ACT I - Scene III

Act 1, Scene 3




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.     [5]


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.     [10]


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     [15]

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     [20]

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.     [25]


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     [30]

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?



BASSANIO: This is Signior Antonio.     [35]


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.     [40]

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,     [45]

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     [50]

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;     [55]

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     [60]

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     [65]

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--     [70]


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     [75]

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,     [80]

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:     [85]

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?     [90]

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.     [95]

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.     [100]

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:     [105]

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.     [110]

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     [115]

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,     [120]

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'?     [125]


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?     [130]

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,     [135]

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.     [140]

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     [145]

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.     [150]


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     [155]

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     [160]

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:     [165]

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,     [170]

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.     [175]

[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.