The Merchant of Venice eText - Act II

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Act II

Scene I

Original Text Modern Translation

[Belmont]

Enter Morocco a tawny Moor all in white, and three or four followers accordingly, with Portia, Nerissa, and their traine.

Flour[ish] cornets.

MOROCCO:
Mislike me not for my complexion,
The shadowed livery of the burnish'd sun,
To whom I am a neighbour, and near bred.
Bring me the fairest creature northward born,
Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles,(5)
And let us make incision for your love,
To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine.
I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine
Hath fear'd the valiant; by my love, I swear,
The best-regarded virgins of our clime(10)
Have lov'd it too: I would not change this hue,
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen.
MOROCCO:
Don’t dislike me for my complexion,
The dark clothing of the polished sun,
To whom I am a neighbor, and born near it.
Bring me the fairest creature born in the north,
Where the sun’s fire hardly thaws the icicles,
And let’s make a cut for your love
To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine.
I tell you, lady, this face of mine
Has feared the valiant; by my love, I swear
The best-regarded virgins of my country
Have loved it too. I would not change this color,
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen.
PORTIA:
In terms of choice I am not solely led
By nice direction of a maiden's eyes:
Besides, the lottery of my destiny(15)
Bars me the right of voluntary choosing:
But, if my father had not scanted me,
And hedg'd me by his wit, to yield myself
His wife, who wins me by that means I told you,
Yourself, renowned prince, then stood as fair(20)
As any comer I have look'd on yet,
For my affection.
PORTIA:
In terms of choice, I am not only led
By the nice direction of a maiden's eyes;
Besides, the lottery of my destiny
Doesn’t give me the right to choose voluntarily;
But, if my father had not restricted me
And controlled me by his wit, to give myself
As his wife to the one who wins me by that means
I told you, you yourself, renowned Prince, would then
Stand as fair as any other man I have looked on yet
For my affection.
MOROCCO:
Even for that I thank you;
Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets,
To try my fortune. By this scimitar,—(25)
That slew the Sophy, and a Persian prince,
That won three fields of Sultan Solyman,—
I would o'erstare the sternest eyes that look,
Outbrave the heart most daring on the earth,
Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear,(30)
Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey,
To win thee, lady. But, alas the while!
If Hercules and Lichas play at dice
Which is the better man, the greater throw
May turn by fortune from the weaker hand:(35)
So is Alcides beaten by his page;
And so may I, blind fortune leading me,
Miss that which one unworthier may attain,
And die with grieving.
MOROCCO:
I thank you, even for that:
So, please, lead me to the chests so I may
Try my luck. By this sword,—
That killed the Shah, a Persian prince,
That won three battles with Sultan Solomon,—
I would out stare the angriest eyes that look,
Outbrave the most daring heart on the earth,
Pluck the young, sucking cubs from their mother,
Yes, taunt the lion when he roars for prey,
To win you, lady. But, pity the time!
If Hercules and Lichas threw dice to decide
Who was the better man, the best throw
May be turned by luck to come from the weaker hand:
So Alcides was beaten by his boy servant;
And I might too, with blind Fortune leading me,
Miss that treasure which a more unworthy man may get,
And I’ll die from grieving.
PORTIA:
You must take your chance;(40)
And either not attempt to choose at all,
Or swear, before you choose,—if you choose wrong,
Never to speak to lady afterward
In way of marriage; therefore be advis'd.
PORTIA:
You must take your chance,
And either don’t attempt to choose at all,
Or swear before you choose that, if you choose wrong,
You will never to speak to me afterward
About marriage; so be advised.
MOROCCO:
Nor will not; come, bring me unto my chance.(45)
MOROCCO:
I will not. Come, bring me to my chance.
PORTIA:
First, forward to the temple; after dinner
Your hazard shall be made.
PORTIA:
First, forward to the temple: after dinner
Your choice shall be made.
MOROCCO:
Good fortune, then! Cornets.
To make me bless'd, or cursed'st among men.
MOROCCO:
Good fortune then!
To make me blessed or cursed among men!

Exeunt.

Scene II

Original Text Modern Translation

[Venice]

Enter the clown [Launcelot] alone.

[LAUNCELOT:]
Certainly, my conscience will serve me to run
from this Jew, my master. The fiend is at mine elbow, and
tempts me; saying to me,—Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo,
good Launcelot, or good Gobbo, or good Launcelot
Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away.—My(5)
conscience says, no; take heed, honest Launcelot; take
heed, honest Gobbo; or, (as aforesaid) honest Launcelot
Gobbo; do not run: scorn running with thy heels: well,
the most courageous fiend bids me pack; Via! says the
fiend; away! says the fiend, for the heavens rouse up a(10)
brave mind, says the fiend, and run. Well, my conscience,
hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to
me,—my honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's
son: or rather an honest woman's son;—for, indeed, my
father did something smack, something grow to, he had a(15)
kind of taste;—well, my conscience says, Launcelot, budge
not: budge, says the fiend; budge not, says my conscience:
Conscience, say I, you counsel well; fiend, say I, you counsel
well: to be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with
the Jew my master, who, (God bless the mark!) is a kind of(20)
devil; and to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by
the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself.
Certainly, the Jew is the very devil incarnation: and, in my
conscience, my conscience is but a kind of hard conscience,
to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew: the fiend gives(25)
the more friendly counsel: I will run, fiend; my heels are at
your command, I will run.
[LAUNCELOT:]
Certainly, my conscience will allow me to run from this
Jew my master. The devil is at my elbow and tempts me, saying
to me, “Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot” or “good Gobbo” or
“good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, get going, run away.”
My conscience says, “No; be careful, honest Launcelot, be careful,
honest Gobbo” or, as I said before, “honest Launcelot Gobbo, don’t
run; scorn running with your heels.” Well, the most courageous
devil tells me to pack. “Go!” says the devil; “Away!” says the
devil. “For heaven’s sake, wake up a brave mind,” says the devil
“and run.” Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my
heart, says very wisely to me, “My honest friend Launcelot, being
an honest man's son”—or rather “an honest woman's son;”—because
indeed my father experienced some things, earned some things, he had a
kind of taste;—well, my conscience says, “Launcelot, don’t budge.”
“ Budge,” says the devil. “Don’t budge,” says my conscience.
“ Conscience,” I say, you advise me well.” “Devil,” I say, “you
advise me well.” To be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with
the Jew my master, who, God save us all! is a kind of devil;
and, to run away from the Jew, I should listen to the devil,
who, deliver us from evil! is the devil himself. Certainly, the
Jew is the very devil incarnate; and, in my conscience, my
conscience is only a kind of hard conscience, to offer to advise
me to stay with the Jew. The devil gives the more friendly
advice: I’ll run, devil; my heels are at your commandment; I
will run.

Enter old Gobbo with a Basket.

GOBBO:
Master, young man, you; I pray you, which is the way
to master Jew's?
GOBBO:
Master young man, you, please; which is the way to Master
Jew's?
LAUNCELOT:
O heavens, this is my true-begotten father! who,(30)
being more than sand-blind, high-gravel blind, knows me
not: I will try confusions with him.
LAUNCELOT:
Oh, heavens! This is my biological father, who, being
more than half-blind, nearly stone blind, doesn’t know me: I’ll try
to confuse him.
GOBBO:
Master, young gentleman, I pray you which is the way
to master Jew's?
GOBBO:
Master young gentleman, please, which is the way to Master
Jew's?
LAUNCELOT:
Turn up on your right hand at the next turning,(35)
but, at the next turning of all, on your left; marry, at the very
next turning, turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly to
the Jew's house.
LAUNCELOT:
Turn up on your right hand at the next turning, but, at
the next turning of all, on your left; damn it, at the very next
turning, turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew's
house.
GOBBO:
By God's sonties, 'twill be a hard way to hit. Can you
tell me whether one Launcelot, that dwells with him, dwell(40)
with him, or no?
GOBBO:
Be God's sonties, it will be a hard way to go. Can you tell
me whether one Launcelot, who lives with him, lives with him or
not?
LAUNCELOT:
Talk you of young Master Launcelot?—Mark me
now—now will I raise the waters.—Talk you of young master
Launcelot?
LAUNCELOT:
Are you taking about young Master Launcelot?

Listen to me
now; now I will really get him. Are you talking about young Master
Launcelot?

GOBBO:
No master, sir, but a poor man's son: his father, though(45)
I say it, is an honest exceeding poor man, and, God be
thanked, well to live.
GOBBO:
No master, sir, only a poor man's son; his father, although I
say it, is an honest, exceedingly poor man, and, thank God, well
enough to live.
LAUNCELOT:
Well, let his father be what a will, we talk of young
master Launcelot.
LAUNCELOT:
Well, let his father be what he will be, we’re talking about young
Master Launcelot.
GOBBO:
Your worship's friend and Launcelot, sir.(50)
GOBBO:
Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir.
LAUNCELOT:
But I pray you ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech you,
talk you of young master Launcelot.
LAUNCELOT:
But please, therefore, old man, therefore, I beg you, are you talking
about young Master Launcelot?
GOBBO:
Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership.
GOBBO:
Of Launcelot, if it pleases you, sir.
LAUNCELOT:
Ergo, master Launcelot; talk not of Master
Launcelot, father; for the young gentleman (according(55)
to fates and destinies, and such odd sayings,
the sister three, and such branches of learning) is, indeed,
deceased; or, as you would say in plain terms, gone to
heaven.
LAUNCELOT:
Therefore, Master Launcelot. Don’t talk about Master Launcelot,
father; for the young gentleman,—according to Fates and
Destinies and such odd sayings, the Sisters Three and such branches of
learning,—is indeed dead; or, as you would say in plain
terms, gone to heaven.
GOBBO:
Marry, God forbid! the boy was the very staff of my(60)
age, my very prop.
GOBBO:
Damn it, God forbid! The boy was the very support of my age, my
very prop.
LAUNCELOT:
Do I look like a cudgel, or a hovel-post, a staff,
or a prop? Do you know me, father?
LAUNCELOT:
Do I look like a club or a beating stick, a staff or a prop? Don’t
you know me, father?
GOBBO:
Alack the day, I know you not, young gentleman:
but, I pray you tell me, is my boy (God rest his soul!)(65)
alive or dead?
GOBBO:
Unhappy the day! I don’t know you, young gentleman; but please
tell me, is my boy—God rest his soul!—alive or dead?
LAUNCELOT:
Do you not know me, father?
LAUNCELOT:
Don’t you know me, father?
GOBBO:
Alack, sir, I am sand-blind, I know you not.
GOBBO:
Sorry, sir, I am half-blind; I don’t know you.
LAUNCELOT:
Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes you might fail
of the knowing me: it is a wise father that knows his own(70)
child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son: give
me your blessing: truth will come to light; murder cannot
be hid long; a man's son may; but, in the end, truth
will out.
LAUNCELOT:
No, indeed, even if you had your eyes, you might not
know me: it is a wise father that knows his own child. Well,
old man, I’ll tell you news of your son. Give me your blessing;
truth will come to light; murder cannot be hidden long; a man's son
may, but, in the end, truth will come out.
GOBBO:
Pray you, sir, stand up; I am sure you are not(75)
Launcelot, my boy.
GOBBO:
Please, sir, stand up; I am sure you are not Launcelot, my boy.
LAUNCELOT:
Pray you, let's have no more fooling about it, but
give me your blessing; I am Launcelot, your boy that was,
your son that is, your child that shall be.
LAUNCELOT:
Please, let's have no more fooling about it, but give
me your blessing; I am Launcelot, your boy that was, your son
that is, your child that shall be.
GOBBO:
I cannot think you are my son.(80)
GOBBO:
I cannot think you are my son.
LAUNCELOT:
I know not what I shall think of that: but I am
Launcelot, the Jew's man; and I am sure Margery, your
wife, is my mother.
LAUNCELOT:
I don’t know what I shall think of that; but I am Launcelot, the
Jew's man, and I am sure Margery your wife is my mother.
GOBBO:
Her name is Margery, indeed: I'll be sworn, if thou
be Launcelot, thou art mine own flesh and blood. Lord(85)
worshipped might he be! what a beard hast thou got!
thou hast got more hair on thy chin than Dobbin my
phill-horse has on his tail.
GOBBO:
Her name is Margery, indeed: I'll swear, if you are
Launcelot, you are my own flesh and blood. Lord of us all,
what a beard you’ve got! You have got more hair
on your chin than Dobbin my thrill-horse has on his tail.
LAUNCELOT:
It should seem then, that Dobbin's tail grows
backward: I am sure he had more hair of his tail, than I(90)
have of my face, when I last saw him.
LAUNCELOT:
It should seem, then, that Dobbin's tail grows backward;
I am sure he had more hair on his tail than I have on my face
when I last saw him.
GOBBO:
Lord, how art thou changed! How dost thou and thy
master agree? I have brought him a present. How 'gree
you now?
GOBBO:
Lord! how you have changed! How do you and your master
get along? I have brought him a present. How do you get along now?
LAUNCELOT:
Well, well; but, for mine own part, as I have set up(95)
my rest to run away, so I will not rest till I have run some
ground. My master's a very Jew. Give him a present! give him
a halter: I am famished in his service; you may tell every finger
I have with my ribs. Father, I am glad you are come: give
me your present to one master Bassanio, who, indeed, gives(100)
rare new liveries; if I serve not him, I will run as far as God
has any ground.—O rare fortune! here comes the man;—to
him, father; for I am a Jew if I serve the Jew any longer.
LAUNCELOT:
Well, well; but, as for me, as I have made up my mind
to run away, so I’ll not rest until I have run some ground.
My master's a very Jew. Give him a present! Give him a halter. I
am starving in his service; you can count my ribs with your fingers.
Father, I’m glad you’ve come; give your present to
one Master Bassanio, who indeed is giving rare new clothing to
new servants. If I don’t serve him, I’ll run as far as God has any
ground. Oh, rare fortune! Here comes the man: give the present to him,
father; because I am a Jew, if I serve the Jew any longer.

Enter Bassanio with a follower or two [one of them Leonardo.]

BASSANIO:
You may do so:—but let it be so hasted, that supper
be ready at the farthest by five of the clock. See these letters(105)
delivered; put the liveries to making; and desire Gratiano to
come anon to my lodging.
BASSANIO:
You may do so; but let it be quickly so that supper is
ready by five of the clock at the latest. See these letters are
delivered, get the servants’ clothes made, and ask Gratiano to
come now to my house.
LAUNCELOT:
To him, father.
LAUNCELOT:
To him, father.
GOBBO:
God bless your worship!
GOBBO:
God bless you, sir!
BASSANIO:
Gramercy! wouldst thou aught with me?(110)
BASSANIO:
God have mercy, what do you want with me?
GOBBO:
Here's my son, sir, a poor boy,—
GOBBO:
Here is my son, sir, a poor boy—
LAUNCELOT:
Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew's man; that
would, sir, as my father shall specify,—
LAUNCELOT:
Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew's man, that would,
sir,—as my father shall specify—
GOBBO:
He hath a great infection, sir, as one would say, to
serve,—(115)
GOBBO:
He has a great infection, sir, as one would say, to serve—
LAUNCELOT:
Indeed, the short and the long is, I serve the Jew,
and have a desire, as my father shall specify,—
LAUNCELOT:
Indeed the short and the long is, I serve the Jew, and
have a desire, as my father shall specify—
GOBBO:
His master and he (saving your worship's reverence) are
scarce cater-cousins:—
GOBBO:
His master and he, God save you, sir, are
almost like cousins—
LAUNCELOT:
To be brief, the very truth is, that the Jew having(120)
done me wrong, doth cause me, as my father, being I hope
an old man, shall frutify unto you, —
LAUNCELOT:
To be brief, the very truth is that the Jew, having done
me wrong, causes me,—as my father, being I hope an old man,
shall frutify to you—
GOBBO:
I have here a dish of doves, that I would bestow upon
your worship; and my suit is,—
GOBBO:
I have here a dish of doves that I wish to give you,
sir; and what I want is—
LAUNCELOT:
In very brief, the suit is impertinent to myself,(125)
as your worship shall know by this honest old man; and,
though I say it, though old man, yet, poor man, my father.
LAUNCELOT:
In very brief, what he asks is impertinent to myself, as
you, sir, shall know from this honest old man; and, though I say
it, though old man, yet poor man, my father.
BASSANIO:
One speak for both:—what would you?
BASSANIO:
One of you speak for both of you. What do you want?
LAUNCELOT:
Serve you, sir.
LAUNCELOT:
To serve you, sir.
GOBBO:
That is the very defect of the matter, sir.(130)
GOBBO:
That is the very defect of the matter, sir.
BASSANIO:
I know thee well; thou hast obtain'd thy suit:
Shylock, thy master, spoke with me this day,
And hath preferr'd thee, if it be preferment
To leave a rich Jew's service, to become
The follower of so poor a gentleman.(135)
BASSANIO:
I know you well; you have gotten what you ask for.
Shylock your master spoke with me today,
And has recommended you, if it is a recommendation
To leave a rich Jew's service to become
The follower of so poor a gentleman.
[LAUNCELOT:]
The old proverb is very well parted between
my master Shylock and you, sir; you have the grace of
God, sir, and he hath enough.
[LAUNCELOT:]
The old proverb is very well parted between my master
Shylock and you, sir: you have the grace of God, sir, and he has
enough.
BASSANIO:
Thou speak'st it well. Go, father, with thy son:—
Take leave of thy old master, and inquire(140)
My lodging out:—Give him a livery
More guarded than his fellows: see it done.
BASSANIO:
You speak well. Go, father, with your son.
Say goodbye to your old master, and find out
Where I live.

Give him clothes
That are less showy than that of his fellows; see it gets done.

[LAUNCELOT:]
Father, in:—I cannot get a service, no!—I have
ne'er a tongue in my head!—well! If any man in Italy
have a fairer table, which doth offer to swear upon a(145)
book, I shall have good fortune! Go to, here's a simple
line of life! here's a small trifle of wives: alas, fifteen wives
is nothing; aleven widows and nine maids, is a simple
coming-in for one man: and then, to 'scape drowning
thrice; and to be in peril of my life with the edge of a(150)
feather bed; here are simple 'scapes! Well, if fortune be a
woman, she's a good wench for this gear.—Father, come.
I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye.
[LAUNCELOT:]
Father, go in. I cannot get a service, no! I have never had a
tongue in my head!

Well; if any man in Italy has a better table that offers to swear on a book,
I shall have good luck. Come on; here's a simple line of life;
here's a small number of wives; sadly, fifteen wives is nothing;
eleven widows and nine maids is a simple coming-in for one man.
And then to escape drowning three times, and to be in fear for my life
with the edge of a feather bed; here are simple escapes. Well, if
Fortune is a woman, she's a good woman for this guy. Father,
come; I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye.

Exit Clown.

BASSANIO:
I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this.
These things being bought, and orderly bestow'd,(155)
Return in haste, for I do feast to-night
My best-esteem'd acquaintance: hie thee Go.
BASSANIO:
Please, good Leonardo, think about this:
Once these things have been bought and orderly put away
Come back quickly, because I feast tonight with
My best-esteemed acquaintance; hurry up, go.
LEONARDO:
My best endeavours shall be done herein.
LEONARDO:
You have my best efforts to get everything done as you ask.

Exit Leonardo.

Enter Gratiano.

GRATIANO:
Where's your master?
GRATIANO:
Where's your master?
LEONARDO:
Yonder, sir, he walks.(160)
LEONARDO:
Over there, sir, he’s walking.
GRATIANO:
Signior Bassanio,—
GRATIANO:
Mr. Bassanio!—
BASSANIO:
Gratiano!
BASSANIO:
Gratiano!
GRATIANO:
I have a suit to you.
GRATIANO:
I have to ask you something.
BASSANIO:
You have obtain'd it.
BASSANIO:
You’ve got it.
GRATIANO:
You must not deny me. I must go with you to(165)
Belmont.
GRATIANO:
You mustn’t say no: I must go with you to Belmont.
BASSANIO:
Why, then you must.—But hear thee, Gratiano;
Thou art too wild, too rude and bold of voice;
Parts, that become thee happily enough,
And in such eyes as ours appear not faults;(170)
But where thou art not known, why, there they show
Something too liberal: pray thee, take pain
To allay with some cold drops of modesty,
Thy skipping spirit; lest, through thy wild behavior,
I be misconster'd in the place I go to,(175)
And lose my hopes.
BASSANIO:
Why, then you must go. But listen, Gratiano;
You are too wild, too rude, and loud,
Qualities that become you happily enough,
And, in such eyes as ours, don’t appear to be faults;
But where no one knows you, why there, these qualities
Show something that’s too liberal. Please, take pains
To behave yourself and to control
Your wild spirit, so that I won’t be misunderstood
As to why I came, because of your wild behavior,
And lose my hopes of marriage.
GRATIANO:
Signior Bassanio, hear me:
If I do not put on a sober habit,
Talk with respect, and swear but now and then,
Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely;(180)
Nay more, while grace is saying, hood mine eyes
Thus with my hat, and sigh, and say Amen;
Use all the observance of civility,
Like one well studied in a sad ostent
To please his grandam,—never trust me more.(185)
GRATIANO:
Mr. Bassanio, listen to me:
If I don’t put on a sober habit,
Talk with respect, and swear only now and then,
Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely,
No more, while grace is saying, hood my eyes
Like this with my hat, and sigh, and say “amen;”
Use all the observances of manners,
As one well studied in a sad display in order
To please his grandmother, never trust me anymore.
BASSANIO:
Well, we shall see your bearing.
BASSANIO:
Well, we’ll see your behavior.
GRATIANO:
Nay, but I bar to-night; you shall not gage me
By what we do to-night.
GRATIANO:
No, but tonight is an exception; you shall not judge me
By what we do tonight.
BASSANIO:
No, that were pity;
I would entreat you rather to put on(190)
Your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends
That purpose merriment. But fare you well,
I have some business.
BASSANIO:
No, that would be a pity;
I would beg you rather to put on
Your boldest face of happiness, because we have friends
That offer merriment. But goodbye;
I have some business to see to.
GRATIANO:
And I must to Lorenzo and the rest;
But we will visit you at supper-time.(195)
GRATIANO:
And I must go to Lorenzo and the rest;
But we’ll visit you at suppertime.

Exeunt.

Scene III

Original Text Modern Translation

[Venice]

Enter Jessica and [Launcelot] the Clown.

JESSICA:
I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so;
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,
Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness:
But fare thee well: there is a ducat for thee.
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see(5)
Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest:
Give him this letter; do it secretly,
And so farewell; I would not have my father
See me in talk with thee.
JESSICA:
I am sorry that you will leave my father like this:
Our house is hell, and you, a happy devil,
Robbed it of some taste of boredom.
But goodbye; there is a dollar for you;
And, Launcelot, you will soon see Lorenzo
at supper, who is your new master's guest:
Give him this letter; do it secretly.
And so, goodbye. I wouldn’t have my father
See me talking with you.
[LAUNCELOT:]
Adieu!—tears exhibit my tongue. Most(10)
beautiful pagan,—most sweet Jew! If a Christian did not
play the knave and get thee, I am much deceived. But,
adieu! these foolish drops do something drown my manly
spirit: adieu!
[LAUNCELOT:]
Goodbye! Tears exhibit my voice. Most beautiful pagan,
most sweet Jew! If a Christian doesn’t play the rogue and get
you, I am much deceived. But, goodbye! these foolish drops
drown my manly spirit somewhat; goodbye!

Exit.

JESSICA:
Farewell, good Launcelot.(15)
Alack, what heinous sin is it in me,
To be asham'd to be my father's child!
But though I am a daughter to his blood,
I am not to his manners: O Lorenzo!
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife;(20)
Become a Christian, and thy loving wife.
JESSICA:
Goodbye, good Launcelot.

It’s a pity, what hateful sin it is in me
To be ashamed to be my father's child!
But, although I am a daughter from his blood,
I am not from his manners. Oh, Lorenzo!
If you keep your promise, I shall end this strife,
Become a Christian and your loving wife.

Exit.

Scene IV

Original Text Modern Translation

[Venice]

Enter Gratiano, Lorenzo, Salerio, and Solanio.

LORENZO:
Nay, we will slink away in supper-time,
Disguise us at my lodging, and return,
All in an hour.
LORENZO:
No, we’ll slink away at suppertime,
Disguise ourselves at my house, and return
All in an hour.
GRATIANO:
We have not made good preparation.
GRATIANO:
We haven’t made a good preparation.
SALERIO:
We have not spoke us yet of torchbearers.(5)
SALERIO:
We haven’t spoken about the torchbearers yet.
SOLANIO:
'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered,
And better, in my mind, not undertook.
SOLANIO:
It’s nasty, unless they may be skillfully ordered,
And I think it’s better not to be undertaken.
LORENZO:
'Tis now but four o'clock; we have two hours,
To furnish us.—
Friend Launcelot, what's the news?(10)
LORENZO:
It’s only four o'clock now; we have two hours
To get them.

Friend Launcelot, what's the news?

Enter Launcelot, with a letter.

LAUNCELOT:
An it shall please you to break up this, it shall
seem to signify.
LAUNCELOT:
If you will please break this up, it will
become clear.
LORENZO:
I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand;
And whiter than the paper it writ on,
Is the fair hand that writ.(15)
LORENZO:
I know the hand; in faith, it’s a beautiful hand,
And the beautiful hand that wrote it
Is whiter than the paper it’s written on.
GRATIANO:
Love-news, in faith.
GRATIANO:
Love news, in faith.
LAUNCELOT:
By your leave, sir.
LAUNCELOT:
Excuse me, sir.
LORENZO:
Whither goest thou?
LORENZO:
Where are you going?
LAUNCELOT:
Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup
to-night with my new master the Christian.(20)
LAUNCELOT:
Damn it, sir, to bid my old master, the Jew, to come
to supper tonight with my new master, the Christian.
LORENZO:
Hold here, take this.—Tell gentle Jessica,
I will not fail her.—Speak it privately.
Go. Gentlemen, will you prepare you for this masque
to-night?
I am provided of a torch-bearer.(25)
LORENZO:
Hang on! Here, take this. Tell gentle Jessica that
I will not fail her; speak it in private.
Go, gentlemen,

Will you get yourself ready for this party tonight?
I have a torchbearer.

Exit Clown.

SALERIO:
Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
SALERIO:
Yes, damn it, I'll be taking care of it right away.
SOLANIO:
And so will I.
SOLANIO:
And so will I.
LORENZO:
Meet me and Gratiano,
At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence.
LORENZO:
Meet me and Gratiano
At Gratiano's house in about an hour.
SALERIO:
'Tis good we do so.(30)
SALERIO:
Okay.

Exit [Salerio and Solanio]

GRATIANO:
Was not that letter from fair Jessica?
GRATIANO:
Wasn’t that letter from beautiful Jessica?
LORENZO:
I must needs tell thee all. She hath directed
How I shall take her from her father's house;
What gold and jewels she is furnish'd with;
What page's suit she hath in readiness.(35)
If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven,
It will be for his gentle daughter's sake:
And never dare misfortune cross her foot,
Unless she do it under this excuse,—
That she is issue to a faithless Jew.(40)
Come, go with me; peruse this as thou goest:
Fair Jessica shall be my torchbearer.
LORENZO:
I must tell you everything. She has made a plan of
How I shall take her from her father's house;
What gold and jewels she has;
What boy's suit she has ready.
If the Jew her father ever comes to heaven,
It will be for his gentle daughter's sake;
And never should misfortune dare to cross her foot,
Unless she does it under this excuse,
That she is daughter to a faithless Jew.
Come, go with me, read this over as you go;
Beautiful Jessica shall be my torchbearer.

Exit.

Scene V

Original Text Modern Translation

[Venice]

Enter [Shylock, ] Jew, his man that was the Clown [Launcelot].

[SHYLOCK:]
Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge,
The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:—
What, Jessica!—thou shalt not gormandise,
As thou hast done with me;—What, Jessica!—
And sleep, and snore, and rend apparel out;—(5)
Why, Jessica, I say!
[SHYLOCK:]
Well, you shall see; your eyes shall be your judge,
The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:—
What, Jessica!—You won’t eat like a glutton,
As you have done with me;—What, Jessica!—
And sleep and snore, and tear clothes apart—
Why, Jessica, I say!
[LAUNCELOT:]
Why, Jessica!
[LAUNCELOT:]
Why, Jessica!
[SHYLOCK:]
Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.
[SHYLOCK:]
Who called for you? I didn’t call for you.
[LAUNCELOT:]
Your worship was wont to tell me, I could do
nothing without bidding.(10)
[LAUNCELOT:]
You, sir, always told me I couldn’t do anything
without bidding.

Enter Jessica.

JESSICA:
Call you? What is your will?
JESSICA:
Did you call? What is it?
[SHYLOCK:]
I am bid forth to supper, Jessica:
There are my keys.—But wherefore should I go?
I am not bid for love; they flatter me:
But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon(15)
The prodigal Christian.—Jessica, my girl,
Look to my house.—I am right loath to go;
There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest,
For I did dream of money-bags to-night.
[SHYLOCK:]
I am asked to go out to supper, Jessica:
There are my keys. But why should I go?
I am not asked for friendship; they flatter me;
But yet I'll go in hate, to feed on
The prodigal Christian. Jessica, my girl,
Take care of my house. I am very reluctant to go;
There is some ill disturbing my rest,
Because I dreamt of moneybags tonight.
[LAUNCELOT:]
I beseech you, sir, go; my young master doth(20)
expect your reproach.
[LAUNCELOT:]
Please, sir, go: my young master expects your
insult.
[SHYLOCK:]
So do I, his.
[SHYLOCK:]
So I expect his.
[LAUNCELOT:]
And they have conspired together,—I will not
say, you shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was
not for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on Black-(25)
Monday last, at six o'clock i' the morning, falling out
that year on Ash-Wednesday was four year in the
afternoon.
[LAUNCELOT:]
And they have conspired together; I’ll not say you
shall see a party, but if you do, then it was not for nothing
that my nose started bleeding on last Black Monday at six o'clock
in the morning, falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four
years in the afternoon.
[SHYLOCK:]
What! are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica:
Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum,(30)
And the vile squealing of the wry-neck'd fife,
Clamber not you up to the casements then,
Nor thrust your head into the public street,
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces:
But stop my house's ears, I mean my casements;(35)
Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter
My sober house.—By Jacob's staff I swear,
I have no mind of feasting forth to-night:
But I will go.—Go you before me, sirrah;
Say, I will come.(40)
[SHYLOCK:]
What! are there parties? Listen to me, Jessica:
Lock up my doors, and when you hear the drum,
And the vile squealing of the long-necked pipe,
Don’t run up to the windows then,
Or thrust your head into the public street
To gaze on Christian fools with varnished masks;
But stop my house's ears- I mean my windows;
Don’t let the sound of shallow foolishness enter
My sober house. By Jacob's staff, I swear
I don’t want to go feasting outside tonight;
But I’ll go. You go ahead of me, servant;
Say I’ll come.
[LAUNCELOT:]
I will go before, sir.—
Mistress, look out at window for all this;
There will come a Christian by,
Will be worth a Jewess' eye.
[LAUNCELOT:]
I’ll go ahead of you, sir. Mistress, look out at window for all this;
There will come a Christian by
That will be worth a Jewess' eye.
[SHYLOCK:]
What says that fool of Hagar's offspring; ha?(45)
[SHYLOCK:]
What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, huh?
JESSICA:
His words were, Farewell mistress; nothing else.
JESSICA:
His words were, “Goodbye, mistress,” nothing else.
[SHYLOCK:]
The patch is kind enough; but a huge feeder,
Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
More than the wild cat: drones hive not with me,
Therefore I part with him; and part with him(50)
To one, that I would have him help to waste
His borrow'd purse.—Well, Jessica, go in;
Perhaps, I will return immediately;
Do as I bid you, shut doors after you:
Fast bind, fast find;(55)
A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.
[SHYLOCK:]
The man is kind enough, but a huge eater;
Snail-slow in worth, and he sleeps by day
More than the wild-cat does; drones don’t live with me,
So I’m parting with him; and send with him
To one that I want him help to waste
His borrowed purse. Well, Jessica, go in;
Perhaps I’ll return immediately:
Do as I tell you, shut doors after you:
“Fast bind, fast find,”
A proverb that’s never forgotten in a successful mind.

Exit.

JESSICA:
Farewell; and if my fortune be not cross'd,
I have a father, you a daughter, lost.
JESSICA:
Goodbye; and, if my fortune is not crossed,
I have lost a father, and you a daughter.

Exit.

Scene VI

Original Text Modern Translation

Enter the maskers, Gratiano and Salerio.

GRATIANO:
This is the pent-house, under which Lorenzo
Desir'd us to make stand.
GRATIANO:
This is the house where Lorenzo
Wanted us to wait.
SALERIO:
His hour is almost past.
SALERIO:
He’s almost late.
GRATIANO:
And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour,
For lovers ever run before the clock.(5)
GRATIANO:
And it’s a wonder that he’s late,
Because lovers always keep ahead of the clock.
SALERIO:
O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly
To seal love's bonds new-made, than they are wont
To keep obliged faith unforfeited!
SALERIO:
Oh! Love’s pigeons fly ten times faster
To seal newly made promises of love than they are
Accustomed to keeping love’s old vows from being broken!
GRATIANO:
That ever holds: who riseth from a feast
With that keen appetite that he sits down?(10)
Where is the horse that doth untread again,
His tedious measures with the unbated fire,
That he did pace them first? All things that are,
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd.
How like a younger, or a prodigal,(15)
The scarfed bark puts from her native bay,
Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind!

Enter Lorenzo.

How like a prodigal doth she return;
With over-weather'd ribs, and ragged sails,
Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the strumpet wind!(20)
GRATIANO:
That’s true: who gets up from a feast
With the same hunger that he had when he sat down?
Where is the horse that retraces his boring steps again
With the same fire
That he walked them in the first place? All things that exist
Are sought for with more spirit than the spirit to enjoy them.
How the sailing ship leaves her native port
Like a youngster or a spendthrift
Hugged and embraced by the prostitute wind!
How she returns like the spendthrift,
With weather-beaten sides and ragged sails,
Thin, torn, and destitute by the prostitute wind!
SALERIO:
Here comes Lorenzo;—more of this hereafter.
SALERIO:
Here comes Lorenzo; more about this later.
LORENZO:
Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode:
Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait:
When you shall please to play the thieves for wives,
I'll watch as long for you then.—Approach;(25)
Here dwells my father Jew.—Ho! who's within?
LORENZO:
Sweet friends, I’m sorry I’m late;
Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait:
When you are ready to do anything to get wives,
I'll watch as long for you then. Come on;
My father-n-law Jew lives here. Hey! Who's in there?

[Enter] Jessica above.

