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But yesterday, the word of Cæsar might

Against the world, Have stood against the world *-now lies he the Roman Empire, over which Cæsar

ruled, included nearly

known world.

None so poor, &c.,
even the
person is now

opinion to do honour
to Cæsar.

Cassius was a Roman noble, upon whom Cæsar bestowed great





And none so poor * as to do him reverence! the whole of the then O masters! if I were disposed to stir Your hearts and mind to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius* meanest too Who, you all know, are honourable men! high in his Own I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you, Than I will wrong such honourable men!— But here's a parchment with the seal of Cæsarhonours. He was the I found it in his closet *-'tis his will! author of the conspi- Let but the commons * hear his testamentracy to murder his benefactor. (Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read),And they will go and kiss dead Cæsar's wounds, 50 And dip their napkins in his sacred blood ; Yea, beg a hair of him for memory; And, dying, mention it within their wills, Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy,* Unto their issue ! *

Parchment, the skin of a sheep or Boat

prepared for writing


Closet, a



Commons, the com

mon people.

Legacy, anything left by will,

Issue, children, de.


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If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle. I remember
The first time that ever Cæsar put it on:
'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent-
That day he overcame the Nervii!
Look! in this place ran Cassius' dagger


See what a rent the envious Casca * made !—
Through this, the well-beloved Brutus stabbed!
And as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cæsar followed it!
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved*
If Brutus so unkindly knocked, or no ;-
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel!
Judge, O ye gods, how dearly Cæsar loved him!
This, this was the unkindest cut of all!
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' * arms,
Quite vanquished him. Then burst his mighty

And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statue *.
Which all the while ran blood !-great Cæsar

Oh! what a fall was there, my countrymen!
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down;






Whilst bloody treason* flourished over us!
80 Oh! now you weep, and I perceive you feel
The dint of pity: these are gracious drops!
Kind souls! what! weep you when you but

Our Cæsar's vesture wounded? look you here!
Here is himself-marred,* as you see, by
traitors !-

85 Good friends! sweet friends! let me not stir

you up

To such a sudden flood of mutiny!

They that have done this deed are honourable !
What private griefs they have, alas, I know

That made them do it: they are wise and

90 And will, no doubt, with reason answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts.
I am no orator,* as Brutus is;
But, as you know me all, a plain blunt * man,
That loves his friend-and that they know
full well


95 That gave me public leave to speak of him-
For I have neither wit,* nor words, nor worth,'
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men's blood: I only speak right on!
I tell you that which you yourselves do know;
100 Show you sweet Caesar's wounds, poor, poor
dumb mouths ! *

And bid them speak for me. But, were

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* are compared mouths having no


And Brutus Antony,* there were an Antony Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue In every wound of Cæsar, that should move 105 The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny!


power of speech.
And Brutus Antony,

&c. If Antony were
as clever a speaker
as Brutus, he would
so work upon their
feelings as to make
them instantly rise

up against the traitors who had so foully murdered their greatest benefactor.


BUT pleasures are like poppies * spread,
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed:
Or like the snow-fall in the river,

A moment white-then gone for ever:
Or like the borealis race,"


That flit ere you can point their place:
Or like the rainbow's lovely form,
Evanishing* amid the storm.

Poppy, a plant having large showy flow


Borealis race, here reference is made to the "Northern Lights."

Evanishing, disappearing.



Magnificoes were Enter the DUKE; the MAGNIFICOES ;* ANTONIO, BASSANIO, GRATIANO, SALARINO, SALANIO, and others.

the higher or

chief nobles of Venice.

Antonio, a young merchant, who used to lend money to distressed people

without receiving

any interest for


Adversary, an
Uncapable (now
written incap-

able), not being
able to pity.
Dram, the small-
est quantity.
To qualify, &c.,

to turn him from
his cruel inten-

tion. Rigorous, severe, stern, cruel. Obdurate, harsh, very cruel, stubborn.

The Jew, Shylock, who hated Antonio because the latter had often insulted him in the streets and

public places, and

found fault with him for lending money at a high

rate of interest. The world, those

interested in the matter; here means the people

of Venice

Where, whereas.

Duke. What, is Antonio * here?

Ant. Ready, so please your grace.

Duke. I am sorry for thee; thou art come to

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Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rigorous* course; but, since he stands obdurate,*
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury; and am arm'd
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.

Duke. Go one, and call the Jew* into the court.
Salan. He's ready at the door: he comes, my



Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our


Shylock, the world* thinks, and I think so too,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice
To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought,
Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty,

And, where* thou now exact'st the penalty,
Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,
Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture,

But, touch'd with human gentleness and love,

Moiety, portion. Forgive a moiety* of the principal,

Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,

That have of late brought down such ruin on him,

Venice was once an important commercial city.






It is situated on the islands at the

mouth of the river Po, in northern Italy. It has canals for streets, and above 300

bridges over them, the chief of which is the Rialto, built of white marble.

30 Enough to press a royal merchant* down. We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.

Royal merchant, the great Italian merchants who

Shy. I have possess'd* your grace of what I had claims on


And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn
To have the due and forfeit of my bond.*
35 If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter
You'll ask me why



and your city's freedom.*
I rather choose to have

A weight of carrion flesh than to receive
Three thousand ducats.* I'll not answer that,
humour. Is it answer'd?


But it is
What if my house be troubled with a rat,

And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats

To have it baned?* What, are you answer'd yet?
Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,

45 To excuse the current* of thy cruelty.

Shy. I am not bound to please thee with


Ant. I pray you, think you question with

You may as well go stand upon the beach,
And bid the main flood* bate* his usual height;
50 You may as well use question with the wolf



Why he hath made the ewe * bleat for the lamb,
As try to melt his Jewish heart to kindness.
Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here are six.
Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats
55 Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,

I would not draw them; I would have my bond.
Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering

Shy. What judgment* shall I dread, doing no

The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
60 Is dearly bought; 'tis mine, and I will have it :
If you deny me, fie upon your law !

There is no force in the decrees* of Venice:


I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it?

kingdoms, and sometimes acquired princi palities for themselves.

Possessed, informed.

Bond, a binding agreement.

Charter, that on which the laws were written. City's

freedom, the power to protect thefree rights of the citizens. Ducat, a silver coin, varying in value in different countries, so call

ed because coin.

ed in the domin

ions of a Duke.

A silver ducat is worth about 4s. 6d.; a gold one, twice as much. Baned, destroyed, poisoned. Current, course. Think you question with the Jew, remember you are dealing with a Jew who e heart is hardened against argument.

Main flood, the ocean, the rising tide.

Bate, to stop, low

er, or diminish. Ewe, a female sheep. Judgment, punishment,

Decrees, laws.
Judgment here
means a verdict.

Duke. Upon my power * I may dismiss this court, Upon my power,

65 Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,

Whom I have sent for to determine * this,
Come here to-day.


My lord, here stays without
A messenger with letters from the doctor,

70 New come from Padua.*

Duke. Bring us the letters; call the messenger.

on my authority. Determine, decide.

New, just now, this instant. Padua, an ancient city in Lombardy, about twenty miles from Venice.

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Bass. Good cheer, Antonio! What, man? courage

The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all,
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.



Ant. I am a tainted wether * of the flock,
Meetest for death; the weakest kind of fruit
Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me :
You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio,
Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.*

Enter NERISSA,* dressed like a lawyer's clerk.
Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario?
Ner. From both, my lord: Bellario greets your
[Presents a letter.



Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?
Shy. To cut the forfeiture * from that bankrupt



Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,
Thou mak'st thy knife keen: but no metal can,
No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness
Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?

Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.
Gra. O, for thy life let justice be accused.*
Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith,
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,*


That souls of animals infuse themselves

Into the trunks of men: for thy desires
Are wolfish, bloody, starved, and ravenous.





Shy. Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond, 95
Thou but offend'st* thy lungs to speak so loud:
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall


To cureless ruin.-I stand here for law.

Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
A young and learned doctor to our court :-
Where is he?


He attendeth here hard by,
To know your answer whether you'll admit him.
Duke. With all my heart :-some three or four of


Go give him cordial conduct to this place.

Enter PORTIA,* dressed like a doctor of laws.

Duke. Give me your hand. Came you from old


Por I did, my lord.



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