Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)


The comicall Historie of
hee seekes my life, his reason well I know;
I oft deliuerd from his forfeytures
many that haue at times made mone to me,
1645therefore he hates me.
Sal. I am sure the Duke will neuer grant
this forfaiture to hold.
An. The Duke cannot denie the course of law:
for the commoditie that strangers haue
1650vvith vs in Venice, if it be denyed,
will much impeach the iustice of the state,
since that the trade and profit of the citty
consisteth of all Nations. Therefore goe,
these griefes and losses haue so bated me
1655that I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh
to morrow, to my bloody Creditor.
Well Iaylor on, pray God Bassanio come
to see me pay his debt, and then I care not.
Exeunt.
Enter Portia, Nerrissa, Lorenzo, Iessica, and a
1660man of Portias.
Lor. Maddam, although I speake it in your presence,
you haue a noble and a true conceite
of god-like amitie, which appeares most strongly
in bearing thus the absence of your Lord.
1665But if you knew to whom you show this honour,
how true a gentleman you send releefe,
how deere a louer of my Lord your husband,
I know you would be prouder of the worke
then customarie bountie can enforce you.
1670Por. I neuer did repent for dooing good,
nor shall not now: for in companions
that doe conuerse and wast the time together,
vvhose soules doe beare an egall yoke of loue,
there must be needes a like proportion
1675of lyniaments, of manners, and of spirit;
vvhich makes me thinke that this Anthonio
beeing the bosome louer of my Lord,
must needes be like my Lord. If it be so,
how