William Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, Act II, Scene IV
Enter Gratiano, Lorenzo, Salarino, and Salanio
'Tis now but four o'clock: we have two hours
To furnish us.
Enter Launcelot, with a letter
Friend Launcelot, what's the news?
I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand;
And whiter than the paper it writ on
Is the fair hand that writ.
Hold here, take this: tell gentle Jessica
I will not fail her; speak it privately.
Will you prepare you for this masque tonight?
I am provided of a torch-bearer.
Exeunt Salarino and Salanio
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 furnish'd 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; peruse this as thou goest:
Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer.