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SCENE II.-Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.

Enter PORTIA, and NERISSA. Por. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is a-weary of this great world.

Ner. You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are: And yet, for aught I see, they are as sick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing : It is no mean happiness, therefore, to be seated in the mean; superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.

Por. Good sentences, and well pronounced.
Ner. They would be better, if well followed.

Por. If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages, princes' palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot temper leaps over a cold decree : such a hare is madness, the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel, the cripple. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband :-0 me, the word choose! I may neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike ; so is the will of a living daughter curb’d by the will of a dead father :-Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none ?

Ner. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, at their death, have good inspirations; therefore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three chests, of gold, silver, and lead, (whereof who chooses his meaning, chooses you,) will, no doubt, never be chosen by any rightly, but one who you shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors that are already come?

Por. I pray thee, overname them; and as thou namest them, I will describe them; and according to my description, level at my affection.

Ner. First, there is the Neapolitan prince.

Por. Ay, that's a colt, indeed, for he does nothing but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great appropriation to his own good parts, that he can shoe him himself.

Ner. Then, is there the county Palatine.

Por. He doth nothing but frown; as who should say, And if you will not have me, choose : he hears merry tales, and smiles not: I fear, he will prove the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being so full of unmannerly sadness in his youth. I had rather be married to a death's head with a bone in his mouth, than to either of these. Heaven defend me from these two !

Ner. How say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le Bon ?
Por. Heaven made him, and therefore let him pass for a man.
Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these lords ; they

have acquainted me with their determinations : which is, indeed, to return to their home, and to trouble you with no more suit; unless, you may be won by some other sort than your father's imposition, depending on the caskets.

Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will: I am glad this parcel of wooers are so reasonable ; for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and I pray Heaven grant them a fair departure.

Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's time, a Vene. tian, a scholar, and soldier, that came hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat ?

Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, so was he called.

Ner. True, madam; he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.

Por. I remember him well; and I remember him worthy of thy praise.—How now! what news ?

Enter a Servant. Serv. The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave: and there is a fore-runner come from a fifth, the prince of Morocco; who brings word, the prince, his master, will be here to-night.

Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his approach. Come, Nerissa.—Sirrah, go before.-Whiles we shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.

[Exeunt

SCENE III.-—Venice. A public Place.

Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK.
Shy. Three thousand ducats,—well.
Bass. Ay, sir, for three months.
Shy. For three months,-well.
Bass. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.
Shy. Antonio shall become bound,—well.

Bass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me?
Shall I know your answer ?

Shy. Three thousand ducats, for three months, and Antonio bound.

Bass. Your answer to that.
Shy. Antonio is a good man.
Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary ?

Shy. Ho, no, no, no, no ;-my meaning, in saying he is a good man, is to have you understand me, that he is sufficient : vet his means are in supposition : he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies; I understand moreover upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England, --and other ventures he hath, squander'd abroad ; But ships are but boards, soilors but inen: there be land-rats, and water-rats, water-thieves, and land

thieves; I mean, pirates ; and then, there is the peril of water, winds and rocks: The man is, notwithstanding, sufficient ;--three thousand ducats ;--I think, I may take his bond.

Bass. Be assured you may.

Shy. I will be assured, I may; and, that I may be assured, I will bethink me: May I speak with Antonio ?

Bass. If it please you, dine with us.

Shy. Yes, to smell pork; I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following: but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What news on the Rialto ? -Who is he comes here?

Enter ANTONIO.
Bass. This is signior Antonio.
Shy. [Aside.] How like a fawning publican he looks !
I hate him, for he is a Christian :
But more, for that, in low simplicity,
He lends out money gratis, and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
He hates our sacred nation; and he rails,
Even there where merchants most do congregate,
On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,
Which he calls interest: Cursed be my tribe,
If I forgive him!
Bass.

Shylock, do you hear ?
Shy. I am debating of my present store :
And, by the near guess of my memory,
I cannot instantly raise up the gross
Of full three thousand ducats : What of that?
Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of
Will furnish me : but soft; How many months
Do

you desire ?—Rest you fair, good signior: [TO ANTONIO Your worship was the last man in our mouths.

Ant. Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow,
By taking, nor by giving of excess,
Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend,
I'll break a custom Is he yet possess'd,
How much you would ?
Shy.

Ay, ay, 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 hear you:
Methought, you said, you neither lend, nor borrow,
Upon advantage.

Ant. I do never use it.

Shy. Three thousand ducats—’tis a good round sum, Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.

my tribe,

Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you?

Shy. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft,
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my mones, and my usances :
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug ;
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe :
You call me—misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then, it now appears, you need my help:
Go to then ; you come to me, and you say,
Shylock, we would have monies ; You say sos,
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
And foot me, as you spur a stranger cur
Over your threshold; monies is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
Hath a dog money ? is it possible,
A cur can lend three thousand ducats ? or
Shall I bend low, and in a bondsman's key,
With ’bated breath, and whispering humbleness,
Say this,
Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last :
You spurn'd me such a day; another time
You calld me-dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much monies.

Ant. I am as like to call thee so again,
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too.
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends ; (for when did friendship take
A breed for barren metal of his friend ?)
But lend it rather to thine enemy;
Who, if he break, thou may'st with better face
Exact the penalty.
Shy.

Why, look you, how you storm!
I would be friends with you, and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with,
Supply your present wants, and take no doit
Of usance for my monies, and you'll not hear me:
This is kind I offer.

Ant. This were kindness.
Shy.

This kindness will I Blow
Go with me to a notary, seal' me there
Your single bond; and, in a merry sport,
If you repay me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum, or sums, as are
Express’d in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth me.

Ant. Content, in faith ; I'll seal to such a bond, And say, there is much kindness in the Jew.

Bass. You shall not seal to such a bond for me,
I'll rather dwell in my necessity.

Ant. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it.
Within these two months, that's a month before
This bond expires, I do expect return
Of thrice three times the value of this bond.

Shy. O father Abraham, what these Christians are,
Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect
The thoughts of others ? Pray you, tell me this ;
If he should break his day, what should I gain
By the exaction of the forfeiture ?
A pound of man's flesh, taken from a man,
Is not so estimable, profitable neither,
As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say,
To buy his favor, I extend this friendship;
If he will take it, so; if not, adieu ;
And, for my love, I pray you, wrong me not.

Ant. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.
Shy. Then meet me forthwith at the notary's;
Give him direction for this merry bond,
And I will go and purse the ducats straight;
See to my house, left in the fearful guard
Of an unthrifty knave; and presently
I will be with you.
Ant.

Hie thee, gentle Jew.
This Hebrew will turn Christian; he grows kind.

Bass. I like r.ot fair terms, and a villain's mind.

Ant. Come un; in this there can be no dismay, My ships come home a month before the day.

[Erika

[Exeunt.

ACT II.

Bassanio obtains the loan of three thousand ducats from Shylock, on the merchant': bond, with the penalty of “the pound of flesh,” as the forfeit for non-pay:nent. He then prepares for making proposals for Portia’s hand, but previous to his departure he invites his friends to an entertainment:-Shylock is also one of the invited guests.

Launcelot, a former domestic of the Jew's, has entered into the service of Bassanio, and is made the messenger between Lorenzo and Jessica, who have planned an elope ment, while Sbylock is engaged at Bassanio's feast.

SCENE V.The same. Before Shylock's House.

Enter SHYLOCK, and LAUNCELOT.
Shy. Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge,
The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio :-
What, Jessica !—thou shalt not gormandize,
As thou hast done with me ;-What, Jessica !-

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