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The Merchant of Venice. 


Julius C'esar. 

A Midsummer-Night's Dream. 



Much Ado about Nothing. 

Romeo and Juliet. 

As You Like It. 

The Tempest. 

Twelfth Night. 

The Winter's Tale. 

King John. 

Richard II. 

Henry IV. Part I. 

Henry IV. Part II. 

Henry V. 

Henry VI. Part I. 

Henry VI. Part II. 

Henry VI. Part III. 

Richard III. 
Henry VIII. 
King Lear. 

The Taming of the Shrew. 
All 's Well that Ends Well. 

The Comedy of Errors. 

Antony and Cleopatra. 
Measure for Measure. 
Merry Wives of Windsor. 
Love's Libour 's Lost. 
Two Gentlemen of Verona. 
Timon of Athens. 
Troilus and Cressida. 
Pericles, Prince of Tyre. 
The Two Noble Kinsmen. 
Venus and Adonis, Lucrece, etc. 
Titus Andronicus. 





Copyright, 1870, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 
Copyright, 1883, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 
Copyright, 1898, by HARPER & BROTHERS. 









ACT 1 41 

" II 56 

"III 78 

"IV 98 

" V 114 

NOTES 125 





WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE was born at 'Stratford-upon-Avon, 
>n the county of Warwick, England, in April, 1564. The rec- 
ord of his baptism bears the date of April 26th, and as it was 
an old custom to christen children on the third day after birth, 
trie tradition which makes his birthday the 23d has been com- 
monly accepted. His father, John Shakespeare, seems to 
have belonged to the class of yeomen, and to have been 3 
glover by trade. His mother, Mary Arderne, or Arden, came 
of a good old Warwickshire family, and brought her husband 
a considerable estate as dower. John Shakespeare was 
for many years an alderman, and twice filled the office of 
High Bailiff, or chief magistrate, but later in life he appears 
to have become quite poor. 


Of a family of four sons and four daughters, William was 
the third child, but the eldest son. He was in all probabili- 
ty sent to the free-school of his native town, and after leav- 
ing school may have spent some time in an attorney's office 
But in 1582, when he was only 18, he married Anne Hath 
away, of the parish of Shottery, near Stratford, a woman some 
eight years older than himself. A daughter was soon born 
to him, and, two years later, twins a boy and a giri. 


As nearly as can be made out, it was in the next year, 1586, 
that Shakespeare, then 22, went to London, where he became 
first an actor, then a writer for the stage. As an actor he 
seems to have made no special mark, but as a writer he very 
soon distinguished himself, and in a few years had won the 
foremost rank among the dramatists of his time. In 1598, 
Francis Meres, in his Wifs Treasury, speaks of him as "the 


most excellent among the English for both kinds of tragedy 
and comedy." His works became not only widely popular, 
but they brought him special marks of favor and approval 
from Queen Elizabeth and her successor, James, and gained 
for him the patronage and friendship of some of the most ac 
complished men of rank of that day. 


But while thus prosperous and honored in London, Shake- 
speare continued to look upon Stratford as his home. There 
he had left his wife and children, and thither, after he had 
secured a competency, he returned to spend the evening of 


his days in quiet. It was probably about the year 1612 that 
he settled down in Stratford, on an estate purchased some 
years previous. His wife was still living, and also his two 



daughters, of whom the elder, Susanna, was married to Dr. 
John Hall, in 1607 ; the younger, Judith, to Mr. Thos. Quin- 
ey, in 1616. His son, Hamnet, had died in his twelfth year, 
in 1596. 

Shakespeare died at Stratford, as already mentioned, on 
the 23d of April, 1616; and he lies buried in the parish 
church there. 

The first work of Shakespeare's which was printed with his 
name was the poem of Venus and Adonis, which appeared in 
1593. In the Dedication to the Earl of Southampton the 
author styles it "the first heir of his invention." In 1594, 
The Rape of Lucrece was published. Both these poems were 
reprinted several times in the poet's lifetime. His only oth- 
er works, besides the Plays, are The Passionate Pilgrim, a 
small collection of poems, first printed in 1599, and his Son- 
nets (154 in number), with a poem entitled A Lover's Com- 
plaint, which appeared together in 1609. 

The first edition of his collected Dramatic Works contain- 
ed all the Plays generally included in modern editions, with 
the exception of Pericles, and was published in a folio vol- 
ume, in 1623, or not till seven years after his death. It was 
put forth by two of his friends and fellow actors, John Hem- 
inge and Henrie Condell, and the title-page declares it to be 
printed " according to the true original copies." The preface 
also condemns all preceding editions of separate plays* as 
" stolen and surreptitious copies, maimed and deformed by 
the frauds and stealths of injurious impostors," while it claims 
that the publishers of this volume had the use of the author's 
manuscripts. They probably had the use of such of his pa- 
pers as were in the possession of the Blackfriars Theatre, to 

* Eighteen of the Plays are known to have been separately printed, 
some of them more than once, in Shakespeare's lifetime. Othello was also 
printed separately in 1622. All these editions are in quarto form, and are 
commonly known as the old or early quartos. 


which they, like himself, belonged. The volume, however, ap- 
pears to have had no proper editing, and every page is dis- 
figured by the grossest typographical errors. While it is the 
earliest and the only authentic edition of the Plays, it cannot 
be accepted as anything like an infallible authority in all 
cases for what Shakespeare actually wrote. 


The volume just described is commonly known as the "first 
folio." A second folio edition, including the same plays, ap- 
peared in 1632. It contains some new readings, which are 


probably nothing more than the conjectural emendations of 
the unknown editor. 

A third folio edition was issued in 1664. This contains 
the thirty-six Plays of the preceding folios, with Pericles and 
six dramas* not included in the modern editions. A fourth 
and last folio reprint followed in 1685. 


These four folios were the only editions of the Plays brought 
out in the xyth century. The i8th century produced a long 
succession of editors Rowe, Pope, Theobald, Hanmer, War- 
burton, Johnson, Steevens, Capell, Reed, Malone, and Rann. 
In 1803 appeared what is known as "Reed's Second Edition 
of Johnson and Steevens," in twenty-one volumes, in which 
were incorporated all the notes of the preceding editions. 

* These are The London Prodigal ', Thomns Lord Cromwell, Sir John Old- 
castle, The Puritan Widow, A Yorkshire Tragedy, and Locrine. It is al- 
most certain that Shakespeare wrote none of them. 



This was followed in 1821 by what is now the standard "Va- 
riorum edition," also in twenty-one volumes, mostly prepared 
by Malone, but completed and carried through the press by 
his friend Boswell. The most important English editions of 
"more recent date are those of Knight, Collier, Singer, Staun- 
ton, Dyce, Clark and Wright, and Halliwell. The only Amer- 
ican editions of any critical value are Verplanck's (1847) 
Hudson's (1855 and 1881), White's (1857-1865 and 1883), 
and Furness's ("New Variorum" ed. begun in 1871). 






The Merchant of Venice is the last on a list of Shakespeare's 
plays given by Francis Meres in his Palladis Tamia, which 
appeared in 1598. In the same year it was entered as fol- 
lows on the Register of the Stationers' Company : 

"22 July, 1598, James Robertes.] A booke of the Mar- 
chaunt of Venyce, or otherwise called the Jewe of Venyse. 
Provided that yt bee not prynted by the said James Robertes. 


or anye other whatsoever, without lycence first had from the 
right honourable the Lord Chamberlen." 

The company of players to which Shakespeare belonged, 
and for which he wrote, were "the Lord Chamberlain's Ser< 
vants ;" and the above order was meant to prohibit the pub- 
lication of the play until the patron of the company should 
give his permission. This he appears not to have done 
until two years later, when the following entry was made in 
the Register: 

"28 Oct., 1600, Tho. Haies.] The booke of the Merchant 
of Venyce." 

Soon after this entry, the play was published by Heyes, in 
quarto, with the following title : 

The most excellent Historic of the Merchant \ of Venice. \ 
With the extreame crueltie of Shylocke the lewe towards the 
sayd Merchant, in cutting a iust pound j of his flesh: and the 
obtayning of Portia \ by the choyse of three | chests. As it 
hath beene diuers times acted by the Lord \ Chamberlaine his Ser- 
uants. \ Written by William Shakespeare. AT LONDON, j 
Printed by I. R., for Thomas Heyes, | and are to be sold in 
Paules Church-yard, at the | signe of the Greene Dragon. | 

Another edition, also in quarto, was issued the same year, 
by Roberts, with the following title: 

THE | EXCELLENT History of the Mer- 1 chant of Ven- 
ice. | With the extreme cruelty of Shylocke \ the lew towards 
the saide Merchant, in cut- | ting a iust pound of his flesh. 
And the obtaining \ of Portia, by the choyse of three Caskets. \ 
Written by W. SHAKESPEARE. | Printed by J. Roberts, 1600. 

The play was not reprinted until it appeared in the folio 
of 1623, where the text varies but little from the quartos. 

Henslowe's Diary, under the date "25 of aguste, 1594," 
records the performance of " the Venesyon comodey," which 
is marked ne, as a new play. Some critics take this to be 
The Merchant of Venice, since the company of players to which 


Shakespeare belonged was then acting at the theatre of which 
Henslowe was chief manager; but we may be sure from in- 
ternal evidence that the Merchant is a later play than the 
M. N. D. If the latter (see our ed. p. 10) was written in 
1594, the former cannot be earlier than 1596. 

The Merchant was played before James I. on Shrove Sun- 
day, and again on Shrove Tuesday, in 1605. The following 
entries in the Accounts of the Master of Revels are unques- 
tionably forgeries; but Halliwell (Outlines, 6th ed. vol. ii. p. 
161) has shown that the information they contain is never- 
theless genuine : 

" By his Ma ti8 Plaiers. On Shrousunday a play of the 
Marchant of Venis." 

" By his Ma tu Players. On Shroutusday a play cauled 
the Martchant of Venis againe, comanded by the Kings 
Ma tie ." 

The name of " Shaxberd" as "the poet which made the 
play" is added in the margin opposite both entries. 


The plot of The Merchant of Venice is composed of two dis- 
tinct stories : that of the bond, and that of the caskets. Both 
these fables are found in the Gesta Romanorum, a Latin com- 
pilation of allegorical tales, which had been translated into 
English as early as the time of Henry VI. It is almost cer- 
tain, however, that the source whence Shakespeare, either 
directly or indirectly, drew the incidents connected with the 
bond, was a story in // Pecorone, a collection of tales by Gio- 
vanni Fiorentino, first published at Milan in 1558, though 
written nearly two hundred years before. In this story we 
have a rich lady at Belmont, who is to be won on certain con- 
ditions ; and she is finally the prize of a young merchant, 
whose friend, having become surety for him to a Jew under 
the same penalty as in the play, is rescued from the forfeiture 
by the adroitness of the married lady, who is disguised as a 


lawyer. The pretended judge receives, as in the comedy, 
her marriage ring as a gratuity, and afterwards banters her 
husband, in the same way, upon the loss of it. An English 
translation of the book was extant in Shakespeare's time. 

Possibly the dramatist was somewhat indebted to The Ora- 
tor, translated from the French of Alexander Silvayn (Lon- 
don, 1596). Portions of the 95th Declamation in this book 
(see page 168 below) are strikingly like some of Shylock's 
speeches at the trial. Certain critics believe that the poet 
also made some use of the ballad of Gernutus (printed in 
Percy's Reliques], which is probably older than the play. 

It is probable, however, that the legends of the bond and 
the caskets had been blended in dramatic form before Shake- 
speare began to write for the stage. Stephen Gosson, a Pu- 
ritan author, in his Schoole of Abuse, published in 1579, excepts 
a few plays from the sweeping condemnation of his "plesaunt 
inuective against Poets, Pipers, Plaiers, Jesters, and such-like 
caterpillers of a Commonwelth." Among these exceptions 
he mentions ''The yew, and Ptolome, showne at the Bull ; the 
one representing the greedinesse of worldly chusers, and the 
bloody minds of usurers ; the other very lively describing howe 
seditious estates with their owne devises, false friends with 
their owne swoords, and rebellious commons in their owne 
snares, are overthrowne." We have no other knowledge of 
this play of TJie Jew ; but the nationality of its hero and the 
double moral, agreeing so exactly with that of The Merchant 
of Venice, render it probable that the plots of the two dramas 
were essentially the same ; and that Shakespeare in this in- 
stance, as in others, worked upon some rough model already 
prepared for him. The question, however, is not of great im 
portance. As Staunton remarks, " Be the merit of the fable 
whose it may, the characters, the language, the poetry, and 
the sentiment are his, and his alone. To no other writer of 
the period could we be indebted for the charming combina 
tion of womanly grace, and dignity, and playfulness, which is 


found in Portia ; for the exquisite picture of friendship be- 
tween Bassanio and Antonio ; for the profusion of poetic 
beauties scattered over the play ; and for the masterly de- 
lineation of that perfect type of Judaism in olden times, the 
character of Shylock himself." 


[From SchlegeFs "Lectures on Dramatic Literature."*] 
The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's most per- 
fect works : popular to an extraordinary degree, and calcu- 
lated to produce the most powerful effect on the stage, and 
at the same time a wonder of ingenuity and art for the re- 
flecting critic. Shylock the Jew is one of the inimitable mas- 
terpieces of characterization which are to be found only in 
Shakespeare. It is easy for both poet and player to exhibit 
a caricature of national sentiments, modes of speaking, and 
gestures. Shylock, however, is everything but a common 
Jew : he possesses a strongly marked and original individu- 
ality, and yet we perceive a light touch of Judaism in every- 
thing he says or does. We almost fancy we can hear a slight 
whisper of the Jewish accent even in the written words, such 
as we sometimes still find in the higher classes, notwithstand- 
ing their social refinement. In tranquil moments, all that is 
foreign to the European blood and Christian sentiments is 
less perceptible, but in passion the national stamp comes out 
more strongly marked. All these inimitable niceties the fin- 
ished art of a great actor can alone properly express. Shy- 
lock is a man of information, in his own way even a thinker, 
only he has not discovered the region where human feelings 
dwell ; his morality is founded on the disbelief in goodness 
and magnanimity. The desire to avenge the wrongs and in- 
dignities heaped upon his nation is, after avarice, his stron- 
gest spring of action. His hate is naturally directed chiefly 

* From Black's translation, with a few verbal changes. I have not had 
the opportunity of comparing it with the original German. 


against those Christians who are actuated by truly Christian 
sentiments : a disinterested love of our neighbour seems to 
him the most unrelenting persecution of the Jews. The let- 
ter of the law is his idol ; he refuses to lend an ear to the 
voice of mercy, which, from the mouth of Portia, speaks to 
him with heavenly eloquence : he insists on rigid and inflex- 
ible justice, and at last it recoils on his own head. Thus he 
becomes a symbol of the general history of his unfortunate 
nation. The melancholy and self-sacrificing magnanimity of 
Antonio is affectingly sublime. Like a princely merchant, 
he is surrounded with a whole train of noble friends. The 
contrast which this forms to the selfish cruelty of the usurer 
Shylock was necessary to redeem the honour of human na- 
ture. The danger which, almost to the close of the fourth 
act, hangs over Antonio, and which the imagination is almost 
afraid to approach, would fill the mind with too painful anxie- 
ty, if the poet did not also provide for its recreation and di- 
version. This is effected in an especial manner by the scenes 
at Portia's country-seat, which transport the spectator into 
quite another world. And yet they are closely connected 
with the main business by the chain of cause and effect. 
Bassanio's preparations for his courtship are the cause of 
Antonio's subscribing the dangerous bond ; and Portia, by 
the counsel and advice of her kinsman, a famous lawyer, ef- 
fects the safety of her lover's friend. But the relations of 
the dramatic composition are admirably observed in yet an- 
other respect. The trial between Shylock and Antonio is in- 
deed recorded as being a real event, but still, for all that, it 
must ever remain an unheard-of and singular case. Shake- 
speare has therefore associated it with a love intrigue not 
less extraordinary : the one consequently is rendered natural 
and probable by means of the other. A rich, beautiful, and 
intellectual heiress, who can only be won by solving the rid- 
dle ; the locked caskets ; the foreign princes, who come to 
try the venture ; all this powerfully excites the imagination 


with the splendour of an olden tale of marvels. The two 
scenes in which, first the Prince of Morocco, in the language 
of Eastern hyperbole, and then the self-conceited Prince of 
Arragon, make their choice among the caskets, serve merely 
to raise our curiosity, and give emplbyment to our wits ; but 
on the third, where the two lovers stand trembling before the 
inevitable choice, which in one moment must unite or sepa- 
rate them for ever, Shakespeare has lavished all the charms 
of feeling, all the magic of poesy. We share in the rapture 
of Portia and Bassanio at the fortunate choice : we easily 
conceive why they are so fond of each other, for they are 
both most deserving of love. The trial scene, with which the 
fourth act is occupied, is in itself a perfect drama, concentrat- 
ing in itself the interest of the whole. The knot is now un- 
tied, and, according to the common ideas of theatrical satis- 
faction, the curtain ought to drop. But the poet was unwill- 
ing to dismiss his audience with the gloomy impressions which 
Antonio's acquittal, effected with so much difficulty and con- 
trary to all expectation, and the condemnation of Shylock, 
were calculated to leave behind them ; he has therefore add- 
ed the fifth act by way of a musical afterpiece in the play 
itself. The episode of Jessica, the fugitive daughter of the 
Jew, in whom Shakespeare has contrived to throw a veil of 
sweetness over the national features, and the artifice by which 
Portia and her companion are enabled to rally their newly- 
married husbands, supply him with the necessary materials. 
The scene opens with the playful prattling of two lovers in a 
summer evening ; it is followed by soft music, and a rapturous 
eulogy on this powerful disposer of the human mind and the 
world ; the principal characters then make their appearance, 
and, after a simulated quarrel, which is gracefully maintained, 
the whole ends with the most exhilaratin mirth. 

[From Mrs.Jamesotfs "Characteristics of Wo 

Portia, Isabella, Beatrice, and Rosalind may be classed to- 


gether, as characters of intellect, because, when compared 
with others, they are at once distinguished by their mental 
superiority. In Portia, it is intellect kindled into romance 
by a poetical imagination ; in Isabel, it is intellect elevated 
by religious principle ; in Beatrice, intellect animated by spir- 
it ; in Rosalind, intellect softened by sensibility. The wit 
which is lavished on each is profound, or pointed, or spark- 
ling, or playful but always feminine ; like spirits distilled 
from flowers, it always reminds us of its origin ; it is a vola- 
tile essence, sweet as powerful ; and to pursue the compari- 
son a step further, the wit of Portia is like ottar of roses, rich 
and concentrated ; that of Rosalind, like cotton dipped in 
aromatic vinegar ; the wit of Beatrice is like sal volatile ; and 
that of Isabel, like the incense wafted to heaven. Of these 
four exquisite characters, considered as dramatic and poetic- 
al conceptions, it is difficult to pronounce which is most per- 
fect in its way, most admirably drawn, most highly finished. 
But if considered in another point of view, as women and 
individuals, as breathing realities, clothed in flesh and blood, 
I believe we must assign the first rank to Portia, as uniting 
in herself, in a more eminent degree than the others, all the 
noblest and most lovable qualities that ever met together 
in woman, and presenting a complete personification of Pe- 
trarch's exquisite epitome of female perfection 

II vago spirito ardento, 
E'n alto intelletto, un puro core. 

Shylock is not a finer or more finished character in his 
way, than Portia is in hers. These two splendid figures are 
worthy of each other ; worthy of being placed together with- 
in the same rich framework of enchanting poetry, and glori- 
ous and graceful forms. She hangs beside the terrible inex- 
orable Jew, the brilliant lights of her character set off by the 
shadowy power of his, like a magnificent beauty-breathing 
Titian by the side of a gorgeous Rembrandt. 

Portia is endued with her own share of those delightful 


qualities which Shakespeare has lavished on many of his fe- 
male characters ; but, besides the dignity, the sweetness, and 
tenderness which should distinguish her sex generally, she is 
individualized by qualities peculiar to herself; by her high 
mental powers, her enthusiasm of temperament, her decision 
of purpose, and her buoyancy of spirit. These are innate ; 
she has other distinguishing qualities more external, and 
which are the result of the circumstances in which she is 
placed. Thus she is the heiress of a princely name and 
countless wealth ; a train of obedient pleasures have ever 
waited round her ; and from infancy she has breathed an at- 
mosphere redolent of perfume and blandishment. Accord- 
ingly there is a commanding grace, a high-bred, airy elegance, 
a spirit of magnificence in all that she does and says, as one 
to whom splendour had been familiar from her very birth. 
She treads as though her footsteps had been among marble 
palaces, beneath roofs of fretted gold, o'er cedar floors, and 
pavements of jasper and porphyry amid gardens full of stat- 
ues, and flowers, and fountains, and haunting music. She is 
full of penetrative wisdom, and genuine tenderness, and live- 
ly wit ; but as she has never known want, or grief, or fear, or 
disappointment, her wisdom is without a touch of the sombre 
or the sad ; her affections are all mixed up with faith, hope, 
and joy ; and her wit has not a particle of malevolence or 
causticity. . . 

The sudden plan which she forms for the release of her 
husband's friend, her disguise, and her deportment as the 
young and learned doctor, would appear forced and improb- 
able in any other woman, but in Portia are the simple and 
natural result of her character.* The quickness with which 
she perceives the legal advantage which may be taken of the 
circumstances, the spirit of adventure with which she engages 

* In that age, delicate points of law were not determined by the ordi- 
nary judges of the provinces, but by doctors of law, who were called from 
Bologna, Padua, and other places celebrated for their legal colleges. 



in the masquerading, and the decision, firmness, and intelli- 
gence with which she executes her generous purpose, are all 
in perfect keeping, and nothing appears forced nothing as 
introduced merely for theatrical effect. 

But all the finest parts of Portia's character are brought to 
bear in the trial scene. There she shines forth, all her di- 
vine self. Her intellectual powers, her elevated sense of re- 
ligion, her high honourable principles, her best feelings as a 
woman, are all displayed. She maintains at first a calm self- 
command, as one sure of carrying her point in the end ; yet 
the painful heart-thrilling uncertainty in which she keeps the 
whole court, until suspense verges upon agony, is not con- 
trived for effect merely ; it is necessary and inevitable. She 
has two objects in view : to deliver her husband's friend, and 
to maintain her husband's honour by the discharge of his just 
debt, though paid out of her own wealth ten times over. It 
is evident that she would rather owe the safety of Antonio to 
anything rather than the legal quibble with which her cousin 
Bellario has armed her, and which she reserves as a last re- 
source. Thus all the speeches addressed to Shylock in the 
first instance are either direct or indirect experiments on his 
temper and feelings. She must be understood from the be- 
ginning to the end as examining, with intense anxiety, the 
effect of her own words on his mind and countenance ; as 
watching for that relenting spirit, which she hopes to awaken 
either by reason or persuasion. She begins by an appeal to 
his mercy, in that matchless piece of eloquence, which, with 
an irresistible and solemn pathos, falls upon the heart like 
"gentle dew from heaven :" but in vain; for that blessed 
dew drops not more fruitless and unfelt on the parched sand 
of the desert, than do these heavenly words upon the ear of 
Shylock. She next attacks his avarice : 

Shylock, there's thrice thy money offered thee ! 
Then she appeals, in the same breath, both to his avarice and 
his pity: 


Be merciful ! 
Take thrice thy money. Bid me tear the bond. 

All that she says afterwards her strong expressions, which 
are calculated to strike a shuddering horror through the 
nerves, the reflections she interposes, her delays and circum- 
locution to give time for any latent feeling of commiseration 
to display itself, all, all are premeditated, and tend in the 
same manner to the object she has in view. 

So unwilling is her sanguine and generous spirit to resign 
all hope, or to believe that humanity is absolutely extinct in 
the bosom of the Jew, that she calls on Antonio, as a last re- 
source, to speak for himself. His gentle, yet manly resigna- 
tion, the deep pathos of his farewell, and the affectionate al- 
lusion to herself in his last address to Bassanio 

Commend me to your honourable wife ; 

Say how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death, etc. 

are well calculated to swell that emotion, which through the 
whole scene must have been labouring suppressed within her 

At length the crisis arrives, for patience and womanhood 
can endure no longer ; and when Shylock, carrying his sav- 
age bent " to the last hour of act," springs on his victim "A 
sentence ! come, prepare !" then the smothered scorn, indig- 
nation, and disgust burst forth with an impetuosity which in- 
terferes with the judicial solemnity she had at first affected, 
particularly in the speech 

Therefore, prepare thee to cut off the flesh, etc. 

But she afterwards recovers her propriety, and triumphs with 
a cooler scorn and a more self-possessed exultation. 

It is clear that, to feel the full force and dramatic beauty 
of this marvellous scene, we must go along with Portia as 
well as with Shylock ; we must understand her concealed 
purpose, keep in mind her noble motives, and pursue in our 
fancy the under current of feeling, working in her mind 


throughout. The terror and the power of Shylock's charac- 
ter, his deadly and inexorable malice, would be too oppress- 
ive, the pain and pity too intolerable, and the horror of the 
possible issue too overwhelming, but for the intellectual re- 
lief afforded by this double source of interest and contempla- 
tion. . . . 

A prominent feature in Portia's character is that confiding, 
buoyant spirit, which mingles with all her thoughts and affec- 
tions. And here let me observe, that I never yet met in real 
life, nor ever read in tale or history, of any woman, distin- 
guished for intellect of the highest order, who was not also 
remarkable for this trusting spirit, this hopefulness and cheer- 
fulness of temper, which is compatible with the most serious 
habits of thought, and the most profound sensibility. Lady 
Wortley Montagu was one instance ; and Madame de Stael 
furnishes another much more memorable. In her Corinne, 
whom she drew from herself, this natural brightness of temper 
is a prominent part of the character. A disposition to doubt, 
to suspect, and to despond, in the young, argues, in general, 
some inherent weakness, moral or physical, or some miser- 
able and radical error of education : in the old, it is one of 
the first symptoms of age ; it speaks of the influence of sor- 
row and experience, and foreshows the decay of the stronger 
and more generous powers of the soul. Portia's strength of 
intellect takes a natural tinge from the flush and bloom of 
her young and prosperous existence, and from her fervent 
imagination. In the casket-scene, she fears indeed the issue 
of the trial, on which more than her life is hazarded ; but 
while she trembles, her hope is stronger than her fear 

Her subsequent surrender of herself in heart and soul, of 
her maiden freedom, and her vast possessions, can never be 
read without deep emotions ; for not only all the tenderness 
and delicacy of a devoted woman are here blended with all 
the dignity which becomes the princely heiress of Belmont, 
but the serious, measured self-possession of her address to 



her lover, when all suspense is over, and all concealment su- 
perfluous, is most beautifully consistent with the character. 
It is, in tiuth, an awful moment, that in which a gifted woman 
first discovers that, besides talents and powers, she has also 
passions and affections ; when she first begins to suspect their 
vast importance in the sum of her existence ; when she first 
confesses that her happiness is no longer in her own keeping, 
but is surrendered forever and forever into the dominion of 
another ! The possession of uncommon powers of mind is 
so far from affording relief or resource in the first intoxica- 
ting surprise I had almost said terror of such a revolution, 
that they render it more intense. The sources of thought 
multiply beyond calculation the sources of feeling ; and min- 
gled, they rush together, a torrent deep as strong. Because 
Portia is endued with that enlarged comprehension which 
looks before and after, she does not feel the less, but the 
more ; because from the height of her commanding intellect 
she can contemplate the force, the tendency, the consequences 
of her own sentiments because she is fully sensible of her 
own situation, and the value of all she concedes the conces- 
sion is not made with less entireness and devotion of heart, 
less confidence in the truth and worth of her lover, than when 
Juliet, in a similar moment, but without any such intrusive re- 
flections any check but the instinctive delicacy of her sex, 
flings herself and her fortunes at the feet of her lover : 
And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay, 
And follow thee, my lord, through all the world.* 

In Portia's confession "You see me, Lord Bassanio, where 
I stand," etc. which is not breathed from a moonlit balcony, 
but spoken openly in the presence of her attendants and vas- 
sals, there is nothing of the passionate self-abandonment of 
Juliet, nor of trie artless simplicity of Miranda, but a con- 
sciousness and a tender seriousness, approaching to solemni- 
ty, which are not less touching. 

* Romeo and Jidiet, ii. 2. 


We must also remark that the sweetness, the solicitude, 
the subdued fondness which she afterwards displays, relative 
to the letter, are as true to the softness of her sex, as the gen- 
erous self-denial with which she urges the departure of Bas- 
sanio (having first given him a husband's right over herself 
and all her countless wealth) is consistent with a reflecting 
mind, and a spirit at once tender, reasonable, and magnani- 
mous. . . 

In the last act, Shylock and his machinations being dis- 
missed from our thoughts, and the rest of the dramatis per- 
sona assembled together at Belmont, all our interest and all 
our attention are riveted on Portia, and the conclusion leaves 
the most delightful impression on the fancy. The playful 
equivoque of the rings, the sportive trick she puts on her 
husband, and her thorough enjoyment of the jest, which she 
checks just as it is proceeding beyond the bounds of proprie- 
ty, show how little she was displeased by the sacrifice of her 
gift, and are all consistent with her bright and buoyant spirit. 
In conclusion, when Portia invites her company to enter her 
palace to refresh themselves after their travels, and talk over 
" these events at full," the imagination, unwilling to lose sight 
of the brilliant group, follows them in gay procession from the 
lovely moonlight garden to marble halls and princely revels, 
to splendor and festive mirth, to love and happiness. . . 

It is observable that something of the intellectual brilliance 
of Portia is reflected on the other female characters of The 
Merchant of Venice so as to preserve in the midst of contrast 
a certain harmony and keeping. Thus Jessica, though prop- 
erly kept subordinate, is certainly 

A most beautiful pagan a most sweet Jew. 

She cannot be called a sketch or if a sketch, she is like one 
of those dashed off in glowing colours from the rainbow pal- 
ette of a Rubens ; she has a rich tinge of Orientalism shed 
over her, worthy of her Eastern origin. In another play, and 


in any other companionship than that of the matchless Por- 
tia, Jessica would make a very beautiful heroine of herself. 
Nothing can be more poetically, more classically fanciful and 
elegant than the scenes between her and Lorenzo the cel- 
ebrated moonlight dialogue, for instance, which we all have 
by heart. Every sentiment she utters interests us for her 
more particularly her bashful self-reproach, when flying in the 
disguise of a page : 

I am glad 'tis night, you do not look upon me, 
For I am much asham'd of my exchange ; 
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see 
The pretty follies that themselves commit ; 
For if they could, Cupid himself would blush 
To see me thus transformed to a boy. 

And the enthusiastic and generous testimony to the superior 
graces and accomplishments of Portia comes with a peculiar 
grace from her lips : 

Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match, 
And on the wager lay two earthly women, 
And Portia one, there must be something else 
Pawned with the other ; for the poor rude world 
Hath not her fellow. 

We should not, however, easily pardon her for cheating her 
father with so much indifference but for the perception that 
Shylock values his daughter far beneath his wealth : 

I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear J 
would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin ! 

Nerissa is a good specimen of a common genus of charac- 
ters ; she is a clever confidential waiting-woman, who has 
caught a little of her lady's elegance and romance ; she af- 
fects to be lively and sententious, falls in love, and makes 
her favour conditional on the fortune of the caskets, and, in 
short, mimics her mistress with good emphasis and discretion. 
Nerissa and the gay, talkative Gratiano are as well matched 
as the incomparable Portia and her magnificent and capti- 
vating lover. 


[From Hazlitfs " Characters of Shakespear* s Plays.*] 
This is a play that in spite of the change of manners and 
prejudices still holds undisputed possession of the stage. . . . 
Jn proportion as Shylock has ceased to be a popular bug- 
bear, "baited with the rabble's curse," he becomes a half- 
favourite with the philosophical part of the audience, who 
are disposed to think that Jewish revenge is at least as good 
as Christian injuries. Shylock is a good hater; "a man no 
less sinned against than sinning." If he carries his revenge 
too far, yet he has strong grounds for " the lodged hate he 
bears Antonio," which he explains with equal force of elo- 
quence and reason. He seems the depositary of the ven- 
geance of his race ; and though the long habit of brooding 
over daily insults and injuries has crusted over his temper 
with inveterate misanthropy, and hardened him against the 
contempt of mankind, this adds but little to the triumphant 
pretensions of his enemies. There is a strong, quick, and 
deep sense of justice mixed up with the gall and bitterness 
of his resentment. The constant apprehension of being 
burnt alive, plundered, banished, reviled, and trampled on, 
might be supposed to sour the most forbearing nature, and 
to take something from that "milk of human kindness" with 
which his persecutors contemplated his indignities. The 
desire of revenge is almost inseparable from the sense of 
wrong ; and we can hardly help sympathizing with the proud 
spirit hid beneath his "Jewish gaberdine," stung to madness 
by repeated undeserved provocations, and labouring to throw 
off the load of obloquy and oppression heaped upon him and 
all his tribe by one desperate act of "lawful" revenge, till 
the ferociousness of the means by which he is to execute his 
purpose, and the pertinacity with which he adheres to it, turn 
us against him ; but even at last, when disappointed of the 

* Characters of Shakespear 1 s PIays,\)y William Hazlitt (London, 1817), 
p. 269 fol. 


sanguinary revenge with which he had glutted his hopes, and 
exposed to beggary and contempt by the letter of the law 
on which he had insisted with so little remorse, we pity him, 
and think him hardly dealt with by his judges. In all his 
answers and retorts upon his adversaries, he has the best 
not only of the argument but of the question, reasoning on 
their own principles and practice. They are so far from al- 
lowing of any measure of equal dealing, of common justice 
or humanity between themselves and the Jew, that even 
when they come to ask a favour of him, and Shylock re- 
minds them that on such a day they spit upon him, another 
spurned him, another called him clog, and for these courte- 
sies they request he'll lend them so much money, Antonio, 
his old enemy, instead of any acknowledgment of the shrewd- 
ness and justice of his remonstrance, which would have been 
preposterous in a respectable Catholic merchant in those 
times, threatens him with a repetition of the same treat- 
ment : 

I am as like to call thee so again, 

To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too. 

After this, the appeal to the Jew's mercy, as if there were 
any common principle of right and wrong between them, is 
the rankest hypocrisy or the blindest prejudice. . . . 

The whole of the trial-scene, both before and after the en- 
trance of Portia, is a masterpiece of dramatic skill. The 
legal acuteness, the passionate declamations, the sound max- 
ims of jurisprudence, the wit and irony interspersed in it, the 
fluctuations of hope and fear in the different persons, and 
the completeness and suddenness of the catastrophe, cannot 
be surpassed. Shylock, who is his own counsel, defends 
himself well, and is triumphant on all the general topics 
that are urged against him, and only fails through a legal 
flaw. . . . The keenness of his revenge awakes all his facul- 
ties ; and he beats back all opposition to his purpose, wheth- 
er grave or gay, whether of wit or argument, with an equal 


degree of earnestness and self-possession. His character is 
displayed as distinctly in other less prominent parts of the 
play, and we may collect from a few sentences the history 
of his life his descent and origin, his thrift and domestic 
economy, his affection for his daughter, whom he loves next 
to his wealth, his courtship and his first present to Leah his 
wife! "I would not have given it (the ring which he first 
gave her) for a wilderness of monkeys !" What a fine He- 
braism is implied in this expression ! . . . 

When we first went to see Mr. Kean in Shylock, we ex- 
pected to see, what we had been used to see, a decrepit old 
man, bent with age and ugly with mental deformity, grinning 
with deadly malice, with the venom of his heart congealed in 
the expression of his countenance, sullen, morose, gloomy, 
inflexible, brooding over one idea, that of his hatred, and 
fixed on one unalterable purpose, that of his revenge. We 
were disappointed, because we had taken our idea from oth- 
er actors, not from the play. There is no proof there that 
Shylock is old, but a single line, " Bassanio and old Shylock, 
both stand forth" which does not imply that he is infirm 
with age and the circumstance that he has a daughter mar- 
riageab'le, which does not imply that he is old at all. It 
would be too much to say that his body should be made 
crooked and deformed to answer to his mind, which is bowed 
down and warped with prejudices and passion. That he has 
but one idea is not true ; he has more ideas than any other 
person in the piece : and if he is intense and inveterate in 
the pursuit of his purpose, he shows the utmost elasticity, 
vigour, and presence of mind, in the means of attaining it. 
But so rooted was our habitual impression of the part from 
seeing it caricatured in the representation, that it was only 
from a careful perusal of the play itself that we saw our 
error. The stage is not in general the best place to study 
our author's characters in. It is too often filled with tradi- 
tional commonplace conceptions of the part, handed down 



from sire to son, and suited to the taste of the great vulgar 
and the small. " 'T is an unweecled garden ; things rank and 
gross do merely gender in it.' M If a man of genius comes 
once in an age to clear away the rubbish, to make it fruit- 
ful and wholesome, they cry, " 'T is a bad school ; it may 
be like nature, it may be like Shakespear, but it is not like 
us." Admirable critics ! 

[From Knighfs " Pictorial Shakspere.'''' t] 

Antonio is one of the most beautiful of Shakspere's char- 
acters. He does not take a very prominent part in the 
drama: he is a sufferer rather than an actor. We view him, 
in the outset, rich, liberal, surrounded with friends; yet he is 
unhappy. He has higher aspirations than those which or- 
dinarily belong to one dependent upon the chances of com- 
merce ; and this uncertainty, as we think, produces his un- 
happiness. He will not acknowledge the forebodings of evil 
which come across his mind. Ulrici says, "It was the over- 
great magnitude of his earthly riches, which, although his 
heart was by no means dependent upon their amount, un- 
consciously confined the free flight of his soul." We doubt 
if Shakspere meant this. He has addressed the reproof of 
that state of mind to Portia, from the lips of Nerissa : 

Portia. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great 

Nerissa. You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries were in the 

* Hazlitt is evidently quoting from memory. The reading in Hum. \. 

2.135 is: 

't is an unweeded garden 

That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature 
Possess it merely. 

Shakespeare uses the verb gender only in Oth. iv. 2. 63 : 

a cistern for foul toads 
To knot and gender in. 

t Pictorial Edition of Shakspere, edited by Charles Knight (2d ed. Lon- 
don, 1867), vol. i. of Comedies, p. 452 fol. (by permission). 


same abundance as your good fortunes are ; and yet, for aught I see, 
they are as sick that surfeit with too much as they that starve with nothing. 

Antonio may say 

In sooth, I know not why I am so sad ; 

but his reasoning denial of the cause of his sadness is a 
proof to us that the foreboding of lessee 
Enow to press a royal merchant down, 

is at the bottom of his sadness. It appears to us as a self- 
delusion, which his secret nature rejects, that he says, 

My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, 
Nor to one place ; nor is my whole estate 
Upon the fortune of this present year : 
Therefore, my merchandize makes me not sad. 

When he has given the fatal bond, he has a sort of desperate 
confidence, which to us looks very unlike assured belief: 

Why, fear not, man, I will not forfeit it; 

Within these two months, that 's a month before 

This bond expires, I do expect return 

Of thrice three times the value of this bond. 

And, finally, when his calamity has become a real thing, and 
not a shadowy notion, his deportment shows that his mind 
has been long familiar with images of ruin : 

Give me your hand, Bassanio ; fare you well ! 
Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you ; 
For herein Fortune shows herself more kind 
Than is her custom : it is still her use, 
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth, 
To view, with hollow eye and wrinkled brow, 
An age of poverty ; from which lingering penance 
Of such a misery doth she cut me off. 

The generosity of Antonio's nature unfitted him for a contest 
with the circumstances amid which his lot was cast. The 
Jew says 

In low simplicity, 
He lends out money gratis. 


He himself says 

I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures 

Many that have at times made moan to me. 

Bassanio describes him, as 

The kindest man, 

The best condition'd and unwearied spirit 
In doing courtesies. 

To such a spirit, whose "means are in supposition" whose 
ventures are " squander'd abroad" the curse of the Jew 
must have sometimes presented itself to his own prophetic 

This is the fool that lends out money gratis. 

