Act I, Scene 3 Venice. A public place.

Enter BASSANIO and SHYLOCK

 

SHYLOCK Three thousand ducats; well.
BASSANIO Ay, sir, for three months.
SHYLOCK For three months; well.
BASSANIO For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.
SHYLOCK Antonio shall become bound; well.
BASSANIO May you stead me? will you pleasure me? shall I
know your answer?
SHYLOCK Three thousand ducats for three months and Antonio bound.
BASSANIO Your answer to that.
SHYLOCK Antonio is a good man.
BASSANIO Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?
SHYLOCK Oh, no, no, no, no: my meaning in saying he is a
good man is to have you understand me that he is
sufficient. Yet his means are in supposition: he
hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the
Indies; I understand moreover, upon the Rialto, he
hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England, and
other ventures he hath, squandered abroad. But ships
are but boards, sailors but men: there be land-rats
and water-rats, water-thieves and land-thieves, I
mean pirates, and then there is the peril of waters,
winds and rocks. The man is, notwithstanding,
sufficient. Three thousand ducats; I think I may
take his bond.
BASSANIO Be assured you may.
SHYLOCK I will be assured I may; and, that I may be assured,
I will bethink me. May I speak with Antonio?
BASSANIO If it please you to dine with us.
SHYLOCK Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which
your prophet the Nazarite conjured the devil into. I
will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you,
walk with you, and so following, but I will not eat
with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What
news on the Rialto? Who is he comes here?
  [Enter ANTONIO]
BASSANIO This is Signior Antonio.
SHYLOCK [Aside] How like a fawning publican he looks!
I hate him for he is a Christian,
But more for that in low simplicity
He lends out money gratis and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
He hates our sacred nation, and he rails,
Even there where merchants most do congregate,
On me, my bargains and my well-won thrift,
Which he calls interest. Cursed be my tribe,
If I forgive him!
BASSANIO Shylock, do you hear?
SHYLOCK I am debating of my present store,
And, by the near guess of my memory,
I cannot instantly raise up the gross
Of full three thousand ducats. What of that?
Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe,
Will furnish me. But soft! how many months
Do you desire?
  [To ANTONIO]
  Rest you fair, good signior;
Your worship was the last man in our mouths.
ANTONIO Shylock, although I neither lend nor borrow
By taking nor by giving of excess,
Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend,
I'll break a custom. Is he yet possess'd
How much ye would?
SHYLOCK Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.
ANTONIO And for three months.
SHYLOCK I had forgot; three months; you told me so.
Well then, your bond; and let me see; but hear you;
Methought you said you neither lend nor borrow
Upon advantage.
ANTONIO I do never use it.
SHYLOCK When Jacob grazed his uncle Laban's sheep--
This Jacob from our holy Abram was,
As his wise mother wrought in his behalf,
The third possessor; ay, he was the third--
ANTONIO And what of him? did he take interest?
SHYLOCK No, not take interest, not, as you would say,
Directly interest: mark what Jacob did.
When Laban and himself were compromised
That all the eanlings which were streak'd and pied
Should fall as Jacob's hire, the ewes, being rank,
In the end of autumn turned to the rams,
And, when the work of generation was
Between these woolly breeders in the act,
The skilful shepherd peel'd me certain wands,
And, in the doing of the deed of kind,
He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes,
Who then conceiving did in eaning time
Fall parti-colour'd lambs, and those were Jacob's.
This was a way to thrive, and he was blest:
And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.
ANTONIO This was a venture, sir, that Jacob served for;
A thing not in his power to bring to pass,
But sway'd and fashion'd by the hand of heaven.
Was this inserted to make interest good?
Or is your gold and silver ewes and rams?
SHYLOCK I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast:
But note me, signior.
ANTONIO Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
SHYLOCK Three thousand ducats; 'tis a good round sum.
Three months from twelve; then, let me see; the rate--
ANTONIO Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you?
SHYLOCK Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances:
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug,
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then, it now appears you need my help:
Go to, then; you come to me, and you say
'Shylock, we would have moneys:' you say so;
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold: moneys is your suit
What should I say to you? Should I not say
'Hath a dog money? is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand ducats?' Or
Shall I bend low and in a bondman's key,
With bated breath and whispering humbleness, Say this;
'Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
You spurn'd me such a day; another time
You call'd me dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much moneys'?
ANTONIO I am as like to call thee so again,
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too.
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends; for when did friendship take
A breed for barren metal of his friend?
But lend it rather to thine enemy,
Who, if he break, thou mayst with better face
Exact the penalty.
SHYLOCK Why, look you, how you storm!
I would be friends with you and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with,
Supply your present wants and take no doit
Of usance for my moneys, and you'll not hear me:
This is kind I offer.
BASSANIO This were kindness.
SHYLOCK This kindness will I show.
Go with me to a notary, seal me there
Your single bond; and, in a merry sport,
If you repay me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum or sums as are
Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth me.
ANTONIO Content, i' faith: I'll seal to such a bond
And say there is much kindness in the Jew.
BASSANIO You shall not seal to such a bond for me:
I'll rather dwell in my necessity.
ANTONIO Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it:
Within these two months, that's a month before
This bond expires, I do expect return
Of thrice three times the value of this bond.
SHYLOCK O father Abram, what these Christians are,
Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect
The thoughts of others! Pray you, tell me this;
If he should break his day, what should I gain
By the exaction of the forfeiture?
A pound of man's flesh taken from a man
Is not so estimable, profitable neither,
As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say,
To buy his favour, I extend this friendship:
If he will take it, so; if not, adieu;
And, for my love, I pray you wrong me not.
ANTONIO Yes Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.
SHYLOCK Then meet me forthwith at the notary's;
Give him direction for this merry bond,
And I will go and purse the ducats straight,
See to my house, left in the fearful guard
Of an unthrifty knave, and presently
I will be with you.
ANTONIO Hie thee, gentle Jew.
  [Exit Shylock]
  The Hebrew will turn Christian: he grows kind.
BASSANIO I like not fair terms and a villain's mind.
ANTONIO Come on: in this there can be no dismay;
My ships come home a month before the day.
  [Exeunt]

