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Line 75. In compliment extern,] In that which I do only for an outward show of civility.
-is burst,] i. e. broken.
Line 107. 109. tupping your white ewe.] In the north of England a ram is called a tup. MALONE.
-this is Venice;
My house is not a grange.] In Lincolnshire, and in other northern counties, they call every lone house, or farm which stands solitary, a grange. T. WARTON. ―gennets for germans,] A jennet is a Spanish STEEVENS.
Line 143. What profane wretch art thou?] That is, what wretch of gross and licentious language? In that sense Shakspeare often uses the word profane. JOHNSON.
Line 144. —your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.] In the Dictionnaire Comique, par le Roux, 1750, this phrase is more particularly explained under the article Bete: "Faire la bete a deux dos.—Maniere de parler qui signifie etre couché avec une femme; faire le deduit."-" Et faisoient tous deux souvent ensemble la bete a deux dos joyeusement." Rabelais, Liv I. MALONE.
Line 155, At this odd-even and dull watch o'the night,] The even of night is midnight, the time when night is divided into crea parts. JOHNSON,
Line 183. -cast him ;] That is, dismiss him; reject him. We still say, a cast coat, and a cast serving-man. JOHNSON, Line 212. 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. JOHNSON.
ACT I, SCENE 11. Line 227. stuff o'the conscience,] 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. Line 239. the magnifico-] "The chief men of Venice are by a peculiar name called magnifici, i. e. magnificoes."
Line 250. royal thrones.
Line 250 and my demerits-] Demerits has the same meaning in our author, and many others of that age, as merits. Mereo and demereo had the same meaning in the Roman language: STEEVENS:
Line 254. -unhoused-] Free from domestick cares. A thought natural to an adventurer.
Line 256. For the sea's worth.] I would not marry her, though she were as rich as the Adriatick, which the Doge annually marries. JOHNSON.
-men of royal siege ;] Men who have sat upon STEEVENS.
. Line 286. -a land carack;] A carack is a ship of great bulk, and commonly of great value; perhaps what we now call a galleon. JOHNSON.
Line 312. The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,] Curled is elegantly and ostentatiously dressed. He had not the hair particu→ larly in his thoughts. JOHNSON. Line 315. to fear, not to delight.] To one more likely to terrify than delight her. MALONE.
ACT I. SCENE III.
Line 349. There is no composition-] Composition, for con sistency, concordancy. WARBURTON.
Line 356. As in these cases, where the aim reports,] Where men report not by certain knowledge, but by aim and conjecture. JOHNSON. Line 376. -with more facile question-] Question is for the act of seeking. With more easy endeavour. JOHNSON.
Line 436. Stood in your action.] Were the man exposed to your charge or accusation.
Line 449. The very head and front. of my offending-] The main, the whole, unextenuated. JOHNSON.
Line 455. Their dearest action-] Their dearest action is their most important action. MALONE
Line 482.—thin habits,
Of modern seeming,] Weak show of slight appear
Line 490. the Sagittary,] The Sagittary means the sign of the fictitious creature so called, i. e. an animal compounded of man and horse, and armed with a bow and quiver. STEEVENS.
Line 517. Wherein of antres vast, &c.] Whoever ridicules this account of the progress of love, shows his ignorance, not only of history, but of nature and manners. It is no wonder that, in any age, or in any nation, a lady, recluse, timorous, and delicate, should desire to hear of events and scenes which she could never see, and should admire the man who had endured dangers, and performed actions, which, however great, were yet magnified by her timidity. JOHNSON. POPE. JOHNSON.
-antres-] French grottos.
Caves and dens.
Line 517. —and desarts idle,} Idle is an epithet used to express the infertility of the chaotick state, in the Saxon translation of the Pentateuch. JOHNSON.
-men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders,] Of these men there is an account in the interpolated travels of Mandeville, a book of that time. JOHNSON.
Raleigh also has given an account of men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders, in his Description of Guiana, pub◄ lished in 1596, a book that without doubt Shakspeare had read.
