Venice. A room in Shylock’s house.
Shylock’s daughter Jessica expresses her sorrow at Launcelot’s leaving, as he was the one distraction from the intense boredom of the household. She gives him a letter for Bassanio’s friend Lorenzo, whom she is planning to elope with. (17 lines)
Enter Jessica and the Clown Launcelot.
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,
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see
Lorenzo, who is thy new master’s guest.
Give him this letter, do it secretly,
And so farewell. I would not have my father
See me in talk with thee.
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 deceiv’d. But adieu, these foolish drops do something drown my manly spirit. Adieu!
Farewell, good 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,
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife,
Become a Christian and thy loving wife.