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Parts, that become thee happily enough,
Signior Bassanio, hear me:
2 Something too LIBERAL;] Liberal I have already shown to be mean, gross, coarse, licentious. Johnson.
So, in Othello : “ Is he not a most profane and liberal counsellor?' STEEVENS.
- allay with some cold drops of modesty Thy skipping spirit;] So, in Hamlet :
Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper
Sprinkle cool patience.” Steevens.
hood mine eyes -] Alluding to the manner of covering a hawk's eyes. So, in The Tragedy of Crasus, 1604 :
“ And like a hooded hawk,” &c. Steevens. It should be remembered that in Shakspeare's time they wore their hats on during the time of dinner. Malone.
5 — sad ostent -] Grave appearance; show of staid and serious behaviour. Johnson.
Ostent is a word very commonly used for show among the old dramatick writers. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632:
you in those times “ Did not affect ostent.” Again, in Chapman's translation of Homer, edit. 1598, b. vi. :
did bloodie vapours raine
To please his grandam, never trust me more.
Bass. Well, we shall see your bearing o.
By what we do to-night.
No, that were pity ;
GRA. And I must to Lorenzo, and the rest ; But we will visit you at supper-time. [E.reunt.
The Same. A Room in SHYLOCK's House.
Enter JESSICA and Launcelot. Jes. I am sorry, thou wilt leave my father so; Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil, Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness : But fare thee well; there is a ducat for thee. And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest : Give him this letter; do it secretly, And so farewell; I would not have my father See me talk * with thee.
Laun. Adieu !-tears exhibit my tongue.
* Quartos, in talk. The word occurs soon afterwards in the present play, Sc. VIII. of this act :
“ Be merry, and employ your chiefest thoughts,
your BEARING.) Bearing is carriage, deportment. So, in Twelfth-Night:
“Take and give back affairs, and their despatch,
STEEVENS. VOL. V.
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 : 0 Lorenzo, If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife; Become a Christian, and thy loving wife. [Erit.
7 — 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.
MALONE. 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,
then."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, SALARINO, and Sa
Lor. Nay, we will slink away in supper-time; Disguise us at my lodging, and return All in an hour.
Gra. We have not made good preparation. SALAR. We have not spoke us yet of torch
bearers 8. SALAN. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly or
And better, in my mind, not undertook.
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.
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 ;
Love-news, in faith. Laun. By your leave, sir. Lor. Whither goest thou ?
Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup to-night with my new master the Christian.
Lor. Hold here, take this :tell gentle Jessica, I will not fail her ;-speak it privately ; go.Gentlemen,
[Exit LAUNCELOT. Will you prepare you for this masque to-night ? I am provided of a torch-bearer.
Salar. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.
Meet me, and Gratiano,
[E.reunt 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. Come, go with me; peruse this, as thou goest : Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer. [Exeunt.
The Same. Before SHYLOCK's House.
Enter SHYLOCK and LAUNCELOT. Shy. Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy