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4. Complexion = natural disposition.
5. Match = bargain.
6. Smug

spruce, trim, studiously neat.
7. Hindered me, etc. kept me from gaining half a million ducats.
8. Frankfort = Frankfort-on-the-Maine, noted for its fairs.
9. In that = in that one diamond.

10. Turquoise = a mineral, brought from Persia, of a peculiar bluishgreen color, susceptible of a high polish, and much esteemed as a gem. It was formerly supposed to fade or brighten with the wearer's health, and to change with the decay of a lover's affection.


Scene II.

prove so.

1. Forsworn - perjured.
2. Beshrew
= curse upon

used as a harmless imprecation.

O'erlook'd me = bewitched, fascinated me.
4. Prove it so = if it
5. Peize

retard, delay. From Fr. peser, to weigh.
6. Fear doubt; that is, whether I shall ever enjoy.

7. Swan-like end. An allusion to the belief that swans sing just before they die.

8. Flourish. - The coronation of English sovereigns is announced by a flourish of trumpets. 9. Alcides

Hercules. He rescued Hesione, daughter of Laomedon, when she was exposed as a sacrifice to appease the wrath of Neptune; and this he did, not from love, but for the reward of two horses promised by her father.

10. Dardanian wives = Trojan women.
11. Approve

- prove, justify.
12. His :

its. 13. Livers white as milk = an expression indicative of cowardice. Falstaff speaks of “the liver white and pale, which is the badge of pussillanimity and cowardice.

14. Excrement the beard. From Lat. excrescere, to grow out.
15. Supposed fairness = fictitious beauty.
16. Guiled = beguiling.

17. Indian beauty. — This has been regarded a troublesome expression. “Dowdy," "gypsy,” “ favor," « visage," "feature,” have been suggested in place of beauty. The difficulty seems to be removed by placing the emphasis on Indian, and regarding it as used in a derogatory sense. An Indian beauty, after all, is not apt to be a very desirable person.


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18. Food for Midas. Midas prayed that everything he touched might turn to gold. His prayer being granted, he found himself without food, and prayed Bacchus to revoke the favor.

19. Counterfeit = portrait.
20. Leave itself unfurnish'd, that is, with a companion.
21. Continent that which contains, container.
22. I come by note = I come by written warrant.
23. In a prize

for a prize.
24. Livings = estates, possessions.
25. Vantage to exclaim on you = warrant to cry out against you.
26. None from me = none away from me.
27. So= if, provided that.
28. Intermission

pause, delay. 29. If promise last = if promise hold; a play on words, often weak, so common in Shakespeare. 30. Very - true. O. Fr, verai, from Lat. verax, true.

- himself. 32. Estate

condition, state. 33. Shrewd = evil. 34. Constant

firm, steadfast. 35. Mere

absolute, thorough. Lat. merus, pure, unmixed.
36. Should appear = would appear.
37. Confound = ruin, destroy.

38. Impeach the freedom, etc. = denies that strangers have equal rights in the city.

39. Magnificoes of greatest port = grandees of highest rank. 40. Envious plea malicious plea.

41. Best-condition'd = best disposed. The superlative here is carried over also to unwearied.

31. Him

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43. You and I. This mistake is not uncommon in Shakespeare and other writers of the time.

Scene III.

1. Fond

foolish. This is the original sense of the word. 2. To come = as to come. 3. Dull-eyed = stupid, wanting in perception. 4. Kept = dwelt. 5. Deny the course of law : refuse to let the law take its course. 6. Commodity = traffic, commercial relations. 7. Bated= lowered, reduced.


1. Conceit = idea, conception.
2. Lover = friend. A common signification.

3. Customary bounty can enforce you = ordinary benevolence can make you feel.

4. Husbandry and manage stewardship and management
5. Imposition

task or duty imposed.
6. Padua was famous for the learned jurists of its university.
7. Imagined speed = speed of thought or imagination.

8. Tranect the name of the place where “the common ferry” or ferry-boat set out for Venice.

9. Convenient=proper, suitable. 10. Reed voice = shrill, piping voice. 11. Quaint = ingenious, elaborate. 12. I could not do withal - I could not help it.

crude, unskilful. 14. Jacks = a common term of contempt. 15. All my whole device. A pleonasm not infrequent in Shakespeare.

13. Raw

Scene V.

1. Fear you = fear for you.
2. Agitation = cogitation - another blunder of Launcelot's.

3. Scylla = a rocky cape on the west coast of southern Italy. Charybdis is a celebrated whirlpool on the opposite coast of Sicily. Hence the frequent saying, “He falls into Scylla who seeks to avoid Charybdis.”

4. I shall be saved, etc. A reference, probably, to i Cor. vii. 14: “ The unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband.”

5. Enow = enough.
6. Rasher = a thin slice of bacon.
7. Are out

have fallen out, quarrelled. 8. I know my duty. - Launcelot plays on the double meaning of cover," namely, to lay the table, and to put on one's hat.

9. Quarrelling with occasion = using every opportunity to make perverse replies.

10. Discretion= discrimination.

11. A many. — This phrase is still used, though rarely, by poets. It is found in Tennyson's “ Miller's Daughter," and Rolfe quotes from Gerald Massey:

“We've known a many sorrows, Sweet;

We've wept a many tears."

12. Garnish'd furnished, equipped.
13. Defy the matter = set the meaning at defiance.
14. How cheer'st thou : what spirits are you in?
15. Set you forth = describe you fully.



1. Uncapable. — Shakespeare uses also incapable. With a considerable number of words, the English prefix un and the Latin prefix in were used indifferently; as, uncertain, incertain; ungrateful, ingrateful.

2. Qualify = modify, moderate.
3. And that

and since. It is not unusual for the Elizabethan writers to use that in place of repeating a preceding conjunction. Though my soul be guilty and that I think,” etc. BEN JONSON.

4. Envy's reach reach of hatred or malice. Envy frequently had this meaning in Shakespeare's time. In Mark xv. 10 we read: “For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.

5. Remorse = pity, relenting - a common meaning in the age of Elizabeth.

6. Where whereas.
7. Loose

release, give up. 8. Moiety = portion, share, as often in Shakespeare. According to its etymology, it strictly means a half. From Fr. moitié, half. 9. Charter.

Shakespeare seems to have supposed that Venice held a charter from the German Emperor, which might be revoked for any flagrant act of injustice.

10. A gaping pig= a pig's head as roasted for the table. II. Passion

: feeling. 12. Lodg'd= fixed, abiding. 13. Current = 14. Think you question = consider that you are arguing. 15. Main flood = ocean tide. 16. Fretten fretted.

17. With all brief and plain conveniency with such brevity and directness as befits the administration of justice." — Wright. 18. Have judgment = receive sentence.

offices, employments. 20. Upon my power = by virtue of my prerogative. We still say, “on my authority.”

21. Determine = decide.
22. Hangman = executioner.

= course.

19. Parts

29. Fell 30. Fleet

40. Truth

23. Envy

malice. See note 4. 24. Wit=

= sense. 25. Inexecrable that cannot be execrated enough. Another reading is inexorable."

26. And for thy life, etc. = let justice be impeached for allowing thee to live.

27. Pythagoras. - A philosopher of the sixth century B.C., who taught the transmigration of souls. 28. IVho, hang'd, etc. Another instance of the suspended nominative.

fierce, cruel. A. S. fel, cruel.

flit, take flight. 31. Offend’st = hurtest, annoyest. 32. To fill up = to fulfil. 33. No impediment to let him lack = no hindrance to his receiving. 34. Take your place, probably beside the duke. 35. Question trial. 36. Such rule = such regular form. 37. Impugn

oppose, controvert. 38. Within his danger

within his power. 39. Strain'd=constrained, forced.

honesty. 41. A Daniel. - See the “ History of Susanna” in the Apocrypha, where “the Lord raised up the holy spirit of a young youth, whose name was Daniel,” to confound the two wicked judges.

42. Hath full relation is fully applicable. 43. More elder.

Double comparatives were frequently used by the Elizabethan writers.

44. Balance. — Though singular in form, it is used as a plural, as having two scales.

45. On your charge = at your expense.
46. Still her use = constantly her custom.
47. Speak me fair in death = speak well of me when I am dead.
48. With all my heart. There is pathos in this jest.
49. A just pound=an exact pound.
50. In the substance in amount, in the gross weight.
51. Contrive = plot.
52. Formerly = as aforesaid.

53. Which humbleness, etc. = which humble supplication on your part may induce me to commute into a fine.

54. In use = in trust.

55. Ten more, that is, to make up twelve jurymen, who were jestingly called “godfathers-in-law.”

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