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Well, 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 conscience says, budge not; budge, says the fiend; budge not, says my conscience; conscience, say I,
you counsel ill; fiend, say I, you counsel ill. To be rul'd by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master, who, heav'n bless the mark,
situate just behind and a little below Launcelot there : it is drawn in
As to Shylock, Launcelot's niaster, being a kind of devil, it is to be recollected that he has the same prototype as Hudibras's Ralph, which, as often before noticed, is frequently likened to the devil. YOL. III.
is a kind of devil; and to run away from the Jew, I should be ruld by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself. Certainly the Jew is the very devil innal; 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
Enter old Gobbo, with a Basket. (35) Gob. Master young man, you,
pray you, which is the way to master Jew's ?
Laun. O heav'ns, this is my true begotten father, who being more than sand blind, high gravel blind, knows me not; I will try confusions 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
(35) Old Gobbo is the Cerdon of Hudibras, drawn in fig. 21, and now considered as blind. His basket is made up of the shadows that constitute Hudibras's person in the moon, covered over, as they are, with streaks of white light as with wicker work; his dish of doves therein, has regard to the same space as is occupied by the basket, which space (as evidenced by the drawing in fig. 76, ante) resembles a dove.
left; marry, at the very next turning, turn of no hand, but turn directly to the Jew's house. Gob. By heaven'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 ? ()Iark me, now, now will I raise the waters :) talk you
young master Launcelot? Gob. No master, sir, but a poor man's son. His father, though I say't, is an honest exceeding poor man, and, heav'n 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
young master Launce. lot?
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 sayings, the sisters three, and such branches of learning,) is, indeed, deceased ; or, as you would say, in plain terms, gone to heav'n.
Gob. Marry, heav'n forbid! the boy was the tery 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, heav'n 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
Gob. Her name is Margery, indeed. I'll be sworn, if thou be Launcelot, thou art my own flesh and blood. Lord worship'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. (36)
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 chang'd! How dost thou and thy master agree? I have brought him a present. How agree 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. 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 him not, I will run as far as heav'n 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.
(36) One of the horses pictured in the moon, viz. the horse of Hudibras's Ralph, drawn ante in fig. 8, would have the head and neck of Launcelot for its tail. For this, and the remarks in the last note, vide the map.