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Oth. The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
If you please,
I'll not have it so.
Des. Nor I; I would not there reside”,
Duke. What would you, Desdemona“?
of the scene printed as prose, it may be doubted, especially from the rhythm of some of the passages, whether it was not originally verse. It would not be difficult, as the Rev. Mr. Barry observes, to render it metrical.
1 - steel couch of war] The folio, 1623, has “coach of war,” and so it remained in the later folios, but Southern corrected his copy of 1685 to couch. In the quartos it is printed cooch.
$ - I do agnize] i. e. acknowledge or recognize. 9 — and do undertake] The quarto, 1622, only, “and would undertake.” 1- If you please,
Be't at her father's.] The folio omits “If you please," found in both quartos, and has only “ Why, at her father's.”
2 Nor I; I would not there reside,] So the quartos, though some modern editors print “I would not there reside," as if such were the reading of the folio, which in fact has, “Nor would I there reside."
3 To my unfolding lend YOUR PROSPEROUS ear:] This is the line in the folio: the compositor of the quarto printed it “a gracious ear,” repeating carelessly the word he saw in the line preceding. In the next line but one we read “ T'' assist my simpleness,” on the authority of the folio, and the quarto, 1630 : the quarto, 1622, has it “ And if my sinpleness —_."
4 What would you, Desdemona ?] The quarto, 1622, alone reads, “What would you ? speak,” which certainly accords better with the metre.
Des. That I did love the Moor to live with him, My downright violence and storm of fortuness May trumpet to the world: my heart's subdued Even to the very quality of my lord : I saw Othello's visage in bis mind; And to his honours, and his valiant parts, Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate. So that, dear lords, if I be left behind, A moth of peace, and he go to the war, The rites for which I love him? are bereft me, And I a heavy interim shall support By his dear absence. Let me go with him.
Oth. Your voices, lords: 'beseech you, let her will Have a free ways. Vouch with me, heaven, I therefore beg it not, To please the palate of my appetite; Nor to comply with heat, the young affects, In my defunct and proper satisfaction"; But to be free and bounteous to her mind': And heaven defend your good souls, that you think I will your serious and great business scant,
s- and storm of fortunes] The quarto, 1622, alone reads, “scorn of fortunes," which may be preferable.
6 Even to the very quality] Thus the folio, and the quarto, 1630 : the quarto, 1622, “ Even to the utmost pleasure." 7 – for which I love him,] The folio alone, “ for why I love him." 8 Your voices, lords : 'beseech you, let her will
Have a free way.] For this passage, in both the quartos, the folio has, poorly, “Let her have your voice ;" the next words, “ Vouch with me, heaven," are in the folio and in the quarto, 1630, and not in that of 1622.
9 In my defunct and proper satisfaction ;] This passage (so printed in every old copy) has occasioned much dispute and long notes : it seems to us that nothing can be clearer, allowing only a little latitude of expression. Othello refers to his age, elsewhere several times alluded to, and " in my defunct and proper satisfaction" is merely,“ in my oun dead satisfaction” or gratification, the youthful passions, or “young affects," being comparatively “defunct” in him. For the sense, though not for the harmony of the verse, it ought to have run, “for my proper and defunct satisfaction,” and had it so run, we doubt if so much ink would have been spilt and wasted upon it. It requires no proof that “proper” was often used for own : in this very scene (p. 512) the Duke says, “yea, though our proper son,” &c. Mr. Amyot fully concurs with me.
1- and bounteous to her mind :) The quarto, 1622, alone reads, “ of her mind.”
For she is with me? No, when light-wing’d toys
Duke. Be it as you shall privately determine, Either for her stay, or going. Th'affair cries haste, And speed must answer it: you must hence to-night.
Des. To-night, my lord"?
With all my heart.
Please your grace, my ancient”;
? For she is with me.) i. e. Because she is with me. The folio substitutes When for “ For" of both the quartos.
3 - and active instruments,] Our text is from the quarto, 1622, confirmed by that of the quarto, 1630, the editor of the latter refusing to adopt (if, indeed, he saw it) the reading of the folio, 1623, where seel is printed for “foil,” officd for “ active,” and instrument for “instruments."
• Make head against my REPUTATION !] So the quarto, 1622, and the quarto, 1630 : the folio, estimation.
Des. To night, my lord ?] We here follow the two quartos : the folio omits these words, (which must originally have been written by Shakespeare, even supposing he afterwards expunged them) and gives you must hence to-night," (printing away for “hence") to a Senator. It is surely very natural that Desdemona should express surprise at the suddenness of the command, and our persuasion is, that the words were left out in the folio by accident. If, however, we exclude such passages from the text, on the mere conjecture that Shakespeare directed their omission, what excuse can we have for inserting various long speeches, found in many of the quarto editions of his plays, not one line of which is transferred to the folio, and which it is much more probable the author rejected? We are anxious to preserve all that Shakespeare wrote.
6 At pine i’ the morning] The quarto, 1622," At ten i’ the morning :” the quarto, 1630, and the folio as our text. The same reason has induced us to adopt “ As doth import you" below, instead of “As doth concern you."
? Please your grace, my ancient ;] The quarto, 1630, agrees with the folio in reading “import you,” but it omits “So,” found in the folio before “ Please your grace," as injurious to the metre.
A man he is of honesty, and trust :
Let it be so.-
[To BRABANTIO. If virtue no delighted beauty lack, Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.
1 Sen. Adieu, brave Moor! use Desdemona well.
Bra. Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see ®: She has deceiv'd her father, and may thee.
[Ereunt DUKE, Senators, Officers, 8c.
[Exeunt OTHELLO and DESDEMONA.
Iago. Well, if thou dost, I shall never love thee after it. Why, thou silly gentleman!
Rod. It is silliness to live, when to live is a torment; and then have we a prescription to die, when death is our physician.
Iago. O villainous?! I have looked upon the world
8 — if thou hast eyes to see ;] The quarto, 1622, alone reads, “ have a quick eye to see.”
9 And bring her after] So both the quartos : the folio, “and bring them after ?" Two lines lower, the quartos have a matters” for matter of the folio, with some other changes of little moment.
10 villainous !) This exclamation is not in the quarto, 1622.
for four times seven years, and since I could distinguish betwixt a benefit and an injury, I never found a man that knew how to love himself. Ere I would say, I would drown myself for the love of a Guinea-hen, I would change my humanity with a baboon.
Rod. What should I do? I confess, it is my shame to be so fond; but it is not in my virtue to amend it.
Iago. Virtue? a fig! 'tis in ourselves that we are thus, or thus. Our bodies are gardens, to the which, our wills are gardeners; so that if we will plant nettles, or sow lettuce; set hyssop, and weed up thyme; supply it with one gender of herbs, or distract it with many; either to have it steril with idleness, or manured with industry; why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions : but we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this, that you calllove, to be a sect“, or scion.
Rod. It cannot be.
Iago. It is merely a lust of the blood, and a permission of the will. Come, be a man: drown thyself? drown cats, and blind puppies. I profess me thy friend', and I confess me knit to thy deserving with cables of perdurable toughness; I could never better stead thee than now. Put money in thy purse; follow
? Our bodies are gardens,] The folio alone, “ Our bodies are our gardens."
3 If the BALANCE of our lives] So the quartos: the folio has brain for “balance," and Southern, in his copy of the fourth folio, (the error having descended through the folios of 1632 and 1664) has judiciously altered brain to beam, for which, (as indeed Steevens conjectured,) it was in all probability a misprint. However, as the quarto authorities give“ balance,” we need resort to no speculative emendation. Modern editors have adopted “balance” into their text, as if it were the reading of the folio; and later in this speech they print“our” for or, thus silently avoiding another corruption of the folio.
4 – to be a sect,] i. e. says Steevens, a cutting.
5- I profess me thy friend,] The folio, in opposition to both quartos, reads “I have professed" &c.