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I could not for my heart deny it him.
Por. You were to blame, I must be plain with you,
gave my love a ring, and made him swear
Bass. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off,
Gra. My lord Bassanio gave his ring away
age: he represents him as having the look of a young stripling, of a boy beginning to advance towards puberty. I am therefore of opinion, that the poet wrote:
“ — a little stubbed boy." In many counties it is a common provincialism to call young birds not yet fledged stubbed young ones. But, what is more to our purpose, the author of The History and Antiquities of Glastonbury, printed by Hearne, an antiquarian, and a plain unaffected writer, says, that "Saunders must be a stubbed boy, if not a man, at the dissolution of Abbeys,” &c. edit. 1722, Pref. sig. n. 2. It therefore seems to have been a common expression for stripling, the very idea which the speaker means to convey. If the emen. dation be just here, we should also correct Nerissa's speech which follows:
“ For that same stubbed boy, the doctor's clerk,
« In lieu of this did lie with me last night.” T. Warton. I believe scrubbed and stubbed have a like meaning, and signify stunted, or shrub-like. So, in P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History: “ – - but such will never prove fair trees, but skrubs only.” Steevens.
Stubbed in the sense contended for by Mr. Warton was in use so late as the Restoration. In The Parliamentary Register, July 30, 1660, is an advertisement enquiring after a person described as “ a thick short stubbed fellow, round faced, ruddy complexion, dark brown hair and eyebrows, with a sad gray suit.” Reed.
Scrubbed perhaps meant dirty, as well as short. Cole, in his Dictionary, 1672, renders it by the Latin word squalidus.
Malone. VOL. IV.
And neither man, nor master, would take aught
What ring gave you, my lord?
Bass. If I could add a lie unto a fault,
Por. Even so void is your false heart of truth.
Nor I in yours,
Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
contain the ring,] The old copies concur in this reading.
Fohnson. Mr. Pope and the other modern editors read—to retain, but contain might in our author's time have had nearly the same mcaning. The word has been already employed in this sense:
“ Cannot contain their urine for affection.” So also, in Montaigne's Essaies, translated by Florio, 1603, B. II, c. iii: “ Why dost thou complaine against this world ? It doth not containe thee: if thou livest in paine and sorow, thy base courage is the cause of it; to die there wanteth but will.»» Again, in Bacon's Essaies, 4to. 1625, p. 327: “ To containe anger from mischiefe, though it take hold of a man, there be two things.” Malone. 4 What man
-wanted the modesty To urge the thing held as a ceremony?] This is a very licentious expression. The sense is, What man could have so little
Nerissa teaches me what to believe;
Base. No, by mine honour, madam, by my soul,
life Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady? I was enforc'd to send it after him; I was beset with shame and courtesy; My honour would not let ingratitude So much besmear it: Pardon me, good lady; For, by these blessed candles of the night,5 Had you been there, I think, you would have begg’d The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.
Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near my house: Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd, And that which you did swear to keep for me, I will become as liberal as you; I'll not deny him any thing I have, No, not my body, nor my husband's bed: Know him I shall, I am well sure of it: Lie not a night from home; watch me, like Argus: If you do not, if I be left alone, Now, by mine honour, which is yet my own, I'll have that doctor for my bedfellow.
Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis'd, How you do leave me to mine own protection.
modesty, or wanted modesty so much, as to urge the demand of a thing kept on an account in some sort religious. Fohnson. Thus Calphurnia says to Julius Cæsar:
“ Cæsar, I never stood on ceremonies.” Steevens.
- candles of the night,] We have again the same expression in one of our author's Sonnets, in Macbeth, and Romeo and Fuliet. It likewise occurs in Diella, Certaine Sonnets adjoyned to the amorous Poeme of Don Diego, and Gineura, by R. L. 1596:
“ He who can count the candles of the skie,
“ Reckon the sands whereon Pactolus flows,” &c. Malone. In some Saxon poetry preserved in Hickes's Thesaurus, Vol. I, p. 181, the sun is called God's candle. So that this periphrasis for the stars, such a favourite with our poet, might have been an expression not grown obsolete in his days. H. White.
Gra. Well, do you so: let not me take him then;
Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels.
Mark you but that!
Nay, but hear me:
Ant, I once did lend my body for his wealth;?
Had quite miscarried: I dare be bound again,
lord Will never more break faith advisedly.
Por. Then you shall be his surety: Give him this:
Ant. Here, lord Bassanio; swear to keep this ring.
gave the doctor!
Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano;
Gra. Why, this is like the mending of high-ways
Por. Speak not so grossly. You are all amaz'd:
swear by your double self,] Double is here used in a bad sense for—full of duplicity. Malone.
- for his wealth;] For his advantage; to obtain his happiness. Wealth was, at ibat time, the term opposite to adversity, or calamity. Fohnson.
Şo, in The Litany: “In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our wealth," Steevens.
Here is a letter, read it at your leisure;
I am dumb.
Ner. Ay; but the clerk that never means to do it,
bedfellow; When I am absent, then lie with my wife.
Ant. Sweet lady, you have given me life, and living; For here I read for certain, that my ships Are safely come to road. Por.
How now, Lorenzo ?
Ner. Ay, and I 'll give them him without a fee.--
Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
It is almost morning,
Gra. Let it be so: The first intergatory,