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Ofgod-like amity; which appears most strongly
In bearing thus the absence of your lord.
But, if you knew to whom you show this

How true a gentleman you send relief,
How dear a lover of my lord your husband,
I know, you would be prouder of the work,
Than customary bounty can enforce you.
Por. I never did repent for doing good,
Nor shall not now: for in companions
That do converse and waste the time together,
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love,
There must be needs a like proportion
Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit;
Which makes me think, that this Antonio,
Being the bosom lover of my lord,
Must needs be like my lord: If it be so,
How little is the cost I have bestow'd,
In purchasing the semblance of my soul
From out the state of hellish cruelty?
This comes too near the praising of myself;
Therefore, no more of it: hear other things.-
Lorenzo, I commit into your hands
The husbandry and manage of my house,
Until my lord's return: for mine own part,
I have toward heaven breath'd a secret vow,
To live in prayer and contemplation,
Only attended by Nerissa here,

Until her husband and my lord's return:
There is a monastery two miles off,

And there we will abide. I do desire you,
Not to deny this imposition;

The which my love, and some necessity,
Now lays upon you.

Lor. Madam, with all my heart;

I shall obey you in all fair commands.

Por. My people do already know my mind, And will acknowledge you and Jessica In place of lord Bassanio and myself. So fare you well, till we shall meet again. Lor. Fair thoughts, and happy hours attend

on you.

Jes. I wish your ladyship all heart's content. Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleas'd

To wish it back on you: fare you well, Jessica. [Exeunt JESSICA and LORENZO. Now, Balthazar,

As I have ever found thee honest, true,
So let me find thee still: Take this same letter,
And use thou all the endeavour of a man,
In speed to Padua; see thou render this
Into my cousin's hand, doctor Bellario;
And, look, what notes and garments he doth
give thee,

Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed
Unto the tranect, to the common ferry
Which trades to Venice-waste no time in

But get thee gone; I shall be there before thee.
Balth. Madam, I go with all convenient
work in
our hus-

Por. Come on, Nerissa; I have
That you yet know not of: we'll see
Before they think of us.

Ner. Shall they see us?

Por. They shall, Nerissa; but in such a habit, That they shall think we are accomplished With what we lack. I'll hold thee any wager, When we are both accouter'd like young men, I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two, And wear my dagger with the braver grace; And speak, between the change of man and boy,

With a reed voice; and turn two mincing steps Into a manly stride; and speak of frays,

Like a fine bragging youth: and tell quaint lies,
How honourable ladies sought my love,
Which I denying, they fell sick and died;
I could not do with all ;-then I'll repent,
And wish, for all that, that I had not kill'd
them :

And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell,
That men shall swear, I have discontinued

Above a twelvemonth:-I have within my mind A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks, Which I will practise.

Ner. Why, shall we turn to men? Por. Fie! what a question's that, If thou wert near a lewd interpreter? But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device When I am in my coach, which stays for us At the park gate; and therefore haste away, For we must measure twenty miles to-day. [Exeunt.

SCENE V.-The same.-A Garden.

Enter LAUNCELOT and JESSICA. Laun. Yes, truly:-for, look you, the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children; therefore, I promise you, I fear you. I was always plain with you, and so now I speak my agitation of the matter: Therefore, be of good cheer; for, truly, I think, you are damn'd. There is but one hope in it that can do you any good; and that is but a kind of bastard hope neither.

Jes. And what hope is that, I pray thee?

Laun. Marry, you may partly hope that your father got you not, that you are not the Jew's daughter.

Jes. That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed; so the sins of my mother should be visited upon me.

Laun. Truly then I fear you are damn'd both by father and mother: thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother: well, you are gone both ways.

Jes. I shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a Christian."

Laun. Truly the more to blame he: we were Christians enough before; e'en as many as could well live, one by another: This making of Christians will raise the price of hogs; if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money.


Jes. I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say; here he comes.

Lor. I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot, if you thus get my wife into corners. Jes. Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo; Launcelot and I are out: he tells me flatly, there is no mercy for me in heaven, because I am a Jew's daughter: and he says you are no good member of the commonwealth; for, in converting Jews to Christians, you raise the price of pork.

