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The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 11

Original Text

Modern Text

PORTIA

For the intent and purpose of the law
Hath full relation to the penalty,
240Which here appeareth due upon the bond.

PORTIA

The law fully authorizes the penalty, which you have to pay according to the contract.

SHYLOCK

'Tis very true. O wise and upright judge!
How much more elder art thou than thy looks!

SHYLOCK

Very true. Oh wise judge! You’re so much older than you look!

PORTIA

(to ANTONIO) Therefore lay bare your bosom.

PORTIA

(to ANTONIO) So bare your chest.

SHYLOCK

     Ay, his breast.
So says the bond. Doth it not, noble judge?
245“Nearest his heart”—those are the very words.

SHYLOCK

Yes, his chest! That’s what the contract says, doesn’t it, judge? “Nearest his heart.”—Those are the very words.

PORTIA

It is so. Are there balance here to weigh
The flesh?

PORTIA

Yes. Is there a scale here to weigh the flesh?

SHYLOCK

   I have them ready.

SHYLOCK

I have it ready.

PORTIA

Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge,
To stop his wounds lest he do bleed to death.

PORTIA

Pay a surgeon to stand by and bind his wounds, Shylock, so he doesn’t bleed to death.

SHYLOCK

250Is it so nominated in the bond?

SHYLOCK

Is that called for in the contract?

PORTIA

It is not so expressed, but what of that?
'Twere good you do so much for charity.

PORTIA

Not explicitly, but so what? It wouldn’t hurt you to be charitable.

SHYLOCK

I cannot find it. 'Tis not in the bond.

SHYLOCK

I can’t find it. It’s not in the contract.

PORTIA

(to ANTONIO) You, merchant, have you any thing to say?

PORTIA

(to ANTONIO) You, merchant, do you have anything to say?

ANTONIO

255But little. I am armed and well prepared.—
Give me your hand, Bassanio. Fare you well.

ANTONIO

Not much. I’m ready and waiting.—Give me your hand, Bassanio. Goodbye.