The Merchant of Venice
Act 5, Scene 1
Belmont. Outside Portia’s house.
- Enter Lorenzo and Jessica.
Lorenzo2 - 7
- The moon shines bright. In such a night as this,
- When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,
- And they did make no noise, in such a night
- Troilus methinks mounted the Troyan walls,
- And sigh’d his soul toward the Grecian tents,
- Where Cressid lay that night.
Jessica8 - 11
- In such a night
- Did Thisby fearfully o’ertrip the dew,
- And saw the lion’s shadow ere himself,
- And ran dismayed away.
Lorenzo12 - 15
- In such a night
- Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
- Upon the wild sea-banks, and waft her love
- To come again to Carthage.
Jessica16 - 18
- In such a night
- Medea gathered the enchanted herbs
- That did renew old Aeson.
Lorenzo19 - 22
- In such a night
- Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew,
- And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
- As far as Belmont.
Jessica23 - 26
- In such a night
- Did young Lorenzo swear he lov’d her well,
- Stealing her soul with many vows of faith,
- And ne’er a true one.
Lorenzo27 - 29
- In such a night
- Did pretty Jessica (like a little shrew)
- Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
Jessica30 - 31
- I would out-night you, did nobody come;
- But hark, I hear the footing of a man.
- Enter Stephano.
- Who comes so fast in silence of the night?
- A friend.
- A friend! What friend? Your name, I pray you, friend?
Stephano36 - 40
- Stephano is my name, and I bring word
- My mistress will before the break of day
- Be here at Belmont. She doth stray about
- By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays
- For happy wedlock hours.
- Who comes with her?
Stephano42 - 43
- None but a holy hermit and her maid.
- I pray you, is my master yet return’d?
Lorenzo44 - 47
- He is not, nor we have not heard from him.
- But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica,
- And ceremoniously let us prepare
- Some welcome for the mistress of the house.
- Enter Clown Launcelot.
- Sola, sola! Wo ha, ho! Sola, sola!
- Who calls?
Launcelot51 - 52
- Sola! Did you see Master Lorenzo? Master Lorenzo, sola,
- Leave hollowing, man—here.
- Sola! Where, where?
Launcelot56 - 57
- Tell him there’s a post come from my master, with his horn
- full of good news. My master will be here ere morning.
Lorenzo59 - 80
- Sweet soul, let’s in, and there expect their coming.
- And yet no matter; why should we go in?
- My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you,
- Within the house, your mistress is at hand,
- And bring your music forth into the air.
- Exit Stephano.
- How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
- Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
- Creep in our ears. Soft stillness and the night
- Become the touches of sweet harmony.
- Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
- Is thick inlaid with patens of bright gold.
- There’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st
- But in his motion like an angel sings,
- Still quiring to the young-ey’d cherubins;
- Such harmony is in immortal souls,
- But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
- Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
- Enter Musicians.
- Come ho, and wake Diana with a hymn,
- With sweetest touches pierce your mistress’ ear,
- And draw her home with music.
- Play Music.
- I am never merry when I hear sweet music.
Lorenzo83 - 101
- The reason is, your spirits are attentive;
- For do but note a wild and wanton herd
- Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
- Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud,
- Which is the hot condition of their blood,
- If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
- Or any air of music touch their ears,
- You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
- Their savage eyes turn’d to a modest gaze,
- By the sweet power of music; therefore the poet
- Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods;
- Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
- But music for the time doth change his nature.
- The man that hath no music in himself,
- Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
- Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
- The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
- And his affections dark as Erebus
- Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.
- Enter Portia and Nerissa.
Portia103 - 105
- That light we see is burning in my hall.
- How far that little candle throws his beams!
- So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
- When the moon shone, we did not see the candle.
Portia107 - 111
- So doth the greater glory dim the less:
- A substitute shines brightly as a king
- Until a king be by, and then his state
- Empties itself, as doth an inland brook
- Into the main of waters. Music, hark!
- It is your music, madam, of the house.
Portia113 - 114
- Nothing is good, I see, without respect;
- Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.
- Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
Portia116 - 124
- The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark
- When neither is attended; and I think
- The nightingale, if she should sing by day
- When every goose is cackling, would be thought
- No better a musician than the wren.
- How many things by season season’d are
- To their right praise and true perfection!
- Peace ho! The Moon sleeps with Endymion,
- And would not be awak’d.
- Music ceases.
