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To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
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.
[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: 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, better'd with his own learning, (the greatness whereof I cannot enough
commend,) 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 lody 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.
Por. Is your name Shylock? a. Shy.
Shylock is my name. Por, Of a strange nature is the suit you follow; Yet in such a rule, that the Venetian law Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed. You stand within his danger,8 do you not?
[T. ANTONIO Ant. Ay, so he says. Por,
Do you confess the bond?
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
Cannot impugn you,] To impugn, is to oppose, to contravert.
• You stand within this danger,] i. e. within his reach or con
"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 snffice, 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;
9 in the course of justice, none of us .
Should see salvation :] Portia referring the Jew to the Christfan doctrine of salvation, and the Lord's Prayer, is a little out of character, BLACKSTONE.
And many an error, by the same example,
niel! O wise young judge, how do I honour thee! - Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond. 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: Shall I lay perjury upon my soul ? No, not for Venice. Por.
. 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 Hath full relation to the penalty, - Whịch here appeareth due upon the bond..
Shy. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge!
Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom,
Ay, his breast;
Şo 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.
Bass. Antonio, I am married to a wife,