Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Critical Reference Edition, Vol. 1

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2.2Sc. 5

Enter the Clowne alone.

Clowne. Certainely, my conscience will serue me to runne 2from this Iewe my Maister: the fiend is at mine elbow, and tempts me, Critical Apparatus3saying to me, Iobbe, Launcelet Jobbe, good Launcelet, or good Iobbe, C1v Link 4or good Launcelet Iobbe, vse your legges, take the start, runne away, my 5conscience sayes no; take heede honest Launcelet, take heede honest 6Iobbe, or as afore-saide honest Launcelet Iobbe, doe not runne, scorne 7running with thy heeles; well, the most coragious fiend bids me packe, 8fia sayes the fiend, away sayes the fiend, for the heauens rouse vp a Critical Apparatus9braue minde sayes the fiend, and runne; well, my conscience hanging 10about the necke of my heart, sayes very wisely to mee: my honest friend 11Launcelet beeing an honest mans sonne, or rather an honest womans 12sonne, for indeede my Father did something smacke, something grow to; 13he had a kinde of tast; well, my conscience sayes Launcelet bouge not, 14bouge sayes the fiend, bouge not sayes my conscience, conscience 15say I you counsaile wel, fiend say I you counsaile well, to be ruld by pg 948Critical Apparatus16my conscience, I should stay with the Iewe my Maister, (who God blesse 17the marke) is a kinde of deuill; and to runne away from the Iewe I should be 18ruled by the fiend, who sauing your reuerence is the deuill himselfe: 19certainely the Iewe is the very deuill incarnation, and in my conscience, Critical Apparatus20my conscience is but a kinde of hard conscience, to offer to counsaile 21mee to stay with the Iewe; the fiend giues the more friendly counsaile: I 22will runne fiend, my heeles are at your commaundement, I will runne.

Critical ApparatusEnter old [Gobbe] with a basket.

[Gobbe.] Maister young-man, you I pray you, which is the way to 24Maister Iewes?


Launcelet. O heauens, this is my true begotten Father, who 26being more then sand blinde, high grauell blinde, knowes me 27not, I will try confusions with him.


[Gobbe.] Maister young Gentleman, I pray you which is the way to 29Maister Iewes.


Launcelet. Turne vp on your right hand at the next 31turning, but at the next turning of all on your left; marry at the very next 32turning turne of no hand, but turne downe indirectly to the Iewes house.

Critical Apparatus33

[Gobbe.] Be Gods sonties twill be a hard way to hit, can you tell C2rCritical Apparatus Link 34me whether one Launcelet that dwels with him, dwell with him or no.


Launcelet. Talke you of young Maister Launcelet, marke mee 36nowe, nowe will I raise the waters; talke you of young Maister 37Launcelet.


[Gobbe.] No Maister sir, but a poore mans Sonne, his Father though I 39say't is an honest exceeding poore man, and God bee thanked well to 40liue.


Launce. Well, let his Father be what a will, wee talke of 42young Maister Launcelet.

Critical Apparatus43

Gob. Your worships friend and Launcelet sir.


Launce. But I pray you ergo olde man, ergo I beseech 45you, talke you of young Maister Launcelet.

Critical Apparatus46

Gob. Of Launcelet ant please your maistership.


Launce. Ergo Maister Launcelet, talke not of maister 48Launcelet Father, for the young Gentleman according to fates and 49destenies, and such odd sayings, the sisters three, and such braunches 50of learning, is indeede deceased, or as you would say in plaine termes, 51gone to heauen.


[Gobbe.] Marry God forbid, the boy was the very staffe of my age, my 53very prop.


Launcelet. Doe I looke like a cudgell or a houell post, 55a staffe, or a prop: doe you know me Father.


[Gobbe.] Alacke the day, I knowe you not young Gentleman, but I pray 57you tell mee, is my boy GOD rest his soule aliue or dead.

pg 949 58

Launcelet. Doe you not know me Father.


[Gobbe.] Alack sir I am sand blind, I know you not.


Launcelet. Nay, in deede if you had your eyes you might 61fayle of the knowing mee: it is a wise Father that knowes his owne childe. 62Well, olde man, I will tell you newes of your sonne, giue mee your Critical Apparatus63blessing, trueth will come to light, [murder] cannot bee hidde long, a mannes 64Sonne may, but in the ende trueth will out.


[Gobbe.] Pray you sir stand vp, I am sure you are not Launcelet my boy.

C2v Link 66

Launce. Pray you let's haue no more fooling, about 67it, but giue mee your blessing: I am Launcelet your boy that was, your sonne 68that is, your child that shall be.


Gob. I cannot thinke you are my sonne.


