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No XVI. THURSDAY, MAY 16, 1754,
I'LL TRACE THE CURRENT UPWARDS, AS IT FLOWS,
TO MR, TOWN.
“ therefore, Secchi, and cut a pound
“ of Helh from any part you please of OXFORD, MAY 12, 1754- “ the Jew's body. We advise you,
“ however, to be very careful; for if Tubject of Bets, put me in mind you cut a scruple more or less than of an extract I lately met with in some your due, you shall certainly be news-papers, from the Life of Pope
“ hanged." Sixtus V. translated from the Italian of What induced me to trouble you
with Gregorio Leti_by the Reverend Mr. this, is a remark made by the editor, Farnworth.' The paffage is as foilows: that the scene between Shylock and An
It was reported in Rome, that Drake tonio in the Merchant of Venice is borhad taken and plundered St. Domingo rowed from this story. I should per• in Hispaniola, and carried off an im- haps have acquiesced in this notion, if • mense booty. This account came in I had not seen a note in the Observa. ' a private letter to Paul Secchi, a very tions on Spenser's Faerie Queene, by . confiderable merchant in the city, whó Mr. T. Warton of Trinity College,' • had large concerns in those parts, where he seems to have discovered the ' which he had insured. Upon receive real source from which Shakespeare drew • ing this news, he fent for the infurer, his fable, which (he informs us) is • Samson Ceneda, a Jew, and acquaint. founded upon an ancient ballad. The
ed him with it. The Jew, whofe in- admirers of Shakespeare are obliged to tereft it was to have such a report him for this curious discovery: but as
thought falle, gave many reasons why Mr. Warton has only given some ex• it could not poslibly be true; and at tracts, they would undoubtedly be glad
last worked himself up into such a par. to see the whole. This ballad is most fon, that he faid I'll lay you a probably no where to be met with but pound of my Atlh it is a lye." Sec. in the Ashmolean Mufæum in this uni. chi, who was of a fiery hot temper, versity, where it was deposited by that replied" I'll lay you a thousand fainous antiquary Anthony à Wood: I
crowns against a pound of your flesh, have therefore sent you a faithful tran" that it is true.
The Jew accepted script of it, and you must agree with 'the wager, and articles were imme. me, that it will do you more credit, as diately executed betwixt them, that if a Connoisseur, to draw this hidden
Secchi won, he should himself cut the treasure into light, than if you had difa • Heth with a sharp knife from whatever covered an Otho or a Niger. * part of the Jew's hody he pleased. • The truth of the account was foon
SONG. ' confirmed; and the Jew was almost
distracted, when he was informed, thar Secchi had folemnly sworn he
TUS, A JEW, WHO LENDING TO A ' would compel him to the exact literal
MERCRANT AN HUNDRED CROWNES, performance of his contract. A re
WOULD HAVE A POUND OF HIS FLESHR
BECAUSE HE COULD NOT PAY HIM • port of this transaction was brought
to the Pope, who sent for the parties,
A cruel Jow did dwili, " made, it is just they shou: i be ful.
Which lived all on us :rie, “ Alled, as this thall. Take a knife,
As Italian writers tell.
SHEWING THE CRUEL TIL OT GIRNU.
AT THE TIME APPOINTED.
Gernutus called was the Jew,
Which never thought to die, Nor never yet did any good
To them in streets that lye. His life was like a barrow hogge,
That liveth many a day, Yet never once doth any good,
Until men will him Nay. Or like a filthy heap of dung,
That lyeth in a hoord; Which never can do any good,
Till it be spread abroad.
He cannot seep in rest,
To pluck him from his nest.
How to deceive the poore;
Yet till he gapes for more.
For every week a penny,
If that you will have any.
Or else you loose it all:
Her cow the doth it call.
A merchant of great fame, Which being distrefied, in his need
Unto Gerputus came : Defiring him to ftand his friend,
For twelve moneth and a day, To lend to him an 100 crownes,
And he for it would pay Whatsoever he would demand of him
And pledges he should have: “ No,' (qd. the Jew with feering lookes)
• Sir, alke what you will have. • No penny for the loane of it
For one yeere you shall pay; • You may di me as good a turne
• Before my dying day. < But we will have a merry jeaft
• For to be ta.ked long; " You thall make me a bond,' (quoth he)
" That ihall be large and strong. « And this sal be the forfeiture,
• Of your own ficfhc a pound, • If you agree, make you the bond,
And here's a hundred crownes.'
CIFULNESSE OF THE JUDGE TOC
That back it Ihould be payd.
And money ca nie not in;
To thinke he doth begin.
With cap and bended knee,
• I pray you bear with me.
The money for to pay:
• Will doe you I dare say.'
« Command it to your minde:
You shall me readie finde.'
Gernutus doth not facke
And clapt him on the backe;
And sued his bond withall;
For judgment he doth call.
With many a weeping eye,
But he that day must dye.
Five hundred for to pay;
Yet Atill he did denay.
They offered him to save,
My fo. feit I will have.
· And that thall be my lyre.' Then said the judge - Yetmy good friend,
• Let me of you desire, « To take the fleshe from such a place
" As yet you let him live; « Doe so, and lo an 100 crownes,
• To thee here will I give.'
" For th s it shall be tryde,
THE SECOND PART OF THE JEW'S CRU.
ELTIE; SETTING FOR TH THE MER
Ir grieved all the companie,
It will be proper to subjoin what the His crueltie to fee;
ingenious Mr. Warton has observed For neither friend nor foe could help
upon this subject. It may he object. But he must spoiled bee.
• ed,' says he, that this ballad might The bloudie Jew now ready is
• have been written after, and copied With whetted blade in hand
• from Shakespeare's play. But if ihat To spoyle che bloud of innocent,
• had been the case, it is most likely, By forfeit of his bond.
! that the author would have preserved And as he was about to Arike
• Shakespeare's name of Shylock for the In him the deadly blow:
• Jew; and nothing is more likely, than Stay, quoth the judge, thy crueltie, • that Shakespeare, in copying from • I charge thee to do so.
• this ballad, thould alter the name • Sith nerds thou wilt thy forfeit have,
from Gernutus to one more Jewish. · Which is of Aeshe a pound:
• Another argument is, that our ballad «See that thou shed no drop of bloud,
• has the air of a narrative written be. ' Nor yet the man confound.
• fore Shakespeare's play; I mean, that " For if thou doe, like murtherer,
if it had been written after the play,
" it would have been much more full • Thou here thalt har ged be: . Likewise of flethe fee that thou cut
• and circumstantial. At present, it "No more than longs to thee.
" has too much the nakedness of an ori
ginal.' • For if thou take either more or leffe,
It would, indeed, be absurd to think, - To the value of a mite,
that this ballad was taken from Shake" Thou ihalt be hanged presently, • As is both law and right.'
fpeare's play, as they differ in the most
essential circumstances. The fum borGernutus now waxt f antic mad,
rowed is in the former an hundred And wores not what to say:
crowns, in the latter three thoutand Quoth he at laft-- 10,000 crownes ducats. The time limited for payment in I will that be thall pay.
the one is only three months, in the other "And so I grant to let him free;' a year and a day. In the play the mer
The judge dothenswere make, chant's motive for borrowing, (which * You mali not have a penny given,
is finely imagined by Shakespeare, and . Your forfeiture now take.'
is conducive to the gener al plur) is not At the last he doth demand,
on account of his own neceffities, but But for to have his own :
for the service of his friend. To thele No,' quo:h the judge, 'do as you lift, we may add, that the clofe of the story
" Thy judgment hall be thewne. is finely heightened by Shakespeare. • Either take your pound of feshe,'(ad.he)
A mére copyist, such as we may tup• Or cancell me your bond.
pole a ballad-maker, would not have • O cruel judge,'then quoth the Jew,
given hintelf the trouble to alter cira « That doth against me stand!
cumstances; at least he would not have
changed them so much for the worse. And so with griped grieved minde
But this matter seems to be placed out He biddeth them farewell:
of all doubt by the first stanza of the All the people pays d the Lord That ever this heard tell.
ballad, which informs us, that the story
was taken from fome Italian novel. Good people that do hear this song, « Thus much therefore is certain,' as For truth I dare well say,
Mr. Warton obierves, " that Shake. That many a wretch as ill as he Doth live now ar this day,
• speare either copied from that Italian
· novel, or from this hallal. Nw we That seeketh nothing hut the spoyle « have no trant:vion, I prelume, of luch Of many a wea,thie man,
a novel into English. If then it he And for to trap the innocent,
• granted, that Shakespeare generally Deviseth what they can.
fook his Italian stories from their From whom the Lord deliver me, • E: glish trandations, and that the arAnd every Christian too,
guments above, conc ming the rior And lend to them like sentence eke, • antiquity of his head, are true, it That mea..ein so to do.
I will 'fullow, that Shakespeare copied Printed at London by E. P. for J. Wright
' from this haliud.' dwelling in Gilt-Spur-Street,
Upon the whole, it is very likely, that
TO MR. TOWN,
T'defcribed the city of London (in
the Italian novel, upon which this bal- more than probable, is drawn from some had seems founded, took it's rife (with other novel well known in his time. an inversion of the circunttances) fron I cannot conclude without remarking, the above-mentioned story in the · Lite with what art and judgment Shakefpeare • of Pope Sixtus V.' the memory of has wove together these different stories which must have been then recent. I of the Jew and the Caskets; from both should be glad if any of your readers which he has formed one general fable, can give any further light into this af. without having recourse to the Itale artifair, and, if poflible, acquaint the pub. fice of eking out a barren subject with lic from whence Shakespeare borrowed impertinent underplots. I am, Sir, your the other part of his fable concerning humble servant, &c. Portia and ibe Caskets; which, it is
There have risen, within these two years,
Moravians, Middletonians, MuggleTHOUGH many historians have tonians, Hutchinsonians,&c. In a word,
our feets are multiplied to such an infiwhich we may include Westminster) nite degree, that, as Voltaire has before with great accuracy, yet they have not observed, 'every man may now go to set it out in the full light which at pre- 'heaven his own way.' Can the Divi. fent it deserves. They have not diltin- nity-schools boait such found doctrine guished it as an university. Paris is as the Foundery in Moorfields? Or were an university, Dublin is an univertity, ever fellows of colleges such adeprs in even Moscow is an university. But matrimony, as the reverend doctors of London has not yet been honoured with the Fleet, or the primare of May Fair? that title. I will allow our metropolis The theory of Medicine may un. to have been intended originally, only doubtedly be taught at Oxford and as a city of trade; and I will farther Cambridge in a tolerable manner; but own, that scarce any sciences, except the art itself can only be learned, where such as were purely mercantile, were it flourishes, at London. Do not our cultivated in it, tilt within these last daily papers give us a longer list of me. thirty years. But from that period of dicines, than are contained in any of the time, I may say a whole army, as it difpenfatories? And are we not conwere, of arts and sciences have amicably Itantly told of surprising antidotes, cermarched in upon us, and have fixed tain cures, and never failing remedies themítlves as auxiliaries to our capital. for every complaint? And are not each
The four great faculties, I mean of these specifics equally efficacious in Theology, Law, Medicine, and Philo.
one diltemper as another, from the Grand fophy, which are taught in other uni. Restorative Elixir of Life, down to the versities, are in their highest perfection Infallible Corn. Salve, as thousands have here. The prosperity of the first may experienced? With what pleasure and be seen by the crouded churches every admiration have I beheld the Machaon Sunday, and the discipline of the second of our times, Dr. Richard Rock, dir. by the numberless young Itudents who penting from his one-horse chaise liis constantly dine in their respective halls Cathartic Antivenereal Electuary, his at the several Inns of Court. These Itch Powder, and his Quinteffence of two faculties have of late received con- Vipers! It may be asked, Is he a Gra. fiderable improvements, but particularly duate? Is he a regular Physician? No, that of Theology; as is manifest from he is superior to regularity. He despises several new and astonishing opinions, the formality of academical degrees, which have been started among us. He files himselt M.L. He is a London
Physician, or, as Moliere would express thy have the advantage of languages it, C'efi un Medicin de Londres.
