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Can hold the mortise? what shall we hear of this?
2 Gent. A segregation of the Turkish fleet: For do but stand upon the foaming shore,? The chiding billow seems to pelt the clouds; The wind-shak'd surge, with high and monstrous main, Seems to cast water on the burning bear, And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole: 8 I never did like molestation view On th' enchafed flood. Mon,
If that the Turkish fleet Be not inshelter'd and embay'd, they are drown'd; It is impossible they bear it out.
Enter a third Gentleman. 3 Gent. News, lords! our wars are done ; The desperate tempest hath so bang 'd the Turks, That their designment halts: A noble ship of Venice Hath seen a grierous wreck and sufferance On most part of their fleet. Mon.
How! is this true? 3. Gent. The ship is here put in, A Veronese; Michael Cassio, 9
and anon behold “ The strong-ribb'd bark through liquid mountains cuts."
Malone. My remark on Mr. M. Mason's preceding note will show that I had no such meaning as Mr. Malone has imputed to me. All I aimed at was to parallel the idea in the quarto, of one mountain melting, instead of many. Steevens.
-the foaming shore,] The elder quarto reads-banning shore, which ofiers the bolder image; i. e. the shore that execrates the ravage of the waves. So, in King Henry VI, P. I: “ Fell, banning hag, enchantress, hold thy tongue."
Steevens. 8 And quench the guards of the ever fixed pole : ) Alluding to the star Arctophylax. Fohnson
I wonder that none of the advocates for Shakspeare's learning, has observed that Arctopłylax literally signifies-the guard of the bear.
The elder quarto reads-ever.fired pole. Steevens. 9 The ship is here put in,
A Veronese; Michael Cassio, &c.] [Old copies-Veronessa.] Mr Heath is of opinion, that the poet intended to inform us, that Othello's lieutenant Cassio was of Verona, an inland city of the Venetian state; and adds, that the editors have not been pleased to say what kind of ship is here denoted by a Veronessa.
Lieutenant to the warlike Moor, Othello,
By a Veronessa, or Veronese, (for the Italian pronunciation must be
The ship is here put in,
“ With sleeves dependant Albanesé wise.”
The ship is here put in.
Is come on shore.”-
T. Warton. I believe we are all wrong. Verona is an joland city. Every in. consistency may, however, be avoided, if we reall— The Verones. sa, i e. the name of the ship is the Veronessa. Verona, however, might be obliged to furnish ships towards the general defence of Italy. Steevens.
The emendation proposed by Mr. Steevens is acute; but Shaks. peare's acquaintance with the topography of Italy (as appears from The Tempest) was very imperfect. Henley.
In Thomases History of Italy, already quoted, the people of Verona are called the Veronesi.
This ship has been already described as a ship of Venice. It is now called “ a Veronese;" that is, a ship belonging to and fur. nished by the inland city of Verona, for ihe use of the Venetian state; and newly arrived from Venice. “ Besides many other towns, (says Contareno) castles, and villages, they (the Vene
Is come on shore: the Moor himself 's at sea,
Mon. I am glad on't; 'tis a worthy governor.
'Pray heaven he be;
Come, let's do so;
Mon. Is he well shipp’d?
Cas. His bark is stoutiy timber'd, and his pilot Of very expert and approv'd allowance ;* Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death, Stand in bold cure.5
tians,] possess seven faire cities; as Trevigi, Padoua, Vicenza, Verona, Brescia, Bergamo, and Crema.” Commonwealth of Venice, 1599. Malone. 1 Like a full soldier. ] Like a complete soldier. So, before, p. 203:
“ What a full fortune doth the thick-lips owe.” Malone. 2 Even till we make the main, &c.] This line and half is wanting in the eldest quarto. Steevens.
- warlike isle,] Thus the folio. The first quarto reads worthy isle.' Steevens.
of very expert and approv'd allowance;] I read
Very expert, and of approv'd allowance. Johnson. Expert and approv'd allowance is put for allow'd and approv'd expertness. This mode of expression is not unfrequent in Shak. speare. Steevens.
5 Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
[Within] A sail, a sail, a sail!
Enter another Gentleman. Cas. What noise?
Stand in bold cure.] I do not understand these lines. I know sot how hope can be surfeited to death, that is, can be increased, till it be destroyed; nor what it is to stand in bold cure; or why hope should be considered as a disease. In the copies there is no variation. Shall we read:
Therefore my fears, not surfeited to death,
Stand in bold cure? This is better, but it is not well. Shall we strike a bolder stroke, and read thus:
Therefore my hopes, not forfeited to death,
Stand bold, not sure? Johnson. Presumptuous hopes, which have no foundation in probability may poetically be said to surfeit themselves to death, or forward their own dissolution. To stand in bold cure, is to er themselves in confidence of being fulfilled. A parallel expression occurs in King Lear, Act III, sc. vi:
“ This rest might yet have balm’d his broken senses,
“ Stand in hard cure." Again:
- his life, with thine, &c. "Stand in assured loss." In bold cure means, in confidence of being cured. Steevens. Dr. Johnson says, “ he knows not why hope should be considered as a disease.” But it is not hope which is here described as a disease; those misgiving apprehensions which diminish hope, áre in fact the disease, and hope itself is the patient.
A surfeit being a disease arising from an excessive overcharge of the stomach, the poet with his usual licence (ses it for any species of excess .-- Therefore, says Cassio, my hopes, which, though faint and sickly with apprehension, are not totally destroyed by an excess of despondency, erect themselves with some degree of confidence that they will be relieved, by the safe arrival of Othello, from those ill-divining fears under which they now languish.
The word surfeit having occurred to Shakspeare, led him to consider such a hope as Cassio entertained, not a sanguine, but a faint and languid hope, (“ sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,” as a disease, and to talk of its cure.
A passage in Twelfth Night, where a similar phraseology is used, may serve to strengthen this interpretation:
“ Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting,
“The appetite may sicken, and so die." Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
“O, I have fed upon this woe already,
“ And now excess of it will make me surfeit.” Malone: VOL. XVI.
4 Gent. The town is empty ; on the brow o'the sea Stand ranks of people, and they cry-a sail.
Cas. My hopes do shape him for the governour.
I pray you, sir, go forth, And give us truth who 'tis that is arriv'd. 2 Gent. I shall.
[Exit. Mlon. But, good lieutenant, is your general wivd?
Cas. Most fortunately; he hath achiev'd a maid
I believe that Solomon, upon this occasion, will be found the best interpreter: “ Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.” Henley.
6 One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,] So, in our poet's 103d Sonnet:
“That over-goes my blunt invention quite,
“ Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace.” Malone. 7 And in the essential vesture of creation,
Does bear all excellency.] The author seems to use essential, for existent, real. She excels the praises of invention, says he, and in real qualities, with which creation has invested her, bears all excel. lency. Johnson
Does bear all excellency.] Such is the reading of the quartos; for which the folio has this:
And in the essential vesture of creation
Do's tyre the ingeniuer. Which I explain thus :
Does tire the ingenious verse. This is the best reading, and that which the author substituted in his revisal. Johnson.
The reading of the quarto is so flat and unpoetical, when compared with that sense which seems meant to have been given in the folio, that I heartily wish some emendation could be hit on, which might entitle it to a place in the text. I believe, the word tire was not introduced to signify-to fatigue, but to attire, to dress. The verb to attire, is often so abbreviated. Thus, in Holland's Leaguer, 1633:
Cupid 's a boy, “ And would you tire him like a senator?" Again, in The Comedy of Errors, Act II, sc. ii :
To save the money he spends in tiring,” &c.