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  • Title: The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)
  • Editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright Janelle Jenstad. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Janelle Jenstad
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)

    The most excellent
    Historie of the Merchant
    of Venice.

    ith 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

    As it hath beene diuers times acted by the Lord
    Chamberlaine his Seruants.

    Written by William Shakespeare.

    Printed by l. R. for Thomas Heyes,
    and are to be sold in Paules Church-yard, at the
    gne of the Greene Dragon.

    The comicall History of the Mer-
    chant of Venice.

    1Enter 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,
    25would blow me to an ague when I thought
    what 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,
    which touching but my gentle vessels side
    35would 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.
    60Enter 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
    105which 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. Well, 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
    wherein 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,
    within 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
    which 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,
    which 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
    where 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
    195 great 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
    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 who
    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-
    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 wine 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, what 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
    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,
    which 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,
    When 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,
    465within 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.

    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.
    545Enter 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.

    570Enter 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
    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
    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
    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 owne
    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 will
    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-
    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: well, 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.

    755Enter 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: what 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 worship was wont to tell me,
    I could doe nothing without bidding.
    Enter Iessica.
    Iessica. Call you? what 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 will 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
    840will 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 wild-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
    with that keene appetite that he sits downe?
    865where 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
    with ouer-wetherd ribbs and ragged sailes
    leane, rent, and beggerd by the strumpet wind?
    875Enter 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:
    when 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. Whose 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
    were 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,
    what 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
    was 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 within. 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,
    within 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,
    with him is Gratiano gone along;
    and in theyr ship I am sure Lorenzo is not.
    Sola. The villaine Iew with outcries raisd the Duke,
    who 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,
    who 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
    with some delight or other.
    Sal. Doe we so. Exeunt.

    1065Enter 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
    which 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
    without the stampe of merrit, let none presume
    1105To weare an vndeserued dignity:
    O that estates, degrees, and offices,
    were not deriu'd corruptly, and that cleare honour
    were 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.
    1170Solanio 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 wine 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
    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.

    1230Enter 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
    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.
    1280Enter 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 owners 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
    what treason there is mingled with your loue.
    1310Bass. None but that vgly treason of mistrust,
    which 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
    1315where 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
    with 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 wiues:
    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.
    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
    will 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,
    who 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,
    1375which therein works a miracle in nature,
    Making them lightest that weare most of it:
    So are those crisped snaky golden locks
    which 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,