« PreviousContinue »
Lor. No, pray thee, let it serve for table talk;
Then, howsoe'er thou speak’st, ʼmong other things
I shall digest it.
Jes. Well, I'll set you forth.
SCENE I.–Venice. A Court of Justice.
Enter the Duke, the Magnificocs ; ANTONIO, BASSANIO,
GRATIANO, SALARINO, SALANIO, and others.
Duke. What, is Antonio here?
Ant. Ready, so please your grace.
Duke. I am sorry for thee; thou art come to answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.
Ant. I have heard,
Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate,
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury; and am arm’d
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.
Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the court.
Salan. He's ready at the door: he comes, my
Enter SHYLOCK. Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our face. Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too, That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice, To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought, Thou'lt show thy mercy, and remorse, more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty :
And where thou now exact'st the penalty,
(Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,)
Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture,
But, touch'd with human gentleness and love,
Forgive a moiety of the principal ;
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
That have of late so huddled on his back;
Enough to press a royal merchant down,
And pluck commiseration of his state
From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks, and Tartars, never train'd
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 baned? 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 affection,
Mistress of passion, sways 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 swollen bag-pipe; but of force
Must yield to such inevitable shame,
As to offend, himself being offended ;
So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
More than a lodg'd hate, and a certain loathing,
I bear Antonio, that I follow thus
A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd ?
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 answer.
Bass. Do all men kill the things, 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
Ant. 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 lamb;
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,
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
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, fye 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 determine this,
Come here to-day.
Salar. 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, Antonio! What, man! courage
The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all,