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with fo old a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial fhall better publish his commendation.
Enter Portia, dress'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.
Are you acquainted with the difference
That holds this present question in the court?
Por. I am informed throughly of the case.
Which is the merchant here? and which the Jew?
Duke. Anthonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylock?
Shy. Shylock is my name.
Por. Of a strange 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?
Anth. Ay, fo he says.
Por. Do you confefs the bond?
Anth. 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 blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
'Tis mightieft in the mightieft; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His fceptre fhows 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 fceptred fway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to god himself;
And earthly pow'r doth then show likeft god's,
When mercy feasons juftice. Therefore, Jew,
Though juftice be thy plea, confider this,
That, in the courfe of justice, 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 spoke thus much
To mitigate the juftice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this ftrict court of Venice
Must 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 discharge the money?
Baff. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court;
Yea, twice the fum: 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 fuffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth. And I befeech you,
Wreft 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 errour by the fame example
Will rush into the ftate. It cannot be.
Shy. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel !
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 money 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
Nearest the merchant's heart. Be merciful;
Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.
Shy. When it is pay'd according to the tenour.
It doth appear you are a worthy judge;
You know the law, your expofition
Hath been most found. I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deferving pillar,
Proceed to judgment. By my foul I swear,
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me. I ftay here on my bond.
Anth. 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.
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 bosom.
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 fhould 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 say?
68 THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.
Anth. 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 fhows herself more kind
Than is her custom: it is ftill her use
To let the wretched man outlive 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 process 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 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 few do cut but deep enough,
I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.
Ball. Anthonio, I am marry'd 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, 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 proteft, I love; I would, fhe were in heaven, fo fhe could Entreat fome pow'r 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. Iv'e a daughter;
Would, any of the ftock of Barrabas
Had been her husband, rather than a christian!
We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence.
Por. A pound of that fame 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. Moft 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.
Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou doft shed
One drop of christian blood, thy lands, and goods,
Are, by the laws of Venice, confifcate
Unto the state of Venice.
Gra. O upright judge! mark, Jew; o learned judge!
Shy. It that the law?
Por. Thyfelf fhall fee the act:
For, as thou urgest justice, 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 money.
Por. The few fhall have all juftice; soft! no haste;
He shall have nothing but the penalty.
Gra. O few! 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 lefs, than a juft pound, be't but so much
As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance,
Or the divifion of the twentieth part
Of one poor fcruple; nay, if the fcale turn
But in the estimation of a hair,
Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate.
Gra. A fecond Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.