The Merchant of Venice Scene I
by William Shakespeare

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Scene I


[Enter Solanio and Salerio]

Now, what news on the Rialto?
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
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!—
Come, the full stop.
Ha,—what sayest thou?—Why the end is, he hath lost(15)
a ship.
I would it might prove the end of his losses!
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)

[Enter Shylock]

You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my
daughter's flight.
That's certain. I, for my part, knew the tailor that made
the wings she flew withal.
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.
She is damn'd for it.
That's certain, if the devil may be her judge.
My own flesh and blood to rebel!(30)
Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these years?
I say, my daughter is my flesh and blood.
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?
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.
Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his
flesh? What's that good for?(45)
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.

Enter a man from Antonio

Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house,(65)
and desires to speak with you both.
We have been up and down to seek him.

Enter Tubal

Here comes another of the tribe; a third cannot be
matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew.

Exeunt Gentleman.

How now, Tubal, what news from Genoa? hast thou(70)
found my daughter?
I often came where I did hear of her, but cannot find
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)
Yes, other men have ill luck too. Antonio, as I heard in
What, what, what? ill luck, ill luck?
Hath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis.
I thank God, I thank God:—Is it true? is it true?(90)
I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the
I thank thee, good Tubal;—Good news, good news:
ha! ha!—Where? in Genoa?
Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, one night,(95)
fourscore ducats!
Thou stick'st a dagger in me:—I shall never see my
gold again. Fourscore ducats at a sitting! fourscore ducats!
There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my company
to Venice, that swear he cannot choose but break.(100)
I am very glad of it: I'll plague him; I'll torture
Him; I am glad of it.
One of them showed me a ring, that he had of your
daughter for a monkey.
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.
But Antonio is certainly undone.
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.