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Be season'd with such viands? You will answer,
So do I answer you:
dismiss this court,
My lord, here stays without A messenger with letters from the doctor, New come from Padua.
Duke. Bring us the letters; Call the messenger, Bass. Good cheer, Antonio! What, man? cou.
rage yet! The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.
Ant. I am a tainted wether of the flock, Meetest for death; the weakest kind of fruit Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me : You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio, Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.
Enter NERISSA, dressed like a Lawyer's Clerk.
[Presents a letter. Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly? Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt
Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.
And for thy life let justice be accus'd.
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.
Shy. Till thou can’st rail the seal from off my bond, 'Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud : Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall To cureless ruin. - I stand 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 answer, whether you'll admit him. Duke. With all my heart: — some three or four
you, Go give him courteous conduct to this place. Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter.
[Clerk reads.] Your grace shall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, I am very sick: but in the instant that your messenger came, in loving visitation, was with me a young doctor of Rome, his name is Balthasar: I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant: we turned 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 a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.
Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he
writes : And here, I take it, is the doctor come.
Enter PORTIA, dressed like a Doctor of Laws. Give me your hand : Came you from old Bellario ? Por. I did, my
lord. Duke. You are welcome : take
your place. Are you acquainted with the difference That holds this present question in the court ?
Por. I am imformed throughly of the cause. Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew ?
Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Shylock is my name.
[Το ANTONIO. Ant. Ay, so he says. Por.
confess the bond ? Ant. I do. Por.
Then must the Jew be merciful.
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain’d ;
is above his scepter'd sway, It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
8 Reach or controul."
It is an attribute to God himself;
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 ?
Bass. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court; Yea, twice the sum: if that will not sụffice, I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er, On forfeit of my
heart : If this will not suffice, 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 power in Venice Can alter a decree established : 'Twill be recorded for a precedent; And many an error, by the same example, Will rush into the state : it cannot be. Shy. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Da
niel! O wise young judge, how do I honour thee !
Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond. Shy. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer’d thee.
Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven: Shall I lay perjury upon my soul ? No, not for Venice.
Why, this bond is forfeit; And lawfully by this the Jew 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 paid according to the tenour. -
Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the court
Why then, thus it is.
Shy. O noble judge! O excellent young man!
the bond. Shy. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge! How much more elder art thou than thy looks! Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom. Shy.
Ay, his breast: So says
the bond ; Doth it not, noble judge ? Nearest his heart, those are the very
Shy. I have them ready
Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond ?
Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.