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A patine is the small flat dish or plate used in the service of

the altar. In the folio the word is spelt patens. PEIZE. Act III., Sc. 2.

“But 't is to peize the time." Poise and peise are the same words. To weigh the time is to

keep it in the balance-to delay it. PHILL-HORSE. Act II., Sc. 2.

“Dobbin, my phill-horse.” The horse in the shafts; it is the same as thill-horse, a word

still in use in the midland counties. PILL'D. Act I., Sc. 3.

“The skilful shepherd pilld me certain wands." In the passage of Genesis to which Shylock alludes, the word

pilled is used in the old as well as in the present translations of the Bible. It is synonymous with peeled, and is

usually so printed in the above passage. PORT. Act I., Sc. 1.

“By something showing a more swelling port." Port is bearing, carriage, appearance. POSSESS'D. Act I., Sc. 3.

“Is he yet possess'd

How much you would?".
Possess'd is informed.
PREST. Act I., Sc. 1.

And I am prest unto it."
Ready. It is used in the same sense in 'Romeo and Juliet.'

and in Pericles.' REASON'D. Act II., Sc. 8.

“I reason'd with a Frenchman yesterday.” Reason'd is here used for discoursed. Beaumont and Fletcher use it in a like manner,

There is no end of women's reasoning." REGREETS. Act II., Sc. 9.

“From whom he bringeth sensible regreets.” Salutations, regreetings. RESPECTIVE. Act V., Sc. 1.

“ You should have been respective.” Respective is here regardful, had more respect, regard, for. SAND-BLIND. Act II., Sc. 2.

“Being more than sand-blind, high gravel-blind.” Sand-blind is having an imperfect sight, as if there was sand

in the eye. Gravel-blind is an exaggeration of Launcelot's, of his own coinage, to express a higher degree of blindness. Pur-blind, if we may judge from a sentence in Latimer, is something less than sand-blind; "they be pur-blind and

sand-blind." SCARFED BARK. Act II., Sc. 6.

“The scarfed bark puts from her native bay.” A scarfed bark is a bark gay in the streamers. SOMETIMES. Act I., Sc. 1.

“Sometimes from her eyes.” Sometimes is here used in the sense of formerly, in past times. SONTIES. Act II., Sc. 2.

“By God's sonties.” A petty oath; the word is sometimes spelt santies, sanctities or

holiness. SORE. Act V., Sc. 1.

“So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring." Sore is excessively, extremely, much. SPET. Act I., Sc. 3.

“And spet upon my Jewish gaberdine." In Shakspere's time the generally-received orthography of spit was spet. Milton uses it thus :

« The womb Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest gloom.” SQUANDER'D. Act I., Sc. 3.

“ And other ventures he hath, squander'd abroad." The meaning of squandered here is simply scattered. Mr.

Waldron has given an example of this meaning of the word from Howell's Letters. "The Jews, once an elect people, but now grown contemptible, and strangely squandered up and down the world.” In Dryden's ‘Annus Mirabilis' we have the same expression applied to ships

“They drive, they squander, the huge Belgian fleet." In Woodfall's ' Theatrical Repository,' 1801, Mr. Waldron states

that “Macklin, mistakenly, spoke the word with a tone of reprobation, implying that Antonio had, as we say of pro

digals, unthriftily squandered his wealth.” STERV'D. Act IV., Sc. 1.

“Are wolfish, bloody, sterv'd, and ravenous." Synonymous with starved, hungry. TEN MORE.

Act IV., Sc. 1.

“ Thou shouldst have had ten more, To bring thee to the gallows."

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Jurymen were jestingly called godfathers. “Godfathers-in

law," as Ben Jonson has it. TRANECT. Act III., Sc. 4.

“Unto the tranect, to the common ferry.” This is the only instance known of the use of the word tranect

in English, and yet there is little doubt that the word is correct. Tranare and trainare are interpreted by Florio not only as to draw, which is the common acceptation, but as to pass or swim over. Thus the tranect was most pro

bably the tow-boat of the ferry. TRUTH. Act IV., Sc. 1.

“ That malice bears down truth." Truth is here used in the sense of honesty. UNFURNISHED. Act III., Sc. 2.

“And leave itself unfurnish'd.” Unsurrounded by the other features. USE. Act IV., Sc. 1.

“The other half in use." In usance, lent on interest. UPON THE HIP. Act I., Sc. 3.

“If I can catch him once upon the hip.” Johnson says the expression is taken from the practice of wrestling. In ‘Othello' the expression is repeated,

“I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip.” VAILING. Act I., Sc. 1.

“Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs.” To vail is to let down, to lower. The high-top was shattered,

fallen, when the ship was on the shallows. VENTURES. Act I., Sc. 1.

“My ventures are not in one bottom trusted.” This is, no doubt, a sort of proverbial phrase; a more elegant

rendering of the common one as to having “all one's eggs in one basket.” In his ‘History of Richard III.' Sir Thomas More has—"for what wise merchant adventureth all his

goods in one ship?" WIT. Act II., Sc. 1.

“ And hedg'd me by his wit.” Wit is here used in its ancient sense of mental power in

general. To wite, from the Anglo-Saxon witan, is to know. YOUNGER. Act II., Sc. 6.

“How like a younger, or a prodigal.” It is the same word as younker or youngling.

PLOT AND CHARACTERS.

tions;

What a wonderful universality there is in many of those stories which have taken root in the popular mind. They belong to past centuries and countries far distant; and yet they seem to be contemporary and indigenous. Such is the main story of the pound of flesh, as well as the secondary plot of the caskets. Shakspere has blended these two great features of the play with the most consummate dramatic skill.

It was from an Italian writer, Ser Giovanni, the author of a collection of tales, called 'Il Pecorone,' written in the fourteenth century, and first published at Milan in 1558, that Shakspere unquestionably derived some of the incidents of his story. A full epitome of a scarce translation of the tale, was first given in Johnson's edition of Shakspere, and is reprinted all the variorum editions. In this story we have a rich lady at Belmont, who is to be won upon certain condi

and she is finally the prize of a young merchant, whose friend, having became surety for him to a Jew, under the same penalty as in the play, is rescued from the forfeiture by the adroitness of the married lady, who is disguised as a lawyer. The pretended judge receives, as in the comedy, her marriage ring as a gratuity, and afterwards banters her husband, in the same way, upon the loss of it.

Some of the stories of 'Il Pecorone,' as indeed of Boccaccio, and other early Italian writers, appear to have been the common property of Europe, derived from some Oriental origin. Mr. Douce has given an extremely curious extract from the English ‘Gesta Romanorum,*—“a Manuscript, preserved in the Harleian Collection, No. 7333, written in the reign of Henry the Sixth,” in which the daughter of “Selestinus, a wise emperor in Rome,” exacts somewhat similar conditions, from a knight who loved her, as the lady in the 'Pecorone.' Being reduced to poverty by a compliance with these conditions, he applies to a merchant to lend him money;

and the loan is granted under the following covenant:“And the covenant shall be this, that thou make to me a charter of thine own blood, in condition that if thou keep not the day of payment, it shall be lawful to me for to draw away all the flesh of thy body from the bone with a sharp sword, and, if thou wilt assent hereto, I shall fulfille thy will." In this ancient story the borrower of the money makes himself subject to the penalty without the intervention of a friend; and, having forgotten the day of payment, is authorised by his wife to give any sum which is demanded. The money is refused by the merchant, and the charter of blood exacted. The story thus continues:—“Now, in all this time, the damsel his love had sent knights for to espy and inquire how the law was pursued against him. And, when she heard tell that the law passed against him, she cut off all the long hair of her head, and clad her in precious clothing like to a man, and went to the palace where her leman was to be judged, and saluted the justice, and all trowed that she had been a knight. And the judge inquired of what country she was, and what she had to do there. She said, I am a knight, and come of far country; and hear tidings that there is a knight among you that should be judged to death, for an obligation that he made to a merchant, and therefore I am come to deliver him. Then the judge said, It is law of the emperor, that whosoever bindeth him with his own proper will and consent without any constraining, he shall be served so again. When the damsel heard this, she turned to the merchant and said, Dear friend, what profit is it to thee that this knight, that standeth here, ready to the doom, be slain : It were better to thee to have money than to have him slaiv. Thou speakest all in vain, quoth the merchant; for, without doubt, I will have the law, since he bound himself so freely; and therefore he shall have none other grace than law will, for he came to me, and I not to him. I desire him not thereto against his will. Then, said she, I pray thee how much shall I give to have my petition ? I shall give thee thy money double; and, if that be not pleasing to thee, ask of me what thou wilt, and thou shalt have. Then said he, Thou heardest me never say but that I would have my covenant kept. Truly, said she; and I say before you, Sir Judge, and

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