at that sport and
1574 stake down.
Enter Lorenzo, Jessica, and Salerio, a messenger
1575 But who comes here? Lorenzo and his infidel?
1576 What, and my old Venetian friend Salerio?
1577 225 Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hither—
1578 If that the youth of my new int’rest here
1579 Have power to bid you welcome. ⌜To Portia.⌝ By
1580 your leave,
1581 I bid my very friends and countrymen,
1582 230 Sweet Portia, welcome.
1583 So do I, my lord. They are entirely welcome.
LORENZO, ⌜to Bassanio⌝
1584 I thank your Honor. For my part, my lord,
1585 My purpose was not to have seen you here,
1586 But meeting with Salerio by the way,
1587 235 He did entreat me past all saying nay
1588 To come with him along.
SALERIO 1589 I did, my lord,
1590 And I have reason for it.⌜Handing him a paper.⌝
1591 Signior Antonio
1592 240 Commends him to you.
BASSANIO 1593 Ere I ope his letter,
1594 I pray you tell me how my good friend doth.
1595 Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind,
1596 Nor well, unless in mind. His letter there
1597 245 Will show you his estate.
⌜Bassanio⌝ opens the letter.
1598 Nerissa, cheer yond stranger, bid her welcome.—
1599 Your hand, Salerio. What’s the news from Venice?
1601 I know he will be glad of our success.
1602 250 We are the Jasons, we have won the Fleece.
1603 I would you had won the fleece that he hath lost.
1604 There are some shrewd contents in yond same
1606 That steals the color from Bassanio’s cheek.
1607 255 Some dear friend dead, else nothing in the world
1608 Could turn so much the constitution
1609 Of any constant man. What, worse and worse?—
1610 With leave, Bassanio, I am half yourself,
1611 And I must freely have the half of anything
1612 260 That this same paper brings you.
BASSANIO 1613 O sweet Portia,
1614 Here are a few of the unpleasant’st words
1615 That ever blotted paper. Gentle lady,
1616 When I did first impart my love to you,
1617 265 I freely told you all the wealth I had
1618 Ran in my veins: I was a gentleman.
1619 And then I told you true; and yet, dear lady,
1620 Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
1621 How much I was a braggart. When I told you
1622 270 My state was nothing, I should then have told you
1623 That I was worse than nothing; for indeed
1624 I have engaged myself to a dear friend,
1625 Engaged my friend to his mere enemy
1626 To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady,
1627 275 The paper as the body of my friend,
1628 And every word in it a gaping wound
1629 Issuing life blood.—But is it true, Salerio?
1630 Hath all his ventures failed? What, not one hit?
1631 From Tripolis, from Mexico and England,
1632 280 From Lisbon, Barbary, and India,
1633 And not one vessel ’scape the dreadful touch
1634 Of merchant-marring rocks?
1636 Besides, it should appear that if he had
1637 285 The present money to discharge the Jew,
1638 He would not take it. Never did I know
1639 A creature that did bear the shape of man
1640 So keen and greedy to confound a man.
1641 He plies the Duke at morning and at night,
1642 290 And doth impeach the freedom of the state
1643 If they deny him justice. Twenty merchants,
1644 The Duke himself, and the magnificoes
1645 Of greatest port have all persuaded with him,
1646 But none can drive him from the envious plea
1647 295 Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.
1648 When I was with him, I have heard him swear
1649 To Tubal and to Chus, his countrymen,
1650 That he would rather have Antonio’s flesh
1651 Than twenty times the value of the sum
1652 300 That he did owe him. And I know, my lord,
1653 If law, authority, and power deny not,
1654 It will go hard with poor Antonio.
1655 Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?
1656 The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
1657 305 The best conditioned and unwearied spirit
1658 In doing courtesies, and one in whom
1659 The ancient Roman honor more appears
1660 Than any that draws breath in Italy.
PORTIA 1661 What sum owes he the Jew?
1662 310 For me, three thousand ducats.
PORTIA 1663 What, no more?
1664 Pay him six thousand and deface the bond.
1665 Double six thousand and then treble that,
1666 Before a friend of this description
1667 315 Shall lose a hair through Bassanio’s fault.
1669 And then away to Venice to your friend!
1670 For never shall you lie by Portia’s side
1671 With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
1672 320 To pay the petty debt twenty times over.
1673 When it is paid, bring your true friend along.
1674 My maid Nerissa and myself meantime
1675 Will live as maids and widows. Come, away,
1676 For you shall hence upon your wedding day.
1677 325 Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer;
1678 Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.
1679 But let me hear the letter of your friend.
1680 Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, my
1681 creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to
1682 330 the Jew is forfeit, and since in paying it, it is impossible
1683 I should live, all debts are cleared between you and I if
1684 I might but see you at my death. Notwithstanding, use
1685 your pleasure. If your love do not persuade you to
1686 come, let not my letter.
1687 335 O love, dispatch all business and begone!
1688 Since I have your good leave to go away,
1689 I will make haste. But till I come again,
1690 No bed shall e’er be guilty of my stay,
1691 Nor rest be interposer ’twixt us twain.
and the Jailer.
1692 Jailer, look to him. Tell not me of mercy.
1694 Jailer, look to him.
ANTONIO 1695 Hear me yet, good Shylock—
1696 5 I’ll have my bond. Speak not against my bond.
1697 I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond.
1698 Thou call’dst me dog before thou hadst a cause,
1699 But since I am a dog, beware my fangs.
1700 The Duke shall grant me justice.—I do wonder,
1701 10 Thou naughty jailer, that thou art so fond
1702 To come abroad with him at his request.
ANTONIO 1703 I pray thee, hear me speak—
1704 I’ll have my bond. I will not hear thee speak.
1705 I’ll have my bond, and therefore speak no more.
1706 15 I’ll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool,
1707 To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield
1708 To Christian intercessors. Follow not!
1709 I’ll have no speaking. I will have my bond.⌜He⌝ exits.
1710 It is the most impenetrable cur
1711 20 That ever kept with men.
ANTONIO 1712 Let him alone.
1713 I’ll follow him no more with bootless prayers.
1714 He seeks my life. His reason well I know:
1715 I oft delivered from his forfeitures
1716 25 Many that have at times made moan to me.
