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Nor well, unless in mind; his letter there
Will shew you his estate.

[Bussanio opens the Letter. Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon stranger: bid her wel

come Your hand Salanio; what's the news from Venice? How doth that royal merchant, good Anthonio? I know he will be glad of our success; We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece. Sal. Would you had won the fleece that he hath lost!

(same paper, Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon 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 have the half of any thing, That this same paper brings you.

Bass. O sweet Portia! Here are a few of the unpleasan'st words That ever blotted paper. Gentle lady, When I did first impart my love to you, I freely told you all the wealth I had Ran in my veins. I was a gentleman ; And then I told you true ; and yet, dear lady, Rating myself at nothing, you shall see How much I was a braggart: when I told you,

My state was nothing, I should then have told you,
That I was worse than nothing. For, indeed,
I have engag'd myself to a dear friend ;
Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady;
The paper as the body of my friend,
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood. But is it true, Salanio?
Have all his ventures failed ? what! not one hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, from England,
From Lisbon, Mexico, and India ?
And not one vessel 'scap'd the dreadful touch,
Of merchant marring rocks?

Sal. Not one my lord.
Besides, it should appear, if he had
The present money to discharge the Jew,
He would not take it. Never did I know
A creature that did bear the shape of man
So keen and greedy to confound a man.
He plies the duke at morning and at night,
And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
If they deny him justice. Twenty merchants
The duke himself, and the magnificoes
Of greatest port have all persuaded with him ;
But none can drive him from the envious plea,
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.

Jes. When I was with him I have heard him To Tubal and to Chus, his countrymen, (swear,

That he would rather have Anthonio's flesh
Than twenty times the value of the sum,
That he did owe him. And I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and pow'r deny not,
It will go hard with poor Anthonio. [ble ?

Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trou

Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
And one, in whom
The ancient Roman honour more appears,
Than any that draws breath in Italy.

Por. What sum owes he the Jew ?
Bass. For me, three thousand ducats. '

Por. What, no more?
Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond ;
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description,
Shall lose a hair, thro'my. Bassanio's fault.
First go with me to church, and call me wife,
And then away to Venice to your friend :
For never shall you lie by Portia's side
With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
To 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, shew a merry cheer ;
Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.
But let me hear the letter of your friend.

BASSANIO reads. Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, and 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 are cleared between you and me, 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! dispatch all business, and be gone,

Bass. Since I have your good leave to go away, I will make haste; but till I come again, No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay ; No rest be interposer twixt us twain. [Exeunt.





and the Jailer. Shy. Jailer, look to him ; (56) tell not me of This is the fool that lent out money gratis.[mercy, Jailer, look to him.,

Anth. Hear me yet, good Shylock. [bond ;

Shy. I'll have my bond ; speak not against my I've sworn an oath, that I will have my bond.

(56) Jailer look to him. The repetition of this expression seems to prove that the jailer is to be found in what was the prototype of Bernardo in Hamlet, drawn in fig. 47; which prototype looks, in fact, directly upon Anthonio,

Thou call’dst me dog, before thou hadst a cause ;
But since I am a dog, beware my fangs :
The duke shall grant me justice. I do wonder,
Thou naughty jailer, that thou art so fond
To come abroad with him, at his request

Anth. I pray thee, hear me speak. (speak ;

Shy. I'll have my bond : I will not hear thee I'll have my bond ; and therefore speak no more, I'll not be made a soft and dull-ey'd fool, To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield, To christian intercessórs. Follow not; I'll have no speaking ; I'll have my bond.

[Exit Shy. · Sola. It is the most impenetrable cur, That ever kept with men.

Anth. Let him alone.
I'll follow him no more with bootless pray’rs.
He seeks my life ; his reason well I know.
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures
Many that have at times made inoan to me ;
Therefore, he hates me.

Sola. I am sure the duke
Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.

Anth. The duke cannot deny the course of law;
For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be deny’d,
Will much impeach the justice of the state ;
Since that the trade and profit of the city,

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