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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Merchant of Venice.
    that malice beares downe truth. And I beseech you
    wrest once the law to your authoritie,
    2050to doe a great right, doe a little wrong,
    and curbe this cruell deuill of his will.
    Por. It must not be, there is no power in Venice
    can altar a decree established:
    twill be recorded for a precedent,
    2055and many an errour by the same example
    will rush into the state, it cannot be.
    Shy. A Daniell come to iudgement: yea a Daniell.
    O wise young Iudge how I doe honour thee.
    Por. I pray you let me looke vpon the bond.
    2060Shy. Heere tis most reuerend doctor, here it is.
    Por. Shylocke theres thrice thy money offred thee.
    Shy. An oath, an oath, I haue an oath in heauen,
    shall I lay periurie vpon my soule?
    Not not for Venice.
    2065Por. Why this bond is forfait,
    and lawfully by this the Iew may claime
    a pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
    neerest the Merchants hart: be mercifull,
    take thrice thy money, bid me teare the bond.
    2070Shy. When it is payd, according to the tenure.
    It doth appeare you are a worthy iudge,
    you know the law, your exposition
    hath beene most sound: I charge you by the law,
    vvhereof you are a well deseruing piller,
    2075proceede to iudgement: by my soule I sweare,
    there is no power in the tongue of man
    to alter me, I stay here on my Bond,
    An. Most hartelie I doe beseech the Court
    to giue the iudgement.
    2080Por. Why than thus it is,
    you must prepare your bosome for his knife.
    Shy. O noble Iudge, ô excellent young man.
    Por. For the intent and purpose of the law
    hath full relation to the penaltie,