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It is that any thing now. Mr. Steevens's explanation of the old reading is supe ported by a passage in Othello :
“ Can any thing be made of this !" MALONE. 163. -prest unto it: -] Prest may not here signify impress’d, as into military service, but ready. Pret. Fr. So, in Cæsar and Pompey, 1607:
“What must be, must be, Cæsar's prest for all." Again, in Hans Beer-pot, &c. 1618:
-your good word “ Is ever prest to do an honest man good." I could add twenty more intances of the word being used with this signification.
Steevens, 166. --sometimes from her eyes] Sometimes is syno, nymous with formerly. Nothing is more frequent in title-pages, than“ some time fellow of such a college."
FARMER 196. Superfluity comes sooner by white hairs,] i. e. Superfluity sooner acquires white hairs; becomes old. We still say, How did he come by it? MALONE.
209. But this reasoning is not in the fashion] Folio. But this reason is not in fashion,
MALONE. : 227.
Ay that's a colt, indeeds for he does nothing but talk of his horse;] Colt is used for a witless, héady, gáy youngster, whence the phrase used of an old man too juvenile, that he still retains his colt's tooth. See Henry VIII,
JOHNSON. 292. there is the county Palatine.] I am always in. clined to believe, that Shakspere has more allusions to particular facts and persons than his readers com,
monly suppose. The count here mentioned was, perhaps, Albertus a Lasco, a Polish Palatine, who visited England in our author's lifetime, was eagerly. caressed, and splendidly entertained; but running in debt, at last stole away, and endeavoured to repair his fortune by enchantment.
JOHNSON. 256. - he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian ;] A satire on the ignorance of the young English travellers in our author's time.
WARBURTON. 264. -Scottish lord,
- ] Scottish, which is in the quarto, was omitted in the first folio, for fear of giving offence to king James's countrymen.
THEOBALD. 269. I think the Frenchman became his surety,] Alluding to the constant assistance, or rather constant promises of assistance, that the French gave the Scots in their quarrels with the English. This alliance is here humorously satirized. WARBURTON.
271. How like you the young German, &c.] In Shake' spere's time the duke of Bavaria visited London, and was made knight of the garter.
Perhaps in this enumeration of Portia's suitors, there may be some covert allusion to those of queen Elizabeth.
JOHNSON, 297. and I pray God grant them a fair departure.] The folio reads :
and I wish them a fair, &c. The alteration was probably made in consequence of the stat. 3. Jac. I. cap. 21.
308. How now! what news?] These words are not in the folio.
MALONE. 315 condition-] temper, qualities.
MALONE. 351. -the habitation which your prophet the Nażarite conjured the devil into.] Perhaps there is no character through all Shakspere, drawn with more spirit, and just discrimination, than Shylock's. His language, allusions, and ideas, are every where se appropriate to a Jew, that Shylock might be exhir bited for an examplar of that peculiar people.
HENLÉY. 364. If I can catch him once upon the hip, ] This, Dr. Johnson observes, is a phrase taken from the practice of wrestlers, and (he might have added) is an allu. sion to the angel's thus laying hold on Jacob, when he wrestled with him. See Gen. xxxii. 24, &c.
-] The folio reads well worn.
MALONE. 382. —the ripe wants of my friend,] Ripe wants are wants come to the height, wants that can have no longer delay. Perhaps we might read, rife wants, wants that come thick
JOHNSON. 400. —the eanlings,-] Lambs just dropt; from
-of kind,] i. e. of nature. So, Tur: bervile, in his book of Falconry, 1575, p. 127 : “ So great is the curtesy of kind, as she ever seek: Bij
eth to recompense any defect of hers with some other better benefit." Again, in Drayton's Mooncalf:
--nothing doth so please her mind, 4. As to see mares and horses do their kind."!
COLLINS. 407. the fulsome ewes ;] Fulsome, I believe in this instance, means lascivious, obscene. The same epithet is bestowed on the night, in Acolastus his After. Witte. By S. N. 1600 :
“ Why shines not Phæbus in the fulsome night? In the play of Muleasses the Turk, Madam Fulsome a Bawd is introduced. The word, however, sometimes signifies offensive in smell. So, in Chapman's version of the 17th Book of the Odyssey.
STEEvens. 410. This was a way to thrive, &c.] So, in the an. cient song of Gernutus the Jew of Venice:
6. His wife must lend a shilling,
6. For every weeke a penny,
“ If that you will have any.
“ Or else you lose it all :
“ Her cow she did it call." Her cow, &c. seems to have suggested to Shakspere Shylock's argument for usury.
PERCY. 420. The devil can cite scripture for his purpose See Matthew, iv. 6.
424. 0, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!] I wish any copy would give me authority to range and read the lines thus :
0, what a godly outside falsehood hath!
Or goodly apple rotten at the heart. Yet there is no difficulty in the present reading. Falsehood, which as truth means honesty, is taken here for treachery and knavery, does not stand for falsehood in general, but for the dishonesty now operating.
JOHNson. 430. -my usances :] Use and Usance are both words anciently employ'd for usury. So, in the English Traveller, 1633 :
“ Give me my use, give me my principal.” Again,
« A toy ; the main about five hundred pounds, " And the use fifty.”
STEEVENS. That Mr. Steevens is right respecting the word in the text, will appear from the following quotation : " I knowe a gentleman borne to five hundred pounde lande, did never receyve above a thousand pound of nete money, and within certeyne yeres ronnynge stil upon usurie and double usurie, the merchants termyng it usance and double usance. By a more clenly name he did
owe to master usurer five thousand pound at the last, borowyng but one thousande pounde at first, sa that his land was clean gone, beynge five hundreth poundes inherytance for one thousand pound in money,