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Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon' fame That steal the colour from Bassanio's cheek:

[paper, 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 have the half of any thing
That this fame paper brings you.

Bas. O fweet Portia!
Here are a few of the unpleasant'st

words : That ever blotted


Gentle Lady,
When I did first impart my love to you,
I freely told you, all the wealth 1 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,.
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,
The paper, as the body of my friend;
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood. But is it true, Salanio?
Have all his ventures fail'd? what, not one hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, from England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India?
And not one vessel ’scap'd the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks?

Sal. Not one, my Lord:
Besides, it should appear, that if he had
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;
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 himn from the envious plea -


K. 3

Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.

Jef. When I was with him, I have heard him fwear, To Tubal and to Chus his countrymen, That he would rather have Anthonio's field, Than twenty times the value of the sum That he did owe him; and I know, my Lord, If law, authority, and pow'r dery not, It will go hard with poor Anthonio.

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

Bal. The deareft friend to me, the kindelt man,
The best condition'd: an unweary'd {pirit
In doing courtefies; and one in whom
The ancient Roman honour more appears


that draws breath in Italy, Por. What sum owes he the Jew? Bal. For me three thousand ducats,

Por. What, no more?
Pay him fix thousand, and deface the bond;
Double fix thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description
Shall lose a hair through my 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 foul. You shall have gold
To pay the petty debt twenty times over.
When it is paid, bring your true friend along;
My maid Neriffa and myself, mean time,
Will live as maids and widows: come, away!
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day *.
But let me hear the letter of your friend.

Baf. [reads.] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarry'd, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since, in paying it, it is impolible I should live, ali debts are cleared between you and me, 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.

Por, your wedding day. Bid your friends welcome, thew a merry cheer; Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear. But let wc hear, &c.

Por. O love ! dispatch all business, and be gone.
Baff. Since I have your good leave to go away,

I will make haite; but till I come again,
No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay ;

No rest be interpofer 'twixt us twain. [Exeunt,

SCENE IV. Changes to a street in Venice. Enter Shylock, Solarino, Anthonio, and the Goaler. Shy. Goaler, look to him: tell not me of

mercy. This is the fool that lent out inoney gratis. Goaler, look to him.

Ant. Hear me yet, good Shylock.

Shy. I'll have my bond; speak not against my bond: l've sworn an oath that I will have


Thou call’dft me dog before thou hadít a cause;
But since I am a dog, beware my fangs:
The Duke shall grant me justice. I do wonder,
Thou naughty goaler, that thou art fo fond
To come abroad with him at his request.

Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.

Shy. 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, To shake the head, relent, and figh, and yield To Chriftian intercessors. Follow not; I'll have no speaking; I will have my bond.

[Exit Shylock. Sola. It is the most impenetrable cur That ever kept with men.

Ant. Let him alone,
I'll follow him no more with bootless pray’rs:
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.

Sola. I am sure the Duke

never grant this forfeiture to hold.
Ant. The Duke cannot deny the course of law;
For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be deny'd,
Will much impeach the justice of the state;

Since that the trade and profit of the city
Confiiteth of all nations.

Therefore go,
These griefs and losses have fo 'bated me,
That I Mall hardly spare a pound of flesh
To-morrow to my bloody creditor,
Well, goaler, on; pray God, Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not! [Exeunt:
SCENE V. Changes to Belmont.

. Enter Portia, Neriffi, Lorenzo, Zafica, and Balthazar.

Lor. Madam, although I speak it in your prefence,
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 thew this honour,
How true a gentleman you send relief to,
How dear a lover of


husband; I know you would be prouder of the work, Than cuitomary bounty can inforce you.

Por. I never did repent of doing good,
And shall not now; for in companio:18
That do converse and waste the time together,
Whofe fouls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must needs be a like proportion
Of lineaments of manners, and of spirit :
Which makes me think, that this Anthonio,
Being the bofomn-lover of my Lord,
Muit needs belike my Lord. If it be fo,
How little is the cost I have bestowed,
In purchasing the femblance of my soul
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


hands The husbandry and manage

of Until


Lord's return. For mine own part,
I have tow'rd heaven breath'd a fecret vow,
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,


my house,


And there we will abide. I do desire you,
Not to deny this imposition:
The which my love and some necessity
Now lays upon me.

Lor. Madam, with all my heart;
I Mall obey you in all fair commands.

Por. My people do already know my mind,
And will acknowledge you and Jessica
In place of Lord Balianio and myself.
So fare


well till we shall meet again. Lor. Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you! Jef. I wish your Ladyship all heart's content.

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

[Exeunt Feljica and Lorenzo. Now, Balthazar, As I have ever found thee honest, true, So let me find thee ftill: take this same letter, And use thou all th' endeavour of a man, In fpeed to Padua; see thou render this Into my cousin's hand, Dcctor Bellario; And look what notes and garments he doth give thee; Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin’d speed Unto the Traject, to the common ferry Which trades to Venice: wafte no time in words, But get thee gone;

I shall be there before thee. Bal. Madam, I go with all convenient speed. . [Exit.

Por. Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand, That you yet know not of: we'll see our husbands, Before they think of us.

Ner. Shall they fee us?

Por. They shall, Neriffa; but in such a habit,
That they fhall think we are accompliihed
With what we lack. I'll hold thee any wager,
When we are both apparell'd 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,

" Which


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