Imágenes de páginas

Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,
All, all, cry shame against me, yet I'll speak.

Iago. Be wise, and get you home.



Your sword upon a woman!

I will not.


[Iago offers to stab Emilia. Fie!

Emil. O thou dull Moor! that handkerchief thou speak'st



I found by fortune and did give my husband;
For often with a solemn earnestness,
More than indeed belong'd to such a trifle,
He begg'd of me to steal it.

Villanous whore!

Emil. She give it Cassio! no, alas, I found it,
And I did give 't my husband.


Filth, thou liest!


was written at or about the time of James' accession, who very speedily put a stop to uncomplimentary allusions to the North amongst the dramatists, by the suppression of Eastward Hoe in 1605, and the severe punishment, or contemplated punishment, of the writers. Hence this suggestion has a most interesting bearing upon the text, since the probability is that the first Folio comes nearest to Shakespeare's words, while the first Quarto (reading "air") was printed from an independent stagecopy, containing various alterations. I advance the above suggestion with fear and trembling. It appears to me to give sense, where the north wind was little less than an absurdity.

223. of] Ff, on Qq. 228. give] Ff, gave Qq. man," he says: "And what worde I do speake, be it in myrth or in borde, The foule evyl shalbe at the end of my worde." These extracts bear upon the mode of speech. But so much was the north held in dislike that it gave rise to several proverbs. "Out of the North all ill comes forth" is as old as Hakluyt, 1599, and much older in Latin. North came to mean bad, coarse, clownish, broad. Compare Beaumont and Fletcher's Mons. ·Thomas, i. 3: "Some northern toy, a little broad"; and in Nice Valour, i. 1 (Dyce's Beaumont and Fletcher, x. 301), "a northern fellow" is a "coarse" fellow. See also Middleton's Mich. Tem. i. 1 (1607). I imagine this is the sense of Emilia's simile. She does not, fortunately, have time to indulge much in "profane" language, but she felt equal to it, in quantities. This play

229. Filth] harlot. Compare Timon, IV. i. 6. Cotgrave has: "fille perduë: a desperate filth," etc. Mr. Craig supplied me with the following from North's

Emil. By heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen.


O murderous coxcomb! what should such a fool
Do with so good a wife?


Are there no stones in heaven
But what serve for the thunder? Precious villain!
[He runs at Iago: Iago stabs Emilia, and exit.

Gra. The woman falls; sure, he hath kill'd his wife.
Emil. Ay, ay: O, lay me by my mistress' side.
Gra. He's gone, but his wife's kill'd.


Mon. 'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon,
Which I have here recover'd from the Moor:
Come, guard the door without; let him not pass,
But kill him rather. I'll after that same villain, 240
For 'tis a damned slave.


[Exeunt Montano and Gratiano.

I am not valiant neither,

But every puny whipster gets my sword.

232. wife] Ff, woman Qq.. 233. Precious] Ff; pretious Q 1; pernitious Q 2, 3; [He. exit.] Globe ("from behind" after Iago), Craig; The Moore runs at Iago, Iago kills his wife Qq, after woman? (wife?), line 232; Iago stabs Emilia, then runs out. Steevens (1793), Dyce (ed. 2); omitted Ff. 235. [Exit Iago, Qq]. 237. you this] Ff, your Qq. 238. here] Qq, omitted Ff. 241. [Exeunt. Gratiano] Qq et seq., Globe, Craig; Exeunt all but Othello and Emilia. Cambridge; Exit. Ff.


Plutarch, Comp. between Aristides and Cato, ed. 1595, p. 391: "because his sonne could not abide his filth," and five lines lower, "a young harlatry filth."

232.] Can heaven not spare one bolt for this villain? Is it all needed for thunder? Shakespeare has "thunderstone" in Julius Cæsar, 1. iii. 49, and in Cymbeline, IV. ii. 271. Nares quotes "Jove's fell thunder-stone" from Chapman's Homer's Iliad, bk. xv. (1598).

233. Precious] perfect, selected; as if priceless, exquisite. Stronger than irony.

237. notorious] See above, IV. ii. 141. "Egregious, notable" (Schmidt).

238. recover'd] obtained, gained. A word used by the early navigators, as it is in Tempest, III. ii. 16, and Two Gentlemen of Verona, v. i. 12. Compare Best's Narrative of Frobisher's Second Voyage (Payne, ed. 1880, p. 75), 1577: we passed up into the country about two English miles, and recovered the top of a high hill."

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242. whipster] a contemptible fellow. The term was used by Gabriel Harvey similarly, in Pierce's Supererogation (Grosart, ii. 63), 1593; and in The


But why should honour outlive honesty?
Let it go all.

What did thy song bode, lady?
Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan, 245
And die in music. [Singing] Willow, willow, willow.
Moor, she was chaste; she loved thee, cruel Moor;

So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true;
So speaking as I think, I die, I die.
Oth. I have another weapon in this chamber;

[She dies. 250

It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper.—

244-246. What . . . willow.] omitted Q I. omitted Qq, Ff, Craig; Willow

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246. [Singing] Dyce et seq.; willow] in italics Qq, Ff (willough Ff), Steevens, etc. 249. I die, I die] Qq; alas, I die Ff; [She dies] Qq; omitted Ff; Dies Steevens, Globe, etc. 251. It is] Qq, It was Ff; the ice-brook's] the Ice brookes F 1, 2; the Ice brooks F 3, 4; the Isebrookes Qq; the Ebro's Pope, Theobald, Capell.

