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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.
Enter PORTIA, dressed like a doctor of lavos. Give me your hand : Came you from old Bellario?
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 thoroughly of the cause.
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew ?
Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylock ?
Shy. Shylock is my name.
Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow;
Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn * you, as you do proceed.-
You stand within his danger, do you not ? [To ANTONIO
Ant. Ay, so he says.
Por. Do you confess the bond ?
Ant. I do.
Por. 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
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 there.
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 ?
Bass. 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 power 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.
Shy. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel !-
O 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 thee.
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: 0 wise and upright judge !
How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.
Shy. Ay, his breast:
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. Come, merchant, have you anything to say ?
Ant. But little; I am arm’d, and well prepared.-
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 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 loved you, speak me fair in death;
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 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: I have 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 same merchant's flesh is thine;
The court awards it, and the law doth give it.
Shy. Most rightful judge !
Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast;
The law allows it, and the court awards it.
Shy. Most learned judge !-A sentence; come, prepare.
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 of fleshı;
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;-0 learned judge !
Shy. Is that the law ?
Por. Thyself shalt see the act:
For, as thou urgest justice, be assured,
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desir'st.
Gra. O learned judge !-Mark, Jew ;-a learned judge!
Shy. I take this offer then ;--pay the bond thrice,
And let the Christian go.
Bass. Here is the money.
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 the forfeiture.
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go.
Bass. I have it ready for thee; here it is.
Por. He hath refused 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 barely have 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.
Por. Tarry, Jew;
The law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be proved 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 contrived against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehearsed.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.
Gra. Beg, that thou mayst have leave to hang thyself:
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 spirit,
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 sake.
Ant. So please my lord the duke, and all the court,
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 favour,
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 dost thou say?
Shy. I am content.
Por. 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.
Duke. Get thee gone, but do it.
Gra. In christening thou shalt have two godfathers;
Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more,
To bring thee to the gallows, not the font. [Exit SHYLOCK.
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 not.
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,