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Sale. I did, my lord, And I have reason for it. Commends him to you.

Signior Antonio [gives Bassanio a letter. Bass. Ere I ope this letter, I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth. Sale. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind; Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there Will show you his estate,


Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon' stranger; bid her welYour hand, Salerio; what's the news from Venice? How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio; I know, he will be glad of our success; We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece. [lust! Sale.'Would you had won the fleece that he hath Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon' same That steal the colour from Bassanio's cheek: [paper, Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world Could turn so much the constitution Of any constant man. What, worse and worse? With leave, Bassanio; I am half yourself, And I must freely have the half of any thing That this same paper brings you.

Bass. O, sweet Portia,

Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words,
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
When I did first impart my love to you,
I freely told you, all the wealth I had
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman;
And then I told you true; and yet, dear lady,
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a braggart.-When I told you
My state was nothing, I should then have told you
That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed,
I have engag'd myself to a dear friend,
Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady;
The paper as the body of my friend,
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood.-But is it true, Salerio?
Have all his 'ventures fail'd? What, not one hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India?
And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
Of inerchant-marring rocks?

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Sale. Not one, my lord.

Besides, it should appear, that if he had
The present money to discharge the Jew,
He would not take it.-Never did I know
A creature, that did bear the shape of man,
So keen and greedy to confound a man:
He plies the duke at morning, and at night;
And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
If they deny him justice: twenty merchants,
The duke himself, and the magnificoes
Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him;
But none can drive him from the envious plea
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.

Jes. When I was with him, I have heard him
To Tubal, and to Chus, his countrymen, [swear,
That he would rather have Antonio's flesh,
Than twenty times the value of the sum
That he did owe him: and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and power deny not,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.

Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trouble? Bass The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,

The best condition'd and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies; and one in whom
The ancient Roman honour more appears,
Than any that draws breath in Italy.

Por. What sum owes he the Jew?
Bass. For me, three thousand ducats.
Por. What, no more?

Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond;
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description
Shall lose a hair through Bassanio's fault.
First, go with me to church, and call me wife:
And then away to Venice to your friend;
For never shall you lie by Portia's side
With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
To pay the petty debt twenty times over;
When it is paid, bring your true friend along:
My maid Nerissa, and myself, mean time,
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away;
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day:
Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer;
Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.-
But let me hear the letter of your friend.

Bass. [reads.] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all mis carried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since, in paying it, it is im possible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and I, if I might but see you at my death; notwithstanding, use your pleasure: if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.

Por. O, love, despatch all business, and be gone. Bass. Since I have your good leave to go away, I will make haste; but, till I come again, No bed shall e're be guilty of my stay,

No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. [exeunt.

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With us in Venice, if it be denied,
Will much impeach the justice of the state
Since that the trade and profit of the city
Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go:—
These griefs and losses have so 'bated me,
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
To-morrow to my bloody creditor.-
Well, gaoler, on.-Pray God, Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not!



Enter Portia, Nerissa, Lorenzo, Jessica, and Balthazar.

Lor. Madam, although I speak it in your preYou have a noble and a true conceit [sence, Of godlike amity; which appears most strongly In bearing thus the absence of your lord.

But, if you knew to whom you show this honour,
How true a gentleman you send relief,
How dear a lover of my lord your husband,
I know you would be prouder of the work,
Fban customary bounty can enforce you.

Por. I never did repent for doing good,
Nor shall not now: for in companions
That do converse and waste the time together,
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must be needs a like proportion
Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit;
Which makes me think, that this Antonio,
Being the bosom lover of my lord,
Must needs be like my lord: if it be sc,
How little is the cost I have bestow'd,
In purchasing the semblance of my soul
From out the state of hellish cruelty?
This comes too near the praising of myself;
Therefore, no more of it: hear other things.-
Lorenzo, I commit into your hands
The husbandry and manage of my house,
Until my lord's return: for mine own part,
I have toward heaven breath'd a secret vow,
To live in prayer and contemplation,
Only attended by Nerissa here,
Until her husband and my lord's return.
There is a monastery two miles off,

I do desire you,

And there we will abide.
Not to deny this imposition;
The which my love, and some necessity,
Now lays upon you.


