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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? Do you know me, 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?

Gob. Alack, sir, I am sand-blind, I know you not. 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.

Laun. I know not what I shall think of that: but 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-horse9 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.-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.

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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?

9 Shaft-horse.

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.

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Bass. One speak for both; What would you? Laun. Serve you, sir.

Gob. This is the very defect of the matter, sir. Bass. I know thee well, thou hast obtain'd thy

suit:

Shylock, thy master, spoke with me this day,
And hath preferr'd thee, 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 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, 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.
Enter GRATIANO.

Gra. Where is your master?

Leon.

Gra. Signior Bassanio,

Yonder, sir, he walks.

[Exit LEONARDO.

Bass. Gratiano!

Gra. I have a suit to you.

1 Ornamented.

2 The palm of the hand extended.

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
To please his grandam, never trust me more.
Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing. 5

Gra. Nay, but I bar to-night; you shall not gage

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4 Show of staid and serious demeanour.
5 Carriage, deportment.

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