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Bass. Ere I
Before a friend of this description
Shall lose a hair through Bassanio's fault.
And then away to Venice to your friend !
For never shall you lie by Portia's side
My maid Nerissa, and myself, mean time,
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away;
Since you are dear-bouglit, I will love you dear.-
But let me hear the letter of your friend.
miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is Ofany constant man. What, worse and worse?- very low, my bond to the Jewis forfeit; and since, in With leave, Bassanio ; I am half yourself,
paying it, it is impossible I should live, all debts are And I must freely have the half of any thing,
cleared between you and I, if I might but see you at That this same paper brings you.
my death; notwithstanding, use your pleasure: if Bass. O, sweet Portia,
your love do not persuade you to come, let not my Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words,
letter. That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
Por. O love, despatch all business, and be gone! When I did first impart my love to you,
Bass. Since I have your good leave to go away,
I will make haste: but, till I come again,
No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay,
No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. (Exeunt.
SCENE III.- Venice. A street.
Enter SayLock, SALANTO, Antonio, and Gaoler.
This is the fool that lent out money gratis ;-
Gaoler, look to him.
Ant. Hear me yet, good Shylock !
Shy. I'll have my bond; speak not against my
I have sworn an oath, that I will have my
bond : And every word in it a gaping wound,
Thou call’dst me dog before thou had'sta cause:
But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs!
To come abroad with him at his request!
Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak!
Shy. I'll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak:
I'll have my bond; and therefore speak no more!
I'll not be made a soft and dull-ey'd fool,
To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield
To Christian intercessors. Follow not;
I'll have no speaking; I will have my bond.
[Exit Shylock. Heplies the duke at morning, and at night;
Salan. It is the most impenetrable cur,
That ever kept with men.
Ant. Let him alone;
I'll follow him uo more with bootless prayers.
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures
Many, that have at times made moan to me;
Salan. I am sure, the duke
Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.
Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law;
For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be denied,
Will much impeach the justice of the state ;
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! (Exeunt.
SCENE IV.- Belinont. A room in Portia's house. Por.' What, no more?
Enter Portia, Nerissa, LORENZO, Jessica, and
Lor. Madam, although I speak it in your presence,
You have a noble and a true conceit
And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell,
giver How true a gentleman you send relief, Above a twelvemonth. --I have within my mind
lor How dear a lover of my lord your husband,
A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks,
Which I will practise.
Carni Por. I never did repent.for doing good,
Por. Fie! what a question's that,
Ifthou wert near a lewd interpreter?
When I am in my coach, which stays for us
At the park gate; and therefore haste away, Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit;
For we must measure twenty miles to-day. [Exeunt. Which makes me think, that this Antonio,
for, Being the lover of my lord,
SCENEV. The same. A garden. Must needs be like my lord. If it beso,
Enter LAUNCELOT and Jessica.
brei How little is the cost I have bestow'd,
Laun. Yes, truly:--for, look you, the sins of the In purchasing this semblance of my soul father are to be laid upon the children; therefore, I
ud From out the state of hellish cruelty! promise you, I fear you. I was always plain with you,
And This comes too near the praising of myself; and so now I speak my agitation of the matter: there
Post Therefore, no more ofit: hear other things !- fore, be of good cheer; for, truly, I think, you are
hat Lorenzo, I commit into your hands damned. There is but one hope in it that can do any
L The husbandry and manage of my house, good; and that is but a kind of bastard hope neither.
Has Until my lord's return: for mine own part,
Jess. And what hope is that, I pray thee? I have toward heaven breath'd a secret vow,
Je Laun. Marry, you may partly hope that your father
L To live in prayer and comtemplation, got you not, that you are not the Jew's daughter.
JE Ouly attended by Nerissa here, Jess. That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed; so
1 Until her husband and my lord's return:
the sins of my mother should be visited upon me. There is a monastery two miles off, Laun. Truly then I fear you are damned both by fa
Is And there we will abide. I do desire you,
ther and mother: thus when I shun Scylla, your father, Not to deny this imposition ;
I fall into Charybdis, your mother: well, you are gone
Jess. I shall be saved by my husband ; le hath made
me a Christian, I shall obey you in all fair commands.
Laun. Truly, the more to blame he: we were ChriPor. My people do already know my mind, stians enough before ; e'en as many as could well live, And will acknowledge you and Jessica
one by another: this making of Christians will raise In place of lord Bassanio and myself.
the price of hogs; if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we So fare you well, till we shall meet again.
shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money. Lor. Fair thonghts, and happy hours, attend on you! Jer. I wish your ladyship all heart's content.
