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  • Title: The Merchant of Venice (Folio 1, 1623)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Folio 1, 1623)

    166The Merchant of Venice.
    Iew. I will be assured I may: and that I may be assu-
    red, I will bethinke mee, may I speake with Antho-
    Bass. If it please you to dine with vs.
    Iew. Yes, to smell porke, to eate of the habitation
    which your Prophet the Nazarite coniured the diuell
    into: I will buy with you, sell with you, talke with
    360you, walke with you, and so following: but I will
    not eate with you, drinke with you, nor pray with you.
    What newes on the Ryalta, who is he comes here?

    Enter Anthonio.

    Bass. This is signior Anthonio.
    365Iew. How like a fawning publican he lookes.
    I 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 here with vs in Venice.
    370If I can catch him once vpon the hip,
    I will feede fat the ancient grudge I beare him.
    He hates our sacred Nation, and he railes
    Euen there where Merchants most doe congregate
    On me, my bargaines, and my well-worne thrift,
    375Which he cals interrest: Cursed be my Trybe
    If I forgiue him.
    Bass. Shylock, doe you heare.
    Shy. I am debating of my present store,
    And by the neere gesse of my memorie
    380I cannot instantly raise vp the grosse
    Of 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,
    385Your worship was the last man in our mouthes.
    Ant. 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 he yet possest
    390How much he would?
    Shy. I, I, three thousand ducats.
    Ant. And for three months.
    Shy. I had forgot, three months, you told me so.
    Well then, your bond: and let me see, but heare you,
    395Me thoughts you said, you neither lend nor borrow
    Vpon aduantage.
    Ant. I doe neuer vse it.
    Shy. When Iacob graz'd his Vncle Labans sheepe,
    This Iacob from our holy Abram was
    400(As his wise mother wrought in his behalfe)
    The third possesser; I, he was the third.
    Ant. And what of him, did he take interrest?
    Shy. No, not take interest, not as you would say
    Directly interest, marke what Iacob did,
    405When Laban and himselfe were compremyz'd
    That all the eanelings which were streakt and pied
    Should fall as Iacobs hier, the Ewes being rancke,
    In end of Autumne turned to the Rammes,
    And when the worke of generation was
    410Betweene these woolly breeders in the act,
    The skilfull shepheard pil'd me certaine wands,
    And in the dooing of the deede of kinde,
    He stucke them vp before the fulsome Ewes,
    Who then conceauing, did in eaning time
    415Fall party-colour'd lambs, and those were Iacobs.
    This was a way to thriue, and he was blest:
    And thrift is blessing if men steale it not.
    Ant. This was a venture sir that Iacob seru'd for,
    A thing not in his power to bring to passe,
    420But sway'd and fashion'd by the hand of heauen.
    Was this inserted to make interrest good?
    Or is your gold and siluer Ewes and Rams?
    Shy. I cannot tell, I make it breede as fast,
    But note me signior.
    425Ant. Marke you this Bassanio,
    The diuell can cite Scripture for his purpose,
    An euill soule producing holy witnesse,
    Is like a villaine with a smiling cheeke,
    A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
    430O what a goodly outside falsehood hath.
    Shy. Three thousand ducats, 'tis a good round sum.
    Three months from twelue, then let me see the rate.
    Ant. Well Shylocke, shall we be beholding to you?
    Shy. Signior Anthonio, many a time and oft
    435In the Ryalto you haue rated me
    About my monies and my vsances:
    Still haue I borne it with a patient shrug,
    (For suffrance is the badge of all our Tribe.)
    You call me misbeleeuer, cut-throate dog,
    440And spet vpon my Iewish gaberdine,
    And 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:
    445You that did voide your rume vpon my beard,
    And foote me as you spurne a stranger curre
    Ouer your threshold, moneyes is your suite.
    What should I say to you? Should I not say,
    Hath a dog money? Is it possible
    450A curre should lend three thousand ducats? or
    Shall I bend low, and in a bond-mans key
    With bated breath, and whispring humblenesse,
    Say this: Faire sir, you spet on me on Wednesday last;
    You spurn'd me such a day; another time
    455You cald me dog: and for these curtesies
    Ile lend you thus much moneyes.
    Ant. I am as like to call thee so againe,
    To spet on thee againe, to spurne thee too.
    If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
    460As to thy friends, for when did friendship take
    A breede of barraine mettall of his friend?
    But lend it rather to thine enemie,
    Who if he breake, thou maist with better face
    Exact the penalties.
    465Shy. Why looke you how you storme,
    I would be friends with you, and haue your loue,
    Forget the shames that you haue staind me with,
    Supplie your present wants, and take no doite
    Of vsance for my moneyes, and youle not heare me,
    470This is kinde I offer.
    Bass. This were kindnesse.
    Shy. This kindnesse will I showe,
    Goe with me to a Notarie, seale me there
    Your single bond, and in a merrie sport
    475If you repaie me not on such a day,
    In such a place, such sum or sums as are
    Exprest in the condition, let the forfeite
    Be nominated for an equall pound
    Of your faire flesh, to be cut off and taken
    480In what part of your bodie it pleaseth me.
    Ant. Content infaith, Ile seale to such a bond,
    And say there is much kindnesse in the Iew.
    Bass. You