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To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
this instance, as in many others, confounds the participles. Guiled stands for guiling. Steevens.
Indian beauty;] Sir T. Hanmer reads:
Indian dowdy. Johnson. - thou pale and common drudge 'Tween man and man:] So, in Chapman's Hymnus in Noctern, 4to. 1594:
“ To whom pale day (with whoredome soked quite)
“Is but a drudge.” Steevens. i Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence,] The old copies read-paleness. Steevens.
Bassanio is displeased at the golden casket for its gaudiness, and the silver one for its paleness; but what! is he charmed with the leaden one for having the very same quality that displeased him in the silver? The poet certainly wrote:
Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence : This characterizes the lead from the silver, which paleness does not, they being both pale. Besides, there is a beauty in the antithesis between plainness and eloquence; between paleness and eloquence none. So it is said before of the leaden casket :
“ This third, dull lead, with warning all is blunt.” Warburton. It may be that Dr. Warburton has altered the wrong word, if any alteration be necessary. I would rather give the character of silver,
- Thou state and common drudge “'Tween man and man.' The paleness of lead is for ever alluded to.
“ Diane declining, pale as any ledde." Says Stephen Hawes. In Fairfax's Tasso, we have
“The lord Tancredie, pale with rage as lead," Again, Sackville, in his Legend of the Duke of Buckingham:
“Now pale as lead, now cold as any stone. And in the old ballad of The King and the Beggar:
She blushed scarlet red, “ Then straight again, as pale as lead." As to the antithesis, Shakspeare has already made it in A Mid
Por. How all the other passions fleet to air,
“ When (says Theseus) I have seen great clerks look pale,
“Of saucy and audacious eloquence.” Farmer.
In measure range thy joy.
In measure raine thy joy.
In measure rein thy joy.
Having frequent occasion to make the same observation in the perusal of the first folio, I am also, strongly inclined to the former word; but as the text is intelligible, have made no change. Rein in the second instance quoted below by Mr. Steevens, is spelt in the old copy as it is here ;-raine. So, in The Tempesty edit. 1623:
do not give dalliance
pour not too fast joys on me,
but in short space
" And such a flood of greatness fell on you,” &c.
- being once chaf'd, he cannot “ Be rein'd again to temperance.”
For fear I surfeit!
What find I here? 3
[Opening the leaden casket. Fair Portia's counterfeit ?4 What demi-god Hath come so near creation? Move these eyes? Or whether, riding on the balls of mine, Seem they in motion? Here are sever'd lips, Parted with sugar breath; so sweet a bar Should sunder such sweet friends: Here in her hairs The painter plays the spider; and hath woven A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men, Faster than gnats in cobwebs: But her eyes, How could he see to do them? having made one, Methinks, it should have power to steal both his, And leave itself unfurnish'd:5 Yet look, how far
So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act V, sc. ii :
“Rein thy tongue.” Steevens. 3 What find I here?] The latter word is here employed as a dissyllable. Malone.
Some monosyllable appears to have been omitted. There is no example of–here, used as a dissyllable; and even with such assistance, the verse, to the ear at least, would be defective. Perhaps our author designed Portia to say:
“ For fear I surfeit me." Steevens. 4 Fair Portia's counterfeit?] Counterfeit, which is at present used only in a bad sense, anciently signified a likeness, a resemblance, without comprehending any idea of fraud. So, in The Wit of a Woman, 1604: “ I will see if I can agree with this stranger, for the drawing of my daughter's counterfeit.”
Again, (as Mr. M. Mason observes) Hamlet calls the pictures he shows to his mother:
“ The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.” Steevens. 5 Methinks, it should have power to steal both his, And leave itself unfurnish’d:] Perhaps it might be:
And leave himself unfurnish’d. Fohnson. If this be the right reading, unfurnished must mean “unfur. nished with a companion or fellow.” I am confirmed in this explanation, by the following passage in Fletcher's Lover's Progress where Alcidon says to Clarangé, on delivering Lidian's challenge, which Clarangé accepts-,
you are a noble gentleman,
“ And pity, either of us should be unfurnish’d.” M. Mason, Dr. Johnson's emendation would altogether subvert the poet's meaning. If the artist, in painting one of Portia's eyes, should
The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow
You that choose not by the view,
And claim her with a loving kiss.
lose both his own, that eye which he had painted, must necessarily he left unfurnished, or destitute of its fellow. Henley.
And leave itself unfurnish’d:] i. e. and leave itself incomplete ; unaccompanied with the other usual component parts of a portrait, viz. another eye, &c. The various features of the face our author seems to have considered as the furniture of a picture. So, in As you Like it : "- he was furnish'd like a huntsman;" i. e. had all the appendages belonging to a huntsman. Malone.
The hint for this passage appears to have been taken from Greene's History of Faire Bellora; afterwards published under the title of A Paire of Turtle Doves, or the Tragicall History of Bellora and Fidelio, bl. 1: “ If Apelles had beene tasked to have drawne her counterfeit, her two bright-burning lampes would have so dazled his quicke-seeing sences, that quite dispairing to expresse with his
cunning pensill so admirable a worke of nature, he had been inforced to have staid his hand, and left this earthly Venus unfinished.”
A preceding passage in Bassanio's speech might have been suggested by the same novel.
A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men: “What are our curled and crisped lockes, but snares and nets to catch and entangle the hearts of gazers,” &c. Steevens.
she will outstrip all praise,
Whether those peals of praise? be his or no;
Por. You see me, lord Bassanio, where I stand,
- peals of praise – ] The second quarto reads--pearles of praise. Johnson.
This reading may be the true one. So, in Whetstone's Arbour of Virtue, 1576:
“The pearles of praise that deck a noble name.” Again, in R. C.'s verses in praise of the same author's Rock of Regard:
“But that that bears the pearle of praise away." Steevens. 8 Is sum of something;] We should read--some of something, i. e. only a piece, or part only of an imperfect account; which she explains in the following line. Warburton. Thus one of the quartos. The folio reads :
Is sum of nothing:
- the full sum of me Is sum of something, i. e. is not entirely ideal, but amounts to as much as can be found in -an unlesson'd girl, &c. Steevens.
I should prefer the reading of the folio, as it is Portia's intention, in this speech, to undervalue herself. M. Mason.
9 But she may learn;] The latter word is here used as a dissyl. lable. Malone.
Till the reader has reconciled his ear to this dissyllabical pronunciation of the word learn, I beg his acceptance of--and, a harmless monosyllable which I have ventured to introduce for the sake of obvious metre. Steevers.