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The late Lord. Shaftesbury, in his 6 Advice to an Author, fell into a mistake concerning the name of the unfortunate Desdemona : “ But why
(says he) amongst his Greek names, he fhould « have chosen one which denoted the Lady “ superstitious, I can't imagine : unless, &c.” Her name is not derived from Δεισιδαίμων, , but Avodaipw : i. e. THE UNFORTUNATE : and 7 Giraldi Cinthio, in his novels, making the word feminine, calls her Disdemona, from whom Shakespeare took the name and story.
Thus the reader may see with what elegance, as well as learning, Shakespeare familiarizes ftrange names to our tongue and pronunciation.
6 Charact. vol. I. p. 348.
7 Novella VII. Deca terza. Avène, che una virtuosa Dõna, di maravigliosa bellezza, Disdemona chiamata, &c. He calls her afterwards, in allusion to her name, la infelice Disdemona. And I make no question but Othello in his rapturous admiration, with fome allusion to her name, exclaims, in Act III.
• Excellent wretch! perdition catch my soul,
The ancient tragedians are full of these allusions ; some inAtances I have mention'd above, p. 258, 259. This rapturous exclamation and allusion too has something ominous in it ; and instances of these presaging and ominous expressions our poet is full of.
R U L E II.
He makes Latin words Englith, and uses them according to their original idiom and latitube.
In Hamlet, Act I. Horatio is speaking of the prodigies, which happened before Caesar's death, " As harbingers preceding still the fates sAnd prologue to the 'omen coming on.”
I be omen coming on, i. e. the event, which happened in consequence of the omens. In the very same manner Virgil, Aen. I, 349. “ Cui pater intactam dederat, primisque jugaret « Ominibus." Ominibus, i. e. nuptiis : viz. the event which was the consequence of the omens.
In the Taming of a Shrew, Act I. • Sir, I shall not be sack, in sign whereof, “ Please you, we may contrive this afternoon “ And quaff carouses to our mistress' health”
1 They read, the omen'd.
Contrive this afternoon, i. e. spend this afternoon together. Terence has, contrivi diem. Thence 'tis made English, and so used by Spencer in his Fairy Queen, B. II. c. 9. ft. 48.
« Nor that sage Pylian sire, which did survive " Three ages, such as mortal men contrive." Contrive, i. e. spend.
In K. Richard II. Act I.
" Or any other ground 3 inhabitable, " Where never Englishman durft set his foot.")
3 In the late editions, unhabitable. In answers to the latin from whence it came, and by us is generally turned into un ; but not always ; as here inhabitable, negatively. So in Spencer informed, for unformed. B. III. C. VI. st. 8.
“ So after Nilus inundation
Informed in the mud on which the funne hath shynd.".
Inhabitable, Lat. inbabitabilis, that cannot be inhabited. Cicero de Nat. Deor. I. Regione's inhabitabiles et incultae.
In Othello, Act IV. “ If I court more women, you'll touch with
In the same naught sense Propertius II, 25. “ Lynceu, tune meam potuisti tangere curam ?" Epictetus in Enchirid. Xxxiii. Περί αφροδίσια, εις δύναμιν προ γάμε καθαρευθέον: ΑΠΤΟΜΕΝΩΙ δε, ως vóuspeóv éso pslaangléov. Mr. Theobald's edition reads, Couch with more men. In Measure for The reading which I have here given is not without it's authority tho' in 'no printed book; beside the construction and the elegance both require it :-quædam modo falta quædam imperfecta. But informed is literally from the latin informatus.
“ His informatum manibus jam parte polita
• Fulmen erat." Virg. VIII, 426. And Spencer 'tis plain renders IMPERFECTA, in Ovid, informed. In our language un like the latin in is sometimes used intensively : as in John I, 27. “ Whose shoes “ latchet I am not worthy to unloose." In the western parts of England in the same manner they say to unthaw, meaning thoroughly to thaw. So Virgil ufes infractos [Æn. xii, 1.) thoroughly broken.
Measure, Act III. In the same senfe we have
their beaftly + touches. And in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. The neer-toucb'd vestal. So Horace calls Pallas, L. I. Od.
Intacta. There is another word of not unlike import and fignification, In the Winter's Tale, Act I. “Go play, boy, play : thy mother PLAYS,
« and I play too." This is used in the same sense as the Latins use Ludere, and the Greeks flársaiv.
Fis anus, et tamen
LUDISQUE et bibis impudens. Hor. IV, 13.
L. 2. 2. 214.
Turba Menandreae fuerat nec Thaidos olim
Our learned comedian in his Silent Woman, AC IV. Sc. 1. thus literally translates Ovid. Art. Amator. Lib. I. .677.
At quæ, cum cogi poffet, non TACT A receffit,
Ut fimulet vultu gaudea, triftis erit, “ She that might have been forced, and you let her
free - without TOUCHING, tho' then the seem'd to thank
you, u will ever hate you after ; and glad i'th' face, is affuredly 66 fad at the heart,"