The Merchant of Venice

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Original text
Act III, Scene I
Enter Solanio and Salarino.

Sol.
Now, what newes on the Ryalto?

Sal.
Why yet it liues there vncheckt, that Anthonio
hath a ship of rich lading wrackt on the narrow Seas;
the Goodwins I thinke they call the place, a very dangerous
flat, and fatall, where the carcasses of many a tall ship,
lye buried, as they say, if my gossips report be an honest
woman of her word.

Sol.
I would she were as lying a gossip in that, as
euer knapt Ginger, or made her neighbours beleeue she
wept for the death of a third husband: but it is true,
without any slips of prolixity, or crossing the plaine high-way
of talke, that the good Anthonio, the honest Anthonio;
ô that I had a title good enough to keepe his name
company!

Sal.
Come, the full stop.

Sol.
Ha, what sayest thou, why the end is, he hath
lost a ship.

Sal.
I would it might proue the end of his losses.

Sol.
Let me say Amen betimes, least the diuell crosse my
praier, for here he comes in the likenes of a Iew.
Enter Shylocke.
How now Shylocke, what newes among the Merchants?

Shy.
You knew none so well, none so well as you, of
my daughters flight.

Sal.
That's certaine, I for my part knew the Tailor
that made the wings she flew withall.

Sol.
And Shylocke for his own part knew the bird was
fledg'd, and then it is the complexion of them al to
leaue the dam.

Shy.
She is damn'd for it.

Sal.
That's certaine, if the diuell may be her Iudge.

Shy.
My owne flesh and blood to rebell.

Sol.
Out vpon it old carrion, rebels it at these
yeeres.

Shy.
I say my daughter is my flesh and bloud.

Sal.
There is more difference betweene thy flesh and
hers, then betweene Iet and Iuorie, more betweene your
bloods, then there is betweene red wine and rennish: but
tell vs, doe you heare whether Anthonio haue had anie losse
at sea or no?

Shy.
There I haue another bad match, a bankrout,
a prodigall, who dare scarce shew his head on the Ryalto,
a begger that was vsd to come so smug vpon the Mart:
let him look to his bond, he was wont to call me Vsurer,
let him looke to his bond, he was wont to lend money
for a Christian curtsie, let him looke to his bond.

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

Shy.
To baite fish withall, if it will feede nothing else,
it will feede my reuenge; he hath disgrac'd me, and hindred
me halfe a million, laught at my losses, mockt at
my gaines, scorned my Nation, thwarted my bargaines,
cooled my friends, heated mine enemies, and what's the
reason? I am a Iewe: Hath not a Iew eyes? hath not a
Iew hands, organs, dementions, sences, affections, passions,
fed with the same foode, hurt with the same
weapons, subiect to the same diseases, healed by the
same meanes, warmed and cooled by the same Winter and
Sommmer as a Christian is: if you pricke vs doe we not
bleede? if you tickle vs, doe we not laugh? if you poison
vs doe we not die? and if you wrong vs shall we not
reuenge? if we are like you in the rest, we will resemble
you in that. If a Iew wrong a Christian, what is his
humility, reuenge? If a Christian wrong a Iew, what
should his sufferance be by Christian example, why
reuenge? The villanie you teach me I will execute, and it
shall goe hard but I will better the instruction.
Enter a man from Anthonio.
Gentlemen, my maister Anthonio is at his house, and
desires to speake with you both.

Sal.
We haue beene vp and downe to seeke him.
Enter Tuball.

Sol.
Here comes another of the Tribe, a third cannot
be matcht, vnlesse the diuell himselfe turne Iew.
Exeunt Gentlemen.

Shy.
How now Tuball, what newes from Genowa?
hast thou found my daughter?

Tub.
I often came where I did heare of ster, but cannot
finde her.

Shy.
Why there, there, there, there, a diamond gone
cost me two thousand ducats in Franckford, the curse
neuer fell vpon our Nation till now, I neuer felt it till
now, two thousand ducats in that, and other precious,
precious iewels: I would my daughter were dead at my
foot, and the iewels in her eare: would she were hearst
at my foote, and the duckets in her coffin: no newes of
them, why so? and I know not how much is spent in the
search: why thou losse vpon losse, the theefe gone with so
much, and so much to finde the theefe, and no satisfaction,
no reuenge, nor no ill luck stirring but what lights
a my shoulders, no sighes but a my breathing, no teares
but a my shedding.

Tub.
Yes, other men haue ill lucke too, Anthonio as I
heard in Genowa?

Shy.
What, what, what, ill lucke, ill lucke.

Tub.
Hath an Argosie cast away comming from Tripolis.

Shy.
I thanke God, I thanke God, is it true, is it true?

Tub.
I spoke with some of the Saylers that escaped the
wracke.

Shy.
I thanke thee good Tuball, good newes, good
newes: ha, ha, here in Genowa.

Tub.
Your daughter spent in Genowa, as I heard, one night
fourescore ducats.

Shy.
Thou stick'st a dagger in me, I shall neuer see
my gold againe, fourescore ducats at a sitting, fourescore
ducats.

Tub.
There came diuers of Anthonios creditors in my
company to Venice, that sweare hee cannot choose but
breake.

Shy.
I am very glad of it, ile plague him, ile torture
him, I am glad of it,

Tub.
One of them shewed me a ring that hee had of your
daughter for a Monkie.

Shy.
Out vpon her, thou torturest me Tuball, it
was my Turkies, I had it of Leah when I was a
Batcheler: I would not haue giuen it for a wildernesse of
Monkies.

Tub.
But Anthonio is certainely vndone.

Shy.
Nay, that's true, that's very true, goe Tuball,
see me an Officer, bespeake him a fortnight before, I will
haue the heart of him if he forfeit, for were he out of
Venice, I can make what merchandize I will: goe Tuball,
and meete me at our Sinagogue, goe good Tuball, at our
Sinagogue Tuball.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Bassanio, Portia, Gratiano, and all
their traine.

Por.
I pray you tarrie, pause a day or two
Before you hazard, for in choosing wrong
I loose your companie; therefore forbeare a while,
There's something tels me (but it is not loue)
I would not loose you, and you know your selfe,
Hate counsailes not in such a quallitie;
But least you should not vnderstand me well,
And yet a maiden hath no tongue, but thought,
I would detaine you here some month or two
Before you venture for me. I could teach you
How to choose right, but then I am forsworne,
So will I neuer be, so may you misse me,
But if you doe, youle make me wish a sinne,
That I had beene forsworne: Beshrow your eyes,
They haue ore-lookt me and deuided me,
One halfe of me is yours, the other halfe yours,
Mine owne I would say: but of mine then yours,
And so all yours; O these naughtie times
Puts bars betweene the owners and their rights.
And so though yours, not yours (proue it so)
Let Fortune goe to hell for it, not I.
I speake too long, but 'tis to peize the time,
To ich it, and to draw it out in length,
To stay you from election.

Bass.
Let me choose,
For as I am, I liue vpon the racke.

Por.
Vpon the racke Bassanio, then confesse
What treason there is mingled with your loue.

Bass.
None but that vglie treason of mistrust.
Which makes me feare the enioying of my loue:
There may as well be amitie and life,
'Tweene snow and fire, as treason and my loue.

Por.
I, but I feare you speake vpon the racke,
Where men enforced doth speake any thing.

Bass.
Promise me life, and ile confesse the truth.

Por.
Well then, confesse and liue.

Bass.
Confesse and loue
Had beene the verie sum of my confession:
O happie torment, when my torturer
Doth teach me answers for deliuerance:
But let me to my fortune and the caskets.

Por.
Away then, I am lockt in one of them,
If you doe loue me, you will finde me out.
Nerryssa and the rest, stand all aloofe,
Let musicke sound while he doth make his choise,
Then if he loose he makes a Swan-like end,
Fading in musique. That the comparison
May stand more proper, my eye shall be the streame
And watrie death-bed for him: he may win,
And what is musique than? Than musique is
Euen as the flourish, when true subiects bowe
To a new crowned Monarch: Such it is,
As are those dulcet sounds in breake of day,
That creepe into the dreaming bride-groomes eare,
And summon him to marriage. Now he goes
With no lesse presence, but with much more loue
Then yong Alcides, when he did redeeme
The virgine tribute, paied by howling Troy
To the Sea-monster: I stand for sacrifice,
The rest aloofe are the Dardanian wiues:
With bleared visages come forth to view
The issue of th' exploit: Goe Hercules,
Liue thou, I liue with much more dismay
I view the sight, then thou that mak'st the fray.
Here Musicke. A Song the whilst Bassanio comments on the Caskets to
himselfe.
Tell me where is fancie bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head:
How begot, how nourished.
Replie, replie.
It is engendred in the eyes,
With gazing fed, and Fancie dies,
In the cradle where it lies:
Let vs all ring Fancies knell.
Ile begin it. Ding, dong, bell.

All.
Ding, dong, bell.

Bass.
So may the outward showes be least themselues
The world is still deceiu'd with ornament.
In Law, what Plea so tanted and corrupt,
But being season'd with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of euill? In Religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will blesse it, and approue it with a text,
Hiding the grosenesse with faire ornament:
There is no voice so simple, but assumes
Some marke of vertue on his outward parts;
How manie cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stayers of sand, weare yet vpon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars,
Who inward searcht, haue lyuers white as milke,
And these assume but valors excrement,
To render them redoubted. Looke on beautie,
And you shall see 'tis purchast by the weight,
Which therein workes a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest that weare most of it:
So are those crisped snakie golden locks
Which makes such wanton gambols with the winde
Vpon supposed fairenesse, often knowne
To be the dowrie of a second head,
The scull that bred them in the Sepulcher.
Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dangerous sea: the beautious scarfe
Vailing an Indian beautie; In a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
To intrap the wisest. Therefore then thou gaudie gold,
Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee,
Nor none of thee thou pale and common drudge
'Tweene man and man: but thou, thou meager lead
Which rather threatnest then dost promise ought,
Thy palenesse moues me more then eloquence,
And here choose I, ioy be the consequence.

Por.


How all the other passions fleet to ayre,
As doubtfull thoughts, and rash imbrac'd despaire:
And shuddring feare, and greene-eyed iealousie.
O loue be moderate, allay thy extasie,
In measure raine thy ioy, scant this excesse,
I feele too much thy blessing, make it lesse,
For feare I surfeit.
What finde I here?
Faire Portias counterfeit. What demie God
Hath come so neere creation? moue these eies?
Or whether riding on the bals of mine
Seeme they in motion? Here are seuer'd lips
Parted with suger breath, so sweet a barre
Should sunder such sweet friends: here in her haires
The Painter plaies the Spider, and hath wouen
A golden mesh t'intrap the hearts of men
Faster then gnats in cobwebs: but her eies,
How could he see to doe them? hauing made one,
Me thinkes it should haue power to steale both his
And leaue it selfe vnfurnisht: Yet looke how farre
The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
In vnderprising it, so farre this shadow
Doth limpe behinde the substance. Here's the scroule,
The continent, and summarie of my fortune.
You that choose not by the view
Chance as faire, and choose as true:
Since this fortune fals to you,
Be content, and seeke no new.
If you be well pleasd with this,
And hold your fortune for your blisse,
Turne you where your Lady is,
And claime her with a louing kisse.
A gentle scroule: Faire Lady, by your leaue,
I come by note to giue, and to receiue,
Like one of two contending in a prize
That thinks he hath done well in peoples eies:
Hearing applause and vniuersall shout,
Giddie in spirit, still gazing in a doubt
Whether those peales of praise be his or no.
So thrice faire Lady stand I euen so,
As doubtfull whether what I see be true,
Vntill confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you.

