ePub 版

Intreat some Pow'r to change this currish Jeru.

Ner. 'Tis well, you offer it behind her back; The wish would make else an unquiet house.

Shy. These be the christian husbands. I've a daughter; Would any of the stock of Barrabas Had been her husband, rather than a christian! [Afide., We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence.

Por. A pound of that same merchant's Aesh is thine, The Court awards it, and the law doth give it.

Sby. Most rightful judge! Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast; The law allows it, and the Court awards it.

Shy. Most learned judge! a sentence: come, prepare.
Por. Tarry a little, there is something else,
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood,
The words expresly are a pound of flesh.
Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou doft thed
One drop of christian blood; thy lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.

Gra. O upright judge! mark, Jew, O learned judge!
Shy. Is that the law?

Por. Thyself fhalt see the Act:
For as thou urgest justice, be affui'd,
Thou shalt have jutice, more than thou desir'ft.

Gra. O learned judge! mark, few, a learned judge!

Shy. I take this offer then, pay the bond thrice; And let the christian go.

Bas. Here is the money.

Por. The Jew shall have all justice ; foft! no haite; He shall have nothing but the penalty.

Gra. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge!

Por. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the Hesh;
Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou less, nor more,
But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak’it more
Or less than a juít pound, be't but so much
As makes it light or heavy in the subitance,
On the division of the twentieth part
Of one poor fcruple; nay, if the scale turo

But in the estimation of a hair,
Thou dieft, and all thy goods are confiscate.

Gra. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.

Por. Why doth the Jew pause ? take the forfeiture.
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go.
Ball. I have it ready for thee; here it is.

Por. He hath refus'd it in the open Court;
He shall have merely justice, and his bond.

Gra. A Daniel, ftill say I; a second Daniel ! I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.

Shy. Shall I not barely have my principal ?

Por. Thou fhalt have nothing but the forfeiture, To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

Shy. Why then the devil give him good of it!
I'll itay no longer question.

Por. Tarry, Jew.
The law hath yet another hold on you:
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be prov'd against an alien,
That by direct, or indirect, attempts
He seek the life of any citizen,
The party, 'gainst which he doth contrive,
Shall seize on half his goods; the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state ;
And the offender's life lies in the mercy
Of the Duke only, 'gainst all other voice :
In which predicament, I say, thou and it
For it appears by manifeft proceeding,
That indirectly, and directly too,
Thou halt contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears'J.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the Duke.

Gra. Beg, that thou may'st have leave to hang thyself;
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
Thou hast not left the value of a cord;
Therefore, thou must be hang'd at the state's charge.

Duke. That thou may't see the diff'rence of our Spirit, I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it:


For half thy wealth, it is Anthonio's
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.

Por. Ay, for the state ; not for Anthonio.

Shy. Nay, take my life and all: pardon not that. You take my house, when you do take the prop That doth sustain my house : you take my life, When you do take the means whereby I live.

Por. What mercy can you render him, Anthonio ? Gra. A halter gratis ; nothing else, for God's sake.

Ant. So please my lord the Duke, (29) and all the Court, To quit the fine for one half of his goods, I am content; so he will let me have The other half in use, to render it Upon his death unto the gentleman, That lately stole his daughter. Two things provided more, that for this favour He presently become a christian ; The other, that he do record a gift Here in the Court, of all he dies poffess'd, Unto his fon Lorenzo and his daughter,

Duke. He shall do this, or else I do recant The pardon that I late pronounced here.

Por. Art thou contented, Jew? what doft thou say ?

(29) Su įlease my lord the Duke,] The terms, which Anthonio preícribes to be comply'd with by the Jew, have been reckon'd intricate and corrups; and a different regulation has been advis’d: But, if I ain not mistaken, they are to be thus understood. The Jew had forfeited his whole fuwitance; one moiety thereof to go to the state, and the other to the defendant. Anthonio proposes, that the state should be content with fining him only that moiety, which was confiscared to them; that, as to the other, which Antbonio equally might claim to himself; he only desires to hold the benefit, paying interest for it to the Jew during his life: and, upon the Jew's demise, to have it immediately vested in his fon and daughter. Nor does Antborio propose any thing mean and ungenerous in this; he quits that right and pro. perty, which the law gave him, in the Jeru's substance; and (with regard to his own great losses,) is content to stand only as a borrower of it, upon the general foot of paying interest: nor are the son and daughter robb’d in this; fince, setting aside Antbonio's clairn by the Jer's forfeiture, their pretensions could not take place, till the Jew's death: and he takes care, their reverfionary right in it should be fçcurd by the Jew's recording a deed of- gift to that purpose.

