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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    are not with me esteemd aboue thy life.
    I would loose all, I sacrifize them all
    heere to this deuill, to deliuer you.
    2125Por. Your wife would giue you little thankes for that
    if she were by to heare you make the offer.
    Gra. I haue a wife who I protest I loue,
    I would she were in heauen, so she could
    intreate some power to change this currish Iew.
    2130Ner. Tis well you offer it behind her back,
    the wish would make else an vnquiet house.
    Iew. These be the christian husbands, I haue a daughter
    vvould any of the stocke of Barrabas
    had beene her husband, rather then a Christian.
    2135We trifle time, I pray thee pursue sentence.
    Por. A pound of that same Merchants flesh is thine,
    the Court awards it, and the law doth giue it.
    Iew. Most rightfull Iudge.
    Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast,
    2140the law alowes it, and the court awards it.
    Iew. Most learned Iudge, a sentence, come prepare.
    Por. Tarry a little, there is some thing else,
    this bond doth giue thee heere no iote of blood,
    the words expresly are a pound of flesh:
    2145take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh,
    but in the cutting it, if thou doost shed
    one drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
    are by the lawes of Venice confiscate
    vnto the state of Venice.
    2150Gra. O vpright Iudge,
    Marke Iew, ô learned Iudge.
    Shy. Is that the law?
    Por. Thy selfe shalt see the Act:
    for as thou vrgest iustice, be assurd
    2155thou shalt haue iustice more then thou desirst.
    Gra. O learned iudge, mark Iew, a learned iudge.
    Iew. I take this offer then, pay the bond thrice
    and let the Christian goe.