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I have engaged myself to a dear friend,
Engaged 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, Salerio ?
Have all his ventures failed? What, not one hit ?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India ?
And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks?
Sale.

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 him from the envious plea
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.

Jes. When I was with him, I have heard him swear,
To Tubal, and to Chus, his countrymen,
That he would rather have Antonio's flesh,
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.

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

Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
The best conditioned and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies; and one in whom
The ancient Roman honor more appears,
Than any that draws breath in Italy.

Por. What sum owes he the Jew ?
Bass. For me, three thousand ducats.
Por.

What, no more!

petty debt

Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond ;
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description
Should 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;
For never shall you lie by Portia's side
With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
To
pay
the

twenty times over ;
When it is paid, bring your true friend along;
My maid Nerissa and myself, mean time,
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

Bass. [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. Por. O love, despatch all business, and be gone. Bass. Since I have your good leave to go away,

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

Nor rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. [Exeunt.

your friend.

SCENE III. Venice. A Street.

.

Enter ShylocK, SALANIO, ANTONIO, and Jailer. Shy. Jailer, look to him.—Tell not me of mercy ;This is the fool that lends out money gratis.Jailer, look to him. Ant.

Hear me yet, good Shylock. Shy. 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 jailer, that thou art so 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-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 Shylock.
Salan. It is the most impenetrable cur
That ever kept with men.
Ant.

Let him alone;
I'll follow him no more with bootless prayers.
He seeks my life; his reason well I know;
I oft delivered from his forfeitures
Many that have at times made moan to me;
Therefore he hates me.
Salan.

I am sure, the duke
Will 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 denied, Will much impeach the justice of the state; Since that the trade and profit of the city 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, jailer, 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
BalTHAZAR.

Lor. Madam, although I speak it in your presence,
You have a noble and a true conceit
Of godlike amity; which appears most strongly
In bearing thus the absence of your lord.
But, if you knew to whom you show this honor,
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.

Por. I never did repent for doing good,
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 2 of my lord,
Must needs be like my lord. If it be so,
How little is the cost I have bestowed,
In purchasing the semblance 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 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.
There is a monastery two miles off,
And there we will abide. I do desire you
Not to deny this imposition ;

1

1 The word lineaments was used with great laxity by our ancient writers.

2 This term was anciently synonymous with friend.

The which my love, and some necessity,
Now lays upon you.
Lor.

Madam, with all

my

heart I shall obey you in all fair commands.

Por. My people do already know my mind,
And will acknowledge you and Jessica,
In place of lord Bassanio and myself.
So fare you well, till we shall meet again.

Lor. Fair thoughts, and happy hours, attend on you.
Jes. 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 Jessica and LORENZO. Now, Balthazar, As I have ever found thee honest, true, So let me find thee still. Take this same letter, And use thou all the endeavor of a man, In speed to Padua ; see thou render this Into

my cousin's hand, doctor Bellario; 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. Balth. 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 see us ?
Por. They shall, Nerissa ; but in such a habit,
That they shall think we are accomplished
With what we lack. I'll hold thee any wager,
When we are both accoutred like young men,

1

1 i. e. with the celerity of imagination.

2 This word can only be illustrated at present by conjecture. It evidently implies the name of a place where the passage-boat set out, and is in some way derived from “ franare (Ital.), to pass or swim over:” perhaps, therefore, tranetto signified a little fording place or ferry, and hence the English word tranect; but no other instance of its use has yet occurred.

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