 

To view other scenes from the show: 

Full Text Act II, Scene 8 Venice A Street
Act I, Scene 1 Venice A Street. Act II, Scene 9 Belmont A room in Portia's House
Act I, Scene 2 Belmont A room in Portia's House. Act III, Scene 1 Venice a street
Act I, Scene 3 Venice A public place. Act III, Scene 2 Belmont A room in Portia's House
Act II, Scene 1 Belmont A room in Portia's House. Act III, Scene 3 Venice a street
Act II, Scene 2 Venice a street Act III, Scene 4 Belmont A room in Portia's House
Act II, Scene 3 Venice A room in Shylock's house. Act III, Scene 5 The Same A garden
Act II, Scene 4 The Same a street. Act IV, Scene 1 Venice A court of Justice
Act II, Scene 5 Before Shylock's house. Act IV, Scene 2 The same a street
Act II, Scene 6 The same. Act V, Scene 1Avenue to Portia's House
Act II, Scene 7 Belmont A room in Portia's House

 

To view other The Merchant of Venice sections:

Main Play Page      Play Text    Scene by Scene Synopsis     Character Directory     Commentary  

 

To view the other Plays click below:

By  Comedies    Histories    Romances    Tragedies

All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
Cymbeline Edward III Hamlet Henry IV, Part 1 Henry IV, Part 2 Henry V
Henry VI, Part 1 Henry VI, Part 2 Henry VI, Part 3 Henry VIII Julius Caesar King John
King Lear Loves Labour's Lost Loves Labour's Wonne Macbeth Measure for Measure Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
Richard III Romeo & Juliet Sir Thomas More Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus Troilus & Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsman The Winter's Tale

 

To view other Shakespeare Library sections:

Biography     Plays     Poems     Sonnets     Theaters     Shake Links 

 
Send mail to jciccarelli@hudsonshakespeare.org with questions or comments about this web site.
[Home]  [Upcoming Shows]  [HSC Venues]  [Past Productions]  [Articles] [HSC Programs]
 [Shakespeare Library] [Actor Resources]   [Contact Us]  [Links]  [Site Map]