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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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Enter Bassanio with Shylocke the Iew.
    310Shy. Three thousand ducates, well.
    Bass. I sir, for three months.
    Shy. For three months, well.
    Bass. For the which as I told you,
    Anthonio shalbe bound.
    315Shy. Anthonio shall become bound, well.
    Bass. May you sted me? Will you pleasure me?
    Shall I know your aunswere.
    Shy. Three thousand ducats for three months,
    and Anthonio bound.
    320Bass. Your aunswere to that.
    Shy. Anthonio is a good man.
    Bass. Haue you heard any imputation to the contrary.
    Shylocke. Ho no, no, no, no: my meaning in saying hee is
    a good man, is to haue you vnderstand mee that hee is sufficient,
    325yet his meanes are in supposition: hee hath an Argosie bound
    to Tripolis, another to the Indies, I vnderstand moreouer vp-
    on the Ryalta, hee hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England,
    B2. and
    The comicall Historie of
    and other ventures he hath squandred abroade, but ships are but
    boordes, Saylers but men, there be land rats, and water rats, water
    330theeues, and land theeues, I meane Pyrats, and then there is the
    perrill of waters, windes, and rockes: the man is notwithstanding
    sufficient, three thousand ducats, I thinke I may take his bond.
    Bas. Be assurd you may.
    Iew. I will be assurd I may: and that I may bee assured, I will
    335bethinke mee, may I speake with Anthonio?
    Bass. Yf it please you to dine with vs.
    Iew. Yes, to smell porke, to eate of the habitation which your
    Prophet the Nazarit coniured the deuill into: I wil buy with you,
    sell with you, talke with you, walke with you, and so following:
    340but I will not eate with you, drinke with you, nor pray with you.
    What newes on the Ryalto, who is he comes heere?
    Enter Anthonio.
    Bass. This is signior Anthonio.
    Jew. How like a fawning publican he lookes.
    345I hate him for he is a Christian:
    But more, for that in low simplicitie
    He lends out money gratis, and brings downe
    The rate of vsance heere with vs in Venice.
    Yf I can catch him once vpon the hip,
    350I will feede fat the auncient grudge I beare him.
    He hates our sacred Nation, and he rayles
    Euen there where Merchants most doe congregate
    On me, my bargaines, and my well-wone thrift,
    which hee calls interrest: Cursed be my Trybe
    355if I forgiue him.
    Bass. Shyloch, doe you heare.
    Shyl. J am debating of my present store,
    And by the neere gesse of my memorie
    I cannot instantly raise vp the grosse
    360Of full three thousand ducats: what of that,
    Tuball a wealthy Hebrew of my Tribe
    Will furnish me; but soft, how many months
    Doe you desire? Rest you faire good signior,
    Your worship was the last man in our mouthes.
    the Merchant of Venice.
    365An. Shylocke, albeit I neither lend nor borrow
    By taking nor by giuing of excesse,
    Yet to supply the ripe wants of my friend,
    Ile breake a custome: is hee yet possest
    How much ye would?
    370Shy.JI, I, three thousand ducats.
    Ant. And for three months.
    Shyl. I had forgot, three months, you told me so.
    Well then, your bond: and let me see, but heare you,
    Me thoughts you said, you neither lend nor borrow
    375Vpon aduantage.
    Ant. I doe neuer vse it.
    Shy. When Iacob grazd his Vncle Labans Sheepe,
    This Iacob from our holy Abram was
    (As his wise mother wrought in his behalfe)
    380The third possesser; I, he was the third.
    Ant. And what of him, did he take interrest?
    Shyl. No, not take interest, not as you would say
    Directly intrest, marke what Iacob did,
    When Laban and himselfe were compremyzd
    385That all the eanelings which were streakt and pied
    Should fall as Iacobs hier, the Ewes being ranck
    In end of Autume turned to the Rammes,
    And when the worke of generation was
    Betweene these wolly breeders in the act,
    390The skilful sheepheard pyld me certaine wands,
    And in the dooing of the deede of kind
    He stuck them vp before the fulsome Ewes,
    Who then conceauing, did in eaning time
    Fall party-colourd lambs, and those were Iacobs.
    395This was a way to thriue, and he was blest:
    And thrift is blessing if men steale it not.
