Page images

Re-enter second Gentleman. 2 Gent. 'Tis one Iago, ancient to the general.

The essential vesture of creation tempts me to believe it was so used on the present occasion. I would read something like this:

And in the essential vesture of creation

Does tire the ingenuous virtue. i. e. invests her artless virtue in the fairest form of earthly substance.

In The Merchant of Venice, Act V, Lorenzo calls the body—“the muddy vesture of decay."

It may, however, be observed, that the word ingener did not an. ciently signify one who manages the engines or artillery of an army, but any ingenious person, any master of liberal science.

As in the following instance from the ancient metrical romance of The Sowdon of Babyloyne, p. 55:

" He called forth Mahon his engynour
“ And saide, I charge thee
“ To throwe a magnelle to yon tour

" And breke it down on thre."
So, in Ben Jonson's Sejanus, Act 1, sc. i:

“No, Silius, we are no good ingeners,

“ We want the fine arts,” &c. Ingener, therefore may be the true reading of this passage:

and a similar thought occurs in The Tempest, Act IV, sc. i:

“ For thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise,

“ And make it halt behind her.” In the argument of Sejanus, Ben Jonson likewise says that his hero “ worketh with all his ingere," apparently from the Latin ingenium. Steevens. Perhaps the words intended in the folio, were

Dues tire the ingene ever. Ingene is used for ingenium by Puttenham, in his Arte of Poesie, 1589: “ - such also as macie most of their workes by translation out of the Latin and French tongue, and few or none of their owne engineEngine is here without doubt a misprint for ingene. -I believe, however, the reading of the quarto is the true one.

-If tire was used in the sense of weary, then ingener must have been used for the ingenious person who should attempt to enu. merate the merits of Desdemona. To the instance produced by Mr Steevens from Sejanus, may be added another in Fleckno's Discourse of the English Stage, 1664: “Of this curious art the Italians (this latter age) are the greatest masters, the French good proficients, and we in England only schollars and learners, yet, have ing proceeded no further than to bare painting, and not arrived to the stupendous wonders of your great ingeniers." In one of Da. niel's Sonnets, we meet with a similar imagery to that in the first of these lines:

“ Though time doth spoil her of the fairest vaile
" That ever yet mortalitie did cover.” Malone.

Cas. He has had most favourable and happy speed : Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds, The guiter'd rocks, and congregated sands, Traitors ensteep'd to clog the guiltless keel,

den says:

The reading of the folio, though incorrectly spelled, appears to have been

Does tire the engineer; which is preferable to either of the proposed amendments; and the meaning of the passage would then be, “ One whose real per. fections were so excellent, that to blazon them would exceed the abilities of the ablest masters."

The sense attributed to the word tire, according to this reading, is perfectly agreeable to the language of poetry. Thus Dry

" For this an hundred voices I desire,
“ To tell thee what an hundred tongues would tire;
“ Yet never could be worthily exprest,

“How deeply those are seated in my breast.” And in the last Act of The Winter's Tale, the third Gentleman says: “I never heard of suoh :nother encounter, which lames report to follow it, and undues description to do it." The objection to the reading of inginer, is, that although we find the words in. gine, inginer, and inginous in Jonson, they are not the language of Shakspeare; and I believe in leed that Jonson is singular in the use of them M. Mason

Whoever shall reject incommon expressions in the writings of Shak-peare, because they differ either from the exact rules of orthography, or from the unsettled mode of spelling them by other writers, will be found in deprive him no less of his beauties, than that the ornithologist would the peacock, who should cut out every eve of his train because it was either not circular, or else varied from some imaginary standard. - Ingenieur is no doubt of the same import with ingener or ingeneer, though perhaps diffe. rently written by Shakspeare in reference to ingenious, and to dis. tinguish it from ingeneer, which he has elsewhere used in a milia tary sense Mr M Mason's objection, that it is not the language of Shakspeare, is more than begging the question ; and to affirm that Jonson is singular in the use of ingine, inginer, and inginous, is as little to the purpose. For we not only have those expressions in other writers, but others from the same root, as ingene, engene, &c. in Holinshed, and Sir T. More; and Daniel uses ingeriate:

“Th’adulterate beauty of a falsed cheek
“ Did Nature (for this good) ingeniate,

“To shew in thee the glory of her best.” Henley. 8 Traitors ensteep'd -] Thus the folio and one of the quartos. The first copy reads-enscerped, of which every reader may make what he pleases. Perhaps escerped was an old English word bor

As having sense of beauty, do omit
Their mortal natures, 9 letting go safely by
The divine Desdemona.

What is she?
Cas. She that I spake of, our great captain's captain,
Left in the conduct of the bold lago;
Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts,
A se'nnight's speed.-Great Jove,1 Othello guard,
And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath ;
That he may bless this bay with his tall ship,
Make love's quick pants in Desdemona's arms, 2
Give renew'd fire to our extincted spirits,
And bring all Cyprus comfort!3-0, behold,

The riches of the ship is come on shore !
Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees :-

rowed from the French escarpé, which Shakspeare not finding congruous to the image of clogging the keel, afterwards changed.

