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The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 1 Scene 2
No Fear Act 1 Scene 2 Page 5

Original Text

Modern Text

PORTIA

Yes, yes, it was Bassanio—as I think he was so called.

PORTIA

Yes, yes, that was Bassanio. I think that was his name.

NERISSA

True, madam. He, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.

NERISSA

Yes, madam, that’s the one. He deserves a beautiful wife more than all the other men I’ve ever seen.

PORTIA

I remember him well, and I remember him worthy of thy praise.

PORTIA

I remember him well, and my memory tells me that he deserves your praise.
Enter a SERVINGMAN
A SERVANT enters.
How now, what news?
Hello, do you have any news?

SERVINGMAN

The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave. And there is a forerunner come from a fifth, the Prince of Morocco, who brings word the prince his master will be here tonight.

SERVANT

The four suitors are looking for you so they can say goodbye, madam. And there’s a messenger representing a fifth one, the prince of Morocco, who says the prince will be here tonight.

PORTIA

If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good a heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his approach. If he have the condition of a saint and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come, Nerissa.—(to SERVANT) Sirrah, go before. Whiles we shut the gates upon one wooer Another knocks at the door.

PORTIA

If I could say hello to the fifth one as happily as I’ll say goodbye to the first four, I’d be very happy he’s coming. If he’s as good as a saint but is black like a devil, I’d rather he hear my confession than marry me. Let’s go, Nerissa.—(to the SERVANT) Go ahead. As soon as we shut the door on one suitor, another one starts knocking.
Exeunt
They exit.