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LONDON : Printed (by Affignment) for
Duxe, ANTHONIO, BASSANIO, GRATIANO, LORENZO, SOLARINO, SALANIO, SHYLOCK, TUBAL, LAUNCELOT, GOBBO, LEONARDO, BALTHAZAR, STEPHANO, JAILER,
Mrs. SIDDONS. Mrs. Pore.
Senators of Vepice, Oficers, Servants, and other At
SCENE, partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont,
abe Seat of Portia, upon the Continent,
INTRODUCTION. ki is said, that Shakespeare took the hint of this play from
an old bollad. It is also said, that the cruel character was a chriftian: now though we are totally against give inz prejudiced ideas against any set of people, especiaily a race so rejeéled as the Jews have been, and are yet ; stiil as among their tribes, in common with the rest of mankind, feveral Shylocks no doubt have been, our author judiciously saw, that making his principal an Israelite, would place him in a fironger point of view; and such fuccefsful pains has the bard taken with this horrid picture of depraved nature, that we firuțle not to pronounce him, as original and high finished a character, as we can conceive, furnished wiih a must suitable. peculiarity of Jylla All the other characters are well drawn, notwithlanding several breaches of time and place, we may venture 10 proriounce this to be a piece of very singular merit. It would be want of gratitude, for ihe great fatisfaction Mr. Macklin has often given in the Jew, not to pronounce his performance remarkably correct, feeling, and forceable.
You say it wearies you ;
Sal. Your mind is tosling on the ocean ;
* Argoia, a name given to any rich merchant hip; taken from Argo, che ship in which Jafon failed for the golden fleece. A 2
Like signiors and rich burgers on the flood;
petty craffickers, That curtsy to them, do them reverence, As they fly by them with their woven wings.
Sola. Believe me, fir, had I such venture forth, The better part of my affections would Be with my hopes abroad. I lould be still Plucking the grass to know where fits the wind Peering in maps for ports, and piers, and roads': And every object that might make me fear Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt, Would make me sad.
Sal. My wind, cooling my broth, Would blow me to an ague, when I thought What harm a wind too great might do at sea. I should not see the sandy hour-glass run, But I should think of shallows and of Alats; And see my wealthy Andrew dock'd in sand, Vailing her high top lower than her ribs, To kiss her burial. Should I go to church, And see the holy edifice of stone, And not bethink me straight of dang'rous rocks? Which, touching but my gentle vesel's fide, Would scatter all the spices on the stream, Enrobe the roaring waters with my filks ; And in a word, but even now worth this, And now worth nothing. Shall I have the thought, To think on this, and all I lack the thought. That such a thing, bechanc'd, would make me fad :* But tell not me; I know Anthonio Is fad to think upon his merchandize.
Anth. Believe me, no: I thank my fortune for it, My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, Nor to one place ; nor is my whole estate Upon the fortune of this present year: Therefore, my merchandize makes me not sad.
Sola, Why then you are in love ? * This speech is fancifully descriptive of those apprehenfions which might probably affe&t a man in Anthonio's ficuation, and ac the same cime, leads to an idea, by his reply, of the magnitude of his concerns in trade.