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blood. Lord worship'd might he be! what a beard hast thou got! thou hast got more hair on thy chin, than Dobbin
thill-horse 8 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 rest9 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.O 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
Followers. 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? 8 i. e. the shaft-horse, sometimes called the thill-horse.
9 •Set up my rest,'i.e. determined. See note on All's Well that Ends Well, Act ii. S. 2. Romeo and Juliet, Act iv. Sc. 5. Where it may be remarked that Shakspeare has again quibbled upon rest. “The County Paris hath set
up his rest, that shall rest but little.'
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
Bass. I know thee well, thou hast obtain’d thy suit:
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 speakest it well: Go, father, with thy
Take leave of thy old master, and inquire
[To his Followers.
More guarded 10 than his fellows': See it done.
Laun. Father, in :- I cannot get a service, no;-
[Exeunt LAUNCELOT and old GOBBO.
Yonder, sir, he walks.
[Exit LEONARDO. Gra. Signior Bassanio,Bass. Gratiano!
10 i.e. ornamented. Guards were trimmings, facings, or other ornaments, such as gold and silver lace, applied upon a dress.
1 Mr. Tyrwhitt's explanation of this passage (which has much puzzled the commentators) seems the most plausible : ‘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'-i. e. a table which doth not only promise but offer to swear upon a book that I shall have good fortune. He omits the conclusion of the sentence.
Gra. I have a suit to you.
You have obtain'd it.
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 1o ;-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 14, and sigh, and say, amen; Use all the observance of civility, Like one well studied in a sad ostent 15 To please his grandam, never trust me more.
Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing 16.
12 Gross, licentious. 13 So in Hamlet:
* Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience.' 14 It was anciently the custom to wear the hat on during the time of dinner.
15 i. e. grave appearance; show of staid and serious behaviour. Ostent is a word very commonly used for show among old dramatic writers. So in the villth Scene of this Act:
• Be merry and employ your chiefest thoughts,
To courtships and such fair ostents of love.' 16 Carriage, deportment.
Gra. Nay, but I bar to-night; you shall not gage me By what we do to-night. Bass.
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 must to Lorenzo, and the rest; But we will visit you at supper-time. [Ereunt.
A Room in Shylock's House. Enter JessiCA and LAUNCELOT. Jess. I am sorry, thou wilt leave my father so; Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil, 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
father See me talk with thee.
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 somewhat drown my manly spirit; adieu! [Exit.
Jess. Farewell, good Launcelot.Alack, what heinous sin is it in me, To be asham'd to be
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.