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I beg it not,
But to be free und bounteous to her mind. Affects stands here, not for love, but for passions, for that by which any thing is affected. I ask it not, says he, to please appetite, or satisfy loose desires, the passions of youth which I have now outlived, or for any particular gratification of myself, but merely that I may indulge the wishes of my wife.
Mr. Upton had, before me, changed my to me; but he has printed young effects, not seeming to know that affects could be a noun.
Theobald has observed the impropriety of making Othello confess, that all youthful passions were defunct in him; and Hanmer's reading [distinct) may, I think, be received with only a slight alteration. I would read,
I beg it not,
distinct and proper satisfaction; “ But to be," &c. Affects stands for affections, and is used in that sense by Ben Jonson in The Case is Altered, 1009:
I shall not need to urge “ The sacred purity of our affects." So, in Middleton's Inner Temple Masque, 1019:
“ No doubt affects will be subdu'd by reason."
66 In my
Again, in Love's Labour's Lost:
For every man with his affects is born. Again, in The Wars of Cyrus, 1594:
“ The frail affects and errors of my youth." Again, in The Pinner of Wakefield, 1599:
“Shut up thy daughter, bridle her affects." There is, however, in The Bondman, by Massinger, a passage which seems to countenance and explain -the young affects in me defunct, &c.
- youthful heats, “ That look no further than your outward form,
“ Are long since buried in me." Timoleon is the speaker.
STEEVENS. I would venture to make the two last lines change places.
I therefore beg it not,
“ In my defunct and proper satisfaction.” And would then recommend it to consideration, whether the word defunct (which would be the only remaining difficulty) is not capable of a signification, drawn from the primitive sense of its Latin original, which would very well agree with the context.
TYRWHITT. I would propose to read-In my defenct, or defenc'd, &c. i. e. I do not beg her company merely to please the palate of my appetite, nor to comply with the heat of lust which the young man affects, i. e. loves and is fond of, in a gratification which I have by marriage defenc'd, or inclosed and guarded, and made my own property. Unproper beds, in this play, mean, beds not peculiar or appropriate to the right owner, but common to other occupiers. In the Merry Wives, &c. the marriage vow is represented by Ford as the ward and defence of purity or conjugal fidelity. “I could drive her then from the ward of her purity, her reputation, and a thousand other her defences, which are now too strongly embattled against me." The verb affect is more generally, among ancient authors, taken in the construction which I have given to it, than as Mr. Theobald would interpret it. It is so in this very play, “ Not to affect many proposed matches," means not to like, or be fond of many proposed matches.
I am persuaded that the word defunct must be at all events ejected. Othello talks here of his appetite, and it is very plain that Desdemona to her death was fond of him after wedlock, and that he loved her.
How then could his conjugal desires be dead or defunct? or how could they be defunct or discharged and performed when the marriage was consummated?
TOLLET. 97 - no delighted beauty-] Delighted is used by Shakspeare in the sense of delighting, or delightful. See Cymbeline, Act 5:
Whom best I love, I cross, to make my gift,
The more delay'd, delighted. TYRWHITT. 98 - for the love of a Guinea-hen,) A Guinea-hen
was anciently the cant term for a prostitute. So, in Albertus IVallenstein, 1640:
Yonder's the cock o'the game “ About to tread yon Guinea-hen; they're billing."
STEEVENS. - a sect, or scion.] A sect is what the more modern gardeners call a cutting. 30 The ship is here put in,
A Veronese; Michael Cassio,] [Old copies-Ve. ronessa.] It was common to introduce Italian words, and in their proper pronunciation then familiar. So Spenser in the Faerie Queene, B. III. c. xiii. 10.
With sleeves dependant Albenesé wise. The author of the Revisal observes, that “the editors “ have not been pleased to inform us what kind of
ship is here denoted by the name of A Veronessa." But even supposing that Veronessa is the true reading, there is no sort of difficulty. He might just as well bave inquired, what kind of a ship is a Hamburger. This is exactly a parallel form. For it is not the species of the ship which is implied in this appellation. Our critic adds, “ the poet had not a ship in his “ thoughts. He intended to inform us, that Othello's “ lieutenant, Cassio, was of Verona. We should cer"tainly read,
.“ The ship is here put in.
“ Is come on shore.". This regulation of the lines is ingenious. But I agree with Hanmer, and I think it appears from many parts
of the play, that Cassio was a Florentine. In this speech, the third gentleman, who brings the news of the wreck of the Turkish fleet, returns his tale, and relates the circumstances more distinctly. In his former speech he says, “ A noble ship of Venice saw the distress of the Turks.” And here he adds, “ The very ship is just now put into our port, and she is a Veronese.” That is, a ship fitted out or furnished by the people of Verona, a city of the Venetian state.
31 Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
Stand in bold cure.] I do not understand these lines. I know not how hope can be surfeited to death, that is, can be increused, till it is destroyed; nor what it is to stand in bold cure; or why hope should be considered as a disease. In the copies there is no variation. Shall we read:
Therefore my fears, not surfeited to death,
Stand in bold cure? This is better, but it is not well. Shall we strike a bolder stroke, and read thus?
Therefore my hopes, not forfeited to death,
JOHNSON. Presumptuous hopes, which have no foundation in probability, may poetically be said to surfeit themselves to death, or forward their own dissolution. To stand in bold cure, is to erect themselves in confidence of being fulfilled. A parallel expression occurs in King Lear, Act 3. sc. 6: