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Venice. A Street.
Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.
Salan. It is the most impenetrable cur,
Let him alone;
I am sure, the duke
Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law;?
so fond -] i. e. so foolish. So, in the old comedy of Mother Bombie, 1594, by Lyly: “ – that the youth seeing her fair cheeks, may be enamoured before they hear her fond speech.”
Steevens. dull-ey'd fool,] This epithet dull-ey'd is bestowed on melancholy in Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Steevens.
1 The duke cannot deny &c.] As the reason here given seems a little perplex'd, it may be proper to explain it. If, says he, the
For the commodity that strangers have
Por. I never did repent for doing good,
duke stop the course of law, it will be attended with this incon.
With us in Venice, if it be denied, &c.] i. e. for the denial of those rights to strangers, which render their abode at Venice so commodious and agreeable to them, would much impeach the justice of the state. The consequence would be, that strangers would not reside or carry on traffick here; and the wealth and strength of the state would be diminished. In The Historye of Italye, by W. Thomas, quarto, 1567, there is a section on the li. bertee of straungers at Venice. Malone.
There must be needs a like proportion
s Whose souls do bear an equal yoke &c.] The folio, 1623, reads -egal, which, I believe, in Shakspeare's time was commonly used for equal. So it was in Chaucer's:
“I will presume hym so to dignifie
“ Yet be not egall." Prol. to The Remedy of Love. Again, in Gorboduc:
“Sith all as one do bear you egall faith.” Steevens. 4 Of lineaments, of manners, &c.] The wrong pointing has made this fine sentiment nonsense. As implying that friendship could not only make a similitude of manners, but of faces. The true sense is, lineaments of manners, i. e. form of the manners, which, says the speaker, must needs be proportionate. Warburton.
The poet only means to say, that corresponding proportions of body and mind are necessary for those who spend their time together. So, in King Henry IV, P. II:
“ Dol. Why doth the prince love him so then?
“ Fal. Because their legs are both of a bigness," &c. Every one will allow that the friend of a toper should have a strong head, and the intimate of a sportsman such an athletic constitution as will enable him to acquit himself with reputation in' the exercises of the field. The word lineaments was used with great laxity by our ancient writers. In The learned and true Assertion of the Original, Life, &c. of King Arthur, translated from the Latin of John Leland, 1582, it is used for the human frame in general. Speaking of the removal of that prince's bones,-he calls them Arthur's lineaments three times translated; and again, all the lineaments of them remaining in that most stately tomb, saving the shin bones of the king and queen, &c.
Again, in Greene's Farewell to Follie, 1617: “Nature hath so curiously performed his charge in the lineaments of his body," &c. Again, in Chapman's version of the fifth Iliad:
took the weariness of fight
- the bosom lover of my lord,] In our author's time this term was applied to those of the same sex who had an esteem for each other. Ben Jonson concludes one of his letters to Dr. Donne, by telling him: “he is his true lover.” So, in Coriolanus: “ I tell thee, fellow, thy general is my lover.” Many more instances might be added. See our author's Sonnets, passim.
Must needs be like my lord: If it be so,
Madam, with all my heart;
Por. My people do already know my mind,
Lor. Fair thoughts, and happy hours, attend on you!
Por. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleas'd To wish it back on you: fare you well, Jessica.
[Exeunt Jes. and LOR. Now, Balthazar, As I have ever found thee honest, true, So let me find thee still: Take this same letter, And use thou all the endeavour of a man, In speed to Padua;7 see thou render this
hear other things.] In former editions : This comes too near the praising of myself; Therefore no more of it: here other things,
Lorenzo I commit &c. Portia finding the reflections she had made came too near self, praise, begins to chide herself for it; says, She'll say no more of that sort; but call a new subject. The regulation i have made in the text was likewise prescribed by Dr. Thirlby. Theobald.
7 In speed to Padua ;] The old copies read-Mantua; and thus
Into my cousin's hand, doctor Bellario;
Balth. Madam, I go with all convenient speed. (Exit.
Por. Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand,
Shall they see us?
all the modern editors implicitly after them. But 'tis evident to any diligent reader, that we must restore, as I have done,--In speed to Padua: for it was there, and not at Mantua, Bellario liv'd. So, afterwards:-A messenger, with letters from the Doctor, new come from Padua-And again: Came you from Padua, from Bellario?_And again, It comes from Padua, from Bellario.-Besides, Padua, not Mantua, is the place of education for the civil law in Italy. Theobald.
with imagin'd speed —] i.e. with celerity like that of imagination. So, in the Chorus preceding the third Act of King Henry V:
“ Thus with imagin’d wing our swift scene flies.” Again, in Hamlet: - - swift as meditation. Steevens.
9 Unto the tranect,] The old copies concur in this reading, which appears to be derived from tranare, and was probably a word current in the time of our author, though I can produce no example of it. Steevens.
Mr. Rowe reads-traject, which was adopted by all the subsequent editors.—Twenty miles from Padua, on the river. Brenta there is a dam or sluice, to prevent the water of that river from mixing with that of the marshes of Venice. Here the passageboat is drawn out of the river, and lifted over the dam by a crane. From hence to Venice the distance is five miles. Perhaps some novel-writer of Shakspeare's time might have called this dam by the name of the tranect. See Du Cange in v. Trana. Malone.
- accouter'd -] So, the earliest quarto, and the folio. The other quarto-appareld. Malone.