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You use in abject and in flavish part,
Because you bought them. Shall I fay to you,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs?
Why fweat they under burdens? let their beds
Be made as foft as yours, and let their pala es
Be feafen'd with fuch viands; you will answer,
The flaves are ours. So do I answer you:
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought, 'tis mine, and I will have it.
If you deny me, fie, upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice:
I ftand for judgment; anfwer; fhall I have it?
Duke. Upon my pow'r I may difmifs this Court,
Unless Bellario, a learned Doctor,

Whom I have fent for to determine this,
Come here to day.

Sal. My lord, here ftays, without,
A meffenger with letters from the Doctor,
New come from Padua.

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Duke. Bring us the letters, call the meffenger.
Baff. Good cheer, Anthonio; what, man, courage


The few hall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all,
Ere thou shalt lofe for me one drop of blood.

Ant. I am a tainted weather of the flock, Meeteft for death: the weakest kind of fruit Drops earlieft to the ground, and fo let me. You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio, Than to live ftill, and write mine epitaph.

Enter Neriffa, drefs'd like a Lawyer's Clerk.

Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario? (25)
Ner. From both, my lord: Bellario greets your
Baff. Why doft thou whet thy knife so earnestly?


(25) From both my Lord Bellario greets your Grace.] Thus the two old Folio's, and Mr. Pope in his 4to, had inaccurately pointed this Paffage, by which a Doctor of Laws was at once rais'd to the Dignity of the Peerage. I fet it right in my SHAKESPEARE reftor'd, as Mr. Pope has fince done from thence in his last Edition.


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Shy. To cut the forfeit from that bankrupt there.
Gra. Not on thy foale, but on thy foul, harsh
Few, (26)

Thou mak'ft thy knife keen; for no metal can,
No, not the hangman's ax, bear half the keennefs
Of thy fharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?
Shy. No, none that thou haft wit enough to make.
Gra. O be thou damn'd, inexorable dog,
And for thy life let juftice be accus'd!
Thou almoft mak'ft me waver in my faith,
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That fouls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men. Thy currish spirit
Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human flaughter,
Ev'n from the gallows did his fell foul fleet,
And, whil'ft thou lay'ft in thy unhallow'd dam,
Infus'd it self in thee: for thy defires
Are wolfish, bloody, ftarv'd, and ravenous.

Shy. "Till thou canft rail the feal from off my bond,
Thou but offend'ft thy lungs to speak fo loud.
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall

(26) Not on thy Soale, but on thy Soul, harsh Jew,] I was obliged, from the Authority of the old Folio's, to reftore this Conceit, and Jingle upon two Words alike in found, but differing in Senfe. 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 Soul, thy immortal Part, "that thou do'st it, thou inexorable Man!" There is no Room to doubt, but This was our Author's Antithefis; as it is fo ufual with him to play on Words in this manner: and That from the Mouth of his moft ferious Characters. So in Romeo and Juliet;

You have dancing Shoes,
With nimble Soales; I have a Soul of Lead,
That takes me to the Ground; I cannot move.
And again, immediately after,

I am too fore enpierced with his Shaft,
To foare with his light Feathers.
So in King John :

O, lawful let it be,

That I have room with Rome to curfe awhile!
And, in Julius Cæfar;

Now is it Rome, indeed; and room enough,
When there is in it but one only man.

But this fort of Jingle is too perpetual with our Athor to nced any far

ther Inftances.



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To cureless ruin. I ftand here for law. (27)
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
and learned doctor to our Court.
Where is he?


Ner. He attendeth here hard by

To know your anfwer, 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 fhall hear Bellario's letter.


UR Grace fall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, I am very fick: but at the inftant that your messenger came, in loving vifitation was with me a young Doctor of Rome, his name is Balthafar: I acquainted him with the caufe in controverfie 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 ftead. I beseech you, let bis lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend eftimation: For I never knew so young a body with fo old a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whofe trial fhall better publifh 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 prefent queftion in the Court?

(27) To careless Ruine.] This, I am fure, is a fignal Inftance of Mr. Pope's Carelessnefs, for Both the Old 4to's have it cureles. The Players in their Edition, for fome particular Whim, chang'd the Word to endlefs; which Mr. Rowe has copied, becaufe, I prefume, he had never feen the old Quarto's. Our Author has used this Epithet, cureless, again in his Poem, call'd, Tarquin and Lucrece. St. 111.

O, hatefull, vaporous and foggy Night!
Since thou art guilty of my cureless Crime.


Por. I am informed throughly of the cafe. Which is the merchant here? and which the Jew? Duke. Anthonio and old Shylock, both stand forth. Por. Is your name Shylock?

Shy. Shylock is my name.

Por. Of a strange nature is the fuit you follow;
Yet in fuch rule, that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.

You ftand within his danger, do you not? [To Anth.
Ant. Ay, fo he fays.

Por. Do you confess the bond?

Ant. I do.

Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.

Shy. On what compulfion 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 bleffeth him that gives, and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightieft; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his Crown:
His fcepter fhews the force of temporal pow'r,
The attribute to awe and majefty,
Wherein doth fit the dread and fear of Kings;
But mercy is above this fcepter'd fway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of Kings;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then fhew likeft God's,
When mercy feafons juftice. Therefore, Jew,
Tho' juftice be thy plea, confider this,
That in the courfe of juftice none of us
Should fee falvation. We do pray for mercy;
And that fame pray'r doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the juftice of thy plea;
Which, if thou follow, this ftrict Court of Venice
Muft 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 mony?
Baff. Yes, here I tender it for him in the Court,
F 2


Yea, twice the fum; if that will not fuffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart.
If this will not fuffice, it muft appear

That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you, (28)
Wreft 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 pow'r in Venice
Can alter a decree established.
'Twill be recorded for a precedent;

And many an error, by the fame example,
Will rush into the ftate. It cannot be.

Shy. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel. O wife young judge, how do I honour thee!

Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond. Shy. Here 'tis, moft rev'rend Doctor, here it is. Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy mony offer'd thee. Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heav'n. Shall I lay perjury upon my foul? No, not for Venice.

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Por. 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 mony, bid me tear the bond.
Shy. When it is paid according to the tenour.
It doth appear, you are a worthy judge;
You know the law: your expofition
Hath been moft found. I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deferving pillar,
Proceed to judgment. By my foul I fwear,
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me. I ftay here on my bond.

(28) That Malice bears down truth.] I propos'd, in my SHAK ESPEARE reflor'd, to read ruth here; i. e. Compaffion, 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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