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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    For saying nothing; when I am very sure
    If they should speake, would almost dam those eares
    105vvhich hearing them would call their brothers fooles,
    Ile tell thee more of this another time.
    But fish not with this melancholy baite
    For this foole gudgin, this opinion:
    Come good Lorenso, faryewell a while,
    110Ile end my exhortation after dinner.
    Loren. Well, we will leaue you then till dinner time.
    I must be one of these same dumbe wise men,
    For Gratiano neuer lets me speake.
    Gra. Well keepe me company but two yeeres moe
    115Thou shalt not know the sound of thine owne tongue.
    An. Far you well, Ile grow a talker for this geare.
    Gra. Thanks yfaith, for silence is onely commendable
    In a neates togue dried, and a mayde not vendable.
    An. It is that any thing now.
    120Bass. Gratiano speakes an infinite deale of nothing more then any
    man in all Venice, his reasons are as two graines of wheate hid in
    two bushels of chaffe: you shall seeke all day ere you finde them,
    and when you haue them, they are not worth the search.
    An. VVell, tell me now what Lady is the same
    125To whom you swore a secrete pilgrimage
    That you to day promisd to tell me of.
    Bass. Tis not vnknowne to you Anthonio
    How much I haue disabled mine estate,
    By something showing a more swelling port
    130Then my faint meanes would graunt continuance:
    Nor doe I now make mone to be abridg'd
    From such a noble rate, but my cheefe care
    Is to come fairely of from the great debts
    vvherein my time something too prodigall
    135Hath left me gagd: to you Anthonio
    I owe the most in money and in loue,
    And from your loue I haue a warrantie
    To vnburthen all my plots and purposes
    How to get cleere of all the debts I owe.