    An. This was a venture sir that Iacob serud for,
    A thing not in his power to bring to passe,
    But swayd and fashiond by the hand of heauen.
    400Was this inserted to make interrest good?
    Or is your gold and siluer ewes and rammes?
    B3. Shy.
    The comicall Historie of
    Shyl. I cannot tell, I make it breede as fast,
    but note me signior.
    Anth. Marke you this Bassanio,
    405The deuill can cite Scripture for his purpose,
    An euill soule producing holy witnes
    Is like a villaine with a smiling cheeke,
    A goodly apple rotten at the hart.
    O what a goodly out-side falshood hath.
    410Shy. Three thousand ducats, tis a good round summe.
    Three months from twelue, then let me see the rate.
    Ant. Well Shylocke, shall we be beholding to you?
    Shyl. Signior Anthonio, manie a time and oft
    In the Ryalto you haue rated me
    415About my moneyes and my vsances:
    Still haue I borne it with a patient shrug,
    (For suffrance is the badge of all our Trybe)
    You call me misbeleeuer, cut-throate dog,
    And spet vpon my Iewish gaberdine,
    420And all for vse of that which is mine owne.
    Well then, it now appeares you neede my helpe:
    Goe to then, you come to me, and you say,
    Shylocke, we would haue moneyes, you say so:
    You that did voyde your rume vpon my beard,
    425And foote me as you spurne a stranger curre
    Ouer your threshold, moneyes is your sute.
    What should I say to you? Should I not say
    Hath a dog money? is it possible
    A curre can lend three thousand ducats? or
    430Shall I bend low, and in a bond-mans key
    With bated breath, and whispring humblenes
    Say this: Faire sir, you spet on me on Wednesday last,
    You spurnd me such a day another time,
    You calld me dogge: and for these curtesies
    435Ile lend you thus much moneyes.
    Ant.J am as like to call thee so againe,
    To spet on thee againe, to spurne thee to.
    Yf thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
    the Merchant of Venice.
    As to thy friends, for when did friendship take
    440A breede for barraine mettaile of his friend?
    But lend it rather to thine enemie,
    Who if he breake, thou maist with better face
    Exact the penaltie.
    Shy. Why looke you how you storme,
    445I would be friends with you, and haue your loue,
    Forget the shames that you haue staind me with,
    Supply your present wants, and take no doyte
    Of vsance for my moneyes, and youle not heare mee,
    this is kinde I offer.
    450Bass. This were kindnesse.
    Shyl. This kindnesse will I showe,
    Goe with me to a Notarie, seale me there
    Your single bond, and in a merrie sport
    if you repay me not on such a day
    455in such a place, such summe or summes as are
    exprest in the condition, let the forfaite
    be nominated for an equall pound
    of your faire flesh, to be cut off and taken
    in what part of your bodie pleaseth me.
    460Ant. Content infaith, yle seale to such a bond,
    and say there is much kindnes in the Iew.
    Bass. You shall not seale to such a bond for me,
    Ile rather dwell in my necessitie.
    An. Why feare not man, I will not forfaite it,
    465within these two months, thats a month before
    this bond expires, I doe expect returne
    of thrice three times the valew of this bond.
    Shy. O father Abram, what these Christians are,
    Whose owne hard dealings teaches them suspect
    470the thoughts of others: Pray you tell me this,
    if he should breake his day what should I gaine
    by the exaction of the forfeyture?
    A pound of mans flesh taken from a man,
    is not so estimable, profitable neither
    475as flesh of Muttons, Beefes, or Goates, I say
    The comicall Historie of
    To buy his fauour, I extend this friendship,
    Yf he wil take it, so, if not adiew,
    And for my loue I pray you wrong me not.
    An. Yes Shylocke, I will seale vnto this bond.
    480Shy. Then meete me forthwith at the Noteries,
    Giue him direction for this merry bond
    And I will goe and purse the ducats straite,
    See to my house left in the fearefull gard
    Of an vnthriftie knaue: and presently
    485Ile be with you. Exit.
    An. Hie thee gentle Iewe. The Hebrew will turne
    Christian, he growes kinde.
    Bassa. I like not faire termes, and a villaines minde.
    An. Come on, in this there can be no dismay,
    490My ships come home a month before the day.