This page contains the original text of Act 2, Scene 8 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 8. Venice. A street.
Enter SALARINO and SALANIO
Why, man, I saw Bassanio under sail:
With him is Gratiano gone along;
And in their ship I am sure Lorenzo is not.
The villain Jew with outcries raised the duke,
Who went with him to search Bassanio’s ship.
He came too late, the ship was under sail:
But there the duke was given to understand
That in a gondola were seen together
Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica:
Besides, Antonio certified the duke
They were not with Bassanio in his ship.
I never heard a passion so confused,
So strange, outrageous, and so variable,
As the dog Jew did utter in the streets:
‘My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter!
Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats!
Justice! the law! my ducats, and my daughter!
A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats,
Of double ducats, stolen from me by my daughter!
And jewels, two stones, two rich and precious stones,
Stolen by my daughter! Justice! find the girl;
She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats.’
Why, all the boys in Venice follow him,
Crying, his stones, his daughter, and his ducats.
Let good Antonio look he keep his day,
Or he shall pay for this.
Marry, well remember’d.
I reason’d with a Frenchman yesterday,
Who told me, in the narrow seas that part
The French and English, there miscarried
A vessel of our country richly fraught:
I thought upon Antonio when he told me;
And wish’d in silence that it were not his.
You were best to tell Antonio what you hear;
Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him.
A kinder gentleman treads not the earth.
I saw Bassanio and Antonio part:
Bassanio told him he would make some speed
Of his return: he answer’d, ‘Do not so;
Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio
But 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
As 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.
I think he only loves the world for him.
I pray thee, let us go and find him out
And quicken his embraced heaviness
With some delight or other.
Do we so.
The Merchant of Venice Original Text: Act 2, Scene 6