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Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood,
SALAN. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
Plucking the grass, to know where sits the wind;
century, only states it as a matter of report, not as a fact; and he seems to have followed the slight authority of Roberts's Marchant's Map of Commerce. If any instance shall be produced of the use of such a word as ragosie, the objection must be given up. In the mean time it may be permitted to hazard another opinion, which is, that the word in question derives its origin from the famous ship Argo; and indeed Shakspeare himself appears to have hinted as much; for the story of Jason is twice adverted to in the course of this play. On one of these occasions Gratiano certainly alludes to Antonio's argosie when he says:
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece." Act III. Sc. II. Gregory of Tours has more than once made use of Argis to express a ship generally. DOUCE.
sburghers of the flood,] Both ancient and modern editors have hitherto been content to read-" burghers on the flood," though a parallel passage in As You Like It
native burghers of this desolate city," might have led to the present correction. STEEVENS.
The "signiors and rich burghers on the flood" are the Venetians, who may well be said to live on the sea.
Plucking the grass, &c.] By holding up the grass, or any light body that will bend by a gentle blast, the direction of the wind is found: "This way I used in shooting. When I was in the mydde way betwixt the markes, which was an open place, there I toke a fethere, or a lyttle light grasse, and so learned how the wind stood." Ascham. JOHNSON.
7 Peering] Thus the old quarto printed by Hayes, that by Roberts, and the first folio. The quarto of 1637, a book of no authority, reads-prying. MALONE.
To kiss her burial. Should I go to church,
And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks?
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
Andrew] The name of the ship. JOHNSON.
9 - DOCK'D in sand,] The old copies have-docks. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
I VAILING her high top lower than her ribs,] In Bullokar's English Expositor, 1616, to vail, is thus explained: "It means to put off the hat, to strike sail, to give sign of submission." So, in Stephen Gosson's book, called Playes confuted in several Actions :
They might have valed and bended to the king's idol." It signifies also-to lower, to let down. Thus, in the ancient metrical romance of the Sowdon of Babyloyne, p. 60:
They avaled the brigge and lete them yn."
Again, (as Mr. Douce observes to me,) in Hardynge's Chronicle:
"And by th' even their sayles avaled were set." Again, in Middleton's Blurt Master Constable, 1602: "I'll vail my crest to death for her dear sake."
Again, in The Fair Maid of the West, 1613, by Heywood:
it did me good
"To see the Spanish carveil vail her top
A carvel is a small vessel. It is mentioned by Raleigh, and I often meet with the word in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, 1607.
Is sad to think upon his merchandize.
Because you are not merry: and 'twere as easy
Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time:
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile*, Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.
Enter BASSANIO, LORENZO, and GRATIANO.
SALAN. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble kinsman,
Gratiano, and Lorenzo: Fare you well;
SALAR. I would have staid till I had made you
If worthier friends had not prevented me.
2-Now, by two-headed JANUS,] Here, says Dr. Warburton, Shakspeare shows his knowledge in the antique: and so does Taylor the water-poet, who describes Fortune, "Like a Janus with a double-face." FARMER.
3-peep through their eyes,] This gives a very picturesque image of the countenance in laughing, when the eyes appear half shut. WARBURTON.
their teeth IN WAY OF SMILE,] Because such are apt enough to show their teeth in anger. WARBURTON.
ANT. Your worth is very dear in my regard.
SALAR. Good morrow, my good lords.
BASS. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh? Say, when?
You grow exceeding strange: Must it be so? SALAR. We'll make our leisures to attend on [Exeunt SALARINO and SALANIO. LOR. My lord Bassanio, since you have found Antonio,
We two will leave you: but, at dinner time,
BASS. I will not fail you.
GRA. 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.
ANT. I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;
A stage, where every man must play a part",
5 My lord Bassanio, &c.] This speech [which by Mr. Rowe and subsequent editors was allotted to Salanio,] is given to Lorenzo in the old copies and Salarino and Salanio make their exit at the close of the preceding speech. Which is certainly right. Lorenzo (who, with Gratiano, had only accompanied Bassanio, till he should find Antonio,) prepares now to leave Bassanio to his business; but is detained by Gratiano, who enters into a conversation with Antonio. TYRWHITT.
I have availed myself of this judicious correction, by restoring the speech to Lorenzo, and marking the exits of Salarino and Salanio at the end of the preceding speech. STEEVENS.
6-LOSE it,] All the ancient copies read-loose; a misprint, I suppose, for the word standing in the text. STEEVENS.
7 A STAGE, where every man must PLAY a part,] The same thought occurs in Churchyard's Farewell to the World, 1593:
Let me play the Fool":
GRA. With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come; 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
* So quartos; first folio, an oracle.
"A worldling here, I must hie to my grave;
Again, in Sidney's Arcadia, book ii.:
"She found the world but a wearisome stage to her, where she played a part against her will." STEEVENS."
Let me play the Fool:] Alluding to the common comparison of human life to a stage-play. So that he desires his may be the fool's or buffoon's part, which was a constant character in the old farces; from whence came the phrase, to play the fool.
9 There are a sort of men, whose visages
DO CREAM] The poet here alludes to the manner in which the film extends itself over milk in scalding; and he had the same appearance in his eye when writing a foregoing line :
"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." So, also, the author of Bussy d'Ambois :
"Not any wrinkle creaming in their faces." HENley. - a wilful STILLNESS] i. e. an obstinate silence.
let no dog bark!] This seems to be a proverbial expres