Lor. I shall answer that better to the commonwealth, than you can the getting up of the negro's belly: the Moor is with child by you, Launcelot.

Luun. It is much, that the Moor should be more than reason: but if she be less than an honest woman, she is, indeed, more than I took her for.

Lor. How every fool can play upon the word! I think, the best grace of wit will shortly turn into silence; and discourse grow commendable in none only but parrots.—Go in, sirrah; bid. them prepare for dinner.

Laun. That is done, Sir; they have all stomachs.

Lor. Goodly lord, what a wit-snapper are you! then bid them prepare dinner.

Luun. That is done too, Sir; only, cover is the word.

Lor. Will you cover then, Sir?

Laun. Not so, Sir, neither; I know my duty. Lor. Yet more quarrelling with occasion! Wilt thou show the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant? I pray thee, understand a plain man in his plain meaning: go to thy fellows; bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.

Laun. For the table, Sir, it shall be served in; for the meat, Sir, it shall be covered; for your coming in to dinner, Sir, why, let it be as humours and conceits shall govern.

Lor. O dear discretion, how his words are
The fool hath planted in his memory [suited!
An army of good words; And I do know
A many fools, that stand in better place,
Garnish'd like him, that for a tricksy word
Defy the matter. How cheer'st thou, Jessica?
And now, good sweet, say thy opinion,
How dost thou like the Lord Bassanio's wife?
Jes. Past all expressing: It is very meet,
The lord Bassanio live an upright life;
For, having such a blessing in his lady,
He finds the joys of heaven here on earth;
And, if on earth he do not mean it, it
Is reason he should never come to heaven.

Why, if two gods should play some heavenly

And on the wager lay two earthly women,
And Portia one, there must be something else
Pawn'd with the other; for the poor rude world
Hath not her fellow.

Lor. Even such a husband
Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife.

Jes. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that.
Lor. I will anon; first, let us go to dinner.
Jes. Nay, let me praise you, while I have a

Lor. No, pray thee, let it serve for table-
Then, howsoe'er thou speak'st, 'mong other
I shall digest it.

Jes. Well, I'll set you forth.



SCENE I-Venice.-A Court of Justice. Enter the DUKE, the MagnificocS; ANTONIO, BASSANIO, GRATIANO, SALARINO, SALANIO, and others.

Duke. What, is Antonio here?

Ant. Ready, so please your grace.

Duke. I am sorry for thee; thou art come to


A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.

Ant. I have heard,

Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rigorous course; but since he stands ob-


And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury; and am arm'd
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,

The very tyranny and rage of his.

Salun. He's ready at the door: he comes, my lord.


Duke. Make room, and let him stand before
our face.-

Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice
To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought,
Thou'lt show thy mercy, and remorse,* more
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty: [strange
And where; thou now exact'st the penalty,
(Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,)
Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture,
But touch'd with human gentleness and love,
Forgive a moiety of the principal;
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
That have of late so huddled on his back;
Enough to press a royal merchant down,
And pluck commiseration of his state
From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks, and Tartars, never
To offices of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.
Shy. I have possess'd your grace of what I


And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn,
To have the due and forfeit of my bond:
If you deny it, let the danger light

Upon your charter, and your city's freedom.
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive
Three thousand ducats: I'll not answer that:
But, say, it is my humour ; Is it answer'd?
What if my house be troubled with a rat,
And I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats
To have it baned? What, are you answer'd yet?
Some men there are, love not a gaping pig;
Some, that are mad, if they behold a cat;
And others, when the bagpipe sings i'the nose,
Cannot contain their urine; For affection,||
Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood
Of what it likes, or loaths: Now, for your an-


As there is no firm reason to be render'd,
Why he cannot abide a gaping¶ pig;
Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
Why he, a swollen bagpipe; but of force
Must yield to such inevitable shame,
As to offend, himself being offended;
So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
More than a lodg'd hate, and a certain loath-
I bear Antonio, that I follow thus [ing,
A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd?
To excuse the current of thy cruelty.
Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,

Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my


Bass. Do all men kill the things they do not love?

Shy. Hates any man the thing he would not


Bass. Every offence is not a hate at first.
Shy. What, would'st thou have a serpent
sting thee twice?

Ant. I pray you, think you question** with
the Jew:

You may as well go stand upon the beach,
And bid the main flood bate his usual height;
You may as well use question with the wolf,
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb;
You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag their high tops, and to make no noise,
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;

Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the You may as well do any thing most hard,


Hatred, malice.

* Pity.
+ Seeming. ↑ Whereas.
[ Prejudice.

Particular fancy. ** Converse.

As seek to soften that (than which what's | Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, harder?)

His Jewish heart:-Therefore, I do beseech

Make no more offers, use no further means,
But, with all brief and plain conveniency,
Let me have judgement, and the Jew his will.
Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here is

Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats,
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
I would not draw them, I would have my bond.
Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, ren-
d'ring none?

Shy. What judgement shall I dread, doing no

You have among you many a purchas'd slave,
Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and
You use in abject and in slavish parts, [mules,
Because you bought them :-Shall I say to you,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs?
Why sweat they under burdens? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands? You will an-


The slaves are ours :-So do I answer you:
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought, is mine, and I will have it:
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice:

I stand for judgement: answer; shall I have it?
Duke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor, [court,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here to-day.

Sular. My lord, here stays without
A messenger with letters from the doctor,
New come from Padua.

Duke. Bring us the letters; Call the mes-

Bass. Good cheer, Antonio! What, man? courage yet!

[all, The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood. Ant. I am a tainted wether of the flock, Meetest for death; the weakest kind of fruit Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me : You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio, Than to live still, and write mine epitaph. Enter NERISSA, dressed like a lawyer's clerk. Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario? Ner. From both, my lord: Bellario greets your grace. [Presents a letter. Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?

Shy. To cut the forfeiture from that bank-
rupt there.

Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh

Thou mak'st thy knife keen: but no metal can,
No, not the hangman's ax, bear half the keen-


Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?
Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to

Gra. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog!
And for thy life let justice be accus'd.
Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith,
To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That souls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men: thy currish spirit,
Govern'd a wolf; who, hang'd for human

* Malice.

And, while thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam,
Infus'd itself in thee; for thy desires
Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous.
Shy. Till thou can'st rail the seal from off my


Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud:
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall
To cureless ruin.-I stand here for law.

Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
A young and learned doctor to our court :-
Where is he?

Ner. He attendeth here hard by,
To know your answer, whether you'll admit him.
Duke. With all my heart :-some three or four

of you,

Go give him courteous conduct to this place.-
Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter.

[Clerk reads.] Your grace shall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, 1 am very sick: but in the instant that your messenger came, in loving visitation was with me a young doctor of Rome, his name is Balthasar: l'acquainted him with the cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant: we turned o'er many books together: he is furnish'd with my opinion; which, better'd with his own learning, (the greatness whereof I cannot enough commend,) comes with him, at my importunity, to fill up your grace's request in my stead. I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation; for I never knew so young a body with so old a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better publish his commendation.

Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he writes:

And here, I take it, is the doctor come.

Enter PORTIA, dressed like a doctor of laws. Give me your hand: Came you from old Bel


Por. I did, my lord.

Duke. You are welcome: take your place.
Are you acquainted with the difference
That holds this present question in the court?
Por. I am informed throughly of the cause,
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?
Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand

Por. Is your name Shylock?
Shy. Shylock is my name.

Por. Of a strange nature is the suit you fol-
Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law [low;
Cannot impugn you, as you do proceed.-
You stand within his danger,t do you not?

Ant. Ay, so he says.

Por. Do you confess the bond?
Ant. I do.

