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Muft 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 Anthonio, that I follow thus
A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd ?

Bas: This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
T'excuse the current of thy cruelty.

Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my answer.
Ball. Do all men kill the thing they do not love?
Shy. Hates arıy man the thing he would not kill?
Bal. Ev'ry offence is not a hate at first.
Shy. What, would't thou have a serpentsting thee twice!

Ant. I pray you, think you question with a Jew.
You may as well go


the beach,
And bid the main flood bate his usual height.
You may as well use queft on 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 gufts of heav'n.
You may as well do any thing most hard,
As seek to foften that, (than which what's harder!)
His Jewill heart. Therefore, I do beseech you,
Make no more offers, use no farther means;
But with all brief and plain conveniency
Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.

Bal. For thy three thousand ducats here is fix.
Shy. If ev'ry ducat in fix thousand ducats
Were in fix parts, and ev'ry part a ducat,
I would not draw them, I would have my bond.

Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring none?

Shy. What judgment Mall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchas'd flave,
Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish part,
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


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Be feason'd with such viands; you will answer,
The flaves are ours.

So do I answer you;
T'he pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought, ’tis nine, 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; fhall I have it?

Duke. Upon my pow'r I may dismiss this Court,
Unless Bellario, a learned Doctor,
Whom I have fent for to determine this,
Come here to-day.

Sal. My Lord, here stays, without,
A messenger with letters from the Doctor,
New come from Padua.

Duke. Bring us the letters, call the messenger.

Bas. Good cheer, Anthonio ; what, man, courage yet: The Jew shall have my felh, blood, bones, and all, Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.

Ant. I am a tainted weather of the flock, Meetest for death : the weakeft kind of fruit Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me. You cannot better be employ'd, Bafanio, Than to live fill, and write mine epitaph.

Enter Nerisa, dress'd like a Lawyer's Clerk. Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario? (25) Ner. From both, my lord; Bellario greets your Grace, Bal. Why doft thou whet thy knife so earnestly? Sby. To cut the forfeit from that bankrupt there. Gra. Not on thy foale, but on thy soul, harth Jer, (26)


(25) From botb: my lord Bellario greets your Grace.] Thus the two old Folios and Mr. Pope in his 4to, had inaccurately pointed this pafsage, by which a doctor of laws was at once rais'd to the dignity of the peerage. I set it right in my SHAKESPEARE reffor’d, as Mr. Pope has since done from thence in his last edition.

(26) Not on tby foale, but on tby foul, barfo Jewn] I was obliged, from the authority of the old Folios, to restore this conceit, and jingle upon two words alike in sound, but differing in sense. Gratiano thus rates the Jew; ' Tho? thou thinkest, that thou art whetting thy knife

on the soale of thy shoe, yet it is upon thy foul, thy immortal part, s that thou do'f it, thou inexorable man! There is no room to doubt


Thou mak'it thy knife keen ; for no metal can,
No, not the hangman's ax, 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’ft 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 Naughter,
Ev'n from the gallows did, his fell foul fleet,
And, wil'it thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam,
Infus'd itself in thee: for thy desires
Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous.

Shy. 'Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond,
Thou but offend's thy lungs to speak so loud.
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall

To cureleis ruin. I stand here for law. (27)
but this was our author's antithefis; as it is usual so with him to play
on words in this manner: and that from the mouth of his most serious
characters. So in Romeo and Juliet;

-You have dancing shoes,
With nimble foales; I have a foul of lead,

Ihat stakes me to the ground; I cannot move.
And again, immediately after,

I am too fore enpierced with his shaft,

'To suare with his light feathers. So in King Jobn:

-0, lawful let it be, That I have room with Rome to curse awhile ! And, in Julius Cæfar;

Now is it Rome, indeed; and room enough,

When there is in it but one only man. But this sort of jingle is too perpetual with our_author to need any farther instances.

(27) To careless ruin.] This, I am sure, is a signal inftance of Mr. Pope's carelessness, for both the old 4tos have it carelefs. The players in their edition, for some particular whim, chang'd the word to endless; which Mr. Rowe has copied, because, i presume, he had never seen the old Quartos. Our author has used this epithet, curte less, again in his poem, callid, Tarquin and Lucrece. St. 111.

O, hateful, vaporous and night!
Since thou art guilty of my cureless crime.



Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
A 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
Go, give him courteous conduct to this place :
Mean time, the Court shall hear Bellario's letter.

OUR Grace shall understand, that, at the receipt of

your letter, I am very fick : but at the instant that your messenger 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 Anthonio the merchant. We turn'd o'er many books together: he is furnished with my opinion, which, bettered 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 estima. tion: For I never knew so young a body with yo old a 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 here, I take it, is the Doctor come: Give me your hand. Came you from old Bellario? Por, I did, my

lord. Duke. You're welcome: take

your place.
Are you acquainted with the difference,
That holds this present question in the Court ?

Por. I am informed throughly of the case.
Which is the merchant here? and which the Jew ?

Duke. Anthonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylock ?
Sby. Shylock is

my name.
Por. 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 Anth.



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Ant. Ay, so he says.
Por. Do you consess the bond ?
Ant. I do.
Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shy. On what compulsion muft I? tell me that.

Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd !
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heav'n
Upon the place beneath. It is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightieft; it becomes
The thr: ned monarch better than his Crown:
The scepter shews the force of temporal pow'r,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth fit the dread and fear of Kings ;
But mercy is above this scepter'd sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of Kings ;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then shew likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Tho' juftice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should fee falvation. We do pray for mercy;
And that same pray'r 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
Muft necds give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.

Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
The penalty and forfeit of my bond.
Por. Is he not able to discharge the

Bal. 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 bears down truth. And I beseech you, (289

(28) Tbat malice bears down truth.] 'I propos’d, in my SHAKESPEARE rejlor'd, to read rutb here; i. e. Compassion, mercy. But upon more mature advice, I believe, the text needs no alteration. Truth may mean here, reason; the reasonable offers of accommodation, which we have made.

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