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He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes';
Who, then conceiving, did in eaning time
Fall party-colour'd lambs", and those were Jacob's”.
This was a way to thrive", and he was blest;

p. 63: «

Again, in Drayton's Mooncalf :

nothing doth so please her mind, “ As to see mares and horses do their kind.Collins. 9 — 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 :

and fill'd his fulsome scrip," &c. Again, in the dedication to Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy,

noisome or fulsome for bad smells, as butcher's slaughter houses,” &c.

It is likewise used by Shakspeare in King John, to express some quality offensive to nature :

" And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust." Again, in Thomas Newton's Herball to the Bible, 8vo. 1587 :

Having a strong sent and fulsome smell, which neither men nor beastes take delight to smell unto."

Again, ibid. :

“ Boxe is naturally dry, juicelesse, fulsomely and loathsomely smelling."

Again, in Arthur Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, b. xv.: “ But what have you poore sheepe misdone, a cattel meek and

meeld, Created for to manteine man, whose fulsome dugs do yeeld “ Sweete nectar,” &c. STEEVENS. Minsheu

supposes it to mean nauseous in so high a degree as to excite vomiting. Malone.

It perhaps only meant, in this passage, pregnant. Fulsome frequently was used for full, as it certainly was in Mr. Steevens's quotation from Golding : “ Pleno quæ fertis in ubere.” The same writer, in his translation of Abraham's Sacrifice, by Beza, speaks of the moon's “ round and fulsome face." Boswell.

· Fall party-colour'd lambs,) To fall is frequently used by our author as a verb active, to let fall, to drop. Boswell. and those were Jacob's.] See Genesis xxx, 37, &c.



This thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.

Ant. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv'd


A thing not in his power to bring to pass,
But sway'd, and fashion'd, by the hand of heaven.
Was this inserted to make interest good ?
Or is your gold and silver, ewes and rams?

Shy. I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast* :-
But note me, signior.

Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul, producing holy witness,
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek ;
A goodly apple rotten at the heart;
o, what a goodly outside falshood hath o !
Shy. Three thousand ducats,—tis a good round

sum. Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.

3 This was a way to thrive, &c.] So, in the ancient song of Gernutus the Jew of Venice:

“ His wife must lend a shilling,

“ For every weeke a penny,
Yet bring a pledge that is double worth,

“ If that you will have any.
“ And see, likewise, you keepe your day,

“ Or else you lose it all :
This was the living of the wife,

“ Her cow she did it call.” Her cow, &c. seems to have suggested to Shakspeare Shylock's argument for usury. Percy.

4 - I make it BREED as fast :) So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :

“ Foul cank’ring rust the hidden treasure frets ;

“But gold that's put to use more gold begets.” Malone. s The devil can cite scripture, &c.] See St. Matthew iv. 6.

HENLEY. 6 0, what a goodly outside Falshood hath !] Falshood, which as truth means honesty, is taken here for treachery and knavery, does not stand for falšhood in general, but for the dishonesty now operating. Johnson.

Ant. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to

Shy. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft,
In the Rialto, you have rated me
About my monies, and my usances?:
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug ® ;
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe :
You call me-misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
And spit' upon my Jewish gaberdine,

7 my Usances :] Use and usance are both words anciently employ'd for usury, both in its favourable and unfavourable sense. 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. Mr. Ritson asks, whether Mr. Steevens is not mistaken in saying that use and usance were anciently employed for usury. Use and usance (he adds) mean nothing more than interest ; and the former word is still used by country people in the same sense.” That Mr. Steevens however, 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 still 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, so that his land was clean gone, beynge five hundred poundes inherytance, for one thousand pound in money, and the usurie of the same money for so fewe yeres; and the man now beggeth.” Wylson on Usurye, 1572, p. 32.

Reed. Usance, in our author's time, I believe, signified interest of money. It has been already used in this play in that sense :

He lends out money gratis, and brings down

“ The rate of usance with us here in Venice.” Again, in a subsequent part, he says, he will take “no doit of usance for his monies." Here it must mean interest.

Malone. 8 Still have I borne it with a patient shrug :] So, in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, (written and acted before 1593,) printed in 1633 :

“ I learn’d in Florence how to kiss my hand,
Heave up my shoulders when they call me dogge.


Over your

And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then, it now appears, you need my help:
Go to then ; you come to me, and you say,
Shylock, we would have monies ; You say so;
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur

your threshold; monies is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
Hath a dog money? Is it possible,
A cur can lend three thousand ducats? or
Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key,
With 'bated breath, and whispering humbleness,
Say this,--
Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
You spurn'd me such a day; another time
You calld medog ; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much monies.

Ant. I am as like to call thee so again,
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too.
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends; (for when did friendship take
A breed for barren metal of his friend'?)

9 And spit -] The old copies always read spet, which spelling is followed by Milton :

the womb
“ Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest gloom.”

Steevens. ' A BreeD for Barren metal of his friend ?] A breed, that is, interest money bred from the principal. By the epithet barren, the author would instruct us in the argument on which the advocates against usury went, which is this; that money is a barren thing, and cannot, like corn and cattle, multiply itself

. And to set off the absurdity of this kind of usury, he put breed and barren in opposition. . WARBURTON.

Dr. Warburton very truly interprets this passage. Old Meres says, “ Usurie and encrease by gold and silver is unlawful, because against nature; nature hath made them sterill and barren, usurie makes them procreative.” FARMER.

The honour of starting this conceit belongs to Aristotle. See De Repub. lib. i. Holt White.

But lend it rather to thine enemy ;
Who if he break, thou may’st with better face
Exact the penalty *.

Why, look you, how you storm!
I would be friends with you, and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have staind me with,
Supply your present wants, and take no doit
Of usance for my monies, and you'll not hear me:
This is kind I offer.

Ant. This were kindness.

This kindness will I show:-
Go with me to a notary, seal me there
Your single bond ; and, in a merry sport,

you repay me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum, or sums, as are
Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth | me.

Ant. Content, in faith; I'll seal to such a bond, And say, there is much kindness in the Jew. .

Bass. You shall not seal to such a bond for me, I'll rather dwell in my necessity .

Ant. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it ; Within these two months, that's a month before This bond expires, I do expect return Of thrice three times the value of this bond.

Shy. O father Abraham, what these Christians are; Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect The thoughts of others ! Pray you, tell me this; If he should break his day, what should I gain

* First folio, penalties. + First folio, it pleaseth. Thus both the quarto printed by Roberts, and that by Heyes, in 1600. The folio hasma breed of. Malone.

DWELL in my necessity.) To dwell seems in this place to mean the same as to continue. To abide has both the senses of habitation and continuance. Johnson.


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