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could never better stead thee than now. Put money in thy purse ; follow these wars ; defeat thy favour with an usurped beard?; I say, put money in thy purse. It cannot be, that Desdemona should long continue her love to the Moor,-put money in thy purse ;-nor he his to her : it was a violent commencement, and thou shalt see an answerable sequestration ;—put but money in thy purse. - These
“ To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts
“ With an unslipping knot." Again, in our author's 26th Sonnet :
“Lord of my love, to whom in vassalage
“ Thy merit hath my duty strongly knit.” Malone. ? — defeat thy FAVOUR with an usurped beard ;] To defeat, is to undo, to change. Johnson.
Defeat is from de faire, Fr. to undo. Of the use of this word I have already given several instances. STEEVENS.
Favour here means that combination of features which gives the face its distinguishing character. Defeat, from defaire, in French, signifies to unmake, decompose, or give a different appearance to, either by taking away something, or adding. Thus, in Don Quixote, Cardenio defeated his favour by cutting off his beard, and the Barber his, by putting one on. The beard which Mr. Ashton usurped when he escaped from the Tower, gave so different an appearance to his face, that he passed through his guards without the least suspicion. In the Winter's Tale, Autolycus had recourse to an expedient like Cardenio's, (as appears from the pocketing up his pedlar's excrement,) to prevent his being known in the garb of the prince. HENLEY.
To defeat, Minsheu, in his Dictionary, 1617, explains by the words—“to abrogate, to undo." See also Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598: “ Disfacere. To undoe, to marre, to unmake, to defeat.” Malone.
3- it was a violent COMMENCEMent, and thou shalt see an answerable seQUESTRATION;] There seems to be an opposition of terms here intended, which has been lost in transcription. We may read, “it was a violent conjunction, and thou shalt see an answerable sequestration ;” or, what seems to me preferable, “it was a violent commencement, and thou shalt see an answerable sequel." Johnson.
I believe the poet uses sequestration for sequel. He might conclude that it was immediately derived from sequor. Sequestration, however, may mean no more than separation. So, in this play—“a sequester from liberty.” Steevens.
Moors are changeable in their wills ;-fill thy purse with money: the food that to him now is as luscious as locusts, shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida *. She must change for youth: when she
Surely sequestration was used in the sense of separation only, or in modern language, parting. It is explained in Bullokar's Dictionary—a putting apart. « Their passion began with violence, and it shall end as quickly, of which a separation will be the consequence.” A total and voluntary sequestration necessarily includes the cessation or end of affection. We have the same thought in several other places. So, in Romeo and Juliet :
“ These violent delights have violent ends,
“ And in their triumph die.” · Again, in The Rape of Lucrece:
“ Thy violent vanities can never last.” I have here followed the first quarto. The folio reads—"it was a violent commencement in her,” &c. The context shows that the original is the true reading. Othello's love for Desdemona has been just mentioned, as well as her's for the Moor. Malone.
4 - as luscious as locusts,-as Bitter as coloquintida.] The old quarto reads-as acerb as coloquintida.
At Tonquin the insect locusts are considered as a great delicacy, not only by the poor but by the rich , and are sold in the markets, as larks and quails are in Europe. It may be added, that the Levitical law permits four sorts of them to be eaten.
An anonymous correspondent informs me, that the fruit of the locust-tree, (which, I believe, is here meant,) is a long black pod, that contains the seeds, among which there is a very sweet luscious juice of much the same consistency as fresh honey. This (says he) I have often tasted. SteeVENS.
That viscous substance which the pod of the locust contains, is, perhaps, of all others, the most luscious. From its likeness to honey, in consistency and flavour, the locust is called the honeytree also. Its seeds, enclosed in a long pod, lie buried in the juice. Henley.
Mr. Daines Barrington suggests to me, that Shakspeare perhaps had the third chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel in his thoughts, in which we are told that John the Baptist lived in the wilderness on locusts and wild honey. Malone.
Coloquintida, says Bullein in his Bulwark of Defence, 1579, "is most bitter, white like a baule, full of seedes, leaves like to cucummers, hoat in thesecond, dry in the third degree.” He then gives directions for the application of it, and concludes, “and thus I do end of coloquyntida, which is most bitter, and must be taken with discretion. The Arabians do call it chandall.” Reed.
is sated with his body, she will find the error of her choice.-She must have change, she must : therefore put money in thy purse. If thou wilt needs damn thyself, do it a more delicate way than drowning. Make all the money thou canst: If sanctimony and a frail vow, betwixt an erring barbarian and a supersubtle Venetian, be not too hard for my wits, and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her; therefore make money. A pox of drowning thyself! it is clean out of the way: seek thou rather to be hanged in compassing thy joy, than to be drowned and go without her.
