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As any comer I have look'd on yet,
Mor. Ev'n for that I thank you ;
Por. You muft take your chance,
Or fwear, before you chufe, if you chuse wrong,
In way of marriage; therefore be advis'd.
Mor. Nor will not; therefore, bring me to my chance. Por. Firft, forward to the temple; after dinner Your hazard fhall be made.
Mor. Good fortune then,
To make me bleft, or curfed'ft among men! [Exeunt.
Changes to Venice.
Enter Launcelot alone.
Laun. Certainly, my confcience will ferve me to
run from this Jew my mafler. The fiend
is at mine elbow, and tempts me, faying to me, Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot, or good Gobbo, or good Launcelot Gobbo, ufe your legs, take the start, run away. My confcience fays, no; take heed, honeft Launcelot; take heed, honest Gobbo; or, as aforefaid, honeft Launcelot Gobbo, do not run; fcorn running with thy heels. Well, the most courageous fiend bids me pack; via! fays the fiend; away! fays the fiend; for the heav'ns rouse up a brave mind, fays the fiend, and run. Well, my confcience, hanging about the neck of my heart, fays very wifely to me, my honeft friend Launcelot, being an honest man's fon, or rather an honest woman's fon (for, indeed, my father did fomething fmack, fomething grow to: he had a kind of tafte.)- well, my confcience fays, budge not; budge, fays the fiend; budge not, fays my confcience; confcience, fay I, you counsel ill; fiend, fay I, you counsel ill. To be rul'd by my confcience, I fhould ftay with the Jew my mafter, who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil; and to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the fiend, who, faving your reverence, is the devil himfelf. Certainly, the few is the very devil incarnal; and in my confcience, my confcience is but a kind of hard confcience, to offer to counsel me to ftay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counfel; I will run, fiend, my heels are at your commandment, I will run.
Enter old Gobbo, with a basket.
Gob. Mafter young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to master Jew's?
Laun. O heav'ns, this is my true-begotten father, who being more than fand-blind, high-gravel-blind, knows me not; I will try confufions with him.
Gob. Mafter young Gentleman, I pray you, which is the way to mafter Jew's?
Laun. Turn up, on your right-hand at the next turning, but, at the next turning of all, on your left; marry, at the very next turning turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew's house.
Gob. By God's fonties, 'twill be a hard way to hit ; can you tell me whether one Launcelot, that dwells with him, dwell with him or no?
Laun. Talk you of young mafter Launcelot? (mark me now, now will I raise the waters;) talk you of young mafter Launcelot?
Gob. No mafter, Sir, but a poor man's fon. His father, though I fay't, is an honeft exceeding poor man, and, God be thanked, well to live.
Laun. Well, let his father be what he will, we talk of young mafter Launcelot.
Gob. Your worship's friend and Launcelot, Sir. Laun. But, I pray you ergo, old man; ergo, I be feech you, talk you of young mafter Launcelot?
Gob. Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership. Laun. Ergo, mafter Launcelot; talk not of mafter Launcelot, father, for the young gentleman (according to fates and deftinies, and fuch odd fayings, the fifters three, and fuch branches of learning,) is, indeed, deceased; or, as you would say, in plain terms, gone to heav'n.
Gob. Marry, God forbid! the boy was the very staff of my age, my very prop.
Laun. Do I look like a cudgel, or a hovel-poft, a ftaff or a prop? do you know me, father?
Gob. Alack the day, I know you not, young gentle man; but, I pray you, tell me, is my boy, God reft his foul, alive or dead?
1 Turn up, on your right-hand, &c.] This arch and perplexed direction, to puzzle the enquirer, feems to imitate that of Syrus to Demea in the Brothers of Terence
ubi eas præterieris,
Ad finiftram bac rectâ plateâ : ubi ad Dianæ veneris,
Laun. Do you not know me, father? Gob. Alack, Sir, I am fand-blind, I know you not, Laun. Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the knowing me: it is a wife father, that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your fon; give me your bleffing, truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long, a man's fon may; but in the end, truth will out.
Gob. Pray you, Sir, ftand up; I am fure, you are not Launcelot my boy.
Laun. Pray you, let's have no more fooling about it, but give me your bleffing; I am Launcelot, your boy that was, your fon that is, your child that fhall
Gob. I cannot think, you are my fon.
Laun. I know not, what I fhall think of that: but I am Launcelot the few's man, and, I am fure, Margery your wife is my mother.
Gob. Her name is Margery, indeed. I'll be fworn, if thou be Launcelot, thou art my own flesh and blood: lord worship'd might he be! what a beard haft thou got thou haft 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 fure, he had more hair on his tail, than I have on my face, when I last saw him.
Gob. Lord, how art thou chang'd! how doft thou and thy mafter agree? I have brought him a prefent; how agree you now?
Laun. Well, well; but for mine own part, as I have set up my reft to run away, fo I will not rest 'till I have run fome ground. My mafter's a very Few give him a prefent! give him a halter: I am famifh'd in his fervice. You may tell every finger I have with my ribs, Father, I am glad you are come
2 my FILL-horse] Nonfenfe. We fhould read, THILL horfe, the horse which draws in the shafts or Thill of the carriage.
give me your present to one mafter Baffanio, who, indeed, gives rare new liveries; if I ferve him not, I will run as far as God has any ground. O rare fortune, here comes the man; to him, father, for I am a few, if I ferve the Jew any longer.
Enter Baffanio with Leonardo, and a follower or
Baff. You may do fo; but let it be fo hafted, that fupper be ready at the fartheft by five of the clock: fee these letters deliver'd, put the liveries to making, and defire Gratiano to come anon to my lodging. Laun. To him, father.
Gob. God bless your worship!
Baff. Gramercy, would't thou aught with me?
Laun. Not a poor boy, Sir, but the rich Jew's man, that would, Sir, as my father fhall specifie,
Gob. He hath a great infection, Sir, as one would fay, to ferve.
Laun. Indeed, the fhort and the long is, I ferve the Jew, and have a defire, as my father fhall fpecifie,
Gob. His mafter and he, faving your worship's reverence, are scarce catercoufins.
Laun. To be brief, the very truth is, that the Jew, having done me wrong, doth caufe me, as my father, being I hope an old man, fhall frutifie unto
Gob. I have here a dish of doves, that I would be
ftow upon your worship; and my fuit is
Laun. In very brief, the fuit is impertinent to my felf, as your worship fhall know by this honeft old man; and, though I fay it, though old man, yet poor man my father.
Baff. One fpeak for both, what would you?