William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 54 of 224)
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Of merchant-marring rocks ?

Solan, Not one, my lord.

Besides, it should appear, that 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 ;
Ana 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.

Ja, When I was with him, I have heard him
swear
To Tubal, and to Chus, his countr^en.
That he would rather have Antonio's fiesh
Tlian twenty times the value of the sum
That he did owe him ; and I know, my lord.
If law, authority, and power deny not.
It will go hard with poor Antonio.

F&r. Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?



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M 7 maid Nerusft, and m^lf, meantime,
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 yoa dear.
But let me hear the letter of your friend.
Basa. [Reads.]



THE MERCHANT OP VENICE.



Tou haye a noble and a true eoncdt

Of godlike amity ; which appears most strongly

In bearing thus the absence of your lord.

But, if you knew to whom you show this hoDOor,

How true a gentleman you send relief.

How dear aloTer of my lord your husband,

I know you would be prouder of the work,



••Sweet BMsanio. my abips bare aO misoanled, my I Than customary bounty can enforce you,



ereditora grow cruel, my estate ia veiy low, my bond to I
Uie Jew ia forfeit ; and sinoe. in paying it. it is impoeaible
I sliould lire, all debts are dearea between you aud I, if I
might but see you at my death: notwitlistanding. use
your pleasure : If your lore do not persuade you to come.
*et not my letter."

For. love, despatch all business, and be gone.
Bats, Since I have your good leave to ^ &w&y.

I will make haste : but, till I come again,
No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay,

Nor rest be interposer twixt us twain.

[ExeimL

SCENE III.— Venice. A Street.
Snter Sutlock, Salarino, Airromo, and Gaoler.

Sky, Oaoler, look to him. Tell not me of
mercy ; —
This is the fool that lends oat money gratis ;—
Gaoler, look to him.

AtU, Hear me yet, good Shylook.

Skp, 111 have my bond ; speak not against my
bond;
I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond :
Thou callUst me dog, before thou hadst a cause :
But. since I am a dog, beware my fangs :
The duke shall grant me justice. — 1 do wonder.
Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond
To come abroad with him at his request.

Ant I pray thee hear me speak. [speak :

Shjf. Ill have my bond ; I will not hear thee
III have my bond ; and therefore speak no more.
Ill not be made a soft and dull-ey*d fool
To shake tlie head, relent, and sigh, and yield
To Christian intercessors. Follow not ;
111 have no speaking ; I will have ray bond.

tExit Shylock.
le cur
That ever kept with men. *

Afd, Let him alone ;

111 follow him no more with bootless prayers.
He seeks my life ; his reason well I know ;
I oft delivered from his forfeitures
Many that have at times made moan to me ;
Therefore he hates me.

Salear, I am sure the duke

Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.

Ant, The duke cannot deny the course of law,
For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice ; if it be denied.
Twill much impeaoh the justice of the state |
Since that the trade and profit of the city



Ibr, I never did repent for doin^ good,
Nor shall not now : for in companions
That do converse and waste the time together,
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love.
There must be needs a like proportion
Of lineaments, of manners, ana of spirit ;
Which nuikes me think, that tliis Antonio,
Being the bosom lover of my lord.
Must needs be like my lord : If it be so,
How little is the cost I have bestowed,
In purchasing the semblance of my soul
From out the state of hellish cruelty 1
This comes too near the praising of myself;
Therefore, no more of it : hear other things.
Lorenzo, I commit into your hands
The husbandry and manage of my house.
Until my lord s return : for mine own part,
I have toward heaven breathed a secret vow.
To live in prayer and contemplation,
Only attended by Nerissa here,
Until her husband and my lord's return :
There is a monastery two miles off.
And there we will abide. I do desire yov
Not to deny this imposition ;
The which my love, and some necessity,
Now lays upon yon.

Lor, Madam, with all my heart,

I shall obey you m all fair commands.

For. My people do already know my mmd,
And will acknowledge you and Jessica
In place of lord Ba.<^sanio and myself.
So fare you well, till wc shall meet again.

Lor, Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on
you.

