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The Merchant of Venice-

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The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare homepage | Merchant of Venice | Entire play ACT I SCENE I. Venice. A street.

   Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, and SALANIO 

ANTONIO

   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.

SALARINO

   Your mind is tossing on the ocean;
   There, where your argosies with portly sail,
   Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood,
   Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea,
   Do overpeer the petty traffickers,
   That curtsy to them, do them reverence,
   As they fly by them with their woven wings.

SALANIO

   Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
   The better part of my affections would
   Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
   Plucking the grass, to know where sits the wind,
   Peering in maps for ports and piers and roads;
   And every object that might make me fear
   Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt
   Would make me sad.

SALARINO

   My wind cooling my broth
   Would blow me to an ague, when I thought
   What harm a wind too great at sea might do.
   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
   To kiss her burial. Should I go to church
   And see the holy edifice of stone,
   And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks,
   Which touching but my gentle vessel's side,
   Would scatter all her spices on the stream,
   Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks,
   And, in a word, but even now worth this,
   And now worth nothing? Shall I have the thought
   To think on this, and shall I lack the thought
   That such a thing bechanced would make me sad?
   But tell not me; I know, Antonio
   Is sad to think upon his merchandise.

ANTONIO

   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 merchandise makes me not sad.

SALARINO

   Why, then you are in love.

ANTONIO

   Fie, fie!

SALARINO

   Not in love neither? Then let us say you are sad,
   Because you are not merry: and 'twere as easy
   For you to laugh and leap and say you are merry,
   Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus,
   Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time:
   Some that will evermore peep through their eyes
   And laugh like parrots at a bag-piper,
   And other of such vinegar aspect
   That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
   Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
   Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO

SALANIO

   Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman,
   Gratiano and Lorenzo. Fare ye well:
   We leave you now with better company.

SALARINO

   I would have stay'd till I had made you merry,
   If worthier friends had not prevented me.

ANTONIO

   Your worth is very dear in my regard.
   I take it, your own business calls on you
   And you embrace the occasion to depart.

SALARINO

   Good morrow, my good lords.

BASSANIO

   Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? say, when?
   You grow exceeding strange: must it be so?

SALARINO

   We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.
   Exeunt Salarino and Salanio

LORENZO

   My Lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio,
   We two will leave you: but at dinner-time,
   I pray you, have in mind where we must meet.

BASSANIO

   I will not fail you.

GRATIANO

   You look not well, Signior Antonio;
   You have too much respect upon the world:
   They lose it that do buy it with much care:
   Believe me, you are marvellously changed.

ANTONIO

   I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
   A stage where every man must play a part,
   And mine a sad one.

GRATIANO

   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
   By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio--
   I love thee, and it is my love that speaks--
   There are a sort of men whose visages
   Do cream and mantle like a standing pond,
   And do a wilful stillness entertain,
   With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion
   Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,
   As who should say 'I am Sir Oracle,
   And when I ope my lips let no dog bark!'
   O my Antonio, I do know of these
   That therefore only are reputed wise
   For saying nothing; when, I am very sure,
   If they should speak, would almost damn those ears,
   Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools.
   I'll tell thee more of this another time:
   But fish not, with this melancholy bait,
   For this fool gudgeon, this opinion.
   Come, good Lorenzo. Fare ye well awhile:
   I'll end my exhortation after dinner.

LORENZO

   Well, we will leave you then till dinner-time:
   I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
   For Gratiano never lets me speak.

GRATIANO

   Well, keep me company but two years moe,
   Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue.

ANTONIO

   Farewell: I'll grow a talker for this gear.

GRATIANO

   Thanks, i' faith, for silence is only commendable
   In a neat's tongue dried and a maid not vendible.
   Exeunt GRATIANO and LORENZO

ANTONIO

   Is that any thing now?

BASSANIO

   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.

ANTONIO

   Well, tell me now what lady is the same
   To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
   That you to-day promised to tell me of?

BASSANIO

   'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
   How much I have disabled mine estate,
   By something showing a more swelling port
   Than my faint means would grant continuance:
   Nor do I now make moan to be abridged
   From such a noble rate; but my chief care
   Is to come fairly off from the great debts
   Wherein my time something too prodigal
   Hath left me gaged. To you, Antonio,
   I owe the most, in money and in love,
   And from your love I have a warranty
   To unburden all my plots and purposes
   How to get clear of all the debts I owe.

ANTONIO

   I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
   And if it stand, as you yourself still do,
   Within the eye of honour, be assured,
   My purse, my person, my extremest means,
   Lie all unlock'd to your occasions.

BASSANIO

   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,
   To find the other forth, and by adventuring both
   I oft found both: I urge this childhood proof,
   Because what follows is pure innocence.
   I owe you much, and, like a wilful youth,
   That which I owe is lost; but if you please
   To shoot another arrow that self way
   Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,
   As I will watch the aim, or to find both
   Or bring your latter hazard back again
   And thankfully rest debtor for the first.

ANTONIO

   You know me well, and herein spend but time
   To wind about my love with circumstance;
   And out of doubt you do me now more wrong
   In making question of my uttermost
   Than if you had made waste of all I have:
   Then do but say to me what I should do
   That in your knowledge may by me be done,
   And I am prest unto it: therefore, speak.

BASSANIO

   In Belmont is a lady richly left;
   And she is fair, and, fairer than that word,
   Of wondrous virtues: sometimes from her eyes
   I did receive fair speechless messages:
   Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued
   To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia:
   Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth,
   For the four winds blow in from every coast
   Renowned suitors, and her sunny locks
   Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;
   Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand,
   And many Jasons come in quest of her.
   O my Antonio, had I but the means
   To hold a rival place with one of them,
   I have a mind presages me such thrift,
   That I should questionless be fortunate!

ANTONIO

   Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea;
   Neither 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,
   To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.
   Go, presently inquire, and so will I,
   Where money is, and I no question make
   To have it of my trust or for my sake.
   Exeunt
   SCENE II: Belmont. A room in PORTIA'S house.
   Enter PORTIA and NERISSA

PORTIA

   By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of
   this great world.

NERISSA

   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.

PORTIA

   Good sentences and well pronounced.

NERISSA

   They would be better, if well followed.

PORTIA

   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
   o'er 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 curbed
   by the will of a dead father. Is it not hard,
   Nerissa, that I cannot choose one nor refuse none?

NERISSA

   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 shall rightly love. But what
   warmth is there in your affection towards any of
   these princely suitors that are already come?

PORTIA

   I pray thee, over-name them; and as thou namest
   them, I will describe them; and, according to my
   description, level at my affection.

NERISSA

   First, there is the Neapolitan prince.

PORTIA

   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 afeard my lady his
   mother played false with a smith.

NERISSA

   Then there is the County Palatine.

PORTIA

   He doth nothing but frown, as who should say '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!

NERISSA

   How say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le Bon?

PORTIA

   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
   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.

NERISSA

   What say you, then, to Falconbridge, the young baron
   of England?

PORTIA

   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
   behavior every where.

NERISSA

   What think you of the Scottish lord, his neighbour?

PORTIA

   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.

NERISSA

   How like you the young German, the Duke of Saxony's nephew?

PORTIA

   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:
   and the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall
   make shift to go without him.

NERISSA

   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.

PORTIA

   Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a
   deep glass of rhenish wine 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'll be married to a sponge.

NERISSA

   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.

PORTIA

   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.

NERISSA

   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?

PORTIA

   Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, he was so called.

NERISSA

   True, madam: he, of all the men that ever my foolish
   eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.

PORTIA

   I remember him well, and I remember him worthy of
   thy praise.
   Enter a Serving-man
   How now! what news?

Servant

   The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take
   their leave: and there is a forerunner come from a
   fifth, the Prince of Morocco, who brings word the
   prince his master will be here to-night.

PORTIA

   If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good a
   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. Come,
   Nerissa. Sirrah, go before.
   Whiles we shut the gates
   upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.
   Exeunt

SCENE III. Venice. A public place.

   Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK 

SHYLOCK

   Three thousand ducats; well.

BASSANIO

   Ay, sir, for three months.

SHYLOCK

   For three months; well.

BASSANIO

   For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.

SHYLOCK

   Antonio shall become bound; well.

BASSANIO

   May you stead me? will you pleasure me? shall I
   know your answer?

SHYLOCK

   Three thousand ducats for three months and Antonio bound.

BASSANIO

   Your answer to that.

SHYLOCK

   Antonio is a good man.

BASSANIO

   Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?

SHYLOCK

   Oh, no, no, no, no: my meaning in saying he is a
   good man is to have you understand me that he is
   sufficient. Yet his means are in supposition: he
   hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the
   Indies; I understand moreover, upon the Rialto, he
   hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England, and
   other ventures he hath, squandered abroad. But ships
   are but boards, sailors but men: there be land-rats
   and water-rats, water-thieves and land-thieves, I
   mean pirates, and then there is the peril of waters,
   winds and rocks. The man is, notwithstanding,
   sufficient. Three thousand ducats; I think I may
   take his bond.

BASSANIO

   Be assured you may.

SHYLOCK

   I will be assured I may; and, that I may be assured,
   I will bethink me. May I speak with Antonio?

BASSANIO

   If it please you to dine with us.

SHYLOCK

   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?
   Enter ANTONIO

BASSANIO

   This is Signior Antonio.

SHYLOCK

   [Aside] How like a fawning publican he looks!
   I hate him for he is a Christian,
   But more for that in low simplicity
   He lends out money gratis and brings down
   The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
   If I can catch him once upon the hip,
   I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
   He hates our sacred nation, and he rails,
   Even there where merchants most do congregate,
   On me, my bargains and my well-won thrift,
   Which he calls interest. Cursed be my tribe,
   If I forgive him!

BASSANIO

   Shylock, do you hear?

SHYLOCK

   I am debating of my present store,
   And, by the near guess of my memory,
   I cannot instantly raise up the gross
   Of full three thousand ducats. What of that?
   Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe,
   Will furnish me. But soft! how many months
   Do you desire?
   To ANTONIO
   Rest you fair, good signior;
   Your worship was the last man in our mouths.

ANTONIO

   Shylock, although I neither lend nor borrow
   By taking nor by giving of excess,
   Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend,
   I'll break a custom. Is he yet possess'd
   How much ye would?

SHYLOCK

   Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.

ANTONIO

   And for three months.

SHYLOCK

   I had forgot; three months; you told me so.
   Well then, your bond; and let me see; but hear you;
   Methought you said you neither lend nor borrow
   Upon advantage.

ANTONIO

   I do never use it.

SHYLOCK

   When Jacob grazed his uncle Laban's sheep--
   This Jacob from our holy Abram was,
   As his wise mother wrought in his behalf,
   The third possessor; ay, he was the third--

ANTONIO

   And what of him? did he take interest?

SHYLOCK

   No, not take interest, not, as you would say,
   Directly interest: mark what Jacob did.
   When Laban and himself were compromised
   That all the eanlings which were streak'd and pied
   Should fall as Jacob's hire, the ewes, being rank,
   In the end of autumn turned to the rams,
   And, when the work of generation was
   Between these woolly breeders in the act,
   The skilful shepherd peel'd me certain wands,
   And, in the doing of the deed of kind,
   He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes,
   Who then conceiving did in eaning time
   Fall parti-colour'd lambs, and those were Jacob's.
   This was a way to thrive, and he was blest:
   And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.

ANTONIO

   This was a venture, sir, that Jacob served for;
   A thing not in his power to bring to pass,
   But sway'd and fashion'd by the hand of heaven.
   Was this inserted to make interest good?
   Or is your gold and silver ewes and rams?

SHYLOCK

   I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast:
   But note me, signior.

ANTONIO

   Mark you this, Bassanio,
   The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
   An evil soul producing holy witness
   Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
   A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
   O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

SHYLOCK

   Three thousand ducats; 'tis a good round sum.
   Three months from twelve; then, let me see; the rate--

ANTONIO

   Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you?

SHYLOCK

   Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
   In the Rialto you have rated me
   About my moneys and my usances:
   Still have I borne it with a patient shrug,
   For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
   You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
   And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
   And all for use of that which is mine own.
   Well then, it now appears you need my help:
   Go to, then; you come to me, and you say
   'Shylock, we would have moneys:' you say so;
   You, that did void your rheum upon my beard
   And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur
   Over your threshold: moneys is your suit
   What should I say to you? Should I not say
   'Hath a dog money? is it possible
   A cur can lend three thousand ducats?' Or
   Shall I bend low and in a bondman's key,
   With bated breath and whispering humbleness, Say this;
   'Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
   You spurn'd me such a day; another time
   You call'd me dog; and for these courtesies
   I'll lend you thus much moneys'?

ANTONIO

   I am as like to call thee so again,
   To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too.
   If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
   As to thy friends; for when did friendship take
   A breed for barren metal of his friend?
   But lend it rather to thine enemy,
   Who, if he break, thou mayst with better face
   Exact the penalty.

SHYLOCK

   Why, look you, how you storm!
   I would be friends with you and have your love,
   Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with,
   Supply your present wants and take no doit
   Of usance for my moneys, and you'll not hear me:
   This is kind I offer.

BASSANIO

   This were kindness.

SHYLOCK

   This kindness will I show.
   Go with me to a notary, seal me there
   Your single bond; and, in a merry sport,
   If you repay me not on such a day,
   In such a place, such sum or sums as are
   Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit
   Be nominated for an equal pound
   Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
   In what part of your body pleaseth me.

ANTONIO

   Content, i' faith: I'll seal to such a bond
   And say there is much kindness in the Jew.

BASSANIO

   You shall not seal to such a bond for me:
   I'll rather dwell in my necessity.

ANTONIO

   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.

SHYLOCK

   O father Abram, 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
   Is not so estimable, profitable neither,
   As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say,
   To buy his favour, I extend this friendship:
   If he will take it, so; if not, adieu;
   And, for my love, I pray you wrong me not.

ANTONIO

   Yes Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.

SHYLOCK

   Then meet me forthwith at the notary's;
   Give him direction for this merry bond,
   And I will go and purse the ducats straight,
   See to my house, left in the fearful guard
   Of an unthrifty knave, and presently
   I will be with you.

ANTONIO

   Hie thee, gentle Jew.
   Exit Shylock
   The Hebrew will turn Christian: he grows kind.

BASSANIO

   I like not fair terms and a villain's mind.

ANTONIO

   Come on: in this there can be no dismay;
   My ships come home a month before the day.
   Exeunt

ACT II SCENE I. Belmont. A room in PORTIA'S house.

   Flourish of cornets. Enter the PRINCE OF MOROCCO and his train; PORTIA, NERISSA, and others attending 

MOROCCO

   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 loved it too: I would not change this hue,
   Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen.

PORTIA

   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 hedged 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.

MOROCCO

   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 outstare the sternest eyes that look,
   Outbrave the heart most daring on the earth,
   Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear,
   Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey,
   To win thee, lady. But, alas the while!
   If Hercules and Lichas play at dice
   Which is the better man, the greater throw
   May turn by fortune from the weaker hand:
   So is Alcides beaten by his page;
   And so may I, blind fortune leading me,
   Miss that which one unworthier may attain,
   And die with grieving.

PORTIA

   You must take your chance,
   And either not attempt to choose at all
   Or swear before you choose, if you choose wrong
   Never to speak to lady afterward
   In way of marriage: therefore be advised.

MOROCCO

   Nor will not. Come, bring me unto my chance.

PORTIA

   First, forward to the temple: after dinner
   Your hazard shall be made.

MOROCCO

   Good fortune then!
   To make me blest or cursed'st among men.
   Cornets, and exeunt

SCENE II. Venice. A street.

   Enter LAUNCELOT 

LAUNCELOT

   Certainly my conscience will serve me to run from
   this Jew my master. The fiend is at mine elbow and
   tempts me saying to me 'Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good
   Launcelot,' or 'good Gobbo,' or good Launcelot
   Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away. My
   conscience says 'No; take heed,' honest Launcelot;
   take heed, honest Gobbo, or, as aforesaid, 'honest
   Launcelot Gobbo; do not run; scorn running with thy
   heels.' Well, the most courageous fiend bids me
   pack: 'Via!' says the fiend; 'away!' says the
   fiend; 'for the heavens, rouse up a brave mind,'
   says the fiend, 'and run.' Well, my conscience,
   hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely
   to me 'My honest friend Launcelot, being an honest
   man's son,' or rather an honest woman's son; for,
   indeed, my father did something smack, something
   grow to, he had a kind of taste; well, my conscience
   says 'Launcelot, budge not.' 'Budge,' says the
   fiend. 'Budge not,' says my conscience.
   'Conscience,' say I, 'you counsel well;' ' Fiend,'
   say I, 'you counsel well:' to be ruled by my
   conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master,
   who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil; and, to
   run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the
   fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil
   himself. Certainly the Jew is the very devil
   incarnal; and, in my conscience, my conscience is
   but a kind of hard conscience, to offer to counsel
   me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more
   friendly counsel: I will run, fiend; my heels are
   at your command; I will run.
   Enter Old GOBBO, with a basket

GOBBO

   Master young man, you, I pray you, which is the way
   to master Jew's?

LAUNCELOT

   [Aside] O heavens, this is my true-begotten father!
   who, being more than sand-blind, high-gravel blind,
   knows me not: I will try confusions with him.

GOBBO

   Master young gentleman, I pray you, which is the way
   to master Jew's?

LAUNCELOT

   Turn up on your right hand at the next turning, but,
   at the next turning of all, on your left; marry, at
   the very next turning, turn of no hand, but turn
   down indirectly to the Jew's house.

GOBBO

   By God's sonties, 'twill be a hard way to hit. Can
   you tell me whether one Launcelot,
   that dwells with him, dwell with him or no?

LAUNCELOT

   Talk you of young Master Launcelot?
   Aside
   Mark me now; now will I raise the waters. Talk you
   of young Master Launcelot?

GOBBO

   No master, sir, but a poor man's son: his father,
   though I say it, is an honest exceeding poor man
   and, God be thanked, well to live.

LAUNCELOT

   Well, let his father be what a' will, we talk of
   young Master Launcelot.

GOBBO

   Your worship's friend and Launcelot, sir.

LAUNCELOT

   But I pray you, ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech you,
   talk you of young Master Launcelot?

GOBBO

   Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership.

LAUNCELOT

   Ergo, Master Launcelot. Talk not of Master
   Launcelot, father; for the young gentleman,
   according to Fates and Destinies and such odd
   sayings, the Sisters Three and such branches of
   learning, is indeed deceased, or, as you would say
   in plain terms, gone to heaven.

GOBBO

   Marry, God forbid! the boy was the very staff of my
   age, my very prop.

LAUNCELOT

   Do I look like a cudgel or a hovel-post, a staff or
   a prop? Do you know me, father?

GOBBO

   Alack the day, I know you not, young gentleman:
   but, I pray you, tell me, is my boy, God rest his
   soul, alive or dead?

LAUNCELOT

   Do you not know me, father?

GOBBO

   Alack, sir, I am sand-blind; I know you not.

LAUNCELOT

   Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of
   the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his
   own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of
   your son: give me your blessing: truth will come
   to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man's son
   may, but at the length truth will out.

GOBBO

   Pray you, sir, stand up: I am sure you are not
   Launcelot, my boy.

LAUNCELOT

   Pray you, let's have no more fooling about it, but
   give me your blessing: I am Launcelot, your boy
   that was, your son that is, your child that shall
   be.

GOBBO

   I cannot think you are my son.

LAUNCELOT

   I know not what I shall think of that: but I am
   Launcelot, the Jew's man, and I am sure Margery your
   wife is my mother.

GOBBO

   Her name is Margery, indeed: I'll be sworn, if thou
   be Launcelot, thou art mine own flesh and blood.
   Lord worshipped might he be! what a beard hast thou
   got! thou hast got more hair on thy chin than
   Dobbin my fill-horse has on his tail.

LAUNCELOT

   It should seem, then, that Dobbin's tail grows
   backward: I am sure he had more hair of his tail
   than I have of my face when I last saw him.

GOBBO

   Lord, how art thou changed! How dost thou and thy
   master agree? I have brought him a present. How
   'gree you now?

LAUNCELOT

   Well, well: but, for mine own part, as I have set
   up my rest to run away, so I will not rest till I
   have run some ground. My master's a very Jew: give
   him a present! give him a halter: I am famished in
   his service; you may tell every finger I have with
   my ribs. Father, I am glad you are come: give me
   your present to one Master Bassanio, who, indeed,
   gives rare new liveries: if I serve not him, I
   will run as far as God has any ground. O rare
   fortune! here comes the man: to him, father; for I
   am a Jew, if I serve the Jew any longer.
   Enter BASSANIO, with LEONARDO and other followers

BASSANIO

   You may do so; but let it be so hasted that supper
   be ready at the farthest by five of the clock. See
   these letters delivered; put the liveries to making,
   and desire Gratiano to come anon to my lodging.
   Exit a Servant

LAUNCELOT

   To him, father.

GOBBO

   God bless your worship!

BASSANIO

   Gramercy! wouldst thou aught with me?

GOBBO

   Here's my son, sir, a poor boy,--

LAUNCELOT

   Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew's man; that
   would, sir, as my father shall specify--

GOBBO

   He hath a great infection, sir, as one would say, to serve--

LAUNCELOT

   Indeed, the short and the long is, I serve the Jew,
   and have a desire, as my father shall specify--

GOBBO

   His master and he, saving your worship's reverence,
   are scarce cater-cousins--

LAUNCELOT

   To be brief, the very truth is that the Jew, having
   done me wrong, doth cause me, as my father, being, I
   hope, an old man, shall frutify unto you--

GOBBO

   I have here a dish of doves that I would bestow upon
   your worship, and my suit is--

LAUNCELOT

   In very brief, the suit is impertinent to myself, as
   your worship shall know by this honest old man; and,
   though I say it, though old man, yet poor man, my father.

BASSANIO

   One speak for both. What would you?

LAUNCELOT

   Serve you, sir.

GOBBO

   That is the very defect of the matter, sir.

BASSANIO

   I know thee well; thou hast obtain'd thy suit:
   Shylock thy master spoke with me this day,
   And hath preferr'd thee, if it be preferment
   To leave a rich Jew's service, to become
   The follower of so poor a gentleman.

LAUNCELOT

   The old proverb is very well parted between my
   master Shylock and you, sir: you have the grace of
   God, sir, and he hath enough.

BASSANIO

   Thou speak'st it well. Go, father, with thy son.
   Take leave of thy old master and inquire
   My lodging out. Give him a livery
   More guarded than his fellows': see it done.

LAUNCELOT

   Father, in. I cannot get a service, no; I have
   ne'er a tongue in my head. Well, if any man in
   Italy have a fairer table which doth offer to swear
   upon a book, I shall have good fortune. Go to,
   here's a simple line of life: here's a small trifle
   of wives: alas, fifteen wives is nothing! eleven
   widows and nine maids is a simple coming-in for one
   man: and then to 'scape drowning thrice, and to be
   in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed;
   here are simple scapes. Well, if Fortune be a
   woman, she's a good wench for this gear. Father,
   come; I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye.
   Exeunt Launcelot and Old Gobbo

BASSANIO

   I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this:
   These things being bought and orderly bestow'd,
   Return in haste, for I do feast to-night
   My best-esteem'd acquaintance: hie thee, go.

LEONARDO

   My best endeavours shall be done herein.
   Enter GRATIANO

GRATIANO

   Where is your master?

LEONARDO

   Yonder, sir, he walks.
   Exit

GRATIANO

   Signior Bassanio!

BASSANIO

   Gratiano!

GRATIANO

   I have a suit to you.

BASSANIO

   You have obtain'd it.

GRATIANO

   You must not deny me: I must go with you to Belmont.

BASSANIO

   Why then you must. But hear thee, Gratiano;
   Thou art too wild, too rude and bold of voice;
   Parts that become thee happily enough
   And in such eyes as ours appear not faults;
   But where thou art not known, why, there they show
   Something too liberal. Pray thee, take pain
   To allay with some cold drops of modesty
   Thy skipping spirit, lest through thy wild behavior
   I be misconstrued in the place I go to,
   And lose my hopes.

GRATIANO

   Signior Bassanio, hear me:
   If I do not put on a sober habit,
   Talk with respect and swear but now and then,
   Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely,
   Nay more, while grace is saying, hood mine eyes
   Thus with my hat, and sigh and say 'amen,'
   Use all the observance of civility,
   Like one well studied in a sad ostent
   To please his grandam, never trust me more.

BASSANIO

   Well, we shall see your bearing.

GRATIANO

   Nay, but I bar to-night: you shall not gauge me
   By what we do to-night.

BASSANIO

   No, that were pity:
   I would entreat you rather to put on
   Your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends
   That purpose merriment. But fare you well:
   I have some business.

GRATIANO

   And I must to Lorenzo and the rest:
   But we will visit you at supper-time.
   Exeunt

SCENE III. The same. A room in SHYLOCK'S house.

   Enter JESSICA and LAUNCELOT 

JESSICA

   I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so:
   Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,
   Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.
   But fare thee well, there is a ducat for thee:
   And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see
   Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest:
   Give him this letter; do it secretly;
   And so farewell: I would not have my father
   See me in talk with thee.

LAUNCELOT

   Adieu! tears exhibit my tongue. Most beautiful
   pagan, most sweet Jew! if a Christian did not play
   the knave and get thee, I am much deceived. But,
   adieu: these foolish drops do something drown my
   manly spirit: adieu.

JESSICA

   Farewell, good Launcelot.
   Exit Launcelot
   Alack, what heinous sin is it in me
   To be ashamed to be my father's child!
   But though I am a daughter to his blood,
   I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo,
   If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife,
   Become a Christian and thy loving wife.
   Exit

SCENE IV. The same. A street.

   Enter GRATIANO, LORENZO, SALARINO, and SALANIO 

LORENZO

   Nay, we will slink away in supper-time,
   Disguise us at my lodging and return,
   All in an hour.

GRATIANO

   We have not made good preparation.

SALARINO

   We have not spoke us yet of torchbearers.

SALANIO

   'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order'd,
   And better in my mind not undertook.

LORENZO

   'Tis now but four o'clock: we have two hours
   To furnish us.
   Enter LAUNCELOT, with a letter
   Friend Launcelot, what's the news?

LAUNCELOT

   An it shall please you to break up
   this, it shall seem to signify.

LORENZO

   I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand;
   And whiter than the paper it writ on
   Is the fair hand that writ.

GRATIANO

   Love-news, in faith.

LAUNCELOT

   By your leave, sir.

LORENZO

   Whither goest thou?

LAUNCELOT

   Marry, sir, to bid my old master the
   Jew to sup to-night with my new master the Christian.

LORENZO

   Hold here, take this: tell gentle Jessica
   I will not fail her; speak it privately.
   Go, gentlemen,
   Exit Launcelot
   Will you prepare you for this masque tonight?
   I am provided of a torch-bearer.

SALANIO

   Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.

SALANIO

   And so will I.

LORENZO

   Meet me and Gratiano
   At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence.

SALARINO

   'Tis good we do so.
   Exeunt SALARINO and SALANIO

GRATIANO

   Was not that letter from fair Jessica?

LORENZO

   I must needs tell thee all. She hath directed
   How I shall take her from her father's house,
   What gold and jewels she is furnish'd with,
   What page's suit she hath in readiness.
   If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven,
   It will be for his gentle daughter's sake:
   And never dare misfortune cross her foot,
   Unless she do it under this excuse,
   That she is issue to a faithless Jew.
   Come, go with me; peruse this as thou goest:
   Fair Jessica shall be my torch-beare r.
   Exeunt

SCENE V. The same. Before SHYLOCK'S house.

   Enter SHYLOCK and LAUNCELOT 

SHYLOCK

   Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge,
   The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:--
   What, Jessica!--thou shalt not gormandise,
   As thou hast done with me:--What, Jessica!--
   And sleep and snore, and rend apparel out;--
   Why, Jessica, I say!

LAUNCELOT

   Why, Jessica!

SHYLOCK

   Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.

LAUNCELOT

   Your worship was wont to tell me that
   I could do nothing without bidding.
   Enter Jessica

JESSICA

   Call you? what is your will?

SHYLOCK

   I am bid forth to supper, Jessica:
   There are my keys. But wherefore should I go?
   I am not bid for love; they flatter me:
   But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon
   The prodigal Christian. Jessica, my girl,
   Look to my house. I am right loath to go:
   There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest,
   For I did dream of money-bags to-night.

LAUNCELOT

   I beseech you, sir, go: my young master doth expect
   your reproach.

SHYLOCK

   So do I his.

LAUNCELOT

   An they have conspired together, I will not say you
   shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not
   for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on
   Black-Monday last at six o'clock i' the morning,
   falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four
   year, in the afternoon.

SHYLOCK

   What, are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica:
   Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum
   And the vile squealing of the wry-neck'd fife,
   Clamber not you up to the casements then,
   Nor thrust your head into the public street
   To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces,
   But stop my house's ears, I mean my casements:
   Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter
   My sober house. By Jacob's staff, I swear,
   I have no mind of feasting forth to-night:
   But I will go. Go you before me, sirrah;
   Say I will come.

LAUNCELOT

   I will go before, sir. Mistress, look out at
   window, for all this, There will come a Christian
   boy, will be worth a Jewess' eye.
   Exit

SHYLOCK

   What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha?

JESSICA

   His words were 'Farewell mistress;' nothing else.

SHYLOCK

   The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder;
   Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
   More than the wild-cat: drones hive not with me;
   Therefore I part with him, and part with him
   To one that would have him help to waste
   His borrow'd purse. Well, Jessica, go in;
   Perhaps I will return immediately:
   Do as I bid you; shut doors after you:
   Fast bind, fast find;
   A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.
   Exit

JESSICA

   Farewell; and if my fortune be not crost,
   I have a father, you a daughter, lost.
   Exit

SCENE VI. The same.

   Enter GRATIANO and SALARINO, masqued 

GRATIANO

   This is the pent-house under which Lorenzo
   Desired us to make stand.

SALARINO

   His hour is almost past.

GRATIANO

   And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour,
   For lovers ever run before the clock.

SALARINO

   O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly
   To seal love's bonds new-made, than they are wont
   To keep obliged faith unforfeited!

GRATIANO

   That ever holds: who riseth from a feast
   With that keen appetite that he sits down?
   Where is the horse that doth untread again
   His tedious measures with the unbated fire
   That he did pace them first? All things that are,
   Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd.
   How like a younker or a prodigal
   The scarfed bark puts from her native bay,
   Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind!
   How like the prodigal doth she return,
   With over-weather'd ribs and ragged sails,
   Lean, rent and beggar'd by the strumpet wind!

SALARINO

   Here comes Lorenzo: more of this hereafter.
   Enter LORENZO

LORENZO

   Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode;
   Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait:
   When you shall please to play the thieves for wives,
   I'll watch as long for you then. Approach;
   Here dwells my father Jew. Ho! who's within?
   Enter JESSICA, above, in boy's clothes

JESSICA

   Who are you? Tell me, for more certainty,
   Albeit I'll swear that I do know your tongue.

LORENZO

   Lorenzo, and thy love.

JESSICA

   Lorenzo, certain, and my love indeed,
   For who love I so much? And now who knows
   But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?

LORENZO

   Heaven and thy thoughts are witness that thou art.

JESSICA

   Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains.
   I am glad 'tis night, you do not look on me,
   For I am much ashamed of my exchange:
   But love is blind and lovers cannot see
   The pretty follies that themselves commit;
   For if they could, Cupid himself would blush
   To see me thus transformed to a boy.

LORENZO

   Descend, for you must be my torchbearer.

JESSICA

   What, must I hold a candle to my shames?
   They in themselves, good-sooth, are too too light.
   Why, 'tis an office of discovery, love;
   And I should be obscured.

LORENZO

   So are you, sweet,
   Even in the lovely garnish of a boy.
   But come at once;
   For the close night doth play the runaway,
   And we are stay'd for at Bassanio's feast.

JESSICA

   I will make fast the doors, and gild myself
   With some more ducats, and be with you straight.
   Exit above

GRATIANO

   Now, by my hood, a Gentile and no Jew.

LORENZO

   Beshrew me but I love her heartily;
   For she is wise, if I can judge of her,
   And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true,
   And true she is, as she hath proved herself,
   And therefore, like herself, wise, fair and true,
   Shall she be placed in my constant soul.
   Enter JESSICA, below
   What, art thou come? On, gentlemen; away!
   Our masquing mates by this time for us stay.
   Exit with Jessica and Salarino
   Enter ANTONIO

ANTONIO

   Who's there?

GRATIANO

   Signior Antonio!

ANTONIO

   Fie, fie, Gratiano! where are all the rest?
   'Tis nine o'clock: our friends all stay for you.
   No masque to-night: the wind is come about;
   Bassanio presently will go aboard:
   I have sent twenty out to seek for you.

GRATIANO

   I am glad on't: I desire no more delight
   Than to be under sail and gone to-night.
   Exeunt

SCENE VII. Belmont. A room in PORTIA'S house.

   Flourish of cornets. Enter PORTIA, with the PRINCE OF MOROCCO, and their trains 

PORTIA

   Go draw aside the curtains and discover
   The several caskets to this noble prince.
   Now make your choice.

MOROCCO

   The first, of gold, who this inscription bears,
   'Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire;'
   The second, silver, which this promise carries,
   'Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves;'
   This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt,
   'Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.'
   How shall I know if I do choose the right?

PORTIA

   The one of them contains my picture, prince:
   If you choose that, then I am yours withal.

MOROCCO

   Some god direct my judgment! Let me see;
   I will survey the inscriptions back again.
   What says this leaden casket?
   'Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.'
   Must give: for what? for lead? hazard for lead?
   This casket threatens. Men that hazard all
   Do it in hope of fair advantages:
   A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross;
   I'll then nor give nor hazard aught for lead.
   What says the silver with her virgin hue?
   'Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.'
   As much as he deserves! Pause there, Morocco,
   And weigh thy value with an even hand:
   If thou be'st rated by thy estimation,
   Thou dost deserve enough; and yet enough
   May not extend so far as to the lady:
   And yet to be afeard of my deserving
   Were but a weak disabling of myself.
   As much as I deserve! Why, that's the lady:
   I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes,
   In graces and in qualities of breeding;
   But more than these, in love I do deserve.
   What if I stray'd no further, but chose here?
   Let's see once more this saying graved in gold
   'Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.'
   Why, that's the lady; all the world desires her;
   From the four corners of the earth they come,
   To kiss this shrine, this mortal-breathing saint:
   The Hyrcanian deserts and the vasty wilds
   Of wide Arabia are as thoroughfares now
   For princes to come view fair Portia:
   The watery kingdom, whose ambitious head
   Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar
   To stop the foreign spirits, but they come,
   As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia.
   One of these three contains her heavenly picture.
   Is't like that lead contains her? 'Twere damnation
   To think so base a thought: it were too gross
   To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave.
   Or shall I think in silver she's immured,
   Being ten times undervalued to tried gold?
   O sinful thought! Never so rich a gem
   Was set in worse than gold. They have in England
   A coin that bears the figure of an angel
   Stamped in gold, but that's insculp'd upon;
   But here an angel in a golden bed
   Lies all within. Deliver me the key:
   Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may!

PORTIA

   There, take it, prince; and if my form lie there,
   Then I am yours.
   He unlocks the golden casket

MOROCCO

   O hell! what have we here?
   A carrion Death, within whose empty eye
   There is a written scroll! I'll read the writing.
   Reads
   All that glitters is not gold;
   Often have you heard that told:
   Many a man his life hath sold
   But my outside to behold:
   Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
   Had you been as wise as bold,
   Young in limbs, in judgment old,
   Your answer had not been inscroll'd:
   Fare you well; your suit is cold.
   Cold, indeed; and labour lost:
   Then, farewell, heat, and welcome, frost!
   Portia, adieu. I have too grieved a heart
   To take a tedious leave: thus losers part.
   Exit with his train. Flourish of cornets

PORTIA

   A gentle riddance. Draw the curtains, go.
   Let all of his complexion choose me so.
   Exeunt

SCENE VIII. Venice. A street.

   Enter SALARINO and SALANIO 

SALARINO

   Why, man, I saw Bassanio under sail:
   With him is Gratiano gone along;
   And in their ship I am sure Lorenzo is not.

SALANIO

   The villain Jew with outcries raised the duke,
   Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship.

SALARINO

   He came too late, the ship was under sail:
   But there the duke was given to understand
   That in a gondola were seen together
   Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica:
   Besides, Antonio certified the duke
   They were not with Bassanio in his ship.

SALANIO

   I never heard a passion so confused,
   So strange, outrageous, and so variable,
   As the dog Jew did utter in the streets:
   'My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter!
   Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats!
   Justice! the law! my ducats, and my daughter!
   A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats,
   Of double ducats, stolen from me by my daughter!
   And jewels, two stones, two rich and precious stones,
   Stolen by my daughter! Justice! find the girl;
   She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats.'

SALARINO

   Why, all the boys in Venice follow him,
   Crying, his stones, his daughter, and his ducats.

SALANIO

   Let good Antonio look he keep his day,
   Or he shall pay for this.

SALARINO

   Marry, well remember'd.
   I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday,
   Who told me, in the narrow seas that part
   The French and English, there miscarried
   A vessel of our country richly fraught:
   I thought upon Antonio when he told me;
   And wish'd in silence that it were not his.

SALANIO

   You were best to tell Antonio what you hear;
   Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.

SALARINO

   A kinder gentleman treads not the earth.
   I saw Bassanio and Antonio part:
   Bassanio told him he would make some speed
   Of his return: he answer'd, 'Do not so;
   Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio
   But stay the very riping of the time;
   And for the Jew's bond which he hath of me,
   Let it not enter in your mind of love:
   Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts
   To courtship and such fair ostents of love
   As shall conveniently become you there:'
   And even there, his eye being big with tears,
   Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,
   And with affection wondrous sensible
   He wrung Bassanio's hand; and so they parted.

SALANIO

   I think he only loves the world for him.
   I pray thee, let us go and find him out
   And quicken his embraced heaviness
   With some delight or other.

SALARINO

   Do we so.
   Exeunt

SCENE IX. Belmont. A room in PORTIA'S house.

   Enter NERISSA with a Servitor 

NERISSA

   Quick, quick, I pray thee; draw the curtain straight:
   The Prince of Arragon hath ta'en his oath,
   And comes to his election presently.
   Flourish of cornets. Enter the PRINCE OF ARRAGON, PORTIA, and their trains

PORTIA

   Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince:
   If you choose that wherein I am contain'd,
   Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemnized:
   But if you fail, without more speech, my lord,
   You must be gone from hence immediately.

ARRAGON

   I am enjoin'd by oath to observe three things:
   First, never to unfold to any one
   Which casket 'twas I chose; next, if I fail
   Of the right casket, never in my life
   To woo a maid in way of marriage: Lastly,
   If I do fail in fortune of my choice,
   Immediately to leave you and be gone.

PORTIA

   To these injunctions every one doth swear
   That comes to hazard for my worthless self.

ARRAGON

   And so have I address'd me. Fortune now
   To my heart's hope! Gold; silver; and base lead.
   'Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.'
   You shall look fairer, ere I give or hazard.
   What says the golden chest? ha! let me see:
   'Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.'
   What many men desire! that 'many' may be meant
   By the fool multitude, that choose by show,
   Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach;
   Which pries not to the interior, but, like the martlet,
   Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
   Even in the force and road of casualty.
   I will not choose what many men desire,
   Because I will not jump with common spirits
   And rank me with the barbarous multitudes.
   Why, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house;
   Tell me once more what title thou dost bear:
   'Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves:'
   And well said too; for who shall go about
   To cozen fortune and be honourable
   Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume
   To wear an undeserved dignity.
   O, that estates, degrees and offices
   Were not derived corruptly, and that clear honour
   Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
   How many then should cover that stand bare!
   How many be commanded that command!
   How much low peasantry would then be glean'd
   From the true seed of honour! and how much honour
   Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times
   To be new-varnish'd! Well, but to my choice:
   'Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves.'
   I will assume desert. Give me a key for this,
   And instantly unlock my fortunes here.
   He opens the silver casket

PORTIA

   Too long a pause for that which you find there.

ARRAGON

   What's here? the portrait of a blinking idiot,
   Presenting me a schedule! I will read it.
   How much unlike art thou to Portia!
   How much unlike my hopes and my deservings!
   'Who chooseth me shall have as much as he deserves.'
   Did I deserve no more than a fool's head?
   Is that my prize? are my deserts no better?

PORTIA

   To offend, and judge, are distinct offices
   And of opposed natures.

ARRAGON

   What is here?
   Reads
   The fire seven times tried this:
   Seven times tried that judgment is,
   That did never choose amiss.
   Some there be that shadows kiss;
   Such have but a shadow's bliss:
   There be fools alive, I wis,
   Silver'd o'er; and so was this.
   Take what wife you will to bed,
   I will ever be your head:
   So be gone: you are sped.
   Still more fool I shall appear
   By the time I linger here
   With one fool's head I came to woo,
   But I go away with two.
   Sweet, adieu. I'll keep my oath,
   Patiently to bear my wroth.
   Exeunt Arragon and train

PORTIA

   Thus hath the candle singed the moth.
   O, these deliberate fools! when they do choose,
   They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.

NERISSA

   The ancient saying is no heresy,
   Hanging and wiving goes by destiny.

PORTIA

   Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa.
   Enter a Servant

Servant

   Where is my lady?

PORTIA

   Here: what would my lord?

Servant

   Madam, there is alighted at your gate
   A young Venetian, one that comes before
   To signify the approaching of his lord;
   From whom he bringeth sensible regreets,
   To wit, besides commends and courteous breath,
   Gifts of rich value. Yet I have not seen
   So likely an ambassador of love:
   A day in April never came so sweet,
   To show how costly summer was at hand,
   As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord.

PORTIA

   No more, I pray thee: I am half afeard
   Thou wilt say anon he is some kin to thee,
   Thou spend'st such high-day wit in praising him.
   Come, come, Nerissa; for I long to see
   Quick Cupid's post that comes so mannerly.

NERISSA

   Bassanio, lord Love, if thy will it be!
   Exeunt

ACT III SCENE I. Venice. A street.

   Enter SALANIO and SALARINO 

SALANIO

   Now, what news on the Rialto?

SALARINO

   Why, yet it lives there uncheck'd that Antonio hath
   a ship of rich lading wrecked on the narrow seas;
   the Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very
   dangerous flat and fatal, where the carcasses of many
   a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip
   Report be an honest woman of her word.

SALANIO

   I would she were as lying a gossip in that as ever
   knapped ginger or made her neighbours believe she
   wept for the death of a third husband. But it is
   true, without any slips of prolixity or crossing the
   plain highway of talk, that the good Antonio, the
   honest Antonio,--O that I had a title good enough
   to keep his name company!--

SALARINO

   Come, the full stop.

SALANIO

   Ha! what sayest thou? Why, the end is, he hath
   lost a ship.

