The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

*** Scanner’s Notes: What this is and isn’t. This was taken from a copy of Shakespeare’s first folio and it is as close as I can come in ASCII to the printed text. The elongated S’s have been changed to small s’s and the conjoined ae have been changed to ae. I have left the
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Scanner’s Notes: What this is and isn’t. This was taken from a copy of Shakespeare’s first folio and it is as close as I can come in ASCII to the printed text.

The elongated S’s have been changed to small s’s and the conjoined ae have been changed to ae. I have left the spelling, punctuation, capitalization as close as possible to the printed text. I have corrected some spelling mistakes (I have put together a spelling dictionary devised from the spellings of the Geneva Bible and Shakespeare’s First Folio and have unified spellings according to this template), typo’s and expanded abbreviations as I have come across them. Everything within brackets [] is what I have added. So if you don’t like that you can delete everything within the brackets if you want a purer Shakespeare.

Another thing that you should be aware of is that there are textual differences between various copies of the first folio. So there may be differences (other than what I have mentioned above) between this and other first folio editions. This is due to the printer’s habit of setting the type and running off a number of copies and then proofing the printed copy and correcting the type and then continuing the printing run. The proof run wasn’t thrown away but incorporated into the printed copies. This is just the way it is. The text I have used was a composite of more than 30 different First Folio editions’ best pages.

If you find any scanning errors, out and out typos, punctuation errors, or if you disagree with my spelling choices please feel free to email me those errors. I wish to make this the best etext possible. My email address for right now are and I hope that you enjoy this.

David Reed

The Merchant of Venice

Actus primus.

Enter Anthonio, Salarino, and Salanio.

Anthonio. In sooth I know not why I am so sad, It wearies me: you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, What stuffe ’tis made of, whereof it is borne, I am to learne: and such a Want-wit sadnesse makes of mee,
That I haue much ado to know my selfe

Sal. Your minde is tossing on the Ocean, There where your Argosies with portly saile Like Signiors and rich Burgers on the flood, Or as it were the Pageants of the sea,
Do ouer-peere the pettie Traffiquers That curtsie to them, do them reuerence
As they flye by them with their wouen wings

Salar. Beleeue me sir, had I such venture forth, The better part of my affections, would
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still Plucking the grasse to know where sits the winde, Peering in Maps for ports, and peers, and rodes: And euery obiect that might make me feare Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt
Would make me sad

Sal. My winde cooling my broth,
Would blow me to an Ague, when I thought What harme a winde too great might doe at sea. I should not see the sandie houre-glasse runne, But I should thinke of shallows, and of flats, And see my wealthy Andrew docks in sand, Vailing her high top lower then her ribs To kisse her buriall; should I goe to Church And see the holy edifice of stone,
And not bethinke me straight of dangerous rocks, Which touching but my gentle Vessels side Would scatter all her spices on the streame, Enrobe the roring waters with my silkes, And in a word, but euen now worth this,
And now worth nothing. Shall I haue the thought To thinke on this, and shall I lacke the thought That such a thing bechaunc’d would make me sad? But tell me, I know Anthonio
Is sad to thinke vpon his merchandize

Anth. Beleeue me no, I thanke my fortune for it, My ventures are not in one bottome trusted, Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate Vpon the fortune of this present yeere:
Therefore my merchandize makes me not sad

Sola. Why then you are in loue

Anth. Fie, fie

Sola. Not in loue neither: then let vs say you are sad Because you are not merry: and ’twere as easie For you to laugh and leape, and say you are merry Because you are not sad. Now by two-headed Ianus, Nature hath fram’d strange fellowes in her time: Some that will euermore peepe through their eyes, And laugh like Parrats at a bag-piper.
And other of such vineger aspect,
That they’ll not shew their teeth in way of smile, Though Nestor sweare the iest be laughable. Enter Bassanio, Lorenso, and Gratiano.

Sola. Heere comes Bassanio,
Your most noble Kinsman,
Gratiano, and Lorenso. Faryewell,
We leaue you now with better company

Sala. I would haue staid till I had made you merry, If worthier friends had not preuented me

Ant. Your worth is very deere in my regard. I take it your owne busines calls on you, And you embrace th’ occasion to depart

Sal. Good morrow my good Lords

Bass. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? say, when? You grow exceeding strange: must it be so? Sal. Wee’ll make our leysures to attend on yours.

Exeunt. Salarino, and Solanio.

Lor. My Lord Bassanio, since you haue found Anthonio We two will leaue you, but at dinner time I pray you haue in minde where we must meete

Bass. I will not faile you

Grat. You looke not well signior Anthonio, You haue too much respect vpon the world: They loose it that doe buy it with much care, Beleeue me you are maruellously chang’d

Ant. I hold the world but as the world Gratiano, A stage, where euery man must play a part, And mine a sad one

Grati. Let me play the foole,
With mirth and laughter let old wrinckles come, And let my Liuer rather heate with wine, Then my heart coole with mortifying grones. Why should a man whose bloud is warme within, Sit like his Grandsire, cut in Alablaster? Sleepe when he wakes? and creep into the Iaundies By being peeuish? I tell thee what Anthonio, I loue thee, and it is my loue that speakes: There are a sort of men, whose visages
Do creame and mantle like a standing pond, And do a wilfull stilnesse entertaine,
With purpose to be drest in an opinion Of wisedome, grauity, profound conceit,
As who should say, I am sir an Oracle, And when I ope my lips, let no dogge barke. O my Anthonio, I do know of these
That therefore onely are reputed wise, For saying nothing; when I am verie sure If they should speake, would almost dam those eares Which hearing them would call their brothers fooles: Ile tell thee more of this another time. But fish not with this melancholly baite For this foole Gudgin, this opinion:
Come good Lorenzo, faryewell a while, Ile end my exhortation after dinner

Lor. Well, we will leaue you then till dinner time. I must be one of these same dumbe wise men. For Gratiano neuer let’s me speake

Gra. Well, keepe me company but two yeares mo, Thou shalt not know the sound of thine owne tongue

Ant. Far you well, Ile grow a talker for this geare

Gra. Thankes ifaith, for silence is onely commendable In a neats tongue dri’d, and a maid not vendible. Enter.

Ant. It is that any thing now

Bas. Gratiano speakes an infinite deale of nothing, more then any man in all Venice, his reasons are two graines of wheate hid in two bushels of chaffe: you shall seeke all day ere you finde them, & when you haue them they are not worth the search

An. Well: tel me now, what Lady is the same To whom you swore a secret Pilgrimage
That you to day promis’d to tel me of? Bas. Tis not vnknowne to you Anthonio
How much I haue disabled mine estate, By something shewing a more swelling port Then my faint meanes would grant continuance: Nor do I now make mone to be abridg’d
From such a noble rate, but my cheefe care Is to come fairely off from the great debts Wherein my time something too prodigall
Hath left me gag’d: to you Anthonio I owe the most in money, and in loue,
And from your loue I haue a warrantie To vnburthen all my plots and purposes,
How to get cleere of all the debts I owe

An. I pray you good Bassanio let me know it, And if it stand as you your selfe still do, Within the eye of honour, be assur’d
My purse, my person, my extreamest meanes Lye all vnlock’d to your occasions

Bass. In my schoole dayes, when I had lost one shaft I shot his fellow of the selfesame flight The selfesame way, with more aduised watch To finde the other forth, and by aduenturing both, I oft found both. I vrge this child-hoode proofe, Because what followes is pure innocence. I owe you much, and like a wilfull youth, That which I owe is lost: but if you please To shoote another arrow that selfe way
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt, As I will watch the ayme: Or to finde both, Or bring your latter hazard backe againe, And thankfully rest debter for the first

An. You know me well, and herein spend but time To winde about my loue with circumstance, And out of doubt you doe more wrong
In making question of my vttermost
Then if you had made waste of all I haue: Then doe but say to me what I should doe That in your knowledge may by me be done, And I am prest vnto it: therefore speake

Bass. In Belmont is a Lady richly left, And she is faire, and fairer then that word, Of wondrous vertues, sometimes from her eyes I did receiue faire speechlesse messages: Her name is Portia, nothing vndervallewd To Cato’s daughter, Brutus Portia,
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth, For the four windes blow in from euery coast Renowned sutors, and her sunny locks
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece, Which makes her seat of Belmont Cholchos strond, And many Iasons come in quest of her.
O my Anthonio, had I but the meanes To hold a riuall place with one of them, I haue a minde presages me such thrift,
That I should questionlesse be fortunate

Anth. Thou knowst that all my fortunes are at sea, Neither haue I money, nor commodity
To raise a present summe, therefore goe forth Try what my credit can in Venice doe,
That shall be rackt euen to the vttermost, To furnish thee to Belmont to faire Portia. Goe presently enquire, and so will I
Where money is, and I no question make To haue it of my trust, or for my sake.


Enter Portia with her waiting woman Nerissa.

Portia. By my troth Nerrissa, my little body is a wearie of this great world

Ner. You would be sweet Madam, if your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are: and yet for ought I see, they are as sicke that surfet with too much, as they that starue with nothing; it is no smal happinesse therefore to bee seated in the meane, superfluitie comes sooner by white haires, but competencie liues longer

Portia. Good sentences, and well pronounc’d

Ner. They would be better if well followed

Portia. If to doe were as easie as to know what were good to doe, Chappels had beene Churches, and poore mens cottages Princes Pallaces: it is a good Diuine that followes his owne instructions; I can easier teach twentie what were good to be done, then be one of the twentie to follow mine owne teaching: the braine may deuise lawes for the blood, but a hot temper leapes ore a colde decree, such a hare is madnesse the youth, to skip ore the meshes of good counsaile the cripple; but this reason is not in fashion to choose me a husband: O mee, the word choose, I may neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike, so is the wil of a liuing daughter curb’d by the will of a dead father: it is not hard Nerrissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none

Ner. Your father was euer vertuous, and holy men at their death haue good inspirations, therefore the lotterie that hee hath deuised in these three chests of gold, siluer, and leade, whereof who chooses his meaning, chooses you, wil no doubt neuer be chosen by any rightly, but one who you shall rightly loue: but what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these Princely suters that are already come?
Por. I pray thee ouer-name them, and as thou namest them, I will describe them, and according to my description leuell at my affection

Ner. First there is the Neopolitane Prince

Por. I that’s a colt indeede, for he doth nothing but talke of his horse, and hee makes it a great appropriation to his owne good parts that he can shoo him himselfe: I am much afraid my Ladie his mother plaid false with a Smyth

Ner. Than is there the Countie Palentine

Por. He doth nothing but frowne (as who should say, and you will not haue me, choose: he heares merrie tales and smiles not, I feare hee will proue the weeping Phylosopher when he growes old, being so full of vnmannerly sadnesse in his youth.) I had rather to be married to a deaths head with a bone in his mouth, then to either of these: God defend me from these two

Ner. How say you by the French Lord, Mounsier Le Boune?
Por. God made him, and therefore let him passe for a man, in truth I know it is a sinne to be a mocker, but he, why he hath a horse better then the Neopolitans, a better bad habite of frowning then the Count Palentine, he is euery man in no man, if a Trassell sing, he fals straight a capring, he will fence with his owne shadow. If I should marry him, I should marry twentie husbands: if hee would despise me, I would forgiue him, for if he loue me to madnesse, I should neuer requite him

Ner. What say you then to Fauconbridge, the yong Baron of England?
Por. You know I say nothing to him, for hee vnderstands not me, nor I him: he hath neither Latine, French, nor Italian, and you will come into the Court & sweare that I haue a poore pennie-worth in the English: hee is a proper mans picture, but alas who can conuerse with a dumbe show? how odly he is suited, I thinke he bought his doublet in Italie, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germanie, and his behauiour euery where

Ner. What thinke you of the other Lord his neighbour? Por. That he hath a neighbourly charitie in him, for he borrowed a boxe of the eare of the Englishman, and swore he would pay him againe when hee was able: I thinke the Frenchman became his suretie, and seald vnder for another

Ner. How like you the yong Germaine, the Duke of Saxonies Nephew?
Por. Very vildely in the morning when hee is sober, and most vildely in the afternoone when hee is drunke: when he is best, he is a little worse then a man, and when he is worst, he is little better then a beast: and the worst fall that euer fell, I hope I shall make shift to go without him

Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right Casket, you should refuse to performe your Fathers will, if you should refuse to accept him

Por. Therefore for feare of the worst, I pray thee set a deepe glasse of Reinish-wine on the contrary Casket, for if the diuell be within, and that temptation without, I know he will choose it. I will doe any thing Nerrissa ere I will be married to a spunge

Ner. You neede not feare Lady the hauing any of these Lords, they haue acquainted me with their determinations, which is indeede to returne to their home, and to trouble you with no more suite, vnlesse you may be won by some other sort then your Fathers imposition, depending on the Caskets

Por. If I liue to be as olde as Sibilla, I will dye as chaste as Diana: vnlesse I be obtained by the manner of my Fathers will: I am glad this parcell of wooers are so reasonable, for there is not one among them but I doate on his verie absence: and I wish them a faire departure

Ner. Doe you not remember Ladie in your Fathers time, a Venecian, a Scholler and a Souldior that came hither in companie of the Marquesse of Mountferrat? Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio, as I thinke, so was hee call’d

Ner. True Madam, hee of all the men that euer my foolish eyes look’d vpon, was the best deseruing a faire Lady

Por. I remember him well, and I remember him worthy of thy praise.
Enter a Seruingman.

Ser. The four Strangers seeke you Madam to take their leaue: and there is a fore-runner come from a fift, the Prince of Moroco, who brings word the Prince his Maister will be here to night

Por. If I could bid the fift welcome with so good heart as I can bid the other foure farewell, I should be glad of his approach: if he haue the condition of a Saint, and the complexion of a diuell, I had rather hee should shriue me then wiue me. Come Nerrissa, sirra go before; whiles wee shut the gate vpon one wooer, another knocks at the doore.


Enter Bassanio with Shylocke the Iew.

Shy. Three thousand ducates, well

Bass. I sir, for three months

Shy. For three months, well

Bass. For the which, as I told you, Anthonio shall be bound

Shy. Anthonio shall become bound, well

Bass. May you sted me? Will you pleasure me? Shall I know your answere

Shy. Three thousand ducats for three months, and Anthonio bound

Bass. Your answere to that

Shy. Anthonio is a good man

Bass. Haue you heard any imputation to the contrary

Shy. Ho no, no, no, no: my meaning in saying he is a good man, is to haue you vnderstand me that he is sufficient, yet his meanes are in supposition: he hath an Argosie bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies, I vnderstand moreouer vpon the Ryalta, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England, and other ventures hee hath squandred abroad, but ships are but boords, Saylers but men, there be land rats, and water rats, water theeues, and land theeues, I meane Pyrats, and then there is the perrill of waters, windes, and rocks: the man is not withstanding sufficient, three thousand ducats, I thinke I may take his bond

Bas. Be assured you may

Iew. I will be assured I may: and that I may be assured, I will bethinke mee, may I speake with Anthonio? Bass. If it please you to dine with vs

Iew. Yes, to smell porke, to eate of the habitation which your Prophet the Nazarite coniured the diuell into: I will buy with you, sell with you, talke with you, walke with you, and so following: but I will not eate with you, drinke with you, nor pray with you. What newes on the Ryalta, who is he comes here? Enter Anthonio.

