« AnteriorContinuar »
To point his slow unmoving finger at; -
Des. I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.
Oth. O! ay; as summer flies are in the shambles, That quicken even with blowing. 0, thou weed! Who art so lovely fair, and smell'st so sweet, That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst
ne'er been born!
3 So read all the old copies, save that the folio has “slow and moving." Much has been written upon the passage, and divers changes proposed, such as “ hund of scorn,” and slowly moving, most of them originating in a notion that the Poet had some sort of time-piece in his mind. Probably, not to say certainly, no such reference was intended. So that all the progeny of that notion may be set aside. The time of scorn
means, no doubt, as Knight says, “ the age of scorn,” that is, the whole period during which scorn may be said to live. The “fixed figure” is simply the speaker himself, and not any figure on a dial-plate. As 10 " slow unmoving,” the sense of it can be better felt than ex. pressed: we can see the sneer darting from the inexorable finger, ever slowly moving with the object, never moving from it; but we cannot speak it in any words but Shakespeare's, as they stand in the text. The best of all the proposed changes that we have seen, in fact the only one worth entertaining, is Mr. Hunter's, who would transpose for and of, thus : “ A fixed figure of the time for Scorn to point,” &c. We will add Mr. R. G. White's comment on the last line of the passage : “Some have chosen the reading of the folio, on the ground that if the finger of scorn be “slow,' it must move, and therefore, unmoving' is an incongruous epithet! But surely the finger of scorn is unmoving,' because it does not move from ils object, but points at him fixedly and relentlessly. To say that a thing is slow,' and then to add that it moves,
is certainly worthy only of an idiot.”
Des. Alas! what ignorant sin have I committed ?
Oth. Was this fair paper, this most goodly book, Made to write whore upon ? What committed ? Committed !--0, 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 strumpet ! Des.
By Heaven, you do me wrong. Oth. Are not you a strumpet ? Des.
No, as I am a Christian : If to preserve this vessel for my lord," From
other foul unlawful touch, Be not to be a strumpet, I am none.
Oth. What! not a whore ?
No, as I shall be sav'd.
I cry you mercy, then! I took you for that cunning whore of Venice, That married with Othello. - You, mistress,
4 This and the next three lines are in the folio and the quarto of 1630, but not in that of 1622.
5 So in The Merchant of Venice : “ Hugg’d and embraced by the strumpet wind."
6 The words, “Impudent strumpet,” are in both quartos, but not in the folio.
ion is from Sacred Writ : “ To possess his vessel in sanctification."
& That is, the office opposed to Saint Peter ; alluding, evidently,
And keep the gate of hell ; you, you, ay, you !
your pains : I pray you, turn the key, and keep our counsel.
[Erit. Emil. Alas! what does this gentleman conceive ? How do you, madam ? how do you, my good lady?
Des. 'Faith, half asleep.
Why, with my lord, madam. Des. Who is thy lord ? 9 Emil.
He that is yours, sweet lady. Des. I have none. Do not talk to me, Emilia ; I cannot weep; nor answer I have none,
hat should go by water. Prythee, to-night Lay on my bed my wedding sheets, remember ;And call thy husband hither. Emil.
Here's a change, indeed! [Exit. Des. 'Tis meet I should be us'd so, very meet. How have I been behav'd, that he might stick The small'st opinion on my least misuse ?"
Re-enter EMILIA, with Iago. Iago. What is your pleasure, madam? How is it
to “the power of the keys," which was given to the Apostles generally, and especially to Saint Peter as representing them. So that the opposition is between Emilia as keeper of the gate of hell, and Saint Peter as keeper of the gate of heaven. The sense, Therefore, requires that the special emphasis, if there be any, should be laid on opposite.
9 This and the next speech are not in the first quarto. 10 That is, be expressed by tears.
11 Thus the folio and the quarto of 1630; the other quarto, “on my greatest abuse."
Des. I cannot tell. Those that do teach young
What's the matter, lady ?
Des. Am I that name, Iago ?
What name, fair lady ?
Emil. He call’d her whore: a beggar, in his drink, Could not have laid such terms upon his callat."2
Iago. Why did he so ?
Emil. Has she forsook so many noble matches,
Des. It is my wretched fortune.
Beshrew him fort!
Nay, Heaven doth know.
Iago. Fie! there is no such man: it is impossible.
12 A callat is a trull, a drab. The word is of great antiquity in the English language. See The Winter's Tale, Act ii. sc. 3, note 9.
Why should he call her whore? who keeps her
company? What place? what time? what form ? what likeli
hood ? The Moor's abus'd by some most villainous knave,'3 Some base notorious kpave, some scurvy fellow. — 0, Heaven, that such companions Thou’dst unfold, And put in every honest hand a whip, To lash the rascal naked through the world, Even from the east to the west ! Iago.
Speak within door. 14
Iago. You are a fool ; go to.
O, good lago!
13 The quarto of 1622 has, “some outrageous knave." — No. torious knave is here used for some knave worthy to be noted, or branded with infamy. - It has been already observed that companion was a term of contempt. See Julius Cæsar, Act iv. sc. 3, note 6.
14 Do not clamour so as to be heard beyond the house.
ló The folio reads, “ Alus, Iago!” — All of this speech, after “ how I lost him," is wanting in the quarto of 1622. The other quarto and the folio bave it complete.
16 « Discourse of thought” probably means much the same as « discourse of reason ;” that is, discursive range of thought. See Hamlet, Act i. sc. 2, note 19. The phrase, “ discoursing thoughts," is met with in Sir John Davies' Epigrams. Pope changed « discourse of thought” to “discourse, or thought," which certainly is more in accordance with the solemn and impressive particularity of the speaker's asseveration of innocence. The change has also been approved as referring to the three forms of sin, “by thought, word, and deed,” specified in the old catechisms and the eucha.