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the sands of the opposite shore are of the same quality as that which tradition reports to have once formed the island property of Goodwin, Earl of Kent.

23 SCENE I.-"It was my turquoise."

The turquoise, turkise, or Turkey-stone, was supposed to have a marvellous property, thus described in Fenton's 'Secret Wonders of Nature,' 1569" The turkeys doth move when there is any peril prepared to him that weareth it." Ben Jonson and Drayton refer to the same superstition. But the Jew, who had "affections, senses, passions," values his turquoise for something more than its commercial worth or its imaginary virtue. "I had it of Leah, when I was a bachelor: I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys."

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin;"

and Shakspere here, with marvellous art, shows us the betrayed and persecuted Shylock, at the moment when he is raving at the desertion of his daughter, and panting for a wild revenge, as looking back upon the days when the fierce passions had probably no place in his heart"I had it of Leah, when I was a bachelor."

24 SCENE II.-"The scull that bred them in the sepulchre."

Shakspere appears to have had as great an antipathy to false hair as old Stubbes himself; from whose Anatomy of Abuses' we gave a quotation upon this subject in 'A MidsummerNight's Dream' (Illustrations of Act IV.). Timon of Athens says

"thatch your poor thin roofs With burthens of the dead."

In the passage before us the idea is more claborated, and so it is also in the 68th Sonnet :"Thus in his cheek the map of days outworn,

When beauty liv'd and died as flowers do now,
Before these bastard signs of fair were borne,
Or durst inhabit on a living brow;

Before the golden tresses of the dead,

The right of sepulchres, were shorn away,
To live a second life on second head,

Ere beauty's dead fleece made another gay:
In him those holy antique hours are seen,
Without all ornament, itself, and true,
Making no summer of another's green,

Robbing no old to dress his beauty new." The "holy antique hours" appear to allude to a state of society in which the fashion, thus placed under its most revolting aspect, did not exist. Stow says "Women's periwigs were first brought into England about the time of the massacre of Paris" (1572). Barnaby Rich, in 1615, speaking of the periwig-sellers, tells us

"These attire-makers within these forty years were not known by that name." And he adds -"But now they are not ashamed to set them forth upon their stalls-such monstrous moppoles of hair-so proportioned and deformed that but within these twenty or thirty years would have drawn the passers-by to stand and gaze, and to wonder at them."


"Unto the tranect, to the common ferry
Which trades to Venice."

If Shakspere had been at Venice (which, from the extraordinary keeping of the play, appears the most natural supposition), he must surely have had some situation in his eye for Belmont. There is a 66 common ferry" at two places-Fusina and Mestre. The Fusina ferry would be the one if Portia lived in perhaps the most striking situation, under the Euganean Hills. But the Mestre ferry is the most convenient medium between Padua and Venice. There is a large collection of canal-craft there. It is eighteen English miles from Padua, and five from Venice. Supposing Belmont to lie in the plain N.W. from Venice, Balthazar might cut across the country to Padua, and meet Portia at Mestre, while she travelled thither at a lady's speed.-(M.)


26 SCENE I.-"Some men there are," &c. THERE is a passage in Donne's 'Devotions' (1626), in which the doctrine of antipathies is put in a somewhat similar manner:-"A man that is not afraid of a lion is afraid of a cat;

not afraid of starving, and yet is afraid of some joint of meat at the table, presented to feed him; not afraid of the sound of drums and trumpets, and shot, and those which they seek to drown, the last cries of men, and is afraid of some particular harmonious instrument; so

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figure of it, under the name of tibia utricularis, though this is not precisely the same as the modern instrument. Luscinius, in his 'Musurgia' (1536), has a woodcut of it, whence it appears that the bagpipe in his time was in all respects the same as ours. Indeed, it is mentioned, though not described, by Chaucer, who says of his miller

A baggepipe wel coude he blowe and soune;' and this, we are told in the same prologue, was the music to which the Canterbury pilgrims performed their journey." The preceding engraving is copied from a carving in the church of Cirencester, which is supposed to be of the period of Henry VII,



"The quality of mercy is not strain'd," &c.

