Page images

Who art so lovely fair, and smell'st fó sweet,
That the sense aches at thee,-'Would, thou had's

ne'er been born!
Def. Alas, what ignorant fin have I committed ?

Oib. Was this fair paper, this moft goodly book,
Made to write whore upon? What committed!
Committed?!-- thou public commoner!
I should make very forges of my cheeks,
That would to cinders burn up modesty,
Did I but speak thy deeds. - What committed!
Heaven stops the nose at it, and the moon winks ;
The bawdy wind, that kisses all it meets
Is hush'd within the hollow mine of earth,
And will not hear it: What committed !-
Impudent ftrum pet!

Had this epithet, black, been admitted, there would ftill have re. mained an incomplete verse in the speech: no additional beauty would have been introduced; but instead of it, a paltry antithehs between the words black and fair. ST'LEVENS. The quarto, 1622, reads:

“ O thou black weed, wby art so lovely fair ?
Tbuu smell'it so sweet, that the sense aches at thee," &c.

MALONE. 6 Was this fair paper, &c.] Maslinger has imitated this palíage in Tbe Emperor of tbe Eaft:

can you think,
“ This masterpiece of heaven, this precious vellum
" Of such a purity and virgin whiteness,
« Could be design'd to have perjury and whoredom

“ In capital letters writ upon't ?" STEEVENS. ? Committed!] This, and the three following lines, are omitted in the first quarto. STEEVENS.

This word in Shakspeare's time, beside its general fignification, seems to have been applied particularly to unlawful acts of love. Hence perhaps it is so often repeated by Othello. So, in Sir Thomas Overbury's CHARACTERS, ( A Very Woman) 1614 : “ She comets with her ears for certain ; after that, the may go for a maid, but the has been lain with in her understanding." The word is used in the fame sente in King Lear: Commie not with man's sworn fpouse." Again, in Decker's Honeft Wbore, P. I.

it all committers stood in a rank, “ They'd make a lane, in which your shame might dwell."

MALONE, * The bawdy wind, ibat kisses all it meets,] So, in Tbe Merobant of Venice: “ Hugg'd and embraced by the Atrumpet wind." MALONE.


Def. By heaven, you do me wrong.
Oih. Are not you a strumpet ?

Def. No, as I'am a christian:
If to preserve this vessel for my lord ,
From any other foul unlawful touch,
Be-not to be a strumpet, I am none.

Oth. What, not a whore ?
Def. No, as I shall be saved.
Oib. Is it pofiible?
Def. O, heaven forgive us !

Oib. I cry you mercy, then;
I took you for that cunning whore of Venice,
That married with Othello.- You, mistress,

Re-enter EMILIA.
That have the office opposite to Saint Peter,
And keep the gate of hell; You! you! ay, you !
We have done our course; there's money for your pains ;
I pray you, turn the key, and keep our counsel. [Exit.

Emil. Alas, what does this gentleman conceive-
How do you, madam? how do you, my good lady?

Defi'raith, half asleep.
Emil. Good madam, what's the matter with my lord?
Def. With who?
Emil. Why, with my lor:), madam?
Dif. Who is thy lord'?
Emil. He that is yours, sweet lady.

Def. I have none: Do not talk to me, Emilia;
I cannot weep; nor answer have I none,
But what should go by water. Pr’ythee, to-night
Lay on my bed my wedding sheets, -remember;-
And call thy husband hither.
Emil. Here is a change indeed!


8 If to preserve obis vessel for my lord,] This expression, as well as many others, our authour has borrowed from the facred writings: " - to posless his vellel in sanctification.”--Thefl.iv. 4. MALONE. 9 – any other-] Thus the folio. The quarto readsar bated.

STE EVENS Who is tby lord?] This, and the following speech, are omitted in the first quarto. STEEVEA S.


Def. 'Tis meet I should be as'd so, very meet.
How have I been behav’d, that he might fick
The small'tt opinion on my great'it abuse??

Re-enter EMILIA, with Iago.
Iago. What is your pleasure, madam? How is it with

Des. I cannot tell. Those, that do teach young babes,
Do it with gentle means, and easy tasks:
He might have chid mefo; for, in good faith,
I am a child to chiding.

Inge. What is the matter, lady?

Emil. Alas, lago, my lord hath so bewhor'd her,
Thrown such despight and heavy terms upon her,
As true hearts cannot bear.

Dif. Am I that name, Iago?
lago. What name, fair lady?
Def. Such as, the says, my lord did say I was.

Emil. He call'd her, whore; a beggar, in his drink,
Could not have laid such terms upon his callet :.

lago. Why did he fo?


[ocr errors]

-on my great'l abuse? ] This is the reading of the quarto, 1622, which Dr. Johnson' thought preferable to the reading of the folio-in my least miluje. MALONE.

3 -- upon bis callet.] Caller is a lewd woman; so called (says Dr. Grey) from the French calote, which was a fort of head-dress worn by country girls. This head-dress is mentioned by Ben Jonson in his Magnetick Lady :

“ The wearing the callos, the politic hood." The word is likewise found in Cocke Lorelles Bute, a fatyre, bl. 1. printed by Wynkyn de Worde; no date : 6 Yf he call her tales, the calleth hym knave agayne."

STEEVENS. This word is of great antiquity in the English language. Chaucer has it in his Remedy of Love :

“ C, for calet, for of, we have 0,

L, for leude, D, for demeanure," &c. PERCY. I meet this word in The Transation of Ariosto, 1991:

“ And thus this old ill-favour'd spiteful callet," Harrin in note on that line, says that " callet is a nickname used to a woman,” and that " in Irith it signifies a witcb."

I have no faith in Dr. Grey's etymology of this word, Calete is a coif or light capa worn by others belide country girls. MALONE.


Def. I do not know ; I am sure, I am none such.
lago. Do not weep, do not weep; Alas, the day!

Emil. Has the forlook so many noble matches,
Her father, and her country, and her friends,
To be call'd-whore? would it not make one weep?

Def, It is my wretched fortune.
lago. Beshrew him for it!
How comes this trick upon him?

Def. Nay, heaven doth know.

Emil. I will be hang'd, if some eternal villain,
Some busy and insinuating rogue,
Some cogging cozening flave, to get some office,
Have not devis'd this slander; I'll be hang'd else.

Iago. Fie, there is no such man; it is impossible.
Def. If any such there be, heaven pardon him!

Emil. A halter pardon him! and hell gnaw his bones!
Why should he call her, whore? who keeps her company?
What place? what time? what form ? what likelihood ?
The Moor's abus’d by some molt villainous knave *,
Some base notorious 5 knave, fome scurvy fellow :-
0, heaven, that such companions thou'd it unfold;
And put in every honest hand a whip,
To lash the rascal? naked through the world,
Even from the east to the west !

lago. Speak within door 8.


4 fome most villainous knave,] Thus the folio. The quarto, 1622, reads-lome outrageous knave. MALONE. - notorious -] For gros, not in its proper meaning for known.

JOHNSON. 6 - fucb companions - ] Companion, in the time of Shakspeare, was used as a word of contempt, in the fame fente as fellow is at this day. So, in The Widow's Tears, by Chapman, 1612 : “ How now, bale companion ?" Again, in The Spanish Tragedy, 1605:

« And better 'tis, that base companions die,
" Than by their life to hazard our good haps.” MALONE.

- the rascal -] Thus the quarto, 1622 ; folio-rascals. Emilia first wishes that all base fellows were detected, and then that heaven would put a whip in every honeft hand to punith in a signal manner that villainous knave, particularly in her thoughts, who had abuled the too credulous Moor. MALONE.

8 Speak witbin door.] Do not clamour so as to be heard beyond the house. JOHNSON



Emil. O, fie upon him ! some such squire he was,
That turn'd your wit the seamy side without',
And made you to suspect me with the Moor.

lago. You are a fool; go to.

Def. O good Iago,
What shall I do to win my lord again?
Good friend, go to him ; for, by this light of heaven,
I know not how I lost him. Here I kneel':-
If e'er my will did trespass 'gainst his love,
Either in discourse of thought, or actual deed;
Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense,
Delighted them in any other form ;
Or that I do not yet, and ever did,
And ever will,--though he do shake me off
To beggarly divorcement,-love him dearly,
Comfort forswear me! Unkindness may do much ;
And his unkindness may defeat my life,
But never taint my love. I cannot say, whore ;
It does abhor me, now I speak the word;
To do the act that might the addition earn,
Not the world's mass of vanity could make me.

lago. I pray you, be content; 'tis but his humour;
The business of the date does him offence,
And he does chide with you 3.

Def. If 'twere no other,
lago. It is but so, I warrant you. [Trumpetsa

[ocr errors]

- tbe leamy fide wirbour:] That is, infide our. JOHNSON. · Here I kneel, &c.] These words, and the following lines of this speech, are omitted in the quarto, 1622. MALONE.

2 Eirber in discourse of thought, or a&tual deed ;] Thus the old copies. So, in Hamlet :

“ O heaven! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,

" Would have mourn'd longer." The modern editors, following Mr. Pope, read-discourse, or thought.

MALONE. 3 And be does cbide with you.] This line is from the quarto, 1622

STEEVENS. To cbide with was the phraseology of the time. We have, I think, the same phrale in one of our poet's Sonnets• MALONE,


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »