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Like one of two contending in a prize,
Is this true, Nerissa ? That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes, Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd withal. Hearing applause and universal shout,
Bass. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith? Giddy in spirit, still gazing, in a doubt
Gra. Yes, 'faith, my lord. Whether those peals of praise be his or no :
Bass. Our feast shall be much honour'd in your So, thrice fair lady, stand I, even so;
marriage. As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Gra. But who comes here? Lorenzo, and his Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you.
Enter Lorenzo, Jessica, and SALERIO. · To wish myself much better; yet, for you,
Bass. Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hither; I would be trebled twenty times myself ;
If that the youth of my new interest here A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times Have power to bid you welcome: - - By your leave, More rich :
I bid my very friends and countrymen, That only to stand high on your account,
Sweet Portia, welcome. I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
So do I, my lord; Exceed account; but the full sum of me
They are entirely welcome. Is sum of something ; which, to term in gross, Lor. I thank your honour:- For my part, my lord, Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool’d, unpractis'd : My purpose was not to have seen you here; Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But meeting with Salerio by the way, But she may learn; and happier than this, He did entreat me, past all saying nay, She is not bred so dull but she can learn ;
To come with him along. Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit
I did, my lord, Commits itself to yours to be directed,
And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio As from her lord, her governor, her king.
Commends him to you. [Gives Bassanio a letter. Myself and what is mine, to you, and yours
Ere I ope this letter, Is now converted : but now I was the lord
I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
Sale. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind; Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now, Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there This house, these servants, and this same myself, Will show you his estate. Are yours, my lord; I give them with this ring; Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon’stranger ; bid her welcome. Which when you part from, lose, or give away, Your hand, Salerio : What's the news from Venice? Let it presage the ruin of your love,
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio? And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
I know, he will be glad of our success ; Bass. Madam, you have bereft me of all words, We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece. Only my blood speaks to you in my veins :
Sale. Would you had won the fleece that he hath lost! And there is such confusion in my powers,
Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon' As, after some oration fairly spoke
same paper, By a beloved prince, there doth appear
That steal the colour from Bassanio's cheek : Among the buzzing pleased multitude ;
Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world Where every something, being blent 'together, Could turn so much the constitution Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy,
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse? Express'd and not express'd : But when this ring With leave, Bassanio ; I am half yourself, Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence; And I must freely have the half of any thing 0, then be bold to say, Bassanio's dead.
That this same paper brings you. Ner. My lord and lady, it is now our time,
O sweet Portia, That have stood by, and seen our wishes prosper, Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words, To cry, good joy; Good joy, my lord and lady! That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
Gra. My lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady, When I did first impart my love to you, I wish you all the joy that you can wish;
I freely told you, all the wealth I had For, I am sure, you can wish none from me; Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman ; And, when your honours mean to solemnize And then I told you true : and yet, dear lady, The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you, Rating myself at nothing, you shall see Even at that time I may be married too.
How much I was a braggart: When I told you Bass. With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife. My state was nothing, I should then have told you
Gra. I thank your lordship; you have got me one. That I was worse than nothing ; for, indeed,
Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady; No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
The paper as the body of my friend, Your fortune stood upon the caskets there; And every word in it a gaping wound, And so did mine too, as the matter falls :
Issuing life-blood. - But is it true, Salerio ? For wooing here, until I sweat again ;
Have all his ventures fail'd ? What, not one hit ? And swearing, till my very roof was dry
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
Not one, my lord 1 Blended.
Besides, it should appear, that if he had
The present money to discharge the Jew,
But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs : He would not take it: never did I know
The duke shall grant me justice. — I do wonder, A creature, that did bear the shape of man, Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond 4 So keen and greedy to confound a man:
To come abroad with him at his request. He plies the duke at morning, and at night ;
Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak. And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
Shy. I'll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak : If they deny him justice : twenty merchants, I'll have my bond; and therefore speak no more. The duke himself, and the magnificoes 2
I'll not be made a soft and dull-ey'd fool, Of greatest port, bave all persuaded with him; To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield But none can drive him from the envious plea
To Christian intercessors. Follow not ; Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.
I'll have no speaking ; I'll have my bond. Jes. When I was with him, I have heard himswear,
(Exit SHYLOCK. To Tubal, and to Chus, his countrymen,
Salan. It is the most impenetrable cur, That he would rather have Antonio's flesh,
That ever kept with men. Than twenty times the value of the sum
Let him alone; That he did owe him: and I know, my lord,
I'll follow him no more with bootless prayers. If law, authority, and power deny not,
He seeks my life ; his reason well I know ;
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures
I am sure the duke In doing courtesies; and one in whom
Will never grant this forfeiture to hold. The ancient Roman honour more appears,
Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law ; Than any that draws breath in Italy.
