Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)


the Merchant of Venice.
of the Duke onely, gainst all other voyce.
In which predicament I say thou standst:
for it appeares by manifest proceeding,
that indirectly, and directly to
2200thou hast contriued against the very life
of the defendant: and thou hast incurd
the danger formorly by me rehearst.
Downe therefore, and beg mercie of the Duke.
Gra. Beg that thou maist haue leaue to hang thy selfe,
2205and yet thy wealth beeing forfait to the state,
thou hast not left the value of a cord,
therefore thou must be hangd at the states charge.
Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit
I pardon thee thy life before thou aske it:
2210for halfe thy wealth, it is Anthonios,
the other halfe comes to the generall state,
vvhich humblenes may driue vnto a fine.
Por. I for the state, not for Anthonio.
Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that,
2215you take my house, when you doe take the prop
that doth sustaine my house: you take my life
vvhen you doe take the meanes whereby I liue.
Por. What mercy can you render him Anthonio?
Gra. A halter gratis, nothing else for Godsake.
2220Anth. So please my Lord the Duke, & all the Court
to quit the fine for one halfe of his goods,
I am content: so he will let me haue
the other halfe in vse, to render it
vpon his death vnto the Gentleman
2225that lately stole his daughter.
Two things prouided more, that for this fauour
he presently become a Christian:
the other, that he doe record a gift
heere in the Court of all he dies possest
2230vnto his sonne Lorenzo and his daughter.
Duke. He shall doe this, or else I doe recant
the pardon that I late pronounced heere.
Por.