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6 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.
I stand for judgement: answer; shall I have it? 100 Duke. Upon my power I may dismiss this court,
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
My lord, here stays without
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,
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood. 110 Ant. I am a tainted wether of the flock,
Meetest for death: the weakest kind of fruit
Enter NERISSA, dressed like a lawyer's clerk.
Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario ?
[Presenting a letter
Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew, 120 Thou makest thy knife keen ; but no metal can,
No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness
Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.
Gra. 0, be thou damn'd, inexecrable dog! 125 And for thy life let justice be accused. Thou almost makest me waver in my
faith To hold opinion with Pythagoras, That souls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men: thy currish spirit
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,
Shy. Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond,
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
He attendeth here hard by,
Duke. With all my heart. Some three or four of you Go give him courteous conduct to this place. 145 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 that your messenger came, in loving visitation was with me
a young doctor of Rome; his name is Balthasar. 150 quainted 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 commend, comes with him, at my importunity, to 155 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 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. Come you from old Bellario ?
Por. I did, my lord.
Duke. You are welcome: take your place. 165 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.
Por. Is your name Shylock ?
Shylock is my name.
Ant. Ay, so he says.
confess the bond ?
Then must the Jew be merciful.
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven 180 Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes : 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, 185 The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is an attribute to God himself;
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy ;
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there. 200 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;
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart:
Wrest once the law to your authority : 210 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, 215 And many an error by the same example Will rush into the state: it cannot be.
Shy. A Daniel come to judgement! yea, a Daniel ! O wise young judge, how I do honour thee!
Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond. 220 Shy. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee.
Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven:
Why, this bond is forfeit; 225 And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Shy. When it is paid according to the tenour. 230 It doth appear you are a worthy judge;
You know the law, your exposition
Proceed to judgement: by my soul I swear
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: 0 wise and upright judge! 245 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 ? “Nearest his heart: those are the
Por. It is so. Are there balance here to weigh 250 The flesh ?
Shy. I have them ready.
Por. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge, To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death.