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    Act 1, Scene III

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    SCENE III. 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
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