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I oft found both: I urge this childhood proof,
Because what follows is pure innocence.
I owe you much; and, like a wilful youth,
That which I owe is lost : but if you please
To shoot another arrow that self way

25 Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt (As I will watch the aim) or to find both, Or bring your latter hazard back again, And thankfully rest debtor for the first. Antonio. You know me well; and herein spend but time

30 To wind about my love with circumstance; And out of doubt you do me now more wrong In making question of my uttermost, Than if you had made waste of all I have : Then do but say to me what I should do,

35 That in your knowledge may by me be done, And I am prest unto it: therefore speak.

Bassanio. In Belmont is a lady richly left, And she is fair, and, fairer than that word, Of wondrous virtues : sometimes from her eyes I did receive fair speechless messages : Her name is Portia : nothing undervalued To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia : Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth; For the four winds blow in from every coast 45 Renowned suitors : and her sunny locks Hang on her temples like a golden fleece ; Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand, And many Jasons come in quest of her. () my. Antonio, had I but the means To hold a rival place with one of them, I have a mind presages me such thrift, That I should questionless be fortunate.

Antonio. Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea ; Neither have I money, nor commodity

55 To raise a present sum: therefore go forth, Try what my credit can in Venice do : That shall be racked, even to the uttermost, To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia. Go, presently inquire, and so will I, Where money is; and I no question make, To have it of my trust, or for my sake. [Exeunt.


60 5

Bassanio, knowing nothing about the business world of

Venice except where to borrow money, hears that a very
rich Jew named Shylock is a likely person to lend him
the sum he wants. So he sees Shylock at once, not
knowing that this man is Antonio's deadliest enemy.
Shylock is greatly astonished at such a request coming,
as he supposes, from Antonio, and he is delighted to hear
of Antonio's difficulties. He pretends to hesitate, as if
the loan were one which he must consider very carefully.
Bassanio, not understanding his reason, is greatly

Enter Bassanio and Shylock.
Shylock (slowly). Three thousand ducats; well.
Bassanio [sharply). Aye, sir, for three months.
Shylock. For three months; well.

Bassanio. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall
be bound.
Shylock. Antonio shall become bound; well.

[He stops, and seems to consider. Bassanio simpatiently]. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me ? Shall I know your answer ?

Shylock [in the same dilatory tone]. Three thousand ducats for three months, and Antonio bound.

Bassanio. Your answer to that,
Shylock. Antonio is a good man.

Bassanio (turning quickly upon him). Have you heard any imputation to the contrary ?

Shylock [with a slight laugh). Ho, no, no, no, no : my meaning, in saying he is a good man, is to have you 15 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 20 abroad. But ships are but boards, sailors but men : there be land-rats and water-rats, land-thieves and water-thieves, I mean pirates; and then there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks. The man is, notwithstanding, sufficient. [Very slowly.]Three thousand ducats ; 25 I think, I may take his bond.

Bassanio. Be assured you may.





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

Bassanio. If it please you to dine with us.

Shylock (suddenly changing his quiet tone]. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet 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, 35 nor pray with you. [Controlling himself again.] What news on the Rialto ? Who is he comes here? Enter Antonio, who sees at a glance what Bassanio has done. Bassanio. This is Signior Antonio. [Antonio takes him aside and explains while Shylock

watches with eyes of hate. Shylock [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,

[He turns away, muttering. 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 !

Bassanio [coming forward]. Shylock, do you hear ? 50

Shylock. 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. [Bassanio makes an im

patient gesture.] What of that ? Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe,

55 Will furnish me. But soft! how many months Do you desire ? [To Antonio, pretending to have just caught

sight of him for the first time.] Rest you fair, good

signior; Your worship was the last man in our mouths. Antonio [bluntly]. Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor

borrow, By taking, nor by giving of excess,


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Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend,
I'll break a custom. [To Bassanio.) Is he yet possessed,
How much you would ?

Aye, aye, three thousand ducats.
Antonio. And for three months.
Shylock. I had forgot; three months, [glancing aside
to Bassanio] you told me so.

65 Well then, your bond ; and let me see-But hear you ! Methought you said you neither lend nor borrow Upon advantage. Antonio.

I do never use it. Shylock. Three thousand ducats ; 'tis a good round sum.

69 Three months from twelve ; then, let me see; the rate

Antonio. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you?
Shylock [with a change of tone, looking him full in the

face]. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances :
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug ;

For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
You called me misbeliever', 'cut-throat dog',
And spat upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then, it now appears you need my help: 80
Go to, then; you come to me, and you say

Shylock, we would have moneys': you say so;
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold : moneys 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 whispering humbleness, 90 Say this,- [He speaks fawningly, with a low bow. 'Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last; You spurned me such a day; another time You called me—“ dog"; and for these courtesies I'll lend you thus much monies ?'

95 Antonio [in great irritation). 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 may'st with hetter face
Exact the penalty.

Shylock [quietly). Why, look you, how you storm !
I would be friends with you, and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have stained me with, 105
Supply your present wants, and take no doit
Of usance for my moneys, and you'll not hear me :
This is kind I offer.

Antonio. This were kindness.

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
Expressed in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound

115 Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken In what part of your body pleaseth me.

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

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

Antonio. 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.

125 Shylock [pityingly). O father Abram! what these

Christians are, Whose own hard dealing teaches them suspect The thoughts of others ! [To Bassanio.] Pray you, tell me

I 21

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.
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.

I say,


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