The Merchant of Venice eText - Act III

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Act III

Scene I

Original Text Modern Translation

[Venice]

[Enter Solanio and Salerio]

SOLANIO:
Now, what news on the Rialto?
SOLANIO:
Now, what’s the news in the Marketplace?
SALERIO:
Why, yet it lives there unchecked that Antonio hath
a ship of rich lading wrack'd on the narrow seas,—the
Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very dangerous flat,
and fatal, where the carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried,(5)
as they say, if my gossip report, be an honest woman of her
word.
SALERIO:
Why, the rumors are all saying that Antonio has a ship
of rich cargo wrecked on the narrow seas; I think they call
the place the Goodwins, a very dangerous, flat, and fatal place,
where the dead bodies of many tall ships are buried, as they say, if my
gossip reporter is an honest woman of her word.
SOLANIO:
I would she were as lying a gossip in that, as ever
knapped ginger, or made her neighbours believe she wept
for the death of a third husband. But it is true,—without(10)
any slips of prolixity, or crossing the plain highway of
talk,—that the good Antonio, the honest Antonio,—O that
I had a title good enough to keep his name company!—
SOLANIO:
I wish she were as lying a gossip in that as ever knapped
ginger or made her neighbors believe she wept for the death of a
third husband. But it is true,—without any slips of prolixity or
crossing the plain highway of talk,—that the good Antonio, the
honest Antonio,—Oh, that I had a title good enough to keep his
name company!—
SALERIO:
Come, the full stop.
SALERIO:
Come, the whole story.
SOLANIO:
Ha,—what sayest thou?—Why the end is, he hath lost(15)
a ship.
SOLANIO:
Huh? What do you say? Why, the end is, he has lost a
ship.
SALERIO:
I would it might prove the end of his losses!
SALERIO:
I wish it might prove the end of his losses.
SOLANIO:
Let me say, amen, betimes, lest the devil cross my
prayer: for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.—
How now, Shylock? what news among the merchants?(20)
SOLANIO:
Let me say 'amen' before it’s too late, in case the devil crosses my prayer,
because here he comes, in the likeness of a Jew.

How now, Shylock! What’s the news among the merchants?

[Enter Shylock]

SHYLOCK:
You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my
daughter's flight.
SHYLOCK:
You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my
daughter's flight.
SALERIO:
That's certain. I, for my part, knew the tailor that made
the wings she flew withal.
SALERIO:
That's true; I, for my part, knew the tailor who made
the wings she flew with.
SOLANIO:
And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was(25)
fledged; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave
the dam.
SOLANIO:
And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was ready
to fly; and then it is the nature of them all to leave the nest.
SHYLOCK:
She is damn'd for it.
SHYLOCK:
She is damned for it.
SALERIO:
That's certain, if the devil may be her judge.
SALERIO:
That’s true, if the devil may be her judge.
SHYLOCK:
My own flesh and blood to rebel!(30)
SHYLOCK:
My own flesh and blood to rebel!
SOLANIO:
Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these years?
SOLANIO:
Damn it, old dead man! It rebels at this age?
SHYLOCK:
I say, my daughter is my flesh and blood.
SHYLOCK:
I say my daughter is my flesh and my blood.
SALERIO:
There is more difference between thy flesh and hers,
than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods,
than there is between red wine and rhenish:—but tell(35)
us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss at
sea or no?
SALERIO:
There is more difference between your flesh and hers than
between coal and ivory; more between your bloods than there is
between red wine and white Rhine wine. But tell us, do you hear whether
Antonio has had any losses at sea or not?
SHYLOCK:
There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a
prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto; a
beggar, that was used to come so smug upon the mart. Let(40)
him look to his bond: he was wont to call me usurer;—let
him look to his bond: he was wont to lend money for a
Christian courtesy;—let him look to his bond.
SHYLOCK:
There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a prodigal,
who scarcely dares to show his face in the Marketplace; a beggar, that used
to come on the market so smugly; let him look to his promise to pay: he
was in the habit of calling me a usurer; let him look to his promise to pay:
he was in the habit of lending money for Christian courtesy; let him look to his promise to pay.
SALERIO:
Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his
flesh? What's that good for?(45)
SALERIO:
Why, I am sure, if he defaults, you won’t take his
flesh; what's that good for?
SHYLOCK:
To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it
will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and
hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked
at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains,
cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his(50)
reason? I am a Jew: hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew
hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?
fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons,
subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as(55)
a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you
tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not
die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are
like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew
wrong a Christian, what is his humility? revenge. If a(60)
Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
Christian example? why, revenge. The villany you teach
me I will execute; and it shall go hard but I will better
the instruction.
SHYLOCK:
To bait fish with: if it feeds nothing else, it will
feed my revenge. He has disgraced me and insulted me half a
million times; laughed at my losses, joked about my gains, insulted my
religion, crossed my deals, cooled my friends, heated my
enemies. And what's his reason? I am a Jew. Doesn’t a Jew have eyes?
Doesn’t a Jew have hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections,
passions, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons,
subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed
and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If
you stick us, don’t we bleed? If you tickle us, don’t we laugh?
If you poison us, don’t we die? And if you wrong us, shouldn’t we
seek revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we’ll resemble you
in that. If a Jew wrongs a Christian, what is his option?
Revenge. If a Christian wrongs a Jew, what should his choice
be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me
I’ll use; and it shall be hard but I’ll make the lesson better.

Enter a man from Antonio

[SERVANT:]
Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house,(65)
and desires to speak with you both.
[SERVANT:]
Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house, and wants to
speak with both of you.
SALERIO:
We have been up and down to seek him.
SALERIO:
We have been up and down looking for him.

Enter Tubal

SALERIO:
Here comes another of the tribe; a third cannot be
matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew.
SALERIO:
Here comes another Jew: we cannot
Match them, unless the devil himself turn Jew.

Exeunt Gentleman.

