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young master Launcelot?
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
father? 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?
Laun. Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might fail of the knowing me: it is a wise 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, in the end, 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.
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 worshipp'd might he be! what a beard hast thou got ! thou hast got more hair on thy chin, than Dobbin my thill-horse has on his tail.
Laun. It should seem then, that Dobbin's tail grows
backward ; I am sure he had more hair on his tail, than I have on my face, when I last saw him.
Gob. Lord, how art thou changed! How dost 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 not rest till I have run some ground: my master's a very Jew: Give him a present! give him a halter: I am famish'd 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. rare fortune! here comes the man ;-to him, father; for I am a Jew, if I serve the Jew any longer.
Enter BASSANIO, with LEONARDO, and other
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 deliver'd; 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; Would'st 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 serve the Jew, and I have a desire, as my father shall specify,
Gob. His master and he, (saving your worship's reverence,) are scarce cater-cousins :
Laun. To be brief, the very truth is, that the 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?
Shylock, thy master, spoke with me this day,
To leave a rich Jew's service, to become
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 enquire My lodging out :-Give him a livery
[To his Followers. More guarded' than his fellows': 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, a 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 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.
Yonder, sir, he walks.
[Exit LEONARDO. 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. 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;3--pray thee, take pain To allay with some cold drops of modesty Thy skipping spirit; lest, through thy wild behaviour, I be misconstrued in the place I go to, And lose my hopes. Gra.
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, and sigh, and say, amen; Use all the observance of civility, Like one well studied in a sad ostent 4
3 Gross, licentious. 4 Show of staid and serious demeanour,