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Subject to the same diseases, healed by the same


Warmed and cooled by the same summer and winter,

As a Christian is? If you pick us, do we not bleed?

If you tickle us do we not laugh? if you poison us Do we not die? and if you wrong us shall we not revenge?

The villainy you teach me, I will execute!"

Tubal, the Hebrew friend of Shylock, says:

"But Antonio is certainly undone.”

Shylock delighted says:

"That's true, that's very true.

Tubal, fee me an officer; bespeak him a fortnight before.

I will have the heart of Antonio if he forfeit the bond.

Go, Tubal, meet me at our synagogue."

Portia again appears for the third time to undergo matrimonial choice.

Bassanio, the particular friend of Antonio, is the real love suitor for the hand and heart of the beautiful Portia, and appears at her palace, attended by his faithful Venetian friends. He is a high-toned, but impecunious Italian gentleman, whose heart and soul are ninety per cent. larger than his pockets.

Portia seems to be fascinated with Bassanio, and wishes him to remain at her home and take time in choosing the right casket, but he wants to act instanter, confessing his love.

Portia says:

"Let music sound while he doth make his choice; Now he goes,

With no less dignity, but with much more love
Than young Alcides, when he did redeem

The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy
To the sea monster!"

Bassanio, standing before the leaden casket, utters this high sounding, moral, truthful speech:

"The world is still deceived with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But, being seasoned with a gracious voice
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple, but assumes
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts!
How many cowards whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beard of Hercules, and frowning Mars;
Who, inward searched, have livers white as milk?
And these assume but valor's excrement,
To render them redoubted. Look on beauty
And you shall see 'tis purchased by the weight;
Which therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest that wear most of it;

So are those curled, snaky golden locks,
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind
Upon supposed fairness, often known

To be the dowers of a second head;
The scull that bred them in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the treacherous shore
To a most dangerous sea!

Thou meagre lead casket,

Which rather rebuffs than dost promise aught, Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence, And here choose I; joy the consequence!"

Opening the leaden casket, Bassanio exclaims:

"What find I here?

Fair Portia's counterfeit. What demigod
Hath come so near creation;

Here's the scroll,

The continent and summary of my fortune

If you be well pleased with this,

And hold your fortune for your bliss,

Turn you where your lady is

And claim her with a loving kiss!”

Bassanio kisses Portia, and she makes this womanly speech:

"You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand Such as I am; though for myself alone I would not be ambitious in my wish To wish myself much better; yet, for you I would be trebled twenty times myself; A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich.

Happiest of all is that my fond spirit
Commits itself to yours to be directed,
As from her Lord, her Governor, her King!
Myself and what is mine, to you and yours
Is now converted; but now I was the Lord
Of this fair mansion, master of my servants,
Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now,
This house, these servants, and this same myself,
Are yours, my Lord, I give them with this ring;
Which when you part from, lose, or give away,
Let it presage the ruin of your love,

And be my vantage to exclaim to you!”

Bassanio tells Portia that he is not a freeman, that Antonio borrowed three thousand ducats for him from Shylock, and that now he is miserable because Antonio may lose his life by the Jew claiming a pound of flesh in forfeit of the bonded debt.

Portia proposes to pay six thousand ducats rather than Antonio suffer, and says to Bassanio:

"First go with me to church and call me wife,
Then away to Venice to your friend.
You shall have gold

To pay the petty debt twenty times over!"

Shylock swears out a writ and puts Antonio in jail, and demands trial before the Grand Duke of Venice.

The Duke in open court, with all the witnesses and lawyers and people present, implores Shylock not to insist to cut a pound of flesh from the body of Antonio, and argues for mercy.

But, Shylock, impenetrable to the cries of mercy, says to the judge:

"I have told your grace of what I purpose;
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn,
To have the due and forfeit of my bond.
The pound of flesh which I demand of him
Is dearly bought, is mine, and I will have it;
If you deny me, fye upon your law!
I stand for judgment; shall I have it?"

A learned doctor of laws, Bellario, is expected to appear as the advocate for Antonio, and the Duke awaits him; but receives a letter saying that a young lawyer named Balthazar will represent him, as sickness prevents his presence.

Portia disguised like a doctor of laws appears in


The Duke asks: "Come you from old Bellario?" Portia replies: "I did, my lord."

Antonio and Shylock stand up in court, and Portia, after surveying each, inquires: "Is your name Shylock ?"

He replies: "Shylock is my name."

She says to Antonio: "You stand within Shylock's control, do you not?"

He responds: "Ay, so he says."

Portia asks: "Do you confess the bond?"
Antonio replies: "I do."

Portia speaks: "Then must the Jew be merciful ?"

Shylock asks: "On what compulsion must I? Tell me that?"

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