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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. 'Tis very true. O wife and upright judge,
So fays the bond, doth it not, noble judge?
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,
I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.
Baff. Anthonio, I am married to a wife,
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;
Shy. These be the chriftian husbands. I've a daughter;
Por. A pound of that fame merchant's flesh is thine,
Shy. Moft rightful judge!
Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breaft';
Shy. Moft learned judge! a fentence: come, prepare.
Unto the ftate of Venice.
Gra. O upright judge! mark, Jew, O learned judge!
Por. Thy felf fhalt fee the Act:
For as thou urgeft juftice, be affur'd,
Thou shalt have juftice, more than thou defir'ft.
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
Thou dieft, and all thy goods are confiscate.
Por. Why doth the Jew paufe? take the forfeiture.
Gra. A Daniel, ftill fay I; a fecond Daniel!
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:
That indirectly, and directly too,
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the ftate,
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it:
Por. Ay, for the ftate; not for Anthonio.
Por. What mercy can you render him, Anthonio?
(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,
Duke. He shall do this, or else I do recant
Por. Art thou contented, Jew? what doft thou fay?
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
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