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Enter Othello, Iago, and attendants. Iago. Though in the trade of war I have lain men, Yet do I hold it very stuff 3 oʻthe conscience To do no contrivd murder. I lack iniquity Sometimes to do me service :-nine or ten times I thought to have yerk’a him here under the ribs.
Orb. 'Tis better as it is.
Iago. Nay, but he prated,
fast married ? for, be sure of this,
3 — fluff 'the conscience] This expression to common readers appears harsh. Stuf of the conscience is, substance, or effence of the conscience. Stuff is a word of great force in the Teutonic languages. The elements are called in Dutch, Hoed poffen, or bead fluffs. JOHNSON.
* As double as ibe duke's :-) Rymer seems to have had his eye on his passage, amongst others, where he talks so much of the impropriety and barbarity in the file of this play. But it is an elegant Grecism. As double, fignifies as large, as extenfive; for thus the Greeks use dinags. Diosc. 1. 2. c. 213. And in the same manner and conftruction, the Latins fometimes used duplex. And the old French writers say, La plus double. Dr. Bentley has been as severe on Milton for as elegant a Grecism,
Pet virgin of Proferpina from Jove, lib. 9. ver. 396. "Tis an imitation of the Ilaçosvov Ex Sardus of Theocritus, for an unmarried virgix. WARBURTON. • This note has been much censured by Mr. Upton, who denics that the quotation is in Dioscorides, and disputes, not without realon, the interpretation of Theocritus.
Or put upon you what restraint, or grievance
Oth. Let him do his spite :
As All this learning, if it had even been what it endeavours to be thought, is, in this place, fuperfluous. There is no ground of supposing, that our author copied or knew the Greek phrase; nor does it follow, that, because a word has two senses in one language, the word which in another answers to one sense, should answer to both. Manus, in Latin, signifies both a hand and troop of soldiers, but we cannot say, that i he captain marched at the head of his hand; or, that he laid his troop upon his sword. It is not always in books that the meaning is to be fought of this writer, who was much more acquainted with naked reason and with living manners.
Double has here its natural sense. The president of every deliberative assembly has a double voice. In our courts, the chief justice and one of the inferior judges prevail over the other two, because the chief justice has a double voice.
Brabantio had, in his effect, though not by law, yet by weight and influence, a voice not actual and formal, but potential and operative, as double, that is, a voice that when a question was suspended, would turn the balance as effectually as the duke's. Potential is used in the sense of science; a caustic is called potential fire. JOHNSON.
-men of royal frege ;---] Men who have sat upon royal brones. The quarto has,
-men of royal height. Siege is used ior seat by other authors. So in Maisinger's Guardian :
-a crow pursu'd, a hern put from her fiege." Sreev. 6 —and my demerits] Demerits has the fame meaning in our author, and many others of that age, as merits.
Opinion that so sticks on Martius, may “ Or his DEMERITS rob Cominius." Coriol. Sreev. ?.-speak, UNBONNETTED,-— ] Thus all the copies read. It should be UNBONNETTING, i. e. without putting oif the bonnet. Pope. VOL. X.
As this that I have reach'd. For know, lago,
Enter Casio, with others. lago. Those are the raised father, and his friends : You were best go in.
Oth. Not I: I must be found;
Jago. By Janus, I think, no.
-and my demerits
As this that I have reach'd.-) Thus all the copies read this passage. But, to speak unbonnetted, is to speak with the cap off, which is dire&ly opposite to the poet's meaning. Othello means to say, that his birth and services fet him upon such a rank, that he may speak to a fenator of Venice with his hat on; i. e. without thewing any marks of deference or inequality. I therefore am inclined to think Shakespeare wrote:
May Speck, and bonnetted, &c. THEOBALD. I do not fee the propriety of Mr. Pope's emendation, though adopted by Dr. Warburton. Unbonneiting may as well be, nst purring on, as not putting off, the bonnet. Hanmer reads e'en bonnetted. JOHNSON.
Bonneter (lays Cotgrave) is to put off one's cap. Unbonneted may therefore fignify, without taking the cap off. We might, I think, venture to read imbonnetted. "It is common with Shakespeare to make or use words compounded in the fame manner. Such are imparun, impaint, impale, and immask. Of all the readings Theobald's is, I think, the bett. STEEVENS.
8 --unkoused~] Free from domestic cares. A thought natural to an adventurer. JOHNSON.
9 for the sea's worth.-] I would not marry her, though the were as rich as the Adriatic, which the Doge annually marries. JOHNSON. I believe the common and obvious meaning is the true one.
- The goodness of the night upon you, friends! What is the news?
Cal. The duke does greet you, general ; And he requires your hafte, post-haste appearance, Even on the instant.
Oth. What is the matter, think you?
Caf. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine; It is a business of some heat.
The gallies Have fent a dozen sequent messengers This very night, at one another's heels : And many of the 9 confuls, rais'd and met, Are at the duke's already. You have been hotly
Oth. 'Tis well I am found by you.
carrack; If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever.
9 Hanmer reads, council,-) Theobald would have us read counsellors. Venice was originally governed by consuls : and confuls seems to have been commonly used for counsellors. In Albion's Triumph, a masque, 1631, the emperor Albanact is said to be attended by fourteen consuls :-again, the habits of the consuls were after the same manner. Geoffery of Monmouth, and Matt. Paris after him, call both dukes and earls, confuls. STEEVENS.
The senate hath sent out-] The early quartos, and all the modern editors, have,
The senate sent above three several quests. The folio,
The senate hath sent about, &c. that is, about the city. I have adopted the reading of the folio. JOHNSON.
2 -a land-carrack;] A carrack is a ship of great bulk, and commonly of great value ; perhaps what we now call a galleor. JOHNSON.
A a 2
Caf. I do not understand.
Re-enter Othello. Iago. Marry, to-Come, captain, will you go? Oib. Have with you. Caf. Here comes another troop to seek for you.
Enter Brabantio, Roderigo, with Oficers. lago. It is Brabantio : general, 3 be advis’d; He comes to bad intent.
Oth. Hola! stand there.
[They draw on both sides. Iago. You, Roderigo ! come, Sir, I am for you. Oth. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will
Run So in B. and Fletcher's Coxcomb :
" they'll be freighted;
Steevens. 3 be advis'd;] That is, be cool; be cautious; be discreet.
JOHNSON 4 The wealthy Curled darlings of our nation,] Curled is eelgently end oftentatiously drefed. He had not the hair particularly in his thoughts. JOHNSON.