A line-by-line translation

The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter LORENZO and JESSICA

LORENZO

The moon shines bright. In such a night as this, When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees And they did make no noise, in such a night Troilus methinks mounted the Trojan walls And sighed his soul toward the Grecian tents Where Cressid lay that night.

LORENZO

The moon is shining bright. On a night just like this one, when the sweet wind was gently kissing the trees and the branches weren't making any noise, on this kind of a night I think Troilus climbed the Trojan walls and sighed, looking toward the Greek tents where Cressida was sleeping that night.

JESSICA

In such a nightDid Thisbe fearfully o'ertrip the dewAnd saw the lion’s shadow ere himselfAnd ran dismayed away.

JESSICA

On this kind of night, Thisbe fearfully looked and saw the shadow of a lion and ran away, frightened.

LORENZO

In such a night Stood Dido with a willow in her handUpon the wild sea banks, and waft her loveTo come again to Carthage.

LORENZO

On a night like this, Dido stood on the shore by the wild sea with a willow branch in her hand, trying to get her lover to come back to Carthage.

JESSICA

In such a nightMedea gathered the enchanted herbsThat did renew old Æson.

JESSICA

On a night like this, Medea gathered the magical herbs that made old Aeson young again.

LORENZO

In such a night Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew,And with an unthrift love did run from VeniceAs far as Belmont.

LORENZO

And on a night like this, Jessica ran away from the wealthy Jew and ran from Venice as far as Belmont with her lover, who squanders money.

JESSICA

In such a nightDid young Lorenzo swear he loved her well,Stealing her soul with many vows of faith,And ne'er a true one.

JESSICA

On a night like this, young Lorenzo swore he loved Jessica well, and stole her soul with many vows of his faithfulness, but not one vow was true.

LORENZO

In such a nightDid pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,Slander her love, and he forgave it her.

LORENZO

On a night like this, pretty Jessica slandered her lover like a little shrew, and he forgave her for it.

JESSICA

I would outnight you, did nobody come.But, hark, I hear the footing of a man.

JESSICA

I would get the better of you with this back-and-forth, if no one were coming. But listen, I hear the footsteps of a man.

Enter STEPHANO, a messenger

LORENZO

Who comes so fast in silence of the night?

LORENZO

Who's there, coming so quickly on this silent night?

STEPHANO

A friend.

STEPHANO

A friend.

LORENZO

A friend? What friend? Your name, I pray you, friend?

LORENZO

A friend? What friend? Tell me your name, please, friend.

STEPHANO

Stephano is my name, and I bring word My mistress will before the break of day Be here at Belmont. She doth stray about By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays For happy wedlock hours.

STEPHANO

My name is Stephano, and I bring word that my mistress will be here at Belmont before the break of day. She is meandering her way here, stopping at holy crosses to kneel and pray for a happy marriage. 

LORENZO

Who comes with her?

LORENZO

Who comes with her?

STEPHANO

None but a holy hermit and her maid.I pray you, is my master yet returned?

STEPHANO

Just her maid and a holy hermit. If I may, has my master returned yet?

LORENZO

He is not, nor we have not heard from him.— But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica, And ceremoniously let us prepare Some welcome for the mistress of the house.

LORENZO

No, he hasn't, and we haven't heard from him. But let's go inside, please, Jessica, and let's prepare a formal welcome for the mistress of the house.

Enter LAUNCELOT the clown

LAUNCELOT

Sola, sola! Wo, ha, ho! Sola, sola!

LAUNCELOT

Hey, hey! Hey there! Hey, hey!

LORENZO

Who calls?

LORENZO

Who's calling?

LAUNCELOT

Sola! Did you see Master Lorenzo? Master Lorenzo, sola,sola!

LAUNCELOT

Hey! Have you seen Master Lorenzo? Master Lorenzo, hey, hey!

LORENZO

Leave holloaing, man. Here.

LORENZO

Stop shouting, man. He's right here.

LAUNCELOT

Sola! Where, where?

LAUNCELOT

Hey! Where, where is he?

LORENZO

Here.

LORENZO

Here.

LAUNCELOT

Tell him there’s a post come from my master with his horn full of good news. My master will be here ere morning.

