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Most beautiful pagan,-most sweet Jew! If a Christian do not play the knave, and get thee', I am much deceived: But, adieu! these foolish drops do somewhat drown my manly spirit; adieu! [Exit. JES. Farell, good Launcelot.— Alack, what heinous sin is it in me,
To be asham'd to be my father's child!
But though I am a daughter to his blood,
I am not to his manners: O Lorenzo,
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife; Become a Christian, and thy loving wife. [Exit.
and GET thee,] I suspect that the waggish Launcelot designed this for a broken sentence- " and get thee "—implying, get thee with child. Mr. Malone, however, supposes him to mean only-carry thee away from thy father's house. STEEVENS.
I should not have attempted to explain so easy a passage, if the ignorant editor of the second folio, thinking probably that the word get must necessarily mean beget, had not altered the text, and substituted did in the place of do, the reading of all the old and authentick editions; in which he has been copied by every subsequent editor. Launcelot is not talking about Jessica's father, but about her future husband. I am aware that, in a subsequent scene, he says to Jessica: "Marry, you may partly hope your father got you not; " but he is now on another subject.
From the general censure expressed in the preceding note I take leave to exempt Mr. Reed; who, by following the first folio, was no sharer in the inexpiable guilt of the second. STEEVENS.
Notwithstanding Mr. Malone charges the editor of the second folio so strongly with ignorance, I have no doubt but that did is the true reading, as it is clearly better sense than that which he has adopted. Launcelot does not mean to foretell the fate of Jessica, but judges, from her lovely disposition, that she must have been begotten by a christian, not by such a brute as Shylock: a christian might marry her without playing the knave, though he could not beget her. M. MASON.
A christian may be said to play the knave if he should steal the Jew's daughter, as Lorenzo himself expresses it, Sc. VI.:
"When you shall please to play the thieves for wives,
In answer to Mr. Steevens, I have to state that I printed this play in 1784, and that Mr. Reed's edition did not appear till 1785. I may add that I communicated to that gentleman this very correction. MALONE.
The Same. A Street.
Enter GRATIANO, LORENZO,
LOR. Nay, we will slink away in supper-time;
GRA. We have not made good preparation.
SALAR. We have not spoke us yet of torchbearers 8.
SALAN. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order'd ;
And better, in my mind, not undertook.
LOR. 'Tis now but four o'clock; we have two hours
To furnish us:
Enter LAUNCELOT, with a letter.
Friend Launcelot, what's the news? LAUN. An it shall please you to break up this, it shall seem to signify.
LOR. I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand; And whiter than the paper it writ on, Is the fair hand that writ.
8 torch-bearers.] See the note in Romeo and Juliet, Act I. Sc. IV.: "We have not spoke us yet," &c. i. e. we have not yet bespoke us, &c. Thus the old copies. It may, however, mean,we have not as yet consulted on the subject of torch-bearers. Mr. Pope reads " spoke as yet." STEEVENS.
So a few speeches afterwards :
"I am provided of a torch-bearer." BOSWELL.
TO BREAK UP this,] To break up was a term in carving : So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act III. Sc. I. :
Boyet, you can carve;
"Break up this capon."
See the note on that passage. STEEVENS.
LAUN. By your leave, sir.
LAUN. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew
SALAR. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
[Exeunt SALAR. and SALAN. GRA. Was not that letter from fair Jessica? LOR. I must needs tell thee all: She hath directed, How I shall take her from her father's house; What gold, and jewels, she is furnish'd with; What page's suit she hath in readiness. If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven, It will be for his gentle daughter's sake: And never dare misfortune cross her foot, Unless she do it under this excuse,That she is issue to a faithless Jew.
Love-news, in faith.
Come, go with me; peruse this, as thou goest:
The Same. Before SHYLOCK'S House.
Enter SHYLOCK and LAUNCELOT.
SHY. Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy
The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:—
SHY. Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call. LAUN. Your worship was wont to tell me, I could do nothing without bidding.
JES. Call you? What is your will?
SHY. I am bid forth' to supper,
There are my keys :-But wherefore should I go?
LAUN. I beseech you, sir, go; my young master doth expect your reproach.
SHY. So do I his.
LAUN. And they have conspired together,-I will not say, you shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding
I I am BID forth -] I am invited. To bid in old language meant to pray. MALONE.
That bid was used for invitation, may be seen in St. Luke's Gospel, ch: xiv. 24: " none of those which were bidden shall taste of my supper." HARRIS.
2- to feed upon
The prodigal Christian.] Shylock forgets his resolution. In a former scene he declares he will neither eat, drink, nor pray with Christians. Of this circumstance the poet was aware, and meant only to heighten the malignity of the character, by making him depart from his most settled resolve, for the prosecution of his revenge. STEEVENS,
on Black-Monday last 3, at six o'clock i'the morning, falling out that year on Ash-wednesday was four year in the afternoon.
SHY. What! are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica:
Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum, And the vile squeaking of the wry-neck'd fife
*So quarto R.; first folio, and quarto H. squealing.
then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on BLACK-MONDAY last,]" Black-Monday is Easter-Monday, and was so called on this occasion: in the 34th of Edward III. (1360) the 14th of April, and the morrow after Easter-day, King Edward, with his host, lay before the city of Paris: which day was full dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many men died on their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore, unto this day, it hath been called the Blacke-Monday." Stowe, p. 264-6. GREY.
It appears from a passage in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592, that some superstitious belief was annexed to the accident of bleeding at the nose: "As he stood gazing, his nose on a sudden bled, which made him conjecture it was some friend of his."
Again, in The Dutchess of Malfy, 1640, Act I. Sc. II. : "How superstitiously we mind our evils?
"The throwing downe salt, or crossing of a hare,
Bleeding at nose, the stumbling of a horse,
"Or singing of a creket, are of power
Again, Act I. Sc. III. :
My nose bleeds. One that was superstitious would count
this ominous, when it merely comes by chance." REED.
4 Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum,
And the vile squeaking of the WRY-NECK'D FIFE,]
Primâ nocte domum claude; neque in vias
Sub cantu querulæ despice tibiæ." Hor. lib. iii. od. vii.
It appears from hence, that the fifes, in Shakspeare's time, were formed differently from those now in use, which are straight, not wry-necked. M. MASON.
The fife does not mean the instrument, but the person who played on it. So, in Barnaby Rich's Aphorismes, at the end of his Irish Hubbub, 1618: A fife is a wry-neckt musician, for he always looks away from his instrument." BOSWELL.