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SCENE II.-Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. Enter PORTIA and NERISSA.

Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is a-weary of this great world.

Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are: And yet, for aught I see, they are as sick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing: It is no mean happiness, therefore, to be seated in the mean; superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.

Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced. Ner. They would be better, if well followed. Por. If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages, princes' palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband: - O me, the word choose! I may neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike; so is the will of a living daughter curb'd by the will of a dead father: - Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none?

Ner. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, at their death, have good inspirations; therefore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three chests, of gold, silver, and lead, (whereof who chooses his meaning, chooses you,) will, no doubt, never be chosen by any rightly, but one who you shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors that are already come?

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

Ner. First, there is the Neapolitan prince. Por. Ay, that's a colt, indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great appropriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe him himself.

Ner. Then, is there the county Palatine. Por. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, An 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. Heaven defend me from these two!

Ner. How say you by the French lord, monsieur Le Bon?

Por. Heaven 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.

Por. You know, I say nothing to him; for he understands not me, nor I him: he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian; and you will come into the court and swear, that I have a poor pennyworth in the English. He is a proper man's picture; But, alas! who can converse with a dumb show? How oddly he is suited! I think he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour every where.

Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord, his neighbour?

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

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

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

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

Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a deep glass of Rhenish 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 will be married to a spunge.

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

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

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

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

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. - How now! what news?

Enter a Servant.

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

Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so should be glad of his approach: if he have the congood heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I dition 7 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 Ner. What say you then to Faulconbridge, the shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at young baron of England?

the door.

[Exeunt.

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Shy. Antonio shall become bound,
Bass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me?
Shall I know your answer?

Shy. Three thousand ducats, for three months, and Antonio bound.

Bass. Your answer to that.

Shy. Antonio is a good man.

Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?

Shy. Ho, 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, squander'd abroad: But ships are but boards, sailors but men: there be land-rats, and water-rats, water-thieves, and landthieves; 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. 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: 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.

Bass. This is signior Antonio.

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Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.
Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you?
Shy. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft,
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my monies, 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 monies; You say so;
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
And foot me, as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold; monies 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 monies.

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?)

Shy. [Aside.] How like a fawning publican he But lend it rather to thine enemy;

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!

Bass.

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? - Rest you fair, good signior;
[TO ANTONIO.
Your worship was the last man in our mouths.

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Ant. Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow, By taking, nor by giving of excess,

Yet to supply the ripe wants of my friend,

8 Wants which admit no longer delay.

Who if he break, thou may'st with better face
Exact the penalty.

Shy.

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 monies, and you'll not hear me ;
This is kind I offer.

Ant. This were kindness.
Shy.

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, in 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

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This bond expires, I do expect return
Of thrice three times the value of this bond.
Shy. O father Abraham, what these Christians are;
Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect
The thoughts of others! Pray you, tell me this;
If he should break his day, what should I gain
By the exaction of the forfeiture?

A pound of man's flesh, taken from a man,
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.

Ant. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond. Shy. 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. Ant. Hie thee, gentle Jew. This Hebrew will turn Christian; he grows kind. Bass. I like not fair terms, and a villain's mind. Ant. Come on in this there can be no dismay, My ships come home a month before the day. [Exeunt.

[Exit.

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House. Flourish of Cornels. Enter the Prince of Morocco and his Train; PORTLA, NERISSA, and other of her Attendants.

Mor. Mislike me not for my complexion, The shadow'd livery of the burnish'd sun, To whom I am a neighbour, and near bred. Bring me the fairest creature northward born, Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles, And let us make incision? for your love, To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine. I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine Hath fear'd the valiant; by my love, I swear, The best regarded virgins of our clime Have lov'd it too: I would not change this hue, Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen. Por. In terms of choice I am not solely led By nice direction of a maiden's eyes: Besides, the lottery of my destiny Bars me the right of voluntary choosing: But, if my father had not scanted me, And hedg'd me by his wit, to yield myself His wife, who wins me by that means I told you, Yourself, renowned prince, then stood as fair, As any comer I have look'd on yet. For my affection.

Mor. Even for that I thank you; Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets, To try my fortune. By this scimitar, — That slew the Sophy, and a Persian prince, That won three fields of sultan Solyman,. I would out-stare the sternest eyes that look, Out-brave the heart most daring on the earth, 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 froin 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.

Por. You must take your chance; And either not attempt to choose at all,

Or swear, before you choose,—if you choose wrong,

2 Allusion to the Eastern custom for lovers to testify their passion by cutting themselves in their mistresses' sight. 3 Terrified.

Never to speak to lady afterward
In way of marriage; therefore be advis'd.
Mor. Nor will not; come, bring me unto my
chance.

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

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Laun. 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; 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, 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 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 incarnation; 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 commandment, I will run.

Enter old GOBBO, with a Basket. Gob. Master, young man, you, I pray you; which is the way to master Jew's?

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

clusions with him.

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

4 Experiments.

Laun. 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. Gob. 'Twill be a hard way to hit. Can you tell me whether one Launcelot, that dwells with him, dwell with him, or no?

Laun Talk you of young master Launcelot?— Mark me now; [Aside.] now will I raise the waters: Talk you of young master Launcelot ?

Gob. 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.

Laun. Well, let his father be what he will, we talk of young master Launcelot.

Gob. Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir. Laun. But I pray you ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech y you; Talk you of young master Launcelot? Gob. Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership. Laun. 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.

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

Laun. Do I look like a cudgel, or a hovel-post, a staff, or a prop? - Do you know me, father? Gob. Alack the day, I know you not, young gentleman; but, I pray you, tell me, is my boy alive or dead?

Laun. Do you not know me, father?

Gob. Alack, sir, I am sand-blind, I know you not. Laun. 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, in the end, truth will

out.

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

Laun. 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.

Gob. I cannot think, you are my son.

Laun. 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.

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

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

him.

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

Laun. 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 famish'd 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 Bassa

5 Shaft-horse.

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Gob. God bless your worship!
Bass. Gramercy; Wouldst thou aught with me?
Gob. Here's my son, sir, a poor boy,

Laun. Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew's man; that would, sir, as my father shall specify, Gob. He hath a great infection, sir, as one would say, to serve —

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

Gob. His master and he, (saving your worship's reverence,) are scarce cater- cousins:

Laun. 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,

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

Laun. 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 an old man, yet, poor man, my father.

Bass. One speak for both; What would you? Laun. Serve you, sir.

Gob. This is the very defect of the matter, sir. Buss. 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.

Laun. The old proverb is very well parted between my master Shylock and you, sir; you have grace, sir, and he hath enough.

Bass. Thou speak'st it well: Go, father, with thy son:

Take leave of thy old master, and enquire
My lodging out: Give him a livery

[To his Followers. More guarded 6 than his fellows': See it done. Laun. Father, in :-I cannot get a service, no; -I have ne'er a tongue in my head.-Well, father, come; I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye. [Exeunt LAUNCELOT and old GoRBO. Bass. 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. Leon. My best endeavours shall be done herein. Enter GRATIANO.

Gra. Where is your master?
Leon.

Gra. Signior Bassanio,

Yonder, sir, he walks.

• Ornamented.

[Exit LEONARDO.

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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 liberal7;-pray thee take pain
To allay with some cold drops of modesty
Thy skipping spirit; lest, through thy wild be-
haviour,

I be misconstrued in the place I go to,
And lose my hopes.

Gra.

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 8
To please his grandam, never trust me more.
Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing. 9
Gra. Nay, but I bar to-night; you shall not
gage me

By what we do to-night.

Bass.

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.

Gra. And I must to Lorenzo, and the rest; But we will visit you at supper-time.

SCENE III. ·

[Exeunt.

- A Room in Shylock's House.

Enter JESSICA and LAUNCELOT.

Jes. I am sorry, thou wilt leave my father so; Our house is sad, but 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 talk with thee.

Laun. Adieu! tears exhibit my tongue. Most beautiful pagan, most sweet Jew! If a Christian do not play the knave, and get thee, I am much deceiv'd: But, adieu! these foolish drops do somewhat drown my manly spirit; adieu! [Exit. Jes. Farewell, good Launcelot. Alack, what heinous sin it is in me, To be asham'd to be my father's child! But though I am a daughter to his blood, I am not to his manners: 0 Lorenzo, If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife; Become a Christian, and thy loving wife.

SCENE IV. A Street.

[Eait.

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Disguise us at my lodging, and return All in an hour.

Gra. We have not made good preparation. Salar. We have not spoke us yet of torch-bearers. Salan. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order'd; And better, in my mind, not undertook.

Lor. 'Tis now but four o'clock; we have two hours

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Salar. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
Salan. And so will I.
Lor.

Meet me, and Gratiano,
At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence.
Salar. 'Tis good we do so.

[Exeunt SALAR. and SALAN. Gra. Was not that letter from fair Jessica? Lor. 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. Come, go with me; peruse this, as thou goest: Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer. [Exeunt.

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Look to my house: - I am right loth to go;
There is some ill a brewing towards my rest,
For I did dream of money-bags to-night.

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

Shy. So do I his.

1 Invited.

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