This page contains the original text of Act 2, Scene 5 of The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare’s original The Merchant of Venice text is extremely long, so we’ve split the text into one Scene per page. All Acts and Scenes are listed on the The Merchant of Venice text page, or linked to from the bottom of this page.
ACT 2. SCENE 5. The same. Before SHYLOCK’S house.
Enter SHYLOCK and LAUNCELOT
Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge,
The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:–
What, Jessica!–thou shalt not gormandise,
As thou hast done with me:–What, Jessica!–
And sleep and snore, and rend apparel out;–
Why, Jessica, I say!
Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.
Your worship was wont to tell me that
I could do nothing without bidding.
Call you? what is your will?
I am bid forth to supper, Jessica:
There are my keys. But wherefore should I go?
I am not bid for love; they flatter me:
But yet I’ll go in hate, to feed upon
The prodigal Christian. Jessica, my girl,
Look to my house. I am right loath to go:
There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest,
For I did dream of money-bags to-night.
I beseech you, sir, go: my young master doth expect
So do I his.
An they have conspired together, I will not say you
shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not
for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on
Black-Monday last at six o’clock i’ the morning,
falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four
year, in the afternoon.
What, are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica:
Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum
And the vile squealing of the wry-neck’d fife,
Clamber not you up to the casements then,
Nor thrust your head into the public street
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish’d faces,
But stop my house’s ears, I mean my casements:
Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter
My sober house. By Jacob’s staff, I swear,
I have no mind of feasting forth to-night:
But I will go. Go you before me, sirrah;
Say I will come.
I will go before, sir. Mistress, look out at
window, for all this, There will come a Christian
boy, will be worth a Jewess’ eye.
What says that fool of Hagar’s offspring, ha?
His words were ‘Farewell mistress;’ nothing else.
The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder;
Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
More than the wild-cat: drones hive not with me;
Therefore I part with him, and part with him
To one that would have him help to waste
His borrow’d purse. Well, Jessica, go in;
Perhaps I will return immediately:
Do as I bid you; shut doors after you:
Fast bind, fast find;
A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.
Farewell; and if my fortune be not crost,
I have a father, you a daughter, lost.
Read more scenes from The Merchant of Venice:
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