An. Most heartily I do beseech the Court To giue the iudgement

Por. Why then thus it is: You must prepare your bosome for his knife

Iew. O noble Iudge, O excellent yong man

Por. For the intent and purpose of the Law Hath full relation to the penaltie, Which heere appeareth due vpon the bond

Iew. 'Tis verie true: O wise and vpright Iudge, How much more elder art thou then thy lookes? Por. Therefore lay bare your bosome

Iew. I, his brest, So sayes the bond, doth it not noble Iudge? Neerest his heart, those are the very words

Por. It is so: Are there ballance heere to weigh the flesh? Iew. I haue them ready

Por. Haue by some Surgeon Shylock on your charge To stop his wounds, least he should bleede to death

Iew. It is not nominated in the bond? Por. It is not so exprest: but what of that? 'Twere good you do so much for charitie

Iew. I cannot finde it, 'tis not in the bond

Por. Come Merchant, haue you any thing to say? Ant. But little: I am arm'd and well prepar'd. Giue me your hand Bassanio, fare you well. Greeue not that I am falne to this for you: For heerein fortune shewes her selfe more kinde Then is her custome. It is still her vse To let the wretched man out-liue his wealth, To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow An age of pouerty. From which lingring penance Of such miserie, doth she cut me off: Commend me to your honourable Wife, Tell her the processe of Anthonio's end: Say how I lou'd you; speake me faire in death: And when the tale is told, bid her be iudge, Whether Bassanio had not once a Loue: Repent not you that you shall loose your friend, And he repents not that he payes your debt. For if the Iew do cut but deepe enough, Ile pay it instantly, with all my heart

Bas. Anthonio, I am married to a wife, Which is as deere to me as life it selfe, But life it selfe, my wife, and all the world, Are not with me esteem'd aboue thy life. I would loose all, I sacrifice them all Heere to this deuill, to deliuer you

Por. Your wife would giue you little thanks for that If she were by to heare you make the offer

Gra. I haue a wife whom I protest I loue, I would she were in heauen, so she could Intreat some power to change this currish Iew

Ner. 'Tis well you offer it behinde her backe, The wish would make else an vnquiet house

Iew. These be the Christian husbands: I haue a daughter Would any of the stocke of Barrabas Had beene her husband, rather then a Christian. We trifle time, I pray thee pursue sentence

Por. A pound of that same marchants flesh is thine, The Court awards it, and the law doth giue it

Iew. Most rightfull Iudge

Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast, The Law allowes it, and the Court awards it

Iew. Most learned Iudge, a sentence, come prepare

Por. Tarry a little, there is something else, This bond doth giue thee heere no iot of bloud, The words expresly are a pound of flesh: Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh, But in the cutting it, if thou dost shed One drop of Christian bloud, thy lands and goods Are by the Lawes of Venice confiscate Vnto the state of Venice

Gra. O vpright Iudge, Marke Iew, o learned Iudge

Shy. Is that the law? Por. Thy selfe shalt see the Act: For as thou vrgest iustice, be assur'd Thou shalt haue iustice more then thou desirest

The Merchant of Venice Page 28

William Shakespeare Plays

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