Por.
You see my Lord Bassiano where I stand,
Such as I am; though for my selfe alone
I would not be ambitious in my wish,
To wish my selfe much better, yet for you,
I would be trebled twenty times my selfe,
A thousand times more faire, ten thousand times
More rich, that onely to stand high in your account,
I might in vertues, beauties, liuings, friends,
Exceed account: but the full summe of me
Is sum of nothing: which to terme in grosse,
Is an vnlessoned girle, vnschool'd, vnpractiz'd,
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But she may learne: happier then this,
Shee is not bred so dull but she can learne;
Happiest of all, is that her gentle spirit
Commits it selfe to yours to be directed,
As from her Lord, her Gouernour, her King.
My selfe, and what is mine, to you and yours
Is now conuerted. But now I was the Lord
Of this faire mansion, master of my seruants,
Queene ore my selfe: and euen now, but now,
This house, these seruants, and this same my selfe
Are yours, my Lord, I giue them with this ring,
Which when you part from, loose, or giue away,
Let it presage the ruine of your loue,
And be my vantage to exclaime on you.

Bass.
Maddam, you haue bereft me of all words,
Onely my bloud speakes to you in my vaines,
And there is such confusion in my powers,
As after some oration fairely spoke
By a beloued Prince, there doth appeare
Among the buzzing pleased multitude,
Where euery something being blent together,
Turnes to a wilde of nothing, saue of ioy
Exprest, and not exprest: but when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence,
O then be bold to say Bassanio's dead.

Ner.
My Lord and Lady, it is now our time
That haue stood by and seene our wishes prosper,
To cry good ioy, good ioy my Lord and Lady.

Gra.
My Lord Bassanio, and my gentle Lady,
I wish you all the ioy that you can wish:
For I am sure you can wish none from me:
And when your Honours meane to solemnize
The bargaine of your faith: I doe beseech you
Euen at that time I may be married too.

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

Gra.
I thanke your Lordship, you gaue got me one.
My eyes my Lord can looke as swift as yours:
You saw the mistres, I beheld the maid:
You lou'd, I lou'd for intermission,
No more pertaines to me my Lord then you;
Your fortune stood vpon the caskets there,
And so did mine too, as the matter falls:
For wooing heere vntill I swet againe,
And swearing till my very rough was dry
With oathes of loue, at last, if promise last,
I got a promise of this faire one heere
To haue her loue: prouided that your fortune
Atchieu'd her mistresse.

Por.
Is this true Nerrissa?

Ner.
Madam it is so, so you stand pleas'd withall.

Bass.
And doe you Gratiano meane good faith?

Gra.
Yes faith my Lord.

Bass.
Our feast shall be much honored in your marriage.

Gra.
Weele play with them the first boy for a thousand
ducats.

Ner.
What and stake downe?

Gra.
No, we shal nere win at that sport, and stake
downe.
But who comes heere? Lorenzo and his Infidell?
What and my old Venetian friend Salerio?
Enter Lorenzo, Iessica, and Salerio.

Bas.
Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hether,
If that the youth of my new interest heere
Haue power to bid you welcome: by your leaue
I bid my verie friends and Countrimen
Sweet Portia welcome.

Por.
So do I my Lord,
they are intirely welcome.

Lor.
I thanke your honor; for my part my Lord,
My purpose was not to haue seene you heere,
But meeting with Salerio by the way,
He did intreate mee past all saying nay
To come with him along.

Sal.
I did my Lord,
And I haue reason for it, Signior Anthonio
Commends him to you.

Bass.
Ere I ope his Letter
I pray you tell me how my good friend doth.

Sal.
Not sicke my Lord, vnlesse it be in minde,
Nor wel, vnlesse in minde: his Letter there
Wil shew you his estate.
Opens the Letter.

Gra.
Nerrissa, cheere yond stranger, bid her welcom.
Your hand Salerio, what's the newes from Venice?
How doth that royal Merchant good Anthonio;
I know he wil be glad of our successe,
We are the Iasons, we haue won the fleece.

Sal.
I would you had won the fleece that hee hath lost.

Por.
There are some shrewd contents in yond same Paper,
That steales the colour from Bassianos cheeke,
Some deere friend dead, else nothing in the world
Could turne so much the constitution
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse?
With leaue Bassanio I am halfe your selfe,
And I must freely haue the halfe of any thing
That this same paper brings you.

