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use of the personal for the neuter, at least obscures the passage. A ship, however, is commonly spoken of in the feminine gender.
STE EVENS. 398. With over weather'd ribs, -] The first and second folio read With over wither'd ribs.
MALONE. - Gentile, and no few.] A jest arising from the ambiguity of Gentile, which signifies both a Heathen, and one well-born.
JOHNSON. So at the conclusion of the first part of Hieronimo, &c. 1605 :
-So, good night kind gentles, ( For I hope there's never a Jew among you all." Again, in Swetnam Arraign'd, 1620 : “ Joseph the Jew was a better Gentile far."
STEEVENS. A Gentile, and no Jew.) Dr. Johnson rightly explains this. There is an old book by one Ellis, entitled, “ The Gentile Sinner, or England's brave Gene tleman.
FARMER. i 457
-as blunt ;] That is, as gross as the dull metal.
JOHNSON. 506. insculp'd upon ;] To insculp is to en. grave. So, in Woman never Vex'd, 1632 :
-in golden text Shall be insculp'd."
STEEVENS. The meaning is, that the figure of the angel is raised or embossed on the coin, not engraved on it.
M. C. T.
529. -chuse me so.] The old quarto edition of 1600 has no distribution of acts, but proceeds from the beginning to the end in an unbroken tenour. This play therefore having been probably divided without authority by the publishers of the first folio, lies open to a new regulation, if any more commodious division can be proposed. The story is itself so wildly incredible, and the changes of the scene so frequent and capricious, that the probability of action does not deserve much care ; yet it may be proper to observe, that, by concluding the second act here, time is given for Bassanio's passage to Belmont.
JOHNSON. 557. I reasond with a Frenchman yesterday ;] i.e. I conversed. So, in King John:
“ Our griefs, and not our manners reason now." gain, n Chapman's translation of the fourth book of the Odyssey :
“ The morning shall yield time to you and me, ". To do what fits, and reason mutually.”
STEEVENS. 569. Slubber not -] To slubber is to do any thing carelesly, imperfectly. So, in Nash's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599: --they slubber'd thee over so negligently."
Steevens. 572. ----your mind of love :] So all the copies, but I suspect some corruption.
JOHNSON. This imaginary corruption is removed by only put, ting a comma after mind.
LANG TONE с
Of love, is an adjuration sometimes used by Shak. spere. So, Merry Wives, act ii. sc. 2. « Quick.
desires you to send her your little page, of all loves :", i. e. she desires you to send him by all means.
Your mind of love may, however, in this instance, mean—your loving mind.
So, in the Tragedie of Cræsus, 1604 :.“ A mind of treason is a treasonable mind. “ Those that speak freely, have no mind of treason."
STEEVENS. 582. — embraced heaviness] We say of a man now, that he hugs his sorrows; and why might not Anthonio embrace heaviness?
JOHNSON. So, in Much Ado about Nothing, sc. 1.
“ You embrace your charge too willingly." Again, in this play of the Merchant of Venice, act iii.
-doubtful thoughts and rash-embrac'd de. spair."
Steevens. 602. And so have I addrest me: -] To address is to prepare. The meaning is, I have prepared myself by the same ceremonies.
STEEVENS. I believe we should read,
«s And so have I. Address me, Fortune, now,
“ To my heart's hope !" So, in the Merry Wives of Windsor, act iii, scene the last, Falstaff says, I will then address me to my appointment."
613. -in the force --] i. e. the power.
STEEVENS. 629. How much low pleasantry would then be gleaned From the true seed of honour?
-] The meaning is, How much meanness .would be found among the great, and how much greatness among the mean.
JOHNSON, 652. . -I wis,] I know. Wissen, German. So, in Shakspere's Henry VI.
“ I wis your grandame had no worser match." Again, in the comedy of king Cambyses :
“ Yea I wis shall you, and that with all speed." Ascham and Waller both use the word. STEEVENS.
654. Take what wife you will to bed,] Perhaps the poet had forgotten that he who missed Portia was never to marry any woman,
JOHNSON 662. to bear my wroth.] The old editions read_" to bear my wroath.” Wroath is used in some of the old books for misfortune ; and is often spelt like ruth, which at present signifies only pity, or sorrow for the miseries of another. The modern editors read
--Knapt ginger,—] To knap is to break short. The word occurs in the Psalms. STEEVENS 41.
La bankrupt, a prodigal,] There could be, in Shylock's opinion, no prodigality more culpable than such liberality as that by which a man exposés himself to ruin for his friend.
JOHNSON. 117. it was my turquoise, I had it of Leak, when I was a bachelor :] A turquoise is a precious stone found in the veins of the mountains on the confines of Persia to the east, subject to the Tartars. As Shylock had been married long enough to have a daughter grown up, it is plain he did not value this turquoise on account of the money for which he might hope to sell it, but merely in respect of the imaginary virtues formerly ascribed to the stone. It was said of the Tur: key-stone, that it faded or brightened in its colour, as the health of the wearer increased or abated. To this Ben Jonson refers, in his Sejanus :
“ And true as Turkise, in my dear lord's ring,
“ Look well or ill with him.” Again, in the Muses Elysium, by Drayton:
66 The turkesse, which who haps to wear,
" Is often kept from peril.” Again, Edward Fenton in Secrete Wonders of Nature, bl. let. 4to. 1569 : “ The Turkeys doth move when