ACT III SCENE III

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The Merchant of Venice

 

ACT III SCENE IIIVenice. A street.
[Enter SHYLOCK, SALARINO, ANTONIO, and Gaoler]
SHYLOCKGaoler, look to him: tell not me of mercy;
This is the fool that lent out money gratis:
Gaoler, look to him.
ANTONIOHear me yet, good Shylock.
SHYLOCKI’ll have my bond; speak not against my bond:
I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond.
Thou call’dst me dog before thou hadst a cause;
But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs:
The duke shall grant me justice. I do wonder,
Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond
To come abroad with him at his request.10
ANTONIOI pray thee, hear me speak.
SHYLOCKI’ll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak:
I’ll have my bond; and therefore speak no more.
I’ll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool,
To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield
To Christian intercessors. Follow not;
I’ll have no speaking: I will have my bond.
[Exit]
SALARINOIt is the most impenetrable cur
That ever kept with men.
ANTONIOLet him alone:
I’ll follow him no more with bootless prayers.20
He seeks my life; his reason well I know:
I oft deliver’d from his forfeitures
Many that have at times made moan to me;
Therefore he hates me.
SALARINOI am sure the duke
Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.
ANTONIOThe duke cannot deny the course of law:
For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be denied,
Will much impeach the justice of his state;
Since that the trade and profit of the city30
Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go:
These griefs and losses have so bated me,
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
To-morrow to my bloody creditor.
Well, gaoler, on. Pray God, Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not!
[Exeunt]

Next: The Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Scene 4

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Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 3
From The Merchant of Venice. Ed. Felix E. Schelling. New York: American Book Co.

9. naughty, worthless.

9. fond, foolish.

14. dull-eyed, wanting in perception.

19. kept, associated.

23. made moan, complained.

25. grant this forfeiture to hold, allow it to hold good.

26. deny the course of law, refuse to let the law take its course.

27, 28. For the commodity that strangers have [that is the right to trade and the assurance of legal protection in their bargains] … if it [this right] be denied, it [this denial] will, etc. By others the word it is made to refer to the course of law, and a comma is placed after law, in line 26.

32. bated, reduced, lowered.

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How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice. Ed. Felix E. Schelling. New York: American Book Co., 1903.