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May speak, unbonneted?, to as proud a fortune As this that I have reach'd: For know, Iago,
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. ii. c. vii. :
“ A stately siege of soveraigne majestye." STEEVENS. So, in Grafton's Chronicle, p. 443 : “ Incontinent after that he was placed in the royal siege, "&c. Malone.
6 – and my deMERITS —] Demerits has the same meaning in our author, and many others of that age, as merits :
“Opinion, that so sticks on Martius, may
“Of his demerits rob Cominius." Coriolanus. Again, in Dugdale's Warwickshire, p. 850, edit. 1730: “ Henry Conway, esq. for his singular demerits received the dignity of knighthood."
Merco and demereo had the same meaning in the Roman language. Steevens.
7 May speak, UNBONNETED] Thus all the copies read. It should be-unbonneting, i. e. without putting off the bonnet.
I do not see the propriety of Mr. Pope's emendation, though adopted by Dr. Warburton. Unbonneting may as well be, not putting on, as not putting off, the bonnet. Hanmer reads c'en bonneted. Johnson.
To speak unbonneted, is to speak with the cap off, which is directly opposite to the poet's meaning. Othello means to say, that his birth and services set him upon such a rank, that he may speak to a senator of Venice with his hat on; i. e. without showing any marks of deference or inequality. I therefore am inclined to think Shakspeare wrote
“ May speak, and, bonnetted," &c. THEOBALD. . Bonneter (says Cotgrave) is to put off one's cap. So, in Coriolanus : “ Those who are supple and courteous to the people, bonneted without any further deed to heave them at all into their estimation." Unbonneted may therefore signify, without taking the cap off. We might, I think, venture to read imbonneted. It is common with Shakspeare to make or use words compounded in the same manner. Such are impawn, impaint, impale, and immask. Of all the readings hitherto proposed, that of Mr. Theobald is, I think, the best. Steevens.
The objection to Mr. Steevens's explanation of unbonneted, i.e. without taking the cap off, is, that Shakspeare has himself used the word in King Lear, Act III. Sc. I. with the very contrary signification, namely, for one whose cap is off :
“ Unbonneted he runs,
But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
He might, however, have employed the word here in a different sense. MALONE.
Unbonneted, is uncovered, revealed, made known. In the second Act and third Scene of this play we meet with an expression similar to this : “ — you unlace your reputation ;” and another in As You Like It, Act IV. Sc. I. : “ Now unmuzzle your wisdom."
A. C. Mr. Fuseli (and who is better acquainted with the sense and spirit of our author ?) explains this contested passage as follows ;
“I am his equal or superior in rank ; and were it not so, such are my demerits, that, unbonneted, without the addition of patrician or senatorial dignity, they may speak to as proud a fortune,"&c.
“At Venice, the bonnet, as well as the toge, is a badge of aristocratick honours to this day." STEVENS.
8 — unhoused -] Free from domestick cares. A thought natural to an adventurer. Johnson.
Othello talking as a soldier, unhoused may signify the having no settled house or habitation. WHALLEY.
9 For the sea's worth.] I would not marry her, though she were as rich as the Adriatick, which the Doge annually marries.
Johnson. As the gold ring annually thrown by the Doge into the Adri. atick, cannot be said to have much enriched it, I believe the common and obvious meaning of this passage is the true one.
The same words occur in Sir W. D'Avenant's Cruel Brother, 1630 :
" — he would not lose that privilege
“ For the sea's worth.” Perhaps the phrase is proverbial.
Pliny the naturalist has a chapter on the riches of the sea.
“ for all the sun sees, or
“ In unknown fathoms," &c.
As rich with praise,
“ With sunken wreck, and sumless treasuries.” STEEVENS. VOL. IX.
Enter Cassio, at a distance, and certain Officers
Not I: I must be found;
Lago. By Janus, I think no.
Cas. The duke does greet you, general; And he requires your haste, post-haste appearance?, Even on the instant. Orh.
What is the matter, think you ? Cas. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine; It is a business of some heat: the gallies Have sent a dozen sequent messengers 3 This very night at one another's heels; And many of the consuls“, rais'd, and met, Are at the duke's already: You have been hotly
call’d for; When, being not at your lodging to be found,
The goodness of the night upon you, friends !] So, in Measure for Measure :
“ The best and wholsomest spirits of the night
“ Envellop you, good Provost!” Steevens. 2.- your haste, post-haste appearance,] The comma, hitherto placed after haste, should be a hyphen. Your haste-post-haste appearance is your immediate appearance. The words“ Haste, post, haste," were in our author's time usually written on the cover of packets, or letters, sent express. Ritson.
3 — SEQUENT messengers -] The first quarto reads - frequent messengers. STEEVENS.
4 — the consuls,] See p. 222, n. 2. STBEVENS.
The senate hath sent abouts three several quests,
'Tis well I am found by you. I will but spend a word here in the house, And go with you.
Ancient, what makes he here? lago. "Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land
caracko; If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever.
Cas. I do not understand.
s The senate hath sent About —] The early quartos, and all the modern editors, have
“ The şenate sent above three several quests,—" The folio
“ The senate hath sent about,” &c. That is, about the city. I have adopted the reading of the folio.
JOHNSON. Quests are, on this occasion, searches. So, in Heywood's Brazen Age, 1613 :
* Now, if in all his quests, he be witheld.” An ancient MS. entitled The Boke of Huntyng that is cleped Mayster of Game, has the following explanation of the word quest : “ This word quest is a terme of herte hunters of beyonde the see; and is thus moche to say as whan the hunter goth to fynde of the hert and to herborow him." STEEVENS.
6-a land CARACK ;] A carack is a ship of great bulk, and commonly of great value; perhaps what we now call a galleon.
JOHNSON. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Coxcomb: “
they'll be freighted; “ They're made like caracks, all for strength and stowage.”
STEEVENS. The first ships that came richly laden from the West Indies to Europe were those from the Caraccas, part of the Spanish settlements; and some years ago a Caracca ship generally proved a very rich prize. M. Mason.
A carack, or carick, (for so it was more frequently written in Shakspeare's time,) is of higher origin, and was denominated from the Spanish word, caraca, which signifies a vessel of great bulk, constructed to carry a heavy burthen. The Spanish caraca, Minsheu thinks, may have been formed from the Italian carico, a Jading, or freight. MALONE.
Re-enter OTHELLO. Lago. Marry, to—Come, captain, will you go ? Orh.
Have with you 8. Cas. Here comes another troop to seek for you. Enter BrabantIO, RODERIGO, and Officers of night,
with Torches and Weapons.
Hola! stand there!
Down with him, thief! [They draw on both sides.
7 To who?] It is somewhat singular that Cassio should ask this question. In the third scene of the third Act, lago says :
“ Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my lady,
Know of your love?
« Oth. From first to last." He who was acquainted with the object courted by his friend, could have little reason for doubting to whom he would be married. STEEVENS.
Cassio's seeming ignorance of Othello's courtship or marriage might only be affected ; in order to keep his friend's secret, till it became publickly known. BLACKSTONE.
Or he might fear that Othello had proved false to the gentle Desdemona, and married another. MALONE.
How far this suspicious apprehension would have become the benevolent Cassio, the intimate friend of Othello, let the reader judge. Steevens.
8 Have with you.] This expression denotes readiness. So, in the ancient Interlude of Nature, bl. I. no date :
“ And saw that Glotony wold nedys begone;
66 For I must go wyth thee." See Richard III. Act III. Sc. II. Steevens. 9 --- be advis'd;] That is, be cool ; be cautious; be discreet.