Bass. This is signior Anthonio

Iew. How like a fawning publican he lookes. I hate him for he is a Christian:
But more, for that in low simplicitie He lends out money gratis, and brings downe The rate of vsance here with vs in Venice. If I can catch him once vpon the hip,
I will feede fat the ancient grudge I beare him. He hates our sacred Nation, and he railes Euen there where Merchants most doe congregate On me, my bargaines, and my well-worne thrift, Which he cals interrest: Cursed by my Trybe If I forgiue him

Bass. Shylock, doe you heare

Shy. I am debating of my present store, And by the neere gesse of my memorie
I cannot instantly raise vp the grosse Of full three thousand ducats: what of that? Tuball a wealthy Hebrew of my Tribe
Will furnish me: but soft, how many months Doe you desire? Rest you faire good signior, Your worship was the last man in our mouthes

Ant. Shylocke, albeit I neither lend nor borrow By taking, nor by giuing of excesse,
Yet to supply the ripe wants of my friend, Ile breake a custome: is he yet possest
How much he would?
Shy. I, I, three thousand ducats

Ant. And for three months

Shy. I had forgot, three months, you told me so. Well then, your bond: and let me see, but heare you, Me thoughts you said, you neither lend nor borrow Vpon aduantage

Ant. I doe neuer vse it

Shy. When Iacob graz’d his vncle Labans sheepe, This Iacob from our holy Abram was
(As his wise mother wrought in his behalfe) The third possesser; I, he was the third

Ant. And what of him, did he take interrest? Shy. No, not take interest, not as you would say Directly interest, marke what Iacob did, When Laban and himselfe were compremyz’d That all the eanelings which were streakt and pied Should fall as Iacobs hier, the Ewes being rancke, In end of Autumne turned to the Rammes,
And when the worke of generation was Betweene these woolly breeders in the act, The skilfull shepheard pil’d me certaine wands, And in the dooing of the deede of kinde, He stucke them vp before the fulsome Ewes, Who then conceauing, did in eaning time
Fall party-colour’d lambs, and those were Iacobs. This was a way to thriue, and he was blest: And thrift is blessing if men steale it not

Ant. This was a venture sir that Iacob seru’d for, A thing not in his power to bring to passe, But sway’d and fashion’d by the hand of heauen. Was this inserted to make interrest good? Or is your gold and siluer Ewes and Rams? Shy. I cannot tell, I make it breede as fast, But note me signior

Ant. Marke you this Bassanio,
The diuell can cite Scripture for his purpose, An euill soule producing holy witnesse,
Is like a villaine with a smiling cheeke, A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O what a goodly outside falsehood hath

Shy. Three thousand ducats, ’tis a good round sum. Three months from twelue, then let me see the rate

Ant. Well Shylocke, shall we be beholding to you? Shy. Signior Anthonio, many a time and oft In the Ryalto you haue rated me
About my monies and my vsances:
Still haue I borne it with a patient shrug, (For suffrance is the badge of all our Tribe.) You call me misbeleeuer, cut-throate dog, And spet vpon my Iewish gaberdine,
And all for vse of that which is mine owne. Well then, it now appeares you neede my helpe: Goe to then, you come to me, and you say, Shylocke, we would haue moneyes, you say so: You that did voide your rume vpon my beard, And foote me as you spurne a stranger curre Ouer your threshold, moneyes is your suite. What should I say to you? Should I not say, Hath a dog money? Is it possible
A curre should lend three thousand ducats? or Shall I bend low, and in a bond-mans key With bated breath, and whispring humblenesse, Say this: Faire sir, you spet on me on Wednesday last; You spurn’d me such a day; another time
You cald me dog: and for these curtesies Ile lend you thus much moneyes

Ant. I am as like to call thee so againe, To spet on thee againe, to spurne thee too. If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not As to thy friends, for when did friendship take A breede of barraine mettall of his friend? But lend it rather to thine enemie,
Who if he breake, thou maist with better face Exact the penalties

Shy. Why looke you how you storme,
I would be friends with you, and haue your loue, Forget the shames that you haue staind me with, Supplie your present wants, and take no doite Of vsance for my moneyes, and youle not heare me, This is kinde I offer

Bass. This were kindnesse

Shy. This kindnesse will I showe,
Goe with me to a Notarie, seale me there Your single bond, and in a merrie sport
If you repaie me not on such a day, In such a place, such sum or sums as are Exprest in the condition, let the forfeite Be nominated for an equall pound
Of your faire flesh, to be cut off and taken In what part of your bodie it pleaseth me

Ant. Content infaith, Ile seale to such a bond, And say there is much kindnesse in the Iew

Bass. You shall not seale to such a bond for me, Ile rather dwell in my necessitie

Ant. Why feare not man, I will not forfaite it, Within these two months, that’s a month before This bond expires, I doe expect returne
Of thrice three times the valew of this bond

Shy. O father Abram, what these Christians are, Whose owne hard dealings teaches them suspect The thoughts of others: Praie you tell me this, If he should breake his daie, what should I gaine By the exaction of the forfeiture?
A pound of mans flesh taken from a man, Is not so estimable, profitable neither
As flesh of Muttons, Beefes, or Goates, I say To buy his fauour, I extend this friendship, If he will take it, so: if not adiew,
And for my loue I praie you wrong me not

Ant. Yes Shylocke, I will seale vnto this bond

Shy. Then meete me forthwith at the Notaries, Giue him direction for this merrie bond, And I will goe and purse the ducats straite. See to my house left in the fearefull gard Of an vnthriftie knaue: and presentlie
Ile be with you.

Ant. Hie thee gentle Iew. This Hebrew will turne Christian, he growes kinde

Bass. I like not faire tearmes, and a villaines minde

Ant. Come on, in this there can be no dismaie, My Shippes come home a month before the daie.


Actus Secundus.

Enter Morochus a tawnie Moore all in white, and three or foure followers
accordingly, with Portia, Nerrissa, and their traine. Flo. Cornets.

Mor. Mislike me not for my complexion, The shadowed liuerie of the burnisht sunne, To whom I am a neighbour, and neere bred. Bring me the fairest creature North-ward borne, Where Phoebus fire scarce thawes the ysicles, And let vs make incision for your loue,
To proue whose blood is reddest, his or mine. I tell thee Ladie this aspect of mine
Hath feard the valiant, (by my loue I sweare) The best regarded Virgins of our Clyme
Haue lou’d it to: I would not change this hue, Except to steale your thoughts my gentle Queene

Por. In tearmes of choise I am not solie led By nice direction of a maidens eies:
Besides, the lottrie of my destenie Bars me the right of voluntarie choosing: But if my Father had not scanted me,
And hedg’d me by his wit to yeelde my selfe His wife, who wins me by that meanes I told you, Your selfe (renowned Prince) than stood as faire As any commer I haue look’d on yet
For my affection

Mor. Euen for that I thanke you,
Therefore I pray you leade me to the Caskets To trie my fortune: By this Symitare
That slew the Sophie, and a Persian Prince That won three fields of Sultan Solyman, I would ore-stare the sternest eies that looke: Out-braue the heart most daring on the earth: Plucke the yong sucking Cubs from the she Beare, Yea, mocke the Lion when he rores for pray To win the Ladie. But alas, the while
If Hercules and Lychas plaie at dice Which is the better man, the greater throw May turne by fortune from the weaker hand: So is Alcides beaten by his rage,
And so may I, blinde fortune leading me Misse that which one vnworthier may attaine, And die with grieuing

Port. You must take your chance,
And either not attempt to choose at all, Or sweare before you choose, if you choose wrong Neuer to speake to Ladie afterward
In way of marriage, therefore be aduis’d

Mor. Nor will not, come bring me vnto my chance

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

Mor. Good fortune then,


To make me blest or cursed’st among men.


Enter the Clowne alone.

Clo. Certainely, my conscience will serue me to run from this Iew my Maister: the fiend is at mine elbow, and tempts me, saying to me, Iobbe, Launcelet Iobbe, good Launcelet, or good Iobbe, or good Launcelet Iobbe, vse your legs, take the start, run awaie: my conscience saies no; take heede honest Launcelet, take heed honest Iobbe, or as afore-said honest Launcelet Iobbe, doe not runne, scorne running with thy heeles; well, the most coragious fiend bids me packe, fia saies the fiend, away saies the fiend, for the heauens rouse vp a braue minde saies the fiend, and run; well, my conscience hanging about the necke of my heart, saies verie wisely to me: my honest friend Launcelet, being an honest mans sonne, or rather an honest womans sonne, for indeede my Father did something smack, something grow too; he had a kinde of taste; wel, my conscience saies Lancelet bouge not, bouge saies the fiend, bouge not saies my conscience, conscience say I you counsaile well, fiend say I you counsaile well, to be rul’d by my conscience I should stay with the Iew my Maister, (who God blesse the marke) is a kinde of diuell; and to run away from the Iew I should be ruled by the fiend, who sauing your reuerence is the diuell himselfe: certainely the Iew is the verie diuell incarnation, and in my conscience, my conscience is a kinde of hard conscience, to offer to counsaile me to stay with the Iew; the fiend giues the more friendly counsaile: I will runne fiend, my heeles are at your commandement, I will runne.
Enter old Gobbe with a Basket.

