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young English travellers in our author's time.” Knight concede the general immorality of any such return for says, * Authors are not much in the habit of satirizing the use of money, so far as private conscience is conthemselves; and yet, according to Farmer and his school, cerned, and is content to treat the subject merely as Shakespeare knew óneither Latin, French, nor Italian.'” permitted by positive law. In old English, use, urance, " What think you of the Scottish lord, his neigh
and usury, all alike meant interest for the nse of bour”—“ Portia's reply could not be palatable to King
money. Bacon so employs the words. After the legal James, and the Scotch who came to England on his ac
rate was established, usury gradually acquired its prescession: therefore, in the folio, 1623, other is substituted
ent distinct meaning, first in the courts and then in for • Scottish;' whereas the quartos, which were printed
common language. The popular argument in Lord more than two years before James I. came to the throne,
Bacon's time, was, as we find it stated by Meares, that
“it is against nature for money to beget money,” which preserve the original reading."-COLLIER.
is what the Poet alludes to in his phrase of “a breed of
barren metal,” etc. SCENE III.
Aristotle had long the credit, if
such it be, of inventing this argument, but his later SQUANDERED abroad"-In a letter in Woodfall's commentators have shown that it does not belong to “ Theatrical Repertory," 1801, it is stated that “Macklin, him. mistakenly, spoke the word with a tone of reprobation,
“- the RIPE wants of my friend”—“ Ripe wants are implying that Antonio had, as we say of prodigals, unthriftly squandered his wealth.” The meaning is simply, delay. Perhaps we might read—rife wants, wants that
wants come to a height, wants that can have no longer scattered; of which we find an example in “Howell's
come thick upon him."--Johnson. Letters:"-" The Jews, once an elect people, but now grown contemptible, and strangely squandered up and “ – all the EANLINGS”-i. e. Lambs just dropped, down the world.” In Dryden's “ Annus Mirabilis," or ean'd, now ordinarily spelled yeanlings, and year. we have the same expression applied to ships :
Pill'd me certain wands"— This is usually printed They drive, they squander, the huge Belgian fleet.
peeld, but, with Knight, we retain the old orthography, “ What news on the RIALTO ?”—The Rialto spoken
because it has been retained in the translation of the of throughout this play is, in all probability, not the
Bible now in use, as it was in the older ones, in the bridge to which belong our present associations with the passage of Genesis to which Shylock alludes. The bridge was built in 1591.
“ - shall we be Beholding to you"-Generally printed Knight says—"The Rialto of ancient commerce is an
according to modern use, “ beholden;" but in the age island,-01 of the largest of those on which Venice is of Elizabeth the active was frequently used for the pasbuilt. Its name is derived from riva alta, -high shore, sive participle, and as all the old editions so print it, it and its being larger, and somewhat more elevated than was doubtless thus written, and should not be altered the others, accounts for its being the first inhabited. unless we choose to obliterate all the obsolete forms of The most ancient church of the city is there; and there speech from an author's page. were erected the buildings for the magistracy and commerce of the infant settlement. The arcades used for
“ — Spet on me”—This is generally modernized into these purposes were burned down in the great fire of
spit, or spate, but is here retained as it is printed in 1513, and rebuilt on the same spot in 1555, as they now
every old edition; because it is the ancient preterite, stand. Rialto Island is situated at the bend of the
(see Pegge's Anecdotes,") which we ought not to Grand Canal, by which it is bounded on two sides,
change if we wish to retain the language in which the
Poet wrote. while the Rio delle Beccarie and another small canal bound it on the other two. There is a vegetable mar- “Abreed For barren metal''-The folio reads, as it ket there daily; and, though the great squares by St. is more generally quoted, “ of barren metal.” Mark's are now the places where merchants most do
"— FEARFUL guard”-A guard that is the canse of congregate,' the old rendezvous is still so thronged, and
fear, because not to be trusted. Fearful was anciently has yet so much the character of a 'mart,' as to justify
often used for exciting fear, and is not yet quite obsonow, as formerly, the question, "What news on the
lete. To fear is used in the next scene for to fright. Rialto ?'” “He lends out money gratis, and brings down
ACT II.-SCENE I. The rate of usance here with us in Venice."
" — the Prince of Morocco'—“The stage-direction in “ It is almost incredyhle what gaine the Venetians receive by the usurie of the Jewes, both privately and
the folios and quartos is, “Enter Morochus a tawnie in common. For in everie citie the Jews kepe open
Moore, all in white, and three or foure followers ac
cordingly,' etc. This is curious, as it shows the manshops of usurie, taking gaiges of ordinarie for xv in the
ner in which Moors were usually dressed on the stage hundred by the yere; and if, at the yere's end, the gaige be not redeemed, it is forfeite, or at least dooen away
in Shakespeare's time. Doubtless, Othello was all in
white,' unless, indeed, he wore the military uniform of to a great disadvantage, by reason whereof the Jewes
the Venetian state.”—COLLIER. are out of measure wealthie in those parts.”—Thomas's “ History of Italy," 1561.
" And let us make incision for your love, " — once UPON THE HIP”—Thus, in OTHELLO:
To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine."
“Red blood is a traditionary sign of courage. MacI'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip.
beth calls one of his frighted soldiers a "lily-livered The expression is taken from the terms of wrestling.
boy:' again, in this play, cowards are said to have livers “– and my well-won thrift,
as white as milk; and an effeminate and timorous man Which he calls interest."
is termed a milksop."-Illust. Shak. In order to understand this, and to enter into the
“ It was customary the east for lovers to testify the feeling of the play, must be borne in mind that the
violence of their passion by cutting themselves in the moral distinction between interest, as allowed by law,
sight of their mistresses; and the fashion seems to
have been considered as a mark of gallantry in Shakeand usury, or excess extorted beyond the legal rates, was not then so distinctly marked as at present, and was
speare's time, when young men frequently stabbed rather a distinction in the law than in popular feeling or
their arms with daggers, and, mingling the blood with language. The old moral and religious objection was
wine, drank it off to the healths of their mistresses."
SINGER. to any interest or payment for the use of money at all. This continued for a long time, and is not yet extinct. “And hedgid me by his wir"_“Wit" is here used That acute and enlightened lawyer, Pothier, in the in its ancient sense of mental power in general. To site, middle of the last century, more than once appears to from the Anglo-Saxon witan, is, to know.
“ I would out-STARE the sternest eyes that look”
– being more than sanD-BLIND"-i. e. “ Having an This reading is that of Roberts's quarto, and sustained imperfect sight, as if there was saud in the eye. Gravelby the sense, and by the antithesis of the next line, blind, a coinage of Launcelot's, is the exaggeration of "out-brave." The other quarto, and the folio, have sand-blind. Pur-blind, or pore-blind, if we may judge o're-stare-a word not known, and giving no clear sense, from a sentence of Latimer's, is something less than though preferred in some late editions.
sand-blind :—They be pur-blind and sand-blind.'"“ – beaten by his page"—This is Theobald's happy
KSIGHT. emendation; adopted in all editions since his time, The “ – which is the to master Jew's' " It does not old copies have beaten by his rage," Lichas was the appear that the Jews (hardly used everywhere) had servant of Hercules.
more need of patience in Venice than in other states. CENE II.
The same traditional reports against them exist there as
elsewhere, testifying to the popular hatred and preju“ Enter LAUNCELOT Gobbo—The old copies read, | dice; but they were too valuable a part of a cominer“ Enter the Clown alone;" and throughout the play cial population not to be more or less considered and Launcelot Gobbo is called the Clown at most of his en- taken care of. An island was appropriated to them; trances, or exits.
but they long ago overflowed into other parts of the “ LAUSCELOT Gobbo."—“My notion of Launcelot,
city. Many who have grown extremely rich by money, as I have seen him, has not been reflected from the
lending have now fine palaces in various quarters; and
of these, some are among the most respectable and enstage. The patch is kind enough;' yet he is amazingly wrapped up in self, and his soliloquies are intense on that
lightened of the citizens. The Jews who people their darling subject. An obtrusive foature in his character,
quarter are such as are unable to rise out of it. Its is the conceit in his skull that he is better than he should
buildings are ancient and lofty, but ugly and sordid. be. Having been called by one who did not see him,
Our synagogue' is, of course, there. It is situated on
the canal which leads to Mestre. There are houses 'master, and young gentleman,' he insists, over and over again, on his being young master Launcelot,' and
old enough to have been Shylock's, with balconies at last styles himself the young gentleman,' All this,
from which Jessica might have talked ; and ground like every thing he says, 'is a mixture of vanity and
enough beneath, between the house and the water, for drollery ; on the latter he stakes his fame as a wit.
her lover to stand, hidden in the shadow, or a 'pentNature never formed a more egregious coxcomb; he is
house. Hence, too, her gondola might at once start
for the main land, without having to traverse any part Lord Foppington in low life, as far as his imbecility can reach. In the same strain he talks of his . manly spirit,
of the city."-Knight. and of the Jew's having done him wrong;' as if he and “ By God's sonties". “Sonties' is a corruption of his master were on an equality. No doubt his solace as sanctities," says Collier. It is more probably a corrupa servant was, that he must, sooner or later, owing to liis tion of sauntes, or saints. intrinsic merit, come to excellent fortune. He spells his fate on his palm; where, though neither coronet nor
“Your worship's friend, and Launcelot”-The same
form of expression occurs in Love's Labour Lostmastership offers itself to his imagination, there is some
“Your servant, and Costard." It would seem, from the thing of equal value to the young animals-eleven wid.
context, that the old man's name was Launcelot. “I ows, and nine maids, is a simple coming-in for one man.'
beseech you, talk you of young master Launcelot," His jokes are generally failures; but, coming from him,
says the clown, when the old man has named himself. they are laughable. When suddenly reproached with his conduct towards the Moorish woman, his answer is
- Dobbin, my PHILL-HORSE"- Phill-horse, or fill• It is much that the Moor should be more than reason ;
horse, is the shafi-horse; the horse that goes between but if she be less than an honest woman, she is, indeed, the shafts, or fills : in more moderų use, the thill-horse. more than I took her for.' This elaborate nonsense, this
“ I have here a dish of doves"-Ch. A. Brown has grasp at a pun without catching it, uttered in confusion, expressed his decided conviction that some of the and in eagerness to shuffle out of the accusation, is as
dramas of Bhakespeare exhibit the most striking proofs natural as it is ridiculous, It gives occasion to Lorenzo's
that our Poet had visited Italy, The passage before us observing—How every fool can play upon the word!' is cited by Mr. Brown as one of these proofs ;—Where which, together with what follows, may be mistaken for a self-condemnation, made at hazard, on the part of
did he obtain hís numerous graphic touches of national
manners ? where did he learn of an old villager's coming Shakespeare. By no meaus: the difficulty is to play
into the city with 'a dish of doves' as a prespijt to his well upon a word; besides, as Launcelot then and after
son's master? A present thus given, and in our days wards proves, the poverty of a jest may be enriched in too, and of doves, is not uncommon in Italy, myself a fool's mouth, owing to the complacency with which have partaken there, with due relish, in memory of he deals it out; and because there are few things which provoke laughter more than feebleness in a great attempt
poor old Gobbo, of a dish of doves, presented by the
father of a servant."--Shak, Autoblog. Paems.. at a small matter."-C. A. Brown, Shak. Autobiog. P.
“More GUARDED"-i, e. More laced, or fringed; the "— scorn running with thy heels"—Stevens sug- gold-livery binding being, as Malone explains the donagests the following marvellous emendation-Do not run:
tion, the guards of the cloth. scorn running: withe thy heels, i, e, connect them with a withe, (a band made of osiers,) as the legs of cattle are "Well; if any man in Italy have a fairer table, hampered in some countries. But, in fact, “ to scorn which doth offer to swear upon a book, - I shall have with heels" was a figurative phrase for thorough con- good fortune." tempt. It is found also in Much ADO ABOUT NOTHING, The best explanation of this passage is given by Mr. as well as in other books of the age, It is here humor- Tyrwhitt!" Launcelot, applauding himself for his sucously applied to the runuing away.