Passionate Morrice (New Sh. Soc. p. 81, 1877) of a loose girl (1593). Dryden applies it to a "padder” (thief), Sir Martin Marall, Iv. i., 1667. Grose defines it later, "a sharp, subtle fellow." There are several old terms similarly employed, beginning with "whip." Sometimes they relate to "whipping" off drinks, more often to flogging, either of the human body, or the town-top.

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244-249.] Whatever view Shakespeare desires us to take of Emilia, and how we are to apportion the good and the bad in her seemingly incongruous disposition, he certainly intended us to forgive her everything in her dying scene. At line 88, above-at the dreadful words " So, so" -Johnson said: "I am glad that I have ended my revisal of this dreadful scene. It is not to be endured." So true are these words that they need no comment, save that the suffering of sympathy in the reader is practically exhausted by Desdemona's murder, and there is none left for the ensuing horrors. Were there a morsel left,

Emilia earns it at last.

245. play the swan] Shakespeare re


fers to this myth several times. See
King John, v. vii. 21, and Merchant of
Venice, III. ii. 44. The earliest refer-
ence I have noted is in Gascoyne's
Life (Arber, p. 22), 1577: "The swan
in songs doth knoll her passing bell.'
See also Arber's English Garner, vii.
330, for an early reference.
legend is contradicted by Pliny:
"Some say that the swans sing lament-
ably a little before their death, but
untruly I suppose: for experience in
many hath shewed the contrarie"
(Holland's Translation, x. 23). The
editors of Clarendon Press edition
of Merchant of Venice quote it from
Ovid, Heroides, vii. I. Steevens and
Douce refer it back to Plato.
Thomas Brown supposed the idea
originated from the belief that Orpheus,
after his death, became a
(Popular Errors).


251. sword of Spain] either a Toledo or a Bilbao, which were equally famous at this time. Lyly mentions "the Spanish rapier" as early as 1579 (Euphues, Arber, p. 152).

251. ice-brook's temper] steel tempered in icy cold water. Steevens

O, here it is. Uncle, I must come forth.
Gra. [Within] If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear:

Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.

Oth. Look in upon me then, and speak with me,
Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.


Re-enter GRATIANO.

Gra. What is the matter?


Behold, I have a weapon;

A better never did itself sustain
Upon a soldier's thigh: I have seen the day
That with this little arm and this good sword
I have made my way through more impediments
Than twenty times your stop: but, O vain boast!
Who can control his fate? 'tis not so now.
Be not afraid, though you do see me weapon'd;
Here is my journey's end, here is my butt
And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
Do you go back dismay'd? 'tis a lost fear:

255. with] Ff, to Qq. 262. your] you Q I. omitted Q I. 266. And] Ff; The Q 2, 3.

thought a special "brook" was referred to here, and cites classical authorities. He does not, however, mention Pliny, who says (Holland, xxxiv. 14): "Water only which in some places is better, in other worse, hath ennobled many places for the excellent yron that commeth from them, as namely, Bilbilis in Spaine . . Comus also in Italie.. Setting aside these two countries, I know not where there be anie bars or gads tempered of fine and pure steele."

263. Who can control his fate?] Desdemona's words "It is my wretched fortune" are recalled,

264-270. Be



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264. weapon'd] armed. Malone says this uncommon participle occurs in Sidney's Arcadia. But see quotations at "officers of night," I. i. 183, from Contareno's Venice. And compare Hakluyt, ii. 291 (reprint), 1599: "Some of his gard had smal stanes, & most of them were weaponed with bowes and arrowes.'

266. sea-mark] beacon, perch, etc. See Coriolanus, v. iii. 73. And Eastward Ho, iv. 1: "the farthest seeing sea-mark of the world." Captain Smith (Virginia, Arber, p. 922) has a pretty little ode to "The Sea-Marke," 1630. 267. lost] wasted, useless,

Man but a rush against Othello's breast,
And he retires.
Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starr'd


Where should Othello go?

Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt,
This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven,
And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl!
Even like thy chastity.

O cursed, cursed slave! Whip me, ye devils,
From the possession of this heavenly sight!
Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur!
Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!
O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead!
Oh ! Oh! Oh!




Enter LODOVICO, MONTANO, CASSIO carried in a chair, and Officers with IAGO, prisoner.

Lod. Where is this rash and most unfortunate man ?

Oth. That's he that was Othello: here I am.

271. compt] count Q I.

270. Now, how] Now: how Ff; How Q 2, 3. 275. cursed, cursed] Ff, cursed Qq; ye] Ff, you Qq. 278. steep-down] hyphen omitted Qq. 279, 280. O Desdemona! Oh!] Q 1, 2, Collier (in one line), in two lines Globe, Cambridge; Oh Desdemon! dead Desdemon: dead. Oh, Oh! Ff (Desdemona F 2, 3) in one line; in two lines, the first as here, the second reading Dead! Oh! oh! oh! Steevens, Rann, etc. 280. Enter . prisoner] Rowe and Capell (nearly), Malone, Steevens (1793) et seq.; Enter Lodouico, Montano, Iago, and officers, Cassio in a Chaire Qq ; Iago omitted Q 2, 3; Enter Lodovico, Cassio, Montano, and Iago, with Officers Ff.

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