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And hath preferr'd thee; 16 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. — [To his followers.) Give him a livery
More guarded than his fellows'; 18

see it done.
Laun. Father, in:- I cannot get a service, no; -I have
ne'er a tongue in my head. — Well, [Looking on his palm.]
if any man in Italy have a fairer table,19 which doth offer to
swear upon a book, I shall have good fortune! — Go to; here's
a simple line of life ! 20 here's a small trifle of wives! Alas,
fifteen wives is nothing ! aleven 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 feath
er-bed; — here are simple ’scapes ! Well, if Fortune be
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 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.

Gra. Where is your master ?
Leon. Yonder, sir, he walks.

[Ext. 16 Recommended thee; often so used.

17 “He that hath the grace of God hath enough,” or something such, appears to have been “the old proverb " in question.

18 That is, ornamented. Guards were trimmings, facings, or other ornaments, such as gold and silver lace.

19 Launcelot, applauding himself for his success with Bassanio, and looking into the palm of his hand, which by fortune-tellers is called the table, breaks out into the following reflection:“ Well, if any man in Italy have a fairer table, which doth offer to swear upon a book, I shall have good fortune;" that is, a table which doth not only promise, but offer to swear upon a book, that I shall have good fortune.

20' The line in the palm passing round the root of the thumb was called the line of life; that which begins near the root of the little finger, and extends towards the root of the fore-finger, was the line of fortune.

21 Launcelot was an adept in the art of chiromancy, which in his time had its learned professors and practitioners no less than astrology. In 1558 was put forth a book by John Indagine, entitled “ Brief introductions, both natural, pleasant, and also delectable, unto the Art of Chiromancy, or manual divination, and Physiognomy: with circumstances upon the faces of the Signs." "A simple line of litë” written in the palm was cause of exul. tation to wiser ones than young Gobbo. ** The edge of a feather-bed " is probably an absurd variation of the piirase " the edge of the sword.”

22 See Act i. scene 1, note 20.

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Gra. Signior Bassanio, -
Bass. Gratiano !
Gra. I have a suit to you.

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

Bass. 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 show
Something too liberal. Pray thee, take pain
T' allay with some cold drops of modesty
Thy skipping spirit; lest, through thy wild behaviour,
I be misconstru'd in the place I go to,?
And lose my hopes.

Signior Bassanio, hear me:
If I do not put on a sober habit,
Talk with respect, and swear but now and then,
Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely;
Nay, more, while grace is saying, hood mine eyes
Thus with my hat,24 and sigh, and say amen;
Use all th’ observance of civility,
Like one well-studied in a sad ostent
To please his grandam, never trust me more.

Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing.

Gra. Nay, but I bar to-night; you shall not gauge me
By what we do to-night.26

No, that were pity :
I would entreat you

rather to put on Your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends That purpose merriment. But fare


well: I have some business.

Gra. And I must to Lorenzo and the rest; But we will visit you at supper-time.



SCENE III. The Same. A Room in Shylock's House.

Enter JESSICA and LAUNCELOT. Jess. I'm sorry thou wilt leave my father so: Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,

23 Misconstru'd has the accent on the second syllable, and is spelt misconster'd in the old copies. See page 34, note 22.

24 People used to keep their hats on while eating dinner. While grace was saying, they were expected to take the hat off and hold it over the eyes.

25 'That is, grave appearance; shiny of' staid and serious behaviour. Ostent is a word very commonly used for show among old dramatic writers.

26 Gituge is measure.


Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.
But fare thee well; there is a ducat for thee:
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see
Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest:
Give him this letter; do it secretly;
And so farewell: I would not have my

father See me in talk with thee.

Laun. Adieu ; tears exhibit my tongue.” Most beautiful pagan, most sweet Jew! These foolish drops do somewhat drown my manly spirit: adieu !

[E.cit. Jess. Farewell, good Launcelot. Alack, what heinous sin is it in me To be asham'd to be my father's child ! But though I am a daughter to his blood, I am not to his manners. -0 Lorenzo, If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife, Become a Christian, and thy loving wife !


