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To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
and learned doctor to our court: Where is he?
Ner, He attendeth here hard by,
[Clerk reads.] Your grace shall understand, thai, at ihe receipt of your letter, I am very sick: but in the instant that 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 furnish'd with my opinion; which, tetier'd with his own learning, (the greatness whereof I camot enough commend,) comes with him, at my importunity, to fill up your grace's request in my stead.
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 gra
cious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.
Duke. You hear the learn'd 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.
Duke. You are welcome: take your place. Are you acquainted with the difference That holds this present question in the court?
Por. I am informed throughly of the cause. Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?
Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Shylock is my name.
[To Antonio. Ant. Ay, so he says. Por.
Do you confess the bond ? Ant. I do. Por.
Then must the Jew be merciful. Shy. On what compulsion must I tell me that.
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain’d;
7 Cannot impugn you,] To impugn, is to oppose, to controvert,
8 You stand within this danger,) i. e. within his reach or control.
*Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
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 money?
Bass. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court; Yea, twice the sum: if that will not suffice, I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er, On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart: If this will not suffice, it inust appear That malice bears down truth.
And I beseech you, Wrest 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 power in Venice Can alter a decree established: 'Twill be recorded for a precedent;
in the cours. of justice, none of us Should see salvation:] Portia referring the Jew to the Christian doctrine of salvation, and the Lord's Prayer, is a little out of character, BLACKSTONE.
And many an error, by the same example,
Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
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 money; bid me tear the bond.
Shy: When it is paid according to the tenour.-
Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the court
Why then, thus it is.
Shy. O noble judge! O excellent young man!
Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
Shy. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge! How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom,
Ay, his breast :
So says the bond;-Doth it not, noble judge?-
Por. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh The flesh ?
Shy. I have them ready.
Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond?
Por. It is not so express’d; But what of that? "Twere good you do so much for charity.
Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.
Ant. But little; I am arm’d, and well prepar’d. Give me your hand, Bassanio; fare you well! Grieve not that I am fallen to this for
you; For herein fortune shows herself more kind Than is her custom: it is still 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 lingering penance Of such a misery doth she cut me off. Commend me to your honourable wife: Tell her the process of Antonio's end, Say, how I lov’d you, speak 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 shall lose your friend, 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