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)

O learned Iudge, mark Iew, a learned Iudge

I take this offer then, pay the bond thrice,
And let the Christian goe

Heere is the money

Soft, the Iew shall haue all iustice, soft, no haste,
He shall haue nothing but the penalty

O Iew, an vpright Iudge, a learned Iudge

Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh,
Shed thou no bloud, nor cut thou lesse nor more
But iust a pound of flesh: if thou tak’st more
Or lesse then a iust pound, be it so much
As makes it light or heauy in the substance,
Or the deuision of the twentieth part
Of one poore scruple, nay if the scale doe turne
But in the estimation of a hayre,
Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate

A second Daniel, a Daniel Iew,
Now infidell I haue thee on the hip
Why doth the Iew pause, take thy forfeiture
Giue me my principall, and let me goe

I haue it ready for thee, heere it is
He hath refus’d it in the open Court,
He shall haue meerly iustice and his bond

A Daniel still say I, a second Daniel,
I thanke thee Iew for teaching me that word

Shall I not haue barely my principall?

Thou shalt haue nothing but the forfeiture,
To be taken so at thy perill Iew

Why then the Deuill giue him good of it:
Ile stay no longer question

Tarry Iew,
The Law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the Lawes of Venice,
If it be proued against an Alien,
That by direct, or indirect attempts
He seeke the life of any Citizen,
The party gainst the which he doth contriue,
Shall seaze one halfe his goods, the other halfe
Comes to the priuie coffer of the State,
And the offenders life lies in the mercy
Of the Duke onely, gainst all other voice.
In which predicament I say thou standst:
For it appeares by manifest proceeding,
That indirectly, and directly to,
Thou hast contriu’d against the very life
Of the defendant: and thou hast incur’d
The danger formerly by me rehearst.
Downe therefore, and beg mercy of the Duke

Beg that thou maist haue leaue to hang thy selfe,
And yet thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
Thou hast not left the value of a cord,
Therefore thou must be hang’d at the states charge

That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit,
I pardon thee thy life before thou aske it:
For halfe thy wealth, it is Anthonio’s
The other halfe comes to the generall state,
Which humblenesse may driue vnto a fine

I for the state, not for Anthonio

Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that,
You take my house, when you do take the prop
That doth sustaine my house: you take my life
When you doe take the meanes whereby I liue

What mercy can you render him Anthonio?

A halter gratis, nothing else for Gods sake

So please my Lord the Duke, and all the Court
To quit the fine for one halfe of his goods,
I am content: so he will let me haue
The other halfe in vse, to render it
Vpon his death, vnto the Gentleman
That lately stole his daughter.
Two things prouided more, that for this fauour
He presently become a Christian:
The other, that he doe record a gift
Heere in the Court of all he dies possest
Vnto his sonne Lorenzo, and his daughter

He shall doe this, or else I doe recant
The pardon that I late pronounced heere

Art thou contented Iew? what dost thou say?

I am content

Clarke, draw a deed of gift

I pray you giue me leaue to goe from hence,
I am not well, send the deed after me,
And I will signe it


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