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Gra. We have not made a good preparation. Sal. We have not spoke as yet of torch-bearers;
Sola, 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered; And better in my mind not undertook. [hours
Lor. 'Tis now but four o'clock, we have two To furnish us.' Friend Launcelot, what's the news?
Enter LAUNCELOT with a Letter. Laun. An't shall pleas e youto break up this, it shall seem to signify.
Lor. I know the hand; in faith'tis a fair And whiter than the
it's writ on Is the fair hand that writ.
Gra. Love-news, in faith.
Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my old master, the Jew, to sup to-night with my new master, the Christian.
Lor. Hold, here, take this ; tell gentle Jessica, I will not fail her ; speak it privately. Go-gentlemen, will you prepare for this mask,
to-night? I am provided of a torch-bearer. [Exit Laun.
Sal. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
Lor. Meet me and Gratiano,
[Exit. Gra. Was not that letter from fair Jessica ?
Lor. I must needs tell thee all. She hath directed How I shall take her from her father's house ; What gold and jewels she is furnish'd with; What page's suit she hath in readiness. If e'er the Jew, her father, come to Heav'n, It will be for his gentle daughter's sake: And never dare misfortune cross her foot, Unless she do it under this excuse, That she is issue to a faithless Jew, Come,
with me; peruse this as thou goest : Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer. [Exeunt.
Enter SHYLOCK and LAUNCELOT:
Laun. Why, Jessica !
Laun. Your worship was wont to tell me, that I could do nothing without bidding.
Shy. I am bid forth to supper, Jessica ;
in hate, to feed upon
Laun. I beseech you, sir, go; my young master doth expect your reproach.
Shy. So do I his.
Laun. And they have conspired together, I will not say, you shall see a mask ; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on black Monday last, at six o'clock i'th' morning, falling out that year on Ashwednesday, was four years in the afternoon. [sica. Shy. What! are there masks: hear you me,
Jesthe doors; and when you hear the drum, And the vile squeaking of the wry-neck'd fife, Clamber
you not up to the casements then, Nor thrust
head into the public street, To gaze on christian fools with varnished faces ; house's ears,
mean, my casements. Let not the sound of shallow foppery, enter My sober house. By Jacob's staff, I swear, I have no mind of feasting forth, to night : But I will go.
you before me, sirrah : Say I will come.
Laun. I will go before, sir.
But stop my
There will come christian by,
Shy. What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha! Jes. His words were, Farewel, mistress; nothing else.
[feeder: Shy. The patch is kind enough, but a huge Snail-slow in profit, but he sleeps by day, More than the wild cat: drones hive not with me, Therefore I part with him; and part with him To one, that I would have him help to waste His borrow'd purse. Well, Jessica, go in, Perhaps I will return immediately ; Do as I bid youShut the doors after you ; fast bind, fast find ; A proverb never stale in thrifty mind. [Exit.
Jes. Farewel; and if my fortune be not crost, I have a father, you a daughter lost. Enter Gratiaxo and SALANI0, in Masquerade.
Gra. This is the pent-house, underwhich Lorenzo desired us to make a stand.
Sal. His hour is almost past.
Gra. And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour, For lovers ever run before the clock.
Sal. O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly,
Gra. That ever holds.
Enter LORENZO. Lor. Sweet friends, your patience for my long
abode; Not I, but my affairs have made you wait; When you shall please to play the thieves for wives, I'll watch as long for you, then; come, approach; Here dwells my father Jew. Hoa, who's within ?
JESSICA above. Jes. Who are you? tell me for more certainty, Albeit I'll swear that I do know your tongue.
Lor. Lorenzo, and thy love.
Jes. Lorenzo certain, and my love indeed: For who love I so much ; and now who knows, But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours? Lor. Heav'n and thy thoughts are witness that thou art.
[pains. Jes. Here, catch this casket, it is worth the
Lor. But come at once-
Jes. I will make fast the doors, and gild myself With some more ducats, and be with you straight.
[Exit from above. Gra. Now, by my hood, (39) a Gentile, and no Lor. Beshrew me but I love her heartily, [Jew. (39) Gratiano's bonnet has more the form of a hood, than of a hat,