Page images

Desd.No, by my life and soul;

“ Send for the man; ask him.” . Oth. Sweet soul! take heed “Of perjury; thou’rt now on thy death

bed.” 496. Let him confess a truth.

It surely ought to be “the truth;” but further regulation is wanting :

« Let him confess the truth.”
Oth. 60 He hath confess’d.”
Desd. But what, my lord ?"
Oth. "

That he hath us'd thee."

How ? " Unlawfully ?" Oth. Ay.” Desd. He will not say so.” Oth. "Why, no; not now ; his mouth is stoppd:

Iago, “ Honest Iago, hath ta’en order for it.” 497. O banish me, my lord,&c.

The banishment of “my lord” from the text would restore the metre:

“O banish me, but kill me not." Oth." Down, strumpet.” 498. It is too late." The exuberance, here, might thus be reduced:

“It is too late.” Emil. (without) “ My lord ! what ho, my lord !

The noise was high.The first quarto reads " was here," and perhaps rightly—the sense appears to be, 'tis like she

comes to speak, &c. the noise that was here prevented my hearing her words, perhaps he was about to say. " The noise was here,” for “ the noise that was here” is an ellipsis not at all uncommon: “ The noise was here.-Ha! no more moving!

still! “ Still as the grave," &c. 499. Should yawn at alteration." I would regulate the text thus :

“Should yawn at alteration.” Emil.

I beseech you, That I may speak with you.-0, good,

my lord.” Again : What? now ?"

- But now, my lord.I would propose :: O, good my lord, yonder's foul murder

done.” Oth. " Said'st thou ! what! murder ! now?" Emil.But now, my lord.” 500. • And makes men mad." Emil. "

Cassio, my lord, hath kill'd A young Venetian calld Roderigo." Oth. " Roderigo kill'd? and Cassio ?

No, my lord,

Cassio's not killd.Oth. "

Not Cassio kill'd ? then murder “ Is out of tune; and sweet revenge

grows harsh." Desd. O falsely murder'd.Emil. “ Ha! what cry was that?"

The words set down to Othello here," that! what ?" have been put in to disturb the measure, by some actor; they are of no use, and were better dismissed; for Emilia’s alarm would not wait for them; and Othello preserves a sullen silence till his terrible fury is rouzed by the gentle absolution of the dying Desdemona. 502.And you, the blacker devil.Some words seem to have been lost: perhaps,

“ Alas! sweet lady!”

She was false as water." This, with what follows, requires regulation :

“ She wăs false as water." Emil.- Thou art rash as fire, “ To say she wăs false. -0, she was hea

venly true." To this extremity; thy husband knew it all.

“ All” is superfluous, and loads the verse :the succeeding lines might thus be regulated :

“My husband !” Oth. " Ay, thy husband, woman; he.Emil. “ That she was false to wedlock ! said'st

thou. " Oth.

Ay, “ With Cassio, mistress; nay, had she

been true," &c. 503. I'd not have sold her for it.The measure, here, might thus be reclaimed:

"". I'd not have sold her fort." Emil. " My husband !"


Thy husband; he it was that told me

That sticks on filthy deeds.
Something is wanting here to order :

“ That sticks on filthy deeds."
Emil. My husbånd !"
Oth. How now !

“What needs this iteration, womăn? I say

“Thy' húsband.” Emil. “ - , sweet mistress ! villany. “ Hath here made mocks with love.—My

husband say

“ That she was false ! my husband !". Oth. Woman, he.' 504. - Ha!Emil. "

Do thy worst," &c. I would propose:

" Ha !” Emil. “ - Do thy worst; I fear thee not;

O wretch! “ This deed of thine,” &c. Gra. What is the matter an

Something is wanting; perhaps like this: “What is the matter? Murder, say you ?

where ?" 505. Speak, for my heart is full.

Another fragment, to which, perhaps, belonged some words like these : . “ Confute the slander."


But did you ever tell him she was false ?" Iag. I did.

“Ever” might well be omitted, and Iago's answer finish the verse. 506. My mistress, here,&c.

The lines between this and lago's speech :“ What are you, man ?" which are not in the first quarto, appear to be a worthless interpola. tion, 507.And fall to reprobation.

This hemistic was probably preceded by some words like these:

" In spleen; and fall to reprobation.” 509. “ Mem As liberal as the air." “ Liberal,” unrestrained ; as in K. Henry V.

“The air a charter'd libertine is still.” And in As You Like It:

“ A charter like the wind,

To blow on all alike.”
510. Your sword upon a woman!"
We might add, to complete the line,

“ — Hold! for shame !"
Are there no stones in heaven
But what serve for the thunder.

dy, I suppose, will be satisfied with Mr. Steevens's explanation of this passage—the thunder, according to the poetic, as well as vulgar notion, does more than “make the noise," it effects the devastation. “Are there no stones in

« PreviousContinue »