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In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st:
For it appears by manifest proceeding,
That, indirectly, and directly too,
Thou hast contriv'd against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehears'd.3
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke,
Gra. Beg, that thou may'st have leave to

hang thyself:
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
Thou hast not left the value of a cord ;
Therefore, thou must be hang'd at the state's

charge. Duke. That thou may'st see the difference

of our spirit, I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it :

For

3

4

formerly rehears'd.]

In two preceding speeches : Dr. Warburton, however, chooses to read-formally, “ that is, (says he) in the very “ terms and formality of law itself.” E.

-the difference of our spirit,] This is the reading of the majority of editions, but in one of the quartos it is spirits in the plural. The variation will, perhaps, be thought too insignificant to merit notice; it may, notwithstanding, occasion some difference in the sense, and also in the manner in which the line ought to be repeated.

“Our spiritwill, I believe, be best interpreted

-my spirit, or the spirit of us who profess christianity, as opposed to thine, and requires that the possessive our should be pronounced with particular em. phasis; “Our spirits" must signify- -your spirit and mine, E.

For half thy wealth, it is Anthonio's;
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.

Por. Ay, for the state ;5 not for Anthonio.
Shy. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not

that: You take my house, when you do take the

prop That doth sustain my house ; you take my

life, When you do take the means whereby I live. Por. What mercy can you render him,

Anthonio?
Gra. A halter gratis ; nothing else, for

God's sake.
Anth. So please my lord the duke, and all

the court, To quit the fine for one half of his goods; I am content,6 so he will let me have

The

5 Ay, for the state ; &c.] That is, the state's moiety may be commuted for a fine, but not Anthonio's. Malone.

6 I am content, &c.] The fine here spoken of is that before mentioned by the duke :

This fine, says Anthonio, if it shall please the duke and the court to quit or relinquish, “ I am content,“ will let me bave the other half in use, or on the foot of a borrower, -“ to renderor surrender that

upon
his death, unto the gentleman.&c.

Capell,
Anthonio

-so he

half

The other half in use to render it,
Upon his death, unto the gentleman,
That lately stole his daughter.
Two things provided more, That, for this

favour,
He presently become a Christian ;?
The other that he do record a gift,
Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd of,
Unto his son Lorenzo, and his daughter.

Duke. He shall do this; or else I do recant The pardon, that I late pronounced here. Por. Art thou contented, Jew? what dost

thou say? Shy. I am content. Por.

Clerk, draw a deed of gift. Shy. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence;

I am

Anthonio tells the duke that if he will abate the fine for the state's half, he (Anthonio) will be con. tented to take the other, in trust, to render it, after Shylock's death, to his daughter's husband. That is, it was, during Shylock's life to remain at interest in Anthonio's hands, and Shylock was to enjoy the produce of it. Ritson.

7 He presently become a Christian ;] Anthonio should not have proposed a condition so derogatory to the wisdom and liberality of his character: The tendency of a forced compliance with the external forms of any system of religious belief, is only that of alienating still more, the heart and affections from the faith professed. E.

I am not well; send the deed after me,
And I will sign it.
Duke.

Get thee gone, but do it. Gar. In christening thou shalt have two god

fathers;

Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten

more, 8 To bring thee to the gallows, not the font.

[Exit Shylock. Duke. Sir, I intreat you home with me to

dinner. Por. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon ;'

I must

-thou should'st have had ten more,] i. e. a jury of twelve men, to condemn thee to be hanged.

THEOBALD. So, in The Devil is an Ass, by Ben Jonson :

-I will leave you “ To your godfathers in law. Let twelve men

work." STEEVENS. This appears to have been an old joke. So, in A Dialogue both pleasaunt and pietifull, &c. by Dr. William Bulleyne, 1564, one of the speakers, to show his mean opinion of an ostler at an inn, says, “ I did see him aske blessinge to xii godfathers at « ones.

Malone. This is an application of English usages to a state that they did not belong to. CAPELL.

-grace of pardon ;] Thus the old copies: the modern editors read, less harshly, but without authority, your grace's pardon. The same kind

of

9

am sorry,

For, in

my mind

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I must away this night toward Padua,
And it is meet, I presently set forth.
Duke. I

that
your

leisure serves you not. Anthonio, gratify this gentleman;

you are much bound to him.

[Exeunt Duke, and his train. Bass. Most worthy gentleman, I and my

friend, Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted Of grievous penalties; in lieu whereof, Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew, We freely cope! your courteous pains withal.

Anth. And stand indebted, over and above, In love and service to you evermore. Por. He is well paid, that is well satisfied ;

And

no

of expression occurs in Othello :- -“I humbly do « beseech you of your pardon."

In the notes to As You Like It, and The Midsummer-Night's Dream, I have given repeated instances of this phraseology. STEEVENS.

Your grace's pardon, was found in a copy of authority, the 4to, of 1637. Malone.

! We freely cope your courteous pains, &c.] Dr. Johnson in his Dictionary, quotes this passage as an example of this verb cope being used in the sense of

to reward, or give in return : The signification next in order to contend with, to oppose, will, perhaps, agree with it as naturally in this place : Sir T. Hanmer in his Glossary gives To encounter as the sense of it. E.

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