Home
log out +

The Merchant of Venice: Act 5, Scene 1

The Merchant of Venice
Act 5, Scene 1

Scene 1

Belmont. Outside Portia’s house.

  1. Enter Lorenzo and Jessica.

Lorenzo

2 - 7
  1. The moon shines bright. In such a night as this,
  2. When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,
  3. And they did make no noise, in such a night
  4. Troilus methinks mounted the Troyan walls,
  5. And sigh’d his soul toward the Grecian tents,
  6. Where Cressid lay that night.

Jessica

8 - 11
  1.                               In such a night
  2. Did Thisby fearfully o’ertrip the dew,
  3. And saw the lion’s shadow ere himself,
  4. And ran dismayed away.

Lorenzo

12 - 15
  1.                        In such a night
  2. Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
  3. Upon the wild sea-banks, and waft her love
  4. To come again to Carthage.

Jessica

16 - 18
  1.                            In such a night
  2. Medea gathered the enchanted herbs
  3. That did renew old Aeson.

Lorenzo

19 - 22
  1.                           In such a night
  2. Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew,
  3. And with an unthrift love did run from Venice,
  4. As far as Belmont.

Jessica

23 - 26
  1.                    In such a night
  2. Did young Lorenzo swear he lov’d her well,
  3. Stealing her soul with many vows of faith,
  4. And ne’er a true one.

Lorenzo

27 - 29
  1.                       In such a night
  2. Did pretty Jessica (like a little shrew)
  3. Slander her love, and he forgave it her.

Jessica

30 - 31
  1. I would out-night you, did nobody come;
  2. But hark, I hear the footing of a man.
  1. Enter Stephano.

Lorenzo

33
  1. Who comes so fast in silence of the night?

Stephano

34
  1. A friend.

Lorenzo

35
  1. A friend! What friend? Your name, I pray you, friend?

Stephano

36 - 40
  1. Stephano is my name, and I bring word
  2. My mistress will before the break of day
  3. Be here at Belmont. She doth stray about
  4. By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays
  5. For happy wedlock hours.

Lorenzo

41
  1.                          Who comes with her?

Stephano

42 - 43
  1. None but a holy hermit and her maid.
  2. I pray you, is my master yet return’d?

Lorenzo

44 - 47
  1. He is not, nor we have not heard from him.
  2. But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica,
  3. And ceremoniously let us prepare
  4. Some welcome for the mistress of the house.
  1. Enter Clown Launcelot.

Launcelot

49
  1. Sola, sola! Wo ha, ho! Sola, sola!

Lorenzo

50
  1. Who calls?

Launcelot

51 - 52
  1. Sola! Did you see Master Lorenzo? Master Lorenzo, sola,
  2. sola!

Lorenzo

53
  1. Leave hollowing, manhere.

Launcelot

54
  1. Sola! Where, where?

Lorenzo

55
  1. Here!

Launcelot

56 - 57
  1. Tell him there’s a post come from my master, with his horn
  2. full of good news. My master will be here ere morning.
  1. Exit.

Lorenzo

59 - 80
  1. Sweet soul, let’s in, and there expect their coming.
  2. And yet no matter; why should we go in?
  3. My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you,
  4. Within the house, your mistress is at hand,
  5. And bring your music forth into the air.
  6. Exit Stephano.
  7. How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
  8. Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
  9. Creep in our ears. Soft stillness and the night
  10. Become the touches of sweet harmony.
  11. Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
  12. Is thick inlaid with patens of bright gold.
  13. There’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st
  14. But in his motion like an angel sings,
  15. Still quiring to the young-ey’d cherubins;
  16. Such harmony is in immortal souls,
  17. But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
  18. Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
  19. Enter Musicians.
  20. Come ho, and wake Diana with a hymn,
  21. With sweetest touches pierce your mistress’ ear,
  22. And draw her home with music.
  1. Play Music.

Jessica

82
  1. I am never merry when I hear sweet music.