Gob. Maister yong-man, you I praie you, which is the waie to Maister Iewes?
Lan. O heauens, this is my true begotten Father, who being more then sand-blinde, high grauel blinde, knows me not, I will trie confusions with him

Gob. Maister yong Gentleman, I praie you which is the waie to Maister Iewes

Laun. Turne vpon your right hand at the next turning, but at the next turning of all on your left; marrie at the verie next turning, turne of no hand, but turn down indirectlie to the Iewes house

Gob. Be Gods sonties ’twill be a hard waie to hit, can you tell me whether one Launcelet that dwels with him dwell with him or no

Laun. Talke you of yong Master Launcelet, marke me now, now will I raise the waters; talke you of yong Maister Launcelet?
Gob. No Maister sir, but a poore mans sonne, his Father though I say’t is an honest exceeding poore man, and God be thanked well to liue

Lan. Well, let his Father be what a will, wee talke of yong Maister Launcelet

Gob. Your worships friend and Launcelet

Laun. But I praie you ergo old man, ergo I beseech you, talke you of yong Maister Launcelet

Gob. Of Launcelet, ant please your maistership

Lan. Ergo Maister Lancelet, talke not of maister Lancelet Father, for the yong gentleman according to fates and destinies, and such odde sayings, the sisters three, & such branches of learning, is indeede deceased, or as you would say in plaine tearmes, gone to heauen

Gob. Marrie God forbid, the boy was the verie staffe of my age, my verie prop

Lau. Do I look like a cudgell or a houell-post, a staffe or a prop: doe you know me Father

Gob. Alacke the day, I know you not yong Gentleman, but I praie you tell me, is my boy God rest his soule aliue or dead

Lan. Doe you not know me Father

Gob. Alacke sir I am sand blinde, I know you not

Lan. Nay, indeede if you had your eies you might faile of the knowing me: it is a wise Father that knowes his owne childe. Well, old man, I will tell you newes of your son, giue me your blessing, truth will come to light, murder cannot be hid long, a mans sonne may, but in the end truth will out

Gob. Praie you sir stand vp, I am sure you are not Lancelet my boy

Lan. Praie you let’s haue no more fooling about it, but giue mee your blessing: I am Lancelet your boy that was, your sonne that is, your childe that shall be

Gob. I cannot thinke you are my sonne

Lan. I know not what I shall thinke of that: but I am Lancelet the Iewes man, and I am sure Margerie your wife is my mother

Gob. Her name is Margerie indeede, Ile be sworne if thou be Lancelet, thou art mine owne flesh and blood: Lord worshipt might he be, what a beard hast thou got; thou hast got more haire on thy chin, then Dobbin my philhorse has on his taile

Lan. It should seeme then that Dobbins taile growes backeward. I am sure he had more haire of his taile then I haue of my face when I last saw him

Gob. Lord how art thou chang’d: how doost thou and thy Master agree, I haue brought him a present; how gree you now?
Lan. Well, well, but for mine owne part, as I haue set vp my rest to run awaie, so I will not rest till I haue run some ground; my Maister’s a verie Iew, giue him a present, giue him a halter, I am famisht in his seruice. You may tell euerie finger I haue with my ribs: Father I am glad you are come, giue me your present to one Maister Bassanio, who indeede giues rare new Liuories, if I serue not him, I will run as far as God has anie ground. O rare fortune, here comes the man, to him Father, for I am a Iew if I serue the Iew anie longer.
Enter Bassanio with a follower or two.

Bass. You may doe so, but let it be so hasted that supper be readie at the farthest by fiue of the clocke: see these Letters deliuered, put the Liueries to making, and desire Gratiano to come anone to my lodging

Lan. To him Father

Gob. God blesse your worship

Bass. Gramercie, would’st thou ought with me

Gob. Here’s my sonne sir, a poore boy

Lan. Not a poore boy sir, but the rich Iewes man that would sir as my Father shall specifie

Gob. He hath a great infection sir, as one would say to serue

Lan. Indeede the short and the long is, I serue the Iew, and haue a desire as my Father shall specifie

Gob. His Maister and he (sauing your worships reuerence) are scarce catercosins

Lan. To be briefe, the verie truth is, that the Iew hauing done me wrong, doth cause me as my Father being I hope an old man shall frutifie vnto you

Gob. I haue here a dish of Doues that I would bestow vpon your worship, and my suite is

Lan. In verie briefe, the suite is impertinent to my selfe, as your worship shall know by this honest old man, and though I say it, though old man, yet poore man my Father

Bass. One speake for both, what would you? Lan. Serue you sir

Gob. That is the verie defect of the matter sir

Bass. I know thee well, thou hast obtain’d thy suite, Shylocke thy Maister spoke with me this daie, And hath prefer’d thee, if it be preferment To leaue a rich Iewes seruice, to become The follower of so poore a Gentleman

Clo. The old prouerbe is verie well parted betweene my Maister Shylocke and you sir, you haue the grace of God sir, and he hath enough

Bass. Thou speak’st well; go Father with thy Son, Take leaue of thy old Maister, and enquire My lodging out, giue him a Liuerie
More garded then his fellowes: see it done

Clo. Father in, I cannot get a seruice, no, I haue nere a tongue in my head, well: if anie man in Italie haue a fairer table which doth offer to sweare vpon a booke, I shall haue good fortune; goe too, here’s a simple line of life, here’s a small trifle of wiues, alas, fifteene wiues is nothing, a leuen widdowes and nine maides is a simple comming in for one man, and then to scape drowning thrice, and to be in perill of my life with the edge of a featherbed, here are simple scapes: well, if Fortune be a woman, she’s a good wench for this gere: Father come, Ile take my leaue of the Iew in the twinkling.

Exit Clowne.

Bass. I praie thee good Leonardo thinke on this, These things being bought and orderly bestowed Returne in haste, for I doe feast to night My best esteemd acquaintance, hie thee goe

Leon. my best endeuors shall be done herein.

Exit Le.

Enter Gratiano.

Gra. Where’s your Maister

Leon. Yonder sir he walkes

Gra. Signior Bassanio

Bas. Gratiano

Gra. I haue a sute to you

Bass. You haue obtain’d it

Gra. You must not denie me, I must goe with you to Belmont

Bass. Why then you must: but heare thee Gratiano, Thou art to wilde, to rude, and bold of voyce, Parts that become thee happily enough,
And in such eyes as ours appeare not faults; But where they are not knowne, why there they show Something too liberall, pray thee take paine To allay with some cold drops of modestie Thy skipping spirit, least through thy wilde behauiour I be misconsterd in the place I goe to,
And loose my hopes

Gra. Signor Bassanio, heare me,
If I doe not put on a sober habite, Talke with respect, and sweare but now and than, Weare prayer bookes in my pocket, looke demurely, Nay more, while grace is saying hood mine eyes Thus with my hat, and sigh and say Amen: Vse all the obseruance of ciuillitie
Like one well studied in a sad ostent To please his Grandam, neuer trust me more

Bas. Well, we shall see your bearing

Gra. Nay but I barre to night, you shall not gage me By what we doe to night

Bas. No that were pittie,
I would intreate you rather to put on Your boldest suite of mirth, for we haue friends That purpose merriment: but far you well, I haue some businesse

Gra. And I must to Lorenso and the rest, But we will visite you at supper time.


Enter Iessica and the Clowne.

