Internet Shakespeare Editions

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


The most excellent
Historie of the Merchant
of Venice.
VVith the extreame cueltie of Shylocke the Iewe
towards the sayd Merchant, in cutting a iust pound
of his flesh: and the obtayning of Portia
by the choyse of three
chests.
As it hath beene diuers times acted by the Lord
Chamberlaine his Seruants.
Written by William Shakespeare.
AT LONDON
Printed by i. R. for Thomas Heyes,
and are to be sold in Paules Church-yard, at the
signe of the Greene Dragon.
1600
The comicall History of the Mer-
chant of Venice.
1
Enter Anthonio, Salaryno, and Salanio.
An. IN sooth I know not why I am so sad,
It wearies me, you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
5What stuffe tis made of, whereof it is borne,
I am to learne: and such a want-wit sadnes
makes of mee,
That I haue much adoe to know my selfe.
Salarino. Your minde is tossing on the Ocean,
10There where your Argosies with portlie sayle
Like Signiors and rich Burgars on the flood,
Or as it were the Pageants of the sea,
Doe ouer-peere the petty traffiquers
That cursie to them do them reuerence
15As they flie by them with theyr wouen wings.
Salanio. Beleeue mee sir, had I such venture forth,
The better part of my affections would
Be with my hopes abroade. I should be still
Plucking the grasse to know where sits the wind,
20Piring in Maps for ports, and peers and rodes:
And euery obiect that might make me feare
Mis-fortune to my ventures, out of doubt
Would make me sad.
Salar. My wind cooling my broth,
25vvould blow me to an ague when I thought
vvhat harme a winde too great might doe at sea.
I should not see the sandie howre-glasse runne
But I should thinke of shallowes and of flatts,
And see my wealthy Andrew docks in sand
30Vayling her high top lower then her ribs
To kisse her buriall; should I goe to Church
And see the holy edifice of stone
And not bethinke me straight of dangerous rocks,
vvhich touching but my gentle vessels side
35vvould scatter all her spices on the streame,
Enrobe the roring waters with my silkes,
And in a word, but euen now worth this,
And now worth nothing. Shall I haue the thought
To thinke on this, and shall I lack the thought
40That such a thing bechaunc'd would make me sad?
But tell not me, I know Anthonio
Is sad to thinke vpon his merchandize.
Anth. Beleeue me no, I thanke my fortune for it
My ventures are not in one bottome trusted,
45Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
Vpon the fortune of this present yeere:
Therefore my merchandize makes me not sad.
Sola. Why then you are in loue.
Anth. Fie, fie.
50Sola. Not in loue neither: then let vs say you are sad
Because you are not merry; and twere as easie
For you to laugh and leape, and say you are merry
Because you are not sad. Now by two-headed Ianus,
Nature hath framd strange fellowes in her time:
55Some that will euermore peepe through their eyes,
And laugh like Parrats at a bagpyper.
And other of such vinigar aspect,
That theyle not shew theyr teeth in way of smile
Though Nestor sweare the iest be laughable.
60
Enter Bassanio, Lorenso, and Gratiano.
Sola. Here comes Bassanio your most noble kinsman,
Gratiano, and Lorenso. Faryewell,
We leaue you now with better company.
Sala. I would haue staid till I had made you merry,
65If worthier friends had not preuented me.
Anth. Your worth is very deere in my regard.
I take it your owne busines calls on you,
And you embrace th'occasion to depart.
Sal. Good morrow my good Lords.
70Bass. Good signiors both when shal we laugh? say, when?
You grow exceeding strange: must it be so?
Sal. Weele make our leysures to attend on yours.
Exeunt Salarino, and Solanio.
Lor. My Lord Bassanio, since you haue found Anthonio
75We two will leaue you, but at dinner time
I pray you haue in minde where we must meete.
Bass. I will not faile you.
Grat. You looke not well signior Anthonio,
You haue too much respect vpon the world:
80They loose it that doe buy it with much care,
Beleeue me you are meruailously changd.
Ant. I hold the world but as the world Gratiano,
A stage, where euery man must play a part,
And mine a sad one.
85Grati. Let me play the foole,
With mirth and laughter let old wrinckles come,
And let my liuer rather heate with wine
Then my hart coole with mortifying grones.
Why should a man whose blood is warme within,
90Sit like his grandsire, cut in Alablaster?
Sleepe when he wakes? and creepe into the Iaundies
By beeing peeuish? I tell thee what Anthonio,
I loue thee, and tis my loue that speakes:
There are a sort of men whose visages
95Doe creame and mantle like a standing pond,
And doe a wilful stilnes entertaine,
With purpose to be drest in an opinion
Of wisedome, grauitie, profound conceit,
As who should say, I am sir Oracle,
100And when I ope my lips, let no dogge barke.
O my Anthonio I doe know of these
That therefore onely are reputed wise
For saying nothing; when I am very sure
If they should speake, would almost dam those eares
105vvhich hearing them would call their brothers fooles,
Ile tell thee more of this another time.
But fish not with this melancholy baite
For this foole gudgin, this opinion:
Come good Lorenso, faryewell a while,
110Ile end my exhortation after dinner.
Loren. Well, we will leaue you then till dinner time.
I must be one of these same dumbe wise men,
For Gratiano neuer lets me speake.
Gra. Well keepe me company but two yeeres moe
115Thou shalt not know the sound of thine owne tongue.
An. Far you well, Ile grow a talker for this geare.
Gra. Thanks yfaith, for silence is onely commendable
In a neates togue dried, and a mayde not vendable.
Exeunt.
An. It is that any thing now.
120Bass. Gratiano speakes an infinite deale of nothing more then any
man in all Venice, his reasons are as two graines of wheate hid in
two bushels of chaffe: you shall seeke all day ere you finde them,
and when you haue them, they are not worth the search.
An. VVell, tell me now what Lady is the same
125To whom you swore a secrete pilgrimage
That you to day promisd to tell me of.
Bass. Tis not vnknowne to you Anthonio
How much I haue disabled mine estate,
By something showing a more swelling port
130Then my faint meanes would graunt continuance:
Nor doe I now make mone to be abridg'd
From such a noble rate, but my cheefe care
Is to come fairely of from the great debts
vvherein my time something too prodigall
135Hath left me gagd: to you Anthonio
I owe the most in money and in loue,
And from your loue I haue a warrantie
To vnburthen all my plots and purposes
How to get cleere of all the debts I owe.
140An. I pray you good Bassanio let me know it,
And if it stand as you your selfe still doe,
vvithin the eye of honour, be assurd
My purse, my person, my extreamest meanes
Lie all vnlockt to your occasions.
145Bass. In my schoole dayes, when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow of the selfe same flight
The selfe same way, with more aduised watch
To finde the other forth, and by aduenturing both,
I oft found both: I vrge this child-hood proofe
150Because what followes is pure innocence.
I owe you much, and like a wilfull youth
That which I owe is lost, but if you please
To shoote another arrow that selfe way
vvhich you did shoote the first, I doe not doubt,
155As I will watch the ayme or to find both,
Or bring your latter hazzard bake againe,
And thankfully rest debter for the first.
An. You know me well, and heerein spend but time
To wind about my loue with circumstance,
160And out of doubt you doe me now more wrong
In making question of my vttermost
Then if you had made wast of all I haue:
Then doe but say to me what I should doe
That in your knowledge may by me be done,
165And I am prest vnto it: therefore speake.
Bass. In Belmont is a Lady richly left,
And she is faire, and fairer then that word,
Of wondrous vertues, sometimes from her eyes
I did receaue faire speechlesse messages:
170Her name is Portia, nothing vndervallewd
To Catos daughter, Brutus Portia,
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth,
For the foure winds blow in from euery coast
Renowned sutors, and her sunny locks
175Hang on her temples like a golden fleece,
vvhich makes her seat of Belmont Cholchos strond,
And many Iasons come in quest of her.
O my Anthonio, had I but the meanes
To hold a riuall place with one of them,
180I haue a minde presages me such thrift
That I should questionlesse be fortunate.
Anth. Thou knowst that all my fortunes are at sea,
Neither haue I money, nor commoditie
To raise a present summe, therefore goe forth
185Try what my credite can in Venice doe,
That shall be rackt euen to the vttermost
To furnish thee to Belmont to faire Portia.
Goe presently enquire and so will I
vvhere money is, and I no question make
190To haue it of my trust, or for my sake.
Exeunt.
Enter Portia with her wayting woman Nerrissa.
Portia. By my troth Nerrissa, my little body is awearie of this
195great world.
Ner. You would be sweet Madam, if your miseries were in the
same aboundance as your good fortunes are: and yet for ought I
see, they are as sicke that surfeite with too much, as they that starue
with nothing; it is no meane happines therfore to be seated in the
200meane, superfluitie comes sooner by white haires, but competen-
cie liues longer.
Portia. Good sentences, and well pronounc'd.
Ner. They would be better if well followed.
Portia. If to do were as easie as to know what were good to do,
205Chappels had beene Churches, and poore mens cottages Princes
Pallaces, it is a good diuine that followes his owne instructions, I
can easier teach twentie what were good to be done, then to be one
of the twentie to follow mine owne teaching: the braine may de-
uise lawes for the blood, but a hote temper leapes ore a colde de-
210cree, such a hare is madnes the youth, to skippe ore the meshes of
good counsaile the cripple; but this reasoning is not in the fashion
to choose mee a husband, ô mee the word choose, I may neyther
choose who I would, nor refuse who I dislike, so is the will of a ly-
uing daughter curbd by the will of a deade father: is it not harde
215Nerrissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none.
Ner. Your Father was euer vertuous, and holy men at theyr
death haue good inspirations, therefore the lottrie that he hath deuised
in these three chests of gold, siluer, and leade, whereof who
220chooses his meaning chooses you, will no doubt neuer be chosen
by any rightlie, but one who you shall rightly loue: But what
warmth is there in your affection towardes any of these Princelie
suters that are already come?
Por. I pray thee ouer-name them, and as thou namest them, I
225will describe them, and according to my description leuell at my
affection.
Ner. First there is the Neopolitane Prince.
Por. I thats a colt indeede, for he doth nothing but talke of his
230horse, & he makes it a great appropriation to his owne good parts
that he can shoo him himselfe: I am much afeard my Ladie his
mother plaid false with a Smyth.
Ner. Than is there the Countie Palentine.
Por. Hee doth nothing but frowne (as who should say, & you
235will not haue me, choose, he heares merry tales and smiles not, I
feare hee will prooue the weeping Phylosopher when hee growes
old, beeing so full of vnmannerly sadnes in his youth,) I had rather
be married to a deaths head with a bone in his mouth, then to ey-
240ther of these: God defend me from these two.
Ner. How say you by the French Lord, Mounsier Le Boune?
Por. God made him, and therefore let him passe for a man, in
truth I knowe it is a sinne to be a mocker, but hee, why hee hath a
horse better then the Neopolitans, a better bad habite of frowning
245then the Count Palentine, he is euery man in no man, if a Trassell
sing, he falls straght a capring, he will fence with his owne shadow.
If I should marry him, I should marry twenty husbands: if hee
would despise me, I would forgiue him, for if he loue me to madnes,
I shall neuer requite him.
250Ner. What say you then to Fauconbridge, the young Barron
of England?
Por. You know I say nothing to him, for hee vnderstands not
me, nor I him: he hath neither Latine, French, nor Italian, & you
will come into the Court and sweare that I haue a poore pennie-
255worth in the English: hee is a proper mans picture, but alas vvho
can conuerse with a dumbe show? how odly hee is suted, I thinke
he bought his doublet in Italie, his round hose in Fraunce, his bon-
net in Germanie, and his behauiour euery where.
Nerrissa. What thinke you of the Scottish Lorde his neigh-
260bour?
Portia. That hee hath a neyghbourlie charitie in him, for hee
borrowed a boxe of the eare of the Englishman, and swore hee
would pay him againe when he was able: I think the Frenchman
became his suretie, and seald vnder for another.
265Ner. How like you the young Germaine, the Duke of Saxo-
nies nephew?
Por. Very vildlie in the morning when hee is sober, and most
vildly in the afternoone when he is drunke: when he is best, he is
a little worse then a man, & when he is worst he is little better then
270a beast, and the worst fall that euer fell, I hope I shall make shift
to goe without him.
Ner. Yf hee shoulde offer to choose, and choose the right Cas-
ket, you should refuse to performe your Fathers will, if you should
refuse to accept him.
275Portia. Therefore for feare of the worst, I pray thee set a deepe
glasse of Reynishe vvine on the contrarie Casket, for if the deuill
be within, and that temptation without, I knowe hee will choose
it. I will doe any thing Nerrissa ere I will be married to a spunge.
Nerrissa. You neede not feare Ladie the hauing anie of these
280Lords, they haue acquainted me with theyr determinations, which
is indeede to returne to theyr home, and to trouble you with no
more sute, vnlesse you may be wonne by some other sort thē your
Fathers imposition, depending on the Caskets.
Por. Yf I liue to be as old as Sibilla, I will die as chast as Diana,
285vnlesse I be obtained by the maner of my Fathers will: I am glad
this parcell of wooers are so reasonable, for there is not one among
them but I doate on his very absence: & I pray God graunt them
a faire departure.
Nerrissa. Doe you not remember Lady in your Fathers time, a
290Venecian a Scholler & a Souldiour that came hether in companie
of the Marquesse of Mountferrat?
