by Shakespeare and Maria Rioux
Antonio: What lady is the same to who you swore a secret pilgrimage, that you today promised to tell me of?
Bassanio:Tis not unknown to you, Antonio, how much I have disabled mine estate. To you, Antonio, I owe the most, in money and in love. And from your love I have a warranty to unburden all my plots and purposes how to get clear of all the debts I owe.
Antonio: Let me know it. My purse, my person, my extremest means lie all unlocked to your occasions.
Bassanio:In Belmont is a lady richly left; and she is fair, and, fairer than that word, of wondrous virtues: sometimes from her eyes I did receive fair speechless messages. Oh, Antonio, had I but the means to hold a rival place with her suitors, I should questionless be fortunate.
Antonio: Thou knowest all my fortunes are at sea. Go forth: Try what my credit can do in Venice to furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.
Shylock: Three thousand ducats; well.
Bassanio: Ay, sir, for three months.
Shylock: For three months; well.
Bassanio: For which, I told you, Antonio shall be bound.
Shylock: He is a good man. My meaning in saying he is a goo man is to have you understand me, that he is sufficient. He hath mny ventures squandered abroad.Ships are but boards, saliors but men: there be land rats and water rats, water theives and land theives, and the peril of water, winds, and rocks. The man is, notwithstanding, sufficient.
Bassanio: This is Signor Antonuio.
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 gartis and brings down the rate of usage here with us in Venice. Cursed be my tribe if I forgive him.
Bassanio: Shylock, Do you hear?
Shylock: I am debating of my present store.
Antonio: Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you?
Shylock: Signor Antonio, many a time and oft in the Rialto you have rated me about my money and my usances: still have I borne it with a patient shrug; for sufferance is the badge of all our tribe. 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.
Antonio: I am like to call thee so again, to spit on thee again, to spurn thee too. Lend money to thy enemy; if he break, thou mayst with better face exact the penalty.
Shylock: 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, let the forfeit be nominated for an equal pound of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken in what part of you body pleaseth me.
Antonio: Content, i’ faith: I’ll seal to such a bond, and say there is much kindness in the Jew.
Duke: Is Antonio here?
Antonio: Ready, so please your grace.
Duke: I am sorry for thee: thou art come to answer a stony adversary, an inhuman wretch, uncapable of pity, void and empty of any dram of mercy.
Antonio: I have heard that no lawful means can carry me out of his envy’s reach.
Duke: Go, one, and call the Jew into court.
Duke: Make room, and let him stand before our face. Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too, that thou but lead’st this fashion of thy malice to the last hour of act; and then,’tis thought, thou’lt show thy mercy and remorse more strange than is thy strange apparent cruelty.
Shylock: I have possess’d your Grace of what I pupose; and by our holy Sabbath I have sworn to have the due and forfeit of my bond. You’ll ask me why I rather choose to have a weight of carrion flesh than to recieve three thousand ducats. I’ll not answer that, but say it is my humour. So can I give no reason, nor I will not, more than a lodged hate and a certain loathing I bear Antonio.
Duke: Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Portia: Is thy name Shylock?
Portia: Of a strange nature is the suit you follow. (To Antonio): You stand within his danger, do you not?
Antonio: Ay, so he says.
Portia: Do you confess the bond?
Antonio: I do.
Portia: Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shylock: On what compulsion must I?
Portia: The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath: it is twice blest, it blesses him that gives and him that takes. It becomes the throned monarch better than his crown. It is an attribute to God Himself; and earthly power doth then show likest God’s when mercy seasons justice.
Shylock: My deed upon my head! I crave the law, the penalty and forfeit of my bond.
Portia: Is he not able to discharge the money?
Bassanio: Yes, here I tender it for him in the court. Yea, twice the sum. If that will not suffice, I will be bound to pay it ten times o’er on forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart: If that will not suffice, it must appear that malice bears down truth. I beseech thee, wrest once the law to your authority: To do a great right, do a little wrong, and curb this cruel devil of his will.
Portia: It must not be. There is no power in Venice can alter decree established.
Shylock: A Daniel has come to judgement! O, wise young judge, how I do honour thee.
Portia: I pray you to let me look upon the bond. Shylock, there’s thrice thy money offered thee.
Shylock: An oath, and oath, I have an oath in heaven.
Portia: This bond is forfeit and lawfully by this the Jew may claim a pound of flesh to be cut off nearest the merchant’s heart. Be merciful: Take thrice the money and bid me tear the bond.
Shylock: I crave the penalty.
Antonio: I beseech the court to give the judgement.
Portia: Why, then, you must prepare your bosom for the knife.
Shylock: A Daniel has come to judgement! O, wise and upright judge. How much more elder than thy looks!
Antonio: I am prepared.
Portia:You, Merchant, have you anything to say?
Antonio:But little. I am armed and well-prepared. Give me your hand, Bassanio, and fare you well!Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you. Commend me to your honorable wife:Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death, And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Bassanio: Antonio, I am married to a wife which is a dear to me as life itself, but life itself, my wife, and all the world are not with me esteemed above thy life. I would sacrifice them to this devil for you.
Portia: Your wife would give you little thanks for that is she were by to hear you make the offer.
Shylock: We waste time. Come.
Portia: Tarry a little. This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; the words expressly are “a pound of flesh”.Take, then, thy bond. But, in the cutting it, if thou does shed one drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods are by the laws of Venice confiscate unto Venice.
Bassanio: Oh, upright judge! Mark, Jew; A Daniel has come to judgement!
Shylock: Is that the law?
Portia: As thou urgest justice, thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest.
Shylock: I take this offer, then. Pay the bond thrice, and let the Christian go.
Bassanio: Here is the money.
Portia: Soft. The Jew shall have all justice. Soft; no haste. He shall have nothing but the penalty.
Bassanio: A second Daniel! A Daniel, Jew!
Portia: Why doth the Jew pause? Take thy forfeiture.
Shylock: Give me my principal, and let me go.
Portia: He hath refused it in open court. He shall have merely justice and his bond.
Bassanio: A Daniel, still I say; A second Daniel. I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.
Shylock: Shall I not have barely my principal?
Portia: Thou shalt have nothing but thy forfeiture, to be taken at thy peril.
Shylock: Why, then, the devil give him good of it!
Portia: Tarry, Jew. The law hath yet another hold on you. By the laws of Venice, your wealth is forfeited
to the state for having conspired against the life of one of its citizens. Your life lies at the mercy of him you conspired against. Therefore, down on your knees, and beg pardon.
Antonio: I forgive thee before thou asks on the condition that you give half of all you possess to your daughter and become a Christian.
Portia: Art thou contented, Jew? What dost thou say.
Shylock: I am content.
Bassanio: In Christianing, thou shalt have two godfathers. Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more to bring thee to the gallows, not the font.