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To pay the petty debt twenty times over:
My maid Nerissa and myself meantime
Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer: 310 Since you are dear bought, I will love
dear. But let me hear the letter of
friend. Bass. [Reads] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my
bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since in paying it, it is 315 impossible I should live, all debts are cleared between you
and I, if I might but see you at my death. Notwithstanding, use your pleasure: if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.
Por. O love, despatch all business, and be gone ! 320
Bass. Since I have your good leave to go away,
I will make haste: but, till I come again,
No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. [Exeunt.
Enter SHYLOCK, SALARINO, ANTONIO, and GAOLER.
Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond 10 To come abroad with him at his request.
Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.
Shy. I'll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak: I'll have my bond; and therefore speak no more.
I'll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool,
To Christian intercessors. Follow not;
Let him alone:
He seeks my life; his reason well I know:
I am sure the duke 25 Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.
Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law:
Will much impeach the justice of his state; 30 Since that the trade and profit of the city
Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go:
To-morrow to my bloody creditor.
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not ! [Exeunt.
A room in PORTIA's house
Enter Portia, NERISSA, LORENZO, JESSICA, and BALTHASAR.
Lor. Madam, although I speak it in your presence, You have a noble and a true conceit
Of god-like amity; which appears most strongly In bearing thus the absence of your lord. 5 But if you knew to whom you show this honour,
How true a gentleman you send relief,
Than customary bounty can enforce you. 10 Por. I never did repent for doing good,
Nor shall not now: for in companions
There must be needs a like proportion
Which makes me think that this Antonio,
How little is the cost I have bestow'd
From out the state of hellish misery!
Until my lord's return: for mine own part,
Only attended by Nerissa here,
There is a monastery two miles off ;
Madam, with all my heart; I shall obey you in all fair commands.
Por. My people do already know my mind, And will acknowledge you and Jessica
In place of Lord Bassanio and myself.
Lor. Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you !
Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleased
[Exeunt JESSICA and LORENZO. 45 Now, Balthasar,
As I have ever found thee honest-true,
In speed to Padua : see thou render this 50 Into my cousin's hand, Doctor Bellario;
And, look, what notes and garments he doth give thee,
Which trades to Venice. Waste no time in words, 55 But get thee gone: I shall be there before thee.
Balth. Madam, I go with all convenient speed. [Exit.
Por. Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand
Shall they see us ?
That they shall think we are accomplished
I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two,
And speak between the change of man and boy
70 How honourable ladies sought my love,
Which I denying, they fell sick and died;
And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell,
Above a twelvemonth. I have within my mind
But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device 80 When I am in my coach, which stays for us
At the park gate; and therefore haste away,
The same. A garden Enter LAUNCELOT and JESSICA. Laun. Yes, truly; for, look you, the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children: therefore, I promise ye, I fear you. I was always plain with you, and so now I speak my agitation of the matter: therefore be of good 5 cheer, for truly I think you are damned.
Jes. I shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a Christian.
Laun. Truly, the more to blame he: we were Christians enow before; e'en as many as could well live, one by another. 10 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.
Enter LORENZO. Jes. I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say: here he comes. 15 Lor. I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, if
you thus get my wife into corners.