« PreviousContinue »
Let fortune go to hell for it,—not I.?
Let me choose;
Por. Upon the rack, Bassanio? then confess What treason there is mingled with your love.
Bass. None, but that ugly treason of mistrust, Which makes me fear the enjoying of my love: There may as well be amity and life 'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love.
Por. Ay, but, I fear, you speak upon the rack, Where men enforced do speak any thing.
B.Ass. Promise me life, and I'll confess the truth.
Confess, and love,
? Let fortune go to hell for it, nor 1.] The meaning is, “ If the worst I fear should happen, and it should prove in the event, that I, who am juftly yours by the free donation I have made you of myself, should yet not be yours in consequence of an unlucky choice, let fortune go to hell for robbing you of your juft due, not I for violating my oath." HEATH.
3 to peize the time ;] Thus the old copies. To peize is from Pefer, Fr. So, in K. Richard III:
« Left leaden slumber peize me down to-morrow." To peize the time, therefore, is to retard it by hanging weights upon it. The modern editors read, without authority, piece.
STEEVENS. To peize, is to queizh, or balance; and figuratively, to keep in fufpence, to delay.
So, in Sir P. Sydney's Apology for Poetry:~" not speaking words as. They changeably fall from the mouth, bat perzing each sillable."
Doth teach me answers for deliverance!
Por. Away then: I am lock'd in one of them;
4 With no less presence,] With the same dignity of mien,
JOHNSON. s To the sea-monfter:) See Ovid. Metamorph. Lib. XI. yer, 199, et seqq. Shakspeare however, I believe, had read an account of this adventure in The Destruction of Troy :-“ Laomedon cast his eyes all bewept on him, Hercules) and was all abashed to see his greatness and his beauty.” See B. I, p. 221, edit. 1617.
Malone. 6 Live thou, I live :-With much much more dismay
I view the fight, than thou that mak'f the fray.] One of the quartos [Roberts's] reads:
Live then, I live with much more dismay
Musick, whilf Bassanio comments on the caskels to
Or in the heart, or in the head?
2. It is engender'd in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and fancy dies
Let us all ring fancy's knell;
All. Ding, dong, bell.
The folio, 1623, thus :
Live thou, I live with much more difmay
I view the fight, than &c.
" -fancy -] i, e, Love, So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:
" Than fighs and tears, poor fancy's followers,"Steevens, 7 Reply,] The words, reply, reply, were in all the late editions, except Sir T, Hanmer's, put as verse in the song; but in all the old copies stand as a marginal direction. Johnson,
8 So may the outward shows - ] He begins abruptly; the first part of the argument has passed in his mind. JOHNSON.
9- gracious voice,] Pleasing; winning favour. Johnson,
" — I am full sorry
3 There is no vice-] The old copies read_voice. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
4 — valour's excrement,] i. e. what a little higher is called the beard of Hercules. So, “pedler's excrement," in The Winter's Tale. MaloNE.
5 by the weight;] That is, artificial beauty is purchased so; as, false hair, &c. Steevens.
o Making them lightest that wear most of it:] Lightest is here used in a wanton sense. So afterwards:
“ Let me be light, but let me not seem light.” MALONE. 7- crisped - ] i. e. curled. So, in The Philosopher's Satires, by Robert Anton :
« Her face as beauteous as the crisped morn.” Steevens. 8 - in the sepulchre.] See a note on Timon of Athens, AA IV. fc. üi. Shakspeare has likewise fatirized this yet prevailing fashion in Love's Labour's Loft. Steevens.
The prevalence of this fashion in Shakspeare's time is evinced by the following passage in an old pamphlet entitled The Honeftie of this Age, proving by good circumstance that ihe world was never honeft till now, by Barnabe Rich, quarto, 1615:4" My lady holdeth on her way, perhaps to the tire-maker's shop, where she maketh her crow nes to bestow upon some new fashioned attire, upon such artificial deformed periwigs, that they were fitter to furnish a theatre,
Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
or for her that in a stage-play should represent some hag of hell, than to be used by a christian woman.” Again, ibid: “ These attire-makers within these fortie veares were not known by that name; and but now very lately they kept their lowzie commodity of periwigs, and their monstrous attires closed in boxes ;-and those women that used to weare them would not buy them but in secret, But now they are not ashamed to set them forth upon their stalls, such monstrous mop-powles of haire, so proportioned and deformed, that but within these twenty or thirty yeares would have drawne the passers-by to ftand and gaze, and to wonder at them."
MALONE. 9 -- the guiled lore ] i. e, the treacherous shore. I should not have tought the word wanted explanation, but that some of our modern editors have rejected it, and read gilded. Guiled is the reading of all the ancient copies. Shakspeare in this inftance, as in many others, confounds the participles, Guiled stands for guiling. STEEVENS, 2 - Indian beauty;] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads ;
Indian dowdy. JOHNSON, 3 Thy plainnefs mores me more than eloquence,] The old copies read-paleness. Steevens.
Baffanio is displeased at the golden casket for its gaudiness, and the filver one for its paleness; but what is he charmed with the leaden one for having the very same quality that displeased him in the silver The poet certainly wrote:
Thy plainness moves me more than cloquence : This characterizes the lead from the filver, which paleness does not, they being both pale. Besides, there is a beauty in the antithesis between plainness and eloquence; between paleness and clogaence none. So it is said before of the leaden casket: “ This third, dull lead, with warning all is blunt."