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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.

Gra. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.

Por. Why doth the Jew pause? take thy forfeiture.
Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go
Bass. I have it ready for thee; here it is.

Por. He hath refused it in the open court;
He shall have merely justice, and his bond.

Gia. A Daniel, still say I; a second Daniel! I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.

Shy. Shall I not have barely my principal?

Por. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture,
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

Shy. Why, then the devil give him good of it!
I'll stay no longer question.
Por.

Tarry, Jew;
The law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be proved against an alien,
That by direct or indirect attempts
He seek the life of any citizen,
The party 'gainst the which he doth contrive
Shall seize one half his goods; the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state;
And the offender's life lies in the mercy
Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice.
In which predicament, I say, thou stand’st:
For it appears by manifest proceeding,
That indirectly, and directly too,
Thou hast contrived against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurred
The danger formerly by me rehearsed.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.

Gra. Beg that thou may'st have leave to hang thyself:
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
Thou hast not left the value of a cord;
Therefore, thou must be hanged at the state's charge.

Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit,
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it!
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's;
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.

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Por. Ay, for the state; not for Antonio.

Shy. 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.

Por. What mercy can you render him, Antonio?
Gra. A halter gratis; nothing else, for God's sake!

Ant. So please my lord the duke, and all the court,
To quit the fine for one half of his goods;
I am content, so he will let me have
The other half in use, to render it,
Upon his death, unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter;
Two things provided more, that, for this favour,
He presently become a Christian;
The other, that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possessed,
Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter.

Duke. He shall do this; or else I do recant
The pardon that I late pronounced here.

Por. Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say?
Shy. I am content.
Por.

Clerk, draw a deed of gift.
Shy. I pray you give me leave to go from hence:
I am not well; send the deed after me,
And I will sign it.
Duke.

Get thee gone, but do it.
Gra. In christening, thou shalt have two godfathers;
Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more,
To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.

[Ex. SHY.
Duke. Sir, I entreat you with me home to dinner.
Por. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon.
I must away this night towards Padua;
And it is meet I presently set forth.

Duke. I am sorry that your leisure serves you not.
Antonio, gratify this gentleman;
For, in my mind, you are much bound to him.

[Exeunt DUKE, Magnificoes, and Train.
Bass. Most worthy gentleman, I and my friend
Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted
Of grievous penalties; in lieu whereof,
Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew,
We freely cope your courteous pains withal.

Ant. And stand indebted over and above, In love and service to you evermore.

Por. He is well paid that is well satisfied,

And I, delivering you, am satisfied,
And therein do account myself well paid:
My mind was never yet more mercenary.
I pray you know me, when we meet again:
I wish you well, and so I take my leave.

Bass. Dear sir, of force I must attempt you further.
Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute,
Not as a fee: grant me two things, I pray you,
Not to deny me, and to pardon me.

Por. You press me far, and therefore I will yield.
[TO ANT.] Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake;
To Bass. And, for your love, i'll take this ring from you:
Do not draw back your hand; I'll take no more;
And you in love shall not deny me this.

Bass. This ring, good sir? — alas, it is a trifle; I will not shame myself to give you this.

Por. I will have nothing else but only this; And now, methinks, I have a mind to it.

Bass. There's more depends on this than on the value.
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you,
And find it out by proclamation;
Only for this I pray you pardon me.

Por. I see, sir, you are liberal in offers:
You taught me first to beg; and now, methinks,
You teach me how a beggar should be answered.

Bass. Good sir, this ring was given me by my wife;
And, when she put it on, she made me vow
That I should neither sell, nor give, nor lose it.

Por. That 'scuse serves many men to save their gifts.
An if your wife be not a mad woman,
And know how well I have deserved this ring,
She would not hold out enemy for ever,
For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you!

Exeunt POR. and NER.
Ant. My lord Bassanio, let him have the ring;
Let his deservings, and my love withal,
Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandement.

Bass. Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him; Give him the ring; and bring him, if thou canst, Unto Antonio's house:

away, make haste.

(Exit GRA. Come, you and I will thither presently; And in the morning early will we both Fly toward Belmont: come, Antonio.

(Exeunt.

LORD BACON.

1561-1626.

Francis Bacon, senere Baron af Verulam og Greve af St. Albans, var yngste Søn af Sir Nicholas Bacon, Storseglbevarer under Elisabet, og født i London 1561. Allerede som Barn udmærkede han sig ved stor Aandsmodenhed og sit værdige, alvorlige Væsen, hvorfor Dronningen, som var en hyppig Gjæst i Faderens Hus, pleiede at kalde bam sin unge ,lord keeper“. I en alder af tretten Aar sendtes han til Universitetet i Cambridge, hvor han tilbragte tre Aar, og derefter til Frankrig, for under Veiledning af den engelske Gesandt i Paris, Sir Amyas Paulet, at forberedes til Statstjenesten. Herfra kaldtes han ved Faderens pludselige Død tilbage efter et Fravær af tre Aar (1579). Da han som yngre Søn var uden Midler, og Ministeren Burleigh, skjønt hans nære Slægtning, intet vilde gjøre for ham, maatte Bacon, meget mod sit Ønske, vælge et Brodstudium for at leve, og gik til Skranken. I 1590 fik han en Ansættelse som juridisk Raadgiver (Counsel Extraordinary) hos Dronningen, men det forbedrede ikke hans Stilling, da der ingen fast Indtægt var forbunden med denne Post. I 1593 valgtes han til Medlem af Underhuset for Grevskabet Middlesex; han nød stor Anseelse i Huset og regnedes for dets bedste Taler. Da Burleigh fremdeles modarbeidede hans Forfremmelse, tog Grev Essex, som var en oprigtig Beundrer af Bacons store Talenter, sig med des større Iver af ham. Han opbød hele sin Indiydelse for at skaffe ham Posten som Regjeringsadvokat (Solicitor-General), og da dette ikke lykkedes, forærede han ham til Erstatning en smuk Eiendom i Nærheden af London. Senere, da Essex stod anklaget for Høiforræderi, forlod Bacon sin tidligere Ven og optraadte paa Regjeringens Vegne imod ham, en Adfærd, for hvilken han er bleven strengt dadlet baade af Samtid og Eftertid.

Efter Jakobs Thronbestigelse forbedredes Bacons Udsigter, og han steg, støttet af Villiers, senere Hertug af Buckingham, efterhaanden fra Trin til Trin, indtil han i 1617 naaede sin Ærgjærrigheds Maal, Posten som Storseglbevarer (Lord Keeper of the Great Seal), hvormed Aaret efter den høiere Titel af Lordkantsler og Pairsværdigheden som Baron Verulam. Han

indehavde Stillingen som Lordkantsler i tre Aar og stod nu paa sin Lykkes Høide, hædret og anseet ikke blot som Dommer og Statsmand, men ogsaa som den store Filosof. Allerede i 1605 udkom hans Skrift Of the Advancement of Learning, hvilket i den senere omarbeidede latinske Form danner første Del af hans nye filosofiske System, som han gav det stolte Navn Instauratio Magna, den store Reform; i 1620 udgav han Novum Organum (det nye Instrument), der udgjør anden Del af Instauratio; det er forfattet i det latinske Sprog, og var, ligesom Advancement of Learning, dediceret til Kongen. I Januar 1621 blev han ophøiet til Viscount af St. Albans, og tre Maaneder efter var han en Fange i Tower. I det nye Parlament, hvis Indkaldelse han selv havde tilraadet, reiste Underhuset en Anklage imod ham for Bestikkelighed i hans Embedsførelse, og han blev af Lorderne, overens. stemmende med sin egen Tilstaaelse, enstemmig erklæret for skyldig. Dom. men lød paa, at han skulde miste sit Embede, betale 40,000 € i Bøder og bensættes i Tower paa ubestemt Tid; derhos blev han erklæret uværdig til for Fremtiden at beklæde noget Embede og at sidde i Parlamentet. Han kom dog strax paa fri Fod, ligesom ogsaa Boden blev ham eftergivet. I de øvrige Punkter indtraadte først siden en Formildelse, og tilsidst, i 1624, fuldstændig Benaadning *).

Nu da han var styrtet fra sin Høide i Livet, vendte han sig med usvækket Aandskraft til sine Bøger og Studier. I 1622 udkom hans History of Henry VII.; i 1623 De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, en ny og meget forøget Udgave paa Latin af Advancement of Learning, som atter hævede hans Ry og strax blev oversat paa Fransk og Italiensk; i 1625 en ny og forøget Udgave af hans Essays eller politiske og moralske Tanker; fremdeles en Samling Anekdoter og Vittigheder, efter Julius Cæsars Forbillede; foruden flere andre Smaaskrifter. Men under alt dette kunde han ikke slippe Haabet om at komme tilbage til Magten. Han gjorde flere frugtesløse Forsøg herpaa, og først efterat de Forhaabninger, han havde bygget paa Thronskiftet, ogsaa vare blevne skuffede, besluttede han for stedse at opgive al Politik.

*) Der er til Undskyldning eller Forsvar for Bacon i denne sag bleven gjort gjældende, at

det paa den Tid var Skik og Brug for Kantslere og Dommere at modtage Gaver, og dette har vistnok Vægt. At Embedsmænd, ikke mindst i Regjeringskancellierne, toge Betaling af Private for at udføre, hvad der var deres Embedspligt, var baade dengang og senere almindeligt, og i mange Tilfælde kunde naturligvis saadanne sædvansmæssige, men ikke lovbestemte Sportler faa Karakteren af Bestikkelser. Griffenfelds Sag i Daumark er i et enkelt Punkt ganske oplysende for Bacons. Griffenfeld, der blandt andet var anklaget for Bestikkelighed, erklærede i sit Forsvarsskrift aldrig at have for nogen Rettergangs Proces eller Retten til Forvildelse annammet det Ringeste, „men hvis jeg nydt haver“, tilføier han, „har været in pure gratiosis, efter det som i al Verden og alle Cancellier brugeligt er, hvor, naar man siger, at den eller den Charge er saa mange Tusinde værd om Aaret, det ikke om den' aarlige Lon, som aldrig nogen Potentat saa høi giver, men om de samme Charge annecterede Accidenser er at forstaa". Bacon for sikkrede, ligeoverfor Kongen, at Bestikkelse aldrig havde været i hans Tanke, naar han modtog en Gave, og om selve Dommen sagde han bagefter: „I was the justest judge that was in England these Afty years; but it was the justest censure in parliament that was these two hundred years“.

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