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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    Baltha. Madam, I goe with all conuenient speede.
    Portia Come on Nerrissa, I haue worke in hand
    That you yet know not of; weele see our husbands
    before they thinke of vs?
    1720Nerrissa. Shall they see vs?
    Portia. They shall Nerrissa: but in such a habite,
    that they shall thinke we are accomplished
    vvith that we lacke; Ile hold thee any wager
    vvhen we are both accoutered like young men,
    1725ile proue the prettier fellow of the two,
    and weare my dagger with the brauer grace,
    and speake betweene the change of man and boy,
    vvith a reede voyce, and turne two minsing steps
    into a manly stride; and speake of frayes
    1730like a fine bragging youth: and tell quaint lyes
    how honorable Ladies sought my loue,
    vvhich I denying, they fell sicke and dyed.
    I could not doe withall: then ile repent,
    and wish for all that, that I had not killd them;
    1735And twenty of these punie lies ile tell,
    that men shall sweare I haue discontinued schoole
    aboue a twelue-moneth: I haue within my minde
    a thousand raw tricks of these bragging Iacks,
    vvhich I will practise.
    1740Nerriss. Why, shall we turne to men?
    Portia. Fie, what a question's that,
    if thou wert nere a lewd interpreter:
    But come, ile tell thee all my whole deuice
    vvhen I am in my coach, which stayes for vs
    1745at the Parke gate; and therefore hast away,
    for we must measure twenty miles to day.
    Enter Clowne and Iessica.
    Clowne. Yes truly, for looke you, the sinnes of the Father are to
    be laid vpon the children, therefore I promise you, I feare you, I
    1750was alwaies plaine with you, and so now I speake my agitation of
    the matter: therefore be a good chere, for truly I thinke you are
    damnd, there is but one hope in it that can doe you any good, and