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a saint, and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come in, Nerissa. Sirrah, go before. Whiles we shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.
SCENE III. Venice. A public Place.
Bass. Ay, sir, for three months. Shy. For three months,--well.
Bass. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.
Shy. Antonio shall become bound,—well.
Bass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me? Shall I know your answer ?
Shy. Three thousand ducats, for three months, and Antonio bound.
Bass. Your answer to that.
Bass. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary?
Shy. Ho, 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 squander'd abroad. But ships are but boards, sailors but men; there be land-rats, and water-rats, land-thieves, and water-thieves, 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.
Bass. Be assured you may.
Shy. I will be assured 1 may; and that I may be assured, I will bethink me. May I speak with Antonio ?
Bass. If it please you to dine with us. Shy. 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?
Shylock, do you hear ?
[To Anr. Your worship was the last man in our mouths.
Ant. Shylock, albeit 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 be yet possess'd,
Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.
you; Methought, you said, you neither lend, nor borrow, Upon advantage. Ant.
I do never use it. Shy. When Jacob graz’d his uncle Laban's sheep -This Jacob from our holy Abraham was, As his wise mother wrought in his behalf, The third possessor; ay, he was the third
Ant. And what of him ? did he take interest?
Shy. No, not take interest; not, as you would say, Directly interest. Mark whát Jacob did. When Laban and himself were compromis'd, 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 pill’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 party-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.
Ant. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv'd for;
Shy. I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast.-
—Mark you this, Bassanio, The Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul, producing holy witness,
[Aside to Bass. Shy. Three thousand ducats, 'tis a good round sum. Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.
Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you?
Shy. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft,
Ant. I am as like to call thee so again,
Why, look you, how you storm!
This wëre kindness.
Ant. Content, in faith, I'll seal to such a bond, And say, there is much kindness in the Jew.
Bass. You shall not seal to such a bond for me, I'll rather dwell in my necessity.
Ant. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it.
Shy. O father Abraham, what these Christians are,
Ant. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.