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How do our old acquaintance of this isle?-
[Exeunt Oth. DES. and Attendants. Iago. Do thou meet me presently at the harbour. Come hither. If thou be'st valiant as (they say) base men, being in love, have then a nobility in their natures“ more than is native to them,-list me. The lieutenant to-night watches on the court of guard:--First, I must tell thee this Desdemona is directly in love with him.
well desir'd in Cyprus,] i. e. much solicited by invitation. So, in The Letters of the Paston Fumily, Vol. I, p. 299 : “ at the whych weddyng I was with myn hostes, and also desyrd by ye jentylman hymselfe.” Steevens.
* I prattle out of fashion,] Out of method, without any settled order of discourse. Johnson
the master -] Dr. Johnson supposed, that by the master was meant the pilot of a ship, and indeed had high authority for this supposition ; for our poet himself seems to have confounded them. See Act II], sc. ii, 1. 1. But the master is a distinct person, and has the principal command, and care of the navigation of the ship, under the captain, where there is a cap. tain; and in chief, where there is none. The pilot is employed only in navigating the ship into or out of port. Malone.
“ The master (says Smith in his Sea-Grammar, 1627,) and his mates, are to direct the course, command all the sailors, for steering, trimming, and sailing the ship,” &c. Steevens.
base men, being in love, have then a nobility in their natures -] So, in Hamlet :
“ Nature is fine in love." Malone. Dryden has imparted lago's present sentiment to Dorax:
Why love does all that's noble here below.” Steevens.
the court of guard: ] i. e. the place where the guard musters. So, in The Family of Love, 1609:
“ Thus have I pass’d the round and court of guard.” Again, in The Beggar's Bush, by Beaumont and Fletcher : “ Visit your courts of guard, view your munition.”
Steevens. VOL. XVI.
Rod. With him! why, 'tis not possible.
lago. Lay thy finger-thus, and let thy soul be insructed. Mark me with what violence she first loved the Moor, but for bragging, and telling her fantastical lies : And will she love him still for prating ?" let not thy discreet heart think it. Her ey'i must be fed; and what delight shall she have to look on the devil? When the blood is made dull with the act of sport, there should be,-again to inflame it, and to give satiety a fresh appetite,- loveliness in favour; sympathy in years, manners, and beauties; all which the Moor is defective in: Now, for want of these l'equired conveniences, her delicate tenderness will find itself abused, begin to bcave the gorge, disrelish and abhor the Moor; very nature will instruct her in it, and compel her to some second choice. Now, sir, this granted, (as it is a most pregnant and unforced position) who stands so eminently in the degree of this fortune, as Cassio does? a knave very voluble; no further conscionable, than in putting on the mere form of civil and humane seeming, for the better compassing of his salt and most hidden loose affection? why, none ; why, none: A slippery and subtle knave; a finder out of occasions; that has an eye can stamp and counterfeit advantages, though true advantage never present itself: A devilish knave! besides, the knave is handsome, young; and hath all those requisites in him, that folly and green minds? look after: A pestilent complete knave; and the woman hath found him already.
Rod. I cannot believe that in her; she is full of most blessed condition.4
Ingo. Blessed fig's end! the wine she drinks is made
Lay thy finger--thus,] On thy mouth, to stop it while thou art listening to a wiser man. Johnson.
9 And will she love him still for prating ?] The folio read--T. love him still for prating! Steevens.
again to infame it,] Thus the quarto, 1622. The folio reads-a game.
Steevens. and humane seeming,] Thus the folio. The quarto, 1622, reads-and hand-seeming. Malone.
green minds -] Minds unripe, minds not yet fully formed. Johnson.
condition.] Qualities, disposition of mind. Johnson. See Vol. IX, p. 574, n. 9. Mlalune.
of grapes: if she had been blessed, she would never have loved the Moor: Blessed pudding ! Didst thou not see her paddle with the palm of his hand ? didst not mark that?
Rod. Yes, that I did; but that was but courtesy.
Iago. Lechery, by this hand; an index, and obscure prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts. They met so near with their lips, that their breaths embraced together. Villanous thoughts, Roderigo! when these mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes the master and main exercise, the incorporate conclusion: Pish! -But, sir, be you ruled by me: I have brought you from Venice. Watch you to-night; for the command, I 'll lay 't upon you: Cassio knows you not ;-I 'll not be far from you:
you find some occasion to anger Cassio, either by speaking too loud, or taintings his discipline; or from what other course you please, which the time shall more favourably minister.
Iago. Sir, he is rash, and very sudden in choler;& 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
an index and obscure prologue &c.] That indexes were formerly prefixed to books, appears from a passage in Troilus and Cressida. See Vol. XII, p. 54, n. 2; and Humlet, Act III, sc. is, Vol. XV. Mulone. tainting - ] Throwing a slur upon his discipline.
Johnson other course --] The first quarto reads-cause. Steevens. sudden in choler,] Sudden, is precipitately violent.
Johnson So, Malcolm, describing Macbeth:
“ I grant him bloody,
Sudilen, malicious.” Steevens.
whose qualification shall come &c.] Whose resentment shall not be so qualified or temperer, as to be well tasted, as not to retain some bitterness. The phrase is harsh, at least to our ears.
Johnson. Johnson's explanation is confirmed by what Cassio says in the next scene: “I have drunk but one cup to night, and that was craftily qualified,” i. e. allayed by water. N. Mason.
no true taste -] So the folio. The quarto, 1622, reads 10 true trust. Malone
shall you have a shorter journey to your desires, by the means I shall then have to prefer them; and the impediment most proîtable removed, without the which there were no expectation of our prosperity.
Rod. I will do this, if I can bring it to any opportunity.
Iago I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel: I must fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewel. Rod. Adieu.
[Exit. Iago. 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; Not out of absolute lust, (though, peradventure, I stand accountant for as great a sin,) But partly led to diet my revenge, For that I do suspect the lusty Moor Hath leap'd into my seat: the thought whereof Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards; And nothing can or shall content my soul, Till I am even with him, wife for wife; Or, failing so, yet that I put the Moor At least into a jealousy so strong
to prefer them ;] i. e. to advance them. So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream : “ The short and the long is, our play is preferred.” Malone. See Julius Cesur, Act V, sc. v, Vol. XIV. Steevens.
if I can bring it to any opportunity.] Thus the quarto, 1622. The folio reads-if you can bring it, &c. Malone.
like a poisonous mineral,] This is philosophical. Mineral poisons kill by corrosion. Jol.nson.
Till I am even with him,] Thus the quarto, 1622; the first folio reads:
Till I am even’ 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 Tuncred 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 Eneri, 1582 :-'i numcrum cum navibus æquat.
with the ships the number is even’dl.” Steevens,
That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do
I fled too,
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 Vol. II. p. 17, n. 5,) 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):
“ But not so fast ; your jewel had been lost then,
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 confirm. ed 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 cpistle 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 judgment.”
Trush, 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. 268, n. 4.
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.