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at |http: //books .google .com/I 

Mr. and Mrs. Donald H. Alden 

■, •' .l^V■- VA 





'■'T.'i. * 
f .» 

'r * ' 

^ \ 

• t " 




f • 










Oypyright, 1886, by J. B. Lippincott Company. 

Wktcott & Thomson, 
RlectrUfptrt and Sttrt^typtrt^ Phila. 

Pkbss op J. B. LippiMconrr Compamy, 


Can to my sight that heavenly pace RESTOkl. 


The Shakespeare Club, — ' many millions strong ' as Christopher 
North says, — ^is made up of readers of Shakespeare and students of 
JShakespeare. All are readers, and some at times students. When 
reading Shakespeare, we resign ourselves to the mighty current, and 
let it bear us along whithersoever it will ; we see no shoals, heed no 
rocks, need no pilot. Whether spoken from rude boards or printed 
in homely form, the words are Shakespeare's, the hour is his, and a 
thought of texts is an impertinence. 

But when we study Shakespeare, then (r.u mood changes; no 
longer are we 'sitting at a play,' the passive recipients of impres- 
sions through the eye and ear, but we weigh every word, analyse 
every expression, sift every phrase, that no grain of art or beauty 
which we can assimilate shall escape. To do this to our best advan- 
tage we must have Shakespeare's own words before us. No other 
words will avail, even though they be those of the wisest and most 
inspired of our day and generation. We must have Shakespeare's 
own text; or, failing this, the nearest possible approach to it. We 
shall be duly grateful to the wise and learned, who, where phrases 
are obscure, give us the words which they believe to have been 
Shakespeare's; but, as students, we must have under our eyes the 
original text, which, however stubborn it may seem at times, may 
yet open its treasures to our importunity, and reveal charms before 
undreamed of. 

This original text is to be found in the First edition of his 
Works, published in 1623, and usually known as the First Folio, 
which was presumably printed from the words written by Shake- 
speare's own hand, or from Stage copies adapted from his manu- 
scripts. Be it that the pages of this First Folio are little bettei 
than proof-sheets, lacking supervision of the author or of any other. 


yet 'those who had Shakespeare's manuscript before them were 
more likely to read it right than we who read it only in imagi- 
nation/ as Dr Johnson said. Even grant that the First Folio is, 
as has been asserted, one of the most carelessly printed books ever 
issued from the press, it is, nevertheless^ the only text that we have 
for at least sixteen of the plays, and condemn it as we may, ' still is 
its name in great account, it still hath power to charm ' for all of 
them. Can any good reason be urged why, in this present play at 
least, we should not, in the hours devoted to study, be it remem- 
bered, have the text of the First Folio as our guide? Is there not 
every reason why we should ? If misspellings occur here and there, 
surely our common-school education is not so uncommon that we 
cannot silently correct them. If the punctuation be deficient, surely 
it can be supplied without an exorbitant demand upon our intel- 
ligence. And in lines incurably maimed by the printers, of what 
avail is the voice of a solitary editor amid the Babel that vociferates 
around, each voice proclaiming the virtues of its own specific ? Who 
am I that I should thrust myself in between the student and the 
text, as though in me resided the power to restore Shakespeare's 
own words? Even if a remedy be proposed which is by all acknow- 
ledged to be efficacious, it is not enough for the student that he 
should know the remedy; he must see the ailment. Let the ail- 
ment, therefore, appear in all its severity in the text, and let the 
remedies be exhibited in the notes; by this means we may make 
a text for ourselves, and thus made, it will become a part of our- 
selves, and speak to us with more power than were it made for us 
by the wisest editor of them all — it may be ' an ill-favoured thing, 
sir,' but — it will be 'our own.' 

Impressed with this belief, I have in this volume abandoned the 
plan, heretofore followed in this edition, and instead of giving a 
modernised text, have reproduced the First Folio, reprinting it from 
my own copy with all the exactitude in my power, scanning it letter 
by letter, and have recorded in the Notes the various readings of all 
other critical editions. For a fuller exposition of what I have done, 
o* left undone, in this regard, and in regard to the text in general, 
I «iiust refer to p. 460 of the Appendix. 


