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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 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 ;-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 bestowed, Return in haste, for I do feast to-night My best-esteemed acquaintance ; hie thee, go. Leon. My best endeavors shall be done herein.
Enter GRATIANO. Gra. Where is your master ? Leon.
Yonder, sir, he walks.
[Exit LEONARDO. Gra. Seignior Bassanio,Bass. Gratiano ! Gra. I have a suit to you. Bass.
You have obtained it. Gra. You must not deny me;
go with you to Belmont. Bass. Why, then you must !but
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 show Something too liberal ; 1—pray thee, take pain To allay with some cold drops of modesty Thy skipping spirit; lest, through thy wild behavior I be misconstrued in the place I go to, And lose my hopes.
I must go
Seignior Bassanio, hear me.
Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing.
Gra. Nay, but I bar to-night; you shall not gage me
No, that were pity ;
Gra. And I must to Lorenzo, and the rest ;
SCENE III. The same. A Room in Shylock's
Enter JESSICA and LAUNCELOT.
Laun. Adieu !—Tears exhibit my tongue.-Most beautiful pagan,-most sweet Jew! If a Christian did
1 It was anciently the custom to wear the hat during dinner.
2 i. e. grave appearance. Ostent is a word very commonly used for show by old dramatic writers.
not play the knave, and get thee, I am much deceived. But adieu! These foolish drops do somewhat drown my manly spirit; adieu!
[Exit. Jess. Farewell, good Launcelot. Alack, what heinous sin is it in me To be ashamed to be 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, SALARINO, and SALANIO.
Lor. Nay, we will slink away in supper-time;
Gra. We have not made good preparation.
Salan. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered; And better, in my mind, not undertook.
Lor. 'Tis now but four o'clock; we have two hours To furnish us.
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;
Love-news, in faith.
Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup to-night with my new master the Christian.
i To break up was a term in carving.
Lor. Hold here, take this.—Tell gentle Jessica, I will not fail her ;-speak it privately; go.Gentlemen,
(Exit LAUNCELOT. Will you prepare you for this mask to-night? I am provided of a torch-bearer.
Salar. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
Meet me, and Gratiano,
[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 furnished 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; peruse this, as thou goest; Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer. [Exeunt.
Before Shylock's House.
Enter SHYLOCK and LAUNCELOT.
Laun. Your worship was wont to tell me, I could do nothing without bidding.
Jes. Call you? What is your will ?
Shy. I am bid forth to supper, Jessica.
yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon
Laun. I beseech you, sir, go; my young master doth expect your reproach.
Shy. So do I his.
Laun. And they have conspired together.— I will not say, you shall see a mask; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on Black-Monday last at six o'clock i’ the morning, falling out that year on Ash Wednesday, was four year in the afternoon. Shy. What! are there masks? Hear you me, ,
, I swear,
I will go before, sir ;-
1 i. e. Easter-Monday. It was called Black-Monday from the severity of that day, April 14, 1360, which was so extraordinary, that, of Edward the Third's soldiers, then before Paris, many died of the cold. Anciently a superstitious belief was annexed to the accident of bleeding at the nose.