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 engag'd my self to a dear Friend,
Engag'd my Friend to his meer 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, Salanio ?
Have all his ventures faild? what not one hits
From Tripolis, from Mexico, from England,
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India ?
And not one vessel ’scap'd the dreadful touch
Of merchant-marring rocks ?
Sal. Not one, my lord.
. Besides, it should appear, that if he had
The present mony 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.
Jes. When I was with him, I have heard him swear,
To Tubal and to Chus his country-men,
That he would rather have Anthonio's flesh,
Than twenty times the value of the. sum
That he did owe him ; and I know, my lord,
If law, authority, and pow'r deny not,
It will go hard with poor Anthonio.
Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trouble?
Bal. The deareft friend to me, the kindeft Man,
The best condition'd and unweary'd spirit.
In doing courtefies; and one in whom
The ancient Roman honour more appears, .
Than any that draws breath in Italy.