cess with Bassanio, and looking into the palm of his “— away!' says the fiend; for the heavens,'”
hand, (which, by fortune-tellers, is called the table,) etc. Some of the editors think that the line needs cor
breaks out into the following reflection i-Well, if any rection because it is not likely that the Poet would make
man in Italy have a fairer table, which doth offer to the devil conjure Launcelot for heaven's sake, Singer
swear upon a book I shall have good fortune : that is, observes, with better taste, that
a table which doth not only promise, but offers to swear ** For the heavens' was merely a petty oath. To
upon a book that I shall have good fortune." make the fiend conjure Lanncelot to do a thing for “Go to; here's a simple LINE OF LIPE!""Palmistry, • heaven's sake' is a specimen of that “acute nonsense' or chiromancy, had once its learned professors as well which Barrow makes one of the species of wit, and as astrology. The printing-press consigned the delusion which Shakespeare was sometimes very fond of.” to the gypsies. Chiromancy and physiognomy were ouce
kindred sciences. The one has passed away among * Will be worth Jewes' eye"--"The play upon
“ How like a YOUNKER"-So all the old copies. It is Launcelot, as well as his betters, were diligent students
the same word as younger and youngling: of the mysteries interpreted by 'Jhon Indagine, Prieste;'
Johnson says—"Gray (dropping the allusion to the and a simple or complex line of life were indications prodigal) caught from this passage the imagery of the that made even some of the wise exult or tremble.”
Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm “- sad OSTENT"-i.e. Ostentation; not, as now, con
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes ; fined to the show of vanity, but for any external show,
Youth on the prow, and pleasure at the helm; as here, of grief or gravity.
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,
That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey. SCENE III.
“ The scarved bark”—The vessel that is gay with
streamers. “If a Christian do not play the knave, and get thee, I am much deceived”—The three original authorities
“ – a GENTILE, and no Jew"-"A jest, arising from agree in this reading, and the meaning is clearly, “ if a the ambiguity of Gentile,' which signifies both a heaChristian do not play the knave and obtain thee,” etc.
then and one well born."--Johnson. Instead of the fellow's shrewd guess at Jessica's inclina
So, at the conclusion of the first part of “ Jeronimo," tions, the editors have generally preferred the later read. (1605,)ing of did for “do," intimating a doubt as to her birth,
-80, good night, kind gentles,
For I hope there's never a Jew among you all.
“ Gilded tombs do worms infold”—The reading, in “ Enter Shylock and LAUNCELOT”—The old stage- all the old copies, is timber for * tombs," which injures direction is, “ Enter Jew and his man, that was the the verse and the grammar. Johnson's suggestion of Clowne." In a portion of this edition the stage-direction,
" tombs" is no doubt correct. Rowe inserted rood; to which this note refers, was unintentionally omitted. but no compositor could misprint " timber" for rood,
whereas, as Johnson remarks, it would be easy to mis. " — on BLACK Monday last”-Stowe, the Chronicler, thus describes the origin of this name :-"
print timber for “ tombs," then spelled tombes. is Easter-Monday, and was so called on this occasion :
SCENE VIII. in the 34th of Edward III., (1360,) the 14th of April, and the morrow after Easter-day, King Edward, with " I REASON'D”-i. e. conversed or talked. Thus, in his host, lay before the city of Paris : which day was Beaumont and Fletcher :full dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many
There is no end of women's reasoning. men died on their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore unto this day it hath been call Black-Monday.”
“SLUBBER not business"-Shakespeare uses “slub
ber" in two senses, somewhat connected; both of them “And the vile squEALING of the wry-neck'd fife”- preserved in our modern use of the word slobber. Two out of the three original editions read thus. One
Here it means, "neglect not business," or, “ do not do quarto has squaling. In Shylock's mouth the former it carelessly." In Othello it means to soil, or darkenis more expressive of disgust.
to “slæbber the gloss of your new fortunes." “ – the wry-neck'd fife"-Commentators differ as to whether the "fife" is here the instrument or the mu
SCENE IX. sician. Boswell has given a quotation from “ Barnaby
– that many may be meant Rich's Aphorisms," 1618, which to me seems decisive.
By the fool multitude," etc. "A fife is a wry-neckl musician, for he always looks
“ The Prince of Arragon intends to say-By that away from his instrument.” But Knight still maintains
many' may be meant the olish multitude. The fourth that Shakespeare intended the instrument, principally from the circumstance that the passage is an imitation of
folio first introduced a phraseology more agreeable to Horace, in which the instrument is decidedly meant:
our ears at present of the fool multitude. But change,
merely for the sake of elegance, is dangerous. Many Prima nocte domum claude; neque in vias,
modes of speech were familiar in Shakespeare's age that Sub cantu querulæ despice tibiæ.-(Carm. lib. iii. 7.)
are now no longer nsed. I have met with many exKnight adds that—"Independent of the internal evi
amples of this kind of phraseology. So in Plutarch's dence derived from the imitation, the form of the old
“Life of Cæsar,' as translated by North, (1575,) He English flute—the file being a small flute-justifies, we
answered that these fair long-haired men made him not think, the epithet “wry-neck'd.' This flute was called
afraid, but the lean and whitely-faced fellows; meaning the flute à bec, the upper part or mouth-piece resem
that by Brutus and Cassius.'"-MALONE. bling the beak of a bird. And this form was as old as the Pau of antiquity."
“So begone : you are sped”—Capell misprints this But “fife," for fifer, was undoubtedly the old phrase. line, “So farewell, sir, you are sped;" and from whence “Wry-neck'd," as applied to the musician, is far more he derived the corruption it is difficult to say. Malone graphically descriptive, and therefore, more Shake- and others interpolate sir after “begone," although spearian; and I have no belief in any intended imitation there is no warrant for it in any of the oldest editions. of Horace, for the thought was equally obvious to both It first found its way into the second folio, and certainly poets.
lessens the force of the line.
“ Patiently to bear my Wroth"-Stevens says that *wroth" is here put for ruth, or misfortune; and it is thus spelled in Chapman's “ Homer," and other old poets.
* Enter a MESSENGER"-" This is the stage-direction in all the old copies, for which modern editors have substituted · Enter a Servant.' It is clear that he was not a mere servant, not only from the language put into his mouth, but because, when he asks, ' Where is my lady ?' Portia replies, • Here; what would my lord?' The messenger was a person of rank attending on Portia."COLLIER.
ACT III.-SCENE I. " — KNAPPED ginger"—i. e. Snapped or broke ginger.
" — Thou torturest me, Tubal: it was my tur. quoise," etc.
* The turquoise is a well-known precious stone, found in the veins of the mountains on the confines of Persia to the east. In old times its value was much enhanced by the magic properties attributed to it in common with other precious stones, one of which was that it faded or brightened its hue as the health of the wearer increased or grew less. This is alluded to by Ben Jonson in his “Sejanus :'
And true as turkise in my dear lord's ring,
Look well or ill with him. Other virtues were also imputed to it, all of which were either monitory or preservative to the wearer. Thomas Nicols, in his translation of Anselm de Boot's ‘Lapidary,' says, this stone • is likewise said to take away all enmity, and to reconcile man and wife.' This quality may have moved Leah to present it to Shylock. It is evi. dent that he valued it more for its imaginary virtues, or as a memorial of his wife, than for its pecuniary worth." STEVENS.
“-4 rilderness of monkeys"-" What a fine Hebraism (says Hazlitt) is implied in this expression !"
direction, is one of the most tasteless corruptions of the many for which the editors of SHAKESPEARE are answerable."
whose hearts are all as false As stairs of sand," etc. The comparison refers to the difficult ascent of any sandy elevation giving way under the feet, and like other transient colloquial comparisons, is not meant to be carried out into particulars. The old spelling of stairs was staiers, as in the quartos, or stayers, as in the folio. Knight retains the folio spelling in his text, as giving the meaning of “bulwarks of sand”—an assumption of strength without reality.
* And these assume but valour's EXCREMENT”—The last word is used, as in HAMLET, WINTER'S TALE, and the COMEDY OF Errors, in its derivative sense, from ercresco,
for every thing growing or proceeding from the body.
“ Thus ornament is but the GUILED shore".For guileful, the participle used adjectively, as was frequent in the poetic language of Elizabeth's age. Thus we find, in OTHELLO, delighted beauty" for delightful beauty.
“ Thy PALENESS moves me more than eloquence"Many of the later editors, adopting Warburton's conjecture, read, “thy plainness;" but the early editions all read
paleness," and this epithet is considered as peculiarly appropriate to lead, in the writers of the sixteenth century. " " Paleness like lead," and similar phrases, may be found in Skelton and others.
The chief recommendation to the proposed change is that silver has just been called “pale," and some other epithet seems now required. It is probably merely the carelessness of rapid composition—such repetitions of words being one of the most frequent blemishes in all writings, which subsequent revisions generally remove. Yet if, as Malone suggests, a strong emphasis is laid on thy, so as to contrast the paleness of lead with that of silver, no amendment will be wanted. But if an amendment be required, I prefer Farmer's alterationleaving“ paleness" to stand, and changing
pale and common drudge" to stale and common, as applied to silver.
.“ In measure rain thy joy"'—It may be doubted whether we ought to read “ rain," or rein: the old spelling, raine, having either meaning.
