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and he gives it in such pungent Old Testament phrase, that as we watch the play with receptive minds, we feel that no speech could be more appropriately his. Not till we reflect critically do we perceive that it is a strange way for Shylocke to open a defence of usury. In fact it is courting defeat. Anthonio's rejoinder is perfectly just: Jacob's way to tbrive had nothing to do with usury, and it was not inserted in the Bible to make interest good. Indeed it was never meant as an example of honest conduct. How ever did Shylocke come to start from Laban's sheep? Did he see bis way to a justification of usury from an analogy to Jacob's sheep farming? There is a puzzle here, but we have a due to it. There are three persons to reckon with: Shylocke, Anthonio and — the author of The Jew. How many of these know the Aristotelian and Canonical argument? The author of The Jew for one; Anthonio for another. Shylocke? If he did, he would know better than to mention sheep. If he did not, what put Laban's ring-straked and spotted kids into his mind thus opportunely for his adversaryt Only to a person versed in Aristotle is there any connexion of ideas between sheep and usury; and that is an association by contrast. Yet here is Shylocke discussing sheep. The clerical author is so good an Aristotelian, that even while intending to assume Shylocke's ignorance of the iron jaws of the Aristotle trap, he is himself so thoroughly imbued with the theory, that to him anyone who sets out to defend usury, must necessarily start from the principle of productivity, procreation, and attempt to build up his argument on that. Shylocke would therefore open his case with cattle, not Aristotle's

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