Citazione a mente di coloro che nutrono oggi
l’imperituro fascino di sfumare la giustizia
nel diritto e questo nella legge.
(da W. Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice)


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W. Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, 1596-1597
(IV Act)

 

 

Original Version (English)
Traduzione (Italiano)

 

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(or. eng.)

 

PORTIA
Of a strange nature is the sute you follow,
Yet in such rule, that the Venetian Law
Cannot impugne you as you do proceed.
You stand within his danger, do you not?

ANTHONIO
I, so he sayes

PORTIA
Do you confesse the bond?

ANTHONIO
I do

PORTIA
Then must the Iew be mercifull

SHYLOCK
On what compulsion must I ? Tell me that

PORTIA
The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle raine from heauen
Vpon the place beneath. It is twice blest,
It blesseth him that giues, and him that takes,
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes
The throned Monarch better then his Crowne.
His Scepter shewes the force of temporall power,
The attribute to awe and Maiestie,
Wherein doth sit the dread and feare of Kings:
But mercy is aboue this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of Kings,
It is an attribute to God himselfe;
And earthly power doth then shew likest Gods
When mercie seasons Iustice. Therefore Iew,
Though Iustice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of Iustice, none of vs
Should see saluation: we do pray for mercie,
And that same prayer, doth teach vs all to render
The deeds of mercie. I haue spoke thus much
To mittigate the iustice of thy plea:
Which if thou follow, this strict course of Venice
Must needes giue sentence ‘gainst the Merchant there

SHYLOCK
My deeds vpon my head, I craue the Law,
The penaltie and forfeite of my bond

PORTIA
Is he not able to discharge the money?

BASSANIO
Yes, heere I tender it for him in the Court,
Yea, twice the summe, if that will not suffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times ore,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart:
If this will not suffice, it must appeare
That malice beares downe truth. And I beseech you
Wrest once the Law to your authority.
To do a great right, do a little wrong,
And curbe this cruell diuell of his will

PORTIA
It must not be, there is no power in Venice
Can alter a decree established:
‘Twill be recorded for a President,
And many an error by the same example,
Will rush into the state: It cannot be

SHYLOCK
A Daniel come to iudgement, yea a Daniel.
O wise young Iudge, how do I honour thee

PORTIA
I pray you let me looke vpon the bond

SHYLOCK
Heere ‘tis most reuerend Doctor, heere it is

PORTIA
Shylocke, there’s thrice thy monie offered thee

SHYLOCK
An oath, an oath, I haue an oath in heauen:
Shall I lay periurie vpon my soule?
No not for Venice

PORTIA
Why this bond is forfeit,
And lawfully by this the Iew may claime
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Neerest the Merchants heart; be mercifull,
Take thrice thy money, bid me teare the bond

SHYLOCK
When it is paid according to the tenure.
It doth appeare you are a worthy Iudge:
You know the Law, your exposition
Hath beene most sound. I charge you by the Law,
Whereof you are a well-deseruing pillar,
Proceede to iudgement: By my soule I sweare,
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me: I stay heere on my bond

ANTHONIO
Most heartily I do beseech the Court
To giue the iudgement

PORTIA
Why then thus it is:
You must prepare your bosome for his knife

SHYLOCK
O noble Iudge, O excellent yong man

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