I have long been of the opinion that in the interpretation of Shake- 
speare's plays, our first appeal, and perhaps our last, should be made 
to the dramatic instinct, as it has been termed, with which eminent 
Actors are especially endowed. To see Kean, it has been said, was 
to read Shakespeare by 'flashes of lightning/ Yet how seldom do 
we find in Shakespearian Commentaries any reference to the dramatic 
rendering of a character, or of a passage, by an eminent Actor. This 
is, however, not altogether the fault of the Commentators. All who 
have read much of the Biographies of Actors will, I think, agree with 
me in the regret that explicit, specific descriptions of their acting are 
so meagre. Of vague generalisations, conveying no definite ideas, we 
have a superfluity ; but of the tones, or looks, or emphasis on par- 
ticular words or lines there is a plentiful lack. What help is given 
to us by the information that nothing could surpass the fervour of 
Garrick's wooing as Romeo, or that Mrs Siddons was wonderfully 
tragic as Lady Macbeth? What we require is the report like that 
of an eye-witness whose record is taken on the spot ; then we shall 
know Romeo's every tone and look when rich music's tongue unfolds 
imagined happiness. There are, however, scattered here and there, 
explicit definite descriptions of the treatment by eminent Actors of 
various passages; those which I deemed worthy of preservation I 
have recorded in the Commentary. At my solicitation my friend, 
Mr Edwin Booth, wrote out for me, in an interleaved copy of this 
play, much of his 'business;' I cannot but think that to others his 
notes will be as interesting and as valuable as I have found them. 
It is to be borne in mind for his sake that the notes were made 
with no view to their being printed. 

It cannot be but that, in the selection of notes for an edition like 
the present, an editor, working single-handed, must be influenced 
by his own tastes and predilections. I can honestly say, however, 
that if I have been single-handed I have been also single-eyed, — 
single-eyed to the one object of elucidating the text. We do not 
go to Shakespeare to study grammar or scanning, but we study his 
grammar that we may understand him, and arrange the scansion, 
that every charm which rhythm can yield may be his, as of right 


Hence the prominence which I have given to all grammatical and 
verbal criticism; which is to be regarded solely as a means to an 
end. Without a complete understanding of the words the meaning of 
the whole sentence will be lost, — ^and is not the meaning of Shake- 
speare the very butt and sea-mark of our utmost sail ? It is as con- 
tributors towards this object that I regard Actors, and have, therefore, 
recorded their interpretations. Herein the selection of notes for this 
volume has been influenced by my own preference. 'It is impossible,' 
says Dr Johnson, 'for an expositor not to write too little for some, 
' and too much for others. He can judge what is necessary only by 
' his own experience ; and how long soever he may deliberate, will at 
' last explain many lines which the learned will think impossible to be 
* mistaken, and omit many for which the ignorant will want his help. 
'These are censures merely relative, and must be quietly endured.' 

Since these words were written, a hundred and twenty years ago, 
what numberless busy 'expositors,' high and low, wise and simple, 
learned and ignorant, clerk and lay, at home and abroad, have been, 
down to this hour, poring over every Act, and Scene, over every line, 
and syllable 1 Is there anything left for us to explore or to discover? 
' Gentlemen,' said Dr Barclay in one of his Edinburgh Lectures, 
' Anatomy may be likened to a harvest-field. First come the reapers, 
' who, entering upon untrodden ground, cut down great store of com 
' from all sides of them. These are the early anatomists of modern 
' Europe. Then come the gleaners, who gather up ears enough from 
' the bare ridges to make a few loaves of bread. Such were the anat- 
' omists of the last century. Last of all come the geese, who still 
' continue to pick up a few grains scattered here and there among the 
'stubble, and waddle home in the evening, poor things, cackling 
' with joy because of their success. Gentlemen, we are the geese ' 

The next play in this edition, if there ever be one, will be, prob- 
ably. The Merchant of Venice, 

To my Father, the Rev. Dr Furness, be my thanks pressed down 

and running over for all that he has done for me, especially for his 

translation of my selections from the German in the Appendix. 

H. H. F 
March, 1886 




Othello, the Moore of Venice. 

A6ius Primus. Scmna Prima. 

[3 10 (i\ Enter Rodarigo^and lago. 


Euer tell me, I take it much vnkindly 

That thou (Jago) who haft had my purfe, 5 

1. Actus...Prima.] Cm. Qq. Act I, iii. Rife, Huds. 

Scene I. Rowe. 4. »»^,]«/. Johns. Steev.*73. m// Jen. 

