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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    Not Peer Reviewed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
    Por. Euen so voyd is your false hart of truth.
    2530By heauen I will nere come in your bed
    vntill I see the ring?
    Ner. Nor I in yours
    till I againe see mine?
    Bass. Sweet Portia,
    2535if you did know to whom I gaue the ring,
    if you did know for whom I gaue the ring,
    and would conceaue for what I gaue the ring,
    and how vnwillingly I left the ring,
    when naught would be accepted but the ring,
    2540you would abate the strength of your displeasure?
    Por. If you had knowne the vertue of the ring,
    or halfe her worthines that gaue the ring,
    or your owne honour to containe the ring,
    you would not then haue parted with the ring:
    2545what man is there so much vnreasonable
    if you had pleasd to haue defended it
    with any termes of zeale: wanted the modesty
    to vrge the thing held as a ceremonie:
    Nerrissa teaches me what to beleeue,
    2550ile die for't, but some woman had the ring?
    Bass. No by my honour Madam, by my soule
    no woman had it, but a ciuill Doctor,
    which did refuse three thousand ducats of me,
    and begd the ring, the which I did denie him,
    2555and sufferd him to goe displeasd away,
    euen he that had held vp the very life
    of my deere friend. What should I say sweet Lady,
    I was inforc'd to send it after him,
    I was beset with shame and curtesie,
    2560my honour would not let ingratitude
    so much besmere it: pardon me good Lady,
    for by these blessed candels of the night,
    had you been there, I think you would haue begd
    the ring of me to giue the worthy Doctor?
    2565Por. Let not that Doctor ere come neere my house