The Merchant of Venice
Act 2, Scene 2
Venice. A street.
- Enter the Clown Launcelot Gobbo alone.
Launcelot2 - 27
- 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. “Fia!”
- says the fiend; “away!” says the fiend; “for the heavens,
- rouse up a brave mind,” says the fiend, “and run.” 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, “Launcelot, bouge not.”
- “Bouge,” says the fiend. “Bouge not,” says my conscience.
- “Conscience,” say I, “you counsel well.” “Fiend,” say I,
- “you counsel well.” To be rul’d 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
- rul’d 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.
Old Gobbo29 - 30
- Master young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to
- Master Jew’s?
Launcelot31 - 34
- O heavens, this is my true-begotten father, who being more
- than sand-blind, high gravel-blind, knows me not. I will try
- confusions with him.
Old Gobbo35 - 36
- Master young gentleman, I pray you, which is the way to
- Master Jew’s?
Launcelot37 - 40
- 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.
Old Gobbo41 - 43
- Be 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?
Launcelot44 - 47
- Talk you of young Master Launcelot?
- Mark me now, now will I raise the waters.—Talk you of young
- Master Launcelot?
Old Gobbo48 - 50
- No master, sir, but a poor man’s son. His father, though I
- say’t, is an honest exceeding poor man and, God be thank’d,
- well to live.
Launcelot51 - 52
- Well, let his father be what ’a will, we talk of young
- Master Launcelot.
- Your worship’s friend and Launcelot, sir.
Launcelot54 - 55
- But I pray you, ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech you, talk you
- of young Master Launcelot.
- Of Launcelot, an’t please your mastership.
Launcelot57 - 61
- 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 deceas’d, or as you would
- say in plain terms, gone to heaven.
Old Gobbo62 - 63
- Marry, God forbid, the boy was the very staff of my age, my
- very prop.
Launcelot64 - 66
- Do I look like a cudgel or a hovel-post, a staff, or a
- prop?—Do you know me, father?
Old Gobbo67 - 68
- 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?
- Do you not know me, father?
- Alack, sir, I am sand-blind, I know you not.
Launcelot71 - 75
- 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.
Old Gobbo76 - 77
- Pray you, sir, stand up. I am sure you are not Launcelot, my
Launcelot78 - 80
- 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.
- I cannot think you are my son.
Launcelot82 - 83
- 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.
Old Gobbo84 - 88
- 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, what a beard hast thou got! Thou
- hast got more hair on thy chin than Dobbin my fill-horse has
- on his tail.
Launcelot89 - 91
- It should seem then that Dobbin’s tail grows backward. I am
- sure he had more hair of his tail than I have of my face
- when I last saw him.
Old Gobbo92 - 93
- Lord, how art thou chang’d! How dost thou and thy master
- agree? I have brought him a present. How ’gree you now?
Launcelot94 - 103
- 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. O rare fortune, here comes the
- man. To him, father, for I am a Jew if I serve the Jew any
- Enter Bassanio with a follower or two, one of them Leonardo.
Bassanio105 - 108
- 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.
- Exit one of his men.
- To him, father.
- God bless your worship!
- Gramercy, wouldst thou aught with me?
- Here’s my son, sir, a poor boy—
Launcelot114 - 115
- Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew’s man, that would,
- sir, as my father shall specify—
- He hath a great infection, sir, as one would say, to serve—
Launcelot117 - 118
- Indeed the short and the long is, I serve the Jew, and have
- a desire, as my father shall specify—
Old Gobbo119 - 120
- His master and he (saving your worship’s reverence) are
- scarce cater-cousins—
Launcelot121 - 123
- 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—
Old Gobbo124 - 125
- I have here a dish of doves that I would bestow upon your
- worship, and my suit is—
Launcelot126 - 128
- 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.
- One speak for both. What would you?
- Serve you, sir.
- That is the very defect of the matter, sir.
Bassanio132 - 136
- 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.
Launcelot137 - 139
- 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.
Bassanio140 - 143
- Thou speak’st it well. Go, father, with thy son.
- Take leave of thy old master, and inquire
- My lodging out.—Give him a livery
- More guarded than his fellows’; see it done.
Launcelot144 - 155
- Father, in. I cannot get a service, no, I have ne’er a
- tongue in my head, well!
- Looking on his palm.
- 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! Eleven 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.
- Exit Clown with Old Gobbo.
Bassanio157 - 160
- I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this:
- These things being bought and orderly bestowed,
- Return in haste, for I do feast tonight
- My best esteem’d acquaintance. Hie thee, go.
- My best endeavors shall be done herein.
- Enter Gratiano.
- Where’s your master?
- Yonder, sir, he walks.
- Exit Leonardo.
- Signior Bassanio!
- I have suit to you.
- You have obtain’d it.
- You must not deny me; I must go with you to Belmont.
Bassanio171 - 180
- Why then you must. But hear thee, Gratiano:
- Thou art too wild, too rude, and bold of voice—
- Parts that become thee happily enough,
- And in such eyes as ours appear not faults,
- But where thou art not known, why, there they show
- Something too liberal. Pray thee take pain
- To allay with some cold drops of modesty
- Thy skipping spirit, lest through thy wild behavior
- I be misconst’red in the place I go to,
- And lose my hopes.
Gratiano181 - 189
- Signior Bassanio, hear me:
- If I do not put on a sober habit,
- Talk with respect, and swear but now and then,
- Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely,
- Nay more, while grace is saying hood mine eyes
- Thus with my hat, and sigh and say amen,
- Use all the observance of civility,
- Like one well studied in a sad ostent
- To please his grandam, never trust me more.
- Well, we shall see your bearing.
Gratiano191 - 192
- Nay, but I bar tonight, you shall not gauge me
- By what we do tonight.
Bassanio193 - 197
- No, that were pity.
- I would entreat you rather to put on
- Your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends
- That purpose merriment. But fare you well,
- I have some business.
Gratiano198 - 199
- And I must to Lorenzo and the rest,
- But we will visit you at supper-time.