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O, what a goodly outside falshood hath !9
round sum. Three months from twelve, then let me see
the rate, Anth. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to you?
9 0, what a goodly outside falshood hath!] But this is not true, that falshood hath always a goodly outside. Nor does this take in the force of the speaker's sentiment; who would observe that that falshood which quotes scripture for its purpose, has a goodly outside. We should therefore read :
« O what a goodly outside's falshood hath !" i. e. his falshood, Shylock's. WARBURTON.
I wish any copy would give me authority to range and read the lines thus :
“ 0, what a godly outside falshood hath!
« An evil soul producing holy witness, le « Is like a villain with a smiling cheek;
“ Or goodly apple rotten at the heart.” Yet there is no difficulty in the present reading. Falshood, which, as truth means honesty, is taken here for treachery and knavery, does not stand for fulshood in general, but for the dishonesty now operating. Johnson.
These words must be understood as spoken in an ironical contemptuous manner, by which they are peculiarly applied and confined to the instance which had just then presented itself to observation. They are not intended to express a general maxim, which holds universally ; so that Mr. Warburton's objection is beside the purpose. Heath.
Anthonio's concluding observation, though not a maxim of universal application to fulshood of every
Shy. Signior Anthonio, many a time and oft, In the Rialto ' you have rated me About my monies, and my usances : 2 Still have I borne it with a patient shrug;3 For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe : You call me-misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
species and degree, is, I imagine, by no means to be limited to that particular instance which gave occasion to it: It has, not only, a reference, at the same time, to the other circumstances adduced for the purpose of comparative illustration, but, in the moralizing spirit of Shakspeare, takes in, it is probable, a wider scope of reflection; it is as if he had said, “ 0, what a goodly outside is falshood, upon “ certain occasions, capable of assuming !” It were to be wished that the speaker had not employed the same epithet goodly in two places so close to each other. I find that Hanmer has varied it in the latter of these to-godly. E.
i In the Riulto] Mr. Capell has suggested « On !" the Rialto ;" which has, indeed, the more natural sound, and is likely to be the genuine expression.
E. 2 a nd my usances :] 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. MALONE.
3 Still have I borne it with a patient shrug;] So in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, 1633 :
“ I learn’d in Florence how to kiss my hand,
“ dogge.” IDEM.
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine, 4
You ruud 4- my Jewish gaberdine,] Gaberdine or gabardine, the coarse frock of a shepherd or fisherman, or any peasant : thence also any loose cassock. Ital. yavardina. HanMER.
5 You, that did void your rheum, &c.] As the virtues of Anthonio's character cannot fail to render him a favourite of every honest mind, it is impossible not to regret that the poet should have supposed him capable of behaving in so injurious and unbecoming a manner, even to so unworthy a person as Shylock, and that, without the least attempt to ex. tenuate his conduct, he should seem to admit the truth of the accusation here brought against him by the Jew. E.
6 Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last ;] Following the example of some modern editors, I have ventured a little to soften the above harsh and rugged line, by the transposition of two words and the omission of a particle. E.
You spurn'd me such a day; another time You call’d me-dog; and for these courtesies I'll lend you thus much monies.
Anth. I am as like to call thee so again, To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too. If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not As to thy friends; (for when did friendship
take A breed for barren metal of his friend ?)?
7 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, and usurie “ makes them procreative.” FARMER.
A breed for barren, &c.] Thus both the quarto printed by Roberts, and that by Hayes, in 1600. The folio has " a breed of barren, &c.”
MALONE. A glaring absurdity runs through the folios, which has been copied by modern editions ; for what else is a breed of things that are barren? She word breed conveys in this place the idea of increase ; but is chosen to express it by, that the opposition to barren may set off and heighten the unfitness of such usury. CAPELL.
But lend it rather to thine enemy;
Shy. Why, look you, how you storm! I would be friends with you, and have your
love, Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with, Supply your present wants, and take no doit Of usance for my monies, and you'll not hear
This were kindness.
for when did friendship take, &c.] The evi. dent meaning is, “ when did one friend take a breed “ for barren metal of another?” Now, though friendship might, not inelegantly, be put to denote a person professing friendship, yet the association of two terms, so distinct in their import, used, the one in a personified, the other in a natural sense, to express the same thing, produces in the mind a disagreeable sense of incongruity. E.
8 Who, if he break, &c.] This form of construction is quite ungrammatical; the relative who being the nominative, there is no verb with which it can be connected: This impropriety might be remedied by reading the line in the following manner
“ Then, if he break, thou may'st,” &c. E.