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fenfe, is corrected to pieced the bert, which is very stiff, and as Polonius fays, is a vile phrafe. Mr. REYNOLDS. P. 355. A Veronefe, Michael Caffio.] The Revifat fupposes, believe rightly, that Michael Cio is a Veronefe.
It should just be obferved, that the Italian pronunciation of the word must be retained, other wife the measure will be defective. Mr. STEEVENS. P. 362. To fuckle fools, and chronicle Small beer.] I fee no more humour in this line than is obvious to the most careless reader. After enumerating the perfections of a woman, he adds, that if ever there was one fuch as he had been defcribing, fhe was, at the best, of no other ufe than to fuckle children and keep the accounts of a household. The expreffions of to fuckle fools and chronicle fmall beer, are only two inftances of the want of natural affection, and the predominance of a critical cenforioufnefs in Iage, which he allows himself to have, where he says, ob, I am nothing if not critical! Shak feare never thought of any thing like the "Onate mecum confule Man"lio." Mr. STEEVENS. This is certainly right. P. 366. Or tainting his dif cipline--] If the fenfe in this place was not fufficiently clear, I fhould have thought taunting his difcipline might have been the word, fince it was more likely for Rodrigo, from his general foolish character, to be able to throw out fomething in contempt of what he did not underland, than to fay any thing which
might really fully it, which tainting feems to imply.
putting on.] The old reading was traf, which Dr. War burton judiciously turned into brach. But it seems to me, that trafb belongs to another part of the line, and that we ought to read trafh for trace. To trash a bound, is a term of hunting still ufed in the North, and perhaps elsewhere; i, e. to correct, to rate. The fenfe is, "If this "'hound Roderigo, whom I rate "for quick hunting, for over"running the fcent, will but "fland the putting on, will but "have patience to be properly "and fairly put upon the fcent, "&t." The context and fenfe is nothing if we read trace. This very hunting-term, to trash, ismetaphorically used by ShakeSpeare in the Tempest, act i. fc. ii,
"Pro. Being once perfected
"how to grant suits, "How to deny them; whom
"t'advance, and whom "To trafb for overtopping."To trash for overtopping; i. e. "what fuitors to check for their "too great forward nefs." Ta evertop, is when a hound gives his tongue, above the reft, too loudly or too readily; for which he ought to be trash'd or rated, Tepper, in the good fenfe of the word, is a common name for a hound, in many parts of Eng land. Shakespeare is fond of allafiens to hunding, and appears to be well acquainted with its language, Mr. WARTON
P. 374. Iago. He'll watch the
"Well skirer was his crowing
eyes up clofe as oak.] The
the drum, is of confiderable an tiquity in the European armies, particularly the German. In a curious picture in the Ashmolean Mufeum at Oxford, painted 1525, reprefenting the fiege of Pavia by the French king, where the emperor was taken prisoner, we fee fifes and drums. In an old English treatise written by William Garrard before 1587, and published by one captain Hich cock in 1591, entitled the Arte of Warre, there are feveral woodcutts of military evolutions, in which these inftruments are both introduced. In Rymer's Fadera, in a diary of king Henry's fiege of Bulloigne, 1544, mention is made of the "drommes and viff"leurs," marching at the head of the king's army. Tom. xv. p. 53.
The drum and fife were also much used at antient festivals, fhows, and proceffions. Gerard Leigh, in his Accidence of Armory, printed in 1576, defcribing a chriftmas magnificently celebrated at the inner temple, fays,
we entered the prince his hall, where anon we heard the noyie "of drum and fife," p. 119. At a ftately mafque on Shrove-funday 1509, in which Henry VIII. was an actor, Hollinfbed mentions the entry of "a drum and fife
apprelled in white damaske "and grene bonnettes." Chron. iii. 805. col. 2. There are many more inftances in Hollinfhed, and Stowe's Survey of London.
P.404. The fpirit-firring drum,
From the old French word viffleur, above cited, came the Englifh word whiffler, which anciently was ufed in its proper literal sense. Strype, speaking of a grand
-"Behold, the English beach "Pales in the flood with men,
"with wives and boys,
"Which, like a mighty whif
By degrees, the word whiffler hence acquired the metaphorical meaning which it at prefent obtains in common fpeech, and became an appellation of contempt. Whiffler, a light trivial character, a fellow hired to pipe at fbows and proceffions.
Mr. WARTON. P. 424. Nature could not ineft herself in fuch fhadowing paffions without fome inftruction.] However ingenious Dr. Warburton's note may be, it is certainly too forced and farfetch'd. Othello alludes only to Caffio's dream, which had been invented and told him by lago, when many confused and very interesting ideas pour in upon the mind all at once, and with fuch rapidity, that it has not time to fhape or digeft them, if the mind does not relieve itself by tears, which we know it often does, whether
for joy or grief, it produces ftupefaction and fainting.
Othello, in broken fentences and fingle words, all of which have a reference to the cause of his jealoufy, fhews, that all the proofs are prefent at once to his mind, which fo overpowers it, that he falls in a trance, the natural confequence.
P. 461. Line 2. Gone to burn
ing bell.-] Against the authority of all the editions, I think, we might venture to read, burn in bell.— REVISAL. P. 469. Like the bafe Judean threw a pearl away, Richer than all his tribe.] I. cannot join with the learned criticks in fuppofing this paffage to refer either to the ignorance of the natives of India, in respect of pearls or the well known story of Herod and Mariamne.
Othello, in deteftation of what he had done, feems to compare himself to another who had thrown away a thing of value, with fome circumftances of the meanest villainy, which the epithet bafe feems to imply in its general fenfe, though it is fometimes ufed only for low or mean. The Indian could not properly be termed base in the former and molt common fense, whose fault was ignorance, which brings its own excufe with it, and the crime of Herod furely deserves a more aggravated distinction. For though in every crime, great as well as Small, there is a degree of bafeness, yet the furiis agitatus amor, fuch as contributed to that of Herod, feems to ask a stronger word to characterize it, as there
was Spirit at least in what he did, though the fpirit of a fiend, and the epithet bafe would better fuit with petty larceny than royal guilt. Befides, the fimile appears to me too appofite almost to be used on the occafion, and is little more than bringing the fact into comparison with itself. Each through jealoufy had deftroyed an innocent wife, circumftances fo parallel, as hardly to admit of that variety which we generally find in one allufion, which is meant to illuftrate another, and at the fame time to appear as no fuperfluous ornament. Neither do I believe the poet intended to make it coincide with all the circumftances of Othello's fituation, but merely with the fingle act of having bafely (as he himself terms it) destroyed that, on which he ought to have fet a greater value. As the pearl may bear a literal as well as a metaphorical fenfe, I would rather chufe to take it in the literal one, and receive Mr. Pope's rejected explanation, preSuppofing fome ftory of a Jew alluded to, which might be well understood at that time, though now totally forgotten.
Shakespeare's feeming averfion to the Jews in general, and his conftant defire to expofe their avarice and bafenefs as often as he had an opportunity, may ferve to ftrengthen this fuppofition; and as that nation in his time, and fince, has not been famous for crimes daring and confpicuous, but has rather contented itself to thrive by the meaner and more fuccessful arts of basenefs, there feems to be a particular propriety in the epithet.
When Falstaff is juftifying him felf in Henry IV. he adds, If what I have said be not true, I am a Jew, an Ebrew Jew, (i.e. one of the most fufpected characters of the time) and the vigilance for gain which is de fcribed in Shylock, may afford us reafon to suppose the poet was alluding to a story of fome Jew, who rather than not have his own price for a pearl of value, bafely threw that away which was fo excellent in its kind, that its fellow could hardly ever be expected to be found again.
Richer than all his tribe, seems to point out the Jew again in a mercantile light, and may mean that the pearl was richer than all the gems to be found among a fet of men generally trading in them. Neither do I recollect that Othello mentions many things, but what he might fairly have been allowed to have had knowledge of in the courfe of his peregrinations. Of this kind, are the fimilies to to the Euxine fea flowing into the Propontick, and the Ara bian trees dropping their gums. The reft of his fpeeches are more free from mythological and hiftorical allufions, than almost any to be found in Shakespeare, for he is never quite clear from them, though in the defign of this character, he seems to have meant it for one who had spent a greater part of his life in the field, than in the cultivation of any other knowledge than what would be of ufe to him in his military capacity. It fhould be obferved that most of the flourishes merely ornamental were added after the first edition, and
others which may not be thought to bring conviction with them) that the true fenfe of a paffage has frequently remained undetermined, till repeated experiments have been tried on it, when one commentator, making a proper ufe of the errors of another, has at laft explained it to univerfal fatisfaction. When mistakes have fuch effects, who would regret having been mistaken, or be forry to be the means of directing others, by that affinity which a wrong reading or interpretation fometimes has to the right, though he has not been fo lucky to produce at once autho rities which could not be queftioned, or decifions to which nothing could be added?