For the commodity that strangers have Por. What sum owes he the Jew?
With us in Venice, if it be denied, Bass. For me, three thousand ducats.
Will much impeach the justice of the state; Por.
What, no inore? Since that the trade and profit of the city Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond ; Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go: Double six thousand, and then treble that,
These griefs and losses have so 'bated me, Before a friend of this description
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh Shall lose a hair through my Bassanio's fault. To-morrow to my bloody creditor. First, go with me to church, and call me wife: Well, gaoler, on:- - Pray God, Bassanio come And then away to Venice to your friend;
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not ! For never shall you lie by Portia's side
[Exeunt. With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
SCENE IV.- Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. To pay the petty debt twenty times over ; When it is paid, bring your true friend along: Enter Portia, Nerissa, LORENZO, JESSICA, and My maid Nerissa, and myself, mean time,
BALTHAZAR. Will live as maids and widows. Come, away; Lor. Madam, although I speak it in your preFor you shall hence upon your wedding-day:
sence, Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer S; You have a noble and a true conceit Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.– Of god-like amity ; which appears most strongly But let me hear the letter of your friend.
In bearing thus the absence of your lord. Bass. [Reads.] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all But if you knew to whom you show this honour, miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very | How true a gentleman you send relief, low, my bond lo the Jew is forfeit; and since, in pay- How dear a lover of my lord your husband, ing it, it is impossible I should live, all debts are I know, you would be prouder of the work, cleared between you and I, if I might but see you at | Than customary bounty can enforce you. my death : notwithstanding, use your pleasure : if Por. I never did repent for doing good, your love do not persuade you to come, let not my Nor shall not now : for in companions letter.
That do converse and waste the time together Por. O love, despatch all business, and be gone. Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love, Bass. Since I have your good leave to go away, There must be needs a like proportion
I will make haste: but till I come again, Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit ; No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay,
Which makes me think, that this Antonio,
Being the bosom lover of my lord,
How little is the cost I have bestow'd,
In purchasing the semblance of my soul
From out the state of hellish cruelty? Enter SHYLOCK, SALANIO, ANTONIO, and Gaoler.
This comes too near the praising of myself; Shy. Gaoler, look to him ; — Tell not me of Therefore, no more of it: hear other things. mercy ;
Lorenzo, I commit into your hands
Until my lord's return; for mine own part,
Hear me yet, good Shylock. I have toward heaven breath'd a secret vow,
There is a monastery two miles off,
SCENE V. A Garden. And there we will abide.
I do desire you, Not to deny this imposition;
Enter LORENZO, Jessica, and LAUNCELOT. The which my love, and some necessity,
Lor. Go in, sirrah ; bid them prepare for dinner. Now lays upon you.
Laun. That is done sir; they have all stomachs. Lor.
Madam, with all my heart; Lor. What a wit-snapper are you ! then bid them I shall obey you in all fair commands.
Por. My people do already know my mind, Laun. That is done too sir; only, cover is the word. And will acknowledge you and Jessica
Lor. Will you cover then, sir ? In place of lord Bassanio and myself.
Laun. Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty. So fare you well, till we shall meet again.
Lor. Yet more quarrelling with occasion! Wilt Lor. Fair thoughts, and happy hours, attend on thou show the whole wealth of thy wit in an inyou.
stant? I pray thee, understand a plain man in his Jes. I wish your ladyship all beart's content. plain meaning: go to thy fellows; bid them cover Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well the table, serve in the meat, and we will come pleas'd
in to dinner. To wish it back on you : fare you well, Jessica. Laun. For the table, sir, it shall be served in;
(Exeunt Jessica and LORENZO. for the ineat, sir, it shall be covered ; for your coming Now, Balthazar,
in to dinner, sir, why, let it be as humours and conAs I have ever found thee honest, true,
ceits shall govern.
[Exit LAUNCELOT. So let me find thee still : Take this same letter, Lor. O dear discretion, how his words are suited! And use thou all the endeavour of a man,
The fool hath planted in his memory In speed to Padua ; see thou render this
An army of good words; And I do know Into my cousin's hand, doctor Bellario;
A many fools, that stand in better place, And, look what notes and garments he doth give Garnish'd like him, that for a tricksy word thee,
Defy the inatter. How cheer'st thou, Jessica ? Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed And now, good sweet, say thy opinion, Unto the tranect, to the common ferry
How dost thou like the lord Bassanio's wife? Which trades to Venice: - waste no time in words, Jes. Past all expressing: It is very meet, But get thee gone ; I shall be there before thee. The lord Bassanio live an upright life; Balth. Madam, I go with all convenient speed. For, having such a blessing in his lady,
(Exit. He finds the joys of heaven here on earth ; Por. Come on, Nerissa ; I have work in hand, And, if on earth he do not mean it, it That you yet know not of: we'll see our hus. Is reason he should never come to heaven. bands,
Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match, Before they think of us.
And on the wager lay two earthly women, Ner.
Shall they see us ? And Portia one, there must be something else Por. They shall, Nerissa ; but in such a habit, Pawn'd with the other; for the poor rude world That they shall think we are accomplished
Hath not her fellow. With what we lack. I'll hold thee any wager,
Even such a husband When we are both accoutred like young men, Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife. I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two,
Jes. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that. And wear my dagger with the braver grace;
Lor. I will anon; first, let us go to dinner. And speak, between the change of man and boy. Jes. Nay, let me praise you, while I have a But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device,
stomach. When I am in my coach, which stays for us
Lor. No, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk; At the park gate; and therefore haste away, Then, howsoe'er thou speak’st, ’mong other things For we must measure twenty miles to-day.
I shall digest it.
Well, I'll set you forth. (Exeunt.
SCENE I. — Venice. A Court of Justice.
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose Enter the Duke, the Magnificoes; ANTONIO, BAS- My patience to his fury; and am arm'd
SANIO, GRATIANO, SALARINO, SALANIO, and To suffer, with a quietness of spirit, others.
The very tyranny and rage of his. Duke. What, is Antonio here?
Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the court. Ant. Ready, so please your grace.
Salan. He's ready at the door: he comes, ny Duke. I am sorry for thee; thou art come to
Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our From any dram of mercy.
I have heard,
Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too, Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate, To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought,
Thou'lt show thy mercy, and remorse), more strange | Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules, Than is thy strange apparent cruelty :
You use in abject and in slavish parts, And where 6 thou now exact'st the penalty, Because you bought them : -- Shall I say to you, (Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,) Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ? Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture,
Why sweat they under burdens ? let their beds But touch'd with human gentleness and love, Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates Forgive a moiety of the principal ;
Be season'd with such viands? You will answer, Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
The slaves are ours : So do I answer you: That have of late so huddled on his back;
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, Enough to press a royal merchant down,
Is dearly bought, is mine, and I will have it: And pluck commiseration of his state
If you deny me, fye upon your law ! From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of fint, There is no force in the decrees of Venice : From stubborn Turks, and Tartars, never train'd I stand for judgment: answer ; shall I have it ? To offices of tender courtesy.
Duke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this court, We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
Come here to-day. 'To have the due and forfeit of my bond :
My lord, here stays without If you deny it, let the danger light
A messenger with letters from the doctor,
Duke. Bring us the letters ; Call the messenger. A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Bass. Good cheer, Antonio! What, man? couThree thousand ducats : I'll not answer that:
rage yet! But, say, it is my humour; Is it answer'd ? The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, What if my house be troubled with a rat,
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood. And I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats
Ant. I am a tainted wether of the flock,
Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.
Enter Nerissa, dressed like a Lawyer's Clerk. So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario ? More than a lodg'd hate, and a certain loathing, Ner. From both, my lord : Bellario greets your I bear Antonio, that I follow thus
[Presents a letter. A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd ? Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?
Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt To excuse the current of thy cruelty.
there. Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew, answer.
Thou mak'st thy knife keen : but no metal can, Bass. Do all men kill the things they do not love? No, not the hangman's ax, bear half the keenness Shy. Hates any man the thing he would not kill ? Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee? Bass. Every offence is not a hate at first.
Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make. Shy. What, would'st thou have a serpent sting Gra. O, be thou curst, inexorable dog! thee twice?
And for thy life let justice be accus’d. Ant. I pray you, think you question with the Jew: Thou almost mak’st me waver in my faith, You may as well go stand upon the beach, To hold opinion with Pythagoras, And bid the main flood bate his usual height; That souls of animals infuse themselves You may as well use question with the wolf, Into the trunks of men : thy currish spirit Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb; Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter, You may as well forbid the mountain pines Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, To wag their high tops, and to make no noise, And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam, When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven; Infus'd itself in thee; for thy desires You may as well do any thing most hard,
Are wolfish, bloody, starv’d, and ravenous. As seek to soften that (than which what's harder ?) Shy. Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond, His Jewish heart: Therefore, I do beseech you, Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud : Make no more offers, use no further means, Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall But, with all brief and plain conveniency,
To cureless ruin. - I stand here for law.
Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here are six. A young and learned doctor to our court:
He attendeth here hard by, I would not draw them, I would have my bond. To know your answer, whether you'll admit him. Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring Duke. With all my heart : — some three or four
none ? Shy. What judgment shall I dread, doing no Go give him courteous conduct to this place. — wrong?
Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter. You have among you many a purchas'd slave, [Clerk reads.) Your grace shall understand, that,
at the receipt of your letter, I am very sick : but in the instant that your messenger came, in loving visit
ation was with me a young doctor of Rome ; his name That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you, is Balthasar : I acquainted him with the cause in Wrest once the law to your authority : controversy between the Jew and Antonio the mer. To do a great right, do a little wrong: chant : we turned o'er many books together : he is And curb this cruel devil of his will. furnish'd with my opinion ; which, better'd with his Por. It must not be ; there is no power in Venice own learning, (the greatness whereof I cannot Can alter a decree established : enough commend,) comes with him, at my impor- 'Twill be recorded for a precedent ; tunity, to ful up your grace's request in my stead. And many an error, by the same example, I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment Will rush into the state : it cannot be. to let him lack a reverend estimation ; for I never Shy. A Daniel come to judgment ! yea a Daniel! knew so young a body with so old a head. I leave O wise young judge, how do I honour thee ! him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond. better publish his commendation.
Shy. Here'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is. Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd writes :
thee. And here, I take it, is the doctor come.
Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven :
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul ?
Why, this bond is forfeit; Por. I did, my lord.
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim Duke. You are welcome : take your place. A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off Are you acquainted with the difference
Nearest the merchant's heart: - Be merciful; That holds this present question in the court ? Take thrice thy money ; bid me tear the bond.
Por. I am informed throughly of the cause. Shy. When it is paid according to the tenour.Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew ? It doth appear, you are a worthy judge ;
Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth. You know the law, your exposition
Hath been most sound: I charge you by the law, Shy.
Shylock is my name. Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar, Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow; Proceed to judgment : by my soul I swear, Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law
There is no power in the tongue of man Cannot impugn 7 you, as you do proceed. — To alter me: I stay here on my bond. You stand within his danger 8, do you not?
Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the court
[T, ANTONIO. To give the judgment. Ant. Ay, so he says.
Why then, thus it is. Por.
Do you confess the bond? You must prepare your bosom for his knife: Ant. I do.
Shy. O noble judge! O excellent young man ! Por.
Then must the Jew be merciful. Por. For the intent and purpose of the law Shy. On what compulsion must I ? tell me that. Hath full relation to the penalty,
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd; Which here appeareth due upon the bond. It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven, Shy. 'Tis very true: 0 wise and upright judge! Upon the place beneath : it is twice bless'd; How much more elder art thou than thy looks ! It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes : Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom. "Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
Ay, his breast : The throned monarch better than his crown: So says the bond ; Doth it not, noble judge ? His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
Nearest his heart, those are the very words. The attribute to awe and majesty,
Por. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
The flesh. But mercy is above his scepter'd sway,
I have them ready. It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
Por. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your It is an attribute to God himself;
charge, And earthly power doth then show likest God's To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death. When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond? Though justice be thy plea, consider this, —
Por. It is not so express'd: But what of that? That, in the course of justice, none of us
'Twere good you do so much for charity. Should see salvation : we do pray for mercy ; Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond. And that same prayer doth teach us all to render Por. Come, merchant, have you any thing to say? The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much, Ant. But little ; I am arm'd, and well prepar'd. To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Give me your hand, Bassanio; fare you well! Which, if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you ; Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there. For herein fortune shows herself more kind
Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law, Than is her custom : it is still her use,
To let the wretched man out-live his wealth Por. Is he not able to discharge the money? To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow,
Bass. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court; An age of poverty ; from which lingering penance Yea, twice the sum : if that will not suffice, Of such a misery doth she cut me off. I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
Commend me to your honourable wife : On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart : Tell her the process of Antonio's end, If this will not suffice, it must appear
Say, how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death ;
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge, 8 Reach or controul,
Whether Bassanio had not once a love,