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SCENE I.–Venice. A Court of Justice.

To offices of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.
Shy. I have possess’d your grace of what I

And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn
To have the due and forfeit of my 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 baned ? What, are you answer'd


Enter the DUKE; the Magnificoes; ANTONIO,

Duke. What, is Antonio here?
Ant. Ready, so please your grace.
Duke. I am sorry for thee: thou art come to

A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.

I have heard,
Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rigorous course; but since he stands ob-

durate, And that no lawful means can carry me Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose My patience to his fury, and am arm’d To suffer with a quietness of spirit, The very tyranny and rage of his. Duke. Ğo one, and call the Jew into the

Salan. He's ready at the door. He comes, my

Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our

Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice
To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought,
Thoul't show thy mercy and remorse, more

strange Than is thy strange apparent cruelty; And where thou now exact'st the penalty, Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh, Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture, But, touch'd with human gentleness and love, Forgive a moiety of the principal ; Glancing an eye of pity on his losses, That have of late so huddled on his back, Enow to press a royal merchant down, And pluck commiseration of his state From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of fint, From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never train’d


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 affection :
Masters of passion sway it to the mood
Of what it likes, or loaths. Now, for your an-

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 being offended,
So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
More than a lodg'd hate, and a certain loathing,
I bear Antonio, 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

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of you,

And bid the main flood bate his usual height;

Gra. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog,
You may as well use question with the wolf, And for thy life let justice be accus'd!
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb; Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith,
You may as well forbid the mountain pines To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
To wag their high tops, and to make no noise, That souls of animals infuse themselves
When they are fretten with the gusts of heaven; Into the trunks of men : thy currish spirit
You may as well do any thing most hard,

Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter, As seek to soften that, (than which what's Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, harder?)

And whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallowed dam, His Jewish heart.—Therefore, I do beseech you, Infus'd itself in thee; for thy desires Make no more offers, use no further means, Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous. But with all brief and plain conveniency,

Shy. Till thou can'st rail the seal from off my Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.

bond, Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here is six. Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud. Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,

To cureless ruin.-I stand here for law. I would not draw them: I would have my bond. Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering A young and learned doctor to our court.none ?

Where is he? Shy. What judgment shall I dread, doing no Ner. He attendeth here hard by, wrong?

To know your answer, whether you'll admit him. You have among you many a purchas'd slave, Duke. With all my heart:—some three or four Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules,

Go give him courteous conduct to this place.You use in abject and in slavish parts,

Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter. Because you bought them :--shall I say to you, Let them be free; marry them to your heirs ?

[Clerk reads.) “Your grace shall understand,

that at the receipt of your letter I am very sick; Why sweat they under burdens ? let their beds

but in the instant that your messenger came, in Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates Be season'd with such viands? You will answer,

loving visitation was

with me a young doctor of The slaves are ours.So do I apswer you:

Rome; his name is Balthazar. I acquainted him The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,

with the cause in controversy between the Jew

and Antonio, the merchant: we turn'd o'er many Is dearly bought, 'tis mine, and I will have it. If you deny me, fie upon your law !

books together : he is furnishid with my opinion;

which, better'd with his own learning, the greatness There is no force in the decrees of Venice. I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it?

whereof I cannot enough commend, comes with

him, at my importunity, to fill up your grace's reDuke. Upon my power I may dismiss this

quest in my stead. I beseech you, let his lack of court, Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,

years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend Whom I have sent for to determine this,

estimation, for I never knew so young a body with

so old a head. Come here to-day.

I leave him to your gracious Salar. My lord, here stays without

acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his A

commendation." with letters from the doctor, messenger New come from Padua.

Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he Duke. Bring us the letters: call the messenger.

writes : Bass. Good cheer, Antonio! What man, cou And here, I take it, is the doctor come.

rage yet! The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and

Enter Portia, dressed like a doctor of laws. all,

Give me your hand. Came you from old Bellario ? Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.

Por. I did, my lord. Ant. I am a tainted wether of the flock,

Duke. You are welcome: take your place. Meetest for death : the weakest kind of fruit Are you acquainted with the difference Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me. That holds this present question in the court ? You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio,

Por. I am informed throughly of the cause.Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.

Which is the merchant here, and which the

Jew? Enter Nerissa, dressed like a lawyer's clerk.

Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario?

forth. Ner. From both, my lord. Bellario greets your Por. Is your name Shylock ? grace. [Presents a letter. Shy.

Shylock is my name Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earn Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow, estly?

Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrout Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed. there.

You stand within his danger, do you not ? Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul harsh

[To Antonio Jew,

Ant. Ay, so he says. Thou mak'st thy knife keen; but no metal can, Por.

Do you confess the bond ? No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness Ant. I do. Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee ?

Then must the Jew be merciful. Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to Shy. On what compulsion must I! tell me make.



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 : T'is mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown: His sceptre 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 sceptred 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 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 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

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 Daniel! 0, wise young judge, how I do 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

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.-
It doth appear you are a worthy judge ;
You know the law; your exposition
Hath been most sound : I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgment. By my soul I swear,
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me. I stay here on my bond.

Ani. Most heartily I do beseech the court
To give the judgment.

Why then, thus it is :-
You must prepare your bosom 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, wise and upright judge! How much more elder art thou than thy looks !

Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.

Ay, his breast; So says the bond :—doth it not, noble judge ?Nearest his heart: those are the very words.

Por. It is so. Are there balance here to weigh The flesh ?

Shy. I have them ready.
Por. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your

To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death.

Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond ? Pör. It is not so express'd; but what of that? 'Twere good you do so much for charity.

Shy. I cannot find it : 'tis not in the bond. Por. You, merchant, have you any thing to say? Ant. But little: I am arm'd, and well prepar’d.Give me your hand, Bassanio: fare you well. Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you, For herein fortuno shows herself more kind Than is her custom : it is still her use To let the wretched man out-live his wealth, To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow, An age of poverty; from which lingering penance Of such misery doth she cut me off. Commend me to your honourable wife: Tell her the process of Antonio's end; Say, how I lov'd you, speak 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 Jew do cut but deep enough, I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.

Bass. Antonio, I am married 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, sacrifice them all, Here to this devil, to deliver you. Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for

that, If she were by to hear you make the offer.

Gra. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love : I would she were in heaven, so she could Entreat some power 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 ! I have a

daughter; Would any of the stock of Barrabas Had been her husband, rather than a Christian ! We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence. Por. A pound of that same 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. Most 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: Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh; But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods Are by the laws of Venice confiscate Unto the state of Venice.


Gra. O upright judge !-Mark, Jew:-0 learned That doth sustain my house; you take my life, judge!

When you do take the means whereby I live. Shy. Is that the law ?

Por. What mercy can you render him, Antonio! Por.

Thyself shalt see the act; Gra. A halter gratis; nothing else, for God's sake! For, as thou urgest justice, be assurd,

Ant. So please my lord the duke, and all the court. Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest. To quit the fine for one half of his goods, Gra. O learned judge !—Mark, Jew:-a learned I am content, so he will let me have judge!

The other half in use, to render it,
Shy. I take this offer then: pay the bond thrice, | Upon his death, unto the gentleman
And let the Christian go.

That lately. stole his daughter :
Here is the money.

Two things provided more,—that, for this favour, Por. Soft!

He presently become a Christian; The Jew shall have all justice ;-soft!--no haste: The other, that he do record a gift, He shall have nothing but the penalty.

Here in the court, of all he dies possessid, Gra. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge! | Unto his son Lorenzo, and his daughter.

Por. Therefore, prepare thee to cut off the flesh, Duke. He shall do this, or else I do recant Shed thou no blood; nor cut thou less, nor more, The pardon, that I late pronounced here. But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more, Por. Art thou contented, Jew! what dost thou Or less, than a just pound,—be it so much As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance,

Shy. I am content. Or the division of the twentieth part


Clerk, draw a deed of gift. Of one poor scruple ; nay, if the scale do turn Shy. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence. But in the estimation of a hair,

I am not well. Send the deed after me,
Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate. And I will sign it.
Gra. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!


Get thee gone, but do it. Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.

Gra. In christening thou shalt have two godPor. Why doth the Jew pause ? take thy for

fathers : feiture.

Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten more. Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go. To bring thee to the gallows, not the font. Bass. I have it ready for thee: here it is.

