Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Janelle Jenstad
Not Peer Reviewed

The Merchant of Venice (Quarto 1, 1600)

The comicall Historie of
for by this ring the Doctor lay with me.
Nerrissa. And pardon me my gentle Gratiano,
2605for that same scrubbed boy the Doctors Clarke
in liew of this, last night did lie with me.
Grati. Why this is like the mending of high wayes
in Sommer where the wayes are faire enough?
What, are we cuckolds ere we haue deseru'd it.
2610Por. Speake not so grosly, you are all amaz'd;
Heere is a letter, reade it at your leasure,
It comes from Padua from Bellario,
there you shall finde that Portia was the Doctor,
Nerrissa there her Clarke. Lorenzo heere
2615shall witnes I set foorth as soone as you,
and euen but now returnd: I haue not yet
enterd my house. Anthonio you are welcome,
and I haue better newes in store for you
than you expect: vnseale this letter soone,
2620there you shall finde three of your Argosies
are richly come to harbour sodainly.
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chaunced on this letter.
Antho. I am dumb?
2625Bass. Were you the Doctor, and I knew you not?
Gra. Were you the Clark that is to make me cuckold.
Ner. I but the Clarke that neuer meanes to doe it,
vnlesse he liue vntill he be a man.
Bass. (Sweet Doctor) you shall be my bedfellow,
2630when I am absent then lie with my wife.
An. (Sweet Lady) you haue giuen me life and lyuing;
for heere I reade for certaine that my ships
are safely come to Rode.
Por. How now Lorenzo?
2635my Clarke hath some good comforts to for you.
Ner I, and ile giue them him without a fee.
There doe I giue to you and Iessica
from the rich Iewe, a speciall deede of gift
after his death, of all he dies possest of.