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Laun. Pray you, let's have no more fooling about it, but give me your blessing; I am Launcelot, your boy that was, your son that is, your child that shall be

Gob. I cannot think you are my son.

Laun. I know not what I shall think of that; but I am Launcelot, the Jew's man; and, I am sure, Margery, your wife, is my mother.

Gob. Her name is Margery, indeed. I'll be sworn, if thou be Launcelot, thou art mine own flesh and blood. Lord worshipped might he be! What a beard hast thou got! Thou hast got more hair on thy chin, than Dobbin, my thill-horse, has on his tail.

Laun. It should seem, then, that Dobbin's tail grows backward; I am sure he had more hair on his tail, than I have on my face, when I last saw him.

Gob. Lord, how art thou changed! How dost thou and thy master agree? I have brought him a present. How 'gree you now?

Laun. Well, well; but, for mine own part, as I have set up my rest ? to run away, so I will not rest till I have run some ground. My master's a very Jew. Give him a present! Give him a halter! I am famished in his service : you may tell every finger I have with my ribs. Father, I am glad you are come; give me your present to one master Bassanio, who, indeed, gives rare new liveries ; if I serve not him, I will run as far as God has any ground.—0 rare fortune! here comes the man ;-to him, father; for I am a Jew, if I serve the Jew any longer.

Enter BASSANIO, with LEONARDO, and other Followers.

Bass. You may do so ;- but let it be so hasted, that supper be ready at the furthest by five of the clock. See these letters delivered; put the liveries to making; and desire Gratiano to come anon to my lodging.

[Exit a servant.

1 i. e. the shaft-horse, sometimes called the thill-horse.

2 " Set up my rest," i. e. determined. See note on All's Well that Ends Well, Act ii. Sc. 2; Romeo and Juliet, Act iv. Sc. 5.

Laun. To him, father.
Gob. God bless your worship!
Bass. Gramercy; would'st thou aught with me?
Gob. Here's my son, sir, a poor boy,-

Laun. Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew's man; that would, sir, as my father shall specify,

Gob. He hath a great infection, sir, as one would say, to serve

Laun. Indeed, the short and the long is, I serve the Jew, and I have a desire, as my father shall specify,-

Gob. His master and he (saving your worship’s reverence) are scarce cater-cousins.

Laun. To be brief, the very truth is, that the Jew, having done me wrong, doth cause me, as my father, being I hope an old man, shall frutify unto you,

Gob. I have here a dish of doves, that I would bestow upon your worship; and my suit is,

Laun. In very brief, the suit is impertinent to myself, as your worship shall know by this honest old man; and, though I say it, though old man, yet poor man, my father.

Bass. One speak for both.-What would you ?
Laun. Serve you, sir.
Gob. This is the very defect of the matter, sir.

Bass. I know thee well; thou hast obtained thy suit.
Shylock, thy master, spoke with me this day,
And hath preferred thee, if it be preferment,
To leave a rich Jew's service, to become
The follower of so poor a gentleman.

Laun. The old proverb is very well parted between my master Shylock and you, sir ; you have the grace of God, sir, and he hath enough.

Bass. Thou speakest it well. Go, father, with thy son; Take leave of thy old master, and inquire My lodging out.-Give him a livery,

[To his followers. More guarded than his fellows'. See it done.

Laun. Father, in.—I cannot get a service, no ;-I have ne'er a tongue in my head.—Well; [Looking on

1 i. e. ornamented.


his palm.] if any man in Italy have a fairer table, which doth offer to swear upon a book, I shall have good fortune. Go to, here's a simple line of life! Here's a small trifle of wives. Alas, fifteen wives is nothing; eleven widows, and nine maids, is a simple coming-in for one man, and then, to 'scape drowning thrice; and to be in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed ;-here are simple 'scapes! Well, if fortune be a woman, she's a good wench for this gear. -Father, come; I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye.

[Exeunt LAUNCELOT and old GOBBO. Bass. I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this; These things being bought, and orderly bestowed, Return in haste, for I do feast to-night My best-esteemed acquaintance ; hie thee, go.

Leon. My best endeavors shall be done herein.



Enter GRATIANO. Gra. Where is your master ? Leon.

Yonder, sir, he walks.

[Exit LEONARDO. Gra. Seignior Bassanio,Bass. Gratiano! Gra. I have a suit to you. Bass.

You have obtained it. Gra. You must not deny me; I must go with you to Belmont. Bass. Why, then you must !--but hear thee,

Gratiano; Thou art too wild, too rude, and bold of voice ; Parts that become thee happily enough, And in such eyes as ours appear not faults ; But where thou art not known, why, there they show Something too liberal; pray thee, take pain To allay with some cold drops of modesty

. Thy skipping spirit; lest, through thy wild behavior, I be misconstrued in the place I go to, And lose my hopes.

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Seignior Bassanio, hear me.
If I do not put on a sober habit,
Talk with respect, and swear but now and then,
Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely;
Nay, more, while grace is saying, hood mine eyes
Thus with my hat, and sigh, and say, Amen;
Use all the observance of civility,
Like one well studied in a sad ostent?
To please his grandam, never trust me more.

Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing.

Gra. Nay, but I bar to-night; you shall not gage me
By what we do to-night.

No, that were pity;
I would entreat you rather to put on
Your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends
That purpose merriment. But fare


well; I have some business.

Gra. And I must to Lorenzo, and the rest ; But we will visit you at supper-time. [Exeunt.

SCENE III. The same. A Room in Shylock's



Jess. I am sorry, thou wilt leave my father so;
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,
Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.
But fare thee well; there is a ducat for thee.
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see
Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest.
Give him this letter; do it secretly;
And so farewell; I would not have


father See me talk with thee.

Laun. Adieu !—Tears exhibit my tongue.-Most beautiful pagan,-most sweet Jew! If a Christian did

1 It was anciently the custom to wear the hat during dinner.

2 i. e. grave appearance. Ostent is a word very commonly used for show by old dramatic writers.



not play the knave, and get thee, I am much deceived. But adieu! These foolish drops do somewhat drown my manly spirit; adieu!

[Exit. Jess. Farewell, good Launcelot.Alack, what heinous sin is it in me To be ashamed to be my father's child ! But though I am a daughter to his blood, I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo, If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife; Become a Christian, and thy loving wife. [Exit.

SCENE IV. The same.

A Street.


Lor. Nay, we will slink away in supper-time;
Disguise us at my lodging, and return
All in an hour.

Gra. We have not made good preparation.
Salar. We have not spoke us yet of torch-bearers.

Salan. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered ; And better, in my mind, not undertook.

Lor. 'Tis now but four o'clock; we have two hours To furnish us.

Enter LAUNCELOT, with a Letter.

Friend Launcelot, what's the news? Laun. An it shall please you to break up this, it shall seem to signify:

Lor. I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand;
And whiter than the paper it writ on,
Is the fair hand that writ.

Love-news, in faith.
Laun. By your leave, sir.

. Lor. Whither goest thou ?

Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup to-night with my new master the Christian.

i To break up was a term in carving.

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