Douce has pointed to the following verse in Ecclesiasticus (xxxv. 20) as having suggested the beautiful image of the rain from heaven :"Mercy is seasonable in the time of affliction, as clouds of rain in the time of drought." The subsequent passage, when Portia says, we do pray for mercy," is considered by Sir William Blackstone to be out of character as addressed to a Jew. Shakspere had probably the Lord's Prayer immediately in his mind; but the sentiment is also found in Ecclesiasticus, ch. xxviii.

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-“she doth stray about By holy crosses.”

These holy crosses still, as of old, bristle the land in Italy, and sanctify the sea. Besides those contained in churches, they mark the spots where heroes were born, where saints rested, where travellers died. They rise on the summits of hills, and at the intersection of roads; and there is now a shrine of the Madonna del Mare in the midst of the sea between Mestre and Venice, and another between Venice and Palestrina, where the gondolier and the mariner cross themselves in passing, and whose lamp nightly gleams over the waters, in moonlight or storm. The days are past when pilgrims of all ranks, from the queen to the beggar-maid, might be seen kneeling and praying "for happy wedlock hours," or for whatever else lay nearest their hearts; and the reverence of the passing traveller is now nearly all the homage that is paid at these shrines.--(M.)

33 SCENE I.-"How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank."

One characteristic of an Italian garden is that its trees and shrubs are grown in avenues and gathered into thickets, while the grass-plots and turfy banks are studded with parterres of roses and other flowers, which lie open to the sunshine and the dews. The moonlight thus sleeps upon such lawns and banks, instead of being disturbed by the flickering of overshadowing trees.-(M.)

34 SCENE I.-"Sit, Jessica," &c.

Mr. Hallam, in his very interesting account of the philosophy of Campanella, thus paraphrases one of the most imaginative passages of the Dominican friar:-"The sky and stars are endowed with the keenest sensibility; nor is it unreasonable to suppose that they signify their mutual thoughts to each other by the transference of light, and that their sensibility is full of pleasure. The blessed spirits, that inform such living and bright mansions, behold all things in nature, and in the divine ideas; they have also a more glorious light than their own, through which they are elevated to a supernatural beatific vision." Mr. Hallam adds: 'We can hardly read this, without recollecting the most sublime passage perhaps in Shakspere;" and he then quotes the following lines,

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which our readers will thank us for offering to them apart from the general text:

"Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold.
There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins:
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay

Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it." a Campanella was of a later period than Shakspere, who probably found the idea in some of the Platonic works of which his writings unquestionably show that he was a student. In his hands it has reached its utmost perfection of beauty. After these glorious lines, the parallel passage in Milton's 'Arcades,' fine as it is, appears to us less perfect in sentiment and harmony:

"In deep of night when drowsiness
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Sirens' harmony,
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,
To full the daughter of Necessity,
And keep unsteady Nature to her law,
And the low world in measur'd motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould, with gross unpurged ear."

Coleridge has approached the subject in lines which are worthy to stand by the side of those of Shakspere and Milton :

"Soul of Alvar!

Hear our soft suit, and heed my milder spell ;-
So may the gates of Paradise, unbarr'd,
Cease thy swift toils! Since haply thou art one
Of that innumerable company

Who in broad circle, lovelier than the rainbow,
Girdle this round earth in a dizzy motion,
With noise too vast and constant to be heard ;-
Fitliest unheard! For oh, ye numberless
And rapid travellers! what ear unstunn'd,
What sense unmadden'd, might bear up against
The rushing of your congregated wings?"

(Remorse, Act III. Sc. L

35 SCENE I.-"The man that hath no music in himself."

There is a great controversy amongst the commentators upon the moral fitness of this passage; and those who are curious in such matters may turn to the variorum edition, for a long and perilous attack upon Shakspere's opinions by Steevens, and to a defence of them, in their separate works, by Douce and Monck

■ 'Literature of Europe,' vol. iii. p. 147. Mr. Hallam has quoted from memory: having put "vault" for "floor," with two or three minor variations.

Mason. The interest of the dispute wholly consists in the solemn stupidity with which it is conducted. The summing-up of Steevens is unequalled:-"Let not this capricious sentiment of Shakspere descend to posterity unattended by the opinion of the late Lord Chesterfield upon the same subject;" and then he quotes one of his Lordship's letters, containing an insolent attack upon "fiddlers."

36 SCENE I.-"The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark," &c.

The animals mentioned in this play are all proper to the country, and to that part of it, to which the play relates. The wren is uncommon; but its note is occasionally heard. The crow, lark, jay, cuckoo, nightingale, goose, and eel, are all common in Lombardy.—(M.)

37 SCENE I." This night, methinks, is but the daylight sick."

The light of moon and stars in Italy is almost as yellow as sunlight in England. The planets burn like golden lamps above the pinnacles and pillared statues of the city and the tree-tops of the plain, with a brilliancy which cannot be imagined by those who have dwelt only in a northern climate. The infant may there hold out its hands, not only for the full moon, but for "the old moon sitting in the young moon's lap," an appearance there as obvious to the eye as any constellation. Two hours after sunset, on the night of new moon, we have seen so far over the lagunes, that the night seemed indeed only a paler day,-"a little paler."-(M.)

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The dresses of the most civilised nations of Europe have at all periods borne a strong resemblance to each other: the various fashions having been generally invented amongst the southern, and gradually adopted by the northern, ones.

Some slight distinctions, however, have always remained to characterise, more or less particularly, the country of which the wearer was a native; and the Republic of Venice, perhaps, differed more than any other State in the habits of its nobles, magistrates, and merchants, from the universal fashion of that quarter of the globe in which it was situate.


. . I

To commence with the chief officer of the Republic:-The Doge, like the Pope, appears to have worn different habits on different occasions. Cæsar Vecellio describes at some length the alterations made in the ducal dress by several princes, from the close of the twelfth century down to that of the sixteenth, the period of the action of the play before us; at which time the materials of which it was usually composed were cloth of silver, cloth of gold, and crimson velvet, the cap always corresponding in colour with the robe and mantle. On the days sacred to the Holy Virgin the Doge always appeared entirely in white. Coryat, who travelled in 1608, says, in his 'Crudities,' fifth day of August, being Friday saw the Duke in some of his richest ornaments. . . . He himself then wore two very rich robes, or long garments, whereof the uppermost was white cloth of silver, with great massy buttons of gold; the other cloth of silver also, but adorned with many curious works made in colours with needlework." Howell, in his 'Survey of the Signorie of Venice,' Lond. 1651, after telling us that the Duke "always goes clad in silk and purple," observes, that " times he shows himself to the public in a robe of cloth of gold, and a white mantle; he hath his head covered with a thin coif, and on his forehead he wears a crimson kind of mitre, with a gold border, and, behind, it turns up in form of a horn on his shoulders he carries ermine skins to the middle, which is still a badge of the Consul's habit; on his feet he wears embroidered sandals, tied with gold buttons, and about his middle a most rich belt, embroidered with costly jewels, in so much, that the habit of


C. Vecellio, a much better authority, says slippers. "Porta in piedi le piandelle piu del medesimo usasi anche da cavallieri nobili di Venetia."

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[Costume of the "Clarissimoes."]

the ground. The "clarissimoes" generally wore gowns of black cloth faced with black taffata, with a flap of black cloth, edged with taffata, over the left shoulder"; and "all these gowned men," says the same author, "do wear marvellous little black caps of felt, without any brims at all, and very diminutive falling bands, no ruffs at all, which are so shallow, that I have seen many of them not above a little inch deep." The colour of their under garments was also generally black, and consisted of "a slender doublet made close to the body, without much quilting or bombast, and long hose plain, without those new-fangled curiosities and ridiculous superfluities of panes, pleats, and other light toys used with us Englishmen. Yet," he continues, "they make it of costly stuff, well

In the collection at Goodrich Court is the walkingstaff of a Doge of Venice of the sixteenth century. b Coryat.

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