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I bid my very friends and countrymen,
So do I, my lord;
I did, my lord,
Ere I ope his letter, I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.
Sale. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind; Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there Will show you his estate. Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon' stranger; bid her wel
come. Your hand, Salerio; What's the news from Venice? How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio? I know, he will be glad of our success; We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece. Sale. 'Would you had won the fleece that he hath
lost! Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon'
same paper; That steal the colour from Bassanio's cheek: Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world Could turn so much the constitution Of any constant man. What, worse and worse?With leave, Bassanio; I am half yourself, And I must freely have the half of any thing That this same paper brings you. Bass.
O sweet Portia, Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words,
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
Here is a letter, lady;
Not one, my lord.
Jes. When I was with him, I have heard him swear,
$ The paper as the body-] The expression is somewhat el. liptical: “ The paper as the body," means—the paper resembles the body, is as the body.
To Tubal, and to Chus, his countrymen,
Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trouble?
Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
Por. What sum owes he the Jew?
What, no more?
pay the petty debt twenty times over; When it is paid, bring your true friend along: My maid Nerissa, and myself, mean time, Will live as maids and widows. Come, away; For you
shall hence upon your wedding-day: Bid
your friends welcome, show a merry cheer; Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.But let me hear the letter of your 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 impossible I should live, all debts
cheer;] i. e, countenance.
are cleared between you and I, if I might but see
Por. O love, despatch all business, and be gone.
I will make haste: but, till I come again,
No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. [Exeunt.
Venice. A Street.
Enter SHYLOCK, SALANIO, Antonio, and Gaoler.
Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.
To Christian intercessors. Follow not;
| Exit SHYLOCK.
Let him alone;
I am sure, the duke
Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law; For the commodity that strangers have With us in Venice, if it be denied, Will much impeach the justice of the state; Since that the trade and profit of the city Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go: These griefs and losses have so 'bated me, That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh To-morrow to my bloody creditor. Well, gaoler, on:-Pray God, Bassanio come To see me pay his debt, and then I care not!
Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Enter Portia, Nerissa, LORENZO, JESSICA, and
BALTHAZAR. 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. .