Ies. I am sorry thou wilt leaue my Father so, Our house is hell, and thou a merrie diuell Did’st rob it of some taste of tediousnesse; But far thee well, there is a ducat for thee, And Lancelet, soone at supper shalt thou see Lorenzo, who is thy new Maisters guest,
Giue him this Letter, doe it secretly, And so farewell: I would not haue my Father see me talke with thee

Clo. Adue, teares exhibit my tongue, most beautifull Pagan, most sweete Iew, if a Christian doe not play the knaue and get thee, I am much deceiued; but adue, these foolish drops doe somewhat drowne my manly spirit: adue.

Ies. Farewell good Lancelet.
Alacke, what hainous sinne is it in me To be ashamed to be my Fathers childe,
But though I am a daughter to his blood, I am not to his manners: O Lorenzo,
If thou keepe promise I shall end this strife, Become a Christian, and thy louing wife. Enter.

Enter Gratiano, Lorenzo, Salarino, and Salanio.

Lor. Nay, we will slinke away in supper time, Disguise vs at my lodging, and returne all in an houre

Gra. We haue not made good preparation

Sal. We haue not spoke vs yet of Torch-bearers

Sol. ‘Tis vile vnlesse it may be quaintly ordered, And better in my minde not vndertooke

Lor. ‘Tis now but foure of clock, we haue two houres To furnish vs; friend Lancelet what’s the newes. Enter Lancelet with a Letter.

Lan. And it shall please you to breake vp this, shall it seeme to signifie

Lor. I know the hand, in faith ’tis a faire hand And whiter then the paper it writ on,
Is the faire hand that writ

Gra. Loue newes in faith

Lan. By your leaue sir

Lor. Whither goest thou?
Lan. Marry sir to bid my old Master the Iew to sup to night with my new Master the Christian

Lor. Hold here, take this, tell gentle Iessica I will not faile her, speake it priuately: Go Gentlemen, will you prepare you for this Maske to night,
I am prouided of a Torch-bearer.

Exit. Clowne

Sal. I marry, ile be gone about it strait

Sol. And so will I

Lor. Meete me and Gratiano at Gratianos lodging Some houre hence

Sal. ‘Tis good we do so.

Gra. Was not that Letter from faire Iessica? Lor. I must needes tell thee all, she hath directed How I shall take her from her Fathers house, What gold and iewels she is furnisht with, What Pages suite she hath in readinesse: If ere the Iew her Father come to heauen, It will be for his gentle daughters sake; And neuer dare misfortune crosse her foote, Vnlesse she doe it vnder this excuse,
That she is issue to a faithlesse Iew: Come goe with me, pervse this as thou goest, Faire Iessica shall be my Torch-bearer.

Enter Iew, and his man that was the Clowne.

Iew. Well, thou shall see, thy eyes shall be thy iudge, The difference of old Shylocke and Bassanio; What Iessica, thou shalt not gurmandize
As thou hast done with me: what Iessica? And sleepe, and snore, and rend apparrell out. Why Iessica I say

Clo. Why Iessica

Shy. Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call

Clo. Your worship was wont to tell me I could doe nothing without bidding.
Enter Iessica.

Ies. Call you? what is your will?
Shy. I am bid forth to supper Iessica, There are my Keyes: but wherefore should I go? I am not bid for loue, they flatter me,
But yet Ile goe in hate, to feede vpon The prodigall Christian. Iessica my girle, Looke to my house, I am right loath to goe, There is some ill a bruing towards my rest, For I did dreame of money bags to night

Clo. I beseech you sir goe, my yong Master Doth expect your reproach

Shy. So doe I his

Clo. And they haue conspired together, I will not say you shall see a Maske, but if you doe, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on blacke monday last, at six a clocke ith morning, falling out that yeere on ashwensday was foure yeere in th’ afternoone

Shy. What are their maskes? heare you me Iessica, Lock vp my doores, and when you heare the drum And the vile squealing of the wry-neckt Fife, Clamber not you vp to the casements then, Nor thrust your head into the publique streete To gaze on Christian fooles with varnisht faces: But stop my houses eares, I meane my casements, Let not the sound of shallow fopperie enter My sober house. By Iacobs staffe I sweare, I haue no minde of feasting forth to night: But I will goe: goe you before me sirra, Say I will come

Clo. I will goe before sir,
Mistris looke out at window for all this; There will come a Christian by,
Will be worth a Iewes eye

Shy. What saies that foole of Hagars off-spring? ha

Ies. His words were farewell mistris, nothing else

Shy. The patch is kinde enough, but a huge feeder: Snaile-slow in profit, but he sleepes by day More then the wilde-cat: drones hiue not with me, Therefore I part with him, and part with him To one that I would haue him helpe to waste His borrowed purse. Well Iessica goe in, Perhaps I will returne immediately;
Doe as I bid you, shut dores after you, fast binde, fast finde,
A prouerbe neuer stale in thriftie minde. Enter.

Ies. Farewell, and if my fortune be not crost, I haue a Father, you a daughter lost.

Enter the Maskers, Gratiano and Salino.

Gra. This is the penthouse vnder which Lorenzo Desired vs to make a stand

Sal. His houre is almost past

Gra. And it is meruaile he out-dwels his houre, For louers euer run before the clocke

Sal. O ten times faster Venus Pidgions flye To steale loues bonds new made, then they are wont To keepe obliged faith vnforfaited

Gra. That euer holds, who riseth from a feast With that keene appetite that he sits downe? Where is the horse that doth vntread againe His tedious measures with the vnbated fire, That he did pace them first: all things that are, Are with more spirit chased then enioy’d. How like a yonger or a prodigall
The skarfed barke puts from her natiue bay, Hudg’d and embraced by the strumpet winde: How like a prodigall doth she returne
With ouer-wither’d ribs and ragged sailes, Leane, rent, and begger’d by the strumpet winde? Enter Lorenzo.

Salino. Heere comes Lorenzo, more of this hereafter

Lor. Sweete friends, your patience for my long abode, Not I, but my affaires haue made you wait; When you shall please to play the theeues for wiues Ile watch as long for you then: approach Here dwels my father Iew. Hoa, who’s within?

Iessica aboue.

Iess. Who are you? tell me for more certainty, Albeit Ile sweare that I do know your tongue

Lor. Lorenzo, and thy Loue

Ies. Lorenzo certaine, and my loue indeed, For who loue I so much? and now who knowes But you Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
Lor. Heauen and thy thoughts are witness that thou art

Ies. Heere, catch this casket, it is worth the paines, I am glad ’tis night, you do not looke on me, For I am much asham’d of my exchange:
But loue is blinde, and louers cannot see The pretty follies that themselues commit, For if they could, Cupid himselfe would blush To see me thus transformed to a boy

Lor. Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer

Ies. What, must I hold a Candle to my shames? They in themselues goodsooth are too too light. Why, ’tis an office of discouery Loue,
And I should be obscur’d

Lor. So you are sweet,
Euen in the louely garnish of a boy: but come at once, For the close night doth play the run-away, And we are staid for at Bassanio’s feast

Ies. I will make fast the doores and guild my selfe With some more ducats, and be with you straight

Gra. Now by my hood, a gentle, and no Iew

Lor. Beshrew me but I loue her heartily. For she is wise, if I can iudge of her.
And faire she is, if that mine eyes be true, And true she is, as she hath prou’d her selfe: And therefore like her selfe, wise, faire, and true, Shall she be placed in my constant soule. Enter Iessica.

What, art thou come? on gentlemen, away, Our masking mates by this time for vs stay. Enter.

Enter Anthonio.

Ant. Who’s there?
Gra. Signior Anthonio?
Ant. Fie, fie, Gratiano, where are all the rest? ‘Tis nine a clocke, our friends all stay for you, No maske to night, the winde is come about, Bassanio presently will goe aboord,
I haue sent twenty out to seeke for you

Gra. I am glad on’t, I desire no more delight Then to be vnder saile, and gone to night.


Enter Portia with Morrocho, and both their traines.

Por. Goe, draw aside the curtaines, and discouer The seuerall Caskets to this noble Prince: Now make your choyse

Mor. The first of gold, who this inscription beares, Who chooseth me, shall gaine what men desire. The second siluer, which this promise carries, Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserues. This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt, Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath. How shall I know if I doe choose the right? How shall I know if I doe choose the right

Por. The one of them containes my picture Prince, If you choose that, then I am yours withall

Mor. Some God direct my iudgement, let me see, I will suruay the inscriptions, backe againe: What saies this leaden casket?
Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath. Must giue, for what? for lead, hazard for lead? This casket threatens men that hazard all Doe it in hope of faire aduantages:
A golden minde stoopes not to showes of drosse, Ile then nor giue nor hazard ought for lead. What saies the Siluer with her virgin hue? Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserues. As much as he deserues; pause there Morocho, And weigh thy value with an euen hand,
If thou beest rated by thy estimation Thou doost deserue enough, and yet enough May not extend so farre as to the Ladie: And yet to be afeard of my deseruing,
Were but a weake disabling of my selfe. As much as I deserue, why that’s the Lady. I doe in birth deserue her, and in fortunes, In graces, and in qualities of breeding: But more then these, in loue I doe deserue. What if I strai’d no farther, but chose here? Let’s see once more this saying grau’d in gold. Who chooseth me shall gaine what many men desire: Why that’s the Lady, all the world desires her: From the foure corners of the earth they come To kisse this shrine, this mortall breathing Saint. The Hircanion deserts, and the vaste wildes Of wide Arabia are as throughfares now
For Princes to come view faire Portia. The waterie Kingdome, whose ambitious head Spets in the face of heauen, is no barre To stop the forraine spirits, but they come As ore a brooke to see faire Portia.
One of these three containes her heauenly picture. Is’t like that Lead containes her? ’twere damnation To thinke so base a thought, it were too grose To rib her searecloath in the obscure graue: Or shall I thinke in Siluer she’s immur’d Being ten times vndervalued to tride gold; O sinfull thought, neuer so rich a Iem
Was set in worse then gold! They haue in England A coyne that beares the figure of an Angell Stampt in gold, but that’s insculpt vpon: But here an Angell in a golden bed
Lies all within. Deliuer me the key: Here doe I choose, and thriue I as I may

Por. There take it Prince, and if my forme lye there Then I am yours

Mor. O hell! what haue we here, a carrion death, Within whose emptie eye there is a written scroule; Ile reade the writing.
All that glisters is not gold,
Often haue you heard that told;
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold;
Guilded timber doe wormes infold:
Had you beene as wise as bold,
Yong in limbs, in iudgement old,
Your answere had not beene inscrold, Fareyouwell, your suite is cold,
Mor. Cold indeede, and labour lost, Then farewell heate, and welcome frost:
Portia adew, I haue too grieu’d a heart To take a tedious leaue: thus loosers part. Enter.

Por. A gentle riddance: draw the curtaines, go: Let all of his complexion choose me so.


Enter Salarino and Solanio.

Flo. Cornets

Sal. Why man I saw Bassanio vnder sayle; With him is Gratiano gone along;
And in their ship I am sure Lorenzo is not

Sol. The villaine Iew with outcries raisd the Duke. Who went with him to search Bassanios ship

Sal. He comes too late, the ship was vndersaile; But there the Duke was giuen to vnderstand That in a Gondilo were seene together
Lorenzo and his amorous Iessica.
Besides, Anthonio certified the Duke They were not with Bassanio in his ship

Sol. I neuer heard a passion so confusd, So strange, outragious, and so variable, As the dogge Iew did vtter in the streets; My daughter, O my ducats, O my daughter, Fled with a Christian, O my Christian ducats! Iustice, the law, my ducats, and my daughter; A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats, Of double ducats, stolne from me by my daughter, And iewels, two stones, two rich and precious stones, Stolne by my daughter: iustice, finde the girle, She hath the stones vpon her, and the ducats

Sal. Why all the boyes in Venice follow him, Crying his stones, his daughter, and his ducats

Sol. Let good Anthonio looke he keepe his day Or he shall pay for this

Sal. Marry well remembred,
I reason’d with a Frenchman yesterday, Who told me, in the narrow seas that part The French and English, there miscaried
A vessell of our countrey richly fraught: I thought vpon Anthonio when he told me, And wisht in silence that it were not his

Sol. You were best to tell Anthonio what you heare. Yet doe not suddainely, for it may grieue him

Sal. A kinder Gentleman treads not the earth, I saw Bassanio and Anthonio part,
Bassanio told him he would make some speede Of his returne: he answered, doe not so, Slubber not businesse for my sake Bassanio, But stay the very riping of the time,
And for the Iewes bond which he hath of me, Let it not enter in your minde of loue:
Be merry, and imploy your chiefest thoughts To courtship, and such faire ostents of loue As shall conueniently become you there;
And euen there his eye being big with teares, Turning his face, he put his hand behinde him, And with affection wondrous sencible
He wrung Bassanios hand, and so they parted

Sol. I thinke he onely loues the world for him, I pray thee let vs goe and finde him out And quicken his embraced heauinesse
With some delight or other

Sal. Doe we so.


Enter Nerrissa and a Seruiture.

Ner. Quick, quick I pray thee, draw the curtain strait, The Prince of Arragon hath tane his oath, And comes to his election presently.
Enter Arragon, his traine, and Portia. Flor. Cornets.

Por. Behold, there stand the caskets noble Prince, If you choose that wherein I am contain’d, Straight shall our nuptiall rights be solemniz’d: But if thou faile, without more speech my Lord, You must be gone from hence immediately

Ar. I am enioynd by oath to obserue three things; First, neuer to vnfold to any one
Which casket ’twas I chose; next, if I faile Of the right casket, neuer in my life
To wooe a maide in way of marriage: Lastly, if I doe faile in fortune of my choyse, Immediately to leaue you, and be gone

Por. To these iniunctions euery one doth sweare That comes to hazard for my worthlesse selfe

Ar. And so haue I addrest me, fortune now To my hearts hope: gold, siluer, and base lead. Who chooseth me must giue and hazard all he hath. You shall looke fairer ere I giue or hazard. What saies the golden chest, ha, let me see. Who chooseth me, shall gaine what many men desire: What many men desire, that many may be meant By the foole multitude that choose by show, Not learning more then the fond eye doth teach, Which pries not to th’ interior, but like the Martlet Builds in the weather on the outward wall, Euen in the force and rode of casualtie. I will not choose what many men desire,
Because I will not iumpe with common spirits, And ranke me with the barbarous multitudes. Why then to thee thou Siluer treasure house, Tell me once more, what title thou doost beare; Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserues: And well said too; for who shall goe about To cosen Fortune, and be honourable
Without the stampe of merrit, let none presume To weare an vndeserued dignitie:
O that estates, degrees, and offices, Were not deriu’d corruptly, and that cleare honour Were purchast by the merrit of the wearer; How many then should couer that stand bare? How many be commanded that command?
How much low pleasantry would then be gleaned From the true seede of honor? And how much honor Pickt from the chaffe and ruine of the times, To be new varnisht: Well, but to my choise. Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserues. I will assume desert; giue me a key for this, And instantly vnlocke my fortunes here

Por. Too long a pause for that which you finde there

Ar. What’s here, the portrait of a blinking idiot Presenting me a scedule, I will reade it: How much vnlike art thou to Portia?
How much vnlike my hopes and my deseruings? Who chooseth me, shall haue as much as he deserues. Did I deserue no more then a fooles head, Is that my prize, are my deserts no better? Por. To offend and iudge are distinct offices, And of opposed natures

Ar. What is here?
The fier seauen times tried this,
Seauen times tried that iudgement is, That did neuer choose amis,
Some there be that shadowes kisse,
Such haue but a shadowes blisse:
There be fooles aliue Iwis
Siluer’d o’re, and so was this:
Take what wife you will to bed,
I will euer be your head:
So be gone, you are sped

Ar. Still more foole I shall appeare By the time I linger here,
With one fooles head I came to woo, But I goe away with two.
Sweet adue, Ile keepe my oath,
Patiently to beare my wroath

Por. Thus hath the candle sing’d the moath: O these deliberate fooles when they doe choose, They haue the wisdome by their wit to loose

Ner. The ancient saying is no heresie, Hanging and wiuing goes by destinie

Por. Come draw the curtaine Nerrissa. Enter Messenger.

