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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    did Iessica steale from the wealthy Iewe,
    2345and with an vnthrift loue did runne from Venice,
    as farre as Belmont.
    Iessi. In such a night
    did young Lorenzo sweare he loued her well,
    stealing her soule with many vowes of faith,
    2350and nere a true one.
    Loren. In such a night
    did pretty Iessica (like a little shrow)
    slaunder her Loue, and he forgaue it her.
    Iessi. I would out-night you did no body come:
    2355But harke, I heare the footing of a man.
    Enter a Messenger.
    Loren. Who comes so fast in silence of the night?
    Messen. A friend?
    Loren. A friend, what friend, your name I pray you friend?
    2360Mess. Stephano is my name, and I bring word
    my Mistres will before the breake of day
    be heere at Belmont, she doth stray about
    by holy crosses where she kneeles and prayes
    for happy wedlock houres.
    2365Loren. Who comes with her?
    Mess. None but a holy Hermit and her mayd:
    I pray you is my Maister yet returnd?
    Loren. He is not, nor we haue not heard from him,
    But goe we in I pray thee Iessica,
    2370and ceremoniously let vs prepare
    some welcome for the Mistres of the house.
    Enter Clowne.
    Clowne. Sola, sola: wo ha, ho sola, sola.
    Loren. Who calls?
    Clo. Sola, did you see M. Lorenzo, & M. Lorenzo sola, sola.
    2375Loren. Leaue hollowing man, heere.
    Clowne. Sola, where, where?
    Loren. Heere?
    Clow. Tell him there's a Post come from my Maister, with his
    horne full of good newes, my Maister will be heere ere morning
    2380sweete soule.