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155. muttons. See As You Like It, iii, 2. 58: 'Is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man?'
lb. beefs. In 1 Henry IV, iii. 3. 199, the Prince calls Falstaff ' O, my sweet beef!' Cotgrave explains bceuf to mean * An Ox; a Beefe; also, beefe.' The plural occurs 2 Henry IV. iii. 2. Mr.
'Now has he land and beefs.' Modern editions change the word to ' beeves.'
156. extend, hold out, proffer. 'Extend' is used in the literal sense Twelfth Night, ii, 5. 72:
'I extend my hand to him thus.'
158. for my love, not ' in return for my love,' but ' for my love's sake.' 163. the fearful guard, the guardianship in which no confidence can be
placed. Warburton, not understanding the passage, changed 'fearful' to
The old stage direction is as follows: 'Enter Morochus, a tawny Moore all in white and three or foure followers accordingly, with Portia, Nerrissa and their traine.'
1. Mislike. See Antony and Cleopatra, iii. 13. 147:
'If he mislike my speech.'
9. fear'd, affrighted. See Measure for Measure, ii. 1. 2: 'We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey.'
12. Except I might steal your affections by disguising myself, as thieves do.
14. nice, fanciful, fastidious.
17. scanted, limited. See iii. 2. 112:
'In measure rain thy joy; scant this excess.'
18. wit. The word is used in the same sense in Henry VIII. ii. 4. 47:
'A prince most prudent, of an excellent
And unmatch'd wit and judgement.' Capell altered the word in the text to 'will,' following a guess of Theobald.
2O. stood, had stood, would have stood, as fair for my affection. In the word 'fair' there is a reference to the complexion of the Moor.
25. The Sophy is twice mentioned in Twelfth Night, ii. 5. 197, and iii. 4. 307. In ' The Table' at the end of The History of the Warres betweene the Turkes and the Persians, written in Italian by J. T. Minadoi, and translated by Abraham Hartwell, London, 1595, we read: 'Soffi, and Softo, an auncient word signifying a wise man, learned and skilfull in Maglke Natural1. It is grown to be the common name of the Emperour of Persia,' The first monarch who bore the name was Ismael Sophi, the founder of the Suffavian dynasty at the beginning of the sixteenth century. So says Mill in his British India, but Minadoi, p. 48, affirms that he did rather renew it in his own person.
•26. Sultan Solyman. It is not necessary to suppose that Shakespeare was at all careful of historical accuracy; but probably he refers to the unfortunate campaign which Solyman the Magnificent undertook against the Persians
27. outstare. So the first quarto. The second quarto and folios have • ore-stare.'
31. Alas the while! a form of exclamation now obsolete, or nearly so. The speaker laments the circumstances in which he is placed at the present time. So Julius Caesar, i. 3.82: 'But, woe the while!' See also Henry V. iv. 7. 78. Perhaps the same meaning lurks in 'Alack a day!' Compare Ezekiel xxx. 2: 'Woe worth the day ! *
35- page- This is Theobald's certain emendation for 'rage' which is the reading of the older editions. Lichas is mentioned as the page who unconsciously brought Hercules the poisoned shirt in Ovid's Metamorphoses, ix. 155. 'Alcides' occurs in line 217.
42. be advised, be deliberate. See note on i. l. 142.
43. Nor will not. Observe the double negative with a negative sense: 'Nor will I speak to lady,' &c,
44. The .temple, where the Prince was to take the oath. The mention of a temple instead of a church seems odd here. Perhaps Portia's Roman name led Shakespeare momentarily to forget that she was a Christian, or the mention of Hercules and Lichas may have given his thoughts a classical turn.
46. blest. The sense required is 'blessed'st,' which is suggested by the following superlative. See iii. 2. 289, and compare Measure for Measure, iv. 6. 13: 'The generous and gravest citizens.'
Enter Launcelot. The old editions have ' Enter the Clown alone.'
8. scorn running with thy heels. See Much Ado About Nothing, iii. 4. 51:
'I scorn that with my heels.'
9. via 1 Italian, meaning 'away!' See Merry Wives, ii. 2. 159.
10. for the heavens 1 For heaven's sake.
15. grow to. A household phrase applied to milk when burnt to the bottom of the saucepan, and thence acquiring an unpleasant taste. * Grown' iu this sense is still used in Lincolnshire. (Brogden's Dict, of Prov. Words, &c.)
2O. 'God bless the mark,' or 'God save the mark,' is used as a parenthetic apology for some profane or vulgar word. So Hotspur, in 1 Henry IV. t, 3- 56, represents the courtier as apologizing thus for mentioning such things as 'guns and drums and wounds.'
23. incarnal. So the first quarto. The other quartos and the folios have • incarnation.' Either is meant as a ludicrous mistake for ' incarnate.'
31. sand-blind. 'Sand' is perhaps a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon sam, equivalent to the Latin semi, half. Cotgrave has, ' Berlue: (. 'The being sand-blind, or pur-blind.' 'High-gravel-blind' is of course merely a jest.
32. confusions. So the second quarto and folios, doubtless rightly. 'Conclusions' is the reading of the first quarto, but Launcelot would not have given a hard word so correctly.
36. Marry, originally ' Mary,' like ' by 'r Lady,' ' by our Lady;' used here as a mere expletive,
39. sonties. Corrupted, according to some, from saintes, 'saints,' according to others, from ' sanctities.'
53. an, for ' if,' generally spelt 'and' in the old editions. Sometimes it is combined with 'if,' as in Matt xxiv. 48: 'But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart.' See note on iv. 1. 441.
55. father. As old men were frequently addressed by the young with the respectful title 'father,' old Gobbo does not recognize his son at once.
61. hovel-post, a prop to support the roof of a shed.
73. Mr. Staunton says: ' Stage-tradition, not improbably from the time of Shakespeare himself, makes Launcelot, at this point, kneel with his back to the sand-blind old father, who, of course, mistakes his long back hair for a beard, of which his face is perfectly innocent.'
M. fill-horse, shaft-horse. The word is 'philhorse' in the second quarto and folios, and * pilhorse,' a misprint, in the first quarto. Theobald wrote 'thill-horse.' The fills, or thills, are the shafts of a cart. The former is used by Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, iii. 2.48: 'An you draw backward, we'll put you i' the fills.'
95. I have set up my rest. 'A metaphor from the once fashionable and favourite game of primero; meaning, to stand upon the cards you have in your hand, in hopes they may prove better than those of your adversary. Hence, to make up your mind, to be determined.' (Nares' Glossary.) Tie phrase occurs in Romeo and Juliet, iv. 5.6.
99. give me. 'me' is here redundant, as in Julius Caesar, i. 2. 267: 'He plucked me ope his doublet.'
103. I am a Jew. See Much Ado About Nothing, ii. 3. 272: 'If I do not love her, I am a Jew.'
107. anon, immediately.
11o. gramercy, from the French grand merci, 'much thanks.'
119. cater-cousins is generally held to mean ' fourth cousins,'' cater' being derived from the French quatre. But no such phrase is, or apparently ever was, known in French as ' quatre-cousin.' This is the only passage in Shakespeare in which it occurs. Halliwell (Arch, and Prov. Dict.) gives'caper cousins' as a Lancashire expression for 'great friends.' This is evidently a corruption of our phrase. The sense required here is 'barely on speaking terms.' May the word come from queteur, and mean ' as good fricnds is two friars begging for rival convents?'
122. frntify. Probably Launcelot means ' certify." Mr. Bishop conjectures that in 11. 113, 117, we should read 'spicify' for 'specify.' If so, Launcelot's language is affected by recollections of the pantry, 'spice' and ' fruit.'
134. preferr'd, 'recommended for promotion.' It also means 'promoted,' and Bassanio plays upon this double sense. For the former sense, see 2 Henry VI. iv. 7. 77:
'Because my book preferr'd me to the king.' And for the latter, King Lear, i. 1. 277:
'I would prefer him to a better place.'
137. The proverb referred to runs thus in its Scotch form: 'The grace of God is geir enough.' (Ray's Proverbs, p. 295, ed. 1670.)
143. guarded, braided, trimmed. A 'guard' was so called because the trimming protected the cloth from injury. See Henry VIII. Prologue, 16: • a fellow In a long motley coat, guarded with yellow;' and Much Ado About Nothing, i. 1. 287: 'The body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither. "
145 sqq. Well, if any man, ac. If the text be as Shakespeare wrote it, Launcelot seems to leave the sentence imperfect at ' table,' with an ellipsis of ' I'll be hanged,' or some such phrase. In the science of chiromancy the palm of the hand was called 'the table.' Nares quotes from Middleton, Anything for a Quiet Life:
* B. In good earnest 1 do find written here, all my good fortune lies in your hands.