2. [Scene Venice. Rowe. Scene, a Dyce, Sta. Glo. Cam. Ktly, Rife, Huds 
Street in Venice. Theob. Wh. ii. 

Enter...] Enter lago and Roderigo. mucA] very Ff, Rowe. 

Qq. Enter...Jago. Q'8i, Rowe, Pope (so 5. th(m\ you Q,. 
spelled throughout). lago] Dm. Q^Qj. 

4. Netur\ Tvjh, neuer Qq. Waib. Jen. haft\ has Q,. 

Sleev. Var. Coll. Sta. Wh. Glo. Cam. Dyce had\ held Cap. conj (p. 26 «). 

1. Scene.] Fechter : A street in Venice — on the right a house with practiaible 
door and window. Night. Booth : Venice. A dark street. Full stage. 

2. The bracketed numbers and letters [310 tf, etc.] indicate the page and column in F,. 
4. Neuer] Coleridge (Notes^ &c., p. 247) : Admirable is the preparation, so truly 

and peculiarly Shakespearian, in the introduction of Roderigo, as the dupe on whom 
lago shall first exercise his art, and in so doing display his own character. Roderigo^ 
without any Bxed principle, but not without the moral notions and sympathies with 
honour, which his rank and connections had hung upon him, is already well fitted and 
predisposed for the purpose ; for very want of character and strength of passion, like 
wind loudest in an empty house, constitute his character. The first three lines happily 
state the nature and foundation of the friendship between him and lago, — the purse, — as 
also the contrast of Roderigo's intemperance of mind with lago's coolness, — the cool- 
ness of a preconceiving experimenter. The mere language of protestation, — * If ever 
I did dream of such a matter, abhor me,' — ^which, falling in with the associative link, 
determines Roderigo's continuation of complaint, — * Thou told'st me, thou didst hold 
him in thy hate,'— elicits at length a true feeling of lago's mind, the dread of con- 
tempt habitual to those who encourage in themselves, and have their keenest pleasure 
in, the expression of contempt for others. Observe lago's high self-opinion, and the 
moral, that a wicked man will employ real feelings, as well as assume those most alien 
from his own, as instruments of his purposes : — ' And, by the faith of man, I know my 
I I 


As if ^ firings were thine, (hould'ft know of this. 
la. But you'l not heare me. If euer I did dream 

6. Two lines, F^ Rowe. 

MfV.] this— Han. Wazb. Dyce, Su. 
this; Ci^ 

7. Bui^ S'blood, hut Q,. 'Sblood, hut 
Jen. Steev. Var. ColL Dycc, Sta. Wh. Glo. 
Cam. Ktly, Clarke, Rife, Huds. *Sdeath, 
hut Fechter. 

But.,.me.'] One line, QqF^ Rowe +, 
C^>. Jen. Steev. Var. ColL Dyce, Sta. 

Wh. Glo. Rife, Hods. But,.,£tser One 
line, MaL 

7. ymii'\ you will Q,, Jen. Steer. Var. 
CoU. Dyce, Wh. Glo. Cam. Rife, Huds. 

7, 8. If...fne^ One line, Qq, Rowe+, 
Jen. Var. Coll. Wh. i. If.., matter^ One 
line, Han. Cap. Steev. Dyce, Sta. Wh. ii, 
Glo. Cam. Rife, Huds. 

price, I am worth no less a place.' [I am afraid that Collier < frolicked in conjec- 
ture * when he suggests (ed. iii) that < the interjection Tusk may have been fonned from 
hush; while Tut (often used) was probably an abbreviation of Tell you what? Skeat 
dtes Prompt, Parv., where Way (in a note s. v. Ptrol) says that * Palsgrave observes, in 
his enumeration of inteijections, *' Some be interiections of indignadon, trut, as trut 
auant, trutP* ^^TVut, an inteijection importing indignation, tush, tut, fy man. Trut 
avant, a fig's end, no such matter, you are much deceived ; also, on afore for shame." 
Cotgrave.'— Ed.] 

4. me] Knight believes that by the emphasis falling on < me,' as here in the F, the 
expression is somewhat more in Roderigo's vein, and that the omission of Tush was 
not accidental. 

6. this] Hudson : The intended elopement. Roderigo has been suing for Desde- 
mona's hand, employing lago to aid him in his suit, and paying his service in advance. 
The play opens pat upon her elopement with the Moor, and Roderigo presumes lago 
to have been in the secret of their intention. 

7. But] Knight, the first editor to proclaim an absolute trust in the First Folio, 
and to give a reason for the faith that was in him, here at the very outset ofTeis 
battle. Steevens, following the Qq, had said that, 'the Folio suppresses the 
oath *shlood* The use of the word suppresses seems to cast a slur; and Knight 
is instantly on hand, ' but Steevens does not tell us,' he says, ' what the Folio does 
besides. It accommodates the rhythmical arrangement of the sentence to the sup- 
pression of the oath. This is certainly not the work of some botcher coming after the 
author. Such instances of right feeling and good taste, in the omission of offensive 
expressions, constantly occur throughout this play in F,. In the Qto such offensive 
expressions are as constantly found. The modem editions cling to the Qto in this 
particular, upon the supposition that in the Folio the passages were struck out by the 
Master of the Revels. The Master of the Revels must have been an exceedingly 
a^dous person if he thus exercised his office in 1623, and thus neglected it in 1622. 
We have not a doubt, seeing that the structure of the verse is always accommodated to 
the alteration, that every such change was made by the author of the play. It was not 
that the Master of the Revels was scrupulous in the use of his authority with F,, and 
negligent with Q,, but that both Qto and Folio were printed at a period when the Stat- 
ute of 1604 \_Qu, 1605 ?] for restraining the profane use of the sacred name in stage- 
plays, had fallen into neglect. But the Qto was printed from an early copy of the play 
which existed before the Statute came into operation. The Folio contains the author's 
additions and corrections. This would be a sufficient reason, if there were no otlier, 
for preferring the text of the Folio in this as well as in other matters.' Coluer (ed. i) 

Acr I, sc L] 


Of fuch a matter, abhorre me. 

Rodo, Thou told'ft me, 
Thou did'ft hold him in thy hate. 

lago, Defpife me 
If I do not. Three Great-ones of the Cittie, 
(In perfonall fuite to make me his Lieutenant) 
Off-capt to him : and by the faith of man 




8. matter^ abhorre me ^ matter^ — Cap. 
m^.] me then, Han. 

9, 10. Thou..Jiate,'\ One line, Qq, 
Rowc+, Cap. Jen. Stecv. Var. Knt, Coll. 
Sing. Dycc, Sta. Wh. Glo. Cam. Ktly, 
Rife, Huds. 7^h<m,.,hold One line, Han. 

II, 12. De/pi/e,.,Cittie'] One line, Qq, 
Cap. Jen. Steev. Var. Knt, Coll. Sing. Dyce, 
Sta.Wh. Glo. Cam. Ktly, Rife, Huds. 

II-18. Lines end nol.„/uit,..him,,, 
(following Q,) Han. 

12. Great-ones] great ones Qq et cet 

13. Lieutenant] Leitttenant Q^, Lieve' 
tenant F,. 

14. qf-ca^]OftcaptQq, Oftcapfd 
(subs.) Rowe, Pope, Han. Steev. Var. ColL 
Sing. Ktly, Dyce iii, Huds. 

b thoroughly conservative, observing that if the Master of the Revels expunged < 'Sblood,' 
he certainly did not erase ' Tush,' and since both were probably written by Shakespeare, 
both had better be retained. 

