« PreviousContinue »
Gra. The woman falls; sure, he has kill'd his
wife. Emil. Ay, ay; 0, lay me by my mistress’ side! Gra. He's gone, but his wife's kill'd. Mon. 'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this
weapon, Which I have here recover'd from the Moor: Come, guard the door without; let him not pass, But kill him rather; I'll after that same villain, For 'tis a damned slave.
[Exeunt MONTANO and GRATIANO.
its thunder, as too noble an instrument for the punishment of crimes like his? The fame thought occurs in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1609:
“ Is there no thunder left? or is'i kept up
“ In stock, for heavier vengeance?" Shakspeare, might however mean, does heaven reserve its thunder only to make a noile ? has it no implements of mischief to punish as well as terrify?
quum fulmina torques,
STEEVENS. Steevens's last explanation of this passage appears to be just, his first was unnatural. We cannot suppose that Othello in the paroxysm of resentment, agitation, and despair, should think any crimes more heinous than that of lago. It is difficult indeed to conceive a crime that demanded a heavier vengeance.
M. MASON. The meaning, I think, is,-Has not Heaven one fupernumerary bolt, to hurl directly at the head of this atrocious villain? Muit all the stores of its arsenal be reserved for common and ordinary thunder, which, though sometimes deftructive, is in the usual course of nature not specifically pointed at a particular object?
Magne regnator deûm,
Ecquando fævâ fulmen emittes manu,
I am not valiant neither, But every puny whipster gets my sword :But why should honour outlive honesty? Let it go all.
EMIL. What did thy song bode, lady? Hark, can'st thou hear me? I will play the swan, And die in musick;&-Willow, willow, willow.Moor, she was chaste; she lov'd thee, cruel Moor: So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true ; So speaking as I think, I die,- I die.
[Dies. Oth. I have another weapon in this chamber, It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper;'
8 — I will play the fwan,
And die in musick; &c.] This, and the two former lines of the speech, are wanting in the first quarto.
The same thought has already occurred in The Merchant of Venice :
he makes a swan-like end,
Fading in musick:-."
this pale faint swan,
STEEVENS. the ice-brook's temper;] In the first edition it is—Isebrooke's temper. Thence corrupted to-Ice-brook's. Ebro's temper: the waters of that river of Spain are particularly famous for tempering of steel. The finest arms in the world, the Catalonian fufees.
Pope. I believe the old reading changed to ice-brook is right. Steel is hardened by being put red-hot into very cold water,
JOHNSON. The particular name of the ice-brook may be determined by the following passages in Martial. It was undoubtedly the brook or rivulet called Salo (now Xalon), near Bilbilis in Celtiberia. In this the Spaniards plunged all their swords and other weapons while hot from the forge; and to the icy quality of the watess, they were indebted for their stubborn temper:
“ Sævo Bilbilin optimam metallo
Quam fluétu tenui sed inquieto
O, here it is :-Uncle, I must come forth.
Oth. Look in upon me then, and speak with me, Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.
Gra. What is the matter?
Behold! I have a wcapon; A better never did itself sustain
« Quibus remillum corpus astringes brevi,
“ Salone qui ferrum gelat.” Again,
Pugio, quem curvis fignat brevis orbita venis,
“ Stridentem gelidis hunc Salo tinxit aquis." Again, in Juftin, 1. 44: “ Præcipua his quidem ferri materia fed aqua ipfa ferro violentior; quippe temperamento ejus ferrum acrius redditur; nec ullum apud eos telum prebatur quod non aut in Bilbili fluvio aut Chalybe tingatur. Unde etiam Chalybes Auvii hujus finitimi appellati, ferroque cæteris præftare dicuntur." These parts of Spain have been at all times famous for the temper of their arms. STEVENS. I incline to read:
It is a sword of Spain, 'tis ebroes temper. If we suppose that the words ['tis ebroes] were huddled together either in transcribing or composing, thus, (tisebroes) the compofitor in running it over with his eye, might (to make it sense as he thought) add a couple of letters and divide the words thus (th’isebrokes) which is nearly as it stands in the old quarto. I doubt whether ice-brooks are usual in the climate of Spain.
BLACKSTONE. -the ice-brook's temper;] The quarto, 1622, has- Ife brookes, which is only the old spelling of Ice-brooke's, the reading of the folio. Sir William Blackstone doubts whether ice-brooks are usual in the climate of Spain. How that fact may be, I know not; and I am confident Shak speare did not inquire. Malone,
Upon a soldier's thigh :* I have seen the day,
% A better never did itself Sustain
Upon a soldier's thigh:] So, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Beaumont and Fletcher, 1634:
On his thigh a sword
“. Never was soldier's friend.” MALONE.
-cracking ten thousand curbs
Appear in your impediment.” Steevens.
though you do see me weapon’d;} This uncommon participle is used by Sidney in his Arcadia. MALONE,
5 - O ill-ftarr'd wench!) This and the fix preceding lines, are omitted in the first quarto. Wench originally signified only a young woman. Cafjandra, in Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra, 1578, says of herself:
«' Oh wretched wench, where may I first complayne?" Again,
- Therefore, sweet wenche, helpe me to rue my woe.” The word is used without any dishonourable meaning in the Bible: “ Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed by En-rogel; (for they might not be seen to come into the city :) and a wench went and told them; and they went and told king David."
2 Sam. xvii. 17. And again, by Gawin Douglas, in his version of the Æneid:
—audetque viris concurrere virgo.”
Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt,
Enter LODOVICO, MONTANO, Cassio, carried in a
chair, and Officers, with IAGO, prisoner.
LOD. Where is this rash and most unfortunate
man ? Oth. That's he, that was Othello; here I am. Lod. Where is that viper? bring the villain
forth. Oth. I look down towards his feet;'-but that's
a fable : If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill thee.
[OTHELLO wounds Iaco. LOD. Wrench his sword from him. Lago.
I bleed, fir; but not kill'd. Oth. I am not sorry neither; I'd have thee live; For, in my sense, 'tis happiness to die.?
towards his feet;] To see if, according to the common opinion, his feet be cloven. JOHNSON.
1 For, in my sense, 'tis happiness to die.] The same thought has already occurred in Antony and Cleopatra :
L'Tis well thou’rt gone, -