Immagini della pagina

The follower of so poor a gentleman.

Laun. The old proverb is very well parted between my master Shylock and you, fir; you have the


grace of god, fir, and he hath

Baff. Thou fpeak'ft it well: go, father, with thy fon; Take leave of thy old mafter, and inquire

My lodging out; give him a livery,

More guarded than his fellows: fee it done.


Laun. 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 fairer table which doth offer to fwear upon a book, I shall have good fortune— go to, here's a fimple line of life; here's a small trifle of wives; alas, fifteen wives is nothing; eleven widows and nine maids is a fimple coming in for one man! and then, to 'fcape drowning thrice, and to be in peril of my life with the edge of a featherbed; here are fimple 'fcapes! well, if fortune be a woman, fhe's a good wench for this geer. Father, come; I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an [Ex. Laun. and Gob. Baff. I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this; These things being bought, and orderly bestowed, Return in hafte, for I do feaft to-night


My best esteem'd acquaintance; hie thee, go.
Leon. My beft endeavours fhall be done herein.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Gra. Nay, you must not deny me; I must go
With you to Belmont.

Baff. Why, then you must: but hear thee, Grațiano,
Thou art too wild, too rude, and bold of voice,
Parts that become thee happily enough,

And in fuch 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 fpirit, left through thy wild behaviour
I be mifconftru'd in the place I go to,
And lose my hopes.

Gra. Signior Baffanio, hear me.

If I do not put on a sober habit,

Talk with respect, and swear but now and then,
Wear prayerbooks in my pockets, look demurely,
Nay more, while grace is faying, hood mine eyes
Thus with mine hat, and figh, and say, amen;
Ufe all th' obfervance of civility,

Like one well study'd in a fad oftent

To please his grandam; never trust me more.
Baff. Well, we shall see your bearing.

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

Baff. No, that were pity:

I would entreat you rather to put on

Your boldest fuit of mirth, for we have friends

That purpose merriment: but fare you well,

I have fome business.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]



Enter Jeffica, and Launcelot.

Jef. T'M forry, thou wilt leave my father fo,
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,

Didft rob it of fome tafte of tediousness;

But fare thee well; there is a ducat for thee.
And, Launcelot, soon at supper fhalt thou see
Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest;
Give him this letter, do it fecretly,

And fo farewel: I would not have
See me talk with thee.

my father

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 deceived; but, adieu; these foolish drops do fomewhat drown my manly spirit: adieu.

Jef. Farewel, good Launcelot.
Alack, what heinous fin 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: o Lorenzo,
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife,
Become a chriftian, and thy loving wife.




Enter Gratiano, Lorenzo, Solarino, and Salanio.


[ocr errors]

AY, we will flink away in fupper-time, disguise us at my lodging, and return all in an hour.

Gra. We have not made good preparation.

Sal. We have not spoke as yet of torchbearers.
Sola. 'Tis vile, unlefs it may be quaintly ordered,

[blocks in formation]

And better, in my mind, not undertook.

Lor. 'Tis now but four o'clock, we have two hours To furnish us. Friend Launcelot, what's the news?

Enter Launcelot with a letter.

Laun. An it fhall please you to break up this, it shall feem to fignify.

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.

Gra. Love-news, in faith.

Laun. By your leave, fir.

Lor. Whither goest thou?

Laun. Marry, fir, to bid my old mafter the Jew to fup to-night with my new mafter the chriftian.

Lor. Hold, here, take this; tell gentle Jeffica

I will not fail her; fpeak it privately.

Go, gentlemen, will you prepare for th' mask to-night?

I am provided of a torchbearer.

Sal. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.

Sola. And fo will I.

Lor. Meet me, and Gratiano,

At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence.

Sal. 'Tis good we do so.

Gra. Was not that letter from fair Jeffica?

Lor. I muft needs tell thee all: fhe hath directed

How I fhall take her from her father's house,
What gold and jewels fhe is furnish'd with,
What page's fuit fhe hath in readiness.
If e'er the few her father come to heav'n,
It will be for his gentle daughter's fake:
And never dare misfortune cross her foot,
Unless fhe do it under this excufe,
That she is iffue to a faithlefs Jew!
Come, go with me; peruse this as thou goest,
Fair Jeffica fhall be my torchbearer.

[Exit Laun.


[Exeunt. SCENE

[blocks in formation]

Enter Shylock, and Launcelot.

Shy. The difference of old Shylock and Baffanio.
WELL, thou fhalt fee, thy eyes fhall be thy judge,

What, Jeffica!

thou shalt not gormandize

As thou haft done with me- - what, Jeffica!
And fleep, and fnore, and rend apparel out.
Why, Jeffica! I say.

Laun. Why, Jeffica!

Shy. Who bids thee call? I did not bid thee call.

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

Enter Jeffica.

Jef. Call you? what is your will?

Shy. I am bid forth to fupper, Jeffica;

There are my keys: but wherefore fhould I go?
I am not bid for love; they flatter me:

But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon
The prodigal chriftian. Jeffica, my girl,
Look to my house, I am right loath to go,
There is fome ill a brewing towards my reft,
For I did dream of moneybags to-night.

Laun. I beseech you, fir, go; my young master doth expect your reproach.

Shy. So do I his.

Laun. And they have confpired together, I will not fay, you shall see a mask; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on black monday laft, at fix o'clock i' th' morning, falling out that year on ash-wednesday was four year in the afternoon.

Shy. What are these masks? Hear you me, Jeffica, up my doors, and when you hear the drum,



« IndietroContinua »