Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)

The comicall Historie of
For saying nothing; when I am very sure
If they should speake, would almost dam those eares
105which hearing them would call their brothers fooles,
Ile tell thee more of this another time.
But fish not with this melancholy baite
For this foole gudgin, this opinion:
Come good Lorenso, faryewell a while,
110Ile end my exhortation after dinner.
Loren. Well, we will leaue you then till dinner time.
I must be one of these same dumbe wise men,
For Gratiano neuer lets me speake.
Gra. Well keepe me company but two yeeres moe
115Thou shalt not know the sound of thine owne tongue.
An. Far you well, Ile grow a talker for this geare.
Gra. Thanks yfaith, for silence is onely commendable
In a neates togue dried, and a mayde not vendable. Exeunt.
An. It is that any thing now.
120Bass. Gratiano speakes an infinite deale of nothing more then any
man in all Venice, his reasons are as two graines of wheate hid in
two bushels of chaffe: you shall seeke all day ere you finde them,
and when you haue them, they are not worth the search.
An. Well, tell me now what Lady is the same
125To whom you swore a secrete pilgrimage
That you to day promisd to tell me of.
Bass. Tis not vnknowne to you Anthonio
How much I haue disabled mine estate,
By something showing a more swelling port
130Then my faint meanes would graunt continuance:
Nor doe I now make mone to be abridg'd
From such a noble rate, but my cheefe care
Is to come fairely of from the great debts
wherein my time something too prodigall
135Hath left me gagd: to you Anthonio
I owe the most in money and in loue,
And from your loue I haue a warrantie
To vnburthen all my plots and purposes
How to get cleere of all the debts I owe.