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Thou mak'st thy knife keen; for no metal can,
No, not the hangman's ax, bear half the keenness
Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee ?

Shy. No, none that thou hart wit enough to make.

Gra. O be thou damn’d, inexorable dog,
And for thy life let justice be accus'd!
Thou almost mak'ft me waver in my faith,
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That souls of animals iofuse themselves
Into the trunks of men. Thy currilh spirit
Govern'd a wolf, who, hang’d for human slaughter,
Ev'n from the gallows did his fell foul fleet,
And, whilst thou lay'it in thy unhallow'd dam,
Infus'd itself in thee: for thy desires
Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous.
Shy. 'Iill thou canft rail the seal from off


bond, Thou but offend'it thy langs to speak so loud. Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall To cureless ruin, I ftand here for law. (27) but this was our author's antithesis ; as it is so usual with him to play on words in this manner: and that from the mouth of his most serious characters. So in Romeo and Juliet ;

- You have dancing Mhoes, With nimble foales; I have a joul of lead,

That stakes me to the ground; I cannot move. And again, immediately after.

I am too fore enpierced with his shaft,

To fare with his light feathers. So in King Jcbn:

O, lawful let it be, That I have room with Rome to curse awhile ! And, in Julius Cælur;

Now is it Rome, indeed; and room enough,

When there is in it but one only man.
But this sort of jingle is too perpetual with our author to need

ang farther instances.

(27) To caieless ruin.] This, I am sure, is a signal instance of Mr. Pope's carelessness, for both the old 4to's i ave it cureless. The players in their edition, for some particular whim, chang'd the word to endless; which Mr. Ruwe bas copied, because, I presume, he had never seen the old Quarro's. Our author has used this epithet, curelifs, again in his prem, callid, Tarquin and Lucrece. St. 111.

O, hateful, vapoious and foggy night!
Since thou art guilty of my cureless crime.



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 answer, whether you'll admit him.

Duke. With all my heart. Some three or four of you
Go, give him urteous conduct to this place :
Mean time, the Court shall hear Bellario's letter.

OUR Grace shall understand, that, at the receipt of

your letter, I am very fick: but at the instant that your messenger came, in loving visitation was with me a young Doctor of Rome, his name is Balthazar: I acquainted bin with the cause in controverjy between the Jew and Anthonio the merchant. We turri'd o'er


books together: he is furnished zvith my opinion, which, battered with his own learning, (the greatness whereof I cannot enough commend,) comes with him at my inportunity, to fill up your Grace's request in my stead. I beseech you, let bis lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation: For I never knew jo young a body with fo old a head, I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.

Enter Portia, dress'd like a Dostor 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 Bellaria?

Por. I did, my lord.

Duke. You're welcome : take your place.
Are you acquainted with the difference,
That holds this present question in the Court ?

Por. I am informed throughly of the case.
Which is the merchant here? and which the Yewu?

Duke. Anthonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylock ?
Shy. Sbylock is my name.
Por. Of a strange nature is the fuit


follow; Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed. You stand within his danger, do you not ? [To Anth.


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Ant. Ay, so he says.
Por. Do you confess the bond ?
Ant. I do.
Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shy. On what compultion muit I? tell me that.

Por. The quality of mercy is not ftrain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heav'n
Upon the place beneath. It is twice bless'd;
It blefleth him that gives, and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightieft; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his Crown:
The scepter shews the force of temporal pow'r,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth fit the dread and fear of Kings ;
But mercy is above this scepter'd sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of Kings;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then shew likest God's,
When mercy seasons juftice. Therefore, Jew,
Tho'juftice be thy plea, confider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should fee falvation. We do



mercy ; And that same pray'r doth teach us all to render The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much To mitigate the justice of thy plea; Which, if thou follow, this strict Court of Venice Must needs give sentence '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 money?

Bal. Yes, here I tender it for him in the Court, Yea, twice the sum; if that will not suffice, I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er, On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart. If this will not suffice, it must appear Chat malice bears down truth. And I beseech you, (28)

(28) That malice bears durun truth.) I propos'd, in my SHAKESPEAR E refor’d, ro read rutb here; i e. Compassion, mercy. But upon more mature advice, I believe, the text needs no alteration, Truih may mean here, reason; the reasonable ofl'ers of accommodation, which we have made.


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's in Venice
Can alter a decree established.
"Twill be recorded for a precedent;
And many an error, by the same example,
Will rush into the state. It cannot be.

Shy. A Daniel come to judgment ! yea, a Daniel,
O wise young judge, how do I honour thee !

Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
Sby. Here'tis, moft 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 soul?
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 money, bid me tear the bond.

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 molt found. I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgment. By my foul I swear,
There is no power in the tongue

of man To alter me.

I stay here on my bond.
Ant. Most heartily I do beseech 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 herc appeareth due upon the bond.

Shy. 'Tis very true. O wise and upright judge,
How much more elder art thou than thy looks !
Por. Therefore lay bare your borðin.


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Shy. Ay, his breast;
So says the bond, doth it not, noble judge ?
Nearest his heart, those are his very words.

Por. It is so. Are there fcales, to weigh the flesh?
Shy. I have them ready.

Pór. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge, To stop his wounds, left he should bleed to death.

Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond ?
Por. It is not so express’d; but what of that?
*Twere good, you do so much for charity.

Shy. I cannot find it ; 'tis not in the bond.
Por. Come, merchant, have you any thing to say ?

Ant. But little : I am arm’d, and well prepar'd.
Give me your hand, Befjanio, fare you well!
Grieve not, that I am fall'n to this for

For herein fortune fhews herself more kind,
Than is her custom. It is still her use,
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 such a misery doth she cut me off.
Commend me to your honourable wife;
Tell her the process of Anthonio's end;
Say, how I lov'd you ; speak me fair in death :
And when the tale is told, bid her be judge,
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repent not you, that you shall lose

And he repents not, that he pays your debt';
For if the few do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it instantly with all my heart,

Baj. 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 efteem'd above thy life.
I would lose all; ay, sacrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.

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

Gra. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love; I would, she were in heaven, fo The could 4



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