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Sale. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind;
Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there
Will show you his estate.

Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon' stranger; bid her welcome.
Your hand, Salerio; What's the news from Venice?
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio?
I know, he will be glad of our success;
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece. 4

Sale. 'Would you had won the fleece that he hath lost!
Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon' same

paper,
That steal the colour from Bassanio's cheek:
Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world
Could turn so much the constitution
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse?---
With leave, Bassanio; I am half yourself,
And I must freely have the half of any thing
That this same paper brings you.
Bass,

O sweet Portia,
Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words,
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
When I did first impart my love to you,
I freely told you, all the wealth I had
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman;
And then I told you true: and yet, dear lady,
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a braggart: When I told you
My state was nothing, I should then have told you
That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed,
I have engag'd myself to a dear friend,

4 We are the Fasons, we have won the fleece.) So, in Abraham Fleming's Rythme Decasyllabicall, upon this last luckie Voyage of worthie Capteine Frobisher, 1577:

“The golden fleece (like Jason) bath he got,

« And rich return'd saunce losse or luckless lot.” Again, in the old play of King Leir, 1605:

"I will returne seyz'd of as rich a prize

“As Jason, when he wanne the golden fleece.” It appears, from the registers of the Stationers' Company, that we seem to have had a version of Valerius Flaccus in 1565. In this year (whether in verse or prose is unknown) was entered to J. Purfoote: “ The story of Jason, howe he gotte the golden flece, and howe he did begyle Media (Medea,) out of Laten into Englishe, by Nycholas Whyte.” Steevens.

Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady ;
The paper as the bodys of my friend,
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood.—But is it true, Salerio?
Have all his ventures faild? What, not one hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India?
And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks?
Sale.

Not one, my lord.
Besides, it should appear, that if he had
The present money to discharge the Jew,
He would not take it: Never did I know
A creature, that did bear the shape of man,
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.

Jes. When I was with him, I have heard him swear,
To Tubal, and to Chus, his countrymen,
That he would rather have Antonio's flesh,
Than twenty times the value of the sum
That he did owe him: and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and power deny not,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.

Por. 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.

5 The paper as the body -- ] I believe, the author wrote is the body. The two words are frequently confounded in the old copies. So, in the first quarto edition of this play, Act IV: “ Is dearly bought, as mine,” &c. instead of-is minę. Malone.

The expression is somewhat elliptical: “ The paper as the body," means-the paper resembles the body, is as the body.

Steevens.

lauit,

Por. What sum owes he the Jew? · Bass. 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 paid, bring your true friend along: My maid Nerissa, and myself, mean time, Will live as maids and widows. Come, away; For you shall hence upon your wedding-day: Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer; 6 Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear. But let me hear the letter of your friend.

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 I,? 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.

6- cheer;] i. e. countenance. So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Vol. II, p. 369:

“That liv'd, that lov'd, that likod, that look’d, with cheer.See note on this passage. Steevens.

7 and 1,] This inaccuracy, I believe, was our author's. Mr. Pope reads--and me. Malone.

SCENE III.

Venice. A Street.
Enter Shylock, SALANIO, ANTONIO, and Gaoler.
Shy. Gaoler, look to him ;—Tell not me of mer-

cy;-
This is the fool that lent out money gratis;
Gaoler, look to him.
Ant.

Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Shy. 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 had'st 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 8
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, 9
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 Sar.

Salan. 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.
Salan.

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

Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law;1

8 — so fond -] 1. e. so foolish. So, in the old comedy of . Mother Bombie, 1594, by Lyly: “ – that the youth seeing her. fair cheeks, may be enamoured before they hear her fond speech.”

Steevens. 9 - dull-ey'd fool,] This epithet dull-ey'd is bestowed on melancholy in Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Steevens.

1 The duke cannot deny &c.] As the reason here given seems a little perplex’d, it may be proper to explain it. If, says he, the

For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be denied, 2
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.
Well, gaoler, on:-Pray God, Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not! [Excunt.

SCENE IV.
Belmont. A Room in Portia's House."
Enter Portia, NERISSA, LORENZO, JESSICA, and

BALTHAZAR.
Lor. 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 show 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 customary bounty can enforce you.

Por. I never did repent for doing good,
Nor shall not now: for in companions
That do converse and waste the time together,
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love, 3

duke stop the course of law, it will be attended with this inconvenience, that stranger merchants, by whom the wealth and power of this city is supported, will cry out of injustice. For the known stated law being their guide and security, they will never bear to have the current of it stopped on any pretence of equity whatsoever. Warburton. 2 For the commodity that strangers have

With us in Venice, if it be denied, &c.] i. e. for the denial of those rights to strangers, which render their abode at Venice so commodious and agreeable to them, would much impeach the justice of the state. The consequence would be, that strangers would not reside or carry on traffick here; and the wealth and strength of the state would be diminished. In The Historye of Italye, by W. Thomas, quarto, 1567, there is a section on the libertee of straungers at Venice. Malone.

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