Jes. 1 wish your ladyship all heart's content

For, 1 thank you for the wish, and am well
pleas'd
To wish It back on you ; fkre yon well, Jessica.

[Exeunt Jbs. and Los.
Now, Balthazar,

As I have ever found thee honest, true
So let me find thee still : Take this same letter.
And use thou all the endeavour of a man
In speed to Padua ; see thou render this
Into ray cousin's hand. Doctor Bellario ;
And, look, what notes and garments he doth give

thee.
Bring them, 1 pray thee, with imagin'd speed
Unto the tranect, to the common fcrry
Which trades to Venice : — waste no time in wordsL



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THE BffERCHANT OP VENICE.



Into A manly stride ; and speak of fraTS,

Lake a fine bragging youth : and tell quaint lies,

How honoarable ladies 8oag;ht my love.

Which I denying they fell sick and died ;

I coold not do withal : then 111 repent,

And wish, for all that, that I had not killed them :

And twenty of these pony lies 111 tell.

That men shall swear I have discontinued school

Above a twelvemonth : — I have within mv mind

A thousand raw tricks of these braggmg Jacks,

Which I will practice.

Net. Why^ shall we torn to men?

Pir, Fiel what a question's that,
If thon wert near a lewd interpreter!
But come. 111 tell thee all m^ whole device
When I am in my coach, which stays for us
At the park gate ; and therefore haste away.
For we must measure twenty miles to-day.

[Ex&md,

SCENE v.— r%s mme, A Gardens
Enter Launcelot and Jessioa.

Lamu Tes, truly :— for, look you. the shu of
the father are to be laid upon the children ; there-
fore, I promise you I fear you. I was always
plain with you, and so now I speak my agitation
of the matter : Therefore, be of good cheer ; for
truly I think you are damned. There is but one
hope in it that can do you any good, and that is
but a kind of bastard hope neither.

/es. And what hope is that, I pray thee?

Lamu Mmttj, you may partly hope that your
Atther got yon not, that you are not the Jew's
dauj^ter.

Jei. That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed ;
so the sini of my mother should be visited upon
me.

Lmm. Truly, then, I fear you are damned both
by fiUher and mother: thus when I shun Scvlla,
your &ther, I fall into Charybdis, your mother ;
well, yon are gone both ways.

J(t$, I shall be saved by my husband ; he hath
made me a Christian.

Ixnm, Truly, the more to blame he: we were
Christians enough before; e'en as many as could
well live, one by another : This making of Chris-
tians 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.
Eater hOEZSto.

Je$. Ill ten my husband, Launcelot, what yon
say ; here he comes.

Lor, I shall grow jealous of you shortly,
Laoncelot, if yon thus eet my wife into comers.

Ja. Nay, you neea not fear us, Lorenzo.
Launcelot and 1 are out : he tells me flatly there
is no mercv for me in heaven, because I am a
Jew% dMgnter : and he says, you are no good



188



member of the commonwealth ; for, in converting
Jews to Christians, you raise the price of pork.

Lor, I shall answer that better to the common-
wealth, than you can the getting up of the negro^
belly ; the Moor is with child by you Launcdot

Laim, It is much that the Moor should be
more than reason : but if she be less than an
honest woman, she is, indeed, more than I took
her for.

Lor. How every fool can play upon the word i
I think, the best grace of wit will shortly turn into
sUence ; and discourse grow commendaole in none
only but parrots. — GK) in, simh ; bid them prepare
for dinner.

Laun, That is done, sir; the^ have all stomachs.

Lor, Qoodly Lord, what a wit«iapper are you I
then bid them prepare dinner.

Laun, That is done, too, sir: only, cover is the
word.

Lor. Win you cover then, sir ?

Laun. Not s«, sir, neither ; I know my duty.

Lor, Tet more quarrelling with occasion 1 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, and we vrill
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. [Eaat Laun.

Lor, Odeardiscretion,howhis words are suitedl
The fool hath planted in his memory
An army of good words : and I do know
A many fools that stand m better place,
Gamish'd like him, that for a tricksy word .
Defy the matter. How cheer'st thou, Jessioa?
Ana now, good sweet, say thy opinion a^
How dost thou like the Lord Baissaniov wife?

