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I Neagle et Bass. Why dost thou whet thy hinipe so earnestly? Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt theré.
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
my bond, 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 learned doctor to our court :Where is he?
Ner. He attendeth here hard by, To know your answer, whether you'll admit him.
Duke. With all my heart :-some three or four
Go give him courteous conduct to this place.-
[Clerk reads.] Your grace shall understand, 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 Balthasar : I acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant : we turned o’er many books together : he is furnish'd with my opinion ; which, better'd with his own learning, (thegreatness whereof I cannot enough commend,) comes with him, at my importunity, to fill up your grace's 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 gra
cious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.
Duke. You hear the learn’d Bellario, what he
writes : And here, I take it, is the doctor come.
Enter Portia, dressed like a doctor of laws. Give me your hand : Came you from old Bellario ?
Por. I did, my lord.
Duke. You are welcome: take
Por. I am informed throughly of the cause. Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?
Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth.
Shylock is my name. Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you
follow ; Yet in such a rule, that the Venetian law Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed. You stand within his danger,o do you not?
[To ANTONIO. Ant. Ay, so he says. Por.
confess the bond ? Ant. I do. Por.
Then must the Jew be merciful. Shy. On what compulsion must I ? tell me that.
Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
> Cannot impugn you,] To impugn, is to oppose, to controvert.
8 You stand within his danger,] i. e. within his reach or con. trol.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law, The penalty and forfeit of
bond. Por. Is he not able to discharge the money?
Bass. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court; Yea, twice the sum : if that will not suffice, I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er, On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart: If this will not suffice, it must appear That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you, Wrest once the law to your authority : To do a great right, do a little wrong; And curb this cruel devil of his will.
Por. It must not be; there is no power in Venice Can alter a decree established: "Twill be recorded for a precedent;
9- in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation:] Portia referring the Jew to the Christian doctrine of salvation, and the Lord's Prayer, is a little out or character. BLACKSTONE.