A line-by-line translation

The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice Translation Act 2, Scene 5

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Enter SHYLOCK the Jew and his man LAUNCELOT that was the clown

SHYLOCK

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!

SHYLOCK

Well, you will see for yourself. You can be the judge of the difference between old Shylock and Bassanio.

[To JESSICA]
 Jessica!

[To LAUNCELOT]
 You won't be able to gorge yourself on food like you've done with me.

[To JESSIC
A] Jessica!

[To LAUNCELOT]
 And you won't be able to sleep and snore and wear out clothing.

[To Jessica]
 Jessica! I'm calling for you!

LAUNCELOT

Why, Jessica!

LAUNCELOT

Jessica!

SHYLOCK

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

SHYLOCK

Who told you to call for her? I didn't order you to do that.

LAUNCELOT

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

LAUNCELOT

You did often tell me not to do anything unless you ordered me to.

Enter JESSICA

JESSICA

Call you? What is your will?

JESSICA

You called? What do you want?

SHYLOCK

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 tonight.

SHYLOCK

I have been invited to a dinner, Jessica. Here are my keys. But then again, why should I go? They haven't invited me out of friendly affection. They're just trying to flatter me. Nonetheless, I'll go out of spite to eat that extravagant Christian's food. Jessica, my girl, look after the house. I am reluctant to leave it. There are bad things being stirred up for me, for I had a dream about money bags last night.

LAUNCELOT

I beseech you, sir, go. My young master doth expect your reproach.

LAUNCELOT

I beg you, sir, go to the dinner. My young master expects your reproach.

SHYLOCK

So do I his.

SHYLOCK

And I expect his.

LAUNCELOT

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' th' morning falling out that yearon Ash Wednesday was four year in th' afternoon.

LAUNCELOT

And they've been planning together. I'm not saying you will definitely see a masquerade party, but if you do then it really was a true omen when my nose started bleeding last Black Monday at six o'clock in the morning, just like Ash Wednesday four years ago in the afternoon.

SHYLOCK

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-necked fife, Clamber not you up to the casements then, Nor thrust your head into the public street To gaze on Christian fools with varnished faces. But stop my house’s ears—I mean my casements— Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter My sober house. By Jacob’s staff, I swear, I have no mind of feasting forth tonight. But I will go.—Go you before me, sirrah. Say I will come.

SHYLOCK

What, is there a masquerade party planned? Listen to me, Jessica. Lock up my doors, and when you hear the party drum and the vile squealing of the thin flute, don't look out of the balconies or put your head out into the street in order to look at the foolish Christians with masked faces. Shut up the windows and don't let the sound of their dumb celebration enter my sober house. By Jacob's staff I swear that I have no intention to feast and party tonight. But I will go to the dinner. Go ahead of me, Launcelot. Tell them I'm coming.

LAUNCELOT

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.

LAUNCELOT

I will go ahead, sir.

[To Jessica]
 Mistress, despite your father's warnings, look out of a window. You'll see a Christian come by who's worth your Jewish eye.

Exit LAUNCELOT

SHYLOCK

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

SHYLOCK

What did that foolish Christian tell you?

JESSICA

His words were, “Farewell, mistress.” Nothing else.

JESSICA

He said, "Farewell, mistress." Nothing else.

SHYLOCK

The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder, Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day More than the wildcat. Drones hive not with me. Therefore I part with him, and part with him To one that would have him help to waste His borrowed 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.

SHYLOCK

He's a nice enough fellow, but a voracious eater. He works as slowly as a snail and sleeps more than a cat during the day. I'll have worker bees only for my hive. So I'll let him go, and send him to go use up all that man's money, which he borrowed from me. Well, Jessica, go inside. Maybe I'll be back very soon. Do as I tell you. Shut all the doors after you. Keep safe what you want to keep, as they say. That saying is always on my thrifty mind.

Exit SHYLOCK

JESSICA

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

JESSICA

Goodbye, and if I have any good luck, soon I will have lost a father and you will have lost a daughter.

Exit

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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.