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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 courteous 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 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.
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 present question in the Court ?

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

Duke. Antbonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylock ?
Sby. Shylock is my name.
Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you

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.



Ant. Ay, so he says.
Por. Do


consess the bond ?
Ant. I do.
Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shy. On what compulsion muft I? tell me that.

Por. The quality of mercy is not strain’d!
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heav'n
Upon the place beneath. It is twice bless’d;
It blefseth him that gives, and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightieft; it becomes
The thr ned 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 justice. Therefore, Jew,
Tho' juftice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the courfe of justice none of us
Should fee salvation. We do


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.
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 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.
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 soul?
No, not for Venice.

Por. Why, this bond is forfeit;
And lawfully by this the few may claim
A pound of Aleth, 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 exposition
Hath been most sound. I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgment. By my soul 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 here 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 bofom.

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

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

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 ?
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, Bassanio, fare you well!
Grieve not, that I am fall’n to this for you:
For herein fortune shews 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 the 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 Bafanio had not once a love.
Repent not you, that you shall lose your friend;

And he repents not, that he pays your
For if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it inftantly with all my heart.

Bal Anthonio, I am married to a wife,
Which is as dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the wo:ld,
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life.
I would lose all; ay, sacrifice them all
Here to this devil; to deliver you.

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,
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood,
The words exprelly are a pound of flesh.
Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou doft shed
One drop of chriftian blood; thy lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.

Gra. O up-right judge! mark, Jew, O learned judge!
Shy. Is that the law ?

Por. Thyself shall see the Act :
For as thou urgelt justice, be assur'd,
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desir'it.

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;
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 juft pound, be't but so much
As makes it light or heavy in the substance,
On the division of the twentieth part
Of one poor scruple; nay, if the scale turn


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