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1. Sen. This cannot be,
Duke. Nay, in all confidence, he's not for Rhodes.
Enter a Messenger.
1. Sen. Ay, so I thought?:-How many, as you guess ?
Mes. Of thirty fail : and now do they re-stem : Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance Their purposes toward Cyprus.--Signior Montano,
2 By no afay of reason ;-] Bring it to the left, examine it by reason as we examine metals by the alay, it will be found counterfeit by all trials. JOHNSON.
3 — wirb more facile question -] With less dispute; with less oppofition, MASON.
4 For tbar it ftands nat, &c.] The seven following lines are added fince the first edition. Pope.
5.- warlike brace,] State of defence. To arm was called to brace on the armour. JOHNSON.
6 To wake, and wage, a danger profillefs.] To wage here, as in many other places in Shakspeare, signifies to fight, to combat. Thus, in King Lear :
“ To wage against the enmity of the air." It took its rise from the more common expreslion, to wage war.
STEEVENS. 7 Ay, so, &c.-) This line is not in the first quarto. STEEVENS.
8 they do re.Item-] The quartos mean to read re-fterne, though in the first of them the word is mispelt. STEEVENS. VOL. IX
Your trusty and most valiant servitor,
Duke.' 'Tis certain then for Cyprus.-
1. Sen. He's now in Florence. Duke. Write from us; with him, poft, poft-hafte dis
patch. 1. Sen. Here comes Brabantio, and the valiant Moor, Enter BRABANTIO, OTHELLO, Iago, RODERIGO, and
Oficers. Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you Against the general enemy Ottoman 3. I did not see you ; welcome, gentle signior ;
[19 Bra. We lack'd your counsel and your help to-night.
Bra. So did I yours: Good your grace, pardon me ; Neither my place, nor aught I heard of business, Hath rais'd me from my bed; nor doth the general care Take hold + on me; for my particular grief Is of so flood-gate and o'er-bearing nature,
9 And prays you to believe bim.] He intreats you not to deubt be trutb of Ibis intelligence. JOHNSON.
· Marcus Lucchese,] The old copies have Luccicos. Mr. Steevens made the correction. MALONE.
- wish bim, poft, post-haste dispatch.] i, e. tell him we wish him to make all poffible bafte. Poft-bafte is before in this play used adjectively :
“ And he requires your hafte, post-hafte appearance." All messengers in the time of Shakipeare were enjoined, “ Hafte bafte; for thy life, post baste." The reading of the text is that of the quarto, 1622, The folio reads :
« Write from us to him, post, post-hafte dispatch." MALONE. 3 Valiant Othello, we must fraight employ you
Against the general enemy Ottoman.j It is part of the policy of the Venetian state never to entruit the command of an army to a native. “ To exclude, therefore,” (says Contareno, as translated by Lewkenor, 4to, 1599,) “out of our estate the danger or occasion of any such ambitious enterprises, our ancestors held it a better course to defend the dominions on the continent with foreign mercenary soldiers, than with their homebred citizens." Again : “Their charges and yearly occasions of disbursement are likewise very great; for alwaies they do entertain in honourable fort with great provision a capraine generall, who alwaies is a franger borne." MALONE. 4 Take bold -[ The first quarto reads, Take any hold. STIEVENS.
That it engluts and swallows other forrows,
Duke. Why, what's the matter i
Bra. Ay, to me;
s By Spells and medicines bougbe of mountebanks: ] Rymer has ridi. culed this circumstance as unbecoming (both for its weakness and superftition) the gravity of the accuser, and the dignity of the tribunal; but his criticism only exposes his own ignorance. The circumstance was not only exactly in character, but urged with the greatest address, as the thing chiefly to be insisted on. For, by the Venetian law, the giving love-potions was very criminal, as Shakspeare without question well understood. Thus the law, De i maleficii et ber. barie, cap. 17. of the Code, intitled, Della promiffion del male. ficio. “ Statuimo etiamdio, che. se alcun homo, o femina, harra fatto “ maleficii, iquali se dimandano vulgarmente amatorie, o veramente « alcuni altri maleficii, che alcun homo o femina se havefson in odio, “ fia frusta et bollado, et che hara consegliado patisca simile pena.” And therefore in the preceding scene Brabantio calls them,
- arts inbibited, and out of warrant. WARBURTON. Though I believe Shakspeare knew no more of this Venetian law than I do, yet he was well acquainted with the edicts of that sapient prince king James the first, against
practisers Of arts inhibited and out of warrant. STEEVENS. See p. 462, n. 4. Malone. 6 Being not, &c.] This line is wanting in the first quarto.
STEEVENS 7 For nature so preposterou by to err
Sans witchcraft could nor.] Omit to, says Mr, Mason," and then the sentence will be completc.'
Omiffion is at all times the most dangerous mode of emendation, and here assuredly is unnecessary. We have again and again had occafion to observe, that Shakspeare frequently begins to construct a sentence in one mode, and ends it in ano:her. See p. 239, n.6. Here he uses could not, as if he had written, bas not be power or capacity to, &c. It is not in nature so to err; the knows not how to do it.
MALONE. H h 2
Duke. Whoe'er he be, that, in this foul proceeding,
Bra. Humbly I thank your grace.
Duke, and Sen. We are very sorry for it.
[to Othello. Bra. Nothing, but this is fo.
Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors, My very noble and approv'd good matters, – That I have ta’en away this old man's daughter, It is most true ; true, I have married her; The very head and front of my offending' Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech, And little bless’d with the set phrase of peace;
8 Stood in your a&tion.] Were the man exposed to your charge or accufation. JOHNSON.
ý' The very bead and front of my offending-] The main, the wbolez unextenuated. JOHNSON. A fimilar expression is found in Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1590:
" The man that in the forebead of his fortunes
“ Beares figures of renowne and miracle." Again, in Troilus and Creffida:
“ So rich advantage of a promis'd glory,
“ As smiles upon the forebead of this action." MALONE. 1 And little bless'd witb obe set pbrase of peace;] Thus the quarto, 1622. The folio reads--with the soft phrase of peace. Soft may have been used for fill and calm, as oppoled to the clamours of war. So, in Coriolanus :
Say to them,
• Were fit for thee to use.” Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
'Tis a worthy deed,
For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith,
Bra. A maiden never bold;
To fall in love with what the fear'd to look on?
? Their dearest a&tion -] 1. e. their most important action. See V 1. VIII. p. 130, n. 6. "MALONE,
I hould give these words a more natural signification, and suppose that they mean-their favourite action, the adion moit dear 10 them. Othello says afterwards :
I do agnize
« I find in hardness." MASON. 3 1 won bis daugbrer,] i. c. I won his daughter with: and so all the modern editors read, adopting an interpolation made by the editor of the second folio, who was wholly unacquainted with our poet's metre and phraseology. In Timon of Albens we have the same elliptical expression :
* Who had the world as my confectionary,
" At duty, more than I could frame employment (for). See also Vol. VIII. p. 472, n. 3. where several other instances of a fimilar phraseology are collected. MALONE.
4 Blush'd at herself;] Mr. Pope reads--at itself, but without necessity. Shakspeare, like other writers of his age, frequently uses the personal, instead of the neutral pronoun. STEEVENS.
H h 3