14. 0£r-capt] That is, says Theobald, stood cap in hand, soliciting him. So in 
Ant, &* Cleo. H, vii, 64 : * I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes,' and in Tim. 
IV, iii, 212 : 'And let his very breath, whom thou'lt observe. Blow off thy cap.' Jen- 
NENS suggests that we are not to suppose that the Great ones often begged Othello, cap 
in hand, to promote lago, and adds, ' 'tis very likely the original reading was Off*d 
cap,* The reading of the Qq, says Ritson (p. 225) is * nonsense ;' whereas an ' inti- 
mate knowledge of the Qq' convinces Malone that 'they ought not without very 
strong reason to be departed from.' No such strong reason appears to him here, prob- 
ably because to him as well as to all who adopt oft capped. Mason's explanation seems 
conclusive, namely that 'to cap is to salute by taking off the C14). It is still an academic 
phrase.' Knight comes to the defence of F,, and, admitting that to cap in ancient 
academical phrase meant to take the cap off, and that it is so used by other early Eng- 
lish authors, as in Drant's Horace, 1567, yet, asks Knight, 'is oft capfd supported by 
the context ? As we read the whole passage, three great ones of the dty wait upon 
Othello; they "off-capp'd," — they took cap-in-hand, — in personal suit that he should 
make lago his lieutenant ; but he evades them, &c. He has already chosen his officer. 
Here b a scene painted in a manner well befitting both the dignity of the great ones 
of the city and of Othello himself. The audience was given, the solicitation was hum- 
bly made, the reasons for refusing it courteously assigned. But take the other reading, 
oft capp'd ; and then we have Othello perpetually haunted by the three great ones of 
the dty, capping to him and repeating to him the same prayer, and he perpetually deny- 
ing them ¥dth the same bombast circumstance. Surely this is not what Shakespeare 
meant to represent.' White (ed. i) suggests that ' capped ' seems ' to have meant to 
keep the cap on, not to take it off. For example : " And this of Paull, that a man 
should neither pray nor preach capped, or with his head covered, is also cleane abol- 
ished." — Cranmer's ConfiUation of Unwritten Verities, 1582, p. 62.' But Dyce (ed. 
iii) is not convinced, and ailer quoting Malone, opposes White with a definition firom 
Coles'f L4Mtin Diet,: 'To cap a person, coram aliquo caput aperire, nudare* fl 


I know my price, I am worth no worfle a place. 15 

But he (as louing his owne pride, and purpofes) 

Euades them, with a bumbaft Circumllance, 

Horribly ftuffl with Epithites of warre, 

Non-fuites my Mediators. For certes, faies he, 19 

15. larn^ Pm Pope+, Dyce iii, Huds. /toH,„/ayes he,., was he t ,„ArUkmeHtum 
worffe'\wofeY^. Q,,Jen.Coll. war,„conclun4m.„sayshe,,. 

16. his owne"] His Han. officer. „was he f ...arithmetician Pope+, 
purpo/es'\ purpose Theob. Wazb. Cap. Rann, Dyce, Sta. Wh. Glo. Cam. 

Johns. Rife. war. ..mediators. ..already. ..was he f 

17. bumbajr\ QqFf, Rowe, F^pe, Han. ...arithmetician Mai. war. ..nonsuits... 
hombaft Theob. says he. . . officer. . .was he ?. . .arithmetician 

18. Epithites"] Epithets F,F . Steev. Var. war... mediators,. .officer. 
iS, 19. foorrf, A'^MyMiiflr] Ff, Knt, Sing arithmetician Ktly. war... mediators.. 

li. fwimp.' A^yi#ii!fQ,Qj,Rowe. warre: chosc.was he f ...arithmetician (reading 
And in conclufion^ Non/uits Q, et cet. Pve) Huds. 

18-21. Ending lines, warre. ..eonclu- 19. For certes] Certes ¥opt+. 

prefer F^ which presents no difficulty. To Theobald's citations add Tim. II, i, i8» 
where the posture of importunity is represented as when 'the cap plays in the right 

17. bumbast] Nares: Originally cotton. Hence, because cotton was commonly 
used to stuff out quilting, &c., bombast also meant the stuffing of clothes, &c. Hence 
applied to tumid and inflated language. [Cotgrave gives : Cottoner. To bumbast, or 
stuffe with cotton. — ^Ed.] 

17. Circumstance] Reed: That is, circumlocution. See Greenes Tu Quoque 
[p. 93, Dodsley] ' a needless labour, sir. To run and wind about for circumstance ; 
When the plain word, <* I thank you," would have serv'd.* Also in Massinger's Pic- 
ture [I, i.] ' therefore, without circumstance, to the point.' [The editor of Greenes 
7U Quoque calls attention to the great similarity between the line there cited and ' To 
wind about my love with circumstance' in Mer. of Ven. I, i, 154; conf. Ham. I, v, 
127. — Ed.] Knight : lago does not mean to say that Othello made a long rigmarole 
speech to the three great ones, and then in conclusion nonsuited the mediators by tell- 
ing them that he had already chosen his officer. But, in the spirit of calumny, he 
fanputes to Othello that, having chosen his officer before the personal suit was made to 
him for lago, he suppressed the fact ; evaded the mediators ; and nonsuited them with 
a bombast circumstance. F, distinctly separates, for, certes^ says he, from nonsuits my 
mediators. Othello, according to lagds calumnious assertion, says the truth only to 

19. Non-suites] Lord Campbell (p. 112) : Here is a striking instance of Shake- 
speare's proneness to legal phraseology. Nonsuiting is known to the learned to be the 
most disreputable and mortifying mode of being beaten ; it indicates that the action is 
wholly unfounded on the plaintiff's own showing, or that there is a fatal defect in the 
manner in which his case has been got up ; insomuch that Mr. Chitty, the great special 
pleader, used to give this advice to young banisters practising at nisi prius : — * Always 
avoid your attorney when nonsuited, for till he has a little time for reflection, however 
much you may abuse the Judge, he will think that the nonsuit was all your fault.' 

19. Dyce (ed. iii) : < F, and Q, wrongly omit " And, in conclusion ;" but probably 
something has been lost before them.' — ^W. N. Lettsom. 


I haue already chofe my Officer. And what was he ? 20 

For-footh, a great Arithmatician, 

One Michaell Caffio, a Florentine, 

(A Fellow almoft damn'd in a faire Wife) 23 

20. €ho/e\cho/enQ^,]tn,SitC9,^^%i^S, Arithmetician Ff. 

MaL Rann. 22, 23. a... fVi/f]{a F\oreTi!dn€^s,.,wife) 

Officer, And'\ officer, and Qq. Warb. 

21. For-footk'\ For/ooth QqFf, Rowe 23. damfCd'\ dambd Qq. 

ctcct. fr^]wi>QqF,F^. /if^Cap. A>& 

21. Arithmatician\ Arithmetition Q,. Ktly. 

19, 20. For . . . officer] Theobald, following Pope in the omission of For, was 
the first to mark Certes . . . officer as a quotation. Of the edd. who follow the QqFf, 
Steev.'73, Dyce, Sta. Glo. Cam. Cowden-Clarke, Hal. Rolfe, Huds. Wh. ii, mark the 
quotation as beginning (properly, I think) with certes. For can be no part of Othello's 
speech. All other edd. follow Cap. in including For in the quotation. — Ed. 

19. certes] Steevens: That is, certainly, in truth. Schmidt (Lex. s. v.) says that 
here, and in Hen, VHI: I, i, 48, ' certes ' is a monosyllable, an assertion which I am 
afraid must be marked as one of the very few errors which that admirable lexicographer 
has made. An English ear will readily guide the present line with certes as a dis- 
syllable, and the line in Hen, VHI, < One, certes, that promises no element,' is scanned 
by reading ' promises ' as a dissyllable, a contraction of which Walker ( Vers, p. 62) 
gives numerous examples. The very many instances of ' certes ' as a dissyllable in 
Spenser alone would teach us to contract, in Shakespeare, almost any other word in 
the line rather than that. [I am now half inclined to agree with Schmidt. 1887.] — Ed. 

21. Arithmatician] Steevens: So, in Rom, ^ Jul, Mercutio says: 'one that 
fights by the book of arithmetic' Malone : lago means to represent Cassio not as a 
person whose arithmetic was ' one, two, and the third in your bosom,' but as a man 
merely conversant with civit matters, and who knew no more of a squadron than the 
number of men it contained. Singer thinks that lago refers to Cassio as a man whose 
knowledge of military evolutions was drawn entirely from books on tactics, wherein 
'the movements requisite to change from line to column, &c. are worked out numeri- 
cally on the base of a tactical unit.' C. A. Brown {JSh^s Autobiog, Poems, p. no), 
in his essay to prove that Shakespeare had visited Italy, says that there was good 
reason why Cassio, the Florentine, should be derisively termed by lago * a great arith- 
metician,' ' a counter-caster ' with his * debtor and creditor.' < A soldier from Florence, 
fjBunous for its bankers throughout Europe, and for its invention of bills of exchange, 
book-keeping, and everything connected with a counting-house, might well be ridiculed 
for his promotion, by an lago, in this manner.' 

22. Cassio] Bodenstedt (p. ix) says that Othello chose Cassio because he pre- 
ferred him personally as a go-between in his wooing of Desdemona, and moreover it 
ministered to Othello's pride to refuse the persoiud suit of the great ones of the city. 

22, 23. Florentine, . . . Wife] Theobald maintains that lago, not Cassio, was 
the Florentine ; and that < wife ' could not apply to Cassio, who was unmarried, but that 
it does apply to lago, whose * fair wife ' attends on Desdemona, and whose nuuriage 
and possible subjection to his wife was one reason, probably, why Othello himself, an 
unmarried man, rejected him as an officer. lago is therefore the 'fellow almost damn'd 
in a lair wife,' whereby Shakespeare ' means lago had so beautiful a Wife that she was 

6 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc i. 