Launc. I know not what I shall think of that: but I am 71Launcelet the Iewes man, and I am sure Margerie your wife is my mother.


Gob. Her name is Margerie in deede, ile be sworne if thou bee Launcelet, 73thou art mine owne flesh and blood: 74Lord worshipt might he be, what a beard hast thou got; thou hast got Critical Apparatus75more haire on thy chinne, then Dobbin my philhorse hase on his taile.


Launce. It should seeme then that Dobbins taile growes Critical Apparatus77backward. I am sure hee had more haire of his taile then I haue of my face 78when I [last] saw him.


Gob. Lord how art thou changd: how doost thou and thy Master 80agree, I haue brought him a present; how gree you now?


Launce. Well, well, but for mine owne part, as I haue set 82vp my rest to runne away, so I will not rest till I haue runne some ground; my 83Maister's a very Iewe, giue him a present, giue him a halter, I am famisht 84in his seruice. You may tell euery finger I haue with my ribs: Father 85I am glad you are come, giue me your present to one Maister 86Bassanio, who in deede giues rare newe Lyuories, if I serue not him, I 87will runne as farre as God has any ground. O rare fortune, heere comes 88the man, to him Father, for I am a Iewe if I serue the Iewe any longer.

Enter Bassanio with a follower or two.

Bass. You may doe so, but let it be so hasted 90that supper be ready at the farthest by fiue of the clocke: see these Letters 91deliuered, put the Lyueries to making, and desire Gratiano to come anone 92to my lodging.


Launce. To him Father.


Gob. God blesse your worship.


Bass. Gramercie, wouldst thou ought with me.


Gobbe. Heere's my sonne sir, a poore boy.


Launce. Not a poore boy sir, but the rich 98Iewes man that would sir as my Father shall specifie.

C3r Link 99

Gob. He hath a great infection sir, as one would say to 100serue.

pg 950 101

Lau. Indeede the short and the long is, I serue the 102Iewe, & haue a desire as my Father shall specifie.


Gob. His Maister and he (sauing your worships 104reuerence) are scarce catercosins,


Lau. To be briefe, the very truth is, that 106the Iewe hauing done me wrong, dooth cause me as my Father being I 107hope an old man shall frutifie vnto you.


Gob. I haue heere a dish of Doues that I would bestow 109vppon your worship, and my sute is.


Lau. In very briefe, the sute is 111impertinent to my selfe, as your worship shall knowe by this honest old 112man, and though I say it, though old man, yet poore man my Father.


Bass. One speake for both, what would you?


Laun. Serue you sir.


Gob. That is the very defect of the matter sir.


Bass. I know thee well, thou hast obtaind thy sute,

117Shylocke thy Maister spoke with me this day,

118And hath preferd thee, if it be preferment

119To leaue a rich Iewes seruice, to become

120The follower of so poore a Gentleman.


Clowne. The old prouerb is very well parted betweene 122my Maister Shylocke and you sir, you haue the grace of God sir, and hee 123hath enough.


Bass. Thou speakst it well; goe Father with thy Sonne

125Take leaue of thy old Maister, and enquire

126My lodging out, giue him a Lyuerie

127More garded then his fellowes: see it done.


Clowne. Father in, I cannot get a seruice, no, I haue nere a tong in my 129head, 130wel: if any man in Italy haue a fayrer table which dooth offer to sweare 131vpon a booke, I shall haue good fortune; goe too, heere's a simple lyne of life, Critical Apparatus132heeres a small tryfle of wiues, alas, fifteene wiues is nothing, a leuen 133widdowes and nine maydes is a simple comming in for one man, and then to 134scape drowning thrice, and to be in perrill of my life with the edge of a 135featherbed, heere are simple scapes: well, if Fortune be a woman she's a 136good wench for this gere: Father come, ile take my leaue of the Iewe in Link 137the twinkling.

C3v Exit Clowne.

Bass. I pray thee good Leonardo thinke on this,

139These things being bought and orderly bestowed

140Returne in hast, for I doe feast to night

141My best esteemd acquaintance, hie thee goe.


Leon. My best endeuours shall be done heerein.

Exit Leonardo. Critical ApparatusEnter Gratiano.

Grati. Where's your Maister.

Leonar. Yonder sir he walkes.


Grati. Signior Bassanio.

Bass. Gratiano.

pg 951 Critical Apparatus145

Gra. I haue [a] sute to you.

Bass. You haue obtaind it.


Gra. You must not deny me, I must goe with you to Belmont.


