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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    30Vayling her high top lower then her ribs
    To kisse her buriall; should I goe to Church
    And see the holy edifice of stone
    And not bethinke me straight of dangerous rocks,
    vvhich touching but my gentle vessels side
    35vvould scatter all her spices on the streame,
    Enrobe the roring waters with my silkes,
    And in a word, but euen now worth this,
    And now worth nothing. Shall I haue the thought
    To thinke on this, and shall I lack the thought
    40That such a thing bechaunc'd would make me sad?
    But tell not me, I know Anthonio
    Is sad to thinke vpon his merchandize.
    Anth. Beleeue me no, I thanke my fortune for it
    My ventures are not in one bottome trusted,
    45Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
    Vpon the fortune of this present yeere:
    Therefore my merchandize makes me not sad.
    Sola. Why then you are in loue.
    Anth. Fie, fie.
    50Sola. Not in loue neither: then let vs say you are sad
    Because you are not merry; and twere as easie
    For you to laugh and leape, and say you are merry
    Because you are not sad. Now by two-headed Ianus,
    Nature hath framd strange fellowes in her time:
    55Some that will euermore peepe through their eyes,
    And laugh like Parrats at a bagpyper.
    And other of such vinigar aspect,
    That theyle not shew theyr teeth in way of smile
    Though Nestor sweare the iest be laughable.
    Enter Bassanio, Lorenso, and Gratiano.
    Sola. Here comes Bassanio your most noble kinsman,
    Gratiano, and Lorenso. Faryewell,
    We leaue you now with better company.
    Sala. I would haue staid till I had made you merry,
    65If worthier friends had not preuented me.
    Anth. Your worth is very deere in my regard.