Rod. Wilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend on the issue ?
5- betwixt an ERRING barbarian -] We should read errant, that is, a vagabond, one that has no house nor country.
WARBURTON. Sir T. Hanmer reads, arrant. Erring is as well as either.
NSON. So, in Hamlet:
“Th' extravagant and erring spirit hies
“ To his confine." STEEVENS. An erring Barbarian perhaps means a rover from Barbary. He had before said: “You'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse." Malone.
I rather conceive barbarian to be here used with its primitive sense of-a foreigner, as it is also in Coriolanus :
“ I would they were barbarians, (as they are,)
“ Though in Rome litter'd.” SreevenS. The word erring is sufficiently explained by a passage in the first scene of the play, where Roderigo tells Brabantio that his daughter was
“ Tying her duty, beauty, wit and fortune
“ To an extravagant and wheeling stranger." Erring is the same as erraticus in Latin.
The word erring is used in the same sense in some of Orlando's verses in As You Like It:
“ Tongues I'll hang on every tree,
“ Runs his erring pilgrimage —.” M. Mason. 6 - if I depend on the issue ?] These words are wanting in the first quarto. Steevens.
Lago. Thou art sure of me ;-Go, make money: -I have told thee often, and I re-tell thee again and again, I hate the Moor: My cause is hearted?; thine hath no less reason: Let us be conjunctive 8 in our revenge against him: if thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a pleasure, and me a sport. There are many events in the womb of time, which will be delivered. Traverse'; go; provide thy money. We will have more of this to-morrow. Adieu.
Rod. Where shall we meet i'the morning ? Iago. At my lodging. Rod. I'll be with thee betimes. Lago. Go to; farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo?? Rod. What say you ? Lago. No more of drowning, do you hear. Rod. I am changed. I'll sell all my land. 7- hearted ;] This adjective occurs again in Act III. : “hearted " throne.” Dr. Johnson in his Dictionary has unguardedly said, that it is only used in composition; as, for instance, hard-hearted.
STEEVENS. 8 — conjunctive —] The first quarto reads, communicative.
STEEVENS. 9 Traverse;] This was an ancient military word of command. So, in King Henry IV. Part II. Bardolph says : “Hold, Wart, traverse ; thus, thus, thus.” Steevens. - Traverse, (says Bullokar) “to march up and down, or to move the feet with proportion, as in dancing.” Malone.
1- Do you hear, Roderigo ?] In the folio, instead of this and the following speeches, we find only these words :
“ Iago. Go to ; farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo ?
[Erit. " Iago. Thus do I ever,' &c. The quarto, 1622, reads :
“ Iago. Go to; farewell :-do you hear, Roderigo ?
[Exit Rod. “ Iago. Go to; farewell: put money enough in your purse." “ Thus do I ever," &c. The reading of the text is formed out of the two copies.
Lago. Go to; farewell : put money enough in your purse.
[Exit RODERIGO. Thus do I ever make my fool my purse : For I mine own gain'd knowledge should profane, If I would time expend with such a snipe ?, But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor; And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets He has done my office: I know not if't be true; But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do, as if for surety'. He holds me well“; The better shall my purpose work on him. Cassio's a proper man: Let me see now; To get his place, and to plume up my wills; A double knavery,—How ? how ?—Let me see:After some time, to abuse Othello's ear, That he is too familiar with his wife : He hath a person, and a smooth dispose, To be suspected ; fram'd to make women false. The Moor is of a free and open nature , That thinks men honest, that but seems to be so; And will as tenderly be led by the nose, As asses are.
2 — a snipe,] Woodcock is the term generally used by Shakspeare to denote an insignificant fellow; but lago is more sarcastíck, and compares his dupe to a smaller and meaner bird of almost the same shape. Steevens.
3 — as if for surety,] That is, “ I will act as if I were certain of the fact.” M. Mason.
4 — He holds me well ;] i. e. esteems me. So, in St. Matthew, xxi. 26 : “ - all hold John as a prophet.” Again, in Hamlet :
“ Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood." Reed. s – to PLUME up, &c.] The first quarto reads-to make up, &c.
STEEVENS. 6 The Moor is of a free and open nature,] The first quarto reads :
“ The Moor, a free and open nature too,
“ That thinks,” &c. Steevens. VOL, IX.