Portia. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio, as I thinke so was he calld.
Ner. True maddam, hee of all the men that euer my foolish
eyes look'd vpon, was the best deseruing a faire Ladie.
295Portia. I remember him well, and I remember him worthie of
thy prayse.
How nowe, vvhat newes?
Enter a Seruingman.
Ser. The foure strangers seeke for you maddam to take theyr
300leaue: and there is a fore-runner come from a fift, the Prince of
Moroco, who brings word the Prince his Maister will be heere to
night.
Por. Yf I could bid the fift welcome with so good hart as I can
bid the other foure farewell, I should bee glad of his approch: if
305he haue the condition of a Saint, and the complexion of a deuill, I
had rather he should shriue mee then wiue mee. Come Nerrissa,
sirra goe before: whiles we shut the gate vpon one wooer, another
knocks at the doore.
Exeunt.
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.
Enter Morochus a tawnie Moore all in white, and three
or foure followers accordingly, with Portia,
Nerrissa, and their traine.
495Morocho. Mislike me not for my complexion,
The shadowed liuerie of the burnisht sunne,
To whom I am a neighbour, and neere bred.
Bring me the fayrest creature North-ward borne,
Where Phaebus fire scarce thawes the ysicles,
500And let vs make incyzion for your loue,
To proue whose blood is reddest, his or mine.
I tell thee Lady this aspect of mine
Hath feard the valiant, (by my loue I sweare)
The best regarded Virgins of our Clyme
505Haue lou'd it to: I would not change this hue,
Except to steale your thoughts my gentle Queene.
Portia. In termes of choyse I am not soly led
By nice direction of a maydens eyes:
Besides, the lottrie of my destenie
510Barrs me the right of voluntary choosing:
But if my Father had not scanted me,
And hedgd me by his wit to yeeld my selfe
His wife, who winnes me by that meanes I told you,
Your selfe (renowned Prince) than stoode as faire
515As any commer I haue look'd on yet
For my affection.
Mor. Euen for that I thanke you,
Therefore I pray you leade me to the Caskets
To try my fortune: By this Symitare
520That slewe the Sophy, and a Persian Prince
That wone three fields of Sultan Solyman,
I would ore-stare the sternest eyes that looke:
Out-braue the hart most daring on the earth:
Pluck the young sucking Cubs from the she Beare,
525Yea, mock the Lyon when a rores for pray
To win the Lady. But alas, the while
If Hercules and Lychas play at dice
Which is the better man, the greater throw
May turne by fortune from the weaker hand:
530So is Alcides beaten by his rage,
And so may I, blind Fortune leading me
Misse that which one vnworthier may attaine,
And die with greeuing.
Portia. You must take your chaunce,
535And eyther not attempt to choose at all,
Or sweare before you choose, if you choose wrong
Neuer to speake to Lady afterward
In way of marriage, therefore be aduis'd.
Mor. Nor will not, come bring me vnto my chaunce.
540Portia. First forward to the temple, after dinner
Your hazard shall be made.
Mor. Good fortune then,
To make me blest or cursed'st among men.
Exeunt.
545
Enter the Clowne alone.
Clowne. Certainely, my conscience will serue me to runne from
this Iewe my Maister: the fiend is at mine elbow, and tempts me,
saying to me, Iobbe, Launcelet Jobbe, good Launcelet, or good Iobbe,
or good Launcelet Iobbe, vse your legges, take the start, runne a-
550way, my conscience sayes no; take heede honest Launcelet, take
heede honest Iobbe, or as afore-saide honest Launcelet Iobbe, doe
not runne, scorne running with thy heeles; well, the most cora-
gious fiend bids me packe, fia sayes the fiend, away sayes the fiend,
for the heauens rouse vp a braue minde sayes the fiend, and runne;
555well, my conscience hanging about the necke of my heart, sayes
very wisely to mee: my honest friend Launcelet beeing an honest
mans sonne, or rather an honest womans sonne, for indeede my
Father did something smacke, something grow to; he had a kinde
of tast; well, my conscience sayes Launcelet bouge not, bouge sayes
560the fiend, bouge not sayes my conscience, conscience say I you
counsaile wel, fiend say I you counsaile well, to be ruld by my con-
science, I should stay with the Iewe my Maister, (who God blesse
the marke) is a kinde of deuill; and to runne away from the Iewe I
should be ruled by the fiend, who sauing your reuerence is the de-
565uill himselfe: certainely the Iewe is the very deuill incarnation, and
in my conscience, my conscience is but a kinde of hard consci-
ence, to offer to counsaile mee to stay with the Iewe; the fiend
giues the more friendly counsaile: I will runne fiend, my heeles
are at your commaundement, I will runne.
570
Enter old Gobbo with a basket.
Gobbo. Maister young-man, you I pray you, which is the way
to Maister Iewes?
Launcelet. O heauens, this is my true begotten Father, who be-
ing more then sand blinde, high grauell blinde, knowes me not, I
575will try confusions with him.
Gobbo. Maister young Gentleman, I pray you which is the way
to Maister Iewes.
Launcelet. Turne vp on your right hand at the next turning,
but at the next turning of all on your left; marry at the very next
580turning turne of no hand, but turne downe indirectly to the Iewes
house.
Gobbo. Be Gods sonties twill be a hard way to hit, can you tell
mee whether one Launcelet that dwels with him, dwell with him
or no.
585Launcelet. Talke you of young Maister Launcelet, marke mee
nowe, nowe will I raise the waters; talke you of young Maister
Launcelet.
Gobbo. No Maister sir, but a poore mans Sonne, his Father
though I say't is an honest exceeding poore man, and God bee
590thanked well to liue.
Launce. Well, let his Father be what a will, wee talke of young
Maister Launcelet.
Gob. Your worships friend and Launcelet sir.
Launce. But I pray you ergo olde man, ergo I beseech you, talke
595you of young Maister Launcelet.
Gob. Of Launcelet ant please your maistership.
Launce. Ergo Maister Launcelet, talke not of maister Launcelet
Father, for the young Gentleman according to fates and deste-
nies, and such odd sayings, the sisters three, and such braunches of
600learning, is indeede deceased, or as you would say in plaine termes,
gone to heauen.
Gobbo. Marry God forbid, the boy was the very staffe of my
age, my very prop.
Launcelet. Doe I looke like a cudgell or a houell post, a staffe,
605or a prop: doe you know me Father.
Gobbo. Alacke the day, I knowe you not young Gentleman,
but I pray you tell mee, is my boy GOD rest his soule aliue or
dead.
Launcelet. Doe you not know me Father.
610Gobbo. Alack sir I am sand blind, I know you not.
Launcelet. Nay, in deede if you had your eyes you might fayle
of the knowing mee: it is a wise Father that knowes his ovvne
childe. Well, olde man, I will tell you newes of your sonne, giue
mee your blessing, trueth will come to light, muder cannot bee
615hidde long, a mannes Sonne may, but in the ende trueth vvill
out.
Gobbo. Pray you sir stand vp, I am sure you are not Launcelet
my boy.
Launce. Pray you let's haue no more fooling, about it, but giue
620mee your blessing: I am Launcelet your boy that was, your sonne
that is, your child that shall be.
Gob. I cannot thinke you are my sonne.
Launc. I know not what I shall think of that: but I am Launce-
623.1let the Iewes man, and I am sure Margerie your wife is my mo-
ther.
625Gob. Her name is Margerie in deede, ile be sworne if thou bee
Launcelet, thou art mine owne flesh and blood: Lord worshipt
might he be, what a beard hast thou got; thou hast got more haire
on thy chinne, then Dobbin my philhorse hase on his taile.
Launce. It should seeme then that Dobbins taile growes back-
630ward. I am sure hee had more haire of his taile then I haue of my
face when I lost saw him.
Gob. Lord how art thou changd: how doost thou and thy Ma-
ster agree, I haue brought him a present; how gree you now?
Launce. Well, well, but for mine owne part, as I haue set vp my
635rest to runne away, so I will not rest till I haue runne some ground;
my Maister's a very Iewe, giue him a present, giue him a halter, I
am famisht in his seruice. You may tell euery finger I haue with
my ribs: Father I am glad you are come, giue me your present to
one Maister Bassanio, who in deede giues rare newe Lyuories, if I
640serue not him, I will runne as farre as God has any ground. O rare
fortune, heere comes the man, to him Father, for I am a Iewe if I
serue the Iewe any longer.
Enter Bassanio with a follower or two.
Bass. You may doe so, but let it be so hasted that supper be ready
645at the farthest by fiue of the clocke: see these Letters deliuered,
put the Lyueries to making, and desire Gratiano to come anone to
my lodging.
Launce. To him Father.
Gob. God blesse your worship.
650Bass. Gramercie, wouldst thou ought with me.
Gobbe. Heere's my sonne sir, a poore boy.
Launce. Not a poore boy sir, but the rich Iewes man that would
sir as my Father shall specifie.
Gob. He hath a great infection sir, as one would say to serue.
655Lau. Indeede the short and the long is, I serue the Iewe, & haue
a desire as my Father shall specifie.
Gob. His Maister and he (sauing your worships reuerence) are
scarce catercosins,
Lau. To be briefe, the very truth is, that the Iewe hauing done
660me wrong, dooth cause me as my Father being I hope an old man
shall frutifie vnto you.
Gob. I haue heere a dish of Doues that I would bestow vppon
your worship, and my sute is.
Lau. In very briefe, the sute is impertinent to my selfe, as your
665worship shall knowe by this honest old man, and though I say it,
though old man, yet poore man my Father.
Bass. One speake for both, what would you?
Laun. Serue you sir.
Gob. That is the very defect of the matter sir.
670Bass. I know thee well, thou hast obtaind thy sute,
Shylocke thy Maister spoke with me this day,
And hath preferd thee, if it be preferment
To leaue a rich Iewes seruice, to become
The follower of so poore a Gentleman.
675Clowne. The old prouerb is very well parted betweene my Maister
Shylocke and you sir, you haue the grace of God sir, and hee
hath enough.
Bass. Thou speakst it well; goe Father with thy Sonne
Take leaue of thy old Maister, and enquire
680My lodging out, giue him a Lyuerie
More garded then his fellowes: see it done.
Clowne. Father in, I cannot get a seruice, no, I haue nere a tong
in my head, wel: if any man in Italy haue a fayrer table which
dooth offer to sweare vpon a booke, I shall haue good fortune;
685goe too, heere's a simple lyne of life, heeres a small tryfle of wiues,
alas, fifteene wiues is nothing, a leuen widdowes and nine maydes
is a simple comming in for one man, and then to scape drowning
thrice, and to be in perrill of my life with the edge of a featherbed,
heere are simple scapes: vvell, if Fortune be a woman she's a good
690wench for this gere: Father come, ile take my leaue of the Iewe in
the twinkling.
Exit Clowne.
Bass. I pray thee good Leonardo thinke on this,
These things being bought and orderly bestowed
Returne in hast, for I doe feast to night
695My best esteemd acquaintance, hie thee goe.
Leon. My best endeuours shall be done heerein.
Exit Leonardo.
Enter Gratiano.
Grati. Where's your Maister.
Leonar. Yonder sir he walkes.
700Grati. Signior Bassanio.
Bass. Gratiano.
Gra. I haue sute to you.
Bass. You haue obtaind it.
Gra. You must not deny me, I must goe with you to Belmont.
705Bass. Why then you must but heare thee Gratiano,
Thou art to wild, to rude, and bold of voyce,
Parts that become thee happily enough,
And in such eyes as ours appeare not faults
But where thou art not knowne; why there they show
710Somthing too liberall, pray thee take paine
To allay with some cold drops of modestie
Thy skipping spirit, least through thy wild behauiour
I be misconstred in the place I goe to,
And loose my hopes.
715Gra. Signor Bassanio, heare me,
Yf I doe not put on a sober habite,
Talke with respect, and sweare but now and than,
Weare prayer bookes in my pocket, looke demurely,
Nay more, while grace is saying hood mine eyes
720Thus with my hat, and sigh and say amen:
Vse all the obseruance of ciuillity
Like one well studied in a sad ostent
To please his Grandam, neuer trust me more.
Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing.
725Gra. Nay but I barre to night, you shall not gage me
By what we doe to night.
Bass. No that were pitty,
I would intreate you rather to put on
Your boldest sute of mirth, for we haue friends
730That purpose merriment: but far you well,
I haue some busines.
Gra. And I must to Lorenso and the rest,
But we will visite you at supper time.
Exeunt.
Enter Iessica and the Clowne.
735Jessica. I am sorry thou wilt leaue my Father so,
Our house is hell, and thou a merry deuill
Didst rob it of some tast of tediousnes,
But far thee well, there is a ducat for thee,
And Launcelet, soone at supper shalt thou see
740Lorenso, who is thy new Maisters guest,
Giue him this Letter, doe it secretly,
And so farwell: I would not haue my Father
See me in talke with thee.
Clowne. Adiew, teares exhibit my tongue, most beautifull Pagan,
745most sweete Iewe, if a Christian doe not play the knaue and
get thee, I am much deceaued; but adiew, these foolish drops doe
somthing drowne my manly spirit: adiew.
Jessica. Farwell good Launcelet.
Alack, what heynous sinne is it in me
750To be ashamed to be my Fathers child,
But though I am a daughter to his blood
I am not to his manners: ô Lorenso
Yf thou keepe promise I shall end this strife,
Become a Christian and thy louing wife.