[22, 23. < Florentine, (A Fellow almost damn'd in a faire Wife).'] 
his Heaven on Earth, that he idolized her, and that he forgot to think of Happiness in 
an After-state, as placing all his Views of Bliss in the single Enjoyment of her. In 
this sense. Beauty, when it can so seduce and engross a Man's Thoughts, may be said 
"almost to damn him." A somewhat similar thought is in Mer. of Ven, III, v, 80- 
83/ Theobald therefore puts these words in parenthesis, reading : (the Florentine's A 
fellow almost damn*d in a fair wife,). Hanmer was the first to point out that ' from many 
passages of this play (rightly understood) Cassio was a Florentine, and lago a Venetian,' 
and that as Cassio was unmarried, there must be some mistake in giving him a wife ; but 
Cassio's beauty is often hinted at — an attribute which rough soldiers, naturally enough, 
would treat with scorn and ridicule. Wherefore Hanmer reads * a fellow almost damn'd 
in a fair phyt^ Johnson resigns the lines to ' corruption and obscurity,' adding, * I 
cannot think it very plain from III, i, 44, that Cassio was or was not a Florentine.' 
Tyrwhitt (p. 2) : The great difBculty is to understand in what sense any man can 
be said to be * almost damn'd in a fair wife ' or *a fair phyz.' I cannot find any ground 
for supposing that either the one or the other has ever been reputed to be damnable 
gins in any reUgion. There is the same expression in Mer. of Ven. I, i, 98 : < If they 
should speak, would almost damn those ears. Which, hearing them, would call their 
brothers fools.' And there the allusion is evident to the Gospel-judgment against those 
who call their brothers fools. I am inclined, therefore, to believe that the true reading 
here is : ' A fellow almost damn'd in a fair life^ and that Shakespeare alludes to the 
judgment denounced in the Gospel against those of whom all men speak well. The 
character of Cassio is such as would be very likely to draw upon him all the peril of 
this denunciation, literally understood. Well-bred, easy, sociable, good-natured, with 
abilities enough to make him agreeable and useful, but not sufficient to excite the envy 
of his equals or to alarm the jealousy of his superiors. In several other passages lago 
bears his testimony to the amiable qualities of his rival. Conf < the daily beauty of his 
life,' V, i, 22. I will only add that however hard or far-fetch'd this allusion (whether 
Shakespeare's or only mine) may seem to be, Archbishop Sheldon had exactly the 
same conceit when he made that singular compliment to a nephew of Sir William 
Temple, that ' he had the curse of the Gospel, because all men spoke well of him.' 
Heath (p. 551) adopts Theobald's * Florentine's,' and 'apprehends the meaning to be 
that, notwithstanding lago had a fair wife, he had little chance for going to heaven, 
as by the watchfulness of his jealousy he made it extremely difficult for her to do her 
part toward sending him thither.' Jennens in his text marks the line as an Aside^ 
and, retaining the parenthesis, reads * A fellow's almost damn'd in a fair wife !' In 
his note, after condemning Theobald's emendation, and asserting that Hanmer's is 
simply equivalent to saying that * Cassio's a damn'd handsome fellow,' he upholds 
his own text by pleading that he has * only supplied an s after " fellow ;" ' and by 
supposing that ' Shakespeare meant the line to be spoke apart, expressing a sudden 
motion of jealousy in lago on naming Othello and Cassio, of both of which that he 
was jealous appears from II, iii. And lago's meaning is, *< To be married to a hand- 
some woman (as I am) is almost as bad as being damn'd ; as the number of her ad- 
mirers will doom the husband to a state of perpetual jealousy." ' Tollet ( Var.'jS) : 
Some might have no objection to read *a false wife;' as the jealous Ford says, 
•see the Aell of having a false woman.' — Merry Wives, II, ii; but the original text 
may mean a fellow almost as unhappy as the damned, with jealousy of a fair wife. 
Steevens: That Cassio was married is not sufficiently implied in the words «a fellow 
almost damn'd in a fair wife,' since they mean, according to lago's licentious maoLer 