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Lor. Nay, we will slink away in supper-time,
Disguise us at my lodging, and return
All in an hour.

Gra. We have not made good preparation.
Sal. We have not spoke us yet of torch-bearers.

Sol. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order'd,2
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;
And whiter than the paper that it writ on
Is the fair hand that writ.

Love-news, in faith.
Laun. By your leave, sir.

27 Exhibit is a Gobboism for inhibit ; that is, prevent or restrain.
i Old language, meaning the same as bespoken torch-bearers for us.

2 Qunintly, derived from the Latin comptus, was often used in the sense of graceful, elegant.

3 An and an if were much in use with the simple force of if. Break up is old language for break open.

Lor. Whither goest thou ?

Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup tonight with my new master the Christian. Lor. Hold here, take this. [Giving him money.] Tell gen

tle Jessica I will not fail her: speak it privately; Go. - Gentlemen,

[Exit LAUNCELOT. Will you prepare you for this masque to-night? I am provided of a torch-bearer.4

Sal. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
Sol. And so will I.

Meet me and Gratiano
At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence.

Sal. 'Tis good we do so. [Exeunt SALAR. and SOLAN.
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 furnish'd 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.5

with me: peruse this, as thou goest. Fair Jessica shall be


[Exeunt. SCENE V. The Same. Before SuyLock's House.

Shy. Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge,
The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:
What, Jessica! thou shalt not gormandize,
As thou hast done with me, What, Jessica !
And sleep and snore, and rend apparel out.
Why, Jessica, I say !

Why, Jessica!
Shy. Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.

Laun. Your worship was wont to tell me I could do nothing without bidding.

Enter JESSICA. Jess. Call you? What is your

will ? Shy. I am bid forth to supper, Jessica :

4 The prepositions of, with, and by, were often used indifferently. So, in Bacon's Allvancement of Learning: Ile is invested of a precedent dispor sition.” See page 106, note 7.

6 Faithless' is simply without faith, unbelieving.

Come, go

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There are my keys. – But wherefore should I go?
I am not bid for love; they flatter me:

in hate, to feed upon
The prodigal Christian... Jessica, my girl,
Look to my house. — I am right loth to go;
There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest,
For I did dream of money-bags to-night.

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 masque; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell. a-bleeding on Black-Monday last 3 at six o'clock i' the morning, falling out that year on AshWednesday was four year in the afternoon.

Shy. What, are there masks ?. - Hear you me, Jessica :
Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum,
And the vile squealing of the wry-neck'd fife,
Clamber not you up to the casements then,
Nor thrust your head into the public street,
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces :
But stop my house's ears, I mean my casements ;
Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter
My sober house. - By Jacob's staff,' I swear
I have no mind of feasting forth to-night;
But I will go.

- Go

Say, I will come.



1 In Act i. scene 3, Shylock says, “I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you.” Did the Poet commit an oversight, or did he mean to put the Jew at odds with himself out of hatred to the Christian?

2 Reproach is a Gobboism for approach, as, in a former scene, frutify is for certify. Shylock chooses to take him in the sense of reproach. And he expects Bassanio's reproach through the bankruptcy of Antonio. This may have some bearing on the question whether Shylock has any hand in getting up the reports of Antonio's “ losses at sea,” which reports, it seems, turn out false at last.

3 Easter-Monday. The origin of the name is thus explained by Stowe: “In the 34th of Edward III., the 14th of April, and the morrow after Easterday, King Edward, with his host, lay before the city of Paris: which day was full dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many men died on their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore unto this day it hath been called Black-Monday.Bleeding at the nose was anciently considered ominous.

4 One of the quartos and the folio have squealing. There has been some dispute whether wry-neck'd fife mean the instrument or the musician. Boswell cited a passage from Barnabe Rich's Aphorisms, 1618, which appears to settle the matter: “ A fife is a wry-neckt musician, for he always looks away from his instrument."

5 Alluding perhaps to the painted masks; but meaning, withal, an insinuation of duplicity, or doublefacedness.

6 Hebrews xi. 21: “By faith, Jacob, when he was a-dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, Jeaning upon the top of his staff.”

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