Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Folio 1, 1623)


170
The Merchant of Venice.
last, at six a clocke ith morning, falling out that yeere on
ashwensday was foure yeere in th' afternoone.
Shy. What are their maskes? heare you me Iessica,
865Lock vp my doores, and when you heare the drum
And the vile squealing of the wry-neckt Fife,
Clamber not you vp to the casements then,
Nor thrust your head into the publique streete
To gaze on Christian fooles with varnisht faces:
870But stop my houses eares, I meane my casements,
Let not the sound of shallow fopperie enter
My sober house. By Iacobs staffe I sweare,
I haue no minde of feasting forth to night:
But I will goe: goe you before me sirra,
875Say I will come.
Clo. I will goe before sir.
Mistris looke out at window for all this;
There will come a Christian by,
Will be worth a Iewes eye.
880Shy. What saies that foole of Hagars off-spring?
ha.
Ies. His words were farewell mistris, nothing else.
Shy. The patch is kinde enough, but a huge feeder:
Snaile-slow in profit, but he sleepes by day
885More then the wilde-cat: drones hiue not with me,
Therefore I part with him, and part with him
To one that I would haue him helpe to waste
His borrowed purse. Well Iessica goe in,
Perhaps I will returne immediately;
890Doe as I bid you, shut dores after you, fast binde, fast
finde,
A prouerbe neuer stale in thriftie minde.
Exit.
Ies. Farewell, and if my fortune be not crost,
I haue a Father, you a daughter lost.
Exit.

895
Enter the Maskers, Gratiano and Salino.

Gra. This is the penthouse vnder which Lorenzo
Desired vs to make a stand.
Sal. His houre is almost past.
Gra. And it is meruaile he out-dwels his houre,
900For louers euer run before the clocke.
Sal. O ten times faster Venus Pidgions flye
To steale loues bonds new made, then they are wont
To keepe obliged faith vnforfaited.
Gra. That euer holds, who riseth from a feast
905With that keene appetite that he sits downe?
Where is the horse that doth vntread againe
His tedious measures with the vnbated fire,
That he did pace them first: all things that are,
Are with more spirit chased then enioy'd.
910How like a yonger or a prodigall
The skarfed barke puts from her natiue bay,
Hudg'd and embraced by the strumpet winde:
How like a prodigall doth she returne
With ouer-wither'd ribs and ragged sailes,
915Leane, rent, and begger'd by the strumpet winde?

Enter Lorenzo.

Salino. Heere comes Lorenzo, more of this here-
after.
Lor. Sweete friends, your patience for my long a-
920bode,
Not I, but my affaires haue made you wait:
When you shall please to play the theeues for wiues
Ile watch as long for you then: approach
Here dwels my father Iew. Hoa, who's within?

925
Iessica aboue.

Iess. Who are you? tell me for more certainty,
Albeit Ile sweare that I do know your tongue.
Lor. Lorenzo, and thy Loue.
Ies. Lorenzo certaine, and my loue indeed,
930For who loue I so much? and now who knowes
But you Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
Lor. Heauen and thy thoughts are witness that thou
art.
Ies. Heere, catch this casket, it is worth the paines,
935I am glad 'tis night, you do not looke on me,
For I am much asham'd of my exchange:
But loue is blinde, and louers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselues commit,
For if they could, Cupid himselfe would blush
940To see me thus transformed to a boy.
Lor. Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer.
Ies. What, must I hold a Candle to my shames?
They in themselues goodsooth are too too light.
Why, 'tis an office of discouery Loue,
945And I should be obscur'd.
Lor. So you are sweet,
Euen in the louely garnish of a boy: but come at once,
For the close night doth play the run-away,
And we are staid for at Bassanio's feast.
950Ies. I will make fast the doores and guild my selfe
With some more ducats, and be with you straight.
Gra. Now by my hood, a gentle, and no Iew.
Lor. Beshrew me but I loue her heartily.
For she is wise, if I can iudge of her,
955And faire she is, if that mine eyes be true,
And true she is, as she hath prou'd her selfe:
And therefore like her selfe, wise, faire, and true,
Shall she be placed in my constant soule.

Enter Iessica.
960What, art thou come? on gentlemen, away,
Our masking mates by this time for vs stay.
Exit.

Enter Anthonio.

Ant. Who's there?
Gra. Signior Anthonio?
965Ant. Fie, fie, Gratiano, where are all the rest?
'Tis nine a clocke, our friends all stay for you,
No maske to night, the winde is come about,
Bassanio presently will goe aboord,
I haue sent twenty out to seeke for you.
970Gra. I am glad on't, I desire no more delight
Then to be vnder saile, and gone to night.
Exeunt.

Enter Portia with Morrocho, and both their traines.

Por. Goe, draw aside the curtaines, and discouer
The seuerall Caskets to this noble Prince:
975Now make your choyse.
Mor. The first of gold, who this inscription beares,
Who chooseth me, shall gaine what men desire.
The second siluer, which this promise carries,
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserues.
980This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt,
Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath.
How shall I know if I doe choose the right?
Por. The