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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 comicall Historie of
    910For she is wise, if I can iudge of her,
    and faire she is, if that mine eyes be true,
    and true she is, as she hath proou'd herselfe:
    And therefore like herselfe, wise, faire, and true,
    shall she be placed in my constant soule. Enter Iessica.
    915What, art thou come, on gentleman, away,
    our masking mates by this time for vs stay. Exit.
    Enter Anthonio.
    An. Whose there?
    Gra. Signior Anthonio?
    920Anth. Fie, fie Gratiano, where are all the rest?
    Tis nine a clocke, our friends all stay for you,
    No maske to night, the wind is come about
    Bassanio presently will goe abord,
    I haue sent twentie out to seeke for you.
    925Gra. I am glad ont, I desire no more delight
    then to be vndersaile, and gone to night. Exeunt.
    Enter Portia with Morrocho and both
    theyr traines.
    Por. Goe, draw aside the curtaines and discouer
    930the seuerall caskets to this noble Prince:
    Now make your choyse.
    Mor. This first of gold, who this inscription beares,
    Who chooseth me, shall gaine what many men desire.
    The second siluer, which this promise carries,
    935Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserues.
    This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt,
    Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath.
    How shall I know if I doe choose the right?
    Por. The one of them containes my picture Prince,
    940if you choose that, then I am yours withall.
    Mor. Some God direct my iudgement, let me see,
    I will suruay th'inscriptions, back againe,
    What saies this leaden casket?
    Who chooseth me, must giue and hazard all he hath,
    945Must giue, for what? for lead, hazard for lead?
    This casket threatens men that hazard all