(Erit SHILOCK Por. He hath refus'd it in the open court :

Duke. Sir, I entreat you home with me to dinner He shall have merely justice, and his bond.

Por. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon : Gra. A Daniel, still say I; a second Daniel ! I must away this night toward Padua, I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word. And it is meet I presently set forth.

Shy. Shall I not have barely my principal ? Duke. I am sorry, that your leisure serves you vot.

Por. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture, || Antonio, gratify this gentleman, To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

For, in my mind, you are much bound to him. Shy. Why then the devil give him good of it.

(Exeunt Duke, Magnificoes, and Train. I'll stay no longer question.

Bass. Most worthy gentleman, I and my friend Por.

Tarry, Jew :

Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted The law hath yet another hold on you.

Of grievous penalties; in lieu whereof, It is enacted in the laws of Venice,

Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew, If it be prov'd against an alien,

We freely cope your courteous pains withal. That by direct, or, indirect attempts,

Ant. And stand indebted, over and above,
He seek the life of any citizen,

In love and service to you evermore.
The party, 'gainst the which he doth contrive, Por. He is well paid, that is well satisfied;
Shall seize one half his goods: the other half And I, delivering you am satisfied,
Comes to the privy coffer of the state ;

And therein do account myself well paid :
And the offender's life lies in the mercy

My mind was never yet more mercenary. Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice.

I pray you, know me, when we meet again : In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st ; I wish you well, and so I take my leave. For it appears by manifest proceeding,

Bass. Dear sir, of force I must attempt you That, indirectly, and directly too,

further : Thou hast contriv'd against the very life

Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute, Of the defendant, and thou hast incurr'd

Not as a fee. Grant me two things, I pray you: The danger formerly by me rehears'd.

Not to deny me, and to pardon me. Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke. Por. You press me far, and therefore I will yield. Gra. Beg, that thou may'st have leave to hang Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake: thyself;

And, for your love, I'll take this ring from you.And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state, Do not draw back your hand; I'll take no more, Thou hast not left the value of a cord,

And you in love shall not deny me this. Therefore, thou must be hang'd at the state's charge. Bass. This ring, good sir?-alas, it is a trifle : Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our I will not shame myself to give you this. spirit,

Por. I will have nothing else but only this; I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it.

And now, methinks, I have a mind to it. For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's :

Bass. There's more depends on this, than on the The other half comes to the general state,

value. Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.

The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
Por. Ay, for the state ; not for Antonio.

And find it out by proclamation;
Shy. Nay, take my life and all; pardon not that: | Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.
You take my house, when you do take the prop Por. I see, sir, you are liberal in offers:

You taught me first to beg, and now, methinks, For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you. You teach me how a beggar should be an

[E.reunt Portia, and NERISSA. swer'd.

Ant. My lord Bassanio, let him have the ring : Bass. Good sir, this ring was given me by my Let his deservings, and my love withal, wife;

Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandment. And when she put it on she made me vow,

Bass. Go, Gratiano; run and overtake him, That I should neither sell, nor give, nor lose it. Give him the ring, and bring him, if thou can'st, Por. That 'scuse serves many men to save their Unto Antonio's house.—Away! make haste. gifts.

[Exit GRATIANO. An if your wife be not a mad woman,

Come, you and I will thither presently, And know how well I have deserv'd this ring, And in the morning early will we both She would not hold out enemy for ever,

Fly toward Belmont. Come, Antonio. (Exeunt.

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And so,

SCENE II.-The Same. A Street.

Enter Portia, and NERISSA.
Por. Inquire the Jew's house out, give him this

And let him sign it. We'll away to-night,
And be a day before our husbands home.
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.

Gra. Fair sir, you are well o'erta'en.
My lord Bassanio, upon more advice,
Hath sent you here this ring, and doth entreat
Your company at dinner.

That cannot be.

His ring I do accept most thankfully,


pray you, tell him : furthermore,
I pray you, show my youth old Shylock's house.

Gra. That will I do.

Sir, I would speak with you.-
I'll see if I can get my husband's ring, [To Portia.
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.
Por. Thou may'st, I warrant. We shall have

old swearing,
That they did give the rings away to men;
But we'll outface them, and outswear them too.
Away! make haste: thou know'st where I will

Ner. Come, good sir; will you show me to this

[Ereunt. 35

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