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Tarry, Jew:
The law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be proved against an alien
That he attempt
Or seek the life of any citizen,
The party 'gainst the which he doth contrive
Shall seize one half his goods; the other half
Comes to the coffer of the state;
And the offender's life lies in the mercy
Of the Duke only.

Down therefore and beg mercy of the Duke.
Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirits,

I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it.
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's;

The other half comes to the general state.
Shylock. Nay, take my life and all; pardon not that.

You take my house when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house; you take my life

When you do take the means whereby I live.
Antonio. So please my lord the Duke and all the court

To quit1 the fine for one half of his goods,
Two things provided, that
He presently become a Christian;
The other, that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possessed,

Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.
Duke. He shall do this, or else I do recant

The pardon that I late pronounced here.
Shylock. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence.

I am not well. Send the deed after me,
And I will sign it.
[Exit L.) (Exeunt R.)

1 quit: remit, waive.

Scene 2. Belmont. Outside Portia's house.

Lorenzo and Jessica (enter R.).
Lorenzo. The moon shines bright. In such a night as this,

When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees
And they did make no noise, in such a night
Troilus? methinks mounted the Troyan walls,
And sighed his soul toward the Grecian tents,

Where Cressid lay that night.

In such a night, Medea gathered the enchanted herbs

That did renew old Æson.

In such a night
Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew,
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice

As far as Belmont.

In such a night

Lorenzo swear he loved her well, Stealing her soul with many vows of faith

And ne'er a true one.

In such a night
Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,
Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears. Soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.

Did young

1 There are only a very few lines in this scene, and yet the scene means a great deal in showing the happiness of Lorenzo and Jessica and of Portia and Bassanio.

2 Troilus (Troʻl-lús). Troilus, one of the sons of Priam, was in love with Cressida (krėsʻi-dá), who was taken by the Greeks in an exchange of prisoners.

3 Troyan (troi'-ăn). See map, page 38, for the site of ancient Troy, the scene of Homer's Iliad.

4 Medea (mė'dē'à). Medea restored the youth of Jason's father, Æson (ē'son), through a broth of magic herbs.

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Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines 1 of bright gold:
There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
But in its motion like an angel sings.

Music from inside the house. And while Lorenzo and Jessica sit entranced, there pass along the avenue across the back of the stage (L. to R.) the reunited lovers, Portia and Bassanio, conversing

happily, and quietly enough not to disturb Lorenzo and Jessica. Jessica. I am never merry when I hear sweet music. Lorenzo. The reason is, your spirits are attentive';

The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night
And his affections dark as Erebus.4
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.



From the complete play of The Merchant of Venice. Bassanio and Portia.

Bassanio, though a spendthrift, is in other respects quite estimable. Portia is one of the most beautiful characters in Shakespeare. Some of her speeches are so fine that they become food for thought throughout a lifetime remembrance of her.

Act I, Scene i from line 575; Scene ii.
II, i, vii, ix.
III, ii, iv.


patines (pătîns): tiny gold plates; the stars. 2 spirits: mind. 3 attentive: concentrated upon serious thoughts. 4 Erebus (ěr'-ė-bůs): the dark and gloomy entrance to Hades.

5 The line numbers refer to the Macmillan Pocket Classics edition of The Merchant of Venice.

IV, i, beginning 137; ii.

V, i, beginning 89.
Antonio, the Merchant.

I, i.
II, viii.
III, iii.
IV, i.
V, i, from 255.

Gratiano and Nerissa.

Gratiano is one of the most talkative of Antonio's friends. His tongue is constantly running away with him, and the appropriateness of his remarks is often less evident than his good nature. Nerissa is Portia's waiting maid.

I, i, 73–118; ii.
II, ii, from 171.
III, ii, 186–215; iv, 57.
IV, i, from 113; ii.

V, i, from 142.
Launcelot Gobbo.

Launcelot is one of the rare comedians that Shakespeare loved to sandwich into his serious themes.

II, ii, 1–165; iii, v.
III, v.
V, i, 39–48.


A Short Play from




JULIUS CÆSAR (jūl'yús sē’zär).
OCTAVIUS CÆSAR (Ök-tā'vì-ús sē'zár), triumvirs after the
MARCUS ANTONIUS (mär'kės ån-to'nì-ŭs), death of Julius Cæsar.
MARCUS BRUTUS (mär'kės broo'tůs),
CASSIUS (kåsh'ús),
CASCA (kăs'kä),
TREBONIUS (trē-bā'nì-ės),

conspirators against Jul

ius Cæsar.
DECIUS BRUTUS (dē'shủs broo'tės),
METELLUS CIMBER (mě-těl'ús sĩm'běr),
CINNA (sin^à),
LUCILIUS* (100-sy'li-us),
TITINIUS (tỉ-tî'ni-ús),
MESSALA (mě-sā'la),

friends of Brutus and Cassius.
YOUNG Cato* (kā'to),
VOLUMNIUS* (võ-lům'ni-ús),
Clitus* (klī'tůs),
STRATO* (strā'to),

servants of Brutus.
LUCIUS (lõo'shús),
DARDANIUS* (där-dā'ni-ús),
PINDARUS* (pin'då-růs), servant of Cassius.
A Servant* of Octavius.
First Soldier. *
Second Soldier.*
Four Citizens.*
27 reading parts. *
SETTING: Rome: the neighborhood of Sardis (sär'dis); the neighborhood

of Philippi (ff-lịp'i); 44 to 42 B.C. * Cast reducible from 27 to 13, if during the latter part of the play Casca becomes Pindarus; Trebonius, Strato; Decius Brutus, both Young Cato and Dardanius; Metellus Cimber, Lucilius; Cinna, Volumnius; Lucius, Clitus; and Cæsar by taking pains to change his characterization assumes the rôles quite different from his own of the First Soldier and Octavius' servant; Octavius in the same way assumes the

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