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His Jewish heart: therefore I do beseech you,
Make no more offers, use no further means,
But, with all brief and plain conveniency,
Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.

Bass. For thy three thousand ducats, here are six.
Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
I would not draw them; I would have my

bond! Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none ?

Shy. What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them;

shall I

say to you,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ;
Why sweat they under their burdens ? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, let their palates
Be seasoned with such viands?


The slaves are ours : so do I answer you.
The pound of flesh which I demand of him
Is dearly bought, is mine, and I will have it !
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice.
I stand for judgment : answer, shall I have it?

Duke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this court,
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here to-day:

Sala. 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? courage 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 employed, Bassanio, Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.

[Enter Nerissa, dressed like a lawyer's clerk.] Duke. Come you from Padua, from Bellario? Nerissa. From both, my lord ; Bellario greets your grace. Gra. O,

* thou

Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?
Shy. To cut the forfeit from that bankrupt there.
Gratiano. Can no prayers pierce thee ?
Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make!

inexorable dog,
* for thy life let justice be accused.
Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith,
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,*
That souls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men : thy currish spirit
Governed a wolf, who, hanged for human slaughter,
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,
And whilst thou layest in thy unhallowed dam,
Infused itself in thee; for thy desires
Are wolfish, bloody, starved and ravenous !
Shy. Till thou canst 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.

[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 Balthazar. I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio, the merchant: we turned over many books together ; he is furnished with my opinion ; which, bettered 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 have a reverent 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."

* Pythagoras, one of the ancient Grecian philosophers, taught that the soul, after quitting the human body, entered into that of a beast; and that the souls of beasts entered, after death, into the bodies of men. This doctrine is called "metempsychosis," or a change of nature. It was on account of his belief in this doctrine that Pythagoras expressly prohibited animal food, and considered it no less a crime to kill a worm or a mouse than to cause the death of a man.


You hear the learned 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?

Portia. 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 informed thoroughly 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 ?
Shy. Shylock is

my name. Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law Cannot impugn you as you do proceed. [To Ant.] You stand within his danger, do you not?

Ant. Ay, so he says.
Por. Do you 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 strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath : it is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes :
'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 fear and dread of kings;
But mercy is above the sceptered sway,
It is enthronéd 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



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.

hands, my

head, my

me look

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

Par. Is he not able to discharge the money?

Bass. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court;
Yea, thrice the sum : if that will not suffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of

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 (mischief] of his will.

Por. It must not be. There is no power in Venice
Can alter a decree established :
’T will 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'O, wise young judge, how do I honor thee! Por. I pray you



the bond. Shy. Here't is, most reverend doctor, here it is. Por. Shylock, there 's thrice thy money offered thee.

Shy. An oath, an oath! I have an oath in heaven'
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul ?
No, not for Venice.

Por. 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 tenor.
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.
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me.

I stay here on my bond.
Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the court
"To give the judgment.

Por, Why, then, thus it is.
You must

prepare your bosom for his knifer
Shy. O, noble judge! O, excellent young man!
Pór. For the intent and purpose of the law


Hath full relation to the penalty,
Which here appeareth due upon the bond.

Shy. T is 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 words. Por. It is so. Are there balances here, to weigh The flesh ?

Shy. I have them ready.

Por. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge, To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death.

Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond ?
Por. It is not so expressed; but what of that?
'T were good you do so much for charity.

Shy. I cannot find it; 't is not in the bond.
Por. Come, merchant, have you anything to say ?

Ant. But little : I am armed, and well prepared.
Give me your hand, Bassanio; fare you

Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you;
For herein fortune shows herself more kind
Than is her custom ; it is still her use,
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow,
An age of poverty ; from which lingering penance
Of such a misery doth she cut me off.
Commend me to your honorable wife;
Tell her the process of Antonio's end,
Say how I loved 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

shall lose your

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 esteemed 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.

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