The Merchant of Venice

by: William Shakespeare

Act IV, scene i

1
I do oppose
My patience to his fury, and am armed
To suffer with a quietness of sprit
The very tyranny and rage of his. (IV.i.)
2
Some men there are love not a gaping pig,
Some that are mad if they behold a cat,
And others, when the bagpipe sings i’ th’ nose,
Cannot contain their urine; for affection
Masters oft passion, sways it to the mood
Of what it likes or loathes. (IV.i.)
3
Hates any man the thing he would not kill? (IV.i.)
4
I pray you, think you question with the Jew.
You may as well go stand upon the beach
And bid the main flood bate his usual height; (IV.i.)
5
You have among you many a purchased slave,
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 seasoned with such viands”? You will answer
“The slaves are ours!” so do I answer you:
The pound of flesh which I demand of him
Is dearly bought; ‘tis mine and I will have it. (IV.i.)
6
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown.
His scepter 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 sceptered 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. (IV.i.)
7
Grieve not that I am fall’n to this for you,
For herein Fortune shower herself more kind
Than is her custom: it is still her use
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow
An age of poverty, from which ling’ring penance
Of such misery she cut me off. (IV.i.)
8
Antonio, I am married to a wife
Which is as dear to me as life itself,
But life itself, my wife, and all the world
Are not esteemed above thy life. (IV.i.)
9
You take my house when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house; you take my life
When you do take the means whereby I live. (IV.i.)
10
I am content. (IV.i.)
11
You taught me first to beg, and now methinks
You teach me how a beggar should be answered. (IV.i.)
12
My Lord Bassanio, let him have the ring
Let his deservings and my love withal
Be valued ‘gainst your wife’s commandment. (IV.i.)