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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, thrice 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; 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, let me look upon the bond.
Shy. Here it is, most reverend doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee.
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 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 : by my soul I swear,
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.
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. 'T'is 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
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 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. Come, 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 fortune 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 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 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 !
[Asides 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 judge !
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.
Here is the money.
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.
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.
Pür. 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 goud of it:
I'll stay no longer question.
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 mercy
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 incurrid
The danger formerly by me rehears’d.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.
Grá. Beg that thou may'st have leave to hang thysel':
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 my 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 Heaven's sake.
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,—to render it,
Upon his death, unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter;
Two things provide:1 more-That for this favor,
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;
Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten more,
To bring thee to the gallows, not the font. . [Exit SAYLOCK.
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 not.
Antonio, gratify this gentleman;
For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.
[Exeunt DUKE, Magnificoes, and Train. The interest of the Play ends with the delivery of Antonio, and the punishment of Shylock; the fifth Act is occupied in explanations which naturally follow between the leading characters, growing out of the disguises assumed by Portia and Nerissa.