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Shy. These be the Christian husbands! I have

daughter; Would


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;
The law allows it, and the court awards it.
Shy. Most learned judge!-A sentence; come, pre-

Por. Tarry a little ;—there is something else.-
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood ;
The words expressly are, a pound of flesh :
Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.
Gra. O upright judge ! - Mark, Jew!- learned

Shy. Is that the law ?

Thyself shall see the act :
For, as thou urgest justice, be assurd
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desir'st.
Gra. O learned judge ! - Mark, Jew; a learned

Shy. I take this offer then,-pay the bond thrice,
And let the Christian go.

Here is the money.
Por. Soft !
The Jew shall have all justice ;--soft ;-no haste ;-
He shall have nothing but the penalty.

Gra. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge !
Por. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh.

Shed thou no blood ; nor cut thou less, nor more,
But just a pound of flesh : if thou tak’st more
Or less than a just pound, be it but so much
As makes it light or heavy in the substance,
Or the division of the twentieth part
Of one poor scruple,—nay, if the scale do turn
But in the estimation of a hair,-
Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate.

Gra. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew !
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.

Por. Why doth the Jew pause ? take thy forfeiture.
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go.
Bass. I have it ready for thee; here it is.

Por. He hath refus'd it in the open court;
He shall have merely justice, and his bond.

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,
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

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

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 seeks the life of any citizen,
The party 'gainst the which he doth contrive
Shall seize one-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 say, thou stand'st :

For it appears by manifest proceeding,
That, indirectly, and directly too,


Thou hast contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant ; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears'd.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the Duke.

Gra. Beg that thou may'st have leave to hang thyself :
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
Thou hast not left the value of a cord;
Therefore, thou must be hang'd at the state's charge.

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 :
You take my house when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house ; you take my life,
When you do take the means whereby I live.

Por. What mercy can you render him, Antonio ?
Gra. A halter gratis ; nothing else, for God's sake.

Ant. So please my lord the Duke, and all the court,
To quit the fine for one-half of his goods ;
I am content, so he will let me have
The other half in use, to render it,
Upon his death, unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter ;
Two things provided more,—that for this favour,
He presently become a Christian;
The other, that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd,
Unto his son 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 dost thou say ?
Shy. I am content.

Clerk, draw a deed of gift.

Shy. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence :
I am not well ; send the deed after me,
And I will sign it.



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.


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