Jea, Past all expressing : It is veij meet
The Lord Bassamo live an upright life;
For, having such a blessing m his lady,
He finds the joys of heaven here on earth ;
And, if on earth he do not mean it, it
Is reason he should never come to heaven.
Why, if two gods should play some heavenly

match.
And on the wager lay two earthly women.
And Portia one, there must be somethmg else
Pawn'd with the other; for the noor rude world
Hath not her feUow—

Lor, Even such a husband

Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife.

Jea. Nay,^ but ask my opinion too of that

Lor, I will anon ; first, let us go to dinner.

Jet. Nay, let me praise you while I have a
stomach.

Lor, No, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk ;
Then, hewsoe'er thou speak'st, 'mong other thk^
I shall digest it.

Jt% Well, 111 set jou forth. [EuemL




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184



THE MEKCHANT OF VENICE.



ACT IV.



SCENE I.— Venice. A Court of Justice,
Enter Vie Ddre, the Magnificoos; ANTomo,

BaSSAVIO, GraTIANO, SaLAKIKO, SOLANIO,

andoihert.

Duke, What, is Antonio here ?

Ant, Ready, so please your grace.

Duke, I am sorry for thee; thoa art come to
answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.

Ant. I have heard

Your pp-ace hath ta*en great pains to qualify
Uis rigorous course; but since he stands ob-
durate.
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of liis envy's reacli, 1 da oppose
My patience to hb fury and ara armM
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The vei^ tyranny and rage of his.

Duke, Qo one, and call the Jew into the
court

8oUm, lie's ready at the door: he comes, my
lord.

Enter Bhtlock.

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
Thoult show thy mercy and remorse, more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty ;
And where thou now exact'st the penalty
rWhich is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh).
Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture.
But, touch'd with human gentleness and love.
Forgive a moiety of the principal ;
Glancuig an eye of pity on his losses.
That have of late so huddled on his back,
Enough to press a royal merchant down.
And pluck commiseration of his state
From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never train 'd
To oflBces of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.

Sky, I have possessed your grace of what I
purpose.
4nd by our holy Sabbath have I sworn,
To have the dne and forfeit of my bond :
If you deny it, let the danger lignt
Upon your chaiter, and your city's freedom.
Vou'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A. weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Fhree thousand ducats : 111 not answer that:
But, say, it is my humour : Is it answer'd ?
What if my house be troubled with a rat,
A.nd I be pleas'd to ^ive ten thousand ducats
To have it ban'd ? What, are you answer 'd yet ?
dome men there are love not a gapmg pig ;
Some, that are mad if they behold a cat;
And others when the bagpipe sin^ i' the nose,
Cannot contain their urine: for affection.
Master of passion, sways it to the mood
Of what it likes, or loathes : Now, for your answer.
As there is no firm reason to bo rcuoer'd,
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig ;
Why he, a harmlew) necessary cat ;



Why he, a woollen bagpipe,— >bnt of foroe
Must yield to such inevitable shamo.
As to offend, himself being offended;
So can I give no reason, nor I will not.
More than a lodg'd luite, and a certain loathing
I bear Antonio, that I follow thus
A losing suit against him. Are you answer 'd?
Base, This is no answer, thou unfeelmg man,
To excuse the current of thy cruelty.

SJty. I am not bomid to please thee with my
answer.
Base. Doall men kill the things theydonot love?
Bhy, Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
Bass, Every offence is not a hate at first.
Shy, What, would'st 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,
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb ;
You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag theur high tons, and to make no noise.
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven ;
You may as well do anything most hard.
As seek to soften that (than which what's harder?)
His Jewish heart:— Therefore, I do beseech you,
Make no more offers, use no further means.
But, with all brief and plain conveniency,
LfCt me have judgment, and the Jew his will.
Bass, For thy three thousand duoats here is tax,
8liy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats
Were m six parta, and every part a ducat,
I would not oraw them, — I would have my bond.
Duke, How shalt thou hope for mercy rendVing

none ?
Sky, What judgment shall I dread, doing' no
wrong?
You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which, like your asses, ami your dogs, and moles,
I You use in abject and in ^lavish parts.
I Because you bought them: — Shall I say to yon,
: 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
j Be season 'd with such viands ? You will answer,
The slaves are ours: — So do I answer yoiu
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him.
Is deaiiy bought ; 'tis mine, and I will have it:
If you deny me, fie upon your law I
There is no force in the decrees of Venice :
I stand for judgment : answer, shall 1 Iiave it?