“And leave itself UNFURNISH'D"-i. e. “Unfurnished with a companion or fellow. In Fletcher's “Lover's Progress,' Alcidon says to Clarangé, on delivering Lidian's challenge, which Clarangé accepts:
- you are a noble gentleman,
And pity, either of us should be unfurnish'd. 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 :: *If Apelles had beene tasked to have drawne her counterfeit, her two bright burning lampes would have so dazzled his quick-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 Bassanio's speech might have been suggested by the same novel : “What are our curled and crisped lockes, but snares and nets to catch and entangle the hearts of gazers,' etc."-MALONE AND STEVENS.
"-- sum of nothing"'--So the folio. Both quartos read “ sum of something;" which is the ordinary text. We agree with Mason, Knight, and Collier in preferring the reading of the folio, as it is Portia's intention in this speech to undervalue herself in comparison with what she would wish to be for Bassanio's sake.
"- and SALERIO"-"A Messenger from Venice" is added in the stage-direction of the quartos. Knight thinks this should be Salanio. But in the scenes just be
"- Beshrero your eyes, They have o'ER-Look'd me. "O'er-look'd me" is here used in the sense of enchanted me,
taken from the old popular notion of the influence of the looks of witches or fairies. So, in the MERRY WIES OF Windsor :Vile worm, thou wast o'er-look'd even from the birth.
Prove it so, Let fortune go to hell for it, --not I.” The meaning here is “ If the worst I fear should happen, and it shonld prove in the event that I, who am justly yours by the free donation I have made you of myself, should yet not be yours in consequence of an anlucky choice, let fortune go to hell for robbing you of your just due, not I for violating my oath."-HEATH.
- but 'tis to PEIZE the time"-To peize is to poise, weigh, or balance; and figuratively, to keep in suspense, or to delay. Marlowe uses the word in the sense of weighed:
For from the earth to heaven is Cupid raised,
Where fancy is in equal balance peized, "Fancy" here, as often in SHAKESPEARE, is synonymous with love.
“Reply, reply—These words, which in this edition, as in those of Knight and that of Collier, are printed as part of the song, were considered by Johnson to stand in the old copies as a marginal direction, and thus, from Johnson's time, in most of the editions the line has been suppressed. In all the old copies the passage is printed thus, in Italic type
How begot, how nourished. Replie, replie. The reply is then made; and, probably, by a second voice. We agree with Knight that “ The mutilation of the song, in the belief that the words were a stage
fore and just after he is at Venice—while the name of as a humour, or irresistible propensity of the mind. The Salarino will not agree with the metre.
It may have
word • humour' is not used in its modern signification, been a slip of the author's memory, by which the name but for a peculiar quality which sways and masters the was altered without intending a new character.
individual through all his actions."—Walter Scott. "I bid my very friends and countrymen"— True and
In Rowland's “ Epigrams," No. 27 amply illustrates real friends=a common sense, anciently, of very, now
this phrase:retained only in a few phrases, as, He is the very man
Aske Humors, why a fether he doth weare? for it"-i. e. the true man for it.
It is his humour (by the Lord) heele sweare, etc.
“ Cannot contain their urine for AFFECTION: SCENE III.
MASTERS OF PASSION SWAY it to the mood “ Consisteth of all nations”—The sense of these lines
Of what it likes, or loaths." is clear, though the construction is not a little involved : With Collier, we give the text as printed and pointed Antonio says, that the duke cannot deny the course of in all the original editions, with the single change of law, because if the commodity, or advantage, which “sway" for sways. The sense is then obvious. After strangers enjoy in Venice be denied, that denial will giving other examples to the same effect, Shylock adds much impeach the justice of the state, which derives its that some men are affected, physically, by the sound of profit from all nations. No change of the ancient text the bagpipe: for, whoever or whatever are the masters seems necessary, though Capel, and Knight after him, of passion, they govern and incline it to the mood of its print the lines thus altered :
likings or loathings. If the reader, like many of the Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law,
commentators, is not satisfied with this reading, he may For the commodity that strangers have
make his own selection among the editorial conjectures. With us in Venice; if it be denied,
Rowe and Pope preserved the old punctuation, and gave "Twill much impeach the justide of the state.
the text thus:SCENE IV
Masterless passion sways it to the mood
Of what it likes, or loaths. “Unto the Trasect"-" Shakespeare most likely ob- The next reading is— lained this word from some novel to which he resorted
– for affection, for his plot. It is supposed to be derived from the
Master of passion, sways it to the mood, etc. Italian tranare, (to draw,) owing to the passage-boat on
Stevens adopted an anonymous writer's conjecture of the Brenta being drawn over a dam by a crane, at a
affection, place about five miles from Venice."---Collier.
Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood, etc. “ I could not do wITHAL”- Ân idiom of the time for 1 || Any one of the above readings might have come from could not help it. See Gifford's “ Ben Jonson," note on the Poet's pen, and the difference of sense is scarcely “Silent Woman."
worth the pages of controversy it has occasioned.
“ Why he cannot abide A GAPING PIG"-"A pig preACT IV.-SCENE I.
pared for the table is most probably meant, for in that "A Court of Justice"-" The whole of the final state is the epithet ‘gaping' most applicable to this ani. scene is a master-piece of dramatic skill. The legal
mal. So, in Fletcher's • Elder Brother::acuteness, the passionate declamation, the sound maxims
And they stand gaping like a toasted pig. of jnrisprudence, the wit and irony interspersed in it, And in Nashe’s ‘Pierce Pennylesse, his Supplication to the fluctuations of hope and fear in the different persons, the Devil,' (1592,) the following passage may serve to and the completeness and suddenness of the catastrophe,
confirm the conjecture:-- The causes conducting unto cannot be paralleled. Shylock, who is his own counsel, wrath are as diverse as the actions of a man's life. defends himself well, and is triumphant on all the gen- Some will take on like a madman if they see a pig eral topics that are urged against him, and only fails through a legal flaw. The keenness of his revenge
come to the table. Sotericus, the surgeon, was cholerick
at the sight of a sturgeon,' etc."-Singer. awakens all his faculties, and he beats back all opposi. tion to his purpose, whether grave or gay, whether of
- a woollen bag-pipe"-So the old copies. It is art or argument, with an equal degree of earnestness
ordinarily written swollen bagpipe, upon the suggestion and self-possession."—Hazlitt.
of Sir John Hawkins. Dr. Johnson would read wooden.
The old reading has the testimony of Dr. Leyden, in his * — his Envy's reach"- Envy, of old, was often used
edition of "The Complaynt of Scotland," who informs in the sense of hatred, malice; a sense often found in
us that the Lowland bagpipe commonly had the bag or our English Bible.
sack covered with woollen cloth, of a green colour ; a “ Thoult shor thy mercy and ReMORSE"— Remorse practice which, he adds, prevailed in the northern counhere means pity, as in MEASURE FOR MEASURE, and
ties of England. elsewhere.
“When they are FRETTEN"-So both the old quartos, " Thou will not only loose the forfeiture" - All the
and there seems no reason to abandon this form of the copies have "loose the forfeiture," which, as it gives
participle, though the folio and later editions have fretted. an appropriate meaning, taking loose in the sense of re- " To cut the forfeiture from that BANKROUT there"lease is retained in this edition, thongh generally altered I have preserved the old orthography of the word now to lose.
spelt bankrupt, because that was the uniform mode of “ Enor to press a ROYAL MERCHANT doun," etc.
the age, and retains the etymology of a word, the preWarburton and Johnson remark that “royal mer
cise meaning of which has long been the subject of legal chant" is not merely a ranting epithet as applied to mer
and constitutional discussion in the United States. chants, for such were to be found at Venice in the “You stand withiN HIS DANGER"-Within his danSanndos, the Giustiniani, the Grimaldi, etc. This epi- ger" was anciently equivalent to "within his power." thet was striking, and well understood in Shakespeare's Thus, in North's " Plutarch," a book familiar to Shaketime, when Gresham was dignified with the title of the speare, Pompey is said to have brought the pirates royal merchant, both from his wealth and because he " within his danger;" thence it became familiarly apconstantly transacted the mercantile business of Queen plied to the power of the creditor over another person. Elizabeth.
Here both meanings seem included. “ But, say, it is my HUMOUR—"The worthy Corporal “The quality of mercy is not strain'd”—Hooker's Nym bath this apology usually at his fingers' ends, and magnificent personification of "Law," considered in its Shylock condescends to excuse his extravagant cruelty broadest sense, as a right rule of moral and social action,