|The Merchant of Venice Navigator||Scene Index||Notes||Previous Scene||Next Scene|
1 I pray you, tarry: pause a day or two
2 Before you hazard; for, in choosing wrong,
3 I lose your company: therefore forbear awhile.
4 There's something tells me, but it is not love,
5 I would not lose you; and you know yourself,
6 Hate counsels not in such a quality.
7 But lest you should not understand me well,
8 And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought,
9 I would detain you here some month or two
10 Before you venture for me. I could teach you
11 How to choose right, but I am then forsworn;
12 So will I never be: so may you miss me;
13 But if you do, you'll make me wish a sin,
14 That I had been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes,
15 They have o'erlook'd me and divided me;
16 One half of me is yours, the other half yours,
17 Mine own, I would say; but if mine, then yours,
18 And so all yours. O, these naughty times
19 Put bars between the owners and their rights!
20 And so, though yours, not yours. Prove it so,
21 Let fortune go to hell for it, not I.
22 I speak too long; but 'tis to peize the time,
23 To eke it and to draw it out in length,
24 To stay you from election.
24 Let me choose
25 For as I am, I live upon the rack.
26 Upon the rack, Bassanio! then confess
27 What treason there is mingled with your love.
28 None but that ugly treason of mistrust,
29 Which makes me fear the enjoying of my love:
30 There may as well be amity and life
31 'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love.
32 Ay, but I fear you speak upon the rack,
33 Where men enforced do speak anything.
34 Promise me life, and I'll confess the truth.
35 Well then, confess and live.
35 "Confess" and "love"
36 Had been the very sum of my confession:
37 O happy torment, when my torturer
38 Doth teach me answers for deliverance!
39 But let me to my fortune and the caskets.
40 Away, then! I am lock'd in one of them:
41 If you do love me, you will find me out.
42 Nerissa and the rest, stand all aloof.
43 Let music sound while he doth make his choice;
44 Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end,
45 Fading in music: that the comparison
46 May stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream
47 And watery death-bed for him. He may win;
48 And what is music then? Then music is
49 Even as the flourish when true subjects bow
50 To a new-crowned monarch: such it is
51 As are those dulcet sounds in break of day
52 That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear,
53 And summon him to marriage. Now he goes,
54 With no less presence, but with much more love,
55 Than young Alcides, when he did redeem
56 The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy
57 To the sea-monster: I stand for sacrifice
58 The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives,
59 With bleared visages, come forth to view
60 The issue of the exploit. Go, Hercules!
61 Live thou, I live: with much, much more dismay
62 I view the fight than thou that makest the fray.
63 Tell me where is fancy bred,
64 Or in the heart, or in the head?
65 How begot, how nourished?
66 [All.] Reply, reply.
67 It is engend'red in the eyes,
68 With gazing fed; and fancy dies
69 In the cradle where it lies.
70 Let us all ring fancy's knell
71 I'll begin it,Ding, dong, bell.
72 All. Ding, dong, bell.
73 So may the outward shows be least themselves:
74 The world is still deceived with ornament.
75 In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
76 But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
77 Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
78 What damned error, but some sober brow
79 Will bless it and approve it with a text,
80 Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
81 There is no vice so simple but assumes
82 Some mark of virtue on his outward parts:
83 How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
84 As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
85 The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars;
86 Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk;
87 And these assume but valour's excrement
88 To render them redoubted! Look on beauty,
89 And you shall see 'tis purchased by the weight;
90 Which therein works a miracle in nature,
91 Making them lightest that wear most of it:
92 So are those crisped snaky golden locks
93 Which make such wanton gambols with the wind,
94 Upon supposed fairness, often known
95 To be the dowry of a second head,
96 The skull that bred them in the sepulcher.
97 Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
98 To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
99 Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
100 The seeming truth which cunning times put on
101 To entrap the wisest. Therefore, thou gaudy gold,
102 Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee;
103 Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge
104 'Tween man and man: but thou, thou meagre lead,
105 Which rather threatenest than dost promise aught,
106 Thy paleness moves me more than eloquence;
107 And here choose I; joy be the consequence!
108 How all the other passions fleet to air,
109 As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair,
110 And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy! O love,
111 Be moderate; allay thy ecstasy,
112 In measure rein thy joy; scant this excess.
113 I feel too much thy blessing: make it less,
114 For fear I surfeit.
114 What find I here?
115 Fair Portia's counterfeit! What demi-god
116 Hath come so near creation? Move these eyes?
117 Or whether, riding on the balls of mine,
118 Seem they in motion? Here are sever'd lips,
119 Parted with sugar breath: so sweet a bar
120 Should sunder such sweet friends. Here in her hairs
121 The painter plays the spider and hath woven
122 A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men,
123 Faster than gnats in cobwebs; but her eyes,
124 How could he see to do them? having made one,
125 Methinks it should have power to steal both his
126 And leave itself unfurnish'd. Yet look, how far
127 The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
128 In underprizing it, so far this shadow
129 Doth limp behind the substance. Here's the scroll,
130 The continent and summary of my fortune.
131 "You that choose not by the view,
132 Chance as fair and choose as true!
133 Since this fortune falls to you,
134 Be content and seek no new,
135 If you be well pleased with this
136 And hold your fortune for your bliss,
137 Turn you where your lady is
138 And claim her with a loving kiss."
139 A gentle scroll. Fair lady, by your leave;
140 I come by note, to give and to receive.
141 Like one of two contending in a prize,
142 That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes,
143 Hearing applause and universal shout,
144 Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt
145 Whether these pearls of praise be his or no;
146 So, thrice fair lady, stand I, even so;
147 As doubtful whether what I see be true,
148 Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you.
149 You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand,
150 Such as I am: though for myself alone
151 I would not be ambitious in my wish,
152 To wish myself much better; yet, for you
153 I would be trebled twenty times myself;
154 A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich;
155 That only to stand high in your account,
156 I might in virtue, beauties, livings, friends,
157 Exceed account; but the full sum of me
158 Is sum of something, which, to term in gross,
159 Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractised;
160 Happy in this, she is not yet so old
161 But she may learn; happier than this,
162 She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
163 Happiest of all is that her gentle spirit
164 Commits itself to yours to be directed,
165 As from her lord, her governor, her king.
166 Myself and what is mine to you and yours
167 Is now converted: but now I was the lord
168 Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
169 Queen o'er myself: and even now, but now,
170 This house, these servants and this same myself
171 Are yours, my lord: I give them with this ring;
172 Which when you part from, lose, or give away,
173 Let it presage the ruin of your love
174 And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
175 Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
176 Only my blood speaks to you in my veins;
177 And there is such confusion in my powers,
178 As after some oration fairly spoke
179 By a beloved prince, there doth appear
180 Among the buzzing pleased multitude;
181 Where every something, being blent together,
182 Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy,
183 Express'd and not express'd. But when this ring
184 Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence:
185 O, then be bold to say Bassanio's dead!
186 My lord and lady, it is now our time,
187 That have stood by and seen our wishes prosper,
188 To cry, good joy: good joy, my lord and lady!
189 My lord Bassanio and my gentle lady,
190 I wish you all the joy that you can wish;
191 For I am sure you can wish none from me:
192 And when your honors mean to solemnize
193 The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
194 Even at that time I may be married too.
195 With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife.
196 I thank your lordship, you have got me one.
197 My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours:
198 You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid;
199 You loved, I loved for intermission.
200 No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
201 Your fortune stood upon the casket there,
202 And so did mine too, as the matter falls;
203 For wooing here until I sweat again,
204 And sweating until my very roof was dry
205 With oaths of love, at last, if promise last,
206 I got a promise of this fair one here
207 To have her love, provided that your fortune
208 Achieved her mistress.
208 Is this true, Nerissa?
209 Madam, it is, so you stand pleased withal.
210 And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith?
211 Yes, faith, my lord.
212 Our feast shall be much honor'd in your marriage.
213 We'll play with them the first boy for a
214 thousand ducats.
215 What, and stake down?
216 No; we shall ne'er win at that sport, and
217 stake down.
