Imatges de pÓgina

I would out ftare che sternest eyes that look,
Out-brave the heart most daring on the earth,
Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear,
Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey,
To win thee, lady. But, alas the while !
If Hercules and Lichas play at dice
Which is the better man, the greater throw
May turn by fortune from the weaker hand;
So is Alcides beaten by his page; (5)
And so may I, blind fortune leading me,
Miss that, which one unworthier may attain;
And die with grieving.

Por. You must take your chance,
And either not attempt to chuse at all,
Or swear, before you chuse, if you chuse wrong,
Never to speak to lady afterward
In way of marriage ; therefore, be advis'd.

Mor. Nor will not ; therefore, bring me to my chance.

Por. First, forward to the temple ; after dinner
Your bazard shall be made.
Mor. Good fortune then,

Cornets. To make me blest, or cursed'st among men ! Exeunt,

(5).So is Alcides beaten by bis Rage.] Though the whole Set of Editions concur in this Reading, and it pass’d wholly unsuspected by the late learned Editor; I am very well afiured, and, I dare say, the Readers will be fo too presently, that it is corrupt at Bottom. Let us look into the Poet's Drift, and the History of the Persons mentioned in the Context. If Eercules (fays he) and Lichas were to play at Dice for the Decision of their Superiority, Lichas the weaker Man, might have the beiter cast of the Two. But how then is Alcides beaten by his rage? The Poet means no more, than, if Lichas had the better Throw, fo might Herriles himself be beaten by Tickas. And who was He, but a poor unfortunate Servant of Hercules, that unknowingly bronght his Mafter the envenomed Shiit, dipt in the blood of the Centaur Nelus, and was thrown headlong into the Sea for his pains ? This one Circumstance of Lickas's Quality known, fufficiently ascertains the Emendation, I have fubdituted of fa, e initead of rage. It is scarce requisite to hint here, it is a Poirt to well known, that Page has been always used in English to figrify any Boy-Servant: as well as what latter Times have appropriated it to, a Lady's Trair.bearer,



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

SCENE changes to Venice.

Enter Launcelot alone.
Laun. Ertainly, my confeience will serve me to surt

from this Jew my master. The fiend is ar mine elbow, and tempts me, faying to me, Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbes good Launcelot, or good Gobbo, or good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away. My conscience fays, no; take heed, honest Launcelot ; take heed, honeft Gobbo ; or, as aforesaid, honest Laurcelet Gobbo, do not run ; scorn running with thy heels.

Well, the most courageous fiend bids me pack; via! says the fiend; away ! fays the fiend ; for the heav'ns rouse up a brave mind, says the fiend ; and run Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me, my honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's fon, or rather an ho. neit woman's fon (for, indeed, my

father did fomething smack, something grow to; he had a kind of taile.-well, my conicience fays, budge not ; budge, says the fiend ; budge not, says my conscience ; confcience, say I, you counsel ill; fiend, say I, you counsel ill. To be ruld by my confcience, I thould stay with the few ny master, who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil , ayd to run away from the Jew, I fhould be ruled by the fiend, who, faving your reve rence, is the devil himself. Certainly, the Jew is the very devil incarnal; and in my conscience, my .conscience is but a kind of hard conscience, to offer to counsel me to itay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counsel ; I will run, fiend, my heels are at your commandment, I will run.

Enter old Gobbo, with a ballet. Gob. Mafter young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to maler 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 confusions with him.



Gob., Mafter young Gentleman, I pray you, which is the way to niafter 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, chat dwells with him, dwell with him or nos

Laur. Talk you of young master Launcelot ? (mark me now, now will I raise the waters ;) talk you of young master Launcelot?

Gub. No master, Sir, but a poor man's son. His father, though I fay't, is an honest exceeding poor many and, God be thanked, well to live.

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

Gob. Your worship’s friend and Launcelot, Sir.

Laun. But, I pray you ergo, cld man: ergo, I beseech you, talk you


young malter Launcelot? Gob. Of Launcelot, an't please your maitership.

Laun. Ergo, malter Lounce!ct? talk not of matter Launcelit, father, for the young gentleman (according zo fates and destinies, and such odd sayings, the fitters three, and such branches of learning,) i9, indeed, decealed; or, as you would say, in plain terms, gone to heav'n

Gob. Marry, God forbid ! the boy was the very ftaff of my age, my very prop.

Laun. Do I look like a cudgel, or a hovel-post, hanem ftaff 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 reft his foul, alive or dead?

Laun. Do you not know me, father? - Gob. Alack, Sir, I am fand blind, I kaow you not.

Laun. Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you mighta fail of the knowing me: it is a wise fa:her, that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son ; give me your blefling, truth will come to


your wife is

li:ht; murder cannot be hid long, a man's fon may ; but, in the end, tun will cut.

Goh, Prai vilt, Sir, and up; I am sure, you are not Lai ne'ot my try. · Lc:x2 Pray ya?, ?c*', have no more fooling about it, but give me yoir imūng; I am Launcelot, your boy, that wis, your fon hat is, your child that shall be.

Gob. I ca: not think you are my con.

Lain. I know not, wha: I fan think of that: but I am Launcelot the ye w's man, and, I am sure, Margery


mother. Gob. Her paine is Margery, indeed. I'll be sworn, if thou be Launcket, thou art my own Aesh and blood : Lord work ip'd mighi 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 sure, 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 dost thou and thy master agree I have brought him a present ; how agree you now?

Laun. Well, well ; but for mine own part, as I have fet up my reft to run away, so I will not rest 'till I have fun fome ground. My master's a very Jeww : give him a present! give him a halter : I am famiinid in his fervice. You may tell every finger I have with my ribs. Father, I am glad you are come ; give me your prefent to one mafter Bassanio, who, indeed, gives rare new liveries ; if I serve him not, I will run as far as Gol has any ground. O rare fortrne, here comes the man; to him, father, for I am a Jeu, if I serve the few any longer.

Enter Bassanio with Leonardo, and a follower or

tuco more.

BAN: You may do fo ; but let it be fo hafted, that sup. per be ready at the fartheft by five of the clock : see these


letters deliver’d, put the liveries to making, and desire Gratiano to come anon to my lodgings.

Laun. To him, father.
Gob. God bless your worship!
Baff. Gramercy, would'st thou aught with me?
Gib. 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 fpecify,

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,

Gób. His master and he, faving your worship’s reve. rence, are scarce catercousins.

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 frutify unto you,

Gob. I have here a dish of doves, that I would bestow upon your worship, and my fuit 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 Baff

. One speak for both, what would you ? Laun. Serve you, Sir. Gob. This is the very defect of the matter, Sir.

Bol. I know thee well, thou hait 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 maher Shylock, and you, Sir; you have the grace of God, Sir, and he hath enough.

Bal. Thou speak’t it well; go, father, with thy son: Take leave of thy old master, and enquire My lodging out; give him a livery, More guarded than his fellows: fee it done.

Laun.-Father, in ; I cannot get a service, no? I have ne'er a tongue in my head ? well, if any man in Italy

my father.

« AnteriorContinua »