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jago. He is much chang'd. Lod. Are his wits safe is he not light of brain ? Iago. He is that he is; I may not breathe my censure. What he might be,-if, what he might, he is not, I would to heaven, he were.
Lod. What, Itrike his wife !
lago. 'Faith, that was not so well; Yet 'would I knew, That Itroke would prove the worst.
Lod. Is it his use?
lago. Alas, alas!
Lod, I am sorry, that I am deceiv'd in him. [Exeunt,
A Room in the Castle
Enter OTHELLO and EMILIA.
as the power or agency of fortune; as, It was by chance that ibis accident befel me. At least, if we suppose all corrupt that is inaccu. rate, there will be no end of emendation. JOHNSON,
A Room in obe Castle.] There are great difficulties in ascertaining the place of this scene. Near the close of it, Iago says to Desdemona, “ Go in, and weep not," which would lead us to place it in the court before Othello's castle. These words may indeed be explained to mean, “Go into the supper-room" (though I do not think that the meaning): but immediately afterwards Roderigo enters, and con. verses with lago, which decisively ascertains the scene not to be in Ochello's house : for Roderigs, who had given the first intelligence to Brabantio, of his daughter's flight, and had shortly afterwards drawn his sword on Othello and his partisans, certainly would not iake the liberty of walking into his house at pleasure.
Oth. Yes, you have seen Callio and the together.
Enil. But then I saw no harm; and then I heard
Oth. What, did they never whisper?
Emil. I durft, my lord, to wager she is honest,
Re-enter EMILIA, with DESDEMONA,
On the other hand, what Othello says early in the scene to Emilia,
“ Leave procreants alone, and fout ibe door;" and his subsequent address to her as he goes out, as decisively point out a room in Othello's castle as the place of the scene ; and compel us to place the several interlocutors there, however inconfitent with Roderigo's entry, and Iago's address to Desdemona.
The truth is, that our poet and his audience, in this instance as in many other, were content, from want of scenery, to confider the very same spot, at one and the same time, as the outfide and inside of a house. See Vol. VII. p. 122, n. 7, and Tbe Historical Access of the English Srage, &c. Vol. I. Part II. p. 74. MALONE.
- of their wives.] Thus the folio. The quarto, 1622, reads of her sex. MALONE,
Des. What is your pleasure ?
Oih. Let me fee your eyes ; Look in
Oth. Why, what art thou ?
Def. Your wife, my lord ;
Oth. Come, swear it, damn thyself;
Des. Heaven doth truly know it.
Def. Alas, the heavy day! - Why do you weep?
Oib. Had it pleas’d heaven
Bus not ebe words.] This line is added out of the first edition.
POPE. 6 93
A fixed figure, for the time of scorn ?
Bas ? - time of fcorn-] The reading of both the eldest quartos and the folio is,
for the time of scorn. Mr. Rowe reads-band of scorn; and succeeding editors have fileatly followed him.
I would (though in opposition to so many great authorities in favour of the change) continue to read with the old copy:
ibe time of scorn. We call the bour in wbicb we are to die, the bour of destb;-the time when we are to be judged, be day of judgment ;--the inftant. when we suffer calamity,mebe moment of evil; and why may we not diftinguish the time which brings contempt along with it, by the tits of ebe time of scorn? Thus, in Soliman and Perfede, 1599:
“ So fings the mariner upon the shore,
“ When he hath past the dangerous time of forms." Again, in Marston's Insariate Countess, 1603:
“ I'll poison thee; with murder curbe thy paths,
« And make thee know a rime of infamy." Othello takes his idea from a clock. To make me (says he) a fixed figure (on the dial of the world) for tbe bour of scorn to poim and make a full pop ar! STEEVENS. Might not Shakipeare have written
for i be scorn of time To point his now unmoving finger at,i.e. the marked object for the contempt of all ages and all time. So, in Hamler :
“ For who would bear the whips and scorns of time?" However, in sopport of the reading of the old copies, it may be observed, that our authour has personified score in his 88th Sonnet :
" When thou shalt be dispos’d to let me light,
“ And place my merit in the eye of scorn" The epithet unmoving may likewise derive some support from Shakspeare's 104th Sonnet, in which this very thought is expressed :
" Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-band,
“ Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceiv'd." In the clocks of the last age there was, I think, in the middle of the dial-plate a figure of time, which, I believe, was in our poet's thoughts, when he wrote the passage in the text.
But there, where I have garner'd up my heart?;
Def. I hope, my noble lord esteems me honest.
Oth. O, ay; as summer flies are in the shambles, That quicken even with blowing. Othou weed",
Who The finger of the dial was the technical phrase. So, in Albovine King of tbe Lombards, by D'Avenant, 16293
“ Even as the pow finger of the dial
" To diftant figures,_." D'Avenant was a great reader of Shakespeare, and probably had read his plays, according to the fashion of the time, in the folio, witho'. troubling himself to look into the quarto copies.
Unmoving is the reading of the quarto, 1622. The folio reads--a.. mning; and this certainly agrees with the image presented and its counte: part, better than unmoving, which can be applied to a clock, only by licence of poetry, ( not appearing so move,) and as applied to feorn, has but little force: to say nothing of the superfluous cpithet slow ; for there needs no ghoft to tell us, that that which is unmoving is slow. Slow implies some sort of motion, however little it may be, and therefore appears to me to favour the reading of the folio.
I have given the arguments on both sides, and, from respect to the opinion of others, have printed unmoving, though I am very doubtful whether it was the word intended by Shakspeare. The quarto, 1622, has-fingers; the folio-- finger. Malone. 3 garner'd up my beart;] That is, treasured up; the
and the fountain are improperly conjoined. JOHNSON.
turn tby complexion bere ! &c.) At such an object do thou, parience, thyself ebange colour ; at this do thou, even thou, rosy cberub as thou art, lock grim as bell. The old editions and the new have it,
I bere look grim as bell.
Here in the old copies was manifeftly an errour of the press. See the line next but one above. Mr, Theobald made the correction.
MALONE. -0 tbou weed,] Dr. Johnfon has, on this oceahon, been unjustly censured for having itined difficulties where he could not remove them. I would therefore observe, that Othello's speech is printed word for word from the folio edition, though the quarto reads: O ibon black weed!