LAUNCELOT

Tell him there's a letter from my master for him full of good news. My master will be here before morning.

Exit LAUNCELOT

LORENZO

Sweet soul, let’s in, and there expect their coming. And yet no matter. Why should we go in?— My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you, Within the house, your mistress is at hand. And bring your music forth into the air.

LORENZO

Sweetie, let's go inside and wait for their arrival. Then again, what does it matter? Why should we go inside? My friend Stephano, please go into the house and announce that your mistress is on her way. And bring the musicians here outside.

Exit STEPHANO

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 patens of bright gold. There’s not the smallest orb which thou behold’st But in his motion like an angel sings, Still choiring to the young-eyed cherubins. Such harmony is in immortal souls, But whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.

How sweet the moonlight shines on this bank! We will sit here and let the sounds of music slip into our ears. This soft stillness and night are perfect for some sweet harmony. Sit down, Jessica. Look how the sky, which is like the floor of heaven, is inlaid with bright gold stars. All the little orbs that you see up in the sky are like angels singing to the young cherubs in a choir. That same kind of harmony is in our immortal souls, but while our souls are enclosed in our mortal, deacaying bodies, we can't hear it.

Enter musicians

Come ho, and wake Diana with a hymn!With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,And draw her home with music.

Come now, and wake up the moon with your song! Pierce your mistress's ear with sweet touches and draw her home with music.

Play music

JESSICA

I am never merry when I hear sweet music.

JESSICA

I am never cheerful when I hear sweet music.

LORENZO

The reason is your spirits are attentive. For do but note a wild and wanton herd, Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud, Which is the hot condition of their blood— If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, Or any air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Their savage eyes turned to a modest gaze By the sweet power of music. Therefore the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods Since naught 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. Mark the music.

LORENZO

That's because your spirit is busy paying attention to the music. Take the example of a wild, wandering herd, or a bunch of untrained young horses, running around, bellowing and neighing loudly, as they naturally do. If they happen to hear a trumpet play or any music, you would see them all stand still and their savage eyes would be turned into a modest gaze by the sweet power of music. That's why the Roman poet Ovid wrote that the musician Orpheus made trees, stones, and bodies of water follow him, because there's nothing hard or strong enough not to be changed by music. Any man who is not himself musical and is not moved by harmonious, sweet sounds is prone to commit treason, make tricky plots, and steal things. His spirit is dull and he has an affinity for things dark as hell. Don't trust a man like that. Listen to the music.

Enter PORTIA and NERISSA

PORTIA

That light we see is burning in my hall.How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

PORTIA

That light we can see is coming from my hall. How far that little candle can throw its beams of light! A good deed done in an evil world is like such a little candle, shining in the dark.

NERISSA

When the moon shone we did not see the candle.

NERISSA

While the moon was shining, we couldn't see the candle.

PORTIA

So doth the greater glory dim the less. A substitute shines brightly as a king Until a king be by, and then his state Empties itself, as doth an inland brook Into the main of waters. Music, hark.

PORTIA

That's like how greater glory dims lesser glory. A substitute shines as brightly as a king until a king is nearby, and then he's outshined. Listen, there's music.

NERISSA

It is your music, madam, of the house.

NERISSA

It's music coming from your house, madam.

PORTIA

Nothing is good, I see, without respect.Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.

PORTIA

Nothing is good, I see now, outside of the proper context. I think this music sounds much sweeter now than when played during the day.

NERISSA

Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.

NERISSA

The silence of the night makes it better, madam.

PORTIA

The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark When neither is attended, and I think The nightingale, if she should sing by day When every goose is cackling, would be thought No better a musician than the wren. How many things by season seasoned are To their right praise and true perfection! Peace! How the moon sleeps with Endymion And would not be awaked.

PORTIA

The crow sings as sweetly as the lark when no one's paying attention to them, and I think that if the nightingale sang during the day while all the geese were cackling, people would think it sounded no better than a wren. So many things are made perfect and as they should be by good timing! But quiet. Look how the moon won't be awakened. It must be sleeping with Endymion.

Music ceases

LORENZO

That is the voice, Or I am much deceived, of Portia.

LORENZO

Unless I'm wrong, that's the voice of Portia.

PORTIA

He knows me as the blind man knows the cuckoo—By the bad voice.

