The Merchant of Venice


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Portia, Nerissa, Lorenzo, Jessica, and Balthasar,

a Man of Portia's


LORENZO

Madam, although I speak it in your presence,

You have a noble and a true conceit
conceit (n.) 5 notion, idea, thought

Of godlike amity, which appears most strongly

In bearing thus the absence of your lord.

But if you knew to whom you show this honour,

How true a gentleman you send relief,

How dear a lover of my lord your husband,

I know you would be prouder of the work

Than customary bounty can enforce you.
bounty (n.) 1 great generosity, gracious liberality, munificence


PORTIA

I never did repent for doing good,

Nor shall not now; for in companions

That do converse and waste the time together,
waste (v.) 1 pass, spend, while away

Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
egal, egall (adj.) equal, matched, equivalent

There must be needs a like proportion
like (adj.) 1 same, similar, alike, equal See Topics: Frequency count
needs (adv.) of necessity, necessarily
proportion (n.) 3 weighing up, appropriate measuring

Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit;
lineament (n.) 1 line, feature, characteristic, attribute

Which makes me think that this Antonio,

Being the bosom lover of my lord,
bosom (adj.) intimate, confidential, close
lover (n.) companion, comrade, dear friend

Must needs be like my lord. If it be so,

How little is the cost I have bestowed

In purchasing the semblance of my soul
semblance (n.) 2 likeness, image, depiction

From out the state of hellish cruelty.

This comes too near the praising of myself,

Therefore no more of it. Hear other things:

Lorenzo, I commit into your hands

The husbandry and manage of my house
husbandry (n.) 1 thrift, good economy, careful management
manage (n.) 2 management, direction, administration

Until my lord's return. For mine own part,

I have toward heaven breathed a secret vow

To live in prayer and contemplation,

Only attended by Nerissa here,
attend (v.) 4 accompany, follow closely, go with

Until her husband and my lord's return.

There is a monastery two miles off,

And there will we abide. I do desire you

Not to deny this imposition,
imposition (n.) 1 order, charge, command

The which my love and some necessity

Now lays upon you.


LORENZO

                         Madam, with all my heart,

I shall obey you in all fair commands.


PORTIA

My people do already know my mind

And will acknowledge you and Jessica

In place of Lord Bassanio and myself.

So fare you well till we shall meet again.


LORENZO

Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you!
attend (v.) 4 accompany, follow closely, go with


JESSICA

I wish your ladyship all heart's content.


PORTIA

I thank you for your wish, and am well pleased

To wish it back on you. Fare you well, Jessica.

Exeunt Jessica and Lorenzo

Now, Balthasar,

As I have ever found thee honest-true,
still (adv.) 2 ever, now [as before]
true (adj.) 1 loyal, firm, faithful in allegiance

So let me find thee still. Take this same letter,

And use thou all th' endeavour of a man

In speed to Padua. See thou render this
render (v.) 1 give up, surrender, yield

Into my cousin's hand, Doctor Bellario,

And look what notes and garments he doth give thee.

Bring them, I pray thee, with imagined speed
imagined (adj.) 2 all imaginable, as much as can be conceived

Unto the traject, to the common ferry

Which trades to Venice. Waste no time in words
trade (v.) cross, come and go

But get thee gone. I shall be there before thee.


BALTHASAR

Madam, I go with all convenient speed.

Exit


PORTIA

Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand

That you yet know not of. We'll see our husbands

Before they think of us.


NERISSA

                         Shall they see us?


PORTIA

They shall, Nerissa, but in such a habit,
habit (n.) 1 dress, clothing, costume See Topics: Frequency count

That they shall think we are accomplished
accomplish (v.) 1 equip, provide, furnish

With that we lack. I'll hold thee any wager,

When we are both accoutered like young men,
accouter, accoutre (v.) attire, equip, array

I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two,

And wear my dagger with the braver grace,
brave (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, splendid, impressive See Topics: Frequency count
brave (adj.) 3 audacious, daring, bold
grace (n.) 10 procedure, attitude, affectation

And speak between the change of man and boy

With a reed voice, and turn two mincing steps
reed (adj.) reedy, squeaking

Into a manly stride, and speak of frays

Like a fine bragging youth, and tell quaint lies,
quaint (adj.) 2 artful, cunning

How honourable ladies sought my love,

Which I denying, they fell sick and died –

I could not do withal. Then I'll repent,

And wish, for all that, that I had not killed them.

And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell,

That men shall swear I have discontinued school

Above a twelve month. I have within my mind

A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks,
Jack (n.) 1 Jack-in-office, ill-mannered fellow, lout, knave
raw (adj.) unrefined, unskilled, unpolished

Which I will practise.


NERISSA

                         Why, shall we turn to men?


PORTIA

Fie, what a question's that,

If thou wert near a lewd interpreter!

But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device
device (n.) 2 plan, scheme, intention

When I am in my coach, which stays for us
stay for (v.) wait for, await

At the park gate, and therefore haste away,

For we must measure twenty miles today.
measure (v.) 1 pass through, travel over, traverse

Exeunt

 
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