Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > The Merchant of Venice > Act II, scene IV


LORENZO: Nay, we will slink away in supper-time,
	Disguise us at my lodging and return,
	All in an hour.

GRATIANO: We have not made good preparation.

SALARINO: We have not spoke us yet of torchbearers.

SALANIO: 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order'd,
	And better in my mind not undertook.

LORENZO: 'Tis now but four o'clock: we have two hours
	To furnish us.

	[Enter LAUNCELOT, with a letter]

	Friend Launcelot, what's the news?

LAUNCELOT: An it shall please you to break up
	this, it shall seem to signify.

LORENZO: I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand;
	And whiter than the paper it writ on
	Is the fair hand that writ.

GRATIANO: Love-news, in faith.

LAUNCELOT: By your leave, sir.

LORENZO: Whither goest thou?

LAUNCELOT: Marry, sir, to bid my old master the
	Jew to sup to-night with my new master the Christian.

LORENZO: 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 masque tonight?
	I am provided of a torch-bearer.

SALANIO: Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.

SALANIO: And so will I.

LORENZO:                   Meet me and Gratiano
	At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence.

SALARINO: 'Tis good we do so.


GRATIANO: Was not that letter from fair Jessica?

LORENZO: 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 she do it under this excuse,
	That she is issue to a faithless Jew.
	Come, go with me; peruse this as thou goest:
	Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer.



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