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For here I read for certain, that my ships
How now, Lorenzo?
Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a fee. -
Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
It is almost morning,
Gra. Let it be so: The first intergatory, That my Nerissa shall be sworn on, is, Whether till the next night she had rather stay; Or go to bed now, being two hours to-day: But were the day come, I should wish it dark, That I were couching with the doctor's clerk. Well, while I live, I'll fear no other thing. So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring. [Exeunt,
MERCHANT OF VENICE.
· Argosie,] a ship from Argo. POPE.
Whether it be derived from Argo I am in doubt. It was a name given in our author's time to ships of great burden, probably galleons, such as the Spaniards now use in their West India trade.
JOHNSON. An Argosie meant originally a ship from Ragusa, a city and territory on the gulph of Venice, tributary to the Porte.
STEEVENS. ? Plucking the grass, &c.] By holding up the grass, or any light body that will bend by a gentle blast, the direction of the wind is found.
This way I used in shooting. Betwixt the markes was an open place, there I take a fethere, or a lytle grasse, and so learned how the wind stood. Ascham.
JOHNSON. 3 Vailing her high top lower than her rils.] In Bullokar's English Expository, 1616, to vail, is thus explained: “ It means to put off the hat, to strike sail, to give sign of submission.” So in Stephen Gosson's book, called Playes confuted in several actions:-" They might have vailed and bended to the king's idol."
STEEVENS. —would almost damn those ears.] Several old editions have it, dam, damme, and daunt. Some more correct copies, damn. The author's meaning is this; That some people are thought wise, whilst they keep silence; who, when they open their mouths, are such stupid praters, that the hearers cannot help calling them fools, and so incur the judgment denounc'd in the Gospel.
THEOBALD. 5-sometimes-] sometimes and sometime, in old English, meant formerly.
• Ay that's a colt indeed.] Colt is used for a witless, heady, gay youngster, whence the phrase used of an old man too juvenile, that he still retains his colt's tooth. See Hen. VIII.
JOhnson. .?-there is the county Palatine.] I am always inclined to believe, that Shakspeare has more allusions to particular facts and persons than his readers commonly suppose. The count here mentioned was, perhaps, Albertus a Lasco, a Polish Palatine, who visited England in our author's time, was eagerly caressed, and splendidly entertained; but running in debt, at last stole away, and endeavoured to repair his fortune by enchantment.
Johnson. 8 he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian;] A satire on the ignorance of the young English travellers in our author's time. WARBURTON.
|_ 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. 1° I think, the Frenchman lecame 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 humourously satirized. WARBURTON.
11 How like you the young German?] in Shakspeare's time the duke of Bavaria visited London, and was made knight of the garter.
Perhaps in this enumeration of Fortia's suitors, there may be some covert allusion to those of Queen Elizabeth.
JOHNSON. 12 -catch him once upon the hip.] A phrase taken from the practice of wrestlers. JOHNSON.
13--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 upon him. JOHNSON.
14 0! what a goodly outside falshood hath.] Falsehood, which as truth means honesty, is taken here for treachery and knavery, does not stand for falshood in general, but for the dishonesty now operating.
JOHNSON. 15 A breed of 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,