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Shy. This kindness will I show:-
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.
[Erit. 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.
A room in PORTIA's house.
Flourish of Cornets. Enter the Prince of Morocco, and
his train; PORTIA, Nerissa, and other of her attendants.
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 Phæbus' 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
Have lov'd it too: I would not change this hue,
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen.
Por. In terms of choice I am not solely led
By nice direction of a maiden's eyes :
Besides, the lottery of my destiny
Bars me the right of voluntary choosing:
But, if my father had not scanted me,
And hedg'd me by his wit, to yield myself
His wife, who wins me by that means I told you,
Yourself, renowned prince, then stood as fair,
As any comer I have look'd on yet,
For my affection.
Mor. Even for that I thank you ;
Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets,
To try my fortune. By this scimitar,-
That slew the Sophy, and a Persian prince,
That won three fields of Sultan Solyman,-
I would out-stare the sternest eyes that look,
Out-brave the heart most daring on the earth,
Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she bear,
Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey,
To win thee, lady : But, alas the while !
If Hercules, and Lichas, play at dice
Which is the better man, the greater throw
May turn by fortune from the weaker hand ::
So is Alcides beaten by his page;
And so may I, blind fortune leading me,
Miss that, which one unworthier may attain,
And die with grieving.
Por. You must take your chance ;
And either not attempt to choose at all,
Or swear, before you choose,-if you choose wrong,
Never to speak to lady afterward
In way of marriage; therefore be advis’d.
Mor. Nor will not; come, bring me unto my chance.
Por. First, forward to the temple; after dinner
Your hazard shall be made.
Mor. Good fortune then !
[Cornets. To make me bless't, or cursed’st among men.
Enter LAUNCELOT Gobbo. Laun. Certainly my conscience will serve me to run from this Jew, my master : The fiend is at mine elbow; and tempts me, saying to me, Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot, or good Gobbo, or good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away: My conscience says,-no; take heed, honest Launcelot ; take heed, honest Gobbo; or, as aforesaid, honest Launcelot Gobbo; do not run; scorn running with thy heels : Well, the most courageous fiend bids me pack; via! says the fiend; away! says the fiend, for the heavens ; rouse up a brave mind, says the fiend, and run. Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me,-my honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son,—or rather an honest woman's son ;for, indeed, my father did something smack, something grow to, he had a kind of taste ;-well, my conscience says, Launcelot, budge not; budge, says the fiend ; budge not, says my conscience: Conscience, say I, you counsel well; fiend, say I, you counsel well: to be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master, who, (God bless the mark !) is a kind of devil ; and, to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself: Certainly, the Jew is the very devil incarnation; and, in my conscience, my conscience is but a kind of hard conscience, to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew :