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Than twenty times the value of the sum
That he did owe him: and I know, my lord,
If law, authority and power deny not,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.

Portia. Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?

Bassanio. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
The best-condition'd and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies, and one in whom 290

The ancient Roman honour more appears
Than any that draws breath in Italy.

Portia. What sum owes he the Jew?

Bassanio. For me three thousand ducats.

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
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; 300

For never shall you lie by Portia's side
With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
To pay the petty debt twenty times over:
When it is paid, bring your true friend along.
My maid Nerissa and myself meantime
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away!
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day:
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. 310

Bassanio. [Reads] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and I, if I might but see you at my death. Notwithstanding, use your pleasure: if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.

Portia. O love, dispatch all business, and be gone!

Bassanio. Since I have your good leave to go away,
I will make haste: but, till I come again, 320

No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay,

No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. [Exeunt.

SCENE III. Venice. A street.

Enter Shylock, Salarino, Antonio, and Gaoler.

Shylock. Gaoler, look to him: tell not me of mercy;
This is the fool that lent out money gratis:
Gaoler, look to him.

Antonio. Hear me yet, good Shylock.

Shylock. I'll have my bond; speak not against my bond: I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond. Thou call'dst me dog before thou 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 To come abroad with him at his request. 10

Antonio. I pray thee, hear 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-eyed fool, To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield To Christian intercessors. Follow not; I'll have no speaking; I will have my bond. [Exit.

Salarino. It is the most impenetrable cur That ever kept with men.

Antonio. Let him alone:

I'll follow him no more with bootless prayers. 20

He seeks my life; his reason well I know:
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures
Many that have at times made moan to me;
Therefore he hates me.

Salarino. I am sure the duke

Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.

Antonio. The duke cannot deny the course of law:
For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be denied,
Will much impeach the justice of his state;
Since that the trade and profit of the city 30

Consisteth of all nations. Therefore go:
These griefs and losses have so bated me,
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
To-morrow to my bloody creditor.
Well, gaoler, on. Pray God, Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not! [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. Belmont. A room in Portia's house.
Enter PORTIA, NERISSA, LORENZO, JESSICA, and 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, 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.

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;
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 misery!
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

Until my lord's return: for mine own part,

I have toward heaven breathed a secret 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.

Lorenzo. Madam, with all my heart:

I shall obey you in all fair commands.

Portia. My people do already know my mind, And will acknowledge you and Jessica In place of Lord Bassanio and myself. And so farewell, till we shall meet again. 40

Lorenzo. Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you!

Jessica. I wish your ladyship all heart's content.

Portia. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleased To wish it back on you: fare you well, Jessica.

[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
Into my cousin's hand, Doctor Bellario; 50

And, look, what notes and garments he doth give thee,
Bring them, I pray thee, with imagined speed
Unto the tranect, to the common ferry
Which trades to Venice. Waste no time in words,
But get thee gone: I shall be there before thee.

Balthasar. Madam, I go with all convenient speed.

[Exit.

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.

Nerissa. Shall they see us?

Portia. They shall, Nerissa; but in such a habit, 60
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,
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
Like a fine bragging youth, and tell quaint lies,
How honourable ladies sought my love, 70

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 killed them;
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.

But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device
When I am in my coach, which stays for us 80

At the park gate; and therefore haste away,
For we must measure twenty miles to-day. [Exeunt.

SCENE V. The same. A garden.
Enter LAUNCELOT and JESSICA.

Launcelot. Yes, truly; for, look you, the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children: therefore, I promise ye, I fear you. I was always plain with you, and so now I speak my agitation of the matter: therefore be of good cheer, for truly I think you are damned. There is but one hope in it that can do you any good; and that is but a kind of base hope neither.

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