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


of the stock of Barrabas 21 Had been her husband, rather than a Christian!

[Aside. We trifle time: I pray thee, pursue sentence. Por. A pound of that same merchant's flesh is

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

21 Shakspeare seems to have followed the pronunciation usual to the theatre, Barabbas being sounded Barabas throughout Marlowe's Jew of Malta.

Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.
Gra. O upright judge !-Mark, Jew;-0 learned

Shy. Is that the law?

Thyself shall see the act: For, as thou urgest justice, be assur’d, Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desir’st. Gra. O learned judge!—Mark, Jew ;-a learned

judge! Shy. I take this offer then;-pay the bond thrice, And let the Christian go. Bass.

Here is the money. Por. Soft; The Jew shall have all justice :-soft!--no haste; He shall have nothing but the penalty.

Gra. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge!

Por. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh 22, Shed thou no blood; nor cut thou less, nor more, But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak’st more, Or less, than a just pound,-be it but so much As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance, Or the division of the twentieth part Of one poor scruple; nay, if the scale do turn But in the estimation of a hair, Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate.

Gra. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.

Por. Why doth the Jew pause ? take thy forfeiture.
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go.
Bass. I have it ready for thee; here it is.

22 Balthasar Gracian, the celebrated Spanish Jesuit, in his Hero, relates a similar judgment, which he attributes to the great Turk. Gregorio Leti in his Life of Sixtus V. has another story of the kind. The papacy of Sixtus began in 1583, and ended in 1599. The passages may be found in the Variorum Shakspeare.

Por. He hath refus'd it in the open court; He shall have merely justice, and his bond.

Gra. A Daniel, still say I; a second Daniel! I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.

Shy. Shall I not have barely my principal?

Por. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture, To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

Shy. Why then the devil give him good of it!
I'll stay no longer question.

Tarry, Jew;
The law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be prov'd against an alien,
That by direct, or indirect attempts,
He seek the life of any citizen,
The party, 'gainst the which he doth contrive,
Shall seize one half his goods; the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state;
And the offender's life lies in the

Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice.
In which predicament, I say, thou stand’st:
For it appears by manifest proceeding,
That, indirectly, and directly too,
Thou hast contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant: and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears’d.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.
Gra. Beg, that thou mayst have leave to hang

thyself: And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state, Thou hast not left the value of a cord; Therefore, thou must be hang'd at the state's charge. Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our

spirit, I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it: For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's;

The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.

Por. Ay, for the state; not for Antonio.

Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that: You take my house, when you do take the prop That doth sustain my house; you take


life, When

you do take the means whereby I live.
Por. What mercy can you render him, Antonio ?
Gra. A halter gratis; nothing else, for God's

Ant. So please my lord the duke and all the court,
To quit the fine for one half of his goods;
I am content, so he will let me have
The other half in use 23,—to render it,
Upon his death, unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter:
Two things provided more.-That, for this favour,
He presently become a Christian;
The other, that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd,
Unto his son Lorenzo, and his daughter.

Duke. He shall do this; or else I do recant
The pardon that I late pronounced here.

Por. Art thou contented,Jew, what dost thou say?
Shy. I am content.

Clerk, draw a deed of gift.
Shy. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence;
I am not well; send the deed after me,
And I will sign it.

Get thee gone, but do it.
Gra. In christening thou shalt have two godfathers;

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23 Antonio's offer has been variously explained. It appears to be that he will quit his share of the fine, as the duke has already done that portion due to the state, if Shylock will let him have it in use (i, e. at interest) during his life, to render it at his death to Lorenzo.

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Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more R4; To bring thee to the gallows, not to the font.

[Exit SHYLOCK. Duke. Sir, I entreat you home with me to dinner.

Por. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon; I must away this night toward Padua, And it is meet I presently set forth. Duke. I am sorry that your

leisure serves you not. Antonio, gratify this gentleman; For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.

[Exeunt Duke, Magnificoes, and Train. Bass. Most worthy gentleman, I and my friend Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted Of grievous penalties; in lieu whereof, Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew, We freely cope your courteous pains withal.

Ant. And stand indebted, over and above,
In love and service to you evermore.

Por. He is well paid that is well satisfied;
And I, delivering you, am satisfied,
And therein do account myself well paid;
My mind was never yet more mercenary.
I pray you, know me, when we meet again;
I wish you well, and so I take my leave.

Bass. Dear sir, of force I must attempt you further;
Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute,
Not as a fee: grant me two things, I pray you,
Not to deny me, and to pardon me.

24 i. e. a jury of twelve men to condemn him. This appears to have been an old joke. So in the Devil is an Ass, by Ben Jonson:

-I will leave you To your godfathers in law. Let twelve men work. And in Bullein's Dialogue of the Fever Pestilence, 1564, one of the speakers, to show his mean opinion of an ostler at an inn, says: 'I did see him aske blessinge to xii godfathers at once.'

We have here a reference to the English trial by jury inapplicable to the forms of a Venetian trial.

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