Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Folio 1, 1623)

The Merchant of Venice.
2395Ile see if I can get my husbands ring
Which I did make him sweare to keepe for euer.
Por. Thou maist I warrant, we shal haue old swearing
That they did giue the rings away to men;
But weele out-face them, and out-sweare them to:
2400Away, make haste, thou know'st where I will tarry.
Ner. Come good sir, will you shew me to this house.

Actus Quintus.

Enter Lorenzo and Iessica.
2405Lor. The moone shines bright. In such a night as this,
When the sweet winde did gently kisse the trees,
And they did make no nnyse, in such a night
Troylus me thinkes mounted the Troian walls,
And sigh'd his soule toward the Grecian tents
2410Where Cressed lay that night.
Ies. In such a night
Did Thisbie fearefully ore-trip the dewe,
And saw the Lyons shadow ere himselfe,
And ranne dismayed away.
2415Loren. In such a night
Stood Dido with a Willow in her hand
Vpon the wilde sea bankes, and waft her Loue
To come againe to Carthage.
Ies. In such a night
2420Medea gathered the inchanted hearbs
That did renew old Eson.
Loren. In such a night
Did Iessica steale from the wealthy Iewe,
And with an Vnthrift Loue did runne from Venice,
2425As farre as Belmont.
Ies. In such a night
Did young Lorenzo sweare he lou'd her well,
Stealing her soule with many vowes of faith,
And nere a true one.
2430Loren. In such a night
Did pretty Iessica (like a little shrow)
Slander her Loue, and he forgaue it her.
Iessi. I would out-night you did no body come:
But harke, I heare the footing of a man.

Enter Messenger.
Lor. Who comes so fast in silence of the night?
Mes. A friend.
Loren. A friend, what friend? your name I pray you
Mes. Stephano is my name, and I bring word
2440My Mistresse will before the breake of day
Be heere at Belmont, she doth stray about
By holy crosses where she kneeles and prayes
For happy wedlocke houres.
Loren. Who comes with her?
2445Mes. None but a holy Hermit and her maid:
I pray you it my Master yet rnturn'd?
Loren. He is not, nor we haue not heard from him,
But goe we in I pray thee Iessica,
And ceremoniously let vs vs prepare
2450Some welcome for the Mistresse of the house,

Enter Clowne.

Clo. Sola, sola: wo ha ho, sola, sola.
Loren. Who calls?
Clo. Sola, did you see M. Lorenzo, & M. Lorenzo, sola,
2455Lor. Leaue hollowing man, heere.
Clo. Sola, where, where?
Lor. Heere?
Clo. Tel him ther's a Post come from my Master, with
his horne full of good newes, my Master will be here ere
2460morning sweet soule.
Loren. Let's in, and there expect their comming.
And yet no matter: why should we goe in?
My friend Stephen, signifie pray you
Within the house, your Mistresse is at hand,
2465And bring your musique foorth into the ayre.
How sweet the moone-light sleepes vpon this banke,
Heere will we sit, and let the sounds of musicke
Creepe in our eares soft stilnes, and the night
Become the tutches of sweet harmonie:
2470Sit Iessica, looke how the floore of heauen
Is thicke inlayed with pattens of bright gold,
There's not the smallest orbe which thou beholdst
But in his motion like an Angell sings,
Still quiring to the young eyed Cherubins;
2475Such harmonie is in immortall soules,
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grosly close in it, we cannot heare it:
Come hoe, and wake Diana with a hymne,
With sweetest tutches pearce your Mistresse eare,
2480And draw her home with musicke.
Iessi. I am neuer merry when I heare sweet musique.
Play musicke.
Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentiue:
For doe but note a wilde and wanton heard
2485Or race of youthful and vnhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud,
Which is the hot condition of their bloud,
If they but heare perchance a trumpet sound,
Or any ayre of musicke touch their eares,
2490You shall perceiue them make a mutuall stand,
Their sauage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze,
By the sweet power of musicke: therefore the Poet
Did faine that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods.
Since naught so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
2495But musicke for time doth change his nature,
The man that hath no musicke in himselfe,
Nor is not moued with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoyles,
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
2500And his affections darke as Erobus,
Let no such man be trusted: marke the musicke.

Enter Portia and Nerrissa.

Por. That light we see is burning in my hall:
How farre that little candell throwes his beames,
2505So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
Ner. When the moone shone we did not see the can
Por. So doth the greater glory dim the lesse,
A substitute shines brightly as a King
Vntill a King be by, and then his state
2510Empties it selfe, as doth an inland brooke
Into the maine of waters: musique, harke.
Ner. It is your musicke Madame of the house.
Por. Nothing is good I see without respect,
Methinkes it sounds much sweeter then by day?
2515Ner. Silence bestowes that vertue on it Madam.
Por. The Crow doth sing as sweetly as the Larke