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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 :
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?

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 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

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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 merey. 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

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

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Will rush into the state. It cannot be.
Shy. A Danielcome to judgment ! yea, a Daniel!
O 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.



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.
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 270
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 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
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

is thine :

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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.


Tarry, Jew:


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


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,

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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
the value.

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;

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


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To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.
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.


Por. That 'scuse serves many men to save their gifts.

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.
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. Exit GRATIANO.

Come, you and I will thither presently,
And in the morning early will we both
Fly toward Belmont. Come, Antonio. Exeunt.

SCENE II.-The Same. A Street.


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,
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. Boss. Dear sir, of force I must attempt you further:


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;

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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
band's ring,
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.
Por. Thou may'st, I warrant. We shall have
old swearing

That they did give the rings away to men;
But we 'll outface them, and outswear them too.
Away! make haste: thou know'st where I will

Ner. Come, good sir, will you show me to this

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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.
Enter Musicians.


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.
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

Which is the hot condition of their blood;
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound,
Or any air of music touch their ears,
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


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.

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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.

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! 9
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
Ner. When the moon shone, we did not see
the candle.

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


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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.
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. 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.
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 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. Ay, 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.


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 170
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 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.

Sweet Portia,


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