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SCENE I.—Venice. A Court of Justice. Must yield to such inevitable shame,
As to offend, himself being offended; Enter the Duke, the agnific Antonio, BasSANIO, Gratiano, Salarino, Salario, and More than a lodg’d hate, and a certain loathing,
So can I give no reason, nor I will not, others.
I bear Antonio, that I follow thus Duke. What, is Antonio here?
A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd ! Ant. Ready, so please your grace.
Bass. This is no answer, thou un feeling man, Duke. I am sorry for thee; thou art come to To excuse the current of thy cruelty.
Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch Uncapable of pity, void and empty
Bass. Do all men kill the things they do not love? From any dram of mercy.
Shy. Hates any man the thing he would not kill. Ant. I have heard,
Bass. Every offence is not a hate at first. Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify Shy. What, wouldst thou have a serpent sting His rigorous course ; but since he stands obdurate,
thee twice? And that no lawful means can carry me
Ant. I pray you, think you question with the Jew; Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
You may as well go stand upon the beach, My patience to his fury; and am arm'd
And bid the main flood bait his usual height; To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
You may as well use question with the wolf, The very tyranny and rage of his.
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb; Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the court. You may as well forbid the mountain pines Salan. He's ready at the door: he comes, my To wag their high tops, and to make no noise, lord.
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven; Enter SarLOCK.
You may as well do any thing most hard,
As seek to soften that (than which what's harder?) Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our His Jewish heart:—Therefore, I do beseech you, face.
Make no more offers, use no further means, Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too, But, with all brief and plain conveniency, That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will. To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought, Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here are six. Thou'lt show thy mercy, and remorse,o more strange Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats Than is thy strange apparent cruelty :
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat, And where thou now exact'st the penalty, I would not draw them, I would have my bond. (Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,) Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture,
none? But touch'd with human gentleness and love, Shy. What judgment shall I dread, doing no Forgive a moiety of the principal ;
wrong? Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
You have among you many a purchas'd slave, That have of late so huddled on his back; Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules, Enough to press a royal merchant down,
You use in abject and in slavish parts, And pluck commiseration of his state
Because you bought them :-Shall I say to you, From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint, Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ? From stubborn Turks, and Tartars, never train'd Why sweat they under burdens ? Let their beds To offices of tender courtesy.
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates We all expect a gentle answer,
Be season'd with such viands. You will answer, Shy. I have possess'd your grace of what I purpose; The slaves are ours:-So do I answer you: And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn,
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, To have the due and forfeit of my bond:
Is dearly bought, is mine, and I will have it: If you deny it, let the danger light
If you deny me, fye upon your law! Upon your charter, and your city's freedom. There is no force in the decrees of Venice: You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it? A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Duke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this court, Three thousand ducats: I'll not answer that: Unless Bellario, a learned doctor, But, say, it is my humor; Is it answer'd ?
Whom I have sent for to determine this, What if my house be troubled with a rat,
Come here to-day. And I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats
My lord, here stays without To have it baned? What, are you answer'd yet? A messenger with letters from the doctor, Some men there are, love not a gaping pig; New come from Padua. Some, that are mad, if they behold a cat;
Duke. Bring us the letters; Call the messenger. And others, when the bag-pipe sings i' the nose, Bass. Good cheer, Antonio! What, man? oouCannot contain their urine; For affection,
rage yet! Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood
The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, Of what it likes, or loaths: Now, for your answer: Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood. As there is no firm reason to be render'd,
Ant. I am a tainted wether of the fock, Why he cannot abide a gaping pig;
Meetest for death; the weakest kind of fruit Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me: Why he, a swollen bag-pipe; but of force You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio, • Pity. 1 Whereas.
Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.
Enter Nerissa, dressed like a Lawyer's Clerk.
Ant. Ay, so he says.
Por. Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario?
Do you confess the bond ?
Ant. I do. Ner. From both, my lord: Bellario greets your
Por. Then must the Jew be merciful. grace. [Presents a letter.
Shy. On what compulsion must I ? tell me that. Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly? Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven,
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd; there. Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew, it'blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
Upon the place beneath : it is twice bless'd; Thou mak'st thy knife keen: but no metal can, No, not the hangman's ax, bear half the keenness 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee? The throned monarch better than his crown: Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make. His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty, Gra. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog !
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; And for thy life let justice be accus'd. Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith,
But mercy is above his 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 Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter, Though justice be thy plea, consider this.
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,
That, in the course of justice, none of us And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam,
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy; Intus'd itself in thee; for thy desires Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous.
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render Shy. Till thou canst rail the seal from off'my bond, The deeds of mercy. I have spoke this much,
To mitigate the justice of thy plea; Thou but offend’st thy lungs to speak so loud:
Which, if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant To cureless ruin.-I stand here for law. Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law, A young and learned doctor to our court:
The penalty and forfeit of my bond.
Por. Is he not able to discharge the money? To know your answer, whether you'll admit him. Yea, twice the sum; if that will not suffice,
Bass. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court; Duke. With all my heart:—Some three or four
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er, of you,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart: Go, give him courteous conduct to this place.
If this will not suffice, it must appear Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter.
[Clerk reads.] Your grace shall understand, that, That malice bears down truth. And I bescech you, at the receipt of your letter, I am very sick: but in Wrest once the law to your authority : the instant that your messenger came, in loving visit. And curb this cruel devil of his will. ation was with me a young doctor of Rome; his name is Balthasar: Í acquainted him with the Can alter a decree established :
Por. It must not be: there is no power in Venice cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio "Twill be recorded for a precedent; the merchant: we turned o'er many books together; And many an error, by the same example, he is furnish'd with my opinion; which, better'd Will rush into the state : it cannot be. with his own learning, (the greatness whereof 1 cannot enough commend,) comes with him, at my o wise young judge, how do I honor thee!
Shy. A Daniel come to judgment! yea a Daniel! importunity, to fill up your grace's request in my
Por. stead. I beseech you, let his lack of years be no
pray you, let me look upon the bond. impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation;
Shy. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd for I never knew so young a body with so old a
thee. head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance,
Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven : whose trial shall better publish his commendation. Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he Shall I lay perjury upon my soul ?
No, not for Venice. writes:
Por. And here I take it, is the doctor come.
Why, this bond is forfeit;
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim Enter Portia, dresscd like a Doctor of Laws.
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off Give me your hand: Came you from old Bellario? Nearest the merchant's heart :-Be merciful; Por. I did, my lord.
Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond. Duke. You are welcome: take your place. Shy. When it is paid according to the tenor.Are you acquainted with the difference
It doth appear, you are a worthy judge; That holds this present question in the court ? You know the law, your exposition
Por. I am informed throughly of the cause. Hath been most sound: I charge you by the law,
Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth. Proceed to judgment: by my soul I swear,
There is no power in the tongue of man
Shylock is my name. To alter me: I stay here on my bond. Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow; Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the court Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law
To give the judgment. Cannot impugn' you, as you do proceed.
Why then, thus it is: You stand within his danger,“ do you not ? You must prepare your bosom for his knife.
[To Antonio. Shy. O noble judge! O excellent young man! • Oppose.
Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
* Reach or control.
Hath full relation to the penalty,
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate Which here appeareth due upon the bond. Unto the state of Venice.
Shy. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge! Gra. O upright judge!—Mark, Jew;— learned How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
judge! Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.
Shy. Is that the law?
Thyself shall see the act :
Por. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh Gra. O learned judge !—Mark, Jew ;-a learned The flesh.
judge! Shy. I have them ready.
Shy. I take this offer then ;--pay the bond thrice, Por. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your And let the Christian go. charge,
Here is the money.
The Jew shall have all justice ;-soft-no haste;Por. It is not so express'd: But what of that? He shall have nothing but the penalty. 'Twere good you do so much for charity.
Gra. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge! Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond. Por. Therefore, prepare thee to cut off the flesh. Por. Come, merchant, have you any thing to Shed thou no blood; nor cut thou less, nor more, say?
But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak’st more,
But in the estimation of a hair,
Por. Why doth the Jew pause ? take thy forCommend me to your honorable wife:
feiture. Tell her the process of Antonio's end,
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go. Say, how I loved you, speak me fair in death; Bass. I have it ready for thee; here it is. And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge, Por. He hath refus'd it in the open court; Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
He shall have merely justice and his bond. Repent not you that you shall lose your friend, Gra. A Daniel, still say I; a second DanielAnd he repents not that he pays your debt; I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word. For, if the Jew do cut but deep enough,
Shy. Shall I not have barely my principal ? I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.
