Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)


the Merchant of Venice.
the motions of his spirit are dull as night,
and his affections darke as Terebus:
2420let no such man be trusted: marke the musique.
Enter Portia and Nerrissa.
Por. That light we see is burning in my hall:
how farre that little candell throwes his beames,
so shines a good deede in a naughty world.
2425Ner. When the moone shone we did not see the candle?
Por. So dooth the greater glory dim the lesse,
a substitute shines brightly as a King
vntill a King be by, and then his state
empties it selfe, as doth an inland brooke
2430into the maine of waters: musique harke.
Ner. It is your musique Madame of the house?
Por. Nothing is good I see without respect,
me thinks it sounds much sweeter then by day?
Ner. Silence bestowes that vertue on it Madam?
2435Por. The Crow doth sing as sweetly as the Larke
vvhen neither is attended: and I thinke
the Nightingale if she should sing by day
vvhen euery Goose is cackling, would be thought
no better a Musition then the Renne?
2440How many things by season, seasond are
to their right prayse, and true perfection:
Peace, how the moone sleepes with Endimion,
and would not be awak'd.
Loren. That is the voyce,
2445or I am much deceau'd of Portia.
Por. He knowes me as the blind man knowes the Cuckoe
by the bad voyce?
Loren. Deere Lady welcome home?
Por. We haue bin praying for our husbands welfare,
2450vvhich speed we hope the better for our words:
are they return'd?
Loren. Madam, they are not yet:
but there is come a Messenger before
to signifie their comming?
I3
Por.