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Off-capp'd to him; and, by the faith of mari,
Non-fuits my mediators. "Certes, fays he, "I have already chofe my officer." And what was he?
Forfooth, a great arithmetician,
2-a Florentine,] It appears from many pafiages of this play, (rightly underflood) that Caffio was a Florentine, and Iago a Venetian. HANMER. 3-in a fair wife;] In the former editions this hath been printed, a fair wife; but furely it muft from the beginning have been a mistake, because it appears from a following part of the play, that Caffio was an unmarried man: On the other hand, his beauty is often hinted at, which it is natural enough for rough foldiers to treat with fcorn and ridicule. I read therefore, A fellow almoft damn'd in a fair phyz. HANMER. -a Florentine, A fellow almoft damn'd in a fair wife;] But it was lago, and not Caffio, who was the Florentine, as appears from Act 3. Scene 1. The paffage therefore fhould be read thus,
Thefe are the words of Othello, (which lage in this relation repeats) and fignify, that a Floren tine was an unfit perfon for command, as being always a flave to a fair wife; which was the cafe of Iago. The Oxford Editor, fuppofing this was faid by Iago of Caffio, will have Caffio to be the Fiorentine; which, he fays, is plain from many passages in the Play, rightly underfood. But becaufe Caffio was no married man, (tho' I wonder it did not appear he was, from fome paffages rightly understood) he alters the line thus,
A fellow almoft damn'd in a fair Phyz.
A White-friers' phrafe. WARB.
This is one of the paffages which must for the present be refigned to corruption and obfcurity. I have nothing that I can, with any approach to confidence, propose. I cannot think it very plain from Act III. Scene 1. that Caffio was or was not a Florentine.
That never fet a fquadron in the field,
More than a fpinfter; but the bookish theorick, + Wherein the toged confuls can propose
As masterly as he. Meer prattle, without practice,
Rod. By heav'n, I rather would have been his hang
Iago. But there's no remedy; 'tis the curfe of fervice! Preferment goes by letter and affection, 7 And not by old gradation, where each second
Wherein the tongued Confals] So the generality of the impreffions read; but the oldest quarto has it toged; the Senators, that affifted the Duke in Council, in their proper Gowns.
But let me explain, why I have ventured to fubftitute Counfellors in the room of Confuls: The Venetian nobility conftitute the great Council of the Senate, and are a part of the adminiftration; and fummon'd to affift and counsel the Doge, who is Prince of the Senate. So that they may very properly be called Counfellors. Tho' the Government of Venice was democratick at first, under Confuls and Tribunes; that form of power has been totally VOL. VIII.
abrogated, fince Doges have been elected." THEOBALD. Wherein the toged Confuls-] Confuls, for couns❜lors. WARB. 5 must be LED and calm'd] So the old Quarto. The firft Folio reads belee'd: but that fpoils the measure. I read LET, hindered. WARBURTON. Belee'd fuits to calmed, and the measure is not lefs perfect than in many other places.
6by letter] By recommendation from powerful friends.
7 And not by old gradation,—] What is old gradation? He immediately explains gradation very properly. But the idea of old does not come into it,
Stood heir to th' firft. Now, Sir, be judge yourself,
$ If I in any juft term am affin'd To love the Moor.
Rod. I would not follow him then.
Iago. O Sir, content you;
I follow him to ferve my turn upon him.
Whip me fuch 9 honeft knaves. Others there are,
Do themselves homage. These folks have fome foul,
-where each fecond Stood heir to th' first. I read therefore.
Not (as of old) gradationi. e. it does not go by gradation, as it did of old. WARBURTON. Old gradation, is gradation eftablished by ancient practice. Where is the difficulty?
8 If I in any jft term am af
of the third quarto and the first folio. The fecond quarto and all the modern editions have affign'd. The meaning is, Do I fland within any fuch terms of propinquity or relation to the Moor, as that it iş my duty to love him?
9-boneft knaves.-] Knave is here for fervant, but with a mixture of fly contempt.
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
Rod. What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe, If he can carry't thus?
Iago. Call up her father,
Roufe him. Make after him, poifon his delight,
Rod. Here is her father's houfe, I'll call aloud.
In compliment extern, In that which I do only for an outward fhew of civility.
As when, by night and negligence, the fire
Is SPIED in populous cities.] This is not fenfe, take it which way you will. If night and negligence relate to Spied, it is abfurd to fay the fire was spied by negligence. If night and negli gence refer only to the time and occafion, it should then be by night, and thro' negligence. Otherwife the particle by would be made to fignify time applied to one word, and caufe applied to the other. We fhould read therefore, Is SPRED, by which all thefe faults are avoided. But what is of moft weight, the fiY 2
Rod. What, ho! Brabantio! Signior Brabantio! ho. Iago. Awake! what, ho! Brabantio! ho! Thieves! thieves!
Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags. Thieves! thieves!
S C ENE II.
Brabantio appears above, at a Window.
Bra. What is the reafon of this terrible fummons ? What is the matter there?
Rod. Signior, is all your family within?
Bra. Why? Wherefore ask you this?
Iago. Sir, you are robb'd. For shame, put on your
Your heart is burst, you have lost half your foul;
Bra. What, have you loft your wits?
Rod. Moft reverend fignior, do you know my voice?
Rod. My name is Rodorigo.
Bra. The worfer welcome.
I've charg'd thee not to haunt about my doors.
To start my quiet.
Rod. Sir, Sir, Sir
Bra. But thou must needs be fure,
My fpirit and my place have in their power