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Ev'n from the gallows did his fell foul fleet,
Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous.
Shy. 'Till thou can'ft rail the feal from off my bond,
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
Ner. He attendeth here hard by
To know your anfwer, whether you'll admit him. Duke. With all my heart. Some three or four of you
Go give him courteous conduct to this place:
that, at the receipt but at the inftant visitation was with
YOUR OUR Grace fhall understand, of your letter, I am very fick that your meffenger came, in loving me a young Doctor of Rome, his name is Balthafar : I acquainted him with the caufe in controverfie between the Jew and Anthonio the merchant. We turn'd d'er many books together: he is furnish'd with my opinion, which, bettered with his own learning, (the greatness whereof I cannot enough commend,), comes with him at my importunity, to fill up your Grace's request in my Stead. I befeech you, let his lack of years be no impediment, to let him lack a reverend eftimation: For I never knew fo young a body with fo old a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whofe trial fhall better publifb his commendation.
Enter Portia, drefs'd like a Doctor of Laws.
Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario what he writes,
And here, I take it, is the Doctor-come.
-Give me your hand. Came you from old Bellario?
Por. I did, my lord.
Duke. You're welcome: take your place. Are you acquainted with the difference, That holds this prefent queftion in the Court? Por. I am informed throughly of the cafe. Which is the merchant here; and which the Jew? Duke. Anthonio and old Shylock, both stand forth. Por. Is your name Shylock?
Shy. Shylock is my name.
Por. Of a strange nature is the fuit you follow; Yet in fuch rule, that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.
-You ftand within his danger, do you not? [To Anth. Anth. Ay, fo he says.
Por. Do you confeis the bond?
Anth. I do.
Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shy. On what compulsion must I? tell me that.
And earthly power doth then fhew likeft God's,
The deeds of mercy. I have fpoke thus much
Which, if thou follow, this ftrict Court of Venice
Por. Is he not able to discharge the mony ?
That malice bears down truth. 9 And I befeech you,
To do a great right, do a little wrong;
And curb this cruel devil of his will.
Por. It must not be; there is no pow'r in Venice, Can alter a decree established.
'Twill be recorded for a precedent;
And many an error, by the fame example,
Shy. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel.
No, not for Venice.
Por. Why, this bond is forfeit ;
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
Take thrice thy mony, bid me tear the bond.
9 Malice bears down truth.] man. We now call the jury good Malice oppreffles honesty, a true men and true.
man in old language is an honeft
Shy. When it is paid according to the tenour.-
Hath been moft found. I charge you by the law,
Por. Why, then thus it is:
You must prepare your bofom for his knife."
Which here appeareth due upon the bond.
Shy. 'Tis very true. O wife and upright judge, How much more elder art thou than thy looks! Por. Therefore lay bare your bofom.
Shy. Ay, his breaft;
So fays the bond, doth it not, noble judge?
Nearest his heart, thofe are the very words.
Por. It is fo. Are there fcales, to weigh the flefh? Shy. I have them ready.
Por. Have by fome furgeon, Shylock, on your charge,
To ftop his wounds, left he fhould bleed to death.
Por. It is not fo exprefs'd; but what of that?
To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow,
Commend me to your honourable wife ;
Baff. Anthonio, I am married to a wife,
Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for that,
Gra. I have a wife, whom I proteft, I love;
I would, fhe were in heaven, fo fhe could
Shy. Thele be the chriftian husbands. I've a
'Would, any of the ftock of Barrabas
Had been her husband, rather than a christian ! [Afide.
Por. A pound of that fame merchant's flesh is thine,
Por. And you must cutt is flesh from off his breaft;
Shy. Moft learned judge-afentence-come, prepare,