Venice. A street.
(Shylock; Solanio; Antonio; Jailer)
Antonio, guarded by a jailer, attempts to speak to Shylock, but the latter refuses to hear him and insists that he will have the promised forfeit. To Solanio’s reassurance that the Duke will never let Shylock get away with it, Antonio points out that he will have no choice, as Venice’s whole economy would collapse if the Duke simply disregards a lawful bond simply because he doesn’t like it. (39 lines)
Enter Shylock the Jew and Solanio and Antonio and the Jailer.
Jailer, look to him, tell not me of mercy.
This is the fool that lent out money gratis.
Jailer, look to him.
Hear me yet, good Shylock.
I’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 jailer, that thou art so fond
To come abroad with him at his request.
I pray thee hear me speak.
I’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-ey’d 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.
It is the most impenetrable cur
That ever kept with men.
Let him alone,
I’ll follow him no more with bootless prayers.
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.
I am sure the Duke
Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.
The 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 the state,
Since that the trade and profit of the city
Consisteth of all nations. Therefore go.
These griefs and losses have so bated me
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
Tomorrow to my bloody creditor.
Well, jailer, on. Pray God Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not!