Графични страници
PDF файл

330. on the hip. See note on i. 3.42.

348. The party. The word 'party' is here used in its proper and legal sense. Sometimes it is used by Shakespeare merely to signify ' person,' as in Love's Labour 's Lost, iv. 2. 158: 'The party writing.'

Ib. contrive, plot. See 1. 356.

353. predicament, originally a term in logic, the Latin equivalent for category. Wilson, Arte of Logike, 1567, in p. 8 has a chapter, • Of the Predicaments, called in English the most generall wordes.' The term is used I Henry IV. 1.3. 168:

'To show the line and the predicament
Wherein you range under this subtle king.'

The word must have become very common, as it is put into the mouth of the nurse in Romeo and Juliet, iii. 3. 86:

'O woful sympathy! Piteous predicament 1'

Many other words have been transferred from the schools to the language of common life, as 'category' itself, ' dilemma,' &c.

358. formerly. Warburton conjectured 'formally.' But * formerly* was used in legal documents for 'above.' as in the following extract from Sir Robert Hitcham's Will: 'And if the said college shall wilfully refuse to perform this my will: Then, I will, that this my Devise unto them shall be void; and I do Devise the same unto Emanuel College, in Cambridge, in the same manner and form, as it is formerly devised unto Pembroke-Hall, and to the same Uses, Intents, Trusts, and Purposes.' (Loder, Hist, of Framlingbam, p. 207.)

568. Which humbleness may drive unto a fine, which submission on your part may induce me to commute for a fine.

370. pardon not that, do not remit the sentence of death. We have had 'pardon' in the same sense five lines before: 'I pardon thee thy life.'

374. render. See iv. 1.197 (note).

Mr To quit the fine for one half of his goods. Antonio assuming that the forfeiture of half Shylock's goods will be commuted to a fine, as the Duke has hinted, begs that the fine may be remitted.

379. in use, i. e. in trust, not on interest, as the context plainly shews. Antonio accepts one-half of Shylock's estate, not as his own, but to manage for the benefit of Lorenzo and Jessica. It is not meant that Shylock was to receive the interest from Antonio, for then (as Shylock's own property is to go to Lorenzo and Jessica at his death) the young couple would get no advantage from the arrangement. Johnson proposed to read ' upon my death." supposing that Antonio was to enjoy the interest of the property entrusted to him during his life. According to our reading and interpretation no provision is made for Antonio himself, but this is in accordance with his generous character. Besides, his friend Bassanio was wealthy enough for both, and Shakespeare knew that his argosies were ' richly come to harbour suddenly' (v. 1. 263).

385. possessed, i. e. possessed of. See note on ii. 6. 9. We have the preposition supplied, v. 1. 275:

'Of all he dies possess'd of.'

387. recant, revoke, recall. 'Recantation' is one of the words by which Cotgrave translates the French revocation.

395. ten more, to make up the twelve jurymen. Steevens quotes Ben Jonson, The Devil is an Ass: (act. v. sc. 3 )

'I will leave you

To your godfathers in law. Let twelve men work.'

In the next line ' bring' is used in a double sense. The sentence of a jury brought a man to the gallows; the godfathers brought, i. e. accompanied, a convert to the font. For the second sense, see Richard II. i. 4. 2:

'How far brought you high Hereford on his way 1'

398. desire your grace of pardon. See As You Like It, v. 4. 56, ' I desire you of the like;' and Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 1. 185, 'I shall desire you of more acquaintance.'

401. serves you not, is not at your disposal, at your command. So Much Ado About Nothing, iii. 2. 84: 'If your leisure served, I would speak with you,'

402. gratify, recompense. See Coriolanus, ii. 2. 44:

'To gratify his noble service.'

408. cope, requite, give an equivalent for. 'Cope' is translated ' troquer' by Cotgrave.

76. withal here governs the noun ' ducats.' A similar construction occurs in Measure for Measure, iv. 3. 146:

'Her cause and yours I'll perfect him withal.' And Love's Labour 's Lost, ii. 1. 68:

'A merrier man,

Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal.'

