Shakespeare and the merchant of Venice
After the rehearsals in the “Globe”, I went with Shakespeare in the ‘ox’, where he often sat and took notes. While brooding over a few sentences about his new play ‘Hamlet’ and barely touching his mug, I already tipped down the third and watched the pretty daughter of the landlord.
Then the door opened and the merchant of Venice entered. When he saw us, he came to us and sits down at our table.
For a moment he looked thoughtfully at Shakespeare. I was afraid that he would ask when he would pay his debts.
“Well, how about your new work, my dear Shakespeare?” he asked to my relief, “Very well,” he replied, “I’m really satisfied.” And after a little break.
“How do you like this sentence: ‘To be or not to be, that’s the question’?” The Merchant of Venice nodded and there was a slight ironic smile around his mouth.
“Not bad, not bad, my dear Shakespeare, but why do not you write ‘having or not having, that’s the question’? I’d like that better!” Shakespeare smiled as well. Then he nodded.
The next day he paid his debts.