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To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
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 adinit him. Duke. With all my heart:--some three or four of
you, Go give him courteous conduct to this place.Meantime, the court shall hear Bellario's letter.
[Clerk reads.] Your grace shall understand, thai, at the receipt of your letter, I am very sick: but in the instant that your messenger came, in loving visitation was with me a young doctor of Rome, his name is Balthasar: I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant: we turned o'er many books together: he is furnish'd with my opinion; which, letter'd 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 leseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation; for I never knew so young a body with so old a head. I leave him to your gra
cious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation. Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he
writes: And here, I take it, is the doctor come.
Enter Portia, dressed like a doctor of laws. Give me your hand: Came you from old Bellario?
Por. 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?
Por. I am informed throughly of the cause. Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew? .
Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth. -
Shylock is my name.
Do you confess the bond?
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
* Cannot impugn you,] To impugn, is to oppose, to controvert, - 8 You stand within this danger,] i. e. within his reach or control,
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown: His scepter 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 scepter'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 pray for mercy; 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.
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 money?
Bass. 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, Om forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart: If this will not suffice, it inust appear That malice bears 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.
Por. It must not be; there is no power in Venice Can alter a decree established: 'Twill be recorded for a precedent;
9- in the cours. of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: 7 Portia referring the Jew to the Christ. ian doctrine of salvation, and the Lord's Prayer, is a little qut of character. BLACKSTONE.
And many an error, by the same example,
Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
Why, this bond is forfeit;. And lawfully by this the Jew may 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.
Shy. When it is paid according to the tenour.-
Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the court
Why then, thus it is.
Shy. O noble judge! O excellent young man!
Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
Shy. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge! How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom,
Ay, his breast :
So says the bond;-Doth it not, noble judge!
Por. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh The flesh?
Shy. I have them ready.
Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond?
Por. It is not so express'd; But what of that? "Twere good you do so much for charity.
Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
Ant. But little; I am arm’d, and well prepard.
Bass. Antonio, I am married to a wife,