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Line 575. -with imagin'd speed—] i. e. With a speed equal to thought.

Line 576. Unto the Tranect,] The old copies concur in reading, Unto the Tranect, which appears to be derived from tranare, and was very probably a word current in the time of our author. STEEVENS.

Line 612. for you. Line 674.


therefore, I promise you, I fear you.] i. e. I fear

how his words are suited !] I believe the meaning is: What a series or suite of words he has independent of meaning; how one word draws on another without relation to the matter. JOHNSON.


Line 24. -apparent-] That is, sceming; not real. JOHNS. -where-] For whereas. JOHNSON.


32. Enough to press a royal merchant down,] This epithet of royal merchant, was in our poet's time more striking, and better understood; because Gresham was then commonly dignified with the title of the royal merchant. JOHNSON. Line 46. -I'll not answer that:

But, say, it is my humour ;] The Jew being asked a question, which the law does not require him to answer, stands upon his right, and refuses; but afterwards gratifies his own malignity, by such answers as he knows will aggravate the pain of the enquirer. I will not answer, says he, as to a legal or serious question; but since you want an answer, will this serve you? JOHNS. Line 54. -for affection,

Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood

Of what it likes, or loaths:] i. e. Those that know how to operate upon the passions of men, rule the affection by making it operate in obedience to the notes which please or disgust it. JOHNSON.

Line 98. —many a purchas'd slave,] This argument considered as used to the particular persons, seems conclusive. I see not how Venetians or Englishmen, while they practise the pur

chase and sale of slaves, can much enforce or demand the law of doing to others as we would that they should do to us.

Line 113.

-Bellario, a learned doctor,


Whom I have sent for] The doctor and the court are here somewhat unskilfully brought together. That the duke would, on such an occasion, consult a doctor of great reputation, is not unlikely, but how should this be foreknown by Portia ? JOHNSON.

Line 135. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,] This lost jingle Mr. Theobald found again; but knew not what to make of it when he had it, as appears by his paraphrase, Though thou thinkest that thou art whetting thy knife on the soal of thy shoe, yet it is upon thy soul, thy immortal part. Absurd! the conceit is, that his soul was so hard that it had given an edge to his knife. WARBURTON.

Line 227. My deeds upon my head!] This is adopted from the old imprecation of the Jews to Pilate." His blood be on us and "our children."

Line 235..

-malice bears down truth.] Malice oppresses honesty, a true man in old language is an honest man. We now call the jury good men and true. JOHNSON.

Line 438. Lam content,] The terms proposed have been misunderstood. Antonio declares, that as the duke quits one half of the forfeiture, he is likewise content to abate his claim, and desires not the property but the use or produce only of the half, and that only for the Jew's life, unless we read, as perhaps is right, upon my death.

Line 446.


thou should'st have had ten more,] i. e. A jury

of twelve men, to condemn thee to be hanged.

Line 450.


-grace of pardon;] Thus the old copies. The

same kind of expression occurs in Othello.—“ I humbly do be "seech you of your pardon."



Line 517. upon more advice,] Advice means, consideration

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By holy crosses,] So in The Merry Devil of Edmonton: "But there are crosses, wife; here's one in Waltham,

"Another at the Abbey, and the third

"At Ceston, and 'tis ominous to pass

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Any of these without a Pater-noster."

and this is a reason assigned for the delay of a wedding. STEEV. Line 70. with patines of bright gold;] A patine is the small flat plate used as a cover to the chalice, during the administration of the papal sacrament.

Line 77.

wake Diana with a hymn;] Diana is the moon,

who is in the next scene represented as sleeping.

Line 111.


without respect;] Not absolutely good, but relatively, good as it is modified by circumstances.


Line 148. Let me give light, &c.] There is scarcely any word with which Shakspeare delights to trifle as with light, in its various significations. JOHNSON.

Line 170. -like cutler's poetry-] In ancient times, it was a practice among the cutlers, to engrave upon knives, scissars, &c. short moral phrases, or small pieces of poetry.

Line 177. —have been respective,] Respective has the same meaning as respectful. See King John, Act 1. STEEVENS.

Line 228. What man

To urge the

-wanted the modesty

thing held as a ceremony?] This is a very licentious expression. The sense is, What man could have so little modesty or wanted modesty so much, as to urge the demand of a thing kept on an account in some sort religious? JOHNSON. -swear by your double self,] Double means trea

Line 272. cherous.

Line 277. -for his wealth ;] For his advantage; to obtain his happiness. Wealth was, at that time, the term opposite to adversity, or calamity.








LINE 1. As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me: By will, but, a poor thousand crowns, &c.] Dr. Warburton considers this passage as obscure, but Johnson, by the above reading, with the addition of the nominative my father, makes it perfectly intelligible.

Line 30. —what make you here?] i. c. What are you doing here?

Line 37. be better employ'd, and be naught awhile.] In the same sense as we say-it is better to do mischief, than to do nothing. JOHNSON.

Line 58. I am no villain:] The word villain is used by the elder brother, in its present meaning, for a worthless, wicked, or bloody man; by Orlando, in its original signification, for a fellow of base extraction. JOHNSON.

Line 166.

-this gamester:] Gamester means, one not ad

dicted to the vice of gambling, but to frolic.


Line 208. mock the good housewife, Fortune, from her wheel,] Shakspeare has confounded Fortune, whose wheel only figures uncertainty and vicissitude, with the destiny that spins the thread of life, though not indeed with a wheel. JOHNSON. you'll be whipped for taxation,] Taxation means,

Line 250.

satire or accusation.

Line 254. since the little wit, that fools have, was silenced,] Shakspeare probably alludes to the use of fools or jesters, who for some ages had been allowed in all courts an unbridled liberty of censure and mockery, and about this time began to be less tolerated. JOHNSON.

Line 271.

laid on with a trowel.] I suppose the meaning is, that there is too heavy a mass of big words laid upon a slight subject. JOHNSON. Line 274. You amaze me, ladies:] To amaze, here, is not to astonish or strike with wonder, but to perplex; to confuse; as, to put out of the intended narrative. JOHNSON.

Line 289. With bills on their necks, &c.] I cannot see why Rosalind should suppose, that the competitors in a wrestling match carried bills on their shoulders; I believe the whole conceit is in the poor resemblance of presence and presents. JOHNSON.

Line 307.

—is there any else longs to see this broken musick in his sides ] We say every day, see if the water be hot; I will see which is the best time. In this sense see may be here used. Rosalind hints at a whimsical similitude between the series of ribs gradually shortening, and some musical instruments, and therefore calls broken ribs, broken musick. JOHNSON.

Line 342. —if you saw yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment,] If you were not blinded and intoxicated, says the princess, with the spirit of enterprise, if you could use your own eyes to see, or your own judgment to know yourself, the fear of your adventure would counsel you.

Line 419. -one out of suits with fortune;] allusion to cards, where he that has no more cards particular sort is out of suit.


This seems an

to play of any


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