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I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
Shylock, do you hear?
Of full three thousand ducats: What of that?
By taking, nor by giving of excess,
*First folio, well-worne.
hold on Jacob when he wrestled with him.
+ Quarto R. although.
See Gen. xxxii. 24,
If the reader should refer to the passage alluded to in Genesis, he will find that the angel did not thus lay hold on Jacob. We meet with the phrase again in Othello:
"I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip!" Boswell. 4 - 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.
Ripe is, I believe, the true reading. So, afterwards:
"Here is a brief how many sports are ripe." STEEVENS. possess'd,] i. e. acquainted, informed. So, in TwelfthNight: “Possess us, possess us, tell us something of him."
How much you would?
Ay, ay, three thousand ducats.
ANT. And for three months.
SHY. I had forgot,-three months, you told me
Well then, your bond; and let me see,-But hear
Methought, you said, you neither lend nor borrow, Upon advantage.
I do never use it.
SHY. When Jacob graz'd his uncle Laban's sheep, This Jacob from our holy Abraham was
(As his wise mother wrought in his behalf,) The third possessor; ay, he was the third.
ANT. And what of him? did he take interest? SHY. No, not take interest; not, as you would say,
Directly interest: mark what Jacob did.
When Laban and himself were compromis'd,
That all the eanlings' which were streak'd, and
Should fall as Jacob's hire; the * ewes, being rank,
* First folio and quarto omit the.
6 How much you would?] The first folio reads-how much he would have. Roberts's quarto reads:
"How much he would have." Boswell.
the EANLINGS] Lambs just dropt: from ean, eniti.
of KIND,] i. e. of nature. So, Turberville, in his book of Falconry, 1575, p. 127 :
"So great is the curtesy of kind, as she ever seeketh to recompense any defect of hers with some other better benefit."
He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes ';
Again, in Drayton's Mooncalf:
nothing doth so please her mind,
"As to see mares and horses do their kind." COLLINS. the FULSOME ewes ;] Fulsome, I believe, in this instance, means lascivious, obscene. The same epithet is bestowed on the night, in Acolastus his After-Witte. By S. N. 1600:
Why shines not Phoebus in the fulsome night?"
In the play of Muleasses the Turk, Madam Fulsome a Bawd is introduced. The word, however, sometimes signifies offensive in smell. So, in Chapman's version of the 17th Book of the Odyssey:
and fill'd his fulsome scrip," &c.
Again, in the dedication to Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, p. 63: noisome or fulsome for bad smells, as butcher's slaughter houses," &c.
It is likewise used by Shakspeare in King John, to express some quality offensive to nature:
And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust."
Again, in Thomas Newton's Herball to the Bible, 8vo. 1587: Having a strong sent and fulsome smell, which neither men nor beastes take delight to smell unto."
Again, ibid. :
"Boxe is naturally dry, juicelesse, fulsomely and loathsomely smelling."
Again, in Arthur Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, b. xv. :
"But what have you poore sheepe misdone, a cattel meek and
"Created for to manteine man, whose fulsome dugs do yeeld "Sweete nectar," &c. STEEVENS.
Minsheu supposes it to mean nauseous in so high a degree as to excite vomiting. MALONE.
It perhaps only meant, in this passage, pregnant. Fulsome frequently was used for full, as it certainly was in Mr. Steevens's quotation from Golding: "Pleno quæ fertis in ubere." The same writer, in his translation of Abraham's Sacrifice, by Beza, speaks of the moon's "round and fulsome face." BOSWELL.
FALL party-colour'd lambs,] To fall is frequently used by our author as a verb active, to let fall, to drop. Boswell.
2 - and those were Jacob's.] See Genesis xxx. 37, &c.
This thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.
ANT. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv'd
A thing not in his power to bring to pass,
But sway'd, and fashion'd, by the hand of heaven. Was this inserted to make interest good?
Or is your gold and silver, ewes and rams?
SHY. I cannot tell; I make it breed as fast *:But note me, signior.
Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite scripture for his purpose
An evil soul, producing holy witness,
O, what a goodly outside falshood hath!
SHY. Three thousand ducats,-'tis a good round
Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate.
3 This was a way to thrive, &c.] So, in the ancient song of Gernutus the Jew of Venice:
Her cow, &c. seems to have suggested to Shakspeare Shylock's argument for usury. PERCY.
4- I make it BREED as fast :] So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :
"Foul cank'ring rust the hidden treasure frets;
"But gold that's put to use more gold begets." MALONE. 5 The devil can cite scripture, &c.] See St. Matthew iv. 6. HENLEY.
6 O, what a goodly outside FALSHOOD hath!] Falshood, 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.
ANT. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to
SHY. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft, In the Rialto, you have rated me
About my monies, and my usances":
Still have I borne. it with a patient shrug*;
my USANCES:] Use and usance are both words anciently employ'd for usury, both in its favourable and unfavourable sense. So, in The English Traveller, 1633:
"Give me my use, give me my principal."
"A toy; the main about five hundred pounds,
Mr. Ritson asks, whether Mr. Steevens is not mistaken in saying that use and usance were anciently employed for usury. "Use and usance (he adds) mean nothing more than interest; and the former word is still used by country people in the same sense." That Mr. Steevens however, is right respecting the word in the text, will appear from the following quotation: "I knowe a gentleman borne to five hundred pounde lande, did never receyve above a thousand pound of nete money, and within certeyne yeres ronnynge still upon usurie and double usurie, the merchants termyng it usance and double usance, by a more clenly name he did owe to master usurer five thousand pound at the last, borowyng but one thousande pounde at first, so that his land was clean gone, beynge five hundred poundes inherytance, for one thousand pound in money, and the usurie of the same money for so fewe yeres; and the man now beggeth." Wylson on Usurye, 1572, p. 32. REED.
Usance, in our author's time, I believe, signified interest of money. It has been already used in this play in that sense: "He lends out money gratis, and brings down "The rate of usance with us here in Venice." Again, in a subsequent part, he says, he will take "no doit of usance for his monies." Here it must mean interest.
8 Still have I borne it with a patient shrug ;] So, in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, (written and acted before 1593,) printed in 1633: "I learn'd in Florence how to kiss my hand,
Heave up my shoulders when they call me dogge."