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The Merchant of Venice
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Navigate this workThe Merchant of Venice
Act 2, scene 6
Gratiano and Salarino wait for Lorenzo near Shylock’s house. As soon as Lorenzo arrives, he calls Jessica, who throws him down her father’s treasures and goes off with him to be married. Antonio enters to announce that Bassanio is about to sail for Belmont.Enter the masquers, Gratiano and Salarino.
0902 This is the penthouse under which Lorenzo
0903 Desired us to make stand.
SALARINO 0904 His hour is almost past.
0905 And it is marvel he outdwells his hour,
0906 5 For lovers ever run before the clock.
0907 O, ten times faster Venus’ pigeons fly
0908 To seal love’s bonds new-made than they are wont
0909 To keep obligèd faith unforfeited.
0910 That ever holds. Who riseth from a feast
0911 10 With that keen appetite that he sits down?
0912 Where is the horse that doth untread again
0913 His tedious measures with the unbated fire
0914 That he did pace them first? All things that are,
0915 Are with more spirit chasèd than enjoyed.
0916 15 How like a younger or a prodigal
0917 The scarfèd bark puts from her native bay,
0918 Hugged and embracèd by the strumpet wind;
0919 How like the prodigal doth she return
0920 With overweathered ribs and raggèd sails,
0921 20 Lean, rent, and beggared by the strumpet wind!
0922 Here comes Lorenzo. More of this hereafter.
0923 Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode.
0924 Not I but my affairs have made you wait.
0925 When you shall please to play the thieves for wives,
0926 25 I’ll watch as long for you then. Approach.
0927 Here dwells my father Jew.—Ho! Who’s within?
p. 71⌜Enter⌝ Jessica above, ⌜dressed as a boy.⌝
0928 Who are you? Tell me for more certainty,
0929 Albeit I’ll swear that I do know your tongue.
LORENZO 0930 Lorenzo, and thy love.
0931 30 Lorenzo certain, and my love indeed,
0932 For who love I so much? And now who knows
0933 But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
0934 Heaven and thy thoughts are witness that thou art.
0935 Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains.
0936 35 I am glad ’tis night, you do not look on me,
0937 For I am much ashamed of my exchange.
0938 But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
0939 The pretty follies that themselves commit,
0940 For if they could, Cupid himself would blush
0941 40 To see me thus transformèd to a boy.
0942 Descend, for you must be my torchbearer.
0943 What, must I hold a candle to my shames?
0944 They in themselves, good sooth, are too too light.
0945 Why, ’tis an office of discovery, love,
0946 45 And I should be obscured.
LORENZO 0947 So are you, sweet,
0948 Even in the lovely garnish of a boy.
0949 But come at once,
0950 For the close night doth play the runaway,
0951 50 And we are stayed for at Bassanio’s feast.
0952 I will make fast the doors and gild myself
0953 With some more ducats, and be with you straight.
⌜Jessica exits, above.⌝
0954 Now, by my hood, a gentle and no Jew!
0955 Beshrew me but I love her heartily,
0956 55 For she is wise, if I can judge of her,
0957 And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true,
0958 And true she is, as she hath proved herself.
0959 And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, and true,
0960 Shall she be placèd in my constant soul.
Enter Jessica, ⌜below.⌝
0961 60 What, art thou come? On, gentleman, away!
0962 Our masquing mates by this time for us stay.
⌜All but Gratiano⌝ exit.
ANTONIO 0963 Who’s there?
GRATIANO 0964 Signior Antonio?
0965 Fie, fie, Gratiano, where are all the rest?
0966 65 ’Tis nine o’clock! Our friends all stay for you.
0967 No masque tonight; the wind is come about;
0968 Bassanio presently will go aboard.
0969 I have sent twenty out to seek for you.
0970 I am glad on ’t. I desire no more delight
0971 70 Than to be under sail and gone tonight.