Mes. Where is my Lady?
Por. Here, what would my Lord?
Mes. Madam, there is a-lighted at your gate A yong Venetian, one that comes before
To signifie th’ approaching of his Lord, From whom he bringeth sensible regreets; To wit (besides commends and curteous breath) Gifts of rich value; yet I haue not seene So likely an Embassador of loue.
A day in Aprill neuer came so sweete To show how costly Sommer was at hand,
As this fore-spurrer comes before his Lord

Por. No more I pray thee, I am halfe a-feard Thou wilt say anone he is some kin to thee, Thou spend’st such high-day wit in praising him: Come, come Nerryssa, for I long to see
Quicke Cupids Post, that comes so mannerly

Ner. Bassanio Lord, loue if thy will it be.


Actus Tertius.

Enter Solanio and Salarino.

Sol. Now, what newes on the Ryalto?
Sal. Why yet it liues there vncheckt, that Anthonio hath a ship of rich lading wrackt on the narrow Seas; the Goodwins I thinke they call the place, a very dangerous flat, and fatall, where the carcasses of many a tall ship, lye buried, as they say, if my gossips report be an honest woman of her word

Sol. I would she were as lying a gossip in that, as euer knapt Ginger, or made her neighbours beleeue she wept for the death of a third husband: but it is true, without any slips of prolixity, or crossing the plaine high-way of talke, that the good Anthonio, the honest Anthonio; o that I had a title good enough to keepe his name company! Sal. Come, the full stop

Sol. Ha, what sayest thou, why the end is, he hath lost a ship

Sal. I would it might proue the end of his losses

Sol. Let me say Amen betimes, least the diuell crosse my praier, for here he comes in the likenes of a Iew. How now Shylocke, what newes among the Merchants? Enter Shylocke.

Shy. You knew none so well, none so well as you, of my daughters flight

Sal. That’s certaine, I for my part knew the Tailor that made the wings she flew withall

Sol. And Shylocke for his owne part knew the bird was fledg’d, and then it is the complexion of them al to leaue the dam

Shy. She is damn’d for it

Sal. That’s certaine, if the diuell may be her Iudge

Shy. My owne flesh and blood to rebell

Sol. Out vpon it old carrion, rebels it at these yeeres

Shy. I say my daughter is my flesh and bloud

Sal. There is more difference betweene thy flesh and hers, then betweene Iet and Iuorie, more betweene your bloods, then there is betweene red wine and rennish: but tell vs, doe you heare whether Anthonio haue had anie losse at sea or no?
Shy. There I haue another bad match, a bankrout, a prodigall, who dare scarce shew his head on the Ryalto, a begger that was vsd to come so smug vpon the Mart: let him look to his bond, he was wont to call me Vsurer, let him looke to his bond, he was wont to lend money for a Christian curtsie, let him looke to his bond

Sal. Why I am sure if he forfaite, thou wilt not take his flesh, what’s that good for?
Shy. To baite fish withall, if it will feede nothing else, it will feede my reuenge; he hath disgrac’d me, and hindred me halfe a million, laught at my losses, mockt at my gaines, scorned my Nation, thwarted my bargaines, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies, and what’s the reason? I am a Iewe: Hath not a Iew eyes? hath not a Iew hands, organs, dementions, sences, affections, passions, fed with the same foode, hurt with the same weapons, subiect to the same diseases, healed by the same meanes, warmed and cooled by the same Winter and Sommer as a Christian is: if you pricke vs doe we not bleede? if you tickle vs, doe we not laugh? if you poison vs doe we not die? and if you wrong vs shall we not reuenge? if we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Iew wrong a Christian, what is his humility, reuenge? If a Christian wrong a Iew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example, why reuenge? The villanie you teach me I will execute, and it shall goe hard but I will better the instruction.
Enter a man from Anthonio.

Gentlemen, my maister Anthonio is at his house, and desires to speake with you both

Sal. We haue beene vp and downe to seeke him. Enter Tuball.

Sol. Here comes another of the Tribe, a third cannot be matcht, vnlesse the diuell himselfe turne Iew.

Exeunt. Gentlemen

Shy. How now Tuball, what newes from Genowa? hast thou found my daughter?
Tub. I often came where I did heare of her, but cannot finde her

Shy. Why there, there, there, there, a diamond gone cost me two thousand ducats in Franckford, the curse neuer fell vpon our Nation till now, I neuer felt it till now, two thousand ducats in that, and other precious, precious iewels: I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the iewels in her eare: would she were hearst at my foote, and the duckets in her coffin: no newes of them, why so? and I know not how much is spent in the search: why thou losse vpon losse, the theefe gone with so much, and so much to finde the theefe, and no satisfaction, no reuenge, nor no ill luck stirring but what lights a my shoulders, no sighes but a my breathing, no teares but a my shedding

Tub. Yes, other men haue ill lucke too, Anthonio as I heard in Genowa?
Shy. What, what, what, ill lucke, ill lucke

Tub. Hath an Argosie cast away comming from Tripolis

Shy. I thanke God, I thanke God, is it true, is it true? Tub. I spoke with some of the Saylers that escaped the wracke

Shy. I thanke thee good Tuball, good newes, good newes: ha, ha, here in Genowa

Tub. Your daughter spent in Genowa, as I heard, one night fourescore ducats

Shy. Thou stick’st a dagger in me, I shall neuer see my gold againe, fourescore ducats at a sitting, fourescore ducats

Tub. There came diuers of Anthonios creditors in my company to Venice, that sweare hee cannot choose but breake

Shy. I am very glad of it, ile plague him, ile torture him, I am glad of it,
Tub. One of them shewed me a ring that hee had of your daughter for a Monkie

Shy. Out vpon her, thou torturest me Tuball, it was my Turkies, I had it of Leah when I was a Batcheler: I would not haue giuen it for a wildernesse of Monkies

Tub. But Anthonio is certainely vndone

Shy. Nay, that’s true, that’s very true, goe Tuball, see me an Officer, bespeake him a fortnight before, I will haue the heart of him if he forfeit, for were he out of Venice, I can make what merchandize I will: goe Tuball, and meete me at our Sinagogue, goe good Tuball, at our Sinagogue Tuball.


Enter Bassanio, Portia, Gratiano, and all their traine.

Por. I pray you tarrie, pause a day or two Before you hazard, for in choosing wrong I loose your companie; therefore forbeare a while, There’s something tels me (but it is not loue) I would not loose you, and you know your selfe, Hate counsailes not in such a quallitie; But least you should not vnderstand me well, And yet a maiden hath no tongue, but thought, I would detaine you here some month or two Before you venture for me. I could teach you How to choose right, but then I am forsworne, So will I neuer be, so may you misse me, But if you doe, youle make me wish a sinne, That I had beene forsworne: Beshrow your eyes, They haue ore-lookt me and deuided me,
One halfe of me is yours, the other halfe yours, Mine owne I would say: but of mine then yours, And so all yours; O these naughtie times Puts bars betweene the owners and their rights. And so though yours, not yours (proue it so) Let Fortune goe to hell for it, not I.
I speake too long, but ’tis to peize the time, To ich it, and to draw it out in length, To stay you from election

Bass. Let me choose,
For as I am, I liue vpon the racke

Por. Vpon the racke Bassanio, then confesse What treason there is mingled with your loue

Bass. None but that vglie treason of mistrust. Which makes me feare the enioying of my loue: There may as well be amitie and life,
‘Tweene snow and fire, as treason and my loue

Por. I, but I feare you speake vpon the racke, Where men enforced doth speake any thing

Bass. Promise me life, and ile confesse the truth

Por. Well then, confesse and liue

Bass. Confesse and loue
Had beene the verie sum of my confession: O happie torment, when my torturer
Doth teach me answers for deliuerance: But let me to my fortune and the caskets

Por. Away then, I am lockt in one of them, If you doe loue me, you will finde me out. Nerryssa and the rest, stand all aloofe, Let musicke sound while he doth make his choise, Then if he loose he makes a Swan-like end, Fading in musique. That the comparison
May stand more proper, my eye shall be the streame And watrie death-bed for him: he may win, And what is musique than? Than musique is Euen as the flourish, when true subiects bowe To a new crowned Monarch: Such it is,
As are those dulcet sounds in breake of day, That creepe into the dreaming bride-groomes eare, And summon him to marriage. Now he goes
With no lesse presence, but with much more loue Then yong Alcides, when he did redeeme
The virgine tribute, paied by howling Troy To the Sea-monster: I stand for sacrifice, The rest aloofe are the Dardanian wiues: With bleared visages come forth to view
The issue of th’ exploit: Goe Hercules, Liue thou, I liue with much more dismay
I view the sight, then thou that mak’st the fray.

