Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)


the Merchant of Venice.
did Iessica steale from the wealthy Iewe,
2345and with an vnthrift loue did runne from Venice,
as farre as Belmont.
Iessi. In such a night
did young Lorenzo sweare he loued her well,
stealing her soule with many vowes of faith,
2350and nere a true one.
Loren. In such a night
did pretty Iessica (like a little shrow)
slaunder her Loue, and he forgaue it her.
Iessi. I would out-night you did no body come:
2355But harke, I heare the footing of a man.
Enter a Messenger.
Loren. Who comes so fast in silence of the night?
Messen. A friend?
Loren. A friend, what friend, your name I pray you friend?
2360Mess. Stephano is my name, and I bring word
my Mistres will before the breake of day
be heere at Belmont, she doth stray about
by holy crosses where she kneeles and prayes
for happy wedlock houres.
2365Loren. Who comes with her?
Mess. None but a holy Hermit and her mayd:
I pray you is my Maister yet returnd?
Loren. He is not, nor we haue not heard from him,
But goe we in I pray thee Iessica,
2370and ceremoniously let vs prepare
some welcome for the Mistres of the house.
Enter Clowne.
Clowne. Sola, sola: wo ha, ho sola, sola.
Loren. Who calls?
Clo. Sola, did you see M. Lorenzo, & M. Lorenzo sola, sola.
2375Loren. Leaue hollowing man, heere.
Clowne. Sola, where, where?
Loren. Heere?
Clow. Tell him there's a Post come from my Maister, with his
horne full of good newes, my Maister will be heere ere morning
2380sweete soule.
I2
Loren.