'W. You keep a very bad house then, you may see by the smallness of the table.'
Launcelot, then, looks on his palm and affirms that there is no man in Italy whose ' table' gives more positive assurance of good fortune.
147. From one of the lines on the palm fortune-tellers foretold the course of a man's life, from others the number of his wives. 'A simple line of life,' i. e. 'a poor, mean line,' is ironical for the converse.
153. for this gear. See note on i. 1. 11o.
171. liberal, licentious. See Much Ado About Nothing, iv. 1. 93: 'Most like a liberal villain.'
Ib. take pain. Compare Henry VIII, iii, 2. 72:
'This same Cranmer's A worthy fellow, and hath ta'en much pain In the king's business.' The more modern ' Took some pains,' is found in the present play, v. 1. 182.
173. skipping. See 1 Henry IV. iii. 2. 60:
'The skipping king, he ambled up and down.' lb. spirit, pronounced as a monosyllable.
174. misconstrued. Printed, as pronounced, 'misconstred' in the quartos, and 'misconsterd' or 'misconster'd' in the folios.
176. habit, demeanour.
181. civility, civilization, refinement. The word is still used in this sense by our poets. So Patmore, Angel in the House:
'The fair sum of six thousand years'
182. sad ostent, grave appearance. The word 'ostent' occurs again, ii. 8. 44: 'Fair ostents of love,'
5. soon at supper. Compare Comedy of Errors, 1.2.26:
'Soon at five o'clock,
Please you, I'll meet with you upon the mart.' And iii. 2. 179:
'And soon at supper-time I'll visit you.' So Richard III. iv. 3. 31:
'Come to me, Tyrrel, soon at after-supper.'
In these and similar phrases 'soon' seems to be used pleonastically, emphasizing the words which follow.
10. exhihit. Launcelot means ' inhibit.'
1. Gratiano and his friends are contriving a masque as a farewell entertainment to Bassanio. So Henry VIII and others disguised themselves as shepherds, and appeared at Cardinal Wolsey's feast. (Henry VIII. i. 4.)
5. spoke as of torchbearers, i.e. bespoken torchbearers, made arrangements about torchbearers. The fourth folio alters 'us yet' into 'as yet.'
7. quaintly, gracefully, elegantly, in conformity with the derivation of the word from comptus. See Two Gentlemen of Verona, ii. 1.128 : 'The lines are very quaintly writ.'
10. An. See note on ii. 2. 53.
Ib. break up, break open. See Winter's Tale, iii. 2.132: 'Break up the seals and read.'
23. provided of. So Henry V. iii. 7. 9 : ' You are as well provided of both as any prince in the world;' and Bacon's Advancement of Learning, ii. 21. 15: ' He is invested of a precedent disposition to conform himself thereunto,' 'Of is frequently used by Shakespeare and his contemporaries where we should use other prepositions, 'with,' ' for,' &c.
M. faithless, unbelieving. See Matt. xvii. 17; Mark ix. 19.
3. What, why, and when are all used as exclamations of impatience. See Richard II. i. 1. 162: 'When, Harry, when?'
n. bid forth, invited out.
18. to-night, i.e. last night, as in French cette nuit. See 2 Henry VI, iii. 2. 31:
'I did dream to-night. The duke was dumb.'
It is also and more commonly used by Shakespeare in the modern sense, as in 1. 36 of this scene.
'Some say that to dreame of money, and all kinde of coyne is ill-' (Artemidorus, The ludgement, or Exposition of Dreames, p. 99, ed. 1606.)
22. An. It may be doubted whether 'and ' is to be taken in the sense of 'if,' and in that case spelt for clearness' sake according to the usage of modern editors 'an.'
24. Slack-Monday, Easter Monday, so called, according to Stowe, because of a storm which occurred on April 14, 1360, being Easter Monday, when Edward III. was lying with his army before Paris, and when many of his men-at-arms died of cold.
29. squealing. The first quarto reads ' squeaking.'
Ib. wry-neck'd fife. Boswell quotes Barnaby Rich's Aphorismes, 1618: 'A fife is a wry-neckt musician, for he always looks away from his instrument.' It may be doubted whether ' fife' here means the musician or the instrument, as the fife may have had a mouth-piece.