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friends and country-men,

I bid my very
(Sweet Portia) welcome.

Por. So do I, my Lord; they are intirely welcome.
Lor. I thank your honour; for my part, my lord,
My purpose was not to have feen you here;
But meeting with Salanio by the way,
He did intreat me, past all faying nay,
To come with him along.

Sal. I did, my lord,

And I have reafon for't; Signior Anthonio
Commends him to you. [Gives Baffanio a Letter,

Baff. Ere I ope his letter,
I pray you tell me how my good friend doth.
Sal. Not fick, my lord, unless it be in mind;
Nor well, unless in mind; his letter there
Will fhew you his estate.

[Baffanio opens the letter. Gra. Neriffa, cheer yond ftranger: Bid her wel


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 fafons, we have won the fleece.

Sal. Would you had won the fleece, that he hath loft!
Por. There are some shrewd Contents in yond fame


That fteal the colour from Bassanio's cheek:
Some dear Friend dead; elfe nothing in the world
Could turn fo much the conftitution

Of any conftant man. What, worfe and worse!
With leave, Bassanio, I am half your felf,
And I must have the half of any thing
That this fame Paper brings you.
Baff. O fweet Portia !

Here are a few of the unpleasant'ft words,
That ever blotted paper. Gentle lady,
When I did firft 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 my felf at nothing, you shall fee


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How much I was a braggart: when I told you,
My ftate was nothing, I fhould then have told
That I was worse than nothing. For, indeed,
I have engag'd my felf to a dear Friend,
Engag'd my Friend to his meer 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,
Iffuing life-blood. But is it true, Salanio?
Have all his ventures fail'd ? what not one hit ?
From Tripolis, from Mexico, from England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India?
And not one veffel 'fcap'd the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks?

Sal. Not one, my lord.

Befides, it should appear, that if he had
The prefent mony 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 juftice. Twenty merchants,
The Duke himself, and the Magnificoes
Of greatest port, have all perfuaded with him;
But none can drive him from the envious plea
Of forfeiture, of juftice, and his bond.

Jef. When I was with him, I have heard him fwear,
To Tubal and to Chus his country-men,
That he would rather have Anthonio's flesh,
Than twenty times the value of the fum
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.

Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trouble? Baff. The dearest friend to me, the kindeft Man, The beft condition'd and unweary'd spirit In doing courtefies; and one in whom The ancient Roman honour more appears, Than any that draws breath in Italy.


Por. What Sum owes he the Jew?
Baff. For me, three thousand ducats.
Por. What, no more?

Pay him fix thousand and deface the bond;
Double fix thousand, and then treble that,
Before a Friend of this description
Shall lose a hair through 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 fide
With an unquiet foul. You thall have gold
To pay the petty debt twenty times over.
When it is paid, bring your true friend along;
My maid Neriffa and my felf, mean time,
Will live as maids and widows: come, away!
For you fhall hence upon your wedding-day.
Bid your Friends welcome, fhew a merry cheer;
Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.
But let me hear the letter of your friend.

Ba. reads.


Weet Baffanio, my ships have all mifcarry'd, my creditors grow cruel, my eftate is very low, my bond to the jew is forfeit; and fince, in paying it, it is impoffible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and me, if I might but fee you at my death; notwithstanding, use your pleasure: if your love do not perfuade you to come, let not my letter.

Por. O love! difpatch all Business, and be gone.
Baff. Since I have your good leave to go away,
I will make hafte; but 'till I come again,
No bed fhall e'er be guilty of my stay;

No reft be interpofer 'twixt us twain.


SCENE changes to a Street in Venice.

Enter Shylock, Solarino, Anthonio, and the Goaler. Shy.

look to

This is the fool, that lent out mony gratis. Goaler, look to him.


Ant. Hear me yet, good Shylock.

Shy. I'll have my bond; speak not against my bond: I've fworn an oath, that I will have my bond. Thou call'dit me dog, before thou hadft a cause ; But fince I am a dog, beware my fangs : The Duke fhall grant me juftice. I do wonder, Thou naughty goaler, that thou art fo fond To come abroad with him at his request.

Ant. I pray thee, hear me fpeak.

Shy. I'll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak: I'll have my bond; and therefore fpeak no more; I'll not be made a foft and dull-ey'd fool, To shake the head, relent, and figh and yield To chriftian interceffors. Follow not; I'll have no fpeaking; I will have my bond.

Exit Shylock,

Sola. It is the most impenetrable cur, That ever kept with men.

Ant. Let him alone,

I'll follow him no more with bootlefs pray'rs :
He feeks my life; his reason well I know;
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures

Many, that have at times made moan to me;
Therefore he hates me.

Sola. I am fure, the Duke

Will never grant this Forfeiture to hold.

Ant. The Duke cannot deny the course of law; For the commodity that ftrangers have With us in Venice, if it be deny'd, Will much impeach the juftice of the ftate; Since that the trade and profit of the city Confifteth of all nations. Therefore go, Thefe griefs and loffes have fo 'bated me, That I fhall hardly fpare a pound of flesh To morrow to my bloody creditor. Well, goaler, on; pray God, Bassanio come To fee me pay his debt, and then I care not! [Exeunt.


SCENE changes to BEL MONT.

Enter Portia, Neriffa, Lorenzo, Jeffica, and Balthazar.

Lor. M Adam, although I fpeak it in your prefence,

You have a noble and a true conceit
Of God-like amity; which appears most strongly
In bearing thus the absence of your lord.

But if you knew to whom you fhew this honour,
How true a gentleman you send relief to,
How dear a lover of my lord your husband;
I know, you would be prouder of the work,
Than cuftomary bounty can enforce you.

Por. I never did repent of doing good,
And fhall not now; for in companions
That do converse and waste the time together,
Whose fouls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must needs be a like proportion
Of lineaments, of manners, and of fpirit;
Which makes me think, that this Anthonio,
Being the bofom-lover of my lord,
Muft needs be like my lord. If it be fo,
How little is the cost I have bestowed,
In purchafing the femblance of my foul
From out the state of hellish cruelty?
This comes too near the praifing of my self; (13)
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 eturn. For mine own part,
I have tow'rd heaven breath'd a secret vow,

(13) This comes too near the praising of my self ; Therefore no more of it: here other things,

Lorenzo, I commit, &c.] Thus has this Paffage been writ and pointed, but abfurdly, thro' all the Editions, Portia finding the reflections she had made came too near Self-praise, begins to chide herself for it: fays, She'll fay no more of that Sort; but call a new Subject. The Regulation I have made in the Text was likewise prescrib'd by Dr. Thirlby.


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