William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, famous for the lines, "prick us do we not laugh, wrong us will we not avenge", tells the story of love, honour and justice.
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HOME > Plays > The Merchant of Venice > Act III. Scene I.

The Merchant of Venice

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Act III. Scene I.

Act III. Scene I.—Venice. A Street.


Salan. Now, what news on the Rialto!
Salar. Why, yet it lives there unchecked that
Antonio hath a ship of rich lading wracked on
the narrow seas; the Goodwins, I think they call
the place; a very dangerous flat, and fatal, where
the carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried, as
they say, if my gossip Report be an honest
woman of her word.
Salan. I would she were as lying a gossip in
that as ever knapped ginger, or made her neigh-
bours believe she wept for the death of a third
husband. But it is true,—without any slips of
prolixity or crossing the plain highway of talk,—
that the good Antonio, the honest Antonio,—O,
that I had a title good enough to keep his name
Salar. Come, the full stop.
Salan. Ha! what sayst thou? Why, the
end is, he hath lost a ship.
Salar. I would it might prove the end of his
Salan. Let me say 'amen' betimes, lest the
devil cross my prayer, for here he comes in the
likeness of a Jew.

How now, Shylock! what news among the
Shy. You knew, none so well, none so well as
you, of my daughter's flight.
Salar. That's certain: I, for my part, knew
the tailor that made the wings she flew withal.
Salan. And Shylock, for his own part, knew
the bird was fledged; and then it is the com-
plexion of them all to leave the dam.
Shy. She is damned for it.
Salar. That's certain, if the devil may be her
Shy. My own flesh and blood to rebel!
Salan. Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at
these years?
Shy. I say my daughter is my flesh and
Salar. 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 tell us, do you hear
whether Antonio have had any loss at sea
or no?
Shy. There I have another bad match: a
bankrupt, a prodigal, who dare scarce show his
head on the Rialto; a beggar, that used to come
so smug upon the mart; let him look to his bond:
he was wont to call me usurer; let him look to
his bond: he was wont to lend money for a
Christian courtesy; let him look to his bond.
Salar. Why, I am sure, if he forfeit thou
wilt not take his flesh: what's that good for?
Shy. To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing
else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced
me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at
my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my
nation, thwarted my bargains, 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, affec-
tions, passions? fed with the same food, hurt
with the same weapons, subject to the same dis-
eases, 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, revenge. The
villany you teach me I will execute, and it shall
go hard but I will better the instruction.

Enter a Servant.
Serv. Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his
house, and desires to speak with you both.
Salar. We have been up and down to seek

Enter TUBAL.
Salan. Here comes another of the tribe: a
third cannot be matched, unless the devil him-
self turn Jew.
[Exeunt SALANIO, SALARINO and Servant.
Shy. How now, Tubal! what news from Ge-
noa? Hast thou found my daughter?
Tub. I often came where I did hear of her,
but cannot find her.
Shy. Why there, there, there! a diamond
gone, cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfort!
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 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 on my shoulders;
no sighs but of my breathing; no tears but of my
Tub. Yes, other men have ill luck too. An-
tonio, as I heard in Genoa,—
Shy. What, what, what? ill luck, ill luck?
Tub. —hath an argosy cast away, coming
from Tripolis.
Shy. I thank God! I thank God! Is it true?
is it true?
Tub. I spoke with some of the sailors that
escaped the wrack.
Shy. I thank thee, good Tubal. Good news,
good news! ha, ha! Where? in Genoa?
Tub. Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I
heard, one night, fourscore ducats.
Shy. Thou stick'st a dagger in me: I shall
never see my gold again; fourscore ducats at a
sitting! fourscore ducats!
Tub. There came divers of Antonio's creditors
in my company to Venice, that swear he cannot
choose but break.
Shy. I am very glad of it: I'll plague him;
I'll torture him: I am glad of it.
Tub. One of them showed me a ring that he
had of your daughter for a monkey.
Shy. 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.
Tub. But Antonio is certainly undone,
Shy. Nay, that's true, that's very true. Go,
Tubal, fee me an officer; bespeak him a fortnight
before. I will have the heart of him, if he for-
feit; for, were he out of Venice, I can make what
merchandise I will. Go, go, Tubal, and meet me
at our synagogue; go, good Tubal; at our syna-
gogue, Tubal. [Exeunt.
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