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See me talk with thee.
Laun. Adieu!--tears exhibit my tongue.Most beautiful pagan,-most sweet Jew! If a Christian do not play the knave, and get thee, I am much deceived: But, adieu! these foolish drops do somewhat drown my manly spirit; adieu!
[Exit. Jes. Farewel, good Launcelot. Alack, what heinous sin is it in me, To be asham'd to be my father's child! But though I am a daughter to his blood, I am not to his manners: O Lorenzo, If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife; Become a Christian, and thy loving wife. [Exit.
Enter GRATIANO, LORENZO, SALARINO, and SALANIO.
Lor. Nay, we will slink away in supper-time;
and get thee,] I suspect that the waggish Launcelot designed this for a broken sentence—" and get thee”-implying, get thee with child. Mr. Malone, however, supposes him to mean only-carry thee away from thy father's house. Steevens.
I should not have attempted to explain so easy a passage, if the ignorant editor of the second folio, thinking probably that the word get must necessarily mean beget, had not altered the text, and substituted did in the place of do, the reading of all the old and authentick editions; in which he has been copied by every subsequent editor. Launcelot is not talking about Jessica's father, but about her future husband. I am aware that, in a subse. quent scene, he says to Jessica: “Marry, you may partly hope your father got you not ;" but he is now on another subject. Malone.
Prom the general censure expressed in the preceding note I take leave to exempt Mr. Reed; who, by following the first folio, was no sharer in the inexpiable guilt of the second. Steevens.
Notwithstanding Mr. Malone charges the editor of the second folio so strongly with ignorance, I have no doubt but that-did is the true reading, as it is clearly better sense than that which he has adopted. Launcelot does not mean to foretel the fate of Jessica, but judges, from her lovely disposition, that she must have been begotten by a christian, not by such a brute as Shy. lock: a christian might marry her without playing the knave, though he could not beget her. M. Mason.
Gra. We have not made good preparation.
Salan. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order’d; And better, in my mind, not undertook.
Lor. 'Tis now but four a-clock; we have two hours To furnish us:
Enter LAUNCELOT, with a letter.
Friend Launcelot, what 's the news? Laun. An it shall please you to break up this, 3 it shall seem to signify.
Lor. I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand;
Love-news, in faith.
Laun. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew to sup to-night with my new master the Christian.
Lor. Hold here, take this:-tell gentle Jessica, I will not fail her;-speak it privately; go.Gentlemen,
[Exit Laun. Will you prepare you for this masque to-night? I am provided of a torch-bearer.
Salar. Ay, marry, I 'll be gone about it straight.
Meet me, and Gratiano,
[Exeunt SALAR. and SALAN. Gra. Was not that letter from fair Jessica?
Lor. I must needs tell thee all: She hath directed, How I shall take her from her father's house;
- torch-bearers.] See the note in Romeo and Juliet, Act I, sc. iv. We have not spoke us yet, &c. i. e. we have not yet bespoke us, &c. Thus the old copies. It may, however, mean, we have not as yet consulted on the subject of torch-bearers. Mr. Pope reads—“ spoke as yet.” Steevens.
to break up this,] To break up was a term in carving. So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act III, sc. i:
· Boyet, you can carve; “ Break up this capon." See the note on this passage. Steevens.
What gold, and jewels, she is furnish'd with;
Enter SHYLOCK and LAUNCELOT.
Laun. Your worship was wont to tell me, I could do nothing without bidding.
Shy. I am bid forth to supper, Jessica;
4 I am bid forth — ] I am invited. To bid in old language meant to pray. Malone.
That bid was used for invitation, may be seen in St. Luke's Gospel, ch. xiv, 24: “. - none of those which were lidden shall taste of my supper.” Harris. 5 — to feed upon
The prodigal Christian.] Shylock forgets his resolution. In a förmer scene he declares he will neither eat, drink, nor pray with Christians. Of this circumstance the poet was aware, and meant only to heighten the malignity of the character, by making him depart from his most settled resolve, for the prosecution of his revenge. Steevens.
Look to my house:-I am right loth to go;
Laun. I beseech you, sir, go; my young master doth expect your reproach.
Shy. So do I his.
Laun. And they have conspired together,—I will not say, you shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on BlackMonday last,6 at six o'clock i’the morning, falling out that year on Ash-wednesday was four year in the after
Shy. What! are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica: Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum, And the vile squeaking of the wry-neck'd fife,? Clamber not you up to the casements then, Nor thrust your head into the publick street,
- then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on Black-Monday last,] “ Black-Monday is Easter - Monday, and was so called on this occasion: in the 34th of Edward III, (1360) the 14th of April, and the morrow after Easter-day, King Edward, with his host, lay before the city of Paris; which day was full dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many men died on their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore, unto this day, it hath been called the Blacke-Monday.” Stowe, p. 264–6. Grey.
It appears from a passage in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592, that some superstitious belief was annexed
to the accident of bleeding at the nose : “ As he stood gazing, his nose on a sudilen bled, which made him conjecture it was some friend of his.” Steevens. Again, in the Dutchess of Malfy, 1640, Act I, sc. ii :
“ How superstitiously we mind our evils ?
* To daunt whole man in us." gain, Act I, sc. iii:
* My nose bleeds. One that was superstitious would count this ominous, when it merely comes by chance.” Reed. 7 Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum, And the vile squeaking of the wry-neck'd fife,]
“ Primâ nocte domum claude; neque in vias
Malone. It appears from hence, that the fifes, in Shakspeare's time, were formed differently from those now in use, which are straight, not wry-necked. M. Mason.
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces:
I will go before, sir.
There will come a Christian by,
Will be worth a Jewess' eye.8. [Exit Laun. Shy. What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha? Jes. His words were, Farewel, mistress; nothing else.
Shy. The patch is kind enough;' but a huge feeder, Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day More than the wild cat; drones hive not with me; Therefore I part with him; and part with him To one that I would have him help to waste His borrow'd purse.-Well, Jessica, go in; Perhaps, I will return immediately; Do, as I bid you, Shut doors? after you: Fast bind, fast find; A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.
[Exit. Jes. Farewel; and if my fortune be not crost, I have a father, you a daughter, lost.
8. There will come a Christian by,
Will be worth a Jewess' eye.] It's worth a Jew's eye, is a proverbial phrase. Whalley,
9 The patch is kind enough;] This term should seem to have come into use from the name of a celebrated fool. This I learn from Wilson's Art of Rhetorique, 1553: “A word-making, called of the Grecians Onomatopeia, is when we make words of our own mind, such as be derived from the nature of things;-as to call one Patche, or Cowlson, whom we see to do a thing foolishly; because these two in their time were notable fools.”
Probably the dress which the celebrated Patche wore, was in allusion to his name, patched or parti-coloured. Hence the stage fool has ever since been exhibited in a motley coat. Patche, of whom Wilson speaks, was Cardinal Wolsey's fool. Malone.
1 Shut doors -] Doors is here used as a dissyllable. Malone.