Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)

The comicall Historie of
To furnish vs; friend Launcelet whats the newes. Enter Launcelet.
Launcelet. And it shal please you to breake vp this, it shal seeme
765to signifie.
Loren. I know the hand, in faith tis a faire hand,
And whiter then the paper it writ on
Is the faire hand that writ.
Gratia. Loue, newes in faith.
770Launce. By your leaue sir.
Loren. Whither goest thou.
Launc. Marry sir to bid my old Maister the Iewe to sup to night
with my new Maister the Christian.
775Loren. Hold heere take this, tell gentle Iessica
I will not faile her, speake it priuatly,
Goe Gentlemen, will you prepare you for this maske to night,
I am prouided of a Torch-bearer. Exit Clowne.
Sal. I marry, ile be gone about it straite.
780Sol. And so will I.
Loren. Meete me and Gratiano at Gratianos lodging
Some houre hence.
Sal. Tis good we doe so. Exit.
Gratia. Was not that Letter from faire Iessica.
785Loren. I must needes tell thee all, she hath directed
How I shall take her from her Fathers house,
What gold and iewels she is furnisht with,
What Pages sute she hath in readines,
Yf ere the Iewe her Father come to heauen,
790Yt will be for his gentle daughters sake,
And neuer dare misfortune crosse her foote,
Vnlesse she doe it vnder this excuse,
That she is issue to a faithlesse Iewe:
Come goe with me, pervse this as thou goest,
795Faire Jessica shall be my Torch-bearer. Exit.

Enter Iewe and his man that was the Clowne.
Iewe. Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy iudge,
The difference of old Shylocke and Bassanio;
What Iessica, thou shalt not gurmandize