« PreviousContinue »
there is any perill prepared to him that weareth it.” P. 51. b.
But Leah (if we may believe Thomas Nicols, some time of Jesus College in Cambridge, in his Lapidary, &c.) might have presented Shylock with his Turquoise for a better reason; as this stone “ is likewise said to take away all enmity, and to reconcile man and wife."
Steevens. 147. And so though yours, not yours.--Prove it so,] It may be more grammatically read:
And so though yours I'm not yours. JOHNSON. 148. Let fortune goto hell for it—not I,]This line is very obscure. The meaning is, " If the worst I fear should happen, and it should prove in the event that I, who am justly yours by the free donation I have made you of myself, should yet not be yours in consequence of an unlucky choice, let fortune go to hell for robbing you of your just due, not I for violating my oath.”
REVISAL, 149. to peize the time ;] Thus the old copies. To peize is from peser, Fr. So, in K. Richard III.
“ Lest leaden slumber peize me down to-morrow." To peize the time, therefore, is to retard it by hanging weights upon it. All the modern editors read, with. out authority,--piece.
STEEVENS To peize, is to weigh, or balance; and figuratively, to keep in suspence, to delay.
Thus, in Sir P. Sydney's Apology for Poetry : “not speaking words as they chanceably fall from the mouth, but peyzing each sillable." Henley,
183. With no less presence,
-] With the same dignity of mein.
JOHNSON. 190. Live thou, I live :-With much much more disa
may I view the fight, than thou that mak'st the
fray.] One of the quartos reads, Live then, I live with much more dismay
To view the fight, than, &c The folio, 1623, thus :
Live thou, I live with much more dismay
I view the fight, than, &c.
JOHNSON. 195. Reply.] These words, reply, reply, were in all the late editions, except Sir T. Hanmer's, put as a verse in the song, but in all the old copies stand as a marginal direction.
JOHNSON. So may the outward shows
-] He begins abruptly, the first part of the argument has passed in his mind.
JOHNSON 204. -gracious voice,] Pleasing; winning favour.
Johnson. 217. -by the weight ;] That is, artificial beauty is purchased so; as false hair, &c. Steevens. 220. —-crisped---] i.e. curled.
STEEVENS. 224 -in the sepulchre.] See a note on Timon of Athens, act iv. sc. 3. Shakspere has likewise satirized this yet prevailing fashion in Love's Labour's Lost.
225 -the guiled shore] i. e. the treacherous shore. I should not have thought the word wanted explanation, but that some of our modern editors have rejected it, and read gilded. Guiled is the reading of ali the ancient copies.
STEEVENS, 227. Indian beauty ; --] Sir Tho. Hanmer reads, - Indian dowdy.
JOHNSON, 234. Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence :] Former editions had
Thy paleness moves me more than eloquence: The word plainness characterizes the lead from the silver, which paleness does not, they being both pale. Besides, there is a beauty in the antithesis between plainness and eloquence; between paleness and eloquence
So it is said before of the leaden casket :
WARBURTON, It may be that Dr. Warburton has altered the wrong word, if any alteration be necessary. I would rather give the character of silver,
-Thou stale, and common drudge "! 'Tween man and man.". The paleness of lead is for ever alluded to.
“ Diane declining, pale as any ledde." Says Stephen Hawes. In Fairfax's Tasso, we have
“ The lord Tancredie, pale with rage as lead." Again, Sackville, in his Legend of the duke of Buckingham :
" Now pale as lead, now cold as any stone.” And in the old ballad of the King and the Beggar :
She blushed scarlet red, “ Then straight again, as pale as lead.” As to the antithesis, Shakspere has already made it in the Midsummer Night's Dream:
“ When (says Theseus) I have seen great clerks
“ I read as much, as from the rattling tongue
“ Of saucy and audacious eloquence.” FARMER. 240. In measure rain thy joy, -] The first quarta edition reads,
In measure range thy joy.
In measure rainę thy joy.
In measure rein thy joy. The words rain and rein were not in these times disa tinguished by regular orthography. There is no difficulty in the present reading, only, where the copies vary, some suspicion of error is always raised.
JOHNSON. I believe Shakspere alluded to the well-known proverb, It cannot rain, but it pours. So, in the Laws of Candy, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
-pour not too fast joys on me, “ But sprinkle them so gently, I may stand them." Mr. Tollet is of opinion that rein is the true word, as it better agrees with the context; and more espe
cially on account of the following passage in Coriolanus,
-being once chaf'd, he cannot
STEEVENS. 244. Fair. Portia's counterfeit? -] Counterfeit, which is at present used only in a bad sense, anciently signified a likeness, a resemblance, without comprehende ing any idea of fraud. So, in The Wit of a Woman, 1604: " I will see if I can agree with this stranger, for the drawing of my daughter's counterfeit."
STEEVENS. 254. Methinks, it should have pow'r to steal both his,
And leave itself unfurnish'd:] Iknow not how unfinish'd has intruded without notice into the later editions, as the quartos and folio have unfurnish'd, which Sir Thomas Hanmer has received. Perhaps it might be:
And leave himself unfurnish’d. JOHNSON. Dr. Johnson's emendation would altogether subvert the poet's meaning. If the artist, in painting one of Portia's eyes, should lose both his own, that eye which he had painted, must necessarily be left unfurnished, or destitute of its fellow. Henley,
274. -peals.] The second 4to. reads, pearles of praise.
JOHNSON, This reading may be the true one. So, in Whetstone's Arbour of Virtue, 1576: