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Enter the Duke, the Senators, Anthonio, Bassanio, Gratiano, Solarino, and Salanio.


'HAT, is Anthonio here?


Anth. Ready, fo please your grace.

Duke. I'm forry for thee; thou art come to answer

A ftony adversary, an inhuman wretch,

Uncapable of pity, void and empty

From any dram of mercy.

Anth. I have heard,

Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rig'rous courfe; but fince he stands obdurate,
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury, and am arm'd
To fuffer, with a quietnefs of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.

Duke. Go one, and call the few into the court.
Sal. He's ready at the door: he comes, my lord.

Enter Shylock.

Duke. Make room, and let him ftand before our face.

Shylock, the world thinks, and I think fo too,

That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice

To the last hour of act, and then, 'tis thought,

Thoul't show thy mercy, and remorse, more strange
Than is thy ftrange apparent cruelty.

And, where thou now exact'ft the penalty,

Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,
Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture,


But, touch'd with human gentleness and love,
Forgive a moiety of the principal;
Glancing an eye of pity on his loffes,
That have of late fo hudled on his back;
Enough to press a royal merchant down,
And pluck commiferation of his ftate

From braffy bofoms, and rough hearts of flint,
From ftubborn Turks, and Tartars, never train'd
To offices of tender courtesy.

We all expect a gentle anfwer, Jew.

Shy. I have poffefs'd your grace of what I purpose ;
And by our holy fabbath have I fworn,

To have the due and forfeit of my bond.
If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter, and your city's freedom.
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Three thousand ducats? I'll not answer that.
But, fay, it is my humour; is it answered?
What if my house be troubled with a rat,
And I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats
To have it bane'd? what, are you answer'd yet?
Some men there are, love not a gaping pig;
Some, that are mad if they behold a cat;
And others, when the bagpipe fings i' th' nose,
Cannot contain their urine for affection."
Masterless paffion fways us to the mood
Of what it likes, or loaths. Now for
As there is no firm reason to be render'd,
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig,
Why he a harmless neceffary cat,
Why he a woollen bagpipe, but of force
Muft yield to fuch inevitable fhame,
As to offend, himself being offended;
So can I give no reason, nor I will not,

* That is, they are so affected with it.




More than a lodg'd hate, and a certain loathing,
I bear Anthonio, that I follow thus

A losing suit against him. Are you answered?
Baff. This is no anfwer, thou unfeeling man,
T'excuse the current of thy cruelty.

Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my anfwer.
Baff. Do all men kill the thing they do not love?
Shy. Hates any man the thing he would not kill ?
Baff. Ev'ry offence is not a hate at firft.

Shy. What, would'st thou have a serpent fting thee twice?
Anth. I pray you, think you queftion with a Jew.

You may as well go ftand upon the beach,

And bid the main flood 'bate his usual height;
You may as well use question with the wolf,
When you behold the ewe bleat for the lamb;
You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag their high tops, and to make a noife
When they are fretted with the gufts of heav'n;
You may as well do any thing most hard,

As seek to soften that (than which what's harder?)
His Jewish heart. Therefore, I do befeech you,
Make no more offers, use no farther means,
But, with all brief and plain conveniency,
Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.
Baff. For thy three thousand ducats here is fix.
Shy. If ev'ry ducat in fix thousand ducats
Were in fix parts, and ev'ry part a ducat,
I would not draw them, I would have my bond.

Duke. How fhalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring none?
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,

Because 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,

Come here to-day.

Sal. My lord, here stays without

A messenger with letters from the doctor,

New come from Padua.

Duke. Bring us the letters; call the meffengers.

Baff. Good cheer, Anthonio! what, man, courage yet! The few fhall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all,

Ere thou fhalt lofe for me one drop of blood.

Anth. I am a tainted weather of the flock, Meeteft for death: the weakest kind. of fruit Drops earliest 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.

Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario?
Ner. From both, my lord: Bellario greets your grace.
Baff. Why doft thou whet thy knife fo earnestly?

[the Jew whetting his knife on the fole of his fhoe.
Shy. To cut the forfeit from that bankrupt there.
Gra. Not on thy fole, but on thy foul, harsh Jew,
Thou mak'ft thy knife keen; for no metal can,
No not the hangman's axe, bear half the keennefs




Of thy fharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?
Shy. No, none that thou haft wit enough to make,
Gra. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog,
And for thy life let juftice be accus'd!
Thou almost mak'ft me waver in my faith,
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That fouls of animals infufe themfelves
Into the trunks of men. Thy currish spirit
Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human flaughter,
Ev'n from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,
And, whilst thou lay'ft in thy unhallow'd dam,
Infus'd itself in thee; for thy defires

Are wolfish, bloody, ftarv'd, and ravenous.

Shy. Till thou canft rail the feal from off my bond,
Thou but offend'ft thy lungs to speak so loud.
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall

To cureless ruin. I ftand here for law.

Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend

A young and learned doctor to our court.

Where is he?

Ner. He attendeth here hard by

To know your anfwer, whether you'll admit him.

Duke. With all my heart. Some three or four of you,
Go, give him courteous conduct to this place :
Meantime, the court fhall hear Bellario's letter.


OUR grace fall 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 caufe in controverfy between the Jew and Anthonio the merchant. We turn'd o'er many books together: he is furnish'd 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 ftead. I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation; for I never knew fo young a body

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