The Merchant of Venice By William Shakespeare Act II: Scene 2

LAUNCELOT.
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 famished 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. 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, with and other Followers.]

BASSANIO.
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
delivered, put the liveries to making, and desire Gratiano to
come anon to my lodging.

[Exit a SERVANT]

LAUNCELOT.
To him, father.

GOBBO.
God bless your worship!

BASSANIO.
Gramercy; wouldst thou aught with me?

GOBBO.
Here's my son, sir, a poor boy —

LAUNCELOT.
Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew's man, that would,
sir, — as my father shall specify —

GOBBO.
He hath a great infection, sir, as one would say, to serve —

LAUNCELOT.
Indeed the short and the long is, I serve the Jew, and
have a desire, as my father shall specify —

GOBBO.
His master and he, saving your worship's reverence, are
scarce cater-cousins —

LAUNCELOT.
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 —

GOBBO.
I have here a dish of doves that I would bestow upon your
worship; and my suit is —

LAUNCELOT.
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.

BASSANIO.
One speak for both. What would you?

LAUNCELOT.
Serve you, sir.

GOBBO.
That is the very defect of the matter, sir.

BASSANIO.
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.

LAUNCELOT.
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.

BASSANIO.
Thou speak'st it well. Go, father, with thy son.
Take leave of thy old master, and inquire
My lodging out. [To a SERVANT] Give him a livery
More guarded than his fellows'; see it done.

LAUNCELOT.
Father, in. I cannot get a service, no! I have ne'er a
tongue in my head! [Looking on his palm] Well; if any man in
Italy have a fairer table which doth offer to swear upon a book,
I
shall have good fortune. Go to; here's a simple line of life:
here's a small trifle of wives; alas, fifteen wives is nothing;
a'leven widows and nine maids is a simple coming-in for one man.
And then to scape drowning thrice, and to be in peril of my life
with the edge of a feather-bed; here are simple 'scapes. Well, if
Fortune be a woman, she's a good wench for this gear. Father,
come; I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye.

[Exeunt LAUNCELOT and OLD GOBBO.]

BASSANIO.
I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this:
These things being bought and orderly bestow'd,
Return in haste, for I do feast to-night
My best esteem'd acquaintance; hie thee, go.

LEONARDO.
My best endeavours shall be done herein.

[Enter GRATIANO.]

GRATIANO.
Where's your master?

LEONARDO.
Yonder, sir, he walks.

[Exit.]

GRATIANO.
Signior Bassanio! —

BASSANIO.
Gratiano!

GRATIANO.
I have suit to you.

BASSANIO.
You have obtain'd it.

GRATIANO.
You must not deny me: I must go with you to Belmont.

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