Bas. For thy three thousand Ducates heere is six

Iew. If euerie Ducat in sixe thousand Ducates Were in sixe parts, and euery part a Ducate, I would not draw them, I would haue my bond? Du. How shalt thou hope for mercie, rendring none? Iew. What iudgement shall I dread doing no wrong? You haue among you many a purchast slaue, Which like your Asses, and your Dogs and Mules, You vse in abiect and in slauish parts, Because you bought them. Shall I say to you, Let them be free, marrie them to your heires? Why sweate they vnder burthens? Let their beds Be made as soft as yours: and let their pallats Be season'd with such Viands: you will answer The slaues are ours. So do I answer you. The pound of flesh which I demand of him Is deerely bought, 'tis mine, and I will haue it. If you deny me; fie vpon your Law, There is no force in the decrees of Venice; I stand for iudgement, answer, Shall I haue it? Du. Vpon my power I may dismisse this Court, Vnlesse Bellario a learned Doctor, Whom I haue sent for to determine this, Come heere to day

Sal. My Lord, heere stayes without A Messenger with Letters from the Doctor, New come from Padua

Du. Bring vs the Letters, Call the Messengers

Bass. Good cheere Anthonio. What man, corage yet: The Iew shall haue my flesh, blood, bones, and all, Ere thou shalt loose for me one drop of blood

Ant. I am a tainted Weather of the flocke, Meetest for death, the weakest kinde of fruite Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me; You cannot better be employ'd Bassanio, Then to liue still, and write mine Epitaph. Enter Nerrissa.

Du. Came you from Padua from Bellario? Ner. From both. My Lord Bellario greets your Grace

Bas. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly? Iew. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrout there

Gra. Not on thy soale: but on thy soule harsh Iew Thou mak'st thy knife keene: but no mettall can, No, not the hangmans Axe beare halfe the keennesse Of thy sharpe enuy. Can no prayers pierce thee? Iew. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make

Gra. O be thou damn'd, inexecrable dogge, And for thy life let iustice be accus'd: Thou almost mak'st me wauer in my faith; To hold opinion with Pythagoras, That soules of Animals infuse themselues Into the trunkes of men. Thy currish spirit Gouern'd a Wolfe, who hang'd for humane slaughter, Euen from the gallowes did his fell soule fleet; And whil'st thou layest in thy vnhallowed dam, Infus'd it selfe in thee: For thy desires Are Woluish, bloody, steru'd, and rauenous

Iew. Till thou canst raile the seale from off my bond Thou but offend'st thy Lungs to speake so loud: Repaire thy wit good youth, or it will fall To endlesse ruine. I stand heere for Law

Du. This Letter from Bellario doth commend A yong and Learned Doctor in our Court; Where is he? Ner. He attendeth heere hard by To know your answer, whether you'l admit him

Du. With all my heart. Some three or four of you Go giue him curteous conduct to this place, Meane time the Court shall heare Bellarioes Letter. Your Grace shall vnderstand, that at the receite of your Letter I am very sicke: but in the instant that your messenger came, in louing visitation, was with me a yong Doctor of Rome, his name is Balthasar: I acquainted him with the cause in Controuersie, betweene the Iew and Anthonio the Merchant: We turn'd ore many Bookes together: hee is furnished with my opinion, which bettred with his owne learning, the greatnesse whereof I cannot enough commend, comes with him at my importunity, to fill vp your Graces request in my sted. I beseech you, let his lacke of years be no impediment to let him lacke a reuerend estimation: for I neuer knewe so yong a body, with so old a head. I leaue him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation. Enter Portia for Balthazar.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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