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Devesting them for bed : and then, but now,
Oth. How comes it, Michael, you are thus for
got * ?
Cas. I pray you, pardon me, I cannot speak.
Oth. Worthy Montano, you were wont be civil; The gravity and stillness of your youth The world hath noted, and your name is great In mouths of wisest censure; What's the matter,
court or platform, it is presumed before the castle,) ever since Othello left them, which can scarcely be called being in their quarters, or at their lodging. Ritson.
So, in The Dumb Knight, Act III. Sc. I. :
“ Did not you hold fair quarter and commerce with all the spies of Cypres ?" Reed.
It required one example, if no more, to evince that in quarter ever signified quiet, at peace. But a little attention would have shown, that the them, whom he speaks of Othello's having left, was only Cassio ; who, being joined by Iago, where Othello (but not on the platform) had just left him, is dissuaded from setting the watch immediately; entreated to partake of a stoop of wine, in company with a brace of Cyprus gallants, then waiting without ; and prevailed upon, though reluctantly, to invite them in. In this apartment the carousal happens, and wine is repeatedly called for, till at last Cassio, finding its too powerful effects, goes out to set the watch. At the proposal of Montano, himself and lago follow Cassio towards the platform, and the latter sets on Roderigo to insult him. The scuffle ensues; an alarm is given, and Othello comes forth to inquire the cause. When, therefore, Iago answers
“ I do not know :-friends all but now, even now
In quarter it is evident the quarter referred to, was that apartment of the castle assigned to the officers on guard, where Othello, after giving Cassio his orders, had, a little before, left him; and where lago, with his companions, immediately found him. Henler, you are thus forgot?] i. e. you have thus forgot yourself.
That you unlace your reputation thus,
Mon. Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger;
Now, by heaven,
s That you unlace --] Slacken, or loosen. Put in danger of dropping; or perhaps strip off its ornaments. Johnson. · A similar phrase occurs in Twelfth-Night:
“ I prythee now, ungird thy strangeness." STEEVENS. 6-spend your rich opinion,] Throw away and squander a reputation so valuable as yours. Johnson.
- self-charity -] Care of one's self. Johnson. 8 And passion, having my best judgment COLLIED,] Thus the folio reads, and I believe rightly. Othello means, that passion : has discoloured his judgement. The word is used in A Midsummer-Night's Dream :
like lightning in the collied night.” To colly anciently signified to besmut, to blacken as with coal. So, in a comedy called The Family of Love, 1608 : “ - carry thy link a't'other side the way, thou collow'st me and my ruffe.” The word (as I am assured) is still used in the midland counties.
Mr. Tollet informs me that Wallis's History of Northumberland, p.. 46, says : - in our northern counties it [i. e. a fine black clay or ochre) is commouly known by the name of collow or killow, by which name it is known by Dr. Woodward,” &c. The Doctor
says it had its name from kollow, by which name, in the North, the smut or grime on the top of chimneys is so called. Colly, however, is from coal, as collier. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads-choler'd. STEEVENS.
Cole, in his Dictionary, 1679, renders " collow'd by denigratus :--to colly," denigro.
Assays to lead the way: If I once stir,
The quarto 1622 reads—having my best judgement cool'd. A modern editor supposed that quelld was the word intended.
MALONE. he that is APPROV'd in this offence,] He that is convicted by proof, of having been engaged in this offence. Johnson.
i In night, and on the court AND guard of safety !] Thus the old copies. Mr. Malone reads : “ In night, and on the court of guard and safety!"
STEEVENS. These words have undoubtedly been transposed by negligence at the press. For this emendation, of which I am confident every reader will approve, I am answerable. The court of guard was the common phrase of the time for the guard room. It has already been used by lago in a former scene ; and what still more strongly confirms the emendation, lago is there speaking of Cassio, and describing him as about to be placed in the very station where he now appears : “ The lieutenant to-night watches on the court of guard." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ If we be not reliev'd within this hour,
“We must return to the court of guard." So in Davenant's Playhouse to be Let. The scene changes to a parred or court of guard.
The same phrase occurs in Sir John Oldcastle, 1600, and in many other old plays. A similar mistake has happened in the present scene, where in the original copy we find :
“ Have you forgot all place of sense and duty ? " instead of all sense of place and duty ?”
I may venture to assert with confidence that no editor of Shakspeare has more sedulously adhered to the ancient copies than I have done, or more steadily opposed any change grounded merely on obsolete or unusual phraseology. But the
error in the present case is so apparent, and the phrase, the court of guard, so esta
'Tis monstrous”._Iago, who began it ?
Mon. If partially affin'd', or leagu'd in office *, Thou dost deliver more or less than truth, Thou art no soldier. Lago.
Touch me not so near :
blished by the uniform usage of the poets of Shakspeare's time, that not to have corrected the mistake of the compositor in the present instance, would in my apprehension have been unwarrantable. If the phraseology of the old copies had merely been unusual, I should not have ventured to make the slightest change: but the frequent occurrence of the phrase, the court of guard, in all our old plays, and that being the word of art, leave us not room to entertain a doubt of its being the true reading.
Mr. Steevens says, a phraseology as unusual occurs in A Midsummer-Night's Dream ; but he forgets that it is supported by the usage of contemporary writers. When any such is produced in support of that before us, it ought certainly to be attended to.
I may add, that the court of safely may in a metaphorical sense be understood ; but who ever talked of the guard [i. e. the. safety] of safety ? MALONE.
As a collocation of words, as seemingly perverse, occurs in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, and is justified there, in the following instance:
“ I shall desire you of more acquaintance ; I forbear to disturb the text under consideration.
If Safety, like the Roman Salus, or Recovery in King Lear, be personified, where is the impropriety of saying-under the guard of Safety? Thus, Plautus, in his Captivi : “ Neque jam servare Salus, si vult, me potest.”
Mr. Malone also appears to forget that, on a preceding occasion, he too has left an unexemplified and very questionable phrase, in the text of this tragedy, hoping, we may suppose, (as I do,) that it will be hereafter countenanced by example. See p. 309, n. 5.
STEEVENS. 2 'Tis MONSTROUS.] This word was used as a trisyllable, as if it were written monsterous. MALONE. It is again used as a trisyllable in Macbeth, Act III. Sc. VI.
STEEVENS. 3 If partially affin'd,] Affin'd is bound by proximity of relationship; ' but here it means 'related by nearness of office. In the first scene it is used in the former of these senses :
If I, in any just term, am affin'd
“ To love the Moor." STEEVENS. 4 - Leagu'd in office,] Old copies-league, Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth,
I know, Iago, Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter, Making it light to Cassio :--Cassio, I love thee; But never more be officer of mine,
Scut from my mouth,] Thus the folio. The quarto 1622 reads--this tongue out from my mouth. MALONE.
6 And Cassio following HIM -] The word him in this line seems to have crept into it from the compositor's eye glancing on that below. MALONE.