Actus Quartus.

Enter the Duke, the Magnificoes, Anthonio, Bassanio, and Gratiano

Duke. What, is Anthonio heere? Ant. Ready, so please your grace? Duke. I am sorry for thee, thou art come to answere A stonie aduersary, an inhumane wretch, Vncapable of pitty, voyd, and empty From any dram of mercie

Ant. I haue heard Your Grace hath tane great paines to qualifie His rigorous course: but since he stands obdurate, And that no lawful meanes can carrie me Out of his enuies reach, I do oppose My patience to his fury, and am arm'd To suffer with a quietnesse of spirit, The very tiranny and rage of his

Du. Go one and cal the Iew into the Court

Sal. He is ready at the doore, he comes my Lord. Enter Shylocke.

Du. Make roome, and let him stand before our face. Shylocke the world thinkes, and I thinke so to That thou but leadest this fashion of thy mallice To the last houre of act, and then 'tis thought Thou'lt shew thy mercy and remorse more strange, Than is thy strange apparant cruelty; And where thou now exact'st the penalty, Which is a pound of this poore Merchants flesh, Thou wilt not onely loose the forfeiture, But touch'd with humane gentlenesse and loue: Forgiue a moytie of the principall, Glancing an eye of pitty on his losses That haue of late so hudled on his backe, Enow to presse a royall Merchant downe; And plucke commiseration of his state From brassie bosomes, and rough hearts of flints, From stubborne Turkes and Tarters neuer traind To offices of tender curtesie, We all expect a gentle answer Iew? Iew. I haue possest your grace of what I purpose, And by our holy Sabbath haue I sworne To haue the due and forfeit of my bond. If you denie it, let the danger light Vpon your Charter, and your Cities freedome. You'l aske me why I rather choose to haue A weight of carrion flesh, then to receiue Three thousand Ducats? Ile not answer that: But say it is my humor; Is it answered? What if my house be troubled with a Rat, And I be pleas'd to giue ten thousand Ducates To haue it bain'd? What, are you answer'd yet? Some men there are loue not a gaping Pigge: Some that are mad, if they behold a Cat: And others, when the bag-pipe sings i'th nose, Cannot containe their Vrine for affection. Masters of passion swayes it to the moode Of what it likes or loaths, now for your answer: As there is no firme reason to be rendred Why he cannot abide a gaping Pigge? Why he a harmlesse necessarie Cat? Why he a woollen bag-pipe: but of force Must yeeld to such ineuitable shame, As to offend himselfe being offended: So can I giue no reason, nor I will not, More then a lodg'd hate, and a certaine loathing I beare Anthonio, that I follow thus A loosing suite against him? Are you answered? Bass. This is no answer thou vnfeeling man, To excuse the currant of thy cruelty

Iew. I am not bound to please thee with my answer

Bass. Do all men kil the things they do not loue? Iew. Hates any man the thing he would not kill? Bass. Euerie offence is not a hate at first

Iew. What wouldst thou haue a Serpent sting thee twice? Ant. I pray you thinke you question with the Iew: You may as well go stand vpon the beach, And bid the maine flood baite his vsuall height, Or euen as well vse question with the Wolfe, The Ewe bleate for the Lambe: You may as well forbid the Mountaine Pines To wagge their high tops, and to make no noise When they are fretted with the gusts of heauen: You may as well do any thing most hard, As seeke to soften that, then which what harder? His Iewish heart. Therefore I do beseech you Make no more offers, vse no farther meanes, But with all briefe and plaine conueniencie Let me haue iudgement, and the Iew his will

The Merchant of Venice Page 25

William Shakespeare Plays

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