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With the Moor, say'st thou ?--Who would be a fa.
ther? How didst thou know 'twas she ?-0, thou de
ceiv'st me Past thought4 !- What said she to you ?-Get more
tapers; Raise all my kindred.-Are they married, think you?
Rod. Truly, I think, they are.
of the blood !—
Yes, sir; I have indeed *. Bra. Call up my brother.-0, that p you had
had her ! Some one way, some another.-Do you know
* Quarto, I have, sir.
† First folio, would.
4 0 , thou deceiv'st me
Past thought !] Thus the quarto, 1622. The folio, 1623, and the quartos, 1630 and 1655, read :
“ O, she deceives me
“ Past thought! " I have chosen the apostrophe to his absent daughter, as the most spirited of the two readings. Steevens.
S— Are there not charms,] Thus the second folio. The first, and the quarto, ungrammatically read, — Is there not, &c. Mr. Malone follows the oldest copies, and observes that the words - Is there not charms, &c. mean-Is there not such a thing as charms? STEEVENS. 6 By which the property of youth and maidhood
May be abus'D?] By which the faculties of a young virgin may be infatuated, and made subject to illusions and false imagination :
“- wicked dreams abuse
“ The curtain'd sleep.” Macbeth. Johnson. " and maidhood — " The quartos read-and manhood-.
Where we may apprehend her and the Moor?
Rod. I think, I can discover him ; if you please
7 Pray you, lead on.] The first quarto reads,—Pray lead me on. Steevens. ::8 of night.] Thus the original quarto, 1622; for which the editor of the folio substituted-officers of might; a reading which all the modern editors have adopted. I have more than once had occasion to remark that the quarto readings were sometimes changed by the editor of the folio, from ignorance of our poet's phraseology or meaning.
I have no doubt that Shakspeare, before he wrote this play, read The Commonwealth and Government of Venice, translated from the Italian by Lewes Lewkenor, and printed in quarto, 1599; a book prefixed to which we find a copy of verses by Spenser. This treatise furnished our poet with the knowledge of those officers of night, whom Brabantio here desires to be called to his assistance.
“For the greater expedition thereof, of these kinds of judgements, the heades or chieftaines of the officers by night do obtaine the authority of which the advocators are deprived. These officers of the night are six, and six likewise are those meane officers, that have only power to correct base vagabonds and trifling offences.
.“ Those that do execute this office are called heades of the tribes of the city, because out of every tribe, (for the city is divided into six tribes,) there is elected an officer of the night, and a head of the tribe. The duty of eyther of these officers is, to keepe a watch every other night by turn, within their tribes ; and, now the one, and then the other, to make rounds about his quarter, till the dawning of the day, being always guarded and attended on with weaponed officers and serjeants, and to see that there be not any disorder done in the darkness of the night, which alwaies emboldeneth men to naughtinesse ; and that there be not any houses broken up, nor thieves nor rogues lurking in corners with intent to do violence.” Commonwealth of Venice, pp. 97, 99. Malone.
It has been observed by Mr. Malone, in Romeo and Juliet, (See Vol. V, p. 237.) that there is no watch in Italy. How
The same. Another Street.
Enter OTHELLO, Iago, and Attendants. Iago. Though in the trade of war I have slain
men, Yet do I hold it very stuff o'the conscience, To do no contriv'd murder; I lack iniquity Sometimes, to do me service: Nine or ten times, I had thought to have yerk'd * him here under the
ribs. Oth. 'Tis better as it is. Lago.
Nay, but he prated', * First folio, jerked.
does that assertion quadrate with the foregoing account of officers of the night?" "Steevens.
I have said in the passage referred to, that this objection has been made by others, and have not given the observation as my own. But although it is proved from Lewkenor, that there were officers of the night at Venice, it by no means follows that the same was the case at Verona. I may add, that after Mr. Steevens had acquiesced in the corrupted reading for twenty years, he might have accepted my restoration of the author's text without cavilling at the note which contained it. Malone.
9 - STUFF o'the CONSCIENCE,] This expression to common readers appears harsh. Stuff of the conscience is, substance or essence of the conscience. Stuff is a word of great force in the Teutonick languages. The elements are called in Dutch, Hoefd stoffen, or head stuffs. Johnson. Again, in king Henry VIII.: .
“You're full of heavenly stuff,” &c. Frisch's Gerinan Dictionary gives this explanation of the word stoff: “ -- materies ex qua aliquid fieri poterit." STEEVENS.
Shakspeare in Macbeth uses this word in the same sense, and in a manner yet more harsh : “Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff.” .
Holt White. T he prated,] Of whom is this said ? Of Roderigo ?
And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
* First folio, I pray you, sir.
2 – the magniFICO -] “ The chief men of Venice are by a peculiar name called magnifici, i. e. magnificues.” Minsher's Dictionary. See too Volpone. Tollet. 3 - a voice potential
As DOUBLE as the duke's :] It appears from Thomas's History of Italy, 4to. 1560, to have been a popular opinion, though a false one, that the duke of Venice had a double voice : “ Whereas," says he, “ many have reported, the duke in ballotyng should have two voices; it is nothinge so; for in giving his voice he hath but one ballot, as all others have." Shakspeare, therefore, might have gone on this received opinion, which he might have found in some other book. Supposing, however, that he had learned from this very passage that the duke had not a double voice in the Council of Seven, yet as he has a vote in each of the various councils of the Venetian state, (a privilege which no other person enjoys,) our poet might have thought himself justified in the epithet which he has here used ; and this circumstance, which he might have found in a book already quoted, Contareno's Commonwealth and Government of Venice, 4to. 1599, was, I believe, here in his thoughts.
“ The duke himself also, if he will, may use the authority of an advocator or president, and make report to the councell of any offence, and of any amercement or punishment that is thereupon to be inflicted ;—for so great is the prince's authoritie, that he may, in whatsoever court, adjoinE himselfe to the magistrate therein, being president, as his colleague and companion, and have EQUAL POWER WITH THE OTHER PRESIDENTS, that he might so by this means be able to look into all things," p. 41. Again, ibidem, p. 42: “Besides this, this prince [i. e. the duke,] bath in every councell equal authoritie with any of them, for one suffrage or lotte." Thus we see, though he had not a double voice in any one assembly, yet as he had a vote in all the various assemblies, his voice, thus added to the voice of each of the presidents of those assem
Or put upon you what restraint and grievance
Let him do his spite: .
blies, might with strict propriety be called double, and potential.Potential, Dr. Johnson thinks, means operative, having the effect, (by weight and influence,) without the external actual property. It is used, he conceives, “in the sense of science; a caustick is called potential fire." I question whether Shakspeare meant more by the word than operative, or powerful. Malone.
Double and single anciently signified strong and weak, when applied to liquors, and perhaps to other objects. In this sense the former epithet may be employed by Brabantio, and the latter by the Chief Justice speaking to Falstaff : “ Is not your wit single? When Macbeth also talks of his “single state of man,” he may mean no more than his weak and debile state of mind.
a voice potential
“ As double as the duke's," may therefore only signify, that Brabantio's voice, as a magnifico, was as forcible as that of the duke. Steevens.
“ The double voice” of Brabantio refers to the opinion, which (as being a magnifico, he was no less entitled to, than the duke himself,) either, of nullifying the marriage of his daughter, contracted without his consent; or, of subjecting Othello to fine and imprisonment, for having seduced an heiress. Henley.
- 'Tis yet to know,
I shall promulgate,)] Thus the folio. The quarto, 1622, reads
'Tis yet to know
“ I shall promulgate, I fetch,” &c. Malone. The quarto 1622 reads-provulgate. Boswell.
3 – men of royal siege ;) Men who have sat upon royalthrones.
The quarto has—"men of royal height." Siege is used for seat by other authors. So, in Stowe's Chronicle, p. 575: “ there was set up a throne or siege royall for the king."