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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    215Nerrissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none.
    Ner. Your Father was euer vertuous, and holy men at theyr
    death haue good inspirations, therefore the lottrie that he hath deuised
    in these three chests of gold, siluer, and leade, whereof who
    220chooses his meaning chooses you, will no doubt neuer be chosen
    by any rightlie, but one who you shall rightly loue: But what
    warmth is there in your affection towardes any of these Princelie
    suters that are already come?
    Por. I pray thee ouer-name them, and as thou namest them, I
    225will describe them, and according to my description leuell at my
    Ner. First there is the Neopolitane Prince.
    Por. I thats a colt indeede, for he doth nothing but talke of his
    230horse, & he makes it a great appropriation to his owne good parts
    that he can shoo him himselfe: I am much afeard my Ladie his
    mother plaid false with a Smyth.
    Ner. Than is there the Countie Palentine.
    Por. Hee doth nothing but frowne (as who should say, & you
    235will not haue me, choose, he heares merry tales and smiles not, I
    feare hee will prooue the weeping Phylosopher when hee growes
    old, beeing so full of vnmannerly sadnes in his youth,) I had rather
    be married to a deaths head with a bone in his mouth, then to ey-
    240ther of these: God defend me from these two.
    Ner. How say you by the French Lord, Mounsier Le Boune?
    Por. God made him, and therefore let him passe for a man, in
    truth I knowe it is a sinne to be a mocker, but hee, why hee hath a
    horse better then the Neopolitans, a better bad habite of frowning
    245then the Count Palentine, he is euery man in no man, if a Trassell
    sing, he falls straght a capring, he will fence with his owne shadow.
    If I should marry him, I should marry twenty husbands: if hee
    would despise me, I would forgiue him, for if he loue me to madnes,
    I shall neuer requite him.
    250Ner. What say you then to Fauconbridge, the young Barron
    of England?
    Por. You know I say nothing to him, for hee vnderstands not
    me, nor I him: he hath neither Latine, French, nor Italian, & you
    will come into the Court and sweare that I haue a poore pennie-