Shy. I am content.
Por. Clerk, draw a Deed of gift.

Shy. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence;
I am not well ; send the Deed after me,
And I will sign it.

Duke. Get thee gone, but do it.
Gra. In christ’ning thou shalt have two godfathers.
Had I been judge, thou should'It have had ten more, (30)
To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.

[Exit Shylock. Duke. Sir, I intreat you home with me to dinner.

Por. I humbly do desire your Grace of pardon;
I muft away this night to Padua,
And it is meet, I presently set forth.

Duke. I'm sorry, that your leisure serves you not.
Anthonio, gratify this gentleman ;
For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.

[Exit Duke and his train. (30) Mtbox fhould A have had ten moren] 1. e. a jury of tqvelve men, to condemn thee to be hang’d. So, in Dleafure for Mcafuren,

I not deny,
The Jury paffing on the pris’ner's life,
May in the sworn irvelve have a thief or two

That juhice seizes cn.
The scenes of these tivo plays are respectively laid in Venice and Vienam
na; and yet 'tis observable, in both the poet alludes to the custom of
fentencing by Juries, as in England This is not to be imputed to him
as ignorance: The licence of the stage has allow'd it, not only at
home; but likewise the tragic and comic poets of antiquity indulg'd.
themselves in transplanting their own customs to other nations. Æfrby-
lus, for instance, in his Choepbora, makes Eletra, who is in Argos, talk
of the customs us’d in purifications, and prescrib'd by law, as the scho.
liast observes, at Athens. Τέτο προς το παρ' Αθηναίοις έθG-. προς
Tuy 'Abývnou vómoy. Sophocles, in his Laocoon, the scenary of which is
laid in Troy, talks of erecting altars, and burning incense before their
doors, as was practis'd on joyful occasions at Atbers: therein tranf-
planting the Arbenian manners, as Harpocrasia, has noted, to Troy,
Methyay Tà 'Agnvaim in ei; T polay. And fo Ariftopbanes, in his.
Frogi, when the scene is in the internal regions, makes Æacus talk of
an edict pass 'J in hell for granting artifs a fubfiftance out of the piye

In this, says the scholiaft, a.cufiom is transferr’d to the lower regions, which was establish'd in Athens. Taūra meta qipas aTrò Tais ev 'Atlañ i9wv, els od rad'a io. A number of instances more, of this furt, anight be amafs’d from the antient fage-writers.




[ocr errors]

Bal. Most worthy gentleman ! I and my friend
Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted
Of grievous penalties; in lieu whereof,
Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew,
We freely cope your courteous pains withal.

Ant. And stand indebted, over and above,
In love and service to you evermore.

Por. He is well paid that is well satisfy'd;
And I, delivering you, am satisfy’d;
And therein do account myself well paid;
My mind was never yet more mercenary.
I pray you, know me, when we meet again;
I wish you well, and so I take my leave.

Ball: Dear Sir, of force I must attempt you further.
Take some remembrance of us for a tribute,
Not as a fee: grant me two things, I pray you,
Not to deny me, and to pardon me.

Por. You press me far, and therefore I will yield.
Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your fake,
And, for your love, I'll take this ring from you.
Do not draw back your hand, I'll take no more ;

in love shall not deny me this.
Baf. This ring, good Sir, alas, it is a trifle;
I will not shame myself to give you this.

Por. I will have nothing else but only this,
And now, methinks, I have a mind to it.

Bal. There's more depends on this, than is the value.
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
And find it out by proclamation;
Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.

Por. I fee, Sir, you are liberal in offers ;
You taught me first to beg, and now, methinks,
You teach me how a beggar should be answer’d.

Baf. Good Sir, this ring was giv'n me by my wife.
And, when she put it on, he made me vow,
That I should neither sell, nor give, nor lose it.

Por. That’scule serves many men to save their gifts ;
And if your wife be not a mad woman,
And know how well I have deserv'd the ring,
She wou'd not hold out enmity for ever,


« 上一頁繼續 »