so very little known, as the Greek, and Alter Medicine let iis contider Logic. even Hebrew, to compofe in? Had ever How is that mott uleful art taucht in any of their profesors the least idea of a the two universities? Is it not clogged Burletta? Orave any of their molt sublime with such bai barous ternis, as tend to Anthems hall so raviihing a: Foot's Mi. puzzle and confound, raiher than en- nutt from the hand organ of the little lighten or direct the underitanding? Is Savoyard Duchess? Are those classical it not taught in a dead, I had almolt instruments the Doric Lute, the Syrinx, Luid, in a Popish tongue? Is it not over- or the Fiftula, to be compared to the run with dry distinctions, and uselet's melody of the Woden Spoons, the Jewsfubtieties? Where then is it to be learn. Hurp, and Salt - Box, at Mrs. Mided in all the purity of reason, and the night's? dignity of language? Neither at Oxford But there are no doctrines more forci. por at Cambridge, but at the Robin bly inculcaied among us than those of Hood Alehouse in Butcher Row, near Einics, or Moral Philosophy. What Temple Bar.
are the precepts of Plato, Epictetus, From Logic let us proceed to Elo. or Tully, in comparison to the moral quence: and let us ingenuously confels, lessons delivered by our periodical writthat neither of our unive fities can boalt ers? And are not you, Mr. Town, a an orator equal to the renowned Hen- wifer man than Socrates? But the age ley. Has he not all the qualifications is more particularly indebted, for it's required by Tully in a complete ora, present universal purity of manners, to tor? Has he not been followed by the thole excellent rules for the conduct of greatest men of the nation? Yet has life contained in our modern novels. this modest divine never derived any title From these moral works might be comto hintelf froin his own rhetoric, except piled an entire new system of Ethics, such an one as his extraordinary elocu- far fuperior to the exploded notions of tion naturally bestowed upon hiin. misty Academics, and adapted to the Might he not have called himself Presi. practice of the present times. Cato, we dent of the Butchers? Dean of Marrow- are told, commended a young man, bones and Cleavers ? or Warden of whom he saw coming out of the public Clare Market? Certainly he might. stews, because he inagined it inight Therefore, if it were for his fake only, preferve him from the crime of adultery; in my humble opinion, London ought and the Spartans used to make their immediately to assume the title of an Naves drunk in the presence of their University; and the butchers of Clare youth, that they might be deterred from Market, who have so conftantly attend the like debiucheries. For the same al Mr. Henley's Lectures, ought to be reafons, we may suppose, that our tapretented with honorary degrees. veins and bagnios are so much frequent
I know not what pretentions the uni- ed by our young people; and in this verlities may have had originally to light we may fairly consider them as lo adopt Music among the rest of their sci- many Schools of Moral Philofopby. ences: perhaps they have allumed a right If we are willing to turn our thoughts of beltowing degrees in Mulic, froin towards Experimental Philosophy, can their being called the leats of the Muses; the several universities of the whole as it is well known that Apollo was a world produce such a variety of inftrue filler, as well as a poet and a phytician; ments, lo judiciously collected, for Aland the Muses are said to have delighted tronomical, Geographical, and all other in fiddling and piping. The young itu- fcientific obfervations, as are to be seen dents, I am told, of either university, in the two amazing repositories of Mr. are more ambitious to excel in this sci- Profeffor Deard in the Strand, and of ence than any other, and spend most of Mr. Profeffor Ruffel at Charing Cross? their time in the study of the Gamut: It were endless to enumerate particulars; but their knowledge in Harmonics is but I cannot help taking notice of those Leldom carried farther than I love Sue, elegant little portable telescopes, that or Ally Croker. In this point London are made use of in all public places; by has undoubtedly a hetter title to be call. which it is evident, that even our fine ed an University. Did Oxford or Cam. ladies and gentlemen are become profia bridge ever produce an Opera, though cients in Optics.