Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)

the Merchant of Venice.
And hedgd me by his wit to yeeld my selfe
His wife, who winnes me by that meanes I told you,
Your selfe (renowned Prince) than stoode as faire
515As any commer I haue look'd on yet
For my affection.
Mor. Euen for that I thanke you,
Therefore I pray you leade me to the Caskets
To try my fortune: By this Symitare
520That slewe the Sophy, and a Persian Prince
That wone three fields of Sultan Solyman,
I would ore-stare the sternest eyes that looke:
Out-braue the hart most daring on the earth:
Pluck the young sucking Cubs from the she Beare,
525Yea, mock the Lyon when a rores for pray
To win the Lady. But alas, the while
If Hercules and Lychas play at dice
Which is the better man, the greater throw
May turne by fortune from the weaker hand:
530So is Alcides beaten by his rage,
And so may I, blind Fortune leading me
Misse that which one vnworthier may attaine,
And die with greeuing.
Portia. You must take your chaunce,
535And eyther not attempt to choose at all,
Or sweare before you choose, if you choose wrong
Neuer to speake to Lady afterward
In way of marriage, therefore be aduis'd.
Mor. Nor will not, come bring me vnto my chaunce.
540Portia. First forward to the temple, after dinner
Your hazard shall be made.
Mor. Good fortune then,
To make me blest or cursed'st among men.
545Enter the Clowne alone.
Clowne. Certainely, my conscience will serue me to runne from
this Iewe my Maister: the fiend is at mine elbow, and tempts me,
saying to me, Iobbe, Launcelet Jobbe, good Launcelet, or good Iobbe,
C. or