1717 Therefore he hates me.
SOLANIO 1718 I am sure the Duke
1719 Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.
1720 The Duke cannot deny the course of law,
1721 30 For the commodity that strangers have
1722 With us in Venice, if it be denied,
1723 Will much impeach the justice of the state,
1724 Since that the trade and profit of the city
1726 35 These griefs and losses have so bated me
1727 That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
1728 Tomorrow to my bloody creditor.—
1729 Well, jailer, on.—Pray God Bassanio come
1730 To see me pay his debt, and then I care not.
a man of Portia’s.
1731 Madam, although I speak it in your presence,
1732 You have a noble and a true conceit
1733 Of godlike amity, which appears most strongly
1734 In bearing thus the absence of your lord.
1735 5 But if you knew to whom you show this honor,
1736 How true a gentleman you send relief,
1737 How dear a lover of my lord your husband,
1738 I know you would be prouder of the work
1739 Than customary bounty can enforce you.
1740 10 I never did repent for doing good,
1741 Nor shall not now; for in companions
1742 That do converse and waste the time together,
1743 Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
1744 There must be needs a like proportion
1745 15 Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit;
1746 Which makes me think that this Antonio,
1747 Being the bosom lover of my lord,
1748 Must needs be like my lord. If it be so,
1749 How little is the cost I have bestowed
1750 20 In purchasing the semblance of my soul
1751 From out the state of hellish cruelty!
1753 Therefore no more of it. Hear other things:
1754 Lorenzo, I commit into your hands
1755 25 The husbandry and manage of my house
1756 Until my lord’s return. For mine own part,
1757 I have toward heaven breathed a secret vow
1758 To live in prayer and contemplation,
1759 Only attended by Nerissa here,
1760 30 Until her husband and my lord’s return.
1761 There is a monastery two miles off,
1762 And there we will abide. I do desire you
1763 Not to deny this imposition,
1764 The which my love and some necessity
1765 35 Now lays upon you.
LORENZO 1766 Madam, with all my heart.
1767 I shall obey you in all fair commands.
1768 My people do already know my mind
1769 And will acknowledge you and Jessica
1770 40 In place of Lord Bassanio and myself.
1771 So fare you well till we shall meet again.
1772 Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you!
1773 I wish your Ladyship all heart’s content.
1774 I thank you for your wish, and am well pleased
1775 45 To wish it back on you. Fare you well, Jessica.
⌜Lorenzo and Jessica⌝ exit.
1776 Now, Balthazar,
1777 As I have ever found thee honest true,
1778 So let me find thee still: take this same letter,
1779 And use thou all th’ endeavor of a man
1780 50 In speed to ⌜Padua.⌝ See thou render this
1781 Into my ⌜cousin’s⌝ hands, Doctor Bellario.
⌜She gives him a paper.⌝
1784 Bring them, I pray thee, with imagined speed
1785 55 Unto the ⌜traject,⌝ to the common ferry
1786 Which trades to Venice. Waste no time in words,
1787 But get thee gone. I shall be there before thee.
1788 Madam, I go with all convenient speed.⌜He exits.⌝
1789 Come on, Nerissa, I have work in hand
1790 60 That you yet know not of. We’ll see our husbands
1791 Before they think of us.
NERISSA 1792 Shall they see us?
1793 They shall, Nerissa, but in such a habit
1794 That they shall think we are accomplishèd
1795 65 With that we lack. I’ll hold thee any wager,
1796 When we are both accoutered like young men,
1797 I’ll prove the prettier fellow of the two,
1798 And wear my dagger with the braver grace,
1799 And speak between the change of man and boy
1800 70 With a reed voice, and turn two mincing steps
1801 Into a manly stride, and speak of frays
1802 Like a fine bragging youth, and tell quaint lies
1803 How honorable ladies sought my love,
1804 Which I denying, they fell sick and died—
1805 75 I could not do withal!—then I’ll repent,
1806 And wish, for all that, that I had not killed them.
1807 And twenty of these puny lies I’ll tell,
1808 That men shall swear I have discontinued school
1809 Above a twelvemonth. I have within my mind
1810 80 A thousand raw tricks of these bragging jacks
1811 Which I will practice.
NERISSA 1812 Why, shall we turn to men?
PORTIA 1813 Fie, what a question’s that,
1814 If thou wert near a lewd interpreter!
1816 When I am in my coach, which stays for us
1817 At the park gate; and therefore haste away,
1818 For we must measure twenty miles today.
LANCELET 1819 Yes, truly, for look you, the sins of the father
1820 are to be laid upon the children. Therefore I
1821 promise you I fear you. I was always plain with you,
1822 and so now I speak my agitation of the matter.
1823 5 Therefore be o’ good cheer, for truly I think you
1824 are damned. There is but one hope in it that can do
1825 you any good, and that is but a kind of bastard hope
JESSICA 1827 And what hope is that, I pray thee?
LANCELET 1828 10Marry, you may partly hope that your father
1829 got you not, that you are not the Jew’s daughter.
JESSICA 1830 That were a kind of bastard hope indeed; so
1831 the sins of my mother should be visited upon me!
LANCELET 1832 Truly, then, I fear you are damned both by
1833 15 father and mother; thus when I shun Scylla your
1834 father, I fall into Charybdis your mother. Well, you
1835 are gone both ways.
JESSICA 1836 I shall be saved by my husband. He hath made
1837 me a Christian.
LANCELET 1838 20Truly the more to blame he! We were Christians
1839 enow before, e’en as many as could well live
1840 one by another. This making of Christians will
1841 raise the price of hogs. If we grow all to be pork
1842 eaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on the
1843 25 coals for money.
1845 Here he ⌜comes.⌝
LORENZO 1846 I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Lancelet,
1847 if you thus get my wife into corners!
JESSICA 1848 30Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo. Lancelet
1849 and I are out. He tells me flatly there’s no mercy for
1850 me in heaven because I am a Jew’s daughter; and
1851 he says you are no good member of the commonwealth,
1852 for in converting Jews to Christians you
1853 35 raise the price of pork.
LORENZO 1854 I shall answer that better to the commonwealth
1855 than you can the getting up of the Negro’s
1856 belly! The Moor is with child by you, Lancelet.
LANCELET 1857 It is much that the Moor should be more
1858 40 than reason; but if she be less than an honest
1859 woman, she is indeed more than I took her for.
LORENZO 1860 How every fool can play upon the word! I
1861 think the best grace of wit will shortly turn into
1862 silence, and discourse grow commendable in none
1863 45 only but parrots. Go in, sirrah, bid them prepare for
LANCELET 1865 That is done, sir. They have all stomachs.
LORENZO 1866 Goodly Lord, what a wit-snapper are you!
1867 Then bid them prepare dinner.
LANCELET 1868 50That is done too, sir, only “cover” is the
LORENZO 1870 Will you cover, then, sir?
LANCELET 1871 Not so, sir, neither! I know my duty.
LORENZO 1872 Yet more quarreling with occasion! Wilt
1873 55 thou show the whole wealth of thy wit in an
1874 instant? I pray thee understand a plain man in his
1875 plain meaning: go to thy fellows, bid them cover the
1876 table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to
LANCELET 1878 60For the table, sir, it shall be served in; for
1879 the meat, sir, it shall be covered; for your coming in
1881 shall govern.⌜Lancelet⌝ exits.
1882 O dear discretion, how his words are suited!
1883 65 The fool hath planted in his memory
1884 An army of good words, and I do know
1885 A many fools that stand in better place,
1886 Garnished like him, that for a tricksy word
1887 Defy the matter. How cheer’st thou, Jessica?
1888 70 And now, good sweet, say thy opinion
1889 How dost thou like the Lord Bassanio’s wife?
1890 Past all expressing. It is very meet
1891 The Lord Bassanio live an upright life,
1892 For having such a blessing in his lady
1893 75 He finds the joys of heaven here on Earth,
1894 And if on Earth he do not ⌜merit⌝ it,
1895 In reason he should never come to heaven.
1896 Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match,
1897 And on the wager lay two earthly women,
1898 80 And Portia one, there must be something else
1899 Pawned with the other, for the poor rude world
1900 Hath not her fellow.
LORENZO 1901 Even such a husband
1902 Hast thou of me as she is for ⌜a⌝ wife.
1903 85 Nay, but ask my opinion too of that!
1904 I will anon. First let us go to dinner.
1905 Nay, let me praise you while I have a stomach!
1906 No, pray thee, let it serve for table talk.
1907 Then howsome’er thou speak’st, ’mong other things
1908 90 I shall digest it.
JESSICA 1909 Well, I’ll set you forth.
⌜Salerio,⌝ and Gratiano, ⌜with Attendants.⌝
DUKE 1910 What, is Antonio here?
ANTONIO 1911 Ready, so please your Grace.
1912 I am sorry for thee. Thou art come to answer
1913 A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch,
1914 5 Uncapable of pity, void and empty
1915 From any dram of mercy.
ANTONIO 1916 I have heard
1917 Your Grace hath ta’en great pains to qualify
1918 His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate,
1919 10 And that no lawful means can carry me
1920 Out of his envy’s reach, I do oppose
1921 My patience to his fury, and am armed
1922 To suffer with a quietness of spirit
1923 The very tyranny and rage of his.
1924 15 Go, one, and call the Jew into the court.
1925 He is ready at the door. He comes, my lord.
1926 Make room, and let him stand before our face.—
1928 That thou but leadest this fashion of thy malice
1929 20 To the last hour of act, and then, ’tis thought,
1930 Thou ’lt show thy mercy and remorse more strange
1931 Than is thy strange apparent cruelty;
1932 And where thou now exacts the penalty,
1933 Which is a pound of this poor merchant’s flesh,
1934 25 Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture,
1935 But, touched with humane gentleness and love,
1936 Forgive a moi’ty of the principal,
1937 Glancing an eye of pity on his losses
1938 That have of late so huddled on his back,
1939 30 Enow to press a royal merchant down
1940 And pluck commiseration of ⌜his state⌝
1941 From brassy bosoms and rough hearts of ⌜flint,⌝
1942 From stubborn Turks, and Tartars never trained
1943 To offices of tender courtesy.
1944 35 We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.
1945 I have possessed your Grace of what I purpose,
1946 And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn
1947 To have the due and forfeit of my bond.
1948 If you deny it, let the danger light
1949 40 Upon your charter and your city’s freedom!
1950 You’ll ask me why I rather choose to have
1951 A weight of carrion flesh than to receive
1952 Three thousand ducats. I’ll not answer that,
1953 But say it is my humor. Is it answered?
1954 45 What if my house be troubled with a rat,
1955 And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats
1956 To have it baned? What, are you answered yet?
1957 Some men there are love not a gaping pig,
1958 Some that are mad if they behold a cat,
1959 50 And others, when the bagpipe sings i’ th’ nose,
1960 Cannot contain their urine; for affection
1961 Masters ⌜oft⌝ passion, sways it to the mood
1963 As there is no firm reason to be rendered
1964 55 Why he cannot abide a gaping pig,
1965 Why he a harmless necessary cat,
1966 Why he a woolen bagpipe, but of force
1967 Must yield to such inevitable shame
1968 As to offend, himself being offended,
1969 60 So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
1970 More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing
1971 I bear Antonio, that I follow thus
1972 A losing suit against him. Are you answered?
1973 This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
1974 65 To excuse the current of thy cruelty.
1975 I am not bound to please thee with my answers.
1976 Do all men kill the things they do not love?
1977 Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
1978 Every offence is not a hate at first.
1979 70 What, wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice?
ANTONIO, ⌜to Bassanio⌝
1980 I pray you, think you question with the Jew.
1981 You may as well go stand upon the beach
1982 And bid the main flood bate his usual height;
1983 You may as well use question with the wolf
1984 75 Why he hath made the ewe ⌜bleat⌝ for the lamb;
1985 You may as well forbid the mountain pines
1986 To wag their high tops and to make no noise
1987 When they are fretten with the gusts of heaven;
1988 You may as well do anything most hard
1989 80 As seek to soften that than which what’s harder?—
1990 His Jewish heart. Therefore I do beseech you
1992 But with all brief and plain conveniency
1993 Let me have judgment and the Jew his will.
1994 85 For thy three thousand ducats here is six.
1995 If every ducat in six thousand ducats
1996 Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
1997 I would not draw them. I would have my bond.
1998 How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend’ring none?
1999 90 What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
2000 You have among you many a purchased slave,
2001 Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules,
2002 You use in abject and in slavish parts
2003 Because you bought them. Shall I say to you
2004 95 “Let them be free! Marry them to your heirs!
2005 Why sweat they under burdens? Let their beds
2006 Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
2007 Be seasoned with such viands”? You will answer
2008 “The slaves are ours!” So do I answer you:
2009 100 The pound of flesh which I demand of him
2010 Is dearly bought; ⌜’tis⌝ mine and I will have it.
2011 If you deny me, fie upon your law:
2012 There is no force in the decrees of Venice.
2013 I stand for judgment. Answer: shall I have it?
2014 105 Upon my power I may dismiss this court
2015 Unless Bellario, a learnèd doctor
2016 Whom I have sent for to determine this,
2017 Come here today.
SALERIO 2018 My lord, here stays without
2019 110 A messenger with letters from the doctor,
2020 New come from Padua.
2021 Bring us the letters. Call the messenger.
2022 Good cheer, Antonio! What, man, courage yet!
2023 The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all
2024 115 Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood!
2025 I am a tainted wether of the flock,
2026 Meetest for death. The weakest kind of fruit
2027 Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me.
2028 You cannot better be employed, Bassanio,
2029 120 Than to live still and write mine epitaph.
Enter Nerissa, ⌜disguised as a lawyer’s clerk.⌝
2030 Came you from Padua, from Bellario?
NERISSA, ⌜as Clerk⌝
2031 From both, my lord. Bellario greets your Grace.
⌜Handing him a paper, which he reads, aside, while
Shylock sharpens his knife on the sole of his shoe.⌝
2032 Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?
2033 To cut the forfeiture from that bankrout there.
2034 125 Not on thy sole but on thy soul, harsh Jew,
2035 Thou mak’st thy knife keen. But no metal can,
2036 No, not the hangman’s axe, bear half the keenness
2037 Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?
2038 No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.
2039 130 O, be thou damned, inexecrable dog,
2040 And for thy life let justice be accused;
2041 Thou almost mak’st me waver in my faith,
2042 To hold opinion with Pythagoras
2044 135 Into the trunks of men. Thy currish spirit
2045 Governed a wolf who, hanged for human slaughter,
2046 Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,
2047 And whilst thou layest in thy unhallowed dam,
2048 Infused itself in thee, for thy desires
2049 140 Are wolfish, bloody, starved, and ravenous.
2050 Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond,
2051 Thou but offend’st thy lungs to speak so loud.
2052 Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall
2053 To cureless ruin. I stand here for law.
2054 145 This letter from Bellario doth commend
2055 A young and learnèd doctor to our court.
2056 Where is he?
NERISSA, ⌜as Clerk⌝ 2057 He attendeth here hard by
2058 To know your answer whether you’ll admit him.
2059 150 With all my heart.—Some three or four of you
2060 Go give him courteous conduct to this place.
2061 Meantime the court shall hear Bellario’s letter.
2062 Your Grace shall understand that, at the receipt of
2063 your letter, I am very sick, but in the instant that your
2064 155 messenger came, in loving visitation was with me a
2065 young doctor of Rome. His name is Balthazar. I
2066 acquainted him with the cause in controversy between
2067 the Jew and Antonio the merchant. We turned o’er
2068 many books together. He is furnished with my opinion,
2069 160 which, bettered with his own learning (the greatness
2070 whereof I cannot enough commend), comes with
2071 him at my importunity to fill up your Grace’s request
2072 in my stead. I beseech you let his lack of years be no
2073 impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation, for I
2075 leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial
2076 shall better publish his commendation.
2077 You hear the learnèd Bellario what he writes.
Enter Portia for Balthazar, ⌜disguised as a doctor of
laws, with Attendants.⌝
2078 And here I take it is the doctor come.—
2079 170 Give me your hand. Come you from old Bellario?
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2080 I did, my lord.
DUKE 2081 You are welcome. Take your place.
2082 Are you acquainted with the difference
2083 That holds this present question in the court?
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2084 175 I am informèd throughly of the cause.
2085 Which is the merchant here? And which the Jew?
2086 Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2087 Is your name Shylock?
SHYLOCK 2088 Shylock is my name.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2089 180 Of a strange nature is the suit you follow,
2090 Yet in such rule that the Venetian law
2091 Cannot impugn you as you do proceed.
2092 ⌜To Antonio.⌝ You stand within his danger, do you
2094 185 Ay, so he says.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝ 2095 Do you confess the bond?
2096 I do.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝ 2097 Then must the Jew be merciful.
2098 On what compulsion must I? Tell me that.
2099 190 The quality of mercy is not strained.
2100 It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
2101 Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
2102 It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
2103 ’Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
2104 195 The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
2105 His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
2106 The attribute to awe and majesty
2107 Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
2108 But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
2109 200 It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings;
2110 It is an attribute to God Himself;
2111 And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
2112 When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
2113 Though justice be thy plea, consider this:
2114 205 That in the course of justice none of us
2115 Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
2116 And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
2117 The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
2118 To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
2119 210 Which, if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
2120 Must needs give sentence ’gainst the merchant
2122 My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
2123 The penalty and forfeit of my bond.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2124 215 Is he not able to discharge the money?
2125 Yes. Here I tender it for him in the court,
2126 Yea, twice the sum. If that will not suffice,
2127 I will be bound to pay it ten times o’er
2128 On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart.
2129 220 If this will not suffice, it must appear
2131 beseech you,
2132 Wrest once the law to your authority.
2133 To do a great right, do a little wrong,
2134 225 And curb this cruel devil of his will.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2135 It must not be. There is no power in Venice
2136 Can alter a decree establishèd;
2137 ’Twill be recorded for a precedent
2138 And many an error by the same example
2139 230 Will rush into the state. It cannot be.
2140 A Daniel come to judgment! Yea, a Daniel.
2141 O wise young judge, how I do honor thee!
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2142 I pray you let me look upon the bond.
2143 Here ’tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
⌜Handing Portia a paper.⌝
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2144 235 Shylock, there’s thrice thy money offered thee.
2145 An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven!
2146 Shall I lay perjury upon my soul?
2147 ⌜No,⌝ not for Venice!
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝ 2148 Why, this bond is forfeit,
2149 240 And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
2150 A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
2151 Nearest the merchant’s heart.—Be merciful;
2152 Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.
2153 When it is paid according to the tenor.
2154 245 It doth appear you are a worthy judge;
2155 You know the law; your exposition
2156 Hath been most sound. I charge you by the law,
2157 Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
2159 250 There is no power in the tongue of man
2160 To alter me. I stay here on my bond.
2161 Most heartily I do beseech the court
2162 To give the judgment.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝ 2163 Why, then, thus it is:
2164 255 You must prepare your bosom for his knife—
2165 O noble judge! O excellent young man!
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2166 For the intent and purpose of the law
2167 Hath full relation to the penalty,
2168 Which here appeareth due upon the bond.
2169 260 ’Tis very true. O wise and upright judge,
2170 How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar, to Antonio⌝
2171 Therefore lay bare your bosom—
SHYLOCK 2172 Ay, his breast!
2173 So says the bond, doth it not, noble judge?
2174 265 “Nearest his heart.” Those are the very words.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2175 It is so.
2176 Are there balance here to weigh the flesh?
SHYLOCK 2177 I have them ready.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2178 Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge,
2179 270 To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death.
2180 Is it so nominated in the bond?
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2181 It is not so expressed, but what of that?
2182 ’Twere good you do so much for charity.
2183 I cannot find it. ’Tis not in the bond.
2184 275 You, merchant, have you anything to say?
2185 But little. I am armed and well prepared.—
2186 Give me your hand, Bassanio. Fare you well.
2187 Grieve not that I am fall’n to this for you,
2188 For herein Fortune shows herself more kind
2189 280 Than is her custom: it is still her use
2190 To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
2191 To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow
2192 An age of poverty, from which ling’ring penance
2193 Of such misery doth she cut me off.
2194 285 Commend me to your honorable wife,
2195 Tell her the process of Antonio’s end,
2196 Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death,
2197 And when the tale is told, bid her be judge
2198 Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
2199 290 Repent but you that you shall lose your friend
2200 And he repents not that he pays your debt.
2201 For if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
2202 I’ll pay it instantly with all my heart.
2203 Antonio, I am married to a wife
2204 295 Which is as dear to me as life itself,
2205 But life itself, my wife, and all the world
2206 Are not with me esteemed above thy life.
2207 I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all
2208 Here to this devil, to deliver you.
2209 300 Your wife would give you little thanks for that
2210 If she were by to hear you make the offer.
2211 I have a wife who I protest I love.
2212 I would she were in heaven, so she could
2213 Entreat some power to change this currish Jew.
2214 305 ’Tis well you offer it behind her back.
2215 The wish would make else an unquiet house.
2216 These be the Christian husbands! I have a
2218 Would any of the stock of Barabbas
2219 310 Had been her husband, rather than a Christian!
2220 We trifle time. I pray thee, pursue sentence.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2221 A pound of that same merchant’s flesh is thine:
2222 The court awards it, and the law doth give it.
SHYLOCK 2223 Most rightful judge!
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2224 315 And you must cut this flesh from off his breast:
2225 The law allows it, and the court awards it.
2226 Most learnèd judge! A sentence!—Come, prepare.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2227 Tarry a little. There is something else.
2228 This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood.
2229 320 The words expressly are “a pound of flesh.”
2230 Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh,
2231 But in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
2232 One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
2233 Are by the laws of Venice confiscate
2234 325 Unto the state of Venice.
2235 O upright judge!—Mark, Jew.—O learnèd judge!
2236 Is that the law?
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝ 2237 Thyself shalt see the act.
2238 For, as thou urgest justice, be assured
2239 330 Thou shalt have justice more than thou desir’st.
2240 O learnèd judge!—Mark, Jew, a learnèd judge!
2241 I take this offer then. Pay the bond thrice
2242 And let the Christian go.
BASSANIO 2243 Here is the money.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2244 335 Soft! The Jew shall have all justice. Soft, no haste!
2245 He shall have nothing but the penalty.
2246 O Jew, an upright judge, a learnèd judge!
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2247 Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh.
2248 Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou less nor more
2249 340 But just a pound of flesh. If thou tak’st more
2250 Or less than a just pound, be it but so much
2251 As makes it light or heavy in the substance
2252 Or the division of the twentieth part
2253 Of one poor scruple—nay, if the scale do turn
2254 345 But in the estimation of a hair,
2255 Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate.
2256 A second Daniel! A Daniel, Jew!
2257 Now, infidel, I have you on the hip.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2258 Why doth the Jew pause? Take thy forfeiture.
2259 350 Give me my principal and let me go.
2260 I have it ready for thee. Here it is.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2261 He hath refused it in the open court.
2262 He shall have merely justice and his bond.
2263 A Daniel still, say I! A second Daniel!—
2264 355 I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.
2265 Shall I not have barely my principal?
2266 Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture
2267 To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.
2268 Why, then, the devil give him good of it!
2269 360 I’ll stay no longer question.⌜He begins to exit.⌝
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝ 2270 Tarry, Jew.
2271 The law hath yet another hold on you.
2272 It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
2273 If it be proved against an alien
2274 365 That by direct or indirect attempts
2275 He seek the life of any citizen,
2276 The party ’gainst the which he doth contrive
2277 Shall seize one half his goods; the other half
2278 Comes to the privy coffer of the state,
2279 370 And the offender’s life lies in the mercy
2280 Of the Duke only, ’gainst all other voice.
2281 In which predicament I say thou stand’st,
2282 For it appears by manifest proceeding
2283 That indirectly, and directly too,
2284 375 Thou hast contrived against the very life
2285 Of the defendant, and thou hast incurred
2286 The danger formerly by me rehearsed.
2287 Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the Duke.
2288 Beg that thou mayst have leave to hang thyself!
2289 380 And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
2290 Thou hast not left the value of a cord;
2291 Therefore thou must be hanged at the state’s
2293 That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit,
2294 385 I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it.
2295 For half thy wealth, it is Antonio’s;
2296 The other half comes to the general state,
2297 Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.
2298 Ay, for the state, not for Antonio.
2299 390 Nay, take my life and all. Pardon not that.
2300 You take my house when you do take the prop
2301 That doth sustain my house; you take my life
2302 When you do take the means whereby I live.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2303 What mercy can you render him, Antonio?
2304 395 A halter gratis, nothing else, for God’s sake!
2305 So please my lord the Duke and all the court
2306 To quit the fine for one half of his goods,
2307 I am content, so he will let me have
2308 The other half in use, to render it
2309 400 Upon his death unto the gentleman
2310 That lately stole his daughter.
2311 Two things provided more: that for this favor
2312 He presently become a Christian;
2313 The other, that he do record a gift,
2314 405 Here in the court, of all he dies possessed
2315 Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.
2316 He shall do this, or else I do recant
2317 The pardon that I late pronouncèd here.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2318 Art thou contented, Jew? What dost thou say?
2319 410 I am content.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝ 2320 Clerk, draw a deed of gift.
2321 I pray you give me leave to go from hence.
2322 I am not well. Send the deed after me
2323 And I will sign it.
DUKE 2324 415 Get thee gone, but do it.
2325 In christ’ning shalt thou have two godfathers.
2326 Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more,
2327 To bring thee to the gallows, not to the font.
DUKE, ⌜to Portia as Balthazar⌝
2328 Sir, I entreat you home with me to dinner.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2329 420 I humbly do desire your Grace of pardon.
2330 I must away this night toward Padua,
2331 And it is meet I presently set forth.
2332 I am sorry that your leisure serves you not.—
2333 Antonio, gratify this gentleman,
2334 425 For in my mind you are much bound to him.
The Duke and his train exit.
BASSANIO, ⌜to Portia as Balthazar⌝
2335 Most worthy gentleman, I and my friend
2336 Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted
2337 Of grievous penalties, in lieu whereof
2338 Three thousand ducats due unto the Jew
2339 430 We freely cope your courteous pains withal.
2340 And stand indebted, over and above,
2341 In love and service to you evermore.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2342 He is well paid that is well satisfied,
2343 And I, delivering you, am satisfied,
2344 435 And therein do account myself well paid.
2345 My mind was never yet more mercenary.
2346 I pray you know me when we meet again.
2347 I wish you well, and so I take my leave.
⌜She begins to exit.⌝
2348 Dear sir, of force I must attempt you further.
2349 440 Take some remembrance of us as a tribute,
2351 Not to deny me, and to pardon me.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2352 You press me far, and therefore I will yield.
2353 Give me your gloves; I’ll wear them for your sake—
2354 445 And for your love I’ll take this ring from you.
2355 Do not draw back your hand; I’ll take no more,
2356 And you in love shall not deny me this.
2357 This ring, good sir? Alas, it is a trifle.
2358 I will not shame myself to give you this.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2359 450 I will have nothing else but only this.
2360 And now methinks I have a mind to it.
2361 There’s more depends on this than on the value.
2362 The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
2363 And find it out by proclamation.
2364 455 Only for this, I pray you pardon me.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2365 I see, sir, you are liberal in offers.
2366 You taught me first to beg, and now methinks
2367 You teach me how a beggar should be answered.
2368 Good sir, this ring was given me by my wife,
2369 460 And when she put it on, she made me vow
2370 That I should neither sell nor give nor lose it.
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝
2371 That ’scuse serves many men to save their gifts.
2372 And if your wife be not a madwoman,
2373 And know how well I have deserved this ring,
2374 465 She would not hold out enemy forever
2375 For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you.
⌜Portia and Nerissa⌝ exit.
2376 My Lord Bassanio, let him have the ring.
2378 Be valued ’gainst your wife’s commandment.
2379 470 Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him.
2380 Give him the ring, and bring him if thou canst
2381 Unto Antonio’s house. Away, make haste.
2382 Come, you and I will thither presently,
2383 And in the morning early will we both
2384 475 Fly toward Belmont.—Come, Antonio.
2385 Inquire the Jew’s house out; give him this deed
2386 And let him sign it. ⌜She gives Nerissa a paper.⌝ We’ll
2387 away tonight,
2388 And be a day before our husbands home.
2389 5 This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.
2390 Fair sir, you are well o’erta’en.
2391 My Lord Bassanio, upon more advice,
2392 Hath sent you here this ring, and doth entreat
2393 Your company at dinner.⌜He gives her a ring.⌝
PORTIA, ⌜as Balthazar⌝ 2394 10 That cannot be.
2395 His ring I do accept most thankfully,
2396 And so I pray you tell him. Furthermore,
2397 I pray you show my youth old Shylock’s house.
2398 That will I do.
2400 ⌜Aside to Portia.⌝ I’ll see if I can get my husband’s
2402 Which I did make him swear to keep forever.
PORTIA, ⌜aside to Nerissa⌝
2403 Thou mayst, I warrant! We shall have old swearing
2404 20 That they did give the rings away to men;
2405 But we’ll outface them, and outswear them, too.—
2406 Away, make haste! Thou know’st where I will tarry.
NERISSA, ⌜as Clerk⌝
2407 Come, good sir, will you show me to this house?
2408 The moon shines bright. In such a night as this,
2409 When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees
2410 And they did make no noise, in such a night
2411 Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan walls
2412 5 And sighed his soul toward the Grecian tents
2413 Where Cressid lay that night.
JESSICA 2414 In such a night
2415 Did Thisbe fearfully o’ertrip the dew
2416 And saw the lion’s shadow ere himself
2417 10 And ran dismayed away.
LORENZO 2418 In such a night
2419 Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
2420 Upon the wild sea-banks, and waft her love
2421 To come again to Carthage.
JESSICA 2422 15 In such a night
2423 Medea gathered the enchanted herbs
2424 That did renew old Aeson.
LORENZO 2425 In such a night
2426 Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew,
2427 20 And with an unthrift love did run from Venice
2428 As far as Belmont.
JESSICA 2429 In such a night
2430 Did young Lorenzo swear he loved her well,
2432 25 And ne’er a true one.
LORENZO 2433 In such a night
2434 Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,
2435 Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
2436 I would out-night you did nobody come,
2437 30 But hark, I hear the footing of a man.
Enter ⌜Stephano,⌝ a Messenger.
2438 Who comes so fast in silence of the night?
STEPHANO 2439 A friend.
2440 A friend? What friend? Your name, I pray you,
2442 35 Stephano is my name, and I bring word
2443 My mistress will before the break of day
2444 Be here at Belmont. She doth stray about
2445 By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays
2446 For happy wedlock hours.
LORENZO 2447 40 Who comes with her?
2448 None but a holy hermit and her maid.
2449 I pray you, is my master yet returned?
2450 He is not, nor we have not heard from him.—
2451 But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica,
2452 45 And ceremoniously let us prepare
2453 Some welcome for the mistress of the house.
Enter ⌜Lancelet, the⌝ Clown.
LANCELET 2454 Sola, sola! Wo ha, ho! Sola, sola!
LORENZO 2455 Who calls?
LANCELET 2456 Sola! Did you see Master Lorenzo? Master
2457 50 Lorenzo, sola, sola!
LANCELET 2459 Sola! Where, where?
LORENZO 2460 Here!
LANCELET 2461 Tell him there’s a post come from my master
2462 55 with his horn full of good news. My master will
2463 be here ere morning, sweet soul.⌜Lancelet exits.⌝
LORENZO, ⌜to Jessica⌝
2464 Let’s in, and there expect their coming.
2465 And yet no matter; why should we go in?—
2466 My friend ⌜Stephano,⌝ signify, I pray you,
2467 60 Within the house, your mistress is at hand,
2468 And bring your music forth into the air.
2469 How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank.
2470 Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
2471 Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night
2472 65 Become the touches of sweet harmony.
2473 Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
2474 Is thick inlaid with patens of bright gold.
2475 There’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st
2476 But in his motion like an angel sings,
2477 70 Still choiring to the young-eyed cherubins.
2478 Such harmony is in immortal souls,
2479 But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
2480 Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
⌜Enter Stephano and musicians.⌝
2481 Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn.
2482 75 With sweetest touches pierce your mistress’ ear,
2483 And draw her home with music.
2484 I am never merry when I hear sweet music.
2485 The reason is, your spirits are attentive.
2486 For do but note a wild and wanton herd
2488 Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud,
2489 Which is the hot condition of their blood,
2490 If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
2491 Or any air of music touch their ears,
2492 85 You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
2493 Their savage eyes turned to a modest gaze
2494 By the sweet power of music. Therefore the poet
2495 Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and
2497 90 Since naught so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
2498 But music for the time doth change his nature.
2499 The man that hath no music in himself,
2500 Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
2501 Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
2502 95 The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
2503 And his affections dark as ⌜Erebus.⌝
2504 Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.
Enter Portia and Nerissa.
2505 That light we see is burning in my hall.
2506 How far that little candle throws his beams!
2507 100 So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
2508 When the moon shone we did not see the candle.
2509 So doth the greater glory dim the less.
2510 A substitute shines brightly as a king
2511 Until a king be by, and then his state
2512 105 Empties itself as doth an inland brook
2513 Into the main of waters. Music, hark!
2514 It is your music, madam, of the house.
2515 Nothing is good, I see, without respect.
2516 Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.
2517 110 Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
2518 The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark
2519 When neither is attended, and I think
2520 The nightingale, if she should sing by day
2521 When every goose is cackling, would be thought
2522 115 No better a musician than the wren.
2523 How many things by season seasoned are
2524 To their right praise and true perfection!
2525 Peace—how the moon sleeps with Endymion
2526 And would not be awaked!
LORENZO 2527 120 That is the voice,
2528 Or I am much deceived, of Portia.
2529 He knows me as the blind man knows the cuckoo,
2530 By the bad voice.
LORENZO 2531 Dear lady, welcome home.
2532 125 We have been praying for our husbands’ welfare,
2533 Which speed we hope the better for our words.
2534 Are they returned?
LORENZO 2535 Madam, they are not yet,
2536 But there is come a messenger before
2537 130 To signify their coming.
PORTIA 2538 Go in, Nerissa.
2539 Give order to my servants that they take
2540 No note at all of our being absent hence—
2541 Nor you, Lorenzo—Jessica, nor you.
⌜A trumpet sounds.⌝
2542 135 Your husband is at hand. I hear his trumpet.
2543 We are no tell-tales, madam, fear you not.
2544 This night methinks is but the daylight sick;
2546 Such as the day is when the sun is hid.
Enter Bassanio, Antonio, Gratiano, and their followers.
2547 140 We should hold day with the Antipodes
2548 If you would walk in absence of the sun.
2549 Let me give light, but let me not be light,
2550 For a light wife doth make a heavy husband,
2551 And never be Bassanio so for me.
2552 145 But God sort all! You are welcome home, my lord.
⌜Gratiano and Nerissa talk aside.⌝
2553 I thank you, madam. Give welcome to my friend.
2554 This is the man, this is Antonio,
2555 To whom I am so infinitely bound.
2556 You should in all sense be much bound to him,
2557 150 For as I hear he was much bound for you.
2558 No more than I am well acquitted of.
2559 Sir, you are very welcome to our house.
2560 It must appear in other ways than words;
2561 Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.
GRATIANO, ⌜to Nerissa⌝
2562 155 By yonder moon I swear you do me wrong!
2563 In faith, I gave it to the judge’s clerk.
2564 Would he were gelt that had it, for my part,
2565 Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.
2566 A quarrel ho, already! What’s the matter?
2567 160 About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring
2568 That she did give me, whose posy was
2570 Upon a knife, “Love me, and leave me not.”
2571 What talk you of the posy or the value?
2572 165 You swore to me when I did give ⌜it⌝ you
2573 That you would wear it till your hour of death,
2574 And that it should lie with you in your grave.
2575 Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
2576 You should have been respective and have kept it.
2577 170 Gave it a judge’s clerk! No, God’s my judge,
2578 The clerk will ne’er wear hair on ’s face that had it.
2579 He will, an if he live to be a man.
2580 Ay, if a woman live to be a man.
2581 Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,
2582 175 A kind of boy, a little scrubbèd boy,
2583 No higher than thyself, the judge’s clerk,
2584 A prating boy that begged it as a fee.
2585 I could not for my heart deny it him.
2586 You were to blame, I must be plain with you,
2587 180 To part so slightly with your wife’s first gift,
2588 A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
2589 And so riveted with faith unto your flesh.
2590 I gave my love a ring and made him swear
2591 Never to part with it, and here he stands.
2592 185 I dare be sworn for him he would not leave it
2593 Nor pluck it from his finger for the wealth
2594 That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,
2595 You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief.
2596 An ’twere to me I should be mad at it.
2597 190 Why, I were best to cut my left hand off
2598 And swear I lost the ring defending it.
2599 My Lord Bassanio gave his ring away
2600 Unto the judge that begged it, and indeed
2601 Deserved it, too. And then the boy, his clerk,
2602 195 That took some pains in writing, he begged mine,
2603 And neither man nor master would take aught
2604 But the two rings.
PORTIA 2605 What ring gave you, my lord?
