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PERSONS REPRESENTED. I
Duke of Venice,
Suitors to Portia.
Friends to Anthonio and Bassanio.
" In the old editions in quarto, for J. Roberts, 1600, and in the old folio, 1623, there is no enumeration of the
It was first made by Mr. Rowe. Johnson. 2 Salanio.]
It is not easy to determine the orthography of this name. In the old editions the owner of it is called,- Salanio, Salino, and Solanio.
STEEVENS. 3 Our author, as Dr. Farmer informs me, took the name of his Jew from an old pamphlet entitled, “ Caleb Shillocke, his Prophesie, or the Jewes “ Prediction.” London, printed for T. P. (Thomas Pavyer.) No date. IDEM.
Salerio, a messenger from Venice,
of Justice, Jailer, Servants, and other Attendants upon the Duke, Princes, Portia,
Bassanio, &c. Scene, partly at Venice, and partly at Bel
mont, the seat of Portia, upon the continent.
4 This character I have restored to the Persona Dramatis. The name appears in the first folio: the description is taken from the 4to. IDEM.
Enter Anthonio, Salarino, and Salanio.
* Scene I.–The time of this scene appears to be some part of the forenoon; frequent mention is made in it of the period of dinner as being still to come. E.
1 In sooth, I know not why I am so sad; &c.] It is to be supposed that the friends of Anthonio have been just before expostulating with him concerning that melancholy humour, but lately, it is probable, contracted by him, and by which they find them. selves deprived of that enjoyment which hitherto they had been accustomed to derive from his society and conversation ; in his reply to their remonstrances, he seems desirous to obviate any suspicion that they might be inclined to entertain of his indulging a perverse and sullen spirit of discontent, by a declaration that his present state of mind is no less irksome to himself, than the effects of it prove to his friends : But, setting aside any farther consideration of that
It wearies me; you say, it wearies you ;
Salar. Your mind is tossing on the ocean; There, where your argosies 2 with portly sail,
question, be a second time professes a total ignorance of the particular cause of the dejection under which he labours, and adds that his mental powers are so entirely weakened and overthrown by it, that he is no longer able to discover in himself those qualities which had formerly constituted an essential part of his character. E.
The forebodings or presentiments of evil, natural to the human mind, are strongly pointed at here. It were in vain to attempt the investigation of this matter from philosophy, any more than that of prophetic dreams ; so that all we have to do, is simply to acquiesce in the fact itself, which repeated experience has sufficiently vouched in too many remarkable instances, to be imputed to common casualty. MRS. GRIFFITH.
2 There, where your argosies, &c.] Argosie, a ship from Argo. Pope.
Whether it be derived from Argo, I am in doubt. It was a name given in our author's time to ships of great burthen, probably galleons, such as the Spaniards now use in their West-India trade. JOHNSON.
Mr. Pope was mistaken in imagining the word argosie, to signify "a ship from Argo." This last is an inland town of the Morea, and consequently could have no shipping. In the primary significaLike signiors and rich burghers of the flood,3
tion of the word, it denoted a ship of Ragusa ; and as that city was in the middle ages famous for its trade, and extensive navigation, and particularly for building merchant ships of the largest size, every large merchant vessel came to be called an Argosie. Hence too Ragozine, for Rugusain, the name of the pirate in Measure for Measure. Heata.
The Reviser is as far mistaken as Mr. Pope. An Argosie, in its etymology, has a relation to the ship Argo in which the Argonauts sailed ; and in Shakspeare's time every large ship, especially a trading one, was called an Argosie, without the smallest allusion to Ragusa. Crit. Review.
It is most probable that Mr. Pope meant to derive the word in the same manner with the writer of the preceding note, and that the Reviser has mistaken his meaning: it is not, however, equally clear that he has been mistaken as to the true etymology of the word. E.
In Rycaut's Maxims of Turkish Polity, ch. xiv. it is said, “ Those vast carracks called argosies, which are so much famed for the vastnes of their burthen and bulk, were corruptly so denominated from Ragosies," i.e. ships of Ragusa, a city and territory on the gulf of Venice, tributary to the Porte. If my memory does not fail me, the Ragusans lent their last great ship to the king of Spain for the Armada, and it was lost on the coast of Ireland. STEEVENS.
-burghers on the flood,] Burgher, one who has a right to certain privileges in this or that place.
Johns. DICTIONARY. Both ancient and modern editors have hitherto been content to read “burghers on the flood,” though a parallel passage in As you like it,
native burghers of this desert city," might have led to the present correction. STEEVENS.