The Merchant of Venice

First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Anthonio, Salarino, and Salanio.Enter Antonio, Salerio, and Solanio MV I.i.1.1
IN sooth I know not why I am so sad,In sooth I know not why I am so sad.sad (adj.)
serious, grave, solemn
MV I.i.1
sooth (n.)
truth [in exclamations, emphasizing an assertion]
It wearies me: you say it wearies you;It wearies me, you say it wearies you; MV I.i.2
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, MV I.i.3
What stuffe 'tis made of, whereof it is borne,What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born,stuff (n.)

old form: stuffe
substance, composition, quality, essence
MV I.i.4
I am to learne: I am to learn; MV I.i.5
and such a Want-wit sadnesse makes of mee,And such a want-wit sadness makes of mewant-wit (adj.)
senseless, stupid, ridiculous
MV I.i.6
That I haue much ado to know my selfe.That I have much ado to know myself.ado (n.)
fuss, business, to-do
MV I.i.7
Your minde is tossing on the Ocean,Your mind is tossing on the ocean, MV I.i.8
There where your Argosies with portly saileThere where your argosies with portly sail,portly (adj.)
stately, majestic, dignified
MV I.i.9
argosy (n.)
large merchant ship
Like Signiors and rich Burgers on the flood,Like signors and rich burghers on the flood,flood (n.)
sea, deep, waves, rushing water
MV I.i.10
burgher (n.)

old form: Burgers
citizen, inhabitant, denizen
Or as it were the Pageants of the sea,Or as it were the pageants of the sea,pageant (n.)
show, scene, spectacle, tableau
MV I.i.11
Do ouer-peere the pettie TraffiquersDo overpeer the petty traffickersoverpeer, over-peer (v.)

old form: ouer-peere
look down on, look out over, overlook
MV I.i.12
trafficker (n.)

old form: Traffiquers
trading ship, merchant vessel
That curtsie to them, do them reuerenceThat curtsy to them, do them reverence,reverence, do

old form: reuerence
pay homage, worship, show respect [to]
MV I.i.13
curtsy, curtsey (v.)

old form: curtsie
bow low, do reverence, pay respect
As they flye by them with their wouen wings.As they fly by them with their woven wings. MV I.i.14
Beleeue me sir, had I such venture forth,Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,venture (n.)
cargo, consignment, goods
MV I.i.15
The better part of my affections, wouldThe better part of my affections wouldaffection (n.)
emotion, feeling
MV I.i.16
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be stillBe with my hopes abroad. I should be stillstill (adv.)
constantly, always, continually
MV I.i.17
Plucking the grasse to know where sits the winde,Plucking the grass to know where sits the wind, MV I.i.18
Peering in Maps for ports, and peers, and rodes:Peering in maps for ports and piers and roads,road (n.)

old form: rodes
harbour, anchorage, roadstead
MV I.i.19
And euery obiect that might make me feareAnd every object that might make me fear MV I.i.20
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubtMisfortune to my ventures, out of doubt MV I.i.21
Would make me sad.Would make me sad. MV I.i.22.1
My winde cooling my broth,My wind cooling my brothwind (n.)
MV I.i.22.2
Would blow me to an Ague, when I thoughtWould blow me to an ague when I thoughtague (n.)
fever, sickness, shaking [as caused by a fever]
MV I.i.23
What harme a winde too great might doe at sea.What harm a wind too great might do at sea. MV I.i.24
I should not see the sandie houre-glasse runne,I should not see the sandy hour-glass run MV I.i.25
But I should thinke of shallows, and of flats,But I should think of shallows and of flats,flat (n.)
shoal, sandbank
MV I.i.26
And see my wealthy Andrew docks in sand,And see my wealthy Andrew docked in sand,Andrew (n.)
the Saint Andrew; name of a Spanish galleon captured at Cadiz in 1596
MV I.i.27
Vailing her high top lower then her ribsVailing her high-top lower than her ribsvail (v.)
lower, bow down, cast down [as in submission]
MV I.i.28
To kisse her buriall; should I goe to ChurchTo kiss her burial. Should I go to churchburial (n.)

