Imatges de pÓgina

Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood 3,
Or, as it were the pageants of the sea,-
Do overpeer the petty traffickers,

That curt'sy to them, do them reverence,

As they fly by them with their woven wings.
SALAN. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
The better part of my affections would

Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
Plucking the grass, to know where sits the wind;
Peering' in maps, for ports, and piers, and roads;
And every object that might make me fear
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt,
Would make me sad.

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 Gratiane 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.


burghers or 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. DOUCE.

6 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.

Would blow me to an ague, when I thought
What harm a wind too great might do at sea.
I should not see the sandy hour-glass run,
But I should think of shallows and of flats;

My wind, cooling my broth,


And see my wealthy Andrew dock'd in sand,
Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs',
To kiss her burial. Should I go to church,
And see the holy edifice of stone,

And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks?
Which touching but my gentle vessel's side,
Would scatter all her spices on the stream;
Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks;
And, in a word, but even now worth this,

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

8 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." 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

"Unto my mayden flag."

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.

ANT. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it,
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,
Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
Upon the fortune of this present year:

Therefore, my merchandize makes me not sad.
SALAN. Why then you are in love.


Fye, fye! SALAN. Not in love neither? Then let's say, you

are sad,

Because you are not merry: and 'twere as easy For you, to laugh, and leap, and say, you are merry, Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed

Janus 2,

Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time:
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes 3,
And laugh, like parrots, at a bag-piper;
And other of such vinegar aspéct,

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;
We leave you now with better company.
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.

I take it, your own business calls on you,
And you embrace the occasion to depart.
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



We two will leave you: but, at dinner time,
I pray you, have in mind where we


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",
And mine a sad one.


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.


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®: 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
By being peevish? I tell thee what, Antonio,-
I love thee, and it is my love that speaks ;-

There are a sort of men, whose visages


Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond;
And do a wilful stillness' entertain,

With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;
As who should say, I am Sir Oracle*,
And, when I ope my lips, let no dog bark2!

* So quartos; first folio, an oracle.
"A worldling here, I must hie to my grave;
"For this is but a May-game mixt with woe,
"A borrowde roume where we our pageants play,
"A skaffold plaine," &c.

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.

8 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."


[ocr errors]

-a wilful STILLNESS] i. e. an obstinate silence.



let no dog bark!] This seems to be a proverbial expres

« AnteriorContinua »