Bass. Why then you must but heare thee Gratiano,

148Thou art to wild, to rude, and bold of voyce,

149Parts that become thee happily enough,

150And in such eyes as ours appeare not faults

Critical Apparatus151But where thou art not knowne; why there they show

152Somthing too liberall, pray thee take paine

153To allay with some cold drops of modestie

Critical Apparatus154Thy skipping spirit, least through thy wild behauiour

155I be misconstred in the place I goe to,

156And loose my hopes.

Gra. Signor Bassanio, heare me,

157Yf I doe not put on a sober habite,

158Talke with respect, and sweare but now and than,

159Weare prayer bookes in my pocket, looke demurely,

160Nay more, while grace is saying hood mine eyes

161Thus with my hat, and sigh and say amen:

162Vse all the obseruance of ciuillity

163Like one well studied in a sad ostent

164To please his Grandam, neuer trust me more.


Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing.


Gra. Nay but I barre to night, you shall not gage me

167By what we doe to night.

Bass. No that were pitty,

C4r Link 168I would intreate you rather to put on

169Your boldest sute of mirth, for we haue friends

Critical Apparatus170That purpose merriment: but far you well,

171I haue some busines.


Gra. And I must to Lorenso and the rest,

173But we will visite you at supper time.


Notes Settings


Critical Apparatus
2.2.3–6 Iobbe … Iobbe 1roberts = Giobbe … Giobbe (drakakis); Gobbo … Gobbo 2pavier; Job … Job chetwinde. See Textual Introduction.
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2.2.3 Launcelet 1roberts = Lancelet. See Textual Introduction.
Critical Apparatus
2.2.9 fia 1roberts. 'Via' is the Italian for the imperative '(go) away', which is clearly what Lancelet means. The OED records 'fia' in 1roberts as simply a variant spelling of 'via'. It may be an intentional malapropism, although the mispronunciation would be only slight. We do not emend because 'v'/'f' is an unlikely misreading; note also the alliterative 'fiend … fia … fiend'.
Critical Apparatus
2.2.16 to 1roberts; too 2pavier, jaggard
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2.2.20 but 1roberts; not in 2pavier, jaggard
Critical Apparatus, 23, 28, 33, 52, 56, 59, 65 Gobbe drakakis (subs.); Gobbo 1roberts, jaggard. See note for 2.2.3–6 and Textual Introduction.
Critical Apparatus
2.2.33 Be 1roberts = By (herringman). The reading in 1roberts is an early dialect form of 'by', commonly used as a preposition in forms of swearing (OED). See following note.
Critical Apparatus
2.2.33 sonties 1roberts = santies. An obscure oath, possibly a corruption of 'sanctity' (OED), or 'saints' or 'little saints'.
Critical Apparatus
2.2.34 mee 1roberts (text); me 1roberts (catchword)
Critical Apparatus
2.2.34 for 'mee' the catchword is 'me'
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2.2.43 sirnot in jaggard
Critical Apparatus
2.2.46 ant 1roberts = an't 2pavier
Critical Apparatus
2.2.63 murder jaggard; muder 1roberts; murther2pavier. Likely an omitted letter by the compositor, as OED does not record 'muder' as a variant spelling for 'murder'. However, we have found the same error or alternative spelling in several contemporary works: see, for example, 'Beware of muder, and cruell hate' in Thomas Sternhold's The Whole Booke of Psalmes (1562; STC 2430), sig. Ccvr; 'executed at Exceter in, for a muder' in Samuel Rowlands's Greenes Ghost Haunting Conie-catchers (1602; STC 12243), G2v; and 'O, Sir! here hath like to beene muder since you went!' in Ben Jonson's Epicoene (1620; STC 14763), M1v. It is possible, therefore, that 'muder' was included in the authorial manuscript, but much more likely that 1roberts includes an error.
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2.2.75 philhorse 1roberts = thill-horse; pilhorse 2pavier
Critical Apparatus
2.2.77 last 2pavier; lost 1roberts
Critical Apparatus
2.2.132 a leuen 1roberts = eleven. Compare 'a levenpence' in Hand D's passage of the manuscript of Sir Thomas More (fol. 8a), attributed to Shakespeare.
Critical Apparatus Exit Leonardo. 1roberts. Moved to after 2.2.143 in the Modern edition (following theobald).
Critical Apparatus
2.2.145 a sute jaggard; sute 1roberts. The absence of the indefinite article is probably a compositor's error. Elsewhere in Shakespeare the phrase 'I haue a suite' occurs twice (2 Henry VI 19.3 and Othello 3.3.79). montgomery also notes that 'variants of the phrase are used twice elsewhere ("had a suite", 2 Henry IV 14.56; "hath a suite", Julius Caesar 2.4.44); nowhere else is anything like I have suit used'.
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2.2.151 thou art → they are
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2.2.154 least 1roberts = lest
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2.2.170 far 1roberts = fare
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