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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?

Nerissa.--He attendeth here hard by,
To know your answer, whether you'll admit him.

Enter Portia, dressed like a doctor of laws.
Duke.—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?

Portia.--I am informed thoroughly of the cause.
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?

Duke.-Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Portia.—Is your name Shylock?
Shylock.--Shylock is my name.

Portia.--Of a strange nature is the suit you follow;
Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.-
You stand within his danger, do you not?

(To Antonio.)
Antonio.-Ay, so he says.
Portia.—Do you confess the bond?
Antonio,- I do.
Portia.-Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shylock.-On what compulsion must I? tell me that.

Portia.The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,

The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptre'd sway,
It is enthroned 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


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.

Shylock. My deeds upon my head! I CRAVE THE LAW,
The penalty and forfeit of my bond.

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 headI 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;
Yea, twice 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 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.

Portia, It must not be; there's no power in Venice
Can alter a decree established :
'Twill be recorded for a precedent;
And many errors, by this example,
Will rush into the state. IT CANNOT BE,

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;
And lawfully by this the Jew can 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.

Shylock. When 'tis paid according to the tenor.-
It doth appear you are a worthy judge;
You know the law, your exposition here
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.

Antonio. Most heartily I do beseech the Court
To give the judgment.

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

Shylock. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge!
How much more elder art thou than thy looks!

Portia. 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.

Are there balance here, to weigh
The flesh.

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?
'Twere good you should so much for charity.

Shylock.— I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
Portia.—Come, merchant, have you any thing to say?

Antonio.—But little; I am arm’d, and well prepar'd.-
Give me your hand, Bassanio; fare


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;
The law allows it, and the Court awards it.
Shylock.--Most learned judge! -A SENTENCE

come, pre


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,-
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.

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:
For, as thou urgest justice, be assur’d,
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desir’st.

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

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