"A Daniel Come To Judgment"
Context: When the debt became due, Antonio, a Venetian merchant, could not pay the 3000 ducats he had borrowed from Shylock to lend to his friend Bassanio so that he could woo and wed the rich heiress Portia. For his bond, Antonio had pledged to Shylock, who secretly hates him, a pound of flesh. The case is brought before the duke. Portia hears of it, and, disguised as a lawyer named Balthazar, she comes to court to defend Antonio. She gives her famous "Quality of mercy" speech but fails to move Shylock to mercy. He insists that the law must run its course. Bassanio, who does not recognize his wife, insists that since he can pay twice or ten times the sum of the debt, the court should "wrest once the law to [its] authority." But Portia urges, instead, that "there is no law in Venice / Can alter a decree established." Shylock, thinking he will be revenged on Antonio, congratulates Portia, likening her to Daniel, who was a judge in the Apocryphal book of Susannah.
SHYLOCKA Daniel come to judgement. Yea a Daniel.O wise young judge how I do honour thee.But Shylock's approval of Portia is quickly destroyed, because she rules that Shylock may have his pound of flesh but nothing else.PORTIA. . .This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood,The words expressly are a pound of flesh.. . .But in the cutting it, if thou dost shedOne drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goodsAre by the laws of Venice confiscate. . .