Antonio and his position are not in harmony. But there is 
something else discordant in Antonio's mind. This kind 
friend this generous benefactor this gentle spirit this 
man "unwearied in doing courtesies" can outrage and in- 
sult a fellow-creature, because he is of another creed : 

Shylock. Fair sir, you spet on me on Wednesday last ; 
You spurn'd me such a day ; another time 
You call'd me dog ; and for these courtesies 
I '11 lend you thus much moneys. 

Antonio. I am as like to call thee so again, 
To spet on thee again, to spurn thee too. 

Was it without an object that Shakspere made this man, so 
entitled to command our affections and our sympathy, act so 
unworthy a part, and not be ashamed of the act? Most 
assuredly the poet did not intend to justify the indignities 
which were heaped upon Shylock ; for in the very strongest 
way he has made the Jew remember the insult in the prog- 
ress of his wild revenge : 

Thou call'dst me dog before thou hadst a cause : 
But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs. 

Here, to our minds, is the first of the lessons of charity which 
this play teaches. Antonio is as much to be pitied for his 


prejudices as the Jew for his. They had both been nurt- 
ured in evil opinions. They had both been surrounded by 
influences which more or less held in subjection their better 
natures. The honoured Christian is as intolerant as the de- 
spised Jew. The one habitually pursues with injustice the 
subjected man that he has been taught to loathe ; the other, 
in the depths of his subtle obstinacy, seizes upon the occa- 
sion to destroy the powerful man that he has been compelled 
to fear. The companions of Antonio exhibit, more or less, 
the same reflection of the prejudices which have become to 
them a second nature. They are not so gross in their prej- 
udices as Launcelot, to whom " the Jew is the very devil 
incarnation." But to Lorenzo, who is about to marry his 
daughter, Shylock is a " faithless Jew." When the unhappy 
father is bereft of all that constituted the solace of his home, 
and before he has manifested that spirit of revenge which 
might well call for indignation and contempt, he is to the 
gentlemanly Salanio "the villain Jew," and "the clog Jew." 
When the unhappy man speaks of his daughter's flight, he is 
met with a brutal jest on the part of Salarino, who, within 
his own circle, is the pleasantest of men : " I, for my part, 
knew the tailor that made the wings she flew withal." We 
can understand the reproaches that are heaped upon Shy- 
lock in the trial scene, as something that might come out of 
the depths of any passion-stirred nature ; but the habitual 
contempt with which he is treated by men who in every oth- 
er respect are gentle and good-humoured and benevolent, is 
a proof to us that Shakspere meant to represent the struggle 
that must inevitably ensue, in a condition of society where 
the innate sense of justice is deadened in the powerful by 
those hereditary prejudices which make cruelty virtue; and 
where the powerless, invested by accident with the means of 
revenge, say with Shylock, "The villany you teach me I will 
execute ; and it shall go hard but I will better the instruc- 
tion." The climax of this subjection of our higher and bet- 


3 1 

ter natures to conventional circumstances is to be found in 
the character of the Jew's daughter. Young, agreeable, in- 
telligent, formed for happiness, she is shut up by her father 
in a dreary solitude. One opposed to her in creed gains her 
affections ; and the ties which bind the father and the child 
are broken forever. But they are not broken without com- 
punction : 

Alack ! what heinous sin is it in me 
To be asham'd to be my father's child. 

This is nature. But when she has fled from him robbed 
him spent fourscore ducats in one night given his tur- 
quoise for a monkey and, finally, revealed his secrets, with 
an evasion of the ties that bound them, which makes one's 
flesh creep, 

When I was with him, 

we see the poor girl plunged into the most wretched contest 
between her duties and her pleasures by the force of external 
circumstances. We grant, then, to all these our compassion ; 
for they commit injustice ignorantly, and through a force 
which they cannot withstand. Is the Jew himself not to be 
measured by the same rule ? We believe that it was Shak- 
spere's intention so to measure him. 

When Pope exclaimed of Macklin's performance of Shy- 

This is the Jew 

That Shakspere drew ! 

the higher philosophy of Shakspere was little appreciated. 
Macklin was, no doubt, from all traditionary report of him, 
perfectly capable of representing the subtlety of the Jew's 
malice and the energy of his revenge. But it is a question 
with us, whether he perceived, or indeed if any actor ever 
efficiently represented, the more delicate traits of character 
that lie beneath these two great passions of the Jew's heart. 
Look, for example, at the extraordinary mixture of the per- 


sonal and the national in his dislike of Antonio. He hates 
him for his gentle manners: 

How like a fawning publican he looks ! 

He hates him, "for he is a Christian ;" he hates him, for that 
" he lends out money gratis ;" but he hates him more than 

all, because 

He hates our sacred nation. 

It is this national feeling which, when carried in a right di- 
rection, makes a patriot and a hero, that assumes in Shylock 
the aspect of a grovelling and fierce personal revenge. He 
has borne insult and injury "with a patient shrug ;" but ever 
in small matters he has been seeking retribution : 

I am not bid for love, they flatter me ; 
But yet I '11 go in hate, to feed upon 
The prodigal Christian. 

The mask is at length thrown off he has the Christian in 
his power ; and his desire of revenge, mean and ferocious as 
it is, rises into sublimity, through the unconquerable energy 
of the oppressed man's wilfulness. "I am a Jew : Hath 
not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, 
senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt 
with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed 
by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter 
and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not 
bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, 
do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? 
If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that." 
It is impossible, after this exposition of his feelings, that we 
should not feel that he has properly cast the greater portion 
of the odium which belongs to his actions upon the social 
circumstances by which he has been hunted into madness. 
He has been made the thing he is by society. In the ex- 
treme wildness of his anger, when he utters the harrowing 
imprecation, " I would my daughter were dead at my foot, 



and the jewels in her ear! Would she were hearsed at my 
foot, and the ducats in her coffin ;" the tenderness that be- 
longs to our common humanity, even in its most passionate 
forgetfulness of the dearest ties, comes across him in the re- 
membrance of the mother of that execrated child: "Out 
upon her ! Thou torturest me, Tubal : it was my turquoise ; 
I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor." 

It is in the conduct of the trial scene that, as it appears to 
us, is to be sought the concentration of Shakspere's leading 
idea in the composition of this drama. The merchant stands 
before the Jew a better and a wiser man than when he called 
him k 'dog:" 

I do oppose 

My patience to his fury, and am arm'd 

To suffer, with a quietness of spirit, 

The very tyranny and rage of his. 

Misfortune has corrected the influences which, in happier 
moments, allowed him to forget the gentleness of his nature, 
and to heap unmerited abuse upon him whose badge was 
sufferance. The Jew is unchanged. But if Shakspere in 
the early scenes made us entertain some compassion for his 
wrongs, he has now left him to bear all the indignation which 
we ought to feel against one " uncapable of pity." But we 
cannot despise the Jew. His intellectual vigour rises su- 
preme over the mere reasonings by which he is opposed. 
He defends his own injustice by the example of as great an 
injustice of everyday occurrence and no one ventures to 
answer him : 

You have among you many a purchas'd slave, 
Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules, 
You use in abject and in slavish parts, 
Because you bought them. Shall I say to you, 
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ? 
Why sweat they under burdens ? let their beds 
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates 
Be season'd with such viands ? You will answer, 



The slaves are ours. So do I answer you : 
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, 
Is dearly bought ; 't is mine, and I will have it. 
If you deny me, fie upon your law ! 

It would have been exceedingly difficult for the merchant to 
have escaped from the power of the obdurate man, so strong 
in the letter of the law, and so resolute to carry it out by the 
example of his judges in other matters, had not the law been 
found here, as in most other cases, capable of being bent to 
the will of its administrators. Had it been the inflexible 
thing which Shylock required it to be, a greater injustice 
would have been committed than the Jew had finally him- 
self to suffer. . . . 

Had Shylock relented after that most beautiful appeal to 
his mercy, which Shakspere has here placed as the exponent 
of the higher principle upon which all law and right are es- 
sentially dependent, the real moral of'the drama would have 
been destroyed. The weight of injuries transmitted to Shy- 
lock from his forefathers, and still heaped upon him even by 
the best of those by whom he was surrounded, was not so 
easily to become light, and to cease to exasperate his nature. 
Nor would it have been a true picture of society in the six- 
teenth century had the poet shown the judges of the Jew 
wholly magnanimous in granting him the mercy which he 
denied to the Christian. We certainly do not agree with 
the Duke, in his address to Shylock, that the conditions 
upon which his life is spared are imposed 

That thou shall see the difference of our spirit. 
Nor do we think that Shakspere meant to hold up these con- 
ditions as anything better than examples of the mode in 
which the strong are accustomed to deal with the weak. 
There is still something discordant in this, the real catas- 
trophe of the drama. It could not be otherwise, and yet be 
true to nature. 

But how artistically has the poet restored the balance of 



pleasurable sensations! Throughout the whole conduct of 
the play, what may be called its tragic portion has been re- 
lieved by the romance which belongs to the personal fate of 
Portia. But after the great business of the drama is wound 
up, we fall back upon a repose which is truly refreshing and 
harmonious. From the lips of Lorenzo and Jessica, as they 
sit in the "paler day" of an Italian moon, are breathed the 
lighter strains of the most playful poetry, mingled with the 
highest flights of the most elevated. Music and the odours 
of sweet flowers are around them. Happiness is in their 
hearts. Their thoughts are lifted by the beauties of the earth 
above the earth. This delicious scene belongs to what is 
universal and eternal, and takes us far away from those bit- 
ter strifes of our social state which are essentially narrow 
and temporary. And then come the affectionate welcomes, 
the pretty, pouting contests, and the happy explanations of 
Portia and Nerissa with Bassanio and Gratiano. Here again 
we are removed into a sphere where the calamities of fort- 
une, and the injustice of man warring against man, may be 
forgotten. The poor Merchant is once more happy. The 
"gentle spirit" of Portia is perhaps the happiest, for she has 
triumphantly concluded a work as religious as her pretended 
pilgrimage "by holy crosses." To use the words of Dr. Ul- 
rici, " the sharp contrarieties of right and unright are played 

\From White's Introduction to the Play.*'} 

We find, then, that the story of this comedy, even to its epi- 
sodic part and its minutest incidents, had been told again and 
again long before Shakespeare was born that even certain 
expressions in it occur in the works of the preceding authors 
in Giovanni Fiorentino's version of trie story of the Bond, 
in the story of the Caskets, as told in the Gesta Romanonim, 

in the ballad of Gernutus, and in Massuccio di Salerno's 

* White's Shakespeare, vol. iv. p. 139. 


novel about the girl who eloped from and robbed her miserly 
father and it is more than probable that even the combina- 
tion of the first two of these had been made before The Mer- 
chant of Venice was written. What then remains to Shake- 
speare? and what is there to show that he is not a plagiar- 
ist? Everything that makes The Merchant of Venice what it 
is. The people are puppets, and the incidents are all in 
these old stories. They are mere bundles of barren sticks 
that the poet's touch causes to bloom like Aaron's rod : they 
are heaps of dry bones till he clothes them with human flesh 
and breathes into them the breath of life. Antonio, grave, 
pensive, prudent save in his devotion to his young kinsman, 
as a Christian hating the Jew, as a royal merchant despising 
the usurer; Bassanio, lavish yet provident, a generous gentle- 
man although a fortune-seeker, wise although a gay gallant, 
and manly though dependent; Gratiano,\vho unites the not 
too common virtues of thorough good nature and unselfish- 
ness with the sometimes not unserviceable fault of talking for 
talk's sake ; Shylock, crafty and cruel, whose revenge is as 
mean as it is fierce and furious, whose abuse never rises to 
invective, and who has yet some dignity of port as the aven- 
ger of a nation's wrongs, some claim upon our sympathy as 
a father outraged by his only child ; and Portia, matchless 
impersonation of that rare woman who is gifted even more in 
intellect than loveliness, and who yet stops gracefully short 
of the offence of intellectuality these, not to notice minor 
characters no less perfectly organized or completely devel- 
oped after their kind these, and the poetry which is their 
atmosphere, and through which they beam upon us, all radi- 
ant in its golden light, are Shakespeare's only ; and these it 
is, and not the incidents of old and, but for these, forgotten 
tales, that make The Merchant of Venice a priceless and im- 
perishable dower to the queenly city that sits enthroned upon 
the sea a dower of romance more bewitching than that of 
her moonlit waters and beauty-laden balconies, of adornment 



more splendid than that of her pictured palaces, of hu- 
man interest more enduring than that of her blood-stained 
annals, more touching even than the sight of her faded 

[from Dowtten's " Shakspere Primer."*] 

The distinction of Portia among Shakspere's women is 
the union in her nature of high intellectual powers and de- 
cision of will with a heart full of ardour and of susceptibility 
to romantic feelings. She has herself never known trouble 
or sorrow, but prosperity has left her generous and quick in 
sympathy. Her noble use of wealth and joyous life, sur- 
rounded with flowers and fountains and marble statues and 
music, stands in contrast over against the hard, sad, and con- 
tracted life of Shylock, one of a persecuted tribe, absorbed 
in one or two narrowing and intense passions the love of 
the money-bags he clutches and yet fails to keep, and his 
hatred of the man who had scorned his tribe, insulted his 
creed, and diminished his gains. Yet Shylock is not like 
Marlowe's Jew, Barabas, a preternatural monster. Wolf- 
like as his revenge shows him, we pity his joyless, solitary 
life ; and when, ringed round in the trial scene with hostile 
force, he stands firm upon his foothold of the law, there is 
something sublime in his tenacity of passion and resolve. 
But we feel that it is right that this evil strength should be 
utterly crushed and quelled, and when Shylock leaves the 
court a broken man, we know it is needful that this should 
be so. 

The choosing of the caskets shows us Portia, who will 
strictly interpret the law of Venice for Shylock and Antonio, 
loyally abiding by the provisions which her father has laid 
down in her own case. And Bassanio is ennobled in our 
eyes by his choice ; for the gold, silver, and lead of the 
caskets, with their several inscriptions, are a test of true 

* Literature Primers: Shakspere, by Edward Dowden, LL.D. (Lon- 
don, 1878), p. 95 fol. (by permission). 


lovers. Bassanio does not come as a needy adventurer to 
choose the golden casket, or to " gain " or " get " anything, 
but in the true spirit of self-abandoning love " to give," not 
to get, " and hazard all he hath ;" and having dared to give 
all he gains all. 

The lyrical boy- and -girl love of Lorenzo and Jessica 
brings out by contrast the grave and glad earnestness of 
Portia's love and Bassanio's. Jessica has not a thought of 
loyalty to her father nor is it to be expected. The lyrical 
passages between Lorenzo and Jessica in the moonlit gar- 
den, ending with the praise of music, contrast with Portia's 
generalizing reflections (the wake of thought still undulating 
after her great intellectual effort at the trial), suggested by 
the light seen and music heard as she approaches her house, 
and by her failing to receive any pleasure from the music 
which Lorenzo has so eloquently praised. 

The comedy must end mirthfully. After the real struggle 
and the strain of interest respecting Antonio's fate, we pass 
on to the playful differences about the rings; from the court 
of justice at Venice we are carried to the luminous night in 
the gardens of Belmont. Even Antonio's ships must not be 
lost; a moment of happiness after trouble cannot be too 





THE PRINCE OF ARRAGON! I Sultors to Portla - 

ANTONIO, the Merchant of Venice 

BASSANIO, his friend. 


SALAKINO, > friends to Antonio and Bassanio. 


LORENZO, in love with Jessica. 

SHYI.OCK, a Jew. 

TUBAI., a Jew, his friend. 


OLD GOBBO, father to Launcelot. 

SAI.EKIO, a messenger 

L&ONARDO, servant to Bassanio. 

PORTIA, a rich heiress. 
NERISSA, her waiting-maid. 
JESSICA, daughter to Shylork. 

Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Justice, 
Gaoler, Servants, and other Attendants. 

SCENE : Partly at Venice, and partly at Beliuont, 


SCENE I. Venice. A Street. 

Antonio. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad 
It wearies me, you say it wearies you ; 
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, 
What stuff 't is made of, whereof it is born, 
I am to learn ; 

And such a want-wit sadness makes of me, 
That I have much ado to know myself. 

Salarino. Your mind is tossing on the ocean ; 
There where your argosies with portly sail, 


Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood, 
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea, 
Do overpeer the petty traffickers, 
That curtsy to them, do them reverence, 
As they fly by them with their woven wings. 

Salanio. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth, 
The better part of my affections would 
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still 
Plucking the grass, to know where sits the wind, 
Peering in maps for ports, and piers, and roads ; 
And every object that might make me fear 
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt, 
Would make me sad. 

Salarino. My wind, cooling my broth, 

Would blow me to an ague, when I thought 
What harm a wind too great might do at sea. 
I should not see the sandy hour-glass run 
But I should think of shallows and of flats, 
And see my wealthy Andrew dock'd in sand, 
Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs, 
To kiss her burial. Should I go to church 
And see the holy edifice of stone, 
And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks, 
Which, touching but my gentle vessel's side, 
Would scatter all her spices on the stream, 
Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks, 
And, in a word, but even now worth this, 
And now worth nothing? Shall I have the thought 
To think on this, and shall I lack the thought 
That such a thing bechanc'd would make me sad ? 
But tell not me ; I know, Antonio 
Is sad to think upon his merchandise. 

Antonio. Believe me, no. I thank my fortune for it, 
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, 
Nor to one place ; nor is my whole estate 



Upon the fortune of this present year : 
Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad. 

Salarino. Why, then you are in love. 

Antonio. Fie, fie ! 

Salarino. Not in love neither ? Then let us say you 're sad 
Because you are not merry ; and 't were as easy 
For you to laugh and leap, and say you 're merry 
Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed Janus, 50 
Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time : 
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes 
And laugh, like parrots, at a bag-piper; 
And other of such vinegar aspect 
That they '11 not show their teeth in way of smile, 
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable. 


Salanio. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman, 
Gratiano, and Lorenzo. Fare ye well ; 
We leave you now with better company. 

Salarino. I would have stay'd till I had made you merry, 
If worthier friends had not prevented me. 61 

Antonio. Your worth is very dear in my regard. 
I take it, your own business calls on you, 
And you embrace the occasion to depart. 

Salarino. Good morrow, my good lords. 

Bassanio. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh ? Say, 

You grow exceeding strange; must it be so? 

Salarino. We Tl make our leisures to attend on yours. 

\Exeunt Salarino and Salanio. 

Lorenzo. My Lord Bassanio, since you 've found Antonio, 
We two will leave you ; but at dinner-time, ia 

I pray you, have in mind where we must meet. 

Bassanio. I will not fail you. 

Gratiano. You look not well, Signior Antonio ; 



You have too much respect upon the world : 
They lose it that do buy it with much care. 
Believe me, you are marvellously chang'd. 

Antonio. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano 
A stage where every man must play a part, 
And mine a sad one. 

Gratiano. Let me play the fool ; 

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles corne, 8 o 

And let my liver rather heat with wine 
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans. 
Why should a man whose blood is warm within 
Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster? 
Sleep when he wakes, and creep into the jaundice 
By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio, 
I love thee, and it is my love that speaks, 
There are a sort of men whose visages 
Do cream and mantle like a standing pond, 
And do a wilful stillness entertain, ^ 

With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion 
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit ; 
As who should say, ' I am Sir Oracle, 
And when I ope my lips let no clog bark !' 

my Antonio, I do know of these 
That therefore only are reputed wise 

For saying nothing ; when, I am very sure, 

If they should speak, would almost damn those ears 

Which, hearing them, would call their brothers fools. 

1 '11 tell thee more of this another time ; I00 
But fish not, with this melancholy bait, 

For this fool-gudgeon, this opinion. 
Come, good Lorenzo. Fare ye well a while; 
I '11 end my exhortation after dinner. 

Lorenzo. Well, we will leave you, then, till dinner-time. 
I must be one of these same dumb wise men, 
For Gratiano never lets me speak. 



Gratiano. Well, keep me company but two years moe, 
Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue. 

Antonio, Farewell; I '11 grow a talker for this gear. no 

Grattano. Thanks, i' faith ; for silence is only commendable 
In a neat's tongue dried. \Exeunt Gratiano and Lorenzo. 

Antonio. Is that any thing now? 

Bassanio. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, 
more than any man in all Venice. His reasons are as two 
grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff; you shall seek 
all day ere you find them, and when you have them they 
are not worth the search. 

Antonio. Well, tell me now, what lady is the same 
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage, 120 

That you to-day promis'd to tell me of? 

Bassanio. 'T is not unknown to you, Antonio, 
How much I have disabled mine estate, 
By something showing a more swelling port 
Than my faint means would grant continuance: 
Nor do I now make moan to be abridg'd 
From such a noble rate; but my chief care 
Is to come fairly off from the great debts 
Wherein my time, something too prodigal, 
Hath left me gag'd. To you, Antonio, , 30 

I owe the most, in money and in love ; 
And from your love I have a warranty 
To unburthen all my plots 'and purposes, 
How to get clear of all the debts I owe. 

Antonio. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it ; 
And if it stand, as you yourself still do, 
Within the eye of honour, be assur'd, 
My purse, my person, my extremes! means, 
Lie all unlock'd to your occasions. 

Bassanio. In my school-days, when I had lost one shaft, 
I shot his fellow of the selfsame flight MJ 

The selfsame way, with more advised watch, 


To find the other forth ; and by adventuring both 

I oft found both. I urge this childhood proof. 

Because what follows is pure innocence. 

I owe you much, and, like a wilful youth, 

That which I owe is lost ; but if you please 

To shoot another arrow that self way 

Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt, 

As I will watch the aim, or to find both 150 

Or bring your latter hazard back again, 

And thankfully rest debtor for the first. 

Antonio. You know me well, and herein spend but time 
To wind about my love with circumstance ; 
And, out of doubt, you do me now more wrong 
In making question of my uttermost 
Than if you had made waste of all I have. 
Then do but say to me what I should do, 
That in your knowledge may by me be done, 
And I am prest unto it ; therefore speak. 160 

Bassanio. In Belmont is a lady richly left; 
And she is fair and, fairer than that word, 
Of wondrous virtues: sometimes from her eyes 
I did receive fair speechless messages. 
Her name is Portia ; nothing undervalued 
To Cato's daughter, Brutus' Portia : 
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth ; 
For the four winds blow in from every coast 
Renowned suitors ; and her sunny locks 
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece; 170 

Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos' strand, 
And many Jasons come in quest of her. 

my Antonio, had I but the means 
To hold a rival place with one of them, 

1 have a mind presages me such thrift 
That I should questionless be fortunate. 

Antonio. Thou know'st that all my fortunes are at sea; 


Neither have I money nor commodity 

To raise a present sum : therefore go forth ; 

Try what my credit can in Venice do : iSo 

That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermost, 

To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia. 

Go, presently inquire, and so will I, 

Where money is, and I no question make 

To have it of my trust or for my sake. \_Exeunt. 

SCENE II. Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 

Portia. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of 
this great world. 

JS/erissa. You would be, sweet madam, if your miseries 
were in the same abundance as your good fortunes are; and 
yet, for aught I see, they are as sick that surfeit with too 
much as they that starve with nothing. It is no mean hap- 
piness, therefore, to be seated in the mean ; superfluity comes 
sooner by white hairs, but competency lives longer. 

Portia. Good sentences, and well pronounced. 

Nerissa. They would be better if well followed. 10 

Portia. If to do were as easy as to know what were good 
to do, chapels had been churches, and poor men's cottages 
princes' palaces. It is a good divine that follows his own 
instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be 
done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching. 
The brain may devise laws for the blood, but a hot temper 
leaps o'er a cold decree; such a hare is madness, the youth, 
to skip o'er the meshes of good counsel, the cripple. But 
this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me a husband. 
O me, the word ' choose !' I may neither choose whom I 
would, nor refuse whom I dislike ; so is the will of a living 
daughter curbed by the will of a dead father. Is it not hard, 
Nerissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none ? 23 


Nerissa. Your father was ever virtuous, and holy men at 
their death have good inspirations; therefore the lottery that 
he hath devised in these three chests of gold, silver, and lead 
whereof who chooses his meaning chooses you will, no 
doubt, never be chosen by any rightly but one who you shall 
rightly love. But what warmth is there in your affection tow- 
ards any of these princely suitors that are already come ? 3 

Portia. I pray thee, over-name them, and as thou namest 
them, I will describe them ; and, according to my description, 
level at my affection. 

Nerissa. First, there is the Neapolitan prince. 

Portia. Ay, that 's a colt indeed, for he doth nothing but 
talk of his horse ; and he makes it a great appropriation to 
his own good parts, that he can shoe him himself. 

Nerissa. Then is there the County Palatine. 38 

Portia. He doth nothing but frown, as who should say, 
' An you will not have me, choose.' He hears merry tales, 
and smiles not; I fear he will prove the weeping philoso- 
pher when he grows old, being so full of unmannerly sadness 
in his youth. I had rather to be married to a death's-head 
with a bone in his mouth than to either of these. God de- 
fend me from these two ! 

Nerissa. How say you by the French lord, Monsieur Le 
Bon ? 47 

"" Portia. God made him, and therefore let him pass for a 
man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a mocker; but, he ! 
why, he hath a horse better than the Neapolitan's, a better 
bad habit of frowning than the Count Palatine: he is every 
man in no man ; if a throstle sing, he falls straight a-caper- 
ing; he will fence with his own shadow. If I should marry 
him, I should marry twenty husbands. If he would despise 
me, I would forgive him ; for if he love me to madness, I shall 
never requite him. 

Nerissa. What say you, then, to Falconbridge, the young 
baron of England 2 58 



Portia. You know I say nothing to him, for he understands 
not me, nor I him ; he hath neither Latin, French, nor Ital- 
ian, and you will come into the court and swear that I have 
a poor pennyworth in the English. He is a proper man's 
picture; but, alas! who can converse with a dumb show? 
How oddly he is suited ! I think he bought his doublet in 
Italy, his round hose in France, his bonnet in Germany, and 
his behaviour every where. 66 

Nerissa. What think you of the Scottish lord, his neighbour? 

Portia. That he hath a neighbourly charity in him ; for he 
borrowed a box of the ear of the Englishman, and swore he 
would pay him again when he was able: I think the French- 
man became his surety and sealed under for another. 7 i 

Nerissa. How like you the young German, the Duke of 
Saxony's nephew? 

Portia. Very vilely in the morning, when he is sober, and 
most vilely in the afternoon, when he is drunk: when he is 
best, he is a little worse than a man ; and when he is worst, 
he is little better than a beast. An the worst fall that ever 
fell, I hope I shall make shift to go without him. 

Nerissa. If he should offer to choose, and choose the right 
casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you 
should refuse to accept him. 81 

Portia. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, set a 
deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket ; for if 
the devil be within and that temptation without, I know he 
will choose it. I will do any thing, Nerissa, ere I will be mar- 
ried to a sponge. 

Nerissa. You need not fear, lady, the having any of these 
lords: they have acquainted me with their determinations; 
which is, indeed, to return to their home, and to trouble you 
with no more suit, unless you may be won by some other sort 
than your father's imposition depending on the caskets. 91 

Portia. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die as chaste 
as Diana, unless I be obtained by the manner of my father's 



will. I am glad this parcel of wooers are so reasonable, for 
there is not one among them but I dote on his very absence ; 
and I wish them a fair departure. 

Nerissa. Do you not remember, lady, jn your father's time, 
a Venetian, a scholar and a soldier, that came hither in com- 
pany of the Marquis of Montferrat ? 

Portia. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio ; as I think, so was he 
called. joi 

Nerissa. True, madam ; he, of all the men that ever my 
foolish eyes looked upon, was the best deserving a fair lady. 

Portia. I remember him well, and I remember him worthy 
of thy praise. 

Enter a Servant. 

Servant. The four strangers seek for you, madam, to take 
their leave; and there is a forerunner come from a fifth, the. 
Prince of Morocco, who brings word the prince his master 
will be here to-night. io g 

Portia. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so good heart 
as I can bid the other four farewell, I should be glad of his 
approach ; if he have the condition of a saint, and the com- 
plexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than 
wive me. 

Come, Nerissa. Sirrah, go before. 

Whiles we shut the gates upon one wooer, another knocks at 
the door. [Exeunt. 

SCENE III. Venice. A Public Place. 

Shylock. Three thousand ducats, well. 

Bassanio, Ay, sir, for three months. 

Shylock. For three months, well. 

Bassanio. For the which, as I told you, Antonio shall be bound. 

Shylock. Antonio shall become bound, well. 


Bassanio. May you stead me ? Will you pleasure me ? 
Shall I know your answer? 

Shylock. Three thousand ducats for three months, and An- 
tonio bound. 

Bassanio. Your answer to that. n 

Shylock. Antonio is a good man. 

Bassanio. Have you heard any imputation to the contrary ? 

Shylock. Ho, no, no, no, no; my meaning, in saying he is 
a good man, is to have you understand me that he is suffi- 
cient. Yet his means are in supposition : he hath an argosy 
bound to Tripolis, another to the Indies ; I understand, more- 
over, upon the Rialto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for 
England, and other ventures he hath, squandered abroad. 
But ships are but boards, sailors but men : there be land- 
rats and water-rats, land-thieves and water-thieves, I mean 
pirates ; and then there is the peril of waters, winds, and 
rocks. The man is, notwithstanding, sufficient. Three thou- 
sand ducats, I think I may take his bond. 23 

Bassanio. Be assured you may. 

Shylock. I will be assured I may; and that I may be as- 
sured, I will bethink me. May I speak with Antonio? 

Bassanio. If it please you to dine with us. 

Shylock. Yes, to smell pork ; to eat of the habitation which 
your'prophet, the Nazarite, conjured the devil into. I will 
buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and 
so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor 
pray with you. What news on the Rialto ? Who is he comes 
here ? 33 


Bassanio. This is Signior Antonio. 

Shylock. \Aside\ How like a fawning publican he looks ! 
I hate him for he is a Christian, 
But more for that, in low simplicity, 
He lends out money gratis, and brings down 


The rate of usance here with us in Venice. 

If I can catch him once upon the hip, 40 

I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him. 

He hates our sacred nation; and he rails, 

Even there where merchants most do congregate, 

On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift, 

Which he calls interest. Cursed be my tribe, 

If I forgive him ! 

Bassanio. Shylock, do you hear ? 

Shylock. I am debating of my present store ; 
And, by the near guess of my memory, 
I cannot instantly raise up the gross 

Of full three thousand ducats. What of that ? 5 o 

Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe, 
Will furnish me. But soft ! how many months 
Do you desire ? [To Antonio] Rest you fair, good signior ; 
Your worship was the last man in our mouths. 

Antonio. Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow 
By taking nor by giving of excess, 
Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend, 
I '11 break a custom. Is he yet possess'd 
How much you would ? 

Shylock. Ay, ay, three thousand ducats. 

Antonio. And for three months. 60 

Shylock. I had forgot, three months ; you told me so. 
Well then, your bond ; and let me see but hear you : 
Methought you said you neither lend nor borrow 
Upon advantage. 

Antonio. I do never use it. 

Shylock. When Jacob graz'd his uncle Laban's sheep 
This Jacob from our holy Abram was, 
As his wise mother wrought in his behalf, 
The third possessor; ay, he was the third 

Antonio. And what of him? did he take interest? 

Shylock. No, not take interest, not, as you would say, 7 



Directly interest ; mark what Jacob did. 

When Laban and himself were compromis'd 

That all the eanlings which were streak'd and pied 

Should fall as Jacob's hire, 

The skilful shepherd pill'd me certain wands, 

And stuck them up before the fulsome ewes, 

Who, then conceiving, did in eaning time 

Fall parti-colour'd lambs; and those were Jacob's. 

This was a way to thrive, and he was blest ; 

And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not. So 

Antonio. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv'd for ; 
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 ? 

Shylock. I cannot tell ; I make it breed as fast. 
But note me, signior. 

Antonio. Mark you this, Bassanio, 

The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. 
An evil soul, producing holy witness, 

Is like a villain with a smiling cheek, 90 

A goodly apple rotten at the heart. 
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath ! 

Shylock. Three thousand ducats, 't is a good round sum. 
Three months from twelve, then, let me see the rate. 

Antonio. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholding to you ? 

Shylock. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft, 
In the Rialto, you have rated me 
About my moneys and my usances ; 
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug, 
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe. I0 

You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, 
And spet upon my Jewish gaberdine, 
And all for use of that which is mine own. 
Well then, it now appears you need my help : 



Go to, then ; you come to me, and you say, 

' Shylock, we would have moneys:' you say so, 

You, that did void your rheum upon my beard, 

And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur 

Over your threshold ; moneys is your suit. 

What should I say to you? Should I not say, no 

'Hath a dog money ? Is it possible 

A cur should lend three thousand ducats ?' Or 

Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key, 

With bated breath and whispering humbleness, 

Say this : 

' Fair sir, you spet on me on Wednesday last ; 

You spurn'd me such a day ; another time 

You call'd me dog ; and for these courtesies 

I '11 lend you thus much moneys ?' 

Antonio. I am as like to call thee so again, I20 

To spet 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 of barren metal of his friend ? 
But lend it rather to thine enemy ; 
Who if he break, thou mayst with better face 
Exact the penalty. 

Shylock. 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 / 30 

Of usance for my moneys, and you '11 not hear me. 
This is kind I offer. 

Bassanio. This were kindness. 

Shylock. This kindness will I show. 

Go with me to a notary ; seal me there 
Your single bond ; and, in a merry sport, 
If you repay me not on such a day, 
In such a place, such sum or sums as are 


Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit 

Be nominated for an equal pound 

Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken MO 

In what part of your body pleaseth me. 

Antonio. Content, i' faith ; I '11 seal to such a bond, 
And say there is much kindness in the Jew. 

Bassanio. You shall not seal to such a bond for me ; 
I '11 rather dwell in my necessity. 

Antonio. Why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it: 
Within these two months that 's a month before 
This bond expires I do expect return 
Of thrice three times the value of this bond. 

Shylock. O father Abram ! what these Christians are '5 
Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect 
The thoughts of others ! Pray you, tell me this 
If he should break his day, what should I gain 
By the exaction of the forfeiture? 
A pound of man's flesh, taken from a man, 
Is not so estimable, profitable neither, 
As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say, 
To buy his favour, I extend this friendship: 
If he will take it, so ; if not, adieu ; 
And, for my love, I pray you wrong me not. 160 

Antonio. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond. 

Shylock. 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. \Exit. 

Antonio. Hie thee, gentle Jew. 

The Hebrew will turn Christian ; he grows kind. 

Bassanio. I like not fair terms and a villain's mind. 

Antonio. Come on : in this there can be no dismay ; 170 
My ships come home a month before the day. [Exeunt. 


SCENE I. Belmont. A Room in Portias House. 

Flourish of Cornets. Enter the PRINCE OF MOROCCO and his 

train ; PORTIA, NERISSA, and others attending. 
Morocco. Mislike me not for my complexion, 
The shadow'd livery of the burnish'cl sun, 
To whom I am a neighbour and near bred. 
Bring me the fairest creature northward born, 
Where Phcebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles, 
And let us make incision for your love, 
To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine. 
I tell thee, lady, this aspect of mine 
Hath fear'd the valiant; by my love, I swear 
The best-regarded virgins of our clime 10 

Have lov'd it too. I would not change this hue, 
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen. 


Portia. In terms of choice I am not solely led 
By nice direction of a maiden's eyes ; 
Besides, the lottery of my destiny 
Bars me the right of voluntary choosing; 
But if my father had not scanted me, 
And hedg'd me by his wit, to yield myself 
His wife who wins me by that means I told you, 
Yourself, renowned prince, then stood as fair 20 

As any comer I have look'd on yet, 
For my affection. 

Morocco. Even for that I thank you ; 

Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets 
To try my fortune. By this scimitar, 
That slew the Sophy and a Persian prince 
That won three fields of Sultan Solyman, 
I would o'er-stare the sternest eyes that look, 
Outbrave the heart most daring on the earth, 
Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she-bear, 
Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey, 30 

To win thee, lady. But, alas the while! 
If Hercules and Lichas play at dice 
Which is the better man, the greater throw 
May turn by fortune from the weaker hand: 
So is Alcides beaten by his page ; 
And so may I, blind fortune leading me, 
Miss that which one unworthier may attain, 
And die with grieving. 

Portia. You must take your chance ; 

And either not attempt to choose at all, 
Or swear, before you choose, if you choose wrong 4 c 

Never to speak to lady afterward 
In way of marriage: therefore be advis'd. 

Morocco. Nor will not. Come, bring me unto my chance. 

Portia. First, forward to the temple ; after dinner 
Your hazard shall be made. 


Morocco. Good fortune then ! 

To make me blest or cursed'st among men. 

{Cornets^ and exetint. 

SCENE II. Venice. A Street. 


Launcelot. Certainly my conscience will serve me to run 
from this Jew my master. The fiend is at mine elbow and 
tempts me, saying to me, 'Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good 
Launcelot,' or ' good Gobbo,' or ' good Launcelot Gobbo^ use 
your legs, take the start, run away.' My conscience says, 
' No; take heed, honest Launcelot ; take heed, honest Gob- 
bo,' or, as aforesaid, ' honest Launcelot Gobbo ; do not run ; 
scorn running with thy heels.' Well, the most courageous 
fiend bids me pack : ' Via!' says the fiend ; 'away !' says the 
fiend; 'for the heavens, rouse up a brave mind,' says the 
fiend, 'and run.' Well, my conscience, hanging about the 
neck of my heart, says very wisely to me, ' My honest friend 
Launcelot, being an honest man's son,' or rather an honest 
woman's son, well, my conscience says, ' Launcelot, budge 
not.' ' Budge,' says the fiend. ' Budge not,' says my con- 
science. 'Conscience,' say I, 'you counsel well;' 'Fiend,' 
say I, ' you counsel well :' to be ruled by my conscience, I 
should stay with the Jew my master, who, God bless the 
mark, is a kind of devil; and, to run away from the Jew, I 
should be ruled by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is 
the devil himself. Certainly the Jew is the very devil incarna- 
tion ; and, in my conscience, my conscience is a kind of hard 
conscience, to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew. The 
fiend gives the more friendly counsel : I will run, fiend; my 
heels are at your commandment ; I will run. 25 

Enter Old GOBBO, with a basket. 

Gobbo. Master young man, you ! I pray you, which is the 
way to master Jew's? 


Launcelot. [Aside] O heavens ! this is my true-begotten 
father, who, being more than sand-blind, high-gravel-blind, 
knows me not. I will try confusions with him. 30 

Gobbo. Master young gentleman, I pray you, which is the 
way to master Jew's ? 

Launcelot. Turn up on your right hand at the next turning, 
but at the next turning of all, on your left ; marry, at the 
very next turning, turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly 
to the Jew's house. 

Gobbo. By God's sonties, 't will be a hard way to hit. Can 
you tell me whether one Launcelot, that dwells with him, 
dwell with him or no? 

Launcelot. Talk you of young Master Launcelot ? [Aside] 
Mark me now ; now will I raise the waters. \To him] Talk 
you of young Master Launcelot ? 42 

Gobbo. No master, sir, but a poor man's son ; his father, 
though I say 't, is an honest exceeding poor man, and, God 
be thanked, well to live. 

Launcelot. Well, let his father be what a' will, we talk of 
young Master Launcelot. 

Gobbo. Your worship's friend and Launcelot. 

Launcelot. But I pray you, ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech 
you, talk you of young Master Launcelot ? so 

Gobbo. Of Launcelot, an 't please your mastership. 

Launcelot. Ergo, Master Launcelot. Talk not of Master 
Launcelot, father ; for the young gentleman according to 
fates and destinies and such odd sayings, the sisters three 
and such branches of learning is indeed deceased, or, as 
you would say in plain terms, gone to heaven. 

Gobbo. Marry, God forbid ! the boy was the very staff of 
my age, my very prop. 

Launcelot. \Aside~\ Do I look like a cudgel or a hovel-post, 
a staff or a prop? [To Aim] Do you know me, father? 60 

Gobbo. Alack the day ! I know you not, young gentleman ; 
but, I pray you, tell me, is my boy God rest his soul ! alive 
or dead ? 


Launcelot. Do you not know me, father? 

Gobbo. Alack, sir, I am sand-blind ; I know you not. 

Launcelot. Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you might 
fail of the knowing me ; it is a wise father that knows his 
own child. Well, old man, I will tell you news of your son. 
[Jfneets.] Give me your blessing: truth will come to light ; 
murther cannot be hid long; a man's son may, but in the 
end truth will out. 71 

Gobbo. Pray you, sir, stand up. I am sure you are not 
Launcelot, my boy. 

Launcelot. Pray you, let's have no more fooling about it, 
but give me your blessing ; 1 am Launcelot, your boy that 
was, your son that is, your child that shall be. 

Gobbo. I cannot think you are my son. 

Launcelot. I know not what I shall think of that ; but I am 
Launcelot, the Jew's man, and I am sure Margery your wife 
is my mother. 80 

Gobbo. Her name is Margery, indeed ; I '11 be sworn, if 
thou be Launcelot, thou art mine own flesh and blood. Lord 
worshipped might he be! what a beard hast thou got! thou 
hast got more hair on thy chin than Dobbin my fill-horse 
has on his tail. 

Launcelot. It should seem, then, that Dobbin's tail grows 
backward ; I am sure he had more hair of his tail than I 
have of my face, when I last saw him. 

Gobbo. Lord ! how art thou changed ! How dost thou 
and thy master agree ? I have brought him a present. How 
gree you now ? 91 

Launcelot. Well, well ; but, for mine own part, as I have 
set up my rest to run away, so 1 will not rest till I have run 
some ground. My master's a very Jew : give him a present ! 
give him a halter : I am famished in his service ; you may 
tell every finger I have with my ribs. Father, I am glad you 
are come : give me your present to one Master Bassanio, 
who indeed gives rare new liveries ; if I serve not him, I will 


run as far as God has any ground. O rare fortune ! here 
comes the man : to him, father ; for I am a Jew if I serve 
the Jew any longer. 101 

Enter BASSANIO, with LEONARDO and other followers. 

Bassanio. You may do so ; but let it be so hasted that 
supper be ready at the farthest by five of the clock. See 
these letters delivered ; put the liveries to making, and desire 
Gratiano to come anon to my lodging. \Exit a Servant. 

Launcelot. To him, father. 

Gobbo. God bless your worship ! 

Bassanio. Gramercy! wouldst thou aught with me? 

Gobbo. Here's my son, sir, a poor boy, 

Launcelot. Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew's man ; 
that would, sir, as my father shall specify, m 

Gobbo. He hath a great infection, sir, as one would say, to 

Launcelot. Indeed, the short and the long is, I serve the 
Jew, and have a desire, as my father shall specify, 

Gobbo. His master and he, saving your worship's rever- 
ence, are scarce cater-cousins 

Launcelot. To be brief, the very truth is, that the Jew, hav- 
ing done me wrong, doth cause me, as my father, being, I 
hope, an old man, shall frutify unto you, 120 

Gobbo. I have here a dish of doves that I would bestow 
upon your worship ; and my suit is 

Launcelot. In very brief, the suit is impertinent to myself, 
as your worship shall know by this honest old man ; and, 
though I say it, though old man, yet, poor man, my father. 

Bassanio. One speak for both. What would you? 

Launcelot. Serve you, sir. 

Gobbo. That is the very defect of the matter, sir. 

Bassanio. I know thee well ; thou hast obtain'd thy suit. 
Shylock thy master spoke with me this day, IJO 

And hath preferr'd thee ; if it be preferment 


To leave a rich Jew's service, to become 
The follower of so poor a gentleman. 

Launcelot. The old proverb is very well parted between 
my master Shylock and you, sir ; you have the grace of God, 
sir, and he hath enough. 

Bassanio. Thou speak'st it well. Go, father, with thy son. 
Take leave of thy old master, and inquire 
My lodging out. Give him a livery [To his followers. 

More guarded than his fellows' ; see it done. MO 

Launcelot. Father, in. I cannot get a service, no ; I have 
ne'er a tongue in my head. Well, if any man in Italy have a 
fairer table which doth offer to swear upon a book ! I shall 
have good fortune. Go to, here 's a simple line of life ! here 's 
a small trifle of wives : alas! fifteen wives is nothing ! aleven 
widows and nine maids is a simple coming-in for one man ; 
and then to scape drowning thrice, and to be in peril of my 
life with the edge of a feather-bed, here are simple scapes. 
Well, if Fortune be a woman, she 's a good wench for this 
gear. Father, come ; I '11 take my leave of the Jew in the 
twinkling of an eye. [Exeunt Launcelot and Old Gobbo. 

Bassanio. I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this. 152 
These things being bought and orderly bestow'd, 
Return in haste, for I do feast to-night 
My best-esteem 'd acquaintance ; hie thee, go. 

Leonardo. My best endeavours shall be done herein. 

Gratiano. Where is your master? 

Leonardo. Yonder, sir, he walks. \Exit. 

Gratiano. Signior Bassanio ! 
Bassanio. Gratiano ! 
Gratiano. I have a suit to you. 

Bassanio. You have obtain'd it. 160 

Gratiano. You must not deny me. I must go with you to 


Bassanio. Why, then you must. But hear thee, Gratiano : 
Thou art too wild, too rude, and bold of voice, 
Parts that become thee happily enough 
And in such eyes as ours appear not faults ; 
But whece they are not known, why, there they show 
Something too liberal. Pray thee, take pain 
To allay with some cold drops of modesty 
Thy skipping spirit, lest through thy wild behaviour 170 

I be misconstrued in the place I go to, 
And lose my hopes. 

Gratiano. Signior Bassanio, hear me : 

If I do not put on a sober habit, 
Talk with respect, and swear but now and then, 
Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely, 
Nay more, while grace is saying, hood mine eyes 
Thus with my hat, and sigh, and say ' amen,' 
Use all the observance of civility, 
Like one well studied in a sad ostent 
To please his grandam, never trust me more. 180 

Bassanio. Well, we shall see your bearing. 

Gratiano. Nay, but I bar to-night ; you shall not gauge me 
By what we do to-night. 

Bassanio. No, that were pity ; 

I would entreat you rather to put on 
Your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends 
That purpose merriment. But fare you well ; 
I have some business. 

Gratiano. And I must to Lorenzo and the rest; 
But we will visit you at supper-time. [Exeunt. 

SCENE III. The Same. A Room in ShylocKs Hoitse. 

jFessica. I am sorry thou wilt leave my father so ; 
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil, 


Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness. 

But fare thee well ; there is a ducat for thee. 

And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see 

Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest : 

Give him this letter; do it secretly; 

And so farewell ; I would not have my father 

See me in talk with thee. 9 

Launcelot. Adieu ! tears exhibit my tongue. Most beauti- 
ful pagan, most sweet Jew, adieu ! these foolish drops do 
somewhat drown my manly spirit; adieu ! 

Jessica. Farewell, good Launcelot. \Exit Launcelot. 
Alack, what heinous sin is it in me 
To be asham'd to be my father's child ! 
But though I am a daughter to his blood, 
I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo ! 
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife, 
Become a Christian and thy loving wife. {Exit. 

SCENE IV. The Same. A Street. 

Lorenzo. Nay, we will slink away in supper-time, 
Disguise us at my lodging, and return, 
All in an hour. 
- Gratiano. We have not made good preparation. 

Salarino. We have not spoke us yet of torch-bearers. 

Salanio. 'T is vile, unless it may be quaintly orcler'd, 
And better, in my mind, not undertook. 

Lorenzo. 'T is now but four o'clock ; we have two hours 
To furnish us. 

Enter LAUNCELOT, with a letter. 

Friend Launcelot, what 's the news ? o 
Launcelot. An it shall please you to break up this, it shall 
seem to signify. 


Lorenzo. 1 know the hand : in faith, 't is a fair hand ; 
And whiter than the paper it writ on 
Is the fair hand that writ. 

Gratiano. Love-news, in faith. 

Launcelot. By your leave, sir. 

Lorenzo. Whither goest thou? 

Launcelot. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup 
to-night with my new master the Christian. 

Lorenzo. Hold here, take this. Tell gentle Jessica 
I will not fail her ; speak it privately. 20 

Go. Gentlemen, [Exit Launcelot. 

Will you prepare you for this masque to-night? 
I am provided qa torch-bearer. 

Salarino. Ay, marry, I '11 be gone about k straight. 

Salanio. And so will I. 

Lorenzo. Meet me and Gratiano 

At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence. 

Salarino. 'T is good we do so. [Exeunt Salarino and Salanio. 

Gratiano. Was not that letter from fair Jessica? 

Lorenzo. I must needs tell thee all. She hath directed 
How I shall take her from her father's house, 30 

What gold and jewels she is furnish'd with, 
What page's suit she hath in readiness. 
If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven, 
It will be for his gentle daughter's sake; 
And never dare misfortune cross her foot, 
Unless she do it under this excuse, 
That she is issue to a faithless Jew. 
Come, go with me ; peruse this as thou goest. 
Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer. [Exeunt. 

SCENE V. The Same. Before ShylocWs House. 


Shylock. Well, thou shalt see ; thy eyes shall be thy judge. 



The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio: 
What, Jessica ! thou shalt not gormandize, 
As thou hast done with me, what, Jessica! 
And sleep and snore, and rend apparel out. 
Why, Jessica, I say ! 

Launcelot. Why, Jessica ! 

Shylock. Who bids thee call ? I do not bid thee call. 

Launcelot. Your worship was wont to tell me I could do 
nothing without bidding. 


Jessica. Call you ? what is your will ? 10 

Shylock. I am bid forth to supper, Jessica; 
There are my keys. But wherefore should I go ? 
I am not bid for love ; they flatter me : 
But yet I '11 go in hate, to feed upon 
The prodigal Christian. Jessica, my girl, 
Look to my house. I am right loath to go ; 
There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest, 
For I did dream of money-bags to-night. 

Launcelot. I beseech you, sir, go; my young master doth 
expect your reproach. 20 

Shylock. So do I his. 

Launcelot. 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 
last at six o'clock i' the morning, falling out that year on 
Ash-Wednesday was four year in the afternoon. 

Shylock. What! are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica: 
Lock up my doors ; and when you hear the drum 
And the vile squealing of the wry-neck'd fife, 
Clamber not you up to the casements then, 3 o 

Nor thrust your head into the public street 
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces, 
But stop my house's ears, I mean my casements : 


Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter 
My sober house. By Jacob's staff, I swear, 
I have no mind of feasting forth to-night; 
But I will go. Go you before me, sirrah ; 
Say I will come. 

Launcelot. I will go before, sir. Mistress, look out at win- 
dow, for all this : 4 
There will come a Christian by, 
Will be worth a Jewess' eye. [Exit. 

Shylock. What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha ? 

Jessica. His words were ' Farewell, mistress ;' nothing else. 

Shylock. The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder ; 
Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by clay 
More than the wild-cat: drones hive not with me ; 
Therefore I part with him, and part with him 
To one that I would have him help to waste 
His borrow'd purse. Well, Jessica, go in ; s 

Perhaps I will return immediately. 
Do as I bid you ; shut doors after you : 
Fast bind, fast find ; 
A proverb never stale in thrifty mind. [Exit. 

Jessica. Farewell ; and if my fortune be not crost, 
I have a father, you a daughter, lost. [Exit. 

SCENE VI. The Same. 
Enter GRATIANO and SALARINO, masqued. 

Gratiano. This is the pent-house under which Lorenzo 
Desir'd us to make stand. 

Salarino. His hour is almost past. 

Gratiano. And it is marvel he outdwells his hour, 
For lovers ever run before the clock. 

Salarino. O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly 
To seal love's bonds new-made, than they are wont 
To keep obliged faith unforfeited ! 


Gratiano. That ever holds. Who riseth from a feast 
With that keen appetite that he sits down ? 
Where is the horse that doth untread again 10 

His tedious measures with the unbated fire 
That he did pace them first ? All things that are 
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd. 
How like a younger, or a prodigal, 
The scarfed bark puts from her native bay, 
Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind ! 
How like the prodigal doth she return, 
With over-weather'd ribs and ragged sails, 
Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the strumpet wind ! 

Salarino. Here comes Lorenzo. More of this hereafter. 20 


Lorenzo. Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode ; 
Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait : 
When you shall please to play the thieves for wives, 
I '11 watch as long for you then. Approach ; 
Here dwells my father Jew. Ho ! who 's within? 

Enter JESSICA, above, in boy's clothes. 

Jessica. Who are you ? Tell me, for more certainty, 
Albeit I '11 swear that I do know your tongue. 

Lorenzo. Lorenzo, and thy love. 

Jessica. Lorenzo, certain ; and my love indeed, 
For who love I so much ? And now who knows 30 

But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours? 

Lorenzo. Heaven and thy thoughts are witness that thou 

Jessica. Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains. 
I am glad 't is night, you do not look on me, 
For I am much asham'd of my exchange : 
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see 
The pretty follies that themselves commit; 



For if they could, Cupid himself would blush 
To see me thus transformed to a boy. 

Lorenzo. Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer. 40 

Jessica. What, must I hold a candle to my shames ? 
They in themselves, good sooth, are too-too light. 
Why, 't is an office of discovery, love ; 
And I should be obscur'd. 

Lorenzo. So are you, sweet, 

Even in the lovely garnish of a boy. 
But come at once ; 

For the close night doth play the runaway, 
And we are stay'd for at Bassanio's feast. 

Jessica. I will make fast the doors, and gild myself 50 
With some more ducats, and be with you straight. [Exit above. 

Gratiano. Now, by my hood, a Gentile and no Jew. 

Lorenzo. Beshrew me but I love her heartily ! 
For she is wise, if I can judge of her ; 
And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true ; 
And true she is, as she hath prov'd herself; 
And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, and true, 
Shall she be placed in my constant soul. 

Enter JESSICA, below. 

What, art thou come ? On, gentlemen ; away ! 
Our masquing mates by this time for us stay. 

[Exit with Jessica and Salarino. 


Antonio. Who 's there ? 60 

Gratiano. Signior Antonio ! 

Antonio. Fie, fie, Gratiano ! where are all the rest? 
'T is nine o'clock ; our friends all stay for you. 
No masque to-night : the wind is come about; 
Bassanio presently will go aboard. 
I have sent twenty out to seek for you. 


Gratiano. I am glad on 't ; I desire no more delight . 
Than to be under sail and gone to-night. [Exeunt. 

SCENE A^II. Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 

Flourish of cornets. Enter PORTIA, with the PRINCE OF 

MOROCCO, and their trains. 

Portia. Go, draw aside the curtains, and discover 
The several caskets to this noble prince. 
Now make your choice. 

Morocco. The first, of gold, who this inscription bears, 
' Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire.' 
The second, silver, which this promise carries, 
' Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves. 1 
This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt, 
' Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.' 1 
How shall I know if I do choose the right ? 

Portia. The one of them contains my picture, prince ; 
If 3'ou choose that, then I am yours withal. 

Morocco. Some god direct my judgment ! Let me see : 
I will survey the inscriptions back again. 
What says this leaden casket ? 
' Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.' 
Must give for what ? For lead ? Hazard for lead ? 
This casket threatens. Men that hazard all 
Do it in hope of fair advantages : 
A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross ; 
I '11 then nor give nor hazard aught for lead. 
What says the silver with her virgin hue? 
' Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves? 
As much as he deserves ? Pause there, Morocco, 
And weigh thy value with an even hand : 
If thou be'st rated by thy estimation, 
Thou dost deserve enough ; and yet enough 
May not extend so far as to the lady : 


And yet to be afeard of my deserving 

Were but a weak disabling of myself. 30 

As much as I deserve ? Why, that 's the lady : 

I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes, 

In graced and in qualities of breeding; 

But more than these, in love I do deserve. 

What if I stray'd no further, but chose here ? 

Let 's see once more this saying grav'd in gold : 

' Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire? 

Why, that 's the lady : all the world desires her ; 

From the four corners of the earth they come, 

To kiss this shrine, this mortal-breathing saint. 4 

The Hyrcanian deserts and the vasty wilds 

Of wide Arabia are as throughfares now 

For princes to come view fair Portia. 

The watery kingdom, whose ambitious head 

Spets in the face of heaven, is no bar 

To stop the foreign spirits, but they come, 

As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia. 

One of these three contains her heavenly picture. 

Is 't like that lead contains her? 'T were damnation 

To think so base a thought ; h,were too gross 5 

To rib her cerecloth in the obscure grave. 

Or shall I think in silver she 's immur'd, 

Being ten times undervalued to tried gold? 

O sinful thought ! Never so rich a gem 

Was set in worse than gold. They have in England 

A coin that bears the figure of an angel 

Stamped in gold, but that 's inscuVd upon ; 

But here an angel in a golden bed 

Lies all within. Deliver me the key ; 

Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may ! 60 

Portia. There, take it, prince ; and if my form lie there, 
Then I am yours. \He unlocks the golden casket. 

Morocco. O hell ! what have we here ? 


A carrion death, within whose empty eye 
There is a written scroll ! I '11 read the writing. 
'All that glisters is not gold; 
Often have you heard that told : 
Many a man his life hath sold, 
But my outside to behold; 
Gilded tombs do worms infold. 

Had you been as wise as bold, 70 

Young in limbs, in judgment old, 
Your answer had not been inscrolfd : 
Fare you well; your suit is cold.'' 
Cold, indeed ; and labour lost : 
Then, farewell, heat, and welcome, frost ! 
Portia, adieu ! I have too griev'd a heart 
To take a tedious leave ; thus losers part. 

[Exit with his train. 

Portia. A gentle riddance. Draw the curtains ; go. 
Let all of his complexion choose me so. 

[Exeunt. Flourish of cornets. 

SCENE VIII. Venice. A Street. 


Salarino. Why, man, I saw Bassanio under sail : 
With him is Gratiano gone along ; 
And in their ship I am sure Lorenzo is not. 

Salanio. The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the duke, 
Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship. 

Scdarino. He came too late, the ship was under sail ; 
But there the duke was given to understand 
That in a gondola were seen together 
Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica: 

Besides, Antonio certified the duke o 

They were not with Bassanio in his ship. 

Salanio. I never heard a passion so confus'd^ 


So strange, outrageous, and so variable, 

As the dog Jew did utter in the streets : 

'My daughter ! O my ducats ! O my daughter ! 

Fled with a Christian ! O my Christian ducats ! 

Justice -I the law ! my ducats, and my daughter! 

A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats, 

Of double ducats, stolen from me by my daughter ! 

And jewels, two stones, two rich and precious stones, 

Stolen by my daughter ! Justice ! find the girl ; 

She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats.' 

Salarino. Why, all the boys in Venice follow him, 
Crying, his stones, his daughter, and his ducats. 

Salanio. Let good Antonio look he keep his day, 
Or he shall pay for this. 

Salarino. Marry, well remember'd. 

I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday, 
Who told me, in the narrow seas that part 
The French and English, there miscarried 
A vessel of our country richly fraught. 
I thought upon Antonio when he told me, 
And wish'd in silence that it were not his. 

Salanio. You were best to tell Antonio what you hear ; 
Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him. 

Salarino. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth. 
I saw Bassanio and Antonio part : 
Bassanio told him he would make some speed 
Of his return ; he answer'd, ' Do not so ; 
Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio, 
But stay the very riping of the time; 
And for the Jew's bond which he hath of me, 
Let it not enter in your mind of love. 
Be merry, and employ your ch|efest thoughts 
To courtship, and such fair ostents of love 
As shall conveniently become you there.' 
And even there, his eye being big with tears, 



Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, 

And with affection wondrous sensible 

He wrung Bassanio's hand ; .and so they parted. 

Salanio, I think he only loves the world for him. $> 

I pray thee, let us go and find him out, 
And quicken his embraced heaviness 
With some delight or other. 

Salarino. Do we so. ^Exeunt. 

SCENE IX. Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 
Enter NERISSA with a Servitor. 

Nerissa. Quick, quick, I pray thee; draw the curtain straight: 
The Prince of Arragon hath ta'en his oath, 
And comes to his election presently. 


Flourish of cornets. Enter the PRINCE OF ARRAGON, 
PORTIA, and their trains. 

Portia. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble prince 
If you choose that wherein I am contain'd, 
Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemniz'd ; 
But if you fail, without more speech, my lord, 
You must be gone from hence immediately. 

Arragon. I am enjoin'd by oath to observe three things: 
First, never to unfold to any one , 

Which casket 't was I chose ; next, if I fail 
Of the right casket, never in my life 
To woo a maid in way of marriage ; 
Lastly, if I do fail in fortune of my choice, 
Immediately to leave you and be gone. 

Portia. To these injunctions every one doth swear 
That comes to hazard for my worthless self. 

Arragon. And so have I address'd me. Fortune now 
To my heart's hope ! Gold, silver, and base lead. 
l Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath.' 20 


You shall look fairer, ere I give or hazard. 

What says the golden chest ? ha ! let me see : 

' Who chooseth me shall gain what many men desire? 

What many men desire ! that many may be meant 

JBy the fool multitude, that choose by show, 

Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach; 

Which pries not to the interior, but, like the martlet, 

Builds in the weather, on the outward wall, 

Even in the force and road of casualty. 

I will not choose what many men desire, 30 

Because I will not jump with common spirits 

And rank me with the barbarous multitudes. 

Why, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house ; 

Tell me once more what title thou dost bear : 

' Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves :' 

And well said too ; for who shall go about 

To cozen fortune and be honourable 

Without the stamp of merit? Let none presume 

To wear an undeserved dignity. 

O, that estates, degrees, and offices 40 

Were not deriv'd corruptly, and that clear honour 

Were purchas'd by the merit of the wearer! 

How many then should cover that stand bare ! 

How many be commanded that command ! 

How much low peasantry would then be glean'd 

From the true seed of honour ; and how much honour 

Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times, 

To be new-varnish'd ! W T ell, but to my choice : 

i Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves? 

I will assume desert. Give me a key for this, 50 

And instantly unlock my fortunes here. 

\He opens the silver casket. 

Portia. Too long a pause for that which you find there. 

Arragon. What's here ? the portrait of a blinking idiot, 
Presenting me a schedule ! I will read it. 


How much unlike art thou to Portia ! 

How much unlike my hopes and my deservings ! 

' Who chooseth me shall have as much as he deserves? 

Did I deserve no more than a fool's head ? 

Is that my prize ? are my deserts no better ? 

Portia. To offend and judge are distinct offices, to 

And of opposed natures. 

Arragon. What is here ? 

' 'The fire seven times tried this : 
Seven times tried that judgment is, 
That did never choose amiss. 
Some there be that shadows kiss ; 
Such have but a shadow's bliss. 
There befools alive, Iwis, 
Silver 1 d o'er ; and so was this. 
Take what wife you will to bed, 
I will ever be your head : 70 

So be gone ; you are sped? 
Still more fool I shall appear 
By the time I linger here ; 
With one fool's head I came to woo, 
But I go away with two. 
Sweet, adieu ! I '11 keep my oath, 
Patiently to bear my wroth. 

[Exeunt Arragon and train. 
Portia. Thus hath the candle sing'd the moth. 
O, these deliberate fools ! when they do choose, 
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose. 80 

Nerissa. The ancient saying is no heresy, 
Hanging and wiving goes by destiny. 
Portia. Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa. 

Enter a Servant. 
Servant. Where is my lady ? 
Portia. Here ; what would my lord ? 



Servant. Madam, there is alighted at your gate 
A young Venetian, one that comes before 
To signify the approaching of his lord, 
From whom he bringeth sensible regreets ; 
To wit, besides commends and courteous breath, 
Gifts of rich value. Yet I have not seen & 

So likely an ambassador of love ; 
A day in April never came so sweet, 
To show how costly summer was at hand, 
As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord. 

Portia. No more, I pray thee ; I am half afeard 
Thou wilt say anon he is some kin to thee, 
Thou spend'st such high-day wit in praising him. 
Come, come, Nerissa ; for I long to see 
Quick Cupid's post that comes so mannerly. 90 

Nerissa. Bassanio, lord Love, if thy will it be ! \_Exeunt. 



SCENE I. Venice. A Street. 

Salanio. Now, what news on the Rialto ? 

Salarino. Why, yet it lives there unchecked that Antonio 
hath a ship of rich lading wracked on the narrow seas ; the 
Goodwins, I think they call the place : a very dangerous flat 
and fatal, where the carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried, 
as they say, if my gossip Report be an honest woman of her 
word. 7 

Salanio. I would she were as lying a gossip in that as ever 
knapped ginger, or made her neighbours believe she wept 
for the death of a third husband. But it is true, without 



any slips of prolixity or crossing the plain highway of talk, 
that the good Antonio, the honest Antonio, O that I had 
a title good enough to keep his name company ! 

Salarino. Come, the full stop. 

Salanio. Ha ! what sayest thou ? Why, the end is, he 
hath lost a ship. 

Salarino. I would it might prove the end of his losses ! 

Salanio. Let me say amen betimes, lest the devil cross 
my prayer ; for here he comes in the likeness of a Jew. 


How now, Shylock? what news among the merchants? 20 

Shylock. You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of 
my daughter's flight. 

Salarino. That 's certain ; I, for my part, knew the tailor 
that made the wings she flew withal. 

Salanio. And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was 
fledged ; and then it is the complexion of them all to leave 
the dam. 

Shylock. My own flesh and blood to rebel ! 28 

Salarino. There is more difference between thy flesh and 
hers than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods 
than there is between red wine and Rhenish. But tell us, 
do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss at sea or no ? 

Shylock. There I have another bad match : a bankrupt, a 
prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto ; a 
beggar, that was used to come so smug upon the mart ; let 
him look to his bond : he was wont to call me usurer ; let 
him look to his bond : he was wont to lend money for a 
Christian courtesy ; let him look to his bond. 

Salarino. Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take 
his flesh ; what 's that good for ? 4 o 

Shylock. To bait fish withal ; if it will feed nothing else, it 
will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered 
me half a million ; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains. 


scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, 
heated mine enemies ; and what 's his reason ? I am a Jew. 
Hath not a Jew eyes ? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimen- 
sions, senses, affections, passions ? fed with the same food, 
hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, 
healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same 
winter and summer, as a Christian is ? If you prick us, do 
we not bleed ? if you tickle us, do we not laugh ? if you poi- 
son us, do we not die ? and if you wrong us, shall we not re- 
venge ? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you 
in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? 
Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his suf- 
ferance be, by Christian example ? Why, revenge. The vil- 
lany you teach me, I will execute ; and it shall go hard but 
I will better the instruction. 

Enter a Servant. 

Servant. Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house, 
and desires to speak with you both. &> 

Salarino. We have been up and down to seek him. 

Enter TUBAL. 

Salanio. Here comes another of the tribe ; a third cannot 
be matched, unless the devil himself turn Jew. 

[Exeunt Salanio, Salarino, and Servant. 

Shylock. How now, Tubal ? what news from Genoa ? hast 
thou found my daughter ? 

Tubal. I often came where I did hear of her, but cannot 
find her. 6 7 

Shylock. Why, there, there, there, there ! a diamond gone, 
cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfort! The curse nev-, 
er fell upon our nation till now; I never felt it till now; two 
thousand ducats in that ; and other precious, preciousjewels. 
I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels 
in her ear ! Would she were hearsed at my foot, and the 


ducats in her coffin ! No news of them ? Why, so ; and I 
know not how much is spent in the search : why, thou loss 
upon loss! the thief gone with so much, and so much to find 
the thief; and no satisfaction, no revenge : nor no ill luck 
stirring but what lights o' my shoulders ; no sighs but o' my 
breathing; no tears but o' my shedding. 79 

Tubal. Yes, other men have ill luck too. Antonio, as I 
heard in Genoa, 

Shylock. What, what, what? ill luck, ill luck? 

Tubal, Hath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis. 

Shylock. I thank God ! I thank God ! Is it true ? is it true ? 

Tubal. I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped the 

Shylock. I thank thee, good Tubal ! Good news, good 
news ! ha, ha ! Where ? in Genoa ? 

Tubal. Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, in one 
night fourscore ducats. 90 

Shylock. Thou stick'st a dagger in me. I shall never see my 
gold again. Fourscore ducats at a sitting ! fourscore ducats ! 

Tubal. There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my 
company to Venice, that swear he cannot choose but break. 

Shylock. I am very glad of it. I '11 plague him ; I '11 tor- 
ture him. I am glad of it. 

Tubal. One of them showed me a ring that he had of your 
daughter for a monkey. 

Shylock. Out upon her ! Thou torturest me, Tubal : it 
was my turquoise ; I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor : 
I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys. 101 

Tubal. But Antonio is certainly undone. 

Shylock. Nay, that 's true, that 's very true. Go, Tubal, fee 
me an officer ; bespeak him a fortnight before. I will have 
the heart of him, if he forfeit ; for, were he out of Venice, I 
can make what merchandise I will. Go, go, Tubal, and 
meet me at our synagogue: go, good Tubal; at our syna- 
gogue, Tubal. {Exeunt. 



SCENE II. Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 


Portia. I pray you, tarry : pause a day or two 
Before you hazard ; for, in choosing wrong, 

1 lose your company : therefore forbear a while. 
There 's something tells me, but it is not love, 

I would not lose you ; and you know yourself, 

Hate counsels not in such a quality. 

But lest you should not understand me well, 

And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought, 

I would detain you here some month or two, 

Before you venture for me. I could teach you 10 

How to choose right, but then I am forsworn ; 

So will I never be : so may you miss me ; 

But if you do, you '11 make me wish a sin, 

That I had been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes, 

They have o'erlook'd me and divided me ; 

One half of me is yours, the other half yours, 

Mine own, I would say ; but if mine, then yours, 

And so all yours. O, these naughty times 

Put bars between the owners and their rights ! 

And so, though yours, not yours. Prove it so, 20 

Let fortune go to hell for it, not I. 

I speak too long ; but 't is to peize the time, 

To eke it, and to draw it out in length, 

To stay you from election. 

Bassanio. Let me choose ; 

For as I am, I live upon the rack. 

Portia. Upon the rack, Bassanio ! then confess 
What treason there is mingled with your love. 

Bassanio. None but that ugly treason of mistrust, 
Which makes me fear the enjoying of my love. 


There may as well be amity and life 30 

'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love. 

Portia. Ay, but I fear you speak upon the rack, 
Where men enforced do speak any thing. 

Bassanio. Promise me life, and I '11 confess the truth. 

Portia. Well then, confess and live. 

Bassanio. Confess and love 

Had been the very sum of my confession. 

happy torment, when my torturer 
Doth teach me answers for deliverance ! 

But let me to my fortune and the caskets. _i 

Poftia. Away, then ! I am lock'd in one of them ; 40 

If you do love me, you will find me out. 
Nerissa and the rest, stand all aloof. 
Let music sound while he doth make his choice ; 
Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end, 
Fading in music : that the comparison 
May stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream 
And watery death-bed for him. He may win ; 
And what is music then ? Then music is 
Even as the flourish when true subjects bow 
To a new-crowned monarch ; such it is 50 

As are those dulcet sounds i_n_ break of day 
That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear, 
And summon him to marriage. Now he goes, 
With no less presence, but with much more love, 
Than young Alcides, when he did redeem 
The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy 
To the sea-monster : I stand for sacrifice ; 
The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives, 
With bleared visages, come forth to view 
The issue of the exploit. Go, Hercules ! ^ 

Live thou, I live. With much more dismay 

1 view the fight, than thou that mak'st the fray. 


A Song, whilst BASSANIO comments on the caskets to himself. 

Tell me where is fancy bred, 
Of in the heart or in the head? 
How begot, /ww nourished t 
Reply, reply. 

It is engendered in the eyes, 

With gazing fed ; and fancy dies 

In the cradle where it lies. 

Let us all ring fancy's knell : ?0 

/ '// begin it, Ding, dong, bell. 

All. Ding, dong, bell. 

Bassanio. So may the outward shows be least themselves ; 
The world is still deceiv'd with ornament. 
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt 
But, being season'd with a gracious voice, 
Obscures the show of evil ? In religion, 
What damned error, but some sober brow 
Will bless it, and approve it with a text, 
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament? So 

There is no vice so simple but assumes 
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts : 
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false 
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins 
The beards of Hercules and frowning Mars, 
Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk ; 
And these assume but valour's excrement 
To render them redoubted! Look on beauty, 
And you shall see 't is purchas'd by the weight, 
Which therein works a miracle in nature, 90 

Making them lightest that wear most of it. 
So are those crisped snaky golden locks, 
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind, 
Upon supposed fairness, often known 


To be the dowry of a second head, 

The skull that bred them in the sepulchre. 

Thus ornament is but the guiled shore 

To a most dangerous sea, the beauteous scarf 

Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word, 

The seeming truth which cunning times put on 

To entrap the wisest. Thererbre, thou gaudy gold, 

Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee ; 

Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge 

'Tween man and man : but thou, thou meagre lead, 

Which rather threatenest than dost promise aught, 

Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence ; 

And here choose I. Joy be the consequence ! 

Portia. \Aside\ How all the other passions fleet to air, 
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embrac'd despair, 
And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy ! 1IO 

love ! be moderate; allay thy ecstasy; 
In measure rain thy joy ; scant this excess. 

1 feel too much thy blessing ; make it less, 
Foi fear I surfeit. 

Bassanio. What find I here ? 

^Opening the leaden casket. 
Fair Portia's counterfeit ! What demigod 
Hath come so near creation? Move these eyes? 
Or wheiher, riding on the balls of mine, 
Seem they in motion ? Here are sever'd lips, 
Parted with sugar breath ; so sweet a bar 
Should sunder such sweet friends. Here in her hairs 120 
The painter plays the spider, and hath woven 
A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men 
Faster than gnats in cobwebs ; but her eyes ! 
How could he see to do them ? having made one, 
Methinks it should have power to steal both his, 
And leave itself unfurnish'd. Yet look, how far 
The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow 


In underprizing it, so far this shadow 

Doth limp behind the substance. Here's the scroll, 

The continent and summary of my fortune. 130 

' You that choose not by the view, 
Chance as fair, and choose as true ! 
Since this fortune falls to you, 
Be content and seek no new. 
If you be well pleas'* d with this, 
And hold your fortune for your bliss, 
Turn you where your lady is, 
And claim her with a loving kiss. ' 

A gentle scroll. Fair lady, by your leave ; 

I come by note, to give and to receive. [Kissing her. 

Like one of two contending hi a prize, 141 

That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes, 

Hearing applause and universal shout, 

Giddy in spirit, still gazing in a doubt 

Whether those peals of praise be his or no ; 

So, thrice-fair lady, stand I, even so, 

As doubtful whether what I see be true, 

Until confirm'd, sign'd, ratified by you. 

Portia. You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand, 
Such as I am: though for myself alone , 5 o 

I would not be ambitious in my wish, 
To wish myself much better, yet for you 
I would be trebled twenty times myself, 
A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich, 
That only to stand high in your account, 
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends, 
Exceed account : but the full sum of me 
Is sum of nothing; which, to term in gross, 
Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis'd : 
Happy in this, she is not yet so old UK, 

But she may learn ; happier than this, 


She is not bred so dull but she can learn ; 

Happiest of all in that her gentle spirit 

Commits itself to yours to be directed, 

As from her lord, her governor, her king. 

Myself and what is mine to you and yours 

Is now converted : but now I was the lord 

Of this fair mansion, master of my servants, 

Queen o'er myself; and even now, but now, 

This house, these servants, and this same myself 170 

Are yours, my lord. I give them with this ring; 

Which when you part from, lose, or give away, 

Let it presage the ruin of your love, 

And be my vantage to exclaim on you. 

Bassanio. Madam, you have bereft me of all words, 
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins ; 
And there is such confusion in my powers 
As, after some oration fairly spoke 
By a beloved prince, there doth appear 
Among the buzzing pleased multitude, ,80 

Where every something, being blent together, 
Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy, 
Express'd and not express'd. But when this ring 
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence ; 
O, then be bold to say, Bassanio's dead ! 

Nerissa. My lord and lady, it is now our time, 
That have stood by and seen our wishes prosper, 
To cry, good joy. Good joy, my lord and lady ! 

Gratiano. My lord Bassanio and my gentle lady, 
I wish you all the joy that you can wish, igo 

For I am sure you can wish none from me ; 
And when your honours mean to solemnize 
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you, 
Even at that time I may be married too. 

Bassanio. With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife. 

Gratiano. I thank your lordship, you have got me one. 


My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours : 

You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid ; 

You lov'd, I lov'd ; for intermission 

No more pertains to me, my lord, than you. 200 

Your fortune stood upon the caskets there, 

And so did mine too, as the matter falls ; 

For wooing here until I sweat again, 

And swearing till my very roof was dry 

With oaths of love, at last, if promise last, 

I got a promise of this fair one here 

To have her love, provided that your fortune 

Achiev'd her mistress. 

Portia. Is this true, Nerissa? 

Nerissa. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas'd withal. 

Bassanio. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith ? 2IO 

Gratiano. Yes, faith, my lord. ^u. 

Bassanio. Our feast shall be much honour'd in your marriage. ^ \ |A. 

Gratiano. But who comes here ? Lorenzo and his infidel ? 
What! and my old Venetian friend, Salerio? 

Enter LORENZO, JESSICA, and SALERIO, a messenger 
from Venice. 

Bassanio. Lorenzo and Salerio, welcome hither ; 
; If that the youth of my nw interest here 
Have power to bid you welcome. By your leave, 
I bid my very friends and countrymen, ^> '- 
Sweet Portia, welcome. 

Portia. So do I, my lord ; 

They are entirely welcome. 220 

Lorenzo. I thank your honour. For my part, my lord, 
My purpose was not to have seen you here; 
But meeting with Salerio by the way, 
He did entreat me, past all saying nay, 
To come with him along. 

Salerio. I did, my lord ; 


And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio 

Commends him to you. [Gives Hassam'0 a letter. 

Bassanio. Ere I ope his letter, 

I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth. 

Salerio. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind ; 
' Nor well, unless in mind : his letter there 230 

Will show you his estate. 

Gratiano. Nerissa, cheer yon stranger; bid her welcome. u 
Your hand, Salerio ; what 's the news from Venice ? 
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio? 
I know he will be glad of our success ; 
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece. 

Salerio. I would you had won the fleece that he hath lost ! 

Portia. There are some shrewd contents, in yon same 


That steals the colour from Bassanio's cheek : 
Some dear friend dead; else nothing in the world 240 

Could turn so much the constitution v v v r 

Of any constanj: man. What, worse and worse ? 
With leave, Bassanio ; I am half yourself, 
And I must freely have the half of any thing 
That this same paper brings you. 

Bassanio. O sweet Portia, 

Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words 
That ever blotted paper! Gentle lady, 
When I did first impart my love to you, 
I freely told you, all the wealth I had 
Ran in my veins I was a gentleman : 
And then I told you true ; and yet, dear lady, 
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see 
How much I was a braggart. When I told you 
My state was nothing, I should then have told you 
That I was worse than nothing ; for indeed 
I have engag'd myself to a dear friend, 
Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy, 


9 o 


To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady ; 

The paper as the body of my friend, ci4Wz^ 

And every word in it a gaping wound, 2 <x> 

Issuing life-blood. But is it true, Salerio? 

Have all his ventures fail'd ? What, not one hit? 

From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England, 

From Lisbon, Barbary, and India, 

And not one vessel scape the dreadful touch 

Of merchant-marring rocks ? 

Salerio. Not one, my lord. 

Besides, it should appear, that if he had 
The present money to discharge the Jew, 
He would not take it. Never did I know 
A creature that did bear the shape of man, 270 

So keen and greedy to confound a man. 
He plies the duke at morning and at night, 
And doth impeach the freedom of the state, 
If they deny him justice. Twenty merchants, 
The duke himself, and the magnificoes 
Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him ; 
But none can drive him from the envious plea 
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond. 

Jessica. When I was with him I have heard him swear 
To Tubal and to Chus, his countrymen, 280 

That he would rather have Antonio's flesh 
Than twenty times the value of the sum 
That he did owe him ; and I know, my lord, 
If law, authority, and power deny not, 
It will go hard with poor Antonio. 

Portia. Is it your dear friend that is thus in trov.ble? 

TJassanio. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man, 
The best-condition'd and unwearied spirit 
In doing courtesies ; and one in whom 

The ancient Roman honour more appears 290 

Than any that draws breath in Italy. 


Portia. What sum owes he the Jew? ,- '^ / 

Bassanio. For me, three thousand ducats. ' 

Portia. What, no more ? 

Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond ; c cv w c. e. ) 
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 300 

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 ; 
Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear. 
But let me hear the letter of your friend. 309 

Bassanio. [Reads] ''Sweet Bassanio, my ships have all mis- 
carried, 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 y_ou_and_I, if I might S 1 
see you at my death. Notwithstanding, use your pleasure ; if 
your love do not persuade you to come, let not my letter.' 1 

Portia. O love, dispatch all business, and be gone ! 

Bassanio. Since I have your good leave to go away, 
I w;l: make haste ; but, till I come again, 

No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay, 3>g 

Nor rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. [Exeunt 

SCENE III. Venice. A Street. 


Shylock. Gaoler, look to him ; tell not me of mere) 1 . 


This is the fool that lends out money gratis. 
S.V, Gaoler, look to him. 

Antonio. Hear me yet, good Shylock. 

Shylock. I '11 have my bond ; speak not against my bond 
Sov , ,, I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond. 
, Thou call'dst me dog before thou hadst a cause ; 
But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs. 
The duke shall grant me justice. I do wonder, 
Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond -u/ o r IT K. 1* SS 
r To come abroad with him at his request. 10 

Antonio. I pray thee, hear me speak. 

Shylock. I '11 have my bond ; I will not hear thee speak : 
I '11 have my bond ; and therefore speak no more. 
I '11 not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool, 
To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield 
To Christian intercessors. Follow not; 
I '11 have no speaking: I will have my bond. \Exit. 

Salarino. It is the most impenetrable cur 
That ever kept with men. 

Antonio. Let him alone ; 

I '11 follow him no more with bootless prayers. ?Q 

He seeks my life ; his reason welT I know. 
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures 
Many that have at times made moan to me; 
Therefore he hates me. 

Salarino. I am sure the duke 

Will never grant this forfeiture to hold. 

Antonio. The duke cannot deny the course of la T v; 
For the commodity that strangers have 
With us in Venice, if it be denied, 
Will much impeach the justice of the state, 
Since that the trade and profit of the city 3 o 

Consisteth of all nations. Therefore go ; 
These griefs and losses have so bated me 
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh 

ACT III. SCENE iy. 93 

To-morrow to my bloody creditor. 

Well, gaoler, on. Pray God, Bassanio come 

To see me pay his debt, and then I care not ! {Exeunt. 

SCENE IV. Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 

Lorenzo. Madam, although I speak it in your presence, 
You have a noble and a true conceit 
Of godlike amity, which appears most strongly 
In bearing thus the absence of your lord. 
But if you knew to whom you show this honour, 
How^true a gentleman you send relief, 
How clear a lover of my lord your husband, 
I know you would be prouder of the work 
Than customary bounty can enforce you. 

Portia. I never did repent for doing good, ?o 

Nor shall not now; for in companions /S.V. ; 
That do converse and waste the time together, 
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love, 
There must be needs a like proportion 
Of lineaments, of manners, and of spirit ; 
Which makes me think that this Antonio, 
Being the bosom lover of my lord, 
Must needs be like my lord. If it be so, 
How little is the cost I have bestow'd , 

In purchasing the semblance of my soul '"20 

From out the state of hellish cruelty ! 
This comes too near the praising of myself; 
Therefore no more of it : hear other things. 
Lorenzo, I commit into your hands 
The husbandry and manage of my house 
Until my lord's return ; for mine own part, 
I have toward heaven breath'd a secret vow 
To live in prayer and contemplation, 



Only attended by Nerissa here, 

Until her husband and my lord's return. 30 

There is a monastery two miles off, 

And there will we abide. I do desire you 

Not to deny this imposition, 

The which my love and some necessity 

Now lays upon you. 

Lorenzo. Madam, with all my heart; 

I shall obey you in all fjajr commands. 

Portia. My people do already know my mind, 
And will acknowledge you and Jessica 
In place of Lord Bassanio and myself. 
So fare you well, till we shall meet again. 40 

Lorenzo. Fair thoughts and happy hours attend on you! 

yessica. I wish your ladyship all heart's content. 

Portia. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleas'd 
To wish it back on you ; fare you well, Jessica. 

\_Exeunt Jessica and Lorenzo. 
Now, Balthasar, 

As I have ever found thee honest-true, 
So let me find thee still. Take this same letter, 
And use thou all the endeavour of a man 
In speed to Padua: see thou render this 
Into my cousin's hand. Doctor Bellario ; 50 

And, look, what notes and garments he doth give thee, 
Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed 
Unto the tranect, to the common ferry 
Which trades to Venice. Waste no time in words, 
But get thee gone ; I shall be there before thee. 

Balthasar. Madam, I go with all convenient speed. \Exit. 

Portia. Come on, Nerissa ; I have work in hand 
That you yet know not of. We '11 see our husbands 
Before they think of us. 

Nerissa. Shall they see us? 

Portia. They shall, Nerissa, but in such a habit, 60 


That they shall think we are accomplished 

With that we lack. I '11 hold thee any wager, 

When we are both accoutred like young men, 

I '11 prove the prettier fellow of the two, 

And wear my dagger with the braver grace, 

And speak between the change of man and boy 

With a reed voice, and turn two mincing steps 

Into a manly stride, and speak of frays 

Like a fine bragging youth ; and tell quaint lies, 

How honourable ladies sought my love, 

Which I denying, they fell sick and died ; 

I could not do withal : then I '11 repent, 

And wish, for all that, that I had not kill'd them. 

And twenty of these puny lies I '11 tell, 

That men shall swear I have discontinued school 

Above a twelvemonth. I have within my mind 

A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks, < 

Which I will practise. 

But come, I '11 tell thee all my whole device 

W 7 hen I am in my coachj which stays for us 

At the park gate ; and therefore haste away, 

For we must measure twenty miles to-day. 


-I LL V 



SCENE V. The Same. A Garden. 

Launcelot. Yes, truly ; for, look you, the sins of the father 
are to be laid upon the children : therefore, I promise you, 
I fear (you. I was always plain with you, and so now I 
speak my agitation of the matter; therefore be of good 
cheer, for truly I think you are damned. There is but one 
hope in it that can do you any good. 

Jessica. And what hope is that, I pray thee ? 

Launcelot. Marry, you may partly hope that you are not 
the Jew's daughter. 9 


Jessica, So the sins of my mother should be visited upon me. 

Launcelot. Truly then I fear you are damned both by fa- 
ther and mother; thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall 
into Charybdis, your mother: well, you are gone both ways. 

Jessica. I shall be saved by my husband ; he hath made 
me a Christian. 

Launcelot. Truly, the more to blame he : we were Chris- 
tians enow before ; e'en as many as could well live, one by 
another. This making of Christians will raise the price of 
hogs ; if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly 
have a rasher on the coals for money. 20 


Jessica. I '11 tell my husband, Launcelot, what you say ; 
here he comes. 

Lorenzo. I shall grow jealous of you shortly, Launcelot. 

Jessica. Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo ; Launcelot 
and I are out. He tells me flatly, there is no mercy for me 
in heaven, because I am a Jew's daughter; and he says, you 
are no good member of the commonwealth, for in converting 
Jews to Christians you raise the price of pork. 28 

Lorenzo. I think the best grace of wit will shortly turn into 
silence, and discourse grow commendable in none only but 
parrots. Go in, sirrah ; bid them prepare for dinner. 

Launcelot. That is done, sir ; they have all stomachs. 

Lorenzo. Goodly Lord, what a wit-snapper are you ! then 
bid them prepare dinner. 

Launcelot. That is done too, sir ; only, cover is the word. 

Lorenzo. Will you cover then, sir? 

Launcelot. Not so, sir, neither ; I know my duty. 

Lorenzo. Yet more quarrelling with occasion ! Wilt thou 
show the whole wealth of thy wit in an instant ? I pray thee, 
understand a plain man in his plain meaning : go to thy fel- 
lows ; bid them cover the table, serve in the meat, and we 
will come in to dinner. 



Launcdot. For the table, sir, it shall be served in ; for the 
meat, sir, it shall be covered ; for your coming in to dinner, sir, 
why, let it be as humours and conceits shall govern. {Exit. 

Lorenzo. O dear discretion, how his words are suited ! 
The fool hath planted in his memory 
An army of good words ; and I do know 
A_ many fools, that stand in better place, 
Garnish'd like him, that for a tricksy word 50 

Defy the matter. How cheer'st thou, Jessica? 
And now, good sweet, say thy opinion, 
How dost thou like the lord Bassanio's wife ? 

Jessica. Past all expressing. It is very meet 
The lord Bassanio live an upright life; 
For, having such a blessing in his lady, 
He finds the joys of heaven here on earth ; 
And if on earth he do not mean it, then 
In reason he should never come to heaven. 
Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match, 60 

And on the wager lay two earthly women, 
And Portia one, there must be something else 
Pawn'd with the other, for the poor rude world 
Hath not her fellow. 

Lorenzo. Even such a husband 

Hast thou of me as she is for a wife. 

Jessica. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that. 

Lorenzo. I will anon ; first, let us go to dinner. 

Jessica. Nay, let me praise you while I have a stomach. 

Lorenzo. No, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk ; 
Then, howsoe'er thou speak'st, 'mong other things 7 o 

I shall digest it. 

Jessica. Well, I ; 11 set you forth. \Exeunt. 




SCENE I. Venice. A Court of Justice. 

Enter the DUKE, the Magnificoes, ANTONIO, BASSANIO, 

GRATIANO, SALERIO, and others. 

Duke. What, is Antonio here ? 

Antonio. Ready, so please your grace. 

Duke. I am sorry for thee ; thou art come to answer 
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch 
Uncapable of pity, void and empty 
From any dram of mercy. 

Antonio. I have heard 

Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify 
His rigorous course ; but since he stands obdurate, 
And that no lawful means can carry me 

ACT I Y. SCENE 1. 9 

Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose 
My patience to his fury, and am arm'd 
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit, 
The very tyranny and rage of his. 

Duke. Go one, and call the Jew into the court. 

Salerio. He is ready at the door ; he comes, my lord. 


Duke. Make room, and let him stand before our face. 
Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too, 
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice 
To the last hour of act; and then 't is thought 
Thou 'It show thy mercy and remorse, more strange 
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty; 
And where thou now exact'st the penalty, 
Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh, 
Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture, 
But, touch'd with human gentleness and love, 
Forgive a moiety of the principal ; 
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses, 
That have of late so huddled on his back, 
Enow to press a royal merchant down, 
And pluck commiseration of his state 
From brassy bosoms and rough hearts of flint, 
From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never train'd 
To offices of tender courtesy. 
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew. 

Shylock. I have possess'd your grace of what I purpose \ 
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn 
To have the due and forfeit of my bond. 
If you deny it, let the danger light 
Upon your charter and your city's freedom. 
You '11 ask me, why I rather choose to have 
A weight of carrion flesh than to receive 
Three thousand ducats. I '11 not answer that ; 


But, say, it is my humour : is it answer'd ? 

What if my house be troubled with a rat, 

And I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats 

To have it ban'd ? What, are you answer'd yet ? 

Some men there are love not a gaping pig ; 

Some, that are mad if they behold a cat : 

Masters of passion sway it to the mood 

Of what it likes or loathes. Now, for your answer ; " 50 

As there is no firm reason to be render'd 

Why he cannot abide a gaping pig, 

Why he a harmless necessary cat, 

So can I give no reason, nor I will not, 

More than a lodg'd hate and a certain loathing 

I bear Antonio, that I follow thus 

A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd ? 

Bassanio. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, 
To excuse the current of thy cruelty. 

Shylock. I am not bound to please thee with my answer. 

Bassanio. Do all men kill the things they do not love ? 61 

Shylock. Hates any man the thing he would not kill ? 

Bassanio. Every offence is not a hate at first. 

Shylock. What, wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee 
twice ? 

Antonio. I pray you, think you question with the Jew. 
You may as well go stand upon the beach, 
And bid the main flood bate his usual height ; 
Vou may as well use question with the wolf 
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb ; 
You may as well forbid the mountain pines 7 o 

To wag their high tops and to make no noise, 
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven ; 
You may as well do any thing most hard, 
As seek to soften that than which what 's harder? 
His Jewish heart. Therefore, I do beseech you, 
Make no more offers, use no farther means, 


But with all brief and plain conveniency 
Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will. 

Bassanio. For thy three thousand ducats here is six. 

Shylock. If every ducat in six thousand ducats 80 

Were in six parts, and every part a ducat, 
I would not draw them ; I would have my bond. 

Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none ? 

Shylock. What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong? 
You have among you many a purchas'd slave, 
Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules, 
You use in abject and in slavish parts, 
Because you bought them : shall I say to you, 
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ? 
Why sweat they under burthens ? let their beds 90 

Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates 
Be season'd with such viands ? You will answer, 
, The slaves are ours. So do I answer you: 
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, 
Is dearly bought ; 't is mine, and I will have it. 
If you deny me, fie upon your law ! 
There is no force in the decrees of Venice. 
I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it? 

Duke. Upon my power I may dismiss this court, 
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor, 100 

Whom I have sent for to determine this, 
Come here to-day. 

Salerio. My lord, here stays without 

A messenger with letters from the doctor, 
New come from Padua. 

Duke. Bring us the letters; call the messenger. 

Bassanio. Good cheer, Antonio ! What, man, courage yet! 
The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, 
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood. 

Antonio. I am a tainted wether of the flock, 
Meetest for death ; the weakest kind of fruit no 


Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me. 
You cannot better be employ'd, Bassanio, 
Than to live still and write mine epitaph. 

Enter NERISSA, dressed like a lawyer's clerk. 

Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario? 

Nerissa. From both, my lord. Bellario greets your grace. 

[Presenting a letter. 

Bassanio. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly ? 

Shylock. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt there. 

Gratiano. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew, 
Thou mak'st thy knife keen ; but no metal can, 
No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness 120 

Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee? 

Shylock. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make. 

Gratiano. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog ! 
And for thy life let justice be accus'd ! 
Thou almost mak'st me waver in my faith, 
To hold opinion with Pythagoras, 
That souls of animals infuse themselves 
Into the trunks of men. Thy currish spirit 
Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter. 
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, 130 

And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam, 
Infus'd itself in thee ; for thy desires 
Are wolvish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous. 

Shylock. Till thou canst rail the seal from off my bond, 
Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud. 
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall 
To cureless ruin. I stand here for law. 

Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend 
A young and learned doctor to our court. 
Where is he ? 

Nerissa. He attendeth here hard by, 140 

To know your answer, whether you '11 admit him. 



Duke. With all my heart. Some three or four of you 
Go give him courteous conduct to this place. 
Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter. i 44 

Clerk. [Reads] ' Your grace shall understand that at the re- 
ceipt of your letter I am very sick: but in the instant that your 
messenger came, in loving visitation was with me a young doctor 
of Rome ; his name is Balthasar. I acquainted him with the 
cause in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the merchant; 
we turned o'er many books together : he is furnished with my 
opinion, which, bettered with his own learning, the greatness 
whereof I cannot enough commend, comes with .him, at my im- 
portunity, to fill up your grace's request in my stead. I beseech 
you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a rev- 
erend estimation ; for I never knew so young a body with so old 
a head. I leave him to your gracious acceptance, whose trial 
shall better publish his commendation.' 1 

Duke. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he writes; 
And here, I take it, is the doctor come. 

Enter PORTIA, dressed like a doctor of laws. 
Give me your hand. Came you from old Bellario? 160 

Portia. I did, my lord. 

Duke. You are welcome ; take your place. 

Are you acquainted with the difference 
That holds this present question in the court ? 

Portia. I am informed throughly of the cause. 
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew ? 

Duke. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand forth. 

Portia. Is your name Shylock? 

Shylock. Shylock is my name. 

Portia. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow, 
Yet in such rule that the Venetian law 

Cannot impugn you as you do proceed* 170 

You stand within his danger, do you not? 

Antonio. Ay, so he says. 


Portia. Do you confess the bond? 

Antonio. I do. 

Portia. Then must the Jew be merciful. 

Shylock. On what compulsion must I ? tell me that. 

Portia. The quality of mercy is not strain'd : 
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven 
Upon the place beneath : it is twice blest ; 
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. 
'T is mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes 

o _. o - 

The throned monarch better than his crown ; 

His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, 

The attribute to awe and majesty, 

Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings; 

But mercy is above this sceptred sway; 

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, 

It is an attribute to God himself; 

And earthly power cloth then show likest God's 

When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, 

Though justice be thy plea, consider this, 

That, in the course of justice, none of us 

Should see salvation ; we do pray for mercy, 

And that same prayer doth teach us all to render 

The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much 

To mitigate the justice of thy plea, 

Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice 

Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there. 

Shylock. My deeds upon my head ! I crave the law, 
The penalty and forfeit of my bond. 

Portia. Is he not able to discharge the money ? 

Bassanio. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court; 
Yea, twice the sum ; if that will not suffice, 
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er, 
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart ; 
If this will not suffice, it must appear 
That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you, 


Wrest once the law to your authority; 
To do a great right, do a little wrong, 
And curb this cruel devil of his will. 

Portia. It must not be. There is no power in Venice 
Can alter a decree established; 
'T will be recorded for a precedent, 
And many an error by the same example 
Will rush into the state. It cannot be. 

Shylock. A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel! 
O wise young judge, how do I honour thee ! 

Portia. I pray you, let me look upon the bond. 

Shylock. Here 't is, most reverend doctor, here it is. 

Portia. Shylock, there 's thrice thy money offer'd thee. 

Shylock. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven ; 
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul ? 
No, not for Venice. 

Portia. Why, this bond is forfeit ; 

And lawfully by this the Jew may claim 
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off 
Nearest the merchant's heart. Be merciful : 
Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond. 

Shylock. When it is paid according to the tenour. 
It doth appear you are a worthy judge; 
You know the law ; your exposition 
Hath been most sound : I charge you by the law, 
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar, 
Proceed to judgment. By my soul I swear, 
There is no power in the tongue of man 
To alter me. I stay here on my bond. 

Antonio. Most heartily I do beseech the court 
To give the judgment. 

Portia. Why then, thus it is : 

You must prepare your bosom for his knife. ' 

Shylock. O noble judge ! O excellent young man ! 

Portia. For the intent and purpose of the law 


Hath full relation to the penalty, 

Which here appeareth due upon the bond. 24 o 

Shylock. 'T is very true. O wise and upright judge! 
How much more elder art thou than thy looks ! 

Portia. Therefore lay bare your bosom. 

Shylock. Ay, his breast ; 

So says the bond doth it not, noble judge? 
Nearest his heart ; those are the very words. 

Portia. It is so. Are there balance here to weigh 
The flesh ? 

Shylock. I have them ready. 

Portia. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge, 
To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death. 

Shylock. Js it so nominated in the bond? 250 

Portia. It is not so express'd ; but what of that? 
'T were good you do so much for charity. 

Shylock. I cannot find it; 't is not in the bond. 

Portia. You, merchant, have you any thing to say? 

Antonio. But little ; I am arm'd and well prepar'd. 
Give me your hand, Bassanio; fare you well ! 
Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you ; 
For herein Fortune shows herself more kind 
Than is her custom : it is still her use 

To let the wretched man outlive his wealth, 260 

To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow 
An age of poverty; from which lingering penance 
Of such misery cloth she cut me off. 
Commend me to your honourable wife : 
Tell her the process of Antonio's end ; 
Say how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death ; 
And when the tale is told bid her be judge 
Whether Bassanio had not once a love. 
Repent not you that you shall lose your friend, 
And he repents not that he pays your debt ; 27o 

For if the Jew do cut but deep enough, 
I '11 pay it instantly with all my heart. 



Bassanio. Antonio, I am married to a wife 
Which is as dear to me as life itself; 
But life itself, my wife, and all the world, 
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life : 
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all 
Here to this devil, to deliver you. 

Portia. Your wife would give you little thanks for that, 
If she were by to hear you make the offer. 2 s 

Gratiano. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love; 
I would she were in heaven, so she could 
Entreat some power to change this currish Jew. 

Nerissa. 'T is well you offer it behind her back ; 
The wish would make else an unquiet house. 

Shylock. \Aside\ These be the Christian husbands. I have 

a daughter ; 

Would any of the stork of Barrabas 
Had been her husband rather than a Christian ! 
\To Portia] We trifle time; I pray thee, pursue sentence. 

Portia. A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine ; 290 
The court awards it, and the law doth give it. 

Shylock. Most rightful judge ! 

Portia. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast ; 
The law allows it, and the court awards it. 

Shylock. Most learned judge ! A sentence! Come, pre- 
pare ! 

Portia. Tarry a little ; there is something else. 
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood ; 
The words expressly are, a pound of flesh : 
Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh ; 
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed 3 oo 

One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods 
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate 
Unto the state of Venice. 

Gratiano. O upright judge! Mark, Jew! O learned 


Shylock. Is that the law? 

Portia. Thyself shalt see the act ; 

For, as thou urgest justice, be assur'd 
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest. 

Gratiano. O learned judge! Mark, Jew ! a learned 
judge ! 

Shylock. I take this offer, then ; pay the bond thrice, 
And let the Christian go. 

Bassanio. Here is the money. 3 , 

Portia. Soft! 

The Jew shall have all justice ; soft ! no haste : 
He shall have nothing but the penalty. 

Gratiano. O Jew ! an upright judge, a learned judge ! 

Portia. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh. 
Shed thou no blood ; nor cut thou less nor more 
But just a pound of flesh: if thou tak'st more 
Or less than a just pound, be it but so much 
As makes it light or heavy in the substance, 
Or the division of the twentieth part 320 

Of one poor scruple nay, if the scale do turn 
But in the estimation of a hair, 
Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate. 

Gratiano. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew! 
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip. 

Portia. Why doth the Jew pause? Take thy forfeiture. 

Shylock. Give me my principal, and let me go. 

Bassanio. I have it ready for thee ; here it is. 

Portia. He hath refus'd it in the open court; 
He shall have merely justice, and his bond. 330 

Gratiano. A Daniel, still say I, a second Daniel ! 
I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word. 

Shylock. Shall I not have barely my principal ? 

Portia. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture. 
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew. 

Shylock. Why, then the devil give him good of it ! 
I '11 stay no longer question. 



Portia. Tarry, Jew; 

The law hath yet another hold on you. 
It is enacted in the laws of Venice, 

If it be prov'd against an alien 340 

That by direct or indirect attempts 
He seek the life of any citizen, 
The party 'gainst tihe which he doth contrive 
Shall seize one half his goods ; the other half 
Comes to the privy coffer of the state ; 
And the offender's life lies in_ the mercy $ \/ > 
Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice. 
In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st; 
For it appears, by manifest proceeding, 

That indirectly, and directly too, 350 

Thou hast contriv'd against the very life 
Of the defendant, and thou hast incurr'd 
The danger formerly by me rehears'd. 
Down therefore, and beg mercy of the duke. 

Gratiano. Beg that thou mayst have leave to hang thyself: 
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state, 
Thou hast not left the value of a cord; 
Therefore thou must be hang'd at the state's charge. 

Duke. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirits, 
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it. 3 6o 

For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's ; 
The other half comes to the general state, 
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine. 

Portia. Ay, for the state, not for Antonio. 

Shylock. Nay, take my life and all; pardon not thais 
You take my house when you do take the prop 
That doth sustain my house; you take my life 
When you do take the means whereby I live. 

Portia. What mercy can you render him, Antonio? 

Gratiano. A halter gratis ; nothing else, for God's sake. 370 

Antonio. So please my lord the duke and all the court 


To quit the fine for one half of his goods, 

I am content, so he will let me have 

The other half in use, to render it, 

Upon his death, unto the gentleman 

That lately stole his daughter: 

Two things provided more, that, for this favour, 

He presently become a Christian ; 

The other, that he do record a gift, 

Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd, 3 so 

Unto his son Lorenzo and his daughter. 

Duke. He shall do this, or else I do recant 
The pardon that I late pronounced here. 

Portia. Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say? 

Shy lock. I am content. 

Portia. Clerk, draw a deed of gift. 

Shylock. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence ; 
I am not well. Send the deed after me, 
And I will sign it. 

Duke. Get thee gone, but do it. 

Gratiano. In christening thou shalt have two godfathers ; 
Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more, 3y0 

To bring thee to the gailows, not the font. \^Exit Shylock. 

Duke. Sir, I entreat you home with me to dinner. 

Portia. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon ; 
I must away this night toward Padua, 
And it is meet I presently set forth. 

Duke. I am sorry that your leisure serves you not. 
Antonio, gratify this gentleman, 
For, in my mind, you are much bound to him. 

\Exeunt Duke and his train. 

Bassanio. Most worthy gentleman, I and my friend 
Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted 400 

Of grievous penalties; in lieu whereof 
Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew, 
We freely cope your courteous pains withal 


Antonio. And stand indebted, over and above 
In love and service to you evermore. 

Portia. He is well paid that is well satisfied ; 
And I, delivering you. am satisfied, 
And therein do account myself well paid: 
My mind was never yet more mercenary. 
I pray you, know me when we meet again ; 4 - 

I wish you well, and so I take my leave. 

Bassanio. Dear sir, offeree 1 must attempt you further) 
Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute, 
Not as a fee : grant me two things, I pray you, 
Not to deny me, and to pardon me. 

Portia. You press me far, and therefore I will yield. 
\To Antonio\ Give me your gloves, I '11 wear them for your 

sake ; 
\To Bassanio] And, for your love, I '11 take this ring from 


Do not draw back your hand ; I '11 take no more, 
And you in love shall not deny me this. 420 

Bassanio. This ring, good sir, alas! it is a trifle; 
I will not shame myself to give you this. 

Portia. I will have nothing else but only this; 
And now methinks I have a mind to it. 

Bassanio. There 's more depends on this than on the value. 
The dearest ring in Venice will I give you, 
And find it out by proclamation ; 
Only for this, I pray you, pardon me. 

Portia. I see, sir, you are liberal in offers; 
You taught me first to beg, and now methinks 430 

You teach me how a beggar should be answer'd. 

Bassanio. Good sir, this ring was given me by my wife ; 
And when she put it on she made me vow 
That I should neither sell, nor give, nor lose it. 

Portia. That 'scuse serves many men to save their gifts ; 
And if your wife be not a mad woman, 


And know how well I have deserv'd the ring, 

She would not hold out enemy for ever, 

lor giving it to me. Well, peace be with you! 

[Exeunt Portia and Nerhsa. 

Antonio. My lord Bassanio, let him have the ring; 4J o 

Let his deservings and my love withal 
Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandemenr. 

Bassanio. Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him; 
Give him the ring, and bring him, if thou canst, 
Unto Antonio's house: away! make haste. \ExitGratiano. 
Come, you and I will thither presently; 
And in the morning early will we both 
Fly toward Belmont : come, Antonio. \_Exciini. 

SCENE II. The Same. A Street. 

Portia. Inquire the Jew's house out, give him this deed, 
And let him sign it; we '11 away to-night, 
And be a day before our husbands home. 
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo. 


Gratiano. Fair sir, you are well o'erta'en ; 
My lord Bassanio, upon more advice, 
Hath sent you here this ring, and doth entreat 
Your company at dinner. 

Portia. That cannot be. 

His ring I do accept most thankfully, 

And so, I pray you, tell him ; furthermore, ro 

I pray you, show my youth old Shylock's house. 

Gratiano. That will I do. 

Nerissa. Sir, I would speak with you. 

[Asute to Portia'] I '11 see if I can get my husband's ring, 
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever. 


Portia. [Aside to Nerissd\ Thou mayst, I warrant. We 

shall have old swearing 
That they did give the rings away to men; 
But we '11 outface them, and outswear them too. 
Away! make haste; thou know'st where I will tarry. 

Nerissa. Come, good sir, will you show me to this house ? 




SCENE I. Belmont. Avenue to Portia's House. 

Lorenzo. The moon shines bright. In such a night as this, 
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees 
And they did make no noise in such a night, 
Troilus methinks mounted the Trojan walls, 
And sigh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents, 
Where Cressid lay that night. 

Jessica. In such a night, 

Did Thisbe fearfully o'ertrip the dew, 
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself, 
And ran dismay'd away. 

Lorenzo. In such a night, 

Stood Dido with a willow in her hand 
Upon the wild sea-banks, and waft her love 
To come again to Carthage. 

Jessica. In such a night, 

Medea gather'd the enchanted herbs 
That did renew old 

ACT V. SCENE 1. 115 

Lorenzo. In such a night, 

Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew, 
And with an unthrift love did run from Venice 
As far as Belmont. 

Jessica. In such a night, 

Did young Lorenzo swear he lov'd her well, 
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith, 
And ne'er a true one. 

Lorenzo. In such a night, ao 

Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew, 
Slander h^r love, and he forgave it her. 

Jessica. I would out-night you, did nobody come ; 
But, hark, I hear the footing of a man. 


Lorenzo. Who comes so fast in silence of the night? 

Stephana. A friend. 

Lorenzo. A friend! what friend? your name, I pray you, 

Stephana. Stephano is- my name, and I bring word 
My mistress will before the break of day 
Be here at Belmont; she doth stray about 30 

By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays 
For happy wedlock hours. 

Lorenzo. Who comes with her ? 

Stephano. None but a holy hermit and her maid. 
I pray you, is my master yet return'd? 

Lorenzo. He is not, nor we have not heard from him. 
But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica, 
And ceremoniously let us prepare 
Some welcome for the mistress of the house. 


Launcelot. Sola, sola! wo ha, ho! sola, sola! 
Lorenzo. Who calls? 


Launcelot. Sola ! did you see Master Lorenzo and Mistress 
Lorenzo? sola, sola! 

Lorenzo. Leave hollaing, man ; here. 

Launcelot. Sola! where? where? 

Lorenzo. Here. 

Launcelot. Tell him there 's a post come from my master, 
with his horn full of good news; my master will be here ere 
morning. \Exit, 

Lorenzo. Sweet soul, let 's in, and there expect their coming. 
And yet no matter; why should we go in? 50 

My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you, 
Within the house, your mistress is at hand ; 
And bring your music forth into the air. \Exit Stephano. 
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! 
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music 
Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night 
Become the touches of sweet harmony. 
Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven 
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold: 
There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st 
But in his motion like an angel sings, 
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins ; 
Such harmony is in immortal souls, 
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay 
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it. 

Enter Musicians. 

Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn; 

With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear, 

And draw her home with music. \Music, 

^ssica. I am never merry when I hear sweet music. 

Lorenzo. The reason is, your 'spirits are attentive: 70 

For do but note a wild and wanton herd, 
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, 
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing loud, 

ACT F, SCENE I. ll ^ 

Which is the hot condition of their blood ; 

If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, 

Or any air of music touch their ears, 

You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, 

Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze 

By the sweet power of music : therefore the poet 

Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods ; 8o 

Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage, 

But music for the time doth change his nature. 

The man that hath no music in himself, 

Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, 

Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; 

The motions of his spirit are dull as night, 

And his affections dark as Erebus. 

Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music. 


Portia. That light we see is burning in my hall. 
How far that little candle throws his beams! 90 

So shines a good deed in a naughty world. 

Nerissa. When the moon shone, we did not see the candle. 

Portia. So doth the greater glory dim the less: 
A substitute shines brightly as a king, 
Until a king be by; and then his state 
Empties itself, as doth an inland brook 
Into the main of waters. Music! hark! 

Nerissa. It is your music, madam, of the house. 

Portia. Nothing is good, I see, without respect: 
Methinks it sounds much ^sweeter than by day. i 00 

Nerissa. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam. 

Portia. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark 
When neither is attended ; and I think 
The nightingale, if she should sing by day, 
When every goose is cackling, would be thought 
No better a musician than the wren. 


How many things by season season'd are 

To their right praise and true perfection ! 

Peace, ho! the moon sleeps with Endymion, 

And would not be awak'd. [Music ceases. 

Lorenzo. That is the voice, no 

Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia. 

Portia. He knows me as the blind man knows the cuckoo, 
By the bad voice. 

Lorenzo. Dear lady, welcome home. 

Portia. We have been praying for our husbands' welfare, 
Which speed, we hope, the better for our words. 
Are they return 'd? 

Lorenzo. Madam, they are not yet; 

But there is come a messenger before, 
To signify their coming. 

Portia. Go in, Nerissa; 

Give order to my servants that they take 
No note at all of our being absent hence; 120 

Nor you, Lorenzo ; Jessica, nor you. [A tucket sounds. 

Lorenzo. Your husband is at hand ; I hear his trumpet. 
We are no tell-tales, madam ; fear you not. 

Portia. This night methinks is but the daylight sick; 
It looks a little paler: 't is a day 
Such as the day is when the sun is hid. 


Bassanio. We should hold day with the Antipodes. 
If you would walk in absence of the sun. 

Portia. Let me give light, but let me not be light; 
For a light wife doth make a heavy husband, , 30 

And never be Bassanio so for me: 
But God sort all ! You are welcome home, my lord. 

Bassanio. I thank you, madam. Give welcome to my 


This is the man, this is Antonio, 
To whom I a'm so infinitely bound. 

Portia. You should in all sense be much bound to him, 
For, as I hear, he was much bound for you. 

Antonio. No more than I am well acquitted of. 

Portia. Sir, you are very welcome to our house ; 
It must appear in other ways than words, , 40 

Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy. 

Gratiano. \_To Nerissd\ By yonder moon I swear you do 

me wrong ; 
In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk. 

Portia. A quarrel, ho, already ! what 's the matter? 

Gratiano. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring 
That she did give me, whose poesy was 
For all the world like cutler's poetry 
Upon a knife, ' Love me, and leave me not.' 

Nerissa. What talk you of the poesy or the value? 
You swore to me, when I did give it you, 150 

That you would wear it till the hour of death, 
And that it should lie with you in your grave ; 
Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, 
You should have been respective and have kept it. 
Gave it a judge's clerk ! but well I know 
The clerk will ne'er wear hair on 's face that had it. 

Gratiano. He will, an if he live to be a man. 

Nerissa. Ay, if a woman live to be a man. 

Gratiano. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth, 
A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy, 160 

No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk, 
A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee ; 
I could not for my heart deny it him. 

Portia. You were to blame, I must be plain with you, 
To part so slightly with your wife's first gift ; 
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger ; 
And so riveted with faith unto your flesh. 


I gave my love a ring, and made him swear 

Never to part with it; and here he stands : 

I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it, i 70 

Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth 

That the world masters/ Now, in faith, Gratiano, 

You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief ; 

An 't were to me, I should be mad at it. 

Bassanio. \Aside\ Why, I were best to cut my left hand off, 
And swear I lost the ring defending it. 

Gratiano. My lord Bassanio gave his ring away 
Unto the judge that begg'cl it, and indeed 
Deserv'd it too ; and then the boy, his clerk, 
That took some pains in writing, he begg'cl mine ; i8c 

And neither man nor master would take aught 
But the two rings. 

Portia. What ring gave you, my lord? 

Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me. 

Bassanio. If I could add a lie unto a fault, 
I would deny it; but you see my finger 
Hath not the ring upon it ; it is gone. 

Portia. Even so void is your false heart of truth. 
By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed 
Until I see the ring. 

Nerissa. Nor I in yours, 

Till I again see mine. 

Bassanio. Sweet Portia, 190 

If you did know to whom I gave the ring, 
If you did know for whom I gave the ring, 
And would conceive for what I gave the ring, 
And how unwillingly I left the ring, 
When nought would be accepted but the ring, 
You would abate the strength of your displeasure. 

Portia. If you had known the virtue of the ring, 
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring, 
Or your own honour to contain the ring, 


You would not then have parted with the ring. 2 oo 

What man is there so irmch unreasonable, -v 

If you had pleas'd to have defended it 

\Vith any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty 

To urge the thing held as a ceremony? 

Nerissa teaches me what to believe ; 

I '11 die for 't but some woman had the ring. 

Bassanio. No, by my honour, madam, by my soul, 
No woman had it, but a civil doctor, 
Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me, 
And begg'd the ring; the which I did deny him, 210 

And sufifer'd him to go displeas'd away, 
Even he that did upliold the very life 
Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady ? 
I was enforc'd to send it after him ; 
I was beset with shame and courtesy ; 
My honour would not let ingratitude 
So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady ; 
For, by these blessed candles of the night, 
Had you been there, I think you would have begg'd 
The ring of me to give the worthy doctor. 220 

Portia. Let not that doctor e'er come near my house. 
Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd, 
And that which you did swear to keep for me, 
T will become as liberal as you ; 
I '11 not deny him any thing I have. 

Antonio. I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels. 

Portia. Sir, grieve not you ; you are welcome notwith- 

Bassanio. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong ; 
And, in the hearing of these many friends, 
I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes, 230 

Wherein I see myself, 

Portia. Mark you but that! 

In both my eyes he doubly sees himself; 


In each eye, one ! Swear by your double self, 
And there 's an oath of credit. 

Bassanio. Nay, but hear me : 

Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear 
I never more will break an oath with thee. 

Antonio. I once did lend my body for his wealth. 
Which, but for him that had your husband's ring, 
Had quite miscarried ; I dare be bound again, 
My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord '4 

Will never more break faith advisedly. 

Portia. Then you shall be his surety. Give him this, 
And bid him keep it better than the other. 

Antonio. Here, lord Bassanio ; swear to keep this ring. 

Bassanio. By heaven, it is the same I gave the doctor ! 

Portia. You are all amaz'd. 
Here is a letter : read it at your leisure; 
It comes from Padua, from Bellario. 
There you shall find that Portia was the doctor, 
Nerissa there her clerk : Lorenzo here 250 

Shall witness I set forth as soon as you, 
And even but now returned ; I have not yet 
Enter'd my house. Antonio, you are welcome ; 
And I have better news in store for you 
Than you expect : unseal this letter soon ; 
There you shall find, three of your argosies 
Are richly come to harbour suddenly. 
You shall not know by what strange accident 
I chanced on this letter. 

Antonio. Sweet lady, you have given me life and living ; 2 6o 
For here I read for certain that my ships 
Are safely come to road. 

Portia. How now, Lorenzo ? 

My clerk hath some good comforts too for you. 

Nerissa. Ay, and I '11 give them him without a fee. 
There do I give to you and Jessica, 



From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift, 
After his death, of all he dies possess'd of. 

Lorenzo. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way 
Of starved people. 

Portia. It is almost morning, 

And yet 1 am sure you are not satisfied 2?0 

Of these events at full. Let us go in ; 
And charge us there upon inter'gatories, 

we will answer all things faithfully. \Exeunt. 




Abbott (or Gr.), Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar. 

A. S., Anglo-Saxon. 

B. and F., Beaumont and Fletcher. 
B. J., Ben Jonson. 

Cf. (confer), compare. 

Coll. MS., Manuscript Corrections of Second Folio, edited bv Collier 

D., Dyce (2d ed.). 

Fol , following. 

Fr, French. 

H., Hudson (ist ed.). 

H.'s quarto, Heyes's quarto edition of the Play 

Id. (idem}, the same. 

K., Knight (2d ed.). 

N. F., Norman-French. 

Prol., Prologue. 

R.'s quarto, Roberts's qua.-to edition of the Flay. 

S., Shakespeare. 

Schmidt, A. Schmidt's Shakespeare-Lexicon (Sirlin, 1^74). 

Sr., Singer. 

St., Staunton. 

Theo., Theobald. 

V., Vevplanck. 

Var. ed., the Variorum edition of Shakespeare (1821). 

W., R. Grant White. 

Warb., Warburton. 

Wb., Webster's Dictionary (revised quarto edition of 1879). 

Wore., Worcester's Dictionary (quarto edition). 

Wr., Clark and Wright's " Clarendon Press" ed. of M. of V. .Oxford, 1868). 

The abbreviations of the names of Shakespeare's Plays will be readily understood ; as 
T. N. for Twelfth Night, Cor. for Coriolanns, 3 Hen. VI. for The Third Part of King 
Uenry the Sixth, etc. P. P. refers to The Passionate Pilgrim ; V. and A . to Venus 
and Adonis ; L. C. to Lover's Complaint ; and Satin, to the Sonnets. 

