The Merchant of Venice

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

SHYLOCK

What says that fool of Hagar’s offspring, ha?

SHYLOCK

What did that gentile fool say to you, hmmm?

JESSICA

His words were, “Farewell, mistress.” Nothing else.

JESSICA

He said “Goodbye, madam,” and nothing else.

SHYLOCK

The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder,
45Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
More than the wildcat. Drones hive not with me.
Therefore I part with him, and part with him
To one that would have him help to waste
His borrowed purse. Well, Jessica, go in.
50Perhaps I will return immediately.
Do as I bid you. Shut doors after you.
Fast bind, fast find.
A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.

SHYLOCK

The fool’s nice enough, but he’s such a huge eater, and slow as a snail when he works. He sleeps all day like a cat. Bees that don’t work can’t stay in my hive, so I’m letting him go, handing him off so he can waste money for his new boss, the man who borrowed money from me. Anyway, Jessica, go inside. I might come back soon. Do as I told you. Shut the doors after you. As the saying goes, lock things up, and you’ll get to keep them.
Exit SHYLOCK
He exits.

JESSICA

Farewell, and if my fortune be not crost,
55I have a father, you a daughter, lost.

JESSICA

Goodbye. If luck’s with me, I’ll lose a father, and you’ll lose a daughter.
Exit
She exits.