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Gra. The woman falls; sure, he has kill'd his wife.
I am not valiant neither,
Emil. What did thy song bode, lady?
[Dies. Oih. I have another weapon in this chamber,
any crimes more heinous than that of Iago.-It is difficult indeed to conceive a crime that demanded a heavier vengeance.
M. Mason. The meaning, I think, is-Has not Heaven one supernumerar'y bolt, to hurl directly at the head of this atrocious villain? Must all the stores of its arsenal be reserved for common and ordinary thunder, which, though sometimes destructive, is in the usual course of nature not specifically pointed at a particular object?
Magne regnator deûm,
I will play the swan, 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," Again, in King John :
This pale faint swan, “ Who chants a woful hymn to his own death.” Steevene.
It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper;
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 fusees. 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 passage 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 waters, they were indebted for their stubborn temper:
“ Sævo Bilbilin optimam metallo
Quam fluctu tenui sed inquieto
“ Armorum Sulo temperator ambit." Again :
“ Quibus remissum corpus astringes brevi
“ Salone qui ferrum gelat.” Again :
Pugio, quem curvis signat brevis orbita venis,
“ Stridentem gelidis hunc Salo tinxit aquis.” Again, in Justin, 1. 44: “Præcipua his quidem ferri materia sed aqua ipsa ferro violentior ; quippe temperamento ejus ferrum acrius redditur ; nec ullum apud eos telum probatur quod non aut in Bilbili Auvio aut Chalybe tingatur. Unde etiam Chalybes fluvii hujus finitimi appellati, ferroque cæteris præstare dicun. tur.” These parts of Spain have been at all times famous for the temper of their arms. Steevens. 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 compositor 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—Ise brookes, which is only the old spelling of Ice-brooke's, the read. ing of the folio. Sir William Blackstone doubts whether ic”. brooks, are usual in the climate of Spain. How that fact may be, I know not; and I am confident Shakspeare did not inquire. VOL XVI.
Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.
Oth. Look in upon me then, and speak with me,
Behold! I have a weapon ;
7 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
though you do see me weapon’d;] This uncommon participle is used by Sidney in his Arcadia. Malone.
O ill-sturr'l wench!] This and the six preceding lines, are omitted in the first quart Wench originally signified only a young woman. Cassandra, in Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra, 1578, says of herself:
“ O wretched wench, where may I first complayne ?" Again:
6. Therefore, sweet wenche, helpe me to rue my woe.”. The word is used without any dishonourable meaning in the Bille: “ Now Jonathan and Animaaz 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 Dávid.” 2 Siim. xvii, 17
Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt,
and Officers, with Iago, prisoner.
ble : If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill thee.
[Oth. wounds Iago. Lod. Wrench his sword from him. Iago.
I bleed, sir; but not kill'd.
Lod. O thou Othello, that was once so good,
Why, any thing :
Lod. This wretch hath part confess'd his villainy:
and he consent in Cassio's death?
And again, by Gawin Douglas, in his version of the Æneid:
audetque viris concurrere virgo.”
Steevens, towards his feet; ] To see if, according to the common opinion, his feet be cloven. Johnson.
For, in my sense, 'tis happiness to die.] The same thought has already occurred in Antony and Cleopatra:
'Tis well thou 'rt gone,
Cas. Dear general, I never gave you cause.5
Oth. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon. Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil, Why he hath thus ensnar'd my soul and body? lago. Demand me nothing: What you know, you
Lod. What? not to pray?
Torments will ope your lips. Oth. Well, thou dost best.
Lod. Sir, you shall understand what hath befall’n,
Oth. ( villain!
Most heathenish, and most gross!
O pernicious the caitiff
I found it in my chamber:
5 Dear general, I never gave you cause.] Our poet probably without knowing it, has used the words of The Spanish Tragedy, 1605:
“ Hieronymo, I never gave thee cause ?" This phrase, a very familiar one, is also employed in p. 353, 1. 11 :
“ Alas, the day! I never gave him cause.” Malone. * Oth. O villain!
Cas. Most heathenish, and most gross!] Read, for the sake of both sense and metre:
Oth. O villainy!
Most heathenish, and most gross. Ritson. in the interim -] The first copy has--in the nick. It was, I suppose, thought upon revisal, that nick was too familar.
Johnson. - confess’d, but even now,] The quarto, 1622, reads