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Who, then conceiving, did in eaning time
Ant. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv'd for;
Shy. I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast:7-
Mark you this, Bassanio,
means lascivious, obscene. The same epithet is bestowed on the night, in Acolastus his After-Witte. By S. N. 1600:
“ Why shines not Phæbus in the fulsome night?” In the play of Muleasses the Turk, Madam Fulsome a Bawd is introduced. The word, however, sometimes signifies offensive in smell.
So, in Chapman's version of the 17th Book of the Odyssey:
and fill’d his fulsome scrip,” &c. Again, in the dedication to Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, p. 63: “noisome or fulsome for bad smells, as butchers' slaughter houses,” &c.
It is likewise used by Shakspeare in King John, to express some quality offensive to nature:
“ And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust.” Steevens. Minsheu supposes it to mean nauseous in so high a degree as to excite vomiting. Malone. and those were Facob's.] See Genesis, xxx, 37, &c.
Steevens. 6 This was a way to thrive, &c.] So, in the ancient song of Gernutus the Few of Venice:
“ His wife must lend a shilling,
“ For every weeke a penny,
will have any
“Or else you lose it all:
“ Her cow she did it call." Her cow, &c. seems to have suggested to Shakspeare Shylock's argument for asury. Percy.
I make it breed as fast:] So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :
“ Foul cank’ring rust the hidden treasure frets ;
The devil can cite scripture for his purpose. 8
Shy. Three thousand ducats,—’tis a good round sum. Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.
Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you?
Shy. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft,
8 The devil can cite scripture &c.] See St. Matt. iv, 6. Henley.
90, what a goodly outside falshood hath!] Falshood, which as truth means honesty, is taken here for treachery and knavery, does not stand for falshood in general, but for the dishonesty now operating. Fohnson.
1- my usances:] Use and Usance are both words anciently employed for usury, both in its favourable and unfavourable sense. So, in The English Traveller, 1633:
“Give me my use, give me my principal.” Again :
“ A toy; the main about five hundred pounds,
“ And the use fifty.” Steevens. Usance, in our author's time, I believe, signified interest of money. It has been already used in this play in that sense:
“ He lends out money gratis, and brings down
6. The rate of usance with us here in Venice.” Again, in a subsequent part, he says, he will take no doit of usance for his monies.” Here it must mean interest. Malone.
2 Still have I borne it with a patient shrug;? So, in Marlowe's Few of Malta, (written and acted before 1593) printed in 1633:
" I learn’d in Florence how to kiss my hand,
“ Heave up my shoulders when they call me dogge.” Malone. 3 And spit -] The old copies always read spet, which spelling is followed by Milton:
the womb “Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest gloom." Steevens.
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
Ant. I am as like to call thee so again,
you storm! I would be friends with you, and have your love, Forget the shames that you have stain’d ine with, Supply your present wants, and take no doit
4 Shylock,! Our author, as Dr. Farmer informs me, took the name of his Jew from an old pamphlet intitled: Caleb Shillocke, his Prophesie; or the Jewes Prediction. London, printed for T. P. (Thomas Pavyer.) No date. Steevens.
5 A breed for barren metal of his friend?] A breed, that is inte. rest money bred from the principal. By the epithet barren, the author would instruct us in the argument on which the advocates against usury went, which is this; that money is a barren thing, and cannot, like corn and cattle, multiply itself. And to set of the absurdity of this kind of usury, he put breed and barren in opposition. Warburton.
Dr. Warburton very truly interprets this passage. Old Mercs says, “Usurie and encrease by gold and silver is unlawful, be. cause against nature; nature hath made them sterill and barren, usurie makes them procreative." Farmer.
The honour of starting this conceit belongs to Aristotle. See De Repub. Lib. I. H. White.
Thus both the quarto printed by Roberts, and that by Ileyes, in 1600. The folio has-a breed of.. Malore.
Of usance for my monies, and you 'll not hear me:
sint. This were kindness.
This kindness will I show:Go with me to a notary, seal me there Your single bond; and, in a merry sport, If you repay me not on such a day, In such a place, such sum, or sums, as are Express’d in the condition, let the forfeit Be nominated for an equal pound Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken In what part of your body pleaseth me.
Ant. Content, in faith; I 'll seal to such a bond, And say, there is much kindness in the Jew.
Bass. You shall not seal to such a bond for me,
Ant. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it;
Shy. O father Abraham, what these Christians are;
Ant. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond:
Shy. Then meet me forth with at the notary's;
dwell in my necessity.) To dwell seems in this place to mean the same as to continue. To abide has both the senses of habitation and continuance. Johnson.
left in the fearful guard &c.] Fearful guard, is a guard that is not to be trusted, but gives cause of fear. To fear was anciently to give as well as feel terrors. Fohnson.
Of an unthrifty knave; and presently
Hie thee, gentle Jew. This Hebrew will turn Christian; he grows kind. · Bass. I like not fair terms, and a villain's mind.
Ant. Come on; in this there can be no dismay, My ships come home a month before the day. [Exeunt.
ACT II.....SCENE I.
Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Flourish of Cornets. Enter the Prince of Morocco,' and
his Train; PORTIA, NERISSA, and other of her Attendants.
Mor. Mislike me not for my complexion,
So, in King Henry IV, P.I:
“ A mighty and a fearful head they are." Steevens. 8 I like not fair terms,] Kind words, good language. Johnson.
the Prince of Morocco,] The old stage direction is “Enter Morochus a tawnie Moore, all in white, and three or foure followers accordingly,” &c. Steevens.
1 To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine.] To understand how the tawny prince, whose savage dignity is very well supported, means to recommend himself by this challenge, it must be remembered that red blood is a traditionary sign of courage : Thus Macbeth calls one of his frighted soldiers, a lily-liver'd boy; again, in this play, Cowards are said to have livers as white as milk, and an effeminate and timorous man is termed a milksop.
Fohnson. It is customary in the east for lovers to testify the violence of their passion by cutting themselves in the sight of their mistresses. See Habits du Levant, pl. 43, and Picart's Religious Ceremonies, Vol. VII, p. 111. Harris.