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Ant. Moft heartily I do befeech the Court To give the judgment.

Por. Why, then thus it is:

You must prepare your bofom for his knife.
Shy. O noble judge! O excellent young man!
Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
Hath full relation to the penalty,
Which here appeareth due upon the bond.

Shy. 'Tis very true. O wife and upright judge,
How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
Por. Therefore lay bare your bofom.
Shy. Ay, his breaft ;

So fays the bond, doth it not, noble judge?
Nearest his heart, thofe are the very words..

Por. It is fo. Are there fcales, to weigh the flesh? Shy. I have them ready.

Por. Have by fome furgeon, Shylock,on your charge, To stop his wounds, left he should bleed to death. Shy. Is it fo nominated in the bond?

Por. It is not fo exprefs'd; but what of that? 'Twere good, you do fo much for charity.

Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond. Por. Come, merchant, have you any thing to fa, ? Ant. But little: I am arm'd, and well prepar'd. Give me your hand, Baffanio, fare you well! Grieve not, that I am fall'n to this for you; For herein fortune fhews her felf more kind, Than is her cuftom. It is ftill her use, To let the wretched man out-live his wealth,. To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow, An age of poverty: From which ling'ring penance Of fuch a mifery doth the cut me off. Commend me to your honourable wife; Tell her the process of Anthonio's end; Say, how I lov'd you; fpeak me fair in death: And when the tale is told, bid her be judge, Whether Bassanio had not once a love. Repent not you, that you fhall lofe your And he repents not, that he pays your debt; For if the Jew do cut but deep enough,


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I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.

Baff. Anthonio, I am married to a wife,
Which is as dear to me as life it felf;
But life it felf, my wife, and all the world,
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life.
I would lofe all; ay, facrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.

Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for that,

If the were by to hear you make the offer.

Gra. I have a wife, whom, I proteft, I love; I would, fhe were in heaven, fo the could Intreat fome Pow'r to change this currish Jew.

Ner. 'Tis well, you offer it behind her back;
The with would make else an unquiet house.

Shy. These be the chriftian husbands. I've a daughter;
Would, any of the ftock of Barrabas
Had been her husband, rather than a chriftian! [Afide.
We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence.

Por. A pound of that fame merchant's flesh is thine,
The Court awards it, and the law doth give it.

Shy. Moft rightful judge!

Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breaft';
The law allows it, and the Court awards it.

Shy. Moft learned judge! a fentence: come, prepare.
Por. Tarry a little, there is fomething else.
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood,
The words exprefly are a pound of flesh.
Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh
But, in the cutting it, if thou doft shed
One drop of chriftian blood; thy lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confifcate


Unto the ftate of Venice.

Gra. O upright judge! mark, Jew, O learned judge!
Shy. Is that the law?

Por. Thy felf fhalt fee the Act:

For as thou urgeft juftice, be affur'd,

Thou shalt have juftice, more than thou defir'ft.
Gra. O learned judge! mark, Jew, a learned judge!
Shy. I take this offer then, pay the bond thrice,
And let the chriftian go.


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Ball. Here is the mony.

Por. The Jew fhall have all juftice; foft! no hafte; He fhall have nothing but the penalty.

Gra. O few! an upright judge, a learned judge! Por. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh; Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou lefs, nor more, But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak'ft more Or less than a juft pound, be't but fo much As makes it light or heavy in the substance, On the divifion of the twentieth part

Of one poor fcruple; nay, if the scale turn
But in the estimation of a hair,

Thou dieft, and all thy goods are confiscate.
Gra. A fecond Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.

Por. Why doth the Jew paufe? take the forfeiture.
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go.
Baff. I have it ready for thee; here it is.
Por. He hath refus'd it in the open Court;
He shall have meerly juftice, and his bond.

Gra. A Daniel, ftill fay I; a fecond 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 forfeiture,
To be fo taken at thy peril, Jew.

Shy. Why then the devil give him good of it! I'll ftay no longer question.

Por. Tarry, Jew.

The law hath yet another hold on you:
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be prov'd against an alien,
That by direct, or indirect, attempts
He feek the life of any citizen,
The party, 'gainft the which he doth contrive,
Shall feize on half his goods; the other half
Comes to the privy Coffer of the state;
And the offender's life lies in the mercy
Of the Duke only, 'gainst all other voice;
In which predicament, I fay, thou stand'st.
For it appears by manifeft proceeding,
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That indirectly, and directly too,
Thou haft contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou haft incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears❜d.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the Duke.
Gra. Beg, that thou may'ft have leave to hang thy

And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the ftate,
Thou haft not left the value of a cord;
Therefore, thou must be hang'd at the state's charge.
Duke. That thou may'ft fee the diff'rence of our

I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it:
For half thy wealth, it is Anthonio's ;
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humblenefs may drive unto a fine.

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Por. Ay, for the ftate; not for Anthonio.
Shy. Nay, take my life and all: pardon not th
You take my houfe, when you do take the prop
That doth fuftain my house: you take my life,
When you do take the means whereby I live.

Por. What mercy can you render him, Anthonio?
Gra. A halter gratis; nothing elfe, for God's fake.
Ant. So please my lord the Duke, (29) and all the

(29) So please my Lord the Duke,] The Terms, which Antonio prefcribes to be comply'd with by the few, have been reckon'd intricate and corrupt; and a different Regulation has been advis'd: But, if I am not mistaken, they are to be thus understood. The few had forfeited his whole Subftance; one Moiety thereof to go to the State, and the other to the Defendant. Antonio propofes, that the State fhould be content with fining him only that Moiety, which was confifcated to them; that, as to the Other, which Antonio equally might claim to himself; he only defires to hold the Benefit, paying Intereft for it to the few during his Life: and, upon the Jew's Demife, to have it immediately vefted in his Son and Daughter. Nor does Antonio propofe any Thing mean and ungenerous in this; he quits that Right and Property, which the Law gave him, in the few's Subftance; and (with Regard to his own great Loffes,) is content to ftand only as a Borrower of it, upon the general Foot of paying Intereft: Nor are the Son and Daughter robb'd in This; fince, fetting afide Antonio's Claim by the Jew's Forfeiture, their Pretenfions could not take place, till the Jew's Death: and He takes care, their reverfionary Right in it fhould be fecur'd by the Jew's recording a Deed of Gift to that Purpose.



To quit the fine for one half of his goods,
I am content; fo he will let me have
The other half in use, to render it.
Upon his death unto the gentleman,
That lately ftole his daughter.
Two things provided more, that for this favour
He presently become a chriftian;
The other, that he do record a Gift
Here in the Court, of all he dies poffefs'd,
Unto his fon Lorenzo and his daughter.

Duke. He shall do this, or else I do recant
The pardon that I late pronounced here.

Por. Art thou contented, Jew? what doft thou fay?
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; fend the Deed after me, And I will fign it.

Duke. Get thee gone, but do it.

Gra. In chrift'ning thou shalt have two godfathers. Had I been judge, thou should't have had ten more, (30) To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.

[Exit Shylock. Duke.


thou should't have had ten more, ] i. e. a Jury of Twelve Men, to condemn thee to be hang'd. So, in Meafure for Meafure,

I not deny,

The Jury paffing on the Pris'ner's Life,

May in the fworn twelve have a Thief or two
That Juftice feizes on.

The Scenes of these two Plays are respectively laid in Venice and Vienna; and yet 'tis obfervable, in Both the Poet alludes to the Custom of fentencing by Juries, as in England. This is not to be imputed to him as Ignorance: The Licence of the Stage has allow'd it, not only at home; but likewife the Tragic and Comic Poets of Antiquity indulg'd themselves in transplanting their own Customs to other Nations. Æfchylus, for Inftance, in his Choephora, makes Electra, who is in Argos, talk of the Cuftoms us'd in Purifications, and prefcrib'd by Law, as the Scholiaft obferves, at Athens. Τέτο πρὸς τὸ παρ' ̓Αθωαίοις ἔθΘ· πρὸς

'Alúvnos vómov. Sophocles, in his Laocoon, the Scenary of which is laid in Troy, talks of erecting Altars, and burning Incenfe before their Doors, as was practis'd on joyful Occafions at Athens: therein tranfplanting the Athenian Manners, as Harpocration has noted, to Tray. Me



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