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The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 3 Scene 2
No Fear Act 3 Scene 2 Page 11

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SALERIO

     Not one, my lord.
Besides, it should appear that if he had
280The present money to discharge the Jew,
He would not take it. Never did I know
A creature that did bear the shape of man
So keen and greedy to confound a man.
He plies the duke at morning and at night,
285And doth impeach the freedom of the state
If they deny him justice. Twenty merchants,
The duke himself, and the magnificoes
Of greatest port have all persuaded with him.
But none can drive him from the envious plea
290Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond.

SALERIO

Not one, my lord. Anyway, even if he had the money now, the Jew probably wouldn’t take it. I’ve never seen a creature with a human shape who was so eager to destroy a man. He’s at the duke’s morning and night, accusing the state of harming free trade if they deny him justice. Twenty merchants, the duke himself, and the highest-ranking Venetian nobles have all tried to persuade him to forget his contract, but nobody can do it. He’s determined to get the penalty specified in his contract with Antonio.

JESSICA

When I was with him I have heard him swear
To Tubal and to Chus, his countrymen,
That he would rather have Antonio’s flesh
Than twenty times the value of the sum
295That he did owe him. And I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and power deny not,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.

JESSICA

When I was still living with him I heard him swear to Tubal and Cush, his countrymen, that he’d rather have Antonio’s flesh than twenty times the sum Antonio owed. And I know that unless the law intervenes, it’ll be bad news for poor Antonio.

PORTIA

Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?

PORTIA

Is this your good friend who’s in so much trouble?

BASSANIO

The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
300The best conditioned and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies, and one in whom
The ancient Roman honor more appears
Than any that draws breath in Italy.

BASSANIO

Yes, he’s my best friend, the kindest man and most courteous to others. He’s more honorable than anyone else in Italy.

PORTIA

What sum owes he the Jew?

PORTIA

How much does he owe the Jew?

BASSANIO

305For me, three thousand ducats.

BASSANIO

Three thousand ducats.