« PreviousContinue »
Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,
Thou mak'st thy knife keen; but no metal can,
No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness
Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?
Shy. No,none that thou hast wit enough to make.
Gra. O be thou damn'd, inexecrable dog,
And for thy life let justice be accus'd.
Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith
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 canst rail the seal from off my
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.
Then must 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 from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes 130 The throned monarch better than his crown; His sceptre 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 sceptred sway, It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself,
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. 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 visitatim was with me a young doctor of Rome; his name is Balthazar. I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant: we turned o'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 impor. tunity, 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 body 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.
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 for mercy, 199
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
Wrest once the law to your authority:
And curb this cruel devil of his will.
To do a great right, do a little wrong,
Por. It must not be. There is no power in
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!
wise young judge, how I do 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
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 boson for his knife.
Shy. I have them ready.
Por. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your
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. You, 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 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 outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow go
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 but you that you shall lose your friend,
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.
Por. Your wife would give you little thanks
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, so she could Entreat some power to change this currish Jew. Ner. 'Tis well you offer it behind her back; The wish would make else an unquiet house. Shy. These be the Christian husbands! have a daughter;
Would any of the stock of Barrabas
Had been her husband rather than a Christian!
We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence.
Por. A pound of that same merchant's flesh
The court awards it, and the law doth give it.
Shy. Most rightful judge!
Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
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
Shy. Is that the law?
Thyself shalt see the act;
For, as thou urgest justice, be assur'd
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest.
Gra. O learned judge! Mark, Jew: a learned
Shy. I take this offer then: pay the bond thrice,
And let the Christian go.
Here is the money.
The Jew shall have all justice; soft! no haste:-
He shall have nothing but the penalty.
Gra. A Daniel, still say I; a second Daniel! I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word. su Shy. Shall I not have barely my principal? Por. Thou shalt 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 stay no longer question.
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 the which he doth contrive
Shall seize one 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 stand'st;
For it appears by manifest proceeding,
That indirectly and directly too
Thou hast contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears'd.
Down therefore and beg mercy of the duke.
Gra. Beg that thou may'st have leave to hang
Gra. O Jew! 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'st more,
Or less, than a just pound, be it but so much
As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance,
Or the division of the twentieth part
Of one poor scruple, nay, if the scale do turn
But in the estimation of a hair,
Thou diest 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 thy for-
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go. Bass. 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.
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it.
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's ;
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.
Por. Ay, for the state; not for Antonio.
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, Antonio?
Gra. A halter gratis; nothing else, for God's
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 see, 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.
Bass. Good sir, this ring was given me by my
And when she put it on, she made me vow
Two things provided more, that, for this favour, That I should neither sell nor give nor lose it. He presently become a Christian;
Por. That 'scuse serves many men to save
The other, that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd,
Unto his son Lorenzo, and his daughter.
An if your wife be not a mad-woman,
And know how well I have deserv'd the ring,
She would not hold out enemy for ever,
For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you.
Duke. He shall do this, or else I do recant
The pardon that I late pronounced here.
Por. Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou
Exeunt PORTIA and NERISSA.
Shy. I am content.
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.
Ant. So please my lord the duke, and all the
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:
Get thee gone, but do it. Gra. In christening thou shalt have two godfathers;
Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten
To BASSANIO. And, for your love, I'll take this
ring from you.
Do not draw back your hand; I'll take no more;
And you in love shall not deny me this.
Bass. 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.
Bass. There's more depends on this than on
Antonio, gratify this gentleman,
For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.
Exeunt DUKE, Magnificoes, and Train.
Bass. 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 satisfied;
And I, delivering you, am satisfied,
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.
Bass. Dear sir, of force I must attempt you
Take some remembrance of us, as 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. TO ANTONIO. Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake;
Ant. My Lord Bassanio, let him have the ring:
Let his deservings and my love withal
Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandment.
Bass. Go, Gratiano; run and overtake him ;
Give him the ring, and bring him, if thou canst,
Unto Antonio's house. Away! make haste.
Come, you and I will thither presently,
And in the morning early will we both
Fly toward Belmont. Come, Antonio. Excunt.
Duke. Sir, I entreat you home with me to dinner.
Por. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon :
I must away this night toward Padua,
And it is meet I presently set forth.
Duke. I am sorry that your leisure serves you And let him sign it. We'll away to-night,
And be a day before our husbands home:
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.
Gra. Fair sir, you are well o'erta'en.
My Lord Bassanio upon more advice
Hath sent you here this ring, and doth entreat
Your company at dinner.
SCENE II. The Same. A Street.
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA.
For. Inquire the Jew's house out, give him this deed,
That cannot be :
His ring I do accept most thankfully;
And so, I pray you, tell him: furthermore,
I pray you, show my youth old Shylock's house.
Gra. That will I do.
Sir, I would speak with you. Aside to PORTIA. I'll see if I can get my husband's ring,
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.
Por. Thou may'st, I warrant. We shall have
That they did give the rings away to men;
But we 'll out face them, and outswear them too.
Away! make haste: thou know'st where I will
Ner. Come, good sir, will you show me to this
In such a night
Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,
Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
Jes. I would out-night you, did no body come;
But hark! I hear the footing of a man.
Laun. Sola, sola! wo ha, ho! sola, sola!
Lor. Who calls?
Who comes with her?
Ste. None but a holy hermit and her maid.
I pray you, is my master yet return'd?
Lor. He is not, nor we have not heard from
But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica,
And ceremoniously let us prepare
Some welcome for the mistr ss of the house.
And yet no matter; why should we go in ?
My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you,
Within the house, your mistress is at hand;
And bring your music forth into the air.
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here we will sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica: look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold:
There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins;
Such harmony is in immortal souls ;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn:
With sweetest touches pierce your mistress'ear,
And draw her home with music.
Jes. I am never merry when I hear sweet music.
Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive:
For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing
Laun. Sola! did you see Master Lorenzo ?
Master Lorenzo! sola, sola!
Lor. Leave hollaing, man; here.
Laun. Sola! where? where ?
Laun. Tell him there's a post come from my master, with his horn full of good news: my master will be here ere morning. Exit. Lor. Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect their coming.
Which is the hot condition of their blood;
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
Or any air of music touch their ears,
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Lor. A friend! what friend? your name, I
pray you, friend?
Lor. Who comes so fast in silence of the night? Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Ste. A friend.
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus :
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.
Ste. Stephano is my name; and I bring word
My mistress will before the break of day
Be here at Belmont: she doth stray about
By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays
For happy wedlock hours.
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,
Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze
By the sweet power of music: therefore the poet
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA, at a distance.
Por. That light we see is burning in my hall.
How far that little candle throws his beams! 93
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
Ner. When the moon shone, we did not see
Por. So doth the greater glory dim the less:
A substitute shines brightly as a king
Until a king be by, and then his state
Empties itself, as doth an inland brook
Into the main of waters. Music! hark!
Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house.
Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect:
Methinks, it sounds much sweeter than by day.
Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the
When neither is attended, and I think
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise and true perfection!
Peace, ho! the moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awak'd.
That is the voice,
Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with
Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia.
Por. He knows me as the blind man knows To part so slightly with your wife's first gift;
By the bad voice.
Dear lady, welcome home.
Por. We have been praying for our husbands'
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
And so riveted with faith unto your flesh.
I gave my love a ring and made him swear
Never to part with it; and here he stands ;
I dare be sworn for him he would not leave it
Nor pluck it from his finger for the wealth
That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano,
You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief:
An 'twere to me, I should be mad at it.
Boss. Aside. Why, I were best to cut my left
And swear I lost the ring defending it.
Gra. My Lord Bassanio gave his ring away
Unto the judge that begg'd it, and indeed
De-erv'd it too; and then the boy, his clerk,
That took some pains in writing, he begg'd mine ;.
And neither man nor master would take aught
But the two rings.
Which speed, we hope, the better for our words.
Are they return'd?
Madam, they are not yet;
But there is come a messenger before,
To signify their coming.
Go in, Nerissa :
Give order to my servants that they take
No note at all of our being absent hence;
Nor you, Lorenzo; Jessica, nor you.
A tucket sounded. Lor. Your husband is at hand; I hear his trumpet.
We are no tell-tales, madam; fear you not.
Por. This night methinks is but the daylight
It looks a little paler: 'tis a day,
Such as the day is when the sun is hid.
Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and their Followers.
Bass. We should hold day with the Antipodes, If you would walk in absence of the sun.
Por. Let me give light, but let me not be light;
For a light wife doth make a heavy husband, 130
And never be Bassanio so for me:
But God sort all! You are welcome home, my lord.
Bass. I thank you, madam. Give welcome
to my friend:
This is the man, this is Antonio,
To whom I am so infinitely bound.
Por. You should in all sense be much bound
For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.
Ant. No more than I am well acquitted of.
Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house:
It must appear in other ways than words,
Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy.
Gra. To NERISSA. By yonder moon I swear
you do me wrong;
In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk:
Would he were gelt that had it, for my part,
Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.
Por. A quarrel, ho, already! what's the matter?
Gra. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring
That she did give me, whose poesie was
For all the world like cutlers' poetry
Upon a knife, Love me, and leave me not.'
Ner. What talk you of the posy, or the value?
You swore to me, when I did give it you,
That you would wear it till your hour of death,
And that it should lie with you in your grave:
Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths,
You should have been respective and have kept it.
Gave it a judge's clerk! no, God's my judge,
The clerk will ne'er wear hair on's face that had it.
Gra. He will, an if he live to be a man.
Ner. Av, if a woman live to be a man.
Gra. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth,
A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy,
No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk,
A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee:
I could not for my heart deny it him.
What ring gave you, my lord?
Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me.
Biss. If I could add a lie unto a fault,
I would deny it; but you see my finger
Hath not the ring upon it; it is gone.
Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed
Until I see the ring.
Till I again see mine.
Nor I in yours
If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you did know for whom I gave the ring,
And would conceive for what I gave the ring,
And how unwillingly I left the ring,
When nought would be accepted but the ring,
You would abate the strength of your displeasure.
Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,
Or your own honour to contain the ring,
You would not then have parted with the ring.
What man is there so much unreasonable,
If you had pleas'd to have defended it
With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty
To urge the thing held as a ceremony?
Nerissa teaches me what to believe :
I'll die for 't but some woman had the ring.
Bass. No, by mine honour, madam, by my soul,
No woman had it; but a civil doctor,
Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me,
And begg'd the ring, the which I did deny him,
And suffer'd him to go displeas'd away;
Even he that did uphold the very life
Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet
I was enforc'd to send it after him;
I was beset with shame and courtesy ;
My honour would not let ingratitude
So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady,
For, by these blessed candles of the night,
Had you been there, I think you would have
The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.
Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near my
Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd,
And that which you did swear to keep for me,
I will become as liberal as you;
I'll not deny him any thing I have;