« ZurückWeiter »
Flourish of cornets.
A Room in PORTIA's House.
and his Train; PORTIA, NERISSA, and other of her Attendants.
MISLIKE me not for my complexion,
The shadow'd livery of the burnish'd sun,
To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine."
Hath fear'd the valiant; by my love, I swear,
Have lov'd it too: I would not change this hue,
Bars me the right of voluntary choosing:
And hedg'd me by his wit,3 to yield myself
Mor. Even for that I thank you;
 To understand how the tawny prince, whose savage dignity is very well supported, means to recommend himself by this challenge, it must be remembered that red blood is a traditionary sign of courage: Thus Macbeth calls one of his frighted soldiers, a lily-liver'd boy; again, in this play, Cowards are said to have livers white as milk; and an effeminate and timorous man is termed a milksop. JOHNSON.
It is customary in the east for lovers to testify the violence of their passion by cutting themselves in the sight of their mistresses. See Habits du Levant, pl. 43, and Picart's Religious Ceremonies, Vol. VII. p. 111. HARRIS.  i. e. terrify'd. To fear is often used by our old writers, in this sense.
 I suppose we may safely read-and hedg'd me by his will. Confined me by his will. JOHNS.-As the ancient meaning of wit, was sagacity, or power of mind, I have not misplaced the original reading. See our author, passim. STEEVENS.
That slew the Sophy, and a Persian prince,
And so may I, blind fortune leading me,
Por. You must take your chance;
And either not attempt to choose at all,
Or swear, before you choose,-if you choose wrong,
In way of marriage; therefore be advis'd.
Mor. Nor will not; come, bring me unto my chance. Por. First, forward to the temple; after dinner
Your hazard shall be made.
Mor. Good fortune then! To make me bless't, or cursed'st among men. [Exeunt.
Venice. A Street. Enter LAUNCELOT GOBBO. Laun. Certainly my conscience will serve me to run from this Jew, my master: The fiend is at mine elbow ; and tempts me, saying to me, Gobbo, Launcelot 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 Gobbo; or, as aforesaid, honest Launcelot Gobbo; do not run; scorn running with thy heels: Well, the most courageous fiend bids me pack ; via ! says the fiend; away says the fiend, for the heavens; rouse up a brave mind, says the fiend, and run. my conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me,-my honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son,—or rather an honest woman's son;-for, indeed, my father did something smack, something grow to, he had a kind of taste ;—well, my con
science says, Launcelot,budge not; budge, says the 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 conscience 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 begotten 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 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.
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 master Launcelot, father; for the young gentleman (according to fates and destinies, and such odd savings, the sisters three, and such branches of learning) is, indeed, deceas ed; 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.4
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, 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-horse 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
 Launcelot may mean, that he shall hereafter prove his claim to the title of child by his dutiful behaviour. It became necessary for him to say something of that sort, after all the tricks he had been playing him. STEEV.
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.
Laun. To him, father.
Gob. God bless your worship!
[Exit a Servant.
Bass. Gramercy; Wouldst thou aught with me?
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,
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. 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 inquire