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“ This rest might yet have balm'd his broken senses, “ Which, if conveniency will not allow,
“ Stand in hard cure." Again:
his life, with thine, &c. Stund in assured loss. In bold cure means, in confidence of being cured.
12 Traitors ensteep'd to clog the guiltless keel,] 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 borrowed 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 another. The poet too 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.
---put on the vouch of very malice itself?] To put on the vouch of any one, signifies to call upon any one to vouch for another. So that the sense of the place is this, one that was so conscious of her own merit,
and of the authority her character had with every one, that she durst venture to call upon malice itself to vouch for her. This was some commendation. And the character only of clearest virtue; which could force malice, even against its nature, to do justice.
WARBURTON 34 To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer:] After enumerating the perfections of a woman, Iago adds, that if ever there was such a one as he had been describing, she was, at the best, of no other use than to suckle children, and keep the accounts of a household. The expressions to suckle fools, and chronicle small beer, are only instances of the want of natural affection, and the predominance of a critical censoriousness in Iago, which he allows himself to be possessed of, where he says, 0! I am nothing, if not critical.
most bless'd condition.] Condition here signifies disposition of mind.
38 - tainting his discipline;] Throwing a slur upon his discipline.
- whuse qualification shall come into no true taste again,) Whose resentment shall not be so qualified or tempered as to be well tasted, as not to retain some bitterness. The phrase is barsh, at least to our ears.
JOHNSON. Perhaps qualification means fitness to preserve good order, or the regularity of military discipline.
STEEVENS. craftily qualified too,] Slily mixed with water.
89 If consequence do but approve my dream,] All
the printed copies concur in this reading, but, I think, it does not come up to the poet's intention; I rather imagine that he wrote,
If consequence do but approve my deem, i. e. my opinion, the judgement I bave forined of what must happen. So, in Troilus and Cressida; Cres. I true? how now? what wicked deem is this?
THEO BALD. This reading is followed by the succeeding editions. I rather read,
If consequence do but approve my scheme. But why should dream be rejected ? Every scheme subsisting only in the imagination may be termed a dream.
JOHNSON. - rouse-) A rouse appears to be a quantity of liquor rather too large. So in Hamlet; and in The Christian turn'd Turk, 1013:
our friends may tell “ We drank a rouse to them.” 41 King Stephen, &c.] These stanzas are taken from an old song which the reader will find recovered and preserved in Relicks of Ancient Poetry, consisting of old heroic ballads, songs, &c. 3 vols. 12 mo.
42 He'll watch the horologe—] If he have no drink, he'll keep awake while the clock strikes two rounds, or four-and-twenty hours.
Chaucer uses the word horologe in more places than one.
“ Well sikerer was his crowing in his loge
- a twiggen bottle.] Is a small bottle cased with wicker-work to preserve it from breaking in the pocket, vulgarly called a pocket-pistol. Cassio's meaning is, “ I'll beat the knave till he flies, for security, into so small a place as the mouth of such a bottle."
44 I am hurt to death; he dies.] Montano thinks he is mortally wounded, yet by these words he seems determined to continue the duel, and to kill his antagonist Cassio. So when Roderigo runs at Cassio, in the 5th Act, he says, " Villain, thou dy’st.” TOLLET.
45 — spend your rich opinion,] Throw away and squander a reputation so valuable as yours.
JOHNSON - collied,] Thus the folio reads, and I believe rightly. Othello means, that passion has discoloured his judgement. The word is used in The Midsummer Night's Dream:
like lightning in the collied night." To colly anciently signified to besmut, to blacken as with coal. So, in a comedy called The Family of Love, 1608: carry thy link a 't'other side the
way, thou collow'st me and my ruffe.” The word (as I am assured) is still used in the midland counties.
Mr. Tollet informs me that Wallis's Hist. of Northumberland, p. 46, says, “ – in our northern counties it [i. e. a fine black clay or ochre) is commonly known by the name of collow or killow, by which name it is known by Dr. Woodward, &c. The doctor says it had its name from kollow, by which name,
in the North, the smut or grime on the backs of chimneys is called. Colly, however, is from coul, as collier. Hanmer reads-choler'd.
cast in his mood,] Thrown off in his anger. 49 — and speak parrot?] A phrase signifying to act foolishly and childishly. So Skelton, “ These maidens full mekely with many a divers
flour, “ Freshly they dress and make sweete my houre, “ With spake parrot I pray you full courteously thei
49 Though other things grow fair against the sun,
Yet fruits, that blossum first, will first be ripe.) Of many different things, all planned with the same art, and promoted with the same diligence, some must succeed sooner than others, by the order of nature. Every thing cannot be done at once; we must proceed by the necessary gradation. We are not to despair of slow events any more than of tardy fruits, while the causes are in regular progress, and the fruits grow fair against the sun. Hanmer has not, I think, rightly conceived the sentiment; for he reads,
Those fruits which blossom first, are not first ripe. I have therefore drawn it out at length, for there are few to whom that will be easy which was difficult to Hanmer.
JOHNSON 50 Why, masters, hare your instruments been at Naples, that they speak i'the nose thus?] The venereal disease first appeared at the siege of Naples.