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Jes. And what hope is that, I pray thee?

Laun. Marry, you may partly hope that your father got you not, that you are not the Jew's daughter.

Jes. That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed; so the sins of my mother should be visited upon me.

Laun. Truly then I fear you are damned both by father and mother; thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother. Well, you are gone both ways.

Jes. I shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a Christian.

Laun. Truly, the more to blame he; we were Christians enough before; e'en as many as could well live, one by another. This making of Christians will raise the price of hogs; if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money.


Jes. I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say; here he comes.

Lor. I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, if you thus get my wife into corners.

Jes. Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo; Launcelot and I are out. He tells me flatly, there is no mercy for me in heaven, because I am a Jew's daughter; and he says you are no good member of the commonwealth; for, in converting Jews to Christians, you raise the price of pork.

Lor. I shall answer that better to the commonwealth, than you can the getting up of the negro's belly. The Moor is with child by you, Launcelot.

Laun. It is much, that the Moor should be more than reason; but if she be less than an honest woman, she is, indeed, more than I took her for.

Lor. How every fool can play upon the word! I think, the best grace of wit will shortly turn into silence; and discourse grow commendable in none only but parrots.-Go in, sirrah; bid them prepare for dinner.

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Laun. That is done, sir; they have all stomachs. Lor. Goodly lord, what a wit-snapper are you! Then bid them prepare dinner.

Laun. That is done, too, sir; only, cover is the word.


Lor. Will you cover then, sir?

Laun. Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty.

Lor. Yet more quarrelling with occasion! Wilt thou show the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant? pray thee, understand a plain man in his plain meaning. Go to thy fellows; bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.

Laun. For the table, sir, it shall be served in; for the meat, sir, it shall be covered; for your coming in to dinner, sir, why, let it be as humors and conceits shall govern. [Exit LAUNCELot. Lor. O dear discretion, how his words are suited! The fool hath planted in his memory An army of good words; and I do know A many fools, that stand in better place, Garnished like him, that for a tricksy word Defy the matter. How cheer'st thou, Jessica! And now, good sweet, say thy opinion ; How dost thou like the lord Bassanio's wife? Jes. Past all expressing. It is very meet, The lord Bassanio live an upright life; For, having such a blessing in his lady, He finds the joys of heaven here on earth; And, if on earth he do not mean it, it

Is reason he should never come to heaven.

Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match,
And on the wager lay two earthly women,

And Portia one, there must be something else
Pawned with the other; for the poor rude world
Hath not her fellow.


Even such a husband

Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife.

Jes. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that.

1 i. e. suited or fitted to each other, arranged.


Lor. I will anon; first let us go to dinner.

Jes. Nay, let me praise you, while I have a stomach. Lor. No, pray thee let it serve for table-talk; Then, howsoe'er thou speak'st, 'mong other things I shall digest it.


Well, I'll set you forth.



SCENE I. Venice. A Court of Justice.

Enter the Duke, the Magnificoes; ANTONIO, BASSANIO, GRATIANO, SALARINO, SALANIO, and others.

Duke. What, is Antonio here?

Ant. Ready, so please your grace.

Duke. I am sorry for thee; thou art come to answer A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch

Uncapable of pity, void and empty

From any


dram of mercy.

I have heard

Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify

His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate,
And that no lawful means can carry me

Out of his envy's1 reach, I do oppose

My patience to his fury; and am armed
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,

The very tyranny and rage of his.

Duke. Go, one, and call the Jew into the court. Salan. He's ready at the door; he comes, my lord.


Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our face.Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,

1 Envy, in this place, means hatred or malice.

That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice
To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought,
Thou'lt show thy mercy, and remorse,1 more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty;



And where thou now exact'st the penalty,

Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,
Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture,

But, touched with human gentleness and love,
Forgive a moiety of the principal;
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
That have of late so huddled on his back,
Enough to press a royal merchant down,


And pluck commiseration of his state

From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks, and Tartars never trained
To offices of tender courtesy.

We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.

Shy. I have possessed your grace of what I purpose, And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn To have the due and forfeit of my bond. If you deny it, let the danger light Upon your charter and your city's freedom. You'll ask me why I rather choose to have A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive Three thousand ducats. I'll not answer that: But say it is my humor: Is it answered? What if my house be troubled with a rat, And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats To have it baned? What, are you answered yet? Some men there are love not a gaping pig; Some, that are mad, if they behold a cat; And others, when the bagpipe sings i' the nose, Cannot contain their urine; for affection,4 Master of passion, sways it to the mood

1 Remorse, in Shakspeare's time, generally signified pity, tenderness. 2 Whereas.

3 This epithet was striking, and well understood in Shakspeare's time, when Gresham was dignified with the title of the royal merchant, both from his wealth, and because he constantly transacted the mercantile business of queen Elizabeth.

4 Affection stands here for tendency, disposition; appetitus animi.

Of what it likes or loathes. Now, for your answer.
As there is no firm reason to be rendered,
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig;
Why he, a harmless, necessary cat;
Why he, a woollen1 bagpipe; but of force
Must yield to such inevitable shame,
As to offend, himself being offended;
So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
More than a lodged hate, and a certain loathing
I bear Antonio, that I follow thus

A losing suit against him. Are
Are you answered?
Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
To excuse the current of thy cruelty.

Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my answer. Bass. Do all men kill the things they do not love? Shy. Hates any man the thing he would not kill? Bass. Every offence is not a hate at first.

Shy. What, wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice?


Ant. I pray you, think you question with the Jew. You may as well go stand upon the beach,

And bid the main flood bate his usual height;
You may as well use question with the wolf,
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb;
You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag their high tops, and to make no noise,
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;
You may as well do any thing most hard,

As seek to soften that, (than which what's harder?)
His Jewish heart.-Therefore I do beseech you,
Make no more offers, use no further means,
But, with all brief and plain conveniency,
Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.
Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here is six.
Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats

1 It was usual to cover with woollen cloth the bag of this instrument. The old copies read woollen: the conjectural reading swollen was proposed by sir J. Hawkins.

2 Converse.

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