I once thought that the poet had written-Traitors enscarf'd, i. e. muffled in their robes, as in Julius Cæsar. So, in Hamlet:

My sea-gown scarf d about me;' and this agrees better with the idea of a traitor: yet whatever is gained one way is lost ano. ther. Our poet 100 often adopts circumstances from every image that arose in his mind, and employing them without attention to the propriety of their union, his metaphorical expressions become inextricably confused. Steevens.

Mr. Steevens's difficulty respecting ensteep'd, would, perhaps, have been removed, if he had but recollected the passage of the fourth Act, where Othello alludes to the fate of Tantalus:

“ Had it pleas'd heaven
“ To try me with afiliction ; had he rain'd
" All kind of sores, and shames on iny bare bead;

Steep'd me in poverty to the very lips —.” Henley. 9 Their mortal natures,] i. e. their deally, destructive natures. So, in Macbeth :

“ That tend on mortal thought.” See Dr. Johnson's note, Vol. VII, p. 54, n. 9. Reed.

Great Jove &c.} For this absurdity I have not the small. est doubt that the Master of the Revels, and not our poet, is answerable. Malone.

2 Make love's quick pants in Desdemona's arms,] Thus the folio. The quarto with less animation:

And swiftly come to Desdemona's arms. Steevens. 3 And bring all Cyprus comfort!] This passage is only found in the quartos. Steevens.

Hail to thee, lady! and the grace of heaven,
Before, behind thee, and on every hand,
Enwheel thee round!

I thank you, valiant Cassio.
What tidings can you tell me of my lord?

Cas. He is not yet arriv'd; por know I aught But that he's well, and will be shortly here.

Des. O, but I fear;—How lost you company?

Cas. The great contention of the sea and skies Parted our fellowship: But, hark! a sail.

[Cry within A sail, a sail! Then Guns heard. 2 Gent. They give their greeting to the citadel ; This likewise is a friend. Cur.

See for the news.*- [Exit Gent. Good ancient you are welcome;– Welcome, mistress:

[To Emil Let it not gall your patience, good lago, That I extend my manners; 'tis my breeding That gives me this bold show of courtesy. [Kissing her.

Iago. Sir, would she give you so much of her lips,
As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,
You'd have enough.

Alas, she has no speech.
Iago. In faith, too much ;5
I find it still, when I have list to sleep:
Marry, before your ladyship, I grant,
She puts her tongue a little in her heart,
And chides with thinking.

You have little cause to say so.
Iago. Come on, come on; you are pictures out of doors,
Bells in your parlours, wild cats in your kitchens,
Saints in your injuries,6 devils being offended,

4 See for the news.] The first quarto reads-So speaks this voice.

Steevens. 5 In faith, too much;] Thus the folio. The first quarto thus :

I know too much;

I find it, I; for when, &c. Steevens. 6. Saints in your injuries, &c.] When you have a mind to do in. juries, you put on an air of sanctity. Fohnson.

In Puttenham's Art of Poesie, 1589, I meet with almost the same thoughts: “ We limit the comely parts of a woman to consist in four points; that is, to be, a shrew in the kitchen, a saint in the church, an angel at board, and an ape in the bed; as the chroni. cle reports by mistress Shore, paramour to King Edward the Tourth.”

Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds.

Des. O, fy upon thee, slanderer!?

Iago. Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk;
You rise to play, and go to bed to work.

Emil. You shall not write my praise.

No, let me not. Des. What would'st thou write of me, if thou should'st

praise me?
Iago. O gentle lady, do not put me to 't;
For I am nothing, if not critical. 8
Des. Come on, assay :

-There's one gone to the harbour? Iago. Ay, madam.

Des. I am not merry; but I do beguile The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.Come, how would'st thon praise me?

Iago. I am about it; but, indeed, my invention Comes from my pate, as birdlime does from frize, 9 It plucks out brains and all: But my muse labours,

Again, in a play of Middleton's, called Blurt Master Consatble; or, The Spaniurd's Night-Walk, 1602: “ — according to that wise saying of you, you be saints in the church, angels in the street, devils in the kitchen, and apes in vour beds."

Again, in The Miseries of inforcéd Marriage, 1607: “ Women are in churches saints, abroail angels, at home devils.

Puttenham, who mentions all other contemporary writers, has not once spoken of Shakspeare; so that it is probable he had not produced any thing of so early a dlate.

The truth is, that this book appears to have been written several years before its publication. See p. 115, 116, where the author refers to Sir Nicholas Bacon, who died in 1579, and recounts a circumstance, from his own knowledge, that happened in 1553.

Steevens. See also Meres's Wit's Treasury, p. 48. Reed.

70, fy upon thee, slanderer?] This short speech is, in the quar. to, unappropriated; and may as well belong to Emilia as to Desdemona Steevens.

critical.] That is, censorious. Fohnson. So, in our author's 122d Sonnet:

my adder's sense
“ To critick and to flatterer stopped are." Malone.

my invention Comes from my pate, as birdlime does from frize,] A similar thought occurs in The Puritan: “The excuse stuck upon my tongue, like ship-pitch upon a mariner's gown.Steevens.



« PreviousContinue »