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heaven ?" appears to mean, are there no implements of heavenly vengeance besides the thunder?-cannot heaven inflict its wrath by some other means than thunder?-yes, it will plunge my sword into the villain's breast. The metre wants correction :
“ Do with so good a wife.” Oth. “ Are there no stones “ In heav'n, but what serve for the thun
; der, villain ?" The impetuosity of the speaker would not admit of the epithet that stands before “ villain," and oppresses the measure. 511. “ He's gone,” &e.
I would offer: “ He's gone; but sure, I think, his wife is kill’d.” “'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon.”
The first quarto, without any hypermeter, reads, “ 'Tis a notorious villain; take your weapon.”.
We might fairly read, “ take this weapon." “ Notorious,” for “ enormous”- Iago was not yet notorious.. 512. “ For 'tis a damned slave.” . “ For" should be omitted :
“ 'Tis a damn'd slave.” Oth." I am not valiant neither." 514.“ Behold, I have a weapon,” &c. I would regulate:
" What is the matter?" Oth. “ Lo! I have a weapon,"
" This little arm.” This inconsiderable member, or limb. " Here is my journey's end; here is my butt, “The very sea-mark of my utmost sail.”
Something of this sentiment and expression we find in Milton : .. "
Worst is my port, “My harbour, and my ultimate repose, “ The end I would attain, my final good.”
Paradise Regained, Book III. 515. “ Even like thy chastity.” The first quarto completes this line thus :
“ O cursed slave.” We might, perhaps, order the measure in this manner : “ Evěn like thy chastity-O cursed villain, “ Pernicious damned slave! Whip me, ye devils,"
&c. 516.“ Dear general,” &c.
“Dear” might well be spared : Oth. “Ay ” Cas. " - General, I never gave you cause."
This is a ludicrous interpolation; and will not agree with the measure.
“ O villain !" A foot and a half is wanting here: perhaps,
“O most precious villain !"
* Most heathenish, and most gross." This incomplete line is not of value enough to encumber the text.
“O the pernicious caitiff !” There seems to be no kind of reason for this exclamation of Othello, in this place all that had been said was, that a discontented paper had been found, and that Iago had removed the discontent-Othello would have waved all other circumstances, and come directly to the point; perhaps thus:
- Pr'ythee tell me, “ How came you, Cassio,” &c. If this is not admissible, we may, at least, reject the superfluous and burthensome epithet, “pernicious,” and read,
“ () the caitiff !” 518. “ Iago hurt him."
This appears to be an awkward interpolation: if Roderigo, in his dying moments, had designed to accuse Iago of having murdered him, he would hardly have minced the matter, by saying he had hurt him; he would at once have said, Iago killed me:--but any thing to that purpose by the poet himself seems either to have been neglected or lost, and the passage must remain thus : "
Even now he spake, “ Long seeming dead, l'ago set him on.” “ To the Venetian state: come, bring him away."
“ Come,” here, should begone.
“ Nor set down aught in malice: then must you
speak.” The particle oi then” is useless and burthensome ;-one of the quartos, instead of “ must you,” reads “ you must”-and then the line may be, “ Nor set down ought in malice--you must
519. “ — Of one whose subdu'd eyes." —
The passion here, and the natural pause in the middle of the line, may perhaps justify the hypermeter-certainly neither the words “ of one," nor“ subdued,” can be ejected without injury. 521. “ Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
“ Their medicinal gums." In the Fourth Book of Paradise Lost we meet with “ Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums
and balm.” 522. “ Set you down this.”
It is the opinion of Mr. Strutt, that this was originally the end of Othello's speech, and that what Lodovico and Montano were to “set down,” was the act of suicide ;-and, indeed, there does not appear to be any thing else to which the words will so properly apply. 125. “ 0, bloody period!” Gra.“ All, that's spokë, is marrid."
This hemistic, perhaps, was once completed thus : “ Bloody indeed! All that is spoke is marr'd."
“ I kiss'd thee, ere I kill'd thee. No way
! but this, “ Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.” As this quaint antithesis depends upon “kissing” and “ killing,” and “ thee” and “ myself," we might, perhaps, with more point, as well as smoothness, read, “ I kiss'd thee, ere I killd. No way but this, “ Killing myself,” &c.
i. e. Before, I kissed and killed; now, I kill and kiss.
" To you, lord governor," &c. Rymer's censure of the character of Iago is unfounded, and deserved no answer; but Dr. Warburton's answer to it is not just: had there been no other soldier in the play but Iago, no solid objection would have lain against his character; it would not have been to be inferred thence, that all soldiers are villains. In The Eunuch of Terence, there is no soldier but Thraso; but who ever dreamt of concluding, on that account, that all soldiers are vain-glorious boasters ? Shakspeare, says Dr. Johnson, always makes nature predominate over accident. See Johnson's Preface, Vol. I. Prolegomena, P. 252, Reed's Ed.
If Shakspeare's dramas were contemplated with a view to their distinct, comparative merits, this and Macbeth, I suppose, would generally be al.. lowed to have a decisive pre-eminence over all the rest: but, of these two, it may be disputed which is the nobler composition, or displays most con