Line 585. Let me speak like yourself;] i. e. let me speak as yourself would speak, were you not too much heated with passion. Sir J. REYNOLDS. Line 587. -as a grise,] Grize from degrees. A grize is a step. STEEVENS.
Line 601. But the free comfort which from thence he hears:] But the moral precepts of consolation, which are liberally bestowed on occasion of the sentence. JOHNSON.
Line 616.to slubber the gloss of your new fortunes-] To slubber, on this occasion, is to obscure. STEEVENS.
Line 620. thrice driven bed of down:] A driven bed, is a bed for which the feathers are selected, by driving with a fan, which separates the light from the heavy.
Line 620. I do agnize-] i. e, acknowledge, confess, avow. STEEVENS.
-625. I crave fit disposition for my wife;
Due reference of place, and exhibition; &c.] I desire, that proper disposition be made for my wife, that she may have precedency and revenue, accommodation and company, suitable to her rank. JOHNSON.
Exhibition is allowance. The word is at present used only at the universities. STEEVENS. Line 637. ---------a charter in your voice,] Let your favour privilege me. JOHNSON. Line 641. My downright violence and storm of fortunes-] Violence is not violence suffered, but violence acted. Breach of common rules and obligations. JOHNSON.
Line 644. I saw Othello's visage in his mind;] It must raise no wonder, that I loved a man of an appearance so little engaging; I saw his face only in his mind; the greatness of his character reconciled me to his form. JOHNSON.
Line 662.when light-wing'd toys
Of feather'd Cupid seel with wanton dulness
My speculative and active instruments,] Speculative instruments, in Shakspeare's language, are the eyes; and active instruments, the hands and feet. Wanton dulness is dulness arising from wanton indulgences. MALONE.
Line 751. —as luscious as locusts,————as bitter as coloquintida.] 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. STEEVENS.
ACT II. SCene i.
Line 17. And quench the guards of the ever fixed pole:] Alluding to the star Arctophylax. JOHNSON. Line 42.
Like a full soldier.] Like a complete soldier.
74. And in the essential vesture of creation,
Does bear all excellency.] The author seems to use
essential, for existent, real. She excels the praises of invention, says he, and in real qualities, with which creation has invested her, bears all excellency. JOHNSON.
Line 130. Saints in your injuries, &c.] When you have a mind to do injuries, you put on an air of sanctity. JOHNSON. In Puttenham's Art of Poesie, 1580, I meet with almost the same thoughts: "We limit the comely parts of a woman to consist in four points; that is, to be a shrew in the kitchen, a saint in the church, an angel at board, and an ape in the bed; as the chronicle reports by mistress Shore, paramour to king Edward the Fourth." STEEVENS. JOHNSON.
critical.] That is, censorious.
161. She never yet was foolish &c.] The law makes the power of cohabitation a proof that a man is not a natural; therefore, since the foolishest woman, if pretty, may have a child, no pretty woman is ever foolish. JOHNSON.
Line 171. ——onc, that, in the authority of her merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself?] To put on the vouch of malice, is to assume a character vouched by the testimony of malice itself. JOHNSON.
Line 180. To change the cod's head for the salmon's tail;] i. e. to exchange a delicacy for coarser fare. STEEVENS.
Line 185. To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer.] After enumerating the perfections of a woman, Iago adds, that if ever there was such a one as he had been describing, she was, at the best, of no other use, than to suckle children, and keep the accounts of a household. STEEVENS.
Line 189. profane-] Gross of language, of expression broad and brutal. JOHNSON.
I will gyve thee—] i. e. catch, shackle. POPE. 200. well kissed! an excellent courtesy !] Spoken when Cassio kisses his hand, and Desdemona courtsies. JOHNS. Line 238. I prattle out of fashion,] Out of method, without any settled order of discourse. JOHNSON. the court of guard:] i. e. the place where the STEEVENS. Line 253. Lay thy finger—thus,] On thy mouth, to stop it while thou art listening to a wiser man.
Line 249. guard musters.