Obrázky stránek
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]


[ocr errors]

I Neagle et Bass. Why dost thou whet thy hinipe so earnestly? Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt theré.

Published by E. & c. Rivington, May 10.1803.

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

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't 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

of you,

Go give him courteous conduct to this place.-
Meantime, 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, (thegreatness 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.

your place.

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
Are you acquainted with the difference
That holds this present question in the court ?

Por. I am informed throughly of the cause. Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?

Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylock?

Shylock is my name. Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you

follow ; Yet in such a rule, that the Venetian law Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed. You stand within his danger,o do you not?

[To ANTONIO. Ant. Ay, so he says. Por.


confess the bond ? Ant. I do. Por.

Then must the Jew be merciful. Shy. On what compulsion must I ? tell me that.

Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath : it is twice bless'd ;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes :

> Cannot impugn you,] To impugn, is to oppose, to controvert.

8 You stand within his danger,] i. e. within his reach or con. trol.

'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this scepter'd sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation :' we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much,
To mitigate the justice of thy plea ;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence’gainst the merchant there.

Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law, The penalty and forfeit of


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 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 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;

9- in the course of justice, none of us

Should see salvation:] Portia referring the Jew to the Christian doctrine of salvation, and the Lord's Prayer, is a little out or character. BLACKSTONE.

« PředchozíPokračovat »