Lorenzo

83 - 101
  1. The reason is, your spirits are attentive;
  2. For do but note a wild and wanton herd
  3. Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
  4. Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud,
  5. Which is the hot condition of their blood,
  6. If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
  7. Or any air of music touch their ears,
  8. You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
  9. Their savage eyes turn’d to a modest gaze,
  10. By the sweet power of music; therefore the poet
  11. Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods;
  12. Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
  13. But music for the time doth change his nature.
  14. The man that hath no music in himself,
  15. Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
  16. Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
  17. The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
  18. And his affections dark as Erebus
  19. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.
  1. Enter Portia and Nerissa.

Portia

103 - 105
  1. That light we see is burning in my hall.
  2. How far that little candle throws his beams!
  3. So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

Nerissa

106
  1. When the moon shone, we did not see the candle.

Portia

107 - 111
  1. So doth the greater glory dim the less:
  2. A substitute shines brightly as a king
  3. Until a king be by, and then his state
  4. Empties itself, as doth an inland brook
  5. Into the main of waters. Music, hark!

Nerissa

112
  1. It is your music, madam, of the house.

Portia

113 - 114
  1. Nothing is good, I see, without respect;
  2. Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.

Nerissa

115
  1. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.

Portia

116 - 124
  1. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark
  2. When neither is attended; and I think
  3. The nightingale, if she should sing by day
  4. When every goose is cackling, would be thought
  5. No better a musician than the wren.
  6. How many things by season season’d are
  7. To their right praise and true perfection!
  8. Peace ho! The Moon sleeps with Endymion,
  9. And would not be awak’d.
  1. Music ceases.

Lorenzo

126 - 127
  1.                          That is the voice,
  2. Or I am much deceiv’d, of Portia.

Portia

128 - 129
  1. He knows me as the blind man knows the cuckoo,
  2. By the bad voice!

Lorenzo

130
  1.                   Dear lady, welcome home!

Portia

131 - 133
  1. We have been praying for our husbands’ welfare,
  2. Which speed we hope the better for our words.
  3. Are they return’d?

Lorenzo

134 - 136
  1.                    Madam, they are not yet;
  2. But there is come a messenger before,
  3. To signify their coming.

Portia

137 - 140
  1.                          Go in, Nerissa.
  2. Give order to my servants that they take
  3. No note at all of our being absent hence
  4. Nor you, LorenzoJessica, nor you.
  1. A tucket sounds.

Lorenzo

142 - 143
  1. Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet.
  2. We are no tell-tales, madam, fear you not.

Portia

144 - 146
  1. This night methinks is but the daylight sick,
  2. It looks a little paler. ’Tis a day,
  3. Such as the day is when the sun is hid.
  1. Enter Bassanio, Antonio, Gratiano, and their Followers.

Bassanio

148 - 149
  1. We should hold day with the Antipodes,
  2. If you would walk in absence of the sun.

Portia

150 - 153
  1. Let me give light, but let me not be light,
  2. For a light wife doth make a heavy husband,
  3. And never be Bassanio so for me
  4. But God sort all! You are welcome home, my lord.

Bassanio

154 - 156
  1. I thank you, madam. Give welcome to my friend;
  2. This is the man, this is Antonio,
  3. To whom I am so infinitely bound.

Portia

157 - 158
  1. You should in all sense be much bound to him,
  2. For as I hear he was much bound for you.

Antonio

159
  1. No more than I am well acquitted of.

Portia

160 - 162
  1. Sir, you are very welcome to our house.
  2. It must appear in other ways than words,
  3. Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.

Gratiano

163 - 167
  1. To Nerissa.
  2. By yonder moon I swear you do me wrong;
  3. In faith, I gave it to the judge’s clerk.
  4. Would he were gelt that had it, for my part,
  5. Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.

Portia

168
  1. A quarrel ho already! What’s the matter?

Gratiano

169 - 172
  1. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring
  2. That she did give me, whose posy was
  3. For all the world like cutler’s poetry
  4. Upon a knife, Love me, and leave me not.”

