The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare

Merchant of Venice: Act 2, Scene 5

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1597
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: England
  • Source: Shakespeare, W. (1597). The Merchant of Venice.New York: Sully and Kleinteich.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 11.0
  • Word Count: 481
  • Genre: Tragedy
  • Keywords: 16th century literature, british literature, comedy, drama, merchant of venice, william shakespeare
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SCENE. The same. Before SHYLOCK'S house


Well, thou shalt see; thy eyes shall be thy judge,
The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:—
What, Jessica!—Thou shalt not gormandize,
As thou hast done with me;—What, Jessica!—
And sleep and snore, and rend apparel out—
Why, Jessica, I say!

Why, Jessica!

Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.

Your worship was wont to tell me I could do nothing
without bidding.

(Enter JESSICA.)

Call you? What is your will?

I am bid forth to supper, Jessica:
There are my keys. But wherefore should I go?
I am not bid for love; they flatter me;
But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon
The prodigal Christian. Jessica, my girl,
Look to my house. I am right loath to go;
There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest,
For I did dream of money-bags to-night.

I beseech you, sir, go: my young master doth expect your

So do I his.

And they have conspired together; I will not say you
shall see a masque, but if you do, then it was not for nothing
that my nose fell a-bleeding on Black Monday last at six o'clock
i' the morning, falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four
year in the afternoon.

What! are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica:
Lock up my doors, and when you hear the drum,
And the vile squealing of the wry-neck'd fife,
Clamber not you up to the casements then,
Nor thrust your head into the public street
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces;
But stop my house's ears- I mean my casements;
Let not the sound of shallow fopp'ry enter
My sober house. By Jacob's staff, I swear
I have no mind of feasting forth to-night;
But I will go. Go you before me, sirrah;
Say I will come.

I will go before, sir. Mistress, look out at window for all this;
There will come a Christian by
Will be worth a Jewess' eye.


What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha?

His words were 'Farewell, mistress'; nothing else.

The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder;
Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
More than the wild-cat; drones hive not with me,
Therefore I part with him; and part with him
To one that I would have him help to waste
His borrow'd purse. Well, Jessica, go in;
Perhaps I will return immediately:
Do as I bid you, shut doors after you:
'Fast bind, fast find,'
A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.


Farewell; and if my fortune be not crost,
I have a father, you a daughter, lost.