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the meaning is to be sought of this writer, who was much more acquainted with paked reason and with living manners.
Double has here its natural sense. The president of every deliberative assembly has a double voice. In our courts, the chief justice and one of the inferior judges prevail over the other two, because the chief justice has a double voice.
Brabantio had, in his effect, though not by law, yet by weight and influence, a voice not actual and formal, but potential and operative, as double, that is, a voice that when a question was suspended, would turn the balance as effectually as the duke's. Potential is used in the sense of science; a caustic is called potential fire.
JOHNSON. I believe here is a mistake. The chief justice and one of the inferior judges do not prevail over the other two. The lord mayor in the court of aldermen has a double voice.
TOLLET. Perhaps the meaning is no other than that Brabantio was so much beloved by his brother senators, as to be able to get twice as many votes as the duke. Double as the duke's, for double of the duke's. The passage cannot be twisted into an allusion to the doge's second vote. Neither he nor any other president gives a double voice, unless his single one has had the effect of making the votes on both sides of the question even.
14 —my demerits-) Demerits had formerly the same meaning as merits,
15 And many of the consuls, rais'd,] Hanmer reads,
council. Theobald would have us read counsellors. Venice was originally governed by consuls: and consuls seems to have been commonly used for counsellors, as before in this play. In Albion's Triumph, a masque, 1631, the emperor Albanact is said to be “ attended by fourteen consuls.” Again" the habits of the consuls were after the same manner.” Geoffery of Monmouth, and Matthew Paris after him, call both dukes and earls, consuls.
STEEVENS. - a land carack;] A carack is a ship of great bulk, and commonly of great value; perhaps what we now call a galleon.
Johnson. 17 The wealthy curled darlings-] Curled is elegantly and ostentatiously dressed. He had not the hair particularly in his thoughts.
JOHNSON. these thin habits,] i. e. so slight an appearance of guilt will not allow us to condemn him: you must give us proofs instead of surmises.
19 - the Sagittary,] Means the sign of the fictitious creature so called, i. c. an animal compounded of man and horse, and armed with a bow and quiver.
STEEVENS. 20 And portance, &c.] I have restored
And with it all my travel's history, From the old edition. It is in the rest,
And portance in my travel's history. Rymer, in his criticism on this play, has changed it to portents, instead of portance.
POPE. Mr, Pope has restored a line to which there is little
objection, but which has no force. I believe portance was the author's word in some revised copy. I read thus,
Of being sold
And portance in't; my travel's history.
JOHNSON 21 The Anthropophagi, &c.] Of these men there is an account in the interpolated travels of Mandeville, a book of that time.
JOHNson. The Cannibals and Anthropophagi were known to an English audience before Shakspeare introduced them. In the History of Orlando Furioso, played for the entertainment of queen Elizabeth, they are mentioned in the very first scene; and Raleigh speaks of people whose heads appear not above their shoulders. Again, in the Tragedy of Locrine, 1595: “ Or where the bloody Anthropophagi, “ With greedy jaws devour the wandring wights." The poet might likewise have read of them in Pliny's Natural History, translated by P. Holland, 1001, and in Stowe's Chronicle.
STEEVENS. 28 Let me speak like yourself;] i. e. let me speak as yourself would speak, were you not too much heated with passion.
SIR J, REYNOLDS. -a grise,] i. e. a step. * -I do agnize-] i.e. acknowledge, confess, adow. So, in the old play of Cambyses :
“ The tenor of your princely will, from you for to
agnize." In this instance, however, it signifies to know; as likewise in the following, from the same piece: Why so? I pray you let me agnize."
STEEVENS. 25 My downright violence and storm of fortunes-] But what violence was it that drove her to run away I with the Moor? We should read, My downright violence to forms, my fortunes.
WARBURTON. There is no need of this emendation. Violence is not violence suffered, but violence acted. Breach of common rules and obligations. The old quarto has, scorn of fortune, which is perhaps the true reading.
JOHNSON. 26 Nor to comply with heat, the young affects,
In my distinct and proper satisfaction;] [Old copies--defunct.] As this has hitherto been printed and stopped, it seems to me a period of as stubborn nonsense as the editors have obtruded upon poor Shakspeare throughout his works. What a preposterous creature is this Othello made, to fall in love with and marry a fine young lady, when appetite and heat, and proper satisfaction, are dead and defunct in him! (For, defunct signifies nothing else, that I know of, either primitively or metaphorically :) but if we may take Othello's own word in the affair, he was not reduced to this fatal state:
or, for I um declin d
Again, Why should our poet say (for so he says, as the passage has been pointed) that the young affect heat? Youth, certainly, has it, and has no occasion or pretence of affecting it. And, again, after defunct, would he add so absurd a collateral epithet as proper? But affects was not designed here as a verb, and defunct was not designed here at all. I have, by reading distinct for defunct, rescued the poet's text from absurdity; and this I take to be the tenor of what he would say;
“I do not beg her company with me, “ merely to please myself; nor to indulge the heat “ and affects (i. e. affections) of a new-married man, “ in my own distinct and proper satisfaction; but to “ comply with her in her request, and desire, of ac“ companying me." Affects for affections, our author in several other passages uses.
Nor to comply with heat, the young affects
In my defunct and proper satisfaction:) i. e. with that heat and pew affections which the indulgence of my appetite has raised and created. This is the meaning of defunct, which has made all the difficulty of the passage.
WARBURTON. I do not think that Mr. Theobald's emendation clears the text from embarrassment, though it is with a little imaginary improvement received by Hanmer, who reads thus:
Nor to comply with heat affects the young,
In my distinct and proper satisfaction. Dr. Warburton's explanation is not more satisfactory: what made the difficulty will continue to make it. I read,