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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    To furnish vs; friend Launcelet whats the newes.
    Enter Launcelet.
    Launcelet. And it shal please you to breake vp this, it shal seeme
    765to signifie.
    Loren. I know the hand, in faith tis a faire hand,
    And whiter then the paper it writ on
    Is the faire hand that writ.
    Gratia. Loue, newes in faith.
    770Launce. By your leaue sir.
    Loren. Whither goest thou.
    Launc. Marry sir to bid my old Maister the Iewe to sup to night
    with my new Maister the Christian.
    775Loren. Hold heere take this, tell gentle Iessica
    I will not faile her, speake it priuatly,
    Goe Gentlemen, will you prepare you for this maske to night,
    I am prouided of a Torch-bearer.
    Exit Clowne.
    Sal. I marry, ile be gone about it straite.
    780Sol. And so will I.
    Loren. Meete me and Gratiano at Gratianos lodging
    Some houre hence.
    Sal. Tis good we doe so.
    Gratia. Was not that Letter from faire Iessica.
    785Loren. I must needes tell thee all, she hath directed
    How I shall take her from her Fathers house,
    What gold and iewels she is furnisht with,
    What Pages sute she hath in readines,
    Yf ere the Iewe her Father come to heauen,
    790Yt will be for his gentle daughters sake,
    And neuer dare misfortune crosse her foote,
    Vnlesse she doe it vnder this excuse,
    That she is issue to a faithlesse Iewe:
    Come goe with me, pervse this as thou goest,
    795Faire Jessica shall be my Torch-bearer.

    Enter Iewe and his man that was the Clowne.
    Iewe. Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy iudge,
    The difference of old Shylocke and Bassanio;
    What Iessica, thou shalt not gurmandize