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SCENE VI. THE TRIAL. The Duke of Venice enters in state, attended by the Magni

ficoes or Noblemen, to preside at the trial in the Court of Venice. Antonio is brought in, guarded; his friends, Bassanio, Gratiano, Salarino, and Salario come with him. The Court is crowded. The Duke and the Magnificoes take their seats. Duke. What, is Antonio here? Antonio

Ready, so please your grace. Duke. I am sorry for thee : thou art come to answer A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch Uncapable of pity, void and empty From any dram of mercy. Antonio. I have heard,

5 Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate, And that no lawful means can carry me Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose My patience to his fury; and am armed To suffer, with a quietness of spirit, The very tyranny and rage of his.

Duke, Go one, and call the Jew into the court.

Salanio. He is ready at the door : he comes, my lord. Enter Shylock with a knife and a pair of scales. The crowd

hiss him. Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our face.

[Shylock steps forward, and bows to the Duke. Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too, 16 That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought, Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse more strange Than is thy strange apparent cruelty ; And where thou now exact'st the penalty (Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh), Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture, But, touched with human gentleness and love, Forgive a moiety of the principal ; Glancing an eye of pity on his losses, That have of late so huddled on his back, Enow to press a royal merchant down, And pluck commiseration of his state


25 30

From brassy bosoms and rough hearts of fint,
From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never trained
To offices of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.

Shylock. I have possessed your grace of what I purpose; And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn

35 To have the due and forfeit of my bond : If you deny it, let the danger light Upon your charter and your city's freedom. You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have A weight of carrion flesh than to receive

40 Three thousand ducats : I'll not answer that; But say it is my humour : is it answered ? What if my house be troubled with a rat, And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats To have it baned ? What, are you answered yet ? 45 Some men there are love not a gaping pig ; Some, that are mad if they behold a cat; Some, when they hear the bagpipe : for affection, Master of passion, sways it to the mood Of what it likes or loathes. Now, for your answer : 50 As there is no firm reason to be rendered, Why he cannot abide a gaping pig ; Why he, a harmless necessary cat ; Why he, a wawling bagpipe ; So can I give no reason, nor I will not,

55 More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing I bear Antonio, that I follow thus A losing suit against him. Are you answered ?

Bassanio. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, To excuse the current of thy cruelty.

бо Shylock. I am not bound to please thee with my answer. Bassanio. Do all men kill the things they do not love ? Shylock. Hates any man the thing he would not kill ? Bassanio. Every offence is not a hate at first. Shylock. What, wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice ?

65 Antonio. I pray you, think you question with the Jew : You may as well go stand upon the beach, And bid the main flood bate his usual height; You may as well use question with the wolf, Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb ;

70 You may as well forbid the mountain pines

To wag their high tops, and to make no noise,
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;
You may as well do anything most hard,
As seek to soften that (than which what's harder ?) 75
His Jewish heart: therefore, I do beseech you,
Make no more offers, use no farther means,
But with all brief and plain conveniency
Let me have judgement, and the Jew his will.
Bassanio. For thy three thousand ducats here is six.

(He holds out the coins in a bowl. Shylock (stepping up to him, speaking very slowly, and

emphasizing his words by tapping the coins with his

knife]. If every ducat in six thousand ducats 81 Were in six parts, and every part a ducat, I would not draw them; I would have my bond.

Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none? Shylock. What judgement shall I dread, doing no wrong?

You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them: shall I say to you,

Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ?
Why sweat they under burdens ? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be seasoned with such viands ?! You will answer,
• The slaves are ours': so do I answer you :
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,

Is dearly bought; 'tis mine, and I will have it.
If you deny me, fie upon your law !
There is no force in the decrees of Venice.
I stand for judgement: answer; shall I have it?

Duke. Upon my power I may dismiss this court, 100
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here to-day.

My lord, here stays without
A messenger with letters from the doctor,
New come from Padua.

105 Duke. Bring us the letters ; call the messenger. Bassanio. Good cheer, Antonio ! What, man, courage

yet! The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all,

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Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood. [Shylock begins to sharpen his knife slowly on the sole

of his shoe. Antonio. I am a tainted wether of the flock, Meetest for death : the weakest kind of fruit Drops earliest to the ground; and so let me : You cannot better be employed, Bassanio, Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.

Enter Nerissa, dressed like a lawyer's clerk. Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario ? 115 Nerissa. From both, my lord. Bellario greets your

grace. [She presents a letter ; the Duke opens it. Bassanio. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly? Shylock. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt

there. Gratiano. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew, Thou mak'st thy knife keen; but no metal can, No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee ?

Shylock. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.

Gratiano. Oh, be thou damned, inexorable dog ! And for thy life let justice be accused.

125 Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith, To hold opinion with Pythagoras, That souls of animals infuse themselves Into the trunks of men : thy currish spirit Governed a wolf, who hanged for human slaughter, 130 Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallowed dam, Infused itself in thee ; for thy desires Are wolfish, bloody, starved, and ravenous. Shylock [with quiet scorn). Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond,

135 Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud : Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall To cureless ruin. I stand here for law,

Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend A young and learnèd doctor to our court.

140 Where is he ?

Nerissa. He attendeth here hard by,
To know your answer, whether you'll admit him.

Duke. With all my heart. Some three or four of you,

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Go give him courteous conduct to this place.

[Exeunt several Officers. Meantime, the court shall hear Bellario's letter. 145

[The Clerk of the Court reads.] 'Your grace shall under-
stand, that at the receipt of your letter I am very sick :
but in the instant that your messenger came, in loving
visitation was with me a young doctor of Rome ; his
name is Balthazar. I acquainted him with the cause in 150
controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant :
we turned o'er many books together : he is furnished
with my opinion; which, bettered with his own learning
(the greatness whereof I cannot enough commend), comes
with him, at my importunity, to fill up your grace's 155
request in my stead. I beseech you, let his lack of years
be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation ;
for I never knew so young a body with so old a head.
I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall
better publish his commendation.'

Duke. You hear the learned Bellario, what he writes :
And here, I take it, is the doctor come.
The Officers usher in Portia, dressed like a doctor of laws.
Give me your hand. Came you from old Bellario ?

Portia. I did, my lord.

You are welcome; take your place. [Portia takes her place on the dais below the Duke's throne. Are you acquainted with the difference

165 That holds this present question in the court ?

Portia. I am informed throughly of the cause.
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew ?
Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
[Antonio and Shylock come forward, and bow to the

Portia. Is your name Shylock ?

Shylock is my name. 170
Portia. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow ;
Yet in such rule that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you as you do proceed.
[To Antonio.] You stand within his danger, do you not ?

Antonio. Aye, so he says.

Do you confess the bond ? 175
Antonio. I do.

Then must the Jew be merciful.


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