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The Merchant of Venice


ACT IV SCENE IIThe same. A street.
PORTIAInquire the Jew’s house out, give him this deed
And let him sign it: we’ll away to-night
And be a day before our husbands home:
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.
GRATIANOFair sir, you are well o’erta’en
My Lord Bassanio upon more advice
Hath sent you here this ring, and doth entreat
Your company at dinner.
PORTIAThat cannot be:
His ring I do accept most thankfully:
And so, I pray you, tell him: furthermore,10
I pray you, show my youth old Shylock’s house.
GRATIANOThat will I do.
NERISSASir, I would speak with you.
[Aside to PORTIA]
I’ll see if I can get my husband’s ring,
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.
PORTIA[Aside to NERISSA] Thou mayst, I warrant.
We shall have old swearing15
That they did give the rings away to men;
But we’ll outface them, and outswear them too.
Away! make haste: thou knowist where I will tarry.
NERISSACome, good sir, will you show me to this house?

Next: The Merchant of Venice, Act 5, Scene 1


Explanatory Notes for Act 4, Scene 2
From The Merchant of Venice. Ed. Felix E. Schelling. New York: American Book Co.

Notice the care with which Portia, as Balthasar, carries out her professional duty in sending the deed to Shylock for his signature; and how her request that Gratiano show the way to the Jew’s house affords to Nerissa an opportunity to get back her ring from her husband also.

15. old swearing, great, plenty of swearing.

How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice. Ed. Felix E. Schelling. New York: American Book Co., 1903.

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