The Merchant of Venice

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 2

page Act 2 Scene 2 Page 2

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GOBBO

Master young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to
30Master Jew’s?

GOBBO

Excuse me, young man, how do I get to the Jew’s residence?

LAUNCELOT

(aside) O heavens, this is my true-begotten father, who, being more than sand-blind—high-gravel blind—knows me not. I will try confusions with him.

LAUNCELOT

(to himself) Good heavens, it’s my father. He doesn’t recognize me because he’s half-blind—or more than half-blind, somewhere between half-blind and totally blind. I’ll play a little game with him.

GOBBO

Master young gentleman, I pray you, which is the way to
35Master Jew’s?

GOBBO

Young man, excuse me, how do I get to the Jew’s?

LAUNCELOT

Turn up on your right hand at the next turning, but at the next turning of all on your left. Marry, at the very next turning turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew’s house.

LAUNCELOT

Turn right at the next turn, but at the following turn, turn left. Oh, and then at the very next turn, don’t turn left or right, but turn down and around to the Jew’s house.

GOBBO

40By God’s sonties, ’twill be a hard way to hit. Can you tell me whether one Launcelot that dwells with him, dwell with him or no?

GOBBO

Good heavens, those are difficult directions. Can you tell me if a man named Launcelot, who lives with him, is still there?

LAUNCELOT

Talk you of young Master Launcelot? (aside) Mark me now. Now will I raise the waters.—Talk you of young Master Launcelot?

LAUNCELOT

Are you talking about young Master Launcelot? (speaking so no one else can hear) Watch out, I’m going to pull a good prank here.—Is that who you’re talking about?

GOBBO

No “master,” sir, but a poor man’s son. His father, though I say ’t, is an honest exceeding poor man and, God be thanked, well to live.

GOBBO

He’s not a “master,” sir, he’s just a poor man’s son. His father, if I do say so myself, is an honest but very poor man, and, thank God, likely to live a long time.

LAUNCELOT

Well, let his father be what he will, we talk of young
50Master Launcelot.

LAUNCELOT

Well, his father can be whatever he wants to be. We’re talking about young Master Launcelot.

GOBBO

Your worship’s friend and Launcelot, sir.

GOBBO

Please don’t call him that, sir. He’s just Launcelot.