Merchant of Venice, B2r

Editorial note

Edited by Tess Hogan and Fatou Jackson, Spring 2020 ENGL 1600 class. Our mission when transcribing and marking this text was to follow the original as closely as possible in format, convention, and font type, but mark all of the language of value with green font. Because Merchant of Venice is a play obsessed with value and currency, we wanted to implicate the reader in that transactional realm by placing value on dialogue containing exposition and new information. We chose exposition & information as our currency because we think it is is the most valuable thing to readers when parsing a text. This valuable information ranges from insight into a character (such as Portia's racist comments about the Price of Morocco and her feelings about her suitors) to information important to the plot (such as Shylock's detailed explanation of Antonio's money situation).

the Merchant of Venice.

Portia. Yes, yes, it was Baſſanio, as I thinke ſo was he calld.
Ner. True maddam, hee of all the men that euer my fooliſh
eyes look'd vpon, was the beſt deſeruing a faire Ladie.
Portia. I remember him well, and I remember him worthie of
thy prayſe.
How nowe, what newes?
Enter a Seruingman.
Ser. The foure ſtrangers ſeeke for you maddam to take theyr
leaue: and there is a fore-runner come from a fift, the Prince of
Moroco, who brings word the Prince his Maiſter will be heere to
Por. Yf I could bid the fift welcome with ſo good hart as I can
bid the other foure farewell, I ſhould bee glad of his approch: if
he haue the condition of a Saint, and the complexion of a deuill, I
had rather he ſhould ſhriue mee then wiue mee. Come Nerriſſa,
ſirra goe before: whiles we ſhut the gate vpon one wooer, another
knocks at the doore. Exeunt.
Enter Baſſanio with Shylocke the Iew.
Shy. 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.
Shy. 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.
Bass. 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,
yet 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

Image credit: Rare Books & Manuscripts Department, Boston Public Library, copy G.176.16. The most excellent historie of the merchant of Venice. First Quarto. London: 1600.

Citing this page: Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice, B2r. London: 1600. Cacodemon Digital Shakespeare. Edited by Professor Erika Boeckeler's Spring 2020 Introduction to Shakespeare class. Source edition: Rare Books & Manuscripts Department, Boston Public Library (copy G.176.16).