Imatges de pÓgina
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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?

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?

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; murder cannot be hid long, a man's son may; but, in the end, truth will out.

Gob. Pray you, sir, stand up; I am sure, you are not Launcelot, my boy.

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

6

my thill-horse-] Thill or fill, means the shafts of a cart or waggon. Malone reads phill-horse.

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. - O 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 farthest by five of the clock: See these letters deliver'd; put the liveries to making; and desire Gratiano to come anon to my lodging.

Laun. To him, father.

Gob. God bless your worship!

[Exit a Servant.

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 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 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 featherbed9; — here are simple 'scapes! Well, if fortune be a woman, she's a good wench for this gear. Father,

7 more guarded. ]i. e. more ornamented.

8 Well; if any man in Italy have 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. -in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed;] A cant phrase to signify the danger of marrying.

9——

an eye.

come; I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of [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.

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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 show
Something too liberal': - pray thee take pain
To allay with some cold drops of modesty

Thy skipping spirit; lest, through thy wild behaviour,
I be misconstrued in the place I go to,

And lose my hopes.

Gra.

Signior 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,

1 Something too liberal; ] i. e. gross, coarse, licentious.

Like one well studied in a sad ostent2

To please his grandam, never trust me more.
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.

The same.

SCENE III.

A Room in Shylock's House.

Enter JESSICA and LAUNCELOT.

[Exeunt.

Jes. 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 my father
See me talk with thee.

Laun. Adieu! — tears exhibit my 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 somewhat drown my manly spirit; adieu!

Jes. Farewell, good Launcelot.

Alack, what heinous sin is it in me,

[Exit.

2 sad ostent-] Ostent is a word very commonly used for show among the old dramatick writers.

3.

-your bearing.] Bearing is carriage, deportment.

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