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Shewing the crueltie of GERNUTUS a Jew, who lend

ing to a marchant an hundred crownes, would have a pound of his fleshe, because he could not pay him at the time appointed.

IN Venice town not long agoe

A cruel Jew did dwell,
Which lived all on usurie,

As Italian writers tell.

Gernutus called was the Jew,

Which never thought to die,
Nor never yet did any good

To them in streets that lye.
His life was like a barrow hogge,

That liveth many a day,
Yet never once doth any good,

Untill men will him slay.
Or like a filthy heap of dung,

That lyeth in a hoord ;
Which never can do any good,

Till he be spread abroad.
So fares it with this usurer,

He cannot sleep in rest,
For feer the theefe doth him pursue

To pluck him from his nest.
His heart doth think on many a wile

How to deceive the poore ;
His inouth is almost full of mucke,
Yet still he





YOL. 1.


His wife must lend a shilling,

For every weeke a penny, Yet bring a pledge that's double worth,

If that you will have any. And see (likewise) you keepe your day,

Or else you loose it all : This was the living of his wife,

Her cow she doth it call. Within that citie dwelt that time

A merchant of great fame, Which being distressed in his need,

Unto Gernutus came:

Desiring him to stand his friend,

For twelve moneth and a day, To lend to him a 100 crownes,

And he for it would pay
Whatsoever he would demand of him

And pledges he should have :
No (d. the Jew with fleering lookes)

Sir aske what you will have.

for the loane of it For one yeere you shall pay ; You miay

do me as good a turne,
Before my dying day.
But we will have a merry jeast

For to be talked long:
You shall make me a bond (quoth he)

That shall be large and strong.
And this shall be the forfeiture,

your own fleshe a pound, If you agree,



the bond, And here's a hundred crownes.


The second part of the Jew's crueltie; setting forth

the mercifullnesse of the Judge towards the Merchant.

With right good will the merchant said,

And so the bond was made,
When twelve months and a day drew on

That back it should be payd.
The merchant's ships were all at sea,

And money came not in;
Which way to take, or what to doe

To thinke he doth begin.
And to Gernutus straight he comes

With cap and bended knee,
And sayd to him of curtesie

I pray you bear with me.
My day is come, and I have not

The money for to pay:
And little good the forfeiture
Will doe

With all my heart, Gernutus said,

Command it to your minde;
In things of bigger weight than this

You shall me readie finde.

I dare say


way; the day once past
Gernutus doth not slacke
To get a Serjeant presentlie,

And clapt him on the backe.
And layd him into prison strong,

And sued his bond withall ;
And when the judgment day was come,

For judgment he doth call.

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The merchant's friends came thither fast,

With many a weeping, eye,
For other means they could not find,

But he that day must dye.
Some offered for his 100 crownes

Five hundred for to pay ;
And some a thousand, two or three,

Yet still he did denay.
And at the last 10,000 crownes

They offered him to save,
Gernutus said, I will no gold

My forfeit I will have.
A pound of flesh is my demand,

And that shall be my hyre.
Then said the judge yet my good friend

Let me of you desire,
To take the flesh from such a place

As yet you let him live;
Doe só, and lo an 100 crownes.

To thee here will I give.
No, no, quoth he, no judgment here

For this it shall be tryde,
For I will have my pound of fleshe

From under his right side.
It grieved all the companie

His crueltie to see,
For neither friend nor foe could help

But he must spoyled bee.
The bloudie Jew now ready is

With whetted blade in hand, To spoyle the bloud of innocent; By forfeit of his bond.

And And as he was about to strike

In him the deadly blaw :
Stay (quoth the judge) thy crueltie,

I charge thee to do so.
Sith needs thou wilt thy forfeit have,

Which is of flesh a pound:
See that thou shed no drop of bloud,

Nor yet the man confound.
For if thou doe, like murtherer,

Thou here shalt hanged be:
Likewise of flesh see that thou cut

No more then longs to thee.
For if thou take either more or lesse

To the value of a mite,
Thou shalt be hanged presently,

As is both law and right.
Gernutus now waxt frantic mad,

And wotes not what to say :
Quoth he at last, 10,000 crownes,

I will that he shall pay.
And so I grapt to set him free:

The Judge doth answere make,
You shall not have a penny given,

Your forfeiture now take.
At the last he doth demand,

But for to have his owne:
No, quoth the Judge, doe as you list,

Thy judgment shall be showne. Either take your pound of flesh, (qd. he) Or cancell me your bond:

cruell Judge, then quoth the Jew, That doth against me stand.


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