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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter the maskers Gratiano and Salerino.
    855Grat. This is the penthouse vnder which Lorenzo
    desired vs to make stand.
    Sal. His howre is almost past.
    Gra. And it is meruaile he out-dwells his howre,
    for louers euer runne before the clocke.
    860Sal. O tenne times faster Venus pidgions flie
    to seale loues bonds new made, then they are wont
    to keepe obliged faith vnforfaited.
    Gra. That euer holds: who riseth from a feast
    vvith that keene appetite that he sits downe?
    865vvhere is the horse that doth vntread againe
    his tedious measures with the vnbated fire
    that he did pace them first: all things that are
    are with more spirit chased then enioyd.
    How like a younger or a prodigall
    870the skarfed barke puts from her natiue bay
    hugd and embraced by the strumpet wind,
    how like the prodigall doth she returne
    vvith ouer-wetherd ribbs and ragged sailes
    leane, rent, and beggerd by the strumpet wind?
    Enter Lorenzo.
    Sal. Heere comes Lorenzo, more of this hereafter.
    Lor. Sweet freends, your patience for my long abode
    not I but my affaires haue made you waite:
    vvhen you shall please to play the theeues for wiues
    880Ile watch as long for you then: approch
    here dwels my father Iew. Howe whose within?
    Iessica aboue.
    Iess. Who are you? tell me for more certainty,
    Albeit Ile sweare that I doe know your tongue.
    885Lor. Lorenzo and thy loue.
    Iessica. Lorenzo certaine, and my loue indeed,
    for who loue I so much? and now who knowes
    but you Lorenzo whether I am yours?
    Lor. Heauen & thy thoughts are witnes that thou art.
    890Ies. Heere catch this casket, it is worth the paines,
    I am glad tis night you doe not looke on me,
    for I am much ashamde of my exchange:
    But loue is blinde, and louers cannot see
    The pretty follies that themselues commit,
    895for if they could, Cupid himselfe would blush
    to see me thus trans-formed to a boy.
    Lor. Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer.
    Ies. What, must I hold a candle to my shames,
    they in themselues goodsooth are too too light.
    900Why, tis an office of discouery loue,
    and I should be obscurd.
    Lor. So are you sweet
    euen in the louely garnish of a boy, but come at once,
    for the close night doth play the runaway,
    905and we are staid for at Bassanios feast.
    Ies. I will make fast the doores & guild my selfe
    with some mo ducats, and be with you straight.
    Gra. Now by my hoode a gentle, and no Iew.
    Lor. Beshrow me but I loue her hartilie,
    910For she is wise, if I can iudge of her,
    and faire she is, if that mine eyes be true,
    and true she is, as she hath proou'd herselfe:
    And therefore like herselfe, wise, faire, and true,
    shall she be placed in my constant soule.
    Enter Iessica.
    915What, art thou come, on gentleman, away,
    our masking mates by this time for vs stay.
    Enter Anthonio.
    An. VVhose there?
    Gra. Signior Anthonio?
    920Anth. Fie, fie Gratiano, where are all the rest?
    Tis nine a clocke, our friends all stay for you,
    No maske to night, the wind is come about
    Bassanio presently will goe abord,
    I haue sent twentie out to seeke for you.
    925Gra. I am glad ont, I desire no more delight
    then to be vndersaile, and gone to night.