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64. suited, dressed. Lear, iv. 7. 6:
"Be better suited:
These weeds are memories of those worser hours.'
The word is still used in this sense as a compound: 'sober-suited Freedom,' Tennyson.
65. doublet . . . round hose. Planche (History of British Costume, p. 266) quotes from Stubbs: 'The French hose are of "two divers making; the common sort contain length, breadth, and sideness sufficient, and they are made very round."' Another reference to the dimensions of these round hose is found in Macbeth, ii. 3.14: 'Faith, here's an English tailor come hither, for stealing out of a French hose.' Planche, p. 267, describes the quilted doublet, and adds: 'These bombasted doublets formed a point in front ... to this day the dress of our friend Punch, whose wardrobe of Italian origin dates as nearly as possible from this identical period.'
Ib. honnet, used for a man's head-dress. Richard II. i. 4. 31: 'Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench.'
67. Scottish. In the folio edition published in 1623, the word 'Scottish' is changed to 'other.' Probably the alteration had been made in the acting copy after James's accession, to avoid giving offence at court. Ben Jonson 'was dilated by Sir James Murray to the King, for writing something against the Scots, in a play Eastward Hoe, and voluntarily imprissonned himself with Chapman and Marston, who had written it amongst them. The report was, that they should then [have] had their ears cut and noses. After their delivery, he banqueted all his friends.' (Conversations with Drummond, p. 20. Shakespeare Society's ed.)
72. 'Alluding to the constant assistance, or rather constant promises of assistance, that the French gave the Scots in their quarrels with the English.' (Warburton.)
76. sealed under for another, i. e. for another box on the ear. The principal was said to ' seal to ' a bond; his surety ' sealed under.' Compare
'I'll seal to such a bond.'
75. vilely, ill. 'Vilely' is frequently spelt ' vildly ' in the old editions.
76. Deep drinking was a frequent charge made against the Germans, or, as they were called,' Dutchmen,' at this time. But the accomplishment was not confined to them. See Othello, ii. 3. 80: 'Your Dane, your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander—Drink, ho !—are nothing to your English.'
82. you should refuse to perform. According to modern usage this should be 'you would refuse to perform.'
85. the contrary casket, the wrong casket. King John, iv. 2. 197: "Standing on slippers which his nimble haste
Had falsely thrust upon contrary feet.'
92, 93. by some other sort, by some other method, or manner. Mr. R. G. White supposes 'sort' to mean here 'lot,' like the Latin 'sors' from which it is derived. It bears the latter sense in Troilus and Cressida, i. 3.
'Let blockish Ajax draw The sort to fight with Hector.'
93. your father's imposition, the conditions imposed by your father. See iii. 4. 33:
'I do desire you Not to deny this imposition," i. e. not to refuse this condition.
95. Sibylla, used erroneously as if it were a proper name. So in Taming of the Shrew, i. 2. 70: 'As old as Sibyl.' But Shakespeare speaks of'nine sibyls,' I Henry VI. i. 2. 56, and in Othello, iii. 4. 70:
'A sibyl, that had number'd in the world
The sun to course two hundred compasses.'
99. 7 fray God grant. So the quartos. The folios substitute I wish, a change made in obedience to an act of Parliament 3 James I. chap. 21.
An Act to restrain the abuses of Players.
na'For the preventing and avoiding of the great abuse of the holy Name of Ub.1, in Stage-playes, Enterludes, May-games, Shews, and such like, Be it enacted by our Sovereign Lord the Kings Majesty, and by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That if at any time or times after the end of this present Session of Parliament, any person or persons do or shall in any Stage-play, Enterlude, Sew [shew], May-game, or Pageant, jestingly or prophanely speak, or use the holy Name of God, or of Jesus Christ, or of the Holy Ghost, or of the Trinity, which are not to be spoken, but with fear aud reverence, shall forfeit for every such offence by him »r them committed, ten pounds: The one moiety thereof to the Kings Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, the other moiety thereof to him or them that will sue for the same in any Court of Record at Westminster, wherein no Essoin, Protection or Wager of Law shall be allowed.' (Statutes at Large, ed. 1693.)
109. The words How now! What news? are omitted in the folios, perhaps accidentally.
110. The four strangers. This is an oversight: six strangers have bein enumerated. Perhaps in the first draught of the play there were but four.
111. forerunner. The word occurs in this sense in Timon of Athens, i. 2. 124.
116. condition, disposition, character. So Richard III. iv. 4. 157:
'Madam, I have a touch of your condition,
117, 118. I had rather he should be my confessor than my husband.
12O. Whiles and while and whilst are used indifferently by Shakespeare.
Farmer conjectured that Shakespeare had derived the name 'Shylock' from a pamphlet called 'Caleb Shillocke his Prophecie, or the Jewes Prediction;' but it is uncertain whether this pamphlet was printed before or after the production of our play. In Pepys's Collection of Ballads (vol. i. p. 38) is one with the title ' Calebbe Shillocke, his Prophesie: or the lewes Prediction. To the tune of Bragandarie.' The second verse begins,
*And first, within this present yeere,
Shylock doubtless was introduced with an orange-tawny bonnet, the mark
1. Cotgrave (ed. 1632) mentions many kinds of ducats, Venetian among them. He adds: 'all foraine coynes, of whose value (often changed by the French Kings) no certaine interpretation can be giuen, other then that they hold a rate much about v. or vjs. sterl. the peece.' Coryat, who visited Venice in 1608, tells us that the ducat was worth 4». Sd. (Crudities, ed. 1611, pp. 228, 253.)
