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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Merchant of Venice.
    Gob. He hath a great infection sir, as one would say to serue.
    655Lau. Indeede the short and the long is, I serue the Iewe, & haue
    a desire as my Father shall specifie.
    Gob. His Maister and he (sauing your worships reuerence) are
    scarce catercosins,
    Lau. To be briefe, the very truth is, that the Iewe hauing done
    660me wrong, dooth cause me as my Father being I hope an old man
    shall frutifie vnto you.
    Gob. I haue heere a dish of Doues that I would bestow vppon
    your worship, and my sute is.
    Lau. In very briefe, the sute is impertinent to my selfe, as your
    665worship shall knowe by this honest old man, and though I say it,
    though old man, yet poore man my Father.
    Bass. One speake for both, what would you?
    Laun. Serue you sir.
    Gob. That is the very defect of the matter sir.
    670Bass. I know thee well, thou hast obtaind thy sute,
    Shylocke thy Maister spoke with me this day,
    And hath preferd thee, if it be preferment
    To leaue a rich Iewes seruice, to become
    The follower of so poore a Gentleman.
    675Clowne. The old prouerb is very well parted betweene my Maister
    Shylocke and you sir, you haue the grace of God sir, and hee
    hath enough.
    Bass. Thou speakst it well; goe Father with thy Sonne
    Take leaue of thy old Maister, and enquire
    680My lodging out, giue him a Lyuerie
    More garded then his fellowes: see it done.
    Clowne. Father in, I cannot get a seruice, no, I haue nere a tong
    in my head, wel: if any man in Italy haue a fayrer table which
    dooth offer to sweare vpon a booke, I shall haue good fortune;
    685goe too, heere's a simple lyne of life, heeres a small tryfle of wiues,
    alas, fifteene wiues is nothing, a leuen widdowes and nine maydes
    is a simple comming in for one man, and then to scape drowning
    thrice, and to be in perrill of my life with the edge of a featherbed,
    heere are simple scapes: vvell, if Fortune be a woman she's a good
    690wench for this gere: Father come, ile take my leaue of the Iewe in