The Merchant of Venice

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

    Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
100Oh, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!
Watch out, Bassanio. The devil can quote Scripture for his own use. An evil soul using a holy story is like a criminal who smiles at you. He looks like a good apple but he’s rotten at the core. Oh, liars can look so honest!
Three thousand ducats—’tis a good round sum.
Three months from twelve, then. Let me see. The rate—
Three thousand ducats. That’s a nice even sum. Three months from twelve months of the year. Let me see. The interest rate will be—
Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you?
Well, Shylock? Are you going to loan us the money?
Signor Antonio, many a time and oft
105In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances.
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug,
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
You call me misbeliever, cutthroat dog,
110And spet upon my Jewish gaberdine—
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then, it now appears you need my help.
Go to, then! You come to me and you say,
“Shylock, we would have moneys.” You say so!—
115You, that did void your rheum upon my beard
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold! Moneys is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
“Hath a dog money? Is it possible
120A cur can lend three thousand ducats?” Or
Shall I bend low and in a bondman’s key
With bated breath and whispering humbleness
Say this:
Signor Antonio, you’ve often insulted my money and my business practices in the Rialto. I have always just shrugged and put up with it because Jews are good at suffering. You called me a heathen, a dirty dog, and you spit on my Jewish clothes. And all because I use my own money to make a profit. And now it looks like you need my help. All right then. You come to me saying, “Shylock, we need money.” You say that!—even though you spat on my beard and kicked me like you’d kick a stray mutt out your front door. And now you’re asking for money. What can I tell you? Shouldn’t I say, “Does a dog have money? Is it possible for a mutt to lend three thousand ducats?” Or should I bend down low, and in a humble and submissive voice say: