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It will go hard with poor Anthonio.
Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in

trouble?
Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest

man,
The best condition'd and unweary'd spirit 5
In doing courtesies; and one in whom
The ancient Roman honour more appears,
Than any that draws breath in Italy.

Por. What sum owes he the Jew ?
Bass. For me, three thousand ducats.

Por. What, no more?
Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond;
Double six thousand, and then treble that,
Before a friend of this description
Shall lose a hair through my Bassanio's fault.6

First,

UN- .

5 The best condition'd, &c.] He means to say that he was "unweary'din the exercise of all acts of courtesy, and made them acts of true courtesy, that is--pleasing to the receiver ; for that, properly, is being“ well-condition'd in doing courtesies :" weary'd should be taken as a superlative by understanding most before it. CAPELL.

By expressing most, and omitting the copulative, the line would be much improved. E.

6 Shall lose a hair through Bassanio's fault.] To render the measure in this line complete, it will be necessary that either hair or through be pronounced as a dissyllable, thorough. The second folio and

modern

First, go with me to church, and call me wife;
And then away to Venice to your friend ;
For never shall you lie by Portia's side
With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold
To pay the petty debt twenty times over :
When it is paid bring your true friend along :
My maid Nerissa, and myself, mean time,
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away;

shall hence upon your wedding-day: Bid your

friends welcome, shew a nierry

cheer ;7 Since you are dear bought, I will love you deai.-8

Bass.

For you

7

modern editors down to Johnson inclusive read

- my

Bassanio's fault,” which it is most likely, was intended by Shakspeare.

E. sheru a merry cheer ;) Cheer-Air of the countenance. Johnson's Dict.

8 Since you are dear bought, &c.] Portia could not possibly intend by these words ungenerously to remind Bassanio of the benefits she had conferred upon him :

: They must, I think, relate to that anxiety and distress of mind which she had undergone during the time that his fate was in suspense; possibly too to the grief she was now about to suffer in his absence. Sir T. Hanmer rejects this and the preceding line from the text, and only allows them a place in the margin, and, indeed, the speech sustains no great loss by the omission of them. E.

But let me hear the letter of your friend. 9

Bass. [reads.] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarry'd, my creditors grow cruel, my estate is very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit; and since, in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all debts are cleared between you and me, if I might but see you at my death: notwithstanding, use your pleasure ; of your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.

Por. O love, dispatch all business and be gone.

Bass,

9 But let me hear the letter of your friend.] Notwithstanding what is here said, the circumstance of Portia's name not being prefixed, in the second quarto, to the exclamation that follows the letter, and the omission in every quarto and folio too, of the direction for Bassanio to read, create a suspicion that she herself is the reader, having had the letter put into her hands by him who found himself incapable of obeying her command : Persons of feeling will be apt to think, that there is in this a propriety, as well as a good dramatic effect; and her instant exclamation upon having read the letter, does most certainly follow more naturally, and with better grace, than at present. CAPELL.

Bass. Since I have your good leave to go

away, I will make haste: but, 'till I come again, No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay, No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain.!

[Exeunt.

I No rest be interposer, &c.] In one of the quartos, according to Mr. Capell, and in some modern editions it is

Nor rest be interposer,” &c. E.

This Scene is distinguished no less, perhaps, by dignity of moral sentiment, than by the graces of poetical embellishment, at the same time that the transports of successful passion are so naturally expressed in it, that every youthful breast must, in perusing it, throb with the most lively emotions, and those even, whose bosoms, in the moments of declining life, retain yet any traces of the impressions once made by beauty's powerful charm, glow with, at least, a transitory ardour, and, in the language of Mr. Dryden, feel,

-heat new bend their slacken'd nerves again, « And a short youth run warm through ev'ry

vein.” E.

SCENE

SCENE III.*

Venice. A Street.

Enter Shylock, Salanio, Anthonio,

and the Gaoler.

Shy. Gaoler, look too him ;

-Tell not me of

mercy ; This is the fool that lent out money gratis ;Gaoler, look to him.

Anth. Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Shy. I'll have my bond ; speak not against

my bond;

I have sworn an oath, that I will have my

bond : Thou call’dst me dog, before thou had'st a

cause ; But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs : The duke shall grant me justice—I do wonder,

Thou

* Scene III.—Should be considered as making a part of the same day with the foregoing and that in the morning. Portia tells Bassanio, in Act the 5th, that she “set forth as soon as he," and appeals to Lorenzo for the truth of her declaration; this, however, must not be understood with a literal strictness, since, in the Scene following this, we find her still at Belmont. The present, being assigned to the afternoon, might well have been postponed, and made the last of this Act. E.

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