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32. varnish"d faces. The maskers painted their faces by way of disguise. Shylock alludes also to Christian duplicity. Compare Timon of Athens, iv. 2. 36:
'But only painted, like his varnish'd friends.'
M. Jacob's staff. See Gen. xxxii. 10, and Heb. xi. 21. It is in this sense, no doubt, that Shakespeare understands the phrase, but it was familiarly used in the sense of a pilgrim's staff, because S. James (or Jacob), the patron of pilgrims, was represented with one in his hand. See Spenser's Faery Queene, i-6-35:
'And in his hand a lacobs staffe, to stay
36. of feasting, for feasting, as we should say.
42. Jewess'. This is Pope's reading. The quartos and two first folios have Jewes, and the two later folios Jew's. Mr. R. G. White maintains that 'Jewess* is a modern word, but it occurs in the Authorized Version of 1611 (Acts xvi. 1) and in the earlier versions, even in that of Wiclif.
45. patch, a fool, from the patched or motley coat of the professional jester. Hence applied more generally as a term of contempt. See Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 2. 9:
'A crew of patches, rude mechanicals.'
Perhaps, however, the word is a corruption of the Italian pazzo. Florio gives 'Pazzo, a foole, a patch, a madman.'
47, The wild cat, which prowls and preys by night, sleeps during the day.
51. Perhaps I will. In modern English we should say 'perhaps I shall.'
53. 'Bon guet chasse malaventure, Pro. Good watch preuents misfortune; (fast bind fast find, say we).' Cotgrave's Dictionary, s. v. Bon. The same proverb is given in Florio's Second Frutes (159i), P-15
2. This line has a foot too much. Irregularities of defect or excess are particularly frequent when a line is divided between two speakers.
3. out-dwells, out-stays.
5. Venus'pigeons. So Tempest, iv. 1. 94:
'I met her deity
Cutting the clouds towards Paphos and her son
7. obliged faith, faith bound by contract. Compare Merry Wives of Windsor, i. 1. 1 1: 'In any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation," where 'obligation' is used for the deed by which one binds himself.
9. sits down. We should say 'sits down with.' So 'of is omitted, iv.
10. untread again, tread in reverse order, retrace. So King John, v.
'We will untread the steps of damned flight.'
The allusion seems to be to a horse trained to perform various feats, such as we now see only in a circus.
14. younker. This, which isRowe's emendation for ' younger,' the reading of the quartos and folios, exactly expresses the Greek veavias. Compare 3 Henry VI. ii. I. 24:
'How well resembles it the prime of youth,
15. scarfed, decked with flags. Or is it that a ship in full sail is compared to a woman dressed in scarfs? The former interpretation is confirmed by All's Well that ends Well, ii. 3. 214: 'The scarfs and the bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burthen.' From this it would seem that a scarf was a decoration of I pleasure vessel.
17. See Luke XV. 11-32. Observe that it is 'a prodigal' in 1. 14,'^' prodigal' in 1. 17.
18. over-weather'd, injured by storms, weather-beaten. The folios read erroneously ' over-wither'd.'
21. abode, stay, tarrying.
24. This line as it stands is metrically defective. As 'then' must be emphatic, Pope's reading ' Come, approach,' for ' Approach,' does not restore harmony. Ritson's conjecture,
'I'll watch as long for you. Come then, approach,' is more satisfactory.
30. who, frequently used by Shakespeare for 'whom.' So 'I' for'me' in iii. 2. 214.
35. exchange, of woman's dress for boy's.
42. good sooth, in good truth. See Macbeth, i. 2. 36: 'If I say sooth.'
Ib. too too light. The repetition of 'too' is emphatic. It was common enough to be regarded almost as a compound, and the accent is on the first • too.' See Hamlet, i. 2.129:
'O, that this too too solid flesh would melt.' There is an obvious play on the two senses of the word 'light.'
44. There is a play also on the word obscured. Jessica means that she ought to be hidden, Lorenzo that her lustre is dimmed.
47. the close night, the secret night is stealing away. See Macbeth, iii. 5. 7: 'The close contriver of all harms.'
51. by my hood. Malone supposes that the dress in which Bassanio was disguised had a hood, and that the oath is invented for the nonce. It is found nowhere else in Shakespeare.
Ib. Gentile. The second quarto and first folio have gentle. There is no doubt a play upon the two words. See iv. 1. 34.
52. Eesbrew me, curse me. Chaucer uses * shrew' in the sense of'curse, and in Shakespeare's time ' shrewd ' and ' curst' were synonymous. Taming of the Shrew, i. 2. 70:
'As curst and shrewd As Socrates' Xanthippe.'
66. The first quarto by mistake omits the last line of Antonio's speech, and continues the two next lines to the same.
67. on't is frequently used for 'of it,' and occasionally we find 'on' for 'of' by itself, as Julius Caesar, i. 2. 71:
'And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus.'
l. discover, disclose. See Merry Wives of Windsor, ii. 2. I go: 'I shall discover a thing to you.' Sometimes it was used in the sense of ' uncover.'
5. Who is sometimes used when the antecedent is inanimate, as in Pericles, i. 1. 46:
'For death remember'd should be like a mirror, Who tells us life's but breath, to trust it error.' On the other hand 'which ' is frequently used for 'who.'
20. shows, appearances. Compare iii. a. 73. So Ps. xxxix. 6: 'Surely every man walketh in a vain shew.'
30. disabling. See note on i, 1. 123.
40. mortal breathing. In the old editions we find 'mortall breathing.' Some recent editors have hyphened the words, perhaps rightly. A similar double epithet is found in Richard III, iv. 4. 26: 'Poor mortal living ghost.'
41. ffyrcanian deserts. Hyrcania was a name given to a district of indefinite extent south of the Caspian. Shakespeare three times mentions the tigers of Hyrcania: 3 Henry VI. i. 4. 155; Macbeth, iii. 4. 101; Hamlet, ii. 2. 472. In Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, Bk. viii. c. 18, we find: 'Tygres are bred in Hircania and India.'
76. vasty, waste, desolate. See 1 Henry IV. iii. 1. 52: 'I can call spirits from the vasty deep.' It has almost an active sense in Henry V. ii. 4. 105:
'War opens his vasty jaws.'
So 'vastness ' is used for 'desolation' in Bacon's Advancement of Learning, ii. 7. 7: 'Because their excursions into the limits of physical causes hath bred a vastness and solitude in that tract.'
43. come view. So Merry Wives of Windsor, iv. 2. So: 'We'll come dress you straight.' The same ellipsis is found with 'go :' as Hamlet, ii. 1. 101: 'I will go seek the king.'
46. spirits. So King John, ii. 1. 72:
* A braver choice of dauntless spirits,
50. Lead would be too common a metal to enclose her shroud. For 'rib' see Cymbeline, iii. I. 19:
'As Neptune's park, ribbed and paled in
51. cerecloth. See Cotgrave, ' Cerat: A Plaister made of Waxe, Gummes, &c., and certaine oyles; Wee also, call it, a cerot or seare-cloth.' Dead bodies were wrapped in such cloths, called 'cerements' in Hamlet, i. 4. 48.
53. undervalued. Compare i. I. 165. In the beginning of Elizabeth's reign gold was to silver in the proportion of 11 to 1: in the forty-third year of her reign (i. e. 1600, the year in which this play was first printed) it was in the proportion ofloto1. (Encyc. Brit. Art. 'Coinage.') The ratio at present is nearly 15 to 1.
57. insculp'd upon, graven on the outside, cut in relief. See 2 Corinthians v. 4: 'Not that we would be unclothed but clothed upon,' i.e. clothed with something in addition to the usual dress. The word is used somewhat similarly in Chaucer, Frere's Tale, 6963:
'He had upon a courtepy of greene.'
58. The 'angel' was worth about ten shillings, and was so called from having on one side a figure of Michael piercing the dragon. It has supplied Shakespeare with many puns. The device was adopted after the fashion of 'canting heraldry,' from Angelas and Anglas.
63. A carrion Death, a skull from which the flesh had rotted off. Compare King John, iii. 4. 33:
'And be a carrion monster like thyself.'
We find an odd use of 'carrion \ in North's Plutarch, Julius Caesar, p. 739. ed. 1631: 'These pale visaged and carion leane people.'
69. tombs do. This is the excellent emendation first suggested by Dr. Johnson. The old copies read timber do or timber doe. Pope read wood may. Mr. Staunton proposes to omit 'do,' if' timber' be retained.
73. Your suit is cold, meets a cold reception, is frozen by refusal. The expression seems to have been a familiar one. See Two Gentlemen ofVerona, iv. 4. 186: 'I hope my master's suit will be but cold.'
77. part, depart. See Coriolanus, v. 6. 73: 'When I parted hence.' 'Depart' was also used where we should say 'part,' as in the Marriage Service 'till death us do part' is a corruption of' till death us depart.'
4. raised, roused. See Othello, i. 1. 183:
'Get weapons, ho l
And raise some special officers of night.'
8. The gondolas of Venice have always made a great impression upon travellers. 'To have swum in a gondola ' was a phrase almost proverbial for having travelled.
12. passion, passionate outcry. See Troilus and Cressida, v. 2. 181: 'Your passion draws ears hither.' 'Passion' is also used as a verb in the same sense. Two Gentlemen of Verona, iv. 4. 172:
''Twas Ariadne passioning For Theseus' perjury.' 25. keep his day, be punctual to his dav of payment. See note on i. 3.
27. reason'd, conversed. See note on i. 2. 19.
30. fraught, freighted.
33. you were best to tell. See v. 1. 177. See also King Lear, 1. 4. 1og: 'You were best take my coxcomb,' and Othello, v. 2. 161: 'Peace, you were best.'
39. Slubber. So the first quarto. The second quarto has 'slumber,' an error corrected in the folio. The word is given in Cotgrave (s. v. Ordir) as equivalent to 'sully, slurry;' in modern English 'to slur over.' It occurs in the sense of 'sully' in Othello, i. 3. 227: 'You must therefore be content to slubber the gloss of your new fortunes with this more stubborn and boisterous expedition.' It is found in the same sense as here in Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit without Money, i. 2: * I am as haste ordained me, a thing slubber'd.' 'Boiffer. To bungle vp, or slubber ouer, things in hast.' (Cotgrave.) 40. riping. See As You Like It, ii. 7. 26:
'And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe."
42. Mind of love, your loving mind, your mind which is full of love. See Measure for Measure, ii. 4. I 79: 'Such a mind of honour.' Bennet Langton and Capell proposed to put a comma after * mind,' construing 'of love' as an adjuration, as in Merry Wives of Windsor, ii. 2. 119: 'Mistress Page would desire you to send her your little page, of all loves;' but this seems hardly consistent with the rhythm of the verse. Mr. Staunton proposes to read 'bond of love.'
43. As this seems to be the only instance in which Shakespeare uses 'employ to ' for ' employ in,' Mr. Collier adopts ' apply.'
45. conveniently, fitly, suitably. See Proverbs xxx. 8: 'Feed me with food convenient for me,' and Romans i. 28: 'Those things which are not convenient.'
48. affection, emotion.
76. sensible, sensitive. See Coriolanus, i. 3. 95: 'I would your cambric were sensible as your finger.'
52. his embraced heaviness, the sadness to which he clings. Compare iii. i. 109,' rash-embraced despair.' For 'heaviness' see 1 Peter i. 6.
I. straight, straightway, directly. 3. election, choice.
18. hazard is here a substantive. We find 'go to hazard,' Henry V. iii. 7- 93, 95, where the word is used in two senses.
19. address'd me, prepared myself. See Winter's Tale, iv. 4. 53: 'Address yourself to entertain them sprightly.' In the quartos and folios there is only a comma after 'me,' which probably suggested to Tyrwhitt the reading and punctuation:
'And so have I. Address me, Fortune, now
To my heart's hope!'
The meaning of the text is 'May good fortune second my heart's hope.' Or, supposing the speaker to invoke the goddess, we might point thus:
'Fortune! now To my heart's hope.' Now let me try my luck.
25. That ' many' may be intended to refer to the fool multitude. We should rather say ' The fool multitude may be meant by that ' many.' See North's Plutarch, Brutus, p. 994 (ed. 1631): 'the leane and whitely faced fellowes, meaning that by Brutus and Cassius.'
27. fond, foolish. See Richard II. v. 2. 95: 'Thou fond mad woman,' and iii. 3. 9. of this play. Shakespeare also uses the word, though rarely, in its modern sense: Coriolanus, v. 3. 162:
'When she, poor hen, fond of no second brood.' Even here there is blame or contempt implied in the word.