The Merchant of Venice: Act 2, Scene 4
Enter GRATIANO, LORENZO,
SALERIO, and SOLANIO.
1Nay, we will slink away in supper-time,
2Disguise us at my lodging and return,
3All in an hour.
4We have not made good preparation.
5. spoke us yet of: yet bespoken, ordered.
5We have not spoke us yet of torchbearers.
6. quaintly order'd: skillfully and tastefully managed.
6'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order'd,
7And better in my mind not undertook.
8'Tis now but four o'clock: we have two hours
9To furnish us.
Enter LAUNCELOT [with a letter].
9Friend Launcelot, what's the news?
10. break up: break open (literallya term from carving).
10An it shall please you to break up
11this, it shall seem to signify.
12I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand;
13And whiter than the paper it writ on
14Is the fair hand that writ.
14Love-news, in faith.
15By your leave, sir.
16Whither goest thou?
17Marry, sir, to bid my old master the
18Jew to sup tonight with my new master the Christian.
19. Hold here: Synonymous with take this.
19Hold here, take this: tell gentle Jessica
20I will not fail her; speak it privately.
Exit Clown [Launcelot].
22Will you prepare you for this masque tonight?
23I am provided of a torch-bearer.
24. straight: straightway, at once.
24Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
25And so will I.
25Meet me and Gratiano
26At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence.
27'Tis good we do so.
Exit [SALERIO with SOLANIO].
28Was not that letter from fair Jessica?
29I must needs tell thee all. She hath directed
30How I shall take her from her father's house,
31What gold and jewels she is furnish'd with,
32What page's suit she hath in readiness.
33If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven,
34. gentle: With pun on Gentile.
34It will be for his gentle daughter's sake:
35. foot: i.e., foot path, way.
35And never dare misfortune cross her foot,
36. she: i.e., misfortune.
36Unless she do it under this excuse,
37. she is issue: i.e., Jessica is child. faithless: pagan, unbelieving.
37That she is issue to a faithless Jew.
38Come, go with me; peruse this as thou goest:
39Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer.