Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)


the Merchant of Venice.
Anth. I pray you think you question with the Iewe,
you may as well goe stand vpon the Beach
and bid the maine flood bate his vsuall height,
you may as vvell vse question with the Woolfe
1905the Ewe bleake for the Lambe:
You may as well forbid the mountaine of Pines
to wag their high tops, and to make no noise
vvhen they are fretten with the gusts of heauen:
You may as well doe any thing most hard
1910as seeke to soften that then which what's harder:
his Iewish hart? therefore I doe beseech you
make no moe offers, vse no farther meanes,
but with all briefe and plaine conueniencie
let me haue iudgement, and the Iewe his will?
1915Bass. For thy three thousand ducats heere is sixe?
Iewe. If euery ducat in sixe thousand ducats
vvere in sixe parts, and euery part a ducat,
I would not draw them, I would haue my bond?
Duk. How shalt thou hope for mercy rendring none?
1920Iewe. What iudgment shall I dread doing no wrong?
you haue among you many a purchast slaue,
vvhich like your Asses, and your Dogs and Mules
you vse in abiect and in slauish parts,
because you bought them, shall I say to you,
1925let them be free, marry them to your heires?
vvhy sweat they vnder burthens, let their beds
be made as soft as yours, and let their pallats
be seasond with such viands, you will aunswer
the slaues are ours, so doe I aunswer you:
1930The pound of flesh which I demaund of him
is deerely bought, as mine and I will haue it:
if you deny me, fie vpon your Law,
there is no force in the decrees of Venice:
I stand for iudgement, aunswer, shall I haue it?
1935Duke. Vpon my power I may dismisse this Court,
vnlesse Bellario a learned Doctor,
whom I haue sent for to determine this
Come