old form: buriall
grave, tomb, burial chamber
MV I.i.29
And see the holy edifice of stone,And see the holy edifice of stone MV I.i.30
And not bethinke me straight of dangerous rocks,And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks,straight (adv.)
straightaway, immediately, at once
MV I.i.31
bethink (v.), past form bethought

old form: bethinke
call to mind, think about, consider, reflect
Which touching but my gentle Vessels sideWhich touching but my gentle vessel's sidegentle (adj.)
peaceful, calm, free from violence
MV I.i.32
Would scatter all her spices on the streame,Would scatter all her spices on the stream, MV I.i.33
Enrobe the roring waters with my silkes,Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks,enrobe (v.)
dress in a robe, put a gown on
MV I.i.34
And in a word, but euen now worth this,And in a word, but even now worth this, MV I.i.35
And now worth nothing. Shall I haue the thoughtAnd now worth nothing? Shall I have the thought MV I.i.36
To thinke on this, and shall I lacke the thoughtTo think on this, and shall I lack the thought MV I.i.37
That such a thing bechaunc'd would make me sad?That such a thing bechanced would make me sad?sad (adj.)
serious, grave, solemn
MV I.i.38
bechance (v.)

old form: bechaunc'd
happen to, befall
But tell not me, I know AnthonioBut tell not me; I know Antonio MV I.i.39
Is sad to thinke vpon his merchandize.Is sad to think upon his merchandise. MV I.i.40
Beleeue me no, I thanke my fortune for it,Believe me, no. I thank my fortune for it MV I.i.41
My ventures are not in one bottome trusted,My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,venture (n.)
cargo, consignment, goods
MV I.i.42
bottom (n.)

old form: bottome
[nautical: keel, hull] ship, vessel
Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate Nor to one place; nor is my whole estateestate (n.)
state, situation, circumstances
MV I.i.43
Vpon the fortune of this present yeere:Upon the fortune of this present year. MV I.i.44
Therefore my merchandize makes me not sad.Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad. MV I.i.45
Why then you are in loue.Why then you are in love. MV I.i.46.1
Fie, fie.Fie, fie! MV I.i.46.2
Not in loue neither: then let vs say you are sadNot in love neither? Then let us say you are sad MV I.i.47
Because you are not merry; and 'twere as easieBecause you are not merry; and 'twere as easy MV I.i.48
For you to laugh and leape, and say you are merryFor you to laugh and leap, and say you are merry MV I.i.49
Because you are not sad. Now by two-headed Ianus,Because you are not sad. Now by two-headed Janus,Janus (n.)
[pron: 'jaynus] Roman god who guards gates and doors; shown with two faces, one at the back of his head
MV I.i.50
Nature hath fram'd strange fellowes in her time:Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time:fellow (n.)

old form: fellowes
companion, associate
MV I.i.51
frame (v.)

old form: fram'd
fashion, make, form, create
Some that will euermore peepe through their eyes,Some that will evermore peep through their eyespeep (v.)

old form: peepe
peer through half-closed eyes
MV I.i.52
And laugh like Parrats at a bag-piper.And laugh like parrots at a bagpiper, MV I.i.53
And other of such vineger aspect,And other of such vinegar aspectvinegar (adj.)
sour, bitter, crabby
MV I.i.54
aspect (n.)
[of a human face] look, appearance, expression
That they'll not shew their teeth in way of smile,That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile MV I.i.55
Though Nestor sweare the iest be laughable.Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.Nestor (n.)
Greek leader in the siege of Troy, reputed for his age and wisdom
MV I.i.56
Enter Bassanio, Lorenso, and Gratiano.Enter Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano MV I.i.57
Heere comes Bassanio, / Your most noble Kinsman, Here comes Bassanio your most noble kinsman, MV I.i.57
Faryewell,Gratiano, and Lorenzo. Fare ye well;fare ... well (int.)