Por. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture, Bass. Antonio, I am married to a wife,
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew. Which is as dear to me as life itself;
Shy. Why then the devil give him good of it! But life itself, my wife, and all the world, I'll stay no longer question. Are not with me esteem'd above thy life:
Tarry, Jew; I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all
The law hath yet another hold on you. Here to this devil, to deliver you.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice, Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for If it prov'd against an alien, that,
That by direct, or indirect attempts, If she were by, to hear you make the offer. He seek the life of any citizen,
Gra. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love; The party, 'gainst the which he doth contrive, I would she were in heaven, so she could
Shall seize one half his goods; the other half
Ner. 'Tis well you offer it behind her back; And the offender's life lies in the merey
For it appears by manifest proceeding, 'Would, any of the stock of Barrabas
That indirectly, and directly too,
[Aside. Of the defendant: and thou hast incurr'd
Gra. Beg, that thou mayst have leave to hang The court awards it, and the law doth give it.
thyself: Shy. Most rightful judge!
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state, Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his Thou hast not left the value of a cord; breast;
Therefore thou must be hang’dat the state's charge. The law allows it, and the court awards it.
Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our Shy. Most learned judge !--A sentence; come,
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it:
Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that: One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods | You take my house, when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house: you take my life,
Bass. This ring, good sir,-alas, it is a trifle; When you do take the means whereby I live. I will not shame myself to give you this. Por. What mercy can you render him, Antonio? Por. I will have nothing else but only this; Gra. A halter gratis; nothing else, for God's sake. And now, methinks, I have a mind to it.
Ant. So please my lord the duke, and all the court, Bass. There's more depends on this, than on the To quit the fine for one half of his goods;
value. I am content, so he will let me have
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you, The other half in use,--to render it,
And find it out by proclamation; Upon his death, unto the gentleman
Only for this, I pray you, pardon me. That lately stole his daughter:
Por. I see, sir, you are liberal in offers ; Two things provided more,—That, for this favor, You taught me first to beg; and now, methinks, He presently become a Christian;
You teach me how a beggar should be answer'd. The other, that he do record a gift,
Bass. Good sir, this ring was given me by my wife: Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd, And, when she put it on, she made me vow, Unto his son Lorenzo, and his daughter.
That I should neither sell, nor give, nor lose it. Duke. He shall do this; or else I do recant Por. That 'scuse serves many men to save their The pardon, that I late pronounced here.
gifts; Por. Art thou contented, Jew, what dost thou An if your wife be not a mad woman,
And know how well I have deserved this ring, Shy. I am content.
She would not hold out enemy for ever, Por.
Clerk, draw a deed of gift. For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you! Shy. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence :
[Exeunt Portia and Nerissa. I am not well; send the deed after me,
Ant. My lord Bassanio, let him have the ring; And I will sign it.
Let his deservings, and my love withal, Duke.
Get thee gone, but do it. Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandment. Gra. In christening thou shalt have two god Bass. Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him, fathers;
Give him the ring; and bring him, if thou canst, Had I been judge thou shouldst have had ten more, Unto Antonio's house :-away, make haste. To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.
[Exit Gratiano. [Exit SHYLOCK. Come, you and I will thither presently; Duke. Sir, I entreat you home with me to dinner. And in the morning early will we both
Por. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon; Fly toward Belmont: Come, Antonio. (Exeunt. I must away this night toward Padua,
SCENE II.-A Street.
Enter Portia and NERISSA.
Por. Inquire the Jew's house out, give him this For, in my mind, you are much bound to him. Exeunt Duke, Magnificoes, and Train. And let him 'sign it: we'll away to-night,
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.
. Gra. Fair sir, you are well overtaken: Ant. And stand indebted, over and above, My lord Bassanio, upon more advice,? In love and service to you evermore.
Hath sent you here this ring; and doth entreat Por. He is well paid, that is well satisfied; Your company at dinner. And I, delivering you, am satisfied,
That cannot be:
I pray you, tell him: Furthermore,
pray you, know me, when we meet again; I pray you show my youth old Shylock's house. I wish you well, and so I take my leave.
Gra. That will I do. Bass. Dear sir, of force I must attempt you fur
Sir, I would speak with you : ther;
I'll see if I can get my husband's ring, [To Portia. Take some remembrance of us as a tribute,
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever. Not as a fee; grant me two things, I pray you, Por. Thou may'st, I warrant: We shall have old Not to deny me, and to pardon me.
swearing, Por. You
press me far, and therefore I will yield. That they did give the rings away to men; Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake; But we'll outface them, and outswear them too. And, for your love, I'll take this ring from you :- Away, make haste; thou know'st where I will tarry. Do not draw back your hand; I'll take no more; Ner. Come, good sir, will you show me to this And you in love shall not deny me this.
Where Cressid lay that night.
In such a night, Lor. The moon shines bright :-In such a night Did Thisbe fearfully o'ertrip the dew; as this,
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself, When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,
And ran dismay'd away. And they did make no noise; in such a night,
In such a night, Troilus, methinks, mounted the 'Trojan walls,
Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive: Upon the wild sea-banks, and wav'd her love For do but note a wild and wanton herd, To come again to Carthage.
Or race of youthful, and unhandled colts,
In such a night, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud, Medea gathered the enchanted herbs
Which is the hot condition of their blood; That did renew old Æson.
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, Lor.
In such a night, Or any air of music touch their ears, Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew;
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, And with an unthrift love did run from Venice, Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze, As far as Belmont.
By the sweet power of music: Therefore, the poet Jes.
And in such a night, Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods; Did young Lorenzo swear he lov'd her well; Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage, Stealing her soul with many vows of faith, But music for the time doth change his nature. And ne'er a true one.
The man that hath no music in himself, Lor.
And in such a night, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils : Slander her love, and he forgave it her.
The motions of his spirit are dull as night, Jes. I would out-night you, did no body come:
And his affections dark as Erebus: But, hark, I hear the footing of a man.
Let no such man be trusted.-Mark the music. Enter STEPHANO.
Enter Portia and Nerissa, at a distance. Lor. Who comes so fast in silence of the night? Por. That light we see, is burning in my hall. Steph. A friend.
How far that little candle throws his beams! Lor. A friend? what friend ? your name, I pray So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
Ner. When the moon shone, we did not see the Steph. Stepháno is my name; and I bring word,
candle. My mistress will before the break of day
Por. So doth the greater glory dim the less: Be here at Belmont: she doth stray about
A substitute shines brightly as a king, By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays Until a king be by; and then his state For happy wedlock hours.
Empties itself, as doth an inland brook Lor.
Who comes with her ? Into the main of waters. Music! hark! Steph. None, but a holy hermit, and her maid. Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house. I pray you, is my master yet return'd?
Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect; Lor. He is not, nor we have not heard from him.-Methinks, it sounds much sweeter than by day. But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica,
Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam. And ceremoniously let us prepare
Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark, Some welcome for the mistress of the house. When neither is attended; and, I think, Enter LAUNCELOT.
The nightingale, if she should sing by day, Laun. Sola, sola, wo ha, ho, sola, sola! When every goose is cackling, would be thought Lor. Who calls?
No better a musician than the wren. Laun. Sola! did you see master Lorenzo, and How many things by season season'd are mistress Lorenzo ! sola, sola!
To their right praise and true perfection ! Lor. Leave hollaing, man; here.
Peace, hoa ! the moon sleeps with Endymion, Laun. Sola! where? where?
And would not be awak'd! [Music ceases. Lor. Here.
That is the voice, Laun. Tell him, there's a post come from my Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia. master with his horn full of good news; my master
Por. He knows me as the blind man knows the will be here ere morning.
cuckoo, Lor. Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect their By the bad voice. coming.
Dear lady, welcome home. And yet no matter;— Why should we go in? Por. We have been praying for our husbands' My friend Stepháno, signify, I pray you,
welfare, Within the house, your mistress is at hand;
Which speed, we hope, the better for our words; And bring your music forth into the air.
Are they return'd? [Exit STEPHANO.
Madam, they are not yet; How sweet the moon-light sleeps upon this bank! But there is come a messenger before, Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
To signify their coming. Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night,
Go in, Nerissa, Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Give order to my servants, that they take Sit, Jessica: Look, how the floor of heaven
No note at all of our being absent hence; Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold;
Nor you, Lorenzo ;-Jessica, nor you. There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold'st,
[A tucket' sounds. But in his motion like an angel sings,
Lor. Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet: Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubins :
We are no tell-tales, madam, fear you not. Such harmony is in immortal souls;
Por. This night, methinks, is but the day-light sick, But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
It looks a little paler; 'tis a day,
Such as the day is when the sun is hid.
Enter Bassanio, Antonio, Gratiano, and ther Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn;
Followers. With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear, Bass. We should hold day with the Antipodes, And draw her home with music.
If you would walk in absence of the sun. Jes. I am never merry when I hear sweet music. Por. Let me give light, but let me not be light;
3 A flourish on a trumpet.