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The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare

Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 1

Original Text

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Enter JESSICA and LAUNCELOT the clown


I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so.
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil,
Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.
But fare thee well, there is a ducat for thee.
5And Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see
Lorenzo, who is thy new master’s guest.
Give him this letter.
(gives LAUNCELOT a letter)
    Do it secretly.
And so farewell. I would not have my father
10See me in talk with thee.


I’m sorry you’re leaving my father like this. It’s hell in our house, and you helped cheer it up, like a funny devil. But goodbye. Here’s a ducat for you. You’ll soon be meeting Lorenzo at supper; he’ll be a guest of your new master. Give him this letter. (gives LAUNCELOT a letter) Do it secretly. Goodbye. I don’t want my father to see me talking to you.


Adieu! Tears exhibit my tongue. Most beautiful pagan, most sweet Jew! If a Christian do not play the knave and get thee, I am much deceived. But adieu. These foolish drops do something drown my manly spirit. Adieu.


Goodbye. My tears show you my feelings, my beautiful pagan, my sweet Jew! I’m sure some Christian will resort to trickery to get you. But goodbye. It’s not manly to cry. Goodbye.


15Farewell, good Launcelot.


Goodbye, Launcelot.
Alack, what heinous sin is it in me
To be ashamed to be my father’s child!
But though I am a daughter to his blood,
I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo,
20If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife,
Become a Christian and thy loving wife.
Oh God, what a heinous sinner I am, being ashamed to be my father’s child! But I need to remember I’m related to him by blood, not behavior. Oh Lorenzo, if you keep your promise to me, I’ll end this agony by becoming a Christian and marrying you.
She exits.