old form: Faryewell
goodbye [to an individual]
MV I.i.58
We leaue you now with better company.We leave you now with better company. MV I.i.59
I would haue staid till I had made you merry,I would have stayed till I had made you merry, MV I.i.60
If worthier friends had not preuented me.If worthier friends had not prevented me.prevent (v.)

old form: preuented
forestall, anticipate
MV I.i.61
Your worth is very deere in my regard.Your worth is very dear in my regard.dear (adj.)

old form: deere
of great worth, valuable, precious
MV I.i.62
I take it your owne busines calls on you,I take it your own business calls on you, MV I.i.63
And you embrace th' occasion to depart.And you embrace th' occasion to depart. MV I.i.64
Good morrow my good Lords.Good morrow, my good lords.morrow (n.)
MV I.i.65
Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? say, when?Good signors both, when shall we laugh? Say, when? MV I.i.66
You grow exceeding strange: must it be so?You grow exceeding strange. Must it be so?exceeding (adv.)
exceedingly, extremely, very
MV I.i.67
strange (adj.)
aloof, distant, reserved
Wee'll make our leysures to attend on yours.We'll make our leisures to attend on yours.attend (v.)
serve, follow, wait [on/upon]
MV I.i.68
Exeunt Salarino, and Solanio.Exeunt Salerio and Solanio MV I.i.68
My Lord Bassanio, since you haue found AnthonioMy Lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio, MV I.i.69
We two will leaue you, but at dinner timeWe two will leave you; but at dinner-time MV I.i.70
I pray you haue in minde where we must meete.I pray you have in mind where we must meet. MV I.i.71
I will not faile you.I will not fail you. MV I.i.72
You looke not well signior Anthonio,You look not well, Signor Antonio. MV I.i.73
You haue too much respect vpon the world:You have too much respect upon the world;respect (n.)
attention, heed, deliberation
MV I.i.74
They loose it that doe buy it with much care,They lose it that do buy it with much care. MV I.i.75
Beleeue me you are maruellously chang'd.Believe me, you are marvellously changed. MV I.i.76
I hold the world but as the world Gratiano,I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano, MV I.i.77
A stage, where euery man must play a part,A stage where every man must play a part, MV I.i.78
And mine a sad one.And mine a sad one.sad (adj.)
serious, grave, solemn
MV I.i.79.1
Let me play the foole,Let me play the fool; MV I.i.79.2
With mirth and laughter let old wrinckles come,With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come, MV I.i.80
And let my Liuer rather heate with wine,And let my liver rather heat with wineliver (n.)

old form: Liuer
part of the body thought to be the seat of the passions [especially sexual desire]
MV I.i.81
Then my heart coole with mortifying grones.Than my heart cool with mortifying groans. MV I.i.82
Why should a man whose bloud is warme within,Why should a man whose blood is warm within MV I.i.83
Sit like his Grandsire, cut in Alablaster?Sit, like his grandsire cut in alabaster?grandsire (n.)
MV I.i.84
alablaster (n.)
alabaster [fine white material derived from limestone]
Sleepe when he wakes? and creep into the IaundiesSleep when he wakes? And creep into the jaundice MV I.i.85
By being peeuish? I tell thee what Anthonio,By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio,peevish (adj.)

old form: peeuish
fretful, irritable, ill-tempered
MV I.i.86
I loue thee, and it is my loue that speakes:I love thee, and 'tis my love that speaks: MV I.i.87
There are a sort of men, whose visagesThere are a sort of men whose visagessort (n.)
kind, variety, type
MV I.i.88
visage (n.)
face, countenance
Do creame and mantle like a standing pond,Do cream and mantle like a standing pond,mantle (v.)
cover with a coating, form a scum
MV I.i.89
cream (v.)

old form: creame
form a frothy layer on the surface
And do a wilfull stilnesse entertaine,And do a wilful stillness entertainentertain (v.)

old form: entertaine
maintain, keep up, practise
MV I.i.90
With purpose to be drest in an opinionWith purpose to be dressed in an opinionopinion (n.)
public opinion, popular judgement
MV I.i.91
purpose (n.)
intention, aim, plan
Of wisedome, grauity, profound conceit,Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit,conceit (n.)
understanding, intelligence, apprehension
MV I.i.92
As who should say, I am sir an Oracle,As who should say, ‘ I am Sir Oracle, MV I.i.93
And when I ope my lips, let no dogge barke.And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark.’ope (v.)
MV I.i.94
O my Anthonio, I do know of theseO my Antonio, I do know of these MV I.i.95
That therefore onely are reputed wise,That therefore only are reputed wise MV I.i.96
For saying nothing; when I am verie sureFor saying nothing, when, I am very sure MV I.i.97
If they should speake, would almost dam those earesIf they should speak, would almost damn those ears, MV I.i.98
Which hearing them would call their brothers fooles:Which hearing them would call their brothers fools. MV I.i.99
Ile tell thee more of this another time.I'll tell thee more of this another time. MV I.i.100
But fish not with this melancholly baiteBut fish not with this melancholy bait MV I.i.101
For this foole Gudgin, this opinion:For this fool gudgeon, this opinion.opinion (n.)
public opinion, popular judgement
MV I.i.102
gudgeon (n.)

old form: Gudgin
type of fish used as a bait; credulity, gullibility
fool (adj.)

old form: foole
foolish, silly
Come good Lorenzo, faryewell a while,Come, good Lorenzo. Fare ye well awhile; MV I.i.103
Ile end my exhortation after dinner.I'll end my exhortation after dinner. MV I.i.104
Well, we will leaue you then till dinner time.Well, we will leave you then till dinner-time. MV I.i.105
I must be one of these same dumbe wise men,I must be one of these same dumb wise men, MV I.i.106
For Gratiano neuer let's me speake.For Gratiano never lets me speak. MV I.i.107
Well, keepe me company but two yeares mo,Well, keep me company but two years more,mo, moe (adj.)
more [in number]
MV I.i.108
Thou shalt not know the sound of thine owne tongue.Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue. MV I.i.109
Far you well, Ile grow a talker for this geare.Fare you well; I'll grow a talker for this gear.gear (n.)

old form: geare
business, affair, matter
MV I.i.110
Thankes ifaith, for silence is onely commendableThanks, i'faith, for silence is only commendable MV I.i.111
In a neats tongue dri'd, and a maid not vendible. In a neat's tongue dried and a maid not vendible.neat (n.)
ox, cow, cattle
MV I.i.112
vendible (adj.)
Exit.Exeunt Gratiano and Lorenzo MV I.i.112
It is that any thing now.Is that anything now? MV I.i.113
Gratiano speakes an infinite deale of nothing,Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, MV I.i.114
more then any man in all Venice, his reasons are twomore than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two MV I.i.115
graines of wheate hid in two bushels of chaffe: you shallgrains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you shall MV I.i.116
seeke all day ere you finde them, & when you haue themseek all day ere you find them, and when you have them MV I.i.117
they are not worth the search.they are not worth the search. MV I.i.118
Well: tel me now, what Lady is the sameWell, tell me now what lady is the same MV I.i.119
To whom you swore a secret PilgrimageTo whom you swore a secret pilgrimage, MV I.i.120
That you to day promis'd to tel me of?That you today promised to tell me of? MV I.i.121
Tis not vnknowne to you Anthonio'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio, MV I.i.122
How much I haue disabled mine estate,How much I have disabled mine estateestate (n.)
state, situation, circumstances
MV I.i.123
By something shewing a more swelling portBy something showing a more swelling portport (n.)
style of living, way of life
MV I.i.124
something (adv.)
somewhat, rather
swelling (adj.)
magnificent, grand, resplendent
Then my faint meanes would grant continuance:Than my faint means would grant continuance.faint (adj.)
inadequate, lacking, in short supply
MV I.i.125
continuance (n.)
maintaining, keeping up, carrying on
Nor do I now make mone to be abridg'dNor do I now make moan to be abridgedabridge (v.)

old form: abridg'd
deprive, debar, dispossess
MV I.i.126
From such a noble rate, but my cheefe careFrom such a noble rate; but my chief carerate (n.)
mode of life, style of living
MV I.i.127
Is to come fairely off from the great debtsIs to come fairly off from the great debts MV I.i.128
Wherein my time something too prodigallWherein my time, something too prodigal,prodigal (adj.)

old form: prodigall
wastefully lavish, foolishly extravagant
MV I.i.129
something (adv.)
somewhat, rather
time (n.)
age, years
Hath left me gag'd: to you AnthonioHath left me gaged. To you, Antonio,gage (v.)

old form: gag'd
pledge, bind, commit
MV I.i.130
I owe the most in money, and in loue,I owe the most in money and in love, MV I.i.131
And from your loue I haue a warrantieAnd from your love I have a warrantywarranty (n.)

old form: warrantie
authorization, permission, sanction
MV I.i.132
To vnburthen all my plots and purposes,To unburden all my plots and purposespurpose (n.)
intention, aim, plan
MV I.i.133
unburden, unburthen (v.)

old form: vnburthen
reveal, disclose; or: unload
How to get cleere of all the debts I owe.How to get clear of all the debts I owe. MV I.i.134
I pray you good Bassanio let me know it,I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it, MV I.i.135
And if it stand as you your selfe still do,And if it stand as you yourself still do,stand (v.)
be, appear
MV I.i.136
Within the eye of honour, be assur'dWithin the eye of honour, be assuredeye (n.)
sight, view, presence
MV I.i.137
My purse, my person, my extreamest meanesMy purse, my person, my extremest means MV I.i.138
Lye all vnlock'd to your occasions.Lie all unlocked to your occasions.occasion (n.)
need, want, requirement
MV I.i.139
In my schoole dayes, when I had lost one shaftIn my schooldays, when I had lost one shaft,shaft (n.)
[long and slender] arrow
MV I.i.140
I shot his fellow of the selfesame flightI shot his fellow of the selfsame flightflight (n.)
[of arrows] power of flight, size and weight
MV I.i.141
The selfesame way, with more aduised watchThe selfsame way, with more advised watch,advised, avised (adj.)

old form: aduised
judicious, wise, prudent
MV I.i.142
To finde the other forth, and by aduenturing both,To find the other forth; and by adventuring bothadventure (v.)

old form: aduenturing
venture, dare, chance, risk
MV I.i.143
I oft found both. I vrge this child-hoode proofe,I oft found both. I urge this childhood proofoft (adv.)
MV I.i.144
urge (v.)

old form: vrge
bring forward, advocate, represent
Because what followes is pure innocence.Because what follows is pure innocence. MV I.i.145
I owe you much, and like a wilfull youth,I owe you much, and like a wilful youth, MV I.i.146
That which I owe is lost: but if you pleaseThat which I owe is lost; but if you please MV I.i.147
To shoote another arrow that selfe wayTo shoot another arrow that self wayself (adj.)

old form: selfe
same, selfsame, identical, exact
MV I.i.148
Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt,Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt, MV I.i.149
As I will watch the ayme: Or to finde both,As I will watch the aim, or to find both MV I.i.150
Or bring your latter hazard backe againe,Or bring your latter hazard back againhazard (n.)
[gambling] chance, fortune; throw [of dice]
MV I.i.151
And thankfully rest debter for the first.And thankfully rest debtor for the first. MV I.i.152
You know me well, and herein spend but timeYou know me well, and herein spend but time MV I.i.153
To winde about my loue with circumstance,To wind about my love with circumstance;wind (v.)