4. the which. 'The ' is here redundant, as in iii. 4. 34, and such phrases as 'at the least,' ' at the length,' &c.
7. May you stead me? Can you assist me? See Romeo and Juliet, ii. 3. 54:
'My intercession likewise steads my foe.'
For ' may' in the sense of 'can' see Ps. cxxv. 1 (Pr. Bk.): 'As the mount Sion, which may not be removed,' where the Authorized Version has ' cannot.'
12.0 good man. Shylock means 'a man of substance.' The word good is opposed to poor in Coriolanus, i. 1. 16: 'We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good.'
16. in supposition, doubtful, because exposed to the perils of the sea.
18. the Rialto, 'as it were, Rivo Alto, a high shore. . . An eminent place in Venice where Marchants commonly meete, as on the Exchange at London.' (Florio, Ital. Dict. 1611.) The bridge called Ponte di Rialto was first built in 1591, but the existing bridge is a more recent structure.
19. squandered, scattered recklessly. See As You Like It, ii. 7. 57:
'The squandering glances of the fool.' 31. See Matthew viii. 32.
M. A 'fawning publican" seems an odd combination. The Publican! or farmers of taxes under the Roman government were much more likely
to treat the Jews with insolence than servility. Shakespeare perhaps only
'Haply, for I am black
41. usance, interest. Douce quotes from Thomas's Historye of Italye. 1561, fol. 76 6: ' It is almoste incredyble what gaine the Venetians receiue by the vsury of the Jewes, both pryuately and in common. For in euerye citee the Jewes kepe open shops of vsurie, taking gaiges of ordinarie for TN. in the hundred by the yere: and if at the yeres ende, the gaige be not redemed, it is forfeite, or at the least dooen away to a great disaduantuge: by reason wherof the Jewes are out of measure wealthie in those fifties.'
42. To 'catch upon the hip' was a wrestler's phrase. See Othello, ii.
'I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip.' And so in this play, iv. 1. 330:
'Now, infidel, I have you on the hip.'
47. interest. This word, like all words specially connected with the trade of money-lending, had an invidious sense. Shylock is careful himself to employ general terms.
55. Rest you fair. Compare As You Like It, v. 1. 65: * God rest you merry.'
58. excess, that which, when the loan is repaid, is paid in excess of the sum lent, i. e. interest.
59. ripe wants, wants that require immediate satisfaction, as ripe fruit requires plucking.
60. possess'd, i. e. fully informed. So iv. 1. 35:
'I have posscss'd your grace of what I purpose.' And Twelfth Night, ii. 3. 149:
'Possess us, possess us; tell us something of him.' In this place the first quarto has * resolv'd.' 67. When Jacob, &c. See Genesis xxx.
69. As his wise mother, &c. See Genesis xxvii.
70. the third, i. e. reckoning Abraham himself as first.
74. were compromised, had come to a mutual agreement.
75. eanlings, lambs just dropped, from Anglo-Saxon eanian, to bring forth, whence * can' or * yean,' * eanling' or * yeanling. ' Shakespeare uses 'can,' 3 Henry VI. ii. 5. 36:
'Ere the poor fools will can.' Theobald altered it to 'yean.'
82. inserted, i.e. in Scripture.
83. Gold and silver representing together the single idea 'money' have the singular ' is.' Shylock says, ' I make it breed as fast.'
84. This notion is preserved in the Greek word for 'interest,' roxos. 'that which money brings forth.' See line 122 of this scene: 'A breed for
barren metal." Bacon (Essay 41) says that one of the objections to usury
85-90. These lines are spoken aside to Bassanio while Shylock is, or
M. The devil.... purpose. The origin of the proverb is in Matthew
93. beholding, frequently used by Shakespeare as equivalent to 'beholden.'
97. In writing these lines Shakespeare perhaps remembered Marlowe's
* I learn'd in Florence how to kiss my hand,
98. tribe, here used for the whole Jewish race.
loo. Florio, 1611, gives the Italian ' Gavardina, a gabardine or frocke. '
106. foot me, i. e. kick me. See Cymbeline, iii, 5. 148: 'To the court
118. fife, likely.
H2. A breed for. So the quartos. The folios read 'A breed of.'
124. Who if be break .... This use of the relative with no verb
128. doit, the German Deut, originally a small coin, value half a far-
132 sqq. See lines 48-52 of the ballad of Gernutus, printed in the Preface.
133. your single bond, a bond with your own signature alone attached to
136. condition, agreement. See 1 Henry VI, v. 4. 165:
'How sayst thou, Charles? shall our condition stand?'
137. nominated for an equal pound, specified as a pound of flesh, which
143. dwell, abide, continue.
149. dealings teaches. Shakespeare uses the singular verb inaccurate!)'
'Whose own hard dealings teach them to suspect. "
151. See the old ballad of Gernutus, printed in the Preface. Mr. Staun-