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him, I should marry twenty husbands. If he would de spise me, I would forgive him, for if he love me to madness. I shall never requite him. 70

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

Por. You know I say nothing to him, for he understands not me, nor I him he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian, and you will come into the court and swear that I have a poor pennyworth in the English. He is a proper

man's picture, but, alas, who can converse with a dumbshow? How oddly he is suited! I think he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany and his behaviour every-where.

Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord, his neighbour? Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him, for he borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman and swore he would pay him again when he was able: I think the Frenchman became his surety and sealed under for another.

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


Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober, and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk: when he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast in the worst fall that ever fell, I hope I shall make shift to go without him.

Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you should refuse to accept him.

Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a deep glass of rhenish 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.

Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these lords they have acquainted me with their determinations; which is, indeed, to return to their home and to trouble you with no more suit, unless you may be won by some other sort than your father's imposition depending on the caskets.

Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will. I am glad this parcel of wooers are so reasonable, for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and I pray God grant them a fair departure.

Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's time, a Venetian, a scholar and a soldier, that came hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat?

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

Ner. True, madam : he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady. Por. I remember him well, and I remember him worthy of thy praise.

Enter a Serving-man.

How now what news?

Serv. 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.


Por. 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.

SCENE III. Venice. A public place.


Shy. Three thousand ducats; well.

Bass. Ay, sir, for three months.

Shy. For three months; well.


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

Shy. Antonio shall become bound; well.

Bass. May you stead me? will you pleasure me? shall I

know your answer?

Shy. Three thousand ducats for three months and Ántonio bound.

Bass. Your answer to that.

Shy. Antonio is a good man.


Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary? Shy. 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 landrats 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. thousand ducats; I think I may take his bond.

Bass. Be assured you may.


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

Bass. If it please you to dine with us.

Shy. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet the Nazarite conjured the devil into. I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following, but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What news on the Rialto? Who is he comes here?


Bass. This is Signior Antonio.

Shy. [Aside] How like a fawning publican he looks! I 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!


Shylock, do you hear?

Shy. 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 Ant.] Rest you fair, good signior;


Your worship was the last man in our mouths.

Ant. 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?


Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.

Ant. And for three months.

Shy. 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.


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Shy. 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-

Ant. And what of him? did he take interest?
Shy. 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.

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

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!

Shy. Three thousand ducats; 'tis a good round sum.

Three months from twelve; then, let me see; the rateAnt. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you? Shy. 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"?

Ant. 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.

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.

Bass. This were kindness.

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.

Ant. Content, i' faith: I'll seal to such a bond

And say there is much kindness in the Jew.

Bass. You shall not seal to such a bond for me:

I'll rather dwell in my necessity.

Ant. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it :
Within these two months, that's a month before
This bond expires, I do expect return
Of thrica three times the value of this bond.

Shy. O father Abram, what these Christians are,






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