Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
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The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)


Enter Bassanio with Shylocke the Iew.
310Shy. Three thousand ducates, well.
Bass. I sir, for three months.
Shy. For three months, well.
Bass. For the which as I told you,
Anthonio shalbe bound.
315Shy. Anthonio shall become bound, well.
Bass. May you sted me? Will you pleasure me?
Shall I know your aunswere.
Shy. Three thousand ducats for three months,
and Anthonio bound.
320Bass. Your aunswere to that.
Shy. Anthonio is a good man.
Bass. Haue you heard any imputation to the contrary.
Shylocke. Ho no, no, no, no: my meaning in saying hee is
a good man, is to haue you vnderstand mee that hee is sufficient,
325yet his meanes are in supposition: hee hath an Argosie bound
to Tripolis, another to the Indies, I vnderstand moreouer vp-
on the Ryalta, hee hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England,
and other ventures he hath squandred abroade, but ships are but
boordes, Saylers but men, there be land rats, and water rats, water
330theeues, and land theeues, I meane Pyrats, and then there is the
perrill of waters, windes, and rockes: the man is notwithstanding
sufficient, three thousand ducats, I thinke I may take his bond.
Bas. Be assurd you may.
Iew. I will be assurd I may: and that I may bee assured, I will
335bethinke mee, may I speake with Anthonio?
Bass. Yf it please you to dine with vs.
Iew. Yes, to smell porke, to eate of the habitation which your
Prophet the Nazarit coniured the deuill into: I wil buy with you,
sell with you, talke with you, walke with you, and so following:
340but I will not eate with you, drinke with you, nor pray with you.
What newes on the Ryalto, who is he comes heere?
Enter Anthonio.
Bass. This is signior Anthonio.
Jew. How like a fawning publican he lookes.
345I hate him for he is a Christian:
But more, for that in low simplicitie
He lends out money gratis, and brings downe
The rate of vsance heere with vs in Venice.
Yf I can catch him once vpon the hip,
350I will feede fat the auncient grudge I beare him.
He hates our sacred Nation, and he rayles
Euen there where Merchants most doe congregate
On me, my bargaines, and my well-wone thrift,
vvhich hee calls interrest: Cursed be my Trybe
355if I forgiue him.
Bass. Shyloch, doe you heare.
Shyl. J am debating of my present store,
And by the neere gesse of my memorie
I cannot instantly raise vp the grosse
360Of full three thousand ducats: what of that,
Tuball a wealthy Hebrew of my Tribe
Will furnish me; but soft, how many months
Doe you desire? Rest you faire good signior,
Your worship was the last man in our mouthes.
365An. Shylocke, albeit I neither lend nor borrow
By taking nor by giuing of excesse,
Yet to supply the ripe wants of my friend,
Ile breake a custome: is hee yet possest
How much ye would?
370Shy.JI, I, three thousand ducats.
Ant. And for three months.
Shyl. I had forgot, three months, you told me so.
Well then, your bond: and let me see, but heare you,
Me thoughts you said, you neither lend nor borrow
375Vpon aduantage.
Ant. I doe neuer vse it.
Shy. When Iacob grazd his Vncle Labans Sheepe,
This Iacob from our holy Abram was
(As his wise mother wrought in his behalfe)
380The third possesser; I, he was the third.
Ant. And what of him, did he take interrest?
Shyl. No, not take interest, not as you would say
Directly intrest, marke what Iacob did,
VVhen Laban and himselfe were compremyzd
385That all the eanelings which were streakt and pied
Should fall as Iacobs hier, the Ewes being ranck
In end of Autume turned to the Rammes,
And when the worke of generation was
Betweene these wolly breeders in the act,
390The skilful sheepheard pyld me certaine wands,
And in the dooing of the deede of kind
He stuck them vp before the fulsome Ewes,
Who then conceauing, did in eaning time
Fall party-colourd lambs, and those were Iacobs.
395This was a way to thriue, and he was blest:
And thrift is blessing if men steale it not.
An. This was a venture sir that Iacob serud for,
A thing not in his power to bring to passe,
But swayd and fashiond by the hand of heauen.
400Was this inserted to make interrest good?
Or is your gold and siluer ewes and rammes?
Shyl. I cannot tell, I make it breede as fast,
but note me signior.
Anth. Marke you this Bassanio,
405The deuill can cite Scripture for his purpose,
An euill soule producing holy witnes
Is like a villaine with a smiling cheeke,
A goodly apple rotten at the hart.
O what a goodly out-side falshood hath.
410Shy. Three thousand ducats, tis a good round summe.
Three months from twelue, then let me see the rate.
Ant. Well Shylocke, shall we be beholding to you?
Shyl. Signior Anthonio, manie a time and oft
In the Ryalto you haue rated me
415About my moneyes and my vsances:
Still haue I borne it with a patient shrug,
(For suffrance is the badge of all our Trybe)
You call me misbeleeuer, cut-throate dog,
And spet vpon my Iewish gaberdine,
420And all for vse of that which is mine owne.
Well then, it now appeares you neede my helpe:
Goe to then, you come to me, and you say,
Shylocke, we would haue moneyes, you say so:
You that did voyde your rume vpon my beard,
425And foote me as you spurne a stranger curre
Ouer your threshold, moneyes is your sute.
What should I say to you? Should I not say
Hath a dog money? is it possible
A curre can lend three thousand ducats? or
430Shall I bend low, and in a bond-mans key
With bated breath, and whispring humblenes
Say this: Faire sir, you spet on me on Wednesday last,
You spurnd me such a day another time,
You calld me dogge: and for these curtesies
435Ile lend you thus much moneyes.
Ant.J am as like to call thee so againe,
To spet on thee againe, to spurne thee to.
Yf thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends, for when did friendship take
440A breede for barraine mettaile of his friend?
But lend it rather to thine enemie,
Who if he breake, thou maist with better face
Exact the penaltie.
Shy. Why looke you how you storme,
445I would be friends with you, and haue your loue,
Forget the shames that you haue staind me with,
Supply your present wants, and take no doyte
Of vsance for my moneyes, and youle not heare mee,
this is kinde I offer.
450Bass. This were kindnesse.
Shyl. This kindnesse will I showe,
Goe with me to a Notarie, seale me there
Your single bond, and in a merrie sport
if you repay me not on such a day
455in such a place, such summe or summes as are
exprest in the condition, let the forfaite
be nominated for an equall pound
of your faire flesh, to be cut off and taken
in what part of your bodie pleaseth me.
460Ant. Content infaith, yle seale to such a bond,
and say there is much kindnes in the Iew.
Bass. You shall not seale to such a bond for me,
Ile rather dwell in my necessitie.
An. Why feare not man, I will not forfaite it,
465vvithin these two months, thats a month before
this bond expires, I doe expect returne
of thrice three times the valew of this bond.
Shy. O father Abram, what these Christians are,
Whose owne hard dealings teaches them suspect
470the thoughts of others: Pray you tell me this,
if he should breake his day what should I gaine
by the exaction of the forfeyture?
A pound of mans flesh taken from a man,
is not so estimable, profitable neither
475as flesh of Muttons, Beefes, or Goates, I say
To buy his fauour, I extend this friendship,
Yf he wil take it, so, if not adiew,
And for my loue I pray you wrong me not.
An. Yes Shylocke, I will seale vnto this bond.
480Shy. Then meete me forthwith at the Noteries,
Giue him direction for this merry bond
And I will goe and purse the ducats straite,
See to my house left in the fearefull gard
Of an vnthriftie knaue: and presently
485Ile be with you.
Exit.
An. Hie thee gentle Iewe. The Hebrew will turne
Christian, he growes kinde.
Bassa. I like not faire termes, and a villaines minde.
An. Come on, in this there can be no dismay,
490My ships come home a month before the day.
Exeunt.