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Gob. This is the very defect of the matter, Sir. Baff. I know thee well, thou haft obtain'd thy Suit; Shylock, thy mafter, spoke with me this day, And hath preferr'd thee; if it be preferment To leave a rich Jew's fervice to become The follower of fo poor a gentleman.
Laun. The old proverb is very well parted between my mafter Shylock and you, Sir; you have the grace
of God, Sir, and he hath enough,
Baff. Thou fpeak'ft it well; go, father, with thy fon:
Take leave of thy old mafter, and enquire
Layn. Father, in; I cannot get a fervice, no? I have ne'er a tongue in my head? well, if any man in Italy have a fairer table, which doth ****** offer to fwear upon a book, I fhall have good fortune; go to, here's a fimple line of life; here's a small trifle of wives; alas, fifteen wives is nothing, eleven widows and nine maids is a fimple coming-in for one man! and then to 'fcape drowning thrice, and to
3 Thou Speak' ft it well;] I fhould choose to read, Thou SPLIT'ST it well, i. e divideft the two parts of the proverb between thy master and me.
4 fairer table.] The chiromantic term for the lines of the hand. So Ben Johnson in his Mask of Gipfies to the lady Elizabeth Hatton;
Miftrefs of a fairer table,
Hath not hiftory nor fable.
5 which doth offer to wear upon a book, &c.] This nonfenfe feems to have taken its rife from the accident of a loft line in tranfcribing the play for the prefs; fo that the paffage, for the future, fhould be printed thus, Well, if any man in Italy have a fairer table, which doth ****** offer to fwear upon a book I shall have good fortune. It is impotlible to find, again, the loft line; but the loft fenfe is eafy enough- if any man in Italy have a fairer table, which doth [promife good luck, I am mistaken. I durft almoft] offer to fwear upon a book, I fhall have good fortune.
be in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed, here are fimple 'fcapes! well, if fortune be a woman, the's a good wench for this geer. Father, come; I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye. [Exeunt Laun. and Gob. Ball. I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this. Thefe things being bought and orderly beftowed, Return in hafte, for I do feaft to night My best-esteem'd acquaintance; hie thee, go. Leon. My beft endeavours fhall be done herein.
Gra. Where is your master?
Gra. I have a fuit to you.
Gra. You must not deny me, I must to Belmont.
Baff. Why, then you muft: but hear thee, Gratiano, Thou art too wild, too rude, and bold of voice; Parts, that become thee happily enough, And in fuch eyes as ours appear not faults; But where thou art not known, why, there they fhew Something too liberal; pray thee, take pain T'allay with fome cold drops of modefty Thy skipping fpirit; left, through thy wild behaviour, I be mifconftru'd in the place I go to, And lofe my hopes.
6 in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed,] A cant phrase to fignify the danger of marrying. A certain French writer ufes the fame kind of figure, O mon Ami, j'aimerois mieux être tombée fur la pointe d'un Oreiller, & m' être rompu le Cou.
Gra. Signior Baffanio, hear me. If I do not put on a fober habit, Talk with refpect, and swear but now and then, Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely; Nay more, while grace is faying, hood mine eyes Thus with my hat, and figh, and fay, Amen; Ufe all th' obfervance of civility,
Like one well ftudied in a fad oftent
To please his grandam; never truft me more.
Gra. Nay, but I bar to night, you shall not gage me By what we do to night.
Baff. No, that were pity.
I would entreat you rather to put on
Gra. And I must to Lorenzo and the rest: But we will visit you at fupper-time.
Changes to Shylock's Houfe.
Enter Jeffica and Launcelot.
Jef. I'M forry, thou wilt leave my
Our houfe is hell, and thou, a merry devil, Didft rob it of some taste of tediousness; But fare thee well, there is a ducat for thee. And, Launcelot, foon at fupper faalt thou fee Lorenzo, who is thy new mafter's guest; Give him this letter, do it fecretly, And fo farewel: I would not have my father See me talk with thee.
Laun. Adieu! tears exhibit my tongue; most beautiful Pagan, moft fweet Jew! if a chriftian did not play the knave and get thee, I am much deceiv'd;
but, adieu! these foolish drops do fomewhat drown my manly spirit: adieu!
Jef. Farewel, good Launcelot,
Enter Gratiano, Lorenzo, Solarino, and Salanio. AY, we will flink away in fupper-time, dif
Lor. quife us at my lodging, and return all in
Gra. We have not made good preparation. Sal. We have not fpoke us yet of torch-bearers. Sola. 7 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered, And better in my mind not undertook.
Lor. 'Tis now but four a-clock, we have two hours To furnish us. Friend Launcelot, what's the news?
Enter Launcelot, with a letter.
Laun. An' it fhall please you to break up this, it fhall feem to fignifie.
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.
Gra. Love-news, in faith.
7 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered,]
Et craffum unguentum, & Sardo cum melle papaver
Lor. Whither goest thou?
Laun. Marry, Sir, to bid my old mafter the Jew
Go. Gentlemen, will you prepare for this masque
I am provided of a torch-bearer.
Sal. Ay marry, I'll be gone about it ftrait.
Lor. Meet me, and Gratiano,
At Gratiano's lodging fome hour hence.
Gra. Was not that letter from fair Feffica?
Enter Shylock and Launcelot.
Sky.WELL, thou shalt fee, thy eyes shall be
The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio.