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Luun. That is done, sir; they have all stomachs.

Lor. Goodly lord, 8 what a wit-snapper are you ! then bid them


Laun. That is done too, sir ; only, cover

is the word.
Lor. Will you cover then, sir ?

Laun. Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty.

Lor. Yet more quarrelling with occasion !9 wilt thou shew the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant ? I pray thee, understand a plain man in his plain meaning: go to thy fellows; bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.

Laun. For the table, sir, it shall be serv'd in ; for the meat, sir, it shall be covered ; for your coming in to dinner, sir, why let it be as humours and conceits shall govern.

[Erit Launcelot. Lor. O dear discretion, how his words are suited !!


& Goodly lord,] Surely this should be corrected Good lord ! as it is in Theobald's edition.

TYRWHITT. 9 Yet more quarrelling with occasion!] That is,opportunity afforded by another speaker to play upon his words. E.

-how his words are suited !] I believe the meaning is : What a series or suite of words he has


The fool hath planted in his memory
An army of good words ; And I do know
A many fools, that stand in better place,
Garnish'd like him, that for a tricksy word





independent of meaning; how one word draws on another without relation to the matter.

I cannot think either that the word suited is derived from suite, as Johnson supposes, as that, I believe, was introduced into our language long since the time of Shakspeare; or that Launcelot's words were independent of meaning. Lorenzo expresses his surprize that a fool should apply them so properly. So Jaques says to the Duke, in As you like it :

I met a fool That laid him down and bask'd him in the sun, “ And rail'd at Lady Fortune in good terms,

In good set terms: That is, in words well suited. J. M. Mason.

Lorenzo here invokes discretion as that faculty of the mind most opposite to, and inconsistent with this disposition to quibble for which Launcelot was so remarkable. It may be doubted, I fancy, whether Lorenzo does not mean how badly, rather than how well, his words are suited” that is, in bow un natural a manner, those good words, of which he

planted an army in his memory, were connected with matter of so frivolous and insignificant a character. E.

If these reflections of Lorenzo are attended to, it is possible the reader may be of opinion that the poet's “play upon words,” which he has so often been arraigned for, is less a matter of choice in him, than of indulgence to what appears, from these very passages, to have been the taste of his times.


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Defy the matter. How cheer'st thou,2 Jessica?
And now, good sweet, say thy opinion,
How dost thou like the lord Bassanio's wife?

Jes. Pasť all expressing : it is very meet,
The lord Bassanio live an upright life;
For, having such a blessing in his lady,
He finds the joys of heaven here on earth ;
And, if on earth he do not mean it,3 it
Is reason he should never come to heaven.
Why, if two gods should play some heavenly

And on the wager lay two earthly women,
And Portio one, there must be something else


? How cheer'st thou, Jessica ?) Must signifywhat kind of cheer do you possess ? The use of the word cheer thus as a neuter verb, is very uncommon; we indeed sometimes employ the phraseto cheer up in a neutral sense.

One of the quartos, Mr. Pope, and the four next succeeding editors have « Horu far'st thou ?E.

3 -on earth he do not mean it, &c.] The undoubted and proper sense of the present, which is the true reading, isto observe the Mean, to enjoy blessings moderately: This is consequential to what has preceded, but the same cannot be affirmed concerning the alteration introduced by some modern editors, viz.

“ And if on earth he do not merit it,

“ In reason," &c. The quartos read “ In reason » and one of them has it thus

And if on earth he does not mean it, then In reason,” &c. Capell.

Pawn'd with the other ;4 for the poor rude

world Hath not her fellow. Lor.

Even such a husband Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife.

Jes. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that. Lor. I will anon; first, let us go to

dinner. Jes. Nay, let me praise you, while I have

a stomach. Lor. No, pray thee, let it serve for table

talk; Then, howsoe'er thou speak’st, 'mong other

I shall digest it.
Well, I'll set you forth.


4 Pawn'd with the other ;] Pawn'd seems here to be admitted in the same sense as staked, E.




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Venice, A Court of Justice. Enter the Duke, the Magnificoes, Officers of the Court, &c. and take their seats ; then enter Anthonio guarded, Bassanio, Gratiano, Salarino, Salanio,

and others.

Duke. What, is Anthonio here?
Anth. Ready, so please your grace.
Duke. I am sorry for thee; thou art come

to answer

A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.

I have heard,
Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rigorous course; but since he stands ob-


And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach,' I do oppose


* SCENE I.—The time, a new day, and about the hour, it may be presumed, when courts of justice are usually opened, and proceed to business. E.

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his envy's reach,] Envy in this place means hatred or malice. So, in Reynolds's God's


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