Page images

Bass. Here is the money.

(haste; Por. The Jew shall have all justice ; soft, no He shall have nothing but the penalty. [judge!

Gra. O Jew! an upright judge! a learned

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 takst more, Or less, than just a pound, be't but so much As makes it light or heavy in the substance, On the division of the twentieth part Of one poor scruple: nay, if the scale 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. [ture.

Por. Why doth the Jew pause? take the forfei.

Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go. - Bass. I have it ready for thee; here it is.

Por. 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 barely have my principal ?

Por. Thou shalt have nothing, but the forfeiTo be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

(turė, Shy. Why then the devil give him good of it! I'll stay no longer question.

Por. Tarry, Jew ;

The law. hath yet another hold on you!
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
It it be prov'd against an alien,
That by direct, or indirect attempts,
He seeks the life of any citizen,
The party, 'gainst the which he doth contrive,
Shall seize on half his goods ; the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state;
And the offender's life lies in 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 incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears’d.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.
Gra. Beg that thou may’st have leave to hang

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 may'st see the difference of our I pardon thee thy life, before thou ask it ; [spirit, For half thy wealth, it is Anthonio's. The other half comes to the general state, Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.

Por. Ay, for the state; not for Anthonio.


Shy. Nay, take my life and all: pardon not that; You do take my house when you 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 renderhim, Anthonio? Gra. A halter gratis; nothing else, for heav'n's sake.

. . [court, Anth. So please my lord the duke, and all the To quit the fine for one half 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 provided more, that for this favour 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 latè pronounced here. (say?

Por. Art thou contented, Jew? What dost thou
Shy. I am content.
Por. 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.

Duke. Get thee gone, but do it. Gra. In christ’ning thou shalt havettrogodfathers. Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten more. To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.

[Exit Shy. Duke. Sir, I intreat you home with me to dinner.

Por. I humbly do desire your grace's pardon ; I must away, this night, to Padua, And it is meet, I presently set forth.

Duke. I am sorry that your leisure serves you not. Anthonio, gratify this gentleman; For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.

- [Exit Duke, and his Train. Bass. Most worthy gentleman! I and my friend Have, by your wisdom, been this day acquitted Of grievous penalties; in lieu whereof . Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew, We freely cope your courteous pains withal :

Anih, And stand indebted, over and above, . In love and service to you evermore.

Por. He is well paid that is well satisfy'd;
And I, delivering you, am satisfy'd ;
And therein do account myself well paid ;
My mind was never yet more mercenary.
I pray you, know me, when we meet again ;
I wish you well, and so I take my leave.

Bass. Dearsir, of force I mustattempt you further
Take some remembrance of us, for a tribute.
Not as a fee : grant me two things, I pray yoų,
Not to deny me, and to pardon me.

Por. You press me far, and therefore I will yield. Give me your gloves, I'll wear 'em for your sake ; And for your love, I'll take this ring from you.(61) Do not draw back your hand, I'll take no more; And you in love shall not deny me this...

Bass. This ring, good sir, alas, it is a trifle ; I will not shame myself to give you this.

Por. I will have nothing else, but only this ; And now, methinks I have a mind to it. [value,

Bass. There's more depends on this, than is the The dearest ring in Venice will I give you ; And find it out by proclamation; Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.

Por. I see, sir, you are liberal in offers ; You taught me first to beg, and now, methinks, You teach me how a beggar should be answer'd.

Bass. Good sir, this ring was givn by my And when she put it on, she made me vow, [wife. That I should neither sell, nor give, nor lose it.

Por. That’scuse serves many men to save their And if your wife be not a mad woman, [gifts ;

(61) Throughout this and the following scenes concerning the rings the reader is requested to refer frequently to the map of the moon, and consider there the prototypes of the several speakers, and their apparent actions or attitudes in respect to each other, together with the resemblances to rings to which they apply. VOL. III.


« PreviousContinue »