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Had been her husband rather than a Christian! [To Por.] 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, pre-

pare.
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 flesh;
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:- 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 learned judge!

Shy. I take his offer, then ;- pay the bond thrice,
And let the Christian go.
Bass.

Here is the money.
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't 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.25

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. .25 This form of the participle was used in a good many words. And so it is still, as in the words situate, consecrate, and others. Twice in this scene we have forfeit for forfeited.

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,
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 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 contrivd against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formally by me rehears’d.26
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the Duke.

Gra. Beg that thou may'st 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 27

Por Ay, for the State; not for Antonio.28

Shy. Nay, take my life and all; pardon not that: You take my house, when you do take the prop

26 The old copies have formerly instead of formally. The change is Hanmer's.

27 That is, submission on your part may move me to reduce it to a fine.

28 Meaning, apparently, that the reduction of the forfeiture to a fine should apply only to that half of his goods which was to come to the cofler of the State, not that which fell to Antonio. Portia is not yet supposed to know that the report of Antonio's losses was bogus, and so she looks out for his interest.

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 should’st 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'm

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 Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted Of grievous penalties; in lieu whereof, si Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew, We freely cope your courteous pains withal.82

30

29 That is, a jury of twelve men to condemn him. This appears to have been an old joke. So, in The Devil is an Ass, by Ben Jonson: “I will leave you to your godfathers in law. Let twelve men work."

30 An old English idiom now obsolete. See page 92, note 8.

81 In consideration whereof, or in return for which. "For this use of lieu, see page 43, note 6. 82 The only instance that I remember to have met with, of the word copo

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 get 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 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 Ant.] Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake; To Bass.] 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 wife ;
And, when she put it on, she made me vow
That I should neither sell nor give nor lose it.

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 this ring,
She would not hold out enemy for ever
For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you !

[Exeunt Portia and NERISSA. Ant. My Lord Bassanio, let him have the ring: Let his deservings, and my love withal, Be valu'd ʼgainst your wife's commandment. being used in the sense of pay, or reward. A like use of the word in composition, however, occurs in Ben Jonson's Fox, Act iii. scene 5:

He would have sold his part of Paradise

For ready money, had he met a cope-man." 83 Shall and will are among the words which had not become fully differ. entiated in the Poet's time. He has many instances of either being used for the other.

66

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.
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA, disguised as before.
Por. Inquire the Jew's house out, give him this deed,
And let him sign it. We'll away to-night,
And be a day before our husbands home.
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.

Enter GRATIANO.
Gra. Fair sir, you are well overta’en:
My Lord Bassanio, upon more advice,
Hath sent you here this ring, and doth entreat
Your company at dinner.
Por.

That cannot be.
His ring I do accept most thankfully;
And
SO,

I pray you, tell him: furthermore,
I pray you, show my youth old Shylock's house.

Gra. That will I do.
Ner.

Sir, I would speak with you.
[To Por.] I'll see if I can get my husband'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 away the rings to men;
But we'll outface them, and outswear them too.
Away! make haste: thou know’st where I will tarry.
Ner. Come, good sir; will you show me to this house ?

Exeunt.

ACT V SCENE I. Belmont. Avenue to PORTIA's House.

Enter LORENZO and JESSICA.
Lor. The Moon shines bright. In such a night as this,
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,

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1 Upon further consideration. See page 103, note 25.

2 Old was a frequent intensive in colloquial speech; very much as huge is used now. So, in Much Ado about Nothing, v. 2: “Yonder's old coil at home"

And in The Merry Wives of Windsor, i 4: “Here will be an old abusing of God's patience and the king's English.”

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