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751. ---some unhatch'd practice,] Some treason that has not taken effect.
JOHNSON. 762. -(unhandsome warrior as I am)] How this came to be so blundered, I cannot conceive.
It is plain Shakspere wrote,
-unhandsome wrangler as I am. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
"fie, wrangling queen.” WARBURTON. Unhandsome warrior, is evidently unfair assailant.
JOHNSON. 791. --more convenient time] The folio has,
-more continuate time; Time less interrupted, time which I can call more my It gives a more distinct image than convenient.
-breath'd as it were,
STEEVENS 793. Take me this work out.] The meaning is not, Pick out the work, and leave the ground plain; but Copy this work in another handkerchief. JOHNSON.
So, in a comedy, by Middleton, called Wimen beware of Women:
STEEVENS. So, in Hearne's Liber Niger Scaccarii, vol. ii. p. 578. 581. and 585. " to take out the arms," means to copy them,
812. Why, I pray you?] This and the following speech are wanting in the first quarto. STEEVENS.
819. - must be circumstanc’d.] i. e. your civility is now grown conditional.
WARBURTON. Rather, I must give way to circumstances.
Line 8. NAKED in bed, lago, and not mean harm?
It is hypocrisy against the devil:] This observation seems strangely abrupt and unoccasioned. We must suppose that lago had, before they appeared in this scene, been applying cases of false comfort to Othello; as that though the parties had been even found in bed together, there might be no harm done; it inight be only for the trial of their virtue ; as was reported of the Romish saint Robert D'Arbrissel and his
To this we must suppose Othello here replies; and like a good Protestant. For so the sentiment does but suit the character of the speaker, Shakspere little heeds how these sentiments are circumstanced.
WARBURTON. Hypocrisy against the devil, means hypocrisy to cheat the devil. As common hypocrites cheat men, by seeming good, and yet living wickedly; these men would cheat the devil, by giving him Hattering hopes,
and at last avoiding the crime which he thinks them ready to commit.
JOHNSON. The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt heaven.] The true reading, without question, is this:
The devil their virtue tempts not; they tempt heaven. i. e. they do not give the devil the trouble of throwing temptations in their way: they seek them out them. selves, and so tempt heaven by their presumption.
WARBURTON. There is no need for any alteration. The true key to the explanation of this passage may be found in St. Matthew iv. 7. The poet's idea, is, that the devil tempts their virtues, by stirring up their passions, and they tempt heaven, by placing themselves in such a situation as makes it scarcely possible to avoid falling by the gratification of them.
Henley. Shakspere had probably in view a very popular book of his time, The Beehive of the Roman Church. s. There was an old wife, called Julia, which would take the young men and maides, and lay them together in a bed. And for that they should not one byte another, nor kicke backewardes with their heeles, she did lay a crucifix between them.”
FARMER. 25. Boading to all-] Thus all the old copies. The moderns less grammatically, Boding to ill
JOHNSON. The raven was thought to be a constant attendant on a house, in which there was infection. So, in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, 1633 :
" Thus like the sad presaging raven, that tolls
MALONE. 32. Convinc'd or supplied them,] I cannot understand the vulgar reading. I read, convinc'd orsuppled. My emendation makes the sense of the passage easy and intelligible: that there are some such long-tongued knaves in the world, who, if they through the force of importunity extort a favour from their mistress, or if through her own fondness they make her pliant to their desires, cannot help boasting of their success. To convince, here, is not, as in the common acceptation, to make sensible of the truth of any thing by reasons and arguments : but to overcome, get the better of, &c. So in Macbeth, act i.
-his two chamberlains “ Will I, with wine and wassel so contince." Again, in the same play, act iv.
their malady convinces “ The great assay of art."
THEOBALD. 46. ---to confess and be hang d—] This is a prover. bial saying. And in one of the old collection of small Poems there is an epigram on it. All that remains of this speech, including the words to confess, is wanting in the first quarto,
STEEVENS. 49. --shadowing passion) Thé inodern editions have left out passion.
49. —without some instruction.] The starts and broken reflections in this speech have something very terrible, and shew the mind of the speaker to be in inexpressible agonies. But the words we are upon, when set right, have a sublime in them that can never be enough adınired. The ridiculous blunder of writing instruction for induction (for so it should be read) has indeed sunk it into arrant nonsense. Othello is just going to fall into a swoon; and, as is common for people in that circumstance, feels an unusual mist and darkness, accompanied with horror, coming upon him. This, with vast sublimity of thought, is compared to the season of the sun's eclipse, at which time the earth becomes shadowed by the induction, or bringing over of the moon between it and the sun. This being the allusion, the reasoning stands thus : “My nature “ could never be thus overshadowed, and falling, as it
were, into dissolution, for no cause. There must “ be an induction of something; there must be a real
cause. My jealousy cannot be merely imaginary. “ Ideas, words only, could not shake me thus, and “ raise all this disorder. My jealousy therefore must “ be grounded on matter of fact." Shakspere uses this word in the same sense, in Richard ill.
“ A dire induction am I witness to." Marston seems to have read it thus in some copy, and to allude to it in these words of his Fame : “ Plots ha' you laid ? inductions dangerous !”