The Merchant of Venice
Act 2, Scene 6
Venice. Before Shylock’s house.
- Enter two of the masquers, Gratiano and Salerio.
Gratiano2 - 3
- This is the penthouse under which Lorenzo
- Desir’d us to make stand.
- His hour is almost past.
Gratiano5 - 6
- And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour,
- For lovers ever run before the clock.
Salerio7 - 9
- O, ten times faster Venus’ pigeons fly
- To seal love’s bonds new made, than they are wont
- To keep obliged faith unforfeited!
Gratiano10 - 21
- That ever holds. Who riseth from a feast
- With that keen appetite that he sits down?
- Where is the horse that doth untread again
- His tedious measures with the unbated fire
- That he did pace them first? All things that are,
- Are with more spirit chased than enjoy’d.
- How like a younger or a prodigal
- The scarfed bark puts from her native bay,
- Hugg’d and embraced by the strumpet wind!
- How like the prodigal doth she return,
- With over-weather’d ribs and ragged sails,
- Lean, rent, and beggar’d by the strumpet wind!
- Enter Lorenzo.
- Here comes Lorenzo, more of this hereafter.
Lorenzo24 - 28
- 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. Approach,
- Here dwells my father Jew. Ho! Who’s within?
- Enter Jessica above in boy’s clothes.
Jessica30 - 31
- Who are you? Tell me for more certainty,
- Albeit I’ll swear that I do know your tongue.
- Lorenzo, and thy love.
Jessica33 - 35
- Lorenzo, certain, and my love indeed,
- For who love I so much? And now who knows
- But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
- Heaven and thy thoughts are witness that thou art.
Jessica37 - 43
- Here, catch this casket, it is worth the pains.
- I am glad ’tis night, you do not look on me,
- For I am much asham’d of my exchange.
- But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
- The pretty follies that themselves commit,
- For if they could, Cupid himself would blush
- To see me thus transformed to a boy.
- Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer.
Jessica45 - 48
- What, must I hold a candle to my shames?
- They in themselves, good sooth, are too too light.
- Why, ’tis an office of discovery, love,
- And I should be obscur’d.
Lorenzo49 - 53
- So are you, sweet,
- Even in the lovely garnish of a boy.
- But come at once,
- For the close night doth play the runaway,
- And we are stay’d for at Bassanio’s feast.
Jessica54 - 55
- I will make fast the doors, and gild myself
- With some more ducats, and be with you straight.
- Exit above.
- Now by my hood, a gentle, and no Jew.
Lorenzo58 - 66
- Beshrew me but I love her heartily,
- For she is wise, if I can judge of her,
- And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true,
- And true she is, as she hath prov’d herself;
- And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, and true,
- Shall she be placed in my constant soul.
- Enter Jessica.
- What, art thou come? On, gentlemen, away!
- Our masquing mates by this time for us stay.
- Exit with Jessica and Salerio.
- Enter Antonio.
- Who’s there?
- Signior Antonio!
Antonio71 - 75
- Fie, fie, Gratiano, where are all the rest?
- ’Tis nine a’ clock—our friends all stay for you.
- No masque tonight, the wind is come about,
- Bassanio presently will go aboard.
- I have sent twenty out to seek for you.
Gratiano76 - 77
- I am glad on’t. I desire no more delight
- Than to be under sail, and gone tonight.