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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    Not Peer Reviewed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.
    As to thy friends, for when did friendship take
    440A breede for barraine mettaile of his friend?
    But lend it rather to thine enemie,
    Who if he breake, thou maist with better face
    Exact the penaltie.
    Shy. Why looke you how you storme,
    445I would be friends with you, and haue your loue,
    Forget the shames that you haue staind me with,
    Supply your present wants, and take no doyte
    Of vsance for my moneyes, and youle not heare mee,
    this is kinde I offer.
    450Bass. This were kindnesse.
    Shyl. This kindnesse will I showe,
    Goe with me to a Notarie, seale me there
    Your single bond, and in a merrie sport
    if you repay me not on such a day
    455in such a place, such summe or summes as are
    exprest in the condition, let the forfaite
    be nominated for an equall pound
    of your faire flesh, to be cut off and taken
    in what part of your bodie pleaseth me.
    460Ant. Content infaith, yle seale to such a bond,
    and say there is much kindnes in the Iew.
    Bass. You shall not seale to such a bond for me,
    Ile rather dwell in my necessitie.
    An. Why feare not man, I will not forfaite it,
    465within these two months, thats a month before
    this bond expires, I doe expect returne
    of thrice three times the valew of this bond.
    Shy. O father Abram, what these Christians are,
    Whose owne hard dealings teaches them suspect
    470the thoughts of others: Pray you tell me this,
    if he should breake his day what should I gaine
    by the exaction of the forfeyture?
    A pound of mans flesh taken from a man,
    is not so estimable, profitable neither
    475as flesh of Muttons, Beefes, or Goates, I say