Iessi. When I was with him, I haue heard him sweare To Tuball and to Chus, his Countri-men, That he would rather haue Anthonio's flesh, Then twenty times the value of the summe That he did owe him: and I know my Lord, If law, authoritie, and power denie not, It will goe hard with poore Anthonio

Por. Is it your deere friend that is thus in trouble? Bass. The deerest friend to me, the kindest man, The best condition'd, and vnwearied spirit In doing curtesies: and one in whom The ancient Romane honour more appeares Then any that drawes breath in Italie

Por. What summe owes he the Iew? Bass. For me three thousand ducats

Por. What, no more? Pay him sixe thousand, and deface the bond: Double sixe thousand, and then treble that, Before a friend of this description Shall lose a haire through Bassanio's fault. First goe with me to Church, and call me wife, And then away to Venice to your friend: For neuer shall you lie by Portias side With an vnquiet soule. You shall haue gold To pay the petty debt twenty times ouer. When it is payd, bring your true friend along, My maid Nerrissa, and my selfe meane time Will liue as maids and widdowes; come away, For you shall hence vpon your wedding day: Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheere, Since you are deere bought, I will loue you deere. But let me heare the letter of your friend. Sweet Bassanio, my ships haue all miscarried, my Creditors grow cruell, my estate is very low, my bond to the Iew is forfeit, and since in paying it, it is impossible I should liue, all debts are cleerd between you and I, if I might see you at my death: notwithstanding, vse your pleasure, if your loue doe not perswade you to come, let not my letter

Por. O loue! dispach all busines and be gone

Bass. Since I haue your good leaue to goe away, I will make hast; but till I come againe, No bed shall ere be guilty of my stay, Nor rest be interposer twixt vs twaine.

Exeunt.

Enter the Iew, and Solanio, and Anthonio, and the Iaylor.

Iew. Iaylor, looke to him, tell not me of mercy, This is the foole that lends out money gratis. Iaylor, looke to him

Ant. Heare me yet good Shylok

Iew. Ile haue my bond, speake not against my bond, I haue sworne an oath that I will haue my bond: Thou call'dst me dog before thou hadst a cause, But since I am a dog, beware my phangs, The Duke shall grant me iustice, I do wonder Thou naughty Iaylor, that thou art so fond To come abroad with him at his request

Ant. I pray thee heare me speake

Iew. Ile haue my bond, I will not heare thee speake, Ile haue my bond, and therefore speake no more, Ile not be made a soft and dull ey'd foole, To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yeeld To Christian intercessors: follow not, Ile haue no speaking, I will haue my bond.

Exit Iew.

Sol. It is the most impenetrable curre That euer kept with men

Ant. Let him alone, Ile follow him no more with bootlesse prayers: He seekes my life, his reason well I know; I oft deliuer'd from his forfeitures Many that haue at times made mone to me, Therefore he hates me

Sol. I am sure the Duke will neuer grant this forfeiture to hold

An. The Duke cannot deny the course of law: For the commoditie that strangers haue With vs in Venice, if it be denied, Will much impeach the iustice of the State, Since that the trade and profit of the citty Consisteth of all Nations. Therefore goe, These greefes and losses haue so bated mee, That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh To morrow, to my bloudy Creditor. Well Iaylor, on, pray God Bassanio come To see me pay his debt, and then I care not.

The Merchant of Venice Page 22

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