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fenfe, is corrected to pieced the bert, which is very stiff, and as Polonius fays, is a vile phrafe.


P. 355. A Veronefe, Michael Caffio.] The Revifal fupposes, I 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 cenforioufness in Iags, which he allows himself to have, where he fays, oh, I am nothing if not critical! Shak feare never thought of any thing like the "Onate mecum confule Man"lio."


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.

P. 368. If this poor brach of
Venice, whom I trace
For bis quick bunting, ftand the

putting on.] The old reading was traf, which Dr. Warburton judiciously turned into brach. But it seems to me, that traf 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

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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 sense 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 fuits, "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

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P. 374. Iago. He'll watch the borologue a double fet,

If drink rock not his cradle.-] Chaucer ufes the word horologe in more places than one,

"Well skirer was his crowing
" in his loge, (lodge).
"Than is a clocke, or abbey

P. 397. To feal ber father's eyes up clofe as oak.] The oak is (I believe) the moft clofegrained wood of the growth of England. Clofe as oak, means clofe as the grain of the oak.


I am ftill of my former opi


the drum, is of confiderable an tiquity in the European armies, particularly the German. In a curious picture in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, painted 1525, representing the fiege of Pavia by the French king, where the emperor was taken prisoner, we fee fifes and drums. In an old English treatife 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.


P.404. The fpirit-ftirring drum, th' ear-piercing fife.] In mentioning the fife joined with the drum, Shakespeare, as ufual, paints from the life: thofe inftruments accompanying each The drum and fife were also other, being used, in his age, by much ufed at antient festivals, the English foldiery. The fife, fhows, and proceffions. Gerard however, as a martial inftrument, Leigh, in his Accidence of Armowas afterwards entirely disconti- ry, printed in 1576, defcribing nued among our troops for many a christmas magnificently celeyears, but at length revived in brated at the inner temple, fays, the war before the laft. It is we entered the prince his hall, commonly supposed, that our fol-." where anon we heard the noyie diers borrowed it from the High-" of drum and fife," p. 119. At landers in the last rebellion: but a stately mafque on Shrove-funI do not know that the fife is peculiar to the Scotch, or even used at all by them. It was firft ufed, within the memory of man, among our troops, by the British guards, by order of the duke of Cumberland, when they were encamped at Marftricht, in the year 1747, and thence foon adopted into other English regiments of infantry. They took it from the allies with whom they ferved. This intrument, accompanying

day 1509, in which Henry VIII. was an actor, Hollinshed 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.

From the old French word viffleur, above cited, came the Englifh word whiffler, which anciently was ufed in its proper literal fenfe. Strype, fpeaking of

a grand

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"Which, like a mighty whif-
"fler 'fore the king,
"Seems to prepare his
66 way."

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 hors and proceffions.

Mr. WARTON. P. 424. Nature could not inweft 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 interefting 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 jealousy, fhews, that all the proofs are prefent at once to his inind, which fo overpowers it, that he falls in a trance, the natural confequence. Mr. REYNOLDS. P. 461. Line 2. Gone to burning 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 bafe in the former and most common fenfe, whofe 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 mall, there is a degree of baseness, 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 apposite almost to be used on the occafion, and is little more than bringing the fact into comparison with itself. Each through jealoufy had destroyed an innocent wife, circumstances so 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 Some ftory of a Jew alluded to, which might be well understood at that time, though now totally forgotten.

Shakespeare's feeming averfion to the Jezus in general, and his conftant defire to expose their avarice and bafenefs as often as he had an opportunity, may ferve to strengthen this fuppofition; and as that nation in his time, and fince, has not been famous for crimes daring and confpicuous, but has rather content ed itself to thrive by the meaner and more successful arts of baje nefs, there feems to be a particular propriety in the epithet.

When Falstaff is juftifying hims felf in Henry IV. he adds, If what I have faid be not true, I am a Jew, an Ebrew Jew, (i.e. one of the moft fufpected characters of the time) and the vigilance for gain which is defcribed in Shylock, may afford us reafon to fuppofe 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 feems 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 use to him in his military capacity. It fhould be obferved that most of the flourifhes merely ornamental were added after the first edition, and


this is not the only proof to be met with, that the poet in his alterations, fometimes forgot his original plan.

The metaphorical term of a pearl for a fine woman, may for ought I know be very common; but in the inftances Dr. Warburton has brought to prove it fo, there is a circumstance that immediately fhews a woman to have been meant.

"There SHE lies a pearl:
"Why SHE is a pearl of

In Othello's fpeech we find no fuch leading expreffion, and are therefore at liberty, I think, to take the paffage in its literal meaning.

To this note, fhould be fubjoined (as an apology for many

others which may not be thought to bring conviction with them) that the true fense of a passage 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 authorities which could not be queftioned, or decifions to which nothing could be added?


I have

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