This historic book may have numerous typos or missing text. Not indexed. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1888. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... ORIGIN OF SHAKESPEARE'S SHYLOCK. It was on a bright October night after the gates ol the Ghetto were closed that a darkly clad gentleman, apparently of high rank, tall and stately in form and commanding in appearance, stood outside as if anxiously waiting for some one to come. Presently the gate was opened and a small individual, seemingly of low rank, came out, and the following dialogue ensued, opened by the first gentleman: "Well, Portica, what have you accomplished? Have you succeeded in gaining me the inclination of the prudish Jewess? Have you moved heaven and hell to gratify my desire?" "I have accomplished nothing," answered the little man, whose voice was that of a woman. "I have accomplished nothing. The maiden remains as prudish as ever, insusceptible to flattery and threats alike. I might have shown her heaven itself and offered her all it contains, and she would still remain invincible and insuperable. Griefstricken as she is, with tearful eyes and ghastly countenance she threw herself at my feet, clasping my knees convulsively, and under lamentable sobs begged for mercy and compassion for her despairing and unfortunate father. Indeed, that Jewish maiden unnerved me so that I had to struggle hard to conquer my emotions and remain firm, repeating the price of your mercy. I, Signor Zavello, have done my part faithfully. I have used all exertions, leaving nothing that I could do undone. 1 have praised your youth, your beauty, and your prominence, and described your wealth, your love, and your affection for her; then I have portrayed in agonizing terms the doom that awaited Shylock, her father, for not being able to meet the payment of the thousand sequins he owes you, but in response she only found words of begging and imploring for mercy. She en...
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