Duke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this conrt
Unless BeOario, a learned doctor^
Whom I have sent for to determme this.
Come here to-day.

SdUrn, My lord, here stays withom

A messenger with letters from the doctor,
New come from Padua.
Duke. Bring us the letters ; Call the messenger.
Base, Good cheer, Antonio! What, manl
I courage yet I

; The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and ul,
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.
Ant. I am a tainted wether oftlie flock,
I Meetest for death ; the weakest kind of fruit
I Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me
i You cannot better be employ'd, Bassaiiio,
' Than to live still, and wnte mine epitaph.



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THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.



185



JMer Neri^sa, dresaed Uke a lawyer's dark, \

Duke, Came you from Padua, from Bcllario ?

Nrr, From both, my lord : Bellario greets yonr
grace.

[PretentB a letter,

Ba89, Why dost thou whet thy knife so
earnestly ?

8ky. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrout
there.

QrcL Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh
Jew,
Thou mak*8t thy knife keen ; but no metal can.
No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keen-
ness
Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee ?

Shy, No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.

Qra, 0, be thou damn'd, Lnexecrable dog I
And for thy life let justice be accus'd.
Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith,
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That souls of animals infuse themselves ^
Into the trunks of men : thy currish spirit
Gk)vem'd a wolf, who, hangu for human slaughter,
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet.
And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallowed dam,
Infus'd itself m thee; for thy desires
Are wolfish, bloody, sterv'd, and ravenous.

Bl^f, Till thou canst rail the seal from off my
bond.
Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud :
Repair thy witj good youth ; or it will fall
To cureless rum. — I stand here for law,

Duke, This letter from Bellario doth commend
A young and learned doctor to our court : —
Where u be?

Ner. He attendeth here hard by,

To know your answer, whether youll admit him.

Duke, with all my heart :— some three or four
of you
Go give him courteous oondoct to this place.—
Meantime, the court shall hear Bellario^s letter.

[Clerk reads,

"Your gnuM ahall uodentand that, at tiie receipt of
four letter, I am rery sick : but in tlie ioBtant that your
DMnenger came, in loying risitatir "" i

doctor of Homo, his name is Balth
with the cause in coutruveray betn
lonio the merchant: we turned o'c
be is famished with my opinion
bis own learning (the greatness wl
eommendl. oomea with him. at m]

Cur grace's request in my stead.
:lt of years be no impt^iment to 1

estimation ; for I novor knew so yi — „ , i

a head. I leave him to your gracious aooeptuioe, whose
trial shall better publish his commendation.**

Duke, You hear the learned Bellario, what he
writes :
And here, I take it, is the doctor come.^

Enter Portia, dressed Wee a doctor ^f Vxios.
Give me your hand : Came you from old Bellario?

Par, I did, mv lord.

Duke, I ou are welcome : take your place.

Are you acquainted with the difference
That holds this present question in the court ?

/br. I am informed thoroughly of the cause.
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?

Dike, Antonio and old Shvlock, both stand

For, Is your name Shylock ? [forth.

Sky, Shvlock is my name.

Far, Of a strange nature is the suit you follow ;
Yet in such rule that the Venetian Uiw
Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed. —
Toil stand wiUiiD bis danger, do you not? [IbAxr.



Ami, Ay, to he says.
For, Do you confess the bond?

Ant, I do.

For, Then must the Jew be merciful.

Shy, On what compulsion must I? tell me that.
For, The quality of mercy is not strain'd ;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath : it is twice bless'd ;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes;
*Tis mightiest in the mightiest ; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown ;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings:
But mercy is above this sceptred sway.
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings.
It is an attribute to God himself;
And eiurthly power doth then show likest God^
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this—
That m the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation : we do pray for mercy ;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much,
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence Against the merchant
there.
Shy, My deeds upon my head! I crave the
The penalty and forfeit of my bond. [law,

Far, Is he not able to discharge the money?
Boas. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court ;
Yea, twice the sum : if that will not suffice,
1 will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart :
If this will not suffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth. And I beseech yon,
Wrest once the law to your authority:
To do a great right do a little wrong ;
And curb tlds cruel devil of his will.
For, It must not be; there is no power in
Venice
Can alter a decree established :
•Twill be recorded for a precedent ;
And many an error, by the same example,
Will rush into the state : it cannot be.
Shy, A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a
Daniel!
O wise young judge, how do I honour thee I
For, I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
Shy, Here *tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
For, Shylodc, there's thrice thy ihoney offer'd

thee.
Sh!u. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heavea
Shall 1 lay perjury upon my soul ?
No, not for Venice.

For, Why, this bond is forfeit ;

And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Nearest the merchant's heart :— Be merciful ;
Take thrice thy money ; bid me tear the bond.
Shy, When it is paid according to the teuoir.
It doth appear you are a worthy judge ;
You know the law, your exposition
Hath been most Sound : I charge yon by the ian,
Whereof you are a well-desenmg nilhir.
Proceed to judgment : by my soul 1 swear,
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me : I stay here on my bond.

Ant, Most heartuy I do beseech the conrt
To give the judgment.

iSr. Why, then, thus it is:

You must prepare your bosom for hu Im^ ^
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THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.



il



186

Shg, noble Judge i O excellent jonng n

For, For the intent and porpose of the lai
HaUi full relation to the penalty,
Which here appeareth due upon the bond.

Shy, Tia very true: vrise and upright judge t
How much more elder art thou than thy looks I

Fior. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.

Shy, Ay, his breast :

Bo says the bond ; Doth it not, noble judge ? —
Nearest his heart those are the very words.

Fior, It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh
the flesh ?

Shy, I have them ready. [charge.

Par, Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your
To stop his wounds, lest he should bleed to death.

Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond ?

Far, It is not so expressed ; But what of that?
*r were good you do so much for charity.

Shy, I cannot find it ; *tis not in the bond.

For, Come, merchant, have you anything to
•ay?

AtU, But little; I am arm*d, and well
prepared. —
Giye me your hand, Bassanio ; fare you well I
Grieve not that I have fallen to this for you ;
For herein Fortune shows herself more kind
Than is her custom : it is still her use,
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow,
An age of pover^ ; from which lingering penance
Of such misery doth she cut me aS,
Commend me to your honourable wife :
Tell her the process of Antonio's end,
Say, how I lov'd you, soeak me fair in death ;
And when the tale is told, bid her be judge
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repent not you that you shall lose your friend,
And he repents not that he nays your debt;
For, if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
111 pay it instantly with all my heart

Baas. Antonio, I am married to a wife,
Which is as dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the world,
Are not with me esteemed above thy life;
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver yon.

For, Tour wife would give you little thanks
for that,
if she were by, to hear you make the offer.

Ora, I have a vrife, whom I protest I love;
I would she were in heaven, so she could
Entreat some power to change this currish Jew.

Ner, Tis well you offer it behind her back;
The wish would make else an unquiet house.

Shy, These bo the Christian husbuids: I have
a daughter ;
Would any of the stock of Barrabas
Had been her husband, rather than a Christian I

[Aside,
We trifle time ; I pray thee pursue sentence.

For, A pound of tliat same merchant^ flesh is
thine;
rhe court awards it, and the law doth give it

Sky, Most rightful judge ! [breast.

For, And you must cut this flesh from off his I
The law allows it, and the court awards it

/SBiy. Most learned judge I — ^A sentence ; come ;
prepare.

For. Tarry a little ;— there is something else. —
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood ;
The words expressly are a pound of flesh ;



Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 54 of 224)