Obrázky stránek

Is sad to think upon his merchandize.

ANT. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it, My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate Upon the fortune of this present year: Therefore, my merchandize makes me not sad. SALAN. Why then you are in love. ANT. Fye, fye! SALAN. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you are sad,

Because you are not merry: and 'twere as easy For you, to laugh, and leap, and say, you are merry, Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus 2,

Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time:
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes,
And laugh, like parrots, at a bag-piper;
And other of such vinegar aspéct,

That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile*,
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.


SALAN. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman,

Gratiano, and Lorenzo: Fare you well;
We leave you now with better company.

SALAR. I would have staid till I had made you

merry, If worthier friends had not prevented me.


Now, by two-headed JANUS,] Here, says Dr. Warburton, Shakspeare shows his knowledge in the antique: and so does Taylor the water-poet, who describes Fortune, "Like a Janus with a double-face." FARMER.

3-peep through their eyes,] This gives a very picturesque image of the countenance in laughing, when the eyes appear half shut. WARBURTON.

4 - their teeth IN WAY OF SMILE,] Because such are apt enough to show their teeth in anger. WARBURTON.

ANT. Your worth is very dear in my regard.
I take it, your own business calls on you,
And you embrace the occasion to depart.
SALAR. Good morrow, my good lords.

BASS. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh?
Say, when?

You grow exceeding strange: Must it be so? SALAR. We'll make our leisures to attend on yours. [Exeunt SALARINO and SALANIO. LOR. My lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio,

We two will leave you: but, at dinner time,
I pray you, have in mind where we must


BASS. I will not fail you.

GRA. You look not well, signior Antonio; You have too much respect upon the world: They lose it, that do buy it with much care. Believe me, you are marvellously chang'd.

ANT. I hold the world but as the world, Gra


A stage, where every man must play a part",
And mine a sad one.

s My lord Bassanio, &c.] This speech [which by Mr. Rowe and subsequent editors was allotted to Salanio,] is given to Lorenzo in the old copies and Salarino and Salanio make their exit at the close of the preceding speech. Which is certainly Lorenzo (who, with Gratiano, had only accompanied Bassanio, till he should find Antonio,) prepares now to leave Bassanio to his business; but is detained by Gratiano, who enters into a conversation with Antonio. TYRWHITT.

I have availed myself of this judicious correction, by restoring the speech to Lorenzo, and marking the exits of Salarino and Salanio at the end of the preceding speech. STEEVENS.


LOSE it,] All the ancient copies read-loose; a misprint, I suppose, for the word standing in the text. STEEVENS.

7 A STAGE, where every man must PLAY a part,] The same thought occurs in Churchyard's Farewell to the World, 1593:

Let me play the Fool":

GRA. With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come; And let my liver rather heat with wine, Than my heart cool with mortifying groans. Why should a man, whose blood is warm within, Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? Sleep when he wakes? and creep into the jaundice By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio,I love thee, and it is my love that speaks ;There are a sort of men, whose visages Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond; And do a wilful stillness' entertain, With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit; As who should say, I am Sir Oracle *, And, when I ope my lips, let no dog bark2!


Again, in Sidney's Arcadia, book ii. :


She found the world but a wearisome stage to her, where she played a part against her will." STEEVENS.

8 Let me play the Fool:] Alluding to the common comparison of human life to a stage-play. So that he desires his may be the fool's or buffoon's part, which was a constant character in the old farces; from whence came the phrase, to play the fool.



So quartos; first folio, an oracle.

"A worldling here, I must hie to my grave;
"For this is but a May-game mixt with woe,


A borrowde roume where we our pageants play, "A skaffold plaine," &c.

9 There are a sort of men, whose visages

Do CREAM] The poet here alludes to the manner in which the film extends itself over milk in scalding; and he had the same appearance in his eye when writing a foregoing line:

"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." So, also, the author of Bussy d'Ambois :


Not any wrinkle creaming in their faces." HENLEY. - a wilful STILLNESS] i. e. an obstinate silence.


let no dog bark!] This seems to be a proverbial expres


O, my Antonio, I do know of these,
That therefore only are reputed wise,
For saying nothing; who, I am very sure
If they should speak, would almost damn those ears",
Which, hearing them, would call their brothers,

I'll tell thee more of this another time:
But fish not, with this melancholy bait,
For this fool's gudgeon, this opinion.-
Come, good Lorenzo :-Fare ye well, a while;
I'll end my exhortation after dinner 3.

LOR. Well, we will leave you then till dinnertime :

I must be one of these same dumb wise men,
For Gratiano never lets me speak.

GRA. Well, keep me company but two years more*,

Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own


*First folio, mo; quartos, moe.

sion. So, in Acolastus, a comedy 1540:" dogge barke at mine ententes." STEEVENS. 3-WHO, I am very sure,] The old copies read: “— when, I am very sure." Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.


nor there shall no

4- would almost DAMN those ears,] Several old editions have it dam, damme, and daunt. Some more correct copies, damn. The author's meaning is this: That some people are thought wise, whilst they keep silence; who, when they open their mouths, are such stupid praters, that the hearers cannot help calling them fools, and so incur the judgment denounced in the Gospel. THEOBALD.

It is dam (which is merely the old spelling for damn) in the first folio and both the quartos; damme, in the second folio.


5 I'll end my EXHORTATION after dinner.] The humour of this consists in its being an allusion to the practice of the puritan preachers of those times; who, being generally very long and tedious, were often forced to put off that part of their sermon called the exhortation, till after dinner. WARBurton.

ANT. Farewell*: I'll grow a talker for this gear.

GRA. Thanks, i'faith; for silence is only commendable

In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible. [Exeunt GRATIANO and LORENZO.

ANT. Is that any thing now??

BASS. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, more than any man in all Venice His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff; you shall seek all day ere you find them; and, when you have them, they are not worth the search.

ANT. Well; tell me now, what lady is the same To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,

So quarto R. the folio and quarto H. fare you well. † Folio omits as.

6 for this GEAR.] In Act II. Sc. II. the same phrase occurs again : "If fortune be a woman, she's a good wench for this gear." This is a colloquial expression perhaps of no very determined import. STEEVENS.

So, in Sapho and Phao, a comedy by Lyly, 1591: “As for you, Sir boy, I will teach you how to run away; you shall be stript from top to toe, and whipt with nettles; I will handle you for this geare well: I say no more." Again, in Nashe's Epistle Dedicatory to his Apologie of Pierce Pennilesse, 1593: "I mean to trounce him after twenty in the hundred, and have a bout with him, with two staves and a pike for this geare." MALONE.

7 Is that any thing Now ?] All the old copies read,-is that any thing now? I suppose we should read-is that any thing new?

JOHNSON. The sense of the old reading is-Does what he has just said amount to any thing, or mean any thing? STEEVENS.

Surely the reading of the old copies is right. Antonio asks: Is that any thing now? and Bassanio answers, that Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing,-the greatest part of his discourse is not any thing. TYRWHITT.

So, in Othello: "Can any thing be made of this?" The old copies, by a manifest error of the press, read-It is that, &c. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.

« PředchozíPokračovat »