Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)


the Merchant of Venice.
that malice beares downe truth. And I beseech you
wrest once the law to your authoritie,
2050to doe a great right, doe a little wrong,
and curbe this cruell deuill of his will.
Por. It must not be, there is no power in Venice
can altar a decree established:
twill be recorded for a precedent,
2055and many an errour by the same example
will rush into the state, it cannot be.
Shy. A Daniell come to iudgement: yea a Daniell.
O wise young Iudge how I doe honour thee.
Por. I pray you let me looke vpon the bond.
2060Shy. Heere tis most reuerend doctor, here it is.
Por. Shylocke theres thrice thy money offred thee.
Shy. An oath, an oath, I haue an oath in heauen,
shall I lay periurie vpon my soule?
Not not for Venice.
2065Por. Why this bond is forfait,
and lawfully by this the Iew may claime
a pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
neerest the Merchants hart: be mercifull,
take thrice thy money, bid me teare the bond.
2070Shy. When it is payd, according to the tenure.
It doth appeare you are a worthy iudge,
you know the law, your exposition
hath beene most sound: I charge you by the law,
vvhereof you are a well deseruing piller,
2075proceede to iudgement: by my soule I sweare,
there is no power in the tongue of man
to alter me, I stay here on my Bond,
An. Most hartelie I doe beseech the Court
to giue the iudgement.
2080Por. Why than thus it is,
you must prepare your bosome for his knife.
Shy. O noble Iudge, ô excellent young man.
Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
hath full relation to the penaltie,
H2
which