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Laun. That is done, sir; they have all stomachs.
Lor. Goodly lord,8 what a wit-snapper are you! then bid them prepare dinner. Laun. That is done too, sir ; only, cover
is the word. Lor. Will you cover then, sir ?
Laun. Not so, sir, neither; I know my duty.
Lor. Yet more quarrelling with occasion !9 wilt thou shew the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant? I pray thee, understand a plain man in his plain meaning: go to thy fellows ; bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we will come in to dinner.
Laun. For the table, sir, it shall be serv'd in ; for the meat, sir, it shall be covered ; for your coming in to dinner, sir, why let it be as humours and conceits shall
[Erit Launcelot. Lor. O dear discretion, how his words are
& Goodly lord,] Surely this should be corrected Good lord ! as it is in Theobald's edition.
TYRWHITT. 9 Yet more quarrelling with occasion!] That is,opportunity afforded by another speaker to play upon his words. E.
-how his words are suited!] I believe the meaning is : What a series or suite of words he has
The fool hath planted in his memory
independent of meaning; how one word draws on another without relation to the matter.
Johnson. I cannot think either that the word suited is derived from suite, as Johnson supposes, as that, I believe, was introduced into our language long since the time of Shakspeare ; or that Launcelot's words were independent of meaning:
Lorenzo expresses his surprize that a fool should apply them so properly. So Jaques says to the Duke, in As you like ii :
-I met a fool " That laid him down and bask'd him in the sun, “ And rail'd at Lady Fortune in good terms,
“ In good set terms: That is, in words well suited. J. M. Mason.
Lorenzo here invokes discretion as that faculty of the mind most opposite to, and inconsistent with this disposition to quibble for which Launcelot was so remarkable. It may be doubted, I fancy, whether Lorenzo does not mean how badly, rather than how well, “ his words are suited” that is, in how una natural a manner, those good words, of which he had “ planted an army in his memory, nected with matter of so frivolous and insignificant a character. E.
If these reflections of Lorenzo are attended to, it is possible the reader may be of opinion---that the poet's “play upon words,” which he has so often been arraigned for, is less a matter of choice in him, than of indulgence to what appears, from these very passages, to have been the taste of his times.
Defy the matter. How cheer'st thou,2 Jessica?
Jes. Pasť all expressing : it is very meet,
match, And on the wager lay two earthly women, And Portio one, there must be something else
2 How cheer'st thou, Jessica ?]
Must signisy what kind of cheer do you possess ?
The use of the word cheer thus as a neuter verb, common; we indeed sometimes employ the phraseto cheer up in a neutral sense. One of the quartos, Mr. Pope, and the four next succeeding editors have « Horu far'st thou?" E.
3 on earth he do not mean it, &c.] The undoubted and proper sense of the present, which is the true reading, is to observe the Mean, to enjoy blessings moderately: This is consequential to what has preceded, but the same cannot be affirmed concerning the alteration introduced by some modern editors, viz.
“ And if on earth he do not merit it,
" In reason," &c. The quartos read “ In reason » and one of them has it thus
• And if on earth he does not mean it, then
Pawn'd with the other ;4 for the poor rude
world Hath not her fellow. Lor.
Even such a husband Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife.
Jes. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that. Lor. I will anon; first, let us go to
dinner. Jes. Nay, let me praise you, while I have
a stomach. Lor. No, pray thee, let it serve for table
Then, howsoe'er thou speak'st, 'mong other
4 Pawn'd with the other ;] Fawn'd seems here to be admitted in the same sense as staked. E.
Venice. A Court of Justice. Enter the Duke, the Magnificoes, Officers of the Court, &c. and take their seats ; then enter Anthonio guarded, Bassanio, Gratiano, Salarino, Salanio,
Duke. What, is Anthonio here?
I have heard,
durate, And that no lawful means can carry me Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
* SCENE I.—The time, a new day, and about the hour, it may be presumed, when courts of justice are usually opened, and proceed to business. E.
- his envy's reach,] Envy in this place means hatred or malice. So, in Reynolds's God's