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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 obtain'd thy suit; Shylock, thy master, spoke with me this day, And hath preferr'd 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 speak’st it well : Go, father with thy
son: Take leave of thy old master, and enquire 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 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
9 more guarded -] i. e. more ornamented.
8 IVell; if any man in Italy hare a fairer table,] Table is the palm of the hand extended. Launcelot congratulates himself upon his dexterity and good fortune, and, in the height of his rapture inspects his hand, and congratulates himself upon the felicities in his table.
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 bestow'd, Return in haste, for I do feast to-night My best-esteem'd acquaintance; hie thee, go.
Leon. My best endeavours shall be done herein.
Enter GRATIA NO. Gra. Where is your master? Leon.
Yonder, sir, he walks.
. [Exit LEONARDO, Gra. Signior Bassanio, Bass. Gratiano! Gra. I have a suit to you, Bass.
You have obtain'd 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 behaviour,
? — in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed;] A cant phrase to signify the danger of marrying.
? Something too liberal;] i. e. gross, coarse, licentious.
I be misconstrued in the place I go to,
Signior Bassanio, hear me:
Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing:3 · Gra. Nay, but I bar to-night; you shall not gage
me By what we do to-night. Bass.
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 you well, I have some business.
Gra. And I must to Lorenzo, and the rest; But we will visit you at supper-time. [Exeunt.
Enter Jessica and LAUNCELOT.
e sad ostent -] Ostent is a word very commonly used for show among the old dramatick writers.
— your bearing.] Beuring is carriage, deportment.
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see
Laun. Adieu !-tears exhibit thy tongue.Most beautiful pagan,-most sweet Jew! If a Christian do not play the knave, and get thee, I am much deceived: But, adieu! these foolish drops do some what drown my manly spirit; adieu! [Exit.
Jes. Farewell, good Launcelot. Alack, what heinous sin is it in me, To be asham'd 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.
Enter GRATIANO, LORENZO, SALARINO, and
SALANIO. 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 order'd; And better, in my mind, not undertook. Lor. 'Tis now but four a-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;
Love-news, in faith.
Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup to-night with my new master the Christian.
Lor. Hold here, take this:-tell gentle Jessica, I will not fail her;-speak it privately; go.Gentlemen,
[Exit LAUNCELOT, Will you prepare you for this masque to-night? I am provided of a torch-bearer.
Salar. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
Meet me, and Gratiano,
Exeunt SALAR. and SALAN, Gra. Was not that letter from fair Jessica?
Lor. I must needs tell thee all: She hath directed, How I shall take her from her father's liouse; What gold, and jewels, she is furnish'd with; What page's suit she hath in readiness. If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven, It will be for his gentle daughter's sake: And never dare misfortune cross her foot, Unless she do it under this excuse, That she is issue to a faithless Jew. Come, go with me; peruse this, as thou goest: Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer. [Exeunt,