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Enter Lodovico, and GRATIANO, at a distance. Caf. What, ho! no watch? no passage * ? murder !
Lod. Two or three groans;-it is a heavy nights:
Enter Iago, with a light.
weapons. lago. Who's there? whose noise is this, that cries on murder 6
Lod. For off is the conjectural reading introduced by the editor of the fecond folio, and is one of a thousand proofs of capricious alterations made in that copy, without any regard to the most ancient editions. The original reading is undoubtedly the true one. So, in Mount Tabor, or Private Exercijes of a penitene Sinner, 1639 : “ – whilst all this was acting, there came forub of another door at the farthest end of the ftage, two old men,” &c. Again, as Mr. Henley has observed, in K. Richard III.
I cloath my naked villainy “ With old odd ends, stolen foreb of holy writ." Again, ibidem :
" 'Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour, that call'd your grace
“ To breakfast once, foreb of my company." MALONE. 4 no pasage?-] No passenger ? nobody going by ? JOHNSON. So, in the Comedy of Errors:
“ Now in the stirring pollage of the day." STEEVENS. sa beavy nigbı :) A bick cloudy night, in which an ambush neay be commodioully laid. JOHNSON. So, in Measure for Measure:
“ Upon the beavy middle of the night." STEEVENS. 6 – wbose noise is tbis, ibat cries on murder ?]. Thus the quarto, 1622, and the folio, 1623; and such was the phraseology of Shakspeare's age. So, in Eastward Hoe, a comedy, 1605:
Lod. We do not know.
Caf. Iago? O, I am spoil'd, undone by villains !
this? Cal. I think, that one of them is hereabout, And cannot make away.
lago. O treacherous villains ! What are you there? come in, and give some help.
[to Lod. and Gra. Rod. O, help me here! Caf. That's one of them. lago. O murderous flave! O villain! [lago ftabs Rod. Rod. O damn’d Iago! O inhuman dog !0! O! O! Iago. Kill men i' the dark !--Where be these bloody
thieves ! How silent is this town!-Ho! murder! murder ! What may you be ? are you of good, or evil?
Lod. As you shall prove us, praise us. lago. Signior Lodovico? Lod. He, fir. Iago. I cry you mercy ; Here's Caffio hurt by villains. Gra. Cassio! lago. How is it, brother? Caf. My leg is cut in two. lago. Marry, heaven forbid !Light, gentlemen ;-I'll bind it with my shirt.
« Who cries on murder? lady, was it you?" That line is a parody on one in Tbe Spanish Tragedy. -The editor of the second folio, who altered whatever he did not understand, for cries on lubfticuted cries out, and has been followed by all che modern editors, MALONE
Enter BIANCA. Bian. What is the matter, ho? who is't that cry'd ? lago. Who is't that cry'd?
Bian. O my dear Caffio! my sweet Cassio ! O Caffio! Caffio! Callio!
lago. O notable ftrumpet!--Caffio, may you suspe&t Who they fhould be, that have thus mangled you?
lago. Lend me a garter? : So.--0, for a chair, To bear him easily hence !
Bian. Alas, he faints :-O Caffio! Caffio! Callio!
Iago. Gentlemen all, I do suspect this tralh
Gra. What, of Venice?
lago. Signior Gratiano? I cry you gentle pardon; Thele bloody accidents must excuse my manners, That so neglected you.
Gra. I am glad to see you.
[ A chair brought in. Some good man bear him carefully from hence ; I'll fetch the general's surgeon. For you, mistress,
[to Bianca, Save you your labour.—He that lies flain here, Caffio, Was my dear friend: What malice was between you ?
1 Lend me a garter, &c.] This speech is omitted in the first quarto.
STEEVENS * To be a party in this injury.] Thus the folio. The quarto, 1622, reads to bear a part in ibis. MALONI.
Cas. None in the world; nor do I know the man. lago. [to Bian.) What, look you pale 2-0, bear him
out o'the air. - [Caffio and Rod. are borne off Stay you, good gentlewoman8 :-look you pale, mir
Emil. Alas, good gentleman! alas, good Caffio !
lago. This is the fruit of whoring.-Prythee, Emilia, Go know of Caffio where he supp'd to-night? :
8 - good gentlewoman :) Thus the quarto, 1622. The folio reads gentlemen. That the original is the true reading, may be collected from the situation and feelings of the parties on the scene. No reason can be assigned why Lodovico and Gratiaro should immediately quic the spot where they now are, before they had heard from Iago further particulars of the attack on Caffio, merely because Cassio was borne off: whereas, on the other hand, his mistress, Bianca, who has been officiously offering him assistance, would naturally endeavour to accompany him to his lodgings. MALONE.
s'- ibe gaftness-] So the folio. The quartos read, jeftures. STEIT, · Nay, if you fare,] So the folio. The quartos read, first.
STEEVENS 2 – Pr'yebee, Emilia,
Go know of Caffio wbere be fuppid to.nigbı:] In the last scene of the preceding act lago informs Roderigo, that Casio was to sup with Bianca; that he would accompany Caffio to her house, and would take care to bring him away from thence between twelve aad one. Callio too had himtelt informed Iago, in Ac IV. sc. i. that he would sup with Bianca, and lago had promised to meet him at her house. Perhaps, however, here Iago chose to appear ignorant of this fact, conscious that he had way-laid Callio, and therefore desirous of being thought ignorant of his motions during the evening. MALONS.
What, do you shake at that?
Bian. He supp'd at my house; but I therefore shake
Jago. O, did he so? I charge you, go with me,
Bian. I am no ftrumpet; but of life as honest,
Émil. As I? foh! fie upon thee !
lago. Kind gentlemen, let's go see poor Caslio dress’d:Come, mistress, you must tell us another tale. Emilia, run you to the citadel, And tell my lord and lady what has happ'd. Will you go on, I pray!—This is the night, [-Afide. That either makes me, or fordoes 3 me quite. [Exeunt.
SCENE II, A Bed-chamber: DESDEMONA in bed, asleep. A light
3 — or fordoes me quite.] To furdo is to undo, to ruin, to destroy.
STEEVENS See p. 244, n. 6. MALONE. 4 It is tbe cauje, it is the cause, my fou!,
Let me not name it -] The abruptness of this soliloquy makes it obscure. The meaning, I think, is this: “I am here (lays, “ Othello in his mind) overwhelmed with horror. What is the reaa “ fon of this perturbation? Is it want of resolution to do justice ? Is “ it the dread of thedding blood ? No; it is not the action that shocks “ me, but it is ibe cause, it is tbe cauje, my lowl; let me not name it 10 “ you, ye chajte ftars!' is is the cause." Johnson.
Othello, full of horror at the cruel action which he is about to perpetrace, seems at this instant to be seeking his justification, from, representing to himielf ibe cause, i.e. the greatness of the provocation he had received. STEEVENS.
Shakspeare seems to have had the following verse in the fifth chape ter of Jeremiah in view : “ They overpass the deeds of the wicked; they judge not ibe cause, the caufe of the fatherless ;-- Mall not my