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and, haply, with his truncheon may strike at you: Provoke him, that he may : for, even out of that, will I cause these of Cyprus to mutiny; whose qualification shall come into no true taste again, but by the displanting of Cassio. So shall
So shall you have a shorter journey to your desires, by the means I shall then have to prefer them '; and the impediment most profitably removed, without the which there were no expectation of our prosperity.
Rod. I will do this, if I can bring it to any opportunity
Tago. I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel : I must fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell. Rob. Adieu.
[Exit. Lago. That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it; That she loves him, 'tis apt, and of great credit: The Moor-howbeit that I endure him not, Is of a constant, loving, noble nature; And, I dare think, he'll prove to Desdemona A most dear husband. Now I do love her too;
“I grant him bloody
“ Sudden, malicious.” Steevens.. whose QUALIFICATION shall come, &c.] Whose resentment shall not be so qualified or tempered, as to be well tasted, as not to retain some bitterness. The phrase is harsh, at least to
in the next scene : “ I have drunk but one cup to night, and that was craftily qualified," i. e. allayed by water. M. MASON.
no true taste So the folio. The quarto 1622 reads-no true trust. MALONE.
5 - to PREFER them ;] i. e, to advance them. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, vol. v. p. 308. “ The short and the long is, our play is preferred." Malone.
6 - if I can bring it to any opportunity.) Thus the quarto 1622. The folio reads--if you can bring it, &c. Malone.
The sense requires I, for Iago had brought the affair to opportunity by fixing on Roderigo for one of the watch. Roderigo's part remained to be done, viz. provoking Cassio, which he promises to do if opportunity ofiered to give him cause. JENNENS.
Not out of absolute lust, (though, peradventure,
* Quarto, lustful.
7 - like a poisonous mineral,] This is philosophical. Mineral poisons kill by corrosion. Johnson.
8 Till I am even with him,] Thus the quarto 1622; the first folio reads :
“Till I am even'd with him.” i. e. Till I am on a level with him by retaliation. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632, Second Part:
“ The stately walls he rear'd, levell’d, and even'd." Again, in Tancred and Gismund, 1592 :
“ For now the walls are even'd with the plain.” Again, in Stanyhurst's translation of the first book of Virgil's. Æneid, 1582 :—“ numerum cum navibus æquat,"
with the ships the number is even’d.” Steevens.
Which thing to do,-
For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,] The quarto 1622 has-crush, the folio reads-trace, an apparent corruption of-trash ; for as to the idea of crushing a dog, to prevent him from quick hunting, it is too ridiculous to be defended.
To trash, is still a hunter's phrase, and signifies (see Tempest, Act I. Sc. II.) to fasten a weight on the neck of a dog, when his speed is superior to that of his companions. Thus, says Caratach, in The Bonduca of Beaumont and Fletcher (the quotation was the late Mr. T. Warton's, though misunderstood by him as to its appropriate meaning):
I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip';
I fled too,
“ Young Hengo there : he trash'd me, Nennius—." i. e. he was the clog that restrained my activity.
This sense of the word-trash has been so repeatedly confirmed to me by those whom I cannot suspect of wanting information relative to their most favourite pursuits, that I do not hesitate to throw off the load of unsatisfactory notes with which the passage before us has hitherto been oppressed.
The same idea occurs also in the Epistle Dedicatory to Dryden's Rival Ladies : “Imagination in a poet is a faculty so wild and lawless, that, like a high-ranging spaniel, it must have clogs tied to it, lest it outrun the judgement.”
Trash, in the first instance, (though Dr. Warburton would change it into-brach,) may be used to signify a worthless hound, as the same term is afterwards employed to describe a worthless female:
“ Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash.” It is scarce necessary to support the present jingle of the word -trash, by examples, it is so much in our author's manner, although his worst.
Stand the putting on, may mean-does not start too soon after Desdemona, and so destroy my scheme by injudicious precipitation. But I rather think, these words have reference to the enterprize of provoking Cassio, and will then imply,—“ if he has courage enough for the attempt to which I have just incited, or put him on.”—For an example of the latter phrase, see p. 305, n. 8. STEEVENS.
That Mr. Steevens has given the true explanation of-to trash, is fixed by the succeeding authority from Harrington, where it unquestionably means to impede the progress : - prolongation of magistracy, trashing the wheel of rotation, destroys the life or natural motion of a commonwealth.” Works, p. 303, fol. 1747. Holt White.
i l'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip ;] A phrase from the art of wrestling. Johnson, .
- in the RANK garb,] Thus the quarto, and, I think, rightly. Rank garb, I believe, means grossly, i. e. without mincing the matter. So, in Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1604 :
Whither, in the rank name of madness, whither?” The term-garb (employed perhaps in the sense here required) occurs in the eighteenth book of Homer's Odyssey, as translated by Chapman :
For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too ;
Enter a Herald, with a Proclamation; People fol
lowing: Her. It is Othello's pleasure, our noble and valiant general, that, upon certain tidings now arrived, importing the mere perdition of the Turkish fleet, every man put himself into triumph"; some to dance, some to make bonfires, each man to what sport and revels his addiction leads him ; for, be
“ But here you must take confidence to prate
“ On this side of your mouth still.” Steevens. The folio reads--in the right garb. Rank, perhaps, means not only gross, but lascivious. So, in The Merchant of Venice :
the ewes, being rank, “ In end of autumn,” &c. Malone. 3 Knavery's plain face is never seen,] An honest man acts upon a plan, and forecasts his designs ; but a knave depends upon temporary and local opportunities, and never knows his own purpose, but at the time of execution. Johnson.
4 – MERE perdition --] Mere, in this place, signifies entire. So, in Hamlet :
possess it merely." Steevens. - put himself into triumph ;] This whimsical phraseology occurs again in Pericles, Prince of Tyre :
“ So puts himself into the shipman’s toil.” STEEVENS. his ADDICTION —] The first quarto reads—his mind.
sides these beneficial news, it is the celebration of his nuptials: So much was his pleasure should be proclaimed. All offices are open’; and there is full liberty of feasting , from this present hour of five, till the bell hath told eleven. Heaven bless the isle of Cyprus, and our noble general, Othello!
A Hall in the Castle.
Enter Othello, DESDEMONA, Cassio, and Attend
ants. Oth. Good Michael, look you to the guard to
Cas. Iago hath direction what to do;
Iago is most honest.
9 All offices are open ;] i. e. all rooms, or places, in the castle, at which refreshments are prepared, or served out. So, in Macbeth :
“Sent forth great largess to your offices." See Act II. Sc. I. Steevens. The passage quoted from Macbeth by Mr. Steevens is contested; a better therefore may be produced from Timon of Athens, Act II. Sc. II.:
“ When all our offices have been oppress'd
“ With riotous feeders." MALONE. 8 - of feasting,] These words are not in the original quarto 1622. MALONE.