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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 o 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; I'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-esteem'd acquaintance; hic thee, go.
Leon. My best endeavours shall be done herein.
S CE N E III.
Enter Gratiano. Gra. Where is your master? Leon. Yonder, Sir, he walks. [Ex. Leonardo Gra. Signior Basanio, Bal. Gratiano! Gra. I have a suit to you. Bas. You have obtain'd it. Gra. You must not deny me, I must go
you to Belmont.
Baf. 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 such 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 modefty 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 être tombée fur la pointe d'un Oreiller, elle m' être 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. Alack, 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 an hour.
Gra. We have not made good preparation.
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, Is the fair hand that writ.
Gran Love-news, in faith.
it writ ong
'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,
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 hach directed,
S CE N E VI.
Enter Shylock and Launcelot.