The Merchant of Venice

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the masquers, Gratiano and Salerio
penthouse, pent-house (n.) covered way, sloping porch, overhanging roof


This is the penthouse under which Lorenzo

Desired us to make stand.
hour (n.) 2 [time of] appointment, engagement, meeting


                         His hour is almost past.


And it is marvel he outdwells his hour,
outdwell (v.) stay beyond

For lovers ever run before the clock.


O ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly

To seal love's bonds new-made than they are wont
wont (v.) be accustomed, used [to], be in the habit of See Topics: Frequency count

To keep obliged faith unforfeited!
obliged (adj.) contracted, bound by marriage
unforfeited (adj.) unviolated, unbroken


That ever holds. Who riseth from a feast

With that keen appetite that he sits down?

Where is the horse that doth untread again
untread (v.) retrace, go back upon

His tedious measures with the unbated fire
measure (n.) 11 pattern of movement, regular course, routine
unbated (adj.) 1 unabated, undiminished, fresh

That he did pace them first? All things that are

Are with more spirit chased than enjoyed.

How like a younger or a prodigal
prodigal (n.) 1 waster, squanderer, spendthrift
younger (n.) younger son

The scarfed bark puts from her native bay,
bark, barque (n.) ship, vessel
scarfed (adj.) [unclear meaning] fully decked out; under full sail; [of the hull] well-jointed

Hugged and embraced by the strumpet wind.
strumpet (n.) harlot, prostitute, whore

How like the prodigal doth she return,

With overweathered ribs and ragged sails,
overweathered (adj.) weather-worn, storm-damaged

Lean, rent, and beggared by the strumpet wind.
beggar (v.) 1 reduce to beggary, impoverish, make destitute


Here comes Lorenzo; more of this hereafter.

Enter Lorenzo
abode (n.) 1 delay, procrastination


Sweet friends, your patience for my long abode.

Not I but my affairs have made you wait.

When you shall please to play the thieves for wives,

I'll watch as long for you then. Approach.
watch (v.) 2 keep the watch, keep guard, be on the look-out

Here dwells my father Jew! Ho! Who's within?

Enter Jessica above, in boy's clothes


Who are you? Tell me for more certainty,

Albeit I'll swear that I do know your tongue.


Lorenzo, and thy love.


Lorenzo certain, and my love indeed,

For who love I so much? And now who knows

But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?


Heaven and thy thoughts are witness that thou art.


Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains.

I am glad 'tis night, you do not look on me,

For I am much ashamed of my exchange.
exchange (n.) 2 transformation, altered appearance

But love is blind, and lovers cannot see

The pretty follies that themselves commit;
pretty (adj.) 1 clever, ingenious, artful

For if they could, Cupid himself would blush

To see me thus transformed to a boy.


Descend, for you must be my torchbearer.


What, must I hold a candle to my shames?

They in themselves, good sooth, are too too light.

Why, 'tis an office of discovery, love,
discovery (n.) 1 disclosure, admission, revelation
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

And I should be obscured.


                         So are you, sweet,

Even in the lovely garnish of a boy.
garnish (n.) outfit, adornment, trimming

But come at once,

For the close night doth play the runaway,
close (adj.) 5 secretive, tight-lipped, uncommunicative

And we are stayed for at Bassanio's feast.


I will make fast the doors, and gild myself
gild (v.), past forms gilt, gilded 4 supply with money, enrich

With some more ducats, and be with you straight.
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once See Topics: Frequency count

Exit above


Now by my hood, a gentle and no Jew!
gentle (n.) 1 [polite intimate address] dear one See Topics: Address forms


Beshrew me but I love her heartily!
beshrew, 'shrew (v.) 1 curse, devil take, evil befall See Topics: Frequency count

For she is wise, if I can judge of her,

And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true,

And true she is, as she hath proved herself;
true (adj.) 2 constant, faithful in love

And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, and true,

Shall she be placed in my constant soul.

Enter Jessica below

What, art thou come? On, gentlemen, away!

Our masquing mates by this time for us stay.

Exit with Jessica and Salerio

Enter Antonio


Who's there?


Signor Antonio?


Fie, fie, Gratiano! Where are all the rest?

'Tis nine o'clock; our friends all stay for you.

No masque tonight. The wind is come about;
come about (v.) 2 change direction, veer round

Bassanio presently will go aboard.
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

I have sent twenty out to seek for you.


I am glad on't. I desire no more delight

Than to be under sail and gone tonight.


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