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But she may learn; and happier than this,
She is not bred so dull but she can learn :
Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her king.
Myself, and what is mine, to you, and yours
Is now converted : but now I was the lord
Of this fair mansion, master of my servants
Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now,
This house, these servants, and this same myself
Are yours, my lord; I give them with this ring i
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.
Bass. Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins :
And there is such confusion in my powers,
As, after some oration fairly spoke
By a beloved prince, there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleased multitude ;
Where every something, being blent* together,
Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy.
Express'd and not express'd : but when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence;
0, then be bold to say,
Bassanio's dead. Ner. 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!
Gra. 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 nie : 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. Bass. With all my heart, so thou canst get a
wife. Gra. I thank your lordship; you have got me one. My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours : You saw the inistress, 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,-it promise last, I got a promise of this fair one here, # Blended.
+ Pause, delay.
To have her love, provided that your
fortune Achieved her mistress. Por. Is this true, Nerissa s Ner. Madam, it is, so you stand pleased withal. Bass. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith? Gra. Yes, 'faith, my lord.
Bass. Our feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage.
Gra. We'll play with them, the first boy for a thousand ducats.
Ner. What, and stake down?
Gra. No; we shall ne'er win at that sport, and
But who comes here? Lorenzo, and his infidel?
What, my old Venetian friend, Salerio!
Enter LORENZO, JESSICA, and SALERIO. Bass. 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.
Por. So do I, my lord; They are entirely welcome.
Lor. 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.
Sale. I did, my lord,
And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio
Commends him to you. [Gives Bassanio a Letter.
Bass. Ere I ope his letter,
I pray you tell me how my good friend doth.
Sale. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind ;
Nor well, unless in mind ; his letter there
Will shew you his estate.
Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon' stranger; bid her wel.
come. 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. Sale. Would you had won the fleece that he hath
lost! Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon'same
paper, That steal 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 any thing
That this same paper brings you.
Bass. O sweet Portia,
Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words,
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
When I did first impart my love to you,
I freely told you, all the wealth I had
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman;
And then I told you true : and yet, dear lady,
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a braggart : when I told you
My state was nothing, I should then have told you
That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed,
I have engaged myself to a dear friend,
Engaged my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady ;
The paper as the body of my friend,
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood.-But is it true, Salerio?
Have all his ventures fail'd? What, not one hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India ?
And not one vessel ’scape the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks?,.
Sale. 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 magniticoes *
Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him ;
But none can drive him from the envious plea
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.
Jes. When I was with him, I have heard him
To Tubal, and to Chus his countrymen, (swear,
That he would rather have Antonio's ilesh,
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 would go hard with poor Antonio.
Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trouble !
Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
The best condition'd and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies; and one in whom
The ancient Roman honour more appears,
Than any that draws breath in Italy.
Por. What sum owes he the Jew?
Bass. For me, three thousand ducats.
Por. What, no more?
Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of his 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, mean time,
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away ;
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day:
Bid your friends welcome, shew a merry cheer*
; Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear. But let me hear the letter of your friend.
Bass. [Reads.] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since, in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and I, if I might but see you at my death: notwithstanding, use your pleasure : if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.
Por. O love, despatch all business, and be gone. Bass. Since I have your good leave to go away,
I will make haste; but, till I come again, No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay, No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. (Exeunt.
SCENE III.-Venice.- A Street. Enter SAYLOCK, SALANIO, ANTONIO, and GAOLER. Shy. Gaoler, look to him :-Tell not me of
mercy ; This is the fool that lent out money gratis ; Gaoler, look to him.
Ant. Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Shy. I'll have my bond ; speak not against my
I have sworn an oath, that I will have my bond :
Thou call'st 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.
Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.
Shy. I'll have my bond; I will not hear thee
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 Shylock. Salan. It is the most impenetrable cur, That ever kept with men.
Ant. Let him alone;
I'll follow him no more with bootless prayers.
He seeks my life ; his reason well I know;
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures
Many that have at times made moan to me;
Therefore he hates me.
Salan. I am sure, the duke
Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.
Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law;
For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be denied,
Will much impeach the justice of the state ;
Since that the trade and profit of the city
Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go:
These griefs and losses have so 'bated me,
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
To-morrow to my bloody creditor.
Well, gaoler, on :-Pray God, Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not!
(Exeunt. SCENE IV.-Belmont.-A Room in PORTIA's House. Enter PORTIA, Nerissa, Lorenzo, Jessica and
BALTHAZAR. Lor. Madam, although I speak it in your pre
sence, You have a noble and a true conceit