SHYLOCK:
How now, Tubal, what news from Genoa? hast thou(70)
found my daughter?
SHYLOCK:
How now, Tubal! What’s the news from Genoa? Have you found my
daughter?
TUBAL:
I often came where I did hear of her, but cannot find
her.
TUBAL:
I often came to places where I heard of her, but I cannot find her.
SHYLOCK:
Why, there, there, there, there! a diamond gone, cost
me two thousand ducats in Frankfort! The curse never fell(75)
upon our nation till now; I never felt it till now:—two thou-
sand ducats in that; and other precious, precious jewels.—I
would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in
her ear! 'would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats
in her coffin! No news of them?—Why, so:—and I know(80)
not what's spent in the search. Why, thou loss upon loss! the
thief gone with so much, and so much to find the thief; and
no satisfaction, no revenge: nor no ill luck stirring but what
lights o' my shoulders; no sighs but o' my breathing: no tears
but o' my shedding.(85)
SHYLOCK:
Why there, there, there, there! A diamond gone, cost me
two thousand dollars in Frankfort! The curse never fell on our
nation until now; I never felt it until now. Two thousand dollars in
that, and other precious, precious jewels. I wish my daughter
were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear; I wish she were
trained at my feet, and the dollars in her coffin! No news of
them? Why, okay: and I don’t know what's been spent in the search. Why,
you—loss on loss! The thief gone with so much, and so much to
find the thief; and no satisfaction, no revenge; or only bad luck
stirring and sits on my shoulders; no sighs except the ones
I’m breathing; no tears except the ones I’m shedding.
TUBAL:
Yes, other men have ill luck too. Antonio, as I heard in
Genoa,—
TUBAL:
Yes, other men have bad luck too. Antonio, as I heard in
Genoa,—
SHYLOCK:
What, what, what? ill luck, ill luck?
SHYLOCK:
What, what, what? Bad luck, bad luck?
TUBAL:
Hath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis.
TUBAL:
—has his largest ship lost, coming from Tripolis.
SHYLOCK:
I thank God, I thank God:—Is it true? is it true?(90)
SHYLOCK:
I thank God! I thank God! Is it true, is it true?
TUBAL:
I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the
wrack.
TUBAL:
I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the wreck.
SHYLOCK:
I thank thee, good Tubal;—Good news, good news:
ha! ha!—Where? in Genoa?
SHYLOCK:
I thank you, good Tubal. Good news, good news! ha, ha!
Where? in Genoa?
TUBAL:
Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, one night,(95)
fourscore ducats!
TUBAL:
Your daughter spent, as I heard, one night, in Genoa
eighty dollars.
SHYLOCK:
Thou stick'st a dagger in me:—I shall never see my
gold again. Fourscore ducats at a sitting! fourscore ducats!
SHYLOCK:
You stick a dagger in me: I shall never see my gold
again: eighty dollars all at once! Eighty dollars!
TUBAL:
There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my company
to Venice, that swear he cannot choose but break.(100)
TUBAL:
Many of Antonio's creditors came with me to
Venice, swearing he can only go broke.
SHYLOCK:
I am very glad of it: I'll plague him; I'll torture
Him; I am glad of it.
SHYLOCK:
I am very glad of it; I'll plague him, I'll torture him; I
am glad of it.
TUBAL:
One of them showed me a ring, that he had of your
daughter for a monkey.
TUBAL:
One of them showed me a ring that he accepted from your daughter
as payment for a monkey.
SHYLOCK:
Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal: it was(105)
my turquoise: I had it of Leah, when I was a bachelor: I
would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys.
SHYLOCK:
Damn her! You torture me, Tubal: It was my
turquoise ring; I got from Leah, my wife, when I was still single; I wouldn’t
have traded it for a wilderness of monkeys.
TUBAL:
But Antonio is certainly undone.
TUBAL:
But Antonio is certainly bankrupt.
SHYLOCK:
Nay, that's true, that's very true. Go, Tubal, fee me
an officer, bespeak him a fortnight before: I will have the(110)
heart of him, if he forfeit; forwere he out of Venice, I can
make what merchandise I will. Go, Tubal, and meet me at
our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our synagogue, Tubal.
SHYLOCK:
No, that's true; that's very true. Go, Tubal, hire me an
officer; accuse Antonio as of two weeks ago. I’ll have his heart,
if he defaults; because, if he were out of business in Venice,
I can make whatever deals I want to. Go, Tubal, and meet me
at our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our synagogue, Tubal.

Exeunt.

Scene II

Original Text Modern Translation

[Belmont]

Enter Bassanio, Portia, Gratiano, and all their train.