PORTIA

He knows me the same way a blind man knows a cuckoo—from its bad voice.

LORENZO

Dear lady, welcome home.

LORENZO

Dear lady, welcome back home.

PORTIA

We have been praying for our husbands' welfare,Which speed, we hope, the better for our words.Are they returned?

PORTIA

We have been praying for our husbands' welfare and we hope our prayers have sped them up. Have our husbands returned yet?

LORENZO

Madam, they are not yet,But there is come a messenger beforeTo signify their coming.

LORENZO

They haven't yet, madam, but there was just a messenger here who told us that they are coming.

PORTIA

Go in, Nerissa. Give order to my servants that they take No note at all of our being absent hence.— Nor you, Lorenzo.—Jessica, nor you.

PORTIA

Go inside, Nerissa. Order my servants not to give any sign of the fact that we have been gone. And don't you say anything about it, Lorenzo. Or you, Jessica.

A tucket sounds

LORENZO

Your husband is at hand. I hear his trumpet.We are no tell-tales, madam. Fear you not.

LORENZO

Your husband is coming. I hear his trumpet. We aren't tattletales, madam. Don't worry.

PORTIA

This night methinks is but the daylight sick.It looks a little paler. 'Tis a day Such as the day is when the sun is hid.

PORTIA

This night, I think, is just the daytime only sick—it looks a little pale. It's like a day when the sun is behind some clouds.

Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and their followers

BASSANIO

[to PORTIA] We should hold day with the Antipodes,If you would walk in absence of the sun.

BASSANIO

[To PORTIA] If you want to walk around when the sun's not out, it would be as if we were having daytime at the same time as the opposite side of the world.

PORTIA

Let me give light, but let me not be light. For a light wife doth make a heavy husband, And never be Bassanio so for me. But God sort all! You are welcome home, my lord.

PORTIA

Let me give light, but let me not be light with my morals. That kind of a light wife makes her husband heavy with worry. And I never want Bassanio to be like that for me. But it's all up to God! Welcome home, my lord.

BASSANIO

I thank you, madam. Give welcome to my friend.This is the man, this is Antonio,To whom I am so infinitely bound.

BASSANIO

Thank you, madam. Welcome my friend here. This is the man, this is Antonio, to whom I owe so much.

PORTIA

You should in all sense be much bound to him.For as I hear he was much bound for you.

PORTIA

You owe him being all tied up and arrested, since I hear he was tied up for you.

ANTONIO

No more than I am well acquitted of.

ANTONIO

But I have been well compensated for that.

PORTIA

Sir, you are very welcome to our house.It must appear in other ways than words, Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.

PORTIA

Sir, you are very welcome to our house. I must welcome you in ways other than words, so I will stop speaking such courtesies.

GRATIANO

[to NERISSA] By yonder moon I swear you do me wrong. In faith, I gave it to the judge’s clerk. Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.

GRATIANO

[To NERISSA] By the moon there I swear you are doing me wrong. Honestly, I gave it to the judge's clerk. Damn him for that, because this is really upsetting you, my love.

PORTIA

A quarrel, ho, already? What’s the matter?

PORTIA

A lovers' quarrel already? What's the matter?

GRATIANO

About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring That she did give me, whose posy was For all the world like cutler’s poetry Upon a knife, “Love me and leave me not.”

GRATIANO

It's over a hoop of gold, a little ring she gave me with some writing carved on it, the poetry of a knife-maker, saying, "Love me and don't leave me."

NERISSA

What talk you of the posy or the value? You swore to me when I did give it you That you would wear it till your hour of death, And that it should lie with you in your grave. Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, You should have been respective and have kept it. Gave it a judge’s clerk! No, God’s my judge. The clerk will ne'er wear hair on ’s face that had it.

NERISSA

Why are you talking about the inscription or the value of the ring? You swore to me when I gave it to you that you would wear it until you died, and that it would lie in your grave with you. You should have kept it and respected at least me, if not your strong oaths. You gave it to a judge's clerk! No, with God as my witness, I bet whoever you gave it to had no beard.

GRATIANO

He will, an if he live to be a man.

GRATIANO

He will have one, if he lives long enough to grow into a man.