When the abbreviation of the name of a play is followed by a reference to page, 
R.olfe's edition of the play is meant. The numbers of the lines in the references (ex 
cept for '.lie present play) are those of the " Globe " ed. 



SCENE I. In the 1st folio, the play is divided into acts, but not into 
scenes, and there is no list of dramatis persona;. 

i. In sooth. In truth. A. S. soth (truth, true, truly), as in forsooth, 
soothsayer (teller of hidden truth). Gower alludes to the origin of the 
latter word (Conf. Am. i.) : 

'' That for he wiste he snide soth 
A soth-saier he was for ever." 

3. Came, by it. A familiar colloquial idiom in this country, but appar- 
ently not in England, since the editors there take the trouble to explain it. 

8. On the ocean. Ocean is here a trisyllable ; as in 2 Hen. IV. iii. i. 
50. See Gr. 479 ; and cf. Milton, Hymn on Nativ. 66 : " Whispering 
new joys to the mild ocean." Cf. also opinion in 102 below. 

9. Argosies. Merchant vessels (sometimes war vessels) of great size 
for that day, though not exceeding two hundred tons. The name is from 
the classical Argo, through the low Latin argis. Cf. T. of S. ii. I. 376, etc. 

11. Pageants. The word in S. means usually a theatrical exhibition, 
literal or figurative. Cf. M. A r . D. p. 163. See also the verb in T.and 
C. i. 3. 151 : "he pageants us." 

12. Do overpeer. This use of the auxiliary was common in Shake- 
speare's time, though obsolescent. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. v. 2. 14 : " Whose top- 
branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading tree." See also Ham. iv. 5. 99, etc. 

I2 8 NOTES. 

13. Curtsy. The same word as courtesy ; used of both sexes. The quar- 
tos have " cursie." Cf. Much Ado, p. 159. 

15. Venture. Still used in this commercial sense. Forth abroad. 

17. Still. Ever, constantly ; as in 136 below. Cf. "still-waking sleep," 
R.and J.\. i. 187; "still-vexed Bermoothes," Temp. i. 2. 229; "still- 
closing waters," Temp. iii. 3. 64, etc. It is even used as an adjective in 
the sense of constant, as in Rich. III. iv. 4. 229: "still use of grief," 

24. Might do at sea. R.'s quarto has " at sea, might do." 

27. My wealthy Andrew. My richly freighted ship. Some suppose 
the name to be taken from that of the famous Genoese admiral, Andrea 
Doria, who died 1560. For docked the early eds. have "docks;" cor- 
rected by Rowe. 

28. Vailing. Lowering. Cf. " Vail your regard " ( let fall your look), 
M.for M. v. i. 20, etc. The word is contracted from avail or avale, the 
French avaler (from Latin ad vallem}. Spenser uses avale, both with an 
object (Shep. Kal. Jan. 73) and without one (F. Q. ii. 9. 10). 

35. But even now worth this. The force of this (=all this, so much) 
was probably meant to be expressed by a gesture. 

38. Bechanced. On the prefix be- see Gr. 438. 

40. To think upon. From thinking upon. Gr. 356. 

42. Bottom. This word, like venture, is still used in commerce in the 
same sense as here. Cf. A'. John, ii. I. 73: "the English bottoms;" T. 
N. v. i. 60 : " the most noble bottom of our fleet," etc. 

50. Two-headed Janus. The allusion is probably to those ancient 
bifrontine images in which a grave face was associated with a laughing 

52. Peep through '.heir eyes. That is, eyes half shut with laughter. 

54. Other of siuh vinegar aspect. Other is often plural in S. and other 
writers of the time. Cf. Job, xxiv. 24, Luke, xxiii. 32, rhil. ii. 3, iv. 3. Gr. 
12. Aspect is always accented on the last syllable in S. Cf. Spenser, 
F. Q. i. 12. 23 : " Most ugly shapes, and horrible aspects ;" Milton, P. L. 
iii. 266 : " His words here ended, but his meek aspect," etc. This is but 
one illustration out of many that show the tendency of the accent in Eng- 
lish to fall back toward the beginning of the word. Thus we have char- 
acter 1 d in S. ( T. G. of V. ii. 7. 4, etc.) and Milton (Comus, 530) ; contrary 
in S. (Ham. iii. 2. 221, etc.) and Spenser (F. Q. iii. i. 47, iii. 2. 40, etc.) ; rev- 
enue in S. (Ham. iii. 2. 63, etc.) ; solemnized in S. (L. L. L. ii. I. 42) and 
Spenser (F. Q. v. 2. 3) ; etc. 

56. Nestor. The oldest of the Greek heroes in the Iliad, famed for his 
wisdom and gravity. See T. and C. i. 3. 32, etc. 

61. Prevented. In its primitive sense of anticipated. Cf. Ham. ii. 2. 
305, etc. ; also Ps. cxix. 147, and i Thess. iv. 15. 

67. Exceeding strange. S., like other writers of his time, often uses 
exceeding as an adverb. lie uses exceedingly only five times in four of 
which it modifies the adverb well ("exceedingly well met," L. L. L. iii. 
i. 144, etc), while in the fifth (Ham. v. 2. 103) it modifies an adjective 
understood. Cf. Gen. xv. I, 2 Sam. viii. 8, etc. Exceeding sCrange = o\xc 
expression, "very much of a stranger." 



74. Respect upon the ivorld. Regard for the world. "There is an allu- 
sion to the literal meaning of respect: 'You look too much upon the 
world' " (Gr. 191). 

78. A stage. Cf. the famous passage, " All the world 's a stage," A. Y. 
L. ii. 7. 139 fol. 

79. Let me play the fool. Let the part assigned to me be that of the 
fool ; who was always one of the characters in the old comedies. Cf. 
2 Hen. IV. ii. 2. 154 : " thus we play the fools with the time ;" and Lear, 
iv. i. 40: "Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow." 

81. Liver. Cf. A. and C. ii. I. 23: "I had rather heat my liver with 

82. Than my heart cool, etc. There may be an allusion here to the old 
belief that every sigh or groan robbed the heart of a drop of blood. Cf. 
M. A r . D. iii. 2. 97 : " Sighs of love that costs the fresh blood dear." See 
our ed. p. 163. 

84. Alabaster. All the early eds. have "alablaster," as in all other 
instances of the word in S. Cf. Spenser, F. Q. iii. 2. 42 : " Her alablaster 
breast," etc. 

85. Creep into the jaundice. In the only other passage in which S. 
mentions the jaundice, the cause of the disease is, as here, a mental one. 
See T. and C. i. 3. 2. 

89. Do cream and mantle. Cf. Lear, iii. 4. 139: "the green mantle 
of the standing pool." R.'s quarto has "dreame" for cream. 

90. And do a wilful stillness entertain. And who do maintain an ob- 
stinate silence. This kind of ellipsis is not uncommon in writers of the 
time. Cf. Bacon (Adv. of L.) : " His eye and tooth they lent to Perseus ; 
and so ... (he) hastens towards Medusa ;" and Spenser (F. Q. i. i. 19) : 

" His gall did grate for griefe and high disdaine, 
And knitting all his force [he] got one hand free." 

91. With purpose to be dress 1 d. Cf. "with purpose presently to leave," 
etc., K. John, v. 7. 86 ; " with purpose to relieve," i Hen. VI. i. i. 133, etc. 

Opinion of wisdom. Reputation for wisdom. 

92. Conceit. Intellect. Cf. A. Y. L. p. 194, note on 50. 

93. As who should say. Like one who should say. Cf. T. ofS. iv. 3. 13 : 

"As who should say, if I should sleep or eat, 
'T were deadly sickness, or else present death." 

The early folios read : " I am sir an Oracle." 

96. That therefore only are reputed wise, etc. That are reputed wise 
only on this account, that they say nothing. For similar tranposition 
of a clause with therefore, see Jsa. v. 13 and John, viii. 47. Pope calls 
silence "Thou varnisher of fools, and cheat of all the wise." 

97. When, I am very sure, etc. Rowe changes when to "who," and Coll. 
reads "'twould" for would; but it is probable that we have here an 
ellipsis of the nominative, as in 90 above. Cf. Gr. 399. Would almost 
damn, etc., means that the hearers could hardly help calling them fools, 
and thus exposing themselves to the judgment threatened in Scripture 
(Matt. v. 22). 

102. Fool-gudgeon. Old Izaak Walton says of the gudgeon : " It is an 


130 NOTES. 

excellent fish to enter (initiate) a young angler, being easy to be taken.'" 1 
On the adjective use of fool, cf. " fool multitude," ii. 9. 25 below. 

108. Moe. More. See A. Y. L. p. 1 76. 

no. For this gear. For this purpose, or matter; an expression some- 
times used, as here, without very definite meaning. 

116. Yon shall seek all day. Shall and should are often used in all 
three persons, by the Elizabethan writers, to denote mere futurity. Sec 
Gr. 315, 322 fol. 

124. By something showing. This adverbial use of something (=some* 
what), which occurs twice in this speech, is common in S. Gr. 68. 

Afore swelling fort. Grander state. Cf. "greatest port," iii. 2. 283 
below, and "keep house, and port, and servants," T. of S. i. i. 208. 

125. Would grant continuance. That is, continuance of. Such ellipsis 
is common in the Elizabethan writers. Cf. ii. 6. 9 and iv. I. 380 below ; 
and see Gr. 394 (cf. 202). 

126. Make moan to be abridged. "Complain that I am curtailed." Cf. 
"made moan to me," iii. 3. 23 below. 

130. Gug'd. Engaged, bound. Cf. 7\ and C. v. i. 46: "gaging me to 
keep An oath," etc. 

136. Still. See on 17 above. 

137. Within the eye of honour. Within the range of what can be viewed 
(or regarded) as honourable. 

139. Occasions. Needs ; here a quadrisyllable. See on 8 above. 

141. Flight. A technical term to denote the range of an arrow. Wr. 
quotes Ascham's Toxophilus : "You must have divers shafts of one 
flight, feathered with divers wings, for divers winds." 

142. More advised. More careful. See Rich. II. i. 3. 188: "advised 
purpose," that is, deliberate purpose. Cf. the modern use of unadvised. 

143. To find the other forth. To find the other out. Cf. "to find his 
fellow forth," C. of E. i. 2.37 ; and "inquire you forth," T. G.ofV.\\.^. 186. 

144. Childhood proof. Experiment of my childhood. 

146. Like a wilful youth. Elliptical for "like what will happen with a 
wilful (that is, wilful in his prodigality) youth." For wilful Warb. reads 
"witless," and the Coll. MS. "wasteful." 

148. That self way. That same way. Cf. "this self place," 3 Hen. 
VI. iii. i. 1 1 ; " that self mould, Rich. II. i. 2. 23, etc. This use of self\s 
found before Chaucer (" self lond," Robt. of Glouc., A.D. 1298) ; and even 
so late a writer as Dryden has "at that self moment." 

154. Circumstance. Circumlocution; as in Ham. \. 5. 127, C.ofE.v. 
i. 28, Oth. i. i. 13, etc. 

156. In making question, etc. "In doubting my readiness to do my 
utmost in your service " (Wr.). 

160. Prest. Ready ; the old French prest (now prel), Italian and Span- 
ish presto, from Latin adv. prcesto, through the late Latin pr&slus. Cf. 
Per. iv. prol. 45. 

161. Richly left. Cf. " those rich-left heirs," Cymb. iv. 2. 226. 

163. Sometimes. In time past, formerly. Sometimes and sometime are 
used interchangeably by S. in this and their other senses. See Gr. 6i, 
Cf. also Col. \. 21, iii. 7 with Eph. ii. 13. 


165. Nothing undervalued. Nowise inferior. Cf. ii. 7. 53 below. 

166. Brutus' 1 Portia. See Julius Cccsar, in which this "woman well 
reputed, Cato's daughter," is a prominent character. 

170. Like a golden fleece, etc. The Argonautic expedition is alluded 
to again, iii. 2. 243 below : " We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece." 
y 175. I have a mind presages. That is, which presages. This omission 
of the relative was very common in S.'s time. Cf. M.for M. ii. 2. 34 : 
" I have a brother is condemned to die ;" W. T. v. i. 23 : " You are one 
of those Would have him wed again." In modern usage, the objective 
is sometimes omitted, but the nominative very rarely. Gr. 244. 

Thrift. Success. Cf. "well-won thrift" and "thrift is blessing," 1.3. 
44, 80 below. 

178. Commodity. Property. In iii. 3. 27 below the word is used in 
the obsolete sense of advantage or gain. Cf. W. T. iii. 2. 94 : " To me 
can life be no commodity;" Lear, iv. I. 23: "our mere defects Prove 
our commodities," etc. 

183. Presently. Immediately. Cf. Temp.'w. 1.42: "Ariel. Presently? 
Prospero. Ay, with a twink ;" and again, v. I. 101 : "Prospero. And pres- 
ently, I prithee. Ariel. I drink the air before me, and return Or ere your 
pulse beat twice ;" T. G. of V. ii. 7. 89 : "Come, answer not, but to it 
presently !" See also i Sam. ii. 16, and Matt. xxvi. 53. 

185. To have it of my trust, etc. Of obtaining it either on my credit as 
a merchant, or as a personal favour. 

Note the rhyme in the last couplet, as often at the close of a scene. 

SCENE II. i. Aweary. Cf. M. N. D. v. i. 255, Macb. v. 5. 49, etc. 
\ 6. It is no mean happiness. So in the quartos. The folios have "no 

small happiness." The repetition is in Shakespeare's manner. 

1 8. But this reasoning is not in the fashion. The 1st folio has, " But this 
reason is not in fashion ;" and below, " It is not hard " for " Is it not hard." 

23. Nor refuse none. Foi the double negative, cf. A'. John, v. 7, 112: 
"This England never did, nor never shall," etc. Gr. 406. 

28. But one who you shall riglitly Icve. Who is the object, not the sub 
ject, of love, as appears from the question which follows : What affection 
have you for any of the suitors that are already come ? Who for whom 
is not unusual in the writers of the time. Cf. ii. 6. 30 below. Gr. 274. 

30. Are already come. On are come {-have come), see Gr. 295. 

33. Level at. Aim at, guess. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 286 : " the foeman 
may with as great aim level at the edge of a penknife." The noun is 
used in the same way, as in Hen. VIII. i. 2. 2 : "I stood i' the level Of a 
full-charg'd confederacy." 

\ 36. Makes it a great appropriation, etc. That is, takes great credit to 
himself for it. S. nowhere else uses either appropriation or appropriate. 

38. Then is there the County Palatine. The folio has it, " Than is there 
the Countie Palentine." Than and then are different forms of the same 
word, used interchangeably by old writers.. Cf. K. of L. 1440. For county 
= count, see R. and J. (where it occurs eleven times), A. W. iii. 7. 22, etc. 

40. An you will not. The folio has " And you." And or an for *^"is 
very common in old writers, as well as and if 'or an if. See Gr. 105. 



\ 41. The weeping philosopher. Heracleitus, of Ephesus, who, from his 
melancholy disposition, is represented in various old traditions as the 
contrast to Democritus ("the laughing philosopher"), weeping over the 
frailties and follies at which the latter laughed. 

43. / had rather to be married. Had ralher and had better are good En- 
glish, though many writers of grammars tell us that we should say -would 
rather, etc., instead. Cf. A. Y. I., p. 158. In Rich. II. iii. 3. 192, we find 
the impersonal form, " me rather had." See Gr. 230. Rather is the com- 
parative of rath (see Milton, Lycidas: "the rath primrose"), and is often 
found in the old writers in the sense of earlier, sooner. Thus Spenser, 
Shep. Kal. Feb., speaks of " the rather lambes." The to is omitted by the 
quartos and many modern editors, but it is found in the folio. Cf. Oth. 
i. 3. 191 : "I had rather to adopt a child," etc. For to with the infini- 
tive, and examples of its use by S. where it would now be omitted, and 
its omission where it would now be used, see Gr. 349 fol. 

46. How say you by, etc. By here, as not unfrequently =af>e>ut or con- 
cerning. Cf. ii. 9. 25 : " may be meant by the fool multitude." So Latimer 
(Serm.) : " How think you by the ceremonies," etc. So in i Cor. iv. 4, " I 
know nothing by myself," that is, am conscious of nothing (of guilt) con- 
cerning (or against) myself. Gr. 145. For " Monsieur le Bon " the earl/ 
eds. have " Mounsier Le Boune." 

52. Tkroslle. Pope's emendation for the " trassell " of the quartos and 
1st folio. The other folios have " tarssell " or " tassell." 

A -caper ing. See Gr. 24. 

62. A proper mail's picture. A proper man is a man " as he should be " 
(Craik); often, a handsome man. S. uses properer (R. and J. ii. 4. 217) 
and properest (Much Ado, v. i. 174) in the same sense. Improper ( = 
unbecoming) he uses but once (Lear, v. 3. 221). 

64. Suited. Dressed. Cf. "richly suited," A. W. i. I. 170, and Milton's 
"civil-suited morn" (II Pens.}. 

Doublet. "The doublet (so called from being originally lined or wad- 
ded for defence) was a close-fitting coat, with skirts reaching a little be- 
low the girdle." The "round hose" were coverings for the legs, not the 
feet " trowsers or breeches, reaching to the knee." The phrase " doub- 
let and hose," as equivalent to "coat and breeches," occurs often in S. 
See M. W. iii. 3. 35, Much Ado, v. i. 203, A. Y. L. iii. 2. 206, 232, etc. 
" French hose " are referred to in Macb. ii. 3. 16 and Hen. K. iii. 7. 56. 
Bonnet, originally the name of a stuff, came to be applied to the man's 
cap made of it, as it still is in Scottish. 

67. The Scottish lord. The Scottish of the quartos, printed before the 
accession of James I., was changed to other in the folio of 1623, to avoid 
giving offence to that monarch. Warb. sees in this passage an allusion 
to the " constant promises of assistance that the French gave the Scots 
in their quarrels with the English." 

7 1 . Sealed under for another. Became surety for another box on the ear. 

74. Vilely. Vildly or vildely in the early eds., as almost always. 

80. You should refuse. For the should, see Gr. 322. 

90. Some other sort. Some other way ; or perhaps sort may be =lot t as 
W. suggests. Cf. "draw the sort," T. and C. 1.3. 376. Imposition con- 


dition imposed. In iii. 4. 33 the word is used again In this literal sense 
of something " laid upon " one as a burden or duty. 

92. Sibylla. Here used as a proper name, like " Sibyl " in 7! of S. i. 
2. 70. So Bacon, in Colours of Good and Evil, 10, speaks of " Sybilla, when 
she brought her three books," and in Adv. of L. ii. 23. 33, of " Sybiliaes 
books." But in Oth. iii. 4. 70 we have "A sibyl," and in I Hen. VI. 
\. 2. 56, "nine sibyls." The reference here is to the Cumaean sibyl, who 
obtained from Apollo a promise that her years should be as many as the 
grains of sand she was holding in her hand. The story is told by Ovid, 
Met. xv. 

94. This parcel of wooers. Cf. "This youthful parcel of noble bach- 
elors," A. IV. ii. 3. 58. 

96. / wish them a fair departure. The quartos read, " I pray God 
grant them," etc. It has been supposed that the latter was the original 
reading, and that it was changed in the folio on account of the act of 
Parliament, in the time of James I., against the use of the name of God 
on the stage. But the folio has the word God in more than a dozen 
places in the play, and Portia herself (though W. thinks it would not 
"suit her lips" in this case) has used it twice already in this very scene. 
In ii. 2, Launcelot uses it often and profanely. 

105. Thy praise. The quartos (followed by some modern eds.) add 
" How now ! what news ?" 

106. Seek for you. The-folios om\tfor. 

1 10. With so good heart as, etc. We now seldom use so . . . as, prefer- 
ring as . . . as, except where so requires special emphasis. Gr. 275. 

112. Condition. Nature, disposition. Cf. Oth. ii. i. 255 : "she 's full of 
most blessed condition ;" and Rich. III. iv. 4. 157 : "I have a touch of 
your condition," etc. Cf. also "best conditioned," iii. 2. 295 below. 

116. Whiles. The genitive singular of while (which was originally a 
noun) used as an adverb. It occurs in Matt. v. 25. See Gr. 137. 

SCENE III. I. Ducats. The value of the Venetian silver ducat was 
about that of the American dollar. 

4. For the which. This archaism is occasionally found in S., as in the 
Bible (Gen. i. 29, etc.). The who is never found; perhaps, as Abbott 
suggests, because which is considered an adjective and indefinite, while 
who is not. So in French we have lequel, but not le qui. See Gr. 270. 

6. May you stead me ? Can you assist me ? May originally expressed 
ability, as the noun might still does. Can, on the other hand, signified 
"to know or have skill." We have both words in their old sense in 
Chaucer's line (C. T. 2314), " Now helpe me, lady, sith ye may and can." 
This archaic can is found in Ham. iv. 7. 85 : " they can well on horse- 
back," that is, are well skilled in riding. On stead, cf. M, for M. i. 4. 
'17 : "Can you so stead me As bring me to the sight of Isabella?" and 
A. W. v. 3. 87 : " to reave her Of what should stead her most." 

Pleasure me. So in M. W. i. i. 251 : "What I do is to pleasure you, 
coz." See also Much Ado, v. 1. 129 and 3 Hen. VI. iii. 2. 22. Cf. Gr. 290. 

ii. A good man. That is, "good" in the commercial sense "having 
pecuniary ability ; of unimpaired credit" (Wb.). 


13. Ho, no, etc. The reading of all the early eds. 

15. In supposition. Doubtful, risked at sea. 

16. Tripolis. The old name of Tripoli, a seaport of Syria, formerly 
of great commercial importance. 

17. Rialto. The chief of the islands on which Venice is built was called 
Isola di Rialto (rivo alto], the Island of the Deep Stream. The name 
Rialto came also to be applied to the Exchange, which was on that island. 
It is the Exchange which is here meant "a most stately building . . . 
where the Venetian gentlemen and the merchants doe meete twice a day, 
betwixt eleven and twelve of the clocke in the morning, and betwixt five 
and sixe of the clocke in the afternoon " (Coryat's Crudities, 161 1). The 
bridge known as the Rialto (Ponte di Rialto) was begun in 1588 and fin- 
ished in 1591. 

18. Squandered. Scattered. So in Howell's Letters, 1650, we have 
"islands that lie squandered in the vast ocean." Even Dryden (Anntts 
Mirab.} has "They drive, they squander the huge Belgian fleet." S. 
uses the word only here and in A. Y. L. ii. 7. 57 : " squandering glances." 

19. There be land-rats. In old English, besides the present tense am, 
etc., there was also this form be, from the Anglo-Saxon beon. The 2d 
pers. sing, was beest. The ist and 3d pers. plu. be is often found in S. 
and the Bible. Cf. Gr. 300. 

27. If il please you. This impersonal form (cf. the French s'il vans 
plait], after being contracted into if you please, has come to be considered 
as personal, and we now say if I please, if he pleases, etc. The verb thus 
gets a new meaning, to please becoming to be pleased. 

30. And so following. And so forth. S. uses the phrase nowhere else. 

36. For he is a Christian. We should now say, for being a Christian. 
When thus used, for is often followed by that, as in the next line. Of 
course we could now say, "I hate him, for he is a Christian," but the 
meaning would be different. In this case, as in the other, the for is 
equivalent to because, but it connects more loosely, as the comma indi- 
cates. The difference in meaning is perhaps better illustrated by a case 
like the following (M.for M. ii. i. 27) : 

" You may not so extenuate his offence 
For I have had such faults;" 

that is, the fact that I have been guilty is no excuse for him. The mod- 
ern reading would make nonsense of it. 

39. Usance. Interest. Thomas, in his Historye of Italy e, 1561, says : 
"It is almoste incredyble what gaine the Venetians receiue by the vsury 
of the Jewes, both pryuately and in common. For in euerye citee the 
Jewes kepe open shops of vsurie, taking gaiges of ordinarie for xv. in the 
hundred by the yere : and if at the yeres ende, the gaige be not redemed, 
it is forfeite, or at the least dooen away to a great disaduantage : by rea- 
son whereof the Jewes are out of measure wealthie in those parties." 

40. Upon the hip. To "catch upon the hip" was a phrase used by 
wrestlers. Some make it refer to hunting, " because, when the animal 
pursued is seized upon the hip, it is finally disabled from flight.' 7 ' Cf. 
iv. I. 330 below, and Oth. ii. I. 314. 

45. Which he calls interest. Usance, usury, and interest were equivalent 



terms in S.'s day. It was disreputable to take interest at all. It was 
considered " against nature for money to beget money." See Bacon's 
Essay on Usurie. 

47. Debating of my present store. Of is often used by the Elizabethan 
writers in the sense of about or concerning. Cf. Temp. ii. i. 81 : "You 
make me study of that," etc. See Gr. 174. 

53. Rest yon fair. " Heaven grant you fair fortune !" Cf. " Rest you 
merry !" (/?. and J. i. 2. 65) " God rest you merry !" (A. Y. L.V.I. 165), etc, 

56. Excess. More than the sum lent or borrowed ; interest. 

57. Ripe wants. Wants that admit of no delay, like ripe fruit that 
must be gathered at once. 

58. Possessed. Informed. Cf. iv. i. 35 below : " I have possessed your 
grace of what I purpose ;" Cor. ii. i. 145 : " Is the senate possessed of 
this?" etc. 

59. How much yon would. The folio misprints "he would." Wozdd 
is often used absolutely, as here, for wish or require. 

63. Methought. This thought is from the A. S. verb thincan, to seem, 
and not from thencan, to think. It is used impersonally, the me being a 
dative. Methonght \\. seemed to me. In Chaucer we nnd him thoughte, 
hem (them) thoughte, hir (her) thonghte, etc. 

65. When Jacob, etc. See Gen. xxvii. and xxx. 

72. Were compromised. Had mutually agreed. 

73. Eanlings. Lambs just brought forth ; from A. S. eanian, to bring 
forth. Yeanling is another form of the same word, and was substituted 
by Pope here. 

Pied. Spotted. We have "daisies pied" in L. L. L. v. 2. 904 (and in 
Milton's L? Allegro} ; and in Temp. iii. 2. 71 Caliban calls Trinculo a 
"pied ninny," from the parti-coloured coat which he wore as a jester. 

75. Piird me. Peeled. Cf. the Bible narrative ( Gen. xxx. 37, 38 ). 
The me is expletive, as often. See the dialogue between Petruchio and 
Grumio in T. of S. i. 2. 8 fol. Gr. 220. 

78. Fall. Let fall, bring forth. Gr. 291. 

84. Was this inserted, etc. Was this inserted in Scripture to justify 
usury ? 

88. The devil can cite Scripture. See Matt. iv. 4, 6. 

89. Producing holy -witness. Adducing sacred authority. 

95. Beholding. Often used by S., Bacon, and othsr writers of the time, 
instead of beholden, which, as Craik has shown, is probably a corrupted 
form of gehealden, the perfect participle of A. S. healdan, to hold, whence 
its meaning of held, bound, obliged. 

96. Many a time and oft. An old phrase, still familiar, =many and 
many a time, that is, many times, and yet again many more times. 

lot. Misbeliever. Strictly, one who believes wrongly, as unbeliever is 
one who does not believe, or an infidel. S. uses the word only here. 

102. Spet. An obsolete spelling of spit, used occasionally by S., as it 
is by Milton in the one instance (Camus, 132) in which he employs the 

Gaberdine. A long coarse frock. See Temp. ii. 2. 40, 115. The garment 
and the name are still used by the peasantry in some parts of England. 

I3 6 NOTES. 

105. Goto. A phrase of exhortation or encouragement, sometimes used 
scornfully. Cf. Temp. v. I. 297, M. W. i. 4. 165, etc. ; also Gen. xi. 4, etc. 

124. A breed of barren metal. The quartos have " a breed for." Breed 
is money bred from the principal. Shylock had used the same metaphor 
for interest. 

126. Who if he break. The "relative with a supplementary pronoun" 
(Gr. 248, 249) often occurs in the writers of the time. Cf. V. and A. 935 : 

"Who, when he liv'd, his breath and beauty set 
Gloss on the rose, smell on the violet." 

" If he break" that is, " break his day," a current expression fail to 
fulfil his engagement. Shylock uses the phrase below. 

128. I would be friends with you. A "grammatical impropriety," but 
even now a familiar idiom. 

130. Doit. A small Dutch coin, worth about a quarter of a cent. Cf. 
T. of A. i. I. 217 : " Which will not cost a man a doit ;" and Cor. v-4- 60 : 
" I 'd not have given a doit." 

135. Your single bond. Your individual bond, without sureties. 

In a merry sport. In the old ballad of Gernutits, the Jew says : 

" But we will haue a merry iest, 

for to be talked long : 
You shall make me a i?and (quoth he) 
that shall be large and strong. 

And this shall be the forfeylure, 

of your own Flesh a pound : 
If you agree, make you the Band, 

and here is a hundred Crownes. '' 

138. Let the forfeit, etc. Let the forfeit named as an equivalent be a 
pound of your flesh. 

141. Pleaseth me. That is, "it pleaseth me" (the folio reading). See 
on 27 above. In C. of E. iv. i. 12 we have, "Pleaseth you walk with 
me," etc. ; and in 3 Hen. Vf. ii. 6. 104, " Warwick . . . shall do and undo, 
as him pleaseth best." 

145. Dwell. Continue, remain. 

151. Dealings teaches them suspect. There were three forms of the plural 
in early English the Northern in es, the Middle in en, the Southern in eth. 
The first two are found in Elizabethan authors. Sometimes they are 
used for the sake of the rhyme ; sometimes for reasons that are not evi- 
dent. Teaches, according to Abbott (Gr. 333), is one of these old plurals. 
On the omission of the to of the infinitive, see Gr. 349. 

153. Break his day. See on 127 above, and cf. Hey wood's Fair Maid 
of the Exchange, ii. 2 : 

" If you do break your day, assure yourself 
That I will take the forfeit of your bond." 

157. Muttons, beefs. These Norman-French words are here used in 
their original sense. The plural beeves is still used for the living animals, 
and the singular form beeve is occasionally met with. Wb. quotes an 
instance from Irving. 

159. If he will take it, so. That is, so be it, or something of the kind. 
So was often thus used as a particle of assent or affirmation. Cf. I Hen. 
IV. v. 4. 144 : " If your father will do me any honour, so," etc. 



165. Fearful guard Of an unthrifty knave. Fearful=to be feared or 
distrusted ; untrustworthy. Knave, which meant originally only a boy, 
and now means only a rogue, was in current use in S.'s time with either 


SCENE I. The stage-direction in the first folio is : " Enter Morochns 
a tawnie Moore all in white, and three or fonre followers accordingly, with 
Portia, Nerrissa, and their traine. Flo. Cornets." 
\ . I. Mislike. S. generally uses dislike, but mislike in 2 Hen. VI. i. I. 140 

and A. and C. iii. 13. 147 ; also once as a noun, in 3 Hen. VI. iv. i. 24. 
s Complexion. A quadrisyllable. See on i. i. 8 above. Gr. 479. 

6. Let us make incision, etc. Red blood was a traditionary sign of 
courage. Macbeth (v. 3. 15) calls one of his frightened soldiers a "lily- 
livered boy," and Falstaff (2 Hen. IV. iv. 3. 113) speaks of the "liver 
white and pale" as a badge of cowardice. Below (iii. 2. 86) Bassanio 
talks of cowards who "have livers white as milk." 

7. Reddest. The use of the superlative in a comparison of two objects, 
though condemned by most of the modern grammars, is good old English. 

8. Aspect . . . fear'd. On the accent of aspect, see on i. i. 54 above. 
Fear'' d=.caused to fear, terrified. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. v. 2. 2 : " For Warwick 
was a bug that fear'd us all." In T. of S. i. 2. 211 we have both senses 
of fear in close connection: " Petrnchio. Tush! tush! fear boys with 
bugs. Gritmio. For he fears none." 

10. Best-regarded. " Of highest rank and estimation " (Schmidt). 
12. To steal your thoughts. As a thief disguised. 

14. Nice direction. Fastidious estimation. Cf. " nice and coy," T. G. 
of V. iii. i. 82, etc. 

17. Scanted. Limited, restricted. Cf. iii. 2. l r2 below: "Scant this 
excess ;" and v. I. 141 : "Scant this breathing courtesy." 

18. Wit. In its original sense of foresight, wisdom (A. S. wit, mind) 
as in the familiar expressions, "at his wit's end," "lost his wits," etc. 
S. uses the word also in its present sense. 

20. Yourself. The pronouns myself, thyself, etc., were often used in 
S.'s time (as they still are in poetry) as the subject of a verb. See Gr. 
20. Cf. Milton, P. L. iv. 75 : " Myself am hell," etc. 

Stood as fair. Would have stood. In fair there is an allusion to the 
Moor's complexion. 

25. The Sophy. The Sufi, or Shah of Persia. Cf. T. N. ii. 5. 197 and 
iii. 4. 307. Bacon (Essay 43) speaks of " Ismael, the Sophy of Persia." 

26. Sultan Solyman. The most famous sultan of this name was Soly- 
man the Magnificent, who reigned from 1520 to 1566. 

27. O'er-stare. This is the reading of the folios and H.'s quarto. R.'s 
quarto has " outstare." 

31. Alas the while! This expression, like Woe the while! (jf. C. i. 3. 
82), seems originally to have meant, " Alas for the present state of things !" 
but it came to be used as indefinitely as the simple alas! 

I 3 8 NOTES. 

32. Hercules cmd Lichen;. Lichas was the servant who brought to Her- 
cules the poisoned tunic from Dejanira, according to Ovid (Met. ix. 155). 

Play at dice Which is, etc. That is, in order to decide which is, etc. 
As Abbott ( Gr. 382 ) has said, "The Elizabethan writers objected to 
scarcely any ellipsis, provided the deficiency could be easily supplied 
from the context." 

35. Alcides beaten by his page. Alcides, according to Diodorus, was 
the original name of Hercules, given him on account of his descent from 
Alcaeus, the son of Perseus. The early eds. all have "rage " instead of 
page ; corrected by Theobald. 

43. Nor -will not. See on i. 2. 23 above. 

44. 7Vie temple. The church, where the oath was to be taken. 

46. Blest or cursed 'st. It is probable that blest is to be regarded as an 
instance of the ellipsis of the superlative ending, not unusual at that 
time. Cf. M. for M. iv. 6. 13 : " The generous and gravest citizens." So 
Hey wood : " Only the grave and wisest of the land ;" and Ben Jonson : 
" The soft and sweetest music." In iii. 2. 288 we have " The best-condi- 
tioned and unwearied spirit," where the ellipsis is in the second adjective. 

SCENE II. The stage-direction in the early eds. is " Enter the clowiie 

8. Scorn running with thy heels. The play upon words is obvious, 
though it sorely troubled Steevens, who even proposed as an emenda- 
tion " Scorn running ; -withe (i. e. hamper with a withe, or osier band) 
thy heels." Cf. Much Ado, iii. 4. 51 : "I scorn that with my heels." 

9. Via ! Away ! (Italian). Cf. M. W. ii. 2. 159, L. L. L. v. I. 156, etc. 
Here the early eds. have "fia;" corrected by Rowe. 

10. For the heavens! Mason proposed to change heavens to haven, 
because "it is not likely that S. would make the Devil conjure Launcelot 
to do anything for Heaven" 1 * sake ;" but, of course, as Boswell has sug- 
gested, the wit of the expression consists in that very incongruity. 

14. Well, my conscience says, etc. The ist folio reads thus : " wel, my 
conscience saies Lancelet bouge not, bouge sales the fiend, bouge not 
saies my conscience, conscience say I you counsaile well, fiend say I you 
counsaile well, to be rul'd by my conscience I should stay with the lew 
my Maister, (who God blesse the marke) is a kinde of diuell ;" etc. 

18. God bless (or save) the mark! The origin and the meaning of this 
expression are alike obscure. It appears to be used most frequently "as 
a parenthetic apology for some profane or vulgar word." 

21. Incarnation. For incarnate, of course. R.'s quarto has incarnal. 

29. Sand-blind. Dim of sight ; as if there were sand in the eye, or 
perhaps floating before it. It means something more than purblind, for 
Latimer (Sermons) says, " The Saintis be purre-blinde and sand-blinde." 
High-gravel-blind is Launcelot's own exaggeration of the word. 

30. Confusions. The reading of H.'s quarto and the folios. R.'s quarto 
has conclusions, which K. adopts; but, as Wr. suggests, "Launcelot 
would not have given a hard word so correctly." 

34. Marry. A corruption of Mary. It was originally a mode of swear- 
ing by the Virgin, but its origin had come to be forgotten in S.'s day. 


37. God's sonties. Corrupted from God's saints, or sanctities, or sanle 
(health) it is impossible to decide which. 

46. What a' will. A' 1 for he is common in the old dramatists, in the 
mouths of peasants and illiterate people. 

50. Talk you of young Master Launcelot? The early eds. make this 
imperative, and not interrogative, and are followed by K. and W. ; but 
D. and the Camb. editors are probably right in regarding the sentence as 
a repetition of the preceding interrogation (40). 

53. Father. Launcelot twice calls Gotibo father, but the old man does 
not even suspect with whom he is talking, since, as W. remarks, the 
peasantry used to call all old people father or mother. 

54. The sisters three. The Fates of classic fable. 

76. Your child that shall lie. Here again some of the sand-blind critics 
have been mystified by Launcelot's incongruous talk. Malone says, 
" Launcelot probably here indulges himself in talking nonsense," but he 
is not quite sure about it ; and Steevens suggests that he " may mean 
that he shall hereafter prove his claim to the title of child by his dutiful 
behaviour," etc. 

82. Lord worshipped. Perhaps, as some explain it =a lord worship- 
ful, referring to the beard and the claim to the title of Master. According 
to stage tradition, Launcelot kneels with his back to the old man, who, 
"being sand-blind," mistakes the hair on his head for a beard (St.). 

84. Fill-horse. Fill for thill, or shaft, is a familiar word in New Eng- 
land, but in old England it is not known except as a provincialism in 
the Midland counties. We have " i' the fills " in T. and C. iii. 2. 48. 

91. Gree. The spelling of all the early eds. Cf. Wb. 

92. I have set up my rest. That is, I have determined. "A metaphor 
taken from play, where the highest stake the parties were disposed to 
venture was called the rest." Nares restricts the term to the old game 
of primero, but Gifford (endorsed by Dyce) says that it is incorrect to do 
so. The expression occurs also in A. W. ii. I. 138, C. of E. iv. 3. 27, R. 
and J. iv. 5. 6, etc. 

97. Give me your present. See on i. 3. 75 above. 

99. As far as God has any ground. A characteristic speech in the 
mouth of a Venetian. The lower orders in Venice regard the mainland 
with an admiration which can hardly be understood by those who have 
been able, all their days, to walk where they would (K.). 

108. Gramercy. A corruption of the Yr&v\c\\grandmerci, "great thanks." 

117. Cater-cousins. Commonly explained as =quatre-coitsins, that is, 
" fourth cousins," but this is doubtful. The meaning evidently is, that 
they do not seem much akin, or do not agree very well. 

121. A dish of doves. Mr. C. A. Brown infers, from this and other pas- 
sages in his plays, that S. must have visited Italy. " Where," he asks, 
" did he obtain his numerous graphic touches of national manners ? 
Where did he learn of an old villager's coming into the city with 'a dish 
of doves ' as a present to his son's master ? A present thus given, and in 
our days too, and of doves, is not uncommon in Italy." It is possible, 
however, that the poet gained this knowledge of the country from other 
travellers ; and it is well known that Kemp, a fellow-actor, visited Italy. 



131. Preferred ' thee. To prefer often meant to " recommend for promo- 
tion," and sometimes to "promote." Cf. Cymb. ii. 3. 5i,iv. 2.386,400, etc. 

134. The old proverb. It is said that there is a Scotch proverb, " The 
grace of God is gear enough." 

140. Guarded. Trimmed, ornamented. The broidered edging guarded 
(protected) the cloth from wear. See Hen. VIII. pro). 16 and Muck 
Ado, \. i. 288. Cf. "guards on wanton Cupid's hose,"Z. L. L. iv. 3. 58. 

141. In. Go in ; as in C. of E. v. i. 37, etc. 

142. Well, if any man, etc. This is Johnson's punctuation, which W. also 
follows. The construction is, " Well, if any man in Italy which cloth offer 
to swear upon a book have a fairer table " the expression being like " any 
man that breathes," etc. After having thus admired his table, he breaks 
off to predict his good fortune. As Johnson remarks, " the act of expand- 
ing his hand" reminds him of laying it on the book in taking an oath. 

In chiromancy, or palmistry (fortune-telling by the lines on the palm 
of the hand), the table line, or line of fortune, is the one running from the 
fore-finger below the other fingers to the side of the hand. The natural 
line is the one running through the middle of the palm. The line of life 
is the one which encircles the ball of the thumb. The space betsveen 
the two first is called mensa, or the table. 

145. Aleven. A vulgarism for eleven. 

149. For this gear. See on i. i. no above. 

151. Of an eye. The words are found only in R.'s quarto. 

153. Bestow d. Put away, disposed of. Cf. 2 Kings, v. 24, Luke, xii. 
17, 18, etc. See also C. of E. i. 2. 78, J. C. i. 3. 151, etc. 

163. Hear thee. In this, as in some other expressions ("fare thee well," 
etc.), thee appears to be used for tkou, and not reflexively. Cf. Gr. 212. 

168. Liberal. Free, reckless ; but not in so bad a sense as in Mtich 
Ado, iv. i. 93 ("a liberal villain"), where it means licentious. Cf. "lib- 
eral shepherds," Ham. iv. 7. 171. 

Take pain. We now use only the plural, "take pains." S. uses both. 
See below, v. I. 180. 

170. Thy skipping spirit. Thy frolicsome humour. Cf. Ham. iii. 4. 
123 : " Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper Sprinkle cool patience." 
Spirit, as often, is a monosyllable sprite. Gr. 463. 

171. Misconstrued. The 1st folio has misconsterd here, but tniscon- 
strned in J. C. v. 3. 84. 

176. While grace is saying. See Marsh, Lect. on Ens;. Lang. (First 
Series), pp. 649-658. In S.'s day the construction in saying or a-saying 
was going out of use, and the verbal noun in -ing was beginning to be 
regularly used in a passive sense. The construction, is being said, etc., 
as Marsh remarks, " is an awkward neologism, which . . . ought to be 
discountenanced as an attempt at the artificial improvement of the lan- 
guage at a point where it needed no amendment." The "ignorance of 
grammarians " has been " a frequent cause of the corruption of language." 

Hood mine eyes. Hats were worn at meals, and especially on ceremonial 
occa?ions a custom probably derived from the days of chivalry. Even 
now, at the installation banquet of the Knights of the Garter, all the 
Knights Companions wear their hats and plumes (St.). 


179. Studied in a sad ostent. Trained to put on a sober aspect. Below 
(ii. 8. 44) we have "fair ostents (manifestations, tokens) of love ;" and in 
Hen. V. v. chor. 21, "full trophy, signal, and ostent" (display). 

188. I must to Lorenzo. This ellipsis of the verb was common, espe- 
cially after will ; as " I '11 to him," A', and J. iii. 2. 141, etc. Gr. 405. 

SCENE III. 9. In talk. The quarto reading; the folios omit in. 

10. Exhibit. For inhibit (restrain). 

14. What heinous sin. Possibly this is one of the instances in which 
'what is used for what a. Cf. J. C. i. 3. 42 : " What night is this !" See 
other examples in Gr. 86 (cf. 256). 

SCENE IV. 5. We have not spoke us yet of. We have not yet bespoken. 
The reading of the 4th folio (adopted by Pope) is "as yet." 

6. Quaintly. Tastefully, gracefully. Quaint (from Latin comptus, or, 
according to some, cognitns or from both, as \Vb. makes it), in the old 
writers, means elegant, and hence artful, ingenious. In Johnson's day it 
had come to mean affected, and now it has "the united sense of antique 
and odd." Cf. " quaint lies " below, iii. 4. 69 ; " fine, quaint, graceful," 
Much Aifo, iii. 4. 22; "more quaint, more pleasing," T. of S. iv- 3. 102; 
"quaintly writ," T. G. of V. ii. i. 128 ; " quaintly made," Id. iii. 1. 117, etc. 

7. Not undertook. We have " underta'en " in W. T. iii. 2. 79, and " to 
be undertook " in Oth. v. 2. 311. S. often uses two or more forms of the 
participle. Thus in J. C. we have stricken, struck, and strucken (stroken 
in folio, but strucken in C. of E. i. 2. 45, etc.). So we find mistook and 
mistaken, etc. We must bear in mind that the Elizabethan age was a 
transitional period in the history of the language. See Gr. 343, 344. 

10. Break up. Break open ; as in W. T. iii. 2. 132. Break up was a 
term in carving ; and in /.. L. L. iv. I. 56 we have "break up this capon," 
where the " capon " is a letter. See our ed. p. 143. 

13. Writ. S. uses both -writ and wrote for the past tense, and writ, 
written, and wrote for the participle. 

23. Provided of. Of is often used of the agent (where we use by}, and 
of the instrument (for with), as here. Cf. Macb. i. 2. 13 : "supplied of 
kernes," etc. Gr. 171. A small number of prepositions serve to express 
an immense number of relations, and their use in different periods of the 
language is very variable. 

29. Needs. Of necessity ; a genitive used adverbially. Cf. Gr. 25. 

Directed . . . What gold, etc. The ellipsis here is very like what is 
called a zeugma. 

35. Dare. Either the "subjunctive used imperatively" (Gr. 364), or 
the 3d pers. of the imperative. 

37. Faithless. Unbelieving; as in Matt. xvii. 17. 

SCENE V. 2. Difference of. Cf. Lear, iv. 2. 26 : " O, the difference of 
man and man !" 

3. What, Jessica! A customary exclamation of impatience, in calling 
to persons (cf. Temp. iv. i. 33, M. W. i. 4.^, 40, etc.) ; like when (Temp. 
i. 2. 316, J. C. ii. i. 5, etc.). See Gr. 730. 



II. Bid forth. Invited out. Cf. " find forth," i. 1. 143 above, and " reast- 
ing forth," 36 below. S. uses bidden only in Muc/i Ado, iii. 3. 32. He 
uses both bade and bid for the past tense. See on 7 above. 

17. Towards my rest. Against my peace of mind. 

18. To-night. That is, last night; as in J. C. iii. 3. I : "I dreamt to- 
night that I did feast with Caesar." Usually in S. it has its modern 

21. So Jo I his. Shylock plays upon Launcelot's blunder of reproach 
for approach. 

24. Black-Monday. Easter-Monday ; so called, as the old chronicler 
Stowe tells us, because "in the 341!! of Edward III. (1360), the I4th of 
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 horses' backs with the cold." 

29. The wry-necked fife. It is doubtful whether wry-necked refers to the 
fife or the fifer. Boswell quotes from Barnaby Rich (1618) : " A fife is a 
wry-neckt musician, for he always looks away from his instrument." On 
the other hand, the old English fife (like one used in classical times) had 
a bent mouth-piece. It was called the flute a bee, as the mouth-piece 
resembled the beak of a bird. For squealing R.'s quarto has "squeak- 

35. Jacobs staff. See Gen. xxxii. 10 and Heb. xi. 21. In Spenser, F. 
Q. i. 6. 35, " lacobs staffe " more probably refers to St. James (Jacobus), 
who is usually represented with a pilgrim's hat and staff. 

36. Of feasting forth. Of=-for, as often. See Gr. 174; and for forth, 
Gr. 41. 

42. Jewess' eye. It is " Jewes " in the quartos and 1st and 2d folios, 
"Jew's" in the later folios. Pope suggested Jewess', which has been 
generally adopted. W. says that Jewess is not so old as the time of S., 
but Wr. states that it occurs in the Bible of 1611 (Acts, xvi. i), and 
even as early as Wiclif's version. Launcelot's phrase, as D. remarks, 
is "a slight alteration, for the nonce, of the proverbial expression, Worth 
a Jew's eye." The Jews were often threatened with the loss of an eye, 
or some other mutilation, in order to extort treasure from them. 

45. Patch. A name given to the professional jester (probably from his 
patched or parti -coloured coat), and afterwards used as a term of con- 
tempt. Some derive the word from the Italian pazzo (foolish, insane). 

51. Perhaps f will return. Abbott (Gr. 319), who denies that S. ever uses 
will for shall, thinks this (and Perchance I will} may be " a regular idiom." 
It may be that the will=shall (as Wr. makes it), but it is quite as likely 
that the shade of meaning is such as would now be expressed by will 
" Perhaps I may decide to return," or something of the sort. " I shall 
return" would be future pure and simple ; " I will return " adds the idea 
that the possible future act depends upon the speaker's will. 

SCENE VI. 5. Venus' pigeons. The chariot of Venus was drawn by 
doves. In Temp. iv. 1.94 she is described as "dove-drawn," and her 
"doves" are also referred to in M. N. D. i. I. 171, V.and A. 1190, etc. 

7. Obliged. Pledged, plighted. 


9. Sits down. That is, sits down with. So in the next sentence, " pace 
them (with)." This ellipsis of a preposition which has already been ex- 
pressed before the relative is quite common in S. Cf. J. C. ii. 2. 331 : 
" To whom it must be done " (to) ; M.for M. ii. 2. 119: " Most ignorant 
of what he 's most assured " (of) ; and below (iv. i. 380) : " A gift of all 
(of which) he dies possess'd." See also on i. i. 125 above. 

10, Untread again. Retrace. 

14.' Younger. The reading of all the early eds. Rowe changed it to 
yonnker, which S. uses in i Hen. IV. iii. 3. 92 and 3 Hen. VI. ii. i. 24. 

15. Scarfed. Decked with flags and streamers. In A. IV. ii. 3. 214 
"scarfs" are associated with "bannerets" in the comparison of a person 
to a " vessel." 

17. How like the prodigal doth she return. The reading of the quartos, 
which makes the reference to the parable more direct than the folio "a 

18. Over - weather 'd. Weather-beaten. This is the reading of both 
quartos. < The folios have "over-wither'd." 

30. Who love /, etc. The inflection of who is often neglected. See ex- 
amples in Macb. iii. J. 123, iv. 3. 173, Cor. ii. i. 8, etc. Directly after a 
preposition, whom is usually found. Cf. L. L. L. ii. I. 2 : " Consider who 
the king your father sends, To whom he sends." But in Cymb. iv. 2. 75 
and Oth. i. 2. 52 we have the interrogative who even after a preposition : 
" To who ?" See Gr. 274. 

35. Exchange. That is, of apparel. 

42. Too-too light. Halliwell has urged that "too too" used to be a 
compound epithet, and should always have the hyphen ; but, as W. 
remarks, it seems clear that in some cases (as in Ham. i. 2. 129: "this 
too, too solid flesh") it was an emphatic repetition, just as it is now. 

43. An office of discovery, etc. The office of a torch-bearer is to show 
what is in the way, but I ought to keep in the shade. 

47. Close. Secret, stealthy. Cf. Rich. III. p. 183. 

50. More. The quartos have " mo." See on i. i. 108 above. 

51 By my hood. This has been explained as swearing by the hood of 
his masque-dress ; but it is possible that W. is right in understanding 
"my hood" here and elsewhere to be "myself," that is, "my estate" 
manhood, knighthood, or whatever may be appropriate to the speaker. 

Gentile. H.'s quarto and the 1st folio have "gentle." There is evi- 
dently a play upon the two words. 

52. Beshrnv me. A very mild imprecation, often used playfully and 
even tenderly. Cf. M. N. D. p. 152. 

54. If thai. This use of that as "a conjunctional affix" (Gr. 287) was 
common. Thus we have " when that " (J. C. iii. 2. 96), " why that " (Hen. 
V. v. 2. 34), "while that" (Id. v. 2. 46), "though that" (Cor. i. i. 144); 
' since that " (Macb. iv. 3. 106), etc., etc. The fuller forms, " If so were 
that " (Chaucer), " If so be that," etc., suggest that all these expressions 
may be similar ellipses, as Abbott explains them. 

67. Glad on V. S. often uses on where we should use of. Cf. "jeal- 
ous on me," J. C. i. 2. 71, and see Gr. 180, 181, 182. In Temp.i. 2, 
on ^tof it occurs three times. See also I Sam. xxvii. n. 



SCENE VII. 4. Of gold, who. In the Elizabethan age, -which was not yet 
established as the neuter relative. It was often applied to persons (as in 
the Lord's Prayer, " Our Father which art in heaven ") and who to things. 
In the next line but one, we have " silver, which." See Gr. 264, 265. 

5. What many men desire. The folios omit many. 

26. If thou be'st rated. This beest must not be confounded with the 
subjunctive be. It is the A. S. bist, 2d pers. sing. pres. indicative oibeon, 
to be. See on i. 3. 19 above. 

29. Afeard. S. uses afeard and afraid interchangeably. 

30. Disabling. Disparaging. Disable is used in the same sense in A. 
K L. iv. i. 34, v. 4. 80, and I Hen. VI. v. 3. 67. 

41. Hyrcanian. Hyrcania was an extensive tract of country southeast 
of the Caspian. S. three times mentions the tigers of Hyrcania: 3 Hen. 
VI. i. 4. 155, Macb. iii. 4. 101, and Ham. ii. 2. 472. Cf. Virgil, &n. iv. 367. 

Vasty. Waste, desolate, like the Latin vastus. S. uses -vast several 
times as a noun =waste. See IV. T. i. I. 33, Per. iii. I. I, etc. 

42. Throughfares. Thorough and through are the same word, and S. 
uses either, as suits the measure. So with throughly and thoroughly. 
We find throughfare again in Cymb. i. 2. n (see our ed. p. 168). 

43. Come view. See Gr. 349. 
49. Like. Likely ; as very often. 

51. Too gross, etc. Too coarse a material to enclose her shroud. Cere- 
cloth. Decrement (Ham. i. 4. 48), cloth smeared with melted wax (Lat. cera) 
or gums, for embalming the dead. Obscure has the accent on the first 
syllable, because followed by an accented syllable. Cf. Rich. //. iii. 3. 
154: A little, little grave, an obscure grave;" Ham. iv. 5. 213: "His 
means of death, his obscure funeral ;" etc. See also on ii. 9. 60 below. 

53. Undervahied, etc. See on i. I. 165 above. During the Middle 
Ages, and down to the i6th century, the value of silver was ^ and ^, 
and even, as here stated, ^ that of gold. In the latter part of the I7th 
century it fell to as low as fg. In the l8th it rose to ^ and is now 
about ^g. 

57. Inscu!p\i upon. Graven on the outside. The angel was worth about 
ten shillings. It had on one side a figure of Michael piercing the dragon. 
The use of the device is said to have originated in Pope Gregory's pun 




of Angli and Angeli. Verstegan, in his Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, 
says: "The name of Engel is yet at this present in all the Teutonick 
tongues, to wit, the high and low Dutch, &c., as much to say as Angel, 
and if a Dutch-man be asked how he would in his language call an Angel- 
like-man, he would answer, ein English-man, Ettgel being in their tongue 
an Angel, and English, which they write Engelsche, Angel-like. And 
such reason and consideration may have moved our former kings, upon 
their best coin of pure and fine gold, to set the image of an angel." The 
figure shows the angel of Elizabeth. 

63. A carrion death. That is, a skull. 

65. Glisters. Glisten does not occur in S. nor in Milton. In both we 
find glister several times. See W. T. iii. 2. 171, Rich. II. iii. 3. 178, Hen. 
V. ii. 2. 117, etc. ; Lycidas, 79, Camus, 219, P. L. iii. 550, iv. 645, 653, etc. 

69. Tombs. Johnson's emendation for the "timber " of the early eds. 

77. Part. Depart. See Cor. v. 6. 73 : "When I parted hence," etc. 
Depart was also used where we should say part; as in the Marriage 
Service "till death us do part" is a corruption of "till death us depart." 

SCENE VIII. 12. A passion. Passionate outcry. Cf. T.andC.v.2. 
181 : "Your passion draws ears hither." See also the verb in T. G.of 
V. iv. 4. 172, V. and A. 1059, etc. 

27. Reasoned. Talked, conversed; as in Rich. III. ii. 3. 39, etc. K. 
quotes B. and F. : "There is no end of women's reasoning." 

28. The narrow seas. The English Channel a name not unfrequently 
applied to it in that day. It occurs again iii. i. 3 below. 

30. Fraught. We now use fraught (freighted) only in a figurative 
sense. Fraught is used as a noun in T. N. v. i. 64 and Oth. iii. 3. 449. 
Freight does not occur in S. or Milton. In Temp. i. 2. 13, where many 
modern editions have " freighting souls," the folio has " fraughting." 

39. Slubber. To do carelessly or imperfectly. It also means to obscure, 
or soil ; as in Oth. i. 3. 227 : "slubber the gloss of your new fortunes." 

40. Riping. Ripeness, maturity. 

42. Mind of I we. That is, loving mind. Cf. " mind of honour," M.for 
M. ii. 4- i79(W.). 

44. Ostents. Manifestations, displays. See on ii. 2. 179 above. 

45. Conveniently. In its original sense, fitly, suitably. Cf. Prov. xxx. 
8, Rom. i. 28, Eph. v. 4. So in the one instance in which Milton uses the 
word, S. A. 1471 : "some convenient ransom." 

47. Turning his face, etc. As Malone suggests, we have here "the 
outline of a beautiful picture." 

48. Sensible. Sensitive. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 3. 337 : " Love's feeling is 
more soft and sensible Than are the tender horns of cockled snails." 

52. Quicken his embraced heaviness. Enliven the melancholy he indulges. 
Cf. iii. 2. 109 below : " rash-embrac'd despair." 

53. Do we so. ist pers. imperative ; a form not uncommon in S. Cf. 
Hen. V. iv. 8. 127 : " Do we all holy rites !" See also v. 1. 36 below. 

SCENE IX. 18. Addressed me. Prepared myself. Cf. A. W. iii. 6. 103, etc. 
Fortune now, etc. Success now to the hope of my heart ! 


146 NOTES. 

25. By the fool multitude. For by, see on i. 2. 46 ; and for the adjective 
fool, on i. I. 1 02 above. 

26. Fond. Foolish ; as usually in S. Cf. Milton, S. A. 812 : " fond 
and reasonless ;" etc. Cf. iii. 3. 9 below. 

27. The martlet. The house-martin. Cf. Macb. i. 6. 4 : " the temple- 
haunting martlet." See our ed. p. 174. 

28. In the weather. Exposed to the weather. Cf. h'. John,\\. 2. 109: 
" Pour down thy weather," and Cymb. iii. 3. 64 : " left me bare to weather." 

31. "Jump with. Agree with. Cf. Rich. III. iii. i. II : "outward show, 
which . . . seldom or never jumpeth with the heart." Jump also means 
to risk, hazard, as in Macb. i. 7. 7 : "jump the life to come." See also 
Cor. iii. I. 154. Jump is found as an adjective (^matched, or suitable), 
as "jump names" (B. J.) ; also as an adverb (= just, exactly), as in Ham. 
i. i. 65 : "jump at this dead hour" (see our ed. p. 172). 

40. Estates. Ranks. Cf. Ham. v. i. 244 : " 't was of some estate " (that 
is, high rank). 

43. Should cover, etc. Should wear their hats, that now take them off, 
as to superiors. 

45. Peasantry. The folios have " pleasantry." 

47. Ruin. Refuse, rubbish. 

60. To offend, etc. That is, an offender cannot be the judge of his own 
case. For the accent of distinc t, see on ii. 7. 51 above. 

62. Fire. As often, a dissyllable. In J. C. iii. i. 171 we have it both 
as a monosyllable and as a dissyllable : "As fire drives out fire, so pity 
pity." Hours is a dissyllable four times in as many lines in 3 Hen. VI. ii. 
5. 31-34, and a monosyllable four lines below. Gr. 480. Cf. iii. 2. 20 below. 

67. / wis. This, as Craik has shown, is a corruption of the adverbial 
ywis (certainly), but S. no doubt regarded it as a pronoun and verb. 

71. You are sped. Your fate is settled. Cf. "you two are sped," T. 
of S. v. 2. 185, and " I am sped," R. and J. iii. i. 94. See also Lycidas, 
122 : " What need they ? They are sped." 

77. Wroth. The old eds. have "wroath." Schmidt makes it ruth 
(sorrow) ; but some take it to be another form of -wrath, used in the 
sense of "torturing anger." 

84. My lord. Probably used jestingly in response to the my lady. So 
in i Hen. IV. ii. 4. 317 the prince says, "How now, my lady the host- 
ess ?" in reply to her " My lord the Prince !" In Rich. II. v. 5. 67, also, 
a groom addresses the king, " Hail, royal prince !" and Richard replies, 
" Thanks, noble peer !" See our ed. p. 219. 

88. Sensible regreets. Tangible greetings, substantial salutations. Re- 
greet strictly means a responsive greeting. The noun occurs again in K. 
John, iii. I. 241. For the verb, see Rich. II. p. 162. 

89. Commends. Cf. Rich. II. iii. I. 38 : "I send to her my kind com- 
mends ;" and Id. iii. 3. 126: "Speak to his gentle hearing kind com- 
mends." See also Per. ii. 2. 49. 

90. Yet I have not. I have not yet. F^/=up to this time, is now used 
only after a negative, but in the Elizabethan age it was often used, as 
here, before a negative. Cf. T. of S. ind. I. 96: "For yet his honour 
never heard a play ;" and this from Ascham's Scholemaster : " There be 



that kepe them out of fier and yet was never burned " which would be 
nonsense nowadays. Gr. 76. 

91. Likely. In the Yankee sense of promising. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. iii. 2. 
186 : " a likely fellow !" and Id. iii. 2. 273 : " your likeliest men." 

97. fligh-day wit. " Holiday terms," as Hotspur expresses it (i Hen. 
IV. \. 3. 46). Cf. M. W. iii. 2. 69 : " he speaks holiday." 

99. Cu-bid's post. So below (v. i. 46) we have "there 's a post come 
from my master." For the adverbial mannerly, cf. Cymb. iii. 6. 92, etc. 

ice. BassaniO) lord Love. May it be Bassanio, O Cupid ! 


SCENE T. 2. It lives there unchecked. The report prevails there un- 

3. Wracked. The only spelling in the early eels. See Rich. II. p. 177. 

The Goodwins. The Goodwin Sands, off the eastern coast of Kent. 
According to tradition, they were once an island belonging to Earl God- 
win, which was swallowed up by the sea about A.D. noo. 


9. Knapped. Snapped, broke up. The word occurs in Ps. xlvi. a 
(Prayer-Book version): "He knappeth the spear in sunder." Gir.eer 
was a favourite condiment with old people. 

24. The wings, etc. The boy's clothes she wore when she eloped 
33. Match. Bargain, compact. Cf. Cymb.m.6. 30: "'tis our match," etc. 

148 NOTES. 

35. Smug. Spruce, trim. Cf. Lear, iv. 6. 202 : "a smug bridegroom." 

43. Half a million. That is, ducats. 

57. It shall go hard, etc. I will spare no effort to outdo you in what 
you teach me. 

63. Matched. That is, matched with them, found to match them. 

74. Why, so. Well, well. Cf. Rich. II. ii. 2. 87, etc. 

100. My turquoise. The folio reads, "my Turkies." Marvellous prop- 
erties were ascribed to this " Turkey-stone." Its colour was said to 
change with the health of the wearer. Cf. Ben Jonson, Sejanus: 

" And true as Turkise in the deare lord's ring, 
Looke well or ill with him." 

And Fenton (Secret Wonders of Nature, 1569) says: "The Turkeys doth 
move when there is any perill prepared to him that weareth it." 

SCENE II. 6. Hate counsels not, etc. Hatred would prompt no such 

14. Beshrew. See on ii. 6. 52 above. 

15. Overlook 'd. Bewitched by the "evil eye." Cf. Af. W. v. 5. 87: 
"thou wast o'erlook'd even in thy birth." 

20. Though yours, not yours. One yours (probably the second) must 
be a dissyllable. See on ii. 9. 62 above. 

Prove it so, etc. If it prove so (that is, that I am "not yours"), let 
fortune, not me, bear the penalty. 

22. Peize. The French peser, to weigh. Here it means to delay, as if 
weighing each moment deliberately, or (as Steevens and others explain 
the figure) as if the time were retarded by hanging weights to it. S. uses 
the word in the sense of weigh in Rich. II. v. 3. 105, and in that of poise 
in K. John, ii. I. 575. Peize is intelligible enough here, but Rowe sub- 
stituted "piece," and the Coll. MS. has "pause." 

26. Then confess. Alluding to the use of the rack to extort confession. 

44. A swan-like end. Cf. Oth. v. 2. 247: "I will play the swan, And 
die in music;" and K. John, v. 7. 21 : "this pale, faint swan, Who 
chants a doleful hymn to his own death." 

54. Presence. Dignity of mien. 

55. Alcides. Laomedon, king of Troy, had offended Neptune, who 
threatened to inundate the country unless the monarch should sacrifice 
his daughter Hesione. Accordingly, she was fastened to a rock on the 
seashore to become the prey of a sea-monster. Hercules rescued her, 
not for " love," but to get possession of a pair of famous horses belong- 
ing to the king. The story is told by Ovid, Met. xi. 

58. Dardanian wives. Trojan women. Cf. Hen. V. iii. 3. 40, etc. 
01. Live thou, I live. The 1st folio gives the passage thus: 

" Liue thou, I Hue with much more dismay 
I view the sight, then thou that mak'st the fray." 

H.'s quarto and the 2d folio have " much much more dismay." 

63. Fancy. Love ; as often. Cf. M. N. D. i. I. 155 : "sighs and tears, 
poor fancy's followers." So also in compounds, as "fancy-free" (M. N. 
D. ii. I. 164), "fancy-sick" (Id. iii. 2. 96), etc. The Song describes in 



exquisite imagery the birth and the death of a transient affection, "engen- 
dered in the eye," not in the heart. 

74. Still. Ever. See on i. i. 17 above. 

76. Seasoned. This carries on the metaphor suggested by tainted. 

79. Approve. Justify, prove. Cf. Macb. p. 174. 

Si. No vice so simple. So unmixed. The quartos and 1st folio have 
" voice ;" corrected in 2d folio. 

82. His oufrvard parts. On his for its, see Gr. 228. 

84. Stairs. The folio has "stayers," which K. prints, explaining it as 
= barriers or bulwarks. 

86. Livers white as milk. See on ii. i. 6 above. 

87. Excrement. Used, as the related word excrescence still is, for a 
superficial growth. It refers here to the beards ; as in L. L. L. v. i. 
109 : " dally with my excrement, with my mustachio." It is also ap- 
plied to the hair in C. of E. ii. 2. 79 and W. T. iv. 4. 734. 

91. Lightest. That is, in a bad sense. Cf. below (v. i. 129), "Let me 
give light, but let me not be light," etc. See C. of E. p. 128 (on 52). 

92. Crisped. Curled. Milton (Com. 984) speaks of "crisped shades 
and bowers," referring to the leaves waved and curled by the wind. 

94 Upon supposed fairness. On the strength of their fictitious beauty. 
The expression seems to us to be closely connected with the preceding 
line, and not with the one before that. Wr. explains upon as =" sur- 

95. The dowry, etc. S. has several times expressed his antipathy to 
false hair. In Sonn. 68 there is a passage very similar to the one in the 
text. See also 71 of A. iv. 3. 144: "Thatch your poor thin roofs With 
burdens of the dead." In L. L. L. iv. 3. 258 Biron says : 

" O, if in black my lady's brows be deck'd. 
It mourns that painting and usurping hair 
Should ravish doters with a false aspect." 

It was then comparatively a recent fashion. Stow says : " Women's peri- 
wigs were first brought into England about the time of the massacre of 
Paris" (1572). Barnaby Rich, in 1615, says of the periwig-sellers: 
"These attire-makers within these forty years were not known by that 
name. . . . But now they are not ashamed to set them forth upon their 
stalls such monstrous mop-poles of hair so proportioned and de- 
formed that but within these twenty or thirty years would have drawn 
the passers-by to stand and gaze, and to wonder at them." 

97. Guiled. Full of guile, treacherous. See Gr. 294 for many similar 
participial adjectives derived from nouns, and meaning "endowed with 
(the noun)." Cf. beguiled in R. of L. 1544, etc. 

99. An Indian beauty. This has been a great stumbling-block to the 
critics, who have proposed "dowdy," "gipsy," "favour" ( = face), "vis- 
age," "feature," "beldam," etc., in place of beauty. Theo. wished to 
punctuate thus : " Veiling an Indian ; beauty, in a word," etc. As W. 
remarks, " Indian is used in a derogatory sense ; and the occurrence of 
beauteous and beauty in the same sentence is not at all unlike Shakespeare's 

102. Hard food for Midas. An allusion to the story of Midas, king of 

I5 o NOTES. 

Phrygia, who gained from Bacchus the power to change whatever he 
touched to gold, and found to his sorrow that even his food was thus 
transmuted. See Ovid, Met. xi. 

I will none of thee. See on ii. 2. 188 above. 

106. Thy plainness. The folio and both quartos have " palenesse." 
Warb. suggested the emendation, which is adopted by St., D., and W. 
K., H., Sr., and the Camb. ed. follow the folio. The antithesis of plain- 
ness and eloquence is more natural and more forcible, especially after that 
of threatenest and promise in the preceding line. It is an objection to 
paleness that/rt/^ has just been applied to the silver casket. 

no. Green-eyed jealousy. Cf. "green-eyed monster," in Oth. iii. 3. 166. 
On green as a complimentary epithet of eyes, see A", and J. p. 198. 

112. Rain thy joy. The later quartos have rein, which some prefer. 

115. Counterfeit. Portrait. Cf. T. of A. v. 1.83: "Thou draw'st a 
counterfeit Best in all Athens." So in the Wit of a Woman (1604): 
"the drawing of my daughter's counterfeit." 

120. Hairs. Cf. L. L. L. iv. 3. 142 : " her hairs were gold," etc. 

126. Unfurnished. Unaccompanied by the other eye, or, perhaps, by 
the other features. 

130. Continent. In its original sense of that which contains. Cf. Ham. 
iv. 4. 64 : " tomb enough and continent ;" and v. 2. 1 15 : " you shall find 
in him the continent of what part a gentleman would see " (that is, find 
him containing every quality which a gentleman would desire to contem- 
plate for imitation). In 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 309 (" thou globe of sinful conti- 
nents "), some make it that which is contained (contents) ; but see our 
ed. p. 172. 

140. / come by note, etc. " I come according to written warrant (the 
scroll just read) to give a kiss and receive the lady" (Wr.). 

141. Prize. By metonymy, for the contest. 
145. Peals. R.'s quarto has " pearles." 

156. Livings. Possessions, fortune. Cf. v. I. 260: "you have given 
me life and living." So in A', and J. iv. 5. 40 : " life, living, all is death's." 
bee also Mark, xii. 44, Luke, viii. 43, xv. 12, 30, etc. 

158. Sum of nothing. This is the reading of the folio, and is more in 
keeping with the negative characteristics which follow than " sum of 
something," the reading of the quartos. K. and W. adopt the former ; 
the Camb. editors and H. the latter. 

163. Happiest of all in. The folio and both quartos have " of all is," 
which is retained by the Camb. editors ; but we agree with W. that 
" there can be no reasonable doubt " that S. wrote in. 

174. Be my vantage, etc. Be a sufficient ground for my crying out against 
you. "Exclaim on" occurs also in V. and A. 930, R. of L. 741, i Hen. 
VI. iii. 3. 60, v. 3. 134, etc. ; but in Ham. ii. 2. 367, Oth. ii. 3. 314, etc., we 
find "exclaim against." 

178. Fairly spoke. S. uses both spoke and spoken as participles. See 
on ii. 4. 7 above. 

191. None from me. That is, none away from me, since you have 
enough yourselves. Cf. Rich. III. p. 233 (note on 259), or Gr. 158. 

195. So than canst get. If thou canst. See Gr. 133. 


197. As swift. The Elizabethan writers use adjectives freely as ad- 
verbs. Cf. T. ofS. ind. I. 89: "Thou didst it excellent," etc. Gr. i. 

199. Intermission. Pause, delay. The pointing is Theobald's. The 
folio reads (as do the other early eds. substantially) : 
"You lou'd, I lou'd for intermission, 
No more pertaines to me my Lord then you." 

Intermission is metrically five syllables. See on i. I. 8 above. 

2OI. Caskets. R.'s quarto has " casket." 

208. Achieved her mistress. S. often uses achieve in this sense. Cf. T. 
of S. i. i. 161 : " If I achieve not this young modest girl" (see 184 and 
224 in same scene) ; Oth. ii. i. 61 : " achiev'd a maid ;" etc. 

212. Our feast shall be. Shall 'Mill, as often. See on i. i. 116 above. 

216. If that. See on ii. 6. 55 above. 

218. Very friends. True friends. Cf. R. and J. iii. I. 115 : " My very 
friend." See also Gen. xxvii. 21, John, vii. 26. Very is the Fr. vrai (old 
Fr. verai}, from Lat. veracus, a derivative Qiverus. 

228. Doth. Dost and doth are the established forms for the auxiliary ; 
doest and doeth, in other cases. In old writers we find the former used 
for the latter, as here. Cf. J. C. \. I. 8 : " What dost thou with thy best 
apparel on ?" 

231. Estate. State, condition. Cf. A. Y. L. i. 2. 17, A. IV. ii. 1. 122, etc. ; 
also Gen. xliii. 7, Ps. cxxxvi. 23, etc. On the other hand, state is some- 
times found in the sense of estate. See 254 below. 

235. Success. Elsewhere S. often uses this word in its old sense of 
issue, result. Cf. A. W. v. I. 62, Oth. iii. 3. 122, Cor. i. I. 264, etc. 

236. Won the fleece. Cf. i. I. 170 above. 

238. Shrewd. Evil ; the original sense of the word. See J. C. p. 145. 

239. Steals. Changed by Pope to "steal." See Gr. 247. 

242. Constant. Steadfast, self-possessed. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 207 : " Who 
was so firm, so constant," etc. 

257. Mere. Absolute, thorough. See Temp. p. in, note on 51. 

262. Have. All the early eds. read " Hath," which might be retained. 
See Gr. 334. 

Hit. Hit the mark, succeeded. 

265. Scape. Not to be printed '"scape." See Macb. p. 214. 

267. Should appear. Would appear. See Gr. 322. 

268. Discharge. Pay. Cf. C. of E. iv. 4. 122 : "I will discharge thee." 
271. Confound. Destroy, ruin. Cf. A. and C. iii. 2. 57 : "What wil- 
lingly he did confound," etc. 

273. Impeach the freedom of the state. Denies that strangers have equal 
rights in Venice (Wr.). Cf., however, iv. i. 38, where Shylock says : 
" If you deny me, let the danger light 
Upon your charter and your city's freedom;" 

as if the freedom depended upon a charter which might be revoked by 
the power that had granted it. The thought here may be the same. 

275. Magnificoes of greatest port. Grandees of highest rank. 

276. Persuaded with. Used persuasion with. It is the only instance 
in which S. joins with to this verb. 

277. Envious. Malicious. So envy malice, in iv. i. 10, 121 below. 

152 NOTES. 

284. Deny. Forbid. Elsewhere it means refuse ; as in ii. 2. 161, etc. 

288. Best-condition\l and unwearied. See on ii. I. 46 above. In like 
manner, the ending -ly is sometimes omitted in the second of a pair of 
adverbs. See Rich. II. i. 3. 3 : "sprightfully and bold ;" Rich. III. iii.4. 
50: "cheerfully and smooth;" Oth. iii. 4. 79 : "startingly and rash," 
etc. More rarely, it is omitted in the first word ; as in B. and F., Pilgrim, 
ii. 2 : "poor and basely." For conditioned, see on i. 2. 112 above. 

296. Description. A quadrisyllable. See on 199 above. 

297. Hair. Probably a dissyllable, as Malone and others make it ; 
but it is barely possible that through should be thorough, as Coll. suggests. 
See on ii. 7. 42 and ii. 9. 62 above. 

307. Cheer. In its original meaning of countenance. Cf. M, N. D. iii. 
2. 96 : " pale of cheer," etc. It is the French chere, which even up to the 
i6th century was used in the sense of head, face. Nicot's " la chere bais- 
see " is exactly equivalent to Milton's "drooping cheer " (P. L. vi. 496). 
In some of the provincial dialects of France the word still retains its old 

312. Is forfeit. Is forfeited. So below, iv. I. 356 : "thy wealth being 
forfeit." See Gr. 342. 

313. You and I. Cf. "who you shall rightly love," i. 2. 28, and "not 
I" for "not me," in 21 above. See also Oth. iv. 2. 3 : "you have seen 
Cassio and she together." This disregard of the inflections of pronouns 
was common in writers of the time. See Gr. 205-216. 

320. Nor rest. R's quarto has " no rest," which may be right. 

SCENE III. 2. Lends. The folio reading; "lent" in the quartos. 

9. Naughty. This word was formerly used in a much stronger sense 
than at present. In Much Ado, v. I. 306 the villain Borachio is called a 
"naughty man;" and Gloster, in Lear, iii. 7. 37, when the cruel Regan 
plucks his beard, addresses her as "Naughty lady!" Cf. Prov. vi. 12, 
i Sam. xvii. 28, James, i. 21. See also v. i. 91 below. 

Fond. Foolish ; as in ii. 9. 26 above. This appears to be the orig- 
inal sense of the word. In Wiclif's Bible, i Cor. i. 27, we find "the 
thingis that \>&\\ fonnyd oi the world." 

10. To come. That is, as to come. See Gr. 281. 

14. Dull-eyed. Wanting in perception (as explained by Wr.), not with 
eyes dimmed with tears, as some make it. 

19. Kept. Kept company, dwelt. Cf. L. L. L. iv. i. 100, etc. 
23. Made moan. See on i. I. 126 above. 

25. Grant this forfeiture to hold. Allow it to hold good. 

26. Deny the course of law. Interfere with it, refuse to let it take its 
course. See on iii. 2. 284 above. 

27. For the commodity, etc. For if the advantages heretofore enjoyed 
by strangers in Venice be refused them, it will seriously impeach the jus- 
tice of the state. Capell (whom K. follows) read and pointed thus : 

"The duke cannot deny the course of law 
For (that is, on account of) the commodity that strangers have 
With us in Venice : if it be denied, 
'T will much impeach," etc. 


Commodity there means " traffic, commercial intercourse." But, as W 
suggests, the ordinary reading is more in Shakespeare's free style than 
such a precise passage as Capell makes of it. R.'s quarto has "his 
state." Thomas, in his History of ftalye (1561), has a chapter on "The 
libertee of straungers " in Venice, in which he says : " Al men, specially 
strangers, haue so muche libertee there, that though they speake very ill 
by the Venetians, so they attempt nothinge in effect against theyr astate, 
no man shall control theim for it. ... And generally of all other thynges, 
so thou offende no man priuately, no man shal offende the : whyche 
vndoubtedly is one principall cause, that draweth so many straungers 
thither" (VVr.). See on i. i. 178 above. 

32. Bated. Reduced, lowered. Cf. "bated breath,'' i. 3. 114 above. It 
should not be printed Abated (as by K., W., H., and others), since it is 
not a mere metrical contraction of abated, but a distinct word (cf. wake 
and awake, etc.) often found in prose writers. See examples in Wb. 
The folio has " bated " both here and in i. 3. 1 14. 

35. Pray God. The subject is omitted, as ever now it often is in 
" Would to God," etc. 

SCENE IV. 2. Conceit. Conception. See Much Ado, p. 133. 

6. Send relief. For the omission of the preposition, see on i. i. 125 above. 

7. Lover. Friend. So just below, " bosom lover." Cf. J. C. iii. 2. 13 : 
" Romans, countrymen, and lovers." See also Ps. xxxviii. 1 1. The word, 
moreover, was formerly applied to both sexes, as pa-rumour and villain 
were. Even now we say of a man and woman that they are lovers, or a 
pair of lovers. 

9. Than customary bounty, etc. " Than ordinary benevolence can con- 
strain you to be" (Wr.). 

1 1. Nor shall not. See on i. 2. 23 above. 

Companions. This word was sometimes used contemptuously, AS fel- 
low still is. See J. C. iv. 3. 138 : " Companion, hence !" and cf. Temp. 
p. 131, note on Your fellow. 

12. Waste. Spend. Cf. Milton (Sonnet to Mr. Lawrence): "Help 
waste a sullen day ;" where, however, the idea of " killing time " is more 
evident than here. 

14. Be needs. Just below we have the more familiar needs be. For 
needs, see on ii. 4. 29 above. 

21. Cruelty. R.'s quarto has " misery." 

25. Husbandry. Stewardship. Cf. T. of A. ii. 2. 164: " If you suspect 
my husbandry," etc. 

Manage. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 70 : "The manage of my state." The word 
is especially used of horses ; as in I Hen. IV. ii. 3. 52 : " Speak terms of 
manage to thy bounding steed." See also Rich. II. iii. 3. 179, A. Y. L. i. 
i. 13, etc. 

28. Contemplation. Metrically five syllables. Gr. 479. 

30. Her husband, etc. An ellipsis like that in ii. 1.46 above. Gr. 397. 

33. Deny this imposition. Refuse this charge laid upon you. See on 
i. 2. 90 above. 

49. Padua. The old eds. have Mantua. The triple mention of Padua 

154 NOTES. 

as the residence of Bellario in iv. i, makes the correction here an obvious 
one ; besides, the University of Padua was famed for its jurists (Theo.). 
50. Cousin's hand. The word cousin in that day " seems to have been 
used instead of our kinsman and kinswoman, and to have supplied the 
place of both " (Malone). Cf. Ham. p. 179. 

52. With imagined speed. With the speed of thought. Cf. Hen. V. 
iii. chor. I : " Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies." 

53. Tranect. The word occurs nowhere else. It may be a misprint 
for "traject" (Rowe), the English equivalent of the French trajet, Italian 
traghetto. Coryat (Crudities, 1611) says : "There are in Venice thirteen 
ferries or passages, which they commonly call Traghetti, where passen- 
gers may be transported in a gondola to what place of the city they 
will." K. thinks the tranect was the tow-boat of the ferry. 

56. Convenient. Proper, suitable. See on ii. 8. 45 above. 

59. Of us. That is, of our seeing them. 

61. Accomplished. Furnished. Cf. Rich. II. ii. I. 177 : " Accomplish'd 
with the number of thy hours ;" that is, when he was of thy age. See also 
Hen. V. iv. chor. 12 : " The armourers accomplishing (that is, equipping) 
the knights." 

63. Accoutred. R.'s quarto has "apparreld." 

65. Braver. Finer, more showy. Both brave and bravery are often 
used in this sense with reference to dress, personal appearance, etc. See 
Temp. i. 2. 6,411, ii. 2. 122, iii. 2. 12, etc. Cf. also Bacon, Essay 37 : "the 
bravery of their liveries;" and Isa. iii. 18. The Scottish braw is the 
same word. 

67. Mincing. This word was not always contemptuous. In the one 
instance in which Milton uses it (Comns, 964 : " the mincing Dryades ") 
it appears to mean tripping lightly or gracefully. Cf. also Drayton, Pol- 
yolb. Song 27 : " Ye maids, the hornpipe then so mincingly that tread." 

69. Quaint. Ingenious, elaborate. See on ii. 4. 6 above. 

72. / conld not do withal. I could not help it. In Palgrave's Lesclair- 
cissement de la Lang. Fr., 1530, we find it thus explained : " / can nat do 
withall, a thyng lyeth nat in me, or I am nat in faulte that a thyng is 
done." In Florio's Giardino di Ricreatione, I59 1 ) " Io non saprei farci 
altro " is rendered " I cannot doo with all." Cf. also Shelton's Don 
Quixote, 1620: "Why, if you do not vnderstand (said Sancho), I cannot 
do withall." 

75. That men. This omission of so before that is very common. See 
y. C. i. I. 50 : " That Tiber trembled ;" Macb. ii. 2. 7 : " That death and 
nature do contend," etc. See Gr. 283. 

77. Raw. Crude, or, in Yankee parlance, "green." Cf. A. Y. L. iii. 
2.76: "Thou art raw," etc. 

Jacks. A common term of contempt. See Much Ado, v. i. 91, Hick. 
III. i. 3. 72, A. and C. iii. 13. 93, 103, A", and J. ii. 4. 160, etc. 

79. All my whole. Cf. i Hen. VI. i. I. 126: "All the whole army;" 
Hen. VIII. i. i. 12 : " All the whole time," etc. 

SCENE V. 3. I fear you. That is, fear for yon ; as in 24 below. Stee- 
vens quotes Rich. III. i. I. 137 : "his physicians fear him mightily." 

ACT IV. SCENE I. jijrj 

4. Agitation. The clown's blunder for cogitation. 

12. IVhen I shun Scylla, etc. In the Alexandreis of Philip Gaultier, 
written in the early part of the I3th century, we find the line, " Incidis in 
Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim," which had been often quoted and 
translated by English writers before the time of S. The substance of the 
line has been traced even farther back, to St. Augustine, who (/;/ Johan- 
nis Evang.} writes : " quasi fugiens Charybdim, in Scyllam incurras . . . 
a Charybdi quidem evasisti, sed in Scyllaeis scopulis naufragisti." 

17. Enow. A form of enough, generally plural. Cf. iv. I. 29 below. 

36. Cover. Launcelot quibbles on the two meanings of the word, to 
lay the table and to wear one's hat (see above, ii. 9. 43 : " how many then 
should cover," etc.). 

38. Quarrelling with occasion. "Quibbling on every opportunity, tak- 
ing every opportunity to make perverse replies " (Wr.). 

46. Discretion. Discrimination. 

Suited. Suited to each other, arranged. 

49. A many. This expression is obsolete, though we still say a few, 
and many a in a distributive sense. It is occasionally used in poetry, as 
by Gerald Massey (Love's Fairy Ring) : 

" We 've known a many sorrows, Sweet : 
We 've wept a many tears." 

Wr. quotes Tennyson (Miller's Daughter) : " They have not shed a 
many tears." Cf. A. Y. L. i. i. 121, K. John, iv. 2. 199, etc. 

50. Garnished. Furnished, equipped. 

For a tricksy word, etc. For a quibbling word (or a play upon words), 
set the meaning at defiance. Tricksy means sportive in Temp. v. i. 226 : 
" My tricksy spirit !" 

51. How cheer'st thou? Equivalent to " What cheer? How is 't with 
you ?" in IV. T. i. 2. 148. R.'s quarto has " How far'st thou ?" 

52. Good sweet. No term of compliment or endearment did more ser- 
vice in that day than sweet. This combination of good sweet occurs in 
Cor. i. 3. 119, M. W. iv. 2. 189, etc. Opinion is here a quadrisyllable. 

58. Mean it, then In reason, etc. The reading of R.'s quarto. H.'s 
quarto differs from this by having "it" instead of then ; and the folio has 
" meane it, it Is," etc. Pope reads " merit it, In ;" and St. conjectures 
" moan, it is In." Mean it intend to live an upright life. 

63. Pawrfd. Staked, wagered. Cf. Cor. iii. I. 15, Cymb. \. 4. 118. 

70. Howsoever. The folio has " how som ere " a common vulgarism 
in that day. 


SCENE I. 5. Uncapable. S. uses both incapable (six times) and itnca- 
pable (twice). So we find uncertain and incertain, unconstant and incon- 
stant, unfortunate and infortnnate, ungrateful and ingrateful, etc. Gr. 442, 

8. Obdurate. The accent is on the penult, as always in S. See Wore, 
on the word. 

9. And that. Here that is omitted after since, and is then inserted in 

156 NOTES. 

the second clause without since. This is a common construction in the 
Elizabethan writers. See Gr. 285. In most cases the subjects of the 
clauses are different. Cf. T. and C. ii. 2. 177 : 

"//"this law 

Of nature be corrupted through affection, 
And that great minds," etc. 

So in Ben Jonson's Cynthia's Revels, iii. 2: " Though my soul be guilty 
and that I think," etc. On the use of that with if, since, when, etc., see 
on ii. 6. 54 above. 

10. Envy's. See on iii. 2. 277 above. Cf. Mark, xv. 10. 

18. Lead'st this fashion, etc. You keep up this show of malice only 
until the final hour of execution. 

20. Kemorse. Relenting, pity. This is its usual meaning in S. See 
K. John, ii. i. 478: "Soft petitions, pity, and remorse;" Id. iv. 3. 50: 
"tears of soft remorse," etc. So remorseful^ compassionate, and re- 
morseless = pitiless (as at present). 

21. Apparent. Here ^seeming. For another sense, see Rich. II. p. 150. 

22. Where. Whereas. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. i. 74 : " Where I thought the 
remnant of mine age," etc. ; L. L. L. ii. i. 103 : " Where now his knowl- 
edge must prove ignorance ;" Cor. i. 10. 13 : " Where I thought to crush 
him," etc. On the other hand, whereas sometimes =where (D.), as in 
2 Hen. VI. i. 2. 58 : " Whereas the king and queen do mean to hawk." 

24. Loose. Release. This is the reading of the early eds. except the 
4th folio, which has " lose." 

26. Moiety. Portion, share (not an exact half) ; as often in S. Cf 
Ham. i. I. 90: "a moiety competent ;" and see our ed. p. 174. 

29. Royal merchant. This epithet was striking and well understood 
in S.'s time, when Sir Thomas Gresham was honoured with the title of 
the royal merchant, both from his wealth, and because he transacted the 
mercantile business of Queen Elizabeth ; and at Venice the Giustiniani, 
the Grimaldi, and others were literally "merchant princes," and known 
as such throughout Europe. For enow, see on iii. 5. 17 above. 

34. Gentle. A pun on Gentile is doubtless intended (\Vr.) : Possibly. 

35. Possessed. See on i. 3. 58 above. 

36. Sabbath. H.'s quarto has " Sabaoth." "The same mistake occurs 
in Bacon's Advancement of Learning, ii. 24: 'Sacred & inspired Diuin- 
itie, the Sabaoth and port of all men's labours and peregrinations.' Spen- 
ser also confounds the signification of the two words (F. Q. viii. 2) : 

" ' But thenceforth all shall rest eternally 

With him that is the God of Sabaoth hight.' 

Dr. Johnson, in the first edition of his Dictionary, treated Sabbath and 
Sabaoth as identical words, and Sir Walter Scott has (Ivanhoe, ch. x.), 
]' The gains of a week, aye the space between two Sabaoths.' But the 
error has been corrected in later editions" (Wr.). 

39. Your charter. See on iii. 2. 273 above. 

41. Carrion. A favourite term of contempt with S. 

43. But, say, it is. But suppose it is. Capell first inserted the com 
mas, which are required to make the sense clear. 

47. Some men there are love not. For the omitted relative, see Gr. 244. 



A gaping pig. "Editors and commentators have thought it neces- 
sary to discuss the point whether Shylock means the gaping of a pig 
brought to table with an apple in its mouth, or the gaping of the living, 
squealing animal. He may have meant either " (W.). 

49. Masters of passion. Agencies (such as he has been speaking of) 
that move either the sympathy or antipathy of any man. Passion is used 
in the original sense of feeling or emotion. Cf. J. C. i. 2. 48: "1 have 
much mistook your passion," etc. 

52. Abide. Bear, endure. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 360 : " which good natures 
Could not abide to be with," etc. 

55. Lodged. Settled, abiding. 

59. Current. Persistent course. 

60. My answer. H.'s quarto has "my answers." 

65. Think yon question. Consider that you are arguing with. 

67. Main flood. The "ocean tide." Cf. "the flood," i. i. 10. '"The main" 
generally means the sea (as in Rich. III. i. 4. 20 : " tumbling billows of the 
main"), but sometimes the main land. Cf. Ham. iv. 4. 15 : "the main of 
Poland," and Lear, iii. I. 6 : "swell the curled waters 'bove the main." 

68. You may as welt use question, etc. In the copy of H.'s quarto be- 
longing to the Duke of Devonshire we have : 

"well use question with the Woolfe, 
the Ewe bleake for the Lambe. " 

while in the copy of the same edition, the property of the Earl of Elles- 
mere, it is corrected to read as in the text (except that it retains " bleake "). 
The change must have been made while the edition was printing. The 
folio prints " Or euen as well vse question with the Wolfe," but leaves 
the second line imperfect. 

70. Pines. The quartos have " of pines." 

72. Fretted. Both quartos have " fretten ;" but elsewhere S. uses fretted. 

74. What 's harder ? Thus in the quartos. The folios have " what 
harder ?" 

77. With all brief and plain conveniency. " With such brevity and 
directness as befits the administration of justice" (Wr.). 

78. Have judgment. Receive sentence. Cf. Rich. II. iv. I. 123 : 
"Thieves are not judg'd," etc. See also Luke, xix. 22. 

87. Parts. Capacities, employments. 

95. Dearly bought. In "dear bought" (iii. 2. 308 above) we have, as 
often, the adjective for the adverb. 

99. Upon my poiver. By virtue of my prerogative. 

101. Determine. Decide. The word sometimes means to put an end to, 
as in 2 Hen. IV. iv. 5. 82 : " Till his friend sickness hath determin'd me ;" 
sometimes, to come to an end, as in Cor. v. 3. 120 : " till these wars deter- 

117. Forfeiture. Rowe reads "forfeit." 

118. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul. Cf. the quibble in J. C. i. I. 15 : 
"a mender of bad soles." For the sentiment, cf. 2. Hen. IV. iv. 5. 107: 

"Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts, 
Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart.'' 

120. The hattgmaiis axe. So in Fletcher's Prophetess, iii. 2, Dioclesian, 

158 NOTES. 

who had stabbed Aper, is called " the hangman of Volusius Aper ;" and in 
Jacke Drums Entertainment (1616), when Brabant Junior says, " let mine 
owne hand Be mine owne hangman," he refers to stabbing himself. In 
the Duke of Buckingham's Rehearsal, Bayes speaks of "a great huge 
hangman, . . . with his sword drawn " (D.). Cf. Much Ado, p. 143. 
121. Envy. Malice. See on iii. 2. 277 above. 

123. Inexorable. The reading of the 3d folio; " inexecrable " in all 
the earlier eds. 

124. For thy life. For allowing thee to live. 

126. Pythagoras. The philosopher of Samos, to whom was attributed 
the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. Cf. T. N. iv. 2. 54 : " Clown. 
What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild-fowl ? Malvolio. 
That the soul of our grandam might haply inhabit a bird." 

129. Who, hang'd, etc. See on i. 3. 126 above. 

133. Starved. The folio has "steru'd." The word is the A. 's.steorfan, 
Old Eng. stcrven (frequent in Chaucer), Ger. sterben. It originally meant, 
to die, but in the latter part of the i6th century came to be used in the 
narrower sense of perishing with cold a meaning which it still has in the 
North of England (see also 2 Hen. VI. iii. I. 343, etc.) or with hunger. 
We find the form sterve in Spenser, F. Q. ii. 6. 34, ii. 7. 57, etc. (=to die), 
and in Shep. Kal. Feb. 83, "starved with cold." 

137. Cureless. The quarto reading; "endless" in the folios. 

143. Go give. Cf. "come view," ii. 7. 43 ; "go sleep," Rich. II. iv. I. 
*39; "g see k tne king," Ham. ii. I. 101, etc. Gr. 349. 

153. To fill tip. To fulfil. 

154. No impediment to let him lack. " No hindrance to his receiving " 
(Wr.j. For this peculiar form of "double negative" in S., see Schmidt, 
p. 1420. Cf. A. Y. L. p. 156, note on 12. 

160. Came you. The quartos have "Come you." 

162. The difference, etc. The dispute which is the subject of the pres- 
ent trial. 

164. Throughly. See on ii. 7. 42 above. 

169. Such rule. Such due form. 

171. Within his danger. Cf. V. and A. 639: "Come not within his 
danger ; T. N. v. i. 87 : " Into the danger of this adverse town," etc. 

176. It droppelh, etc. As Douce suggests, S. may have had in mind 
Ecclesiasticus, xxxv. 20 : " Mercy is seasonable in the time of affliction, 
as clouds of rain in the time of drought." 

177. Twice blest. "Endowed with double blessing" (Wr.). 

181. Shows. Represents. Cf. Rich. II. iii. 4. 42: "showing, as in a 
model, our firm estate." 

187. Show. Show itself, appear. Cf. ii. 2. 167 above. 

188. Seasons. Tempers. Malone quotes Edward III. (1596): 

"And kings approach the nearest unto God 
By giving life and safety unto men." 

and Sir John Harrington's Orlando Furioso : 

" This noble virtue and divine 
Doth chiefly make a man so rare and odd, 
As in that one he most resembleth God." 



191. We do pray for mercy, etc. Sir W. Blackstone considered this 
out of character as addressed to a Jew. S. probably had the Lord's 
Prayer immediately in his mind, but the sentiment is also found in EC- 
clesiasticus, xxviii. (K.). 

195. Follow. Insist upon. For court the folios have " course." 

199. Discharge. Pay. See on iii. 2. 268 above. 

201. Twice. Some critics would change this to thrice, because we 
have "thrice the sum" just below. It is possible that twice is a mis- 
print, as W. suggests, but we see no necessity for bringing the two pas- 
sages into mathematical agreement. For Shakespeare's carelessness in 
these little arithmetical matters, see C. of E. p. 148, note on 400. 

205. Truth. Honesty. So " a true man " was an honest man, as op- 
posed to a thief. See M.for M. iv. 2. 46: "Every true man's apparel 
fits your thief;" I Hen. IV. ii. 2. 98: "the thieves have bound the true 
men," etc. 

211. Precedent. The folios have "president." 

214. A Daniel come to judgment. The allusion is to the History of Su- 
sanna, 45 : " The Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young youth, whose 
name was Daniel," etc. 

215. How do I. The quartos have "how I do." 

239. Hath full relation, etc. Clearly recognizes that this penalty (like 
any other) should be paid. 

242. More elder. Double comparatives and superlatives are common 
in the Elizabethan writers. In S. we find "more larger" (A. and C. iii. 
6. 76), " more better ' ' ( Temp. i. 2. 19), " more braver " (Id, i. 2. 439), " more 
rawer" (Ham. v. 2. 129), "most boldest" (J. C. iii. i. 121), "most un- 
kindest" (Id. iii. 2. 187), etc. See Gr. 11. In Rich. II. ii. i. 49 we find 
"less happier," the only instance with less found in S. 

245. The very words. We still use very as an adjective in this sense 
of exact, or precise, though not in the sense of true, as in iii. 2. 218 above. 

246. Balance. W. says, "The plural form balances was rarely used in 
S.'s day, if at all." We find " ballances, or a payre of ballance : libra " 
in Baret's Alvearie (1580), and Cotgrave (1611) has "balance ; a pair of 
balances." Here, however, it may be a contracted plural. See Gr. 471. 

248. On your charge. At your expense. 

249. Do bleed. The folios have "should bleed," and in the next line 
"It is so nominated," and in 254 "Come merchant." 

259. Still her use. Ever her custom. See on i. i. 17 above. On use, 
cf. J. C. ii. 2. 25 : " these things are beyond all use." 

263. Such misery. Wr. suggests that misery may have the accent on 
the penult both here and in K. John, iii. 4: "And buss thee as thy wife. 
Misery's love," etc. Cf. Gr. 490 (p. 390). 

266. Speak me fair in death. Speak well of me when I am dead. " Ro- 
meo that spoke him fair " (R. and J. iii. i. 158) means " Romeo that spoke 
to him in conciliatory terms ;" and, as Wr. remarks, this, is the usual 
meaning of the phrase. 

268. A love. Cf. lover in iii. 4. 1 7 above. D. reads " lover " here. 

269. Repent not you. The quartos have "Repent but you," which the 
Camb. ed. retains. 

!6o NOTES. 

272. Instantly. R.'s quarto has " presently." 

With all my heart. Cf. Rich. II. ii. i. 74 fol., where the dying Gaunt 
jests on his name : 

" Old Gaunt indeed, and gaunt in being old : 

* * * * * 

Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave," etc. ; 

and where, in reply to Richard's question, " Can sick men play so nicely 
with their names ?" he says : " No, misery makes sport to mock itself." 
274. Which is as dear. See on ii. 7. 4 above. 

286. These be. See on i. 3. 19 above. 

287. Barrdbas. So spelled in Tyndale's and Coverdale's versions. In 
Marlowe's yew of Malta the name is Barabas, not Bar abbas (Wr.). 

289. Pursue. Accented on the first syllable, ^.pursuit in Sonn. 143. 4. 

299. 7ake then. The folios read "Then take." 

302. Confiscate. Confiscated. This Latinism is most frequent in verbs 
derived from the first conjugation (as dedicate, consecrate, degenerate, suffo- 
cate, etc.), but it is found in other Latin derivatives. See Gr. 342. 

318. Be it but. The folios omit but. 

319. The substance. The amount. 

325. I have thee on the hip. See on i. 3. 40 above. 
335- So taken. The folios have " taken so." 
340. Alien. A trisyllable. See on i. i. 8 above. 

343. Contrive. Plot. Cf. J. C. ii. 3. 16: "the fates with traitors do 
contrive ;" and see our ed. p. 153. 

359. Spirits. H 's quarto and the folios have " spirit." 

363. Which humbleness, etc. Which humble entreaty on thy part may 
induce me to commute for a fine. 

364. Ay, for the state, etc. That is, the half which goes to the state 
may be thus commuted, but not Antonio's. 

374. In use. In trust for Shylock, for the purpose of securing it at his 
death to Lorenzo. Use does not mean interest, which Antonio has said 
(i. 3. 55 above) that he neither gives nor takes. 

380. Of all he dies possessed. See on i. i. 125 above. 

389. Thou shall. The quartos have "shalt thou." 

390. Ten more. To make up a jury of twelve. This, as Malone ob- 
serves, appears to have been an old joke. 

392. Home with me. The folios have " with me home." 

393. Desire your grace of pardon. Cf. M. N. D. iii. I. 185 : "desire you 
of more acquaintance ;" and Oth. iii. 3. 212 : " beseech you of your par- 
don." So in Spenser, F. Q. ii. 9. 42 : " If it be I, of pardon I you 

397. Gratify. Recompense. Cf. Cor. ii. 2. 44 : " To gratify his noble 
service," etc. 

403. Cope. Reward, requite. 

412. Of force. Of necessity. Perforce is still used in this sense. 

Attempt. Tempt. Cf. M.for M. iv. 2. 205 : " neither my coat, integ- 
rity, nor persuasion can with ease attempt you " (Wr.). 

442. Be valued 'gainst. The folios have " valued against," the quartos 
"valew'd gainst," which requires " commandement " (the reading of both 

ACT V. SCENE /. !$! 

quartos and folio) to be a quadrisyllable. W. says that this pronuncia- 
tion was obsolete in S.'s day; but it is required in i Hen. VI. i. 3. 20: 
" From him I have express commandement." See Gr. 488. 

SCENE II. 6. Upon more ad-vice. Upon further consideration. Cf. 
M.for M. v. i. 469 : " after more advice ;" and Rich. II. i. 3. 233 : " upon 
good advice " (after due deliberation), etc. 

15. Old swearing. Old in this intensive or augmentative sense is com- 
mon in writers of the time. For other examples in S., see Macb. ii. 3. 2, 
M. W. i. 4. 5, Much Ado, v. 2. 98, and 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 21. Cf. the slang 
phrase of our day, " a high old time." The Italian vecchio, as D. remarks, 
is (or was) used in the same sense. 


SCENE I. 4. Troilus. S. in the play of Troilus and Cressida makes 
"Cressid" the daughter of the soothsayer Calchas, but her name is not 
found in classic fable. The allusion here is borrowed from Chaucer's 
Troilus and Cresseide, in which the prince is described as watching " upon 
the walles" for Cressida's coming. 

7. Thisbe. The story of the Babylonian lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe, 
is told by Ovid, Met. iv. 55. fol. Golding's translation was published in 
1564, but S. may have read the original. He probably drew more directly 
from Chaucer's Legende of Goode Women, in which Thisbe, Dido, and 
Medea are introduced one after another. 

10. Dido. The picture of Dido is not in accordance with Virgil's nar- 
rative. It may have been suggested by that of Ariadne in the Legende 
of Goode Women (2187 fol.) : 

"to the stronde barefote fast she went. 


Hire kerchefe on a pole styked shee, 

Ascaunce that he shulde hyt wel ysee, 

And hym remembre that she was behynde, 

And turn agayne, and on the stronde hire fynde. " 

The earliest reference to the willow as a symbol of forsaken love is 
found in a MS. collection of poems by John Heywood, about 1530. See 
Brand's Popular Antiquities, vol. i. pp. 121-124 (Bonn's ed.). Cf. Much 
Ado, ii. I. 194, 225, Of/i. iv. 3. 28 fol., 3 Hen. VI. iii. 3. 228, etc. 

1 1. Waft. For wafted, as in K. John, ii. i. 73 : " Than now the English 
bottoms have waft o'er." Theo. altered it to wav'd, which W. and many 
other editors adopt. Cf. lift for lifted in i Hen. VI. i. i. 16, Gen. vii. 17, 
Ps. xciii. 3, etc. Gr. 341. L , 

13. Medea. The allusion is to the fable of her restoring /Eson, the father 
of Jason, to youthful vigour by her enchantments. Ovid (Met. vii.) tells 
us that she drew blood from his veins, and supplied its place witn the juice 
of certain herbs. In Gower's C<mf. Am. thei'e is a beautiful description 
of Medea going forth at midnight to gather " the enchanted herbs :" 
"Thus it befell upon a night 
Whann there was nought but sterre light, 

1 62 NOTES. 

She was vanished right as hir list, 
That no wight but herself wist, 
And that was at midnight tide, 
The world was still on every side," etc 

16. Unthrift, We have the adjective again in T. of A. iv. 3. 311, and 
the noun in Rich. II. ii. 3. 122, SOHH. 9. 9 and 13. 13. 

28. Stephana. In the Temp, this name has the accent on the first syl- 
lable, where it belongs. 

31. Holy crosses. These are very common in Italy. Besides those in 
churches, they mark the spots where heroes were born, where saints rest- 
ed, where travellers died. They rise on hill-tops, and at the intersection 
of roads ; and there is now a shrine of the Madonna del Mare in the 
midst of the sea between Mestre and Venice, and another between Venice 
and Palestrina, where the gondolier and mariner cross themselves in pass- 
ing, and whose lamp nightly gleams over the waters, in moonlight and 
storm (K.). 

36. Go we in. See on ii. 8. 53 above. In "let us prepare," in the next 
line, we have the ordinary form of the ist pers. imperative. 

39. Sola, etc. An imitation of the post-horn. 

41. Master Lorenzo and Mistress Lorenzo. R.'s quarto has " M. Lorenzo, 
M. Lorenzo;" H.'s quarto and the ist folio, " M. Lorenzo & M. Loren- 
zo ;" the later folios, " M. Lorenzo, and Mrs. Lorenza." The Camb. ed. 
reads : " did you see Master Lorenzo ? Master Lorenzo, sola, sola !" 

53. Music. This word sometimes meant musical instruments, or a band 
of music. See Hen. VIII. iv. 2. 94: "Bid the music leave; They aie 
harsh," etc. Cf. 98 below : " It is your music, madam, of the house." 

56. Creep in. On in for into, see Gr. 159. 

59. Patines. The patine was the plate used for the sacramental bread, 
and was sometimes made of gold. R.'s quarto has " patients ;" H.'s 
quarto and the ist folio, "pattens ;" and the 2d folio, "patterns,'' which 
is adopted by some modern editors. 

61. His motion. His for its ; as in 82 below. Gr. 228. 

Sings. For other allusions to the "music of the spheres" in S., see 
A. and C. v. 2. 84, T. N. iii. i. 121, A. Y. L. ii. 7. 6, etc. 

62. Cherubins. So in both quartos and first two folios ; " cherubims " 
in the later folios. The singular cherubin is found in Temp. \. 2. 152, 
Mncb. i. 7. 22, Oth. iv. 2. 63, and L. C. 319 ; cherub only in Ham. iv. 3. 50. 
Cherubin occurs in Spenser and other poets of the time, and is used 
even by Dryden. The French word is cherubin, the Italian chernbino, 
the Spanish qnernbin. 

63. Such harmony, etc. Besides the music of the spheres, which no mor- 
tal ear ever caught a note of, there was by some philosophers supposed to be 
a harmony in the human soul. " Touching musical harmony," says Hook- 
er (quoted by Farmer), "whether by instrument or by voice, it being but 
of high and low sounds in a due proportionable disposition, such, notwith- 
standing, is the force thereof, and so pleasing effects it hath in that very 
part of man which is most divine, that some have been thereby induced 
to think that the soul itself, by nature is, or hath in it, harmony." But, 
though this harmony is within us, " this muddy vesture of decay," as the 
poet tells us, "doth grossly close it in" so that we cannot hear it. 

ACT V. SCENE 2. ^3 

72. Unhand! fd colts. Cf. Ariel's simile of the " unback'd colts," Temp. 
iv. i. 176. 

77. Mutual. Common. Cf. M. N. D. iv. i. 122: "mutual cry," etc. 
So. Orpheus. Cf. T. G. of V. iii. 2. 78 : 

" For Orpheus' lute was strung with poets' sinews, 
Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones," etc. ; 

and Hen. VIII. iii. 1.3: 

"Orpheus with his lute made trees, 
And the mountain tops that freeze, 
Bow themselves when he did sing." 

87. Erebus. Cf. J. C. ii. I. 84: "Not Erebus itself were dim enough," 
etc. The word, though sometimes used figuratively for the lower world 
in general, denotes strictly " a place of nether darkness between the Earth 
and Hades." 

99. Without respect. Absolutely, without regard to circumstances. St. 
thinks it means without attention, and refers to the attended that follows. 

103. Attended. Attended to, listened to attentively. Cf. Sonn. 102. 7 : 

" As Philomel in summer's front doth sing, 
And stops her pipe in growth of riper days; 
Not that the summer is less pleasant now 
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night, 
But that wild music burthens every bough, 
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight." 

All the birds mentioned here the crow, lark, cuckoo, etc. are found in 

107. By season, etc. " By fitness of occasion are adapted or qualified 
to obtain their just appreciation, and to show their true excellence." 

109. Peace, ho! The old copies have " Peace ! How the moon," etc., 
and some of the editors prefer this reading. But, as D. remarks, " how " 
is often the old spelling of ho! In J. C. i. 2. i we find "Peace, ho!" 
used, as here, to silence the music. 

Endymion. A beautiful shepherd beloved by Diana. Fletcher, in 
the Faithful Shepherdess, tells 

" How the pale Phcebe, hunting in a grove, 
First saw the boy Endymion, from whose eyes 
She took eternal fire that never dies; 
How she conveyed him softly in a sleep, 
His temples bound with poppy, to the steep 
Head of old Latmos, where she stoops each night, 
Gilding the mountain with her brother's light, 
To kiss her sweetest." 

The fable appears in many forms in the classic writers, and has been a 
favourite one with poets ever since. 

115. Which speed. See on ii. 7. 4 above. 

121. A tucket sounds. This stage-direction is found in the ist folio. A 
tucket (probably from the Italian toccata} is a flourish on a trumpet. Cf. 
Hen. V. iv. 2. 35 : " Then let the trumpet sound The tucket-sonance." 

127. We should hold day, etc. We should have day when the Antipodes 
do, if you, Portia, would walk abroad at night. 

1 64 NOTES. 

129. Let me give light, etc. See on iii. 2. 91 above. 

132. God sort all! God dispose all things ! Cf. Rich. Til. ii. 3. 36 : 

" All may be well ; but if God sort it so, 
'T is more than we deserve, or I expect." 

136. In all sense. In all reason. 

141. Breathing courtesy. Cf. Macb. v. 3. 27 : " Mouth-honour, breath." 

146. Poesy. The poesy or posy (for the two words are the same), of a ring 
was a motto or rhyme inscribed upon its inner side. The fashion of put- 
ting such "posies "on rings prevailed from the middle of the i6th to the 
close of the 17th centuries.* In 1624 a little book was published with 
the quaint title, Lovis Garland, or Posies for Rings, Handkerchiefs, and 
Gloves ; and such pretty tokens, that lovers send their loves. Lyly, in his 
Euphues, Part Second, 1597, hopes that the ladies will be favourable to his 
work, "writing your judgments as you do the Posies in your rings, which 
'are always next to the ringer, not to be scene of him that holdeth you by 
the hand, and yet knowne by you that weare them on your hands." The 
Rev. Giles Moore, in his Journal, 1673-4, writes, " I bought for Ann Brett 
a gold ring, this being the posy : When this you see, remember me." Cf. 
Ham. iii. 2. 162 : " Is this a prologue, or the poesy of a ring ?" In most 
of the modern editions (not in K. or W.) we find " posy " in this pas- 
sage, as well as iii the M. of V. ; but the 1st folio has " Poesie" in both 
plays. These are the only instances in which S. uses the word in this sense. 

148. Leave me not. Do not part with me. Leave is used in the same 
sense by Portia in 170 below. 

irrespective. Considerate, regardful. Cf. R. and J. iii. I. 128 : "re- 
spective lenity;" which Malone well explains by "cool, considerate gen- 
tleness." See also K. John, i. I. 188. 

155. But well I know. Both quartos have "No, God 's my judge." 
The change may have been made on account of the statute of James I. 
against the use of the name of God on the stage ; but see on i. 2. 96 above. 

156. On V. For examples of similar contraction, see Gr. 182. 

160. Scrubbed. Not merely stunted, as usually explained, but rather, as 
W. gives it, "dwarfish and unkempt.'' Cotgrave (Fr. and Eng. Diet.} 
has, " Marpaut. An ill-favoured scrub, a little onglie or swartie -wretch" 
Coles (Lt. and Eng. Diet.} translates "scrubbed " by sqnalidus. 

175. / were best. Cf. J. C. iii. 3. 13 : " truly you were best," etc. Gr. 352. 

197. The virtue of the ring. The power it has; the right to me and 
mine of which it is the pledge. See iii. 2. 171, where Portia gives the ring. 

199. Contain. Retain; as in Sonii.jj.f): "what thy memory cannot 
contain," etc. It often means restrain ; as in T. of A. ii. 2. 26: "con- 
tain thyself," etc. 

202. Had plea? d te have defended. For "had pleased to defend." The 
inaccuracy is sometimes found in good writers of our day, and has even 
been defended by one or two grammarians. 

203. Wanted. As to have wanted. 

* Inscriptions on the outside of rings have been common from the old Greek and 
Roman times. Chaucer, in Troilus and Cresseiiie, describes the heroine as giving her 
lover a ring with a love-motto upon it, and receiving one in return. 


204. Urge. Urge you to give it to him; insist upon it. Ceremony = 
a sacred thing. 

208. Civil doctor. Doctor of civil law. 

212. Did uphold. H.'s quarto and the folios have "had held up." 

218. For, by these, etc. The folios have " And, by these." Cf. R. and 
J. iii. 5. 9 : " Night's candles are burnt out ;" Macb. ii. 1.5: " There 's 
husbandry in heaven ; Their candles are all out ;" and Fairfax's Tasso, 
ix. 10 : "When heaven's small candles next shall shine" (where the 
original has merely di notte}. See also Sonn. 21. 12. 

237. Wealth. Weal, welfare. In the Litany " wealth " is opposed to 

238. Which. That is, which loan. 

239. Miscarried. Perished; as in ii. 8. 29 and iii. 2. 310 above. Cf. 
T. N. p. 152, or 2 Hen. IV. p. 182. 

241. Advisedly. Deliberately. Cf. advised in i. I. 142 and ii. I. 42 above. 

257. Richly. Richly laden. Cf. "richly left," i. i. 161 above. 

260. Living. See on livings, iii. 2. 156 above. 

262. To road. To harbour. Cf. "ports, and piers, and roads," i. I. 19 

270. Satisfied of. Satisfied concerning (Gr. 174) ; that is, you wish to 
know more about them. Atfull = \n full, fully. 

272. And charge us, etc. " In the Court of Queen's Bench, when a 
complaint is made against a person for 'contempt,' the practice is that 
before sentence is finally pronounced he is sent into the Crown Office, 
and being there ' charged upon interrogatories ' he is made to swear that 
he will 'answer all things faithfully'" (Lord Campbell's Shakespeare's 
Legal Acquirements}. 

Inter gatories. This contracted form was common in S.'s time. We 
find it even in prose in A. W. iv. 3. 207, as printed in the early editions. 
The full form occurs in K. John, iii. i. 147. See also Cymb. p. 223. 


THE "TIME-ANALYSIS" OF THE PLAY. The Rev. N. J. Halpin, in 
an elaborate paper published in the Transactions of the New Shakspere 
Society, 1875-76, pp. 388-412, makes the entire time covered by the play 
only thirty-nine hours, which he divides into two periods, with the inter- 
val between them, as follows : 

" i. The first period ranges from the opening of the action and the 
borrowing of Shylock's money, to the embarkation of Bassanio and his 
suite for Belmont [10 hours]. 

" 2. The second includes the time between Bassanio's arrival at Belmont 
and his return to it, accompanied by Antonio after the trial [18 hours]. 

"3. And the interval between these two periods is concurrent with the 
time of the bond, whatever that may be [ii hours, or from 9 P.M. of one 
day to 8 A.M. of the next]." 

Mr. Halpin assumes that the bond is a fraudulent one, payable at sight 

1 66 NOTES. 

or on demand, which Shylock has substituted for the three-months bond 
agreed upon. 

In a note read before the New Shaks. Soc. Oct. I2th, 1877 (printed in 
the Transactions, 1877-79, PP- 4 I- 57)> ar >d also in his paper "On the 
Times or Durations of the Action of Shakspere's Plays" (same vol. of 
Transactions, p. 148 fol.), Mr. P. A. Daniel shows the inaccuracy of Hal- 
pin's scheme, and sums up his own " time-analysis " thus : 

"Time : eight days represented on the stage; with intervals. Total 
time : a period of rather more than three months. 
Day i. Act i. 

Interval say a week. * 
" 2. Act II. sc. i.-vii. 

Interval one day. t 
" 3. Act II. sc. viii. and ix. 

Interval bringing the time to within a fortnight of the ma- 
turity of the bond. 
" 4. Act III. sc. i. 

Interval rather more than a fortnight.}: 
" 5. Act III. sc. ii.-iv. 
" 6. Act III. sc. v., Act IV. 
" 7 and 8. Act V." 

BASSANIO'S ARROWS (i. I. 140 fol.). In the Trans, of New Shaks. Soc. 
1877-79, p. 460, Mr. Furnivall quotes the following illustrative passage 
from Quips vpon Questions, 1600 : 

"ffmu shall I finde it ? 

lie tell thee how to finde that eare againe. 
Children, in shooting, when they loose an Arrow 
In high growne or deepe grasse, omit no paine, 
But with their Bowes end, rake and search it narrow, 

And when they bootlesse seeke, and finde it not, 

After some sorrow, this amendes is got : 

* In ii. 2, we find Launcelot lamenting his hard life in Shylock's service ; he knows 
that Bassanio gives "rare new liveries," and we may suppose that in going of errands 
between Shylock and Bassanio he has gained his knowledge of the superior comforts to 
be obtained in the service of the latter. He accordingly petitions to be admitted his 
servant, and he obtains his end; for Bassanio "knows him well," and tells him that 
this very day Shylock himself has preferred him. This fact alone shows that Shylock 
however inwardly he has cherished his hate has been at least for some little time in 
familiar intercourse with Bassanio and his friends since the signing of the bond. Mean- 
while Bassanio has engaged his ship, and is waiting for a fair wind ; and Lorenzo has 
been courting Jessica. Note also what Jessica says in iii. 2. 279 fol. All this supposes 
a lapse of time say a week since the signing of the bond. 

t For Bassanio's journey to Belmont, etc. 

i In iii. i, Shylock says to Tubal : "Go, Tubal, fee me an officer ; bespeak him a fort- 
night before." However doubtful we may feel as to its flight, this distinct note of time 
leaves us no choice but to believe in an interval, between this and the preceding scenes, 
of sufficient length to bring the three-months bond to within a fortnight of its maturity. 

