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Enter the Duke, the Senators, Anthonio, Bassanio, Gratiano,
Solarino, and Salanio.
HAT, is Anthonio here?
Anth. Ready, so please your grace.
Duke. I'm sorry for thee; thou art come to answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch,
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.
Anth. I have heard,
Your grace hath ta’en great pains to qualify
His rig’rous course; but since he stands obdurate,
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury, and am arm’d
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.
Duke. Go one, and call the few into the court.
Sal. He's ready at the door: he comes, my lord.
Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our face.
Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice
To the last hour of act, and then, 'tis thought,
Thoul't show thy mercy, and remorse, more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty.
And, where thou now exa&t'st the penalty,
Which is a pound of this poor merchant's Aesh,
Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture,
But, touch'd with human gentleness and love,
Forgive a moiety of the principal;
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
That have of late so hudled on his back;
Enough to press a royal merchant down,
And pluck commiseration of his state
From braffy bosoms, and rough hearts of Aint,
From stubborn Turks, and Tartars, never train'd
To offices of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.
Shy. I have possess’d your grace of what I purpose;
And by our holy fabbath have I sworn,
To have the due and forfeit of my bond.
If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter, and your city's freedom.
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Three thousand ducats? I'll not answer that.
But, say, it is my humour; is it answered ?
What if my house be troubled with a rat,
And I be pleas’d to give ten thousand ducats
To have it bane’d? what, are you answer'd yet?
Some men there are, love not a gaping pig;
Some, that are mad if they behold a cat;
And others, when the bagpipe sings i'th' nose,
Cannot contain their urine for affection.
Masterless passion fways us to the mood
Of what it likes, or loaths. Now for your answer :
As there is no firm reason to be render'd,
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig,
Why he a harmless necessary cat,
Why he a woollen bagpipe, but of force
Must yield to such inevitable shame,
As to offend, himself being offended;
So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
• That is, they are so affected with it.
More than a lodg’d hate, and a certain loathing,
I bear Anthonio, that I follow thus
A losing suit against him. Are you answered?
Bal. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
T'excuse the current of thy cruelty.
Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my answer.
Bal. Do all men kill the thing they do not love?
Shy. Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
Bas. Ev'ry offence is not a hate at firft.
Shy. What, would'st thou have a serpent fting thee twice?
Anth. I pray you, think you question with a Jew.
You may as well
And bid the main flood ’bate his usual height;
You may as well use question with the wolf,
behold the ewe bleat for the lamb;
You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag their high tops, and to make a noife
When they are fretted with the gusts of heav'n;
You may as well do any thing moft hard,
As seek to soften that (than which what's harder?)
His Jewish heart. Therefore, I do beseech
Make no more offers, use no farther means,
But, with all brief and plain conveniency,
Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.
Bas. For thy three thousand ducats here is fix.
Shy. If ev'ry ducat in fix thousand ducats
Were in six parts, and ev'ry part a ducat,
I would not draw them, I would have my bond.
Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring none?
Shy. What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchas’d slave,
Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish part,
Because you bought them. Shall I say to you,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ?
Why sweat they under burdens ? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands : you will answer,
The Naves are ours. So do I answer you. -
The pound of Aesh 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 stand for judgment; answer; shall I have it?
Duke. Upon my pow'r I may dismiss this court,
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here to-day:
Sal. My lord, here stays without
A messenger with letters from the doctor,
New come from Padua.
Duke. Bring us the letters ; call the messengers.
Baf. Good cheer, Anthonio! what, man, courage yet!
The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all,
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.
Anth. I am a tainted weather of the flock,
Meetest for death: the weakest kind. of fruit
Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me.
You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio,
Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.
Enter Neriffa dress’d like a lawyer's clerk.
Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario?
Ner. From both, my lord: Bellario greets your grace.
Ball. Why doft thou whet thy knife so earnestly?
[the Jew wbetting bis knife on the sole of bis boe.
Shy. To cut the forfeit from that bankrupt there.
Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,
Thou mak'st thy knife keen; for no metal can,
No not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness
Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?
Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make,
Gra. O, be thou damn’d, inexorable dog,
And for thy life let justice be accus'd!
Thou almost mak’sť me waver in my faith,
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That souls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men. Thy currish spirit
Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter,
Ev’n from the gallows did his fell soul Aleet,
And, whilst thou lay'st in thy un hallow'd dam,
Infus’d itself in thee; for thy desires
Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous.
Shy. Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond,
Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud.
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall
To cureless ruin. I stand here for law.
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
A young and learned doctor to our court.
Where is he?
Ner. He attendeth here hard by
To know your answer, whether you'll admit him.
Duke. With all my heart. Some three or four of you,
Go, give him courteous conduct to this place :
Meantime, the court shall hear Bellario's letter.
OUR grace shall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter,
I am very fick: but at the instant that your messenger came, in loving vistation was with me a young doctor of Rome, his name is Balthafar: I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Anthonio the merchant. We turn'd o'er many.
.books together : he is furnish'd with my opinion; which, bettered with his own learning, (the greatness whereof I cannot enough tommend) comes with him at my importunity, to fill up your grace's request in my stead. I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation ; for I never knew so young a body