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Tell me once more what title thou dost bear.

Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves;
And well said too; for who shall go about
To cozen fortune, and be honorable
Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume
To wear an undeserved dignity.

O, that estates, degrees, and offices,

Were not derived corruptly; and that clear honor
Were purchased by the merit of the wearer!
How many then should cover, that stand bare!
How many be commanded, that command!
How much low peasantry would then be gleaned
From the true seed of honor, and how much honor
Picked from the chaff and ruin of the times,1
To be new varnished! Well, but to my choice.
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves.
I will assume desert;-give me a key for this,
And instantly unlock my fortunes here.

Por. Too long a pause for that which you find there. Ar. What's here? the portrait of a blinking idiot, Presenting me a schedule. I will read it. How much unlike art thou to Portia !

How much unlike my hopes, and my deservings!
Who chooseth me, shall have as much as he deserves.
Did I deserve no more than a fool's head?
Is that my prize? Are my deserts no better?

Por. To offend, and judge, are distinct offices,
And of opposed natures.


What is here?

The fire seven times tried this;
Seven times tried that judgment is,
That did never choose amiss.
Some there be that shadows kiss;
Such have but a shadow's bliss.
There be fools alive, I wis,2
Silvered o'er; and so was this.

1 The meaning is, how much meanness would be found among the

great, and how much greatness among the mean.

2 Know.


Take what wife you will to bed,1
I will ever be your head.
So begone, sir, you are sped.

Still more fool I shall appear
By the time I linger here;
With one fool's head I came to woo,
But I go away with two.-
Sweet, adieu! I'll keep my oath,
Patiently to bear my wroath.2
[Exeunt Arragon, and Train.
Por. Thus hath the candle singed the moth.
O these deliberate fools! when they do choose,
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose.

Ner. The ancient saying is no heresy.-
Hanging and wiving goes by destiny.
Por. Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa.

Enter a Servant.

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Serv. Where is my lady?


Here; what would my lord?
Serv. Madam, there is alighted at your gate
A young Venetian, one that comes before
To signify the approaching of his lord;
From whom he bringeth sensible regreets;
To wit, besides commends, and courteous breath,
Gifts of rich value. Yet I have not seen
So likely an ambassador of love;

A day in April never came so sweet,
To show how costly summer was at hand,
As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord.


Por. No more, I pray thee. I am half afeard, Thou wilt say, anon, he is some kin to thee,

1 The poet had forgotten that he who missed Portia was never to marry any other woman.

2 Wroath is used in some of the old writers for misfortune, and is often spelled like ruth.

3 Salutations.

Thou spend'st such high-day1 wit in praising him.-—
Come, come, Nerissa; for I long to see
Quick Cupid's post, that comes so mannerly.

Ner. Bassanio, lord love, if thy will it be! [Exeunt.


SCENE 1. Venice. A Street.


Salan. Now, what news on the Rialto?

Salar. Why, yet it lives there unchecked, that Antonio hath a ship of rich lading wrecked on the narrow seas; the Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very dangerous flat, and fatal, where the carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip report be an honest woman of her word.


Salan. I would she were as lying a gossip in that, as ever knapped ginger, or made her neighbors believe she wept for the death of a third husband. But it is true, without any slips of prolixity, or crossing the plain highway of talk,-that the good Antonio, the honest Antonio,- O that I had a title good enough to keep his name company,

Salar. Come, the full stop.

Salan. Ha,-what say'st thou ?-Why the end is, he hath lost a ship.

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Salar. I would it might prove the end of his losses!

Salan. Let me say amen betimes, lest the devil cross my prayer; for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.

1 So in the Merry Wives of Windsor:


He speaks holiday.”

2 To knap is to break short. The word occurs in the Common Prayer. "He knappeth the spear in sunder.”

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How now, Shylock? what news among the mer chants?

Shy. You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my daughter's flight.

Salar. That's certain; I, for my part, knew the tailor that made the wings she flew withal.

Salan. And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was fledged; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam.

Shy. She is damned for it.

Salar. That's certain, if the devil may be her judge. Shy. My own flesh and blood to rebel!

Salan. Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these years?

Shy. I say, my daughter is my flesh and blood.

Salar. There is more difference between thy flesh and hers, than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods, than there is between red wine and Rhenish. But tell us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss at sea or no?

Shy. There I have another bad match. A bankrupt, a prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto;-a beggar, that used to come so smug upon the mart!-Let him look to his bond: he was wont to call me usurer;-let him look to his bond. He was wont to lend money for a Christian courtesy :—let him look to his bond.

Salar. Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his flesh; what's that good for?

Shy. To bait fish withal; if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me of half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same dis


eases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute; and it shall go hard, but I will better the instruction.

Enter a Servant.

Serv. Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house, and desires to speak with you both.

Salar. We have been up and down to seek him.

Enter TUBAL.

Salan. Here comes another of the tribe; a third cannot be matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew. [Exeunt SALAN., SALAR. and Servant. Shy. How now, Tubal, what news from Genoa? Hast thou found my daughter?

Tub. I often came where I did hear of her, but cannot find her.

Shy. Why there, there, there, there! A diamond gone, cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfort! The curse never fell upon our nation till now; I never felt it till now.-Two thousand ducats in that; and other precious, precious jewels.-I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear! 'Would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin! No news of them?-Why, so ;-and I know not what's spent in the search. Why, thou loss upon loss! the thief gone with so much, and so much to find the thief; and no satisfaction, no revenge; nor no ill luck stirring but what lights o' my shoulders; no sighs, but o' my breathing; no tears, but o' my shedding.

Tub. Yes, other men have ill luck too. Antonio, as I heard in Genoa,



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