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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.

Por. Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?
Bass. 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.
Por. What sum owes he the Jew?
Bass. For me, three thousand ducats.

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.

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 that 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,

Nor rest be interposer 'twixt us twain.


SCENE III. Venice. A Street.


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


Hear me yet, good Shylock.

Shy. 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.

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Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.

Shy. 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;

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I'll have no speaking; I will have my bond.
Salar. It is the most impenetrable cur
That ever kept with men.

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.

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 à 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!

[Ex. SHY.

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SCENE IV. Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.


Por. 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 we will abide. I do desire you
Not to deny this imposition,

The which my love, and some necessity,
Now lays upon you.

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I shall obey you in all fair commands.

Madam, with all my heart

Por. 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.

Lor. Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you!
Jes. I wish your ladyship all heart's content.
Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleased
To wish it back on you: fare you well, Jessica.

[Exeunt JES. and LOR.

Now Balthasar,

As I have ever found thee honest, true,
So let me find thee still. Take this same letter,
And use thou all the endeavour of a man
In speed to Padua; see thou render this
Into my cousin's hand, doctor Bellario;

And look, what notes and garments he doth give thee
Bring them, I pray thee, with imagined speed
Unto the tranect, to the common ferry

Which trades to Venice: waste no time in words,
But get thee gone; I shall be there before thee.

Balth. Madam, I go with all convenient speed.
Por. Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand,
That you yet know not of: we'll see our husbands
Before they think of us.

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Shall they see us?

Por. They shall, Nerissa. I will hold thee any wager, When we are both accoutred like young men,

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I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two,
And wear my dagger with the braver grace;
And speak, between the change of man and boy,
With a reed voice; and turn two mincing steps
Into a manly stride; and speak of frays,

Like a fine bragging youth; and tell quaint lies,
How honourable ladies sought my love,
Which I denying, they fell sick and died;
I could not do withal; then I 'll repent,
And wish, for all that, that I had not killed them:
And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell,

That men shall swear I have discontinued school
Above a twelvemonth. I have within my mind
A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks,
Which I will practise.

But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device
When I am in my coach, which stays for us
At the park gate; and therefore haste away.
For we must measure twenty miles to-day.

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SCENE I. Venice. A Court of Justice.

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Enter the DUKE, the Magnificoes; ANTONIO, BASSANIO, GRATIANO, SALARINO, SOLANIO, and others.


Duke. What, is Antonio here?

Ant. Ready, so please your grace.

Duke. I am sorry for thee: thou art come to answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty

From any dram of mercy.


I have heard
Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate,

And that no lawful means can carry me

Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury; and am armed
To suffer with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.

Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the court.
Solan. He's ready at the door: he comes, my lord.

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Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our face.
Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice
To the last hour of act; and then, 't is thought
Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty:
And where thou now exact'st the penalty,
(Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,)
Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture,

But, touched with human gentleness and love,
Forgive a moiety of the principal;
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
That have of late so huddled on his back,
Enow to press a royal merchant down,
And pluck commiseration of his state
From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never trained
To offices of tender courtesy.

We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.

Shy. I have possessed your grace of what I purpose;
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn,
To have the due and forfeit of my bond:
If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter, and your city's freedom.
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Three thousand ducats: I'll not answer that.
But say, it is my humour: is it answered?
What if my house be troubled with a rat,
And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats
To have it baned? What, are you answered yet?
Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here is six.
Shy. If every ducat, in six thousand ducats,
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
I would not draw them, I would have my bond.

Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring none?
Shy. What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,

Because you bought them: shall I say to you,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs?
Why sweat they under burthens? let their beds

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