Here Musicke. A Song the whilst Bassanio comments on the Caskets to

Tell me where is fancie bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head:
How begot, how nourished. Replie, replie. It is engendred in the eyes,
With gazing fed, and Fancie dies,
In the cradle where it lies:
Let vs all ring Fancies knell.
Ile begin it.
Ding, dong, bell

All. Ding, dong, bell

Bass. So may the outward showes be least themselues The world is still deceiu’d with ornament. In Law, what Plea so tainted and corrupt, But being season’d with a gracious voice, Obscures the show of euill? In Religion, What damned error, but some sober brow
Will blesse it, and approue it with a text, Hiding the grosenesse with faire ornament: There is no voice so simple, but assumes Some marke of vertue on his outward parts; How manie cowards, whose hearts are all as false As stayers of sand, weare yet vpon their chins The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars, Who inward searcht, haue lyuers white as milke, And these assume but valors excrement,
To render them redoubted. Looke on beautie, And you shall see ’tis purchast by the weight, Which therein workes a miracle in nature, Making them lightest that weare most of it: So are those crisped snakie golden locks Which makes such wanton gambols with the winde Vpon supposed fairenesse, often knowne
To be the dowrie of a second head,
The scull that bred them in the Sepulcher. Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dangerous sea: the beautious scarfe Vailing an Indian beautie; In a word,
The seeming truth which cunning times put on To intrap the wisest. Therefore then thou gaudie gold, Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee, Nor none of thee thou pale and common drudge ‘Tweene man and man: but thou, thou meager lead Which rather threatnest then dost promise ought, Thy palenesse moues me more then eloquence, And here choose I, ioy be the consequence

Por. How all the other passions fleet to ayre, As doubtfull thoughts, and rash imbrac’d despaire: And shuddring feare, and greene-eyed iealousie. O loue be moderate, allay thy extasie,
In measure raine thy ioy, scant this excesse, I feele too much thy blessing, make it lesse, For feare I surfeit

Bas. What finde I here?
Faire Portias counterfeit. What demie God Hath come so neere creation? moue these eies? Or whether riding on the bals of mine
Seeme they in motion? Here are seuer’d lips Parted with suger breath, so sweet a barre Should sunder such sweet friends: here in her haires The Painter plaies the Spider, and hath wouen A golden mesh t’ intrap the hearts of men Faster then gnats in cobwebs: but her eies, How could he see to doe them? hauing made one, Me thinkes it should haue power to steale both his And leaue it selfe vnfurnisht: Yet looke how farre The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow In vnderprising it, so farre this shadow Doth limpe behinde the substance. Here’s the scroule, The continent, and summarie of my fortune. You that choose not by the view
Chance as faire, and choose as true: Since this fortune fals to you,
Be content, and seeke no new.
If you be well pleasd with this,
And hold your fortune for your blisse, Turne you where your Lady is,
And claime her with a louing kisse

Bass. A gentle scroule: Faire Lady, by your leaue, I come by note to giue, and to receiue,
Like one of two contending in a prize That thinks he hath done well in peoples eies: Hearing applause and vniuersall shout,
Giddie in spirit, still gazing in a doubt Whether those peales of praise be his or no. So thrice faire Lady stand I euen so,
As doubtfull whether what I see be true, Vntill confirm’d, sign’d, ratified by you

Por. You see my Lord Bassiano where I stand, Such as I am; though for my selfe alone
I would not be ambitious in my wish, To wish my selfe much better, yet for you, I would be trebled twenty times my selfe, A thousand times more faire, ten thousand times More rich, that onely to stand high in your account, I might in vertues, beauties, liuings, friends, Exceed account: but the full summe of me Is sum of nothing: which to terme in grosse, Is an vnlessoned girle, vnschool’d, vnpractiz’d, Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But she may learne: happier then this, Shee is not bred so dull but she can learne; Happiest of all, is that her gentle spirit Commits it selfe to yours to be directed, As from her Lord, her Gouernour, her King. My selfe, and what is mine, to you and yours Is now conuerted. But now I was the Lord Of this faire mansion, master of my seruants, Queene ore my selfe: and euen now, but now, This house, these seruants, and this same my selfe Are yours, my Lord, I giue them with this ring, Which when you part from, loose, or giue away, Let it presage the ruine of your loue,
And be my vantage to exclaime on you

Bass. Maddam, you haue bereft me of all words, Onely my bloud speakes to you in my vaines, And there is such confusion in my powers, As after some oration fairely spoke
By a beloued Prince, there doth appeare Among the buzzing pleased multitude,
Where euery something being blent together, Turnes to a wilde of nothing, saue of ioy Exprest, and not exprest: but when this ring Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence, O then be bold to say Bassanio’s dead

Ner. My Lord and Lady, it is now our time That haue stood by and seene our wishes prosper, To cry good ioy, good ioy my Lord and Lady

Gra. My Lord Bassanio, and my gentle Lady, I wish you all the ioy that you can wish: For I am sure you can wish none from me: And when your Honours meane to solemnize The bargaine of your faith: I doe beseech you Euen at that time I may be married too

Bass. With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife

Gra. I thanke your Lordship, you haue got me one. My eyes my Lord can looke as swift as yours: You saw the mistres, I beheld the maid:
You lou’d, I lou’d for intermission, No more pertaines to me my Lord then you; Your fortune stood vpon the caskets there, And so did mine too, as the matter falls: For wooing heere vntill I swet againe,
And swearing till my very rough was dry With oathes of loue, at last, if promise last, I got a promise of this faire one heere
To haue her loue: prouided that your fortune Atchieu’d her mistresse

Por. Is this true Nerrissa?
Ner. Madam it is so, so you stand pleas’d withall

Bass. And doe you Gratiano meane good faith? Gra. Yes faith my Lord

Bass. Our feast shall be much honored in your marriage

Gra. Weele play with them the first boy for a thousand ducats

Ner. What and stake downe?
Gra. No, we shal nere win at that sport, and stake downe.
But who comes heere? Lorenzo and his Infidell? What and my old Venetian friend Salerio? Enter Lorenzo, Iessica, and Salerio.

Bas. Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hether, If that the youth of my new interest heere Haue power to bid you welcome: by your leaue I bid my verie friends and Countrimen
Sweet Portia welcome

Por. So do I my Lord, they are intirely welcome

Lor. I thanke your honor; for my part my Lord, My purpose was not to haue seene you heere, But meeting with Salerio by the way,
He did intreate mee past all saying nay To come with him along

Sal. I did my Lord,
And I haue reason for it, Signior Anthonio Commends him to you

Bass. Ere I ope his Letter
I pray you tell me how my good friend doth

Sal. Not sicke my Lord, vnlesse it be in minde, Nor wel, vnlesse in minde: his Letter there Wil shew you his estate.

Opens the Letter.

Gra. Nerrissa, cheere yond stranger, bid her welcom. Your hand Salerio, what’s the newes from Venice? How doth that royal Merchant good Anthonio; I know he will be glad of our successe,
We are the Iasons, we haue won the fleece

Sal. I would you had won the fleece that hee hath lost

Por. There are some shrewd contents in yond same