The Merchant of Venice


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Solanio and Salerio


SOLANIO

Now what news on the Rialto?


SALERIO

Why, yet it lives there unchecked that Antonio
unchecked (adj.) 1 uncontradicted, undisputed

hath a ship of rich lading wrecked on the narrow seas,
lading (n.) cargo, freight, merchandise
wrack (v.) 1 wreck, shipwreck, lose at sea

the Goodwins I think they call the place, a very dangerous

flat, and fatal, where the carcasses of many a tall ship
flat (n.) 2 shoal, sandbank
tall (adj.) 2 large, fine, grand

lie buried as they say, if my gossip Report be an honest
gossip (n.) 2 friend, neighbour See Topics: Address forms

woman of her word.


SOLANIO

I would she were as lying a gossip in that as

ever knapped ginger or made her neighbours believe she
knap (v.) 2 bite into, nibble at, peck at

wept for the death of a third husband. But it is true,

without any slips of prolixity or crossing the plain highway
prolixity (n.) long-windedness, tedious exposition
slip (n.) 1 seedling, sprig, shoot, cutting

of talk, that the good Antonio, the honest Antonio –

O that I had a title good enough to keep his name

company ...


SALERIO

Come, the full stop!
stop (n.) 6 full-stop, period, full point


SOLANIO

Ha, what sayest thou? Why the end is, he hath

lost a ship.


SALERIO

I would it might prove the end of his losses.


SOLANIO

Let me say amen betimes lest the devil cross my
betimes (adv.) 4 at once, forthwith, right now
cross (v.) 1 prevent, thwart, forestall

prayer, for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.

Enter Shylock

How now, Shylock? What news among the merchants?


SHYLOCK

You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of

my daughter's flight.


SALERIO

That's certain. I for my part knew the tailor

that made the wings she flew withal.


SOLANIO

And Shylock for his own part knew the bird was

fledged, and then it is the complexion of them all to
complexion (n.) 3 natural trait, disposition, temperament, nature
fledge (adj.) 2 grown large enough for flight, ready to fly

leave the dam.


SHYLOCK

She is damned for it.


SALERIO

That's certain, if the devil may be her judge.


SHYLOCK

My own flesh and blood to rebel!


SOLANIO

Out upon it, old carrion! Rebels it at these
carrion (n.) 1 carcass, wretch, worthless beast

years?


SHYLOCK

I say my daughter is my flesh and blood.


SALERIO

There is more difference between thy flesh and

hers than between jet and ivory, more between your

bloods than there is between red wine and Rhenish. But
Rhenish (n.) Rhineland wine

tell us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss

at sea or no?


SHYLOCK

There I have another bad match! A bankrupt,
match (n.) 1 bargain, contract, agreement

a prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto,
prodigal (n.) 1 waster, squanderer, spendthrift

a beggar that was used to come so smug upon the mart!
mart (n.) 1 market
smug (adj.) 1 neat, spruce, trim

Let him look to his bond. He was wont to call me usurer.
bond (n.) 1 deed, contract, pledge
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

Let him look to his bond. He was wont to lend money

for a Christian courtesy. Let him look to his bond.
courtesy, cur'sy, curtsy (n.) 1 courteous service, polite behaviour, good manners


SALERIO

Why, I am sure if he forfeit thou wilt not take his

flesh. What's that good for?


SHYLOCK

To bait fish withal. If it will feed nothing else,
bait (v.) 2 tempt, entice, lure

it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me and hindered
disgrace (v.) insult, dishonour, deny respect [to]

me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at

my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains,
scorn (v.) 1 mock, jeer, express disdain [at]

cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his

reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a

Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?
affection (n.) 2 emotion, feeling
dimension (n.) 2 (plural) parts of the body, organs

Fed with the same food, hurt with the same

weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the

same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and

summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not

bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison

us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not

revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble

you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his

humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what

should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why,
sufferance (n.) 2 endurance, forbearance, patience

revenge! The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it
execute (v.) 1 carry out, fulfil, perform

shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

Enter a Man from Antonio


MAN

Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house and

desires to speak with you both.


SALERIO

We have been up and down to seek him.

Enter Tubal


SOLANIO

Here comes another of the tribe. A third cannot

be matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew.

Exeunt Solanio, Salerio, and Man


SHYLOCK

How now, Tubal! What news from Genoa?

Hast thou found my daughter?


TUBAL

I often came where I did hear of her, but cannot

find her.


SHYLOCK

Why, there, there, there, there! A diamond gone

cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfurt! The curse

never fell upon our nation till now; I never felt it till

now. Two thousand ducats in that, and other precious,

precious jewels. I would my daughter were dead at my

foot, and the jewels in her ear! Would she were hearsed
hearsed (v.) coffined, placed in a hearse

at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin! No news of

them, why so? – And I know not what's spent in the

search. Why thou loss upon loss! The thief gone with so

much, and so much to find the thief! – And no satisfaction,

no revenge! Nor no ill luck stirring but what lights
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count

o' my shoulders, no sighs but o' my breathing, no tears

but o' my shedding.


TUBAL

Yes, other men have ill luck too. Antonio, as I

heard in Genoa ...


SHYLOCK

What, what, what? Ill luck, ill luck?


TUBAL

Hath an argosy cast away coming from Tripolis.
argosy (n.) large merchant ship
cast away (v.) 3 destroy, ruin


SHYLOCK

I thank God, I thank God! Is it true? Is it true?


TUBAL

I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the

wrack.
wrack (n.) 2 wreck, loss, shipwreck


SHYLOCK

I thank thee, good Tubal. Good news, good

news! Ha, ha! Heard in Genoa?


TUBAL

Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, one night

fourscore ducats.


SHYLOCK

Thou stick'st a dagger in me. I shall never see

my gold again. Fourscore ducats at a sitting, fourscore

ducats!


TUBAL

There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my
divers (adj.) different, various, several

company to Venice that swear he cannot choose but
choose, cannot have no alternative, cannot do otherwise See Topics: Politeness

break.
break (v.) 6 break one's promise, not keep one's word


SHYLOCK

I am very glad of it. I'll plague him; I'll torture

him. I am glad of it.


TUBAL

One of them showed me a ring that he had of your

daughter for a monkey.


SHYLOCK

Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal. It

was my turquoise; I had it of Leah when I was a

bachelor. I would not have given it for a wilderness of

monkeys.


TUBAL

But Antonio is certainly undone.
undone (adj.) ruined, destroyed, brought down See Topics: Frequency count


SHYLOCK

Nay, that's true, that's very true. Go, Tubal,

fee me an officer; bespeak him a fortnight before. I will
fee (v.) 2 purchase, procure, secure

have the heart of him if he forfeit, for were he out of

Venice I can make what merchandise I will. Go, Tubal,

and meet me at our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our

synagogue, Tubal.

Exeunt

 
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