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straight a capering; he will fence with his own shadow: if I should marry him, I should marry twenty husbands: If he would despise me, I would forgive him; for if he love me to madness, I shall never requite him.
Ner. What say you then to Faulconbridge, the young baron of England?
Por. You know, I say nothing to him; for he understands not me, nor I him: he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian;' and you will come into the court and swear, that I have a poor penny-worth in the English. He is a proper man's picture;' But, alas! who can converse with a dumb show? How oddly he is suited! I think, he bought his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour every where.
Ner. What think you of the Scottish lord,? his neighbour?
Por. That he hath a neighbourly charity in hím; for he borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman, and swore he would pay him again, when he was able: I think, the Frenchman became his surety, 3 and sealed under for another.
Ner. How like you the young German,4 the duke of Saxony's nephew?
Por. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober;
the foregoing passage in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Vol. II, p. 305. Steevens.
- he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian ;] A satire on the ignorance of the young English travellers in our author's time.
Warburton. - a proper man's picture;] Proper is handsome. So, in Othello:
“ This Ludovico is a proper man.” Steevens.
Scottish lord,] Scottish, which is in the quarto, was omitted in the first folio, for fear of giving offence to King James's countrymen. Theobald.
3 I think, the Frenchman became his surety,] Alluding to the constant assistance, or rather constant promises of assistance, that the French gave the Scots in their quarrels with the English. This alliance is here humorously satirized. Warburton.
4 How like you the young German, &c.] In Shakspeare's time the Duke of Bavaria visited London, and was made Knight of the Garter.
Perhaps in this enumeration of Portia's suitors, there may be some covert allusion to those of Queen Elizabeth. Johnson.
and most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk: when he is best, he is a little worse than a man; and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast: an the worst fall that ever fell, I hope, I shall make shift to go without him.
Ner. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you should refuse to accept him.
Por. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket: for, if the devil be within, and that temptation without, I know he will choose it. I will do any thing, Nerissa, ere I will be married to a spunge.
Ner. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these lords; they have acquainted me with their determinations; which is indeed, to return to their home, and to trouble you with no more suit; unless you may be won by some other sort than your father's imposition, depending on the caskets.
Por. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's will: I am glad this parcel of wooers are so reasonable; for there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence, and I pray God grant them a fair departure.
Ner. Do you not remember, lady, in your father's time, a Venetian, a scholar, and a soldier, that came hither in company of the Marquis of Montferrat?
Por. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio; as I think, so was he called.
Ner. True, madam; he, of all the men that ever my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady.
Por. I remember him well; and I remember him worthy of thy praise.--How now! what news?
Enter a Servant. Serv. The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take their leave: and there is a fore-runner come from a fifth, the prince of Morocco; who brings word, the prince, his master, will be here to-night.
Por. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart as I can bid the other four farewel, I should be glad of his approach: if he have the condition of a saint, and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. Come, Nerissa.—Sirrah, go before.-Whiles we shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at the door.
Enter Bassanio and SHYLOCK.
Bass. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound.
Shy. Antonio shall become bound-well.
Eass. May you stead me? Will you pleasure me? Shall I know your answer?
Shy. Three thousand ducats, for three months, and Antonio bound.
Bass. Your answer to that.
Shy. Ho, no, no, no, no ;-my meaning, in saying he is a good man, is to have you understand me, that he is sufficient: yet his means are in supposition: he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies; I un. derstand moreover upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for England -and other ventures he hath, squander'd abroad: But ships are but boards, sai. lors but men: there be land-rats, and water-rats, waterthieves, and land-thieves; I mean, pirates; and then, there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks: The man, is notwithstanding, sufficient;-three thousand ducats;-I think, I may take his bond.
Bass. Be assured you may.
Shy. I will be assured, I may; and, that I may be assured, I will bethink me: May I speak with Antonio?
Bass. If it please you to dine with us.
Shy. Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into:6 I
the condition_] i. e. the temper, qualities. So, in Othello: “ and then, of so gentle a condition.” Malone.
will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. What news on the Rialto?- Who is he comes here?
Shy. [.Aside] How like a fawning publican he looks!
Shylock, do you hear?
Ant, Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow,
my friend, 8 the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into:] Perhaps there is no character through all Shakspeare, drawn with more spirit, and just discrimination, than Shylock's. His language, allusions, and ideas, are every where so appropriate to a Jew, that Shylock might be exhibited for an exemplar of that peculiar people. Henley.
7 If I can catch him once upon the kip,} This, Dr. Johnson observes, is a phrase taken from the practice of wrestlers; and (he might have added) is an allusion to the angel's thus laying hold on Jacob when he wrestled with him. See Gen. xxxii, 24, &c.
Henley. the ripe wants of my friend,] Ripe wants are wants come to the height, wants that can have no longer delay. Perhaps we might read-rife wants, wants that come thick upon him. Fohnson.
But hear you;
I'll break a custom :-Is he yet possess’d, o
Ay, ay, three thousand ducats. Ant. And for three months.
Shy. I had forgot-three months, you told me so.
I do never use it.
Ant. And what of him? did he take interest?
Shy. No, not take interest; not, as you would say, Directly interest: mark what Jacob did. When Laban and himself were compromis'd, That all the eanlings? which were streak’d, and pied, Should fall as Jacob's hire; the ewes, being rank, In the end of autumn turned to the rams: And when the work of generation was Between these woolly breeders in the act, The skilful shepherd peeld me certain wands, And, in the doing of the deed of kind, 3 He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes ;*
Ripe is, I believe, the true reading. So, afterwards :
“But stay the very riping of the time.” Malone. Again, in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
“ Here is a brief how many sports are ripe.” Steevens.
- possess’d,] i. e. acquainted, informed. So, in Twelfth Night: “ Possess us, possess us, tell us something of him.”
Steevens. the eanlings -] Lambs just dropt: from ean, eniti.
Musgrave. certain wands,] A wand in our author's time was the usual term for what we now call a switch. Malone.
of kind,] i. e. of nature. So, Turbervile, in his book of Falconry, 1575, p. 127:
“ So great is the curtesy of kind, as she ever seeketh to recom. pense any defect of hers with some other better benefit.” Again, in Drayton's Mooncalf:
nothing doth so please her mind, “ As to see mares and horses do their kind.” Collins. - the fulsome ewes;] Fulsome, I believe, in this instance,