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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 20 are no good member of the commonwealth, for in converting Jews to Christians, you raise the price of pork.

Lor. 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. 25 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 ? I pray thee, understand a plain man in his plain meaning: go to

thy fellows; bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, 35 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 humours and conceits shall govern.

[Exit. Lor. O dear discretion, how his words are suited ! 40 The fool hath planted in his memory

An army of good words; and I do know
A many fools, that stand in better place,
Garnish'd like him, that for a tricksy word

Defy the matter. How cheer'st thou, Jessica ?
45 And now, good sweet, say thy opinion,
How dost ou 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, 50 He finds the joys of heaven here on earth;


And if on earth he do not mean it, then
In reason he should never come to heaven.
Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match

And on the wager lay two earthly women,
55 And Portia one, there must be something else

Pawn'd 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. 60 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. 65 Jes.

Well, I'll set you forth. Exeunt


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Enter the DUKE, the Magnificoes, ANTONIO, BASSANIO, GRA

TIANO, 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
5 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 10 Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose

My patience to his fury, and am arm’d
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 is 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,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice

To the last hour of act; and then 'tis thought
20 Thou’lt show thy mercy and remorse 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 loose the forfeiture,
25 But, touch'd 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,

Enow to press a royal merchant down 30 And pluck commiseration of his state

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

We all expect a gentle answer, Jew. 35 Shy. I have possess'd your grace of what I purpose;

And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn
To have the due and forfeit of bond:
If you deny it, let the danger light

Upon your charter and your city's freedom. 40 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 humour: is it answer'd ?

What if my house be troubled with a rat
45 And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats

To have it baned? What, are you answer'd yet?
Some men there are love not a gaping pig;
Some, that are mad if they behold a cat;

For affection,
50 Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood

Of what it likes or loathes. Now, for your answer:
As there is no firm reason to be render’d,
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig:

Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
55 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 you answer'd ?

Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, 60 To excuse the current of thy cruelty.

Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my answers.
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. 65 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
70 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 fretten with the gusts of heaven ;

You may as well do anything most hard,
75 As seek to soften that- than which what's harder ?

His Jewish heart: therefore, I do beseech you,
Make no more offers, use no farther means,
But with all brief and plain conveniency
Let me have judgement and the Jew his will.

Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here is six.

Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats
Were in six parts and every part a ducat,
I would not draw them; I would have my

bond. Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none ? 85 Shy. What judgement shall I dread, doing no wrong ?

You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,

Because you bought them: shall I say to you, , 90 Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ?

Why sweat they under burthens ? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands ? You will answer


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