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 5


           Enter [SHYLOCK the] Jew and
his man that was: former servant.
          [LAUNCELOT,] his man that was, the Clown.

      
SHYLOCK
  1   Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be thy judge,
2. of: between.
  2   The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio:—
3. gormandize: overeat.
  3   What, Jessica!—thou shalt not gormandize,
  4   As thou hast done with me:—What, Jessica!—
5. rend apparel out: ruin your clothes by rough use.
  5   And sleep and snore, and rend apparel out;—
  6   Why, Jessica, I say!

      LAUNCELOT
  6                               Why, Jessica!

      SHYLOCK
  7   Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call.

      LAUNCELOT
  8   Your worship was wont to tell me that
  9   I could do nothing without bidding.

           Enter JESSICA.

      JESSICA
 10   Call you? what is your will?

      SHYLOCK
 11   I am bid forth to supper, Jessica:
 12   There are my keys. But wherefore should I go?
 13   I am not bid for love; they flatter me:
 14   But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon
 15   The prodigal Christian. Jessica, my girl,
 16   Look to my house. I am right loath to go:
 17   There is some ill a-brewing towards my rest,
18. dream of money-bags: It was considered unlucky to dream of money. tonight: last night.
 18   For I did dream of money-bags tonight.

      LAUNCELOT
 19   I beseech you, sir, go: my young master doth expect
20. reproach: blunder for approach; i.e., coming. (Shylock takes it in grim humor).
 20   your reproach.

      SHYLOCK
 21   So do I his.

      LAUNCELOT
 22   An they have conspired together, I will not say you
 23   shall see a masque; but if you do, then it was not
24. nose fell a-bleeding: A sign of bad luck.
 24   for nothing that my nose fell a-bleeding on
25. Black Monday: Easter Monday (so called because of a particular Easter Monday, in 1360, when bitterly cold weather caused many deaths). Launcelot's nonsense in this passage derides Shylock's superstition about his dream.
 25   Black-Monday last at six o'clock i' the morning,
 26   falling out that year on Ash-Wednesday was four
 27   year, in the afternoon.

      SHYLOCK
 28   What, are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica:
 29   Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum
30. wry-neck'd fife: fife-player (or fife played) with head twisted to one side. Like drum in line 29, fife can refer either to the instrument or to the player.
 30   And the vile squealing of the wry-neck'd fife,
 31   Clamber not you up to the casements then,
 32   Nor thrust your head into the public street
33. varnish'd faces: i.e., painted masks.
 33   To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces,
 34   But stop my house's ears, I mean my casements:
35. fopp'ry: foolishness.
 35   Let not the sound of shallow fopp'ry enter
36. Jacob's staff: See Genesis 32:10 and Hebrews 11:21.
 36   My sober house. By Jacob's staff, I swear,
 37   I have no mind of feasting forth tonight:
 38   But I will go. Go you before me, sirrah;
 39   Say I will come.

      LAUNCELOT
 40   I will go before, sir. Mistress, look out at
41. for an this: i.e., despite all that Shylock has said.
 41   window, for all this:
 42   There will come a Christian by,
 43   Will be worth a Jewess' eye.

           [Exit.]

      SHYLOCK
44. Hagar's offspring: Hagar was a Gentile, and Ishmael, her son by Abraham, became an outcast.
 44   What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha?

      JESSICA
 45   His words were "Farewell mistress," nothing else.

      SHYLOCK
46. patch: fool.
 46   The patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder;
47. profit: profitable labor, improvement, proficiency.
 47   Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day
 48   More than the wild-cat: drones hive not with me;
 49   Therefore I part with him, and part with him
 50   To one that would have him help to waste
 51   His borrow'd purse. Well, Jessica, go in;
 52   Perhaps I will return immediately:
 53   Do as I bid you; shut doors after you:
 54   Fast bind, fast find;
 55   A proverb never stale in thrifty mind.

           Exit.

      JESSICA
 56   Farewell; and if my fortune be not crossed,
 57   I have a father, you a daughter, lost.

           Exit.