NERISSA

Ay, if a woman live to be a man.

NERISSA

Yes, if a woman can grow into a man.

GRATIANO

Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth, A kind of boy, a little scrubbèd boy No higher than thyself, the judge’s clerk, A prating boy that begged it as a fee. I could not for my heart deny it him.

GRATIANO

I swear by my hand that I gave it to a young man, a boy, a little boy no taller than you, the judge's clerk, a talkative boy who begged for it as payment. My heart couldn't bear denying him the ring.

PORTIA

You were to blame, I must be plain with you, To part so slightly with your wife’s first gift, A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger And so riveted with faith unto your flesh. I gave my love a ring and made him swear Never to part with it. And here he stands. I dare be sworn for him he would not leave it Nor pluck it from his finger for the wealth That the world masters. Now in faith, Gratiano, You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief. An ’twere to me, I should be mad at it.

PORTIA

I have to say, you are to blame for giving up your wife's first gift to you so easily, something stuck on your finger with oaths and riveted onto your flesh with good faith. I gave my husband a ring and made him swear never to lose it. And here he stands. I daresay I'd swear on his behalf that he would not leave it or take it off his finger for all the money in the world. Now, really, Gratiano, you are giving your wife cause for grief. If I were in her place, I'd be mad about it, too.

BASSANIO

[aside] Why, I were best to cut my left hand offAnd swear I lost the ring defending it.

BASSANIO

[To himself] I'd be better off cutting off my left hand and swearing that I lost the ring while trying to defend it.

GRATIANO

My Lord Bassanio gave his ring away Unto the judge that begged it and indeed Deserved it too. And then the boy, his clerk, That took some pains in writing, he begged mine. And neither man nor master would take aught But the two rings.

GRATIANO

My lord Bassanio gave his ring away to the judge that begged for it and, indeed, deserved it, too. And then the boy, the judge's clerk, who went through a lot of trouble writing things, begged for my ring. Neither the judge nor his clerk would take anything but the two rings.

PORTIA

What ring gave you my lord?Not that, I hope, which you received of me.

PORTIA

What ring did you give him, my lord? I hope not the one you got from me.

BASSANIO

If I could add a lie unto a faultI would deny it. but you see my fingerHath not the ring upon it. It is gone.

BASSANIO

If I were able to top off my mistake with a lie, I'd deny it, but you can see that my finger doesn't have the ring on it. It is gone.

PORTIA

Even so void is your false heart of truth.By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bedUntil I see the ring.

PORTIA

Your false heart lacks truth just like your finger lacks the ring. By heaven, I will never go to bed with you until I see the ring.

NERISSA

[to GRATIANO] Nor I in yoursTill I again see mine.

NERISSA

[To GRATIANO] And I will never go to bed with you until I see my ring again.

BASSANIO

Sweet Portia, If you did know to whom I gave the ring, If you did know for whom I gave the ring, And would conceive for what I gave the ring, And how unwillingly I left the ring When naught would be accepted but the ring, You would abate the strength of your displeasure.

BASSANIO

Sweet Portia, if you knew to whom and for whom and for what reason I gave the ring, and if you knew how unwillingly I parted with it when the man accepted no gift other than the ring, you wouldn't be so upset.

PORTIA

If you had known the virtue of the ring, Or half her worthiness that gave the ring, Or your own honor to contain the ring, You would not then have parted with the ring. What man is there so much unreasonable, If you had pleased to have defended it With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty To urge the thing held as a ceremony? Nerissa teaches me what to believe. I’ll die for ’t but some woman had the ring.

PORTIA

If you had known the virtue of the ring, or if you had realized half the worth of the woman who gave it to you, or if you had thought about your own honor in keeping the ring, then you would not have given the ring away. What kind of unreasonable man would have been so immodest as to demand it as a gift if you had defended it with any zeal? I will follow Nerissa's example. I'll bet my life that you gave it to some woman.

BASSANIO

No, by my honor, madam, by my soul, No woman had it but a civil doctor, Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me And begged the ring, the which I did deny him And suffered him to go displeased away— Even he that did uphold the very life Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady? I was enforced to send it after him. I was beset with shame and courtesy. My honor would not let ingratitude So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady, For by these blessèd candles of the night, Had you been there I think you would have begged The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.

BASSANIO

No, I swear by my honor, madam, by my soul, I didn't give it to a woman, but rather to a doctor of law. He refused an offer of three thousand ducats and begged for the ring, which I refused to give him. I even let him go away all displeased. And he is the one who saved my dear friend's life. What should I say, sweet lady? I was compelled to send the ring after him. I felt compelled by shame and courtesy. My honor would not let me show such ingratitude to the man. Pardon me, good lady. I swear by these blessed stars that if you were there you yourself would have begged me to give the ring to the worthy lawyer.

PORTIA

Let not that doctor e'er come near my house! Since he hath got the jewel that I loved, And that which you did swear to keep for me, I will become as liberal as you. I’ll not deny him anything I have, No, not my body, nor my husband’s bed. Know him I shall, I am well sure of it. Lie not a night from home. Watch me like Argus. If you do not, if I be left alone, Now, by mine honor—which is yet mine own— I’ll have that doctor for my bedfellow.

PORTIA

I hope that lawyer never comes near my house! Since he got the jewel that I loved and that you swore to keep for me, I will become as generous as you. If he comes around, I won't deny him anything I have. No, not my body, not even my marriage bed. I'll know who he is, I'm sure. You'd better not spend a single night away from home. Watch me like the god Argus, with his hundred eyes. If not, if you leave me alone, I swear by my honor (which is still mine) that I'll sleep with that lawyer.

NERISSA

[to GRATIANO] And I his clerk. Therefore be well advisedHow you do leave me to mine own protection.

NERISSA

[To GRATIANO] And I'll sleep with his clerk. So be wary of leaving me to my own ways.

GRATIANO

Well, do you so, let not me take him then.For if I do I’ll mar the young clerk’s pen.

GRATIANO

Well, go ahead, but don't let me catch him. If that happens, I'll break the clerk's pen.

ANTONIO

I am th' unhappy subject of these quarrels.

ANTONIO

All this unhappy quarreling is because of me.

PORTIA

Sir, grieve not you. You are welcome notwithstanding.

PORTIA

Sir, don't worry. You are welcome here regardless.

BASSANIO

Portia, forgive me this enforcèd wrong, And in the hearing of these many friends I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes Wherein I see myself—

BASSANIO

Portia, forgive me for this mistake that I was forced into. In front of our friends I swear to you by your own beautiful eyes in which I can see my image—

PORTIA

Mark you but that! In both my eyes he doubly sees himself— In each eye, one. Swear by your double self, And there’s an oath of credit!

PORTIA

Listen to that! In both my eyes he sees two images of himself, one in each eye. If you swear by your double self, then that will be a serious oath!

BASSANIO

Nay, but hear me.Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swearI never more will break an oath with thee.

BASSANIO

Listen to me. Pardon me for this and by my soul I swear I will never break another promise to you.

ANTONIO

I once did lend my body for his wealth, Which but for him that had your husband’s ring Had quite miscarried. I dare be bound again, My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord Will never more break faith advisedly.

ANTONIO

Once I put my body in danger to get him money, and that arrangement would not have gone well if it wasn't for the man who now has your husband's ring. I dare to risk something again: I'll wager my soul that your husband will never again break a promise to you.

PORTIA

[giving ANTONIO a ring] Then you shall be his surety. Give him this,And bid him keep it better than the other.

PORTIA

[She gives ANTONIO a ring] Then you will vouch for him. Give him this ring, and tell him to hold onto it better than the last one.

ANTONIO

[giving BASSANIO PORTIA's ring] Here, Lord Bassanio. Swear to keep this ring.

ANTONIO

[He gives the ring to BASSANIO] Here, Lord Bassanio. Swear that you will keep this ring.

BASSANIO

By heaven, it is the same I gave the doctor!

BASSANIO

By heaven, this is the same ring I gave to the lawyer!

PORTIA

I had it of him. Pardon me, Bassanio,For by this ring, the doctor lay with me.

PORTIA

He gave it to me. Forgive me, Bassanio, because I slept with the lawyer for the ring.

NERISSA

[taking out a ring] And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano, For that same scrubbèd boy, the doctor’s clerk,In lieu of this, last night did lie with me.

