The Merchant of Venice

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter GRATIANO, LORENZO, SALARINO, and SOLANIO
GRATIANO, LORENZO, SALARINO, and SOLANIO enter.

LORENZO

Nay, we will slink away in supper time,
Disguise us at my lodging, and return,
All in an hour.

LORENZO

No, we’ll sneak away at supper time, disguise ourselves with masks at my house, and come back in an hour.

GRATIANO

We have not made good preparation.

GRATIANO

But we haven’t made any preparations.

SALARINO

5We have not spoke us yet of torchbearers.

SALARINO

We haven’t even talked about who’ll be our torchbearers.

SOLANIO

'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly ordered,
And better in my mind not undertook.

SOLANIO

The masquerade party might turn out terribly if we don’t manage things carefully. I think it’s better to call it off.

LORENZO

'Tis now but four o'clock. We have two hours
To furnish us.

LORENZO

It’s only four o'clock now. We have two hours to get ready.
Enter LAUNCELOT with a letter
LAUNCELOT enters with a letter.
10Friend Launcelot, what’s the news?
Launcelot, what’s going on?

LAUNCELOT

(giving LORENZO the letter)
An it shall please you to break up this, it shall seem to signify.

LAUNCELOT

(he gives LORENZO the letter) If you don’t mind opening this letter, you can find out for yourself.

LORENZO

I know the hand. In faith, ’tis a fair hand,
And whiter than the paper it writ on
15Is the fair hand that writ.

LORENZO

I recognize the handwriting. It’s beautiful handwriting. And the beautiful hand that wrote this letter is whiter than the paper it’s written on.

GRATIANO

    Love news, in faith?

GRATIANO

I bet it’s a love letter!

LAUNCELOT

(to LORENZO) By your leave, sir.

LAUNCELOT

(to LORENZO) May I be excused, sir?