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kindred sciences. The one has passed away among “ Will be worth a Jewess' eye"-" The play upod other credulities belonging to ages which we call igno this word alludes to the common proverbial expression. rant and superstitious. The other, although fashionable ' worth a Jew's eye.' That worth was the price wineb half a century ago, is professed by none, but, more or the persecuted Jews paid to avoid mutilation and death. less, has its influence upon all. In the Pictorial edition When the rapacious King John extorted an enormous there is a woodcut, copied from a book with which sum from the Jew of Bristol by drawing his teeth, the Shakespeare must have been familiar:-Briefe intro threat of putting out an eye would have the like ettert ductions, both natural, pleasaunte, and also delectable, upon other Jews. The former prevalence of the saving into the Art of Chiromancy, or manuel divination, and is proved from the fact that we still retain it, although Phisiognomy: with circumstances upon the faces of the its meaning is now little known."-KNIGHT. Signes. Asso certain Canons or Rules upon Diseases and Sicknesses, &c. Written in ye Latin tongue by
SCENE VI. Jhon Indagine, Prieste, and now lately translated into
“ How like a YOUNKER"-So all the old copies. It is Englishe, by Fabian Withers. For Richard Jugge, 1558.'
the same word as younger and youngling. Launcelot, as well as his betters, were diligent students
Johnson says— Gray (dropping the allusion to the of the mysteries interpreted by Jhon Indagine, Prieste;' and a simple or complex line of life were indications prodigal) caught from this passage the imagery of the
following ;' that made even some of the wise exult or tremble."KNIGHT.
Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows,
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm " — sad ostent”-i. e. Ostentation; not, as now, con
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;
Youth on the prow, and pleasure at the helm; fined to the show of vanity, but for any external show,
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, as here, of grief or gravity.
Thut, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey. SCENE III.
“ The Scarfed bark”—The vessel that is gay with “ If a Christian Do not play the knave, and get thee, I am much deceived”—The three original authorities “- a Gentile, and no Jero”—“ A jest arising from agree in this reading, and the meaning is clearly, “ if a the ambiguity of " Gentile,' which signifies both a heaChristian do not play the knave and obtain thee," etc.
then and one well born."'-Jonsson. Instead of the fellow's shrewd gness at Jessica's inclina So, at the conclusion of the first part of “ Jeronimo," tions, the editors have generally preferred the later read (1605,)— ing of did for “do,” intimating a doubt as to her birth,
-80, good night, kind gentles, which the poor joke it conveys has made the popular
For I hope there's never a Jew among you all. reading.
“ Gilded TOMBS do worms infold”—The reading, in “ Enter Shylock and LAUNCELOT."
all the old copies, is timber for “ tombs,” which injures
the verse and the grammar. Johnson's suggestion of The old stage-direction is, “Enter Jew and his man,
“ tombs" is no doubt correct. Rowe inserted wood; that was the Clowne."
but no compositor could misprint “ timber” for wood, “ – on BLACK MONDAY last"-Stowe, the Chronicler,
whereas, as Johnson remarks, it would be easy to mis thus describes the origin of this name:-“ Black-Monday | print timber for “ tombs,” then spelled tombes. is Easter-Monday, and was so called on this occasion : in the 34th of Edward III., (1360,) the 14th of April,
SCENE VIII. and the morrow after Easter-dlay, King Edward, with
“ I REASON'D"-i. e. Conversed or talked. Thus, in his host, lay before the city of Paris : which day was full dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many
Beaumont and Fletcher:
There is no end of women's reasoning. men died on their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore unto this day it hath been called Black-Monday.” “Slubber not business"-Shakespeare uses “ slab
ber" in two senses, somewhat connected; both of them “ And the vile sQueALING of the ury-neck'a fife", preserved in our modern use of the word slobber. Two out of the three original editions read thus. One
Here it means, “neglect not business," or,
“ do not do quarto has squalling.. In Shylock's mouth the former is
it carelessly." In Othello it means to soil, or darkenmore expressive of disgust.
to “slubber the gloss of your new fortunes." “ – the wry-neck'd Fife"-Commentators differ as to whether the fife" is here the instrument or the mu
SCENE IX. sician. Boswell has given a quotation from “ Barnaby
“ – that MANY may be meant Rich's Aphorisms,” (1618,) which to me seems decisive.
By the fool multitude," etc. "A fife is a wry-neckt musician, for he always looks away from his instrument.” But Knight still maintains
“The Prince of Arragon intends to say—By that that Shakespeare intended the instrument, principally folio first introduced a phraseology more agreeable to
many' may be meant the foolish multitude. The fourth from the circumstance that the passage is an imitation of Horace, in which the instrument is decidedly meant:
our ears at present-Of the fool multitude. But change, Prima nocte domum claude; neque in vias,
merely for the sake of elegance, is dangerous. Many Sub cantu querulæ despice tibiæ.-(Carm. lib. iii. 7.)
modes of speech were familiar in Shakespeare's age that
are now no longer used. I have met with many ex: Knight adds that—"Independent of the internal evi
amples of this kind of phraseology. So in Plutarch's dence derived from the imitation, the form of the old English flute—the fife being a small flute-justifies, we
* Life of Cæsar,' as translated by North, (1575,)—He
answered that these fair long-haired men made him not think, the epithet ‘wry-neck’d.' This flute was called
afraid, but the lean and whitely-faced fellows; meaning the flute à bec, the upper part or mouth-piece resem
that by Brutus and Cassius.' ” — Malone. bling the beak of a bird. And this form was as old as the Pan of antiquity."
“So begone : you are sped”—Capell misprints this But “ sife," for fifer, was undoubtedly the old phrase. line, “So farewell, sir, you are sped;" and from whence “ Wry-neck’d," as applied to the musician, is far more he derived the corruption it is difficult to say. Malone graphically descriptive, and therefore, more Shake and others interpolate sir after“ begone," although spearian; and I have no belief in any intended imitation there is no warrant for it in any of the oldest editions. of Horace, for the thought was equally obvious to both It first found its way into the second folio, and certainly poets
lessens the force of the line. •
** Patiently to bear my WROTH"—Stevens says that many for which the editors of SHAKESPEARE are an*wroth” is here put for ruth, or misfortune; and it is thus swerable." spelied in Chapman’s “Homer," and other old poets.
- whose hearts are all as false “ Enter a MesseNGER"-" This is the stage-direction
As stairs of sand,” etc. in all the old copies, for which modern editors have sub The comparison refers to the difficult ascent of any stituted · Enter a Servant.' It is clear that he was not sandy elevation giving way under the feet; and like a mere servant, not only from the language put into his
other transient colloquial comparisons, is not meant to mouth, but because, when he asks, 'Where is my lady?' be carried out in particulars. The old spelling of Portia replies, • Here; what would my lord?' The “ stairs" was staiers, as in the quartos, or stayers, as in messenger was a person of rank attending on Portia." the folio. Knight retains the folio spelling in his text, COLLIER.
as giving the meaning of “bulwarks of sand"
sumption of strength without reality. ACT III.-SCENE I.
“And these assume but valour's EXCREMENT," etc. " — KNAPPED ginger"-i. e. Snapped, or broke ginger. The last word is used, as in HAMLET, WINTER'S " - Thou torturest me, Tubal: it was my turquoise"
Tale, and the COMEDY OF ERRORS, in its derivative from excresco,
for “ The turquoise is a well-known precious stone, found
every thing growing or proin the veins of the mountains on the confines of Persia
ceeding from the body. to the east. In old times its value was much enhanced
“ Thus ornament is but the GUILED shore," etc. by the magic properties attributed to it in common with other precious stones, one of which was, that it faded
For guileful, the participle used adjectively, as was or brightened its hue as the health of the wearer in
frequent in the poetic language of Elizabeth's age. creased or grew less. This is alluded to by Ben Jonson
Thus we find, in OTHELLO, " delighted" beauty, for dein his . Sejanus:'
lightful beauty And true as turkise in my dear lord's ring.
Thy PALENESS moves me more than eloquence," etc. Look well or ill with him.
Many of the later editors, adopting Warburton's conOther virtues were also imputed to it, all of which were jecture, read, “ thy plainness ;" but the early editions either monitory or preservative to the wearer.
all read “paleness," and this epithet is considered as Nicols, in his translation of Anselm de Boot’s Lapidary,' peculiarly appropriate to lead, in the writers of the sixsays, this stone • is likewise said to take away all en teenth century. “Paleness like lead," and similar mity, and to reconcile man and wife.' This quality may phrases, may be found in Skelton and others. have moved Leah to present it to Shylock. It is evi The chief recommendation to the proposed change is dent that he valued it more for its imaginary virtues, or that silver has just been called "pale," and some other as a memorial of his wife, than for its pecuniary worth.” epithet seems now required. It is probably merely the STEVENS.
carelessness of rapid composition-such repetitions of “ - a wilderness of monkeys"-—'What a fine He
words being one of the most frequent blemishes in all
writings, which subsequent revisions generally remove. braism (says Hazlitt) is implied in this expression !"
Yet if, as Malone suggests, a strong emphasis is laid on SCENE II.
"thy," so as to contrast the paleness of load with that
of silver, no amendment will be wanted. But if an 16 – Beshrew your eyes,
amendment be required, I prefer Farmer's alterationThey have 0'ER-LOOK'D me."
leaving "paleness" to stand, and changing “pale and “O'er-look'd me" is here used in the sense of en
common drudge" to stale and common, as applied to chanted me, taken from the old popular notion of the
silver. influence of the looks of witches or fairies.' So, in the
“ In measure Rain thy joy '-It may be doubted MERRY Wives OF WINDSOR:
whether we ought to read“ rain," or rein; the old Vile worm, thou wast o'er-look'd even from thy birth. spelling (raine) having either meaning.
- Prove it
“And leave itself UNFURNISH'd"-i. e. “Unfurnished Let fortune go to hell for it,—not I.”
with a companion or fellow. In Fletcher's Lover's The meaning here is, “ If the worst I fear should hap-Progress, Alcidon says to Clarangé, on delivering Lidpen, and it should prove in the event that I, who am
ian's challenge, which Clarangé accepts :justly yours by the free donation I have made you of
you are a noble gentleman, myself, should yet not be yours in consequence of an
Will't please you bring a friend; we are two of us,
And pity, either of us should be unfurnish'd. unlucky choice, let fortune go to hell for robbing you of your just due, not I for violating my oath.”—HEATH.
The bint for this passage appears to have been taken
from Greene's • History of Faire Bellora ;' afterwards " — but 'tis to peize the time"-" To peize" is to published under the title of “A Paire of Turtle Doves :' poise, weigh, or balance; and, figuratively, to keep in. If Apelles had beene tasked to have drawne her counsuspense, or to delay. Marlowe uses the word in the terfeit, her two bright burning lampes would have so sense of weighed :
dazzled his quick-seeing sences, that quite dispairing to For from the earth to heaven is Cupid raised,
expresse with his cunning pensill so admirable a worke Where fancy is in equal balance peized.
of nature, he had been inforced to have staid his hand, "Fancy” here, as often in SHAKESPEARE, is synonymous
and left this earthly Venus unfinished.'. A preceding with love.
passage in Bassiano's speech might have been suggested
by the same novel: What are our curled and crisped “Reply, reply”—These words, which, in this edi
lockes, but snares and nets to catch and entangle the tion, as in those of Knight and that of Collier, are print
hearts of gazers,' etc.”—MALONE and STEVENS. ed as part of the song, were considered by Johnson to
— sum of NOTHING"-So the folio. Both quartos from Johnson's time, in most of the editions the line has read “sum of something;" which is the ordinary text. been suppressed. In all the old copies the passage is We agree with Mason, Knight and Collier, in preferring printed thus, in Italic type :
the reading of the folio, as it is Portia's intention in this How begot, how nourished. Replie, replie.
speech to undervalue herself in comparison with what The reply is then made; and, probably, by a second
she would wish to be for Bassanio's sake. voice. We agree with Knight, that “The mutilation "— and SalER10"-"A Messenger from Venice" is of the song, in the belief that the words were a stage added in the stage-direction of the quartos. Knight direction, is one of the most tasteless corruptions of the thinks this should be Salanio But in the scenes just
SCENE III. “ Consisteth of all nations”—The sense of these lines is clear, though the construction is not a little involved. Antonio says, that the duke cannot deny the course of law, because if the commodity, or advantage which strangers enjoy in Venice, be denied, that denial will much impeach the justice of the state, which derives its profit from all nations. No change of the ancient text seems necessary, though Capell, and Knight after him, print the lines thus altered :
Ant. The duke cannot deny the course of law,
Scene IV. “ Unto the Tranect”-“Shakespeare most likely obtained this word from some novel to which he resorted for his plot. It is supposed to be derived from the Italian franare, (to draw,) owing to the passage-boat on the Brenta being drawn over a dam by a crane, at a place about five miles from Venice."-Collier.