SALARINO

   I would it might prove the end of his losses.

SALANIO

   Let me say 'amen' betimes, lest the devil cross my
   prayer, for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.
   Enter SHYLOCK
   How now, Shylock! what news among the merchants?

SHYLOCK

   You know, none so well, none so well as you, of my
   daughter's flight.

SALARINO

   That's certain: I, for my part, knew the tailor
   that made the wings she flew withal.

SALANIO

   And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was
   fledged; and then it is the complexion of them all
   to leave the dam.

SHYLOCK

   She is damned for it.

SALANIO

   That's certain, if the devil may be her judge.

SHYLOCK

   My own flesh and blood to rebel!

SALANIO

   Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these years?

SHYLOCK

   I say, my daughter is my flesh and blood.

SALARINO

   There is more difference between thy flesh and hers
   than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods
   than there is between red wine and rhenish. But
   tell us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any
   loss at sea or no?

SHYLOCK

   There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a
   prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the
   Rialto; a beggar, that was used to come so smug upon
   the mart; let him look to his bond: he was wont to
   call me usurer; let him look to his bond: he was
   wont to lend money for a Christian courtesy; let him
   look to his bond.

SALARINO

   Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take
   his flesh: what's that good for?

SHYLOCK

   To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else,
   it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and
   hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses,
   mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my
   bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine
   enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath
   not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
   dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
   the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
   to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
   warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
   a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
   if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
   us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
   revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
   resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian,
   what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian
   wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
   Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you
   teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I
   will better the instruction.
   Enter a Servant

Servant

   Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house and
   desires to speak with you both.

SALARINO

   We have been up and down to seek him.
   Enter TUBAL

SALANIO

   Here comes another of the tribe: a third cannot be
   matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew.
   Exeunt SALANIO, SALARINO, and Servant

SHYLOCK

   How now, Tubal! what news from Genoa? hast thou
   found my daughter?

TUBAL

   I often came where I did hear of her, but cannot find her.

SHYLOCK

   Why, there, there, there, there! a diamond gone,
   cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfort! The curse
   never fell upon our nation till now; I never felt it
   till now: two thousand ducats in that; and other
   precious, precious jewels. I would my daughter
   were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear!
   would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in
   her coffin! No news of them? Why, so: and I know
   not what's spent in the search: why, thou loss upon
   loss! the thief gone with so much, and so much to
   find the thief; and no satisfaction, no revenge:
   nor no in luck stirring but what lights on my
   shoulders; no sighs but of my breathing; no tears
   but of my shedding.

TUBAL

   Yes, other men have ill luck too: Antonio, as I
   heard in Genoa,--

SHYLOCK

   What, what, what? ill luck, ill luck?

TUBAL

   Hath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis.

SHYLOCK

   I thank God, I thank God. Is't true, is't true?

TUBAL

   I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the wreck.

SHYLOCK

   I thank thee, good Tubal: good news, good news!
   ha, ha! where? in Genoa?

TUBAL

   Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, in one
   night fourscore ducats.

SHYLOCK

   Thou stickest a dagger in me: I shall never see my
   gold again: fourscore ducats at a sitting!
   fourscore ducats!

TUBAL

   There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my
   company to Venice, that swear he cannot choose but break.

SHYLOCK

   I am very glad of it: I'll plague him; I'll torture
   him: I am glad of it.

TUBAL

   One of them showed me a ring that he had of your
   daughter for a monkey.

SHYLOCK

   Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal: it was my
   turquoise; I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor:
   I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys.

TUBAL

   But Antonio is certainly undone.

SHYLOCK

   Nay, that's true, that's very true. Go, Tubal, fee
   me an officer; bespeak him a fortnight before. I
   will have the heart of him, if he forfeit; for, were
   he out of Venice, I can make what merchandise I
   will. Go, go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue;
   go, good Tubal; at our synagogue, Tubal.
   Exeunt

SCENE II. Belmont. A room in PORTIA'S house.

   Enter BASSANIO, PORTIA, GRATIANO, NERISSA, and Attendants 

PORTIA

   I pray you, tarry: pause a day or two
   Before you hazard; for, in choosing wrong,
   I lose your company: therefore forbear awhile.
   There's something tells me, but it is not love,
   I would not lose you; and you know yourself,
   Hate counsels not in such a quality.
   But lest you should not understand me well,--
   And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought,--
   I would detain you here some month or two
   Before you venture for me. I could teach you
   How to choose right, but I am then forsworn;
   So will I never be: so may you miss me;
   But if you do, you'll make me wish a sin,
   That I had been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes,
   They have o'erlook'd me and divided me;
   One half of me is yours, the other half yours,
   Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours,
   And so all yours. O, these naughty times
   Put bars between the owners and their rights!
   And so, though yours, not yours. Prove it so,
   Let fortune go to hell for it, not I.
   I speak too long; but 'tis to peize the time,
   To eke it and to draw it out in length,
   To stay you from election.

BASSANIO

   Let me choose
   For as I am, I live upon the rack.

PORTIA

   Upon the rack, Bassanio! then confess
   What treason there is mingled with your love.

BASSANIO

   None but that ugly treason of mistrust,
   Which makes me fear the enjoying of my love:
   There may as well be amity and life
   'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love.

PORTIA

   Ay, but I fear you speak upon the rack,
   Where men enforced do speak anything.

BASSANIO

   Promise me life, and I'll confess the truth.

PORTIA

   Well then, confess and live.

BASSANIO

   'Confess' and 'love'
   Had been the very sum of my confession:
   O happy torment, when my torturer
   Doth teach me answers for deliverance!
   But let me to my fortune and the caskets.

PORTIA

   Away, then! I am lock'd in one of them:
   If you do love me, you will find me out.
   Nerissa and the rest, stand all aloof.
   Let music sound while he doth make his choice;
   Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end,
   Fading in music: that the comparison
   May stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream
   And watery death-bed for him. He may win;
   And what is music then? Then music is
   Even as the flourish when true subjects bow
   To a new-crowned monarch: such it is
   As are those dulcet sounds in break of day
   That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear,
   And summon him to marriage. Now he goes,
   With no less presence, but with much more love,
   Than young Alcides, when he did redeem
   The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy
   To the sea-monster: I stand for sacrifice
   The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives,
   With bleared visages, come forth to view
   The issue of the exploit. Go, Hercules!
   Live thou, I live: with much, much more dismay
   I view the fight than thou that makest the fray.
   Music, whilst BASSANIO comments on the caskets to himself
   SONG.
   Tell me where is fancy bred,
   Or in the heart, or in the head?
   How begot, how nourished?
   Reply, reply.
   It is engender'd in the eyes,
   With gazing fed; and fancy dies
   In the cradle where it lies.
   Let us all ring fancy's knell
   I'll begin it,--Ding, dong, bell.

ALL

   Ding, dong, bell.

BASSANIO

   So may the outward shows be least themselves:
   The world is still deceived with ornament.
   In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
   But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
   Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
   What damned error, but some sober brow
   Will bless it and approve it with a text,
   Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
   There is no vice so simple but assumes
   Some mark of virtue on his outward parts:
   How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
   As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
   The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars;
   Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk;
   And these assume but valour's excrement
   To render them redoubted! Look on beauty,
   And you shall see 'tis purchased by the weight;
   Which therein works a miracle in nature,
   Making them lightest that wear most of it:
   So are those crisped snaky golden locks
   Which make such wanton gambols with the wind,
   Upon supposed fairness, often known
   To be the dowry of a second head,
   The skull that bred them in the sepulchre.
   Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
   To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
   Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
   The seeming truth which cunning times put on
   To entrap the wisest. Therefore, thou gaudy gold,
   Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee;
   Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge
   'Tween man and man: but thou, thou meagre lead,
   Which rather threatenest than dost promise aught,
   Thy paleness moves me more than eloquence;
   And here choose I; joy be the consequence!

PORTIA

   [Aside] How all the other passions fleet to air,
   As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
   And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love,
   Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy,
   In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess.
   I feel too much thy blessing: make it less,
   For fear I surfeit.

BASSANIO

   What find I here?
   Opening the leaden casket
   Fair Portia's counterfeit! What demi-god
   Hath come so near creation? Move these eyes?
   Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
   Seem they in motion? Here are sever'd lips,
   Parted with sugar breath: so sweet a bar
   Should sunder such sweet friends. Here in her hairs
   The painter plays the spider and hath woven
   A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men,
   Faster than gnats in cobwebs; but her eyes,--
   How could he see to do them? having made one,
   Methinks it should have power to steal both his
   And leave itself unfurnish'd. Yet look, how far
   The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
   In underprizing it, so far this shadow
   Doth limp behind the substance. Here's the scroll,
   The continent and summary of my fortune.
   Reads
   You that choose not by the view,
   Chance as fair and choose as true!
   Since this fortune falls to you,
   Be content and seek no new,
   If you be well pleased with this
   And hold your fortune for your bliss,
   Turn you where your lady is
   And claim her with a loving kiss.
   A gentle scroll. Fair lady, by your leave;
   I come by note, to give and to receive.
   Like one of two contending in a prize,
   That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes,
   Hearing applause and universal shout,
   Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt
   Whether these pearls of praise be his or no;
   So, thrice fair lady, stand I, even so;
   As doubtful whether what I see be true,
   Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you.

PORTIA

   You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand,
   Such as I am: though for myself alone
   I would not be ambitious in my wish,
   To wish myself much better; yet, for you
   I would be trebled twenty times myself;
   A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich;
   That only to stand high in your account,
   I might in virtue, beauties, livings, friends,
   Exceed account; but the full sum of me
   Is sum of something, which, to term in gross,
   Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractised;
   Happy in this, she is not yet so old
   But she may learn; happier than this,
   She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
   Happiest of all is that her gentle spirit
   Commits itself to yours to be directed,
   As from her lord, her governor, her king.
   Myself and what is mine to you and yours
   Is now converted: but now I was the lord
   Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
   Queen o'er myself: and even now, but now,
   This house, these servants and this same myself
   Are yours, my lord: I give them with this ring;
   Which when you part from, lose, or give away,
   Let it presage the ruin of your love
   And be my vantage to exclaim on you.

BASSANIO

   Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
   Only my blood speaks to you in my veins;
   And there is such confusion in my powers,
   As after some oration fairly spoke
   By a beloved prince, there doth appear
   Among the buzzing pleased multitude;
   Where every something, being blent together,
   Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy,
   Express'd and not express'd. But when this ring
   Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence:
   O, then be bold to say Bassanio's dead!

NERISSA

   My lord and lady, it is now our time,
   That have stood by and seen our wishes prosper,
   To cry, good joy: good joy, my lord and lady!

GRATIANO

   My lord Bassanio and my gentle lady,
   I wish you all the joy that you can wish;
   For I am sure you can wish none from me:
   And when your honours mean to solemnize
   The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
   Even at that time I may be married too.

BASSANIO

   With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife.

GRATIANO

   I thank your lordship, you have got me one.
   My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours:
   You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid;
   You loved, I loved for intermission.
   No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
   Your fortune stood upon the casket there,
   And so did mine too, as the matter falls;
   For wooing here until I sweat again,
   And sweating until my very roof was dry
   With oaths of love, at last, if promise last,
   I got a promise of this fair one here
   To have her love, provided that your fortune
   Achieved her mistress.

PORTIA

   Is this true, Nerissa?

NERISSA

   Madam, it is, so you stand pleased withal.

BASSANIO

   And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?

GRATIANO

   Yes, faith, my lord.

BASSANIO

   Our feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage.

GRATIANO

   We'll play with them the first boy for a thousand ducats.

NERISSA

   What, and stake down?

GRATIANO

   No; we shall ne'er win at that sport, and stake down.
   But who comes here? Lorenzo and his infidel? What,
   and my old Venetian friend Salerio?
   Enter LORENZO, JESSICA, and SALERIO, a Messenger from Venice

BASSANIO

   Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hither;
   If that the youth of my new interest here
   Have power to bid you welcome. By your leave,
   I bid my very friends and countrymen,
   Sweet Portia, welcome.

PORTIA

   So do I, my lord:
   They are entirely welcome.

LORENZO

   I thank your honour. For my part, my lord,
   My purpose was not to have seen you here;
   But meeting with Salerio by the way,
   He did entreat me, past all saying nay,
   To come with him along.

SALERIO

   I did, my lord;
   And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio
   Commends him to you.
   Gives Bassanio a letter

BASSANIO

   Ere I ope his letter,
   I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.

SALERIO

   Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind;
   Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there
   Will show you his estate.

GRATIANO

   Nerissa, cheer yon stranger; bid her welcome.
   Your 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.

SALERIO

   I would you had won the fleece that he hath lost.

PORTIA

   There are some shrewd contents in yon same paper,
   That steals the colour from Bassanio's cheek:
   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 anything
   That this same paper brings you.

BASSANIO

   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 engaged myself to a dear friend,
   Engaged 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 merchant-marring rocks?

SALERIO

   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.

JESSICA

   When I was with him I have heard him swear
   To Tubal and to Chus, his countrymen,
   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.

PORTIA

   Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?

BASSANIO

   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.

PORTIA

   What sum owes he the Jew?

BASSANIO

   For me three thousand ducats.

PORTIA

   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 meantime
   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.

BASSANIO

   [Reads] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all
   miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is
   very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since
   in paying it, it is impossible 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.

PORTIA

   O love, dispatch all business, and be gone!

BASSANIO

   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 SHYLOCK, SALARINO, ANTONIO, and Gaoler 

SHYLOCK

   Gaoler, look to him: tell not me of mercy;
   This is the fool that lent out money gratis:
   Gaoler, look to him.

ANTONIO

   Hear me yet, good Shylock.

SHYLOCK

   I'll have my bond; speak not against my bond:
   I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond.
   Thou call'dst me dog before thou hadst a cause;
   But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs:
   The duke shall grant me justice. I do wonder,
   Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond
   To come abroad with him at his request.

ANTONIO

   I pray thee, hear me speak.

SHYLOCK

   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-eyed 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

SALARINO

   It is the most impenetrable cur
   That ever kept with men.

ANTONIO

   Let him alone:
   I'll follow him no more with bootless prayers.
   He seeks my life; his reason well I know:
   I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures
   Many that have at times made moan to me;
   Therefore he hates me.

SALARINO

   I am sure the duke
   Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.

ANTONIO

   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 his 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!
   Exeunt

SCENE IV. Belmont. A room in PORTIA'S house.

   Enter PORTIA, NERISSA, LORENZO, JESSICA, and BALTHASAR 

LORENZO

   Madam, although I speak it in your presence,
   You have a noble and a true conceit
   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
   Than customary bounty can enforce you.

PORTIA

   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 so,
   How little is the cost I have bestow'd
   In purchasing the semblance of my soul
   From out the state of hellish misery!
   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 breathed 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;
   And there will we abide. I do desire you
   Not to deny this imposition;
   The which my love and some necessity
   Now lays upon you.

LORENZO

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

PORTIA

   My people do already know my mind,
   And will acknowledge you and Jessica
   In place of Lord Bassanio and myself.
   And so farewell, till we shall meet again.

LORENZO

   Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you!

JESSICA

   I wish your ladyship all heart's content.

PORTIA

   I thank you for your wish, and am well pleased
   To wish it back on you: fare you well Jessica.
   Exeunt JESSICA and LORENZO
   Now, Balthasar,
   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
   Into my cousin's hand, Doctor Bellario;
   And, look, what notes and garments he doth give thee,
   Bring them, I pray thee, with imagined speed
   Unto the tranect, to the common ferry
   Which trades to Venice. Waste no time in words,
   But get thee gone: I shall be there before thee.

BALTHASAR

   Madam, I go with all convenient speed.
   Exit

PORTIA

   Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand
   That you yet know not of: we'll see our husbands
   Before they think of us.

NERISSA

   Shall they see us?

PORTIA

   They shall, Nerissa; but in such a habit,
   That they shall think we are accomplished
   With that we lack. I'll hold thee any wager,
   When we are both accoutred 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 withal; then I'll repent,
   And wish for all that, that I had not killed 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.

NERISSA

   Why, shall we turn to men?

PORTIA

   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.
   Exeunt

SCENE V. The same. A garden.

   Enter LAUNCELOT and JESSICA 

LAUNCELOT

   Yes, truly; for, look you, the sins of the father
   are to be laid upon the children: therefore, I
   promise ye, 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 damned. There is but one hope in it that can do
   you any good; and that is but a kind of bastard
   hope neither.

JESSICA

   And what hope is that, I pray thee?

LAUNCELOT

   Marry, you may partly hope that your father got you
   not, that you are not the Jew's daughter.

JESSICA

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

LAUNCELOT

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

JESSICA

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

LAUNCELOT

   Truly, the more to blame he: we were Christians
   enow before; e'en as many as could well live, one by
   another. This making Christians will raise the
   price of hogs: if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we
   shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money.
   Enter LORENZO

JESSICA

   I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say: here he comes.

LORENZO

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

JESSICA

   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.

LORENZO

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

LAUNCELOT

   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.

LORENZO

   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.

LAUNCELOT

   That is done, sir; they have all stomachs.

LORENZO

   Goodly Lord, what a wit-snapper are you! then bid
   them prepare dinner.

LAUNCELOT

   That is done too, sir; only 'cover' is the word.

LORENZO

   Will you cover then, sir?

LAUNCELOT

   Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty.

LORENZO

   Yet more quarrelling with occasion! Wilt thou show
   the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant? I pray
   tree, understand a plain man in his plain meaning:
   go to thy fellows; bid them cover the table, serve
   in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.

LAUNCELOT

   For the table, sir, it shall be served in; for the
   meat, sir, it shall be covered; for your coming in
   to dinner, sir, why, let it be as humours and
   conceits shall govern.
   Exit

LORENZO

   O dear discretion, how his words are suited!
   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 cheerest thou, Jessica?
   And now, good sweet, say thy opinion,
   How dost thou like the Lord Bassanio's wife?

JESSICA

   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, then
   In reason he should never come to heaven
   Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match
   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.

LORENZO

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

JESSICA

   Nay, but ask my opinion too of that.

LORENZO

   I will anon: first, let us go to dinner.

JESSICA

   Nay, let me praise you while I have a stomach.

LORENZO

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

JESSICA

   Well, I'll set you forth.
   Exeunt

ACT IV SCENE I. Venice. A court of justice.

   Enter the DUKE, the Magnificoes, ANTONIO, BASSANIO, GRATIANO, SALERIO, and others 

DUKE

   What, is Antonio here?

ANTONIO

   Ready, so please your grace.

DUKE

   I am sorry for thee: thou art come to answer
   A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
   uncapable of pity, void and empty
   From any dram of mercy.

ANTONIO

   I have heard
   Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
   His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate
   And that no lawful means can carry me
   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.

SALERIO

   He is ready at the door: he comes, my lord.
   Enter SHYLOCK

DUKE

   Make room, and let him stand before our face.
   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,
   Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,
   Thou wilt not only loose 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,
   Enow 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.

SHYLOCK

   I have possess'd your grace of what I purpose;
   And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn
   To have the due and forfeit of my bond:
   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 pleased 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 bagpipe sings i' the nose,
   Cannot contain their urine: for affection,
   Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood
   Of what it likes or loathes. Now, for your answer:
   As there is no firm reason to be render'd,
   Why he cannot abide a gaping pig;
   Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
   Why he, a woollen bagpipe; 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,
   More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing
   I bear Antonio, that I follow thus
   A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd?

BASSANIO

   This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
   To excuse the current of thy cruelty.

SHYLOCK

   I am not bound to please thee with my answers.

BASSANIO

   Do all men kill the things they do not love?

SHYLOCK

   Hates any man the thing he would not kill?

BASSANIO

   Every offence is not a hate at first.

SHYLOCK

   What, wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice?

ANTONIO

   I pray you, think you question with the Jew:
   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 fretten with the gusts of heaven;
   You may as well do anything 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 farther means,
   But with all brief and plain conveniency
   Let me have judgment and the Jew his will.

BASSANIO

   For thy three thousand ducats here is six.

SHYLOCK

   What judgment shall I dread, doing
   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, rendering none?

SHYLOCK

   What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
   You have among you many a purchased 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 burthens? 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; 'tis 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 judgment: 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.

SALERIO

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

DUKE

   Bring us the letter; call the messenger.

BASSANIO

   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.

ANTONIO

   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, dressed like a lawyer's clerk

DUKE

   Came you from Padua, from Bellario?

NERISSA

   From both, my lord. Bellario greets your grace.
   Presenting a letter

BASSANIO

   Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?

SHYLOCK

   To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt there.

GRATIANO

   Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,
   Thou makest 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?

SHYLOCK

   No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.

GRATIANO

   O, be thou damn'd, inexecrable dog!
   And for thy life let justice be accused.
   Thou almost makest 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,
   Infused itself in thee; for thy desires
   Are wolvish, bloody, starved and ravenous.

SHYLOCK

   Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond,
   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.

DUKE

   This letter from Bellario doth commend
   A young and learned doctor to our court.
   Where is he?

NERISSA

   He attendeth here hard by,
   To know your answer, whether you'll admit him.

DUKE

   With all my heart. Some three or four of you
   Go give him courteous conduct to this place.
   Meantime the court shall hear Bellario's letter.

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 writes:
   And here, I take it, is the doctor come.
   Enter PORTIA, dressed like a doctor of laws
   Give me your hand. Come you from old Bellario?

PORTIA

   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?

PORTIA

   I am informed thoroughly of the cause.
   Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?

DUKE

   Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.

PORTIA

   Is your name Shylock?

SHYLOCK

   Shylock is my name.

PORTIA

   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?