After the trial Bassanio and Antonio propose to fly towards Belmont early next 
morning. Portia and Nerissa start for home that night, and arrive on the next night 
(Day 7) before their husbands. Act V. begins at a late hour that night, and ends two 
hours before day (Day 8). 


An other shaft they shoote lhat direct way 
As whilome they the first shot ; and be plaine 
Twentie to one, as I haue heard some say, 
The former Arrow may be found againe. 
So, as you lost the first eare, gentle brother, 
Venture the second eare, to find the tother. 
Nay, soft and faire, to do that I am loth ; 
So I may happen for to lose them both. 
Q , ( Better lost than found : who 'will bewee/>e them ? 
" *" \Fools hauing eares, yet do -want -wit to keepe them.' 1 '' 

A breed of barren metal (p. 136). Mr. Furnivall cites Middleton, The 
Blacke Booke : " coming to repay both the money and the breed of it for 
interest may well be called the usurer's bastard," etc. 

Sand-Mind (p. 138). Mr. Furnivall quotes Baret, Alvearie, 1580: " Sand- 
blind. Vide Bleare eied, & Poreblind " (that is, purblind); and " Poore- 
blind, or that seeth dimlie . . . Qiti ha. courts vette." 

No master, sir, but a poor mail's son (ii. 2. 43). Mr. Furnivall quotes 
Sir Thomas Smith's Commonwealth of England (ed. 1612) : "as for gen- 
tleme, they be made good cheap in England. For whosoeuer studieth 
the laws of the Realm, who studieth in the Uniuersities, who professeth 
liberall Sciences : and to be short, who can liue idely, and without man- 
uall labour, and will beare the port, charge and countenance of a Gentle- 
man, hee shall bee called master, for that is the tytle which men giue to 
Esquires, and other Gentlemen, and shall bee taken for a Gentleman." 

Cater-cousins (p. 139). W. G. S. ( Trans. A T e?v Shaks. Soc, 1877-79, P- 
463) finds an instance of this word in Mabbe's Guzman de Alfarache, 
1623: "I was not halfe Cater-cousins with him, because by his meanes, 
I had lost my Cloake, and sup't vpon a Mule." 

Reply, reply (iii. 2. 66). The early eds. print " How begot, how nour- 
ished. Replie, replie" H. (" Harvard " ed.) follows Hanmer and 
Johnson in reading ''Reply' 1 '' as a stage-direction, though no other instance 
of such use has been pointed out. As the Camb. editors remark, the 
words " seem to be required as part of the song by the rhythm, and (if we 
read eye with the quartos) by the rhyme also." All recent editors except 
H. retain them in the text. 

Salerio (iii. 3. 214). It is not strange that the similarity in the names 
Salarino, Salanio, and Salerio caused some confusion in the prefixes to 
the speeches in the early eds. and also here and there in the text ; but 
the modern editors have made deliberate alterations that are less excusa- 
ble than these slips of the old printers. Several of them have changed 
Salanio to " Solanio," though the former is the prevailing form in both 
quartos and folios; and K. (followed by D., H., and others) assumes 
that Salerio is a misprint for " Solanio." It happens, however, that this 
name is given with singular uniformity in the early eds. ; and, as W. 
remarks, " the style of Salerio's speech- shows that he is a person of infe- 
rior rank to Salarino and Salanio." No doubt some critic would be making 
these latter two gentlemen one, if they did not several times appear on 
the stage together. Furness thinks that the limited number of actors in 
the old theatres would prevent the introduction of a new character here ; 
but this play has fewer characters than the average, even if we add Salerio. 

1 68 ADDENDA. 

SILVAYN'S "ORATOR" (p. 12). The 95th Declamation of The Orator 
is headed " Of a Jew, -who would for his debt haite a pound of the flesh 
of a Christian" and reads as follows: "A lew, vnto whom a Christian 
Marchant ought nine hundred crownes, would haue summoned him for the 
same in Turckie: the Merchant because lie would not be discredited, prom- 
ised to pay the said sutnme within the tearme of three months, and if he 
paied it not, he was bound to giue him a pound of the flesh of his bodie. 
7^he tearme being past some fifteene dates, the lew refused to take his money, 
and demaunded the pound of flesh : the ordinarie fudge of that place ap- 
pointed him to cut a iust pound of the Christians flesh, and if he cut either 
more or lesse, then his owne head should be smitten off: the lew appealed 
from this sentence, vnto the chief e iudge, saying: 

Impossible is it to breake the credite of trafficke amongst men without 
great detriment vnto the Commonwealth : wherfore no man ought to 
bind himselfe vnto such couenants which hee cannot or wil not accom- 
plish, for by that means should no man feare to be deceaued, and credit 
being maintained, euery man might be assured of his owne ; but since 
deceit hath taken place, neuer wonder if obligations are made more rig- 
orous and strict then they were wont, seeing that although the bonds are 
made neuer so strong, yet can no man be very certaine that he shal not 
be a loser. It seemeth at the first sight, that it is a thing no lesse strange 
then cruel, to bind a man to pay a pound of the flesh of his bodie, for 
want of money : Surely, in that it is a thing not vsuall, it appeareth to 
be somewhat the more admirable, but there are diuers others that are 
more cruell, which because they are in vse seeme nothing terrible at all : 
as to binde al the bodie vnto a most lothsome prison, or vnto an intol- 
lerable slauerie, where not only the whole bodie but also al the sences and 
spirits are tormented, the which is commonly practised, not only betwixt 
those which are either in sect or Nation contrary, but also euen amongst 
those that are all of one sect and nation, yea amongst neighbours and 
kindred, and euen amongst Christians it hath ben scene, that the son 
hath imprisoned the father for monie. Likewise in the Roman Com- 
monwealth, so famous for laws and armes, it was lawfull for debt, to im- 
prison, beat, and afflict with torments the free Citizens : How manie 
of them (do you thinke) would haue thought themselues happie, if for a 
small debt they might haue ben excused with the paiment of a pound 
of their flesh ? Who ought then to maruile if a lew requireth so 
small a thing of a Christian, to discharge him of a good round summe? 
A man may aske why I would not rather take siluer of this man, then 
his flesh : I might alleage many reasons, for I might say that none but 
my selfe can tell what the breach of his promise hath cost me, and what 
I haue thereby paied for want of money vnto my creditors, of that which 
I haue lost in my credit : for the miserie of those men which esteeme 
their reputation, is so great, that' oftentimes they had rather indure any 
thing secretlie then to haue their discredit blazed abroad, because they 
would not be both shamed and harmed. Neverthelesse, I doe freely 
confesse, that I had rather lose a pound of my flesh, then my credit 
should be in any sort cracked : I might also say that I haue need of 
this flesh to cure a friend of mine of a certaine maladie, which is other- 
wise incurable, or that I would haue it to terrific thereby the Christians 


for euer abusing the lewes anie more hereafter : but I will onelie say, 
that by his obligation he oweth it me. It is lawfull to kill a souldior if 
he come vnto the warres but an houre too late, and also to hang a theefe 
though he steale neuer so little : is it then such a great matter to cause 
such a one to pay a pound of his flesh, that hath broken his promise 
manie times, or that putteth another in danger to lose both credit and 
reputation, yea and it may be life and al for greife ? were it not better 
for him to lose that which I demand, then his soule, alreadie bound by his 
faith ? Neither am I to take that which he oweth me, but he is to de- 
liuer it me : And especiallie because no man knoweth better then he 
where the same may be spared to the least hurt of his person, for I 
might take it in such a place as hee might thereby happen to lose his 
life : what a matter were it then, if I should cut of his [head], supposing 
that the same would . . . weigh a iust pound ? . . . Should I be suffered 
to cut it off, although it were with the danger of mine owne life? I be- 
leeue I should not ; because there were as little reason therein, as there 
could be in the amends whereunto I should be bound; or els if I would 
cut off his nose, his lips, his eares, and pull out his eies, to make of them 
altogether a pound, should I be suffered ? Surely I thinke not, because 
the obligation dooth not specific that I ought either to chuse, cut, or 
take the same, but that he ought to giue me a pound of his flesh. Of 
euery thing that is sold, he which deliuereth the same is to make waight, 
and he which receiueth, taketh heed that it be iust : seeing then that 
neither the obligation, custome, nor law doth bind me to cut, or weigh, 
much lesse vnto the aboue mentioned satisfaction, I refuse it all, and 
require that the same which is due should bee deliuered vnto me." 

" The Christians Answere," which follows, is about as long as the Jew's 
plea, but contains nothing that bears any particular resemblance to Shake- 
peare's text. 

THEY APPEAR. The numbers in parentheses indicate the lines the 
characters have in each scene. 

Duke of Venice: iv. 1(57). Whole no. 57. 

Prince of Morocco : ii. 1(32), 7(71). Whole no. 103. 

Prince of Arragon : ii. 9(66). Whole no. 66. 

Antonio : i. 1(46), 3(39); ii. 6(6); iii. 3(19); iv. 1(66) ; v. 1(12). Who'.e 
no. 188. 

Bassanio : i. 1(51), 3(16); ii. 2(38); iii. 2(144); iv. 1(50); v. 1(42). 
Whole no. 341. 

Salanio : i. i(n); ii. 4(3), 8(21); iii. 1(24). Whole no. 59. 

Salarino : i. 1(41) ; ii. 4(3), 6(5), 8(34) ; iii. 1(22), 3(4). Whole no. 

Gratiano: i. 1(34); ii. 2(18), 4(3), 6(20); iii. 2(31); iv. 1(33), 2(5); 
v. 1(34). Whole no. 178. 

Lorenzo: i. 1(6) ; ii. 4(27), 6(21); iii. 2(5), 4(12), 5(34) ; v. 1(76). 
Whole no. 181. 

Shylock : i. 3(134); ii. 5(39); iii. 1(72), 3(16); iv. 1(103). Whole 
no. 364. 

Tubal: iii. 1(16). Whole no. 16. 



L.auncelot : ii. 2(120), 3(5), 4(6), 5(15); iii. 5(35); v. 1(7). Whole 
no. 1 88. 

Old Gobbo : ii. 2(41). Whole no. 41. 

Salerio: iii. 2(20); iv. 1(4). Whole no. 24. 

Leonardo : ii. 2(2). Whole no. 2. 

Balthazar: iii. 4(1). Whole no. I. 

Stephana : \. 1(8). Whole no. 8. 

Servant: i. 2(5) ; ii. 9(11) ; iii. 1(2). Whole no 18. 

Musician : iii. 2(9). Whole no. g. 

Portia: i. 2(96); ii. 1(17), 7(9), 9(20); iii. 2(118), 4(71) ; iv. 1(138), 
2(12); v. 1(108). Whole no. 589. 

Nerissa: i. 2(46); ii. 9(6); iii. 2(5), 4(2); iv. 1(22), 2(4); v. 1(25). 
Whole no. no. 

Jessica: ii. 3(16), 5(4), 6(18) ; iii. 2(7), 4(1), 5(29) ; v. 1(14). Whole 
no. 89. 

"All": iii. 2(1). Whole no. I. 

In the above enumeration, parts of lines are counted as whole lines, 
making the total in the play greater than it is. The actual number of 
lines in each scene (Globe edition numbering) is as follows ; i. 1(186), 
2(147), 3083); ii- i(46), 2(215), 3(2i), 4(40), 5(57), 6(68), 7(79), 8(53), 
9(101); iii. 1(136), 2(330), 3(36), 4(84), 5(96); iv. 1(458), 2(19); v. 
1(307). Whole no. in the play, 2662. 


a (capering, etc.), 132, 140. 

bestow, 140. 

contrive (=plot), 160. 

a' (=he), 139. 

best-regarded, 137. 

conveniency, 157. 

a many, 155. 

bid forth, 142. 

convenient, 145, 154. 

abide (=bear), 157. 

Black-Monday, 142. 

cope, 160. 

accomplished, 154. 

blest or cursed'st, 138. 

could not do withal, 154. 

achieve, 151. 

bonnet, 132. 

counterfeit, 150. 

address, 145. 

bottom, 128. 

county (=count), 131. 

advice, 16 1. 

brave, 154. 

courtesy, 128. 

advised, 130. 

break his day, 136. 

cousin, 154. 

advisedly, 165. 

break up ( = break open ), 

cover, 146, 155. 

afeard, 144. 


crisped, 149. 

agitation (=cogitation), 155. 

breed of barren metal, 136, 

current, 157. 

alablaster, 129. 


curtsy, 128. 

alas the while ! 137. 

Brutus Portia, 131. 

Alcides, 138, 148. 

by (=about), 132, 146. 

danger, 158. 

aleven, 140. 

Danielcome tojudgment, i so- 

alien (trisyllable), 160. 

came by it, 127. 

Dardanian wives, 148. 

all my whole, 154. 

can, 133. 

deny. 152. 

an (=if), 131. 

carrion (in contempt), 156. 

description (quadrisyllable), 

and (=an), 131. 

carrion death, 145. 


and so following, 134. 

cater-cousin, 139, 167. 

desire you of pardon, 160. 

Andrew, 128. 

cere-cloth, 144. 

determine, 157. 

angel (coin), 144. 

ceremony, 165. 

Dido, 161. 

apparent, 156. 

Charybdis, 155. 

disable, 144. . 

appropriation, 131. 

charge upon interrogatories, 

discharge, 151, 159. 

approve (=prove), 149. 


discretion, 155. 

argosy, 127. 

cheer, 152, 155, 157. 

distinct (accent), 146. 

as (omitted), 152. 

cherubin, 162. 

do, 127. 

as who should say, 129. 

childhood proof, 130. 

do we so, 145. 

aspect (accent), 128, 137. 

circumstance, 130. 

doit, 136. 

at full, 165. 

civil doctor, 165. 

doth, 151. 

attempt (=tempt), 160, 

close (=secret), 143. 

doublet, 132. 

attended, 163. 

commandement, 160. 

ducat, 133. 

avail (avale), 128. 

commends (noun), 146. 

dull-eyed, 152. 

aweary, 131. 

commodity, 131, 152. 

dwell, 136. 

companion (contemptuous), 

balance (plural), 159. 


eanling, 135. 

Barrabas, 160. 

complexion (quadrisyllable), 

Endymion, 163. 

bate, 153. 


enow, 155. 

be (=are), 134, 144, 160. 

compromised, 135. 

envious, 151. 

be friends with, 136. 

conceit, 129, 153. 

envy, 151, 156. 

bechanced, 128. 

condition, 133. 

Erebus, 163. 

beefs, 136. 

confiscate (participle), 160. 

estate, 146, 151. 

beest, 144. 

confound, 151. 

exceeding (adverb), 128. 

beholding (=beholden), 135. 

constant, 151. 

excess, 135. 

beshrew, 143, 148. 

contain, 164. 

exclaim on, 150. 

best - conditioned and un- 

contemplation (metre), 153. 

excrement, 149. 

wearied, 152. 

continent, 150. 

exhibit, 141. 


fair (play upon), 137. 

I wis, 146. 

more elder, 159. 

faithless, 141. 

if that, 143, 151. 

music (=musicians), 162. 

fall (transitive), 135. 

impeach the freedom of the 

muttons, 136. 

fancy (=love), 148. 

state, 151. 

mutual, 163. 

father, 139. 

imposition, 132, 15;,. 

myself (subject), 137. 

fear, 137, 154, 165. 

in (=go in), 140. 

fearful, 137. 

in (=mto), 162. 

narrow seas, 145. 


in all sense, 164. 

naughty, 152. 

fill-horse, 139. 

in supposition, 134. 

needs, 133, 141, 159. 

find forth, 130. 

incarnation, 138. 

Nestor, 128. 

fire (dissyllable', 146. 

Indian beauty, 149. 

nice, 137. 

flight (of arrow), 130. 

insculped, 144. 

no impediment to let him 

follow (=insist upon), 159. 
fond, 146, 152. 

interest, 134. 
intermission (metre), 151. 

lack, 158. 
nor (double negative), 131, 

fool (adjective), 130, 146. 

inter'gatories, 165. 


fool-gudgeon, 129. 

nothing undervalued, 131. 

for (=because), 134. 

Jacks, !5 4 . 

forfeit, 152. 

Jacob's staff, 142. 

obdurate (accent), 145. 

forth, 128, 130, 142. 

Janus, 128. 

obliged, 142. 

fraught, 14;. 

ewess, 142. 

obscure (accent), 144. 

from (=away from), 150. 

judgment, 157. 

occasion, 130. 155. 

jump, 146. 

ocean (trisylhbfe), 127. 

gaberdine, 135. 

o'erlooked, 148. 

gaged, 130. 

keep (=dwell), 152. 

o'er-stare, 137. 

gaping pig, 157. 

knap, 147. 

of (=about), 135, 165. 

garnished, 155. 

knave, 137. 

of (=by, with), 141. 

S:ar, 130, 140. 

of (=for), 142. 

entile (play upon), 143, 156. 

leave (=part with), 164. 

of (omitted), 130, 160. 

glister, 145. 

level at, 131. 

offeree, 160. 

go give, 158. 

liberal, 140. 

old (intensive), 161. 

go hard, 148. 
go to, 136. 

Lichas, 138. 
light (play upon) 149, 164. 

on your charge, 159. 
on : t, 143. 

go we in, 162. 

like (=likely), 144. 

opinion (quadrisyllable), 127, 

God bless the mark ! 138. 

likely, 147. 


God's sonties, 139. 

liver, 129, 149. 

opinion of wisdom, 129. 

good, 133. 

living, 150, 165. 

Orpheus, 163. 

good sweet, 155. 

lodged, 156. 

ostent, 141, 145. 

Goodwins, 147. 

loose, 156. 

other (plural), 128. 

gramercy, 139. 

love (=lover), 159. 

overpeer, 127. 

gratify, 160. 

lover, 153. 

over-weathered, 143. 

gree, 139. 

guard (=trim), 140. 

magnificoes, 151. 

Padua, 153. 

gudgeon, 129. 

main, 157. 

pageant, 127. 

guiled, 149. 

manage (noun), 153. 

pain (=pains), 140. 

marry, 138. 

parcel, 133. 

had better, 132. 

martlet, 146. 

part (=depart), 145. 

had rather to, 132. 

master (as title), 167. 

parts, 157. 

hair (dissyllable), 152. 

masters of passion, 157. 

passion, 145, 157. 

hairs, 150. 

match, 147. 

patch, 142. 

hangman, 157. 

may, 133. 

patine, 162. 

hard food for Midas, 149. 

me (expletive), 135, 139. 

pawned, 155. 

hear thee, 140. 

Medea, 161. 

peep through their eyes, 128. 

high-day, 147. 

mere, 151. 

peize, 148. 

his (=its), 162. 

methought, 135. 

persuaded with, 151. 

hit, 151. 

Midas, 149. 

pied, 135. 

hood, 143. 

mincing, 154. 

pilled, 135. 

hose (round), 132. 

mind of love, 145- 

play the fool, 129. 

hour (dissyllable), 146. 
husbandry, 153. 

misbeliever, 135. 
miscarried, 165. 

please (impersonal), 134, 136. 
pleasure (verb), 133. 

Hyrcanian, 144. 

misery (accent), 159. 

poesy, 164. 

mislike, 137. 

port, 130, 151. 

I (=me), 152. 

moe, 130, 143. 

Portia, 131. 

I were best, 164. 

moiety, 156. 

possess, 135, 156. 


post, 147. 

so ... as, 133. 

undertook, 141. 

posy, 164. 

so (=if ), 150. 

undervalued, 130, 144. 

prefer, 140. 

so (omitted), 154. 

unhandled colts, 163. 

presence, 148. 

so (=so be it), 136. 

unthrift, 162. 

presently, 131. 

sola, 162. 

untread again, 143. 

prest, 130. 

something (adverb), 130. 

upon more advice, 161. 

prevent, 128. 

sometime, 130. 

upon my power, 157. 

prize (=contest), 150. 
producing holy witness, 135. 

sometimes, 130. 
sonties, 139. 

upon supposed fairness, 149. 
upon the hip, 134, 160. 

proof, 130. 

sooth, 127. 

urge, 165. 

proper, 132. 

soothsayer, 127. 

usance, 134. 

provided of, 141. 

Sophy, 137. 

use, 159, 160. 

pursue (accent), 160. 

sort (= dispose), 164. 

usury, 134. 

Pythagoras, 158. 

sort (noun), 132. 

soul (play upon), 157. 

vail, 128. 

quaint, 141, 154. 

speak me fair, 159. 

vantage. 150. 

quarrelling with occasion,! 55. 

sped, 146. 

vasty, 144. 

question, 156. 

spet, 135. 

venture, 128. 

quicken his embraced heavi- 

spirit (monosyllable), 140. 

Venus' pigeons, 142. 

ness, 145. 

spoke (=spoken), 150. 

very (adjective), 151, 159. 

spoke us of, 141. 

via! 138. 

rath, 132. 

squander, 134. 

vild ( = vile), 132. 

rather, 132. 

starve, 158. 

vinegar aspect, 128. 

raw, 154. 

state, 151. 

virtue, 164. 

reason (converse), 145. 

stead, 133. 

regreet, 146. 

Stephano (accent), 162. 

waft (=wafted), 161. 

remorse, 156. 

sterve, 158. 

waste, 153. 

reproach (play upon), 142. 

still, 128, 130, 149, 159. 

wealth, 165. 

respect, 129, 163. 

studied in a fair ostent, 141. 

weeping philosopher, 132. 

respective, 164. 

substance (= amount), 160. 

what (=what a), 141. 

rest (set up one's), 139. 

success, 151. 

what (of impatience), 141. 

rest you fair, 135. 

suited, 132, 155. 

where (=whereas), 156. 

Rialto, 134. 

Sultan Solyman, 137. 

which (omitted), 131. 

richly left, 130, 165. 

sum of nothing, 150. 

which (the), 133, 153. 

ripe, 135. 

swan-like end, 148. 

which (=who), 144, 163. 

npmg, 145. 

sweet, 155. 

whiles, 133. 

road, 165. 

swelling port, 130. 

who (omitted 1 , 129, 156. 

royal merchant, 156. 

who (=which), 144, 158. 

ruin (=fefuse), 146. 

table (of the hand), 140. 

who (=whom), 131, 143. 

running with thy heels, 138. 

teaches (plural), 136. 

who (with supplementary 

that (with conj.), 143, zee. 

pronoun), 136. 

Sabaoth (= Sabbath), 156. ' the which, 133", 153. 

why, so, 148. 

Salerio, 167. 

thee (=thou), 140. 

wilful stillness, 129. 

sand-blind, 138, 167. 

then (=than), 131. 

will, 142. 

scant, 137. 

therefore (position of), 129. 

will (verb omitted), 141, 150. 

scape, 151. 

this (=all this), 128. 

wit, 137. 

scrubbed, 164. 

thorough (=through), 144. 

with all my heart (play upon) 

Scylla, 155. 

through fare, 144. 


sealed under for another, 132. 

throughly. 144, 158. 

with imagined speed, 154. 

season, 158. 

thrift, 131. 

within his danger, 158. 

seasoned, 149. 

throstle, 132. 

within the eye of honour, 130. 

self (adjective), 130. 

to-night (=last night), 142. 

wives (=women), 148. 

sensible, 145, 146. 

too-too, 143. 

would, 134. 

shall (=will), 130, 151. 

tranect, 154. 

wracked, 147. 

should, 130, 132, 151. 

Tripolis, 134. 

writ, 141 

show (=appear), 158. 

tricksy, 155. 

wroth, 146. 

shows ( represents), 158. 

Troilus, 161. 

wry-necked fife, 142. 

shrewd, 151. 

truth (=honesty), 159. 

Sibylla, 133. 

tucket, 163. 

yeanling, 135. 

sisters three, 139. 

turquoise, 148. 

yet (with negative), 146. 

skipping spirit, 140. 

youner ( = younker), 143. 

slubber, 145. 

uncapable, 155. 

yours (dissyllable), 148. 

smug, 147. 

underta en, 141. 

ywis, 146. 




The Merchant of Venice. 
The Tempest. 
Julius Caesar. 

You Like It. 
Henry the Fifth. 

Henry the Eighth. 
A Midsummer -Night's Dream. 
Richard the Second. 
Richard the Third. 
Much Ado About Nothing. 
Antony and Cleopatra. 
Romeo and Juliet. 

4- Twelfth Night. 
The Winter's Tale. 
King John. 
Henry IV. Part I. 
Henry IV. Part II. 

King Lear. 

The Taming of the Shrew. 

All's Well That Ends Well. 


Comedy of Errors. 


Merry Wives of Windsor. 

Measure for Measure. 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. 

Love's Labor 's Lost. 

Timon of Athens. 

Henry VI. Part I. 

Henry VI. Part II. 

Henry VI. Part III. 

Troilus and Cressida. 

Pericles, Prince of Tyre. 

The Two Noble Kinsmen. 



Titus Andronicus. 

Illustrated. i6mo, Cloth, 56 cents per vol. ; Paper, 36 cents per vol. 
FRIENDLY EDITION, compl. in 20 vols., i6mo, Cloth, $25 oo; Half 
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In the preparation of this edition of the English Classics it has been 
the aim to adapt them for school and home reading, in essentially the 
same way as Greek and Latin Classics are edited for educational pur- 
poses. The chief requisites are a pure text (expurgated, if necessary), 
and the notes needed for its thorough explanation and illustration. 

Each of Shakespeare's plays is complete in one volume, and is pre- 
ceded by an Introduction containing the " History of the Play," the 
"Sources of the Plot," and " Critical Comments on the Play." 

From HORACE HOWARD FURNESS, Ph.D., LL.D., Editor of the "New 
Variorum Shakespeare." 

No one can examine these volumes and fail to be impressed with the 
conscientious accuracy and scholarly completeness with which they are 
edited. The educational purposes for which the notes are written Mr. 
Rolfe never loses sight of, but like "a well-experienced archer hits the 
mark his eye doth level at." 

Rolfe's Shakespeare, 

From F. J. FURNIVALL, Director of the New Shakspere Society, London. 

The merit I see in Mr. Rolfe's school editions of Shakspere's Plays 
over those most widely used in England is that Mr. Rolfe edits the plays 
as works of a poet, and not only as productions in Tudor English. Some 
editors think that all they have to do with a play is to state its source 
and explain its hard words and allusions ; they treat it as they would a 
charter or a catalogue of household furniture, and then rest satisfied. 
But Mr. Rolfe, while clearing up all verbal difficulties as carefully as any 
Dryasdust, always adds the choicest extracts he can find, on the spirit 
and special " note " of each play, and on the leading characteristics of its 
chief personages. He does not leave the student without help in getting 
at Shakspere's chief attributes, his characterization and poetic power. 
And every practical teacher knows that while every boy can look out 
hard words in a lexicon for himself, not one in a score can, unhelped, 
catch points of and realize character, and feel and express the distinctive 
individuality of each play as a poetic creation. 

From Prof. EDWARD DOWDEN, LL.D., of the University of Dublin, 
Author of " Shakspere : His Mind and Art." 

I incline to think that no edition is likely to be so useful for school 
and home reading as yours. Your notes contain so much accurate in- 
struction, with so little that is superfluous ; you do not neglect the aes- 
thetic study of the plays ; and in externals, paper, type, binding, etc. , you 
make a book " pleasant to the eye " (as well as "to be desired to make 
one wise ") no small matter, I think, with young readers and with old. 

From EDWIN A. ABBOTT, M.A., Author of "Shakespearian Grammar." 

I have not seen any edition that compresses so much necessary infor- 
mation into so small a space, nor any that so completely avoids the 
common faults of 'commentaries on Shakespeare needless repetition, 
superfluous explanation, and unscholar-like ignoring of difficulties. 

From HIRAM CORSON, M.A., Professor of Anglo-Saxon and English 
Literature, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. 

In the way of annotated editions of separate plays of Shakespeare for 
educational purposes, I know of none quite up to Rolfe's. 

Rolfe's Shakespeare 

From Prof. F. J. CHILD, of Harvard University. 

I read your " Merchant of Venice " with my class, and found it in 
every respect an excellent edition. I do not agree with my friend White 
in the opinion that Shakespeare requires but few notes that is, if he is 
to be thoroughly understood. Doubtless he may be enjoyed, and many 
a hard place slid over. Your notes give all the help a young student 
requires, and yet the reader for pleasure will easily get at just what he 
wants. You have indeed been conscientiously concise. 

Under date of July 25, 1879, Prof. CHILD adds : Mr. Rolfe's editions 
of plays of Shakespeare are very valuable and convenient books, whether 
for a college class or for private study. I have used them with my 
students, and I welcome every addition that is made to the series. They 
show care, research, and good judgment, and are fully up to the time in 
scholarship. I fully agree with the opinion that experienced teachers 
have expressed of the excellence of these books. 

From Rev. A. P. PEABODY, D.D., Professor in Haniard University. 

I regard your own work as of the highest merit, while you have turned 
the labors of others to the best possible account. I want to have the 
higher classes of our schools introduced to Shakespeare chief of all, and 
then to other standard English authors ; but this cannot be done to 
advantage unless under a teacher of equally rare gifts and abundant 
leisure, or through editions specially prepared for such use. I trust that 
you will have the requisite encouragement to proceed with a work so 
happily begun. 

From the Examiner and Chronicle, N. Y. 

We repeat what we have often said, that there is no edition of Shake- 
speare which seems to us preferable to Mr. Rolfe's. As mere specimens 
of the printer's and binder's art they are unexcelled, and their othei 
merits are equally high. Mr. Rolfe, having learned by the practical 
experience of the class-room what aid the average student really needs 
in order to read Shakespeare intelligently, has put just that amount of 
aid into his notes, and no more. Having said what needs to be said, he 
stops there. It is a rare virtue in the editor of a classic, and we are 
proportionately grateful for it. 

Rolfe's Shakespeare. 

From the N. Y. Times. 

This work has been done so well that it could hardly have been done 
better. It shows throughout knowledge, taste, discriminating judgment, 
and, what is rarer and of yet higher value, a sympathetic appreciation 
of the poet's moods and purposes. 

From the Pacific School Journal, San Francisco. 

This edition of Shakespeare's plays bids fair to be the most valuable 
aid to the study of English literature yet published. For educational 
purposes it is beyond praise. Each of the plays is printed in large clear 
type and on excellent paper. Every difficulty of the text is clearly ex- 
plained by copious notes. It is remarkable how many new beauties one 
may discern in Shakespeare with the aid of the glossaries attached to 
these books. . . . Teachers can do no higher, better work than to incul- 
cate a love for the best literature, and such books as these will best aid 
them in cultivating a pure and refined taste. 

From the Christian Union, N. V. 

Mr. W J. Rolfe's capital edition of Shakespeare ... by far the best 
edition for school and parlor use. We speak after some practical use of 
it in a village Shakespeare Club. The notes are brief but useful ; and 
the necessary expurgations are managed with discriminating skill. 

From the Academy, London. 

Mr. Rolfe's excellent series of school editions of the Plays of Shake- 
speare. . . They differ from some of the English ones in looking on the 
plays as something more than word -puzzles. They give the student 
helps and hints on the characters and meanings of the plays, while the 
word-notes are also full and posted up to the latest date. . . . Mr. Rolfe 
also adds to each of his books a most useful "Index of Words and 
Phrases Explained." 


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Notes, by WILLIAM J. ROLFE, A.M., formerly Head 
Master of the High School, Cambridge, Mass. Illus- 
trated. Square i6mo, Paper, 40 cents; Cloth, 56 cents 
(Uniform with Rolfe's Shakespeare^) 

Mr. Rolfe has done his work in a manner that comes as near to per- 
fection as man can approach. He knows his subject so well that he is 
competent to instruct all in it ; and readers will find an immense amount 
of knowledge in his elegant volume, all set forth in the most admirable 
order, and breathing the most liberal and enlightened spirit, he being a 
warm appreciator of the divinity of genius. Boston Traveller. 

The great merit of these books lies in their carefully edited text, and in 
the fulness of their explanatory notes. Mr. Rolfe is not satisfied with 
simply expounding, but he explores the entire field cf English literature, 
and therefrom gathers a multitude of illustrations that are interesting in 
themselves and valuable as a commentary on the text. He not only in- 
structs, but stimulates his readers to fresh exertion ; and it is this stimu- 
lation that makes his labor so productive in the school-room. Saturday 
Evening Gazette, Boston. 

Mr. William J. Rolfe, to whom English literature is largely indebted 
for annotated and richly illustrated editions of several of Shakespeare's 
Plays, has treated the " Select Poems of Thomas Gray " in the same way 
just as he had previously dealt with the best of Goldsmith's poems. 
Philadelphia Press. 

Mr. Rolfe's edition of Thomas Gray's select poems is marked by the 
same discriminating taste as his other classics. Springfield Republican. 

Mr. Rolfe's rare abilities as a teacher and his fine scholarly tastes ena- 
ble him to prepare a classic like this in the best manner for school use. 
There could be no better exercise for the advanced classes in our schools 
than the critical study of our best authors, and the volumes that Mr. Rolfe 
has prepared will hasten the time when the study of mere form will give 
place to the study of the spirit of our literature. Louisville Courier* 

n elegant and scholarly little volume. Christian Intelligencer, N. Y 


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with Notes, by WILLIAM J. ROLFE, A.M., formerly Head 
Master of the High School, Cambridge, Mass. Illus- 
trated. i6mo, Paper, 40 cents : Cloth, 56 cents. (Uni 
form with Rolfe's Shakespeare^) 

The caretully arranged editions of " The Merchant of Venice " and 
other of Shakespeare's plays prepared by Mr. William J. Rolfe for the 
use of students will be remembered with pleasure by many readers, and 
they will welcome another volume of a similar character from the same 
source, in the form of the "Select Poems of Oliver Goldsmith," edited 
with notes fuller than those of any other known edition, many of them 
original with the editor. Boston Transcript. 

Mr. Rolfe is doing very useful work in the preparation of compact 
hand-books for study in English literature. His own personal culture 
and his long experience as a teacher give him good knowledge of what 
is wanted in this way. The Congregationalist, Boston. 

Mr. Rolfe has prefixed to the Poems selections illustrative of Gold- 
smith's character as a man, and grade as a poet, from sketches by Ma- 
caulay, Thackeray, George Cohnan, Thomas Campbell, John Forster, 
and Washington Irving. He has also appended at the end of the 
volume a body of scholarly notes explaining and illustrating the poems, 
and dealing with the times in which they were written, as well as the 
incidents and circumstances attending their composition. Christian 
Intelligencer, N. Y. 

The notes are just and discriminating in tone, and supply all that is 
necessary either for understanding the thought of the several poems, or 
fur a critical study of the language. The use of such books in the school- 
room cannot but contribute largely towards putting the study of English 
literature upon a sound basis ; and many an adult reader would find in 
the present volume an excellent opportunity for becoming critically ac- 
quainted with one of the greatest of last century's poets. Appleloiis 
j->urna!, N. Y. 


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Post 8vo, Cloth, $i 75. 

' This pleasing work is made up of citations from the poets, accom 
panied wkh easy and familiar discussions of their merits and peculiarl 
ties. Seven afternoons are thus agreeably occupied, and take the shap^- 
of as many interesting chapters. The participants are the " Professor" 
and his pupil, who are represented as on terms of the utmost intimacy, 
and express their sentiments to each other with perfect freedom. * * * 
Mr. Deshler has happily selected the sonnet, and confined his view of 
the poets to their productions in this single species of verse. * * * The 
author's extensive research has been accompanied by minute scrutiny, 
faithful comparison, and judicious discrimination. His critical observa- 
tions are frank, honest, good-natured, yet just, discreet, comprehensive, 
and full of instruction. It would be difficult to find a volume that in so 
small a compass offers equal aid for the cultivation of literary taste, and 
for reaching an easy acquaintance with all the great poets of the Eng- 
lish tongue. The style is pure and transparent, and though colloquial 
in form, it is exceedingly correct and elegant, embodying every chaste 
adornment of which language is capable. Boston Transcript. 

A very unconventional and pleasant book. N. Y. Herald. 

The substance of the book is decidedly meritorious, far better than 
most of the criticism published in these days. It shows careful study, 
extensive reading, a nice taste and discrimination, and also a genuine 
appreciation and insight which are rare. N. Y. Evening Express. 

A volume of much literary interest, and is very pleasantly written.* * * 
Mr. Deshler's discussions of literature are extremely interesting. * * * It 
will be a source of enjoyment to all who have a taste for poetry, and can 
appreciate the highest triumphs of poetic art as displayed in the sonnet. 
Hartford Post. 

We have to thank Mr. Deshler for a collection of some of the most 
exquisite sonnets in the English language, with an animated, apprecia- 
tive, and suggestive comment which shows a fine poetical taste and is an 
iat'eresting and instructive guide in a charming field. N. Y. Mail. 


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with Notes, by WILLIAM J. ROLFE, A.M., formerly Head 
Master of the High School, Cambridge, Mass., and HEL- 
OISE E. HERSEY. Illustrated. i6mo, Paper, 40 cents : 
Cloth, 56 cents. {Uniform with Rolfe's Shakespeare^) 

Probably no critic yet has gone to the heart of Browning's true signifi- 
cance as does Miss Hersey. There is something in the fineness of her 
insight and her subtle, spiritual sympathy that truly interprets him, while 
others write in a more or less scholarly manner about him. Miss Her- 
sey 's work indicates the blending of two exceptional qualities the po- 
etic sympathy and the critical judgments. She feels intuitively all the 
poet's subtle meanings ; she is responsible to them by virtue of temper- 
ament ; yet added to this is the critical faculty, keen, logical, and con- 
structive. Boston Traveller. 

To say that the selections have been made by Mr. Rolfe is to say that 
they have not only been made by a careful and accurate scholar, but by 
a man of pure and beautiful taste. . . . The Notes, which fill some 
thirty pages, are admirable in their scope and brevity. N. Y. Mail and 

We can conscientiously say that both the arrangement of the selec- 
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work is well fitted to charm the poet's established admirers, and to 
awaken in others who have not been among these a new sense of 
Browning's strength and beauty as a writer. Hartford Times. 

The "Select Poems of Robert Browning" is a marvel of industrious 
editing, wise, choice, and excellent judgment in comment. . . . An intro- 
duction, a brief account of Browning's life and works, a chronological 
table of his works, and a series of exti acted critical comments on the 
poet, precede the series of selections. Besides these there are at the end 
of the book very extensive, valuable, and minutely illustrative notes, to- 
gether with addenda supplied by Browning himself on points which the 
editors were unable fully to clear up. N. Y. St,ir. 


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MAS. By ROBERT BROWNING. Edited, with notes, by 
With Portrait. i6mo, Paper, 40 cents ; Cloth, 56 cents. 
( Uniform with Rolfe 's Shakespeare. ) 

Prepared in the same thorough manner as the previous volume upon 
the Select Poems of the same author and the numerous manuals of Mr. 
Rolfe. No poet needs, for the average reader, such an 'interpretation 
as is here given more than Browning. Read carefully, with reference to 
the notes of the editors, the richness of the great poet's thoughts and 
fancies will he the better apprehended. Zwii's Herald, Boston. 

Out of the eight dramas which the poet wrote between 1837 and 1845 
the three most characteristic ones have been selected, and a full idea of 
his dramatic power may be gained from them. A synopsis of critical 
opinions of Mr. Browning's works is included in the volume. The same 
careful scholarship that marked Professor Rolfe's editions of Shakespeare 
is shown in this edition of Browning. The lovers of the poet will be 
pleased to have old favorites in this attractive form, while many new 
readers will be attracted to the author by it. Robert Browning will fill 
a larger space in the world's eye in the future than he has done already. 
Brooklyn Union. 

The introduction and notes are all that could be desired. N, Y. Sun. 

The book itself is not only a compact compilation of the three plays, 
but it is valuable for the commentatory notes. The editing work has 
been done in an able manner by Professor Rolfe and Miss Hersey, who 
has gained a high place among the modern Browning students. Phila- 
delphia Bulletin. 

This dainty volume, with flexible covers and red edges, contains not 
merely Browning's dramas, with the author's latest emendations and cor- 
rections, but notes and estimates, critical and explanatory, in such vol 
ume, and from sources so exalted, that we have not the temerity to add 
one jot or tittle to the aggregate. N. Y. Commercial Advertiser. 


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