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Are you acquainted with the difference,
That holds this prefent queftion in the Court?

Por. I am informed throughly of the cafe.
Which is the merchant here? and which the Jew?
Duke. Anthonio and old Shylock, both ftand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylock?

Shy. Shylock is my name.

Por. Of a ftrange nature is the fuit you follow ; Yet in fuch rule, that the Venetian law Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed. You ftand within his danger, do you not? Ant. Ay, fo he fays.

[To Anth.

Por. Do you confefs the bond?

Ant. I do.

Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shy. On what compulfion muft I? tell me that.
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 blefs'd;
It bleffeth him that gives, and him that takes.
"Tis mightieft in the mightieft; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his Crown:
His fcepter fhews the force of temporal pow'r,
The attribute to awe and majefty,

Wherein doth fit the dread and fear of Kings;
But mercy is above this fcepter'd fway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of Kings;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then fhew likest God's,
When mercy feafons juftice. Therefore, Jew,
Tho' juftice be thy plea, confider this,
That in the courfe of juftice none of us
Should fee falvation. We do pray for mercy;
And that fame pray'r doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have fpoke thus much
To mitigate the juftice of thy plea;
Which, if thou follow, this firict Court of Venice
Muft needs give fentence '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 difcharge the mony?
Bal. Yes, here I tender it for him in the Court,
Yea, twice the fum; if that will not fuffice,,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart.
If this will not fuffice, 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 fame example,
Will rush into the ftate. It cannot be.


Shy. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a O wife young judge, how do I honour thee! Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond. Shy. Here 'tis, moft rev'rend Doctor, here it is. Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy mony offer'd thee. Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heav'n. Shall I lay perjury upon my foul? No, not for Venice.

Por. Why, this bond is forfeit ;
And lawfully by this the few may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Neareft the merchant's heart. Be merciful,
Take thrice thy mony, bid me tear the bond.

Shy. When it is paid according to the tenour.
It doth appear, you are a worthy judge;
You know the law: your expofition
Hath been moft found. I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deferving pillar,
Proceed to judgment. By my foul I fwear,
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me. I ftay here on my bond.

Ant. Moft heartily I do befeech the Court To give the judgment.

Por. Why, then thus it is:

You must prepare your bofom for his knife.

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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 wife and upright judge,
How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
Por. Therefore lay bare your bofom.
Shy. Ay, his breast ;

So fays the bond, doth it not, noble judge?
Nearest his heart, thofe are the very words.
Por. It is fo. Are there fcales, to weigh the flesh ?
Shy. I have them ready.
Por. Have by fome furgeon, Shylock, on your charge,
To ftop his wounds, left he should bleed to death.
Shy. Is it fo nominated in the bond ?

Por. It is not fo exprefs'd; but what of that?
Twere good, you do fo much for charity.

Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond. Por. Come, merchant, have you any thing to fay? Ant. But little I am arm'd, and well prepar'd. Give me your hand, Bassanio, fare you well! Grieve not, that I am fall'n to this for you: For herein fortune fhews herself more kind, Than is her cuftom. It is ftill her use,

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 fuch a mifery doth fhe cut me off.
Commend me to your honourable wife;
Tell her the procefs of Anthonio's end;
Say, how I lov'd you; fpeak me fair in death:
And when the tale is told, bid her be judge,
Whether Baffanio had not once a love.
Repent not you, that you fhall lofe your friend;
And he repents not, that he pays your debt;
For if the Jerv do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it inftantly with all my heart.

Baff. Anthonio, I am married to a wife,
Which is as dear to me as life it felf;
But life it felf, my wife, and all the world,


Are not with me esteem'd above thy life.
I would lofe all; ay, facrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.

Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for that, If the were by to hear you make the offer.

Gra. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love;
I would, fhe were in heaven, so she could
Intreat fome Pow'r to change this currish Jew.

Ner. 'Tis well, you offer it behind her back;
The wifh would make else an unquiet house.

Shy. These be the chriftian husbands. I've a daughter; 'Would, any of the stock of Barrabas

Had been her husband, rather than a christian ! [Afide. We trifle time; I pray thee, purfue fentence.

Por. A pound of that fame merchant's flesh is thine, The Court awards it, and the law doth give it.

Shy. Moft rightful judge!

Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breaft; The law allows it, and the Court awards it.

Shy. Moft learned judge! a fentence: come, prepare. Por. Tarry a little, there is fomething else. This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; The words exprefly are, a pound of flesh. Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh; But, in the cutting it, if thou doft fhed One drop of chriftian blood; thy lands and goods Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate Unto the ftate of Venice.

Gra. O upright judge! mark, Jew; O learned judge! Shy. Is that the law?

Por. Thy felf fhalt see the A&t:

For as thou urgeft juftice, be affur'd,

Thou shalt have juftice, more than thou defir'ft.
Gra. O learned judge! mark, Jew; a learned judge!
Shy. I take this offer then, pay the bond thrice,
And let the christian go.

Baff. Here is the mony.

Por. The few fhall have all justice; foft! no hafte; He fhall have nothing but the penalty.

Gra. O few! an upright judge, a learned judge!


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Por. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh
Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou lefs, nor more,
But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak❜ft more
Or less than a juft pound, be't but fo much
As makes it light or heavy in the fubstance,
On the divifion of the twentieth part
Of one poor fcruple; nay, if the scale turn
But in the estimation of a hair,

Thou dieft, and all thy goods are confifcate.
Gra. A fecond Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.

Por. Why doth the Jew paufe? take the forfeiture.
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go.
Baff. I have it ready for thee; here it is.
Por. He hath refus'd it in the open Court;
He fhall have meerly juftice, and his bond.

Gra. A Daniel, ftill fay I; a fecond Daniel!
I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.
Shy. Shall I not barely have my principal?
Por. Thou fhalt 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 ftay 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 feeks the life of any citizen,

The party, 'gainst the which he doth contrive,
Shall feize on 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, 'gainft all other voice:
In which predicament, I fay, thou stand'st.
For it appears by manifeft proceeding,
That indirectly, and directly too,
Thou haft contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou haft incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears'd.


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