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You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
Ant. I am as like to call thee so again,
Why, look you, how you storm! I would be friends with you, and have your love, Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with, Supply your present wants, and take no doit
4 Shylock,] Our author, as Dr. Farmer informs me, took the name of his Jew from an old pamphlet intitled: Caleb Shillocke, his Prophesie; or the Jewes Prediction. London, printed for T. P. (Thomas Pavyer.) No date. Steevens.
5 A breed for barren metal of his friend?] A breed, that is interest money bred from the principal. By the epithet barren, the author would instruct us in the argument on which the advocates against usury went, which is this; that money is a barren thing, and cannot, like corn and cattle, multiply itself. And to set off the absurdity of this kind of usury, he put breed and barren in opposition. Warburton.
Dr. Warburton very truly interprets this passage. Old Meres says, “Usurie and encrease by gold and silver is unlawful, because against nature; nature hath made them sterill and barren, usurie makes them procreative.” Farmer.
The honour of starting this conceit belongs to Aristotle. See De Repub. Lib. I. H. White.
Thus both the quarto printed by Roberts, and that by Heyes, in 1600. The folio has--a breed of Malone.
Of usance for my monies, and you 'll not hear me:
Ant. This were kindness.
This kindness will I show:
Ant. Content, in faith; I 'll seal to such a bond, And say, there is much kindness in the Jew.
Bass. You shall not seal to such a bond for me,
Ant. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it;
Shy. O father Abraham, what these Christians are;
Ant. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond.
Shy. Then meet me forthwith at the notary's;
dwell in my necessity.] To dwell seems in this place to mean the same as to continue. To abide has both the senses of habitation and continuance. Johnson.
- left in the fearful guard &c.] Fearful guard, is a guard that is not to be trusted, but gives cause of fear. To fear was anciently to give as well as feel terrors. Fohnson.
Of an unthrifty knave; and presently
Hie thee, gentle Jew.
Bass. I like not fair terms, and villain's mind.
Ant. Come on; in this there can be no dismay, My ships come home a month before the day. [Exeunt.
ACT II.....SCENE I.
Belmont. A Room in Portia's House,
Flourish of Cornets. Enter the Prince of Morocco,' and
his Train; PORTIA, NERISSA, and other of her Attendants.
Mor. Mislike me not for my complexion,
So, in King Henry IV, P.I:
“ A mighty and a fearful head they are.” Steevens. 8 I like not fair terms,] Kind words, good language. Johnson.
-the Prince of Morocco,] The old stage direction is “Enter Morochus a tawnie Moore, all in white, and three or foure followers accordingly,” &c. Steevens.
1 To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine.] To understand how the tawny prince, whose savage dignity is very well supported, means to recommend himself by this challenge, it must be remembered that red blood is a traditionary sign of courage: Thus Macbeth calls one of his frighted soldiers, a lily-liver'd boy; again, in this play, Cowards are said to have livers as white as milk; and an effeminate and timorous man is termed a milksop.
Fohnson. It is customary in the east for lovers to testify the violence of their passion by cutting themselves in the sight of their mistresses. See Habits du Levant, pl. 43, and Picart's Religious Ceremonies, Vol. VII, p. 111. Harris.
Hath fear'd the valiant;? by my love, I swear,
Por. In terms of choice I am not solely led
Even for that I thank you;
2 Hath feard the valiant;] i. e. terrifyd. To fear is often used by our old writers, in this sense. So, in K. Henry VI, P. III:
“For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all.” Steevens. 3 And hedgid me by his wit,] I suppose we may safely readand hedg’d'me by his will. Confined me by his will. Johnson.
As the ancient signification of wit, was sagacity, or power of mind, I have not displaced the original reading. See our author, passim. Steevens.
4 That slew the Sophy, &c.] Shakspeare seldom escapes well when he is entangled with geography. The Prince of Morocco must have travelled far to kill the Sophy of Persia. Johnson.
It were well if Shakspeare had never entangled himself with geography worse than in the present case. If the Prince of Morocco be supposed to have served in the army of Sultan Solyman, (the second, for instance) I see no geographical objection to his having killed the Sophi of Persia. See Ó'Herbelot, in Solyman Ben Selim. Tyrwhitt.
So is Alcides beaten by his page;5
You must take your chance;
Mor. Nor will not; come, bring me unto my chance.
Por. First, forward to the temple; after dinner
Good fortune then! [Cornets. To make me bless't, or cursed'st among men. [Exeunt.
Venice. A Street.
Enter LAUNCELOT GOBBO. 8 Laun. Certainly my conscience will serve me to run
5 So is Alcides beaten by his page;] The ancient copies readhis rage. Steevens.
Though the whole set of editions concur in this reading, it is corrupt at bottom. Let us look into the poet's drift, and the history of the persons mentioned in the context. If Hercules, (says he) and Lichas were to play at dice for the decision of their superiority, Lichas, the weaker man, might have the better cast of the two. But how then is Alcides beaten by his rage? The poet 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 master the envenomed shirt, dipt in the blood of the Centaur Nessus, and was thrown headlong into the sea for his pains; this one circumstance of Lichas's quality known, sufficiently ascer. tains the emendation I have substituted, page instead of rage.
Theobald. - therefore be advis’d.] Therefore be not precipitant; consider well what you are to do. Advis'd is the word opposite to rash. Johnson So, in King Richard III:
who in my wrath “Kneeld at my feet, and bade me be advis?d? Steevens.
bless't,] i. e. blessed'st. So, in King Richard III:
- harmless't creature ;” a frequent vulgar contraction in Warwickshire. Steevens.