« AnteriorContinuar »
Jes. Thus absence warms with fiercer flame,
and The fine affections of the soul :
Lor. As distance points with surer aim
The faithful needle to its darling pole.
[Exeunt, R. END OF ACT III.
SCENE I.--A Court of Justice in Venice. The DUKE, Magnificoes, ANTONIO, BASSANIO, SOLANIO, SALARINO, GRATIANO, and Attendants, discovered. Duke. [Seated, c.] What, is Antonio here? Ant. Ready, so please your grace.
Duke. I am 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.
Ant. I have heard,
Your grace hath taken great pains to qualify
His rigorous 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 Jew into the court.
Sol. He's ready at the door: he comes, my lord.
Enter SHYLOCK, R.
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,
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 loose 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 sn huddled on his back;
Enough to press a royal merchant down,
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,
Shy. (R.) I have possess'd your grace of what I pur-
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.
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 ban’d; what are you answered 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,
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig;
Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
So can I give no reason, nor will I 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. (L. c.) This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, To excuse the current of thy cruelty.
Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my 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.
Shy. What, wouldst thou have a serdent sting thee
twice? Ant. (L. c.) I pray you, think your question with the
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,
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 any thing most hard,
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.
Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here are 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 ?
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,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs :
Why sweat they under their burdens ? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, let their palates
Be season'd with such viands ? you will answer,
The slaves are ours :-So do I answer you :
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought, is 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 power, I may dismiss this court,
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here to-day
Sal. (R.) My lord, here stays without
A messenger with letters from the doctor
New come from Padua.
Duke. Bring us the letters: call the messenger.
(Exit Salarino, R.
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.
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 employ'd, Bassanio, Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.
Enter SOLANIO with Nerissa, dress'd like a lawyer's clerk,
R. and goes to the Duke.
Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario ?
Ner. From both, my lord : Bellario greets your grace.
[Presents a Letter.-SHYLOCK kneels on one knee, and
whets his knife on the floor.
Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?
Shy. To cut the forfeit from that bankrupt there.
Gra. Can no prayers pierce thee?
Shy. [Gets up.] No, none that thou hast wit enough 1
Gra. (R. C.) O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog !
And for thy life let justice be accus'd.
Thou almost mak'st 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,
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,
And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam,
Infus'd itself in thee ; for thy desires
Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous.
Shy. (R. C. holding up the bond, and tapping it with the
knife.] Till thou can'st rail the seal from off my
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.
[Exeunt Gratiano und Solario, R. Meantime, the Court shall hear Bellario's letter.
[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 Balthazar. I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant : we turn'd o'er many books together ; he is furnish'd with my opinion; which better'd with his own learn
ing (the greatness whereof I cannot enough commend,)
comes with him, at my importunity, to fill up your gruce's re-
quest in my stead. I beseech you, let his lack of years be no
impediment to let him lack a reverent 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 com-
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, SOLANio, and
Give me your hand : came you from old Bellario?
Por. (c.) 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 thoroughly of the cause.
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?
Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
[They stand forth. Por. Is your name Shylock ? Shy. (R. C.) 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.
You stand within his danger, do you not?
Ant. (L. C.) Ay, so he says.
Por. Do you confess the bond ?
Ant. I do.
Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shy. (R.) On what compulsion must I ? tell me that.
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven,
Upon the place beneath ; it is twice bless'd;
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 shews the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above the scepter'd sway
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then shew likest God's,