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'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 must 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 course 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
Shy. When it is paid according to the tenour.-
Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the court
Why then, thus it is.
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.
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
daughter; 'Would, any of the stock of Barrabas Had been her husband, rather than a Christian!
[Aside. We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence.
Por. A pound of that same merchant'sflesh is thine; The court awards it, and the law doth give it.
Shy. Most rightful judge!
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. Gra. O upright judge!—Mark, Jew ;- learned
judge! Shy. Is that the law? Por.
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
Shy. I take this offer then;- pay the bond thrice, And let the Christian go. Bass.
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!
Por. He hath refus'd it in the open court;
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!