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Than is thy ftrange apparent cruelty.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.
Shy. I have poffefs'd your Grace of what I purpose. And by our holy Sabbath have I fworn,
To have the due and forfeit of my bond.
(15) Cannot contain their Urine for Affection.
of what it likes, or loaths.] Masterlefs Paffion was first Mr. Rowe's Reading, (on what Authority, I am at a Lofs to know;) which Mr. Pope has fince copied. And tho' I have not difturb'd the Text, yet, I must observe, I don't know what Word there is to which this Relative [it, in the 2d Line] is to be referr'd. The ingenious Dr. Thirlby, therefore, would thus adjust the Paffage.
Masterlefs paffion fways it to the mood
A lofing fuit against him. Are you answer'd?
Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my an-
Baff. Do all men kill the thing they do not love?
Shy. What, would't thou have a ferpent fting thee
Ant. I pray you, think, you question with a Jew. You may as well go ftand upon the beach, And bid the main flood 'bate his ufual height. You may as well ufe queftion 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,
Cannot contain their Urine; for Affection,
* Master of Paffion, sways it &c. * Or, Mistress. And then it is govern'd of Paffion: and the 2 old Quarte's and Folio's read. Mafters of Paffion, &c.
It may be objected, that Affection and Paffion are Synonomous Terms, and mean the fame Thing. I agree, they do at this time. But I obferve, the Writers of our Author's Age made a fort of Diftin&tion: confidering the One as the Cause, the Other as the Effect. And then, in this place, Affection wili ftand for that Sympathy or Antipathy of Soul, by which we are provok'd to fhew a Liking or Disgust in the Working of our Paffions.
When they are fretted with the gufts of heav'n.
Shy. What judgment fhall I dread, doing no wrong? You have among you many a purchas'd flave, Which, like your affes, and your dogs, and mules, You use in abject and in flavish part, Becaufe you bought them. Shall I fay to you, Let them be free, marry them to your heirs? Why fweat they under burdens ? let their beds Be made as foft as yours, and let their palates Be feafon'd with fuch viands; you will answer, The flaves are ours. So do I answer you: The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, Is dearly bought, 'tis mine, and I will have it: If you deny me, fie upon your law! There is no force in the decrees of Venice: I ftand for judgment; anfwer; fhall I have it? Duke. Upon my pow'r I may dismiss this Court, Unless Bellario, a learned Doctor,
Whom I have fent for to determine this,
Sal. My lord, here ftays, without,
Duke. Bring us the letters, call the meffenger.
The Jew fhall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all,
Ant. I am a tainted weather of the flock, Meeteft for death: the weakest kind of fruit Drops earlieft to the ground, and fo let me. You cannot better be employ'd, Baffanio, Than to live ftill, and write mine epitaph.
Enter Neriffa, dress'd like a Lawyer's Clerk.
Baff. Why doft thou whet thy knife so earnestly?
Thou mak'ft thy knife keen; for no metal can,
Shy. No, none that thou haft wit enough to make.
(16) From both my Lord Bellario greets your Grace.] Thus the two old Folio's, and Mr. Pope in his Quarto, had inaccurately pointed this Paffage, by which a Doctor of Laws was at once rais'd to the Dignity of the Peerage.
(17) Not on thy Soale, but on thy Soul, harsh Jew.] I was obliged, from the Authority of the old Folio's, to restore this Conceit, and Jingle upon two Words alike in Sound, but differing in Senfe. Gratiano thus rates the Jew; "-Tho' thou "thinkeft, that thou art whetting thy Knife on the Scale of "thy Shoe, yet it is upon thy Soul, thy immortal Part, that "thou do'ft it, thou inexorable Man!" There is no room to doubt, but this was our Author's Antithefis; as it is fo ufual with him to play on Words in this manner: and That from the Mouth of his moft serious Characters,
Ev'n from the gallows did his fell foul fleet,
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
Ner. He attendeth here hard by
To know your anfwer, whether you'll admit him.
YOUR Grace fhall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, I am very fick but at the inftant that your messenger came, in loving vifitation was with me a young Doctor of Rome, his Name is Balthafar: I acquainted him with the cause in controverfie 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 greatnefs whereof I cannot enough commend,) comes with him at my importunity, to fill up your Grace's request in my ftead. I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment, to let him lack a reverend eftimation: For I never knew so young a body with fo old a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whofe trial fhall better publish his com
Enter Portia, drefs'd like a Doctor of Laws.
Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he writes, And here, I take it, is the Doctor come:
Give me your hand. Came you from old Bellario? Por. I did, my lord.
Duke. You're welcome: take your place.