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Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
Ner. He attendeth here hard by
Duke. With all my heart. Some three or four of you
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 vifitation was with me a young Doctor of Rome, his name is Balthazar : I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Anthonio the merchant. We turn'do'er many books together: he is furnished 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 ftead. I befeecl you, let his lack of years
be no impediment to let him lack a reverend eftimation: For I never knew so young a body with so old a head, I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial fall better publish his commendation.
Enter Portia, dress'd like a Doctor of Laws.
Por. I did, my lord.
Por. I am informed throughly of the case.
Duke. Antbonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Ant. Ay, so he says.
consess the bond ?
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain’d!
for 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 Muft necds give fentence 'gainst the merchant there.
Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law, The penally and forfeit of my bond.
Por. Is he not able to discharge the money?
Baf. 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 That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you, (289
(28) Tbat malice bears down truth.] I propos’d, in my SHAKESPEARE relor'd, to read rutb here; i, e, Compassion, mercy. But upon more mature advice, I believe, the text needs no alteration. Truth may mean here, reason; the reasonable offers of accommodation, which we have made.
Wrest once the law to your authority.
Por. It must not be, there is no pow'r in Venice
Shy. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel.
Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
Shy. An oath, an oath,- I have an oath in heav'n.
Por. Why, this bond is forfeit;
Shy. When it is paid according to the tenour.
I stay here on my bond.
Por. Why, then thus it is:
Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
Shy, 'Tis very true. O wise and upright judge,
Por. Therefore lay bare your bofom.
Shy. Ay, his breast;
Por. It is fo. Are there scales, to weigh the flesh?
Por. Have by some furgeon, Sbylock, on your charge, To stop his wounds, left he should bleed to death.
Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond ?
Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
Ant. But little: I am arm’d, and well prepar'd.
Bal Anthonio, I am married to a wife,
Pur. Your wife would give you little thanks for that, If the were by to hear you make the offer.
Gra. I have a wife, whom, I proteft, I love; I would, she were in heaven, fo the could
Intreat some Pow'r to change this currifh Jero.
Ner. 'Tis well, you offer it behind her back; The with would make else an unquiet house,
Sby. These be the christian husbands. I've a daughter; Would 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 flesh is thine, The Court awards it, and the law doth give it.
Shy. Most rightful judge ! Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast ; The law allows it, and the Court awards it.
Sby. Most learned judge! a sentence: come, prepare.
Por. Tarry a little, there is something else,
Gra. O up-right judge! mark, Jew, O learned judge!
Por. Thyself shall see the Act :
Gra. O learned judge! mark, Jew, a learned judge!
Shy. I take this offer then, pay the bond thrice, And
let the christian go. Bal. Here is the money.
Por. The Jew shall have all justice; soft! no hafte; He shall have nothing but the penalty.
Gra. Ofew! an upright judge, a learned judge!
Por. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh;