Imatges de pàgina
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jago. He is much chang'd. Lod. Are his wits safe is he not light of brain ? Iago. He is that he is; I may not breathe my censure. What he might be,-if, what he might, he is not, I would to heaven, he were.

Lod. What, Itrike his wife !

lago. 'Faith, that was not so well; Yet 'would I knew, That Itroke would prove the worst.

Lod. Is it his use?
Or did the letters work upon his blood,
And new-create this fault?

lago. Alas, alas!
It is not honesty in me, to speak
What I have seen and known. You hall observe him ;
And his own courses will denote lim so,
That I may save my speech: Do but go after,
And mark how he continues.

Lod, I am sorry, that I am deceiv'd in him. [Exeunt,

SCENE II.

A Room in the Castle

Enter OTHELLO and EMILIA.
Oth. You have seen nothing then?
Emil. Nor ever heard ; nor ever did suspect.

Orh.

as the power or agency of fortune; as, It was by chance that ibis accident befel me. At least, if we suppose all corrupt that is inaccu. rate, there will be no end of emendation. JOHNSON,

A Room in obe Castle.] There are great difficulties in ascertaining the place of this scene. Near the close of it, Iago says to Desdemona, “ Go in, and weep not," which would lead us to place it in the court before Othello's castle. These words may indeed be explained to mean, “Go into the supper-room" (though I do not think that the meaning): but immediately afterwards Roderigo enters, and con. verses with lago, which decisively ascertains the scene not to be in Ochello's house : for Roderigs, who had given the first intelligence to Brabantio, of his daughter's flight, and had shortly afterwards drawn his sword on Othello and his partisans, certainly would not iake the liberty of walking into his house at pleasure.

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Oth. Yes, you have seen Callio and the together.

Enil. But then I saw no harm; and then I heard
Each syllable, that breath made up between them.

Oth. What, did they never whisper?
Emil. Never, my lord.
Oth. Nor send you out o' the way?
Emil. Never.
Oih. To fetch her fan, her gloves, her mask, noy

nothing?
Emil. Never, my lord.
Oth. That's strange.

Emil. I durft, my lord, to wager she is honest,
Lay down my soul at stake: if you think other,
Remove your thought; it doth abuse your bofom.
If any wretch hath put this in your head,
Let heaven requite it with the serpent's curse!
For, if she be not honest, chaste, and true,
There's no man happy; the purest of their wives 9
Is foul as slander.
Oth. Bid her come hither ;-g0.-

[Exit Emilia,
She says enough ;-yet she's a simple bawd,
That cannot lay as much. This is a subtle whore,
A closet-lock-and-key of villainous fecrets:
And yet Me'll kneel, and pray; I have seen her do't,

Re-enter EMILIA, with DESDEMONA,
Def. My lord, what is your will ?
Oih. Pray, chuck, come hither.

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On the other hand, what Othello says early in the scene to Emilia,

“ Leave procreants alone, and fout ibe door;" and his subsequent address to her as he goes out, as decisively point out a room in Othello's castle as the place of the scene ; and compel us to place the several interlocutors there, however inconfitent with Roderigo's entry, and Iago's address to Desdemona.

The truth is, that our poet and his audience, in this instance as in many other, were content, from want of scenery, to confider the very same spot, at one and the same time, as the outfide and inside of a house. See Vol. VII. p. 122, n. 7, and Tbe Historical Access of the English Srage, &c. Vol. I. Part II. p. 74. MALONE.

- of their wives.] Thus the folio. The quarto, 1622, reads of her sex. MALONE,

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Des. What is your pleasure ?

Oih. Let me fee your eyes ; Look in

my

face.
Def. What horrible fancy's this?
Oth. Some of your function, mistress ;

[to Emil.
Leave procreants alone, and shut the door ;
Cough, or cry-hem, if any body come :
Your mystery, your mystery ;- nay, dispatch.

[Exit EMILIA.
Des. Upon my knees, what doth your speech import?
I understand a fury in your words,
But not the words '.

Oth. Why, what art thou ?

Def. Your wife, my lord ;
Your true and loyal wife.

Oth. Come, swear it, damn thyself;
Left, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves
Should fear to seize thee: therefore be double-damn'd,
Swear-thou art honeft.

Des. Heaven doth truly know it.
Oih. Heaven truly knows, that thou art false as hell.
Def. To whom, my lord? With whom? How am I

false?
Oth. O Desdemona!-away! away! away!

Def. Alas, the heavy day! - Why do you weep?
Am I the occasion of these tears, my lord?
If, haply, you my father do suspect,
An instrument of this your calling back,
Lay not your blame on me; if you have lost him,
Why, I have lost him too.