218 But who comes here? Lorenzo and his infidel? What,
219 and my old Venetian friend Salerio?
220 Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hither;
221 If that the youth of my new interest here
222 Have power to bid you welcome. By your leave,
223 I bid my very friends and countrymen,
224 Sweet Portia, welcome.
224 So do I, my lord:
225 They are entirely welcome.
226 I thank your honor. For my part, my lord,
227 My purpose was not to have seen you here;
228 But meeting with Salerio by the way,
229 He did entreat me, past all saying nay,
230 To come with him along.
230 I did, my lord;
231 And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio
232 Commends him to you.
232 Ere I ope his letter,
233 I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.
234 Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind;
235 Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there
236 Will show you his estate.
237 Nerissa, cheer yon stranger; bid her welcome.
238 Your hand, Salerio: what's the news from Venice?
239 How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio?
240 I know he will be glad of our success;
241 We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece.
242 I would you had won the fleece that he hath lost.
243 There are some shrewd contents in yon same paper,
244 That steals the color from Bassanio's cheek:
245 Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world
246 Could turn so much the constitution
247 Of any constant man. What, worse and worse!
248 With leave, Bassanio: I am half yourself,
249 And I must freely have the half of anything
250 That this same paper brings you.
250 O sweet Portia,
251 Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words
252 That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
253 When I did first impart my love to you,
254 I freely told you, all the wealth I had
255 Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman;
256 And then I told you true: and yet, dear lady,
257 Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
258 How much I was a braggart. When I told you
259 My state was nothing, I should then have told you
260 That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed,
261 I have engaged myself to a dear friend,
262 Engaged my friend to his mere enemy,
263 To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady;
264 The paper as the body of my friend,
265 And every word in it a gaping wound,
266 Issuing life-blood. But is it true, Salerio?
267 Have all his ventures fail'd? What, not one hit?
268 From Tripolis, from Mexico and England,
269 From Lisbon, Barbary and India?
270 And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
271 Of merchant-marring rocks?
271 Not one, my lord.
272 Besides, it should appear, that if he had
273 The present money to discharge the Jew,
274 He would not take it. Never did I know
275 A creature, that did bear the shape of man,
276 So keen and greedy to confound a man:
277 He plies the duke at morning and at night,
278 And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
279 If they deny him justice: twenty merchants,
280 The duke himself, and the magnificoes
281 Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him;
282 But none can drive him from the envious plea
283 Of forfeiture, of justice and his bond.
284 When I was with him I have heard him swear
285 To Tubal and to Chus, his countrymen,
286 That he would rather have Antonio's flesh
287 Than twenty times the value of the sum
288 That he did owe him: and I know, my lord,
289 If law, authority and power deny not,
290 It will go hard with poor Antonio.
291 Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?
292 The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
293 The best-condition'd and unwearied spirit
294 In doing courtesies, and one in whom
295 The ancient Roman honor more appears
296 Than any that draws breath in Italy.
297 What sum owes he the Jew?
298 For me three thousand ducats.
298 What, no more?
299 Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond;
300 Double six thousand, and then treble that,
301 Before a friend of this description
302 Shall lose a hair through Bassanio's fault.
303 First go with me to church and call me wife,
304 And then away to Venice to your friend;
305 For never shall you lie by Portia's side
306 With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
307 To pay the petty debt twenty times over:
308 When it is paid, bring your true friend along.
309 My maid Nerissa and myself meantime
310 Will live as maids and widows. Come, away!
311 For you shall hence upon your wedding-day:
312 Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer:
313 Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.
314 But let me hear the letter of your friend.
315 "Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all
316 miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is
317 very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since
318 in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all
319 debts are cleared between you and I, if I might but
320 see you at my death. Notwithstanding, use your
321 pleasure: if your love do not persuade you to come,
322 let not my letter."
323 O love, dispatch all business, and be gone!
324 Since I have your good leave to go away,
325 I will make haste: but, till I come again,
326 No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay,
327 No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain.
|The Merchant of Venice Navigator||Scene Index||Notes||Previous Scene||Next Scene|