The Merchant of Venice

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 8

page Act 2 Scene 8 Page 2

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SOLANIO

25Let good Antonio look he keep his day,
Or he shall pay for this.

SOLANIO

I hope Antonio repays his loan on time, or he’ll suffer for this.

SALARINO

    Marry, well remembered.
I reasoned with a Frenchman yesterday,
Who told me, in the narrow seas that part
The French and English, there miscarried
30A vessel of our country richly fraught.
I thought upon Antonio when he told me,
And wished in silence that it were not his.

SALARINO

That’s a good point. I spoke with a Frenchman yesterday who said that a Venetian ship loaded with treasure was wrecked in the English Channel. I thought about Antonio when he told me. I silently hoped it wasn’t his ship.

SOLANIO

You were best to tell Antonio what you hear—
Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.

SOLANIO

You should tell Antonio what you hear—but don’t do it suddenly, because it might upset him.

SALARINO

35A kinder gentleman treads not the earth.
I saw Bassanio and Antonio part.
Bassanio told him he would make some speed
Of his return. He answered, “Do not so.
Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio
40But stay the very riping of the time.
And for the Jew’s bond which he hath of me,
Let it not enter in your mind of love.
Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts
To courtship and such fair ostents of love
45As shall conveniently become you there.”
And even there, his eye being big with tears,
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,
And with affection wondrous sensible
He wrung Bassanio’s hand. And so they parted.

SALARINO

There’s no nicer guy in the whole world. I saw Bassanio and Antonio say goodbye. Bassanio told him he’d try to hurry back. Antonio answered “Don’t rush. Don’t do a sloppy job for my sake, Bassanio. Stay until everything is finished. As for the Jew’s contract, don’t let it be a factor in your plans. Be happy and concentrate your thoughts on love and how to win your love.” Then his eyes started tearing up. He turned his face away. Then he shook Bassanio’s hand affectionately—and they separated.