JESSICA:
Who are you? Tell me, for more certainty,
Albeit I'll swear that I do know your tongue.
JESSICA:
Who are you? Tell me, just to be sure,
Even though I'll swear that I know your voice.
LORENZO:
Lorenzo, and thy love.
LORENZO:
Lorenzo, and your love.
JESSICA:
Lorenzo, certain; and my love, indeed;(30)
For who love I so much? And now, who knows
But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
JESSICA:
Lorenzo, to be sure and my love indeed,
Because who do love I so much? And now, who knows
But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
LORENZO:
Heaven, and thy thoughts, are witness that thou
art.
LORENZO:
Heaven and your thoughts are witnesses that you are.
JESSICA:
Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains.(35)
I am glad 'tis night, you do not look on me,
For I am much asham'd of my exchange:
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselves commit;
For if they could, Cupid himself would blush,(40)
To see me thus transformed to a boy.
JESSICA:
Here, catch this chest; it is worth the trouble.
I am glad it’s night so that you can’t see me,
Because I am very ashamed of my costume;
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
The pretty mischief that they themselves commit,
Because, if they could, Cupid himself would blush
To see me transformed to a boy like this.
LORENZO:
Descend, for you must be my torchbearer.
LORENZO:
Go down, because you must be carry my torch.
JESSICA:
What, must I hold a candle to my shames?
They in themselves, good-sooth, are too-too light.
Why, 'tis an office of discovery, love;(45)
And I should be obscur'd.
JESSICA:
What! Do I have to hold a light on my shame?
They in themselves, to tell the truth, are as light as a flute.
Why, light is a function of discovering things, love,
And I should be hidden.
LORENZO:
So are you, sweet,
Even in the lovely garnish of a boy.
But come at once;
For the close night doth play the run-away,(50)
And we are stay'd for at Bassanio's feast.
LORENZO:
And you are hidden, sweetheart,
Even in the lovely garments of a boy.
But come at once,
Because the night is running away,
And we are waited for at Bassanio's feast.
JESSICA:
I will make fast the doors, and gild myself
With some more ducats, and be with you straight.
JESSICA:
I’ll secure the doors, and cover myself
With some more dollars, and I’ll be with you right away.

[Exit above]

GRATIANO:
Now, by my hood, a Gentile and no Jew.
GRATIANO:
Now, I swear, she is a Gentile and no Jew.
LORENZO:
Beshrew me, but I love her heartily:(55)
For she is wise, if I can judge of her;
And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true;
And true she is, as she hath prov'd herself;
And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, and true,
Shall she be placed in my constant soul.(60)

Enter Jessica, [below].

What, art thou come?—On, gentlemen, away;
Our masquing mates by this time for us stay.
LORENZO:
Curse me, but I love her heartily;
Because she is wise, if I can judge her,
And she is beautiful, if my eyes can really see,
And she is true, as she has proved herself;
And so, like herself, wise, beautiful, and true,
She shall be placed in my faithful soul.

What, are you here? On, gentlemen, let’s go!
Our partying friends wait for us already.

Exit [with Jessica and Salerio]

Enter Antonio

ANTONIO:
Who's there?
ANTONIO:
Who's there?
GRATIANO:
Signior Antonio!
GRATIANO:
Mr. Antonio!
ANTONIO:
Fie, fie, Gratiano! where are all the rest?(65)
'Tis nine o'clock, our friends all stay for you:
No masque to-night, the wind is come about;
Bassanio presently will go aboard:
I have sent twenty out to seek for you.
ANTONIO:
Nonsense, nonsense, Gratiano! where are all the rest?
It’s nine o'clock; our friends all wait for you.
No party tonight: the wind has changed direction;
Bassanio will go aboard soon:
I have sent out twenty men to look for you.
GRATIANO:
I am glad on't; I desire no more delight,(70)
Than to be under sail and gone to-night.
GRATIANO:
I am glad about it: I don’t want anything more
Than to get sailing and be gone tonight.

Exeunt.

Scene VII

Original Text Modern Translation

[Belmont]

Enter Portia with [the Prince of] Morocco, and both their trains.

PORTIA:
Go, draw aside the curtains, and discover
The several caskets to this noble prince:—
Now make your choice.
PORTIA:
Go, draw the curtains aside, and show
The three chests to this noble prince.
Now, make your choice.
MOROCCO:
The first, of gold, who this inscription bears:
Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire.(5)
The second, silver, which this promise carries:
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.
This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt:
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath.
How shall I know if I do choose the right?(10)
MOROCCO:
The first, of gold, bears this inscription:
“Who chooses me shall gain what many men desire.”
The second, silver, carries this promise:
“Who chooses me shall get as much as he deserves.”
This third, dull lead, has a warning just as blunt:
“Who chooses me must give and gamble all he has.”
How shall I know if I chose the right one?
PORTIA:
The one of them contains my picture, prince;
If you choose that, then I am yours withal.
PORTIA:
One of them contains my picture, prince;
If you choose that, then I am yours as well.
MOROCCO:
Some god direct my judgment! Let me see.
I will survey the inscriptions back again:
What says this leaden casket:(15)
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath.
Must give—For what? for lead? hazard for lead?
This casket threatens: Men that hazard all
Do it in hope of fair advantages:
A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross;(20)
I'll then nor give, nor hazard, aught for lead.
What says the silver, with her virgin hue?
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.
As much as he deserves?—Pause there, Morocco,
And weigh thy value with an even hand:(25)
If thou be'st rated by thy estimation,
Thou dost deserve enough; and yet enough
May not extend so far as to the lady:
And yet to be afeard of my deserving,
Were but a weak disabling of myself.(30)
As much as I deserve!—Why, that's the lady:
I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes,
In graces, and in qualities of breeding;
But more than these, in love I do deserve.
What if I strayed no further, but chose here?—(35)
Let's see once more this saying grav'd in gold:
Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire.
Why, that's the lady: all the world desires her:
From the four corners of the earth they come,
To kiss this shrine, this mortal, breathing, saint.(40)
The Hyrcanian deserts and the vasty wilds
Of wide Arabia, are as through-fares now,
For princes to come view fair Portia:
The watery kingdom, whose ambitious head
Spets in the face of heaven, is no bar(45)
To stop the foreign spirits; but they come,
As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia.
One of these three contains her heavenly picture.
Is't like that lead contains her? 'Twere damnation
To think so base a thought: it were too gross(50)
To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave.
Or shall I think in silver she's immur'd,
Being ten times undervalued to tried gold?
O sinful thought! Never so rich a gem
Was set in worse than gold. They have in England,(55)
A coin that bears the figure of an angel,
Stamped in gold; but that's insculp'd upon;
But here an angel in a golden bed
Lies all within.—Deliver me the key;
Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may!(60)
MOROCCO:
Some god direct my judgment! Let me see;
I’ll look over the inscriptions again.
What does this leaden chest say?
'Who chooses me must give and gamble all he has.”
“ Must give”: give what? For lead? Gamble for lead!
This chest threatens; men that gamble everything
Do it in hope of a better advantage:
A golden mind doesn’t stoop to shows of scum;
Then I won’t give or gamble anything for lead.
What does the silver say, with her virgin color?
'Who chooses me shall get as much as he deserves.”
As much as he deserves! Stop there, Morocco,
And consider your value with a balanced hand.
If you are rated by your own opinion,
You do deserve enough, and yet enough
May not extend so far as to include the lady;
And yet to be afraid of my what I think I deserve
Is only a weak opinion of myself.
As much as I deserve! Why, that's the lady:
I was born to deserve her, and also in fortunes,
In graces, and in qualities of breeding;
But more than these, I do deserve love.
What if I didn’t go any farther, and chose right here?
Let's see this saying engraved in gold once more:
'Who chooses me shall gain what many men desire.”
Why, that's the lady: all the world desires her;
They come from the four corners of the earth,
To kiss this shrine, this mortal-breathing saint:
The ancient deserts and the vast wilds
Of wide Arabia are like long highways now
Because princes come to see beautiful Portia:
The ocean, whose ambitious waves
Spit in the face of heaven, is no barrier
To stop the foreign spirits; they only come
To see beautiful Portia as though the ocean was a brook.
One of these three chests contains her heavenly picture.
Is it likely that the lead one holds her picture? It’s damnation
To think such a low thought; it’s too gross
Even to be used as her shroud in the obscure grave.
Or shall I think she's enclosed in the walls of this silver one,
Being worth ten times less than traditional gold?
Oh, sinful thought! There never was so rich a gem
Set in something worse than gold. In England, they have
A coin that bears the figure of an angel
Stamped in gold; but that's engraved on it,
But here, an angel in a golden bed
Lies inside this chest. Give me the key;
I choose here, and be as lucky I as I may!
PORTIA:
There, take it, prince, and if my form lie there,
Then I am yours. [He unlocks the golden casket]
PORTIA:
There, take it, prince, and if my picture lies there,
Then I am yours.
MOROCCO:
O hell! what have we here?
A carrion Death, within whose empty eye
There is a written scroll? I'll read the writing.(65)

