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How much you would ?

Shy. Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.
Anth. And for three months.
Shy. I had forgot,--three months, you told

me so.8
Well then, your bond; and, let me see,

But hear you ;

Methought, you said, you neither lend nor

borrow, Upon advantage. Anth.

I da never use it. Shy. When Jacob graz’d his uncle Laban's

sheep, This Jacob from our holy Abraham was (As bis wise mother wrought in his behalf ) The third possessor ; ay, he was the third. Anth. And what of him ? Did he take

interest? Shy. No, not take interest ; not, as you

would say,

Directly interest : mark what Jacob did.



-three months, you told me so.] Altered by Hanmer to he told me so. E.

Anthonio had learned in conversation, before his entry, as well the term as the sum; and the Jew, whose brain is then working upon matters that break out afterwards, thinks Bassanio the speaker, and frames his reply accordingly; in the next line he addresses Anthonio, and his whole speech is the language of one absent in thought. CAPELL.

When Laban and himself were compromis’d, That all the eanlings! which were streak’d,

and pied, Should fall as Jacob's hire; the ewes, being

rank, In the end of autumn turned to the rams : And when the work of generation was Between these woolly breeders in the act, The skilful shepherd peeld me certain wands,2 And in the doing of the deed of kind, 3 He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes ;4



were compromis'd,] Dr. Johnson, in his Dico tionary, defines this verb, “ To compound; to adjust

a compact by mutual concession, and adds that “ in Shakspeare it signifies, unusually, to accord; “ to agree;" of which he quotes this passage as an example. It is here affirmed, in a passive sense, of the contracting parties. E.

-the eanlings] Lambs just dropt: from ean, eniti. MUSGRAVE.

It is commonly written and pronounced-yeanlings, and to yean; and so it is found in the greater number, at least, of modern editions. E.

-certain wands,] A wand, in our author's time, was the usual term for what we now call a switch. MALONE.

-of kind,] i.e. of nature. So Turberville, in his book of Falconry, 1575, p. 127 :

“ So great is the curtesy of kind, as she ever seek" eth to recompense any defect of her's with some “ other better benefit.” COLLINS.

4 the fulsome ewes ;] Fulsome, I believe in this instance, means lascivious, obscene. The same D 2




Who, then conceiving, did in eaning time Fall party-colour'd lambs, and those were

Jacob's. This was a way to thrive, and he was blest ;



epithet is bestowed on the night, in Acolastus his After-Witte. By S. N. 1600 :

Why shines not Phæbus in the fulsome night?” In the play of Muleasses the Turk, Madam Fulsome a bawd is introduced. The word, however, sometimes signifies offensive in smell. So in Chapman's version of the 17th book of the Odyssey :

and fill’d his fulsome scrip,” &c. Again, in the dedication to Burton's Anatomy of Me. lancholy, p. 63 :

-noisome or fulsome for bad smells, as but. " chers' slaughter houses.” &c. It is likewise used by Shakspeare in King John, to express some quality offensive to nature : And stop this

gap of breath with fulsome dust." Again, in Thomas Newton's Herball to the Bible, octavo, 1587 :

Having a strong scent, and fulsome smell, which “ neither men nor beastes take delight to smell unto.” Again, ibid :

“ Boxe is naturally dry, juicelesse, fulsomely and « loathsomely smelling." Again, in Arthur Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, B. xv: respecting sheep;

-whose fulsome dugs do yield " Sweete nectar.” STEEVENS. . Minshew supposes it to mean nauseous in so high a degree as to excite vomiting. MALONE.

5 This was a way to thrive, &c.] So in the ancient song of Gernutus the Jew of Venice:

“ His wife must lend a shilling,

For every weeke a penny,

or Yet

And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not. Anth. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob

sery'd for ; A thing not in his power to bring to pass,


“ Yet bring a pledge that is double worth

“ If that you will have any.
« And see, likewise, you keepe your day,

Or else you lose it all :
“ This was the living of the wife,

“ Her cow she did it call.” Her cow, &c. seems to have suggested to Shakspeare Shylock's argument for usury.

The old
song above cited

“ Her cow she did “ it call,” and so she might, in a ludicrous sense, very naturally do. A cow, so long as she continues to give milk, yields, like money lent out at interest, a perpetual return of profit; but in Shylock’s defence of usury, drawn from the example of Jacob's conduct, there seems to be little appositeness or ingenuity : indeed, it is not easy to discover in what the parallelism between the two cases consists. However exhorbitant. the demands of the money-lender may be, the utmost extent of the profits accruing to him is defined and ascertained (respect being had to the duration of the loan) by mutual stipulation, between him and the borrower ; whereas the advantage obtained by Jacob was the result of a stratagem put in practice at a period subsequent to that of the compact, of which Laban had no suspicion, and the success of which was by no means a thing certain, or that might be depended upon. Moreover the money is to be considered as the property of the lender; the ewes were a part of the possessions of Laban : in short, the only circumstances of resemblance in these two instances seem to be, a supposed



But sway'd, and fashion'd,6 by the hand of

heaven. Was this inserted to make interest good ? Or is your gold and silver, ewes and rams? Shy. I cannot tell; I make it breed as

fast:7But note me, signior. Anth.

Mark you this, Bassanio, The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.8 An evil soul, producing holy witness, Is like a villain with a smiling cheek; A goodly apple rotten at the heart :

O, what

earnest appetite for gain in one of the persons concerned in each of them, and a diligent exercise of the means of obtaining it, and of these, Shylock evidently wishes to establish the justification upon the authority of so venerable a character. This objection may appear in some measure to have been anticipated by Anthonio's reply. E.

6 But sway'd, and fashion'd, &c.] This line, with the two preceeding ones, as significant of Anthonio's pious disposition, communicates a very pleasing affection to the mind, and, surely, is expressed with no common degree of elegance. E.

I make it breed as fast :-) So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :

« Foul cank’ring rust the hidden treasure frets; “ But gold that's put to use more gold begets.

MALONE. can cite scripture for his purpose.] See St. Matthew, iv, 6. Henley.

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