Exit.
755
Enter Gratiano, Lorenso, Salaryno, and Salanio.
Loren. Nay, we will slinke away in supper time,
Disguise vs at my lodging, and returne all in an houre.
Gratia. We haue not made good preparation.
Salari. We haue not spoke vs yet of Torch-bearers,
760Solanio. Tis vile vnlesse it may be quaintly ordered,
And better in my minde not vndertooke.
Loren. Tis now but foure of clocke, we haue two houres
To furnish vs; friend Launcelet whats the newes.
Enter Launcelet.
Launcelet. And it shal please you to breake vp this, it shal seeme
765to signifie.
Loren. I know the hand, in faith tis a faire hand,
And whiter then the paper it writ on
Is the faire hand that writ.
Gratia. Loue, newes in faith.
770Launce. By your leaue sir.
Loren. Whither goest thou.
Launc. Marry sir to bid my old Maister the Iewe to sup to night
with my new Maister the Christian.
775Loren. Hold heere take this, tell gentle Iessica
I will not faile her, speake it priuatly,
Goe Gentlemen, will you prepare you for this maske to night,
I am prouided of a Torch-bearer.
Exit Clowne.
Sal. I marry, ile be gone about it straite.
780Sol. And so will I.
Loren. Meete me and Gratiano at Gratianos lodging
Some houre hence.
Sal. Tis good we doe so.
Exit.
Gratia. Was not that Letter from faire Iessica.
785Loren. I must needes tell thee all, she hath directed
How I shall take her from her Fathers house,
What gold and iewels she is furnisht with,
What Pages sute she hath in readines,
Yf ere the Iewe her Father come to heauen,
790Yt will be for his gentle daughters sake,
And neuer dare misfortune crosse her foote,
Vnlesse she doe it vnder this excuse,
That she is issue to a faithlesse Iewe:
Come goe with me, pervse this as thou goest,
795Faire Jessica shall be my Torch-bearer.
Exit.
Enter Iewe and his man that was the Clowne.
Iewe. Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy iudge,
The difference of old Shylocke and Bassanio;
What Iessica, thou shalt not gurmandize
800As thou hast done with mee: vvhat Iessica,
and sleepe, and snore, and rend apparraile out.
Why Iessica I say.
Clowne. Why Iessica.
Shy. Who bids thee call? I doe not bid thee call.
805Clow. Your vvorship was wont to tell me,
I could doe nothing without bidding.
Enter Iessica.
Iessica. Call you? vvhat is your will?
Shy. I am bid forth to supper Iessica,
810There are my keyes: but wherefore should I goe?
I am not bid for loue, they flatter me,
But yet Ile goe in hate, to feede vpon
The prodigall Christian. Iessica my girle,
looke to my house, I am right loth to goe,
815There is some ill a bruing towards my rest,
For I did dreame of money baggs to night.
Clowne. I beseech you sir goe, my young Maister
doth expect your reproch.
Shy. So doe I his.
820Clowne. And they haue conspired together, I vvill not say
you shall see a Maske, but if you doe, then it was not for nothing
that my nose fell a bleeding on black monday last, at sixe a clocke
ith morning, falling out that yeere on ashwensday was foure yeere
in thafternoone.
825Shy. What are there maskes? heare you me Iessica,
lock vp my doores, and when you heare the drumme
and the vile squealing of the wry-neckt Fiffe
clamber not you vp to the casements then
Nor thrust your head into the publique streete
830To gaze on Christian fooles with varnisht faces:
But stop my houses eares, I meane my casements,
let not the sound of shallow fopprie enter
my sober house. By Iacobs staffe I sweare
I haue no minde of feasting forth to night:
835but I will goe: goe you before me sirra,
say I will come.
Clowne. I will goe before sir.
Mistres looke out at window for all this,
there will come a Christian by
840vvill be worth a Iewes eye.
Shyl. What sayes that foole of Hagars ofspring? ha.
Iessica. His words were farewell mistris, nothing els.
Shy. The patch is kinde enough, but a huge feeder,
Snaile slow in profit, and he sleepes by day
845more then the vvild-cat: drones hiue not with me,
therefore I part with him, and part with him
to one that I would haue him helpe to wast
his borrowed purse. Well Iessica goe in,
perhaps I will returne immediatlie,
850do as I bid you, shut dores after you, fast bind, fast find.
a prouerbe neuer stale in thriftie minde.
Exit.
Ies. Farewell, and if my fortune be not crost,
I haue a Father, you a daughter lost.
Exit.
Enter the maskers Gratiano and Salerino.
855Grat. This is the penthouse vnder which Lorenzo
desired vs to make stand.
Sal. His howre is almost past.
Gra. And it is meruaile he out-dwells his howre,
for louers euer runne before the clocke.
860Sal. O tenne times faster Venus pidgions flie
to seale loues bonds new made, then they are wont
to keepe obliged faith vnforfaited.
Gra. That euer holds: who riseth from a feast
vvith that keene appetite that he sits downe?
865vvhere is the horse that doth vntread againe
his tedious measures with the vnbated fire
that he did pace them first: all things that are
are with more spirit chased then enioyd.
How like a younger or a prodigall
870the skarfed barke puts from her natiue bay
hugd and embraced by the strumpet wind,
how like the prodigall doth she returne
vvith ouer-wetherd ribbs and ragged sailes
leane, rent, and beggerd by the strumpet wind?
875
Enter Lorenzo.
Sal. Heere comes Lorenzo, more of this hereafter.
Lor. Sweet freends, your patience for my long abode
not I but my affaires haue made you waite:
vvhen you shall please to play the theeues for wiues
880Ile watch as long for you then: approch
here dwels my father Iew. Howe whose within?
Iessica aboue.
Iess. Who are you? tell me for more certainty,
Albeit Ile sweare that I doe know your tongue.
885Lor. Lorenzo and thy loue.
Iessica. Lorenzo certaine, and my loue indeed,
for who loue I so much? and now who knowes
but you Lorenzo whether I am yours?
Lor. Heauen & thy thoughts are witnes that thou art.
890Ies. Heere catch this casket, it is worth the paines,
I am glad tis night you doe not looke on me,
for I am much ashamde of my exchange:
But loue is blinde, and louers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselues commit,
895for if they could, Cupid himselfe would blush
to see me thus trans-formed to a boy.
Lor. Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer.
Ies. What, must I hold a candle to my shames,
they in themselues goodsooth are too too light.
900Why, tis an office of discouery loue,
and I should be obscurd.
Lor. So are you sweet
euen in the louely garnish of a boy, but come at once,
for the close night doth play the runaway,
905and we are staid for at Bassanios feast.
Ies. I will make fast the doores & guild my selfe
with some mo ducats, and be with you straight.
Gra. Now by my hoode a gentle, and no Iew.
Lor. Beshrow me but I loue her hartilie,
910For she is wise, if I can iudge of her,
and faire she is, if that mine eyes be true,
and true she is, as she hath proou'd herselfe:
And therefore like herselfe, wise, faire, and true,
shall she be placed in my constant soule.
Enter Iessica.
915What, art thou come, on gentleman, away,
our masking mates by this time for vs stay.
Exit.
Enter Anthonio.
An. VVhose there?
Gra. Signior Anthonio?
920Anth. Fie, fie Gratiano, where are all the rest?
Tis nine a clocke, our friends all stay for you,
No maske to night, the wind is come about
Bassanio presently will goe abord,
I haue sent twentie out to seeke for you.
925Gra. I am glad ont, I desire no more delight
then to be vndersaile, and gone to night.
Exeunt.
Enter Portia with Morrocho and both
theyr traines.
Por. Goe, draw aside the curtaines and discouer
930the seuerall caskets to this noble Prince:
Now make your choyse.
Mor. This first of gold, who this inscription beares,
Who chooseth me, shall gaine what many men desire.
The second siluer, which this promise carries,
935Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserues.
This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt,
Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath.
How shall I know if I doe choose the right?
Por. The one of them containes my picture Prince,
940if you choose that, then I am yours withall.
Mor. Some God direct my iudgement, let me see,
I will suruay th'inscriptions, back againe,
What saies this leaden casket?
Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath,
945Must giue, for what? for lead, hazard for lead?
This casket threatens men that hazard all
doe it in hope of faire aduantages:
A golden minde stoopes not to showes of drosse,
Ile then nor giue nor hazard ought for lead.
950What sayes the siluer with her virgin hue?
Who chooseth me, shal get as much as he deserues.
As much as he deserues, pause there Morocho,
and weigh thy valew with an euen hand,
If thou beest rated by thy estimation
955thou doost deserue enough, and yet enough
May not extend so farre as to the Ladie:
And yet to be afeard of my deseruing
vvere but a weake disabling of my selfe.
As much as I deserue, why thats the Ladie.
960I doe in birth deserue her, and in fortunes,
in graces, and in qualities of breeding:
but more then these, in loue I doe deserue,
vvhat if I straid no farther, but chose heere?
Lets see once more this saying grau'd in gold:
965Who chooseth me shall gaine what many men desire:
Why thats the Ladie, all the world desires her.
From the foure corners of the earth they come
to kisse this shrine, this mortall breathing Saint.
The Hircanion deserts, and the vastie wildes
970Of wide Arabia are as throughfares now
for Princes to come view faire Portia.
The waterie Kingdome, whose ambitious head
Spets in the face of heauen, is no barre
To stop the forraine spirits, but they come
975as ore a brooke to see faire Portia.
One of these three containes her heauenly picture.
Ist like that leade containes her, twere damnation
to thinke so base a thought, it were too grosse
to ribb her serecloth in the obscure graue,
980Or shall I thinke in siluer shees immurd
beeing tenne times vndervalewed to tride gold,
O sinful thought, neuer so rich a Iem
vvas set in worse then gold. They haue in England
A coyne that beares the figure of an Angell
985stampt in gold, but thats insculpt vpon:
But heere an Angell in a golden bed
lies all vvithin. Deliuer me the key:
heere doe I choose, and thriue I as I may.
Por. There take it Prince, and if my forme lie there
990then I am yours?
Mor. O hell! what haue wee heare, a carrion death,
vvithin whose emptie eye there is a written scroule,
Ile reade the writing.
All that glisters is not gold,
995Often haue you heard that told,
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold,
Guilded timber doe wormes infold:
Had you beene as wise as bold,
1000Young in limbs, in iudgement old,
Your aunswere had not beene inscrold,
Fareyouwell, your sute is cold.
Mor. Cold indeede and labour lost,
Then farewell heate, and welcome frost:
1005Portia adiew, I haue too greeu'd a hart
To take a tedious leaue: thus loosers part.
Exit.
Por. A gentle riddance, draw the curtaines, go,
Let all of his complexion choose me so.
Exeunt.
Enter Salarino and Solanio.
1010Sal. Why man I saw Bassanio vnder sayle,
vvith him is Gratiano gone along;
and in theyr ship I am sure Lorenzo is not.
Sola. The villaine Iew with outcries raisd the Duke,
vvho went with him to search Bassanios ship.
1015Sal. He came too late, the ship was vndersaile,
But there the Duke was giuen to vnderstand
that in a Gondylo were seene together
Lorenzo and his amorous Iessica.
Besides, Anthonio certified the Duke
1020they were not with Bassanio in his ship.
Sol. I neuer heard a passion so confusd,
So strange, outragious, and so variable
as the dogge Iew did vtter in the streets,
My daughter, ô my ducats, ô my daughter,
1025Fled with a Christian, ô my Christian ducats.
Iustice, the law, my ducats, and my daughter,
A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats
of double ducats, stolne from me by my daughter,
and Iewels, two stones, two rich and precious stones,
1030Stolne by my daughter: iustice, find the girle,
shee hath the stones vpon her, and the ducats.
Sal. Why all the boyes in Venice follow him,
crying his stones, his daughter, and his ducats.
Sola. Let good Anthonio looke he keepe his day
1035or he shall pay for this.
Sal. Marry well remembred,
I reasond with a Frenchman yesterday,
vvho told me, in the narrow seas that part
the French and English, there miscaried
1040a vessell of our country richly fraught:
I thought vpon Anthonio when he told me,
and wisht in silence that it were not his.
Sol. You were best to tell Anthonio what you heare,
Yet doe not suddainely, for it may greeue him.
1045Sal. A kinder gentleman treades not the earth,
I saw Bassanio and Anthonio part,
Bassanio told him he would make some speede
of his returne: he aunswered, doe not so,
slumber not busines for my sake Bassanio,
1050but stay the very riping of the time,
and for the Iewes bond which he hath of me
let it not enter in your minde of loue:
be merry, and imploy your cheefest thoughts
to courtship, and such faire ostents of loue
1055as shall conueniently become you there,
And euen there his eye being big with teares,
turning his face, he put his hand behind him,
and with affection wondrous sencible
He wrung Bassanios hand, and so they parted.
1060Sol. I thinke hee onely loues the world for him,
I pray thee let vs goe and finde him out
and quicken his embraced heauines
vvith some delight or other.
Sal. Doe we so.
Exeunt.
1065
Enter Nerrissa and a Seruiture.
Ner. Quick, quick I pray thee, draw the curtain strait,
The Prince of Arragon hath tane his oath,
and comes to his election presently.
Enter Arrogon, his trayne, and Portia.
1070Por. Behold, there stand the caskets noble Prince,
yf you choose that wherein I am containd
straight shall our nuptiall rights be solemniz'd:
but if you faile, without more speech my Lord
you must be gone from hence immediatly.
1075Arra. I am enioynd by oath to obserue three things,
First, neuer to vnfold to any one
vvhich casket twas I chose; next, if I faile
of the right casket, neuer in my life
to wooe a maide in way of marriage:
1080lastly, if I doe faile in fortune of my choyse,
immediatly to leaue you, and be gone.
Por. To these iniunctions euery one doth sweare
that comes to hazard for my worthlesse selfe.
Arr. And so haue I addrest me, fortune now
1085To my harts hope: gold, siluer, and base lead.
Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath.
You shall looke fairer ere I giue or hazard.
What saies the golden chest, ha, let me see,
Who chooseth me, shall gaine what many men desire,
1090What many men desire, that many may be meant
by the foole multitude that choose by show,
not learning more then the fond eye doth teach,
which pries not to th interiour, but like the Martlet
Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
1095Euen in the force and rode of casualty.
I will not choose what many men desire,
Because I will not iumpe with common spirits,
And ranke me with the barbarous multitudes.
Why then to thee thou siluer treasure house,
1100Tell me once more what title thou doost beare;
Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserues,
And well sayde to; for who shall goe about
To cosen Fortune, and be honourable
vvithout the stampe of merrit, let none presume
1105To weare an vndeserued dignity:
O that estates, degrees, and offices,
vvere not deriu'd corruptly, and that cleare honour
vvere purchast by the merrit of the wearer,
How many then should couer that stand bare?
1110How many be commaunded that commaund?
How much low peasantry would then be gleaned
From the true seede of honour? and how much honour
Pickt from the chaft and ruin of the times,
To be new varnist; well but to my choise.
1115Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserues,
I will assume desert; giue me a key for this,
And instantly vnlocke my fortunes heere.
Portia. Too long a pause for that which you finde there.
Arrag. What's heere, the pourtrait of a blinking idiot
1120Presenting me a shedule, I will reade it:
How much vnlike art thou to Portia?
How much vnlike my hopes and my deseruings.
Who chooseth me, shall haue as much as he deserues?
Did I deserue no more then a fooles head,
1125Is that my prize, are my deserts no better?
Portia. To offend and iudge are distinct offices,
And of opposed natures.
Arrag. What is heere?
The fier seauen times tried this,
1130Seauen times tried that iudement is,
That did neuer choose amis,
Some there be that shadowes kis.
Such haue but a shadowes blis:
There be fooles aliue Iwis
1135Siluerd o're, and so was this.
Take what wife you will to bed,
J will euer be your head:
So be gone, you are sped.
Arrag. Still more foole I shall appeare
1140By the time I linger heere,
With one fooles head I came to woo,
But I goe away with two.
Sweet adiew, ile keepe my oath,
Paciently to beare my wroath.
1145Portia. Thus hath the candle singd the moath:
O these deliberate fooles when they doe choose,
They haue the wisedome by their wit to loose.
Nerriss. The auncient saying is no herisie,
Hanging and wiuing goes by destinie.
1150Portia. Come draw the curtaine Nerrissa.
Enter Messenger.
Mess. Where is my Lady.
Portia. Heere, what would my Lord?
Mess. Madame, there is a-lighted at your gate
1155A young Venetian, one that comes before
To signifie th'approching of his Lord,
From whom he bringeth sensible regreets;
To wit, (besides commends and curtious breath)
Gifts of rich valiew; yet I haue not seene
1160So likely an Embassador of loue.
A day in Aprill neuer came so sweete
To show how costly Sommer was at hand,
As this fore-spurrer comes before his Lord.
Portia. No more I pray thee, I am halfe a-feard
1165Thou wilt say anone he is some kin to thee,
Thou spendst such high day wit in praysing him:
Come come Nerryssa, for I long to see
Quick Cupids Post that comes so mannerly.
Nerryss. Bassanio Lord, loue if thy will it be.
Exeunt.
1170
Solanio and Salarino.
Solanio. Now what newes on the Ryalto?
Salari. Why yet it liues there vncheckt, that Anthonio hath a ship
of rich lading wrackt on the narrow Seas; the Goodwins I thinke
1175they call the place, a very dangerous flat, and fatall, where the car-
casses of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip report
be an honest woman of her word.
Solanio. I would she were as lying a gossip in that, as euer knapt
Ginger, or made her neighbours beleeue she wept for the death of
1180a third husband: but it is true, without any slips of prolixity, or
crossing the plaine high way of talke, that the good Anthonio, the
honest Anthonio; ô that I had a tytle good enough to keepe his
name company.
Salari. Come, the full stop.
1185Solanio. Ha, what sayest thou, why the end is, he hath lost a ship.
Salari. I would it might proue the end of his losses.
Solanio. Let me say amen betimes, least the deuil crosse my prai-
er, for heere he comes in the likenes of a Iewe. How now Shylocke,
what newes among the Merchants?
Enter Shylocke.
1190Shy. You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my daugh-
ters flight.
Salari. Thats certaine, I for my part knew the Taylor that made
the wings she flew withall.
Solan. And Shylocke for his own part knew the bird was flidge,
1195and then it is the complexion of them all to leaue the dam.
Shy. She is damnd for it.
Salari. Thats certaine, if the deuill may be her Iudge.
Shy. My owne flesh and blood to rebell.
Sola. Out vpon it old carrion, rebels it at these yeeres.
1200Shy. I say my daughter is my flesh and my blood.
Salari. There is more difference betweene thy flesh and hers,
then betweene Iet and Iuorie, more betweene your bloods, then
there is betweene red vvine and rennish: but tell vs, doe you heare
whether Anthonio haue had any losse at sea or no?
1205Shy. There I haue another bad match, a bankrout, a prodigall,
who dare scarce shewe his head on the Ryalto, a begger that was
vsd to come so smug vpon the Mart: let him looke to his bond,
he was wont to call me vsurer, let him looke to his bond, hee was
wont to lende money for a Christian cursie, let him looke to his
1210bond.
Salari. Why I am sure if he forfaite, thou wilt not take his flesh,
what's that good for?
Shyl. To baite fish with all, if it will feede nothing else, it will
1215feede my reuenge; hee hath disgrac'd me, and hindred me halfe a
million, laught at my losses, mockt at my gaines, scorned my Na-
tion, thwarted my bargaines, cooled my friends, heated mine ene-
mies, and whats his reason, I am a Iewe: Hath not a Iewe eyes,
hath not a Iewe hands, organs, dementions, sences, affections, passions,
1220fed with the same foode, hurt with the same weapons, sub-
to the same diseases, healed by the same meanes, warmed and
cooled by the same Winter and Sommer as a Christian is: if you
pricke vs doe we not bleede, if you tickle vs doe wee not laugh, if
you poyson vs doe wee not die, and if you wrong vs shall wee not
1225reuenge, if we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
If a Iewe wrong a Christian, what is his humillity, reuenge? If a
Christian wrong a Iewe, what should his sufferance be by Christi-
an example, why reuenge? The villanie you teach me I will exe-
cute, and it shall goe hard but I will better the instruction.
1230
Enter a man from Anthonio.
Gentlemen, my maister Anthonio is at his house, and desires to
speake with you both.
Saleri. We haue beene vp and downe to seeke him.
Enter Tuball.
1235Solanio. Heere comes another of the Tribe, a third cannot bee
matcht, vnlesse the deuill himselfe turne Iewe.
Exeunt Gentlemen.
Enter Tuball.
Shy. How now Tuball, what newes from Genowa, hast thou
found my daughter?
1240Tuball. I often came where I did heare of her, but cannot finde
her.
Shylocke. Why there, there, there, there, a diamond gone cost me
two thousand ducats in Franckford, the curse neuer fell vpon our
Nation till now, I neuer felt it till nowe, two thousand ducats in
1245that, & other precious precious iewels; I would my daughter were
dead at my foote, and the iewels in her eare: would she were hearst
at my foote, and the ducats in her coffin: no newes of them, why
so? and I know not whats spent in the search: why thou losse vpon
losse, the theefe gone with so much, and so much to finde the
1250theefe, and no satisfaction, no reuenge, nor no ill lucke stirring but
what lights a my shoulders, no sighs but a my breathing, no teares
but a my shedding.
Tuball. Yes, other men haue ill lucke to, Anthonio as I heard
in Genowa?
1255Shy. What, what, what, ill lucke, ill lucke.
Tuball. Hath an Argosie cast away comming from Tripolis.
Shy. I thank God, I thank God, is it true, is it true.
Tuball. I spoke with some of the Saylers that escaped the wrack.
Shy. I thank thee good Tuball, good newes, good newes: ha ha,
1260heere in Genowa.
Tuball. Your daughter spent in Genowa, as I heard, one night
fourescore ducats.
Shy. Thou stickst a dagger in me, I shall neuer see my gold a-
gaine, foure score ducats at a sitting, foure score ducats.
1265Tuball. There came diuers of Anthonios creditors in my com-
pany to Venice, that sweare, he cannot choose but breake.
Shy. I am very glad of it, ile plague him, ile torture him, I am
glad of it.
Tuball. One of them shewed mee a ring that hee had of your
1270daughter for a Monky.
Shy. Out vpon her, thou torturest mee Tuball, it was my Tur-
kies, I had it of Leah when I was a Batcheler: I would not haue
giuen it for a Wildernes of Monkies.
Tuball. But Anthonio is certainly vndone.
1275Shy. Nay, that's true, that's very true, goe Tuball fee me an Offi-
cer, bespeake him a fortnight before, I will haue the hart of him if
he forfeite, for were he out of Venice I can make what merchan-
dize I will: goe Tuball, and meete me at our Sinagogue, goe good
Tuball, at our Sinagogue Tuball.
Exeunt.
1280
Enter Bassanio, Portia, Gratiano, and all
their traynes.
Portia. I pray you tarry, pause a day or two
Before you hazard, for in choosing wrong
I loose your companie; therefore forbeare a while,
1285Theres something tells me (but it is not loue)
I would not loose you, and you know your selfe,
Hate counsailes not in such a quallity;
But least you should not vnderstand me well,
And yet a mayden hath no tongue, but thought,
1290I would detaine you heere some moneth or two
before you venture for me. I could teach you
how to choose right, but then I am forsworne,
So will I neuer be, so may you misse me,
But if you doe, youle make me wish a sinne,
1295That I had beene forsworne: Beshrow your eyes,
They haue ore-lookt me and deuided me,
One halfe of me is yours, the other halfe yours,
Mine owne I would say: but if mine then yours,
And so all yours; ô these naughty times
1300puts barres betweene the ovvners and their rights,
And so though yours, not yours, (proue it so)
Let Fortune goe to hell for it, not I.
I speake too long, but tis to peize the time,
To ech it, and to draw it out in length,
1305To stay you from election.
Bass. Let me choose,
For as I am, I liue vpon the racke.
Por. Vpon the racke Bassanio, then confesse
vvhat treason there is mingled with your loue.
1310Bass. None but that vgly treason of mistrust,
vvhich makes me feare th'inioying of my Loue,
There may as well be amity and life
Tweene snow and fire, as treason and my loue.
Por. I but I feare you speake vpon the racke
1315vvhere men enforced doe speake any thing.
Bass. Promise me life, and ile confesse the truth.
Portia. Well then, confesse and liue.
Bass. Confesse and loue
had beene the very sum of my confession:
1320O happy torment, when my torturer
doth teach me aunsweres for deliuerance:
But let me to my fortune and the caskets.
Portia. Away then, I am lockt in one of them,
If you doe loue me, you will finde me out.
1325Nerryssa and the rest, stand all aloofe,
Let musique sound while he doth make his choyse,
Then if he loose he makes a Swan-like end,
Fading in musique. That the comparison
may stand more proper, my eye shall be the streame
1330and watry death-bed for him: he may win,
And what is musique than? Than musique is
euen as the flourish, when true subiects bowe
to a new crowned Monarch: Such it is,
As are those dulcet sounds in breake of day,
1335That creepe into the dreaming bride-groomes eare,
And summon him to marriage. Now he goes
vvith no lesse presence, but with much more loue
Then young Alcides, when he did redeeme
The virgine tribute, payed by howling Troy
1340To the Sea-monster: I stand for sacrifice,
The rest aloofe are the Dardanian vviues:
With bleared visages come forth to view
The issue of th'exploit: Goe Hercules,
Liue thou, I liue with much much more dismay,
1345I view the fight, then thou that mak'st the fray.
A Song the whilst Bassanio comments on the caskets
to himselfe.
Tell me where is fancie bred,
Or in the hart, or in the head,
1350How begot, how nourished? Replie, replie.
It is engendred in the eye,
With gazing fed, and Fancie dies:
In the cradle where it lies
Let vs all ring Fancies knell.
1355Ile begin it.
Ding, dong, bell.
All.
Ding, dong, bell.
Bass. So may the outward showes be least themselues,
The world is still deceau'd with ornament
1360In Law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But being season'd with a gracious voyce,
Obscures the show of euill. In religion
What damned error but some sober brow
vvill blesse it, and approue it with a text,
1365Hiding the grosnes with faire ornament:
There is no voyce so simple, but assumes
Some marke of vertue on his outward parts;
How many cowards whose harts are all as false
As stayers of sand, weare yet vpon their chins
1370The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars,
vvho inward searcht, haue lyuers white as milke,
And these assume but valours excrement
To render them redoubted. Looke on beauty,
And you shall see tis purchast by the weight,
1375vvhich therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest that weare most of it:
So are those crisped snaky golden locks
vvhich maketh such wanton gambols with the wind
Vpon supposed fairenes, often knowne
1380To be the dowry of a second head,
The scull that bred them in the Sepulcher.
Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dangerous sea: the beautious scarfe
vailing an Indian beauty; In a word,
1385The seeming truth which cunning times put on
To intrap the wisest. Therefore then thou gaudy gold,
Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee,
Nor none of thee thou pale and common drudge
tweene man and man: but thou, thou meager lead
1390vvhich rather threatenst then dost promise ought,
thy palenes moues me more then eloquence,
and heere choose I, ioy be the consequence.
Por. How all the other passions fleet to ayre,
As doubtfull thoughts, and rash imbrac'd despaire:
1395And shyddring feare, and greene-eyed iealousie.
O loue be moderate, allay thy extasie,
In measure raine thy ioy, scant this excesse,
I feele too much thy blessing, make it lesse
for feare I surfeit.
1400Bas. What finde I heere?
Faire Portias counterfeit. What demy God
hath come so neere creation? moue these eyes?
Or whither riding on the balls of mine
seeme they in motion? Heere are seuerd lips
1405parted with suger breath, so sweet a barre
should sunder such sweet friends: heere in her haires
the Paynter playes the Spyder, and hath wouen
a golden mesh tyntrap the harts of men
faster then gnats in cobwebs, but her eyes
1410how could he see to doe them? hauing made one,
me thinkes it should haue power to steale both his
and leaue it selfe vnfurnisht: Yet looke how farre
the substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
in vnderprysing it, so farre this shadow
1415doth limpe behind the substance. Heeres the scroule,
the continent and summarie of my fortune.
You that choose not by the view
Chaunce as faire, and choose as true:
Since this fortune falls to you,
1420Be content, and seeke no new.
If you be well pleasd with this,
and hold your fortune for your blisse,
Turne you where your Lady is,
And claime her with a louing kis.
1425A gentle scroule: Faire Lady, by your leaue,
I come by note to giue, and to receaue,
Like one of two contending in a prize
That thinks he hath done well in peoples eyes:
Hearing applause and vniuersall shoute,
1430Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt
vvhether those peales of praise be his or no,
So thrice faire Lady stand I euen so,
As doubtfull whether what I see be true,
Vntill confirmd, signd, ratified by you.
1435Por. You see me Lord Bassanio where I stand,
such as I am; though for my selfe alone
I would not be ambitious in my wish
to wish my selfe much better, yet for you,
I would be trebled twentie times my selfe,
1440a thousand times more faire, tenne thousand times
more rich, that onely to stand high in your account,
I might in vertues, beauties, liuings, friends
exceede account: but the full summe of me
is sume of something: which to terme in grosse,
1445is an vnlessond girle, vnschoold, vnpractized,
happy in this, she is not yet so old
but she may learne: happier then this,
shee is not bred so dull but she can learne;
happiest of all, is that her gentle spirit
1450commits it selfe to yours to be directed,
as from her Lord, her gouernour, her King.
My selfe, and what is mine, to you and yours
is now conuerted. But now I was the Lord
of this faire mansion, maister of my seruants,
1455Queene ore my selfe: and euen now, but now,
this house, these seruaunts, and this same my selfe
are yours, my Lords, I giue them with this ring,
vvhich when you part from, loose, or giue away,
let it presage the ruine of your loue,
1460and be my vantage to exclaime on you.
Bass. Maddam, you haue bereft me of all words,
onely my blood speakes to you in my vaines,
and there is such confusion in my powers,
as after some oration fairely spoke
1465by a beloued Prince, there doth appeare
among the buzzing pleased multitude.
Where euery somthing beeing blent together,
turnes to a wild of nothing, saue of ioy
exprest, and not exprest: but when this ring
1470parts from this finger, then parts life from hence,
ô then be bold to say Bassanios dead.
Ner. My Lord and Lady, it is now our time
that haue stoode by and seene our wishes prosper,
to cry good ioy, good ioy my Lord and Lady.
1475Gra. My Lord Bassanio, and my gentle Lady,
I wish you all the ioy that you can wish:
for I am sure you can wish none from me:
and when your honours meane to solemnize
the bargaine of your fayth: I doe beseech you
1480euen at that time I may be married to.
Bass. With all my hart, so thou canst get a wife.
Gra. I thanke your Lordship, you haue got me one.
My eyes my Lord can looke as swift as yours:
you saw the mistres, I beheld the mayd:
1485You lou'd, I lou'd for intermission,
No more pertaines to me my lord then you;
your fortune stood vpon the caskets there,
and so did mine to as the matter falls:
for wooing heere vntill I swet againe,
1490and swearing till my very rough was dry
with oathes of loue, at last, if promise last
I got a promise of this faire one heere
to haue her loue: prouided that your fortune
atchiu'd her mistres.
1495Por. Is this true Nerrissa?
Ner. Maddam it is, so you stand pleasd withall.
Bass. And doe you Gratiano meane good fayth?
Gra. Yes faith my Lord.
Bass. Our feast shalbe much honored in your mariage.
1500Gra. Wele play with them the first boy for a thousand ducats.
Ner. What and stake downe?
Gra. No, we shall nere win at that sport and stake downe.
But who comes heere? Lorenzo and his infidell?
vvhat, and my old Venecian friend Salerio?
1505
Enter Lorenzo, Iessica, and Salerio a messenger
from Venice.
Bassa. Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hether,
if that the youth of my newe intrest heere
haue power to bid you welcome: by your leaue
1510I bid my very friends and countrymen
sweet Portia welcome.
Por. So doe I my Lord, they are intirely welcome.
Lor. I thanke your honour, for my part my Lord
my purpose was not to haue seene you heere,
1515but meeting with Salerio by the way
he did intreate me past all saying nay
to come with him along.
Sal. I did my Lord,
and I haue reason for it, Signior Anthonio
1520commends him to you.
Bass. Ere I ope his Letter
I pray you tell me how my good friend doth.
Sal. Not sicke my Lord, vnlesse it be in mind,
nor well, vnlesse in mind: his letter there
1525vvill show you his estate.
open the letter.
Gra. Nerrissa, cheere yond stranger, bid her welcom.
Your hand Salerio, what's the newes from Venice?
How doth that royall Merchant good Anthonio?
I know he will be glad of our successe,
1530We are the Iasons, we haue wone the fleece.
Sal. I would you had won the fleece that he hath lost.
Por. There are some shrowd contents in yond same paper
That steales the colour from Bassanios cheeke,
Some deere friend dead, else nothing in the world
1535could turne so much the constitution
of any constant man: what worse and worse?
With leaue Bassanio I am halfe your selfe,
and I must freely haue the halfe of any thing
that this same paper brings you.
1540Bass. O sweete Portia,
heere are a few of the vnpleasant'st words
that euer blotted paper. Gentle Lady
when I did first impart my loue to you,
I freely told you all the wealth I had
1545ranne in my vaines, I was a gentleman,
and then I told you true: and yet deere Lady
rating my selfe at nothing, you shall see
how much I was a Braggart, when I told you
my state was nothing, I should then haue told you
1550that I was worse then nothing; for indeede
I haue ingag'd my selfe to a deere friend,
ingag'd my friend to his meere enemie
to feede my meanes. Heere is a letter Lady,
the paper as the body of my friend,
1555and euery word in it a gaping wound
issuing life blood. But is it true Salerio
hath all his ventures faild, what not one hit,
from Tripolis, from Mexico and England,
from Lisbon, Barbary, and India,
1560and not one vessell scape the dreadfull touch
of Merchant-marring rocks?
Sal. Not one my Lord.
Besides, it should appeare, that if he had
the present money to discharge the Iew,
1565hee would not take it: neuer did I know
a creature that did beare the shape of man
so keene and greedie to confound a man.
He plyes the Duke at morning and at night,
and doth impeach the freedome of the state
1570if they deny him iustice. Twentie Merchants,
the Duke himselfe, and the Magnificoes
of greatest port haue all perswaded with him,
but none can driue him from the enuious plea
of forfaiture, of iustice, and his bond.
1575Iessi. When I was with him, I haue heard him sweare
to Tuball and to Chus, his country-men,
that he would rather haue Anthonios flesh
then twentie times the value of the summe
that he did owe him: and I know my lord,
1580if law, authoritie, and power denie not,
it will goe hard with poore Anthonio.
Por. Is it your deere friend that is thus in trouble?
Bass. The deerest friend to me, the kindest man,
the best conditiond and vnwearied spirit
1585in dooing curtesies: and one in whom
the auncient Romaine honour more appeares
then any that drawes breath in Italie.
Por. What summe owes he the Iew?
Bass. For me three thousand ducats.
1590Por. What no more, pay him six thousand, & deface the bond:
double sixe thousand, and then treble that,
before a friend of this discription
shall lose a haire through Bassanios fault.
First goe with me to Church, and call me wife,
1595and then away to Venice to your friend:
for neuer shall you lie by Portias side
vvith an vnquiet soule. You shall haue gold
to pay the petty debt twenty times ouer.
When it is payd, bring your true friend along,
1600my mayd Nerrissa, and my selfe meane time
vvill liue as maydes and widdowes; come away,
for you shall hence vpon your wedding day:
bid your freends welcome, show a merry cheere,
since you are deere bought, I will loue you deere.
1605But let me heare the letter of your friend.
Sweet Bassanio, my ships haue all miscaried, my Creditors growe
cruell, my estate is very low, my bond to the Iewe is forfaite, and since in
paying it, it is impossible I should liue, all debts are cleerd betweene you
and I if I might but see you at my death: notwithstanding, vse your plea-
1610sure, if your loue do not perswade you to come, let not my letter.
Por. O loue! dispatch all busines and be gone.
Bass. Since I haue your good leaue to goe away,
I will make hast; but till I come againe,
no bed shall ere be guiltie of my stay,
1615nor rest be interposer twixt vs twaine.
Exeunt.
Enter the Iew, and Salerio, and Anthonio,
and the Iaylor.
Iew. Iaylor, looke to him, tell not me of mercie,
1620this is the foole that lent out money gratis.
Iaylor, looke to him.
Ant. Heare me yet good Shylock.
Iew. Ile haue my bond, speake not against my bond,
I haue sworne an oath, that I will haue my bond:
1625thou call'dst me dogge before thou hadst a cause,
but since I am a dog, beware my phanges,
the Duke shall graunt me iustice, I do wonder
thou naughtie Iaylor that thou art so fond
to come abroade with him at his request.
1630An. I pray thee heare me speake.
Iew. Ile haue my bond. I will not heare thee speake,
Ile haue my bond, and therefore speake no more.
Ile not be made a soft and dull eyde foole,
to shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yeeld
1635to christian intercessers: follow not,
Ile haue no speaking, I will haue my bond.
Exit Iew.
Sol. It is the most impenitrable curre
that euer kept with men.
1640An. Let him alone,
Ile follow him no more with bootlesse prayers.
hee seekes my life, his reason well I know;
I oft deliuerd from his forfeytures
many that haue at times made mone to me,
1645therefore he hates me.
Sal. I am sure the Duke will neuer grant
this forfaiture to hold.
An. The Duke cannot denie the course of law:
for the commoditie that strangers haue
1650vvith vs in Venice, if it be denyed,
will much impeach the iustice of the state,
since that the trade and profit of the citty
consisteth of all Nations. Therefore goe,
these griefes and losses haue so bated me
1655that I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
to morrow, to my bloody Creditor.
Well Iaylor on, pray God Bassanio come
to see me pay his debt, and then I care not.
Exeunt.
Enter Portia, Nerrissa, Lorenzo, Iessica, and a
1660man of Portias.
Lor. Maddam, although I speake it in your presence,
you haue a noble and a true conceite
of god-like amitie, which appeares most strongly
in bearing thus the absence of your Lord.
1665But if you knew to whom you show this honour,
how true a gentleman you send releefe,
how deere a louer of my Lord your husband,
I know you would be prouder of the worke
then customarie bountie can enforce you.
1670Por. I neuer did repent for dooing good,
nor shall not now: for in companions
that doe conuerse and wast the time together,
vvhose soules doe beare an egall yoke of loue,
there must be needes a like proportion
1675of lyniaments, of manners, and of spirit;
vvhich makes me thinke that this Anthonio
beeing the bosome louer of my Lord,
must needes be like my Lord. If it be so,
How little is the cost I haue bestowed
1680in purchasing the semblance of my soule;
From out the state of hellish cruelty,
This comes too neere the praising of my selfe,
Therefore no more of it: heere other things
Lorenso I commit into your hands,
1685The husbandry and mannage of my house,
Vntill my Lords returne: for mine owne part
I haue toward heauen breath'd a secret vowe,
To liue in prayer and contemplation,
Onely attended by Nerrissa heere,
1690Vntill her husband and my Lords returne,
There is a Monastry two miles off,
And there we will abide. I doe desire you
not to denie this imposition,
the which my loue and some necessity
1695now layes vpon you.
Lorens. Madame, with all my hart,
I shall obey you in all faire commaunds.
Por. My people doe already know my mind,
And will acknowledge you and Iessica
1700in place of Lord Bassanio and my selfe.
So far you well till we shall meete againe.
Lor. Faire thoughts and happy houres attend on you.
Iessi. I wish your Ladiship all harts content.
Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleasd
1705to wish it back on you: far you well Iessica.
Exeunt.
Now Balthaser, as I haue euer found thee honest true,
So let me find thee still: take this same letter,
and vse thou all th'indeuour of a man,
In speede to Mantua, see thou render this
1710into my cosin hands Doctor Belario,
And looke what notes and garments he doth giue thee,
bring them I pray thee with imagin'd speede
vnto the Tranect, to the common Ferrie
vvhich trades to Venice; vvast no time in words
1715but get thee gone, I shall be there before thee.
Baltha. Madam, I goe with all conuenient speede.
Portia Come on Nerrissa, I haue worke in hand
That you yet know not of; weele see our husbands
before they thinke of vs?
1720Nerrissa. Shall they see vs?
Portia. They shall Nerrissa: but in such a habite,
that they shall thinke we are accomplished
vvith that we lacke; Ile hold thee any wager
vvhen we are both accoutered like young men,
1725ile proue the prettier fellow of the two,
and weare my dagger with the brauer grace,
and speake betweene the change of man and boy,
vvith a reede voyce, and turne two minsing steps
into a manly stride; and speake of frayes
1730like a fine bragging youth: and tell quaint lyes
how honorable Ladies sought my loue,
vvhich I denying, they fell sicke and dyed.
I could not doe withall: then ile repent,
and wish for all that, that I had not killd them;
1735And twenty of these punie lies ile tell,
that men shall sweare I haue discontinued schoole
aboue a twelue-moneth: I haue within my minde
a thousand raw tricks of these bragging Iacks,
vvhich I will practise.
1740Nerriss. Why, shall we turne to men?
Portia. Fie, what a question's that,
if thou wert nere a lewd interpreter:
But come, ile tell thee all my whole deuice
vvhen I am in my coach, which stayes for vs
1745at the Parke gate; and therefore hast away,
for we must measure twenty miles to day.
Exeunt.
Enter Clowne and Iessica.
Clowne. Yes truly, for looke you, the sinnes of the Father are to
be laid vpon the children, therefore I promise you, I feare you, I
1750was alwaies plaine with you, and so now I speake my agitation of
the matter: therefore be a good chere, for truly I thinke you are
damnd, there is but one hope in it that can doe you any good, and
that is but a kinde of bastard hope neither.
Iessica. And what hope is that I pray thee?
1755Clowne. Marry you may partly hope that your Father got you
not, that you are not the Iewes daughter.
Iessica. That were a kind of bastard hope in deede, so the sinnes
of my mother should be visited vpon me.
Clowne. Truly then I feare you are damnd both by father and
1760mother: thus when I shun Scilla your father, I fall into Caribdis
your mother; well, you are gone both wayes.
Iessica. I shall be sau'd by my husband, he hath made me a Chri
stian?
Clowne. Truly the more to blame he, we were Christians enow
1765before, in as many as could well liue one by another: this making
of Christians will raise the price of Hogs, if we grow all to be pork
eaters, we shall not shortly haue a rasher on the coles for mony.
Enter Lorenzo.
Iessi. Ile tell my husband Launcelet what you say, here he come?
1770Loren. I shall grow iealious of you shortly Launcelet, if you thus
get my wife into corners?
Iessica. Nay, you neede not feare vs Lorenzo, Launcelet and I are
out, he tells me flatly there's no mercy for mee in heauen, because
I am a Iewes daughter: and he sayes you are no good member of
1775the common-wealth, for in conuerting Iewes to Christians, you
raise the price of porke.
Loren. I shall aunswere that better to the common-wealth than
you can the getting vp of the Negroes belly: the Moore is vvith
child by you Launcelet?
1780Clowne. It is much that the Moore should be more then rea-
son: but if she be lesse then an honest woman, she is indeede more
then I tooke her for.
Loren. How euery foole can play vpon the word, I thinke the
best grace of wit will shortly turne into silence, and discourse grow
1785commendable in none onely but Parrats: goe in sirra, bid them
prepare for dinner?
Clowne. That is done sir, they haue all stomacks?
Loren. Goodly Lord what a wit snapper are you, than bid them
prepare dinner?
1790Clowne. That is done to sir, onely couer is the word.
Loren. Will you couer than sir?
Clowne. Not so sir neither, I know my duty.
Loren. Yet more quarrelling with occasion, wilt thou shewe
the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant; I pray thee vnderstand a
1795plaine man in his plaine meaning: goe to thy fellowes, bid them
couer the table, serue in the meate, and we will come in to dinner.
Clowne. For the table sir, it shall be seru'd in, for the meate sir, it
shall be couerd, for your comming in to dinner sir, why let it be as
humors and conceites shall gouerne.
Exit Clowne.
1800Loren. O deare discretion, how his words are suted,
The foole hath planted in his memorie
an Armie of good words, and I doe know
a many fooles that stand in better place,
garnisht like him, that for a tricksie word
1805defie the matter: how cherst thou Iessica,
And now good sweet say thy opinion,
How doost thou like the Lord Bassanios wife?
Iessi. Past all expressing, it is very meete
the Lord Bassanio liue an vpright life
1810For hauing such a blessing in his Lady,
he findes the ioyes of heauen heere on earth,
And if on earth he doe not meane it, it
in reason he should neuer come to heauen?
Why, if two Gods should play some heauenly match,
1815and on the wager lay two earthly women,
And Portia one: there must be somthing else
paund with the other, for the poore rude world
hath not her fellow.
Loren. Euen such a husband
1820hast thou of me, as she is for wife.
Iessi. Nay, but aske my opinion to of that?
Loren. I will anone, first let vs goe to dinner?
Iessi. Nay, let me praise you while I haue a stomack?
Loren. No pray thee, let it serue for table talke,
1825Then how so mere thou speakst mong other things,
I shall disgest it?
Iessi. Well, ile set you forth.
Exit.
Enter the Duke, the Magnificoes, Anthonio, Bassanio,
and Gratiano.
1830Duke. What, is Anthonio heere?
Antho. Ready, so please your grace?
Duke. I am sorry for thee, thou art come to aunswere
a stonie aduersarie, an inhumaine wretch,
vncapable of pitty, voyd, and empty
1835from any dram of mercie.
Antho. I haue heard
your grace hath tane great paines to quallifie
his rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate,
And that no lawfull meanes can carry me
1840out of his enuies reach, I doe oppose
my patience to his furie, and am armd
to suffer with a quietnes of spirit,
the very tiranny and rage of his.
Duke. Goe one and call the Iew into the Court.
1845Salerio. He is ready at the dore, he comes my Lord.
Enter Shylocke.
Duke. Make roome, and let him stand before our face.
Shylocke the world thinks, and I thinke so to
that thou but leadest this fashion of thy mallice
1850to the last houre of act, and then tis thought
thowlt shew thy mercy and remorse more strange,
than is thy strange apparant cruelty;
and where thou now exacts the penalty,
vvhich is a pound of this poore Merchants flesh,
1855thou wilt not onely loose the forfaiture,
but toucht with humaine gentlenes and loue:
Forgiue a moytie of the principall,
glauncing an eye of pitty on his losses
that haue of late so hudled on his backe,
1860Enow to presse a royall Merchant downe;
And pluck comiseration of this states
from brassie bosomes and rough harts of flints,
from stubborne Turkes, and Tarters neuer traind
to offices of tender curtesie:
1865We all expect a gentle aunswere Iewe?
Iewe. I haue possest your grace of what I purpose,
and by our holy Sabaoth haue I sworne
to haue the due and forfet of my bond,
if you deny it, let the danger light
1870vpon your charter and your Citties freedome?
Youle aske me why I rather choose to haue
a weight of carrion flesh, then to receaue
three thousand ducats: Ile not aunswer that?
But say it is my humour, is it aunswerd?
1875What if my house be troubled with a Rat,
and I be pleasd to giue ten thousand ducats
to haue it baind? vvhat, are you aunswerd yet?
Some men there are loue not a gaping pigge?
Some that are mad if they behold a Cat?
1880And others when the bagpipe sings ith nose,
cannot containe their vrine for affection.
Maisters of passion swayes it to the moode
of what it likes or loathes, now for your aunswer:
As there is no firme reason to be rendred
1885vvhy he cannot abide a gaping pigge?
vvhy he a harmelesse necessarie Cat?
vvhy he a woollen bagpipe: but of force
must yeeld to such in euitable shame,
as to offend himselfe being offended:
1890So can I giue no reason, nor I will not,
more then a lodgd hate, and a certaine loathing
I beare Anthonio, that I follow thus
a loosing sute against him? are you aunswered?
Bass. This is no aunswer thou vnfeeling man,
1895to excuse the currant of thy cruelty?
Iewe. I am not bound to please thee with my answers?
Bass. Doe all men kill the things they doe not loue?
Iewe. Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
Bass. Euery offence is not a hate at first?
1900Iewe. What wouldst thou haue a serpent sting thee twice?
Anth. I pray you think you question with the Iewe,
you may as well goe stand vpon the Beach
and bid the maine flood bate his vsuall height,
you may as vvell vse question with the Woolfe
1905the Ewe bleake for the Lambe:
You may as well forbid the mountaine of Pines
to wag their high tops, and to make no noise
vvhen they are fretten with the gusts of heauen:
You may as well doe any thing most hard
1910as seeke to soften that then which what's harder:
his Iewish hart? therefore I doe beseech you
make no moe offers, vse no farther meanes,
but with all briefe and plaine conueniencie
let me haue iudgement, and the Iewe his will?
1915Bass. For thy three thousand ducats heere is sixe?
Iewe. If euery ducat in sixe thousand ducats
vvere in sixe parts, and euery part a ducat,
I would not draw them, I would haue my bond?
Duk. How shalt thou hope for mercy rendring none?
1920Iewe. What iudgment shall I dread doing no wrong?
you haue among you many a purchast slaue,
vvhich like your Asses, and your Dogs and Mules
you vse in abiect and in slauish parts,
because you bought them, shall I say to you,
1925let them be free, marry them to your heires?
vvhy sweat they vnder burthens, let their beds
be made as soft as yours, and let their pallats
be seasond with such viands, you will aunswer
the slaues are ours, so doe I aunswer you:
1930The pound of flesh which I demaund of him
is deerely bought, as mine and I will haue it:
if you deny me, fie vpon your Law,
there is no force in the decrees of Venice:
I stand for iudgement, aunswer, shall I haue it?
1935Duke. Vpon my power I may dismisse this Court,
vnlesse Bellario a learned Doctor,
whom I haue sent for to determine this
Come heere to day?
Salerio. My Lord, heere stayes without
1940a messenger with letters from the Doctor,
new come from Padua?
Duke. Bring vs the letters? call the Messenger?
Bass. Good cheere Anthonio? what man, courage yet:
The Iew shall haue my flesh, blood, bones and all,
1945ere thou shalt loose for me one drop of blood?
Antho. I am a tainted vveather of the flocke,
meetest for death, the weakest kind of fruite
drops earliest to the ground, and so let me;
You cannot better be imployd Bassanio,
1950then to liue still and write mine Epitaph?
Enter Nerrissa.
Duke. Came you from Padua from Bellario?
Ner. From both? my L. Bellario greetes your grace?
Bass. Why doost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?
1955Iewe. To cut the forfaiture from that bankrout there?
Gratia. Not on thy soule: but on thy soule harsh Iew
thou makst thy knife keene: but no mettell can,
no, not the hangmans axe beare halfe the keenenesse
of thy sharpe enuie: can no prayers pearce thee?
1960Iewe. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.
Gratia. O be thou damnd, inexecrable dogge,
And for thy life let iustice be accusd;
Thou almost mak'st me wauer in my faith,
to hold opinion with Pythagoras,
1965that soules of Animalls infuse themselues
into the trunks of men: Thy currish spirit
gouernd a Woolfe, who hangd for humaine slaughter
euen from the gallowes did his fell soule fleete,
and whilest thou layest in thy vnhallowed dam;
1970infusd it selfe in thee: for thy desires
are vvoluish, bloody, staru'd, and rauenous.
Iewe. Till thou canst raile the seale from off my bond,
Thou but offendst thy lungs to speake so loud:
Repaire thy wit good youth, or it will fall
1975to curelesse ruine. I stand heere for law.
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
a young and learned Doctor to our Court:
Where is he?
Ner. He attendeth here hard by
1980to know your aunswer whether youle admit him.
Duke. With all my hart: some three or foure of you
goe giue him curteous conduct to this place,
meane time the Court shall heare Bellarios letter.
Your Grace shall vnderstand, that at the receit of your letter I
1985am very sicke, but in the instant that your messenger came, in lo-
uing visitation was with me a young Doctor of Rome, his name is
Balthazer: I acquainted him with the cause in cōtrouersie between
the Iew and Anthonio the Merchant, wee turnd ore many bookes
together, hee is furnished with my opinion, which bettered vvith
1990his owne learning, the greatnes whereof I cannot enough com-
mend, comes with him at my importunitie, to fill vp your graces
request in my stead. I beseech you let his lacke of yeeres be no im-
pediment to let him lacke a reuerend estimation, for I neuer knew
so young a body with so olde a head: I leaue him to your gracious
1995acceptance, whose tryall shall better publish his commendation.
Enter Portia for Balthazer.
Duke. You heare the learnd Bellario what he writes,
and heere I take it is the doctor come.
