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Gob. No master, sir, but a poor man's son; his

father, though I say it, is an honest exceeding poor man, and, God be thanked, well to live.

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Laun. Well, let his father be what he will, we talk of young master Launcelot.

Gob. Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir. Laun. But I pray you ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech you; Talk you of young master Launcelot ?

Gob. Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership.

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Laun. Ergo, master Launcelot, talk not of master Launcelot, father: for the young gentleman (according to fates and destinies, and such odd sayings, the sisters three, and such branches of learning) is, indeed, deceased; or, as you would say, in plain terms, gone to heaven.

113 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-post, a staff, or a prop?-Do you know me, father?

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Gob. Alack the day, I know you not, young gentleman: but, I pray you, tell me, is my boy (God rest his soul!) alive, or dead?

Laun. Do you not know me, father?

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Gob. Alack, sir, I am sand-blind, I know you not. Laun. Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the knowing me: it is a wise father, that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son: Give me your blessing: truth

will come to light;

man's son may; but,

murder cannot be hid long,
in the end, truth will out.
stand up; I ani sure, you are

Gob. Pray you, sir, not Launcelot my boy.

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Laun. Pray you, lets 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. 138 Gob. Her name is Margery, indeed: I'll be sworn, if thou be Launcelot, thou art my own flesh and blood. Lord worshipp'd 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 thou art chang'd! How dost thou and thy master agree? I have brought him a present;" How agree you now?

1499 · 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: T am famish'd 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,

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.

160

Enter BASSANIO, with LEONARDO, and a Follower or two more.

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

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;

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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 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,

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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 my. self, 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.

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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 inquire

My lodging out: give him a livery

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[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 wives is

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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. 216

[Exeunt LAUN. 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 GRATIANO.

Gra. Where is your master?

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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, Gra

tiano;

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;

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But where thou art not known, why, there they

shew

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