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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    2085which heere appeareth due vpon the bond.
    Iew. Tis very true: ô wise and vpright Iudge,
    how much more elder art thou then thy lookes.
    Por. Therefore lay bare your bosome.
    Iew. I, his breast,
    2090so sayes the bond, doth it not noble Iudge?
    Neerest his hart, those are the very words.
    Por. It is so, are there ballance here to weigh the flesh?
    Iew. I haue them ready.
    Por. Haue by some Surgion Shylocke on your charge,
    2095to stop his wounds, least he doe bleede to death.
    Iew. Is it so nominated in the bond?
    Por. It is not so exprest, but what of that?
    Twere good you doe so much for charitie.
    Iew. I cannot finde it, tis not in the bond.
    2100Por. You Merchant, haue you any thing to say?
    Ant. But little; I am armd and well prepard,
    giue me your hand Bassanio, far you well,
    greeue not that I am falne to this for you:
    for heerein Fortune showes her selfe more kind
    2105then is her custome: it is still her vse
    to let the wretched man out-liue his wealth,
    to view with hollow eye and wrinckled brow
    an age of pouertie: from which lingring pennance
    of such misery doth she cut me of.
    2110Commend me to your honourable wife,
    tell her the processe of Anthonios end,
    say how I lou'd you, speake me faire in death:
    and when the tale is told, bid her be iudge
    whether Bassanio had not once a loue:
    2115Repent but you that you shall loose your friend
    and he repents not that he payes your debt.
    For if the Iew doe cut but deepe enough,
    Ile pay it instantly with all my hart.
    Bass. Anthonio, I am married to a wife
    2120which is as deere to me as life it selfe,
    but life it selfe, my wife, and all the world,