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Por. How all the other passions fleet to air, As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embrac'd despair, And shudd'ring fear and green-ey'd jealousy. O love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy, In measure rain thy joy, scant this excess; I feel too much thy blessing, make it less,
any alteration be necessary. I would rather give the character of silver,
“ Thou stale, and common drudge
" "Tween man and man.”— The paleness of lead is for ever alluded to.
“ Diane declining, pale as any ledde," Says Stephen Hawes. În Fairfax's Tasso, we have
« The lord Tancredie, pale with rage as lead," Again, Sackville, in his Legend of the Duke of Buckingham :
“ Now pale as lead, now cold as any stone." And in the old ballad of the King and the Beggar:
“ — She blushed scarlet red,
“ Then straight again, as pale as lead." As to the antithesis, Shakspeare has already made it in A Midsummer-Night's Dream :
“When (says Theseus) I have seen great clerks look pale, “ I read as much, as from the rattling tongue
“ Of fancy and audacious eloquence.” FARMER. By laying an emphasis on Thy, [Thy paleness moves me, &c.] Dr. W.'s objection is obviated. Though Bassanio might object to silver, that “ pale and common drudge,” lead, though pale also, yet not being in daily use, might, in his opinion, deserve a preference. I have therefore great doubts concerning Dr. Warburton's emendation. Malone. 9 In measure Rain thy joy,] The first quarto edition reads :
“In measure range thy joy." The folio, and one of the quartos :
“ In measure raine thy joy." I once believ'd Shakspeare meant :
In measure rein thy joy. The words rain and rein were not in these times distinguished by regular orthography. There is no difficulty in the present reading, only where the copies vary, some suspicion of error is always raised. Johnson.
Having had frequent occasion to make the same observation in the perusal of the first folio, I was once strongly inclined to read rein; but I now think the text is right. It is supported by the following passage in Henry IV. Part I. :
“ But in short space
For fear I surfeit!
What find I here ? ?
[Opening the leaden casket. Fair Portia's counterfeit ? ? What demi-god Hath come so near creation ? Move these eyes ? Or whether, riding on the balls of mine, Seem they in motion ? Here are sever'd lips, Parted with sugar breath: so sweet a bar Should sunder such sweet friends: Here in her
hairs The painter plays the spider; and hath woven A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men, Faster than gnats in cobwebs : But her eyes,How could he see to do them ? having made one,
So, in The Laws of Candy, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
“— pour not too fast joys on me,
“But sprinkle them so gently, I may stand them.” Mr. Tollet is of opinion that rein is the true word, as it better agrees with the context ; and more especially on account of the following passage in Coriolanus, which approaches very near to the present reading :
“ being once chafod, he cannot
“ Be rein'd again to temperance.” So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act V. Sc. II. :
“ Rein thy tongue." STEEVENS. Lord Lansdowne, in his alteration of this play, has thus exhibited the present passage:
" In measure pour thy joy.” Boswell. 1 What find I here?] The latter word is here employed as a dissyllable. Malone.
Some monosyllable appears to have been omitted. There is no example of–here, used as a dissyllable; and even with such assistance, the verse, to the ear at least, would be defective. Perhaps our author design’d Portia to say:
“For fear I surfeit me." STEEVENS. Mr. Capell reads “ Ha! what find I here?” BosWELL.
2 Fair Portia's cOUNTERFEIT?] Counterfeit, which is at present used only in a bad sense, anciently signified a likeness, a resemblance, without comprehending any idea of fraud. So, in The Wit of a Woman, 1604 : “ I will see if I can agree with this stranger, for the drawing of my daughter's counterfeit."
Again, (as Mr. M. Mason observes,) Hamlet calls the pictures he shows to his mother
“The counterfeit presentment of two brothers." STEEVENS,
Methinks, it should have power to steal both his,
3 Methinks, it should have power to steal both his, And leave itSELF UNFURNISH'D :) Perhaps it might be :
And leave himself unfurnish'd. Johnson. If that in the text be the right reading, unfurnished must mean “unfurnished with a companion, or fellow.” Iam confirmed in this explanation, by the following passage in Fletcher's Lover's Progress, where Alcidon says to Clarangé, on delivering Lidian's challenge, which Clarangé accepts —
“- you are a noble gentleman,
M. Mason. Dr. Johnson's emendation would altogether subvert the poet's meaning. If the artist, in painting one of Portia's eyes, should lose both his own, that eye which he had painted, must necessarily be left unfurnished, or destitute of its fellow. Henley.
" And leave itself unfurnishod :" i. e. and leave itself incomplete; unaccompanied with the other usual component parts of a portrait, viz. another eye, &c. The various features of the face our author seems to have considered as the furniture of a picture. So, in As You Like It : “— he was furnish'd like a huntsman; ” i. e. had all the appendages belonging to a huntsman. Malone,
The hint for this passage appears to have been taken from Greene's History of Faire Bellora ; afterwards published under the title of A Paire of Turtle Doves, or the Tragicall History of Bellora and Fidelio, bl. 1.: “ If Apelles had beene tasked to have drawne her counterfeit, her two bright-burning lampes would have so dazled his quicke-seeing sences, that quite dispairing to expresse with his cunning pensill so admirable a worke of nature, he had been inforced to have staid his hand, and left this earthly Venus unfinished.”
A preceding passage in Başsanio's speech might have been suggested by the same novel :
“ A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men:” “What are our curled and crisped lockes, but snares and nets to catch and entangle the hearts of gazers," ác. STEEVENS.
You that choose not by the view,
And claim her with a loving kiss.
Por. You see me *, lord Bassanio, where I stand, Such as I am : though, for myself alone, I would not be ambitious in my wish, To wish myself much better; yet, for you,
* So quartos ; first folio, my. 4 — this shadow Doth LIMP BEHIND the substance.] So, in The Tempest :
“ -- she will outstrip all praise,
“ And make it halt behind her." STEEVENS. 5 — PEALS of praise —] The second quarto [Roberts's) reaus -pearles of praise. Johnson.
This reading may be the true one. So, in Whetstone's Arbour of Virtue, 1576:
“ The pearles of praise that deck a noble name.” Again, in R. C.'s verses in praise of the same author's Rock of Regard : “ But that that bears the pearle of praise away.”
I would be trebled twenty times myself;
6 Is sum of something ;] We should read some of something, i. e. only a piece, or part only of an imperfect account; which she explains in the following line. WARBURTON. Thus one of the quartos, ( quarto, R.] The folio reads :
“ Is sum of nothing."The purport of the reading in the text seems to be this :
is the full sum of me--" “Is sum of something;”i.e. is not entirely ideal, but amounts to as much as can be found in-an unlesson'd girl, &c. STEEVENS.
I should prefer the reading of the folio, as it is Portia's intention, in this speech, to undervalue herself. M. Mason.
7 But she may LEARN;] The latter word is here used as a dissyllable. Malone.
Till the reader has reconciled his ear to this dissyllabical pronunciation of the word learn, I beg his acceptance of—and, a harmless monosyllable which I have ventured to introduce for the sake of obvious metre. STREVENS,