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Shy. These be the Christian husbands! I have
of the stock of Barabbas Had been her husband, rather than a Christian ! [Aside. We trifle time; I pray thee pursue sentence.
Por. A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine ; The court awards it, and the law doth give it.
Shy. Most rightful judge !
Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast;
Thyself shall see the act :
Here is the money.
Gra. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge !
Shed thou no blood ; nor cut thou less, nor more,
Gra. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew !
Por. Why doth the Jew pause ? take thy forfeiture.
Por. He hath refus'd it in the open court;
Gra. A Daniel, still say I; a second Daniel !I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.
Shy. Shall I not have barely my principal ?
Por. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture,
Shy. Why, then the devil give him good of it !
Thou hast contriv'd against the very life
Gra. Beg that thou may'st have leave to hang thyself :
Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit, I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it: For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's ; The other half comes to the general state, Which humbleness may drive into a fine.
Por. Ay, for the state,-not for Antonio.
Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that :
Por. What mercy can you render him, Antonio ?
Ant. So please my lord the Duke, and all the court,
Duke. He shall do this ; or else I do recant
Por. Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say ?
Clerk, draw a deed of gift.
Shy. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence :
[Exit SHYLOCK. W. SHAKESPEARE.
OF GOODNESS AND GOODNESS OF NATURE.
I TAKE goodness in this sense, the affecting of the weal of men, which is that the Greeks call philanthropia; and the word humanity (as it is used) is a little too light to express it. Goodness I call the habit, and goodness of nature the inclination. This, of all virtues and dignities of the mind, is the greatest, being the character of the Deity, and without it man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing, no better than a kind of vermin. Goodness answers to the theological virtue charity, and admits no excess but error. The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall : but in charity there is no excess, neither can angel or man come in danger by it. The inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in the nature of man : insomuch, that if it issue not towards men, it will take unto other living creatures; as it is seen in the Turks, a cruel people, who nevertheless are kind to beasts, and give alms to dogs and birds.
Errors, indeed, in this virtue of goodness or charity, may be committed. The Italians have an ungracious proverb: 'So good that he is good for nothing.' And one of the doctors of Italy, Nicholas Machiavel, had the confidence to put in writing almost in plain terms: "That the Christian faith had given up good men in prey to those that are tyrannical and unjust. Which he spake, because, indeed, there was never law, or sect, or opinion, did so much magnify goodness as the Christian religion doth. Therefore, to avoid the scandal and the danger both, it is good to take knowledge of the errors of a habit só excellent. Seek the good of other men ; but be not in bondage to their faces or fancies : for that is but facility or softness, which taketh an honest mind prisoner. Neither give thou Æsop's cock a gem, who would be better pleased, and happier, if he had had a barley-corn. The example of God teacheth the lesson truly : 'He sendeth His rain, and maketh His sun to shine, upon the just and unjust ;' but he doth not rain wealth, nor shine honour and virtues, upon men equally. Common benefits are to be communicate with all : but peculiar benefits with choice. And beware how in making the portraiture thou breakest the pattern : for Divinity maketh the love of ourselves the pattern, the love of our neighbours but the portraiture. “Sell all thou hast, and give it to the poor, and follow me :' but sell not all thou hast, except thou come and follow me, that is, except thou have a vocation wherein thou mayest do as much good with little means as with great: for otherwise, in feeding the streams, thou driest the fountain.
The parts and signs of goodness are many: If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them. If he be compassionate towards the afflictions of others, it shows that his heart is like the noble tree that is wounded itself when it gives the balm. If he easily pardons and remits offences, it shows that his mind is planted above injuries ; so that he cannot be shot. If he be thankful for small benefits, it shows that he weighs men's minds, and not their trash. But above all, if he have St. Paul's perfection, that he would wish to be anathema from Christ, for the salvation of his brethren, it shows much of a Divine nature, and a kind of conformity with Christ himself.