The Merchant of Venice

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 2

page Act 2 Scene 2 Page 8

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GRATIANO

Signor Bassanio!

GRATIANO

Signor Bassanio!

BASSANIO

   Gratiano!

BASSANIO

Gratiano!

GRATIANO

130I have a suit to you.

GRATIANO

I have a favor to ask.

BASSANIO

    You have obtained it.

BASSANIO

Anything.

GRATIANO

You must not deny me. I must go with you to Belmont.

GRATIANO

Don’t say no. Let me go with you to Belmont.

BASSANIO

Why, then you must. But hear thee, Gratiano.
Thou art too wild, too rude and bold of voice—
Parts that become thee happily enough
135And in such eyes as ours appear not faults.
But where thou art not known, why, there they show
Something too liberal. Pray thee, take pain
To allay with some cold drops of modesty
Thy skipping spirit, lest through thy wild behavior
140I be misconst’red in the place I go to,
And lose my hopes.

BASSANIO

Well, if you have to go, you have to go. But listen to me, Gratiano. Sometimes you get a bit too wild, and you let your voice get a bit loud and rude. These things look good on you, of course, and to people like you and me there’s nothing wrong with it. But in places where people don’t know you, your behavior might seem too wild. Please, try to act a little more serious, or the people in Belmont will get the wrong impression about me, and your wildness will make me blow my chance with Portia.

GRATIANO

   Signor Bassanio, hear me.
If I do not put on a sober habit,
Talk with respect and swear but now and then,
Wear prayer books in my pocket, look demurely—
145Nay more. While grace is saying, hood mine eyes
Thus with my hat, and sigh and say, “Amen”—
Use all the observance of civility
Like one well studied in a sad ostent
To please his grandam, never trust me more.

GRATIANO

Listen, Signor Bassanio, there’s nothing to worry about. I’ll be solemn-looking, I’ll talk with respect, and I’ll only swear once in a while. I’ll carry prayer books in my pocket and look sweet—even more. While grace is being said, I’ll be modest and say “amen”—I’ll watch my manners as if I’m trying to please my grandma. If I don’t do all this, never trust me again.

BASSANIO

150Well, we shall see your bearing.

BASSANIO

Well, we’ll see how you act.

GRATIANO

Nay, but I bar tonight. You shall not gauge me
By what we do tonight.

GRATIANO

Okay, but tonight doesn’t count. You can’t judge me based on what I do tonight.