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But though I am a daughter to his blood,
[Exit. SCENE III.*
Venice. A Street.
and Salanio. Lor. Nay, we will slink away in supper
Disguise us at my lodging, and return
* SCENE III. In former editions Scene 4.-Time is in the afternoon of the same day. E.
may be imputable to the editor of the second folio. he has in this instance at least, discovered some degree of judgment, as well as those who succeeded him. E.
Notwithstanding Mr. Malone charges the editor of the second folio so strongly with ignorance, I have no doubt but that did is the true reading, as it is clearly better sense than that which he has adopted. Launcelot does not mean to foretel the fate of Jessica, but judges, from her lovely disposition, that she must have been begotten by a Christian, not by such a brute as Shylock: A Christian might marry her without playing the knave, though he could not beget her. J. M. Mason. 3
-I shall end this strife;] This inward conflict of opposite affections. E.
Gra. We have not made good preparation. Salar. We have not spoke us yet of torch
bearers. 1 Salan. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly
ordered ; And better, in my mind, not undertook. Lor. 'Tis now but four o'clock; we have
two hours To furnish us:
Enter Launcelot, with a letter. Friend Launcelot, what's the news?
Laun. An it shall please you to break up this, it shall seem to signify. Lor. I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair
Love-news, in faith.
-torch-bearers.] A torch-bearer seems to have been a constant attendant on every troop of masks. We have not spoke us yet, &c. i. e. we have not yet bespoke us, &c. Thus the old copies. It may, however, mean, we have not as yet consulted on the subject of torch-bearers. Mr. Pope reads-“ spoke
as yet." STEEVENS.
« We have not spoke us of” is strange phraseology to signify—“ We have not bespoke," &c.: us is very likely to have been a printer's mistake for as, which has been admitted in the place of it by Sir T. Hanmer, as well as Mr. Pope. E.
Laun. By your leave, sir.
Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup to-night with my new master the Christian. Lor. Hold here, take this :-tell gentle
Jessica, I will not fail her ;--Speak it privately ; go.Gentlemen,
[Exit Launcelot. Will you prepare you for this mask to
night? I am provided of a torch-bearer. Salar. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it
straight. Salan. And so will I. Lor.
Meet me, and Gratiano, At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence. Salar. 'Tis good we do so.
[Exeunt Salar. and Salan. Gra. Was not that letter from fair Jessica? Lor. I must needs tell thee all : she hath
directed, How I shall take her from her father's house, What gold, and jewels, she is furnish'd with; What page's suit she hath in readiness. If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven, It will be for his gentle daughter's sake : And never dare misfortune cross her foot,
Unless VOL. I.
Unless she do it under this excuse,
2 It is not rendered very apparent whether it was designed that this frolic of a masking party should continue no longer than whilst they were absent from the company, and that they should return to it in their proper habits, or, whether they were to enter in masquerade, as a matter of surprise to the rest of Bassanio's guests : The circumstance of Jessica's being expected to accompany them in her flight must incline us to imagine the latter to have been the case ; for, that it was not proposed that Lorenzo and she should separate themselves from the others, is sufficiently evident from what is said of her being
a torch-bearer," and their being to “ return all in “ an hour.” The manner of their intended disguise was, doubtless, happily calculated to favour the lady's escape, and, possibly, they had this end in view when the masking scheme was first concerted, though that particular be not expressly declared. From Gratiano's lodging, the scene of their rendezvous, all matters being previously settled, we may conclude they were to proceed to supper with Bassanio.
SCENE SCENE IV.*
Before Shylock's House.
Enter Shylock, and Launcelot.
be the judge, The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:What, Jessica !-thou shalt not gormandize,
* Scene IV. In former editions, Scene 5.-Succeeds presently to the time of the former: Shylock, who enters attended by Launcelot, appears just before to have received a summons to Bassanio's entertainment, which seems to have been intended for the purpose of taking leave of his friends before he sets out for Belmont. After the apparent kindness so lately conferred by Shylock upon him and upon Anthonio, it was naturally imagined a proper mark of gratitude and respect to invite him as one of the guests. The invitation, indeed, according to the etiquette of modern ceremony, appears to have been sent rather late, to one with whom he lived not in any remarkable degree of familiarity or friendship; Lorenzo, in the preceding Scene, a little while before, had taken notice;
“ 'Tis now but four o'clock; we have two hours
" To furnish us :" Possibly, this message might have been designed only to remind him of a former engagement, and not to invite him for the first time. E.
1 Weil, thou shalt see, &c.] i. e. Thou shalt see the difference, &c. The words—thy eyes shall be the judge, being to be taken parenthetically. E.