« PreviousContinue »
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,
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 bond,
Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud :
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 visitation 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, com's 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 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
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
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 ? Buss. 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
Will rush into the state. It cannot be.
Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven:
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. Why then, thus it is: You must prepare your boso'n 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; 251 So 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.
Bass. Antonio, I am married to a wife
Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for that,
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
is thine :
Por. Soft! The Jew shall have all justice; soft! no haste:He shall have nothing but the penalty.
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 forfeiture.
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. 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.
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 shalt see the difference of our spirits,
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;
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
Por. I see, sir, you are liberal in offers:
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;
The other, that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd, Into his son Lorenzo, and his daughter.
Duke. He shall do this, or else I do recant
To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.
I must away this night toward Padua,
Por. That 'scuse serves many men to save their gifts.
An if your wife be not a mad-woman,
Bass. Go, Gratiano; run and overtake him; Give him the ring, and bring him, if thou canst, Unto Antonio's house. Away! make haste. Exit GRATIANO.
Come, you and I will thither presently,
SCENE II.-The Same. A Street.
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA.
For. Inquire the Jew's house out, give him this deed,
Duke. I am sorry that your leisure serves you And let him sign it. We'll away to-night,
Antonio, gratify this gentleman,
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. Boss. Dear sir, of force I must attempt you further:
Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute,
Por. You press me far, and therefore I will yield. To ANTONIO. Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake;
I pray you, show my youth old Shylock's house.
That they did give the rings away to men;
Ner. Come, good sir, will you show me to this
And yet no matter; why should we go in?
Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn: With sweetest touches pierce your mistress'ear, And draw her home with music. Music.
Jes. I am never merry when I hear sweet music.
Which is the hot condition of their blood;
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. 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;
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA, at a distance.
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 lark
Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with you,
Por. He knows me as the blind man knows To part so slightly with your wife's first gift; the cuckoo,
By the bad voice. Lor.
Dear lady, welcome home. Por. We have been praying for our husbands' welfare,
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. Por. 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.
It looks a little paler: 'tis a day,
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. Boss. 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 to him,
For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.
In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk:
A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy,
A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee:
I could not for my heart deny it him.
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger,
Boss. Aside. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
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.
Por. What ring gave you, my lord? Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me. Bass. 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. Nor I in yours
Till I again see mine. Bass.