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  • Title: The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Quarto 1, 1600)

    The Comicall Historie of
    or good Launcelet Iobbe, vse your legges, take the start, runne a-
    550way, my conscience sayes no; take heede honest Launcelet, take
    heede honest Iobbe, or as afore-saide honest Launcelet Iobbe, doe
    not runne, scorne running with thy heeles; well, the most cora-
    gious fiend bids me packe, fia sayes the fiend, away sayes the fiend,
    for the heauens rouse vp a braue minde sayes the fiend, and runne;
    555well, my conscience hanging about the necke of my heart, sayes
    very wisely to mee: my honest friend Launcelet beeing an honest
    mans sonne, or rather an honest womans sonne, for indeede my
    Father did something smacke, something grow to; he had a kinde
    of tast; well, my conscience sayes Launcelet bouge not, bouge sayes
    560the fiend, bouge not sayes my conscience, conscience say I you
    counsaile wel, fiend say I you counsaile well, to be ruld by my con-
    science, I should stay with the Iewe my Maister, (who God blesse
    the marke) is a kinde of deuill; and to runne away from the Iewe I
    should be ruled by the fiend, who sauing your reuerence is the de-
    565uill himselfe: certainely the Iewe is the very deuill incarnation, and
    in my conscience, my conscience is but a kinde of hard consci-
    ence, to offer to counsaile mee to stay with the Iewe; the fiend
    giues the more friendly counsaile: I will runne fiend, my heeles
    are at your commaundement, I will runne.

    Enter old Gobbo with a basket.
    Gobbo. Maister young-man, you I pray you, which is the way
    to Maister Iewes?
    Launcelet. O heauens, this is my true begotten Father, who be-
    ing more then sand blinde, high grauell blinde, knowes me not, I
    575will try confusions with him.
    Gobbo. Maister young Gentleman, I pray you which is the way
    to Maister Iewes.
    Launcelet. Turne vp on your right hand at the next turning,
    but at the next turning of all on your left; marry at the very next
    580turning turne of no hand, but turne downe indirectly to the Iewes
    Gobbo. Be Gods sonties twill be a hard way to hit, can you tell