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Ev'n from the gallows did his fell foul fleet,
And, whilft thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam,
Infus'd itself in thee: for thy defires

Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous.

Shy. 'Till thou can'ft rail the feal from off my bond,
Thou but offend'ft thy lungs to fpeak fo loud.
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall
To cureless ruin. I ftand here for law.

Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
A young and learned doctor to our Court.
Where is he?

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:
Mean time, the Court fhall hear Bellario's letter.


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.
Por. The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heav'n
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blefs'd;
It bleffeth him that gives, and him that takes.
'Tis mightieft in the mightieft; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his Crown;
His fcepter fhews the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majefty,
Wherein doth fit the dread and fear of Kings;
But mercy is above this fcepter'd fway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of Kings;
It is an attribute to God himself;

And earthly power doth then fhew likeft God's,
When mercy feafons juftice. Therefore, Jew,
Tho' juftice be thy plea, confider this,
That in the courfe of juftice none of us
Should fee falvation. We do pray for mercy;
And that fame prayer doth teach us all to render


The deeds of mercy. I have fpoke thus much
To mitigate the juftice of thy plea;

Which, if thou follow, this ftrict Court of Venice
Muft needs give fentence 'gainst the merchant there.
Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
The penalty and forfeit of my bond.

Por. Is he not able to discharge the mony ?
Ball. Yes, here I tender it to him in Court,
Yea, twice the fum; if that will not fuffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart.
If this will not fuffice, it must appear

That malice bears down truth. 9 And I befeech you,
Wreft once the law to your authority.

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,
Will rush into the ftate. It cannot be.

Shy. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel.
O wife young judge, how do I honour thee!
Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
Shy. Here 'tis, most rev'rend Doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee.
Shy. An oath, an oath,-I have an oath in heav'n.
Shall I lay perjury upon my foul?

No, not for Venice.

Por. Why, this bond is forfeit ;

And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Nearest the merchant's heart. Be merciful,

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.-
It doth appear, you are a worthy judge;
You know the law: your expofition

Hath been moft found. I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deferving pillar,
Proceed to judgment. By my foul I fwear,
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me. I ftay here on my bond.
Anth. Moft heartily I do befeech the Court
To give the judgment.

Por. Why, then thus it is:

You must prepare your bofom for his knife."
Shy. O noble judge! O excellent young man!
Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
Hath full relation to the penalty,

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.
Shy. Is it fo nominated in the bond?

Por. It is not fo exprefs'd; but what of that?
'Twere good, you do fo much for charity.
Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond."
Por. Come, merchant, have you any thing to fay?
Anth. But little, I am arm'd, and well prepar'd,
Give me your hand, Baffanio, fare ye well!
Grieve not, that I am fall'n to this for you:
For herein fortune thews herfelt more kind,
Than is her cuftom. It is ftill her ufe,
To let the wretched man out-live his wealth,



To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow,
An age of poverty; from which ling'ring penance
Of fuch a mifery doth fhe cut me off.

Commend me to your honourable wife ;
Tell her the procefs of Anthonio's end;
Say, how I lov'd you; fpeak me fair in death:
And when the tale is told, bid her be judge,
Whether Baffanio had not once a love.
Repent not you, that you fhall lose your friend;
And he repents not, that he pays your debt;
For if the few do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it inftantly with all my heart.

Baff. Anthonio, I am married to a wife,
Which is as dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the world,
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life.
I would lofe all; ay, facrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.

Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for that,
If he were by to hear you make the offer.

Gra. I have a wife, whom I proteft, I love;

I would, fhe were in heaven, fo fhe could
Intreat fome Pow'r to change this currifh Jew.
Ner. 'Tis well, you offer it behind her back;
The wish would make elfe an unquiet houfe.

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.
-We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue fentence.

Por. A pound of that fame merchant's flesh is thine,
The Court awards it, and the law doth give it.
Shy. Moft rightful judge!

Por. And you must cutt is flesh from off his breaft;
The law allows it, and the Court awards it.

Shy. Moft learned judge-afentence-come, prepare,
Por. Tarry a little-there is fomething elfe.
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood;


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