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“ In men of wisest censure.” Perhaps we should read :
“With men of wisest censure,” Or, “'Mongst men,” &c. “That you unlace your reputation thus.”
Mr. Tooke's interpretation of this passage, in the Diversions of Purley, may be right-unless, or onles (dismiss) from the Saxon verb, onleran. 344. “ And passion, having my best judgment
collied.” The sense by Mr. Steevens annexed to “ collied,” here, besmutted, or blackened, is extremely forced and unnatural. The quarto reads, “cool'd,” but I believe the true word is “quell’d,” which gives the sense, precisely, that is implied in the context:
“ Assays to lead the way.” I find that I have been anticipated in this conjecture; and am therefore the more satisfied of its truth.
There has been a syllable lost here : perhaps the line ran thus, “Shall lose me.—What! hēre! in a town of war." 347. “ I had rather have this tongue cut from
my mouth.” It has been very justly observed by Dr. Lowth, that the common expression, “I had rather" seems to be a corruption of " would rather," induced by mistaking the contraction of “would,”
in the latter phrase, “I'd rather," i. e. I would rather, for I had rather;- in the present case, at least, we must point, “I'd rather have this tongue cut from my mouth." 348. “ What's the matter, dear Ş”
“Dear” only overloads the line, and is an interpolation,
“ - Lead him off." It is, I think, evident, as Mr. Malone has observed, that this was some stage direction which afterwards crept into the text: it is utterly useless, and an awkward excrescence.
“What, are you hurt, lieutenant "> Cas. " Ay, past all surgery."
“Ay” should be ejected.” “ More offence in that, than in reputation.”
“Reputation,” humorously, for loss of reputation; as, in K. Henry IV. Falstaff uses “ security,” for the requisition of security :-" I send to him for satin, and he sends me security," 319. “ Oft got without merit, and lost without
deserving." This is vicious phraseology; “ deserving' stands as if it were a noun, and then it might as well have been “merit" again; whereas it has only a participial sense, implying, without the person's deserving to lose it. “ I will rather sue to be despised, than to deceive
So good a commander,” &c.
an interpolation, corrupting the sense :-Cassio indeed, might sue to be despised, but it is absurd to say he would sue to deceive. 352. “When this advice is free, I give," &c.
Dr. Johnson's interpretation of this passage, I believe, is right, notwithstanding the plausibility of Mr. Henley's.
“ This parallel course.” This expression will, undoubtedly, admit of Dr. Johnson's explanation, a course that goes level or even with his design; but I suppose the poet meant no more by “ parallel” than straight, direct, not deviating or circuitous : it seems to be derived from what he had learnt of goemetry, a straight or right line being the shortest between two given points, and a parallel to a straight line being also straight, he is led to confound the ideas of straight and parallel, 353. “That she repeals him.”
By repealing him, I believe is meant, urging the remission or pardon of his offence. 354.“ How poor are they, that have not pa.
tience! “ Patience” a trisyllable, “ Though other things grow fair against the
sun, “ Yet fruits, that blossom first, will first be
That which Sir T. Hanmer found difficult, appears to have been not easy to Dr. Johnson; and his explanation is not at all satisfactory :- Iago's. argument seems to be this, --why should you re
quire the sudden accomplishment of a design that must proceed by degrees-a plan, arranged like ours, would furnish ground for confidence, even were there as yet no obvious symptoms of success; but we already have an earnest of it, in Cassio's disgrace; and though all measures, wisely ordered, will advance with surety towards their object, yet those will be the first to attain it, which first display the visible effects of their operation. 355. “ I'll set her on.”
This hemistic is useless, and were better omitted.
ACT III. SCENE I.
356. “ Something that's brief,” &c.
The line wants brevity: we might read, “ Be't brief; and bid good morrow, general.” 358. “You have not been a-bed, then ?".
This hemistic, and the disorder in the lines that follow, might be corrected thus: Iag. “You have not been a-bed, then, good
lieutenant." Cas. “ Why no; the day had broke before we
parted: “I have made bold to send in to your wife; “ My suit to her is, that she will procure me
“ Some access to the virtuous Desdemona." Iag. “I'll go and send her to you presently;
" And I'll devise,” &c.
Cas. “ I humbly thank you for’t.”
[Exit Iago. “I ne'er knew Florentine more kind and
honest.” 359. “And great affinity, and that in wholesome
wisdom.” The conjunction “ that should be omitted, by an ellipsis common enough, and warrantable. “ He might not but refuse you : but, he protests,
he loves you." This excessive redundance might thus be reduced: “ He must refuse; but he protests he loves you.”
“ To speak your bosom freely.”
Let us speak
SCENE II. 360. “ Well, my good lord, I'll do’t.”
The word “ well” has no business here:
“We'll wait upon your lordship.” This hemistic, perhaps, was preceded by words like these:
“ So please you, we will wait," &c.