Abbildungen der Seite


Shylock is my name. Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow ; Yet in such rule that the Venetian law

5 Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.You stand within his danger, do you not ? [To ANTONIO

Ant. Ay, so he says.

Do you confess the bond ?
Ant. I do.
Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shy. On what compulsion must Iļ tell me that. 10

Por. The quality of mercy is not strained-
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath : it is twice blessed —
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes;
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes

The thronèd monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway-

20 It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself; And earthly power doth then show likest God's When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this

25 That in the course of justice, none of us Should see salvation : we do pray for mercy; And that same prayer doth teach us all to render The deeds of mercy.

I have spoke thus much To mitigate the justice of thy plea;

30 Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.

Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
The penalty and forfeit of my bond.
Por. Is he not able to discharge the money?

35 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;
And many an error, by the same example,
Will rush into the state : it cannot be.

Shy. A Daniel come to judgment ! yea, a Daniel !
O wise young judge, how do I honour thee !

Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond.
Shy. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offered thee.

Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven:
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul ?
No, not for Venice.

Why, this bond is forfeit:
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Nearest the merchant's heart.-Be merciful;
Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.

Shy. When it is paid according to the tenor.
It doth appear you are a worthy judge;
You know the law, your exposition
Hath been most sound : I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgment: by my soul I swear,
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me: I stay here on my bond.

Ant. Most heartily I do beseech the court
To give the judgment.

[ocr errors]




70 Por.

Why, then, thus it is: You must prepare your bosom for his knife.

Shy. O noble judge ! O excellent young man !

Por. For the intent and purpose of the law Hath full relation to the penalty,

75 Which here appeareth due upon the bond.

Shy. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge !
How much more elder art thou than thy looks !

Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.

Ay, his breast:
So says the bond ;—doth it not, noble judge ?-

80 Nearest his heart: those are the very

words. Por. A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine ; The court awards it, and the law doth give it.

Shy. Most rightful judge !

Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast, 85 The law allows it, and the court awards it.

Shy. Most learned judge ! -A sentence; come; prepare !

Por. Tarry a little ; there is something else. This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; The words expressly are a pound of flesh :

90 Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh; But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate Unto the state of Venice.

95 Shy. Is that the law ? Por.

Thyself shall see the act:
For as thou urgest justice, be assured
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest.

Shy. I take this offer, then; pay the bond thrice
And let the Christian go.
Here is the money.

Por. Soft !
The Jew shall have all justice; soft ! no haste;
He shall have nothing but the penalty.






Therefore, prepare thee to cut off the flesh.
Shed thou no blood ; nor cut thou less nor more
But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more,
Or less than a just pound—be it but so much
As makes it light or heavy in the substance,
Or the division of the twentieth part
Of one poor scruple—nay, if the scale do turn
But in the estimation of a hair-
Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate !
Why doth the Jew pause ? take thy forfeiture.

Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go.
Bass. I have it ready for thee; here it is.

Por. He hath refused it in the open court;
He shall have merely justice, and his bond.

Shy. Shall I not have barely my principal ?

Por. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture,
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

Shy. Why, then the devil give him good of it !
I'll stay no longer question.

Tarry, Jew;
The law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice-
If it be proved against an alien,
That by direct or indirect attempts
He seeks the life of any citizen,
The party 'gainst the which he doth contrive
Shall seize one half his goods; the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state ;
And the offender's life lies in the mercy
Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice.
In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st:
For it appears, by manifest proceeding,
That indirectly, and directly too,
Thou has contrived against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurred
The danger formerly by me rehearsed.




Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.

Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit, 140 I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it: For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's; The other half comes to the general state, Which humbleness may drive unto a fine. Por. Ay, for the state—not for Antonio.

145 Shy. Nay, take my life and all ; pardon not that: You take my house, when you do take the prop That doth sustain my house; you take my life, When you do take the means whereby I live.

Por. What mercy can you render him, Antonio ? 150

Ant. So please my lord the duke, and all the court
To quit the fine for one half of his goods;
I am content, so he will let me have
The other half in use, to render it,
Upon his death, unto the gentleman

That lately stole his daughter:
Two things provided more—that, for this favour,
He presently become a Christian ;
The other, that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possessed,

160 Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.

Duke. He shall do this; or else I do recant
The pardon that I late pronounced here.

Por. Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say?
Shy. I am content.

Clerk, draw a deed of gift. 165
Shy. I pray you give me leave to go from hence :
I am not well ; send the deed after me,
And I will sign it.

Get thee gone, but do it. mer'-chant, one who buys and sells. con-fess', own. suit, case; action.

com-pul'-sion, necessity; force. im-pugn', oppose.

strained, restrained. you stand with-in' his dang-er, you twice blessed, pours forth a double are in his power.


« ZurückWeiter »