« PreviousContinue »
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves :
idiot, Presentirg me a schedule ? I will read it. How much unlike art thou to Portia! How much unlike my hopes, and my deservings ! Who chooseth me, shall have as much as he deserves. Did I deserve no more than a fool's head ? Is that my prize ? are my deserts no better?
Por. To offend, and judge, are distinct offices, And of opposed natures. AR.
What is here?
i. e. winnow'd, purged, from the French word, vanner ; which is derived from the Latin vannus, ventilabrum, the fan used for winnowing the chaff from the corn. This alteration restores the metaphor to its integrity: and our poet frequently uses the same thought. So, in The Second Part of Henry IV.:
“ We shall be winnow'd with so rough a wind,
WARBURTON. Shakspeare is perpetually violating the integrity of his metaphors, and the emendation proposed seems to me to be as faulty as unnecessary; for what is already selected from the chaff needs not be new vanned. I wonder Dr. Warburton did not think of changing the word ruin into rowing, which in some counties of England, is used to signify the second and inferior crop of grass which is cut in autumn.
So, in one of our old pieces, of which I forgot to set down the name, when I transcribed the following passage:
“when we had taken the first crop, you might have then been bold to eat the rowens.” The word occurs, however, both in the notes on Tusser, and in Mortimer. STEEVENS.
Steevens justly observes, that honour when picked from the chaff, could not require to be new vanned; bui honour, mixed with the chaff and ruin of the times, might require to be new varnished. M. MASON.
. I will assume desert ;--Give me a key for this,] The words -for this, which (as Mr. Ritson observes,) destroy the measure, should be omitted. STEEVENS.
The fire seven times tried this ;
[Exeunt Arragon, and Train.
1-I wis,] I know. Wissen, German. So, in King Henry VI. :
“ I wis your grandame had no worser match." Again, in the comedy of King Cambyses :
“ Yea, I wis, shall you, and that with all speed.” Sidney, Ascham, and Waller, use the word. Steevens.
? Take what wife you will to bed,] Perhaps the poet had forgotten that he who missed Portia was never to marry any woman.
Johnson. 3 So begone, sir,] Sir, which is not in the old copies, was supplied by the editor of the second folio, for the sake of the metre.
Malone. Unnecessarily. See the Essay on Shakspeare's Versification.
Boswell, 4 — to bear my WROTH.] The old editions read—“to bear my wroath.” Wroath is used in some of the old books for misfortune ; and is often spelt like ruth, which at present signifies only pity, or sorrow for the miseries of another. Caxton's Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, &c. 1471, has frequent instances of wroth. Thus, also, in Chapman's version of the 22nd
“ born to all the wroth,
“ Of woe and labour." The modern editors read-my wrath. Steevens.
Por. Thus hath the candle sing'd the moth.
Ner. The ancient saying is no heresy ;-
Por. Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa.
Enter a Servant.
Here; what would my lord 5 ?
Por. No more, I pray thee; I am half afeard, Thou wilt say anon, he is some kin to thee, Thou spend'st such high-day witin praising him.Come, come, Nerissa ; for I long to see Quick Cupid's post, that comes so mannerly. NER. Bassanio, lord love, if thy will it be !
s Por. Here ; what would my lord ?] Would not this speech to the servant be more proper in the mouth of Nerissa?
TYRWHITT. o – regreets ;] i. e. salutations. So, in K. John, Act III. Sc. I.:
“Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regreet." STEEVENS. ? – HIGH-DAY wit —] So, in the Merry Wives of Windsor; “ – he speaks holiday." STEEVENS.
ACT III. SCENE I.
Venice. A Street.
Enter SALANIO and SALARINO. SALAN. Now, what news on the Rialto ?
SALAR. Why, yet it lives there uncheck’d, that Antonio hath a ship of rich lading wreck'd on the narrow seas; the Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very dangerous flat, and fatal, where the carcases of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip report be an honest woman of her word.
SALAN. I would she were as lying a gossip in that, as ever knapp'd ginger, or made her neighbours believe she wept for the death of a third husband : But it is true,-without any slips of prolixity, or crossing the plain high-way of talk,—that the good Antonio, the honest Antonio,-- that I had a title good enough to keep his name company !
SALAR. Come, the full stop.
SALAN. Ha,—what say'st thou ?—Why the end is, he hath lost a ship.
SALAR. I would it might prove the end of his losses !
SALAN. Let me say amen betimes, lest the devil cross my prayer'; for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew.
8 — KNAPP'd ginger ;] To knap is to break short. The word occurs in The Common Prayer: “ He knappeth the spear in sunder." STEEVENS.
9 - My prayer ;] i. e. the prayer or wish, which you have just now uttered, and which I devoutly join in by saying amen to it. Mr. Theobald and Dr. Warburton unnecessarily, I think, readthy prayer. MALONE.
The people pray as well as the priest, though the latter only pronounces the words, which the people make their own by say
Enter SHYLOCK. How now, Shylock? what news among the merchants ?
Shy. You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my daughter's flight.
SALAR. That's certain ; I, for my part, knew the tailor that made the wings she flew withal.
SALAN. And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was fledg'd; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam.
Shy. She is damn'd for it.
SALAR. That's certain, if the devil may be her judge.
Suy. My own flesh and blood to rebel !
SALAN. Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these years ?
Suy. I say, my daughter is my flesh and blood *.
SALAR. There is more difference between thy flesh and hers, than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods, than there is between red wine and rhenish :—But tell us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss at sea or no ?
Shy. There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a prodigal', who dare scarce show his head
* Quarto H. my blood. ing Amen to them. It is, after this, needless to add, that the Devil (in the shape of a Jew) could not cross Salarino's prayer, which, as far as it was singly his, was already ended. HEATH.
1- a bankrupt, a prodigal,] This is spoke of Antonio. But why a prodigal? his friend Bassanio indeed had been too liberal ; and with this name the Jew honours him when he is going to sup with him :
“- I'll go in hate to feed upon
“ The prodigal Christian —.". But Antonio was a plain, reserved parsimonious merchant ; be assured, therefore, we should read-a bankrupt for a prodigal, i. e. he is become bankrupt by supplying the extravagancies of his friend Bassanio. WARBURTON.