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Jew, a Hebrew; 1) masc.: Gent. II, 5, 58. Merch. I, 3, 154. Merch. I, 3, 154 II, 2, 2. II, 4, 18. 34 (and passim in this play). “here dwells my father J.” Merch. II, 6, 25. “the villain J.” II, 8, 4. “the dog J.” II, 8, 4 “a J. would have wept to have seen our parting,” Gent. II, 3, 12. “if I do not love her, I am a J.” Ado II, 3, 272. “I am a J., if I serve the J. any longer,” Merch. II, 2, 119. “my master's a very J.” Merch. II, 2, 119 “I am a J. else, an Ebrew J.” H4A II, 4, 198. “liver of blaspheming J.” Mcb. IV, 1, 26 (as an ingredient in the cauldron of the witches). Confounded with jewel: “my incony J.” LLL III, 136. “most lovely J.” Mids. III, 1, 97.
2) fem.: “most sweet J.” Merch. II, 3, 11. “a Gentile and no J.” II, 6, 51. “there will come a Christian by, will be worth a --'s eye,” II, 5, 43 (O. Edd. Jewes, M. Edd. Jewess', a word unknown to Sh.; cf. heir, tiger etc. as fem. As for the metre, cf. whale's dissyll. in LLL V, 2, 332; “moon's,” Mids. II, 1, 7; “rope's,” Err. IV, 1, 98 etc. It was common in the middle ages to extort sums of money from the Jews by threatening them with mutilations, if they refused to pay. The threat of losing an eye must have had a powerful effect. In our passage, of course, a quibble is intended).
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