Lor. Madam, with all my heart;
I shall obey you in all fair commands.

Por. My people do already know my mind, And will acknowledge you and Jessica In place of lord Bassanio and myself.. So fare you well, till we shall meet again. Lor. Fair thoughts, and happy hours, attend on you. .499 Patz Sp To 254T Jes. I wish your ladyship all heart's content. Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleas'd To wish it back on you: fare you well, Jessica[exeunt Jessica and Lorenzo

2144 donat


Tak te

Now, Balthazar,
As I have ever found thee honest, true,

So let me find thee still.-Take this same letter,
And use thou all the endeavour of a man,
In speed to Padua; see thou render this

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Ner. Shall they see us?

Por. They shall, Nerissa; but in suco a habit, That they shall think we are accomplished ~ With what we lack. I'll hold thee any wager, When we are both accouter'd like young men, I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two, And wear my dagger with the braver grace; And speak, between the change of man and boy, With a reed voice; and turn two mincing steps Into a manly stride; and speak of frays, Like a fine bragging youth: and tell quaint lies, How honourable ladies sought my love, Which I denying, they fell sick and died; I could not do with all;-then I'll repent, And wish, for all that, that I had not kill'd them: And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell, That men shall swear, I have discontinued school Above a twelvemonth. I have within my mind A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks, Which I will practise.

Ner. Why, shall we turn to men?
Por. Fie! what a question's that,
If thou wert near a lewd interpreter?
But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device
When I am in my coach, which stays for us
At the park gate; and therefore haste away,
For we must measure twenty miles to-day.



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Enter Launcelot and Jessica. 7

Laun. Yes, truly:-for, look you, the sins o the father are to be laid upon the children: therefore, I promise you, I fear you. I was always plain with you, and so now I speak my agitation of the matter: Therefore, be of good cheer; for truly, I think, you are damn'd. There is but one hope in it that can do you any good; and that is but a kind of bastard hope neither. 募

Jes, And what hope is that, I pray thee? Laun. Marry, you may partly hope that your father got you not, that you are not the Jew's daughter.

Jes. That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed; so the sins of my mother should be visited upon


Laun. Truly, then I fear you are damn'd both by father and mother: thus, when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother: well, you are gone both ways.

Jes. I shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a Christian.

Laun. Truly, the more to blame he: we were Christians enough before; e'en as many as could well live, one by another; this making of Chris

tians will raise the price of hogs; if we grow all
to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rash-
er on the coals for money.
Enter Lorenzo.


Laun. For the table, sir, it shall be served in; for the meat, sir, it shall be covered; for your Jes. I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you coming to dinner, sir, why, let it be as humours say; here he comes. and conceits shall govern. [exit Launcelot. Lor. O dear discretion, how his words are The fool hath planted in his memory An army of good words: and I do know A many fools, that stand in better place, Garnish'd like him, that for a tricksy word Defy the matter. How cheer'st thou, Jessica? And now, good sweet, say thy opinion, How dost thou like the lord Bassanio's wife?


Lor. I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launce lot, if you thus get my wife into corners.

Jes. Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo; Launcelot and I are out; he tells me flatly, there is no mercy for me in heaven, because I am a Jew's daughter: and he says, you are no good member of the commonwealth; for, in converting Jews to Christians, you raise the price of pork.

Lor. I shall answer that better to the commonwealth, than you can the geting up of the negro's belly: the Moor is with child by you, Launcelot.

Laun. It is much, that the Moor should be more than reason; but, if she be less than an honest woman, she is, indeed, more than I took her for.

Lor. How every fool can play upon the word! I think, the best grace of wit will shortly turn into silence; and discourse grow commendable in none only but parrots.—Go in, sirrah; bid them prepare for dinner.

Laun. That is done, sir; they have all stomachs. Lor. Goodly lord, what a wit-snapper are you! then bid them prepare dinner.

Laun. That is done too, sir; only, cover is the Lor. Will you cover then, sir? [word. Laun. Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty. Lor. Yet more quarrelling with occasion! Wilt thou show the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant; I pray thee, understand a plain man in his plain meaning; go to thy fellows; bid them cover ACT



Enter the Duke; the Magnificoes; Antonio, Bassanio, Gratiano, Salarino, Salanio, and others.

Duke. What, is Antonio here?


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Ant. Ready, so please your grace.
Duke. I am sorry for thee; thou art
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of
Ant. I have heard,
Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rigorous course; but, since he stands obdu-
And that no lawful means can carry me [rate,
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury; and am arm'd
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.


Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the court.
Salan. He's ready at the door: he comes, my
Enter Shylock.
Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our
Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice
To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought,
Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty,
And, where thou now exact'st the penalty,

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come to

the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.

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Jes. Past all expressing; it is very meet,
The lord Bassanio live an upright life;
For, having such a blessing in his lady,
He finds the joys of heaven here on earth;
And if on earth he do not mean it, it
Is reason he should never come to heaven.
Why, if two gods should play some heavenly

And on the wager lay two earthly women,
And Portia one, there must be something else
Pawn'd with the other; for the poor rude world
Hath not her fellow.

Lor. Even such a husband
Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife.

Jes. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that.
Lor. I will anon; first, let us go to dinner.
Jes. Nay, let me praise you, while I have a

Lor. No, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk; Then, howsoe'er thou speak'st, 'mong other things I shall digest it.

Jes. Well, I'll set thee forth.



(Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,)
Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture,
But, touch'd with human gentleness and love,
Forgive a moiety of the principal;
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
That have of late so huddled on his back;
Enough to press a royal merchant down,
And pluck commiseration of his state
From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks, and Tartars, never train'd
To offices of tender courtesy.


We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.
Shy. I have possess'd your grace of what I
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn,
forfeit of my bond:



To have the due

If you deny it, le danger light

mandy non nd'


Upon your charter, and your city's freedom.
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Three thousand ducats: I'll not answer that;
But, say, it is my humour; it is answer'd?
What if my house be troubled with a rat,
And I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats
To have it baned? What, are you answer'd yet
Some men there are, love not a gaping pig;
Some, that are mad, if they behold a cat;
And others, when the bag-pipe sings i'the nose,
Cannot contain their urine; for affection,



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Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood
Of what it likes or loathes. Now, for your
As there is no firm reason to be render'd, [answer:
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig;
Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
Why he, a swollen bag-pipe; but of force
Must yield to such inevitable shame,
As to offend, himself being offended;
So can I give no reason, nor will I not,
More than a lodg'd hate, and a certain loathing,
I bear Antonio, that I follow thus

A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd?

Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, To excuse the current of thy cruelty. [answer. Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my Bass. Do all men kill the things they do not love?

Shy. Hates any man the thing he would not kill?

Bass. Every offence is not a hate at first. Shy. What, wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice? [Jew.

Ant. I pray you, think you question with the You may as well go stand upon the beach, And bid the main flood bate his usual height; You may as well use question with the wolf, Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb; You may as well forbid the mountain pines To wag their high tops, and to make no noise, When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven: You may as well do any thing most hard, As seek to soften that (than which what's harder?) His Jewish heart:-therefore, I do beseech you, Make no more offers, use no further means, But, with all brief and plain conveniency, Let me have judgement, and the Jew his will.

Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here is six. Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats Were in six parts, and every part a ducat, I would not draw them, I would have my bond. Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring


Shy. What judgement shall I dread, doing no

You have among you many a purchas'd slave,
Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them :-shall I say to you,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs?
Why sweat they under burdens? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands? you will answer,
The slaves are ours:--so do I answer you:
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought, is mine, and I will have it:
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice:
I stand for judgement: answer; shall I have it?
Duke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this court,
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here to-day.

Salar. My lord, here stays without
A messenger with letters from the doctor,
New come from Padua.

Duke. Bring us the letters; call the messenger,

Bass. Good cheer, Antonio! What man? courage yet!

The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.

Ant. I am a tainted wether of the flock, Meetest for death; the weakest kind of fruit Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me: You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio, Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.

Enter Nerissa, dress'd like a lawyer's clerk. Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario? Ner. From both, my lord: Bellario greets your grace. [presents a letter. Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly' Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt [Jew, Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Thou mak'st thy knife keen: but no metal can, No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?


Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make. Gra. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog! And for thy life let justice be accus'd. Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith, To hold opinion with Pythagoras, That souls of animals infuse themselves Into the trunks of men: thy currish spirit Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter, Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, And whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam, Infus'd itself in thee; for thy desires Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous [bond,

Shy. Till thou canst rail the seal from off my Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud: Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall To cureless ruin. -I stand here for law.

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[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 visitation was with me a young doctor of Rome, his name is Balthasar. I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant: we turned o'er many books together: he is furnished with my opinion; which, bettered with his own learning, (the greatness whereof I cannot enough commend.) comes with him, at my importunity, to fill up your grace's request in my stead. I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation; for I never knew so young a body with so old a head I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.

Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he And here, I take it, is the doctor come.- [writes; Enter Portia, dressed like a doctor of laws. Give me your hand: came you from old Bellario? Por. I did, my lord.

Duke. You are welcome: take your place. Are you acquainted with the difference That holds this present question in the court?

Por. I am informed th'roughly of the cause. Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew! Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.

Por. Is your name Shylock?
Shy. Shylock is my name.

Por Of a strange nature is the suit you follow,
Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.—
You stand within his danger, do you not? [to Antonio.
Ant. Ay, so he says.

Por. Do you confess the bond?

Ant. I do.

Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.

Shy. On what compulsion must I? tell me that.
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath; it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this scepter'd sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;

And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,—
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much,
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
Shy. My deed's upon my head! I crave the law,
The penalty and forfeit of my bond.

Por.. Is he not able to discharge the money?
Bass. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court;
Yea, twice the sum: if that will not suffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart:
If this will not suffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you,
Wrest once the law to your authority:
To do a great right, do a little wrong;
And curb this cruel devil of his will.

Por. Why, this bond is forfeit ;
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Nearest the merchant's heart:-be merciful;
Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.
Shy. When it is paid according to the tenour..
It doth appear, you are a worthy judge;

You know the law, your exposition
Hath been most sound: I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgement: by my soul, I swear,
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me: I stay here on my bond.

Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the court
To give the judgement.

Por. Why then, thus it is.

You must prepare your bosom for his knife:
Shy. O noble judge! O excellent young man
Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
Hath full relation to the penalty,
Which here appeareth due upon the bond.

Shy. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge!
How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.
Shy. Ay, his breast:

To let the wretched man out-live his wealth,
To view, with hollow eye and wrinkled brow,
An age of poverty; from whlch lingering penance
Of such a misery doth she cut me off.
Commend me to your honourable wife:
Tell her the process of Antonio's end,
Say, how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death;
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge,
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repeut not you that you shall lose your friend,

For, if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.

Por. It must not be; there is no power in Venice And he repents not that he pays your debt;
Can alter a decree established:
'Twill be recorded for a precedent;
And many an error, by the same example,
Will rush into the state: it cannot be. [Daniel!-
Shy. A Daniel come to judgement! yea, a
O wise young judge, how do I honour thee!

Bass. Antonio, I am married to a wife,
Which is as dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the world,
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life:
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.

Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
Shy. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd

[that, Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for If she were by, to hear you make the offer.

Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven:
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul?
No, not for Venice.

Gra. I have a wife, whom I protest I love;
I would she were in heaven, so she could
Entreat some power to change this currish Jew.

Ner. 'Tis well you offer it behind her back; The wish would make else an unquiet house.

Shy. These be the Christian husbands: I have 'Would, any of the stock of Barrabas [a daughter Had been her husband, rather than a Christian! faside We trifle time: I pray thee, pursue scntence,

So says the bond;-doth it not, noble judge?—
Nearest his heart, those are the very words.

Por. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh
The flesh?

Shy. I have them ready.

[charge, Por. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death. Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond?

Por. It is not so express'd; but what of that? 'Twere good you do so much, for charity.

Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
Por. Come, merchant, have you any thing to say?
Ant. But little; I am arm'd and well prepar'd.
Give me your hand, Bassanio; fare you well!
Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you;
For herein Fortune shows herself more kind
Than is her custom: it is still her use,

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