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Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio: as I think, so was he called. Ner. True, madam: he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.

Por. I remember him well; and I remember him worthy of thy praise.-[Enter a Servant.] How now! what news?

Serv. The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave: and there is a forerunner come from a fifth, the prince of Morocco; who brings word, the prince his master, will be here to-night.

Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart, as I can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his approach: if he have the condition of a saint, and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come, Nerissa.-Sirrah, go before.—Whiles we shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III. VENICE. A public Place.

Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK.

Shy. Three thousand ducats,-well.
Bass. Ay, Sir, for three months.

Shy. For three months,-well.

Bass. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.

Shy. Antonio shall become bound,-well.

Bass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me? Shall I know your answer?

Shy. Three thousand ducats for three months, and Antonio bound.

Bass. Your answer to that.

Shy. Antonio is a good man.

Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?

Shy. Oh no, no, no, no;-my meaning, in saying he is a good man, is to have you understand me, that he is sufficient. Yet his means are in supposition: he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies; I understand, moreover, upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England,—and other ventures he hath squandered abroad. But ships are but boards, sailors but men: there be land-rats and water-rats, land-thieves and waterthieves, I mean pirates; and then, there is the peril of waters. winds, and rocks. The man is, notwithstanding, sufficient:-three thousand ducats :--I think, I may take his bond.

Bass. Be assured you may.

Shy. I will be assured I may; and, that I may be assured, I will bethink me. May I speak with Antonio?

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Bass. If it please you to dine with us.

Shy. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your pro

phet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into. I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What news on the Rialto-Who is he comes here?

Enter ANTONIO.

Bass. This is signior Antonio.

Shy. [Aside.] How like a fawning publican he looks!

I hate him for he is a Christian;

But more, for that, in low simplicity,

He lends out money gratis, and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I can catch him once upon the hip,

I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
He hates our sacred nation; and he rails,
Even there where merchants most do congregate,
On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,
Which he calls interest. Cursèd be my tribe,
If I forgive him!

Bass.

Shylock, do you hear?
Shy. I am debating of my present store;
And, by the near guess of my memory,
I cannot instantly raise up the gross

Of full three thousand ducats. What of that?
Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe,
Will furnish me. But soft! how many months

Do you desire?[To ANTONIO.] Rest you fair, good signior ;
Your worship was the last man in our mouths.

Ant. Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow,

By taking, nor by giving of excess,

Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend,

I'll break a custom.-[To BASSANIO.] Is he yet possess'd,

How much you would?

Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.

Shy.

Ant. And for three months.
Shy. I had forgot,-three months :-[To BASS.] you told me

So.

[To ANT.] Well then, your bond; and let me see,—But hear

you;

Methought you said you neither lend nor borrow
Upon advantage.

Ant.

I do never use it.

Shy. When Jacob graz'd his uncle Laban's sheep,-
This Jacob from our holy Abraham was

As his wise mother wrought in his behalf,)
The third possessor;-ay, he was the third,—
Ant. And what of him? did he take interest?
Shy. No, not take interest; not, as you would say,
Directly, interest :-mark what Jacob did.
When Laban and himself were compromis'd

That all the eanlings which were streak'd and pied
Should fall as Jacob's hire, the ewes, being rank,
In end of autumn turned to the rams;

And when the work of generation was
Between these woolly breeders in the act,
The skilful shepherd peel'd me certain wands,
And, in the doing of the deed of kind,

He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes,
Who, then conceiving, did in eaning time
Fall party-colour'd lambs, and those were Jacob's.
This was a way to thrive, and he was blest :

And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.

Ant. This was a venture, Sir, that Jacob serv'd for ;

A thing not in his power to bring to pass,

But sway'd and fashion'd by the hand of heaven.
Was this inserted to make interest good?

Or is your gold and silver ewes and rams?

Shy. I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast:But note me, signior.

Ant.
Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul, producing holy witness,

Is like a villain with a smiling cheek;

A goodly apple rotten at the heart:

O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

Shy. Three thousand ducats,-'tis a good round sum. Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.

Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you?
Shy. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft,
In the Rialto, you have rated me
About my monies and my usances:

Still have I borne it with a patient shrug;
For suff'rance is the badge of all our tribe:
You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well, then, it now appears you need my help:
Go to, then; you come to me, and you say,

"Shylock, we would have monies :"—you say so ;
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
And foot me, as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold: monies is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
"Hath a dog money? Is it possible,

A cur can lend three thousand ducats?" or
Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key,
With 'bated breath and whisp'ring humbleness,
Say this,-

"Fair Sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last ;
You spurn'd me such a day; another time
You call'd me dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much monies ?"

Ant. I am as like to call thee so again,
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too.
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends; (for when did friendship take

A breed for barren metal of his friend?)

But lend it rather to thine enemy;

Who if he break, thou mayst with better face
Exact the penalty.

Shy.
Why, look you, how you storm!
I would be friends with you, and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with,
Supply your present wants, and take no doit

Of usance for my monies,

And you'll not hear me: this is kind I offer.

Ant. This were kindness.

This kindness will I show.—

Shy.

Go with me to a notary, seal me there
Your single bond; and, in a merry sport,
If you repay me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum or sums as are
Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth me.

Ant. Content, in faith: I'll seal to such a bond,
And say there is much kindness in the Jew.

Bass. You shall not seal to such a bond for me: I'll rather dwell in my necessity.

Ant. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it: Within these two months,-that's a month before

This bond expires,—I do expect return

Of thrice three times the value of this bond.

Shy. O father Abraham! what these Christians are,
Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect
The thoughts of others!-Pray you, tell me this;
If he should break his day, what should I gain
By the exaction of the forfeiture ?

A pound of man's flesh taken from a man,
Is not so estimable, profitable neither,
As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say,
To buy his favour, I extend this friendship:
If he will take it, so; if not, adieu ;

And, for my love, I pray you wrong me not.

Ant. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.

Shy. Then meet me forthwith at the notary's.—
Give him direction for this merry bond;
And I will go and purse the ducats straight;
See to my house, left in the fearful guard
Of an unthrifty knave; and presently
I will be with you.
Ant.
Hie thee, gentle Jew.
This Hebrew will turn Christian: he grows kind.
Bass. I like not fair terms and a villain's mind.
Ant. Come on: in this there can be no dismay;
My ships come home a month before the day.

Mor. Mislike me not for my complexion,
The shadow'd 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,
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

[Exit SHYLOCK

[Exeunt.

ACT II.

SCENE I.-BELMONT. A Room in PORTIA'S Mansion.

Flourish of cornets. Enter the PRINCE OF MOROCCO, and his train ; PORTIA,

NERISSA, and other Attendants.

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