Shakespeare's Comedy of the Merchant of Venice

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American Book Company, 1903 - Jews - 236 pages
In this lively comedy of love and money in sixteenth-century Venice, Bassanio wants to impress the wealthy heiress Portia but lacks the necessary funds. He turns to his merchant friend, Antonio, who is forced to borrow from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. When Antonio's business falters, repayment becomes impossible -- and by the terms of the loan agreement, Shylock is able to demand a pound of Antonio's flesh.

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Page 86 - 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 villany you teach me, I will execute ; and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
Page 40 - Let me play the fool : With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come, And let my liver rather heat with wine Than my heart cool with mortifying groans. Why should a man, whose blood is warm within, Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster?
Page 92 - There is no vice so simple but assumes Some mark of virtue on his outward parts: How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars, Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk; And these assume but valour's excrement To render them redoubted!
Page 117 - It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes : 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest ; it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown. His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings ; But mercy is above this sceptred sway : It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself, And earthly power doth then show likest God's, When mercy seasons justice.
Page 114 - Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules, You use in abject and in slavish parts, Because you bought them : — shall I say to you, Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ? Why sweat they under burdens ? let their beds Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates Be season'd with such viands ? You will answer, The slaves are ours...
Page 123 - Therefore, prepare thee to cut off the flesh. Shed thou no blood; nor cut thou less nor more, But just a pound of flesh ; If thou tak'st more, Or less than a just pound, — be it but so much As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance, Or the division of the twentieth part Of one poor scruple ; nay, if the scale do turn But in the estimation of a hair, — Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate.
Page 133 - Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage, But music for the time doth change his nature. The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils ; The motions of his spirit are dull as night And his affections dark as Erebus : Let no such man be trusted.
Page 53 - And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine, And all for use of that which is mine own. Well then, it now appears you need my help: Go to, then; you come to me, and you say 'Shylock, we would have moneys...
Page 86 - To bait fish withal : if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me of half a million ; laughed at my losses, mocked 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?
Page 132 - How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night Become the touches of sweet harmony. Sit, Jessica. Look, how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold; There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st But in his motion like an angel sings, Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins: Such harmony is in immortal souls; But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we...

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