A line-by-line translation

The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice Translation Act 2, Scene 4

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Enter GRATIANO, LORENZO, SALERIO, and SOLANIO

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 off at dinner, disguise ourselves at my house, and then get back here all in an hour.

GRATIANO

We have not made good preparation.

GRATIANO

We haven't prepared well enough for this.

SALERIO

We have not spoke us yet of torchbearers.

SALERIO

We haven't got ourselves torchbearers yet.

SOLANIO

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

SOLANIO

Unless we plan carefully, this will turn out badly, and it will be better not to try this.

LORENZO

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

LORENZO

It's only four o'clock now. We have two hours to get ready.

Enter LAUNCELOT with a letter

Friend Launcelot, what’s the news?

My friend Launcelot, what's the news?

LAUNCELOT

[giving LORENZO the letter] An it shall please you to break up this, it shall seemto signify.

LAUNCELOT

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LORENZO

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

LORENZO

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GRATIANO

Love news, in faith?

GRATIANO

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LAUNCELOT

[to LORENZO] By your leave, sir.

LAUNCELOT

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LORENZO

Whither goest thou?

LORENZO

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LAUNCELOT

Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup tonightwith my new master the Christian.

LAUNCELOT

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LORENZO

[giving LAUNCELOT money] Hold here, take this. Tell gentle Jessica I will not fail her. Speak it privately.— Go, gentlemen, Will you prepare you for this masque tonight? I am provided of a torchbearer.

LORENZO

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Exit LAUNCELOT the clown

SALERIO

Ay, marry, I’ll be gone about it straight.

SALERIO

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SOLANIO

And so will I.

SOLANIO

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LORENZO

Meet me and GratianoAt Gratiano’s lodging some hour hence.

LORENZO

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SALERIO

'Tis good we do so.

SALERIO

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Exeunt SALERIO and SOLANIO

GRATIANO

Was not that letter from fair Jessica?

GRATIANO

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LORENZO

I must needs tell thee all. She hath directed How I shall take her from her father’s house, What gold and jewels she is furnished with, What page’s suit she hath in readiness. If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven, It will be for his gentle daughter’s sake. And never dare Misfortune cross her foot Unless she do it under this excuse: That she is issue to a faithless Jew. Come, go with me. [gives GRATIANO the letter] Peruse this as thou goest. Fair Jessica shall be my torchbearer.

LORENZO

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Exeunt

The merchant of venice
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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.