Por. Then must the Jew be merciful.
Shy. On what compulsion must I? tell me

Por. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless'd;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;

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And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,-
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much,
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant

Shy. My deeds upon my head! I crave the
The penalty and forfeit of my bond. [law,
Por. Is he not able to discharge the money?
Bass. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court;
Yea, twice the sum: if that will not suffice,
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart:
If this will not suffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth. And I beseech
Wrest once the law to your authority:
To do a great right, do a little wrong;
And curb this cruel devil of his will.



Por. It must not be; there is no power in Can alter a decree established: "Twill be recorded for a precedent; And, many an error, by the same example, Will rush into the state it cannot be. Shy. A Daniel come to judgement! yea, a Daniel!

O wise young judge, how do I honour thee! Por. I pray you, let me look upon the bond. Shy. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is. Por. Shylock, there's thrice thy money of fer'd thee.

Shy. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven:

Shall I lay perjury upon my soul?
No, not for Venice.

Por. Why, this bond is forfeit ;
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Nearest the merchant's heart:-Be merciful;
Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.

Shy. When it is paid according to the tenor.It doth appear, you are a worthy judge; You know the law, your exposition Hath been most sound: I charge you by the Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar, [law, Proceed to judgement: by my soul I swear, There is no power in the tongue of man To alter me: I stay here on my bond.

Ant. Most heartily I do Leseech the court To give the judgement.

Por. Why then, thus it is.

You must prepare your bosom for his knife: Shy. O noble judge! O excellent young man! Por. For the intent and purpose of the law Hath full relation to the penalty,

Which here appeareth due upon the bond.
Shy. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright

How much more elder art thou than thy looks!
Por. Therefore, lay bare your bosom.
Shy. Ay, his breast

So says the bond;-Doth it not, noble judge!-
Nearest his heart, those are the very words.
Por. It is so. Are there balance here, to
The flesh.

Shy. I have them ready.
Por. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on
your charge,

To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death. Shy. Is it so nominated in the bond?

Por. It is not so express'd; But what of "Twere good you do so much for charity. [that? Shy. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.

Por. Come, merchant, have you any thing to say?

Ant. But little; I am arm'd, and well prepar'd.

Give me your hand, Bassanio; fare you well!
Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you;
For herein fortune shows herself more kind
Than is her custom: it is still her use,
To let the wretched man out-live his wealth,
To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow,
An age of poverty; from which lingering pen-
Of such a misery doth she cut me off. Lance
Commend me to your honourable wife:
Tell her the process of Antonio's end,
Say, how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death;
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge,
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
Repent not you that you shall lose your friend,
And he repents not that he pays your debt;
For, if the Jew do but cut deep enough,
I'll pay it instantly with all my heart.

Bass. Antonio, I am married to a wife,
Which is as dear to me as life itself;
But life itself, my wife, and all the world,
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life:
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all
Here to this devil, to deliver you.

Por. Your wife would give you little thanks for that,

If she were by, to hear you make the offer. Gra. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love; I would she were in heaven, so she could Entreat some power to change this currish Jew.

Ner. 'Tis well you offer it behind her back; The wish would make else an unquiet house. Shy. These be the Christian husbands: I have a daughter;

'Would, any of the stock of Barrabas Had been her husband, rather than a Christian! [Aside. We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence. Por. A pound of that same merchant's flesh

is thine;

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Shed thou no blood; nor cut thou less, nor more,

But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more,
Or less, than a just pound,-be it but so much
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 the forfeiture.

Shy. Give me my principal, and let me go. Bass. I have it ready for thee; here it is. Por. He hath refus'd it in the open court; He shall have merely justice, and his bond.

Gra. 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 forfeiTo 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 prov'd 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 contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears'd.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.
Gra. Beg, that thou may'st have leave to hang

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 state's

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.
Por. Ay, for the state; not for Antonio.
Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not

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, An-

Gra. A halter gratis ; nothing else; for God's


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 fa

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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; [more, Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten To bring thee to the gallows, not the font. [Exit SHYLOCK.

Duke. Sir, I entreat you home with me to


Por. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon; I must away this night toward 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


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. [sake; Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your And, for your love, I'll take this ring from [more; Do not draw back your hand; I'll take no 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 answer'd.
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

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