Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)

The Comicall Historie of
or good Launcelet Iobbe, vse your legges, take the start, runne a-
550way, my conscience sayes no; take heede honest Launcelet, take
heede honest Iobbe, or as afore-saide honest Launcelet Iobbe, doe
not runne, scorne running with thy heeles; well, the most cora-
gious fiend bids me packe, fia sayes the fiend, away sayes the fiend,
for the heauens rouse vp a braue minde sayes the fiend, and runne;
555well, my conscience hanging about the necke of my heart, sayes
very wisely to mee: my honest friend Launcelet beeing an honest
mans sonne, or rather an honest womans sonne, for indeede my
Father did something smacke, something grow to; he had a kinde
of tast; well, my conscience sayes Launcelet bouge not, bouge sayes
560the fiend, bouge not sayes my conscience, conscience say I you
counsaile wel, fiend say I you counsaile well, to be ruld by my con-
science, I should stay with the Iewe my Maister, (who God blesse
the marke) is a kinde of deuill; and to runne away from the Iewe I
should be ruled by the fiend, who sauing your reuerence is the de-
565uill himselfe: certainely the Iewe is the very deuill incarnation, and
in my conscience, my conscience is but a kinde of hard consci-
ence, to offer to counsaile mee to stay with the Iewe; the fiend
giues the more friendly counsaile: I will runne fiend, my heeles
are at your commaundement, I will runne.

570Enter old Gobbo with a basket.
Gobbo. Maister young-man, you I pray you, which is the way
to Maister Iewes?
Launcelet. O heauens, this is my true begotten Father, who be-
ing more then sand blinde, high grauell blinde, knowes me not, I
575will try confusions with him.
Gobbo. Maister young Gentleman, I pray you which is the way
to Maister Iewes.
Launcelet. Turne vp on your right hand at the next turning,
but at the next turning of all on your left; marry at the very next
580turning turne of no hand, but turne downe indirectly to the Iewes
Gobbo. Be Gods sonties twill be a hard way to hit, can you tell