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9 SCENE III.
both privately and in common. For in everie ci- , “ He lends out money gratis, and brings down tie the Jewes kepe open shops of usurie, taking
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.” gaiges of ordinarie for xv in the hundred by When the commerce of Venice extended over
the yere; and if, at the yere's end, the gaige be the whole civilised world, and Cyprus, Candia, not redeemed, it is forfeite, or at least doen and the Morea, were her dependencies (which away to a great disadvantage, by reason whereof was the case during a part of Shakspere's the Jewes are out of measure wealthie in those century), the city was not only the resort of parts."—(M.) strangers from all lands, but the place of resi
10 SCENE III. dence of merchants of every nation, to whom it
you have rated me was the policy of the state to afford every en
About my moneys, and my usances." couragement and “commodity.” Much of this Upon this passage Douce observes,—“Mr. : convenience consisted in the lending of capital, Steevens asserts that use and usance anciently which was done by the Jews, to the satisfaction signified usury, but both his quotations show of the government. These Jews were naturally the contrary.” Ritson and Malone both state feared and disliked by their merchant debtors; that usance signifies interest of money. And so but while they were essential to these very usury formerly did. It is evident, from Bacon's parties, and countenanced by the ruling powers, masterly “Essay on Usury,' in which he has they throve, to the degree declared by Thomas, anticipated all that modern political economy in his ‘History of Italy,' published in 1561,- has given us on the subject, that usury meant ten years before the republic lost Cyprus. interest at any rate. One of the objections, be
"It is almost incredyble what gaine the says, which is urged against usury is, “ that it Venetians receive by the usurie of the Jewes, is against nature for money to beget money."
11 SCENE I.
of these, some are among the most respectable The stage direction of the quartos is curious, as
and enlightened of the citizens. The Jews who exhibiting a proof that some attention to cos
people their quarter are such as are unable to tume prevailed in the ancient theatres :
rise out of it. Its buildings are ancient and “Enter Morochus, a tawny Moore all in white, lofty, but ugly and sordid. “Our Synagogue" and three or foure followers accordingly, with is, of course, there. Judging by the commotion Portia, Nerrissa, and their trains."
among its inhabitants when the writer traversed'
it, it would seem that strangers rarely enter the "? SCENE II.—" Which is the way to master quarter. It is situated on the canal which leads
to Mestre. There are houses old enough to Jew': ?"
have been Shylock's, with balconies from which It does not appear that the Jews (hardly used Jessica might have talked ; and ground enough everywhere) had more need of patience in beneath, between the house and the water for Venice than in other states. The same tra- her lover to stand, hidden in the shadow, or ditional reports against them exist there as
under “a pent-house.” Hence, too, her gondola elsewhere, testifying to the popular hatred and ' might at once start for the mainland, without prejudice : but they were too valuable a part of having to traverse any part of the city.–J.) a commercial population not to be more or less considered and taken care of. An island was
13 SCENE II.—“I will run as far as God has appropriated to them; but they long ago overflowed into other parts of the city. Many who
any ground.” have grown extremely rich by money-lending A characteristic speech in the mouth of s have now fine palaces in various quarters; and | Venetian. Ground to run upon being a scarce
mt of mere true
Tine of liver
mounte of Venus
convenience in Venice, its lower orders of inhabitants regard the great expanse of the mainland with feclings of admiration which can be little entered into by those who have been able, all their days, to walk where they would.—(M.)
In Winwood's ‘Memorials' there is a letter dated Venice, 21st June, 1611, from Sir Dudley Carleton, Ambassador from England to the Venetian Republic, addressed to Mr. Trumbull, Resident at Brussels, which contains the following passage :
26 “Even now I have met with your last of the eighth of this present, being newly come from a Villa hard by, where I have been for the space
mars. of a fortnight with my wife and family, this being the first time for these six months past, that any of us have trod on firm land ; and I find it so good a course, as well for health as recreation, that I am like hereafter to use it often. I have heard it as well from other hands as now by your letters, that my predecessor here is my successor in the nomination to that employment where you are; wherein I shall envy him in two things only, that he shall be amongst other credulities belonging to ages
which we call ignorant and superstitious. The nearer the air of England, and that he shall have God's dear earth under his feet.”
other, although fashionable half a century ago, is professed by none, but, more or less, has
its influence upon all. The woodcut which we 14 SCENE II.--" I have here a dish of doves."
give is copied from a little book, with which Mr. Brown, as we have noticed in 'The Tam- Shakspere must have been familiar - Briefe ing of the Shrew,' has expressed his decided introductions, both natural, pleasaunte, and also conviction that some of the dramas of Shak | delectable, unto the Art of Chiromancy, or spere exhibit the most striking proofs that our manuel divination, and Phisiognomy : with cirpoet had visited Italy. The passage before us cumstances upon the faces of the Signes. Also is cited by Mr. Brown as one of these proofs : certain Canons or Rules upon Diseases and “Where did he obtain his numerous graphic Sicknesses, &c. Written in ye Latin tongue by touches of national manners? where did he Jhon Indagine, Prieste, and now lately translearn of an old villager's coming into the city lated into Englishe, by Fabian Withers. For with 'a dish of doves' as a present to his son's Richard Jugge, 1558.' Launcelot, as well as his master? A present thus given, and in our days betters, were diligent students of the mysteries too, and of doves, is not uncommon in Italy. | interpreted by John Indagine, Priest ; and a I myself have partaken there, with due relish, simple or complex line of life were indications in memory of poor old Gobbo, of a dish of that made even some of the wise exult or doves, presented by the father of a servant.”- tremble. Launcelot's "small trifle of wives" (Autobiographical Poems.)
was, however, hardly compatible with the simple
line of life. There must have been too many 15 SCENE II.—“Go to, here's a simple line of crosses in such a destiny.
life!" Palmistry, or chiromancy, had once its learned
16 SCENE V.-“Thou shalt not gormandise.” professors as well as astrology. The printing- The word gormandise, which is equivalent to press consigned the delusion to the gypsies. the French gourmander, is generally considered Chiromancy and physiognomy were once kin- to be of uncertain origin. Zachary Grey, howdred sciences. The one has passed away ever, in his ‘Notes on Shakspeare,' quotes a
curious story from Webb’s ‘Vindication of That worth was the price which the persecuted Stone-Heng restored' (1665), which at any rate Jews paid for the immunity from mutilation will amuse, if it does not convince, our readers : and death. When our rapacious King John _“During the stay of the Danes in Wiltshire extorted an enormous sum from the Jew of they consumed their time in profuseness and Bristol by drawing his teeth, the threat of putbelly cheer, in idleness and sloth. Insomuch ting out an eye would have the like effect opon that, as from their laziness in general we even other Jews. The former prevalence of the to this day call them Lur-Danes ; so, from the saying is proved from the fact that we still licentiousness of Gurmond and his army in retain it, although its meaning is now little particular, we brand all luxurious and profuse known. people by the name of Gurmandisers. And this luxury and this laziness are the sole monu
20 SCENE VII.-“ A coin that bears the figure of ments, the only memorials, by which the Danes
an angel." have made themselves notorious to posterity, by lying encamped in Wiltshire.”
Verstegan, in his ‘Restitution of Decayed Intelligence,' gives the following account of the
origin of the practice amongst the English mo 17 SCENE V.-" Black-Monday.”
narchs of insculping an angel upon their coin :Stow, the Chronicler, thus describes the “To come now unto the cause of the general origin of this name:-“ Black-Monday is Easter calling of our ancestors by the name of EnglishMonday, and was so called on this occasion : in men, and our country consequently by the name the 34th of Edward III. (1360), the 14th of of England, it is to be noted, that the seven petty April, and the morrow after Easter-day, King kingdoms aforenamed, of Kent, East-English, Edward, with his host, lay before the city of West-Saxons, South-Saxons, East-Saxons, NorthParis: which day was full dark of mist and hail, umbers, and Mercians, came in fine one after an. and so bitter cold, that many men died on their other by means of the West-Saxons, who subdued horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore unto and got the sovereignty of all the rest to be all this day it hath been call Black-Monday." brought into one monarchy under King Egbert,
king of the said West-Saxons. This king then 18 SCENE V.-" The wry-neck'd fife.”
considering that so many different names as
the distinct kingdoms before had caused, was There is some doubt whether the fife is here now no more necessary, and that as the people the instrument or the musician. Boswell has were all originally of one nation, so was it fit given a quotation from Barnaby Rich’s ‘ Aphor. they should again be brought under one name; isms,' 1618, which is very much in point:—“A and although they had had the general name fife is a wry-neckt musician, for he always looks of Saxons, as unto this day they are of the away from his instrument.” And yet we are Welch and Irish called, yet did he rather inclined to think that Shakspere intended the choose and ordain that they should be all called instrument. We are of this opinion principally | English-men, as but a part of them before were from the circumstance that the passage is an called ; and that the country should be called imitation of Horace, in which the instrument is England. To the affectation of which name decidedly meant:
of English-men, it should seem he was chiefly “ Primâ nocte domum claude ; neque in vias,
moved in respect of Pope Gregory, his alluding' Sub cantu querulæ despice tibiæ."-(Carm. I. iii. 7.) the name of Engelisce unto Angel-like. The (By the way, Farmer has not told us from what
name of Engel is yet at this present in all the
Teutonick tongues, to wit, the high and low source, except the original, Shakspere derived this idea ; nor could Farmer, for there was no
Dutch, &c., as much to say, as Angel, and if a English translation of any of the Odes of Dutch-man be asked how he would in his lanHorace in Shakspere's time.)
guage call an Angel-like-man, he would answer,
ein English-man ; and being asked how in his 19 SCENE V.-“Will be worth a Jewess' eye.”
own language he would or doth call an English.
man, he can give no other name for him, but The play upon the word alludes to the com- even the very same that he gave before for an mon proverbial expression, “worth a Jew's eye.” | Angel-like-man, that is, as before is said, ein
English-man, Engel being in their tongue an best coin of pure and fine gold, to set the image Angel, and English, which they write, Engelsche, of an angel, which, may be supposed, hath as well Angel-like. And such reason and consideration been used before the Norman Conquest, as since." may have moved our former kings, upon their We subjoin the angel of Elizabeth.
[Angel of Queen Elizabeth.] 21 SCENE VIII.-" That in a gondola were seen a matter of choice,—the gondola being the together."
most private mode of conveyance in the world, The only way of reaching the mainland was
(not excepting the Turkish palanquin,) and the in a gondola. But to be "seen” was altogether
fittest for an elopement.
of the largest size strike on it, in a few days it 22 SCENE 1.-" The Goodwins, I think they call the place."
would be so wholly swallowed up by these quick
sands, that no part of it would be left to be The popular notion of the Goodwin Sand was, seen." It is to this belief that Shakspere most not only that it was “a very dangerous flat and probably alludes when he describes the place as fatal,” but that it possessed a “voracious and one “where the carcases of many a tall ship lie ingurgitating property ; so that, should a ship buried.” It has, however, been ascertained that the sands of the opposite shore are of the same
Before the golden tresses of the dead,
The right of sepulchres, were shorn away, quality as that which tradition reports to have
To live a second life on second head, once formed the island property of Goodwin, Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay: Earl of Kent.
In him those holy antique hours are seen,
Without all ornament, itself, and true, 23 SCENE I.-" It was my turquoise.”
Making no summer of another's green,
Robbing no old to dress his beauty new." The turquoise, turkise, or Turkey-stone, was The "holy antique hours" appear to allade supposed to have a marvellous property, thus
to a state of society in which the fashion, thus described in Fenton’s ‘Secret Wonders of Na- placed under its most revolting aspect, did not ture,' 1569 :—“The turkeys doth move when exist. Stow saya—“ Women's periwigs were there is any peril prepared to him that weareth first brought into England about the time of it.” Ben Jonson and Drayton refer to the same the massacre of Paris ” (1572). Barnaby Rich, superstition. But the Jew, who had “affec- in 1615, speaking of the periwig-sellers, tells us tions, senses, passions," values his turquoise for -“These attire-makers within these forty years something more than its commercial worth or
were not known by that name." And he adds its imaginary virtue. “I had it of Leah, when
But now they are not ashamed to set them I was a bachelor: I would not have given it for forth upon their stalls—such monstrous mop, a wilderness of monkeys.”
poles of hair-80 proportioned and deformed “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin;" that but within these twenty or thirty years and Shakspere here, with marvellous art, shows would have drawn the passers-by to stand and us the betrayed and persecuted Shylock, at the gaze, and to wonder at them.” moment when he is raving at the desertion of his daughter, and panting for a wild revenge,
25 SCENE IV. as looking back upon the days when the fierce
“ Unto the tranect, to the common ferry passions had probably no place in his heart
Which traces to Venice." “I had it of Leah, when I was a bachelor.” If Shakspere had been at Venice (which,
from the extraordinary keeping of the play, ap24 SCENE II.-—“The scull that bred them in the
pears the most natural supposition), he must sepulchre."
surely have had some situation in his eye for Shakspere appears to have had as great an Belmont. There is a “common ferry" at two antipathy to false hair as old Stubbes himself ; places-Fusina and Mestre. The Fusins ferry from whose 'Anatomy of Abuses' we gave a would be the one if Portia lived in perhaps the quotation upon this subject in ‘A Midsummer- | most striking situation, under the Euganean Night's Dream' (Illustrations of Act IV.). Ti Hills. But the Mestre ferry is the most conmon of Athens says
venient medium between Padua and Venice. " thatch your poor thin roofs
There is a large collection of canal-craft there.
It is eighteen English miles from Padua, and In the passage before us the idea is more ela- five from Venice. Supposing Belmont to lie borated, and so it is also in the 68th Sonnet :
in the plain N.W. from Venice, Balthazar might “ Thus in his cheek the map of days outworn,
cut across the country to Padua, and meet Portia When beauty liv'd and died as flowers do now, Before these bastard signs of fair were borne,
at Mestre, while she travelled thither at a lady's Or durst inhabit on a living brow;
With burthens of the dead."
26 SCENE I.—“Some men there are," &c.
not afraid of starving, and yet is afraid of some
joint of meat at the table, presented to feed | THERE is a passage in Donne’s ‘Devotions' him; not afraid of the sound of drums and (1626), in which the doctrine of antipathies is trumpets, and shot, and those which they seek put in a somewhat similar manner :-“A man to drown, the last cries of men, and is afraid that is not afraid of a lion is afraid of a cat ; of some particular harmonious instrument; $0