You that choose not by the view, 
Chance as fair and choose as true!
Since this fortune falls to you,
Be content and seek no new,
If you be well pleased with this
And hold your fortune for your bliss, 
Turn you where your lady is
And claim her with a loving kiss.
A gentle scroll. Fair lady, by your leave;
I come by note, to give and to receive.
Like one of two contending in a prize, 
That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes,
Hearing applause and universal shout,
Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt
Whether these pearls of praise be his or no;
So, thrice fair lady, stand I, even so; 
As doubtful whether what I see be true,
Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you.
PORTIA: You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand,
Such as I am: though for myself alone
I would not be ambitious in my wish, 
To wish myself much better; yet, for you
I would be trebled twenty times myself;
A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich;
That only to stand high in your account,
I might in virtue, beauties, livings, friends, 
Exceed account; but the full sum of me
Is sum of something, which, to term in gross,
Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractised;
Happy in this, she is not yet so old
But she may learn; happier than this, 
She is not bred so dull but she can learn;
Happiest of all is that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to yours to be directed,
As from her lord, her governor, her king.
Myself and what is mine to you and yours 
Is now converted: but now I was the lord
Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
Queen o'er myself: and even now, but now,
This house, these servants and this same myself
Are yours, my lord: I give them with this ring; 
Which when you part from, lose, or give away,
Let it presage the ruin of your love
And be my vantage to exclaim on you.
BASSANIO: Madam, you have bereft me of all words,
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins; 
And there is such confusion in my powers,
As after some oration fairly spoke
By a beloved prince, there doth appear
Among the buzzing pleased multitude;
Where every something, being blent together, 
Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy,
Express'd and not express'd. But when this ring
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence:
O, then be bold to say Bassanio's dead!
NERISSA: My lord and lady, it is now our time, 
That have stood by and seen our wishes prosper,
To cry, good joy: good joy, my lord and lady!
GRATIANO: My lord Bassanio and my gentle lady,
I wish you all the joy that you can wish;
For I am sure you can wish none from me: 
And when your honours mean to solemnize
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you,
Even at that time I may be married too.
BASSANIO: With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife.
GRATIANO: I thank your lordship, you have got me one. 
My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours:
You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid;
You loved, I loved for intermission.
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you.
Your fortune stood upon the casket there, 
And so did mine too, as the matter falls;
For wooing here until I sweat again,
And sweating until my very roof was dry
With oaths of love, at last, if promise last,
I got a promise of this fair one here 
To have her love, provided that your fortune
Achieved her mistress.
PORTIA: Is this true, Nerissa?
NERISSA: Madam, it is, so you stand pleased withal.
BASSANIO: And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith? 
GRATIANO: Yes, faith, my lord.
BASSANIO: Our feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage.
GRATIANO: We'll play with them the first boy for a thousand ducats.
NERISSA: What, and stake down?
GRATIANO: No; we shall ne'er win at that sport, and stake down. 
But who comes here? Lorenzo and his infidel? What,
and my old Venetian friend Salerio?
[Enter LORENZO, JESSICA, and SALERIO, a Messenger
BASSANIO: Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hither;
If that the youth of my new interest here
Have power to bid you welcome. By your leave, 
I bid my very friends and countrymen,
Sweet Portia, welcome.
PORTIA: So do I, my lord:
They are entirely welcome.
LORENZO: I thank your honour. For my part, my lord, 
My purpose was not to have seen you here;
But meeting with Salerio by the way,
He did entreat me, past all saying nay,
To come with him along.
SALERIO: I did, my lord; 
And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio
Commends him to you.
[Gives Bassanio a letter]
BASSANIO: Ere I ope his letter,
I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth.
SALERIO: Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind; 
Nor well, unless in mind: his letter there
Will show you his estate.
GRATIANO: Nerissa, cheer yon stranger; bid her welcome.
Your hand, Salerio: what's the news from Venice?
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio? 
I know he will be glad of our success;
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece.
SALERIO: I would you had won the fleece that he hath lost.
PORTIA: There are some shrewd contents in yon same paper,
That steals the colour from Bassanio's cheek: 
Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world
Could turn so much the constitution
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse!
With leave, Bassanio: I am half yourself,
And I must freely have the half of anything 
That this same paper brings you.
BASSANIO: O sweet Portia,
Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady,
When I did first impart my love to you, 
I freely told you, all the wealth I had
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman;
And then I told you true: and yet, dear lady,
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see
How much I was a braggart. When I told you 
My state was nothing, I should then have told you
That I was worse than nothing; for, indeed,
I have engaged myself to a dear friend,
Engaged my friend to his mere enemy,
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady; 
The paper as the body of my friend,
And every word in it a gaping wound,
Issuing life-blood. But is it true, Salerio?
Have all his ventures fail'd? What, not one hit?
From Tripolis, from Mexico and England, 
From Lisbon, Barbary and India?
And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks?
SALERIO: Not one, my lord.
Besides, it should appear, that if he had 
The present money to discharge the Jew,
He would not take it. Never did I know
A creature, that did bear the shape of man,
So keen and greedy to confound a man:
He plies the duke at morning and at night, 
And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
If they deny him justice: twenty merchants,
The duke himself, and the magnificoes
Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him;
But none can drive him from the envious plea 
Of forfeiture, of justice and his bond.
JESSICA: When I was with him I have heard him swear
To Tubal and to Chus, his countrymen,
That he would rather have Antonio's flesh
Than twenty times the value of the sum 
That he did owe him: and I know, my lord,
If law, authority and power deny not,
It will go hard with poor Antonio.
PORTIA: Is it your dear friend that is thus in trouble?
BASSANIO: The dearest friend to me, the kindest man, 
The best-condition'd and unwearied spirit
In doing courtesies, and one in whom
The ancient Roman honour more appears
Than any that draws breath in Italy.
PORTIA: What sum owes he the Jew? 
BASSANIO: For me three thousand ducats.
PORTIA: What, no more?
Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond;
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description 
Shall lose a hair through Bassanio's fault.
First go with me to church and call me wife,
And then away to Venice to your friend;
For never shall you lie by Portia's side
With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold 
To pay the petty debt twenty times over:
When it is paid, bring your true friend along.
My maid Nerissa and myself meantime
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away!
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day: 
Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer:
Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear.
But let me hear the letter of your friend.
BASSANIO: [Reads] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all
miscarried, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is 
very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since
in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all
debts are cleared between you and I, if I might but
see you at my death. Notwithstanding, use your
pleasure: if your love do not persuade you to come, 
let not my letter.
PORTIA: O love, dispatch all business, and be gone!
BASSANIO: Since I have your good leave to go away,
I will make haste: but, till I come again,
No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay, 
No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain.