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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    Bass. Our feast shalbe much honored in your mariage.
    1500Gra. Wele play with them the first boy for a thousand ducats.
    Ner. What and stake downe?
    Gra. No, we shall nere win at that sport and stake downe.
    But who comes heere? Lorenzo and his infidell?
    vvhat, and my old Venecian friend Salerio?
    Enter Lorenzo, Iessica, and Salerio a messenger
    from Venice.
    Bassa. Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hether,
    if that the youth of my newe intrest heere
    haue power to bid you welcome: by your leaue
    1510I bid my very friends and countrymen
    sweet Portia welcome.
    Por. So doe I my Lord, they are intirely welcome.
    Lor. I thanke your honour, for my part my Lord
    my purpose was not to haue seene you heere,
    1515but meeting with Salerio by the way
    he did intreate me past all saying nay
    to come with him along.
    Sal. I did my Lord,
    and I haue reason for it, Signior Anthonio
    1520commends him to you.
    Bass. Ere I ope his Letter
    I pray you tell me how my good friend doth.
    Sal. Not sicke my Lord, vnlesse it be in mind,
    nor well, vnlesse in mind: his letter there
    1525vvill show you his estate.
    open the letter.
    Gra. Nerrissa, cheere yond stranger, bid her welcom.
    Your hand Salerio, what's the newes from Venice?
    How doth that royall Merchant good Anthonio?
    I know he will be glad of our successe,
    1530We are the Iasons, we haue wone the fleece.
    Sal. I would you had won the fleece that he hath lost.
    Por. There are some shrowd contents in yond same paper
    That steales the colour from Bassanios cheeke,
    Some deere friend dead, else nothing in the world
    1535could turne so much the constitution