ANTONIO

   Ay, so he says.

PORTIA

   Do you confess the bond?

ANTONIO

   I do.

PORTIA

   Then must the Jew be merciful.

SHYLOCK

   On what compulsion must I? tell me that.

PORTIA

   The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
   It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
   Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
   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 sceptred 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.

SHYLOCK

   My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
   The penalty and forfeit of my bond.

PORTIA

   Is he not able to discharge the money?

BASSANIO

   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.

PORTIA

   It must not be; there is no power in Venice
   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.

SHYLOCK

   A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel!
   O wise young judge, how I do honour thee!

PORTIA

   I pray you, let me look upon the bond.

SHYLOCK

   Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.

PORTIA

   Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee.

SHYLOCK

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

PORTIA

   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.

SHYLOCK

   When it is paid according to the tenor.
   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 judgment: by my soul I swear
   There is no power in the tongue of man
   To alter me: I stay here on my bond.

ANTONIO

   Most heartily I do beseech the court
   To give the judgment.

PORTIA

   Why then, thus it is:
   You must prepare your bosom for his knife.

SHYLOCK

   O noble judge! O excellent young man!

PORTIA

   For the intent and purpose of the law
   Hath full relation to the penalty,
   Which here appeareth due upon the bond.

SHYLOCK

   'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge!
   How much more elder art thou than thy looks!

PORTIA

   Therefore lay bare your bosom.

SHYLOCK

   Ay, his breast:
   So says the bond: doth it not, noble judge?
   'Nearest his heart:' those are the very words.

PORTIA

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

SHYLOCK

   I have them ready.

PORTIA

   Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge,
   To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death.

SHYLOCK

   Is it so nominated in the bond?

PORTIA

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

SHYLOCK

   I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.

PORTIA

   You, merchant, have you any thing to say?

ANTONIO

   But little: I am arm'd and well prepared.
   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
   To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
   To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow
   An age of poverty; from which lingering penance
   Of such misery doth she cut me off.
   Commend me to your honourable wife:
   Tell her the process of Antonio's end;
   Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death;
   And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge
   Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
   Repent but you that you shall lose your friend,
   And he repents not that he pays your debt;
   For if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
   I'll pay it presently with all my heart.

BASSANIO

   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.

PORTIA

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

GRATIANO

   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.

NERISSA

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

SHYLOCK

   These be the Christian husbands. I have a daughter;
   Would any of the stock of Barrabas
   Had been her husband rather than a Christian!
   Aside
   We trifle time: I pray thee, pursue sentence.

PORTIA

   A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine:
   The court awards it, and the law doth give it.

SHYLOCK

   Most rightful judge!

PORTIA

   And you must cut this flesh from off his breast:
   The law allows it, and the court awards it.

SHYLOCK

   Most learned judge! A sentence! Come, prepare!

PORTIA

   Tarry a little; there is something else.
   This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood;
   The words expressly are 'a pound of flesh:'
   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.

GRATIANO

   O upright judge! Mark, Jew: O learned judge!

SHYLOCK

   Is that the law?

PORTIA

   Thyself shalt see the act:
   For, as thou urgest justice, be assured
   Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest.

GRATIANO

   O learned judge! Mark, Jew: a learned judge!

SHYLOCK

   I take this offer, then; pay the bond thrice
   And let the Christian go.

BASSANIO

   Here is the money.

PORTIA

   Soft!
   The Jew shall have all justice; soft! no haste:
   He shall have nothing but the penalty.

GRATIANO

   O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge!

PORTIA

   Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh.
   Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou less nor more
   But just a pound of flesh: if thou cut'st more
   Or less than a just pound, be it but so much
   As makes it light or heavy in the substance,
   Or the division of the twentieth part
   Of one poor scruple, nay, if the scale do turn
   But in the estimation of a hair,
   Thou diest and all thy goods are confiscate.

GRATIANO

   A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
   Now, infidel, I have you on the hip.

PORTIA

   Why doth the Jew pause? take thy forfeiture.

SHYLOCK

   Give me my principal, and let me go.

BASSANIO

   I have it ready for thee; here it is.

PORTIA

   He hath refused it in the open court:
   He shall have merely justice and his bond.

GRATIANO

   A Daniel, still say I, a second Daniel!
   I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.

SHYLOCK

   Shall I not have barely my principal?

PORTIA

   Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture,
   To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

SHYLOCK

   Why, then the devil give him good of it!
   I'll stay no longer question.

PORTIA

   Tarry, Jew:
   The law hath yet another hold on you.
   It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
   If it be proved 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 offender's life lies in the mercy
   Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice.
   In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st;
   For it appears, by manifest proceeding,
   That indirectly and directly too
   Thou hast contrived against the very life
   Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
   The danger formerly by me rehearsed.
   Down therefore and beg mercy of the duke.

GRATIANO

   Beg that thou mayst have leave to hang thyself:
   And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
   Thou hast not left the value of a cord;
   Therefore thou must be hang'd at the state's charge.

DUKE

   That thou shalt see the difference of our spirits,
   I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it:
   For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's;
   The other half comes to the general state,
   Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.

PORTIA

   Ay, for the state, not for Antonio.

SHYLOCK

   Nay, take my life and all; pardon not that:
   You take my house when you do take the prop
   That doth sustain my house; you take my life
   When you do take the means whereby I live.

PORTIA

   What mercy can you render him, Antonio?

GRATIANO

   A halter gratis; nothing else, for God's sake.

ANTONIO

   So please my lord the duke and all the court
   To quit the fine for one half of his goods,
   I am content; so he will let me have
   The other half in use, to render it,
   Upon his death, unto the gentleman
   That lately stole his daughter:
   Two things provided more, that, for this favour,
   He presently become a Christian;
   The other, that he do record a gift,
   Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd,
   Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.

DUKE

   He shall do this, or else I do recant
   The pardon that I late pronounced here.

PORTIA

   Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say?

SHYLOCK

   I am content.

PORTIA

   Clerk, draw a deed of gift.

SHYLOCK

   I pray you, give me leave to go from hence;
   I am not well: send the deed after me,
   And I will sign it.

DUKE

   Get thee gone, but do it.

GRATIANO

   In christening shalt thou have two god-fathers:
   Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more,
   To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.
   Exit SHYLOCK

DUKE

   Sir, I entreat you home with me to dinner.

PORTIA

   I humbly do desire your grace of pardon:
   I must away this night toward Padua,
   And it is meet I presently set forth.

DUKE

   I am sorry that your leisure serves you not.
   Antonio, gratify this gentleman,
   For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.
   Exeunt Duke and his train

BASSANIO

   Most worthy gentleman, I and my friend
   Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted
   Of grievous penalties; in lieu whereof,
   Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew,
   We freely cope your courteous pains withal.

ANTONIO

   And stand indebted, over and above,
   In love and service to you evermore.

PORTIA

   He is well paid that is well satisfied;
   And I, delivering you, am satisfied
   And therein do account myself well paid:
   My mind was never yet more mercenary.
   I pray you, know me when we meet again:
   I wish you well, and so I take my leave.

BASSANIO

   Dear sir, of force I must attempt you further:
   Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute,
   Not as a fee: grant me two things, I pray you,
   Not to deny me, and to pardon me.

PORTIA

   You press me far, and therefore I will yield.
   To ANTONIO
   Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake;
   To BASSANIO
   And, for your love, I'll take this ring from you:
   Do not draw back your hand; I'll take no more;
   And you in love shall not deny me this.

BASSANIO

   This ring, good sir, alas, it is a trifle!
   I will not shame myself to give you this.

PORTIA

   I will have nothing else but only this;
   And now methinks I have a mind to it.

BASSANIO

   There's more depends on this than on the value.
   The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
   And find it out by proclamation:
   Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.

PORTIA

   I see, sir, you are liberal in offers
   You taught me first to beg; and now methinks
   You teach me how a beggar should be answer'd.

BASSANIO

   Good sir, this ring was given me by my wife;
   And when she put it on, she made me vow
   That I should neither sell nor give nor lose it.

PORTIA

   That 'scuse serves many men to save their gifts.
   An if your wife be not a mad-woman,
   And know how well I have deserved the ring,
   She would not hold out enemy for ever,
   For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you!
   Exeunt Portia and Nerissa

ANTONIO

   My Lord Bassanio, let him have the ring:
   Let his deservings and my love withal
   Be valued against your wife's commandment.

BASSANIO

   Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him;
   Give him the ring, and bring him, if thou canst,
   Unto Antonio's house: away! make haste.
   Exit Gratiano
   Come, you and I will thither presently;
   And in the morning early will we both
   Fly toward Belmont: come, Antonio.
   Exeunt

SCENE II. The same. A street.

   Enter PORTIA and NERISSA 

PORTIA

   Inquire the Jew's house out, give him this deed
   And let him sign it: we'll away to-night
   And be a day before our husbands home:
   This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.
   Enter GRATIANO

GRATIANO

   Fair sir, you are well o'erta'en
   My Lord Bassanio upon more advice
   Hath sent you here this ring, and doth entreat
   Your company at dinner.

PORTIA

   That cannot be:
   His ring I do accept most thankfully:
   And so, I pray you, tell him: furthermore,
   I pray you, show my youth old Shylock's house.

GRATIANO

   That will I do.

NERISSA

   Sir, I would speak with you.
   Aside to PORTIA
   I'll see if I can get my husband's ring,
   Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.

PORTIA

   [Aside to NERISSA] Thou mayst, I warrant.
   We shall have old swearing
   That they did give the rings away to men;
   But we'll outface them, and outswear them too.
   Aloud
   Away! make haste: thou knowist where I will tarry.

NERISSA

   Come, good sir, will you show me to this house?
   Exeunt

ACT V SCENE I. Belmont. Avenue to PORTIA'S house.

   Enter LORENZO and JESSICA 

LORENZO

   The moon shines bright: in such a night as this,
   When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees
   And they did make no noise, in such a night
   Troilus methinks mounted the Troyan walls
   And sigh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents,
   Where Cressid lay that night.

JESSICA

   In such a night
   Did Thisbe fearfully o'ertrip the dew
   And saw the lion's shadow ere himself
   And ran dismay'd away.

LORENZO

   In such a night
   Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
   Upon the wild sea banks and waft her love
   To come again to Carthage.

JESSICA

   In such a night
   Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs
   That did renew old AEson.

LORENZO

   In such a night
   Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew
   And with an unthrift love did run from Venice
   As far as Belmont.

JESSICA

   In such a night
   Did young Lorenzo swear he loved her well,
   Stealing her soul with many vows of faith
   And ne'er a true one.

LORENZO

   In such a night
   Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,
   Slander her love, and he forgave it her.

JESSICA

   I would out-night you, did no body come;
   But, hark, I hear the footing of a man.
   Enter STEPHANO

LORENZO

   Who comes so fast in silence of the night?

STEPHANO

   A friend.

LORENZO

   A friend! what friend? your name, I pray you, friend?

STEPHANO

   Stephano is my name; and I bring word
   My mistress will before the break of day
   Be here at Belmont; she doth stray about
   By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays
   For happy wedlock hours.

LORENZO

   Who comes with her?

STEPHANO

   None but a holy hermit and her maid.
   I pray you, is my master yet return'd?

LORENZO

   He is not, nor we have not heard from him.
   But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica,
   And ceremoniously let us prepare
   Some welcome for the mistress of the house.
   Enter LAUNCELOT

LAUNCELOT

   Sola, sola! wo ha, ho! sola, sola!

LORENZO

   Who calls?

LAUNCELOT

   Sola! did you see Master Lorenzo?
   Master Lorenzo, sola, sola!

LORENZO

   Leave hollaing, man: here.

LAUNCELOT

   Sola! where? where?

LORENZO

   Here.

LAUNCELOT

   Tell him there's a post come from my master, with
   his horn full of good news: my master will be here
   ere morning.
   Exit

LORENZO

   Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect their coming.
   And yet no matter: why should we go in?
   My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you,
   Within the house, your mistress is at hand;
   And bring your music forth into the air.
   Exit Stephano
   How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
   Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
   Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
   Become the touches of sweet harmony.
   Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
   Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold:
   There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
   But in his motion like an angel sings,
   Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins;
   Such harmony is in immortal souls;
   But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
   Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
   Enter Musicians
   Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn!
   With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,
   And draw her home with music.
   Music

JESSICA

   I am never merry when I hear sweet music.

LORENZO

   The reason is, your spirits are attentive:
   For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
   Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
   Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud,
   Which is the hot condition of their blood;
   If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
   Or any air of music touch their ears,
   You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
   Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze
   By the sweet power of music: therefore the poet
   Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones and floods;
   Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage,
   But music for the time doth change his nature.
   The man that hath no music in himself,
   Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
   Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
   The motions of his spirit are dull as night
   And his affections dark as Erebus:
   Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.
   Enter PORTIA and NERISSA

PORTIA

   That light we see is burning in my hall.
   How far that little candle throws his beams!
   So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

NERISSA

   When the moon shone, we did not see the candle.

PORTIA

   So doth the greater glory dim the less:
   A substitute shines brightly as a king
   Unto the king be by, and then his state
   Empties itself, as doth an inland brook
   Into the main of waters. Music! hark!

NERISSA

   It is your music, madam, of the house.

PORTIA

   Nothing is good, I see, without respect:
   Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.

NERISSA

   Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.

PORTIA

   The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
   When neither is attended, and I think
   The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
   When every goose is cackling, would be thought
   No better a musician than the wren.
   How many things by season season'd are
   To their right praise and true perfection!
   Peace, ho! the moon sleeps with Endymion
   And would not be awaked.
   Music ceases

LORENZO

   That is the voice,
   Or I am much deceived, of Portia.

PORTIA

   He knows me as the blind man knows the cuckoo,
   By the bad voice.

LORENZO

   Dear lady, welcome home.

PORTIA

   We have been praying for our husbands' healths,
   Which speed, we hope, the better for our words.
   Are they return'd?

LORENZO

   Madam, they are not yet;
   But there is come a messenger before,
   To signify their coming.

PORTIA

   Go in, Nerissa;
   Give order to my servants that they take
   No note at all of our being absent hence;
   Nor you, Lorenzo; Jessica, nor you.
   A tucket sounds

LORENZO

   Your husband is at hand; I hear his trumpet:
   We are no tell-tales, madam; fear you not.

PORTIA

   This night methinks is but the daylight sick;
   It looks a little paler: 'tis a day,
   Such as the day is when the sun is hid.
   Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and their followers

BASSANIO

   We should hold day with the Antipodes,
   If you would walk in absence of the sun.

PORTIA

   Let me give light, but let me not be light;
   For a light wife doth make a heavy husband,
   And never be Bassanio so for me:
   But God sort all! You are welcome home, my lord.

BASSANIO

   I thank you, madam. Give welcome to my friend.
   This is the man, this is Antonio,
   To whom I am so infinitely bound.

PORTIA

   You should in all sense be much bound to him.
   For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.

ANTONIO

   No more than I am well acquitted of.

PORTIA

   Sir, you are very welcome to our house:
   It must appear in other ways than words,
   Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.

GRATIANO

   [To NERISSA] By yonder moon I swear you do me wrong;
   In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk:
   Would he were gelt that had it, for my part,
   Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.

PORTIA

   A quarrel, ho, already! what's the matter?

GRATIANO

   About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring
   That she did give me, whose posy was
   For all the world like cutler's poetry
   Upon a knife, 'Love me, and leave me not.'

NERISSA

   What talk you of the posy or the value?
   You swore to me, when I did give it you,
   That you would wear it till your hour of death
   And that it should lie with you in your grave:
   Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
   You should have been respective and have kept it.
   Gave it a judge's clerk! no, God's my judge,
   The clerk will ne'er wear hair on's face that had it.

GRATIANO

   He will, an if he live to be a man.

NERISSA

   Ay, if a woman live to be a man.

GRATIANO

   Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,
   A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy,
   No higher than thyself; the judge's clerk,
   A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee:
   I could not for my heart deny it him.

PORTIA

   You were to blame, I must be plain with you,
   To part so slightly with your wife's first gift:
   A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger
   And so riveted with faith unto your flesh.
   I gave my love a ring and made him swear
   Never to part with it; and here he stands;
   I dare be sworn for him he would not leave it
   Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth
   That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,
   You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief:
   An 'twere to me, I should be mad at it.

BASSANIO

   [Aside] Why, I were best to cut my left hand off
   And swear I lost the ring defending it.

GRATIANO

   My Lord Bassanio gave his ring away
   Unto the judge that begg'd it and indeed
   Deserved it too; and then the boy, his clerk,
   That took some pains in writing, he begg'd mine;
   And neither man nor master would take aught
   But the two rings.

PORTIA

   What ring gave you my lord?
   Not that, I hope, which you received of me.

BASSANIO

   If I could add a lie unto a fault,
   I would deny it; but you see my finger
   Hath not the ring upon it; it is gone.

PORTIA

   Even so void is your false heart of truth.
   By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed
   Until I see the ring.

NERISSA

   Nor I in yours
   Till I again see mine.

BASSANIO

   Sweet Portia,
   If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
   If you did know for whom I gave the ring
   And would conceive for what I gave the ring
   And how unwillingly I left the ring,
   When nought would be accepted but the ring,
   You would abate the strength of your displeasure.

PORTIA

   If you had known the virtue of the ring,
   Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,
   Or your own honour to contain the ring,
   You would not then have parted with the ring.
   What man is there so much unreasonable,
   If you had pleased to have defended it
   With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty
   To urge the thing held as a ceremony?
   Nerissa teaches me what to believe:
   I'll die for't but some woman had the ring.

BASSANIO

   No, by my honour, madam, by my soul,
   No woman had it, but a civil doctor,
   Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me
   And begg'd the ring; the which I did deny him
   And suffer'd him to go displeased away;
   Even he that did uphold the very life
   Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady?
   I was enforced to send it after him;
   I was beset with shame and courtesy;
   My honour would not let ingratitude
   So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady;
   For, by these blessed candles of the night,
   Had you been there, I think you would have begg'd
   The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.

PORTIA

   Let not that doctor e'er come near my house:
   Since he hath got the jewel that I loved,
   And that which you did swear to keep for me,
   I will become as liberal as you;
   I'll not deny him any thing I have,
   No, not my body nor my husband's bed:
   Know him I shall, I am well sure of it:
   Lie not a night from home; watch me like Argus:
   If you do not, if I be left alone,
   Now, by mine honour, which is yet mine own,
   I'll have that doctor for my bedfellow.

NERISSA

   And I his clerk; therefore be well advised
   How you do leave me to mine own protection.

GRATIANO

   Well, do you so; let not me take him, then;
   For if I do, I'll mar the young clerk's pen.

ANTONIO

   I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels.

PORTIA

   Sir, grieve not you; you are welcome notwithstanding.

BASSANIO

   Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong;
   And, in the hearing of these many friends,
   I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
   Wherein I see myself--

PORTIA

   Mark you but that!
   In both my eyes he doubly sees himself;
   In each eye, one: swear by your double self,
   And there's an oath of credit.

BASSANIO

   Nay, but hear me:
   Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear
   I never more will break an oath with thee.

ANTONIO

   I once did lend my body for his wealth;
   Which, but for him that had your husband's ring,
   Had quite miscarried: I dare be bound again,
   My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord
   Will never more break faith advisedly.

PORTIA

   Then you shall be his surety. Give him this
   And bid him keep it better than the other.

ANTONIO

   Here, Lord Bassanio; swear to keep this ring.

BASSANIO

   By heaven, it is the same I gave the doctor!

PORTIA

   I had it of him: pardon me, Bassanio;
   For, by this ring, the doctor lay with me.

NERISSA

   And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano;
   For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk,
   In lieu of this last night did lie with me.

GRATIANO

   Why, this is like the mending of highways
   In summer, where the ways are fair enough:
   What, are we cuckolds ere we have deserved it?

PORTIA

   Speak not so grossly. You are all amazed:
   Here is a letter; read it at your leisure;
   It comes from Padua, from Bellario:
   There you shall find that Portia was the doctor,
   Nerissa there her clerk: Lorenzo here
   Shall witness I set forth as soon as you
   And even but now return'd; I have not yet
   Enter'd my house. Antonio, you are welcome;
   And I have better news in store for you
   Than you expect: unseal this letter soon;
   There you shall find three of your argosies
   Are richly come to harbour suddenly:
   You shall not know by what strange accident
   I chanced on this letter.

ANTONIO

   I am dumb.

BASSANIO

   Were you the doctor and I knew you not?

GRATIANO

   Were you the clerk that is to make me cuckold?

NERISSA

   Ay, but the clerk that never means to do it,
   Unless he live until he be a man.

BASSANIO

   Sweet doctor, you shall be my bed-fellow:
   When I am absent, then lie with my wife.

ANTONIO

   Sweet lady, you have given me life and living;
   For here I read for certain that my ships
   Are safely come to road.

PORTIA

   How now, Lorenzo!
   My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.

NERISSA

   Ay, and I'll give them him without a fee.
   There do I give to you and Jessica,
   From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
   After his death, of all he dies possess'd of.

LORENZO

   Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
   Of starved people.

PORTIA

   It is almost morning,
   And yet I am sure you are not satisfied
   Of these events at full. Let us go in;
   And charge us there upon inter'gatories,
   And we will answer all things faithfully.

GRATIANO

   Let it be so: the first inter'gatory
   That my Nerissa shall be sworn on is,
   Whether till the next night she had rather stay,
   Or go to bed now, being two hours to day:
   But were the day come, I should wish it dark,
   That I were couching with the doctor's clerk.
   Well, while I live I'll fear no other thing
   So sore as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.
   Exeunt

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