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To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That souls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men: thy currish spirit,
Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter,
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,
And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam,
Infus'd itself in thee; for thy desires
Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous.
Shy. Till thou can’st rail the seal from off my

bond,
Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud:
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall
To cureless ruin.

I stand 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 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.Meantime, the court shall hear Bellario's letter.

[Clerk reads.] Your grace shall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, I am very sick: but in the instant that your messenger came, in loving visitation was with me a young doctor of Rome, his name is Balthasar: I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant: we turned o'er many books together: he is furnish'd with my opinion; which, better'd 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 beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation; for I never knew so young a lody with so old a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.

Duke. You hear the learn’d Bellario, what he

writes: And here, I take it, is the doctor come.--

Enter Portia, dressed like a doctor of laws. Give me your hand: Came you from old Bellario?

Por. I did, my lord.

Duke. You are 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 cause. Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?

Duke. Antonio and old Shyloek, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylock ?
Shy.

Shylock is my name,
Por, Of a strange nature is the suit you follow;
Yet in such a rule, that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.-
You stand within his danger, do

[70 ANTONIO. Ant. Ay, so he says. Por,

Do
you

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

Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain froin heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:

you not?

? Cannot impugn you,] To impugn, is to oppose, to contravert.

8 You stand within this danger,] i. e. within his reach or control.

for mercy;

"Tis mightiest in the mightiest'; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit 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 show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice: Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,--
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation;' we do

pray
And that same prayer 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?

Bass. 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 snffice, it must appear That malice bears down truth. And I beseech

you, 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 power in Venice Can alter a decree established: "Twill be recorded for a precedent;

9

in the course of justice, none of us Should see salvation:] Portia referring the Jew to the Christfan doctrine of salvation, and the Lord's Prayer, is a little out of character, BLACKSTONE.

And many an error, by the same example,
Will rush into the state: it cannot be.
Shy. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Da-

niel !
O wise young judge, how do I honour thee!

Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
Shy. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd

thee.
Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven:
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 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 bosom 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 bosom,
Shy.

Ay, his breast:

Șo says the bond;-Doth it not, noble judge?-
Nearest his heart, those are the very words.

Por. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh
The flesh?
Shy.

I have them ready. Por. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your

charge, To stop his wounds, lest he do 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; faré you well! Grieve not that I am fallen to this for

you;
For herein fortune shows 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 lingering penance
Of such a misery doth she cut me off.
Commend me to your honourable wife:
Tell her the process of Antonio'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 Jew do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it instantly with all

my

heart.
Bass. Antonio, 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 lose all, ay, sacrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you,

your friend,

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