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So keen and greedy to confound a man :
He plies the duke at morning and at night;
And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
If they deny him justice : twenty merchants,
The duke himself, and the magnificoes,
Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him ;
But none can drive him from the envious plea
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.

[Retires back. Por. (c.) Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?

Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
The best condition'd and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies; and one in whom
The ancient Roman honour more appears,
Than any that draws breath in Italy.

Por. What sum owes he the Jew?
Buss. For me, three thousand ducats.

Por. What, no more?
Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond ;
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description
Shall lose a hair through Bassanio's fault.
First, go with me to church, and call me wife,
And then away to Venice to your friend ;
For never shall you lie by Portia's side
With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
To pay the petty debt twenty times over;
When it is done, bring your true friend along :
My maid Nerissa, and myself, meantime,
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away;
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day. (R.)
But let me hear the letter of your friend. (R. C.)

Bass. [Reads.] “ Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit ; and since, in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and me. If I might but see you at my death; notwithstanding, use your pleasure, if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.

Por. O love, despatch all business, and be gone.
Bass. Since I have your good leave to go away,

I will make haste; but, 'till I come again,
No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay,
No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain.

(Exeunt, R. SCENE III.-A Street in Venice.

1

Enter SHYLOCK, ANTONIO, SALARINO, and the Gaoler, l.

Shy. (c.) Gaoler, look to him ;--tell not me of mercy;
This is the fool that lent out money gratis :-
Gaoler, look to him.

Ant. (c.) Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Shy. (R. C.) I'll have my bond ; speak not against

my bond;
I have sworn an oath, that I will have my bond :
Thou call’dst me dog, before thou hadst a cause;
But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs :
The duke shall grant me justice.-I do wonder
Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond
To come abroad with him at his request.

Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.
Shy. I'll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak;
I'll have my bond; and therefore speak no more.
I'll not be made a soft and dull-ey'd fool,
To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield
To Christian intercessors. Follow not;
I'll have no speaking ; I will have my bond. [Exit, R.

Sal. (L. C.) It is the most impenetrable cur
That ever kept with men.

Ant. Let him alone;
I'll follow him no more with bootless prayers
He seeks my life, his reason well I know ;
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures
Many that have at times-made moan to me;
Therefore he hates me.

Sal. I am sure, the duke
Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.

Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law,
For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be denied,
Will much impeach the justice of the state
Since that the trade and profit of the city
Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go;
These griefs and losses have so 'bated me,
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
To-morrow to my bloody creditor. (L.)
Well, gaoler, on:-Pray heav'n Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not!

[Exeunt, L.

SCENE IV.- Portiu's House at Belmont.
Enter LORENZO, Jessica, Portia, Nerissa, and

BALTHAZAR.
Lor. (c.) Madam, although I speak it in your presence.
You have a noble and a true conceit
Of god-like amity; which appears most strongly
In bearing thus the absence of your lord.
But, if you knew to whom you shew this honour
How true a gentleman you send relief,
How dear a lover of my lord your husband ;
I know you would be prouder of the work
Than custornary bounty can enforce you.

Por. (c.) I never did repent me doing good,
Nor shall not now;
This comes too near the praising of myself;
Therefore, no more of it: hear other things :
Lorenzo, Í commit into your hands
The husbandry and manage of my house,
Until my lord's return : for mine own part,
I have toward heaven breath'd a secret vow,
To live in prayer and contemplation
Only attended by Nerissa here,
Until her husband and my lord's return;
There is a monastery two miles off,
And there we will abide. I do desire you
Not to deny this imposition :
The which my love, and some necessity,
Now lays upon you.

Lor. Madam, with all my heart;
I shall obey you in all fair commands.

Por. My people do already know my mind,
And will acknowledge you and Jessica,
In place of Lord Bassanio and myself.
So fare you well, till we shall meet again.

Lor. Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you.
Jes. (c.) I wish your ladyship all heart's content.

Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleas'd To wish it back on you : fare you well, Jessica.-

[Exeunt Jessica and Lorenzo, l. (R. c.) Now, Balthazar, [Balthazar advances, R. Às I have found thee honest, true, So let me find thee still: take this same letter, And use thou all the endeavour of a man In speed to Padua : see thou render this

Irto my cousin's hand, Doctor Bellario :
And, look, what notes and garments he doth give thee,
Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed
Unto the tranect, to the common ferry
Which trades to Venice : waste no time in words,
But get thee gone: I shall be there before thee.

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

Ner. Shall they see us ?

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

mise you,

SCENE V,The Garden at Belmont.

Enter Jessica and LAUNCELOT, L. Laun. (L. c.) Yes, truly: for look you, the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children; therefore, I pro

I fear you. I was always plain with you, and so now I speak my agitation of the matter :—therefore be of good cheer; for, truly, I think you are damned. There is but one hope in it that can do you any good; and that is but a kind of bastard hope, neither.

Jes. (c.) And what hope is that, I pray thee?

Laun. Marry, you may partly hope that your father got you not, that you are not the Jew's daughter.

Jes. That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed ; so the sins of my mother should be visited upon me.

Laun. Truly then, I fear you are damn'd both by father and mother : thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother: well, you are gone both ways.

Jes. I shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a Christian.

Laun. Truly, the more to blame he: we were Christians enough before : e'en as many as could well live 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 have a rasher on the coals for money

Jes. (R.) I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say; here he comes.

Enter LORENZO, R. Lor. I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, if you thus get my wife into corners.

Jes. Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo; Launcelot and I are out: he tells me flatly, there is no mercy for me in heaven, because I am a Jew's daughter.

Lor. (c.) Go in, sirrah; bid them prepare for dinner. Laun. (R. C.) That is done, sir; they have all stomachs.

Lor. Goodly lord, what a wit-snapper are you ! then bid them preparc dinner.

Laun. That is done too, sir; only cover is the word.
Lor. Will you cover then, sir ?
Laun. Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty.

Lor. Yet more quarrelling with occasion! wilt thou show the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant ? I pray thee, understand a plain man in his plain meaning; go to thy fellows; bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.

Laun. (R.) For the table, sir, shall be served in; for the meat, sir, it shall be covered ; for your coming in to dinner, sir, why let it be as humours and conceits

[Exit. R. Lor. O dear discretion, how his words are suited ! The fool hath planted in his memory An army of good words : and I do know A many fools, that stand in better place, Garnish'd like him, that for a tricksy word Defy the matter. How cheer'st thou, Jessica ? And now, good sweet, say thy opinion, How dost thou like the lord Bassanio's wife?

Jes. Past all expressing.

Lor. Even such a husband
Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife.

Jes. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that.

shall govern.

DU'ET.-LORENZO and JESSICA.
Jes. In vows of everlasting truth,

You waste your idle hours, fond youth ;
But leave me once, and I should find,

That out of sight were out of mind.
Lor. Ah, do thyself no wrong, my dear,

Affect no coy nor jealous fear;
Each beauteous object I might see,
Would but inspire a thought of thee.

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