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More lameness and disorder. I would propose: “ Nay, yet there's more in this: I pray thee,
“ To me thy thinkings ; speak to me, as thou “Dost ruminate ; and give thy worst of thoughts “The worst of words.”
“Speak to me to thy thinkings,” is the reading of the first quarto. 372. “With meditations lawful ?"
The deficiency of this line may naturally, and of choice, have been owing to the impatience of Othello.
I do beseech you, “ Though I, perchance, am vicious in my guess.”
The seeming incorrectness of the expression in this passage proceeds from a non-perception of the studied change in the drift of Iago's speech“I beseech you, attend~(he seems going to say)—to these suspicious circumstances;”—but, correcting himself, he interposes, though I perchance judge too severely, (as I confess, &c.) and then, after this display of candour, which is sure to operate on Othello's mind, he shifts his proposition to a request, that what he is about to disclose shall not be too implicitly relied on. : 374. “Who steals my purse, steals trash ; 'tis
something, nothing.' Iago delivers a broken sentiment
"Who steals my purse, steals trash ; 'tis something--that I set little value upon,” he was going to say; but, pausing, he strengthens the idea, and adds, “'tis-nothing.--".
"- 'Tis something, nothing." The meaning seems to be, 'tis something to him that gains it, and nothing to me who lose it-it was mine—'tis now his,” &c. B. STRUTT. 375.“ By heaven, I'll know thy thought.”
“By heaven" appears to be an interpolation, from which the quarto 1630 is free:
“ And makes me poor indeed.” Oth. “ -- I'll know thy thought.” “ It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth mock “ The meat it feeds on.”
Sir T. Hanmer reads “ make," and the change is so slight, that the succeeding commentators are more solicitous about the sense, than tenacious of the word. Mr. Steevens remarks, that there is no animal that makes its own food, and that, therefore, Shakspeare could never have mentioned such a creature, especially as it is introduced with the definite article, whereby the reader is supposed to be already acquainted with it; but let the critical naturalist consider that a monster is here talked of, and that general rules, of course, will not apply to it. " A green-eyed monster” would nearly have satisfied Mr. Steevens; but does not - the,” which here is the same as “ that,” more closely appropriate the monster to the object which it is meant to illustrate ?-and does not the singularity of the attribute, the making his own meat, constitute the monstrosity? A tiger cannot, with any degree of propriety, be called a monster, or “ the greeneyed monster,” so long as there are not only multitudes of his kind, but while leopards, lions, and other animals have eyes as green as his; and,
: with great deference both to Mr. Steevens and Mr. Henley, I cannot but agree with Mr. Monk Mason, who denies that the tiger's mocking or sporting with the animal he intends to devour, iş justly figurative of the treatment which a wife receives from the jealousy of her husband : for, besides that, the woman, (whom we must here suppose the subject of the mockery) in the interval between suspicion and assurance, is neither literally nor metaphorically, neither during her probation, nor at her conviction, the meat on which the jealous husband feeds, it is by no means an admissible interference that she is to be destroyed. That is, indeed, the dreadful catastrophe of Othello's jealousy, but it is an extremity of which, as yet, he has no conception ; and which Iago, whatever he might design hereafter, would have too much prudence to suggest at present.
“ It is the green-eyed monster,” &c. I think Sir T. Hanmer's emendation, make," might be adopted, and cannot help thinking that Shakspeare meant to refer to some animal, real or fabulous, that makes, or is supposed to make, "the meat it feeds on ;” of some such he might have heard or read, though which it was be not now known: I think I have heard or read, though I cannot recollect where, of a sort of large dragon fly, that voids a greenish foam from its mouth, and then gradually sụcks it in again :-if there be such creature, it would be sufficient to justify the expression. LORD CHEDWORTH. 379. “ ( misery !"
Here again Othello is naturally interrupted by the subtle Iago, who will not intermit the
potent infusion of his poison—the case is different at the conclusion of his speech; and his grave adjuration, “Good God, the souls of all my tribe defend “ From jealousy !"
381. Oth. “ Why? why is this ?" ... This is defective. I suppose we should read
“ Why? why is this, Iago ?”
make me jealous." This line is at least a foot too long. We might read, “ Matching thy inference; it not makes me
jealous." “ Feeds well.”— The praises bestowed upon a lady's accom plishments, such as singing, dancing, conversation, &c. might probably excite a husband's jealousy, but I cannot discover how the manner of her eating, or the quality of her food, could have any effect that way; and as the words are equally burthensome to the metre and impertinent to the sense, they should be rejected as interpolation : “
'Tis not to make me jealous, “ To say-my wife is fair, loves company,” &c. 382. “Where virtue is, these are more vir
tuous.” As I cannot perceive how the qualities mentioned should be more virtuous in one position than in another, I must concur with the editor of the second folio, in reading “ most virtuous"
not as the highest degree of comparison, but as expressing the quality absolutely and without exception or abatement; as we say, “most excellent,” “ most admirable,” without any reference to “much” or “ more.” "Where virtue is, these are more virtuous."
This, I confess, notwithstanding the explanations, I do not understand : more virtuous than what? I therefore wish to read, with the ignorant editor of the second folio, and the modern editions, most virtuous. Lord CHEDWORTH. 383. “ Dost thou say so ?”
Another hemistic, with the usual concomitant disorder, and another attempt at correction. Oth. “ Dost thou say so ?" Iag. “ She did deceive her father .“ In marrying you; and when she seem'd to
shake " And fear your looks; even then she lov'd
them most.” Oth." And so she did, 'tis true.” Iag.“ Why, go to, then,” &c. 384. “ I am bound to thee for ever.”
The excess, in this hemistic, might be removed :
“For too much loving you." Oth. “
I'm ever bound to you.”
"I see this hath a little dashd your spirits." Oth. “ No, not a jot. Iag. “ . Trust me, I fear it has.”