As any comer I have look'd on yet,
For my affection.

Mor. Ev'n for that I thank you ;
Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets
To try my fortune. By this fcimitar,
That slew che Sophy and a Persian Prince,
That won three fields of Sultan Solyman,
I would out-stare the sterneft 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 (a) page;
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 chufe, 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 hazard shall be made. Mor. Good fortune then,

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


Changes to Venice.

Enter Launcelot alone. Laun. CErtainly, my conscience will serve me to

run from this Jew my master. The fiend [(a) Page, Mr. Theobald - Vulg, rage. ]


I 2

is at mine elbow, and tempts me, saying to me, Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, 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, honest Gobbo ; or, as aforesaid, honest Launcelot Gobbo, do not run; scorn running with thy heels. Well, the most courageous fiend bids me pack; via! says the fiend ; away! says 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, fays very wisely to me, my honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son, or rather an honest woman's fon (for, indeed, my father did something smack, something grow to : he had a kind of taste.) - well, my conscience says, budge not ; budge, says the fiend; budge not, says my conscience; conscience, say I, you counsel ill; fiend, say I, you counsel ill. To be ruld by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master, who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil; and to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, 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 stay 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 basket. Gob. Master young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to master few'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 master Jew's?



you of

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 sonties, 'twill be a hard way to hit ; can you tell me whether one Launcelot, that dwells with him, dwell with him or no? Laun. Talk


young master Launcelot? (mark me now, now will I raise the waters ;) talk young master Launcelot?

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

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 be feech you, talk you of

young master Launcelot? Gob. Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership.

Laun. Ergo, master Launcelot ; talk not of master Launcelot, father, for the young gentleman (according to fates and deftinies, 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 heav'n. 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 gentle. man; but, I pray you, tell me, is my boy, God reft his soul, alive or dead?

1 Turn up, on your right-hand, &c.] This arch and perplexed direction, to puzzle the enquirer, seems to imitate that of Syrus to Demea in the Brothers of Terence

ubi eas præterieris,
Ad finiftram hac re&tâ platea : ubi ad Dianæ veneris,
Ito ad dextram: prius quam ad portam venias, &c.


[ocr errors]

I 3

my boy.

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 mę: it is a wise father, that knows his own child, Well, old man, Į will tell you news of your fon; 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

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 my own felh and blood : lord worship'd might 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 set up my reft to run away, so I will not rest ?cill I have run some ground. My master's a very Jew: give him a present! give him a halter: I am familh d in his service. You may tell every finger I have with my ribs, Father, I am glad you are come;

2 my fill-horse] Nonsense. We should read, THILL horse, the horse which draws in the shafts or Thill of the carriage.

[ocr errors]

give me your present to one master Bassanio, who,
indeed, gives rare new liveries; if I serve him not,
I will run as far as God has any ground. O rare
fortune, here comes the man; to him, father, for I
am a few, if I serve the Jew any longer.
Enter Baffanio with Leonardo, and a follower or

two more.
Bal. You may do fo; but let it be so halted, that

fupper 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!
Baf. Gramercy, would'st thou aught with me?
Göb. 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 specifie,

Gob. He hath a great infection, Sir, as one would fay, to ferve.

Laun. Indeed, the short and the long is, I serve the Jew, and have a desire, as iny father shall fpecifie,

Gob. His master and he, saving your worship's reverence, are scarce catercousins.

Laun. To be brief, the very truth is, that the Few, having done me wrong, doch cause me, as my father, being I hope an old man, shall frutifie unto you,

Gob. I have here a dish of doves, that I would beftow upon your worship, and my suit is


Laun. In very brief, the suit is impertinent to my
felf, as your worship shall know by this honest old
man; and, though I say it, though old man, yet
poor man my father.

Bal. One speak for both, what would you ?
Laun. Serve you, Sir.


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« ElőzőTovább »