Bass.
O sweet Portia,
Heere are a few of the vnpleasant'st words
That euer blotted paper. Gentle Ladie
When I did first impart my loue to you,
I freely told you all the wealth I had
Ran in my vaines: I was a Gentleman,
And then I told you true: and yet deere Ladie,
Rating my selfe at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a Braggart, when I told you
My state was nothing, I should then haue told you
That I was worse then nothing: for indeede
I haue ingag'd my selfe to a deere friend,
Ingag'd my friend to his meere enemie
To feede my meanes. Heere is a Letter Ladie,
The paper as the bodie of my friend,
And euerie word in it a gaping wound
Issuing life blood. But is it true Salerio,
Hath all his ventures faild, what not one hit,
From Tripolis, from Mexico and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India,
And not one vessell scape the dreadfull touch
Of Merchant-marring rocks?

Sal.
Not one my Lord.
Besides, it should appeare, that if he had
The present money to discharge the Iew,
He would not take it: neuer did I know
A creature that did beare the shape of man
So keene and greedy to confound a man.
He plyes the Duke at morning and at night,
And doth impeach the freedome of the state
If they deny him iustice. Twenty Merchants,
The Duke himselfe, and the Magnificoes
Of greatest port haue all perswaded with him,
But none can driue him from the enuious plea
Of forfeiture, of iustice, and his bond.

Iessi.
When I was with him, I haue heard him sweare
To Tuball and to Chus, his Countri-men,
That he would rather haue Anthonio's flesh,
Then twenty times the value of the summe
That he did owe him: and I know my Lord,
If law, authoritie, and power denie not,
It will goe hard with poore Anthonio.

Por.
Is it your deere friend that is thus in trouble?

Bass.
The deerest friend to me, the kindest man,
The best condition'd, and vnwearied spirit
In doing curtesies: and one in whom
The ancient Romane honour more appeares
Then any that drawes breath in Italie.

Por.
What summe owes he the Iew?

Bass.
For me three thousand ducats.

Por.
What, no more?
Pay him sixe thousand, and deface the bond:
Double sixe thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description
Shall lose a haire through Bassano's fault.
First goe with me to Church, and call me wife,
And then away to Venice to your friend:
For neuer shall you lie by Portias side
With an vnquiet soule. You shall haue gold
To pay the petty debt twenty times ouer.
When it is payd, bring your true friend along,
My maid Nerrissa, and my selfe meane time
Will liue as maids and widdowes; come away,
For you shall hence vpon your wedding day:
Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheere,
Since you are deere bought, I will loue you deere.
But let me heare the letter of your friend.
Sweet Bassanio, my ships haue all miscarried,
my Creditors grow cruell, my estate is very low, my bond
to the Iew is forfeit, and since in paying it, it is impossible
I should liue, all debts are cleerd betweene you and I, if I
might see you at my death: notwithstanding, vse your
pleasure, if your loue doe not perswade you to come, let not
my letter.

Por.
O loue! dispach all busines and be gone.

Bass.
Since I haue your good leaue to goe away,
I will make hast; but till I come againe,
No bed shall ere be guilty of my stay,
Nor rest be interposer twixt vs twaine.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene III
Enter the Iew, and Solanio, and Anthonio, and
the Iaylor.

Iew.
Iaylor, looke to him, tell not me of mercy,
This is the foole that lends out money gratis.
Iaylor, looke to him.

Ant.
Heare me yet good Shylok.

Iew.
Ile haue my bond, speake not against my bond,
I haue sworne an oath that I will haue my bond:
Thou call'dst me dog before thou hadst a cause,
But since I am a dog, beware my phangs,
The Duke shall grant me iustice, I do wonder
Thou naughty Iaylor, that thou art so fond
To come abroad with him at his request.

Ant.
I pray thee heare me speake.

Iew.
Ile haue my bond, I will not heare thee speake,
Ile haue my bond, and therefore speake no more.
Ile not be made a soft and dull ey'd foole,
To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yeeld
To Christian intercessors: follow not,
Ile haue no speaking, I will haue my bond.
Exit Iew.

Sol.
It is the most impenetrable curre
That euer kept with men.

Ant.
Let him alone,
Ile follow him no more with bootlesse prayers:
He seekes my life, his reason well I know;
I oft deliuer'd from his forfeitures
Many that haue at times made mone to me,
Therefore he hates me.

Sol.
I am sure the Duke
will neuer grant this forfeiture to hold.

An.
The Duke cannot deny the course of law:
For the commoditie that strangers haue
With vs in Venice, if it be denied,
Will much impeach the iustice of the State,
Since that the trade and profit of the citty
Consisteth of all Nations. Therefore goe,
These greefes and losses haue so bated mee,
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
To morrow, to my bloudy Creditor.
Well Iaylor, on, pray God Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene IV
Enter Portia, Nerrissa, Lorenzo, Iessica, and
a man of Portias.

Lor.
Madam, although I speake it in your presence,
You haue a noble and a true conceit
Of god-like amity, which appeares most strongly
In bearing thus the absence of your Lord.
But if you knew to whom you shew this honour,
How true a Gentleman you send releefe,
How deere a louer of my Lord your husband,
I know you would be prouder of the worke
Then customary bounty can enforce you.

Por.
I neuer did repent for doing good,
Nor shall not now: for in companions
That do conuerse and waste the time together,
Whose soules doe beare an egal yoke of loue.
There must be needs a like proportion
Of lyniaments, of manners, and of spirit;
Which makes me thinke that this Anthonio
Being the bosome louer of my Lord,
Must needs be like my Lord. If it be so,
How little is the cost I haue bestowed
In purchasing the semblance of my soule;
From out the state of hellish cruelty,
This comes too neere the praising of my selfe,
Therefore no more of it: heere other things
Lorenso I commit into your hands,
The husbandry and mannage of my house,
Vntill my Lords returne; for mine owne part
I haue toward heauen breath'd a secret vow,
To liue in prayer and contemplation,
Onely attended by Nerrissa heere,
Vntill her husband and my Lords returne:
There is a monastery too miles off,
And there we will abide. I doe desire you
Not to denie this imposition,
The which my loue and some necessity
Now layes vpon you.

Lorens.
Madame, with all my heart,
I shall obey you in all faire commands.

Por.
My people doe already know my minde,
And will acknowledge you and Iessica
In place of Lord Bassanio and my selfe.
So far you well till we shall meete againe.

Lor.
Faire thoughts & happy houres attend on you.

Iessi.
I wish your Ladiship all hearts content.

Por.
I thanke you for your wish, and am well pleas'd
To wish it backe on you: faryouwell Iessica.
Exeunt.
Now Balthaser,
as I haue euer found thee honest true,
So let me finde thee still: take this same letter,
And vse thou all the indeauor of a man,
In speed to Mantua, see thou render this
Into my cosins hand, Doctor Belario,
And looke what notes and garments he doth giue thee,
Bring them I pray thee with imagin'd speed
Vnto the Tranect, to the common Ferrie
Which trades to Venice; waste no time in words,
But get thee gone, I shall be there before thee.

Balth.
Madam, I goe with all conuenient speed.

Por.
Come on Nerissa, I haue worke in hand
That you yet know not of; wee'll see our husbands
Before they thinke of vs?

Nerrissa.
Shall they see vs?

Portia.
They shall Nerrissa: but in such a habit,
That they shall thinke we are accomplished
With that we lacke; Ile hold thee any wager
When we are both accoutered like yong men,
Ile proue the prettier fellow of the two,
And weare my dagger with the brauer grace,
And speake betweene the change of man and boy,
With a reede voyce, and turne two minsing steps
Into a manly stride; and speake of frayes
Like a fine bragging youth: and tell quaint lyes
How honourable Ladies sought my loue,
Which I denying, they fell sicke and died.
I could not doe withall: then Ile repent,
And wish for all that, that I had not kil'd them;
And twentie of these punie lies Ile tell,
That men shall sweare I haue discontinued schoole
Aboue a twelue moneth: I haue within my minde
A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Iacks,
Which I will practise.

Nerris.
Why, shall wee turne to men?

Portia.
Fie, what a questions that?
If thou wert nere a lewd interpreter:
But come, Ile tell thee all my whole deuice
When I am in my coach, which stayes for vs
At the Parke gate; and therefore haste away,
For we must measure twentie miles to day.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act III, Scene V
Enter Clowne and Iessica.

Clown.
Yes truly; for looke you, the sinnes of the Father
are to be laid vpon the children, therefore I promise
you, I feare you, I was alwaies plaine with you, and so now
I speake my agitation of the matter: therfore be of good
cheere, for truly I thinke you are damn'd, there is but
one hope in it that can doe you anie good, and that is but a
kinde of bastard hope neither.

Iessica.
And what hope is that I pray thee?

Clow.
Marrie you may partlie hope that your father
got you not, that you are not the Iewes daughter.

Ies.
That were a kinde of bastard hope indeed, so the
sins of my mother should be visited vpon me.

Clow.
Truly then I feare you are damned both by
father and mother: thus when I shun Scilla your father,
I fall into Charibdis your mother; well, you are gone
both waies.

Ies.
I shall be sau'd by my husband, he hath made
me a Christian.

Clow.
Truly the more to blame he, we were
Christians enow before, e'ne as many as could wel liue
one by another: this making of Christians will raise the
price of Hogs, if wee grow all to be porke-eaters, wee shall
not shortlie haue a rasher on the coales for money.
Enter Lorenzo.

Ies.
Ile tell my husband Lancelet what you say,
heere he comes.

Loren.
I shall grow iealous of you shortly Lancelet,
if you thus get my wife into corners?

Ies.
Nay, you need not feare vs Lorenzo, Launcelet
and I are out, he tells me flatly there is no mercy for mee
in heauen, because I am a Iewes daughter: and hee saies you
are no good member of the common wealth, for in conuerting
Iewes to Christians, you raise the price of Porke.

Loren.
I shall answere that better to the
Commonwealth, than you can the getting vp of the
Negroes bellie: the Moore is with childe by you
Launcelet?

Clow.
It is much that the Moore should be more
then reason: but if she be lesse then an honest woman,
shee is indeed more then I tooke her for.

Loren.
How euerie foole can play vpon the word, I thinke
the best grace of witte will shortly turne into silence, and
discourse grow commendable in none onely but Parrats:
goe in sirra, bid them prepare for dinner?

Clow.
That is done sir, they haue all stomacks?

Loren.
Goodly Lord, what a witte-snapper are you,
then bid them prepare dinner.

Clow.
That is done to sir, onely couer is the
word.

Loren.
Will you couer than sir?

Clow.
Not so sir neither, I know my dutie.

Loren.
Yet more quarrellng with occasion, wilt thou
shew the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant; I pray
thee vnderstand a plaine man in his plaine meaning: goe
to thy fellowes, bid them couer the table, serue in the
meat, and we will come in to dinner.

Clow.
For the table sir, it shall be seru'd in, for
the meat sir, it shall bee couered, for your comming in to
dinner sir, why let it be as humors and conceits shall
gouerne.
Exit Clowne.

Lor.
O deare discretion, how his words are suted,
The foole hath planted in his memory
An Armie of good words, and I doe know
A many fooles that stand in better place,
Garnisht like him, that for a tricksie word
Defie the matter: how cheer'st thou Iessica,
And now good sweet say thy opinion,
How dost thou like the Lord Bassiano's wife?

Iessi.
Past all expressing, it is very meete
The Lord Bassanio liue an vpright life
For hauing such a blessing in his Lady,
He findes the ioyes of heauen heere on earth,
And if on earth he doe not meane it, it
Is reason he should neuer come to heauen?
Why, if two gods should play some heauenly match,
And on the wager lay two earthly women,
And Portia one: there must be something else
Paund with the other, for the poore rude world
Hath not her fellow.

Loren.
Euen such a husband
Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife.

Ies.
Nay, but aske my opinion to of that?

Lor.
I will anone, first let vs goe to dinner?

Ies.
Nay, let me praise you while I haue a stomacke?

Lor.
No pray thee, let it serue for table talke,
Then how som ere thou speakst 'mong other things,
I shall digest it?

Iessi.
Well, Ile set you forth.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act III, Scene I
Enter Solanio and Salerio

SOLANIO
Now what news on the Rialto?

SALERIO
Why, yet it lives there unchecked 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.

SOLANIO
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 ...

SALERIO
Come, the full stop!

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

SALERIO
I would it might prove the end of his losses.

SOLANIO
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 knew, none so well, none so well as you, of
my daughter's flight.

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

SOLANIO
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.

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

SHYLOCK
My own flesh and blood to rebel!

SOLANIO
Out upon it, old carrion! Rebels it at these
years?

SHYLOCK
I say my daughter is my flesh and blood.

SALERIO
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.

SALERIO
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 villainy you teach me I will execute, and it
shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
Enter a Man from Antonio

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

SALERIO
We have been up and down to seek him.
Enter Tubal

SOLANIO
Here comes another of the tribe. A third cannot
be matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew.
Exeunt Solanio, Salerio, and Man

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 Frankfurt! 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 ill luck stirring but what lights
o' my shoulders, no sighs but o' my breathing, no tears
but o' 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 it true? Is it true?

TUBAL
I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the
wrack.

SHYLOCK
I thank thee, good Tubal. Good news, good
news! Ha, ha! Heard in Genoa?

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

SHYLOCK
Thou stick'st 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, Tubal,
and meet me at our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our
synagogue, Tubal.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene II
Enter Bassanio, Portia, Gratiano, Nerissa, and all
their trains

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 then I am 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'erlooked 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 piece 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 th' 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 locked 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 swanlike end,
Fading in music. That the comparison
May stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream
And watery deathbed 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 th' exploit. Go, Hercules;
Live thou, I live. With much, much more dismay
I view the fight than thou that mak'st the fray.
A song the whilst Bassanio comments on the caskets to
himself
Tell me where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
Reply, reply.
It is engendered 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 searched, 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 threaten'st 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 shudd'ring fear, and green-eyed jealousy.
O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy,
In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess,
I feel too much thy blessing, make it less
For fear I surfeit.

BASSANIO
(opening the leaden casket)
What find I here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit! What demigod
Hath come so near creation? Move these eyes?
Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
Seem they in motion? Here are severed 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 t' 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 unfurnished. 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:
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 those pearls of praise be his or no,
So, thrice-fair lady, stand I even so,
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirmed, signed, 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 virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
Exceed account; but the full sum of me
Is sum of something, which to term in gross,
Is an unlessoned girl, unschooled, 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's. 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
Expressed and not expressed. 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 caskets there,
And so did mine too, as the matter falls;
For wooing here until I sweat again,
And swearing till 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 honoured 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. Signor Antonio
Commends him to you.
He 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.
Bassanio opens the letter

GRATIANO
Nerissa, cheer yond 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 yond 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 failed? 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-conditioned 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
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,
Nor rest be interposer 'twixt us twain.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene III
Enter Shylock the Jew and Solanio and Antonio and
the 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

SOLANIO
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 delivered from his forfeitures
Many that have at times made moan to me.
Therefore he hates me.

SOLANIO
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 the state,
Since that the trade and profit of the city
Consisteth of all nations. Therefore go.
These griefs and losses have so bated me
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
Tomorrow to my bloody creditor.
Well, Gaoler, on. Pray Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene IV
Enter Portia, Nerissa, Lorenzo, Jessica, and Balthasar,
a Man of Portia's

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 bestowed
In purchasing the semblance of my soul
From out the state of hellish cruelty.
This comes too near the praising of myself,
Therefore no more of it. Hear other things:
Lorenzo, I commit into your hands
The husbandry and manage of my house
Until my lord's return. For mine own part,
I have toward heaven 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.
So fare you well 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 th' 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 traject, 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 accoutered 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 twelve month. 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 today.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act III, Scene V
Enter Launcelot the Clown and Jessica

LAUNCELOT
Yes truly, for look you, the sins of the father
are to be laid upon the children. Therefore, I promise
you I fear you. I was always plain with you, and so now
I speak my agitation of the matter. Therefore be o' 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
(to Launcelot)
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
thee 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 Launcelot

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,
Garnished like him, that for a tricksy word
Defy the matter. How cheer'st thou, Jessica?
And now, good sweet, say thy opinion,
How dost thou like the Lord Bassanio's wife?

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 merit it,
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
Pawned 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, howsome'er thou speak'st, 'mong other things
I shall digest it.

JESSICA
Well, I'll set you forth.
Exeunt
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