Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 4
From The Merchant of Venice. Ed. Felix E. Schelling. New York: American Book Co.
Portia intrusts her house to the keeping of Lorenzo and Jessica, and, giving it out that she intends to retire with Nerissa to a neighboring monastery until their plighted lords' return, sends a messenger to her cousin Bellario, and tells Nerissa of her plan to visit Venice
6. [To] How true a gentleman, the dative case. In modern
English we use the dative only when it comes between the verb
and its object: "You send your friend money."
7. lover. This word was commonly used of friendship between
men. See Coriolanus, v. 2. 14: "Thy general is my lover."
9. customary bounty [your ordinary benevolence] can enforce
you [to be].
11. Nor shall not. The double negative as above, i. 2. 28.
15. lineaments, features.
22. the praising of myself. "The frequently precedes a verbal
that is followed by an object" (Abbott).
25. husbandry, stewardship.
34. The which. See above, i. 3. 4, and note thereon.
34. my love and some necessity Now lays. Note the singular
verb with two subjects.
49. Padua, famous for the learned jurists of its university.
52. with imagined speed, such as can only be thought. Compare Henry V, iii. prologue: "Thus with imagined wing our swift
53. tranect, perhaps better traject from the Italian traghetto, a
59. Before they think of us [of our seeing them].
63. accoutred, dressed.
66. And speak between, etc. And speak with high, shrill voice
such as boys have when they are changing from childhood to
67. mincing, short, dainty.
72. I could not do withal, I could not help it. A very common
phrase and capable of no other interpretation. Cf. below, iv. 1. 412,
and the note thereon.
77. Jacks, a term of contempt. See Much Ado About Nothing,
i. 1. 185: "Do you play the flaunting Jack?"
81. all my whole device. Compare 1 Henry VI, i. I. 126:
"All the whole army."
82. my coach. Towards the close of Elizabeth's reign coaches
had become very common in England, although the queen had
ridden to her coronation on horseback.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice. Ed. Felix E. Schelling. New York: American Book Co., 1903. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2011. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/merchant_3_4.html >.