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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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Merchant of Venice.
    of the Duke onely, gainst all other voyce.
    In which predicament I say thou standst:
    for it appeares by manifest proceeding,
    that indirectly, and directly to
    2200thou hast contriued against the very life
    of the defendant: and thou hast incurd
    the danger formorly by me rehearst.
    Downe therefore, and beg mercie of the Duke.
    Gra. Beg that thou maist haue leaue to hang thy selfe,
    2205and yet thy wealth beeing forfait to the state,
    thou hast not left the value of a cord,
    therefore thou must be hangd at the states charge.
    Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit
    I pardon thee thy life before thou aske it:
    2210for halfe thy wealth, it is Anthonios,
    the other halfe comes to the generall state,
    which humblenes may driue vnto a fine.
    Por. I for the state, not for Anthonio.
    Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that,
    2215you take my house, when you doe take the prop
    that doth sustaine my house: you take my life
    when you doe take the meanes whereby I liue.
    Por. What mercy can you render him Anthonio?
    Gra. A halter gratis, nothing else for Godsake.
    2220Anth. So please my Lord the Duke, & all the Court
    to quit the fine for one halfe of his goods,
    I am content: so he will let me haue
    the other halfe in vse, to render it
    vpon his death vnto the Gentleman
    2225that lately stole his daughter.
    Two things prouided more, that for this fauour
    he presently become a Christian:
    the other, that he doe record a gift
    heere in the Court of all he dies possest
    2230vnto his sonne Lorenzo and his daughter.
    Duke. He shall doe this, or else I doe recant
    the pardon that I late pronounced heere.