old form: winde
insinuate, pursue a devious course
MV I.i.154
circumstance (n.)
circumlocution, verbiage, unnecessary detail
And out of doubt you doe more wrongAnd out of doubt you do me now more wrong MV I.i.155
In making question of my vttermostIn making question of my uttermost MV I.i.156
Then if you had made waste of all I haue:Than if you had made waste of all I have. MV I.i.157
Then doe but say to me what I should doeThen do but say to me what I should do MV I.i.158
That in your knowledge may by me be done,That in your knowledge may by me be done, MV I.i.159
And I am prest vnto it: therefore speake.And I am prest unto it. Therefore speak.prest (adj.)
engaged, made ready, hired
MV I.i.160
In Belmont is a Lady richly left,In Belmont is a lady richly left, MV I.i.161
And she is faire, and fairer then that word,And she is fair, and, fairer than that word, MV I.i.162
Of wondrous vertues, sometimes from her eyesOf wondrous virtues. Sometimes from her eyessometimes (adv.)
formerly, once, at one time, previously
MV I.i.163
I did receiue faire speechlesse messages:I did receive fair speechless messages. MV I.i.164
Her name is Portia, nothing vndervallewdHer name is Portia, nothing undervalued MV I.i.165
To Cato's daughter, Brutus Portia,To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia;Brutus, Marcus
Marcus Junius Brutus; 1st-c BC Roman politician, involved in the assassination of Julius Caesar
MV I.i.166
Cato the Younger
[pron: 'kaytoh] 1st-c BC Roman politician, and opponent of Caesar
Portia (n.)
[pron: 'pawrsha] wife of Brutus, daughter of Cato the Younger
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth,Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth, MV I.i.167
For the foure windes blow in from euery coastFor the four winds blow in from every coast MV I.i.168
Renowned sutors, and her sunny locksRenowned suitors, and her sunny locks MV I.i.169
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece,Hang on her temples like a golden fleece, MV I.i.170
Which makes her seat of Belmont Cholchos strond,Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strond,seat (n.)
MV I.i.171
strand, strond (n.)
shore, land, region
Colchos (n.)
Colchis, ancient region at the eastern end of the Black Sea; in mythology, home of the Golden Fleece
And many Iasons come in quest of her.And many Jasons come in quest of her.Jason (n.)
son of Aeson, King of Iolcos; sent with the Argonauts to find the Golden Fleece, which he obtained with Medea's assistance
MV I.i.172
O my Anthonio, had I but the meanesO my Antonio, had I but the means MV I.i.173
To hold a riuall place with one of them,To hold a rival place with one of them, MV I.i.174
I haue a minde presages me such thrift,I have a mind presages me such thriftthrift (n.)
profit, advantage, gain
MV I.i.175
presage (v.)
predict, forecast
That I should questionlesse be fortunate.That I should questionless be fortunate.questionless (adv.)

old form: questionlesse
unquestionably, undoubtedly, most certainly
MV I.i.176
Thou knowst that all my fortunes are at sea,Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea, MV I.i.177
Neither haue I money, nor commodityNeither have I money, nor commoditycommodity (n.)
supply, quantity, stock, consignment
MV I.i.178
To raise a present summe, therefore goe forthTo raise a present sum. Therefore go forth; MV I.i.179
Try what my credit can in Venice doe,Try what my credit can in Venice do, MV I.i.180
That shall be rackt euen to the vttermost,That shall be racked even to the uttermostrack (v.)

old form: rackt
stretch, strain, extend
MV I.i.181
To furnish thee to Belmont to faire Portia.To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia.furnish (v.)
provide for, prepare, make ready
MV I.i.182
Goe presently enquire, and so will IGo presently inquire, and so will I,presently (adv.)
immediately, instantly, at once
MV I.i.183
Where money is, and I no question makeWhere money is; and I no question make MV I.i.184
To haue it of my trust, or for my sake. To have it of my trust or for my sake. MV I.i.185
Exeunt.Exeunt MV I.i.185
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