The Merchant of Venice - Act 2, scene 4
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Act 2, scene 4
Lorenzo, Gratiano, Solanio, and Salarino try to arrange a masque for Bassanio’s dinner that night. Lancelet brings Lorenzo Jessica’s letter indicating that she will rob her father and, in disguise as a page, elope that night with Lorenzo.Enter Gratiano, Lorenzo, Salarino, and Solanio.
0801 Nay, we will slink away in supper time,
0802 Disguise us at my lodging, and return
0803 All in an hour.
0804 We have not made good preparation.
0805 5 We have not spoke us yet of torchbearers.
0806 ’Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered,
0807 And better in my mind not undertook.
0808 ’Tis now but four o’clock. We have two hours
0809 To furnish us.
0810 10 Friend Lancelet, what’s the news?
LANCELET 0811 An it shall please you to break up this, it
0812 shall seem to signify.⌜Handing him Jessica’s letter.⌝
0813 I know the hand; in faith, ’tis a fair hand,
0814 And whiter than the paper it writ on
0815 15 Is the fair hand that writ.
GRATIANO 0816 Love news, in faith!
LORENZO 0818 Whither goest thou?
LANCELET 0819 Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to
0820 20 sup tonight with my new master the Christian.
0821 Hold here, take this. ⌜Giving him money.⌝ Tell gentle
0823 I will not fail her. Speak it privately.
0824 Go, gentlemen,
0825 25 Will you prepare you for this masque tonight?
0826 I am provided of a torchbearer.
0827 Ay, marry, I’ll be gone about it straight.
0828 And so will I.
LORENZO 0829 Meet me and Gratiano
0830 30 At Gratiano’s lodging some hour hence.
SALARINO 0831 ’Tis good we do so.
⌜Salarino and Solanio⌝ exit.
0832 Was not that letter from fair Jessica?
0833 I must needs tell thee all. She hath directed
0834 How I shall take her from her father’s house,
0835 35 What gold and jewels she is furnished with,
0836 What page’s suit she hath in readiness.
0837 If e’er the Jew her father come to heaven,
0838 It will be for his gentle daughter’s sake;
0839 And never dare misfortune cross her foot
0840 40 Unless she do it under this excuse,
0841 That she is issue to a faithless Jew.
0842 Come, go with me. Peruse this as thou goest;
⌜Handing him the letter.⌝
0843 Fair Jessica shall be my torchbearer.