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Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud:
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
Nerissa.--He attendeth here hard by,
Enter Portia, dressed like a doctor of laws.
Duke.You are welcome: take your place.
Portia.--I am informed thoroughly of the cause.
Duke.-Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Portia.--Of a strange nature is the suit you follow;
Portia.—The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Shylock. My deeds upon my head! I CRAVE THE LAW,
It is quite impossible when perusing this scene, to exclude from recollection, what passed before Pilate in the year of our Lord XXXIII.--and it would be utter affectation to deny that Shakespeare has sketched this trial from that sacred model. My deeds upon my head—I crave the Law_"His blood be on us and on our children.” “We have a law,"
[S' Matt. xxvii. 25, and St John, xix. 7.]
Portia. Is he not able to discharge the money?
Bassanio. Yes, here I tender it for him in the Court;
To do a great right, do a little wrong;
Portia, It must not be; there's no power in Venice
Shylock. A DANIEL come to judgment! yea, a DANIEL! O wise YOUNG judge, how do I honour thee!
Portia. I pray you, let me look upon the bond. Shylock. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is. Portia. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee.
Shylock. An oath, an oath, I hove an oath in heaven : Shall I lay perjury upon my soul ? No, not for Venice. Portia.
Why, this bond's forfeit;
Shylock. When 'tis paid according to the tenor.-
Antonio. Most heartily I do beseech the Court
Why then, thus it is; You must prepare your bosom for his knife.
Shylock. O noble judge! O excellent young man!
Portia. For the intent and purpose of the law,
Shylock. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge!
Portia. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.
Ay, his breast:
Are there balance here, to weigh
Shylock. I have them ready,
Portia. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge, To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death.
Shylock. Is it so nominated in the BOND?
It is so.
Here again the Actors have misrepresented the author's meaning, by not taking into consideration the Mosaic law with respect to blood in making OFFERINGS.
Portia.- It is not so express’d; But what of that?
Shylock.— I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
Antonio.—But little; I am arm’d, and well prepar'd.-
well! Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you
Shylock.-We trifle time; Prithee pursue sentence.
Portia.-A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine; The Court awards it, and the law doth give it.
Shylock.—Most rightful judge!
Portia.---And you must cut this flesh from off his breast;
It is quite impossible to describe on paper the manner in which this burst would be given by an Enthusiastic Jew about to offer a sacrifice.
Portia.—Tarry a little;—there is something else,-
Gratiano.- upright judge! Mark, Jew; O learned judge!
Shylock,- Is that the law!
Here Shylock has been caught-actually tricked as he would say-by a cavil-an cvasion.—To cut flesh it is said was allowed to him. But how cut it without blood? At last it comes out that it is Christian blood that he must not shed one drop of. This assertion from the mouth of a judge who had previously advised the attendance of a surgeon, “ lest he should bleed to death,” staggers Shylock, who doubtingly asks—“Is that the law!" Portia.
- Thyself shalt see the Act:
In this instance Shakespeare himself seems to have been at a loss for words-Justice?-Pshaw!According to the religious code of a Christian, Shylock's attempt was murder, and ought not to have been tolerated for a second; but Shylock acted under a different code.--According to the Christian