[Reads]

All that glisters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold,
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.(70)
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscroll'd:
Fare you well; your suit is cold.
Cold, indeed; and labour lost:(75)
Then, farewell heat; and welcome frost.—
Portia, adieu! I have too griev'd a heart
To take a tedious leave. Thus losers part.
MOROCCO:
Oh, hell! what have we here?
A skull, whose empty eye has
A written scroll in it! I'll read the writing.
“Everything that glitters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told;
Many a man has sold his life
Just to look at my outside:
Gilded tombs wrap around worms.
If you had been as wise as you are bold,
Young in arms and legs, and old in judgment,
Your answer would not have been a scroll:
Goodbye, your search is cold.”
Cold indeed; and waste of work :
Then, goodbye, heat, and welcome, frost!
Portia, goodbye! I have such a very grieving heart
That I won’t leave slowly; losers leave like this.

Exit.

PORTIA:
A gentle riddance:—Draw the curtains, go;—
Let all of his complexion choose me so.(80)
PORTIA:
A gentle clearance. Close the curtains: go.
Let every man like him choose me in the same way.

Exeunt.

Scene VIII

Original Text Modern Translation

[Venice]

Enter Salerio and Solanio.

SALERIO:
Why, man, I saw Bassanio under sail;
With him is Gratiano gone along;
And in their ship, I am sure, Lorenzo is not.
SALERIO:
Why, man, I saw Bassanio sailing away;
Gratiano has gone along with him;
And I am sure Lorenzo is not on their ship.
SOLANIO:
The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the duke;
Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship.(5)
SOLANIO:
The villain Jew woke up the Duke with outcries.
The Duke went with him to search Bassanio's ship.
SALERIO:
He came too late, the ship was under sail:
But there the duke was given to understand,
That in a gondola were seen together
Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica;
Besides, Antonio certified the duke,(10)
They were not with Bassanio in his ship.
SALERIO:
He came too late, the ship was sailing away;
But there, the Duke was given to understand
That Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica
Were seen together in a gondola.
Besides, Antonio assured the Duke that
They were not with Bassanio in his ship.
SOLANIO:
I never heard a passion so confus'd,
So strange, outrageous, and so variable,
As the dog Jew did utter in the streets:
My daughter!—O my ducats!—O my daughter!(15)
Fled with a Christian?—O my Christian ducats!—
Justice! the law! my ducats, and my daughter!
A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats,
Of double ducats, stol'n from me by my daughter!
And jewels; two stones, two rich and precious stones,(20)
Stol'n by my daughter!—Justice! find the girl!
She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats!
SOLANIO:
I never heard such confused anger,
So strange, outrageous, and so changeable,
The Jew barked like the dog in the streets.
“ My daughter! Oh, my dollars! Oh, my daughter!
Fled with a Christian! Oh, my Christian dollars!
Justice! The law! My dollars and my daughter!
A sealed bag, two sealed bags of dollars,
Of double dollars, stolen from me by my daughter!
And jewels! Two stones, two rich and precious stones,
Stolen by my daughter! Justice! Find the girl!
She has the stones on her and the dollars.”
SALERIO:
Why, all the boys in Venice follow him
Crying,—‘His stones, his daughter, and his ducats.’
SALERIO:
Why, all the boys in Venice followed him,
Crying, his stones, his daughter, and his dollars.
SOLANIO:
Let good Antonio look he keep his day,(25)
Or he shall pay for this.
SOLANIO:
Let good Antonio be careful about making his
Payment on time, or he shall pay for this.
SALERIO:
Marry, well remember'd:
I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday,
Who told me,—in the narrow seas that part
The French and English, there miscarried(30)
A vessel of our country, richly fraught:
I thought upon Antonio when he told me,
And wish'd in silence that it were not his.
SALERIO:
Damn it, thanks for reminding me.
I was talking yesterday with a Frenchman,
Who told me that, in the narrow seas that part
The French and English, a vessel of our
Country, sank, loaded full with rich cargo.
I thought about Antonio when he told me,
And wished in silence that the ship wasn’t his.
SOLANIO:
You were best to tell Antonio what you hear;
Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.(35)
SOLANIO:
You’d better tell Antonio what you heard; still, don’t tell
Him without warning because it may be too painful.
SALERIO:
A kinder gentleman treads not the earth.
I saw Bassanio and Antonio part:
Bassanio told him, he would make some speed
Of his return; he answer'd—Do not so,
Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio,(40)
But stay the very riping of the time;
And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me,
Let it not enter in your mind of love:
Be merry; and employ your chiefest thoughts
To courtship, and such fair ostents of love,(45)
As shall conveniently become you there:
And even there, his eye being big with tears,
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,
And, with affection wondrous sensible,
He wrung Bassanio's hand, and so they parted.(50)
SALERIO:
A kinder gentleman does not walk on the earth.
I saw Bassanio and Antonio say goodbye:
Bassanio told him he would hurry back.
He answered 'Don’t hurry back;
Don’t be careless with business for my sake, Bassanio,
But wait until your plans are realized;
And for the Jew's promise to pay which he has from me,
Don’t let it enter your mind, thinking about love:
Be happy, and use your main thoughts
For courtship, and such beautiful shows of love
That may agree with you there.”
And even there, his eyes being big with tears,
Turning his face away, he put his hands behind him,
And with affection that was amazingly easy to feel,
He shook and shook Bassanio's hand, and they parted like that.
SOLANIO:
I think he only loves the world for him.
I pray thee, let us go and find him out,
And quicken his embraced heaviness,
With some delight or other.
SOLANIO:
I think Antonio only loves the world for him.
Please, let’s go and find out where he is,
And help burn up his tangled depression
With some delight or other.
SALERIO:
Do we so.(55)
SALERIO:
Let’s do it.

Exeunt.

Scene IX

Original Text Modern Translation

[Belmont]

Enter Nerissa and a servitor.

NERISSA:
Quick, quick, I pray thee, draw the curtain straight;
The Prince of Arragon hath ta'en his oath,
And comes to his election presently.
NERISSA:
Quickly, quickly, please, draw the curtain right away;
The Prince of Aragon has taken his oath,
And comes to make his choice now.

Enter [the Prince of] Arragon, his train, and Portia. Flourish of cornets.

PORTIA:
Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince;
If you choose that wherein I am contain'd,(5)
Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemniz'd;
But if you fail, without more speech, my lord,
You must be gone from hence immediately.
PORTIA:
Behold, the chests stand there, noble Prince:
If you choose the one that I am contained in,
Our marriage vows will be solemnized right away;
But if you fail, my lord, you must be gone from here
Immediately without any more talking.
ARRAGON:
I am enjoin'd by oath to observe three things:
First, never to unfold to any one,(10)
Which casket 'twas I chose; next, if I fail
Of the right casket, never in my life
To woo a maid in way of marriage; Lastly,
If I do fail in fortune of my choice,
Immediately to leave you, and be gone.(15)
ARRAGON:
I am required by oath to observe three things:
First, never to tell anyone
Which chest I chose; next, if I fail
To choose the right chest, I will never
Court a maid to marry for my whole life;
Lastly, if I do fail in choosing the right chest,
I will leave you immediately and be gone.
PORTIA:
To these injunctions every one doth swear,
That comes to hazard for my worthless self.
PORTIA:
Everyone swears to these conditions
Who come to take a chance for my worthless self.
ARRAGON:
And so have I address'd me: Fortune now
To my heart's hope!—Gold; silver; and base lead.
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath.(20)
You shall look fairer, ere I give, or hazard.
What says the golden chest? ha! let me see:
Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire.
What many men desire.—that many may be meant
By the fool multitude, that choose by show,(25)
Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach;
Which pries not to th' interior, but, like the martlet,
Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
Even in the force and road of casualty.
I will not choose what many men desire,(30)
Because I will not jump with common spirits,
And rank me with the barbarous multitudes.
Why, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house;
Tell me once more what title thou dost bear:
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.(35)
And well said too. for who shall go about
To cozen fortune, and be honourable
Without the stamp of merit! Let none presume
To wear an undeserved dignity:
O, that estates, degrees, and offices,(40)
Were not deriv'd corruptly! and that clear honour
Were purchas'd by the merit of the wearer!
How many then should cover that stand bare!
How many be commanded that command!
How much low peasantry would then be glean'd(45)
From the true seed of honour! and how much honour
Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times,
To be new varnish'd! Well, but to my choice:
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.
I will assume desert:—Give me a key for this,(50)
And instantly unlock my fortunes here.
ARRAGON:
And I have prepared myself like that. Fortune now
Lead me to my heart's hope! Gold, silver, and base lead.
“Who chooses me must give and gamble all he has.”
You shall look more beautiful before I give or gamble.
What says the golden chest? Ha! Let me see:
“Who chooses me shall gain what many men desire.”
What many men desire! that “many” may mean
The foolish multitudes, that choose by outward appearance,
Not learning any more than their loving eyes teach,
Which doesn’t go to the inside but, like the marten,
Builds on the outside wall in any weather,
Even in the force of wind and on the road to ruin.
I will not choose what many men desire,
Because I will not jump with common spirits
And rank myself with the barbarous multitudes.
Why, then to you, you silver treasure-house;
Tell me once more what title you bear:
“Who chooses me shall get as much as he deserves.”
And it is said well too, because who shall go about
To steal a fortune, and still be honorable
Without the stamp of deserving it? Let no one pretend
To wear an undeserved dignity.
Oh! that fortunes, degrees, and offices
Were not earned by corruption, and that clear honors
Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
How many then would be covered that stand naked;
How many would be commanded that command;
How much low peasantry would then be taken from
From the true seed of honor; and how much honor
Picked from the garbage and ruin of the times
To be newly painted! Well, to my choice:
“Who chooses me shall get as much as he deserves.”
I will assume I am deserving. Give me a key for this,
And instantly unlock my fortunes here.

[He opens the silver casket]

PORTIA:
Too long a pause for that which you find there.
PORTIA:
That’s too long a pause over what you find there.
ARRAGON:
What's here? the portrait of a blinking idiot,
Presenting me a schedule! I will read it.
How much unlike art thou to Portia!(55)
How much unlike my hopes and my deservings!
Who chooseth me, shall have as much as he deserves.
Did I deserve no more than a fool's head?
Is that my prize? are my deserts no better?
ARRAGON:
What's here? The portrait of a blinking idiot,
Presenting me a piece of paper! I will read it.
This doesn’t look very much like Portia!
This doesn’t look very much like what I deserve!
“Who chooses me shall get as much as he deserves.”
Did I deserve no more than a fool's head?
Is that my prize? Is my deserving no better than that?
PORTIA:
To offend, and judge, are distinct offices,(60)
And of opposed natures.
PORTIA:
To insult and judge are different things,
And of opposite natures.
ARRAGON:
What is here?
The fire seven times tried this;
Seven times tried that judgment is,
That did never choose amiss:(65)
Some there be that shadows kiss,
Such have but a shadow's bliss:
There be fools alive, iwis,
Silver'd o'er; and so was this.
Take what wife you will to bed,(70)
I will ever be your head:
So be gone: you are sped.
Still more fool I shall appear,
By the time I linger here:
With one fool's head I came to woo,(75)
But I go away with two.
Sweet, adieu! I'll keep my oath,
Patiently to bear my wroth.
ARRAGON:
What is this here?
“The fire tried this seven times.
The judgment that never chose wrong
Is tried seven times.
There are some men that shadows kiss;
Men like this have only a shadow's bliss;
There are fools alive, I know,
That are silvered over, and so was this chest.
Take whatever wife you want to bed,
I will be your head forever:
So be gone; you are finished.”
I shall appear to be more foolish
By the time I stay here;
I came to court with one fool's head,
But I go away with two.
Sweetheart, goodbye! I'll keep my oath,
Patiently to deal with my anger.
PORTIA:
Thus hath the candle sing'd the moth.
O these deliberate fools! when they do choose,(80)
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.
PORTIA:
In this way, the candle has burned the moth.
Oh, these deliberate fools! When they choose,
They have the wisdom to lose by their senses.
NERISSA:
The ancient saying is no heresy;—
Hanging and wiving goes by destiny.
NERISSA:
The ancient saying is no lie:
“Hanging and getting a wife are up to Fate.”
PORTIA:
Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa.
PORTIA:
Come, close the curtain, Nerissa.

Enter Messenger.

MESSENGER:
Where is my lady?(85)
MESSENGER:
Where is my lady?
PORTIA:
Here; what would my lord?
PORTIA:
I’m here; what do you want?
MESSENGER:
Madam, there is alighted at your gate
A young Venetian, one that comes before
To signify the approaching of his lord;
From whom he bringeth sensible regreets;(90)
To wit, (besides commends and courteous breath),
Gifts of rich value; Yet I have not seen
So likely an ambassador of love:
A day in April never came so sweet,
To show how costly summer was at hand,(95)
As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord.
MESSENGER:
Madam, at your gate, a young Venetian
Has just arrived, one that comes ahead
Of his lord to tell us he is coming;
He brings sensible apologies from him;
As noted,—besides greetings and courteous sayings,—
Gifts of rich value. Yet I haven’t seen
Such an ambassador of love.
A day in April never came so sweetly
To show how expensive summer was coming,
As this forerunner comes so urgently before his lord.
PORTIA:
No more, I pray thee; I am half afeard,
Thou wilt say anon he is some kin to thee,
Thou spend'st such high-day wit in praising him.
Come, come, Nerissa; for I long to see(100)
Quick Cupid's post that comes so mannerly.
PORTIA:
No more, please; I am half afraid
You will now say he is related to you,
You spend such so many words in praising him.
Come, come, Nerissa, because I long to see
Quick Cupid's messenger that comes so politely.
NERISSA:
Bassanio, lord Love, if thy will it be.
NERISSA:
Bassanio, lord Love, if it is your will!

Exeunts.