Page images
PDF
EPUB

“I do” might well be omitted : “ Beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no further."

" Your honour,&c. More metrical derangement:

" Your honour is most welcome.” Oth."

Will you walk ?
“ O Desdemonă !"
d. “ My lord !” .
th. “ Get you to bed

“On th’ instant; I will be return'd forth-
: with;
“ Dismiss yoŭr attendant there; look it be

done."
Desd. “I will, my lord.”
Emil. "

How goes it, madam, now? “ He looks a little gentler than he did.” 472. We must not now displease him.We might add :

Proythee go..“ I would, you had never seen him.Perhaps we should read : Alack! I would that you had never seen him.”

Evën his stubbornness, his checks, and
. frowns-
Priythee unpin me have grace and fa-

vour in them.A similar interruption and return to the broken sentence occurs in Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene-Garden:

"

If thou mean'st not well, “I do beseech thee-(Nurse calls) by and by,

I come To cease thy suit.” It is highly dramatic.'

And he, she lov'd, prov'd mad, ." And did forsake her.Dr. Warburton's emendation appears to be just:

“ And he she lov'd forsook her,

And she prov'd mad.” Mad, undoubtedly, does sometimes signify wild, irregular; but never, I believe, faithless, or inconstant in love. 473. And sing it, like poor Barbara.Some regulation is wanting here :

And sing it, like poor Barbara; Emilia,

I pr’ythee now, dispatch.” Emil. Madam, shall I

“Go fetch your pight-gown ?” Desd. “ No; unpin me here." 476. Nor I neither by this heavenly light,

I might do't as well ith dark.We might restore the metre:

“ No, nor I neither, by this heavenly light, But I as well might do it i the dark."

oma

ACT V. SCENE II.

489. It is the cause,&c.

I am not satisfied with either Dr. Johnson's or Mr. Steevens's explanation of this passage; the meaning whereof I take to be this, -Othello is reflecting on the pain and perturbation of his mind, which cannot be composed or healed but by removing or destroying the cause of it; yet, says he, I'll not shed her blood, &c. Antigonus meditates, on a similar occasion, in a similar way: Nor night, nor day, no rest—it is but weak

ness “ To bear the matter thus, mere weakness; if " The cause were not in being;-part o’the cause; “ She, the adult ress--say that she were gone; Given to the fire;-a moiety of my rest “Might come to me again.”

Winter's Tale, Act 2, Scene 3. Or perhaps by cause is only meant, general principle, the cause of conjugal fidelity it is not, says Othello, any motive of personal or peculiar resentment that urges me to her destruction, but the common cause of injured husbands--“She must die, else she'll betray more men.” 490. “ Put out the light, and then put out the

light.* I am much surprised at the doubt expressed by Dr. Farmer, as to the truth of Dr. Warburton's : explanation; it is the sense which, at the first view of it, the passage suggested to me, and which, till now, I should have thought, would strike every attentive reader of Shakspeare. 492. “That can thy light relume.

To relume light is strange tautology, if not non. sense--the reading of the first quarto, “ return,”

appears to be the best : perhaps we should read “the” instead of “thy.” That can thy light relumé. When I have

pluck'd thy rose.Again the reading of the first quarto is preferable, “the rose.”—When I have taken away the bloom and beauty of this plant, I cannot give it life again. - This is not an address either to Desdemona or her beauty, but a reflection and argument respecting the act of her destruction; and the quarto, consistently with this sense, reads, not " I'll smell thee on the tree,” but “ I'll smell it on the tree."--Desdemona herself was the tree, her life and freshness the rose.-Still, however, the line is exuberant: perhaps it was written thus: “ That can the light return: once pluck'd, the

rose, “ I cannot give it vital grouth again, “ It needs must withěr; I'll smell it on the tree.” 493. This sorrow's heavenly.

I wish, with Dr. Johnson, that we might reject this passage; but what follows wants regulation-will this do ?

“It strikes where it does love-she wakes." Desd. " Who's there?”

* Is it my lord, Othello ?” Oth.

Ay, Desdemonă.” Desd. " And will you come to bed, my lord ?" Oth.' "

Have you “ Pray'd to-night, Desdemona ?” Desd. Ay, my lord.”

Solicit for it straight.We might add, to fill the verse,

There is, dear, need.” . 494. If you say so, (I hope) you will not kill

. me."
These words, “I hope,” are interpolated:

“ If you say so, you will not kill me.” Oth. Humph.” When your eyes roll so: Why I should fear,

I know not, Since guiltiness I know not; but yet, I feel,

I fear.These lines are too long for any art of utterance: perhaps we should read, “When your eyes roll so; why I fear, I know

not, "Since guilt I know not, yet I feel, I fear.”

A passage resembling this we find in As You Like It: “I sometimes do believe, and sometimes do not; As those that fear; they hope, and know they

fear.” - “Ay, and for that thou diést.

There seems to be wanting at the beginning of Desdemona's speech, some words like these :

Nay, say not so, - *** . “That death's unnatural,” &c. 495. I will so : What's the matter ?

There is great disorder here, that might be removed thus :

“ I will so: what's the matter?” Oth. "

That handkerchief .“ Which I so loved, and gave thee, thou

gav'st 66 To Cassíó." VOL. II.

BB

« PreviousContinue »