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Gob. Master young gentleman, I pray you,

which is the way to master 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 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 you of young Master Launcelot? [Aside] Mark me now; now will I raise the waters. Talk

you

of

young Master Launcelot? Gob. No master, sir, but a poor man's son: his father, though I say it, is an honest exceeding poor man and, God be thanked, well to live.

Laun. Well, let his father be what a 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 beseech

you,
talk
you
of
young

Master Launcelot ? 60 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 Destinies 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 heaven.

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?

70

47. sonties, familiar popular a long life before him. form of saints.'

71. hovel-post, the post of a 55. well to live, healthy, with shed.

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 80 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 at the length 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 worshipped might he be ! what a beard hast thou got ! thou hast got more hair on thy chin than Dobbin my fill-horse has on 100 his tail.

Laun. It should seem, then, that Dobbin's tail grows backward: I am sure he had more hair of his tail than I have of my face when I last saw him.

Gob. Lord, how art thou changed ! How dost

90

100. fill-horse, shaft-horse.

thou and thy master agree? I have brought him a present. How 'gree you now?

Laun. Well, well : but, for mine own part, as I have set up my rest to run away, so I will 110 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.

I 20

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 delivered; put the liveries to making, and desire Gratiano to come anon to my lodging.

[Exit a Servant. Laun. To him, father. Gob. God bless your worship ! Bass. Gramercy! wouldst 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 110. set up my rest, resolved ; wager (Sp. resto), committed a common phrase from the game himself to a definite hazard. of primero, where it was said of the player who, by laying his 115. me, ethical dative.

130 170

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serve the Jew, and have a desire, as my father shall specify—

Gob. His master and he, saving your worship’s reverence, are scarce cater-cousinsLaun. To be brief, the very truth is that the

140 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. That is the very defect of the matter, sir.
Bass. I know thee well; thou hast 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 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 inquire
My lodging out. Give him a livery
More guarded than his fellows': see it done.

Laun. Father, in. I cannot get a service, no;

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139. cater - cousins (French 158. The old proverb; viz. quatre - cousins), very distant •The grace of God is better than cousins.

riches.' 142. frutify, for notify.

164. guarded, richly laced.

I have ne'er a tongue in my head. Well, 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 comingin for one man: and then to 'scape drowning thrice, and to be in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed; here are simple scapes. Well, if Fortune be a woman, she's a good wench for

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.

this gear.

18

Enter GRATIANO.
Gra. Where is your master ?
Leon.

Yonder, sir, he walks. (Exit.
Gra. Signior Bassanio !
Bass. Gratiano !
Gra. I have a suit to you.
Bass.

You have obtain'd it. Gra. You must not deny me: I must go with you to Belmont,

167. table, i.e. in chiromancy lines visible and deep, so many the extended palm of the hand. wives the party shall have' The line of life was 'the circular (Saunder's Chiromancie, quoted line surrounding the ball of the by Halliwell). A simple line thumb' (Staunton). 'Long and was one faintly marked; here, of deep lines from the Mount of

course, ironical. Venus (the ball of the thumb] towards the line of life, signifieth 173. with the edge of a featherso many wives.

These bed, through marrying.

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