PORTIA:
I pray you, tarry; pause a day or two,
Before you hazard; for, in choosing wrong,
I lose your company; therefore, forbear awhile:
There's something tells me, (but it is not love,)
I would not lose you; and you know yourself,(5)
Hate counsels not in such a quality:
But lest you should not understand me well,
(And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought,)
I would detain you here some month or two,
Before you venture for me. I could teach you(10)
How to choose right, but then I am forsworn;
So will I never be: so may you miss me;
But if you do, you'll make me wish a sin,
That I had been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes,
They have o'erlook'd me, and divided me;(15)
One half of me is yours, the other half yours,—
Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours,
And so, all yours: O! these naughty times
Put bars between the owners and their rights;
And so, though yours, not yours.—Prove it so,(20)
Let fortune go to hell for it,—not I.
I speak too long; but 'tis to peize the time;
To eke it, and to draw it out in length,
To stay you from election.
PORTIA:
Please wait; wait a day or two
Before you choose; because, in choosing wrong,
I lose your company; so wait a while.
I have a feeling, but it is not love, that
I would not lose you; and you yourself
Don’t hate premonitions like that.
But for fear that you don’t understand me well,—
And still a maiden only has thought for a voice,—
I would keep you here for a month or two
Before you gamble for me. I could teach you
How to choose right, but then I’m breaking my oath;
I’ll never do that; you may not win me;
And if you don’t, you'll make me wish I had sinned,
That I had broken my oath. Curse your eyes,
They have looked me over and divided me:
One half of me is yours, the other half is also yours,
My own love, I would say; but if my love, then yours,
And so everything yours. Oh! these wicked times
Put up bars between the owners and their rights;
And so, though I am yours, I am not yours. Prove it like that,
Let fortune come on hell for it, not me.
I’m talking too long, but it’s to balance the time,
To lengthen it, and to draw it out in length,
To keep you from choosing.
BASSANIO:
Let me choose;(25)
For, as I am, I live upon the rack.
BASSANIO:
Let me choose;
Because as I am, I live in torture.
PORTIA:
Upon the rack, Bassanio? then confess
What treason there is mingled with your love.
PORTIA:
In torture, Bassanio! Then confess
What evil is there mingled with your love.
BASSANIO:
None, but that ugly treason of mistrust,
Which makes me fear the enjoying of my love:(30)
There may as well be amity and life
'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love.
BASSANIO:
None but that ugly evil of mistrust,
Which makes me fear the enjoying of my love:
There may as well be friendship and life
Between snow and fire as evil and my love.
PORTIA:
Ay, but I fear you speak upon the rack,
Where men enforced do speak anything.
PORTIA:
Yes, but I’m afraid you speak out of torture,
Where men will say anything.
BASSANIO:
Promise me life, and I'll confess the truth.(35)
BASSANIO:
PORTIA:
Well, then, confess, and live.
PORTIA:
Well then, confess and live.
BASSANIO:
Confess, and love,
Had been the very sum of my confession:
O happy torment, when my torturer
Doth teach me answers for deliverance!(40)
But let me to my fortune and the caskets.
BASSANIO:
“Confess” and “love”
Have been the very sum of my confession:
Oh, happy torment, when my torturer
Teaches me answers for escape from evil!
But let me go to my fortune and the chests.
PORTIA:
Away then: I am lock'd in one of them;
If you do love me, you will find me out.
Nerissa, and the rest, stand all aloof.
Let music sound, while he doth make his choice;(45)
Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end,
Fading in music: that the comparison
May stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream,
And watery death-bed for him. He may win;
And what is music then? Then music is(50)
Even as the flourish, when true subjects bow
To a new-crowned monarch: such it is,
As are those dulcet sounds in break of day,
That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear,
And summon him to marriage. Now he goes,(55)
With no less presence, but with much more love,
Than young Alcides, when he did redeem
The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy
To the sea-monster: I stand for sacrifice,
The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives,(60)
With bleared visages, come forth to view
The issue of the exploit. Go, Hercules!
Live thou, I live:—with much-much more dismay
I view the fight, than thou that mak'st the fray.

Here music. A song whilst Bassanio comments on the caskets to himself.

Tell me where is fancy bred,(65)
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?

Reply, Reply.

It is engender'd in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and fancy dies(70)
In the cradle where it lies;
Let us all ring fancy's knell;
I'll begin it,—
Ding, dong, bell.
PORTIA:
Away, then! I am locked in one of them:
If you do love me, you will find me out.
Nerissa and the rest, stand away;
Let music sound while he makes his choice;
Then, if he loses, he will die as a swan,
Fading in music: so that the comparison
May be extended, my eyes shall be the stream
And watery deathbed for him. He may win;
And what is music then? Then music is
Sounds as the trumpets when true subjects bow
To a new-crowned king; music is
Those sweet sounds at sunrise
That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear
And summon him to marriage. Now he goes,
With no less confidence, but with much more love,
Than young Alcides went to redeem
The sacrifice of young women made by howling Troy
To the sea-monster: I stand for sacrifice;
The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives,
With tear-stained faces coming out to view
The outcome of the event. Go, Hercules!
If you live, I live. I view the fight with much, much
more sadness than you that are fighting.

Tell me where is fancy bred,
In the heart or in the head,
How begot, how nourished?
Answer; answer.
It is born in the eyes,
Fed with gazing; and fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies.
Let’s all ring fancy's knell:
I'll begin it.—Ding, dong, bell.

ALL:
Ding, dong, bell.(75)
ALL:
Ding, dong, bell.
BASSANIO:
So may the outward shows be least themselves;
The world is still deceiv'd with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But, being season'd with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,(80)
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple, but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.(85)
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars,
Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk;
And these assume but valour's excrement(90)
To render them redoubted! Look on beauty,
And you shall see 'tis purchas'd by the weight;
Which therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest that wear most of it:
So are those crisped snaky golden locks,(95)
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind,
Upon supposed fairness, often known
To be the dowry of a second head,
The skull, that bred them, in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the guiled shore(100)
To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on
To entrap the wisest. Therefore, thou gaudy gold,
Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee:(105)
Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge
'Tween man and man. But thou, thou meagre lead,
Which rather threat'nest than dost promise aught,
Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence,
And here choose I. Joy be the consequence!(110)
BASSANIO:
These chests may not be what they seem outside:
The world is still tricked by ornament.
In law, what plea is so tainted and corrupt
That, being delivered with a gracious voice,
Obscures the evil underneath? In religion,
What damned error is there that some sober face
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with a beautiful ornament?
There is no vice so simple that it takes on
Some mark of virtue on outside.
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, still wear the beards of Hercules and
frowning Mars on their chins,
Who, if searched inside, would have livers as white as milk;
And the only thing these men do to look fearful
Is to put on velvet clothes Look on beauty
And you shall see it’s bought by the pound:
Which works a miracle in nature,
Making them who wear most of it look the lightest:
So are those crisp, snaky, golden locks
Which are playing games with the wind,
On made-up beauty, often known
Actually to be wigs of human hair,
The head that bred them is in the tomb.
Thus decoration is only the deceived shore
To a most dangerous sea; the beautiful scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
The seeming truth which skillful times dress in
To fool the wisest men. So, you gaudy gold,
Hard food for Midas, I don’t anything from you;
And not from you either, you pale and common exchange
Between man and man: but you, you lowly lead,
Which threatens rather than promises anything,
Your plainness moves me more than any speech,
And I choose you: joy be the result!
PORTIA:
How all the other passions fleet to air,
As, doubtful thoughts, and rash-embrac'd despair,
And shudd'ring fear, and green-eyed jealousy.
O Love, be moderate. Allay thy ecstasy.
In measure rein thy joy, scant this excess;(115)
I feel too much thy blessing, make it less,
For fear I surfeit!
PORTIA:
How all the other passions fly to the air,
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy!
Oh, love! behave; hold back your thrills;
Be happy slowly; limit this excess;
I feel your blessing too much; make it less,
Because I’m afraid of having too much joy!
BASSANIO:
What find I here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit? What demi-god
Hath come so near creation? Move these eyes?(120)
Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
Seem they in motion? Here are sever'd lips,
Parted with sugar breath; so sweet a bar
Should sunder such sweet friends. Here in her hairs,
The painter plays the spider; and hath woven(125)
A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men,
Faster than gnats in cobwebs: but her eyes,—
How could he see to do them? having made one,
Methinks it should have power to steal both his,
And leave itself unfurnish'd. Yet look, how far,(130)
The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
In underprizing it, so far this shadow
Doth limp behind the substance.—Here's the scroll,
The continent and summary of my fortune.
You that choose not by the view,(135)
Chance as fair, and choose as true!
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content, and seek no new.
If you be well pleas'd with this,
And hold your fortune for your bliss,(140)
Turn you where your lady is,
And claim her with a loving kiss.
A gentle scroll.—Fair lady, by your leave:
I come by note, to give and to receive.
Like one of two contending in a prize,(145)
That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes,
Hearing applause and universal shout,
Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt
Whether those peals of praise be his or no;
So, thrice fair lady, stand I, even so;(150)
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you.
BASSANIO:
What do I find here?

Beautiful Portia's picture! What minor god
Has come so near to making a woman? Do these eyes move?
Or do they seem to be moving
Because they are riding on my eyeballs?,
Here are parted lips,
Parted with sugar breath; so sweet a bar
Should tear such sweet friends apart. Here
The painter plays the spider in her hair, and has woven
A golden mesh to capture the hearts of men
Faster than gnats are caught in cobwebs: but her eyes!—
How could he see to do them? Having made one eye,
I think it should have power to steal both his,
And leave itself poor: yet look, how far
The body of my praise insults this shadow
By valuing it less, so far this shadow
Limps behind the substance. Here's the scroll,
The world and summary of my luck.
“'You that choose not by looks,
Gamble as fair and choose as true!
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content and seek no other new one.
If you are well pleased with this,
And hold your fortune for your bliss,
Turn to where your lady is
And claim her with a loving kiss.”
A gentle scroll. Beautiful lady, excuse me;

I come off to the side, to give and to receive.
Like one of two contenders for a prize,
That thinks he has done well in people's eyes,
Hearing applause and universal shout,
Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt
Whether those peals of praise are his or not;
So, three times beautiful lady, I stand I, even like this,
As doubtful of whether what I see is true,
Until it is confirmed, signed, and ratified by you.

PORTIA:
You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand,
Such as I am: though, for myself alone,
I would not be ambitious in my wish,(155)
To wish myself much better; yet, for you,
I would be trebled twenty times myself:
A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times
More rich that only to stand high in your account,
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,(160)
Exceed account: but the full sum of me
Is sum of nothing; which, to term in gross,
Is, an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis'd:
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But she may learn; happier than this,(165)
She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her king.
Myself and what is mine, to you and yours(170)
Is now converted: but now, I was the lord
Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now,
This house, these servants, and this same myself,
Are yours, my lord,—I give them with this ring;(175)
Which when you part from, lose, or give away,
Let it presage the ruin of your love,
And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
PORTIA:
You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand,
Such as I am: though for myself alone
I would not be ambitious in my wish
To wish myself much better luck. Still, for you,
I would be three times twenty times myself,
A thousand times more beautiful, ten thousand times
More rich;
If only to stand high in your account,
I might exceed making a count of virtues, beauties,
Livings, friends. But the full sum of me
Is the sum of something which, in general,
Is an unlessoned girl, unschooled, unpracticed;
Happy in this state, she is not too old
To learn; happier than this state,
She is not born so dull that she cannot learn;
Happiest of all is that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to you to be directed,
As by her lord, her governor, her king.
I and what is mine is now converted
to you and yours. However, now I was the lord
Of this beautiful mansion, master of my servants,
Queen over myself; and even now, but now,
This house, these servants, and I,
Are yours- my lord's. I give them with this ring,
Which, if you part from it, lose it, or give it away,
Let it predict the ruin of your love,
And be my opportunity to cry out against you.
BASSANIO:
Madam, you have bereft me of all words;
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins,(180)
And there is such confusion in my powers,
As, after some oration fairly spoke
By a beloved prince, there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleased multitude;
Where every something, being blent together,(185)
Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy,
Express'd and not express'd. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence;
O, then be bold to say, Bassanio's dead.
BASSANIO:
Madam, you have made me speechless,
Only my blood in my veins speaks to you,
And I am so confused
Just as there appears buzzing among a happy crowd
After a well given speech
By a beloved prince;
Where every piece, blended together,
Turns to something wild, expressed and not expressed,
Except for joy. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then life parts from my body:
Oh! Then you can be strong and say, “Bassanio's dead.”
NERISSA:
My lord and lady, it is now our time,(190)
That have stood by, and seen our wishes prosper,
To cry, good joy; Good joy, my lord and lady!
NERISSA:
My lord and lady, now it’s our turn, o cry, “Good joy,”
We who have stood by and seen our wishes for you come true,
Good joy, my lord and lady!
GRATIANO:
My lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy that you can wish;
For I am sure you can wish none from me:(195)
And, when your honours mean to solemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Even at that time I may be married too.
GRATIANO:
My Lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy that you can wish for yourselves;
Because I am sure you can’t wish any from me;
And when you two mean to make
The bargain of your vows solemn, please,
Even then, let me be married too.
BASSANIO:
With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife.
BASSANIO:
With all my heart, if you can get a wife.
GRATIANO:
I thank your lordship, you have got me one.(200)
My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours:
You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid;
You lov'd, I lov'd for intermission.
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune stood upon the caskets there,(205)
And so did mine too, as the matter falls:
For wooing here, until I sweat again,
And swearing until my very roof was dry
With oaths of love, at last,—if promise last,—
I got a promise of this fair one here,(210)
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Achiev'd her mistress.
GRATIANO:
I thank you sir, you have gotten me one.
My eyes, my lord, can look as quickly as yours:
You saw the mistress, I saw the maid;
You loved, I loved, because a rest
Doesn’t pertain any more to me, my lord, than to you.
Your fortune stood on the chests there,
And so did mine, as it works out;
Because courting here until I worked up a sweat,
And swearing promises until my mouth was dry
With oaths of love, at last, if her promise lasts,
I got a promise of this beautiful one here
To have her love, provided that you were
Lucky enough to get her mistress.
PORTIA:
Is this true, Nerissa?
PORTIA:
Is this true, Nerissa?
NERISSA:
Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd withal.
NERISSA:
Madam, it is, as long as you are pleased with the rest of it.
BASSANIO:
And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?(215)
BASSANIO:
And you, Gratiano, are you sincere?
GRATIANO:
Yes faith, my lord.
GRATIANO:
Yes, in faith, my lord.
BASSANIO:
Our feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage.
BASSANIO:
Our feast shall be very honored by your marriage.
GRATIANO:
We'll play with them, the first boy for a thousand
ducats.
GRATIANO:
We'll bet them who has the first boy for a thousand
dollars.
NERISSA:
What, and stake down?(220)
NERISSA:
What! Bet?
GRATIANO:
No; we shall ne'er win at that sport, and stake down.
But who comes here? Lorenzo and his infidel? What, and my
old Venetian friend, Salerio?
GRATIANO:
No; we shall never win a bet at that sport.
But who comes here? Lorenzo and his infidel?
What, and my old Venetian friend, Salanio!