“ I could not do withAL"-An idiom of the time for I could not help it. (See Gifford's “ Ben Jonson,” note on “Silent Woman.”)
ACT IV.-SCENE I. “ A Court of Justice"-" The whole of the final scene is a master-piece of dramatic skill. The legal acuteness, the passionate declamation, the sound maxims 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 paralleled. Shylock, who is his own coun. sel, 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 awakens all his faculties, and he beats back all opposi. tion to his purpose, whether grave or gay, whether of art or argument, with an equal degree of earnestness and self-possession.”—Hazlitt.
" — his Envy's reach"_" Envy," of old, was often used in the sense of hatred, malice; a sense often found in our English Bible.
“ Thou'll show thy mercy and REMORSE"_“Remorse" here means pity, as in MEASURE FOR MEASURE, and elsewhere.
“ Thou will not only Loose the forfeiture,” etc. All the copies have “loose the forfeiture," which, as it gives an appropriate meaning, taking “loose" in the sense of release, is retained in this edition, though generally altered to lose.
“ Enow to press a ROYAL MERCHANT down," etc. Warburton and Johnson remark, that “royal merchant” is not merely a ranting epithet as applied to merchants, for such were to be found at Venice in the Sa. nudos, the Giustiniani, the Grimaldi, etc. This epithet was striking, and well understood in Shakespeare's time, when Gresham was dignified with the title of the “ royal merchant," both from his wealth and because he constantly transacted the mercantile business of Queen Elizabeth.
“But, say, it is my Humour"_" The worthy Corporal Nym hath this apology usually at his fingers' ends, and Shylock condescends to excuse his extravagant cruelty
as a humour, or irresistible propensity of the mind. The word 'humour' is not used in its modern signification, but for a peculiar quality which sways and masters the individual through all his actions."—WALTER SCOTT.
In Rowland's “ Epigrams,” No. 27 amply illustrates this phrase :
Aske Humors, why a fether he doth weare !
It is his humour (by the Lord) heele sweare, etc. “ Cannot contain their urine for AFFECTION:
Masters OF PASSION SWAY it to the mood," ete. With Collier, we give the text as printed and pointed in all the original editions, with the single change of “sway" for sways. The sense is then obvious. After giving other examples to the same effect, Shylock adds that some men are affected, physically, by the sound of the bagpipe; for, whoever or whatever are the mas ters of passion, they govern and incline it to the mood of its likings or loathings. If the reader, like many of the commentators, is not satisfied with this reading, be may make his own selection among the editorial conjes tures. Rowe and Pope preserved the old punctuation, and gave the text thus :
Masterless passion sways it to the mood
Of what it likes, or loaths. The next reading is—
for affection, Master of passion, sways it to the mood, etc. Stevens adopted an anonymous writer's conjecture of
affection, Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood, etc. Any one of the above readings might have come from the Poet's pen, and the difference of sense is scarcely worth the pages of controversy it has occasioned.
“Why he cannot abide a GAPING PIG," etc. “A pig prepared for the table is most probably meant, for in that state is the epithet “gaping' most applicable to this animal. So, in Fletcher's • Elder Brother:'
And they stand gaping like a roasted pig. And in Nashe's ‘Pierce Pennylesse, his Supplication to the Devil,' (1592,) the following passage may serve to confirm the conjecture:– 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 a sturgeon,' etc."-SINGER.
"- a woollen bag-pipe"-So the old copies. It is ordinarily written“ swollen bagpipe," upon the sugges tion of Sir John Hawkins. Dr. Johnson would read wooden. The old reading has the testimony of Dr. Ley, den, in his edition of The Complaynt of Scotland.” who informs us that the Lowland bagpipe commonly had the bag or sack covered with woollen cloth, of a green colour-a practice which, he adds, prevails in the northern counties of England.
“When they are FRETTEN"-So both the old quartos, and there seems no reason to abandon this form of the participle, though the folio and later editions have fretted.
" — that bankrout there"-I have preserved the old orthography of the word now spelled bankrupl, because that was the uniform mode of the age, and retains the etymology of a word, the precise meaning of which has long been the subject of legal and constitutional discussion in the United States.
“ You stand within his danger"-" Within his danger” was anciently equivalent to within his power. Thus, in North's " Plutarch," a book familiar to Shakespeare, Pompey is said to have brought the pirates
within his danger;" thence it became familiarly applied to the power of the creditor over another person Here both meanings seem included.
“ The quality of mercy is not strain'd," etc. Hooker's magnificent personification of “ Law," considered in its broadest sense, as a right rule of moral
and social action, affords a remarkable parallel to this | fancy might light up to the golden star-paved heavens, beautiful passage. It is at the end of the first book of and the brilliant moonlight gazed upon by lovers' eyes, bis celebrated * Ecclesiastical Polity,” which was pub- from the gardens of Belmont. lished about a year before the MERCHANT OF VENICE was written. It is quoted here, not because there is any
she doth stray about reason whatever to suppose that Shakespeare was in
By holy crosses," etc. debted to it in any way, but as a striking instance, among “These holy crosses still, as of old, bristle the land in many, of the coincidence and resemblance of poetical || Italy, and sanctify the sea. Besides those contained in spirit and philosophical thought between the greater churches, they mark the spots where heroes were born, minds of that wonderful age of English genius. “Of where saints rested, where travellers died. They rise Law there can be no less acknowledged than that her on the summits of hills, and at the intersection of roads; seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the and there is now a shrine of the Madonna del Mare in world : all things in heaven and earth do her homage, the midst of the sea between Mestre and Venice, and the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as
another between Venice and Palestrina, where the gonnot exempted from her power; both angels and men, dolier and the mariner cross themselves in passing, and and creatiires of what condition soever, though each in whose lamp nightly gleams over the waters, in moondifferent sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent light or storm. The days are past when pilgrims of all admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy." ranks, from the queen to the beggar-maid, might be “Repent sot you”—It may admit of doubt whether
seen kneeling and praying for happy wedlock hours,'
or for whatever else lay nearest their hearts; and the this reading, which is that of the folio, or “Repent but
reverence of the passing traveller is now nearly all the you," of the two quartos, ought to be adopted. homage that is paid at these shrines."-Knight.
* — any of the stock of Barabbas"-Shakespeare seems to have followed the pronunciation usual to the
“ – Patens of bright gold”—Patines, or “patens," theatre, “ Barabbas” being sounded Barabas through
as it is variously spelled, signifies a dish, or plate; but out Marlowe's " Jew of Malta.”
is preserved in modern language only in ecclesiastical
use, for the plate used at the eucharist, generally of "Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten more," etc. some precious metal, and in heraldry, where it means a That is, a jury of twelve men to find him guilty and
round, broad plate of gold. The folio of 1632 has pathave him hanged ;-a favourite joke, found in several
terns, which Collier prefers and adopts in his text. It of the dramatic writers of the age, which the Poet
seems to me a misprint, as patterns, in its modern sense, adopted without stopping to consider, what he could
for the plan of a carpet or other similar work, (which not but have known, that an allusion to the English jury
alone could give any sense here,) is more modern than was out of place at Venice.
Several occasions have been taken, in the course of the Notes of this edition, to trace, as an interesting part of literary history, the pedigree of some of the Poet's imagery or thoughts, not copied in the way of direct imitation, but as evidently suggested by passages of prior authors, who have themselves been indebted to a more remote antiquity. We may here trace a nobler genealogy of descent, in one of the most magnificent passages of English poetry, from one of the greatest conceptions of the most poetical philosophy of antiquity; and this again is almost rivalled by similar passages of succeeding poets, who were proud to own themselves the successful imitators of Shakespeare.
The origin of the thought in these lines is drawn from the philosophical imagination of Plato, who, in his “ Republic” and “ Timocus,” nearly two thousand years before Shakespeare, had taught that the heavenly bodies in their revolutions produced, by their rapid motion, the most exquisite musical harmony, so loud, various, and sweet, as to exceed all proportion to the human ear; and, therefore, to be inaudible to men. He taught too, that immortal souls had been formed, equal in number to the stars, each having a celestial orb assigned to it, as its original celestial abode; but that many of these spirits
wese banished thence to the earth, and there clothed Costume of the Doge of Venice.
for a time in human bodies, as in a sepulchre, or prison. These grand imaginations of the philosopher, combined
with an allegorical doctrine of Fate or Destiny, and an ACT V.-SCENE I.
ingenious theory of musical melodies, after having been
expounded and explained by Proclus and other later “ The moon shines bright.— In such a night as this,” etc. Greek Platonists, passed into the philosophy of the
The beauty and truth of this exquisite night-scene || Christian Church. On the revival of letters, the Planeed not to be pointed out to the American reader, who tonic philosophy, as modified by Christianity, became is familiar under his o skies with such moons pouring | the favourite theory of many of the most distinguished Aoods of liquid radiance, and such nights “ but little speculative scholars, such as Bessarion and Ficinus, in paler than the day"—such as many an English traveller Italy, and afterwards More and Cudworth, in England. and many a poet have described, with wonder and de- || Shakespeare's illustrious contemporary, "the judicious light, when seen in Italy or the East. It is the intense | Hooker," was familiar with this learning, and has intifeeling of reality in this scene that, to my mind, gives mated an opinion not unlike " the harmony in immortal strong confirmation of the opinion that Shakespeare had, souls” here spoken of. Touching musical harmony, at some period prior to this drama, wandered beneath (says he,) it being but of high and low sounds in a due the skies and moons of Italy Still it is not conclusive. proportionable disposition, such notwithstanding is the England has her own brighter nights, which the Poet's force thereof, and so pleasing effects it hath in that very
part of man which is most divine, that some have there The other, and the first folio, print in it instead of “ ir by been induced to think that the soul itself by nature in,” which led to long notes by the commentators. is, or hath in it, harmony."—(* Ecclesiastical Policy," Some editions read close us in. lib. v.), This part of the work was published in 1597, about the probable period that this play was written.
“ The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark," etc.Another striking instance of the familiarity of this
The animals mentioned in this play are all proper to the philosophy to the minds of the scholars of that age, is country, and to that part of it to which the play relates given by Mr. Hallam, (“ History of Literature," vol. üi. The wren is uncommon; but its note is occasionally chap. 3,) in his notice of the Italian Campanella, who,
heard. The crow, lark, jay, cuckoo, nightingale, goose. in unfolding the Platonic philosophy, was roused by his
and eel, are all common in Lombardy. imagination to flights of impressive eloquence on his
" The nightingale, if she should sing by day, favourite themes. The skies and stars (says he) are endowed with the keenest sensibility; nor is it at all
When every goose is cackling," etc. unreasonable to suppose that they signify their mutual
In Shakespeare's One Hundred and Second Sonnel, thoughts to each other by the transference of light, and
there is a beautiful passage of like import:that their sensibility is full of pleasure. The blessed
Our love was new, and then but in the spring,
When I was wont to greet it with my lays; spirits that inform such living and bright mansions, be
As Philomel in summer's front doth sing. hold all things in nature and in the divine ideas; they And stops her pipe in growth of riper days. have also a more glorious light, through which they are Not that the summer is less pleasant now, elevated to a supernatural beatific vision.” Mr. Hallam
Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night,
But that wild music burdens every bough, justly adds, “We can hardly read this without recol
And sweets grown common lose their dear delight. lecting the most sublime passage, perhaps, in ShakeSPEARE: Sit, Jessica,' etc. etc. Companella wrote in "A TUCKET sounded”—From the Italian toccata Latin, and a little after the Poet. The poets of Eng.
which Florio, in his “World of Words," (1611,) con land early became familiar with the more splendid and strues, “a prelude in music." imaginative parts of the Platonic doctrines. Spenser
“ We should hold day with the Antipodes, especially, drew largely upon them; as, in his Platonic
If you would walk in absence of the sun."
That is—If you would walk in the night, it would be
day with us, as it now is on the other side of the globe -a celestial harmony Of likely hearts, composed of stars' consent.
- a little SCRUBBED boy'—Warton, not understand
ing this, proposes to read stubbed boy—a stripling. Bat There are various indications in Shakespeare's style
scrub and scrubbed is good old English for stunted, small that his imagination had been kindled and enriched by
of its kind : as Holland, in his translation of Pliny, hæs these beautiful speculations, though in all probability his knowledge of them was attained in fragments, from
Such will never prove fair trees, but scrubs only;" and
we retain the same use familiarly on this side of the the perusal of the poets and English writers of his own
Atlantic in "scrub oaks,”—a name given from the first day, without any formal study of the philosophy itself,
settlement of the country to the dwarf or bush oak. as a whole. In the next generation, Milton, alike familiar himself with Plato and with Spakespeare, with “ No woman had it; but a civil doctor"-Some Amer music and with philosophy, delighted to dwell on the ican readers may require to be informed, of what the same idea, so captivating to so many superior minds. professional divisicn of labour makes more familiar in He has repeatedly referred to it in his prose works, as | Europe, that“civil" does not refer to manners, but means well as in his “Penseroso" and in “Comus;" while in a doctor of tho civil law, as opposed to one of divinity the “ Arcades" he has blended together the loftiest in or medicine. spiration of Plato and of Shakespeare:
-In deep of night when drowsiness
“The MERCHANT of Venice is one of Shakespeare's To the celestial sirens' harmony,
most perfect works: popular to an extraordinary degree, That sit upon the nine infolded spheres, And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
and calculated to produce the most powerful effect on And turn the adamantine spindle round
the stage; and at the same time, a wonder of ingenuity On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
and art for the reflecting critic. Shylock, the Jew, is Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,
one of those inconceivable master-pieces of characterizaTo lull the daughter of Necessity,
tion of which Shakespeare alone furnishes us with es. And keep unsteady Nature to her law, And the low world in measur'd motion draw
amples. It is easy for the poet and the player to exhibit After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
a caricature of national sentiments, modes of speaking, Of human mould, with gross unpurged ear.
and gestures. Shylock, however, is every thing but a The editor of the Pictorial edition has added to these common Jew: he possesses a very determinate and passages one from the “Remorse" of Coleridge, au original individuality, and yet we perceive a slight touch “ worthy to stand by the side of Milton and Shake of Judaism in every thing which he says and does. We speare." It is so. But it is also due to Coleridge to
imagine we hear a sprinkling of the Jewish pronunciaadd, that it is not an imitation of any passage of either tion in the mere written words, as we will sometimes of them, but rather an adaptation of another part of the
find it in the higher classes of that people, notwithstand Platonic theory, drawn from the Greek original, and ing their social refinement. In tranquil situations, what borrowing only from Shakespeare its general spirit and
is foreign to the European blood and Christian sentiments bis solemn rhythmical melody :
is less perceivable; but in passion the national stamp Soul of Alvar!
appears more strongly marked. All these inimitable Hear our soft suit, and heed my milder spell ;-
niceties the finished art of a great actor can alone So may the gates of Paradise, unbarr'd,
properly express. Cease thy swift toils! Since haply thou art one
“Shylock is a man of information, even a thinker in his Of that innumerable company Who in broad circle, lovelier than the rainbow,
own way; he has not only discovered the region where Girdle this round earth in a dizzy motion,
human feelings dwell: his morality is founded on the With noise too vast and constant to be heard :
disbelief in goodness and magnanimity. The desire of Fitliest unheard! For oh, ye numberless
revenging the oppressions and humiliations suffered by And rapid travellers! what ear unstunn'd, What sense unmadden'd, might bear up against
his nation, is, after avarice, his principal spring of action. The rushing of your congregated wings !
His hate is naturally directed chiefly against those Chris.
tians who possess truly Christiau sentiments: the exDoth grossly close it in"- Nothing can be clearer ample of disinterested love of our neighbour, seems to than this reading, which is that of Heyes's quarto. him the most unrelenting persecution of the Jews. The