Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.


The Merchant of Venice: Act 2, Scene 4


           Enter GRATIANO, LORENZO,
           SALERIO, and SOLANIO.

      LORENZO
  1   Nay, we will slink away in supper-time,
  2   Disguise us at my lodging and return,
  3   All in an hour.

      GRATIANO
  4   We have not made good preparation.

      SALERIO
5. spoke us yet of: yet bespoken, ordered.
  5   We have not spoke us yet of torchbearers.

      SOLANIO
6. quaintly order'd: skillfully and tastefully managed.
  6   'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly order'd,
  7   And better in my mind not undertook.

      LORENZO
  8   'Tis now but four o'clock: we have two hours
  9   To furnish us.

           Enter LAUNCELOT [with a letter].

  9                         Friend Launcelot, what's the news?

      LAUNCELOT
10. break up: break open (literally—a term from carving).
 10   An it shall please you to break up
 11   this, it shall seem to signify.

      LORENZO
 12   I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand;
 13   And whiter than the paper it writ on
 14   Is the fair hand that writ.

      GRATIANO
 14                                           Love-news, in faith.

      LAUNCELOT
 15   By your leave, sir.

      LORENZO
 16   Whither goest thou?

      LAUNCELOT
 17   Marry, sir, to bid my old master the
 18   Jew to sup tonight with my new master the Christian.

      LORENZO
19. Hold here: Synonymous with take this.
 19   Hold here, take this: tell gentle Jessica
 20   I will not fail her; speak it privately.
 21   Go, gentlemen,

           Exit Clown [Launcelot].

 22   Will you prepare you for this masque tonight?
 23   I am provided of a torch-bearer.

      SALERIO
24. straight: straightway, at once.
 24   Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight.

      SOLANIO
 25   And so will I.

      LORENZO
 25               Meet me and Gratiano
 26   At Gratiano's lodging some hour hence.

      SALERIO
 27   'Tis good we do so.

           Exit [SALERIO with SOLANIO].

      GRATIANO
 28   Was not that letter from fair Jessica?

      LORENZO
 29   I must needs tell thee all. She hath directed
 30   How I shall take her from her father's house,
 31   What gold and jewels she is furnish'd with,
 32   What page's suit she hath in readiness.
 33   If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven,
34. gentle: With pun on Gentile.
 34   It will be for his gentle daughter's sake:
35. foot: i.e., foot path, way.
 35   And never dare misfortune cross her foot,
36. she: i.e., misfortune.
 36   Unless she do it under this excuse,
37. she is issue: i.e., Jessica is child. faithless: pagan, unbelieving.
 37   That she is issue to a faithless Jew.
 38   Come, go with me; peruse this as thou goest:
 39   Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer.

           Exeunt.