Artboard Created with Sketch. Close Search Dialog

The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 19

Original Text

Modern Text

BASSANIO

430There’s more depends on this than on the value.
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
And find it out by proclamation.
Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.

BASSANIO

There’s more to this ring than its cash value. I’ll give you the most expensive ring in Venice, and I’ll make a public announcement to help me find it. But as for this ring, please excuse me.

PORTIA

I see, sir, you are liberal in offers.
435You taught me first to beg, and now methinks
You teach me how a beggar should be answered.

PORTIA

I see you like to make big offers, sir. First you taught me how to beg, and now I think you’re teaching me how a beggar should be answered.

BASSANIO

Good sir, this ring was given me by my wife.
And when she put it on, she made me vow
That I should neither sell nor give nor lose it.

BASSANIO

Good sir, this ring was given to me by my wife. When she put it on my finger, she made me swear never to sell it, give it away, or lose it.

PORTIA

440That ’scuse serves many men to save their gifts.
An if your wife be not a madwoman,
And know how well I have deserved the ring,
She would not hold out enemy forever
For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you.

PORTIA

Many men use that excuse to avoid giving gifts. If your wife’s not a madwoman, and you tell her how much I deserve this ring, she won’t stay angry at you forever if you give it to me. Well, anyway, goodbye.
Exeunt PORTIA and NERISSA
PORTIA and NERISSA exit.

ANTONIO

445My Lord Bassanio, let him have the ring.
Let his deservings and my love withal
Be valued against your wife’s commandment.

ANTONIO

Bassanio, let him have the ring. Consider how much he deserves it, and weigh that, along with my friendship, against your wife’s order.

BASSANIO

(giving GRATIANO the ring)
Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him.
450Give him the ring and bring him, if thou canst,
Unto Antonio’s house. Away, make haste.

BASSANIO

(he gives GRATIANO the ring) Go, Gratiano, run and catch up with him. Give him the ring, and take him to Antonio’s house if you can. Go quickly.
Exit GRATIANO
GRATIANO exits.
Come, you and I will thither presently.
And in the morning early will we both
Fly toward Belmont. Come, Antonio.
Come on, you and I will go soon. Early in the morning we’ll both rush to Belmont. Come on, Antonio.
Exeunt
They exit.