Enter Lorenzo, Jessica, and Salerio.

BASSANIO:
Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hither;
If that the youth of my new interest here(225)
Have power to bid you welcome:—By your leave,
I bid my very friends and countrymen,
Sweet Portia, welcome.
BASSANIO:
Lorenzo and Salanio, welcome here,
If my engagement just now gives me
The power to bid you welcome. Excuse me,
I bid my very friends and countrymen,
Welcome, sweet Portia.
PORTIA:
So do I, my lord. They are entirely welcome.
PORTIA:
So do I, my lord;
They are entirely welcome.
LORENZO:
I thank your honour.—For my part, my lord,(230)
My purpose was not to have seen you here;
But meeting with Salerio by the way,
He did entreat me, past all saying nay,
To come with him along.
LORENZO:
I thank you, sir. For my part, my lord,
I didn’t intend to see you here;
But, meeting with Salanio by the way,
He begged me, past all saying no,
To come along with him.
SALERIO:
I did, my lord,(235)
And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio
Commends him to you.
SALERIO:
I did, my lord,
And I have reason for it. Mr. Antonio
Send you his regards.
BASSANIO:
Ere I ope his letter,
I pray you tell me how my good friend doth.
BASSANIO:
Before I open his letter,
Please tell me how my good friend is doing.
BASSANIO:
Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind;(240)
Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there
Will show you his estate.
BASSANIO:
He’s not sick, my lord, unless it’s in his mind;
But he’s not well, unless in his mind; his letter there
Will show you his state of affairs.

Opens the letter.

GRATIANO:
Nerissa, cheer yon stranger; bid her welcome.
Your hand, Salerio. What's the news from Venice?
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio?(245)
I know he will be glad of our success;
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece.
GRATIANO:
Nerissa, cheer the stranger; say hello to her.
Let me shake your hand, Salanio. What's the news from Venice?
How is that royal merchant, good Antonio?
I know he will be happy at our success:
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece.
SALERIO:
I would you had won the fleece that he hath lost!
SALERIO:
I wish you had won the fleece that he has lost.
PORTIA:
There are some shrewd contents in yon same paper,
That steals the colour from Bassanio's cheek;(250)
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 anything(255)
That this same paper brings you.
PORTIA:
There are some harsh contents in that letter
That steal the color from Bassanio's cheeks:
Some dear friend is dead, or nothing else in the world
Could change the constitution so much
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse!
Please, Bassanio: I am your other half,
And I must freely have the half of anything
That this letter brings to you.
BASSANIO:
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,(260)
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(265)
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,
Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady;(270)
The paper as the body of my friend,
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood. But is it true, Salerio?
Have all his ventures fail'd? What, not one hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,(275)
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India?
And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks?
BASSANIO:
Oh, sweet Portia!
Here are a few of the most unpleasant words
That were ever written on paper. Gentle lady,
When I first gave my love to you,
I freely told you that all the wealth that I had
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman;
And then I told you the truth. And yet, dear lady,
Even rating myself as zero, you shall see
How much I was bragging. When I told you
That I had nothing, I should have told you then
That I had less than nothing, because indeed
I have indebted myself to a dear friend,
Indebted my friend to his notorious enemy,
To feed my needs. Here is a letter, lady,
The paper is like the body of my friend,
And every word in it, a gaping wound
Bleeding heavily. But is it true, Salanio?
Have all his ventures failed? What, not one came in?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India?
And not one vessel escaped the dreadful touch
Of the rocks that can break a merchant?
SALERIO:
Not one, my lord.
Besides, it should appear, that if he had(280)
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,(285)
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(290)
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.
SALERIO:
Not one, my lord.
Besides, it seems that, even if he had
The money right now to pay the Jew,
He wouldn’t take it. Never did I know
A creature that was shaped like a man,
So eager and greedy to destroy a man completely.
He petitions the Duke morning and night,
And challenges the freedom of the courts,
If they deny him justice. Twenty merchants,
The Duke himself, and the noblemen
Of greatest reputation, have all tried to persuade him;
But no one can drive him from the envious plea
Of default, of justice, and his promise to pay.
JESSICA:
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(295)
That he did owe him; and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and power deny not,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.
JESSICA:
When I was with him, I 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 owed him; and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and power, don’t deny him,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.
PORTIA:
Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?
PORTIA:
Is it your dear friend that is in trouble like this?
BASSANIO:
The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,(300)
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.
BASSANIO:
The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
The best conditioned and unwearied spirit
In manners, and one in whom
The ancient Roman honor appears more
Than any man alive in Italy.
PORTIA:
What sum owes he the Jew?(305)
PORTIA:
How much does he owe the Jew?
BASSANIO:
For me, three thousand ducats.
BASSANIO:
For me, three thousand dollars.
PORTIA:
What, no more?
Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond;
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description(310)
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(315)
To pay the petty debt twenty times over;
When it is paid, 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:(320)
Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer:
Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.
But let me hear the letter of your friend.
PORTIA:
What! Is that all?
Pay him six thousand, and destroy the promise to pay;
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description
Loses a hair because of Bassanio.
First go with me to church and marry me,
And then go away to Venice to your friend;
Because you shall never lie by Portia's side
With an uneasy soul. You shall have gold
To pay the little debt twenty times over:
When it is paid, bring your true friend back with you.
My maid Nerissa and I will live as maids and widows
In the meantime. Come, let’s go!
Because you shall go away on your wedding day,
Bid your friends welcome, show a happy face;
Since you are bought so dearly, I’ll love you dearly.
But let me hear the letter of your friend.
BASSANIO:
[Reads] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all
miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond(325)
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.
BASSANIO:
“Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all sunk,
my creditors grow cruel, my funds very low, my promise to pay to the
Jew is in default; and since, in paying it, it is impossible for
me to live, all debts between you and me are canceled if I might
only see you at my death. Anyway, enjoy yourself; if
your friendship doesn’t persuade you to come, don’t let my letter.”
PORTIA:
O love, despatch all business, and be gone.(330)
PORTIA:
Oh, love, finish all business and get going!
BASSANIO:
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,
Nor rest be interposer 'twixt us twain.(335)
BASSANIO:
Since I have your permission to go,
I’ll hurry; but, until I come back again,
I will not sleep,
And rest will not keep us two apart.