Enter LORENZO. Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleas’d Jess. I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say;
1 To wish it back on you: fare you well, Jessica !
here he comes. [Exeunt Jessica and Lorenzo. Lor. I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, Now, Balthazar,
you thus get my wife into corners. As I have ever found thee honest, true,
Jes. Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo; Launcelot So let me find thee still: take this same letter, and I are out : he tells me flatly, there is no mercy for And use thou all the endeavour of a man,
me in heaven, because I am a Jew's daughter: and he In speed to Padua; see thou render this
says, you are no good member of the commonwealth; Into.my cousin's hand, doctor Bellario;
for, in converting Jews to Christians, you raise the And, look, what notes and garments he doth give thee, priceof pork. Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed
Lor. Ishall answer that better to the commonwealth Unto the tranect, to the common ferry,
than you can the getting up of the negro's belly; the
Por. Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand, is, indeed, more than I took her for.
the best grace of wit will shortly turn into silence; Ner. Shall they see us?
and discourse grow commendable in none only but Por. They shall, Nerissa; butin such a habit, parrots.—Go in, sirrah ; bid them prepare for dinner. That they shall think, we are accomplished
Laun. That is done, sir; they have all stomachs. With what we lack. I'll hold thee any wager, Lord. Goodly lord, what a wit-snapper are you ! then When we are both accouter'd like young men,
bid them prepare
dinner. I'll prove the prettiet fellow of the two,
Laun. That is done too, sir ; only, cover is the word.
Lor. Will you cover then, sir?
Wilt thou show the whole wealth of thy wit in an in-
ia How honourable ladies sought my love,
meaning: go to thy fellows ; bid them cover the table, Which I denying, they fell sick and died;
serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.
Laun. For the table, sir, it shall be served in; for the To offices of tender courtesy.
(Exit Launcelot. And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn,
If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter, and your city's freedom.
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Three thousand ducats : I'll not answer that:
But, say, it is my humour: is it answer'd ?
What if my house be troubled with a rat,
And I be 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 hehold a cat;
And others, when the bag-pipe sings i’ the nose,
Cannot contain their urine; for affection,
Of what it likes, or loaths. Now, for your answer:
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 I will not,
Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
[Exeunt. To excuse the current of thy cruelty.
Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my answer. А ст
Bass. Do all men kill the things they do not love?
Shy. Hates any man the thing, he would not kill ?
Ant. I pray you, think you question with the Jew:
You may as well go stand upon the beach,
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,
As seek to soften that (than which what's harder?)
His Jewish heart:- therefore, I do beseech yon,
Make no more offers, use no farther means,
But, with all brief and plain conveniency,
Let me have judgement, and the Jew his will.
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
I would not draw them, I would have my bond.
Shy.What judgement shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchas'd slave,
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:
ruke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this court, Are you acquainted with the difference Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
That holds this present question in the court? Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Por. I am informed throughly of the cause. Come here to-day.
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew? Salar. My lord, here stays without
Duke. Antonio and old Slıylock, both stand forth. A messenger withletters from the doctor,
Por. Is your name Shylock?
Shy. Sliylock is my name.
Ant. Ay, so he says.
Por. Do you confess the bond? Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me:
Ant, I do. You cannot better be employ’d, Bassanio,
Por. Then must the Jew be merciful. Than to live still and write mine epitaph.
Shy. On what compulsion must I ? tell me that.
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd; Enter Nerissa, dressed like a lawyer's clerk.
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
| Presents a letter. "Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
Aud earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Thou almost mak’st me waver in nıyfaith,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this, -To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That, in the course of justice, none of us That souls of animals infuse themselves
Should see salvation: we do
for mercy, Into the trunks of'men: thy currish spirit
And that same prayer doth teach us all to rcuder
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there. Are wolfish, bloody, starvd, and ravenous.
Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
Bass. Yes, here Itender it for him in the court:
Yea twice thesum: if that will not suffice,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart:
If this will not suflice, it must appear,
| That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you, To know your answer, whether you'll admit him. Wrest once the law to your authority:
Duke.With all my heart:--some three or four of you, To do a great right, do a little wrong ;
(Clerk reads.] Your grace shall understand, that, at Can alter a decree established:
, most reverend doctor, here itis.
be no impediment to let him lack a reverend No, not for Venice.
Duke. You hear the learu'd Bellario, what he writes : 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;
Ilath been most sound : I charge you by the law,
Whereofyou are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgement! by my soul I swear, Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.
Gra.O upright judge!-Mark,Jew;-0 learned judge!
Shy. Is that the law?
For, as thou argest justice, be assur'd,
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desir'st.
Gar.O learned judge!-Mark,Jew;—a learned judge!
Bass. Here is the money.
He shall have nothing but the penalty.
Por. Therefore, prepare thee to cut off the flesh!
Shed thou no blood ; nor cut thou less, nor more,
As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance,
Ofone poor scruple; nay, if the scale do turn
But in the estimation of a hair,-
Por. Why doth the Jew pause? take thy forfeiture!
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go!
Buss. I have it ready for thee; here it is.
Por. He hath refus'd it in the open court;
I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.
Shy. Shall I not have barely my principal?
Por. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture
I'll stay no longer question.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice, -,
Ifit be prov'd against an alien,
That by direct, or indirect, attempts,
He seek the life of any citizen,
The party, 'gainst the which he doth contrive,
Shall seize one half his goods: the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state;
And the oflender's life lies in the mercy
In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st:
That, indirectly, and directly too,
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
Gra.Beg, that thou may'st have leave to hang thyself!
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
[ Aside. Therefore, thou must be hang'd at the state's charge. We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence!
Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit,
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's;
The other half comes to the general state,
Por. Ay, for the state; not for Antonio.
You take my house, when you do take the prop This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood;
That doth sustain my house ; you take my life, The words expressly are: a pound of flesh.
When you do take the means, whereby I live.