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Thou'll show thy mercy, and remorse, more] strange
Than is thy strange apparent + cruelty:
And where thou now exact'st the penalty,
(Which is a pound of this poor merchant's
Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture,
But, touch'd with human gentleness and love,
Forgive a moiety of the principal;
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
That have of late so huddled on his back;
Enough to press a royal merchant down,
And pluck commiseration of his state
From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never train'd
To offices of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle auswer, Jew.
Shy. I have possess'd your grace of what
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn,
To have the due and forfeit of my bond:
If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter, and your city's freedom.
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Three thousand ducats: I'll not answer that:
But say, it is my humour: Is it answer'd?
What if my house be troubled with a rat,
And I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats
To have it baned? What, are you answer'd yet?
Some men there are, love not a gaping pig;
Some, that are mad, if they behold a cat;
And others, when the bagpipe sings i'the nose,
Cannot contain their urine; For affection, ||
Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood
Of what it likes, or loaths: Now, for your an.
Bass. Every offence is not a hate al first.
Shy. What, would'st thou have a serpent
sting thee twice ?
Ant. I pray you, think you question** with
You may as well go stand upon the beach,
And bid the main flood bate his usual height;
You may as well use question with the wolf,
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb;
You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag their high tops, and to make no noise,
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;
You may as well do any thing most hard,
As seek to soften that (than which what's
His Jewish heart :-Therefore, I do beseech you,
Make no more offers, use no further ineans,
But, with all brief and plain conveniency,
Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.
Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here is
Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats, Were in six parts, and every part a ducat, I would not draw them, I would have my bond. Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, reu d'ring none?
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them :-Shall I say to yea,
Let them be free, marry them to your beirs!
Why sweat they under burdens? let their beds
Be made as soft as your's, and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands? You will -
The slaves are our's:-So do I answer you:
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought, is mine, and I will have it:
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice;
I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it!
Duke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here to-day.
Salar. My lord, here stays without
A messenger with letters from the doctor,
New come from Padua.
Duke. Bring us the letters; Call the mis
Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee? Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to
Gra. Oh! be thou dama'd, inexorable 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 busac
Even from the gallows did his fell soul feet,
And, while 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
Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud:
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fail
To cureless ruin.-1 stand here for law.
Duke. This letter from Beliario doth commend
A young and learned doctor to our court:-
Where is be?
Ner. He attendeth here hard by,
To know your answer, whether you'll admit him. Duke. With all my heart:-some three at four of you,
Go, give him courteous conduct to this place.Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter. [Clerk reads.] Your grace shall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, I ca very sick: but in the instant that your mici
senger came, in loving visitation was with
ne a young doctor of Rome, his name is Bal-
thasar: I acquainted him with the cause in
controversy between the Jew and Antonio the
merchant: we turned o'er many books toge-
ther: he is furnish'd with my opinion; which
better'd with his own learning, (the great-
ness whereof I cannot enough commend,)O
comes with him, at my importunity, to fill up
your grace's request in my stead. I beseech
you, let this 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 accep-
tance, whose trial shall better publish his
Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he
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 Bel-
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 Shylock hoth stand
Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shy. On what compulsion must I tell me
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
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;
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;
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
Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the
The penalty and forfeit of my bond. (law,
Por. Is he not able to discharge the money?
Bass. Yes, here I tender it for him in the
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
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
Wrest once the law to your authority:
Tu do a great right, do a little wroug;
And curb this cruel devil of his will.
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
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 tenor.—
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
How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.
Shy. Ay, his breast:
Nearest his heart, those are the very words.
So says the bond ;-Doth it not, noble judge ?—
Por. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh
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 pre-
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,
An age of poverty; from which lingering pe-
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 your friend,
And he repents not that he pays your debt;
For, if the Jew do but cut 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!
Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his
The law allows it, and the court awards it.
Shy. Most learned judge!—A sentence; come,
Por. Tarry a little ;-there is something else.-
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood;
The words expressly are, a pound of flesh :
Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound
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 dake.
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
Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of
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 Antosio.
Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon met
You take my house, when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house; you take my lát,
When you do take the means whereby I Live.
Por. What mercy can you reader him, An-
Gra. A halter gratis; nothing else; for God's
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:
Two things provided more,-That, for this ta-
He presently become a Christian ;
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.
Duke. He shall do this; or else I do recant
The pardon, that I late pronounced here.
Por. Art thou contented, Jew, what dust
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.
Gra. O upright judge !—Mark, learned judge!
Shy. Is that the law ?
Por. Thyself shalt see the act:
For, as thou urgest justice, be assur'd,
Thou shalt have justice more than thou desir'st.
Gra. O learned judge !-Mark, Jew ;-a learu-
And let the Christian go.
Bass. Here is the money.
Shy. I take this offer then;-pay the bond thrice,
Chaste ;The Jew shall have all justice ;-soft!-no 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
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 the 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.
Gra. A Daniel, still say I; a second Daniel !I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.
Shy. Shall I not have barely my principal ? Por. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture
Por. 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,
Shy. I am content.
Por. Clerk, draw a deed of gift.
Shy, I pray you, give me leave to go fra
I am not well; send the deed after me,
And I will sign it.
Duke. Get thee gone, but do it.
Gra. In christening thou shalt bave two gudfathers; Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten
To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.
Duke. Sir, I entreat you home with me to
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
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.
Have, by your wisdom, been this day acquitted
Shy. Why then the devil give him good of it! Of grievons penalties; in lieu whereof,
I'll stay no longer question.
Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew,
We freely cope your courteous pains withal.
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 othe. voice.
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
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 vou
And let him sign it; we'll away to-night, And be a day before our husbands bome: This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.
SCENE II.-The same.-A Street.
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA.
Por. Inquire the Jew's house out, give him I pray you, is my master yet returu'd ?
Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
Upon the wild sea-banks, and wav'd her love
To come again to Carthage.
Jes. In such a night,
Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs
That did renew old Æson.
Lor. In such a night,
Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew:
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice
As far as Belmont.
Jes. And in such a night,
Did young Lorenzo swear he lov'd her well;
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith,
And ne'er a true one.
Lor. And 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
But, bark, I hear the footing of a man.
Lor. Who comes so fast in silence of the night? Steph. A friend.
Lor. A friend? what friend? your name, I pray you, friend?
Steph. 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.
Lor. Who comes with her?
Steph. None, but a holy hermit, and her
Lor. He is not, nor we have not heard from bim.
But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica,
And ceremoniously let us prepare
Some welcome for the mistress of the house.
Laun. Sola, sola, wo ha, ho, sola, sola! Lor. Who calls?
Laun. Sola! did you see master Lorenzo, and mistress 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; ny master will be here ere morning. [Exit. Lor. Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect their coming.
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
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night,
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
SK, Jessica: Look, how the floor of heaven
Jes. I am never merry, when I hear sweet
Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive: F For do but note a wild and wanton herd, Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud,
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 F
Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage, It
But music for the time doth change his nature:
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
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!
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!
Lor. Madam, they are not yet;
But there is come a messenger before,
Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house. Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect; | Ga 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, hoa the moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awak'd [Music ceases.
Lor. That is the voice,
Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia. Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows Ig the cuckoo,
By the bad voice.
Lor. Dear lady, welcome home.
Por. We have been praying for our husbands' Tha
Which speed, we hope, the better for our words. An Are they return'd?
A small flat dish, used in the administration of the Eucharist-or, according to Warburton, plates of gold Lorne in heraldry. 1 A fleurish on a trumpet.
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