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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    He wrung Bassanios hand, and so they parted.
    1060Sol. I thinke hee onely loues the world for him,
    I pray thee let vs goe and finde him out
    and quicken his embraced heauines
    vvith some delight or other.
    Sal. Doe we so.

    Enter Nerrissa and a Seruiture.
    Ner. Quick, quick I pray thee, draw the curtain strait,
    The Prince of Arragon hath tane his oath,
    and comes to his election presently.

    Enter Arrogon, his trayne, and Portia.
    1070Por. Behold, there stand the caskets noble Prince,
    yf you choose that wherein I am containd
    straight shall our nuptiall rights be solemniz'd:
    but if you faile, without more speech my Lord
    you must be gone from hence immediatly.
    1075Arra. I am enioynd by oath to obserue three things,
    First, neuer to vnfold to any one
    vvhich casket twas I chose; next, if I faile
    of the right casket, neuer in my life
    to wooe a maide in way of marriage:
    1080lastly, if I doe faile in fortune of my choyse,
    immediatly to leaue you, and be gone.
    Por. To these iniunctions euery one doth sweare
    that comes to hazard for my worthlesse selfe.
    Arr. And so haue I addrest me, fortune now
    1085To my harts hope: gold, siluer, and base lead.
    Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath.
    You shall looke fairer ere I giue or hazard.
    What saies the golden chest, ha, let me see,
    Who chooseth me, shall gaine what many men desire,
    1090What many men desire, that many may be meant
    by the foole multitude that choose by show,
    not learning more then the fond eye doth teach,
    which pries not to th interiour, but like the Martlet