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A breed for barren metal of his friend?

But lend it rather to thine enemy,

Who, if he break, thou mayst with better face
Exact the penalty.


Why, look you, how you storm!
I would be friends with you and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with, 140
Supply your present wants and take no doit

Of usance for my moneys, and you'll not hear me :
This is kind I offer.

Bass. 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, you repay me not on such a day,


In such a place, such sum or sums as are
Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound

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

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

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

Ant. 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.

Shy. O father Abram, what these Christians are,
Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect
The thoughts of others! Pray you, tell me this;
If he should break his day, what should I gain
By the exaction of the forfeiture?

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141. doit, a coin of trifling value. 146. single, attested by his own signature alone.

A pound of man's flesh taken from a man
Is not so estimable, profitable neither,
As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say,
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.

Ant. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.
Shy. Then meet me forthwith at the notary's;
Give him direction for this merry bond,

And I will go and purse the ducats straight,
See to my house, left in the fearful guard
Of an unthrifty knave, and presently

I will be with you.

[Exit Shylock.

Ant. Hie thee, gentle Jew.
The Hebrew will turn Christian: he grows kind.
Bass. I like not fair terms and a villain's mind.
Ant. Come on in this there can be no dismay;
My ships come home a month before the day.





SCENE I. Belmont. A room in PORTIA's house.


Flourish of cornets. Enter the PRINCE
and others attending.

Mor. Mislike me not for my complexion,
The shadow'd livery of the burnish'd sun,
To whom I am a neighbour and near bred.
Bring me the fairest creature northward born,
Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles,
2. shadow'd, dusky.

176. fearful, perilous.

And let us make incision for your love,
To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine.
I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine
Hath fear'd the valiant: by my love, I swear
The best-regarded virgins of our clime

Have loved it too: I would not change this hue,
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen.

Por. In terms of choice I am not solely led
By nice direction of a maiden's eyes;
Besides, the lottery of my destiny

Bars me the right of voluntary choosing:
But if my father had not scanted me

And hedged me by his wit, to yield myself

His wife who wins me by that means I told


Yourself, renowned prince, then stood as fair
As any comer I have look'd on yet

For my affection.


Even for that I thank you :
Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets
To try my fortune. By this scimitar
That slew the Sophy and a Persian prince
That won three fields of Sultan Solyman,
I would outstare the sternest eyes that look,
Outbrave the heart most daring on the earth,
Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear,
Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey,
To win thee, lady. But, alas the while!

6. make incision, open our veins.

14. nice, fastidious. 17. scanted, limited.

25. Sophy, the Shah of Persia. These allusions would be easily accessible to Shakespeare in Minadoi's The History of the Warres between the Turkes and

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the Persians, tr. Hartwell, 1595.
It is there said that 'Sofft and
Soffito, an ancient word signify-
ing a wise man,
is grown
to be the common name of the
Emperor of Persia.' The 'Sefi
of Persia' is mentioned in the
play, Der Jud von Venedig,
played by English actors in

If Hercules and Lichas play at dice
Which is the better man, the greater throw
May turn by fortune from the weaker hand:
So is Alcides beaten by his page;

And so may I, blind fortune leading me,
Miss that which one unworthier may attain,

And die with grieving.


You must take your chance,

And either not attempt to choose at all

Or swear before you choose, if you choose wrong
Never to speak to lady afterward

In way of marriage: therefore be advised.

Mor. Nor will not.


Come, bring me unto my

Por. First, forward to the temple: after dinner Your hazard shall be made.


To make me blest or cursed'st among men.

Good fortune then!

[Cornets and exeunt.


SCENE II. Venice. A street.


Laun. Certainly my conscience will serve me to run from this Jew my master. The fiend is at mine elbow and tempts me saying to me 'Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot,' or 'good Gobbo,' or 'good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away.' My conscience says 'No; take heed, honest Launcelot ; take heed, honest Gobbo,' or, as aforesaid, 'honest

32. Lichas, the attendant of Hercules. He was the unwitting bringer of the poisoned shirt by which Hercules perished.

46. blest, most blessed; the superlative termination of cursed'st applying to both adjectives.

Launcelot Gobbo; do not run; scorn running with thy heels.' Well, the most courageous fiend bids 10 me pack: 'Via!' says the fiend; 'away!' says the fiend; 'for the heavens, rouse up a brave mind,' says the fiend, and run.' Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me 'My honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son,' or rather an honest woman's son; for, indeed, my father did something smack, something grow to, he had a kind of taste; well, my conscience says 'Launcelot, budge not.' 'Budge,' says the fiend. 20 'Budge not,' says my conscience. 'Conscience,' say I, 'you counsel well;' 'Fiend,' say I, 'you counsel well:' to be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master, who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil; and, to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself. Certainly the Jew is the very devil incarnal; and, in my conscience, my conscience is but a kind of hard conscience, to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counsel: I will run, fiend; my heels are at your command; I will run,

Enter Old GOBBO, with a basket.

Gob. Master young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to master Jew's?

Laun. [Aside] O heavens, this is my truebegotten father! who, being more than sandblind, high-gravel blind, knows me not: I will try confusions with him.

18. smack, i.e. of knavery. Grow to, provincially used of burnt milk, conveys a similar


37. sand-blind, purblind.


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