The Merchant of Venice

Act 4, Scene 1

Original text

SHYLOCK
These be the Christian husbands. I have a daughter.
Would any of the stock of Barabbas
Had been her husband rather than a Christian!—
We trifle time. I pray thee, pursue sentence.

PORTIA
A pound of that same merchant’s flesh is thine.
The court awards it, and the law doth give it.

SHYLOCK
Most rightful judge!

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

SHYLOCK
Most learnèd judge, a sentence! Come, prepare.

PORTIA
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.”
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.

GRATIANO
O upright judge!—Mark, Jew.—O learnèd judge!

SHYLOCK
Is that the law?

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

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