Oib. Had it pleas’d heaven
To try me with affliction ; had he rain'd
All kinds of fores, and ihames, on my bare head;
Steep'd me in poverty to the very lips ;
Given to captivity me and my utmott hopes ;
I should have found in some part of my soul
A drop of patience : but (alas !) to make me

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Bus not ebe words.] This line is added out of the first edition.

POPE. 6 93

A fixed

A fixed figure, for the time of scorn ?
To point his slow unmoving finger at,-
0!0!
Yet could I bear that too; well, very well:

Bas ? - time of fcorn-] The reading of both the eldest quartos and the folio is,

for the time of scorn. Mr. Rowe reads-band of scorn; and succeeding editors have fileatly followed him.

I would (though in opposition to so many great authorities in favour of the change) continue to read with the old copy:

ibe time of scorn. We call the bour in wbicb we are to die, the bour of destb;-the time when we are to be judged, be day of judgment ;--the inftant. when we suffer calamity,mebe moment of evil; and why may we not diftinguish the time which brings contempt along with it, by the tits of ebe time of scorn? Thus, in Soliman and Perfede, 1599:

“ So fings the mariner upon the shore,

“ When he hath past the dangerous time of forms." Again, in Marston's Insariate Countess, 1603:

“ I'll poison thee; with murder curbe thy paths,

« And make thee know a rime of infamy." Othello takes his idea from a clock. To make me (says he) a fixed figure (on the dial of the world) for tbe bour of scorn to poim and make a full pop ar! STEEVENS. Might not Shakipeare have written

for i be scorn of time To point his now unmoving finger at,i.e. the marked object for the contempt of all ages and all time. So, in Hamler :

“ For who would bear the whips and scorns of time?" However, in sopport of the reading of the old copies, it may be observed, that our authour has personified score in his 88th Sonnet :

" When thou shalt be dispos’d to let me light,

“ And place my merit in the eye of scorn" The epithet unmoving may likewise derive some support from Shakspeare's 104th Sonnet, in which this very thought is expressed :

" Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-band,
« Sreal from bis figure, and no pace perceivid;
“ So your sweet hue, which metbinks fill dorb ftand,

“ Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd." In the clocks of the last age there was, I think, in the middle of the dial-plate a figure of time, which, I believe, was in our poet's thoughts, when he wrote the passage in the text.

The

But there, where I have garner'd up my heart?;
Where either I muft live, or bear no life;
The fountain from the which my current runs,
Or else dries up; to be discarded thence!
Or keep it as a cistern, for foul toads
To knot and gender in !-turn thy complexion there !
Patience, thou young and rose-lipp'd cherubin;
Ay, there, look grim as hell!

Def. I hope, my noble lord esteems me honest.

Oth. O, ay; as summer flies are in the shambles, That quicken even with blowing. Othou weed",

Who The finger of the dial was the technical phrase. So, in Albovine King of tbe Lombards, by D'Avenant, 16293

Even as the pow finger of the dial
" Doth in its morion circular remove

" To diftant figures,_." D'Avenant was a great reader of Shakespeare, and probably had read his plays, according to the fashion of the time, in the folio, witho'. troubling himself to look into the quarto copies.

Unmoving is the reading of the quarto, 1622. The folio reads--a.. mning; and this certainly agrees with the image presented and its counte: part, better than unmoving, which can be applied to a clock, only by licence of poetry, ( not appearing so move,) and as applied to feorn, has but little force: to say nothing of the superfluous cpithet slow ; for there needs no ghoft to tell us, that that which is unmoving is slow. Slow implies some sort of motion, however little it may be, and therefore appears to me to favour the reading of the folio.

I have given the arguments on both sides, and, from respect to the opinion of others, have printed unmoving, though I am very doubtful whether it was the word intended by Shakspeare. The quarto, 1622, has-fingers; the folio-- finger. Malone. 3 garner'd up my beart;] That is, treasured up; the

garner

and the fountain are improperly conjoined. JOHNSON.

turn tby complexion bere ! &c.) At such an object do thou, parience, thyself ebange colour ; at this do thou, even thou, rosy cberub as thou art, lock grim as bell. The old editions and the new have it,

I bere look grim as bell.
I was written for ay, and not fince corrected. JOHNSON.

Here in the old copies was manifeftly an errour of the press. See the line next but one above. Mr, Theobald made the correction.

MALONE. -0 tbou weed,] Dr. Johnfon has, on this oceahon, been unjustly censured for having itined difficulties where he could not remove them. I would therefore observe, that Othello's speech is printed word for word from the folio edition, though the quarto reads: O ibon black weed!

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