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Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober; and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk: when he is best, he is a little worse than a man; and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast: an the worst fall that ever fell, I hope, I shall make shift to go without him.

Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you should refuse to accept him.

Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket: for if the devil be within, and that temptation without, I know he will choose it. I will do any thing, Nerissa, ere I will be married to a spunge.

Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these lords: they have acquainted me with their determinations; which is indeed, to return to their home, and to trouble you with no more suit; unless, you may be won by some other sort than your father's imposition, depending on the caskets.

Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will: I am glad this parcel of wooers are so reasonable; for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and I pray God grant them a fair departure.

Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's time, a Venetian, a scholar, and a soldier, that came hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat?

Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, so was he called.

Ner. True, madam; he of all the men that ever my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.

Por. I remember him well; and I remember him worthy of thy praise.-How now! what news?

Enter a Servant.

Serv. The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave and there is a fore-runner come from a fifth,

the prince of Morocco; who brings word, the prince, his master, will be here to-night.

Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his approach: if he have the conditions of a saint, and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come Nerissa,-Sirrah, go before.Whiles we shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door. [Exeunt.


Venice. A publick Place.


Shy. Three thousand ducats,-well.

Bass. Ay, sir, for three months.

Shy. For three months,-well.

Bass. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.

q the condition-] i. e. The temper.


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Shylock.]. It was remarked by Dr. Farmer that Shakspeare probably took this name from an old pamphlet entitled Caleb Shillocke his Prophecie, or the Jewes Prediction."-London': printer for T. P. [Thomas Pavier, or Thomas Purfoot] no date.-STEEVENS.

Le juif Shylock est un de ces chefs-d'œuvres en fait de peinture caractéristique qui ne se voient que dans Shakspeare. Il est très facile pour un auteur, ainsi que pour un comédien, de représenter en caricature la manière de parler ou de gesticuler qui règne chez un peuple. Mais Shylock n'est point un juif ordinaire, c'est un homme bien élevé qui a un caractère individuel très déterminé et très original, et cependant la teinte du Judaïsme est tellement répandue sur toute sa personne que l'on croit, seulement en lisant ses paroles, entendre cet accent juif qui se remarque chez les hommes de cette nation, même parmi les classes superieures de la société. Dans les situations tranquilles, Shylock laisse à peine apercevoir ce qu'il y a en lui d'etranger au sang Européen et aux mœurs Chrétiennes, mais dès que ses passions s'émeuvent, l'empreinte nationale se marque plus fortement. Shylock est un homme instruit, il est même philosophe à sa manière. Il n'y a que la région des sentimens du cœur qu'il n'ait pas découverte. Sa morale est fondée sur l'incrédulité pour tout ce qui est bon et généreux. Après l'avarice, c'est l'esprit de vengeance, excité par l'oppression et l'avilissement de ses compatriotes, qui est le principal mobile de ses actions. Ce qu'il haït, surtout, c'est le véritable Chrétien la doctrine de l'amour du prochain lui parâit celle de l'intolérance et de la persécution. Son idole c'est la lettre de la loi. Il refuse d'écouter la voix de la miséricorde, qui, par l'organe de Portia, lui parle avec une éloquence céleste: il reste inflexible, et en persistant à maintenir son dessein à la rigueur, il mérite que la loi retombe sur sa tête.--SCHLEGEL, Lit. Dram. vol. iii. 25.


Shy. Antonio shall become bound,-well.

Bass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me? Shall I know your answer?

Shy. Three thousand ducats, for three months, and Antonio bound.

Bass. Your answer to that.

Shy. Antonio is a good man.


Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary? Shy. Ho, 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 squander'd abroad; But ships are but boards, sailors but men: there be land-rats, and water-rats, waterthieves, 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.

Bass. Be assured you may.

Shy. I will be assured, I may; and, that I may be assured, I will bethink me: May I speak with Antonio? Bass. If it please you to dine with us.

Shy. 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?


Bass. This is signior Antonio.

Shy. [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.t

The rate of usance here with us in Venice.] "It is almost incredible what gain the Venetians receive by the usury of the Jewes both pryvately and in

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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!


Shylock, do you hear?

Shy. 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?-Rest you fair, good signior:


Your worship was the last man in our mouths.
Ant. Shylock, albeit 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 you would?


Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.

Ant. And for three months.

Shy. 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.

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Shy. When Jacob graz'd his uncle Laban's sheep, This Jacob from our holy Abraham was

(As his wise mother wrought in his behalf,) The third possessor; ay, he was the third.

common. For in every citee the Jewes kepe open shops of usurie, taking gaiges of ordinarie for xv in the hundred by the yere; and if at the yeres end the gaige be not redeemed, it is forfeit, or at the least doen away to a great disadvantage: by reason whereof the Jewes are out of measure wealthie in those parties."-THOMAS'S Historie of Italie, 1561.

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catch upon the hip,] Have an entire advantage. The phrase seems to have originated from hunting, because when the animal pursued is seized by the hip, it is finally disabled from flight.-NARES.

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ripe wants-] Necessities that are come to the height.
possess'd,] i. e. Acquainted.

Ant. And what of him? did he take interest?

Shy. No, not take interest; not, as you would say, Directly interest: mark what Jacob did.

When Laban and himself were compromis'd,

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 party-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.

Ant. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv'd 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?
Shy. I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast :-
But noté me, signior.


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 falshood hath !

Shy. Three thousand ducats,-'tis a good round sum. Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate. Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you? Shy. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft, In the Rialto you have rated me

About my monies, and my usances;

Still have I borne it with a patient shrug;

For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe:



the eanlings-] Lambs just dropt: from ean, éniti.-MUSGRAVE.
fulsome]-in this place means lascivious.


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my usances;] Use and usance mean nothing more than interest; and the former word is still used by country people in the same sense.-STEEVENS.

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