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I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday 6; : :
SALAR. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth. I saw Bassanio and Antonio part: Bassanio told him, he would make some speed Of his return; he answer'd-Do not so, Slubber not? business for my sake, Bassanio, But stay the very riping of the time ; And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me, Let it not enter in your mind of love 8 ::
6 I Reason'with a Frenchman yesterday :] i. e. I conversed. So, in King John :
“Our griefs, and not our manners, reason now.” Again, in Chapman's translation of the fourth book of the Odyssey:
“ The morning shall yield time to you and me,
“ To do what fits, and reason mutually.” Steevens. The Italian ragionare is used in the same sense. M. Mason,
7 Slubber not — To slubber is to do any thing carelessly, imperfectly. So, in Nash's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599 :
“ — they slubber'd thee over so negligently.” Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit without Money : “ I am as haste ordain'd me, a thing slubber'd.”
STEEVENS. 8 — your mind of love:) So, all the copies, but I suspect some corruption. Johnson.
This imaginary corruption is removed by only putting a comma after mind. Langton.
Of love, is an adjuration sometimes used by Shakspeare. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II. Sc. VII. :
“ Quick, desires you to send her your little page, of all loves : " i. e. she desires you to send him by all means.
Your mind of love may, however, in this instance, mean—your loving mind. So, in The Tragedie of Creesus, 1604: A mind of treason is a treasonable mind.
s sheven thence, he putarous senso they part for him
Be merry; and employ your chiefest thoughts
SALAN. I think, he only loves the world for him.
Do we so. [Ereunt.
“ Those that speak freely, have no mind of treason."
STEEVENS. If the phrase is to be understood in the former sense, there should be a comma aster mind, as Mr. Langton and Mr. Heath have observed. Malone. 9 And even there, his eye being big with tears,
Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, &c.] So curious an observer of nature was our author, and so minutely had he traced the operation of the passions, that many passages of his works might furnish hints to painters. It is indeed surprizing that they do not study his plays with this view. In the passage before us, we have the outline of a beautiful picture. Malone.
1- EMBRACED heaviness —] The heaviness which he indulges, and is fond of. EDWARDS.
When I thought the passage corrupted, it seemed to me not improbable that Shakspeare had written-entranced heaviness, musing, abstracted, moping melancholy. But I know not why any great efforts should be made to change a word which has no incommodious or unusual sense. We say of a man now, that he hugs his sorrows, and why might not Antonio embrace heaviness?
JOHNSON. So, in Much Ado about Nothing, Sc. I. :
“You embrace your charge too willingly." Again, in this play of The Merchant of Venice, Act III. Sc. II.: “ doubtful thoughts, and rash-embracd despair.”
Belmont. A Room in PORTIA's House.
Enter NERISSA, with a Servant. Ner. Quick, quick, I pray thee, draw the cur
tain ? straight; The prince of Arragon hath ta'en his oath, And comes to his election presently. Flourish of Cornets. Enter the Prince of Arragon,
Portia, and their Trains. Por. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble
Por. To these injunctions every one doth swear, That comes to hazard for my worthless self.
Ar. And so have I address'd me : Fortune now
2 — DRAW the curtain -1 i. e. draw it open. So, in an old stage-direction in King Henry VIII. : “ The king draws the curtain, and sits reading pensively." STEEVENS.
3 And so have I address'n me :) To address is to prepare. The meaning is, I have prepared myself by the same ceremonies. So, in All's Well that Ends Well: “Do you think he will make no deed of all this, that so seriously he doth address himself unto ? "
To my heart's hope !-Gold, silver, and base lead.
I believe we should read :
“ And so have I. Address me, Fortune, now,
“ To my heart's hope!” So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act III. Scene the last, Falstaff says: “— I will then address me to my appointment."
4 – That many may be meant
By the fool multitude,] i. e. By that many may be meant the foolish multitude, &c. The fourth folio first introduced a phraseology more agreeable to our ears at present, “ Of the fool multitude,”—which has been adopted by all the subsequent editors ;- but change merely for the sake of elegance is always dangerous. Many modes of speech were familiar in Shakspeare's age, that are now no longer used.
So, in Plutarch's Life of Cæsar, as translated by North, 1575 : “ — he answered, that these fat long-heared men made him not affrayed, but the lean and whitely-faced fellow's ; meaning that by Brutus and Cassius.” i. e, meaning by that, &c. Again, in Sir Thomas More's Life of Edward the Fifth ;-Holinshed, p. 1374 : “ – that meant he by the lordes of the queenes kindred that were taken before,” i. e. by that he meant the lords, &c. Again, ibidem, p. 1371 : “ My Lord, quoth Lord Hastings, on my life, never doubt you; for while one man is there, -never can there be, &c. This meant he by Catesby, which was of his near secrete counsaile,” i. e. by this he meant Catesby, &c.
Again, Puttenham in his Arte of English Poesie, 1589, p. 157, after citing some enigmatical verses, adds, “ — the good old gentleman would tell us that were children, how it was meant by a furr'd glove," i, e, a furr'd glove was meant by it,-i. e. by the enigma. Again, ibidem, p. 161: “ — Any simple judgement might easily perceive by whom it was meant, that is, by lady Elizabeth, Queene of England.” MALONE.
Builds in the weather on the outward wall,
honour Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times, To be new varnish'd 8 ? Well, but to my choice:
* First folio, pleasantry. 5in the force -] i. e. the power. So, in Much Ado about Nothing : “ — in the force of his will." STEEVENS.
6 - jump-] i. e. agree with. So, in King Henry IV. Part I.: “ — and in some sort it jumps with my humour.” Steevens. 7 How much low peasantry would then be GLEAN'D
From the true seed of honour?] The meaning is, -How much meanness would be found among the great, and how much greatness among the mean. But since men are always said to glean corn though they may pick chaff, the sentence had been more agreeable to the common manner of speech if it had been written thus :
How much low peasantry would then be pick'd
Glean'd from the chaff? JOHNSON.
To be new varNISH'd ?] This confusion and mixture of the metaphors, makes me think that Shakspeare wrote:
To be new vanned