« PreviousContinue »
Venice. A street.
Enter Launcelot Gobbo. Laun. Certainly my conscience will serve me to run from this Jew, my miaster: The fiend is at mino elbow; and tempts me, saying to me, Gobbo, Laun. celot Gobbo, good Launcelot, or good Gobbo, or good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away: My conscience says,-no; take heed, honest Launcelot; take heed, honest, Gob. bo; or, as aforesaid, honest Launcelot Gobbo, do not run; scorn running with thy hects: Well, the most courageous fiend bids me pack; via! saýs the fiend; away! says the fiend, for the hetto oens; rouse up a brave mind, says the fiend, and run. Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me, my honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's sonor rather an honest woman's son ;-for, indeed, my fao, ther did something smack, something grow to, he had a kind of taste; -- well, my conscience says, Launcelut, budge not ; budge saysthe fiend; budge not, says my conscience: Conscience, say I, you counsel well; fiend, say I, you counsel well: to be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master, who (God bless the mark!), is a kind of devil; and, to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself: Certainly, the Jew is the very devil incarnation; and, in my conscience, my con. science is but a kind of hard conscience, to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew: The fiend gives the more friendly counsel: I will run, fiend; my heels are at your commandment, I will run.
Enter old Gobbo, with a basket. Gob. Master, young man, you, I pray you ; which is the way to master Jew's?
Laun. (Aside.] O heavens, this is my true begoto ten father! who, being more than sand-blind, highgravel blind, knows me not:-I will try conclusions* with him.
Gob. Master young gentleman, I pray you, which is the way to master Jew's?
Laun. Turn up on your right hand, at the next turning, but, at the next turning of all, on your left; marry, at the very next turning, turn of po hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew's house.
Gob. By God's sonties, 'twill be a hard way to hit. Can you tell me whether one Launcelot, that dwells with him, dwell with him, or no?
Laun. Talk you of young master Launcelot? Mark me now; Easide.] now will I raise the waters -Talk you of young master Launcelot?
Gob. No master, sir, but a poor man's son; his father, though I say it, is an honest exceeding poor man, and, God be thanked, well to live.
Laun. Well, let his father be what he will, we talks of young master Launcelot.
Gob. Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir.
Laun. But I pray you ergo, old man, ergo, I bee seech you; Talk you of young master Launcelot?
Gob. Of Launcelót, an't please your mastership.
Laun. Ergo, master Launcelot; talk not of master Launcelot, father; for the young gentleman (aco cording 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 gen. tleman : 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.
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 mive 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 Đobbin my thill-horse* bas 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 my own part, as I have set up my rest to run away, so I will not rest will I have run some ground: my master's a very
Jew: Give him a present! give him a balter: 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 bew 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 fol
[Exit a servant.
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, tbe 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 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.
Båss. Oue speak for both ;---What would you?
Laun. The old proverb is very well parted be. tween 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 thiy
Take leave of thy old master, and inquire
[To his followers. More guarded* than his fellows: See it dove.
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 tablet, 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.
Leon. My best endeavours shall be done herein.