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The Merchant of Venice

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Act II, Scene 5

The same. Before SHYLOCK’S house.



  • Shylock. Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge,
    The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:—
    What, Jessica!—thou shalt not gormandise,
    As thou hast done with me:—What, Jessica!— 850
    And sleep and snore, and rend apparel out;—
    Why, Jessica, I say!
  • Shylock. Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.
  • Launcelot Gobbo. Your worship was wont to tell me that 855
    I could do nothing without bidding.

[Enter Jessica]

  • Jessica. Call you? what is your will?
  • Shylock. I am bid forth to supper, Jessica:
    There are my keys. But wherefore should I go? 860
    I am not bid for love; they flatter me:
    But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon
    The prodigal Christian. Jessica, my girl,
    Look to my house. I am right loath to go:
    There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest, 865
    For I did dream of money-bags to-night.
  • Launcelot Gobbo. I beseech you, sir, go: my young master doth expect
    your reproach.
  • Launcelot Gobbo. An they have conspired together, I will not say you 870
    shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not
    for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on
    Black-Monday last at six o'clock i' the morning,
    falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four
    year, in the afternoon. 875
  • Shylock. What, are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica:
    Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum
    And the vile squealing of the wry-neck'd fife,
    Clamber not you up to the casements then,
    Nor thrust your head into the public street 880
    To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces,
    But stop my house's ears, I mean my casements:
    Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter
    My sober house. By Jacob's staff, I swear,
    I have no mind of feasting forth to-night: 885
    But I will go. Go you before me, sirrah;
    Say I will come.
  • Launcelot Gobbo. I will go before, sir. Mistress, look out at
    window, for all this, There will come a Christian
    boy, will be worth a Jewess' eye. 890


  • Shylock. What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha?
  • Jessica. His words were 'Farewell mistress;' nothing else.
  • Shylock. The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder;
    Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day 895
    More than the wild-cat: drones hive not with me;
    Therefore I part with him, and part with him
    To one that would have him help to waste
    His borrow'd purse. Well, Jessica, go in;
    Perhaps I will return immediately: 900
    Do as I bid you; shut doors after you:
    Fast bind, fast find;
    A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.


  • Jessica. Farewell; and if my fortune be not crost, 905
    I have a father, you a daughter, lost.