Nerissa

173 - 180
  1. What talk you of the posy or the value?
  2. You swore to me, when I did give it you,
  3. That you would wear it till your hour of death,
  4. And that it should lie with you in your grave.
  5. Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
  6. You should have been respective and have kept it.
  7. Gave it a judge’s clerk! No, God’s my judge,
  8. The clerk will ne’er wear hair on ’s face that had it.

Gratiano

181
  1. He will, and if he live to be a man.

Nerissa

182
  1. Ay, if a woman live to be a man.

Gratiano

183 - 187
  1. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,
  2. A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy,
  3. No higher than thyself, the judge’s clerk,
  4. A prating boy, that begg’d it as a fee.
  5. I could not for my heart deny it him.

Portia

188 - 198
  1. You were to blame, I must be plain with you,
  2. To part so slightly with your wive’s first gift,
  3. A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
  4. And so riveted with faith unto your flesh.
  5. I gave my love a ring, and made him swear
  6. Never to part with it, and here he stands.
  7. I dare be sworn for him he would not leave it,
  8. Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth
  9. That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,
  10. You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief;
  11. And ’twere to me I should be mad at it.

Bassanio

199 - 201
  1. Aside.
  2. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
  3. And swear I lost the ring defending it.

Gratiano

202 - 207
  1. My Lord Bassanio gave his ring away
  2. Unto the judge that begg’d it, and indeed
  3. Deserv’d it too; and then the boy, his clerk,
  4. That took some pains in writing, he begg’d mine,
  5. And neither man nor master would take aught
  6. But the two rings.

Portia

208 - 209
  1.                    What ring gave you, my lord?
  2. Not that, I hope, which you receiv’d of me.

Bassanio

210 - 212
  1. If I could add a lie unto a fault,
  2. I would deny it; but you see my finger
  3. Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone.

Portia

213 - 215
  1. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
  2. By heaven, I will ne’er come in your bed
  3. Until I see the ring!

Nerissa

216 - 217
  1.                       Nor I in yours
  2. Till I again see mine!

Bassanio

218 - 224
  1.                        Sweet Portia,
  2. If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
  3. If you did know for whom I gave the ring,
  4. And would conceive for what I gave the ring,
  5. And how unwillingly I left the ring,
  6. When nought would be accepted but the ring,
  7. You would abate the strength of your displeasure.

Portia

225 - 234
  1. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
  2. Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,
  3. Or your own honor to contain the ring,
  4. You would not then have parted with the ring.
  5. What man is there so much unreasonable,
  6. If you had pleas’d to have defended it
  7. With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty
  8. To urge the thing held as a ceremony?
  9. Nerissa teaches me what to believe
  10. I’ll die for’t but some woman had the ring!

Bassanio

235 - 248
  1. No, by my honor, madam, by my soul,
  2. No woman had it, but a civil doctor,
  3. Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me,
  4. And begg’d the ring, the which I did deny him,
  5. And suffer’d him to go displeas’d away
  6. Even he that had held up the very life
  7. Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady?
  8. I was enforc’d to send it after him,
  9. I was beset with shame and courtesy,
  10. My honor would not let ingratitude
  11. So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady,
  12. For by these blessed candles of the night,
  13. Had you been there, I think you would have begg’d
  14. The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.

Portia

249 - 259
  1. Let not that doctor e’er come near my house.
  2. Since he hath got the jewel that I loved,
  3. And that which you did swear to keep for me,
  4. I will become as liberal as you,
  5. I’ll not deny him any thing I have,
  6. No, not my body nor my husband’s bed.
  7. Know him I shall, I am well sure of it.
  8. Lie not a night from home. Watch me like Argus;
  9. If you do not, if I be left alone,
  10. Now by mine honor, which is yet mine own,
  11. I’ll have that doctor for my bedfellow.

Nerissa

260 - 261
  1. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis’d
  2. How you do leave me to mine own protection.

Gratiano

262 - 263
  1. Well, do you so; let not me take him then,
  2. For if I do, I’ll mar the young clerk’s pen.

Antonio

264
  1. I am th’ unhappy subject of these quarrels.

Portia

265
  1. Sir, grieve not you, you are welcome notwithstanding.

Bassanio

266 - 269
  1. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong,
  2. And in the hearing of these many friends
  3. I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
  4. Wherein I see myself

Portia

270 - 273
  1.                       Mark you but that!
  2. In both my eyes he doubly sees himself,
  3. In each eye, one. Swear by your double self,
  4. And there’s an oath of credit.

Bassanio

274 - 276
  1.                                Nay, but hear me.
  2. Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear
  3. I never more will break an oath with thee.

Antonio

277 - 281
  1. I once did lend my body for his wealth,
  2. Which but for him that had your husband’s ring
  3. Had quite miscarried. I dare be bound again,
  4. My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord
  5. Will never more break faith advisedly.

Portia

282 - 283
  1. Then you shall be his surety. Give him this,
  2. And bid him keep it better than the other.

Antonio

284
  1. Here, Lord Bassanio, swear to keep this ring.

Bassanio

285
  1. By heaven, it is the same I gave the doctor!

Portia

286 - 287
  1. I had it of him. Pardon me, Bassanio,
  2. For by this ring, the doctor lay with me.

Nerissa

288 - 290
  1. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano,
  2. For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor’s clerk,
  3. In lieu of this last night did lie with me.

Gratiano

291 - 293
  1. Why, this is like the mending of highways
  2. In summer, where the ways are fair enough.
  3. What, are we cuckolds ere we have deserv’d it?

Portia

294 - 307
  1. Speak not so grossly, you are all amaz’d.
  2. Here is a letter, read it at your leisure.
  3. It comes from Padua, from Bellario.
  4. There you shall find that Portia was the doctor,
  5. Nerissa there her clerk. Lorenzo here
  6. Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
  7. And even but now return’d; I have not yet
  8. Enter’d my house. Antonio, you are welcome,
  9. And I have better news in store for you
  10. Than you expect. Unseal this letter soon;
  11. There you shall find three of your argosies
  12. Are richly come to harbor suddenly.
  13. You shall not know by what strange accident
  14. I chanced on this letter.

Antonio

308
  1.                           I am dumb.

Bassanio

309
  1. Were you the doctor, and I knew you not?

Gratiano

310
  1. Were you the clerk that is to make me cuckold?

Nerissa

311 - 312
  1. Ay, but the clerk that never means to do it,
  2. Unless he live until he be a man.

Bassanio

313 - 314
  1. Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow
  2. When I am absent, then lie with my wife.

Antonio

315 - 317
  1. Sweet lady, you have given me life and living,
  2. For here I read for certain that my ships
  3. Are safely come to road.

Portia

318 - 319
  1.                          How now, Lorenzo?
  2. My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.

Nerissa

320 - 323
  1. Ay, and I’ll give them him without a fee.
  2. There do I give to you and Jessica,
  3. From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
  4. After his death, of all he dies possess’d of.

Lorenzo

324 - 325
  1. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
  2. Of starved people.

Portia

326 - 330
  1.                    It is almost morning,
  2. And yet I am sure you are not satisfied
  3. Of these events at full. Let us go in,
  4. And charge us there upon inter’gatories,
  5. And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gratiano

331 - 338
  1. Let it be so. The first inter’gatory
  2. That my Nerissa shall be sworn on is,
  3. Whether till the next night she had rather stay,
  4. Or go to bed now, being two hours to day.
  5. But were the day come, I should wish it dark
  6. Till I were couching with the doctor’s clerk.
  7. Well, while I live I’ll fear no other thing
  8. So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa’s ring.
  1. Exeunt.
finis
© 2019 Unotate.comcontactprivacy policyCreative Commons text from PlayShakespeare.comAll illustrations are public domain or Creative CommonsHeader illustration by Byam ShawFinis illustration by Byam Shaw