NERISSA

[She takes out a ring] And forgive me, my gentle Gratiano, because I slept with that same young boy, the lawyer's clerk, in return for this ring last night.

GRATIANO

Why, this is like the mending of highwaysIn summer where the ways are fair enough!What, are we cuckolds ere we have deserved it?

GRATIANO

This is like fixing highways in the summer when there's nothing wrong with them! We've been cheated on before we've even deserved it!

PORTIA

Speak not so grossly.—You are all amazed. [takes out a letter] Here is a letter. Read it at your leisure. It comes from Padua, from Bellario. There you shall find that Portia was the doctor, Nerissa there her clerk. Lorenzo here Shall witness I set forth as soon as you, And even but now returned. I have not yet Entered my house.—Antonio, you are welcome. And I have better news in store for you Than you expect. [gives ANTONIO another letter] Unseal this letter soon. There you shall find three of your argosies Are richly come to harbor suddenly. You shall not know by what strange accident I chancèd on this letter.

PORTIA

Don't speak like that. You are all shocked.

[She takes out a letter]
 Here is a letter. Read it when you can. It comes from Padua, from Bellario. In the letter you will learn that Portia was the lawyer and Nerissa was her clerk. Lorenzo will testify that I left here when you did and just got back now. I haven't even entered the house yet. Antonio, you are welcome here. And I have even better news in store for you than you expect.

[She gives Antonio another letter]
 Open this letter soon and you will read that three of your ships have suddenly come into harbor full of riches. You can't guess by what strange coincidence I happened upon this letter.

ANTONIO

I am dumb.

ANTONIO

I am flabbergasted.

BASSANIO

[to PORTIA] Were you the doctor and I knew you not?

BASSANIO

[To PORTIA] Were you the lawyer and I didn't recognize you?

GRATIANO

[to NERISSA] Were you the clerk that is to make me cuckold?

GRATIANO

[To NERISSA] Were you the clerk that supposedly slept with my wife?

NERISSA

Ay, but the clerk that never means to do itUnless he live until he be a man.

NERISSA

Yes, but the clerk will never sleep with your wife unless he becomes a man.

BASSANIO

[to PORTIA] Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow.When I am absent then lie with my wife.

BASSANIO

[To PORTIA] Sweet lawyer, you will share my bed tonight. And when I am gone, you sleep alongside my wife.

ANTONIO

Sweet lady, you have given me life and living.For here I read for certain that my shipsAre safely come to road.

ANTONIO

Sweet lady, you have given me life and a living. I read here for certain that my ships have safely returned.

PORTIA

How now, Lorenzo?My clerk hath some good comforts too for you.

PORTIA

How are you now, Lorenzo? My clerk has something good for you, too.

NERISSA

Ay, and I’ll give them him without a fee. [gives LORENZO a document] There do I give to you and Jessica, From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift, After his death of all he dies possessed of.

NERISSA

Yes, and I'll give it to you for free.

[She gives LORENZO a document]
 I am giving you and Jessica a will from the rich Jew. After he dies, all that he owns is yours.

LORENZO

Fair ladies, you drop manna in the wayOf starvèd people.

LORENZO

Fair ladies, it is as if you are giving blessed bread to starving people.

PORTIA

It is almost morning, And yet I am sure you are not satisfied Of these events at full. Let us go in, And charge us there upon interr'gatories, And we will answer all things faithfully.

PORTIA

It is almost morning, and yet I am sure you aren't completely satisfied with the story of these events. Let's go inside and there you can ask us more questions, and we will answer them all honestly.

GRATIANO

Let it be so. The first interrogatory That my Nerissa shall be sworn on is Whether till the next night she had rather stay, Or go to bed now, being two hours to day. But were the day come, I should wish it dark, That I were couching with the doctor’s clerk. Well, while I live I’ll fear no other thing So sore as keeping safe Nerissa’s ring.

GRATIANO

Let's do that. The first question that my Nerissa will have to answer is whether she would rather wait until the next night or just go to bed now, since it's daylight in two hours. But if the day should come, I would wish it were dark out, so that I could be sleeping with the lawyer's clerk. Well, as long as I live I'll worry about nothing else as much as about keeping Nerissa's ring safe.

Exeunt

The merchant of venice
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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.