Selections from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, with intr., notes and an appendix by T. Parry

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Page 18 - 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.
Page 26 - For do but note a wild and wanton herd Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud, Which is the hot condition of their blood; If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, Or any air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze By the sweet power of music.
Page 25 - How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night Become the touches of sweet harmony. Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold: There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st But in his motion like an angel sings, Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins; Such harmony is in immortal souls; But whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we...
Page 16 - 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.
Page 12 - 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 — 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 ; Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
Page 27 - The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark, When neither is attended ; and I think The nightingale, if she should sing by day, When every goose is cackling, would be thought No better a musician than the wren.
Page 15 - The words expressly are a pound of flesh : Then take 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.
Page 26 - By the sweet power of music: therefore the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones and floods; Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage, But music for the time doth change his nature. The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night And his affections dark as Erebus: Let no such man be trusted.
Page 21 - There are a sort of men, whose visages Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond...
Page 12 - It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes The throned 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 scepter'd sway; 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.

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