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A breed of barren metal of his friend?) (7)
Shy. Why, how you storm?
Anth. This were kindness.
Shy. This kindness will I show ;
you repay me not on such a day,
your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
Anth. Content, in faith ; I'll seal to such a bond, And say, there is much kindness in the Jew.
Bal You shall not seal to such a bond for me, I'll rather dwell in my necessity.
Anth. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it; Within these two months (that's a month before This bond expires) I do expect return Of thrice three times the value of this bond.
(7) A breed of barren Metal] Meaning, Mony at Usury, Mony that breeds more, as Mr. Pape explains it. Consonant to this Phrase, the Latines explain'd Interest thus; Fænus, fötum accepti : and the Greeks callid it tóxos: both which Expressions take in our Poet
Idea of a Breed. See Non. Marcellus in v. fænus, & mutuum : and Gronovius de Seftertiis. As for the Contradiction betwixt Breed, and barren, it is a poetical Beauty in which Claudian, among the Classics, particularly abounds. Besides, in this Epithet, perhaps, (as Mr. Warburton ingeniously hinted to me,) our Author would shew us the Reason on which the Advocates against Ufury went; and which is the only one they use : That Metal is a barren thing ; and cannot, like Corn and Cattle, multiply itself: and therefore it is unjust, that Interest should be taken for it: for the most fuperftitious in this Regard allow the taking Interest for Fruits, Corn, Cattle, &c. Vol. II.
Shy. O father Abraham, what these christians are!
Anth. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.
Shy. Then meet me forthwith at the Notary's.
Bal. I like not fair terms, and a villain's mind.
Anth. Come on, in this there can be no dismay; My ships come home a month before the day. [Exeunt.
A C T II.
Enter Morochius, a Tawny-Moor, all in white ; and three or four. Followers accordingly; with Portia,
Nerissa, and her train. Flo. Cornets.
MOR OCH IU S.
To whom I am a neighbour, and near bred.
Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the isicles,
Mor. Ev’n for that I thank you ;
(8) So is Alcides beaten by his Rage.] Tho' the whole Set of Editions concur in this Reading, and it pass'd wholly unsuspected by the late Learned Editor ; I am very well assur'd, and, I dare say, the Readers will be fo too presently, that it is corrupt at Bottom. Let us look into the Poet's Drift, and the History of the Persons mention'd in the Context. If Hercules (says he) and Lichas were to play at Dice for the Decifion of their Superiority, Lichas, the weaker Man, might have the better Caft of the Two. But how then is Alcides beaten by his rage ? Toadmit
And so may I, blind fortune leading me,
Por. You must take your chance,
Mor. Nor will not; therefore, bring me to my chance.
Por. First, forward to the temple; after dinner
[Cornets. To make me bleft, or cursed'st among men. [Exeunt. SCENE changes to Venice.
Enter Launcelot alone.
this, we must suppose a Gap in the Poet ; and that some Lines are lost, in which Hercules, in his Pallion for losing the Hand, had thrown the Box and Dice away, and knock'd his own head against the Wall for meer Madness. Thus, indeed, might he be faid, in some Sense, to be beaten by his Rage. But Shakespeare had no such stuff in his head. He means no more, than, if Lichas had the better Throw, so might Hercules himself be beaten by Lichas. And who was He, but a poor unfortunate Servant of Hercules, that unknowingly brought his Maiter the envenom'd Shirt, dipt in the Blood of the Centaur Neslus, and was thrown headlong into the Sea for his Pains ? This one Circumftance of Lichas's Quality known fufficiently afcertains the Emendation I have substituted, of page initead of rage. It is scarce requisite to hint here, it is a Point so well known, that Page has been always us’d in English to fignify any Boy-Servant : as well as what latter Times have appropriated it to, a Lady's Trainbearer. And, consonant to our extended Usage of the Word, the French call a Shipboy, un Page
du Navire. So much in Explanation of this new adopted Reading. The very excellent Lord LANS DOWN E, in his Alteration of this Play, tho' he might not stand to make the Correction upon the Poet, seems at leatt to have understood the Passage exactly as I do: and tho he changes the Verse, retains the Sense of it in this manner:
Sa were a Giant worsted by a Dwarf! Tho I had made the Emendation, before I thought to look into his Lordship's Performance; it is no small satisfaction to me, that I have the Authority of such a Genius to back my Conjecture. Mr. Pope, in his last Edition, has thought fit to embrace my Reading
is at mine elbow, and tempts me, saying to me, Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot, or good Gobbo, or good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away. My conscience says, no; take heed, honest Launcelot ; take heed, honest Gobbo; or, as aforesaid, honeft Launcelot Gobbo, do not run; scorn running with thy heels. Well, the most courageous fiend bids me pack; via! says the fiend; away! says the fiend; for the heav'ns rouse up a brave mind, says the fiend, and run. Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me, my honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son, or rather an honest woman's son (for, indeed, my father did something smack, something grow to; hę had a kind of taste.) - well, my conscience says, budge not; budge, says the fiend; budge not, says my conscience; conscience, say I, you counsel ill ; fiend, say I, you counsel ill. To be ruld by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master, who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil; and to run away from the few, I should be ruled by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself. Certainly, the Jew is the very devil incarnal ; and in my conscience, my conscience is but a kind of hard conscience, to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counsel; I will run, fiend, my heels are at your commandment, I will run.
Enter old Gobbo, with a basket. Gob. Mafter young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to master Jew's?
Laun. O heav'ns, this is my true begotten father, who being more than sand-blind, high gravel-blind, knows me not; I will try confusions with him.
Gob. Master young Gentleman, I pray you, which is the way to master Jew's? Laun. Turn up, on your right-hand (9) at the next
turning, (9) Turn up, on your right hand — ] This arch and perplex'd Direction, on purpose to puzzle the Enquirer, seems to be copied from Syrus to
uti Demea, in the Brothers of Terence : Act. 4. Sc. 2.