Lorenzo126 - 127
- That is the voice,
- Or I am much deceiv’d, of Portia.
Portia128 - 129
- He knows me as the blind man knows the cuckoo,
- By the bad voice!
- Dear lady, welcome home!
Portia131 - 133
- We have been praying for our husbands’ welfare,
- Which speed we hope the better for our words.
- Are they return’d?
Lorenzo134 - 136
- Madam, they are not yet;
- But there is come a messenger before,
- To signify their coming.
Portia137 - 140
- Go in, Nerissa.
- Give order to my servants that they take
- No note at all of our being absent hence—
- Nor you, Lorenzo—Jessica, nor you.
- A tucket sounds.
Lorenzo142 - 143
- Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet.
- We are no tell-tales, madam, fear you not.
Portia144 - 146
- This night methinks is but the daylight sick,
- It looks a little paler. ’Tis a day,
- Such as the day is when the sun is hid.
- Enter Bassanio, Antonio, Gratiano, and their Followers.
Bassanio148 - 149
- We should hold day with the Antipodes,
- If you would walk in absence of the sun.
Portia150 - 153
- Let me give light, but let me not be light,
- For a light wife doth make a heavy husband,
- And never be Bassanio so for me—
- But God sort all! You are welcome home, my lord.
Bassanio154 - 156
- I thank you, madam. Give welcome to my friend;
- This is the man, this is Antonio,
- To whom I am so infinitely bound.
Portia157 - 158
- You should in all sense be much bound to him,
- For as I hear he was much bound for you.
- No more than I am well acquitted of.
Portia160 - 162
- Sir, you are very welcome to our house.
- It must appear in other ways than words,
- Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.
Gratiano163 - 167
- To Nerissa.
- By yonder moon I swear you do me wrong;
- In faith, I gave it to the judge’s clerk.
- Would he were gelt that had it, for my part,
- Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.
- A quarrel ho already! What’s the matter?
Gratiano169 - 172
- About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring
- That she did give me, whose posy was
- For all the world like cutler’s poetry
- Upon a knife, “Love me, and leave me not.”
Nerissa173 - 180
- What talk you of the posy or the value?
- You swore to me, when I did give it you,
- That you would wear it till your hour of death,
- And that it should lie with you in your grave.
- Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
- You should have been respective and have kept it.
- Gave it a judge’s clerk! No, God’s my judge,
- The clerk will ne’er wear hair on ’s face that had it.
- He will, and if he live to be a man.
- Ay, if a woman live to be a man.
Gratiano183 - 187
- Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,
- A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy,
- No higher than thyself, the judge’s clerk,
- A prating boy, that begg’d it as a fee.
- I could not for my heart deny it him.
Portia188 - 198
- You were to blame, I must be plain with you,
- To part so slightly with your wive’s first gift,
- A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
- And so riveted with faith unto your flesh.
- I gave my love a ring, and made him swear
- Never to part with it, and here he stands.
- I dare be sworn for him he would not leave it,
- Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth
- That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,
- You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief;
- And ’twere to me I should be mad at it.
Bassanio199 - 201
- Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
- And swear I lost the ring defending it.
Gratiano202 - 207
- My Lord Bassanio gave his ring away
- Unto the judge that begg’d it, and indeed
- Deserv’d it too; and then the boy, his clerk,
- That took some pains in writing, he begg’d mine,
- And neither man nor master would take aught
- But the two rings.
Portia208 - 209
- What ring gave you, my lord?
- Not that, I hope, which you receiv’d of me.
Bassanio210 - 212
- If I could add a lie unto a fault,
- I would deny it; but you see my finger
- Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone.
Portia213 - 215
- Even so void is your false heart of truth.
- By heaven, I will ne’er come in your bed
- Until I see the ring!
Nerissa216 - 217
- Nor I in yours
- Till I again see mine!
Bassanio218 - 224
- Sweet Portia,
- If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
- If you did know for whom I gave the ring,
- And would conceive for what I gave the ring,
- And how unwillingly I left the ring,
- When nought would be accepted but the ring,
- You would abate the strength of your displeasure.
Portia225 - 234
- If you had known the virtue of the ring,
- Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,
- Or your own honor to contain the ring,
- You would not then have parted with the ring.
- What man is there so much unreasonable,
- If you had pleas’d to have defended it
- With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty
- To urge the thing held as a ceremony?
