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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 offices of tender curtesie:
    1865We all expect a gentle aunswere Iewe?
    Iewe. I haue possest your grace of what I purpose,
    and by our holy Sabaoth haue I sworne
    to haue the due and forfet of my bond,
    if you deny it, let the danger light
    1870vpon your charter and your Citties freedome?
    Youle aske me why I rather choose to haue
    a weight of carrion flesh, then to receaue
    three thousand ducats: Ile not aunswer that?
    But say it is my humour, is it aunswerd?
    1875What if my house be troubled with a Rat,
    and I be pleasd to giue ten thousand ducats
    to haue it baind? vvhat, are you aunswerd yet?
    Some men there are loue not a gaping pigge?
    Some that are mad if they behold a Cat?
    1880And others when the bagpipe sings ith nose,
    cannot containe their vrine for affection.
    Maisters of passion swayes it to the moode
    of what it likes or loathes, now for your aunswer:
    As there is no firme reason to be rendred
    1885vvhy he cannot abide a gaping pigge?
    vvhy he a harmelesse necessarie Cat?
    vvhy he a woollen bagpipe: but of force
    must yeeld to such in euitable shame,
    as to offend himselfe being offended:
    1890So can I giue no reason, nor I will not,
    more then a lodgd hate, and a certaine loathing
    I beare Anthonio, that I follow thus
    a loosing sute against him? are you aunswered?
    Bass. This is no aunswer thou vnfeeling man,
    1895to excuse the currant of thy cruelty?
    Iewe. I am not bound to please thee with my answers?
    Bass. Doe all men kill the things they doe not loue?
    Iewe. Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
    Bass. Euery offence is not a hate at first?
    1900Iewe. What wouldst thou haue a serpent sting thee twice?