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20 Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse, more strange

Than is thy strange apparent cruelty ;
And,) where thou now exact’st the penalty |
(Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh),

Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture,)
25 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 huddled on his back,

Enough to press a royal merchant down, 30 And pluck commiseration of his state

From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never train'd
To offices of tender courtesy. |

We all expect a gentle answer, Jew..
35 Shy. I have possess'd your Grace of what I

And by our holy Sabbath 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. 40 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 answer'd ?

What if my house be troubled with a rat,
45 And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats

To have it ban'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.
Now, for your answer.

As there is no firm reason to be render'd, 50 Why he cannot abide a gaping pig; |

Why he, a harmless necessary cat ;]
Why he, a woollen bagpipe,]—but of force

36. Have I sworn.-- See Cowper, Task, 1. 24. Lose.--Used in the sense of let go. 16, note.

35. Possess'd.-Used actively; equivalent 47. Gaping was formerly used for screechto put in possession.


22. Where stands for whereas.

Must yield to such inevitable shame,

As to offend, himself being offended :)
55 So can I give no reason,) nor I will not,]

More than a lodg’d hate, and a certain loathing)
I bear Antonio,] that I follow thus
A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd ?

Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, 60 To excuse the current of thy cruelty.

Shy. I am not bound to please thee with any answer.
Bass. Do all men kill the things they do not love ?
Shy. Hates any man the thing he would not kill ?

Bass. Every offence is not a hate at first. 65 Shy. What would’st thou have a serpent sting thee

twice ?
Ant. I pray you, think, you question with the Jew,
You may as well go stand upon the beach,
And bid the main flood bate his usual height;

You may as well use question with the wolf,
70 Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb;

You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag their high tops, and to make no noise,
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;

You may as well do anything most hard,
75 As seek to soften that (than which what's harder ?)

His Jewish heart :--Therefore, I do beseech you,
Make no more offers, use no further means,
But, with all brief and plain conveniency,

Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.
80 Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here is six.

Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
I would not draw them,- I would have my bond.

· Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy rend'ring none ?

66. I pray you consider that it is the Jew you are treating with.

55. Observe the double negative.

56. Take line 56 as an enlargement of the Obj. reason.

63. A man who really hates does not hesitate to kill.

80. Is.-Singul. for the Plural.

85 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 parts,

Because you bought them -Shall I say to you, 90 Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ?

Why sweat they under burthens ? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands ?

You will answer,
The slaves are ours :-

-So do I answer you. 95 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 stand for judgment : answer, shall I have it?
100 Duke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this court,

Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here to-day.

My lord, here stays without 105 A messenger with letters from the doctor,

New come from Padua.

Duke. Bring us the letters ; Call the messenger.

Bass. Good cheer, Antonio! What, man ! courage yet !

The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, 110 Ere thou shalt los for me one drop of blood.

Ant. I am a tainted wether of the flock,
Meetest for death; the weakest kind of fruit
Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me :

You cannot better be employed, Bassanio, 115 Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.

115. To live still, and write. The infinitive used for the gerund (in living and writing) is by no means uncommon. Thus, Act 1. Scene 1, “Nor do I now make moan to be abridged ;" Act II.Scene 6, “Cupid

himself would blush to see me thus transformed to a boy;" and Act iv. Scene 1, 137, " Tho but offend'et thy lungs to speak so loud." Prisoner of Chillon, 78, “Distress'd to see such bird in such a nest."

Enter NERISSA, dressed like a lawyer's clerk.
Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario ?
Ner. From both, my lord : Bellario greets your Grace.

[Presents a letter Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?

Shy. To cut the forfeit from that bankrupt there. 120 Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,

Thou makost thy knife keen : but 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. 125 Gra. 0, be thou damn'd inexecrable dog !

And for thy life let justice be accused.
Thou almost mak’st me waver in my faith,
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,

That souls of animals infuse themselves 130 Into the trunks of men : thy currish spirit

Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter,
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,
And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallowed dam,

Infus'd itself in thee ; for thy desires
135 Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd and ravenous.

Shy. Till thou can’st 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.
140 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.

120. Sole ... soul.- A pun very much out of place. See Act iv. Scene 1, 261, note.

123. Envy.-See above, note to 10.

125. Inexecrable.--If Sbakspere wrote this word, he probably meant most execrable by it. But for the harsh term dog, inexor.

able would seem better suited to the sense of the passage.

126. We will complain of justice, that it ever allowed such a being to live.

131. IVho has no proper predicate. The construction is changed in the next line.

Duke. With all my heart :-some three or four of you 145 Go give him courteous conduct to this place.-Meantime, the court shall hear Bellario's letter.

[Clerk reads. “ Your Grace shall understand that, at the receipt of your letter, I am very sick: but in the instant hat your messenger came, in loving visitation was with me a young doctor of Rome, his name is Balthasar : I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant : we turned o'er many books together ; he is furnished with my opinion ; which, bettered with his own learning (the greatness whereof I cannot enough commer:d), 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 with so old a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation."

Duke. You hear the learned Bellario, what he writes ; And here, I take it, is the doctor come.-


Enter PORTIA, dressed like a doctor of laws.
Give me your hand : Came you from old Bellario ?

Por. I did, my lord.

You are welcome : take your place.
Are you acquainted with the difference
That holds this present question in the court ?

Por. I am informed thoroughly of the cause.
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew ?

Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylock ?

Shylock is my name.
Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow ;
Yet in such rule that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.


* In Loving visitation was with me a young doctor.--See Cowper, Task, I. 16, nobo.

148. For, you hear, what the learned Bellario writes. Shakspere has unconsciously adopted a Greek idiom.

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