Page images
PDF
EPUB

: How could such a disposition of words be put for a verse ?-by dismissing ('tis,) which is elliptically implied, we have the metre.

Doubt it not, worthy lord.

I take this to be the conclusion of a line begun by another speaker, whose words are lost. Timon asks,

Will you, indeed ?" Poet. " Indeed, my lord.. Paint. “ Doubt it not, worthy lord.” Know his gross patchery, love him, feed him.

We may here, indeed, reckon ten syllables, but find no metre : the argument is defective too, and manifests corruption. I would read,.. Ay, and you hear him cog, see him dissemble, “Know his gross patchery, yet love him, feed

him, “Keep in your bosom; but rema sur'd, “ He is a made-up villain.”

What follows is defective. I suppose the measure proceeded thus : Paint. Good my lord.

“I know none such." Poet." Nor I, my lord, indeed.492. “ Let's know them.".

These words have been obtruded, to spoil the metre. “Name them, my lord," completes both the meaning and the verse.

Visi .

be,

193. If, where thou art, two villains shall not Come not near him.-.-If thou would'st

not reside But where one villain is, then him

abandon.The commentators have sufficiently explained the double villany, but none of them has attempted to reconcile that explanation with the sequel of Timon's speech: as the Painter and Poet are each two villains, Timon's argument is defective: it should be, after having shewn that each man was a double villain. “ If where thou art, four villains shall not be, " Come not near him: if thou would'st not reside “ But where two villains are, then him abandon."

SCENE II.

200. Their pangs of love." Thus in Hamlet:

The pangs of despis'd love."

In life's uncertain voyage.The metre again falls into disorder : " In life's uncertain voyage, I will do “Some kindness to them; I will teach them how They may prevent wild Alcibiades' wrath.” 202.4 His discontents are unremoveably

ok Coupled to nature.His vexations have laid such hold on him, as to be now incorporated with his nature and constitution.

VOL. II.

In this play, especially the scenes of the misanthrope, the genius of Shakspeare is conspicuous, and is his happiest and noblest vein; yet I believe, that here, as in some other instances already noted, he was working on materials supplied originally by some other hand. The first scene has, I think, except in a few passages, but little of our author's manner either in thought or expression.

lan

OTH E L L O.

ACT I. SCENE I.

221. “ Tush, never tell me."

If the reading of the quarto, 1622, is to be regarded, in preference to the folio, which omits "tush,” we should read,

“ Tush! ne'er tell me,” &c.

'Sblood, but you will not hear me.The metre has suffered here. We might read, " Nay, but you will not hear mě; if ever I “ Did dreain of such a matter, then abhor me." Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones of

the city.This excessive redundance might be removed thus : “Despise me else; three great ones of the city.” 222, “ Epithets of war.

What follows is sadly deranged; some words probably are lost. We might, perhaps, read, “ Horribly stuff’d with epithets of war, Clean from the point; and, in conclusion, “Nonsuits my mediators; for, certes, says hě."

I have already chose my officer.
And what was he?

This hemistic might, by the omission of an unnecessary word, be accommodated in the foregoing line : “I hắve chos’n my officer. And what was he?” 223. “ A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife.

All the labours of the ingenious commentators appear to be ineffectual, in reconciling this expression to any thing like truth of sentiment or character. Admitting that Bianca were alluded to, (a supposition widely improbable) lago would never have called her “ a fair wife :As to “a fair face,” or “phyz,” as Sir T. Hanmer had proposed, a fair face might do very well as a motive for Desdemona's imputed attachment to its owner, but it could never be urged as a recommendation to preferment with Othello, unless, indeed, we were prepared to join most cordially in the concomitant part of the remark, and consider Cassio, not, indeed, “almost,” but completely, damn'd in “ a fair face.” It may be less extravagant to conjecture that Desdemona is the “ fair wife,” whom Cassio was. “ almost damn'd" in, being almost married to; and this is quite consistent with the profligate policy of the speaker :-he had undertaken to promote Roderigo's design of obtaining Desdemona in marriage; and that purpose being now defeated, the cunning agent would depreciate wedlock, at least with " a fair wife,” and represent it as a state of damnation, clearly inferring, that, beauty being always assailable, Roderigo has still an opportunity of not only enjoying the object of his desire, but inflicting torment on his rival. This argument I do not advance with much confidence; and I consider Mr. Tyrwhitt's emendation so ingenious, that I only wish it were just.

« PreviousContinue »