ACT II - Scene VI

Venice. Before SHYLOCK'S house Enter the maskers, GRATIANO and SALERIO GRATIANO

This is the pent-house under which Lorenzo Desired us to make stand.

SALERIO

His hour is almost past.

GRATIANO

And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour, For lovers ever run before the clock.

SALERIO

O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly To seal love's bonds new made than they are wont To keep obliged faith unforfeited!

GRATIANO

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 enjoyed. How like a younker 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

SALERIO

Here comes Lorenzo; more of this hereafter.

LORENZO

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

JESSICA

Who are you? Tell me, for more certainty, Albeit I'll swear that I do know your tongue.

LORENZO

Lorenzo, and thy love.

JESSICA

Lorenzo, certain; and my love indeed; For who love I so much? And now who knows But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?

LORENZO

Heaven and thy thoughts are witness that thou art.

JESSICA

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.

LORENZO

Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer.

JESSICA

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.

LORENZO

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.

JESSICA

I will make fast the doors, and gild myself With some moe ducats, and be with you straight. Exit above

GRATIANO

Now, by my hood, a gentle, and no Jew.

LORENZO

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, below What, art thou come? On, gentlemen, away; Our masquing mates by this time for us stay. Exit with JESSICA and SALERIO Enter ANTONIO

ANTONIO

Who's there?

GRATIANO

Signior Antonio?

ANTONIO

Fie, fie, Gratiano, where are all the rest? 'Tis nine o'clock; our friends all stay for you; No masque to-night; the wind is come about; Bassanio presently will go aboard; I have sent twenty out to seek for you.

GRATIANO

I am glad on't; I desire no more delight Than to be under sail and gone to-night.

Exeunt

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