Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
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The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)


the Merchant of Venice.
1975to curelesse ruine. I stand heere 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
1980to know your aunswer whether youle admit him.
Duke. With all my hart: some three or foure of you
goe giue him curteous conduct to this place,
meane time the Court shall heare Bellarios letter.

Your Grace shall vnderstand, that at the receit of your letter I
1985am very sicke, but in the instant that your messenger came, in lo-
uing visitation was with me a young Doctor of Rome, his name is
Balthazer: I acquainted him with the cause in cōtrouersie between
the Iew and Anthonio the Merchant, wee turnd ore many bookes
together, hee is furnished with my opinion, which bettered vvith
1990his owne learning, the greatnes whereof I cannot enough com-
mend, comes with him at my importunitie, to fill vp your graces
request in my stead. I beseech you let his lacke of yeeres be no im-
pediment to let him lacke a reuerend estimation, for I neuer knew
so young a body with so olde a head: I leaue him to your gracious
1995acceptance, whose tryall shall better publish his commendation.
Enter Portia for Balthazer.
Duke. You heare the learnd Bellario what he writes,
and heere I take it is the doctor come.
Giue me your hand, come you from old Bellario?
2000Portia. 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 enformed throughly of the cause,
2005vvhich is the Merchant here? and which the Iew?
Duke. Anthonio and old Shylocke, both stand forth.
Por. Is your name Shylocke?
Iew. Shylocke is my name.
Por. Of a strange nature is the sute you follow,
2010yet in such rule, that the Venetian law
H.
cannot