'Withal' is generally spelt ' withall' in the old copies, and such is its derivation. It may be compared with the French preposition now obsolete, 'atout,' meaning 'with,' 'together with.' In meaning 'withal' is generally equivalent to the simple ' with,' but always follows the case which it governs. Sometimes it includes the pronoun governed, as iii. 4. 72, ' I could not do withal.' In this and similar cases it may be regarded rather as an adverb than a preposition. The Anglo-Saxon ' mid ealle,' 'mid eallum,' is always used adverbially to emphasize the preceding substantive, which itself is governed by the preposition 'mid.' Then the preposition being omitted, the adverb came to be used with the force of a preposition. See Mittzner, Englische Grammatik, ii. 1. p. 422.

414. more mercenary, anxious for any more reward than the satisfaction of having done a good deed.

417. cf force, of necessity. Cotgrave translates necessairement by both these phrases. We have the former in Love's Labour 's Lost, i. 1. 148:

'We must of force dispense with this decree.'

Tb. attempt. See Measure for Measure, iv. 2. 205: 'Neither my coat, integrity, nor persuasion can with ease attempt you.'

422, 423. We have inserted the stage directions, ' To Ant.,' 'To Bass' It seems natural that as Antonio had been requested to 'gratify' his deliverer, Portia should take something from him as well as from Bassanio, whose obligation was less; and if she had already taken Bassanio's gloves there would have been less reason for asking the ring. The emphatic * you,' closing 1. 423, seems also to bear out our interpretation. 427. shame myself to give, disgrace myself by giving.

440. 'seme, for ' excuse,' only occurs in one other passage of Shakespeare, Othello, iv. 1. 80:

'And laid good 'scuse upon your ecstasy.'

441. An if. * And if in the old copies. 'An' meaning 'iff is almost always spelt 'and' in the old editions of the English Bible and Bacon as well as those of Shakespeare, but modern editors of Shakespeare have adopted * an.' It probably comes from the Anglo-Saxon annan ' to grant,' as gif, i. e. 'if,' from gifan. 'An if' is a pleonasm like ' or ere.' For ' an' alone see ii. 4. 10: 'An it shall please you.' Doubtless 'and' is used with this meaning in the rustic proverb: /

'If ' ifs ' and ' ands' were pots and pans,
There would be no work for tinkers.'

443. hold out enemy. Monck Mason proposed to read ' hold out enmity,' but the phrase is analogous to the following in Much Ado About Nothing, i. 1. 91: 'I will hold friends with you, lady.'

447. 'gainst. So the quartos. The folio substituted ' against,'probably because the pronunciation of * commandment' as a quadrisyllable was growing obsolete at the time when it was published (1623).

Ib. commandment. Spelt in the old copies 'commandement,' and pronounced as a quadrisyllable. The second quarto writes 'commaundement." So the word must be pronounced in I Henry VI. i. 3. 20:

'From him I have express commandement.'

It is thus spelt in the folio. In 2 Henry VI. 1.3. 145 (according to the quarto, the earliest text) the word is pronounced as a trisyllable:

"I 'I'd set my ten commandments in your face/ So Troilus and Cressida, i. 3. 93:

'And posts like the commandment of a king. So also Winter's Tale, ii. 2.8:

'To the contrary I have express commandment.'

In King John, i. i. 20, we have the word 'controlement' first as a trisyllable, then a quadrisyllable, in the same line:

'Controlement for controlement: so answer France.'

Scene II.

6. advice, consideration, deliberation. See note on 'advised,' i. l. 142.

11. Great dramatic skill is shewn in this contrivance for bringing Gratiano and Nerissa together.

1S- old swearing. 'Old' is a common intensive epithet. See Much Ado About Nothing, v. 2. 98: 'Yonder 's old coil at home ;' and Merry Wives of Windsor, i. 4. 5: 'Here will be an old abusing of God's patience and the king's English.'

Scene I.

1. The moon shines bright. This calm and quiet scene, with its moonlight and music and lovers' talk, is a charming contrast to the crowd and pomp and high-wrought, almost tragic, interest of the former Act.

4. Troilus, a son of Priam. The story of Troilus and Cressida was probably already familiar to an English audience through a play on the subject, which Shakespeare afterwards took for the groundwork of his drama. Guido da Colonna, about 1260, worked up the old Latin tales, professedly translations of Dares Phrygius and Dictys Cretensis, but really late forgeries, into his romance called Historia de Bello Trojano, which became immensely popular, and was the basis of Chaucer's poem Troilus and Cresseide, from which, as Steevens has remarked, Shakespeare borrowed this allusion:

'Upon the wallis fast eke would he walke.' (Bk. v. 666.)

Ib. Troyan. 'Troyan' or ' Troian ' in the old copies ; modern editors write "Trojan.'

7. Thisbe. The story of Pyramus and Thisbe is told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, iv. 55-166. Shakespeare may have read either the original or Golding's translation, first published 1564. In 'the dew' is perhaps a reference to 1. 82:

'Solque prainosas radiis siccaverat herbas.' 'The lion's shadow ere himself is a refinement on

'Quam procul ad lunae radios .... vidit' (l. 99).

As Mr. Hunter says, Shakespeare's immediate authority was Chaucer, in whose Legend of Good Women (which in the folio edition comes immediately after Troilus and Cressida) Thisbe, Dido, and Medea are introduced one after another. But Shakespeare evidently blends his recollections of Chaucer and of Ovid.

1O. The willow, as a symbol of forsaken love, is not classical. It occurs in Spenser's Faery Queene, i. 1.9:

• The willow, worne of forlorne paramours.' And in Shakespeare, 3 Henry VI. iii. 3. 228:

* I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.'

So also Desdemona, when she has lost her husband's love, is reminded of the 'song of willow.' (Othello, iv. 3. 28.)

11. waft. This is the spelling of the old copies. Theobald altered it to wav'd. Probably it is the preterite of the verb 'to waft.' We have the present tense, Comedy of Errors, ii. 2. i11, 'Who wafts us yonder?' and the past participle, King John, ii. 1. 73:

'A braver choice of dauntless spirits
'Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er.'

13. Medea. This is from Ovid's Metamorphoses, bk. vii. In Gower's Confessio Amantis there is a description of Medea gathering herbs by starlight (Book v. vol. ii. p. 259, ed. Pauli).

15. The story of Medea, who carried off her father's treasure and ran away with her lover, is not inaptly paralleled by that of Jessica.

16. nntbrift. Here an adjective. It is a substantive in Richard II. ii. 3. 122: 'Given away

To upstart unthrifts.'

17-20. The second folio reads, 'And in such a night,' for the sake of the metre, doubtless. But when a line is divided between two speakers, the metre is frequently faulty either by defect or excess. For the latter, see 11.12,14.

28. Both here and in 1. 51 the accent is on the second syllable of Stephano. Shakespeare had learnt the true pronunciation when he wrote the Tempest, v. 1.277:

'Is not this Stephano, my drunken butler?'

35. nor we have not. See iii. 4. 11.

41. Master Lorenzo? Master Lorenzo. The first quarto has ' M. Lorenzo, M. Lorenzo,' the second quarto and first folio ' M. Lorenzo, & M. Lorenzo,' whence the later folios made 'M. Lorenzo, and Mrs. Lorenza.' In 1. 46, Launcelot says ' Tell him,' not 'Tell them.' .

46. a I'osr. See ngte on ii. 9.100.

59. patines. The first quarto has 'patients,' the second quarto and first folio 'pattens,' the second folio 'patterns,' which most editors have adopted. The ' patine' is a plate used in the Eucharist, and the image is thus much finer and more suitable to 'the floor of heaven' than the commonplace 'patterns.'

60. Shakespeare refers elsewhere to the 'music of the spheres,' Antony and Cleopatra, v. 2. 84:

'His voice was propertied As all the tuned spheres.' Pericles, v. 1. 231:

'The music of the spheres!'

So Twelfth Night, iii. 1.121. The Platonic doctrine is here blended with reminiscences of Job xxxviii. 7: 'The morning stars sang together.'

62. cheruhins. So the quartos and first two folios. The third folio altered it to 'cherubims.' Shakespeare uses 'cherubin' in the singular, Othello, iv. 2. 63:

'Patience, thou young and rose-lipp'd ' cherubin!'

The French form was cheruhin, and the Italian cheruhino. In the 'Te Deum" it is used in the plural:

'To thee cherubin and seraphin continually do cry' 66. wake Diana. Diana is here used as identical with the goddess of the moon. Compare 1. 109.

72. Compare Tempest, iv, 1.176:

'Then I beat my tabor;

At which, like unback'd colts, they prick'd their ears,
Advanced their eyelids, lifted up their noses
As they smelt music.'

77. mutual, common. This word is applied to signify what is common to more than two in Troilus and Cressida, i. 3. 348:

'And choice, being mutual act of all our souls.' So also Midsummer Night's Dream, iv. 1. 122:

'Every region near Seem'd all one mutual cry.'

« ПредишнаНапред »