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merchants, erected principalities in several places of the Archipelago (which their descendants enjoyed for many generations), and thereby became truly and properly royal merchants. Which indeed was the title generally given them all over Europe. Hence, the most eminent of our own merchants (while publick spirit resided amongst them, and before it was aped by faction) were called royal merchants.

WARBURTON. This epithet was in our poet's time more striking and better understood, because Gresham was then commonly dignified with the title of the royal merchant.

JOHNSON. Even the pulpit did not disdain the use of this phrase. I have now before me “ The Merchant Royal, a Sermon, preached at Whitehall, before the king's majestie, at the nuptialls of the right honourable the Lord Hay and his lady, upon the twelfe day last, being Jan. 6, 1607."

Steevens. 43. -I'll not answer that: But, say, it is my humour ;

-] The Jew being asked a question which the law does not require him to answer, stands upon his right, and refuses; but afterwards gratifies his own malignity by such answers as he knows will aggravate the pain of the inquirer. I will not answer, says he, as to a legal or serious question; but, since you want an answer, will this serve you?

JOHNSON. 48. a gaping pig ;] So, in Webster's Dutchess of Malfy, 1623 :


" He

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<< He could not abide to see a pig's head gaping;

I thought your grace would find him out a Jew." Again, in the Mastive, &c. or, A Collection of Epigrams and Satires :

" Darkas cannot endure to see a cat,
“ A breast of mutton, or a pig's head gaping."

Some men there are, love not a gaping pig;

Some that are mad, &c. By a gaping pig, Shakspere, I believe, meant a pig prepared for the table; for in that state is the epithet, gaping, most applicable to this animal. A passage in one of Nashe's pamphlets (which, perhaps, furnished our author with his instance), may serve to confirm the observation : “ The causes conducting unto wrath are as diverse as the actions of a man's life. Some will take on like a madman, if they see a pig come to the table. Sotericus the surgeon was cholerick at the sight of sturgeon,” &c. Pierce Pennyless his Supplications to the Devil, 1595.

MALONE. 51. Cannot contain their urine,] Mr. Rowe reads:

Cannot contain their urine for affection.
Masterless passion sways it to the mood

Of what it likes or loaths. Masterless passion Mr. Pope has since copied. I don't know what word there is to which this relative it is to be referred. Dr. Thirlby would thus adjust the passage :


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Cannot contain their urine ; for affection,

Master of passion, sways it, &c. And then it is govern’d of passion; and the two old quartos and folios read.

-Masters of passion, &c. It may be objected, that affection and passion mean the same thing. But I observe, the writers of our author's age made a distinction: as Jonson in Se. janus :

-He hath studied “ Affection's passions, knows their springs and

ends." And then, in this place, affection will stand for that sympathy or antipathy of soul, by which we are provok'd to shew a liking or disgust in the working of our passions.

THEOBALD. Masterless passion sways it to the mood] The two old quartos and folio read,

MASTERS of passion. And this is certainly right. He is speaking of the power of sound over the human affections, and con. cludes, very naturally, that the masters of passion (for so he finely calls the musicians) sway the passions or affections as they please. Alluding to what the ancients tell us of the feats that Timotheus and other musicians worked by the power of musick, Çan any thing be more natural?

WARBURTON. Does not the verb sway, which governs the two nominative cases affection and masters, require that both should be plural i and consequently direct us to read thus : Diij


For affections, masters of passion, sway it, &c.

Sir John HAWKINS. That affections and passions anciently had different significations, may be known from the following instance in Greene's Never too Late, 1616: “ His heart was fuller of passions than his eyes of

affections." AffeElions, as used by Shylock, seem to signify imaginations, or prejudices. In Othello, act i. is a passage somewhat similar. “ And though we have here a substitute of most allowed sufficiency, yet opinion, a sovereign mistress of effects, throws a more safe voice on you.”

Steevens. As for affection, those that know how to operate upon the passions of men, rule it by making it operate in obedience to the notes which please or disgust it.

JOHNSON. Of this much controverted passage, my opinion was formerly very different from what it is at present. Sways, the reading of the old copies, I conceived could not agree with masters as a substantive; but very soon after my former note on this subject was printed, I found that this was not only our author's usual phraseology, but the common language of the times. · There is therefore, I think, no other alte. ration necessary here, but that which has been made in almost every page of these plays; the reducing the substantive and the verb to concord, and reading sway. Cannot contain their urine for affeélion,



(for so the old copies all read, not affections, as the word has been printed in the modern editions, in order to connect it with the following line) I believe, means only-Cannot contain, &c. on account of their being affected by the noise of the bag-pipe. In the next line, which appears to me to be in

арроsition with that preceding, it may refer either to passion or affection. The masters of passion, those who know how to operate on the passion of men, rule it (or rule the sympathetick feeling] by making it operate, &c. as Dr. Johnson has already explained the words.

MALONE. The author of The REMAKKS says, that the reading of all the old editions is,

And others, when the bag-pipe sings i'th' nose,
Cannot contain their urine for affection.
Masters of passion sways it to the mood

Of what it likes or loaths, And he explains the passage thus : some men when they hear the sound of a bag-pipe, are so affected there. with that they cannot retain their urine. For those things which are masters over passion, make it like or loath whatever they will.

REED. 57. Why he, a woollen bag-pipe ;-] This incident Shakspere seems to have taken from J. C. Scaliger's Exot. Exercit. against Cardan. A book that our alle ihor was well read in, and much indebted for a great deal of his physicks: it being then much in vogue, and indeed is excellent, though now long since forgot. In his 344 Exercit. sect. 6. he has these words : “ Nar.


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