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Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human Naughter,
Shy. 'Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond,
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
Ner. He attendeth here hard by
Grace all understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, I am very fick: but at the instant that your messenger came, in loving viftation was with me a young Doctor of Rome, his Name is Balthasar': I acquainted him with the cause in controversie between the Jew and Anthonio the merchant. We turn'd 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 importunity, to fill up your Grace's request in my Atead. I beseech you, let bis lack of years be no impediment, to let him lack a reverend estimation: For I never knew so young a body with fo old a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial fall better publish bis commendation.
Enter Portia, dress'd like a Doctor of Laws.
And here, I take it, is the Doctor come:
from old Bellario? Por. I did, my lord.
Duke. You're welcome: take your place.
Por. I am informed throughly of the case. Which is the merchant here? and which the Jew ?
Duke. Anthonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
do proceed. You stand within his danger, do you not? [To Anth.
Ant. Ay, so he says.
Por. · The quality of mercy is not strain'd ; • It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heav'n
Upon the place beneath. It is twice bless'd;
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
And that fame pray'r doth teach us all to render
Sby. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
Por. Is he not able to discharge the mony?
Bas. 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 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 pow'r in Venice, 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.
Sky. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel. O wise young judge, how do I honour chee!
Por, I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
Sby. An oath, an oath,- I have an oath in heav'n.
Por. Why, this bond is forfeit ;
7 That malice bears down truth.] By truth is here meant the scalonable offers of accommodation which had been made.
Sby. When it is paid according to the tenour,
Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the Court
Por. Why, then thus it is:
Sby. O noble judge! O excellent young man!
Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
Sby. 'Tis very true. O wise and upright judge, How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
Por. Therefore lay bare your bofom.
Sby. Ay, his breast;
Por. It is so. Are there scales, to weigh the flesh?
Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond?
Por. It is not so exprefs'd; but what of that? 'Twere good, you do so much for charity,
Sby. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
Ant. But little : I am arm’d, and well prepar’d. Give me your hand, Bassanio, fare
well! Grieve not, that I am fall’n to this for you: 6. For herein fortune Thews herself more kind, “ Than is her cuftom. It is still her ufe,
" To let the wretched man out-live his wealth, " To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow, “ An age of poverty:" From which ling'ring penance Of such a misery doch she cut me off. Commend me to your honourable wife; Tell her the process of Antbonio's end; Say, how I lov'd you; speak me fair in death: And when the tale is told, bid her be judge, Whether Basanio had not once a love. Repent not you, that you shall lose
Bal. Anthonio, I am married to a wife,
that, If she were by to hear you make the offer. .
Gra. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love;
Ner. 'Tis well, you offer it behind her back;
I've a daughter; 'Would, any of the stock of Barrabas Had been her husband, rather than a christian! [Aside. We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence. Por. A pound of that fame merchant's flesh is
Shy. Most rightful judge!