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ACT II. gotten father! who, being more than sand-blind, high-gravel 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 no hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew's house.
GoB. By God's sonties', 'twill be a hard way to
9 — being more than SAND-BLIND,] So, in Anthony Copley's Fig for Fortune, 1596 :
“But on the other side, when thou consider
“ The sand-blind errors even of justest men." So, also in Latimer's 1st Sermon on the Lord's Prayer : “The Saintis be purre-blinde and sand-blinde.” Malone.
' - try conclusions -] To try conclusions is to try experiments. So, in Heywood's Golden Age, 1611 :
"— since favour
“ Cannot attain thy love, I'll try conclusions.” Again, in the Lancashire Witches, 1634 :
“ Nay then I'll try conclusions :
“ And where I point thee, carry me." STEEVENS. So quarto R. Quarto H. and folio read-confusions.
Malone. ? Turn up on your right hand, &c.] This arch and perplexed direction to puzzle the enquirer, seems to imitate that of Syrus to Demea in the Brothers of Terence:
“ - ubi eas præterieris,
THEOBALD. 3 – God's sonties,] I know not exactly of what oath this is a corruption. I meet with God's santy in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635.
Again, in The longer thou Livest the more Fool thou Art, a comedy, bl. 1. without date :
“ God's santie, this is a goodly book indeed." Perhaps it was once customary to swear by the santé, i. e. health, of the Supreme Being, or by his saints ; or, as Mr. Ritson observes to me, by his sanctity. Oaths of such a turn are not unfrequent among our ancient writers, All, however, seem to have 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; [aside) 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 talk of young master Launcelot. Gob. Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir *4.
Laun. But I pray you ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech you; Talk you of young master Launcelot ? GoB. Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership. Laun. Ergo, master Launcelot; talk not of
(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 ?
* First folio omits sir. been so thoroughly convinced of the crime of profane swearing, that they were content to disguise their meaning by abbreviations which were permitted silently to terminate in irremediable corruptions. Steevens.
4 Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir.) Dr. Farmer is of opinion we should read Gobbo instead of Launcelot ; and observes, that phraseology like this occurs also in Love's Labour's
“— your servant, and Costard." STEEVENS. Mr. Capel observes that from the son being termed young Launcelot, it is probable that the father had the same Christian name. Boswell.
“— and Launcelot, sir." i. e. plain Launcelot; and not, as you term him, master Launcelot.” Malone.
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 willout.
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 5. 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 !
5 — your child that shall be.] Launcelot probably here indulges himself in talking nonsense. So, afterwards :-" you may tell every finger I have with my ribs.” An anonymous critick supposes : " he means to say, I was your child, I am your boy, and shall ever be your son." But son not being first mentioned, but placed in the middle member of the sentence, there is no ground for supposing such an inversion intended by our author. Besides, if Launcelot is to be seriously defended, what would his father learn, by being told that he who was his child, shall be his son ?
MALONE. Launcelot may mean, that he shall hereafter prove his claim to the title of child, by his dutiful behaviour. Thus, says the Prince of Wales to King Henry IV.: I will redeem my character :
“ And, in the closing of some glorious day,
what a beard hast thou got ! thou hast got more hair on thy chin, than Dobbin my phill-horse 6 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.— rare fortune! here comes the man ; to him, father; for I am a Jew, if I serve the Jew any longer.
0 — my PhilL-HORSE -] Thill or fill, means the shafts of a cart or waggon. So, in A Woman Never Vex’d, 1632:
“- I will
“I' the fills.” Again, in Fortune by Land and Sea, 1655, by Thomas Heywood and W. Rowley: “ - acquaint you with Jock the forehorse, and Fib the fil-horse," &c. Steevens.
All the ancient copies have phil-horse, but no dictionary that I have met with acknowledges the word. It is, I am informed, a corruption used in Kent and some other counties, for the proper term, thill-horse. Malone. . See Christie's Catalogue of the effects of
F P , Esq. 1794, p. 6, lot 50: “ Chain-harness for two horses, and phillharness for two horses." STEEVENS.
Phil or fill is the term in all the midland counties,-thill, would not be understood. HARRIS.
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? 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
old man; and, though I say it, though old man, yet, poor man, my father.
Bass. One speak for both ;-What would you ?