« ZurückWeiter »
Por. I remember him well; and I remember him worthy of thy praise.—How now! what news?
Enter a Servant. Ser. The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave : and there is a fore-runner 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.
Shy. Three thousand ducats,- well.
Bass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me? Shall I know your answer?
Shy. Three thoussnd ducats, for three months, and Antonio bound ?
Bass. Your answer to that.
Shy. Ho, 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, squander'd abroad : But ships are but boards, sailors but men : there be land-rats, and water-rats, waterthieves, and land-thieves ; 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 ?
Bass. If it please you to dine with us.
Shy. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into :4 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 :
for that, in low simplicity,
Bass. Shylock, do you hear ?
Shy. I am debating of my present store;
Ant. Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow,
 Perhaps there is no character through all Shakspeare, drawn with more spirit, and just discrimination, than Shylock's. His language, allu. sions, and ideas, are every where so appropriate to a Jew, that Shylock might be exhibited for an exemplar of that peculiar people. HENLEY
 This, Dr. Johnson observes, is a phrase taken from the practice wrestlers ; and (he migħt have added) is an allusion to the angel's thus Jay. ing hold of Jacob when he wrestled with him. See Gen. xxxii. 24. HENLEY.
 Ripe wants are wants come to the height, wants that can have no other delay. Perhaps we might read-rife wants, wants that come thick upon
How much you would ?
Shy. Ay, ay, three thousand ducats. Ant. And for three months. Shy. I had forgot,-three months, you told me so. 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 the end of autumn turned to the ramis : And when the work of generation was Between these woolly breeders in the act, The skilful shepherd peeld 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 :-
Ant. Mark you this, Bassanio,
Shy. Three thousand ducats,-~'tis a good round sun. Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.  See St. Matthew, iy. 6.
Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you?
Shy. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft,
Ant. I am as like to call thee so again,
Shy. Why, look you, how you storm !
 Usance, in our author's time, I believe, signified interest of money. It has been once before used in this play in that sense.
 A breed, i.e. interest money bred from the principal. By the epithet barren, the author would instruct us in the argument on which the advocates against usury went, which is this ; that money is a barren thing, and cannot, like corn and cattle, multiply itself. And to set off the absurdity of this kind of usury, he put breed and barren in opposition. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton very truly interprets this passage. Old Meres says, “Usu. rie and encrease by gold and silver is unlawful, because against nature ; na. ture hath made them sterill and barren, usurie makes them procreative.
Supply your present wants, and take no doit
Shy. This kindness will I show :-
Ant. Content, in faith ; I'll seal to such a bondi,
Bass. You shall not seal to such a bond for me,
Ant. Why, fear not, man ; I will not forfeit it :
Shy. O father Abraham, what these Christians are ;
Ant. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.
Shy. Then meet me forthwith at the notary's ;
[Exit. 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. [Exeunt.