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The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare

  Act 3 Scene 5

page Act 3 Scene 5 Page 4

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JESSICA

Past all expressing. It is very meet
The Lord Bassanio live an upright life,
For having such a blessing in his lady,
60He finds the joys of heaven here on earth.
And if on earth he do not merit it,
In reason he should never come to heaven.
Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match
And on the wager lay two earthly women,
65And Portia one, there must be something else
Pawned with the other, for the poor rude world
Hath not her fellow.

JESSICA

I like her more than I can say. Bassanio should live an upstanding life because having a wife like Portia is a blessing. It’s as if he found heaven here on earth. And if he doesn’t deserve this joy on earth, he’ll never deserve it in heaven. Imagine what would happen if two gods in heaven made a bet. If one of them used Portia as his stake, the other god would have a hard time coming up with a human woman to match her value. The poor rude world doesn’t have her equal.

LORENZO

   Even such a husband
Hast thou of me as she is for a wife.

LORENZO

As good a wife as she is, that’s how good a husband I am to you.

JESSICA

Nay, but ask my opinion too of that!

JESSICA

I’ll be the judge of that!

LORENZO

70I will anon. First let us go to dinner.

LORENZO

I’ll give you a chance to judge later. First let’s go to dinner.

JESSICA

Nay, let me praise you while I have a stomach.

JESSICA

No, let me say some good things about you while I’m in the mood.

LORENZO

No, pray thee, let it serve for table talk.
Then howsome'er thou speak’st ’mong other things
I shall digest it.

LORENZO

No, please, save it for dinner conversation. That way, no matter what you say, I’ll digest it with everything else.

JESSICA

   Well, I’ll set you forth.

JESSICA

In that case I’ll serve you up like a dish of food.
Exeunt
They exit.