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Cassio and her together": - So the 4to. ; the folio, which Mr. Dyce follows, "Cassio and she together."
p. 458. “[But not the words]" :— This hemistich is found only
in the 4to.
"Am I the motive of these tears": - The 4to., "Am I the occasion," &c.
had he rain'd": - Thus the 4to.; the folio, "had they rained;" which, perhaps, might be retained, Heaven' being regarded as plural.
"A fixed figure for the time of scorn
Thus the 4to.; the folio,
"The fixed figure for the time of scorne
The latter text is manifestly corrupted by a mistake by
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceiv'd." Mr. Hunter proposed, Mr. Knight adopted, and I was once in favor of the following transposition in the first line- -"A fixed figure of the time for scorn." But the time of scorn' is a phrase like the day of sorrow,' 'the hour of joy,' the age of progress.'
"Committed!- O thou public commoner!"
and the three which follow it are not found in the 4to. Their omission manifestly was caused by the occurrence of What committed,' at the end of the line above, and the third line below.
- I sus
"I should make very forges of my cheeks": pect that Shakespeare wrote, "thy cheeks." The mis
print is common. Othello has already, when with Iago, spoken Desdemona's imputed deeds very plainly; and would Shakespeare have forgotten that Othello's cheeks were too dark to show a blush? or still more, would he have referred the blush in such a case to the countenance of the man when the woman was present? In Titus Andronicus, Act IV. Sc. 2, Aaron, the Moor, when Chiron says, "I blush to think upon this ignomy," (of his mother's having a mulatto child,) replies,
Why, there's the privilege your beauty bears.
Here's a young lad fram'd of another leer."
"[Impudent strumpet!]" - These words are omitted from the folio, manifestly by accident.
From any hated, foul, unlawful touch":
"From any other foul," &c.
"Who is thy lord?" - This question and the reply to it are not found in the 4to.
Here I kneel":- These words and the rest of the speech are not found in the 4to.
"[And he does chide with you]":- These words are found only in the 4to.
He sups to-night with a harlotry":- See "a peevishself-will'd harlotry," First Part of King Henry the Fourth, Act III. Sc. 1, and the very same phrase in Romeo and Juliet, Act IV. Sc. 2.
I have much to do":-These words and the following dialogue with the Song, down to Desdemona's exclamation, 66 Hark! who is it that knocks?" are omitted from the 4to.
for a join'd-ring":· - A joined-ring is a ring split vertically through the circle, so as to make two rings, one of which will revolve within the other upon the pivots which join them. They were common love tokens of old, and I believe, have not entirely gone out of use. As to the phrase, "nor any petty exhibition," See the Note on "like exhibition shalt thou have from me," Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I. Sc. 3.
of this speech, are lacking in the 4to.
"Here, stand behind this balk" :—' - The folio has, "this barke;" the 4to. "this hulke." Mr. Singer seems very clearly right in regarding both these readings as slight misprints for "this bulke,"
A quat is a pimple.
"And your unbless'd fate hies": - The 4to. has, "And your fate lies apace."
O, that's well said” : — i. e., well done. "Nay, if you stare":—' -The 4tos., "Nay an you stirre," which many editors, disregarding the previous line, have preferred.
"Will you go on afore?" — The 4to., "Will you goe on I pray?"
"Put out the light, and then put out the light": first clause of this sentence refers, of course, to the light which is burning in the chamber; the second, in my apprehension, to the light of Othello's life, her existence, without whom, to him, the world is dark. Warburton ingeniously read, "Put out the light, and then - Put out the light!" thus making the second clause the lively expression of stimulated intelligence; to me it is the despairing utterance of the profoundest woe.
I'll smell it on the tree":-The folio, "I'll smell thee," &c.
this sorrow's heavenly":— i. e., is of heavenward tendency.
p. 477. "[That death's unnatural," &c. : This line is not found in the folio.
Being done," &c.:-This speech is not in the 4to. But after Othello's speech, "It is too late," the 4to. makes Desdemona cry out, "O Lord, Lord, Lord," as Othello is smothering her; which needless horror was well omitted in the folio.
You heard her say," &c. :-The folio misprints, "You hear," &c.
[Nay,] had she been true":- The folio omits
"O mistress! villainy," &c.:-This speech and the reply to it are not in the 4to. The folio omits that' in the second line; it was supplied in the 4to. of 1630. p. 483. "Go to, charm your tongue":-i. e., silence it. See the Note on " charm your tongue," The Winter's Tale,
Act IV. Sc. 3.
[Falling on the bed": This stage direction is from the 4to.
"And fall to reprobance":" The 4to., "to reprobation." "Twill out, 'twill out:- I peace!" - The 4to., ""Twill out, 'twill: I hold my peace, sir, no."
"What did thy song bode, lady?". These words and the two following lines are omitted from the 4to.
"Be not afraid," &c.:-This and the six following lines are omitted from the 4to., leaving, of course, "Pale as thy smock," without any reference in that text.
"O Desdemon! dead," &c.: So the folio. The 4to. gives this line: "O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead O, 0, 0."
Come; bring him away":-The folio omits
"Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away": - The folio has, "the base Iudean;" the 4to., "the base Indian ;" and as the typographical error is one which might easily occur even in a much more carefully printed book than any dramatic publication of the Elizabethan period, there is a very open question as to what is the true reading. Several of the best critics are in favor of Judean,' from the folio, supposing the allusion to be to the murder of Marianne by Herod, which was well known in Shakespeare's time. This reading is well defended in a criticism by Mr. George Lunt, which is too long for quotation here, but which will be found in Shakespeare's Scholar, (pp. 444, 446,) where it is cited in support of the author's own views. To my maturer judgment, and more careful consideration, however, the reading of the folio appears to be the true one. I believe that the allu
sion is to the ignorance of the Indians in regard to the value of their gold and jewels, which was a matter of more common remark two hundred and fifty years ago than it is at present. As for instance, 66 Well know I that pearles, low-prised in India, are precious in England." Albion's England. "To the Reader." Ed. 1603, Sig.
They are like Indians, they have store of gold, but they know not the worth of it." Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy. Ed. 1631, p. 174. Boswell quoted from Habington's Castara, 1640,
"So the unskillful Indian those bright jems
'Mong the waves scatters, as if he would store
And from Sir Edward Howard's Woman's Conquest, 16. . "Behold my queen
Who with no more concern Ile cast away
Than Indians do a pearl that ne're did know
And Mr. Dyce cites from Drayton's Legend of Matilda, –
In addition to this, the accent of the two words - only the former of which conforms to the rhythm of the line supports the 4to. reading.
p. 488. Their med'cinable gum":-In Shakespeare's time 'medicinable' was used to mean both having the power of medicine and being amenable to medicine. See the Concordance for instances. The 4to. has, "medicinal."
END OF VOL. XI.