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The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio :-
Why, Jessica !
Laun. Your worship was wont to tell me, I could do nothing without bidding.
Shy. I am bid forth to supper, Jessica ;
Laun. I beseech you, sir, go; my young master doth expect your reproach.
Shy. So do I his.
Laun. And they have conspired together,—I will not say, you shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding
· I am bid forth — ] I am invited. To bid in old language meant to pray. Malone.
That bid was used for invitation, may be seen in St. Luke's Gospel, ch. xiv. 24 : - none of those which were bidden shall taste of my supper.” Harris. 2 — to feed upon
The prodigal Christian.] Shylock forgets his resolution. In a former scene he declares he will neither eat, drink, nor pray with Christians. Of this circumstance the poet was aware, and meant only to heighten the malignity of the character, by making him depart from his most settled resolve, for the prosecution of his revenge. STEEVENS.
on Black-Monday last, at six o'clock i'the morning, falling out that year on Ash-wednesday was four year in the afternoon. Shy. What! are there masques ? Hear you me,
Jessica: Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum, And the vile squeaking * of the wry-neck'd fife*,
* So quarto R.; first folio, and quarto H. squealing.
- then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on Black-Monday last,] “ Black-Monday is Easter-Monday, and was so called on this occasion : in the 34th of Edward III. (1360) the 14th of April, and the morrow after Easter-day, King Edward, with his host, lay before the city of Paris : which day was full dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many men died on their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore, unto this day, it hath been called the Blacke-Monday." Stowe, p. 264–6.
GREY. It appears from a passage in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592, that some superstitious belief was annexed to the accident of bleeding at the nose : “ As he stood gazing, his nose on a sudden bled, which made him conjecture it was some friend of his.”
STEEVENS. Again, in The Dutchess of Malfy, 1640, Act I. Sc. II. :
“ How superstitiously we mind our evils ?
Bleeding at nose, the stumbling of a horse,
“ To daunt whole man in us," Again, Act I. Sc. III. :
My nose bleeds. One that was superstitious would count this ominous, when it merely comes by chance.” Reed, 4 Lock up my doors ; and when you hear the drum, And the vile squeaking of the wrY-NECK'D FIFE,]
“ Primâ nocte domum claude ; neque in vias
MALONE. It appears from hence, that the fifes, in Shakspeare's time, were formed differently from those now in use, which are straight, not wry-necked, M, Mason.
The fife does not mean the instrument, but the person who played on it. So, in Barnaby Rich's Aphorismes, at the end of his' Irish Hubbub, 1618: “ A fife is a wry-neckt musician, for he always looks away from his instrument,” Boswell,
Clamber not you up to the casements then,
I will go before, sir.-
There will come a Christian by,
Will be worth a Jewess' eye '. [Exit Laun. Shy. What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha? Jes. His words were, Farewell, mistress; no
thing else. Shy. The patch is kind enougho; but a huge
feeder, Snail-slow in profit, and * he sleeps by day More than the wild cat; drones hive not with me; Therefore I part with him; and part with him To one that I would have him help to waste His borrow'd purse.—Well, Jessica, go in; Perhaps I will return immediately; Do, as I bid you, Shut doors ? after you: Fast bind, fast find; A proverb never stale in thrifty mind. [Erit.
* First folio, but. s There will come a Christian by,
Will be WORTH A Jewess' EYB.] It's worth a Jew's eye, is a proverbial phrase. WHALLEY.
6 The Patch is kind enough :) Any low fellow that wore or was likely to wear a patched coat was thus termed. So, in A Woman Will Have Her Will (written in 1598,) the speaker addressing a post who had brought him letters: “ Get home, you patch ; cannot you suffer gentlemen to jest with you ?" MALONE. Shut DOORS - ] Doors is here used as a dissyllable.
Jes. Farewell; and if my fortune be not crost, I have a father, you a daughter, lost. [Exit.
Enter GRATIANO and Salarino, masqued. Gra. This is the pent-house, under which Lo
renzo Desir'd us to make stand * 8 SALAR.
His hour is almost past. GRA. And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour, For lovers ever run before the clock.
Salar. O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly' To seal love's bonds new-made, than they are wont, To keep obliged faith unforfeited!
GRA. That ever holds : Who riseth from a feast, With that keen appetite that he sits down? Where is the horse that doth untread again His tedious measures with the unbated fire That he did pace them first ? All things that are,
* First folio, a stand. 8 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
STEEVENS. 9 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. Venus' pigeons, I apprehend, mean the doves by which her chariot is drawn : Venus drawn by doves is much more prompt to seal new bonds, &c. Boswelí.
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd.
Enter LORENZO. SALAR. Here comes Lorenzo ;-more of this
First folio, a. - 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. Gray (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,
“ That hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening-prey." The grim-repose, however, was suggested by Thomson's
-deep fermenting tempest brew'd “ In the grim evening sky.” Henley.
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.” Steevens. 3 — embraced by the strumpet wind!] So, in Othello :
“The bawdy wind, that kisses all it meets.” Malone. 4 - doth she return ;] Surely the bark ought to be of the masculine 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.
s With over-WEATHER'D ribs,] Thus both the quartos. The folio has over-wither’d. Malone.