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MERCHANT OF VENICE.
DUKE OF VENICE.
BASSANIO, his friend.
suitors to Portia.
LORENZO, in love with Jessica.
SHYLOCK, a Jew.
TUBAL, a Jew, his friend.
LAUNCELOT GOBBO, a clown, servant to Shylock.
friends to Antonio and Bassanio.
SCENE I. - Venice. A Street.
Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice, Gaoler, Servants, and other Attendants. SCENE,-partly at VENICE, and partly at BELMONT, the Seat of PORTIA, on the Continent.
Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO.
Ant. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad; It wearies me; you say, it wearies you; But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born, I am to learn;
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me, That I have much ado to know myself.
Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean;
Salan. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
Old GOBBO, father to Launcelot. SALERIO, a messenger from Venice. LEONARDO, Servant to Bassanio.
servants to Portia.
PORTIA, a rich heiress. NERISSA, her waiting-maid. JESSICA, daughter to Shylock.
Salar. My wind, cooling my broth, Would blow me to an ague, when I thought What harm a wind too great might do at sea. I should not see the sandy hour-glass run, But I should think of shallows and of flats; And see my wealthy Andrew dock'd in sand,
Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs,
And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks?
And now worth nothing? Shall I have the thought
Is sad to think upon his merchandize.
Ant. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it, My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate Upon the fortune of this present year: Therefore, my merchandize makes me not sad. Salan. Why then you are in love. Ant. Fye, fye Salan. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you are sad,
Because you are not merry: and 'twere as easy
Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed
We two will leave you, but, at dinner time,
Gra. You look not well, signior Antonio;
Ant. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano; A stage, where every man must play a part, And mine a sad one.
Gra. Let me play the Fool: With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come; And let my liver rather heat with wine, Than my heart cool with mortifying groans. Why should a man, whose blood is warm within, Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?
Sleep when he wakes? and creep into the jaundice
Ant. Is that any thing now?
Bass. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff'; you shall seek all day ere you find them; and, when you have them, they are not worth the search.
Ant. Well; tell me now, what lady is this same To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage, That you to-day promis'd to tell me of?
Bass. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
Ant. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
Bass. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
The self-same way, with more advised watch,
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,
Ant. You know me well; and herein spend but
To wind about my love with circumstance;
Bass. In Belmont is a lady richly left,
Ant. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at se Nor have I money, nor commodity To raise a present sum: therefore go forth, Try what my credit can in Venice do;
That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermost,
SCENE II.-Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. Enter PORTIA and NERISSA.
Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.
Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are: And yet, for aught I see, they are as sick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing: It is no mean happiness therefore, to be seated in the mean; superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.
Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced. Ner. They would be better, if well followed. Por. If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages, princes' palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot temper leaps over a cold decree: such a hare is madness the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel, the cripple. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband: - O me, the word choose! I may neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike; so is the will of a living daughter curb'd by the will of a dead father: Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none? Ner. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, at their death, have good inspirations; therefore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three chests, of gold, silver, and lead, (whereof who chooses his meaning, chooses you,) will, no doubt, never be chosen by any rightly, but one who you shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors that are already
Por. I pray thee, over-name them; and as thou namest them, I will describe them; and according to my description, level at my affection.
Ner. First, there is the Neapolitan prince. Por. Ay, that's a colt, indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great appropriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe him himself: I am much afraid, my lady his mother played false with a smith.
Ner. Then, is there the county Palatine. Por. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, And if you will not have me, choose: he hears merry tales, and smiles not: I fear, he will prove the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being so full of unmannerly sadness in his youth. I had rather be married to a death's head with a bone in his mouth, than to either of these. God defend me from these two!
Ner. How say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le Bon?
fence with his own shadow: if I should marry him. I should marry twenty husbands: If he would despise me, I would forgive him; for if he love me to madness, I shall never requite him.
Ner. What say you then to Faulconbridge, the young baron of England?
Por. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a mocker; But, he! why, he hath a horse better than the Neapolitan's; a better bad habit of frowning than the count Palatine: he is every man in no man : if a throstle sing, he falls straight a capering; he will
Por. You know, I say nothing to him; for he understands not me, nor I him: he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian; and you will come into the court and swear, that I have a poor pennyworth in the English. He is a proper man's picture; But, alas! who can converse with a dumb show? How oddly he is suited! I think, he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour every where.
Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord, his neighbour?
Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him; for he borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman, and swore he would pay him again, when he was able: I think, the Frenchman became his surety, and sealed under for another.
Ner. How like you the young German, the duke of Saxony's nephew?
Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober; and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk when he is best, he is a little worse than a man; and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast an the worst fall that ever fell, I hope, I shall make shift to go without him.
Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you should refuse to accept him.
Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a deep glass of Rhenish wise on the contrary casket: for, if the devil be within, and that temptation without, I know he will choose it. I will do any thing, Nerissa, ere I will be married to a spunge.
Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these lords; they have acquainted me with their determinations: which is indeed, to return to their home, and to trouble you with no more suit; unless, you may be won by some other sort than your father's imposition, depending on the caskets.
Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will: I am glad this parcel of wooers are so reasonable; for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and I pray God grant them a fair departure.
Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's time, a Venetian, a scholar, and a soldier, that came hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat?
Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, so was he called.
Enter a Servant.
Serv. The four strangers seck for you, madam, to take their leave and there is a fore-runner come from a fifth, the prince of Morocco; who brings word, the prince, his master, will be here to-night.
Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his approach: if he have the condition of a saint, and the complexion of a devil. I
had rather he should shrive me than wive me. Conie,
Ay, ay, three thousand ducats,
I do never use it.
Shy. When Jacob graz'd his uncle Laban's sheep,
Shy. Antonio shall become bound,
Shy. Three thousand ducats, for three months,
and Antonio bound.
Bass. Your answer to that.
Shy. Ho, no, no, no, no ; — my meaning, in say-
Bass. Be assured you may.
Shy. I will be assured, I may; and, that I may be assured, I will bethink me: May I speak with Antonio?
Bass. If it please you to dine with us.
Shy. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into; I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What news on the Rialto? - Who is he comes here?
Bass. This is signior Antonio.
Shy.[Aside.] How like a fawning publican he looks!
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
Ant. Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow,
Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend,
Ant. And what of him? did he take interest?
And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.
Ant. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv'd for;
Shy. I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast :-
Shy. Three thousand ducats, -'tis a good round
Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.
A cur can lend three thousand ducats? or
Fair sur, you spit on me on Wednesday last:
Ant. I am as like to call thee so again,
Ant. This were kindness.
In such a place, such sum, or sums, as are
Ant. Content, in faith; I'll seal to such a bond, And say, there is much kindness in the Jew.
SCENE I.Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Flourish of Cornets. Enter the PRINCE OF MOROCCO, and his Train; PORTIA, NERISSA, and other of
Bass. You shall not seal to such a bond for ine, I'll rather dwell in my necessity.
Ant. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it; Within these two months, that's a month before This bond expires, I do expect return
Of thrice three times the value of this bond.
Mor. Mislike me not for my complexion, The shadow'd livery of the burnish'd sun, To whom I am a neighbour, and near bred. Bring me the fairest creature northward born, Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles, And let us make incision for your love, To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine. I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine Hath fear'd the valiant; by my love, I swear, The best-regarded virgins of our clime Have lov'd it too: I would not change this hue, Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen. Por. In terms of choice I am not solely led By nice direction of a maiden's eyes: Besides, the lottery of my destiny Bars me the right of voluntary choosing: But, if my father had not scanted me, And hedg'd me by his wit, to yield myself His wife, who wins me by that means I told you, Yourself, renowned prince, then stood as fair, As any comer I have look'd on yet, For my affection.
Mor. Even for that I thank you; Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets, To try my fortune. By this scimitar, That slew the Sophy, and a Persian prince, That won three fields of Sultan Solyman, I would out-stare the sternest eyes that look, Out-brave the heart most daring on the earth,
Shy. O father Abraham, what these Christians are ; Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect The thoughts of others! Pray you, tell me this; If he should break his day, what should I gain By the exaction of the forfeiture?
A pound of man's flesh, taken from a man,
[Exit Ant. Hie thee, gentle Jew. This Hebrew will turn Christian; he grows kind. Bass. I like not fair terms, and a villain's mind. Ant. Come on; in this there can be no dismay, My ships come home a month before the day.