Exeunt.

Scene III

Original Text Modern Translation

[Venice]

Enter the Jew, and Solanio, and Antonio, and the Jailor.

SHYLOCK:
Gaoler, look to him. tell not me of mercy;—
This is the fool that lent out money gratis;—
Gaoler, look to him.
SHYLOCK:
Jailer, look to him. Don’t tell me about mercy;
This is the fool that lent out money for free:
Jailer, look to him.
ANTONIO:
Hear me yet, good Shylock.
ANTONIO:
But, listen to me, good Shylock.
SHYLOCK:
I'll have my bond; speak not against my bond;(5)
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(10)
To come abroad with him at his request.
SHYLOCK:
I'll have my promise to pay; don’t speak against my promise to pay.
I have sworn an oath that I’ll have my promise to pay.
You called me dog before you had a cause,
But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs;
The Duke shall grant me justice. I am curious,
You naughty jailer, that you are so eager
To come out with him at his request.
ANTONIO:
I pray thee, hear me speak.
ANTONIO:
Please listen to me speak.
SHYLOCK:
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,(15)
To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield
To Christian intercessors. Follow not;
I'll have no speaking; I will have my bond.
SHYLOCK:
I'll have my promise to pay. I won’t listen to you speak;
I'll have my promise to pay; so speak no more.
I won’t be made a soft and dull-eyed fool,
To shake my head, give in, and sigh, and surrender
To Christian intercessors. Don’t follow;
I won’t put up with your speaking; I’ll have my promise to pay.

Exit Jew.

SOLANIO:
It is the most impenetrable cur
That ever kept with men.(20)
SOLANIO:
It is the most difficult to understand dog
That ever stayed with men.
ANTONIO:
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;(25)
Therefore he hates me.
ANTONIO:
Let him alone;
I won’t follow him any more with useless prayers.
He wants my life; I know his reasons well:
Often I saved many who have, at times, complained to me,
From defaulting on his loans. So he hates me.
SOLANIO:
I am sure, the Duke
Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.
SOLANIO:
I am sure the Duke Will never enforce this default.
ANTONIO:
The Duke cannot deny the course of law,
For the commodity that strangers have(30)
With us in Venice; if it be denied,
'Twill 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,(35)
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!
ANTONIO:
The Duke cannot deny the course of law,
Because of the benefits that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it is denied,
it will reflect very badly on the justice of the state,
Because the trade and profit of the city
Is from all nations. So, go;
These griefs and losses have so upset me
That I shall hardly have a pound of flesh
Tomorrow give to my bloody creditor.
Well, jailer, let’s go on; I pray good Bassanio comes
To see me pay his debt, and then I won’t care.

Exeunt.

Scene IV

Original Text Modern Translation

[Belmont]

Enter Portia, Nerissa, Lorenzo, Jessica, and a man of Portia [Balthasar].

