Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)


The comciall Historie of
Bass. Heere is the money.
2160Por. Soft, the Iew shal haue all iustice, soft no hast,
he shall haue nothing but the penalty.
Gra. O Iew, an vpright Iudge, a learned Iudge.
Por. Therefore prepare thee to cut of the flesh,
Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou lesse nor more
2165but iust a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more
or lesse then a iust pound, be it but so much
as makes it light or heauy in the substance,
or the deuision of the twentith part
of one poore scruple, nay if the scale doe turne
2170but in the estimation of a hayre,
thou dyest, and all thy goods are confiscate.
Gra. A second Daniell, a Daniell Iew,
now infidell I haue you on the hip.
Por. Why doth the Iew pause, take thy forfaiture.
2175Shy. Giue me my principall, and let me goe.
Bass. I haue it ready for thee, here it is.
Por. Hee hath refusd it in the open Court,
hee shall haue meerely iustice and his bond.
Gra. A Daniell still say I, a second Daniell,
2180I thanke thee Iew for teaching me that word.
Shy. Shall I not haue barely my principall?
Por. Thou shalt haue nothing but the forfaiture
to be so taken at thy perrill Iew.
Shy. Why then the deuill giue him good of it:
2185Ile stay no longer question.
Por. Tarry Iew,
the law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the lawes of Venice,
if it be proued against an alien,
2190that by direct, or indirect attempts
he seeke the life of any Cittizen,
the party gainst the which he doth contriue,
shall seaze one halfe his goods, the other halfe
comes to the priuie coffer of the State,
2195and the offenders life lies in the mercy
of