Gra. Signor Bassanio, heare me, If I doe not put on a sober habite, Talke with respect, and sweare but now and than, Weare prayer bookes in my pocket, looke demurely, Nay more, while grace is saying hood mine eyes Thus with my hat, and sigh and say Amen: Vse all the obseruance of ciuillitie Like one well studied in a sad ostent To please his Grandam, neuer trust me more

Bas. Well, we shall see your bearing

Gra. Nay but I barre to night, you shall not gage me By what we doe to night

Bas. No that were pittie, I would intreate you rather to put on Your boldest suite of mirth, for we haue friends That purpose merriment: but far you well, I haue some businesse

Gra. And I must to Lorenso and the rest, But we will visite you at supper time.

Exeunt.

Enter Iessica and the Clowne.

Ies. I am sorry thou wilt leaue my Father so, Our house is hell, and thou a merrie diuell Did'st rob it of some taste of tediousnesse; But far thee well, there is a ducat for thee, And Lancelet, soone at supper shalt thou see Lorenzo, who is thy new Maisters guest, Giue him this Letter, doe it secretly, And so farewell: I would not haue my Father see me talke with thee

Clo. Adue, teares exhibit my tongue, most beautifull Pagan, most sweete Iew, if a Christian doe not play the knaue and get thee, I am much deceiued; but adue, these foolish drops doe somewhat drowne my manly spirit: adue. Enter.

Ies. Farewell good Lancelet. Alacke, what hainous sinne is it in me To be ashamed to be my Fathers childe, But though I am a daughter to his blood, I am not to his manners: O Lorenzo, If thou keepe promise I shall end this strife, Become a Christian, and thy louing wife. Enter.

Enter Gratiano, Lorenzo, Salarino, and Salanio.

Lor. Nay, we will slinke away in supper time, Disguise vs at my lodging, and returne all in an houre

Gra. We haue not made good preparation

Sal. We haue not spoke vs yet of Torch-bearers

Sol. 'Tis vile vnlesse it may be quaintly ordered, And better in my minde not vndertooke

Lor. 'Tis now but foure of clock, we haue two houres To furnish vs; friend Lancelet what's the newes. Enter Lancelet with a Letter.

Lan. And it shall please you to breake vp this, shall it seeme to signifie

Lor. I know the hand, in faith 'tis a faire hand And whiter then the paper it writ on, Is the faire hand that writ

Gra. Loue newes in faith

Lan. By your leaue sir

Lor. Whither goest thou? Lan. Marry sir to bid my old Master the Iew to sup to night with my new Master the Christian

Lor. Hold here, take this, tell gentle Iessica I will not faile her, speake it priuately: Go Gentlemen, will you prepare you for this Maske to night, I am prouided of a Torch-bearer.

Exit. Clowne

Sal. I marry, ile be gone about it strait

Sol. And so will I

Lor. Meete me and Gratiano at Gratianos lodging Some houre hence

Sal. 'Tis good we do so. Enter.

Gra. Was not that Letter from faire Iessica? Lor. I must needes tell thee all, she hath directed How I shall take her from her Fathers house, What gold and iewels she is furnisht with, What Pages suite she hath in readinesse: If ere the Iew her Father come to heauen, It will be for his gentle daughters sake; And neuer dare misfortune crosse her foote, Vnlesse she doe it vnder this excuse, That she is issue to a faithlesse Iew: Come goe with me, pervse this as thou goest, Faire Iessica shall be my Torch-bearer. Enter.

The Merchant of Venice Page 12

William Shakespeare Plays

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