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And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
Against your honour,
That, with the litle godliness I have,
I did full hard forbear him. But, I pray, sir *
Are you fast married ? for, be sure of this t,-
That the magnifico ? is much beloved ;
And hath, in his effect, a voice potential
As double as the duke's'; he will divorce you ;

* First folio, I pray you, sir.
+ First folio, be assured of this.

2 - the MAGNIFICO -] “ The chief men of Venice are by a peculiar name called magnifici, i. e. magnificoes.Minshéu'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,] hath 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

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Or put upon you what restraint and grievance
The law (with all his might, to enforce it on,)
Will give him cable.

Let him do his spite : My services, which I have done the signiory, Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know, (Which, when I know that boasting is an honour, I shall promulgate *;). I fetch my life and being From men of royal siege ; and my demerits 6 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 wenk, 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,
(Which, when I know that boasting is an honour,

I shall promulgate,)] Thus the folio. The quarto, 1622, reads

'Tis yet to know
“ That boasting is an honour.

“ I shall promulgate, I fetch,” &c. MALONE.
The quarto 1622 reads-provulgate. Boswell.

men of royal siege ;] Men who have sat upon royal thrones.

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."



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.” Strevens. So, in Grafton's Chronicle, p. 443 : “ Incontinent after that he was placed in the royal siege,&c. Malone.

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."

Mereo and demereo had the same meaning in the Roman language. STEEVENS.

9 May speak, UNBONNETED] Thus all the copies read. It should be--unbonneting, i, e. without putting off the bonnet.

Pope. 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 e'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 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. THLOBALD. 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 inay 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,
And bids what will take all."

may speak

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But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
I would not my unhoused ® free condition
Put into circumscription and confine
For the sea's worth'. But, look! what lights come

yonder ?

He might, however, have employed the word here in a different



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


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."

STEEVENS. 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.
Again, in The Winter's Tale :

for all the sun sees, or
“ The close earth wombs, or the profound sea hides

In unknown fathoms," &c. Again, in King Henry V. Act I. :

As rich with praise,
“ As is the ooze, and bottom of the sea,

“ With sunken wreck, and sumless treasuries.” Steevens. VOL. IX.


Enter Cassio, at a distance, and certain Officers

with Torches. Lago. These are the raised father, and his friends : You were best


in. Отн. .

Not I: I must be found;
My parts, my title, and my perfect soul,
Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they ?

Lago. By Janus, I think no.
Oth. The servants of the duke, and my lieute-

The goodness of the night upon you, friends'!
What is the news ?

Cas. The duke does greet you, general ; And he requires your haste, post-haste appearance", Even on the instant. Отн. .

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 This very night at one another's heels; And many of the consuls 4, 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.

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.

SEQUENT messengers --] The first quarto reads — frequent messengers. STEEVENS.

4 — the consuls,] See p. 222, n. 2. Steevens.


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