LORENZO:
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,(5)
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.
LORENZO:
Madam, although I’m saying it in front of you,
You have a noble and a true understanding
Of godlike friendship, which appears most strongly
In your behaving like this in the absence of your lord.
But if you knew to whom you give this friendship,
How true a gentleman you send in relief,
How dear a friend of my lord is your husband,
I know you show more pride in the work
Than accustomed behavior can make you show.
PORTIA:
I never did repent for doing good,(10)
Nor shall not now; for in companions
That do converse and waste the time together,
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must be needs a like proportion
Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit;(15)
Which makes me think, that this Antonio,
Being the bosom lover of my lord,
Must needs be like my lord. If it be so,
How little is the cost I have bestow'd,
In purchasing the semblance of my soul(20)
From out the state of hellish cruelty!
This comes too near the praising of myself,
Therefore, no more of it: hear other things.
Lorenzo, I commit into your hands
The husbandry and manage of my house,(25)
Until my lord's return; for mine own part,
I have toward heaven breathed a secr't vow,
To live in prayer and contemplation,
Only attended by Nerissa here,
Until her husband and my lord's return:(30)
There is a monastery two miles off,
And there will we abide. I do desire you
Not to deny this imposition,
The which my love, and some necessity,
Now lays upon you.(35)
PORTIA:
I never did regret doing good,
And I won’t now; because in companions
That talk and waste the time together,
Whose souls bear an equal burden of love,
There must be a sharing of things like proportion
Of limbs, manners, and spirit,
Which makes me think that this Antonio,
Being the closest friend of my lord,
Must be like my lord. If it’s true,
How little is the cost I have paid
In purchasing the image of my soul
From out of the state of hellish cruelty!
This sounds as if I am praising of myself;
So, no more about it; listen to other things.
Lorenzo, I am putting the farming
And management of my house into your hands
Until my lord's return; as for me,
I have taken a secret vow to heaven
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 we’ll stay there. I don’t want you
To deny this imposition,
Which my love and some necessity
Now lays on you.
LORENZO:
Madam, with all my heart,
I shall obey you in all fair commands.
LORENZO:
Madam, I shall obey you in all fair commands.
With all my heart
PORTIA:
My people do already know my mind,
And will acknowledge you and Jessica,
In place of Lord Bassanio and myself.(40)
So fare you well, till we shall meet again.
PORTIA:
My staff already know my mind,
And will report to you and Jessica
In place of Lord Bassanio and myself.
So goodbye until we shall meet again.
LORENZO:
Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you!
LORENZO:
Beautiful thoughts and happy hours attend on you!
JESSICA:
I wish your ladyship all heart's content.
JESSICA:
I wish your ladyship all my heart's content.
PORTIA:
I thank you for your wish, and am well pleas'd
To wish it back on you: fare you well, Jessica.(45)

Exeunt [Jessica and Lorenzo]

Now, Balthasar,
As I have ever 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(50)
Into 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,(55)
But get thee gone; I shall be there before thee.
PORTIA:
I thank you for your wish, and I’m happy
To wish it back on you. Goodbye, Jessica.

Now, Balthasar,
As I have always found you to be honest and true,
So let me find you the same! Take this letter,
And use all the power of a man
To speed to Padua; see that you put this
Into my cousin's hands, Doctor Bellario;
And look what notes and garments he gives you,
Bring them, please, with imagined speed
To the bridge, to the common ferry
Which sails to Venice. Don’t waste time in words,
But get going; I’ll be there before you.

BALTHASAR:
Madam, I go with all convenient speed.
BALTHASAR:
Madam, I go with all convenient speed.
PORTIA:
Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand,
That you yet know not of; we'll see our husbands
Before they think of us.(60)
PORTIA:
Come on, Nerissa, I have work in hand
That you don’t know about yet; we'll see our husbands
Before they think about us.
NERISSA:
Shall they see us?
NERISSA:
Shall they see us?
PORTIA:
They shall, Nerissa; but in such a habit,
That they shall think we are accomplished
With that we lack. I'll hold thee any wager,
When we are both accoutred like young men,(65)
I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two,
And wear my dagger with the braver grace;
And speak, between the change of man and boy,
With a reed voice; and turn two mincing steps
Into a manly stride; and speak of frays,(70)
Like a fine bragging youth: and tell quaint lies,
How honourable ladies sought my love,
Which I denying, they fell sick and died;
I could not do withal; then I'll repent,
And wish, for all that, that I had not kill'd them:(75)
And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell,
That men shall swear I have discontinued school
Above a twelvemonth:—I have within my mind
A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks,
Which I will practise.(80)
PORTIA:
They shall, Nerissa; but in such a costume
That they’ll think we are finished
With that we don’t have. I'll bet you any amount,
When we are both dressed like young men,
I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two,
And wear my dagger with the braver grace,
And speak with a reed voice,
That’s between the change of man and boy;
And turn two delicate steps
Into a manly stride; and speak about fights
Like a fine bragging youth; and tell quaint lies,
How honorable ladies have looked for my love,
Who fell sick and died when I told them, “No”;
I couldn’t do everything. Then I'll be sorry,
And wish that, for all of that, I had not killed them.
And I’ll tell twenty of these flimsy lies so well,
That men shall swear I have been out of school
About a year. I have thousand raw tricks for
These bragging Jacks within my mind,
Which I’ll practice.
NERISSA:
Why, shall we turn to men?
NERISSA:
Why, shall we turn into men?
PORTIA:
Fie! what a question's that,
If thou wert near a lewd interpreter!
But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device
When I am in my coach, which stays for us(85)
At the park gate; and therefore haste away,
For we must measure twenty miles to-day.
PORTIA:
Nonsense, what kind of a question is that,
If you were near a nasty interpreter!
But come, I'll tell you all about my whole plan
When I am in my coach, which waits for us
At the park gate; and so hurry,
Because we must travel twenty miles today.

Exeunt.

Scene V

Original Text Modern Translation

[the same]

Enter Clown [Launcelot] and Jessica.

