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That you to-day promis'd to tell me of?
ANT. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it;
BASS. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow of the self-same flight
- a more swelling PORT, &c.] Port, in the present instance, comprehends the idea of expensive equipage, and external pomp of appearance. Thus, in the first Iliad, as translated by Chapman, 1611:
- all the gods receiv'd,
(All rising from their thrones) their sire; attending to his
"None sate when he rose; none delaid, the furnishing his
"Till he came neare: all met with him and brought him to his throne." STEEVENS.
So, in Sidney's Arcadia: "My port and pomp did well become a king of Argos' daughter." MALONE.
9 - when I had lost one shaft,
I shot his fellow, &c.] This thought occurs also in Decker's Villanies discovered by Lanthorne and Candlelight, &c. 4to. bl. l. : "And yet I have seene a Creditor in Prison weepe when he beheld the Debtor, and to lay out money of his owne purse to free
The self-same way, with more advised watch, To find the other forth: and by adventuring both,
I oft found both: I urge this childhood proof,
ANT. You know me well; and herein spend but
To wind about my love with circumstance;
And, out of doubt, you do me now
* more wrong,
* Folio omits me now.
him he shot a second arrow to find the first." I learn, from a MS. note by Oldys, that of this pamphlet there were no less than eight editions; the last in 1638. I quote from that of 1616.
This method of finding a lost arrow is prescribed by P. Crescentius in his treatise de Agricultura, lib. x. cap. xxviii. and is also mentioned in Howel's Letters, vol. i. p. 183, edit. 1655, 12mo. Douce.
- like a WILFUL youth,] This does not at all agree with what he had before promised, that what followed should be purc innocence. For wilfulness is not quite so pure. We should read -witless, i. e. heedless; and this agrees exactly to that to which he compares his case, of a school-boy; who, for want of advised watch, lost his first arrow, and sent another after it with more attention. But wilful agrees not at all with it. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton confounds the time past and present. He has formerly lost his money like a wilful youth; he now borrows more in pure innocence, without disguising his former faults, or his present designs. JOHNSON.
And I am prest unto it 2: therefore, speak.
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth;
ANT. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at
PREST unto it :] Prest may not here signify impress'd, as into military service, but ready. Pret, Fr. So, in Cæsar and Pompey, 1607:
Cæsar's prest for all.”
"What must be, must be; Again, in Hans Beer-pot, &c. 1618: your good word
"Is ever prest to do an honest man good."
Again, in the concluding couplet of Churchyard's Warning to the Wanderers Abroad, 1593:
"Then shall my mouth, my muse, my pen and all,
"Be prest to serve at each good subject's call."
I could add twenty more instances of the word being used with this signification. STEEVENS.
3 SOMETIMES from her eyes -] So all the editions; but it certainly ought to be, sometime, i. e. formerly, some time ago, at a certain time and it appears by the subsequent scene, that Bassanio was at Belmont with the Marquis de Montferrat, and saw Portia in her father's life time. THEOBALD.
It is strange, Mr. Theobald did not know, that in old English, sometimes is synonymous with formerly. Nothing is more frequent in title-pages, than "sometimes fellow of such a college."
Neither have I' money, nor commodity
Belmont. A Room in PORTIA'S House.
Enter PORTIA and NerisSA.
POR. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world.
NER. You would be, sweet madarn, if your miseries were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are: And, yet, for aught I see, they are as sick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing: It is no mean✶ happiness therefore, to be seated in the mean; superfluity comes sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer.
POR. Good sentences, and well pronounced.
*First folio, small.
4 superfluity COMES Sooner BY white hairs,] fluity sooner acquires white hairs; becomes old. How did he come by it? MALONE.
POR. If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages, princes' palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. The brain may devise laws for the blood; but a hot
e. SuperWe still say,
temper leaps over a cold decree: such a hare is madness the youth, to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel the cripple. But this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband :-O me, the word choose! I may neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I dislike; so is the will of a living daughter curb'd by the will of a dead father:-Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none?
NER. Your father was ever virtuous; and holy men, at their death, have good inspirations; therefore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three chests, of gold, silver, and lead, (whereof who chooses his meaning, chooses you,) will, no doubt, never be chosen by any rightly, but one who you shall rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection towards any of these princely suitors that are already come?
POR. I pray thee, over-name them; and as thou namest them, I will describe them; and, according to my description, level at my affection.
NER. First, there is the Neapolitan prince ". POR. Ay, that's a colt, indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his horse; and he makes it a great
*First folio, reason.
5 the Neapolitan PRINCE.] The Neapolitans in the time of Shakspeare, were eminently skilled in all that belongs to horsemanship; nor have they, even now, forfeited their title to the same praise. STEEVENS.
Though our author, when he composed this play, could not have read the following passage in Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essaies, 1603, he had perhaps met with the relation in some other book of that time: " While I was a young lad, (says old Montaigne,) I saw the prince of Salmona, at Naples, manage a young, a rough, and fierce horse, and show all manner of horsemanship; to hold testons or reals under his knees and toes so fast as if they had been nayled there, and all to show his sure, steady, and unmoveable sitting." MALONE.
Ay, that's a COLT, indeed, for he doth nothing but talk of his horse;] Colt is used for a witless, heady, gay youngster, whence