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 3, Scene 1

           [Enter] SOLANIO and SALERIO.
the Rialto

  1   Now, what news on the Rialto?

2. uncheck'd: unhindered; i.e., not denied.
  2   Why, yet it lives there uncheck'd that Antonio hath
  3   a ship of rich lading wrecked on the narrow seas;
4. Goodwins: Goodwin Sands, off the Kentish coast near the Thames estuary.
  4   the Goodwins, I think they call the place; a very
  5   dangerous flat and fatal, where the carcasses of many
6‑7. my gossip / Report: i.e., Dame Rumor. Gossip, literally "godparent," was used of a female crony or confidante and thus developed its present sense.
  6   a tall ship lie buried, as they say, if my gossip
  7   Report be an honest woman of her word.

  8   I would she were as lying a gossip in that as ever
9. knapp'd: chewed.
  9   knapp'd ginger or made her neighbors believe she
 10   wept for the death of a third husband. But it is
11. slips of prolixity: exaggerations because of long-windedness. 11‑12. crossing the / plain highway of talk: departing from honest plain speech.
 11   true, without any slips of prolixity or crossing the
 12   plain highway of talk, that the good Antonio, the
 13   honest Antonio,—O that I had a title good enough
 14   to keep his name company!—

15. Come, the full stop: i.e., come to the point.
 15   Come, the full stop.

 16   Ha! what sayest thou? Why, the end is, he hath
 17   lost a ship.

 18   I would it might prove the end of his losses.

19. cross: thwart.
 19   Let me say "amen" betimes, lest the devil cross my
 20   prayer, for here he comes in the likeness of
 21   a Jew.

           Enter SHYLOCK.

 22   How now, Shylock! what news among the
 23   merchants?

 24   You knew, none so well, none so well as you, of my
 25   daughter's flight.

 26   That's certain: I, for my part, knew the tailor
27. withal: with, by means of.
 27   that made the wings she flew withal.

 28   And Shylock, for his own part, knew the bird was
29. fledge: fledged, ready to fly. complexion: natural disposition, tendency. 30. dam: mother.
 29   fledge; and then it is the complexion of them all
 30   to leave the dam.

 31   She is damned for it.

 32   That's certain, if the devil may be her
 33   judge.

 34   My own flesh and blood to rebel!

35‑36. rebels it at these years: Solanio pretends to understand "flesh and blood" as a reference to Shylock's genitals.
 35   Out upon it, old carrion! rebels it at these
 36   years?

 37   I say, my daughter is my flesh and
 38   blood.

 39   There is more difference between thy flesh and hers
 40   than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods
41. rhenish: i.e., a German white wine from the Rhine valley.
 41   than there is between red wine and rhenish. But
 42   tell us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any
 43   loss at sea or no?

44. match: bargain.
 44   There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a
 45   prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the
46. smug: neat, spruce.
 46   Rialto; a beggar, that was used to come so smug upon
 47   the mart; let him look to his bond: he was wont to
 48   call me usurer; let him look to his bond: he was
49. for a Christian cur'sy: out of Christian courtesy.
 49   wont to lend money for a Christian cur'sy; let him
 50   look to his bond.

 51   Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt not take
 52   his flesh: what's that good for?

 53   To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else,
 54   it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and
 55   hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses,
 56   mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my
 57   bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine
 58   enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath
 59   not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
60. dimensions: bodily proportions.
 60   dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
 61   the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
 62   to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
 63   warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
 64   a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
 65   if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
 66   us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
 67   revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
 68   resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian,
69. what is his humility? Revenge: —Shylock is being bitterly sarcastic. . . . more 70. his: the Jew's.  sufferance: patient endurance.
 69   what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian
 70   wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
 71   Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you
 72   teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I
 73   will better the instruction.

           Enter a MAN from Antonio.

 74   Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his house and
 75   desires to speak with you both.

 76   We have been up and down to seek him.

           Enter TUBAL.

 77   Here comes another of the tribe: a third cannot be
78. match'd: found to match them.
 78   match'd, unless the devil himself turn Jew.

           Exeunt Gentlemen [SOLANIO, SALERIO,
           with Servant.]

 79   How now, Tubal! what news from Genoa? Hast thou
 80   found my daughter?

 81   I often came where I did hear of her,
 82   but cannot find her.

 83   Why, there, there, there, there! a diamond gone,
84. Frankfort: —Frankfort was famous for its fairs, at which all kinds of merchandise was bought and sold.
 84   cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfort! The curse
 85   never fell upon our nation till now; I never felt it
 86   till now: two thousand ducats in that; and other
 87   precious, precious jewels. I would my daughter
 88   were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear!
89. hears'd: coffined.
 89   would she were hears'd at my foot, and the ducats in
 90   her coffin! No news of them? Why, so: and I know
 91   not what's spent in the search: why, thou loss upon
 92   loss! the thief gone with so much, and so much to
 93   find the thief; and no satisfaction, no revenge:
 94   nor no ill luck stirring but what lights on my
 95   shoulders; no sighs but of my breathing; no tears
 96   but of my shedding.

 97   Yes, other men have ill luck too: Antonio, as I
 98   heard in Genoa,—

 99   What, what, what? ill luck, ill luck?

100   Hath an argosy cast away, coming from
101   Tripolis.

102   I thank God, I thank God. Is't true, is't
103   true?

104   I spoke with some of the sailors that escaped
105   the wreck.

106   I thank thee, good Tubal: good news, good news!
107   ha, ha! where? in Genoa?

108   Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, in one
109   night fourscore ducats.

110   Thou stickest a dagger in me: I shall never see my
111   gold again: fourscore ducats at a sitting!
112   fourscore ducats!

113   There came divers of Antonio's creditors in my
114‑115. cannot choose / but break: cannot avoid defaulting on his debt.
114   company to Venice, that swear he cannot choose
115   but break.

116   I am very glad of it: I'll plague him; I'll torture
117   him: I am glad of it.

118   One of them showed me a ring that he had of your
119   daughter for a monkey.

120   Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal: it was my
121. Leah: —Most commentators assume that "Leah" was the name of Shylock's wife.
121   turquoise; I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor:
122   I would not have given it for a
123   wilderness of monkeys.

124   But Antonio is certainly undone.

125‑126. fee me an officer: i.e., hire a sheriff's officer or baliff for me. 126. bespeak: engage  a fortnight before: two weeks in advance.
125   Nay, that's true, that's very true. Go, Tubal, fee
126   me an officer; bespeak him a fortnight before. I
127   will have the heart of him, if he forfeit; for, were
128‑129. make what merchandise I / will: drive whatever bargains I please.
128   he out of Venice, I can make what merchandise I
129   will. Go, go, Tubal, and meet me at our synagogue;
130   go, good Tubal; at our synagogue, Tubal.