LAUNCELOT:
Yes, truly;—for, look you, the sins of the father
are to be laid upon the children; therefore, I promise you
I fear you. I was always plain with you, and so now I
speak my agitation of the matter: therefore, be of good
chee; for, truly, I think you are damned. There is but one(5)
hope in it that can do you any good; and that is but a kind
of bastard hope neither.
LAUNCELOT:
Yes, honestly; because, look, the sins of the father are to
be laid on the children; so, I promise you, I’m afraid you.
I was always honest with you, and so now, I speak my annoyance over
the matter; so be cheerful, because I honestly think you are
dammed. There is only one hope in it that can do you any good, and
that is only a kind of bastard hope.
JESSICA:
And what hope is that, I pray thee?
JESSICA:
And what hope is that, please?
LAUNCELOT:
Marry, you may partly hope that your father got
you not, that you are not the Jew's daughter.(10)
LAUNCELOT:
Damn it, you may partly hope that your father had not fathered you,
that you are not the Jew's daughter.
JESSICA:
That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed; so, the sins
of my mother should be visited upon me.
JESSICA:
That’s a kind of bastard hope indeed; so the sins of my
mother should be laid on me.
LAUNCELOT:
Truly then I fear you are damned both by father
and mother: thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall
into Charybdis, your mother: well, you are gone both(15)
ways.
LAUNCELOT:
Honestly, then I’m afraid you are dammed both by father and
mother; when I keep away from the Sea Monster, your father, I fall into
an equal evil, your mother; well, you are gone both ways.
JESSICA:
I shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a
Christian.
JESSICA:
I shall be saved by my husband; he has made me a Christian.
LAUNCELOT:
Truly, the more to blame he: we were Christians
enow before; e'en as many as could well live, one by(20)
another: This making 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.
LAUNCELOT:
Honestly, he’s all the more to blame; we were Christians enough
before, even 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 won’t shortly have a slice of bacon on the
coals for money.

[Enter Lorenzo.]

JESSICA:
I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say; here
he comes.(25)
JESSICA:
I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say; here he comes.
LORENZO:
I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, if you
thus get my wife into corners.
LORENZO:
I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, if you
thus get my wife into corners.
JESSICA:
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: and he says, you are no good(30)
member of the commonwealth; for in converting Jews to
Christians, you raise the price of pork.
JESSICA:
No, you don’t need to fear us, Lorenzo; Launcelot and I are
arguing; he tells me flatly there's no mercy for me in heaven,
because I am a Jew's daughter; and he says you are no good member
of the community, because in converting Jews to Christians, you
raise the price of pork.
LORENZO:
I shall answer that better to the commonwealth, than
you can the getting up of the negro's belly; the Moor is with
child by you, Launcelot.(35)
LORENZO:
I shall answer that better to the community than you
can explain the swelling of the negro's belly; the Moor is pregnant
by you, Launcelot.
LAUNCELOT:
It is much, that the Moor should be more than
reason: but if she be less than an honest woman, she is,
indeed more than I took her for.
LAUNCELOT:
It is important that the Moor should be more than reason; but
if she is less than an honest woman, she is indeed more than I
took her for.
LORENZO:
How every fool can play upon the word! I think the
best grace of wit will shortly turn into silence; and discourse(40)
grow commendable in none only but parrots.—Go in,
sirrah; bid them prepare for dinner.
LORENZO:
How every fool can play on the word! I think the best
grace of wit will shortly turn into silence, and conversation grow
commendable in no one except parrots. Go in, servant; bid them
prepare for dinner.
LAUNCELOT:
That is done, sir; they have all stomachs.
LAUNCELOT:
That is done, sir; they have all stomachs.
LORENZO:
Goodly Lord, what a wit-snapper are you! then bid
them prepare dinner.(45)
LORENZO:
Goodly Lord, what a wit-snapper are you! Then bid them
prepare dinner.
LAUNCELOT:
That is done too, sir: only, cover is the word.
LAUNCELOT:
That is done too, sir, only 'cover' is the word.
LORENZO:
Will you cover, then, sir?
LORENZO:
Will you cover, then, sir?
LAUNCELOT:
Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty.
LAUNCELOT:
Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty.
LORENZO:
Yet more quarrelling with occasion! Wilt thou show
the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant? I pray thee,(50)
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.
LORENZO:
Yet more quarrelling with purpose! Will you show the
whole wealth of your wit al at once? Please understand a
plain man in his plain meaning: let your fellows come on, bid them cover
the table, serve in the meat, and we’ll come in to dinner.
LAUNCELOT:
For the table, sir, it shall be served in; for the meat,
sir, it shall be covered; for your coming into dinner, sir, why,(55)
let it be as humours and conceits shall govern.
LAUNCELOT:
For the table, sir, it shall be served in; for the meat,
sir, it shall be covered; for your coming in to dinner, sir, why,
let it be as sense and meaning shall determine.

Exit Clown.

LORENZO:
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,(60)
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?
LORENZO:
Oh, dear judgment, how his words are suited!
The fool has planted in his memory
An army of good words; and I know
Many fools that stand in a better place,
Dressed like him, except that a tricky word
Defies definition. How are you, Jessica?
And now, good sweetheart, tell me your opinion,
How do you like Lord Bassanio's wife?
JESSICA:
Past all expressing. It is very meet,(65)
The Lord Bassanio live an upright life;
For, having such a blessing in his lady,
He finds the joys of heaven here on earth;
And, if on earth he do not mean it, then
In reason he should never come to heaven.(70)
Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match,
And on the wager lay two earthly women,
And Portia one, there must be something else
Pawn'd with the other; for the poor rude world
Hath not her fellow.(75)
JESSICA:
So much I can’t express it. It is very proper
The Lord Bassanio live an upright life,
Because, having such a blessing in his lady,
He finds the joys of heaven here on earth;
And if he doesn’t merit it on earth,
It stands to reason he should never enter heaven.
Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match,
And place a bet on two earthly women,
And Portia is one of them, there must be something else
To bet on with the other, because the poor rude world
Does not have her equal.
LORENZO:
Even such a husband
Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife.
LORENZO:
You have such a husband in me
As she is for a wife.
JESSICA:
Nay, but ask my opinion too of that.
JESSICA:
No, but ask my opinion too about that.
LORENZO:
I will anon; first, let us go to dinner.
LORENZO:
I’ll ask later; first let’s go in to dinner.
JESSICA:
Nay, let me praise you, while I have a stomach.(80)
JESSICA:
No, let me praise you while I want to.
LORENZO:
No, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk;
Then, howso'er thou speak'st, 'mong other things
I shall digest it.
LORENZO:
No, please, let it serve for dinner conversation;
Then, no matter what you say,
I shall digest it with the other things I’m eating up.
JESSICA:
Well, I'll set you forth.
JESSICA:
Well, I'll point you in the right direction.

Exeunt.