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Why, Jessica !
Lau. Your worship was wont to tell me I could do nothing without bidding.
Lau. I beseech you, sir, go; my young master doth expect your reproach.
Shy. So do s his.
Lau. And they have conspired together, -I will not say, you shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on Black Monday(B) last, at six o'clock i'the morning, falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four year in the afternoon.
Shy. What! are there masques ? Hear you me, Jessica : Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum, And the vile squeaking of the wry-neck'd fife, Clamber not you up to the casements then, Nor thrust your head into the public street, To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces : But stop my
I mean my casements;
20 I am bid forth to supper,] I am invited. To bid,
old language, meant to pray. 21 — to feed upon the
prodigal Christian:] The poet here means to heighten the malignity of Shylock's character, by making him depart from his settled resolve, of “neither to eat, drink nor pray with Christians,” for the prosecution of his revenge.
-nose fell a bleeding] Some superstitious belief was annexed to the accident of bleeding at the nose.
wry-neck'd ff] The upper part or mouth-piece, rebembling the beak of a bird.
Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter
A proverb never stale in thrifty mind. [Bett.
Enter GRATIANo and SALARINo, masqued.
Gra. This is the pent-house, under which Lorenzo JDesir'd us to make stand.
Sal. His hour is almost past.
Gra. And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour,
Sal. O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly
Gra. That ever holds: who riseth from a feast,
* — worth a Jewess' eye.] It's worth a Jews' eye is a proverbial phrase.
* The patch is kind enough ;) Patch is the name of a Fool, probably in allusion to his patch'd or party colored dress.
Where is the horse that doth untread again
Lor. Sweet friends, your patienoe for my long abode : Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait: When you shall please to play the thieves for wives, I'll watch as long for you then. Here dwells my father Jew:
O happy fair !
When wheat is green, when hawthorn buds appear !27
Enter JESSICA, above.
Lor. Lorenzo, and thy love.
Jes. Lorenzo, certain; and my love, indeed; For who love I so much? And now who knows But
you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours? Lor. Heaven, and thy thoughts, are witness that thou art Jes. Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains.
Lor. Come, come at once;
Jes. I will make fast the doors, and gild myself
[Exit from above. Gra. Now, by my hood, a Gentile and no Jew.28
26 Sung by Miss POOLE, Miss LEFFLER, and Mr. WALLWORTH. 27 The words are from Midsummer Night's Dream, Act i., Scene 1.
- a Gentile and no Jew.) A jest arising from the ambiguity of Gentile, which signifies both a Heathen, and one well-born.
Lor. Beshrew me, but I love her heartily:
Enter JESSICA, below.
What, art thou come 2—On, gentlemen, away;
HISTORICAL NOTES TO ACT SECOND.
(A) Venice occupies 72 islands. There are 306 canals, traversed by innumerable gondolas. The gondolas introduced in this scene are copied from paintings of the same date as when the action of the play is supposed to occur, and are, consequently, rather varied in shape from those now seen in Venice. Besides the great squares of St. Mark, and the adjoining Piazetta before the Doge's Palace, the city has numerous narrow streets, or rather lanes, with small open spaces in front of the churches, or formed by the termination of several alleys, leading to a bridge. It is one of these spaces that is represented in the second act.
(B) " Black Monday" is Easter Monday, and was so called on this occasion. In the 34th of Edward III. (1360), the 14th April, and the morrow after Easter Day, King Edward, with his host, lay before the City of Paris, which day was full dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold that many men died on their horse's backs with the cold.--Stowe,