« הקודםהמשך »
Salar. My lord, here stays without A messenger with letters from the doctor, New come from Padua. Duke. Bring us the letters; Call the messenger. Bass. Good cheer, Antonio ! What, man? courage yet! The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood. Ant. 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 employ'd, Bassanio, Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.
Enter NERIssa, dressed like a lawyer's clerk.
Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario Ner. From both my lord: Bellario greets your grace. [Presents a letter. Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly? Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt there. Gra. 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 ax, bear half the keenness Of thy sharp envy.” Can no prayers pierce thee? Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make, Gra. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog! And for thy life let justice be accus’d. 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,
Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter, Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam, Infus'd itself in thee; for thy desires Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous. Shy. Till thou can'st rail the seal from off 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 Mer. He attendeth here hard by, . To know your answer, whether you'll admit him. Duke. Withall my heart:—some three or four of you, Go give him courteous conduct to this place.— Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter. [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, (the greatness 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; jor I never knew so young a body with so old a head. I leate him to your gracious 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 Po RTIA, dressed like a doctor of laws.
Give me your hand: Came you from old Bellario?
[To ANTon Io. Ant. Ay, so he says.
Por. Do you confess the bond
Shy. On what compulsion must I? tell me that. Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd; It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd; It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes: "Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown:
* Oppose. 5 Reach or control.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
Will rush into the state : it cannot be.