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To offices of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.

Shy. I have possess'd your grace of what I purpose;
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn,
To have the due and forfeit of

my

bond : If you deny it, let the danger light Upon your charter, and your city's freedom. You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive Three thousand ducats : I'll not answer that: But, say, it is my humour; Is it answer'd ? What if my house be troubled with a rat, And I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats To have it ban'd? What, are you answer'd yet? Some men there are, love not a gaping pig ; Some, that are mad, if they behold a cat; And others, when the bag-pipe sings i' the nose, Cannot contain their urine ; For affections, Masters of passion, sway it to the mood Of what it likes, or loaths: Now, for your answer : As there is no firm reason to be render'd, Why he cannot abide a gaping pig; Why he, a harmless necessary cat ; Why he, a woollen bag-pipe; but of force Must yield to such inevitable shame, As to offend himself, þeing offended; So can I give no reason, nor I will not,

60 More than a lodg’d hate, and a certain loathing, I bear Anthonio, that I follow thus A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd ?

Bass.

49

Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, To excuse the current of thy cruelty.

Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my an

swers.

Bass. Do all men kill the thing they do not love?
Shy, Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
Bass. Every offence is not a hate at first.
Shy. What, would'st thou have a serpent sting thee
twice?

70 Anth. I pray you, think you question with the

Jew :
You may as well go

stand
upon

the beach,
And bid the main flood bate his usual height;
You may as well use question with the wolf,
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lanb;
You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag their high tops, and to make no noise,
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;
You may as well do any thing most hard, 79
As seek to soften that (than which what's harder?)
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 is 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, rend'ring none ?

89

100

Shy. What judgment shall I dread, doing no

wrong? You have among you many a purchas'd 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 burdens ? let their beds. Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates Be season'd with such viands? you will answer, 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 deterinine 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, Anthonio! What, man? cou-

rage yet! The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of Blood.

Anth. I am a tainted wether of the flock, Meetest for death ; the weakest kind of fiuit

Drops

110

120

Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me :
You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio,
Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.

Enter NERISSA, dress'd like a Lawyer's Clerk.
Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario?
Ner. From both, my lord : Bellario greets your

grace. Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly? Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt

there. Gra. Not on thy soal, but on thy soul, harsh Jew, Thou mak'st thy knife keen : but no metal can, No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?

Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.

Gra. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog! And for thy life let justice be accus'd. 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 Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter, Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam, Infus d itself in thee; for thy desires Are wolfish, bloody, starv’d, and ravenous. 140 Shy. 'Till thou can't rail the seal from off my

bond, Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud : Iij

Repair

130

Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall
To cureless ruin.--I stand here for law.

Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
А 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,

150 Go give him courteous conduct to this place... Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter.

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Your grace

shall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, I am very sick : but at the instant that your mes. senger 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 Antha nio the merchant: we turn'd o'er many books together : he is furnish'd with my opinion; which, better'd 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 lack a reverend estimation; for I never knew so young a body with so old an head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.

Enter Portia, dress'd like a Doctor of Laws. Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he

writes;

And

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