The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare

Merchant of Venice: Act 3, Scene 1

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: 1,116
  • Genre: Tragedy
  • Keywords: 16th century literature, british literature, comedy, drama, merchant of venice, william shakespeare
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SCENE. Venice. A street


Now, what news on the Rialto?

Why, yet it lives there unchecked that Antonio hath a ship
of rich lading wrack'd on the narrow seas; the Goodwins, I think
they call the place, a very dangerous flat and fatal, where the
carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my
gossip Report be an honest woman of her word.

I would she were as lying a gossip in that as ever knapped
ginger or made her neighbours believe she wept for the death of a
third husband. But it is true,—without any slips of prolixity or
crossing the plain highway of talk,—that the good Antonio, the
honest Antonio,—O that I had a title good enough to keep his

Come, the full stop.

Ha! What sayest thou? Why, the end is, he hath lost a

I would it might prove the end of his losses.

Let me say 'amen' betimes, lest the devil cross my prayer,
for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.

(Enter SHYLOCK.)

How now, Shylock! What news among the merchants?

You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my
daughter's flight.

That's certain; I, for my part, knew the tailor that made
the wings she flew withal.

And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was fledged;
and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam.

She is damned for it.

That's certain, if the devil may be her judge.

My own flesh and blood to rebel!

Out upon it, old carrion! Rebels it at these years?

I say my daughter is my flesh and my blood.

There is more difference between thy flesh and hers than
between jet and ivory; more between your bloods than there is
between red wine and Rhenish. But tell us, do you hear whether
Antonio have had any loss at sea or no?

There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a prodigal,
who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto; a beggar, that used
to come so smug upon the mart; let him look to his bond: he
was wont to call me usurer; let him look to his bond: he was wont
to lend money for a Christian courtesy; let him look to his bond.

Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his
flesh: what's that good for?

To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will
feed my revenge. He hath disgrac'd me and hind'red me half a
million; laugh'd at my losses, mock'd at my gains, scorned my
nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine
enemies. And what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes?
Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections,
passions, fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons,
subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed
and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If
you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?
If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we
not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you
in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility?
Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance
be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villaiy you teach me
I will execute; and it shall go hard but I will better the

(Enter a Servant.)

Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house, and desires to
speak with you both.

We have been up and down to seek him.

(Enter TUBAL.)

Here comes another of the tribe: a third cannot be
match'd, unless the devil himself turn Jew.

(Exeunt SALANIO, SALARINO, and Servant.)

How now, Tubal! what news from Genoa? Hast thou found my

I often came where I did hear of her, but cannot find her.

Why there, there, there, there! A diamond gone, cost me
two thousand ducats in Frankfort! The curse never fell upon our
nation till now; I never felt it till now. Two thousand ducats in
that, and other precious, precious jewels. I would my daughter
were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear; would she were
hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin! No news of
them? Why, so: and I know not what's spent in the search. Why,
thou—loss upon loss! The thief gone with so much, and so much to
find the thief; and no satisfaction, no revenge; nor no ill luck
stirring but what lights on my shoulders; no sighs but of my
breathing; no tears but of my shedding.

Yes, other men have ill luck too. Antonio, as I heard in

What, what, what? Ill luck, ill luck?

—hath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis.

I thank God! I thank God! Is it true, is it true?

I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the wrack.

I thank thee, good Tubal. Good news, good news! ha, ha!
Where? in Genoa?

Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, one night,
fourscore ducats.

Thou stick'st a dagger in me: I shall never see my gold
again: fourscore ducats at a sitting! Fourscore ducats!

There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my company to
Venice that swear he cannot choose but break.

I am very glad of it; I'll plague him, I'll torture him; I
am glad of it.

One of them showed me a ring that he had of your daughter
for a monkey.

Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal: It was my
turquoise; I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor; I would not
have given it for a wilderness of monkeys.

But Antonio is certainly undone.

Nay, that's true; that's very true. Go, Tubal, fee me an
officer; bespeak him a fortnight before. I will have the heart of
him, if he forfeit; for, were he out of Venice, I can make what
merchandise I will. Go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue; go,
good Tubal; at our synagogue, Tubal.