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And all for use of that which is mine own.
A cur can lend three thousand ducats? or
Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
ANT. I am as like to call thee so again,
9 And SPIT] The old copies always read spet, which spelling is followed by Milton:
"Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest gloom."
1 A BREED for 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, and cannot, like corn and cattle, multiply itself. And to set off the absurdity of this kind of usury, he put breed and barren in opposition. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton very truly interprets this passage. Old Meres says, "Usurie and encrease by gold and silver is unlawful, because against nature; nature hath made them sterill and barren, usurie makes them procreative." FARMER.
The honour of starting this conceit belongs to Aristotle. See De Repub. lib. i. HOLT WHITE.
But lend it rather to thine enemy;
Who if he break, thou may'st with better face
ANT. This were kindness.
ANT. Content, in faith; I'll seal to such a bond,
BASS. You shall not seal to such a bond for me,
ANT. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it;
SHY. Ofather Abraham, what these Christians are;
*First folio, penalties.
First folio, it pleaseth.
Thus both the quarto printed by Roberts, and that by Heyes, in 1600. The folio has a breed of. MALONE.
mean the same as to continue. habitation and continuance.
DWELL in my necessity.] To dwell seems in this place to
To abide has both the senses of
By the exaction of the forfeiture?
A pound of man's flesh, taken from a man,
And, for my love, I pray you, wrong me not.
ANT. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond. SHY. Then meet me forthwith at the notary's; Give him direction for this merry bond, And I will go and purse the ducats straight; See to my house, left in the fearful guard Of an unthrifty knave; and presently I will be with you.
ANT. Hie thee, gentle Jew. This Hebrew will turn Christian; he grows kind *. BASS. I like not fair terms, and a villain's mind. ANT. Come on; in this there can be no dismay, My ships come home a month before the day.
* First folio and quartos, I'le.
† Quarto R. so kind.
3 - left in the FEARFUL GUARD, &c.] Fearful guard, is a guard that is not to be trusted, but gives cause of fear. To fear was anciently to give as well as feel terrours. JOHNSON.
So, in King Henry IV. Part I.:
"A mighty and a fearful head they are." STEEvens. 4 I like not fair terms,] Kind words, good language.
Fair terms, mean, I think, a fair offer. ROBERTS.
ACT II. SCENE I.
Belmont. A Room in Portia's House.
Flourish of Cornets. Enter the Prince of Morocco3, and his Train; Portia, Nerissa, and other of her Attendants.
MOR. Mislike me not for my complexion,
To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine".
Hath fear'd the valiant"; by my love, I swear,
Have lov'd it too: I would not change this hue,
the Prince of Morocco,] The old stage direction is "Enter Morochus a tawnie Moore, all in white, and three or foure followers accordingly," &c. STEEVENS.
6 To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine.] To understand how the tawny prince, whose savage dignity is very well supported, means to recommend himself by this challenge, it must be remembered that red blood is a traditionary sign of courage : Thus Macbeth calls one of his frighted soldiers, a lily-liver'd boy; again, in this play, Cowards are said to have livers as white as milk; and an effeminate and timorous man is termed a milksop. JOHNSON.
It is customary in the east for lovers to testify the violence of their passion by cutting themselves in the sight of their mistresses. See Habits du Levant, pl. 43, and Picart's Religious Ceremonies, vol. vii. p. 111. HARRIS.
7 Hath FEAR'D the valiant;] i. e. terrify'd. To fear is often used by our old writers, in this sense. So, in K. Henry VI. P. III. :
"For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all." STEEVENS.
Besides, the lottery of my destiny
Bars me the right of voluntary choosing:
And hedg'd me by his wit, to yield myself
For my affection.
Even for that I thank you;
Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets,
First folio and quarto H. ore-stare.
And hedg'd me by his wIT,] I suppose we may safely readand hedg'd me by his will. Confined me by his will. JOHNSON. As the ancient signification of wit, was sagacity, or power of mind, I have not displaced the original reading. See our author, passim. STEEVENS.
9 That slew the Sophy, &c.] Shakspeare seldom escapes well when he is entangled with geography. The Prince of Morocco must have travelled far to kill the Sophy of Persia. JOHNSON.
It were well, if Shakspeare had never entangled himself with geography worse than in the present case. If the Prince of Mo
rocco be supposed to have served in the army of Sultan Solyman (the second, for instance,) I see no geographical objection to his having killed the Sophi of Persia. See D'Herbelot in Solyman Ben Selim. TYRWHITT.
So is Alcides beaten by his PAGE ;] The ancient copies read -his rage. STEEVENS.
Though the whole set of editions concur in this reading, it is