Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Merchant of Venice (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Janelle Jenstad

  • Copyright Janelle Jenstad. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Janelle Jenstad
    Not Peer Reviewed

    The Merchant of Venice (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Merchant of Venice.
    735Leon. Yonder sir he walkes.
    Gra. Signior Bassanio.
    Bas. Gratiano.
    Gra. I haue a sute to you.
    Bass. You haue obtain'd it.
    740Gra. You must not denie me, I must goe with you to
    Bass. Why then you must: but heare thee Gratiano,
    Thou art to wilde, to rude, and bold of voyce,
    Parts that become thee happily enough,
    745And in such eyes as ours appeare not faults;
    But where they are not knowne, why there they show
    Something too liberall, pray thee take paine
    To allay with some cold drops of modestie
    Thy skipping spirit, least through thy wilde behauiour
    750I be misconsterd in the place I goe to,
    And loose my hopes.
    Gra. Signor Bassanio, heare me,
    If I doe not put on a sober habite,
    Talke with respect, and sweare but now and than,
    755Weare prayer bookes in my pocket, looke demurely,
    Nay more, while grace is saying hood mine eyes
    Thus with my hat, and sigh and say Amen:
    Vse all the obseruance of ciuillitie
    Like one well studied in a sad ostent
    760To please his Grandam, neuer trust me more.
    Bas. Well, we shall see your bearing.
    Gra. Nay but I barre to night, you shall not gage me
    By what we doe to night.
    Bas. No that were pittie,
    765I would intreate you rather to put on
    Your boldest suite of mirth, for we haue friends
    That purpose merriment: but far you well,
    I haue some businesse.
    Gra. And I must to Lorenso and the rest,
    770But we will visite you at supper time.

    Enter Iessica and the Clowne.

    Ies. I am sorry thou wilt leaue my Father so,
    Our house is hell, and thou a merrie diuell
    Did'st rob it of some taste of tediousnesse;
    775But far thee well, there is a ducat for thee,
    And Lancelet, soone at supper shalt thou see
    Lorenzo, who is thy new Maisters guest,
    Giue him this Letter, doe it secretly,
    And so farwell: I would not haue my Father
    780See me talke with thee.
    Clo. Adue, teares exhibit my tongue, most beautifull
    Pagan, most sweete Iew, if a Christian doe not play the
    knaue and get thee, I am much deceiued; but adue, these
    foolish drops doe somewhat drowne my manly spirit:
    Ies. Farewell good Lancelet.
    Alacke, what hainous sinne is it in me
    To be ashamed to be my Fathers childe,
    But though I am a daughter to his blood,
    790I am not to his manners: O Lorenzo,
    If thou keepe promise I shall end this strife,
    Become a Christian, and thy louing wife.

    Enter Gratiano, Lorenzo, Slarino, and Salanio.
    Lor. Nay, we will slinke away in supper time,
    795Disguise vs at my lodging, and returne all in an houre.
    Gra. We haue not made good preparation.
    Sal. We haue not spoke vs yet of Torch-bearers.
    Sol. 'Tis vile vnlesse it may be quaintly ordered,
    And better in my minde not vndertooke.
    800Lor. 'Tis now but foure of clock, we haue two houres
    To furnish vs; friend Lancelet what's the newes.
    Enter Lancelet with a Letter.
    Lan. And it shall please you to breake vp this, shall it
    seeme to signifie.
    805Lor. I know the hand, in faith 'tis a faire hand
    And whiter then the paper it writ on,
    I the faire hand that writ.
    Gra. Loue newes in faith.
    Lan. By your leaue sir.
    810Lor. Whither goest thou?
    Lan. Marry sir to bid my old Master the Iew to sup
    to night with my new Master the Christian.
    Lor. Hold here, take this, tell gentle Iessica
    I will not faile her, speake it priuately:
    815Go Gentlemen, will you prepare you for this Maske to
    I am prouided of a Torch-bearer.
    Exit. Clowne.
    Sal. I marry, ile be gone about it strait.
    Sol. And so will I.
    820Lor. Meete me and Gratiano at Gratianos lodging
    Some houre hence.
    Sal. 'Tis good we do so.
    Gra. Was not that Letter from faire Iessica?
    Lor. I must needes tell thee all, she hath directed
    825How I shall take her from her Fathers house,
    What gold and iewels she is furnisht with,
    What Pages suite she hath in readinesse:
    If ere the Iew her Father come to heauen,
    It will be for his gentle daughters sake;
    830And neuer dare misfortune crosse her foote,
    Vnlesse she doe it vnder this excuse,
    That she is issue to a faithlesse Iew:
    Come goe with me, pervse this as thou goest,
    Faire Iessica shall be my Torch-bearer.

    Enter Iew, and his man that was the Clowne.

    Iew. Well, thou shall see, thy eyes shall be thy iudge,
    The difference of old Shylocke and Bassanio;
    What Iessica, thou shalt not gurmandize
    As thou hast done with me: what Iessica?
    840And sleepe, and snore, and rend apparrell out.
    Why Iessica I say.
    Clo. Why Iessica.
    Shy. Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.
    Clo. Your worship was wont to tell me
    845I could doe nothing without bidding.
    Enter Iessica.
    Ies. Call you? what is your will?
    Shy. I am bid forth to supper Iessica,
    There are my Keyes: but wherefore should I go?
    850I am not bid for loue, they flatttr me,
    But yet Ile goe in hate, to feede vpon
    The prodigall Christian. Iessica my girle,
    Looke to my house, I am right loath to goe,
    There is some ill a bruing towards my rest,
    855For I did dreame of money bags to night.
    Clo. I beseech you sir goe, my yong Master
    Doth expect your reproach.
    Shy. So doe I his.
    Clo. And they haue conspired together, I will not say
    860you shall see a Maske, but if you doe, then it was not for
    nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on blacke monday