Giue me your hand, come you from old Bellario?
2000Portia. I did my Lord.
Duke. You are welcome, take your place:
are you acquainted with the difference
that holds this present question in the Court.
Por. I am enformed throughly of the cause,
2005vvhich is the Merchant here? and which the Iew?
Duke. Anthonio and old Shylocke, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylocke?
Iew. Shylocke is my name.
Por. Of a strange nature is the sute you follow,
2010yet in such rule, that the Venetian law
cannot impugne you as you doe proceed.
You stand within his danger, doe you not.
An. I, so he sayes.
Por. Doe you confesse the bond?
2015An. I doe.
Por. Then must the Iew be mercifull.
Shy. On what compulsion must I, tell me that.
Por. The qualitie of mercie is not straind,
it droppeth as the gentle raine from heauen
2020vpon the place beneath: it is twise blest,
it blesseth him that giues, and him that takes,
tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes
the throned Monarch better then his crowne.
His scepter showes the force of temporall power,
2025the attribut to awe and maiestie,
vvherein doth sit the dread and feare of Kings:
but mercie is aboue this sceptred sway,
it is enthroned in the harts of Kings,
it is an attribut to God himselfe;
2030and earthly power doth then show likest gods
vvhen mercie seasons iustice: therefore Iew,
though iustice be thy plea, consider this,
that in the course of iustice, none of vs
should see saluation: vve doe pray for mercy,
2035and that same prayer, doth teach vs all to render
the deedes of mercie. I haue spoke thus much
to mittigate the iustice of thy plea,
vvhich if thou follow, this strict Court of Venice
must needes giue sentence gainst the Merchant there.
2040Shy. My deeds vpon my head, I craue the law,
the penalty and forfaite of my bond.
Por. Is he not able to discharge the money?
Bass. Yes, heere I tender it for him in the Court,
yea, twise the summe, if that will not suffise,
2045I will be bound to pay it ten times ore
on forfait of my hands, my head, my hart,
if this will not suffise, it must appeare
that malice beares downe truth. And I beseech you
wrest once the law to your authoritie,
2050to doe a great right, doe a little wrong,
and curbe this cruell deuill of his will.
Por. It must not be, there is no power in Venice
can altar a decree established:
twill be recorded for a precedent,
2055and many an errour by the same example
will rush into the state, it cannot be.
Shy. A Daniell come to iudgement: yea a Daniell.
O wise young Iudge how I doe honour thee.
Por. I pray you let me looke vpon the bond.
2060Shy. Heere tis most reuerend doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylocke theres thrice thy money offred thee.
Shy. An oath, an oath, I haue an oath in heauen,
shall I lay periurie vpon my soule?
Not not for Venice.
2065Por. Why this bond is forfait,
and lawfully by this the Iew may claime
a pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
neerest the Merchants hart: be mercifull,
take thrice thy money, bid me teare the bond.
2070Shy. When it is payd, according to the tenure.
It doth appeare you are a worthy iudge,
you know the law, your exposition
hath beene most sound: I charge you by the law,
vvhereof you are a well deseruing piller,
2075proceede to iudgement: by my soule I sweare,
there is no power in the tongue of man
to alter me, I stay here on my Bond,
An. Most hartelie I doe beseech the Court
to giue the iudgement.
2080Por. Why than thus it is,
you must prepare your bosome for his knife.
Shy. O noble Iudge, ô excellent young man.
Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
hath full relation to the penaltie,
2085vvhich heere appeareth due vpon the bond.
Iew. Tis very true: ô wise and vpright Iudge,
how much more elder art thou then thy lookes.
Por. Therefore lay bare your bosome.
Iew. I, his breast,
2090so sayes the bond, doth it not noble Iudge?
Neerest his hart, those are the very words.
Por. It is so, are there ballance here to weigh the flesh?
Iew. I haue them ready.
Por. Haue by some Surgion Shylocke on your charge,
2095to stop his wounds, least he doe bleede to death.
Iew. Is it so nominated in the bond?
Por. It is not so exprest, but what of that?
Twere good you doe so much for charitie.
Iew. I cannot finde it, tis not in the bond.
2100Por. You Merchant, haue you any thing to say?
Ant. But little; I am armd and well prepard,
giue me your hand Bassanio, far you well,
greeue not that I am falne to this for you:
for heerein Fortune showes her selfe more kind
2105then is her custome: it is still her vse
to let the wretched man out-liue his wealth,
to view with hollow eye and wrinckled brow
an age of pouertie: from which lingring pennance
of such misery doth she cut me of.
2110Commend me to your honourable wife,
tell her the processe of Anthonios end,
say how I lou'd you, speake me faire in death:
and when the tale is told, bid her be iudge
vvhether Bassanio had not once a loue:
2115Repent but you that you shall loose your friend
and he repents not that he payes your debt.
For if the Iew doe cut but deepe enough,
Ile pay it instantly with all my hart.
Bass. Anthonio, I am married to a wife
2120which is as deere to me as life it selfe,
but life it selfe, my wife, and all the world,
are not with me esteemd aboue thy life.
I would loose all, I sacrifize them all
heere to this deuill, to deliuer you.
2125Por. Your wife would giue you little thankes for that
if she were by to heare you make the offer.
Gra. I haue a wife who I protest I loue,
I would she were in heauen, so she could
intreate some power to change this currish Iew.
2130Ner. Tis well you offer it behind her back,
the wish would make else an vnquiet house.
Iew. These be the christian husbands, I haue a daughter
vvould any of the stocke of Barrabas
had beene her husband, rather then a Christian.
2135We trifle time, I pray thee pursue sentence.
Por. A pound of that same Merchants flesh is thine,
the Court awards it, and the law doth giue it.
Iew. Most rightfull Iudge.
Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast,
2140the law alowes it, and the court awards it.
Iew. Most learned Iudge, a sentence, come prepare.
Por. Tarry a little, there is some thing else,
this bond doth giue thee heere no iote of blood,
the words expresly are a pound of flesh:
2145take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh,
but in the cutting it, if thou doost shed
one drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
are by the lawes of Venice confiscate
vnto the state of Venice.
2150Gra. O vpright Iudge,
Marke Iew, ô learned Iudge.
Shy. Is that the law?
Por. Thy selfe shalt see the Act:
for as thou vrgest iustice, be assurd
2155thou shalt haue iustice more then thou desirst.
Gra. O learned iudge, mark Iew, a learned iudge.
Iew. I take this offer then, pay the bond thrice
and let the Christian goe.
Bass. Heere is the money.
2160Por. Soft, the Iew shal haue all iustice, soft no hast,
he shall haue nothing but the penalty.
Gra. O Iew, an vpright Iudge, a learned Iudge.
Por. Therefore prepare thee to cut of the flesh,
Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou lesse nor more
2165but iust a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more
or lesse then a iust pound, be it but so much
as makes it light or heauy in the substance,
or the deuision of the twentith part
of one poore scruple, nay if the scale doe turne
2170but in the estimation of a hayre,
thou dyest, and all thy goods are confiscate.
Gra. A second Daniell, a Daniell Iew,
now infidell I haue you on the hip.
Por. Why doth the Iew pause, take thy forfaiture.
2175Shy. Giue me my principall, and let me goe.
Bass. I haue it ready for thee, here it is.
Por. Hee hath refusd it in the open Court,
hee shall haue meerely iustice and his bond.
Gra. A Daniell still say I, a second Daniell,
2180I thanke thee Iew for teaching me that word.
Shy. Shall I not haue barely my principall?
Por. Thou shalt haue nothing but the forfaiture
to be so taken at thy perrill Iew.
Shy. Why then the deuill giue him good of it:
2185Ile stay no longer question.
Por. Tarry Iew,
the law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the lawes of Venice,
if it be proued against an alien,
2190that by direct, or indirect attempts
he seeke the life of any Cittizen,
the party gainst the which he doth contriue,
shall seaze one halfe his goods, the other halfe
comes to the priuie coffer of the State,
2195and the offenders life lies in the mercy
of the Duke onely, gainst all other voyce.
In which predicament I say thou standst:
for it appeares by manifest proceeding,
that indirectly, and directly to
2200thou hast contriued against the very life
of the defendant: and thou hast incurd
the danger formorly by me rehearst.
Downe therefore, and beg mercie of the Duke.
Gra. Beg that thou maist haue leaue to hang thy selfe,
2205and yet thy wealth beeing forfait to the state,
thou hast not left the value of a cord,
therefore thou must be hangd at the states charge.
Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit
I pardon thee thy life before thou aske it:
2210for halfe thy wealth, it is Anthonios,
the other halfe comes to the generall state,
vvhich humblenes may driue vnto a fine.
Por. I for the state, not for Anthonio.
Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that,
2215you take my house, when you doe take the prop
that doth sustaine my house: you take my life
vvhen you doe take the meanes whereby I liue.
Por. What mercy can you render him Anthonio?
Gra. A halter gratis, nothing else for Godsake.
2220Anth. So please my Lord the Duke, & all the Court
to quit the fine for one halfe of his goods,
I am content: so he will let me haue
the other halfe in vse, to render it
vpon his death vnto the Gentleman
2225that lately stole his daughter.
Two things prouided more, that for this fauour
he presently become a Christian:
the other, that he doe record a gift
heere in the Court of all he dies possest
2230vnto his sonne Lorenzo and his daughter.
Duke. He shall doe this, or else I doe recant
the pardon that I late pronounced heere.
Por. Art thou contented Iew? what dost thou say?
Shy. I am content.
2235Por. Clarke, draw a deede of gift.
Shy. I pray you giue me leaue to goe from hence,
I am not well, send the deede after me,
and I will signe it.
Duke. Get thee gone, but doe it.
2240Shy. In christning shalt thou haue two Godfathers,
had I beene iudge, thou shouldst haue had ten more,
to bring thee to the gallowes, not to the font.
Exit.
Duke. Sir I entreate you home with me to dinner.
Por. I humbly doe desire your Grace of pardon,
2245I must away this night toward Padua,
and it is meete I presently set forth.
Duke. I am sorry that your leysure serues you not.
Anthonio, gratifie this gentleman,
for in my mind you are much bound to him.
2250
Exit Duke and his traine.
Bass. Most worthy gentleman, I and my friend
haue by your wisedome been this day aquitted
of greeuous penalties, in lewe whereof,
three thousand ducats due vnto the Iew
2255wee freely cope your curtious paines withall.
An. And stand indebted ouer and aboue
in loue and seruice to you euer-more.
Por. Hee is well payd that is well satisfied,
and I deliuering you, am satisfied,
2260and therein doe account my selfe well payd,
my minde was neuer yet more mercinarie.
I pray you know me when we meete againe,
I wish you well, and so I take my leaue.
Bass. Deere sir, of force I must attempt you further,
2265take some remembrance of vs as a tribute,
not as fee: graunt me two things I pray you,
not to deny me, and to pardon me.
Por. You presse me farre, and therefore I wil yeeld,
giue mee your gloues, Ile weare them for your sake,
2270and for your loue ile take this ring from you,
doe not draw back your hand, ile take no more,
and you in loue shall not denie me this?
Bass. This ring good sir, alas it is a trifle,
I will not shame my selfe to giue you this?
2275Por. I will haue nothing else but onely this,
and now me thinks I haue a minde to it?
Bass. There's more depends on this then on the valew,
the dearest ring in Venice will I giue you,
and finde it out by proclamation,
2280onely for this I pray you pardon me?
Por. I see sir you are liberall in offers,
you taught me first to beg, and now me thinks
you teach me how a begger should be aunswerd.
Bass. Good sir, this ring was giuen me by my wife,
2285and when she put it on, she made me vowe
that I should neither sell, nor giue, nor loose it.
Por. That scuse serues many men to saue their gifts,
and if your wife be not a mad woman,
and know how well I haue deseru'd this ring,
2290she would not hold out enemy for euer
for giuing it to me: vvell, peace be with you.
Exeunt.
Anth. My L. Bassanio, let him haue the ring,
let his deseruings and my loue withall
be valued gainst your wiues commaundement.
2295Bass. Goe Gratiano, runne and ouer-take him,
giue him the ring, and bring him if thou canst
vnto Anthonios house, away, make hast.
Exit Gratiano.
Come, you and I will thither presently,
and in the morning early will we both
2300flie toward Belmont, come Anthonio.
Exeunt.
Enter Nerrissa.
Por. Enquire the Iewes house out, giue him this deed,
and let him signe it, weele away to night,
2305and be a day before our husbands home:
this deede will be well welcome to Lorenzo?
Enter Gratiano.
Grati. Faire sir, you are well ore-tane:
My L. Bassanio vpon more aduice,
2310hath sent you heere this ring, and doth intreate
your company at dinner.
Por. That cannot be;
his ring I doe accept most thankfully,
and so I pray you tell him: furthermore,
2315I pray you shew my youth old Shylockes house.
Gra. That will I doe.
Ner. Sir, I would speake with you:
Ile see if I can get my husbands ring
vvhich I did make him sweare to keepe for euer.
2320Por. Thou maist I warrant, we shal haue old swearing
that they did giue the rings away to men;
but wele out-face them, and out-sweare them to:
away, make hast, thou knowst where I will tarry.
Ner. Come good sir, will you shew me to this house.
2325
Enter Lorenzo and Iessica.
