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Sale. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind;
Gra. Nerissa, cheer yon' stranger; bid her welcome.
Sale. 'Would you had won the fleece that he hath lost!
O sweet Portia,
4 We are the Fasons, we have won the fleece.) So, in Abraham Fleming's Rythme Decasyllabicall, upon this last luckie Voyage of worthie Capteine Frobisher, 1577:
“The golden fleece (like Jason) bath he got,
« And rich return'd saunce losse or luckless lot.” Again, in the old play of King Leir, 1605:
"I will returne seyz'd of as rich a prize
“As Jason, when he wanne the golden fleece.” It appears, from the registers of the Stationers' Company, that we seem to have had a version of Valerius Flaccus in 1565. In this year (whether in verse or prose is unknown) was entered to J. Purfoote: “ The story of Jason, howe he gotte the golden flece, and howe he did begyle Media (Medea,) out of Laten into Englishe, by Nycholas Whyte.” Steevens.
Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy,
Not one, my lord.
Jes. When I was with him, I have heard him swear,
Por. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trouble?
Bass. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man,
5 The paper as the body -- ] I believe, the author wrote is the body. The two words are frequently confounded in the old copies. So, in the first quarto edition of this play, Act IV: “ Is dearly bought, as mine,” &c. instead of-is minę. Malone.
The expression is somewhat elliptical: “ The paper as the body," means-the paper resembles the body, is as the body.
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 Bassanio's fault. 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; For you shall hence upon your wedding-day: Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer; 6 Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear. But let me hear the letter of your friend.
Bass. [Reads] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all miscarried, 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 I,? if I might but see you at my death: notwithstanding, use your pleasure: if your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.
Por. O love, despatch all business, and be gone.
I will make haste: but till I come again,
No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. [Exeunt.
6- cheer;] i. e. countenance. So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Vol. II, p. 369:
“That liv'd, that lov'd, that likod, that look’d, with cheer.” See note on this passage. Steevens.
7 and 1,] This inaccuracy, I believe, was our author's. Mr. Pope reads--and me. Malone.
Venice. A Street.
Hear me yet, good Shylock.
Ant. I pray thee, hear me speak.
Shy. I'll have my bond; I will not hear thee speak:
Salan. It is the most impenetrable cur,
Let him alone;
I am sure, the duke
Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law;1
8 — so fond -] 1. e. so foolish. So, in the old comedy of . Mother Bombie, 1594, by Lyly: “ – that the youth seeing her. fair cheeks, may be enamoured before they hear her fond speech.”
Steevens. 9 - dull-ey'd fool,] This epithet dull-ey'd is bestowed on melancholy in Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Steevens.
1 The duke cannot deny &c.] As the reason here given seems a little perplex’d, it may be proper to explain it. If, says he, the
For the commodity that strangers have
Por. I never did repent for doing good,
duke stop the course of law, it will be attended with this inconvenience, that stranger merchants, by whom the wealth and power of this city is supported, will cry out of injustice. For the known stated law being their guide and security, they will never bear to have the current of it stopped on any pretence of equity whatsoever. Warburton. 2 For the commodity that strangers have
With us in Venice, if it be denied, &c.] i. e. for the denial of those rights to strangers, which render their abode at Venice so commodious and agreeable to them, would much impeach the justice of the state. The consequence would be, that strangers would not reside or carry on traffick here; and the wealth and strength of the state would be diminished. In The Historye of Italye, by W. Thomas, quarto, 1567, there is a section on the libertee of straungers at Venice. Malone.