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  • Title: The Merchant of Venice (Folio 1, 1623)
  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 (Folio 1, 1623)

    180The Merchant of Venice.
    And many an error by the same example,
    Will rush into the state: It cannot be.
    Iew. A Daniel come to iudgement, yea a Daniel.
    2135O wise young Iudge, how do I honour thee.
    Por. I pray you let me looke vpon the bond.
    Iew. Heere 'tis most reuerend Doctor, heere it is.
    Por. Shylocke, there's thrice thy monie offered thee.
    Shy. An oath, an oath, I haue an oath in heauen:
    2140Shall I lay periurie vpon my soule?
    No not for Venice.
    Por. Why this bond is forfeit,
    And lawfully by this the Iew may claime
    A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
    2145Neerest the Merchants heart; be mercifull,
    Take thrice thy money, bid me teare the bond.
    Iew. When it is paid according to the tenure.
    It doth appeare you are a worthy Iudge:
    You know the Law, your exposition
    2150Hath beene most sound. I charge you by the Law,
    Whereof you are a well-deseruing pillar,
    Proceede to iudgement: By my soule I sweare,
    There is no power in the tongue of man
    To alter me: I stay heere on my bond.
    2155An. Most heartily I do beseech the Court
    To giue the iudgement.
    Por. Why then thus it is:
    you must prepare your bosome for his knife.
    Iew. O noble Iudge, O excellent yong man.
    2160Por. For the intent and purpose of the Law
    Hath full relation to the penaltie,
    Which heere appeareth due vpon the bond.
    Iew. 'Tis verie true: O wise and vpright Iudge,
    How much more elder art thou then thy lookes?
    2165Por. Therefore lay bare your bosome.
    Iew. I, his brest,
    So sayes the bond, doth it not noble Iudge?
    Neerest his heart, those are the very words.
    Por. It is so: Are there ballance heere to weigh the
    Iew. I haue them ready.
    Por. Haue by some Surgeon Shylock on your charge
    To stop his wounds, least he should bleede to death.
    Iew. It is not nominated in the bond?
    2175Por. It is not so exprest: but what of that?
    'Twere good you do so much for charitie.
    Iew. I cannot finde it, 'tis not in the bond.
    Por. Come Merchant, haue you any thing to say?
    Ant. But little: I am arm'd and well prepar'd.
    2180Giue me your hand Bassanio, fare you well.
    Greeue not that I am falne to this for you:
    For heerein fortune shewes her selfe more kinde
    Then is her custome. It is still her vse
    To let the wretched man out-liue his wealth,
    2185To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow
    An age of pouerty. From which lingring penance
    Of such miserie, doth she cut me off:
    Commend me to your honourable Wife,
    Tell her the processe of Anthonio's end:
    2190Say how I lou'd you; speake me faire in death:
    And when the tale is told, bid her be iudge,
    Whether Bassanio had not once a Loue:
    Repent not you that you shall loose your friend,
    And he repents not that he payes your debt.
    2195For if the Iew do cut but deepe enough,
    Ile pay it instantly, with all my heart.
    Bas. Anthonio, I am married to a wife,
    Which is as deere to me as life it selfe,
    But life it selfe, my wife, and all the world,
    2200Are not with me esteem'd aboue thy life.
    I would loose all, I sacrifice them all
    Heere to this deuill, to deliuer you.
    Por. Your wife would giue you little thanks for that
    If she were by to heare you make the offer.
    2205Gra. I haue a wife whom I protest I loue,
    I would she were in heauen, so she could
    Intreat some power to change this currish Iew.
    Ner. 'Tis well you offer it behinde her backe,
    The wish would make else an vnquiet house.
    2210Iew. These be the Christian husbands: I haue a daugh- (ter
    Would any of the stocke of Barrabas
    Had beene her husband, rather then a Christian.
    We trifle time, I pray thee pursue sentence.
    Por. A pound of that same marchants flesh is thine,
    2215The Court awards it, and the law doth giue it.
    Iew. Most rightfull Iudge.
    Por. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast,
    The Law allowes it, and the Court awards it.
    Iew. Most learned Iudge, a sentence, come prepare.
    2220Por. Tarry a little, there is something else,
    This bond doth giue thee heere no iot of bloud,
    The words expresly are a pound of flesh:
    Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh,
    But in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
    2225One drop of Christian bloud, thy lands and goods
    Are by the Lawes of Venice confiscate
    Vnto the state of Venice.
    Gra. O vpright Iudge,
    Marke Iew, ô learned Iudge.
    2230Shy. Is that the law?
    Por. Thy selfe shalt see the Act:
    For as thou vrgest iustice, be assur'd
    Thou shalt haue iustice more then thou desirest.
    Gra. O learned Iudge, mark Iew, a learned Iudge.
    2235Iew. I take this offer then, pay the bond thrice,
    And let the Christian goe.
    Bass. Heere is the money.
    Por. Soft, the Iew shall haue all iustice, soft, no haste,
    He shall haue nothing but the penalty.
    2240Gra. O Iew, an vpright Iudge, a learned Iudge.
    Por. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh,
    Shed thou no bloud, nor cut thou lesse nor more
    But iust a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more
    Or lesse then a iust pound, be it so much
    2245As makes it light or heauy in the substance,
    Or the deuision of the twentieth part
    Of one poore scruple, nay if the scale doe turne
    But in the estimation of a hayre,
    Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate.
    2250Gra. A second Daniel, a Daniel Iew,
    Now infidell I haue thee on the hip.
    Por. Why doth the Iew pause, take thy forfeiture.
    Shy. Giue me my principall, and let me goe.
    Bass. I haue it ready for thee, heere it is.
    2255Por. He hath refus'd it in the open Court,
    He shall haue meerly iustice and his bond.
    Gra. A Daniel still say I, a second Daniel,
    I thanke thee Iew for teaching me that word.
    Shy. Shall I not haue barely my principall?
    2260Por. Thou shalt haue nothing but the forfeiture,
    To be taken so at thy perill Iew.
    Shy. Why then the Deuill giue him good of it:
    Ile stay no longer question.
    Por. Tarry