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To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces:
I will go before, sir.Mistress, look out at window, for all this;
There will come a Christian by,
Will be worth a Jewess' eye.8
More than the wild cat; drones hive not with me;
Do, as I bid you,
Shut doors1 after you: Fast bind, fast find;
A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.
Jes. Farewel; and if my fortune be not crost,'
I have a father, you a daughter, lost.
8 There will come a Christian by,
Will be worth a Jewess' eye.] It's worth a Jew's eye, is a proverbial phrase. Whalley,
9 The patch is kind enough,] This term should seem to have come into use from the name of a celebrated fool. This I learn from Wilson's Art of Rhetorique, 1553: "A word-making, called of the Grecians Onomatopeia, is when we make words of our own mind, such as be derived from the nature of things;-as to call one Patche, or Cowlson, whom we see to do a thing foolishly; because these two in their time were notable fools."
Probably the dress which the celebrated Patche wore, was in allusion to his name, patched or parti-coloured. Hence the stage fool has ever since been exhibited in a motley coat. Patche, of whom Wilson speaks, was Cardinal Wolsey's fool. Malone.
1 Shut doors-] Doors is here used as a dissyllable. Malone.
Enter GRATIANO and SALARINO, masqued.
Gra. This is the pent-house, under which Lorenzo Desir'd us to make stand.2
His hour is almost past.
Gra. And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour,
Salar. O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly 3
Gra. That ever holds: Who riseth from a feast,
2 Desir'd us to make stand.] Desir'd us stand, in ancient elliptical language, signifies-desired us to stand. The words-to make, are an evident interpolation, and consequently spoil the measure. Steevens.
3 0, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly-] Lovers have in poetry been always called Turtles or Doves, which in lower language may be pigeons. Johnson.
Thus Chapman, in his version of Homer's Catalogue of Ships, Iliad the second:
Thisbe, that for pigeons doth surpasse —;"
Mr. Pope, in more elegant language :
-Thisbe, fam'd for silver doves -." Steevens..
4 a younker,] All the old copies read—a younger.
But Rowe's emendation may be justified by Falstaff's question in The First Part of King Henry IV:-"I'll not pay a denier. What will you make a younker of me?" Steevens.
How like a younker, or a prodigal,
The scarfed bark puts from her native bay, &c.] Mr. Grey (dropping the particularity of allusion to the parable of the prodigal) seems to have caught from this passage the imagery of the following:
"Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
"In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;
"Youth on the Prow, and Pleasure at the helm; "Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,
"That hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening-prey."
The scarfed bark5 puts from her native bay,
With over-weather'd ribs, and ragged sails,
Salar. Here comes Lorenzo;-more of this hereafter. Lor. Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode; Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait;
When you shall please to play the thieves for wives,
Jes. Who are you? Tell me, for more certainty,
Lor. Lorenzo, and thy love.
Jes. Lorenzo, certain; and my love, indeed; For who love I so much? And now who knows, But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
Lor. Heaven, and thy thoughts, are witness that thou
Jes. Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains. I am glad 'tis night, you do not look on me, For I am much asham'd of my exchange:
The grim-repose, however, was suggested by Thomson's--
· scarfed bark —] i. e. the vessel decorated with flags. So, in All's well that ends well: "Yet the scarfs and the bannerets about thee, did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great burden.
embraced by the strumpet wind!] So, in Othello: "The bawdy wind, that kisses all it meets." Malone.
doth she return;] Surely the bark ought to be of the mas culine gender, otherwise the allusion wants somewhat of propriety. This indiscriminate use of the personal for the neuter, at least obscures the passage. A ship, however, is commonly spoken of in the feminine gender. Steevens.
8 With over-weather'd ribs,] Thus both the quartos. The folio has over-wither'd. Malone.
9 I'll watch as long for you then.-Approach;] Read, with a slight variation from Sir T. Hanmer:
"I'll watch as long for you. Come then, approach." Ritson.
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
Lor. Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer.
And I should be obscur'd.
So are you, sweet, Even in the lovely garnish of a boy.
But come at once;
For the close night doth play the run-away,
And we are staid for at Bassanio's feast.
Jes. I will make fast the doors, and gild myself
For she is wise, if I can judge of her;
if that mine eyes be true;
Enter JESSICA, below.
What, art thou come?-On, gentlemen, away;
[Exit with JES. and SALAR.
1 Now by, my hood, a Gentile, and no few.] A jest arising from the ambiguity of Gentile, which signifies both a Heathen, and one well born. Johnson.
So, at the conclusion of the first part of Feronimo, &c. 1605: So, good night kind gentles,
"For I hope there's never a few among you all.”
Again, in Swetnam Arraign'd, 1620:
"Joseph the Jew was a better Gentile far." Steevens. Dr. Johnson rightly explains this. There is an old book by one Ellis, entitled: The Gentile Sinner, or England's brave Gentleman."
To understand Gratiano's oath, it should be recollected that he is in a masqued habit, to which it is probable that formerly, as at present, a large cape or hood was affixed. Malone.
Gratiano alludes to the practice of friars, who frequently swore by this part of their habit. Steevens.
Ant. Who's there?
Gra. Signior Antonio?
Ant. Fye, fye, Gratiano! where are all the rest? 'Tis nine o'clock; our friends all stay for you:— No masque to-night; the wind is come about, Bassanio presently will go aboard:
I have sent twenty out to seek for you.
Gra. I am glad on 't; I desire no more delight, Than to be under sail, and gone to-night.
Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Flourish of Cornets.
Enter PoRTIA, with the Prince of
Por. Go, draw aside the curtains, and discover
Mor. The first, of gold, who this inscription bears;—
Por. The one of them contains my picture, prince;
Mor. Some god direct my judgment! Let me see,
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath.
A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross;
2 — as blunt;] That is, as gross as the dull metal. Johnson.