- Nerissa teaches me what to believe—
- I’ll die for’t but some woman had the ring!
Bassanio235 - 248
- No, by my honor, madam, by my soul,
- No woman had it, but a civil doctor,
- Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me,
- And begg’d the ring, the which I did deny him,
- And suffer’d him to go displeas’d away—
- Even he that had held up the very life
- Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady?
- I was enforc’d to send it after him,
- I was beset with shame and courtesy,
- My honor would not let ingratitude
- So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady,
- For by these blessed candles of the night,
- Had you been there, I think you would have begg’d
- The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.
Portia249 - 259
- Let not that doctor e’er come near my house.
- Since he hath got the jewel that I loved,
- And that which you did swear to keep for me,
- I will become as liberal as you,
- I’ll not deny him any thing I have,
- No, not my body nor my husband’s bed.
- Know him I shall, I am well sure of it.
- Lie not a night from home. Watch me like Argus;
- If you do not, if I be left alone,
- Now by mine honor, which is yet mine own,
- I’ll have that doctor for my bedfellow.
Nerissa260 - 261
- And I his clerk; therefore be well advis’d
- How you do leave me to mine own protection.
Gratiano262 - 263
- Well, do you so; let not me take him then,
- For if I do, I’ll mar the young clerk’s pen.
- I am th’ unhappy subject of these quarrels.
- Sir, grieve not you, you are welcome notwithstanding.
Bassanio266 - 269
- Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong,
- And in the hearing of these many friends
- I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
- Wherein I see myself—
Portia270 - 273
- Mark you but that!
- In both my eyes he doubly sees himself,
- In each eye, one. Swear by your double self,
- And there’s an oath of credit.
Bassanio274 - 276
- Nay, but hear me.
- Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear
- I never more will break an oath with thee.
Antonio277 - 281
- I once did lend my body for his wealth,
- Which but for him that had your husband’s ring
- Had quite miscarried. I dare be bound again,
- My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord
- Will never more break faith advisedly.
Portia282 - 283
- Then you shall be his surety. Give him this,
- And bid him keep it better than the other.
- Here, Lord Bassanio, swear to keep this ring.
- By heaven, it is the same I gave the doctor!
Portia286 - 287
- I had it of him. Pardon me, Bassanio,
- For by this ring, the doctor lay with me.
Nerissa288 - 290
- And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano,
- For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor’s clerk,
- In lieu of this last night did lie with me.
Gratiano291 - 293
- Why, this is like the mending of highways
- In summer, where the ways are fair enough.
- What, are we cuckolds ere we have deserv’d it?
Portia294 - 307
- Speak not so grossly, you are all amaz’d.
- Here is a letter, read it at your leisure.
- It comes from Padua, from Bellario.
- There you shall find that Portia was the doctor,
- Nerissa there her clerk. Lorenzo here
- Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
- And even but now return’d; I have not yet
- Enter’d my house. Antonio, you are welcome,
- And I have better news in store for you
- Than you expect. Unseal this letter soon;
- There you shall find three of your argosies
- Are richly come to harbor suddenly.
- You shall not know by what strange accident
- I chanced on this letter.
- I am dumb.
- Were you the doctor, and I knew you not?
- Were you the clerk that is to make me cuckold?
Nerissa311 - 312
- Ay, but the clerk that never means to do it,
- Unless he live until he be a man.
Bassanio313 - 314
- Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow—
- When I am absent, then lie with my wife.
Antonio315 - 317
- Sweet lady, you have given me life and living,
- For here I read for certain that my ships
- Are safely come to road.
Portia318 - 319
- How now, Lorenzo?
- My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.
Nerissa320 - 323
- Ay, and I’ll give them him without a fee.
- There do I give to you and Jessica,
- From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
- After his death, of all he dies possess’d of.
Lorenzo324 - 325
- Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
- Of starved people.
Portia326 - 330
- It is almost morning,
- And yet I am sure you are not satisfied
- Of these events at full. Let us go in,
- And charge us there upon inter’gatories,
- And we will answer all things faithfully.
Gratiano331 - 338
- Let it be so. The first inter’gatory
- That my Nerissa shall be sworn on is,
- Whether till the next night she had rather stay,
- Or go to bed now, being two hours to day.
- But were the day come, I should wish it dark
- Till I were couching with the doctor’s clerk.
- Well, while I live I’ll fear no other thing
- So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa’s ring.