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Gob. This is the very defect of the matter, Sir.
Bal. I know thee well, thou hast obtain'd thy Suit; Sbylock, 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, Bal. Thou speak'ft it well; go, father, with thy
Layn. Father, in; I cannot get a service, no? I have ne'er a tongue in my head? well, if any man in Italy have a 4 fairer table, which doth ****** of. fer 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
3 Thou speak'f it well;] I should choose to read, Thou SPLIT'st it well, i. e dividest the two parts of the proverb between thy master and me.
4 fairer table,] The chiromantic term for the lines of the hand. So Ben Jobafon in his Mask of Gipfes to the lady Elizabeth Hatton ;
Mistress of a fairer table,
Hath not history nor fable. 5 which doth offer to wear upon a book, &c.] This nonSenfe seems to have taken its rise from the accident of a loft line in transcribing the play for the press; fo that the passage, for the future, should be printed thus, Well, if any man in Italy have a fairer table, which doth ****** offer to swear upon a book I shall have good fortune. It is impotlible to find, again, the loft line ; but the loft sense is easy enough - - if any man in Italy have a fairer table, wbich doth [promise good luck, I am mistaken. I durft almoft) offer to swear" upon a book, I fhall Lave good fortune.
be in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed, here are simple "scapes! well, if fortune be a woman, the's a good wench for this geer. Father, come; l'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye.
[Exeunt Laun. and Gob. Bal. I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this. These things being bought and orderly bestowed, Return in hafte, for I do feast to night My best-efteem'd acquaintance; hie thee, go.
Leon. My best endeavours shall be done herein.
Enter Gratiano. Gra. Where is your master? Leon. Yonder, Sir, he walks. [Ex. Leonardo, Gra. Signior Bassanio, Bal. Gratiano! Gra. I have a suit to you. Bas. You have obtain'd it.
Gra. You must not deny me, I must go with you to Belmont. Bal. Why, then you must: but hear thee, Gratiano,
, Thou art too wild, too rude, and bold of voice; Parts, that become thee happily enough, And in fuch eyes as ours appear not faults ; But where thou art not known, why, there they shew Something too liberal; pray thee, take pain T'allay with some cold drops of modesty Thy skipping spirit; left, through thy wild behaviour, I be misconstru'd in the place I go to, And lose my hopes.
6 in perilof my life with the edge of a feather-bed,] A cant phrase to fignify the danger of marrying. A certain French writer uses the same kind of figure, O mon Ami, j'aimerois mieux étre tombée sur la pointe d'un Oreiller, Erm'étre rompu le Cou.
Gra. Signior Bafanio, hear me,
Bal. Well, we shall see your bearing.
Gra. Nay, but I bar to night, you shall not gage me
Bas. No, that were pity.
Gra. And I must to Lorenzo and the rest :
Changes to Shylock's House,
Enter Jessica and Launcelot. Tel.I'M
forry, thou wilt leave my father fo;
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry deyil,
Laun. Adieu! tears exhibit my tongue; most beautiful Pagan, most sweet Jew! if a christian did not play the knave and get thee, I am much deceiv'd;
but, adieu ! these foolish drops do somewhat drown my manly spirit: adieu !
[Exit. Jef. Farewel, good Lounçelot. Aląck, what heinous sin is it'in me, To be asham'd to bę my father's child ? But though I am a daughter to his blood, I am not to his manners: O Lorenzo, If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife, Become a christian, and thy loving wife. [Exit.
Enter Gratiano, Lorenzo, Solarino, and Salanio. Lor.
guise us at my lodging, and return all in Gra. We have not made good preparation. Sal. We have not spoke us yet of torch-bearers.
Sola. 7 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered, And better in my mind not undertook.
Lor. 'Tis now but four a-clock, we have two hours To furnish us. Friend Launcelot, what's the news?
? Enter Launcelot, with a letter. Laun. An' it shall please you to break up this, it shall seem to signifie.
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.
Ġra. Love-news, in faith. Laun. By your leave, Sir, 7
'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered,]
Lor. Whither goeft thou ?
Laun. Marry, Sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup to night with my new master the christian.
Lor. Hold, here, take this; tell gentle Jelica, I will not fail her; speak it privately. Go. - Gentlemen, will you prepare for this masque
to night? I am provided of a torch-bearer. [Exit Laun.
Sal. Ay marry, I'll be gone about it strait,
Lor. Meet me, and Gratiano,
[Exit. Gra. Was not that letter from fair Jesica?
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 heav'n, It will be for his gentle daughter's fake: And never dare misfortune cross her foot, Unless she doth it under this excuse, That she is issue to a faithless Jew. Come, go with me; peruse this, as thou goest; Fair Jelica shall be my torch-bearer. [Exeunt.
S CE N E VI.
Enter Shylock and Launcelot.