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Jes. Farewel; and if my fortune be not
crost, I have a father, you a daughter, lost. (Exit.
The Street before Shylock's Door. Enter Gratiano, and Salarino, in masquerade. Gra. This is the pent-house, under which
Lorenzo Desir'd us to make stand.. Salar. His hour is almost past.2
* Scene V. In former editions, Scene 6.—Is a part of the same night, and a few hours later ; Anthonio at the close of it remarks;
6 'Tis nine o'clock; our friends all stay for you.” E.
I Desir'd us to make stand.] Desir'd us stand, in ancient elliptical language, signifies--desired us to stand. The words- to make, are an evident interpolation, and consequently spoil the measure.
STEEVENS. 2 His hour is almost past.] Here is a patch of prose, when all the rest of the Scene is verse. It probably should stand thus, His hour is past.
That almost is foisted into the text, appears, I think, by what Gratiano immediately says; « And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour."
Gra. Aud it is marvel he out-dwells his
hour, For lovers ever run before the clock.
Salar. O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons
3 (, ten times fuster Venus' pigeons fly, &c.] Lovers have in poetry been always called Turtles or Doves which, in lower language, may be— Pigeons.
JOHNSON. It is not the pigeons who are understood “ to seal “ the bonds of love,” any more than “ to keep
obligedd faith unforfeited :" but it is Venus herself (who is drawn by them, and regulates their flight according to her own good pleasure) who is supposed to be assistant in both. HEATH.
It is necessary to understand the verb to fly as if repeated before the words,
“To keep obliged faith unforfeited.” The sentence, construed in any other manner, is not sense. Though faster be very naturally connected with fly, I do not perceive how it can with any propriety, unless such an ellipsis be supposed, be joined to, ihan they are wont, &c. to which, however, according to the verbal construction, it bears an equal relation.
Mr. Heath's observation is very just; Doctor Johnson has surely mistaken the poet's thought ; though the extraordinary rapidity displayed by the pigeons of Venus, or by Venus herself drawn by her pigeons, in their flight on the former of the two occasions here opposed to each other, must, doubtless, be considered as expressive, in figurative language, of the speed with which lovers hasten to fulfil assignations made for the purpose of sealing the bonds of love, they are themselves, in an allegorical sense,
To seal love's bonds new made, than they are
wont, To keep obliged faith unforfeited! Gra. That ever holds : Who riseth from a
feast, With that keen appetite that he sits down? Where is the horse, that doth untread again 4
supposed, at the same time, to be present and cooperating; their presence and agency are, in like manner, understood to be requisite on the latter, that of “keeping obliged faith,” &c. though their approach be not altogether so expeditious.
The illustration expressed in these lines, as well as the two following in Gratiano's speech of the person rising from a feast, and that of the horse, would have been more applicable in the present instance, had Lorenzo already obtained the possession of his mistress : As yet, he is to be considered as only advancing to “ seal love's bonds.” Indeed with regard to the first of these, the want of a justness in the application is not so strikingly manifest, because, as Lorenzo was already secure of Jessica's favour, and had no doubt of her readiness to put in execution the plot which they had formed for her escape, he might be supposed to become somewhat more indifferent as to the punctual observation of the time of his appointment, and, therefore, slower in his approaches. The same justification cannot be so well admitted with respect to what follows in Gratiano's speech. E.
-that doth untread again] This seems to be an extraordinary usage of this verb, by which, being compounded with a negative or privative particle, it is made to signify- to tread over again.
His tedious measures with the unbated fire
-all things that are Are with more spirit chased, &c.] It may well be suspected, at first view, that the foregoing examples selected for illustration, as well as that which succeeds, are not only somewhat inapplicable to the situation of Lorenzo, but likewise ill calculated to enforce the truth of this proposition. The person, it might be said, who sits down hungry to a feast, enjoys it while he eats with a spirit equal to that with which he hastened to assume his station at the table, and when his stomach is filled, and the demands of nature satisfied, it is not strange, nor much to be lamented, that appetite should cease: The case of the horse is pretty similar; an unrestrained freedom of motion appears to be that which, on this occasion constitutes his enjoyment, and of that, when he sets out upon his journey, he may be supposed to be already in the full possession ; neither anticipates any greater satisfaction than he already feels. That these instances, therefore, may seem to exhibit the parallel intended by the speaker, it will be necessary to consider the hungry man as indulging high expectations of enjoyment before his admission to the festive board, and by the gratification of appetite, soon after satiated, and, perlaps, disgusted; and the horse as previously impatient to commence his progress, in the pleasure of which he seems to exult, till, in a little time, weariness succeeds. What relates to the bark is liable to the same kind of objection, and, in, perhaps, a still greater degree; it contains no clear and definite expression of any aim, or purpose
How like a younker, or a prodigal,
rer pursued, nor of any advantage by diligence and ardour acquired, which afterwards becomes the subject of satiety or neglect ; but poetry, which delights to inspire even inanimate objects with sensibility and perception, having conceived the notion of a bark enamoured of the wind, pursuing the same veiw of allegorical imagery, represents it one while as sailing out of the harbour, and rejoicing in the embraces of a faithless wanton, and again as returning thither under all the characters of disgrace, disappointment and ruin. These circumstances denote an antecedent state of high raised expectation and a subsequent frail and transitory enjoyment. E.
6 The scarfed bark] i. e. The vessel decorated with flags. So, in All's well that ends well : “ Yet “ the scarfs and the bannerets about thee, did mani
foldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel “ of too great burden.” STEEVENS.
If, according to Dr. Johnson's definition in his dictionary, a scarf is, “any thing that hangs loose “ about the shoulders,” and to scarf to “ dress in any “ loose vesture,” the epithet, as here applied, seems to allude to the appearance of a ship under full sail.
E. 7 How like a prodigal doth she return ;] prodigal” is the reading in this line of the quarto, Theobald, and Hanmer. E.
-doth she return ;] Surely the bark ought to be the masculine gender, otherwise the allusion wants somewhat of propriety. This indiscriminate use of the personal for the neuter, at least obscures the passage. A ship, however, is coinmonly spoken of in the feminine gender. STEEVENS.