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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?
Gob. This is the very defect of the matter, sir.
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
Take leave of thy old master, and enquire
[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
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.
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 feather-bed;9-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. [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.
Enter GRATIA NO.
Gra. Where is your master?
Gra. Signior Bassanio,-
Gra. I have a suit to you.
Yonder, sir, he walks. [Exit LEONARDO,
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,
Thou art too wild, too rude, and bold of voice ;—
But where thou art not known, why, there they show
— in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed;] A cant phrase to signify the danger of marrying.
} Something too liberal;] i. e. gross, coarse, licentious.
I be misconstrued in the place I go to,
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, Like one well studied in a sad ostent2
To please his grandam, never trust me more.
Gra. Nay, but I bar to-night; you shall not gage
By what we do to-night.
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. A Room in Shylock's House.
Enter JESSICA and LAUNCelot.
Jes. I am sorry, thou wilt leave my father so;
sad ostent] Ostent is a word very commonly used for show among the old dramatick writers.
your bearing.] Beuring is carriage, deportment.
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see
And so farewell; I would not have my father
Laun. Adieu!-tears exhibit thy 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! [Exit.
Jes. Farewell, good Launcelot.-
The same. A Street.
Enter GRATIANO, Lorenzo, SALARINO, and
To furnish us:
Lor. Nay, we will slink away in supper-time;
Gra. We have not made good preparation.
Salan. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order'd; And better, in my mind, not undertook.
Lor. "Tis now but four a-clock; we have two
Enter LAUNCELOT, with a letter.
Friend Launcelot, what's the news? Laun. An it shall please you to break up this, it shall seem to signify.
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.
Love-news, in faith.
Laun. By your leave, sir.
Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew
Salar. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight. Salan. And so will I.
Lor. Meet me, and Gratiano, At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence. Salar. 'Tis good we do so.
[Exeunt SALAR. and SALAN. Gra. Was not that letter from fair Jessica? Lor. I must needs tell thee all: She hath directed, How I shall take her from her father's house; What gold, and jewels, she is furnish'd with; What page's suit she hath in readiness. If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven, It will be for his gentle daughter's sake: And never dare misfortune cross her foot, Unless she do it under this excuse,That she is issue to a faithless Jew. Come, go with me; Fair Jessica shall be
peruse this, as thou goest: