Gra. O learned Iudge, mark Iew, a learned Iudge

Iew. I take this offer then, pay the bond thrice, And let the Christian goe

Bass. Heere is the money

Por. Soft, the Iew shall haue all iustice, soft, no haste, He shall haue nothing but the penalty

Gra. O Iew, an vpright Iudge, a learned Iudge

Por. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh, Shed thou no bloud, nor cut thou lesse nor more But iust a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more Or lesse then a iust pound, be it so much As makes it light or heauy in the substance, Or the deuision of the twentieth part Of one poore scruple, nay if the scale doe turne But in the estimation of a hayre, Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate

Gra. A second Daniel, a Daniel Iew, Now infidell I haue thee on the hip

Por. Why doth the Iew pause, take thy forfeiture

Shy. Giue me my principall, and let me goe

Bass. I haue it ready for thee, heere it is

Por. He hath refus'd it in the open Court, He shall haue meerly iustice and his bond

Gra. A Daniel still say I, a second Daniel, I thanke thee Iew for teaching me that word

Shy. Shall I not haue barely my principall? Por. Thou shalt haue nothing but the forfeiture, To be taken so at thy perill Iew

Shy. Why then the Deuill giue him good of it: Ile stay no longer question

Por. Tarry Iew, The Law hath yet another hold on you. It is enacted in the Lawes of Venice, If it be proued against an Alien, That by direct, or indirect attempts He seeke the life of any Citizen, The party gainst the which he doth contriue, Shall seaze one halfe his goods, the other halfe Comes to the priuie coffer of the State, And the offenders life lies in the mercy Of the Duke onely, gainst all other voice. In which predicament I say thou standst: For it appeares by manifest proceeding, That indirectly, and directly to, Thou hast contriu'd against the very life Of the defendant: and thou hast incur'd The danger formerly by me rehearst. Downe therefore, and beg mercy of the Duke

Gra. Beg that thou maist haue leaue to hang thy selfe, 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 states charge

Duk. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit, I pardon thee thy life before thou aske it: For halfe thy wealth, it is Anthonio's The other halfe comes to the generall state, Which humblenesse may driue vnto a fine

Por. I for the state, not for Anthonio

Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that, You take my house, when you do take the prop That doth sustaine my house: you take my life When you doe take the meanes whereby I liue

Por. What mercy can you render him Anthonio? Gra. A halter gratis, nothing else for Gods sake

Ant. So please my Lord the Duke, and all the Court To quit the fine for one halfe of his goods, I am content: so he will let me haue The other halfe in vse, to render it Vpon his death, vnto the Gentleman That lately stole his daughter. Two things prouided more, that for this fauour He presently become a Christian: The other, that he doe record a gift Heere in the Court of all he dies possest Vnto his sonne Lorenzo, and his daughter

Duk. He shall doe this, or else I doe recant The pardon that I late pronounced heere

The Merchant of Venice Page 29

William Shakespeare Plays

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