The Merchant of Venice
Act 3, Scene 5
Belmont. A garden at Portia’s house.
- Enter Clown Launcelot and Jessica.
Launcelot2 - 8
- Yes, truly, for look you, the sins of the father are to be
- laid upon the children; therefore, I promise you, I fear
- you. I was always plain with you, and so now I speak my
- agitation of the matter; therefore be a’ good cheer, for
- truly I think you are damn’d. There is but one hope in it
- that can do you any good, and that is but a kind of bastard
- hope neither.
- And what hope is that, I pray thee?
Launcelot10 - 11
- Marry, you may partly hope that your father got you not,
- that you are not the Jew’s daughter.
Jessica12 - 13
- That were a kind of bastard hope indeed; so the sins of my
- mother should be visited upon me.
Launcelot14 - 16
- Truly then I fear you are damn’d both by father and mother;
- thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis,
- your mother. Well, you are gone both ways.
- I shall be sav’d by my husband, he hath made me a Christian!
Launcelot18 - 22
- Truly, the more to blame he; we were Christians enow before,
- e’en as many as could well live one by another. This making
- of Christians will raise the price of hogs. If we grow all
- to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on the
- coals for money.
- Enter Lorenzo.
Jessica24 - 25
- I’ll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say. Here he
Lorenzo26 - 27
- I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, if you thus
- get my wife into corners!
Jessica28 - 32
- Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo, Launcelot and I are out.
- He tells me flatly there’s no mercy for me in heaven because
- I am a Jew’s daughter; and he says you are no good member of
- the commonwealth, for in converting Jews to Christians, you
- raise the price of pork.
Lorenzo33 - 35
- I shall answer that better to the commonwealth than you can
- the getting up of the Negro’s belly; the Moor is with child
- by you, Launcelot.
Launcelot36 - 38
- It is much that the Moor should be more than reason; but if
- she be less than an honest woman, she is indeed more than I
- took her for.
Lorenzo39 - 42
- How every fool can play upon the word! I think the best
- grace of wit will shortly turn into silence, and discourse
- grow commendable in none only but parrots. Go in, sirrah,
- bid them prepare for dinner.
- That is done, sir, they have all stomachs!
Lorenzo44 - 45
- Goodly Lord, what a wit-snapper are you! Then bid them
- prepare dinner.
- That is done too, sir, only “cover” is the word.
- Will you cover then, sir?
- Not so, sir, neither, I know my duty.
Lorenzo49 - 53
- Yet more quarreling with occasion! Wilt thou show the whole
- wealth of thy wit in an instant? I pray thee understand a
- plain man in his plain meaning: go to thy fellows, bid them
- cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to
Launcelot54 - 56
- For the table, sir, it shall be serv’d in; for the meat,
- sir, it shall be cover’d; for your coming in to dinner, sir,
- why, let it be as humors and conceits shall govern.
- Exit Clown.
Lorenzo58 - 65
- O dear discretion, how his words are suited!
- The fool hath planted in his memory
- An army of good words, and I do know
- A many fools, that stand in better place,
- Garnish’d like him, that for a tricksy word
- Defy the matter. How cheer’st thou, Jessica?
- And now, good sweet, say thy opinion,
- How dost thou like the Lord Bassanio’s wife?
Jessica66 - 76
- Past all expressing. It is very meet
- The Lord Bassanio live an upright life,
- For having such a blessing in his lady,
- He finds the joys of heaven here on earth,
- And if on earth he do not merit it,
- In reason he should never come to heaven!
- Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match,
- And on the wager lay two earthly women,
- And Portia one, there must be something else
- Pawn’d with the other, for the poor rude world
- Hath not her fellow.
Lorenzo77 - 78
- Even such a husband
- Hast thou of me as she is for a wife.
- Nay, but ask my opinion too of that.
- I will anon, first let us go to dinner.
- Nay, let me praise you while I have a stomach.
Lorenzo82 - 84
- No, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk;
- Then howsome’er thou speak’st, ’mong other things
- I shall digest it.
- Well, I’ll set you forth.