The Merchant of Venice

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 3

page Act 3 Scene 3 Page 2

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ANTONIO

    Let him alone.
20I’ll follow him no more with bootless prayers.
He seeks my life. His reason well I know.
I oft delivered from his forfeitures
Many that have at times made moan to me.
Therefore he hates me.

ANTONIO

Leave him alone. I won’t follow him around with useless pleas anymore. He wants me dead. I know the real reason. I’ve often given money to people who were unable to pay back their loans to him. That’s why he hates me.

SOLANIO

    I am sure the duke
25Will never grant this forfeiture to hold.

SOLANIO

I’m sure the duke will never allow this contract to be enforced.

ANTONIO

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 his state,
30Since 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.—
35Well, jailer, on.—Pray God Bassanio come
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not.

ANTONIO

The duke can’t deny the law, because that would threaten the security of all foreign merchants in Venice, and that’s how the city makes its money. If the government disregards the law, it will be discredited. So go. I’ve lost so much weight worrying about my losses have that I’ll hardly have a pound of flesh to spare for my bloody creditor tomorrow.—Well, jailer, let’s go.—I hope to God that Bassanio comes to see me pay his debt. After that, I don’t care what happens.
Exeunt
They exit.