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To offices of tender courtesy.
Shy. I have possess'd your grace of what I purpose;
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, say, it is my humour; Is it answer'd ? What if my house be troubled with a rat, And I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats To have it ban'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 bag-pipe sings i' the nose, Cannot contain their urine ; For affections, Masters of passion, sway it to the mood Of what it likes, or loaths: Now, for your answer : As there is no firm reason to be render'd, Why he cannot abide a gaping pig; Why he, a harmless necessary cat ; Why he, a woollen bag-pipe; but of force Must yield to such inevitable shame, As to offend himself, þeing offended; So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
60 More than a lodg’d hate, and a certain loathing, I bear Anthonio, that I follow thus A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd ?
Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, To excuse the current of thy cruelty.
Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my an
Bass. Do all men kill the thing they do not love?
70 Anth. I pray you, think you question with the
Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here is six.
Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats Were in six parts, and every part a ducat, I would not draw them, I would have my bond. Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring none ?
Shy. What judgment shall I dread, doing no
wrong? You have among you many a purchas'd slave, , Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules, You use in abject and in slavish parts, Because you bought them :-Shall I say to you, Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ? Why sweat they under burdens ? let their beds. Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates Be season'd with such viands? you will answer, The slaves are ours:--So do I answer you: The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, Is dearly bought, is mine, and I will have it: If you deny me, fie upon your law! There is no force in the decrees of Venice : I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it?
Duke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this court,
Sala. My lord, here stays without
Duke. 'Bring us the letters ; Call the messenger.
rage yet! The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of Blood.
Anth. I am a tainted wether of the flock, Meetest for death ; the weakest kind of fiuit
Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me :
Enter NERISSA, dress'd like a Lawyer's Clerk.
grace. Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly? Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt
there. Gra. Not on thy soal, but on thy soul, harsh Jew, Thou mak'st thy knife keen : but no metal can, No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?
Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.
Gra. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog! And for thy life let justice be accus'd. Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith, To hold opinion with Pythagoras, That souls of animals infuse themselves Into the trunks of men : thy currish spirit Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter, Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam, Infus d itself in thee; for thy desires Are wolfish, bloody, starv’d, and ravenous. 140 Shy. 'Till thou can't rail the seal from off my
bond, Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud : Iij
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
Ner. He attendeth here hard by, To know your answer, whether you'll admit him. Duke. With all my heart :--some three or four of you,
150 Go give him courteous conduct to this place... Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter.
shall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, I am very sick : but at the instant that your mes. senger came, in loving visitation was with me a young doctor of Rome, his name is Balthazar : I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antha nio the merchant: we turn'd o'er many books together : he is furnish'd with my opinion; which, better'd 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 stead. I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation; for I never knew so young a body with so old an head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.
Enter Portia, dress'd like a Doctor of Laws. Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he