Lor. The moone shines bright. In such a night as this,
vvhen the sweet winde did gently kisse the trees,
and they did make no noyse, in such a night
Troylus me thinks mounted the Troian walls,
2330and sigh'd his soule toward the Grecian tents
vvhere Cressed lay that night.
Iessi. In such a night
did Thisbie fearefully ore-trip the dewe,
and saw the Lyons shadow ere him selfe,
2335and ranne dismayed away.
Loren. In such a night
stoode Dido with a willow in her hand
vpon the wilde sea banks, and waft her Loue
to come againe to Carthage.
2340Iessi. In such a night
Medea gathered the inchanted hearbs
that did renew old Eson.
Loren. In such a night
did Iessica steale from the wealthy Iewe,
2345and with an vnthrift loue did runne from Venice,
as farre as Belmont.
Iessi. In such a night
did young Lorenzo sweare he loued her well,
stealing her soule with many vowes of faith,
2350and nere a true one.
Loren. In such a night
did pretty Iessica (like a little shrow)
slaunder her Loue, and he forgaue it her.
Iessi. I would out-night you did no body come:
2355But harke, I heare the footing of a man.
Enter a Messenger.
Loren. Who comes so fast in silence of the night?
Messen. A friend?
Loren. A friend, what friend, your name I pray you friend?
2360Mess. Stephano is my name, and I bring word
my Mistres will before the breake of day
be heere at Belmont, she doth stray about
by holy crosses where she kneeles and prayes
for happy wedlock houres.
2365Loren. Who comes with her?
Mess. None but a holy Hermit and her mayd:
I pray you is my Maister yet returnd?
Loren. He is not, nor we haue not heard from him,
But goe we in I pray thee Iessica,
2370and ceremoniously let vs prepare
some welcome for the Mistres of the house.
Enter Clowne.
Clowne. Sola, sola: wo ha, ho sola, sola.
Loren. Who calls?
Clo. Sola, did you see M. Lorenzo, & M. Lorenzo sola, sola.
2375Loren. Leaue hollowing man, heere.
Clowne. Sola, where, where?
Loren. Heere?
Clow. Tell him there's a Post come from my Maister, with his
horne full of good newes, my Maister will be heere ere morning
2380sweete soule.
Loren. Let's in, and there expect their comming.
And yet no matter: why should we goe in.
My friend Stephen, signifie I pray you
vvithin the house, your mistres is at hand,
2385and bring your musique foorth into the ayre.
How sweet the moone-light sleepes vpon this banke,
heere will we sit, and let the sounds of musique
creepe in our eares soft stilnes, and the night
become the tutches of sweet harmonie:
2390sit Iessica, looke how the floore of heauen
is thick inlayed with pattens of bright gold,
there's not the smallest orbe which thou beholdst
but in his motion like an Angell sings,
still quiring to the young eyde Cherubins;
2395such harmonie is in immortall soules,
but whilst this muddy vesture of decay
dooth grosly close it in, we cannot heare it:
Come hoe, and wake Diana with a himne,
vvith sweetest tutches pearce your mistres eare,
2400and draw her home with musique.
play Musique.
Iessi. I am neuer merry when I heare sweet musique.
Loren. The reason is your spirits are attentiue:
for doe but note a wild and wanton heard
or race of youthfull and vnhandled colts
2405fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neghing loude,
vvhich is the hote condition of their blood,
if they but heare perchance a trumpet sound,
or any ayre of musique touch their eares,
you shall perceaue them make a mutuall stand,
2410their sauage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze,
by the sweet power of musique: therefore the Poet
did faine that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods.
Since naught so stockish hard and full of rage,
but musique for the time doth change his nature,
2415the man that hath no musique in himselfe,
nor is not moued with concord of sweet sounds,
is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoiles,
the motions of his spirit are dull as night,
and his affections darke as Terebus:
2420let no such man be trusted: marke the musique.
Enter Portia and Nerrissa.
Por. That light we see is burning in my hall:
how farre that little candell throwes his beames,
so shines a good deede in a naughty world.
2425Ner. When the moone shone we did not see the candle?
Por. So dooth the greater glory dim the lesse,
a substitute shines brightly as a King
vntill a King be by, and then his state
empties it selfe, as doth an inland brooke
2430into the maine of waters: musique harke.
Ner. It is your musique Madame of the house?
Por. Nothing is good I see without respect,
me thinks it sounds much sweeter then by day?
Ner. Silence bestowes that vertue on it Madam?
2435Por. The Crow doth sing as sweetly as the Larke
vvhen neither is attended: and I thinke
the Nightingale if she should sing by day
vvhen euery Goose is cackling, would be thought
no better a Musition then the Renne?
2440How many things by season, seasond are
to their right prayse, and true perfection:
Peace, how the moone sleepes with Endimion,
and would not be awak'd.
Loren. That is the voyce,
2445or I am much deceau'd of Portia.
Por. He knowes me as the blind man knowes the Cuckoe
by the bad voyce?
Loren. Deere Lady welcome home?
Por. We haue bin praying for our husbands welfare,
2450vvhich speed we hope the better for our words:
are they return'd?
Loren. Madam, they are not yet:
but there is come a Messenger before
to signifie their comming?
2455Por. Goe in Nerrissa.
Giue order to my seruants, that they take
no note at all of our being absent hence,
nor you Lorenzo, Iessica nor you.
Loren. Your husband is at hand, I heare his trumpet,
2460vve are no tell-tales Madame, feare you not.
Por. This night me thinks is but the day light sicke,
it lookes a little paler, tis a day,
such as the day is when the sunne is hid.
Enter Bassanio, Anthonio, Gratiano, and their
2465 followers.
Bass. We should hold day with the Antipodes,
if you would walke in absence of the sunne.
Por. Let me giue light, but let me not be light,
for a light wife doth make a heauie husband,
2470and neuer be Bassanio so for me,
but God sort all: you are welcome home my Lord.
Bass. I thank you Madam, giue welcome to my friend,
this is the man, this is Anthonio,
to whom I am so infinitely bound.
2475Por. You should in all sence be much bound to him,
for as I heare he was much bound for you.
Anth. No more then I am well acquitted of.
Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house:
it must appeare in other wayes then words,
2480therefore I scant this breathing curtesie.
Gra. By yonder moone I sweare you doe me wrong,
infaith I gaue it to the Iudges Clarke,
vvould he were gelt that had it for my part,
since you doe take it Loue so much at hart.
2485Por. A quarrell hoe already, what's the matter?
Grati. About a hoope of gold, a paltry ring
that she did giue me, whose posie was
for all the world like Cutlers poetry
vpon a knife, Loue me, and leaue me not.
2490Ner. What talke you of the posie or the valew:
You swore to me when I did giue you,
that you would weare it till your houre of death,
and that it should lie with you in your graue,
though not for me, yet for your vehement oathes,
2495you should haue beene respectiue and haue kept it.
Gaue it a Iudges Clarke: no Gods my Iudge
the Clarke will nere weare haire ons face that had it.
Gra. He will, and if he liue to be a man.
Nerrissa. I, if a woman liue to be a man.
2500Gra. Now by this hand I gaue it to a youth,
a kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy,
no higher then thy selfe, the Iudges Clarke,
a prating boy that begd it as a fee,
I could not for my hart deny it him.
2505Por. You were to blame, I must be plaine with you,
to part so slightly with your wiues first gift,
a thing stuck on with oaths vpon your finger,
and so riueted with faith vnto your flesh.
I gaue my Loue a ring, and made him sweare
2510neuer to part with it, and heere he stands:
I dare be sworne for him he would not leaue it,
nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth
that the world maisters. Now in faith Gratiano
you giue your wife too vnkind a cause of griefe,
2515and twere to me I should be mad at it.
Bass. Why I were best to cut my left hand off,
and sweare I lost the ring defending it.
Gra. My Lord Bassanio gaue his ring away
vnto the Iudge that begd it, and indeede
2520deseru'd it to: and then the boy his Clarke
that tooke some paines in writing, he begd mine,
and neither man nor maister would take ought
but the two rings.
Por. What ring gaue you my Lord?
2525Not that I hope which you receau'd of me.
Bass. If I could add a lie vnto a fault,
I would deny it: but you see my finger
hath not the ring vpon it, it is gone.
Por. Euen so voyd is your false hart of truth.
2530By heauen I will nere come in your bed
vntill I see the ring?
Ner. Nor I in yours
till I againe see mine?
Bass. Sweet Portia,
2535if you did know to whom I gaue the ring,
if you did know for whom I gaue the ring,
and would conceaue for what I gaue the ring,
and how vnwillingly I left the ring,
vvhen naught would be accepted but the ring,
2540you would abate the strength of your displeasure?
Por. If you had knowne the vertue of the ring,
or halfe her worthines that gaue the ring,
or your owne honour to containe the ring,
you would not then haue parted with the ring:
2545vvhat man is there so much vnreasonable
if you had pleasd to haue defended it
vvith any termes of zeale: wanted the modesty
to vrge the thing held as a ceremonie:
Nerrissa teaches me what to beleeue,
2550ile die for't, but some woman had the ring?
Bass. No by my honour Madam, by my soule
no woman had it, but a ciuill Doctor,
vvhich did refuse three thousand ducats of me,
and begd the ring, the which I did denie him,
2555and sufferd him to goe displeasd away,
euen he that had held vp the very life
of my deere friend. What should I say sweet Lady,
I was inforc'd to send it after him,
I was beset with shame and curtesie,
2560my honour would not let ingratitude
so much besmere it: pardon me good Lady,
for by these blessed candels of the night,
had you been there, I think you would haue begd
the ring of me to giue the worthy Doctor?
2565Por. Let not that Doctor ere come neere my house
since he hath got the iewell that I loued,
and that which you did sweare to keepe for me,
I will become as liberall as you,
Ile not deny him any thing I haue,
2570no, not my body, nor my husbands bed:
Know him I shall, I am well sure of it.
Lie not a night from home. Watch me like Argos,
if you doe not, if I be left alone,
now by mine honour which is yet mine owne,
2575ile haue that Doctor for mine bedfellow.
Nerrissa. And I his Clark: therefore be well aduisd
how you doe leaue me to mine owne protection.
Gra. Well doe you so: let not me take him then,
for if I doe, ile mar the young Clarks pen.
2580Anth. I am th'vnhappy subiect of these quarrells.
Por. Sir, greeue not you, you are welcome notwithstanding.
Bass. Portia, forgiue me this enforced wrong,
and in the hearing of these many friends
I sweare to thee, euen by thine owne faire eyes
2585vvherein I see my selfe.
Por. Marke you but that?
In both my eyes he doubly sees himselfe:
In each eye one, sweare by your double selfe,
and there's an oath of credite.
2590Bass. Nay, but heare me.
Pardon this fault, and by my soule I sweare
I neuer more will breake an oath with thee.
Anth. I once did lend my body for his wealth,
vvhich but for him that had your husbands ring
2595had quite miscaried. I dare be bound againe,
my soule vpon the forfet, that your Lord
vvill neuer more breake faith aduisedly.
Por. Then you shall be his surety: giue him this,
and bid him keepe it better then the other.
2600Antho. Here Lord Bassanio, sweare to keepe this ring.
Bass. By heauen it is the same I gaue the Doctor.
Por. I had it of him: pardon me Bassanio,
for by this ring the Doctor lay with me.
Nerrissa. And pardon me my gentle Gratiano,
2605for that same scrubbed boy the Doctors Clarke
in liew of this, last night did lie with me.
Grati. Why this is like the mending of high wayes
in Sommer where the wayes are faire enough?
What, are we cuckolds ere we haue deseru'd it.
2610Por. Speake not so grosly, you are all amaz'd;
Heere is a letter, reade it at your leasure,
It comes from Padua from Bellario,
there you shall finde that Portia was the Doctor,
Nerrissa there her Clarke. Lorenzo heere
2615shall witnes I set foorth as soone as you,
and euen but now returnd: I haue not yet
enterd my house. Anthonio you are welcome,
and I haue better newes in store for you
than you expect: vnseale this letter soone,
2620there you shall finde three of your Argosies
are richly come to harbour sodainly.
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chaunced on this letter.
Antho. I am dumb?
2625Bass. Were you the Doctor, and I knew you not?
Gra. Were you the Clark that is to make me cuckold.
Ner. I but the Clarke that neuer meanes to doe it,
vnlesse he liue vntill he be a man.
Bass. (Sweet Doctor) you shall be my bedfellow,
2630vvhen I am absent then lie with my wife.
An. (Sweet Lady) you haue giuen me life and lyuing;
for heere I reade for certaine that my ships
are safely come to Rode.
Por. How now Lorenzo?
2635my Clarke hath some good comforts to for you.
Ner I, and ile giue them him without a fee.
There doe I giue to you and Iessica
from the rich Iewe, a speciall deede of gift
after his death, of all he dies possest of.
2640Loren. Faire Ladies, you drop Manna in the way
of starued people.
Por. It is almost morning,
and yet I am sure you are not satisfied
of these euents at full. Let vs goe in,
2645and charge vs there vpon intergotories,
and we will aunswer all things faithfully.
Gra. Let it be so, the first intergotory
that my Nerrissa shall be sworne on, is,
vvhether till the next night she had rather stay,
2650or goe to bed now being two houres to day:
But were the day come, I should wish it darke
till I were couching with the Doctors Clarke.
Well, while I liue, ile feare no other thing
so sore, as keeping safe Nerrissas ring.
2655
Exeunt.
FINIS.