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The Merchant of Venice: Act 3, Scene 5

The Merchant of Venice
Act 3, Scene 5

Belmont. A garden at Portia’s house.

  1. Enter Clown Launcelot and Jessica.

Launcelot

2 - 8
  1. Yes, truly, for look you, the sins of the father are to be
  2. laid upon the children; therefore, I promise you, I fear
  3. you. I was always plain with you, and so now I speak my
  4. agitation of the matter; therefore be a’ good cheer, for
  5. truly I think you are damn’d. There is but one hope in it
  6. that can do you any good, and that is but a kind of bastard
  7. hope neither.

Jessica

9
  1. And what hope is that, I pray thee?

Launcelot

10 - 11
  1. Marry, you may partly hope that your father got you not,
  2. that you are not the Jew’s daughter.

Jessica

12 - 13
  1. That were a kind of bastard hope indeed; so the sins of my
  2. mother should be visited upon me.

Launcelot

14 - 16
  1. Truly then I fear you are damn’d both by father and mother;
  2. thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis,
  3. your mother. Well, you are gone both ways.

Jessica

17
  1. I shall be sav’d by my husband, he hath made me a Christian!

Launcelot

18 - 22
  1. Truly, the more to blame he; we were Christians enow before,
  2. e’en as many as could well live one by another. This making
  3. of Christians will raise the price of hogs. If we grow all
  4. to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on the
  5. coals for money.
  1. Enter Lorenzo.

Jessica

24 - 25
  1. I’ll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say. Here he
  2. comes.

Lorenzo

26 - 27
  1. I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, if you thus
  2. get my wife into corners!

Jessica

28 - 32
  1. Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo, Launcelot and I are out.
  2. He tells me flatly there’s no mercy for me in heaven because
  3. I am a Jew’s daughter; and he says you are no good member of
  4. the commonwealth, for in converting Jews to Christians, you
  5. raise the price of pork.

Lorenzo

33 - 35
  1. I shall answer that better to the commonwealth than you can
  2. the getting up of the Negro’s belly; the Moor is with child
  3. by you, Launcelot.

Launcelot

36 - 38
  1. It is much that the Moor should be more than reason; but if
  2. she be less than an honest woman, she is indeed more than I
  3. took her for.

Lorenzo

39 - 42
  1. How every fool can play upon the word! I think the best
  2. grace of wit will shortly turn into silence, and discourse
  3. grow commendable in none only but parrots. Go in, sirrah,
  4. bid them prepare for dinner.

Launcelot

43
  1. That is done, sir, they have all stomachs!

Lorenzo

44 - 45
  1. Goodly Lord, what a wit-snapper are you! Then bid them
  2. prepare dinner.

Launcelot

46
  1. That is done too, sir, only cover is the word.

Lorenzo

47
  1. Will you cover then, sir?

Launcelot

48
  1. Not so, sir, neither, I know my duty.

Lorenzo

49 - 53
  1. Yet more quarreling with occasion! Wilt thou show the whole
  2. wealth of thy wit in an instant? I pray thee understand a
  3. plain man in his plain meaning: go to thy fellows, bid them
  4. cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to
  5. dinner.

Launcelot

54 - 56
  1. For the table, sir, it shall be serv’d in; for the meat,
  2. sir, it shall be cover’d; for your coming in to dinner, sir,
  3. why, let it be as humors and conceits shall govern.
  1. Exit Clown.

Lorenzo

58 - 65
  1. O dear discretion, how his words are suited!
  2. The fool hath planted in his memory
  3. An army of good words, and I do know
  4. A many fools, that stand in better place,
  5. Garnish’d like him, that for a tricksy word
  6. Defy the matter. How cheer’st thou, Jessica?
  7. And now, good sweet, say thy opinion,
  8. How dost thou like the Lord Bassanio’s wife?

Jessica

66 - 76
  1. Past all expressing. It is very meet
  2. The Lord Bassanio live an upright life,
  3. For having such a blessing in his lady,
  4. He finds the joys of heaven here on earth,
  5. And if on earth he do not merit it,
  6. In reason he should never come to heaven!
  7. Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match,
  8. And on the wager lay two earthly women,
  9. And Portia one, there must be something else
  10. Pawn’d with the other, for the poor rude world
  11. Hath not her fellow.

Lorenzo

77 - 78
  1.                      Even such a husband
  2. Hast thou of me as she is for a wife.

Jessica

79
  1. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that.

Lorenzo

80
  1. I will anon, first let us go to dinner.

Jessica

81
  1. Nay, let me praise you while I have a stomach.

Lorenzo

82 - 84
  1. No, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk;
  2. Then howsome’er thou speak’st, ’mong other things
  3. I shall digest it.

Jessica

85
  1.                    Well, I’ll set you forth.
  1. Exeunt.
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