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Ere I ope
I bid my very friends and countrymen,
So do I, my lord;
I did, my lord,
Antonio Commends him to you. [Gives Bassanio a letter. Bass.
his letter, 1 pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.
Sale. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind; Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there Will show you his estate. Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon' stranger; bid her wel
come, Your hand, Salerio; What's the news from Venice? How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio? I know, he will be glad of our success; We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece. Sale. 'Would you had won the fleece that he hath
lost! Por. There are some shrewd contents in yon'
O sweet Portia, Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words,
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
Here is a letter, lady;
Not one, my lord.
Jes. When I was with him, I have heard him swear,
$ The paper as the body-] The expression is somewhat el. liptical: “ The paper as the body," means the paper resembles the body, is as the body.
To Tubal, and to Chus, his countrymen,
Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
Por. What sum owes he the Jew?
What, no more?
pay the petty debt twenty times over; When it is paid, bring your true friend along: My maid Nerissa, and myself, mean time, Will live as maids and widows. Come, away; For
you shall hence upon your wedding-day: Bid your friends welcoine, show a merry cheer; 8 Since
you are dear bought, I will love you dear. But let me hear the letter of your friend.
Bass. [Reads.] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since, in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all delts
cheer:) i. e, countenance.
are cleared between you and I, if I might but see
death: notwithstanding, use your pleasure; if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.
Por. O love, despatch all business, and be gone. , Bass. Since I have your good leave to go away,
I will make haste: but, till I come again, No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay,
No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. [Exeunt.
Venice. A Street.
Enter SHYLOCK, SALANIO, ANTONIO, and Gaoler.
Hear me yet, good Shylock. Shy. I'll have my bond; speak not against my
Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.
Im so fond] i, e, so foolish.
To Christian intercessors. Follow not;
Let him alone;
I am sure, the duke
Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law; For the commodity that strangers have With us in Venice, if it be denied, Will much impeach the justice of the state; Since that the trade and profit of the city Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go: These griefs and losses have so 'bated me, That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh To-morrow to my bloody creditor.Well, gaoler, on:-Pray God, Bassanio come To see me pay his debt, and then I care not!
Belmont. A Room in Portia's House,
Enter PORTIA, NERISSA, LORENZO, Jessica, and
BALTHAZAR. Lor. Madam, although I speak it in your presence, You have a noble and a true conceit Of god-like amity; which appears most strongly In bearing thus the absence of your lord.