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The Merchant of Venice
Act 2, scene 6

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Antonio, the merchant in The Merchant of Venice, secures a loan from Shylock for his friend Bassanio, who seeks to court…

Act 1, scene 1

Antonio, a Venetian merchant, has invested all his wealth in trading expeditions. Bassanio, his friend and kinsman, asks him for…

Act 1, scene 2

At Portia’s estate of Belmont, Portia and Nerissa talk over Portia’s frustration at being unable to choose her own husband….

Act 1, scene 3

In Venice Bassanio goes to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, to borrow, in Antonio’s name, 3,000 ducats. Shylock hates Antonio but…

Act 2, scene 1

At Belmont the Prince of Morocco greets Portia, who tells him the terms of the contest: if he chooses the…

Act 2, scene 2

In Venice Shylock’s servant, Lancelet Gobbo, debates whether he should find a new master. Lancelet’s father comes in search of…

Act 2, scene 3

Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, says good-bye to Lancelet and gives him a letter for Lorenzo, a friend of Bassanio. In a…

Act 2, scene 4

Lorenzo, Gratiano, Solanio, and Salarino try to arrange a masque for Bassanio’s dinner that night. Lancelet brings Lorenzo Jessica’s letter…

Act 2, scene 5

Lancelet brings Shylock an invitation to dinner at Bassanio’s. Shylock grudgingly accepts and commands Jessica to guard their house carefully….

Act 2, scene 6

Gratiano and Salarino wait for Lorenzo near Shylock’s house. As soon as Lorenzo arrives, he calls Jessica, who throws him…

Act 2, scene 7

At Belmont the Prince of Morocco attempts to choose the right chest and win Portia. He picks the gold one…

Act 2, scene 8

In Venice Solanio and Salarino discuss the latest news: Shylock’s torment over the loss of his daughter and the treasures…

Act 2, scene 9

At Belmont the Prince of Arragon attempts to win Portia by choosing the silver chest, but finds in it the…

Act 3, scene 1

In Venice Solanio and Salarino have learned that the Italian ship wrecked in the English Channel was Antonio’s. Shylock enters…

Act 3, scene 2

Portia advises Bassanio to postpone choosing for fear he should make the wrong choice. Bassanio declares himself unable to live…

Act 3, scene 3

Antonio seeks out Shylock in an effort to get the moneylender to listen to him. But Shylock insists that the…

Act 3, scene 4

Portia entrusts the management of her household to Lorenzo and pretends to leave with Nerissa for a house of an…

Act 3, scene 5

Lancelet, the clown, makes jokes at the expense of Jessica and then Lorenzo. Jessica praises Portia and jokes with Lorenzo.

Act 4, scene 1

In court at Venice, Shylock demands that the terms of his bond be fulfilled. Portia enters as a doctor of…

Act 4, scene 2

Gratiano gives the disguised Portia Bassanio’s ring. Nerissa decides to try to obtain from Gratiano the ring that she had…

Act 5, scene 1

Portia and Nerissa return to Belmont. When Bassanio and Gratiano also return, bringing Antonio with them, Portia and Nerissa “discover”…

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Scene 6
Enter the masquers, Gratiano and Salarino.

GRATIANO 
 This is the penthouse under which Lorenzo
 Desired us to make stand.
SALARINO His hour is almost past.
GRATIANO 
 And it is marvel he outdwells his hour,
5 For lovers ever run before the clock.
SALARINO 
 O, ten times faster Venus’ pigeons fly
 To seal love’s bonds new-made than they are wont
 To keep obligèd faith unforfeited.
GRATIANO 
 That ever holds. Who riseth from a feast
10 With that keen appetite that he sits down?
 Where is the horse that doth untread again
 His tedious measures with the unbated fire
 That he did pace them first? All things that are,
 Are with more spirit chasèd than enjoyed.
15 How like a younger or a prodigal
 The scarfèd bark puts from her native bay,
 Hugged and embracèd by the strumpet wind;
 How like the prodigal doth she return
 With overweathered ribs and raggèd sails,
20 Lean, rent, and beggared by the strumpet wind!

Enter Lorenzo.

SALARINO 
 Here comes Lorenzo. More of this hereafter.
LORENZO 
 Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode.
 Not I but my affairs have made you wait.
 When you shall please to play the thieves for wives,
25 I’ll watch as long for you then. Approach.
 Here dwells my father Jew.—Ho! Who’s within?

71
The Merchant of Venice
ACT 2. SC. 6

Enter Jessica above, dressed as a boy.

JESSICA 
 Who are you? Tell me for more certainty,
 Albeit I’ll swear that I do know your tongue.
LORENZO Lorenzo, and thy love.
JESSICA 
30 Lorenzo certain, and my love indeed,
 For who love I so much? And now who knows
 But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
LORENZO 
 Heaven and thy thoughts are witness that thou art.
JESSICA 
 Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains.
35 I am glad ’tis night, you do not look on me,
 For I am much ashamed of my exchange.
 But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
 The pretty follies that themselves commit,
 For if they could, Cupid himself would blush
40 To see me thus transformèd to a boy.
LORENZO 
 Descend, for you must be my torchbearer.
JESSICA 
 What, must I hold a candle to my shames?
 They in themselves, good sooth, are too too light.
 Why, ’tis an office of discovery, love,
45 And I should be obscured.
LORENZO  So are you, sweet,
 Even in the lovely garnish of a boy.
 But come at once,
 For the close night doth play the runaway,
50 And we are stayed for at Bassanio’s feast.
JESSICA 
 I will make fast the doors and gild myself
 With some more ducats, and be with you straight.
Jessica exits, above.

73
The Merchant of Venice
ACT 2. SC. 7

GRATIANO 
 Now, by my hood, a gentle and no Jew!
LORENZO 
 Beshrew me but I love her heartily,
55 For she is wise, if I can judge of her,
 And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true,
 And true she is, as she hath proved herself.
 And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, and true,
 Shall she be placèd in my constant soul.

Enter Jessica, below.

60 What, art thou come? On, gentleman, away!
 Our masquing mates by this time for us stay.
All but Gratiano exit.

Enter Antonio.

ANTONIO Who’s there?
GRATIANO Signior Antonio?
ANTONIO 
 Fie, fie, Gratiano, where are all the rest?
65 ’Tis nine o’clock! Our friends all stay for you.
 No masque tonight; the wind is come about;
 Bassanio presently will go aboard.
 I have sent twenty out to seek for you.
GRATIANO 
 I am glad on ’t. I desire no more delight
70 Than to be under sail and gone tonight.
They exit.