The “Times” Correspondent.
* * * * *
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.
SCENE.—Venice. A Court of Justice.
Enter the_ DUKE, the
BASSANIO, GATIANO, SALARINO, SALANIO, and
Duke. What, is Antonio here?
Ant. Ready, so please your grace.
Duke. I am sorry for thee; thou art come
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.
Ant. I have heard
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 arm’d
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.
Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the court,
Salan. He is ready at the door: he comes, my lord.
Duke. Make room, and let him stand
before our face.
Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,
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, touch’d 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
From brassy bosoms and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never train’d
To offices of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.
Shy. I have possess’d your grace
of what I purpose;
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn
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
Three thousand ducats; I’ll not answer that:
But, say, it is my humour; is it answer’d?