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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 my heart.
Bass. Antonio, I am married to a wife,
Which is as dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the world,
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life;
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.
Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for that, If she were by, to hear you make the offer.
Gra. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love ;
I would she were in heaven, so she could
Entreat some power to change this currish Jew.
Ner. 'Tis well you offer it behind her back;
The wish would make else an unquiet house.
Shy. These be the Christian husbands : I have a daugh'Would, any of the stock of Barrabast
[ter; Had been her husband, rather than a Christian! [Aside. We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence.
Por. A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine; The court awards it, and the law doth give it.
Shy. Most rightful judge !
Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast; The law allows it, and the court awards it.
Shy. Most learned judge! A sentence; come, prepare.
Por. Tarry a little ;-there is something else.
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood ;
The words expressly are, a pound of flesh :
Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.
Barrabas,] This name is so written and pronounced throughout Marlowes' Jew of Malta.- In the New Testament it is spelt Barabbas.STEEVENS.
Gra. O upright judge !—Mark, Jew ;-0 learned judge!
Shy. Is that the law?
Thyself shalt see the act:
For, as thou urgest justice, be assur’d,
Thou shalt have justice more than thou desir’st.
Gra. O learned judge !—Mark, Jew; a learned judge!
Shy. I take this offer then ;-pay the bond thrice,
And let the Christian go.
Here is the money.
Por. Soft ;
The Jew shall have all justice ;-soft;-no haste;-
He shall have nothing but the penalty.
Gra. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge !
Por. Therefore, prepare thee to cut off the flesh.
Shed thou no blood; nor cut thou less nor more,
But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more,
Or less, than a just pound,-be it but so much
As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance,
Or the division of the twentieth part
Of one poor scruple; nay, if the scale do turn
But in the estimation of a hair,
Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate.
Gra. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.
Por. Why doth the Jew pause ? take thy forfeiture.
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go.
Bass. I have it ready for thee; here it is.
Por. He hath refus'd it in the open court;
He shall have merely justice, and his bond
Gra. A Daniel, still say I; a second Daniel ! I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.
Shy. Shall I not have barely my principal ?
Por. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture,
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.
Shy. Why then the devil give him good of it!
I'll stay no longer question.
The law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be prov'd against an alien,
That by direct, or indirect attempts,
He seek the life of any citizen,
The party, 'gainst the which he doth contrive,
Shall seize one half his goods; the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state ;
And the offender's life lies in the mercy
Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice.
In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st :
For it appears by manifest proceeding,
That indirectly, and directly too,
Thou hast contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehearsed.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.
Gra. Beg, that thou may’st have leave to hang thyself:
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
Thou hast not left the value of a cord;
Therefore, thou must be hang'd at the state's charge.
Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit, I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it: For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's; The other half comes to the general state, Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.
Por. Ay, for the state ;' not for Antonio.
Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that:
You take my house, when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house : you take my life,
When you do take the means whereby I live.
Por. What mercy can you sender him, Antonio?
Gra. A halter gratis ; nothing else ; for God's sake.
Ant. So please my lord the duke, and all the court,
To quit the fine for one half of his goods ;
I am content, so he will let me have
The other half in use, to render it,
• Ay, for the state ; &c.] That is, the state's moiety may be commuted for a fine, but not Antonio's.-MALONE.
the other half in use,–] There has been a dispute among the critics on the meaning of Antonio's proposition.—The most natural sense appears to be this; Antonio offers to surrender all right to his moiety of Shylock's confiscated property, on condition that he is allowed to have it in use, [i. e. to pay interest upon it,] during the Jew's life, and on his death render the principal to Lo
Upon his death, unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter ;
Two things provided more,—That, for this favour,
He presently become a Christian;
The other, that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd,
Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.
Duke. He shall do this; or else I do recant
The pardon, that I late pronounced here.
Por. Art thou contented, Jew, what dost thou say?
Shy. I am content.
Clerk, draw a deed of gift.
Shy. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence;
I am not well; send the deed after me,
And I will sign it.
Get thee gone, but do it.
Gra. In christening thou shalt have two godfathers;
Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten more,
To bring the to the gallows, not the font.
[Exit. SHYLOCK. Duke. Sir, I entreat you home with me to dinner.
Por. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon ;
I must away this night toward Padua,
And it is meet, I presently set forth.
leisure serves you not.
Antonio, gratify this gentleman;
For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.
[Exeunt Duke, Magnificoes, and Train. Bass. Most worthy gentleman, I and my friend, Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted Of grievous penalties ; in lieu whereof, Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew, We freely cope your courteous pains withal.
Ant. And stand indebted, over and above,
In love and service to you evermore.
Por. He is well paid that is well satisfied :
And I, delivering you, am satisfied,
And therein do account myself well paid;
- thou should'st have had ten more,] i. e. A jury of twelve men, to condemn thee to be hanged.—THEOBALD.
My mind was never yet more mercenaryo
I pray you, know me, when we meet again ;
I wish you well, and so I take my leave.
Bass. Dear sir, of force I must attempt you further ;
Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute,
Not as a fee : grant me two things, I pray you,
Not to deny me, and to pardon me.
Por. You press me far, and therefore I will yield.
Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake;
And, for your love, I'll take this ring from you :-
Do not draw back your hand; I'll take no more;
And you in love shall not deny me this.
Bass. This ring, good sir,-alas, it is a trifle;
I will not shame myself to give you this.
Por. I will have nothing else but only this; And now, methinks, I have a mind to it.
Bass. There's more depends on this, than on the value.
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
And find it out by proclamation;
Only for this, I pray you, pardon me.
Por. I see, sir, you are liberal in offers :
You taught me first to beg; and now, methinks,
You teach me how a beggar should be answer'd.
Bass. Good sir, this ring was given me by my wife;
And, when she put it on, she made me vow,
That I should neither sell, nor give, nor lose it.
Por. That 'scuse serves many men to save their gifts.
And if your wife be not a mad woman,
And know how well I have deserv'd this ring,
She would not hold out enemy for ever,
For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you!
[Exeunt PORTIA, and NERISSA.
Ant. My lord Bassanio, let him have the ring;
Let his deservings, and my love withal,
Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandment.
Bass. Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him,
Give him the ring; and bring him, if thou can’st,
Unto Antonio's house :-away, make haste.
[Exit GRATIANO. Come, you and I will thither presently;