2606 Not that, I hope, which you received of me.
2607 200 If I could add a lie unto a fault,
2608 I would deny it, but you see my finger
2609 Hath not the ring upon it. It is gone.
2610 Even so void is your false heart of truth.
2611 By heaven, I will ne’er come in your bed
2612 205 Until I see the ring!
NERISSA, ⌜to Gratiano⌝ 2613 Nor I in yours
2614 Till I again see mine!
BASSANIO 2615 Sweet Portia,
2616 If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
2617 210 If you did know for whom I gave the ring,
2618 And would conceive for what I gave the ring,
2619 And how unwillingly I left the ring,
2620 When naught would be accepted but the ring,
2621 You would abate the strength of your displeasure.
2622 215 If you had known the virtue of the ring,
2623 Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,
2624 Or your own honor to contain the ring,
2625 You would not then have parted with the ring.
2626 What man is there so much unreasonable,
2627 220 If you had pleased to have defended it
2628 With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty
2629 To urge the thing held as a ceremony?
2630 Nerissa teaches me what to believe:
2631 I’ll die for ’t but some woman had the ring!
2632 225 No, by my honor, madam, by my soul,
2633 No woman had it, but a civil doctor,
2634 Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me
2635 And begged the ring, the which I did deny him
2636 And suffered him to go displeased away,
2637 230 Even he that had held up the very life
2638 Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady?
2639 I was enforced to send it after him.
2640 I was beset with shame and courtesy.
2641 My honor would not let ingratitude
2642 235 So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady,
2643 For by these blessèd candles of the night,
2644 Had you been there, I think you would have begged
2645 The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.
2646 Let not that doctor e’er come near my house!
2647 240 Since he hath got the jewel that I loved,
2648 And that which you did swear to keep for me,
2649 I will become as liberal as you:
2650 I’ll not deny him anything I have,
2651 No, not my body, nor my husband’s bed.
2652 245 Know him I shall, I am well sure of it.
2653 Lie not a night from home. Watch me like Argus.
2654 If you do not, if I be left alone,
2655 Now by mine honor, which is yet mine own,
2656 I’ll have that doctor for ⌜my⌝ bedfellow.
2657 250 And I his clerk. Therefore be well advised
2658 How you do leave me to mine own protection.
2659 Well, do you so. Let not me take him, then,
2660 For if I do, I’ll mar the young clerk’s pen.
2661 I am th’ unhappy subject of these quarrels.
2662 255 Sir, grieve not you. You are welcome
2664 Portia, forgive me this enforcèd wrong,
2665 And in the hearing of these many friends
2666 I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
2667 260 Wherein I see myself—
PORTIA 2668 Mark you but that!
2669 In both my eyes he doubly sees himself,
2670 In each eye one. Swear by your double self,
2671 And there’s an oath of credit.
BASSANIO 2672 265 Nay, but hear me.
2673 Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear
2674 I never more will break an oath with thee.
2675 I once did lend my body for his wealth,
2676 Which but for him that had your husband’s ring
2677 270 Had quite miscarried. I dare be bound again,
2678 My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord
2679 Will never more break faith advisedly.
2680 Then you shall be his surety. Give him this,
⌜Giving Antonio a ring.⌝
2681 And bid him keep it better than the other.
2682 275 Here, Lord Bassanio, swear to keep this ring.
2683 By heaven, it is the same I gave the doctor!
2684 I had it of him. Pardon me, Bassanio,
2685 For by this ring, the doctor lay with me.
2686 And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano,
2687 280 For that same scrubbèd boy, the doctor’s clerk,
2688 In lieu of this, last night did lie with me.
⌜She shows a ring.⌝
2689 Why, this is like the mending of highways
2690 In summer, where the ways are fair enough!
2691 What, are we cuckolds ere we have deserved it?
2692 285 Speak not so grossly.—You are all amazed.
⌜She hands a paper to Bassanio.⌝
2693 Here is a letter; read it at your leisure.
2694 It comes from Padua from Bellario.
2695 There you shall find that Portia was the doctor,
2696 Nerissa there, her clerk. Lorenzo here
2697 290 Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
2698 And even but now returned. I have not yet
2699 Entered my house.—Antonio, you are welcome,
2700 And I have better news in store for you
2701 Than you expect. Unseal this letter soon.
⌜Handing him a paper.⌝
2702 295 There you shall find three of your argosies
2703 Are richly come to harbor suddenly.
2704 You shall not know by what strange accident
2705 I chancèd on this letter.
ANTONIO 2706 I am dumb.
2707 300 Were you the doctor and I knew you not?
2708 Were you the clerk that is to make me cuckold?
2709 Ay, but the clerk that never means to do it,
2710 Unless he live until he be a man.
BASSANIO, ⌜to Portia⌝
2711 Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow.
2712 305 When I am absent, then lie with my wife.
2713 Sweet lady, you have given me life and living;
2714 For here I read for certain that my ships
2715 Are safely come to road.
2717 310 My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.
2718 Ay, and I’ll give them him without a fee.
⌜Handing him a paper.⌝
2719 There do I give to you and Jessica,
2720 From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
2721 After his death, of all he dies possessed of.
2722 315 Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
2723 Of starvèd people.
PORTIA 2724 It is almost morning,
2725 And yet I am sure you are not satisfied
2726 Of these events at full. Let us go in,
2727 320 And charge us there upon inter’gatories,
2728 And we will answer all things faithfully.
2729 Let it be so. The first inter’gatory
2730 That my Nerissa shall be sworn on is
2731 Whether till the next night she had rather stay
2732 325 Or go to bed now, being two hours to day.
2733 But were the day come, I should wish it dark
2734 Till I were couching with the doctor’s clerk.
2735 Well, while I live, I’ll fear no other thing
2736 So sore as keeping safe Nerissa’s ring.