[22, 23. * Florentine, (A Fellow almost damn*d in a faire Wife)/] 
of expressing himself, no more than a man ' very near being married.' Thb seems to 
have been the case with Cassio ; see IV, i, 142. Had Shakespeare, consistently with 
lago's character, meant to make him say that Cassio was ' actually damn'd in being 
married to a handsome woman,' he would have made him say it outright^ and not have 
interposed the palliative almost. Whereas, what he says at present amounts to no more 
thsm that (however near his marriage) he is not yet completely damned, because he is 
not absolutely married. The succeeding parts of lago's conversation sufficiently evince 
that Shakespeare thought no mode of conception or expression too brutal for that cha- 
iBcter. This note of Steevens, Malone thinks, clearly explains the line, and has there- 
fore * no doubt that the text is right.' M. Mason denies the correctness of Tyrwhitt's 
emendation, because lago would never have given to Cassio the highest commendation 
while wishing to depreciate him to Roderigo; though afterward in speaking to himself 
in V, i, he gives him his just character. Henley : lago is enumerating Cassio's dis- 
qualifications ; surely his being well spoken of by all men could not be one of them. 
It was in regard to the reported marriage of Cassio to the * customer,' the * most fair 
Bianca,' that lago called the new heutenant a fellow almost damned, Coleridge 
{Notes, &c., 248) prefers life * as fitting to lago's contempt for whatever did not display 
power, and that intellectual power.' Martinus Scriblerus (p. 16) proposes to include 
* almost damn'd in a fair wife ' in parenthesis, as thus uttered by lago in the rapidity of 
his thoughts, and thus paraphrases : * That is, " a fellow that never set a squadron in 
the field (a circtmistance, which, in the estimation of a soldier, almost throws contempt 
even upon a beautiful woman, is almost damned in a fair wife)". He then carries on 
the same idea, and adds, ** nor the division of a battle knows more than a spinster.** ' 
Becket (i, 179): For <wife' read wise, i. e. manner. The construction is: A fellow, 
in a fair wise, almost damn'd,' i. e. a fellow of whom it may be fairly said, or to use a 
fair manner of speaking, that he is almost damned {a worthless fellow). Jackson 
(p. 402) : Why should Cassio be almost damned by marrying a fair woman ? Beauty, 
in the softer sex, detracts not finom virtue. We should certainly read : ' almost damn'd 
in a frail wife ;' which at once announces the licentious character of Bianca, and that 
odium designed by the speaker is thus cast on the spirit of Cassio. I make no doubt 
the compositor mistook the word, and am inclined to think that for < damn'd ' we should 
read banned; meaning, that they were as near being married as though the bans were 
published. Tieck (viii, 357) assumes, and it is mere assumption, that Florence in 
Shakespeare's time was noted for its immorality — as noted, indeed, as Bulgaria was 
from earlier times; and that lago calls the Veronese Cassio <a Florentine,' in order to 
cast on him the imputation of extreme immodesty. Knight finds no such mystical 
meaning in these words as Tieck imputes to them, but that lago distinctly refers to 
Bianca. As to whether Cassio was, or was not, a Florentine, Knight maintains that 
we can gather no trustworthy intimation from anything which lago may say on this or 
on any other subject (wherein the present editor agrees with him). * It is not to be 
forgotten that lago, throughout the whole course of his extraordinary character, is rep- 
resented as utterly regardless of the differences between truth and falsehood. The 
most absolute lie, — the half lie, — the truth in the way of telling it distorted into a lie, 
are the instruments with which lago constantly works. This ought to be borne in 
mind with reference to his assertion that Cassio was a Florentine.' But whether lago 
was lying or not in this instance, Knight thinks emphatically that lago meant to speak 
'disparagingly of Cassio when he called him a Florentine. He was an "arithmetician," 
a ** ooonter-caster," a native of a <5tate whose inhabitants, pursuing the peaceful and 

8 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. l 

[22, 23. < Florentine, (A Fellow almost damn'd in a faire Wife).'] 
g;aiiiful occnpadons of commerce, had armies of mercenaries. Cassio, for this ivason, 
upon the showing of lago, was one that <* never set a squadron in the field." ' Col- 
lier thinks that the unaltered text is most likely right, but records as a not very prob- 
able conjecture the substitution of guise for < wife ' by Mr Petrie of Edinbuigh. D Yd 
{Remarks^ p. 233) : The text may be right, though I doubt it ; but I cannot help won- 
dering greatly that Mr Petrie, when he conjectured guise, should not have stumbled 
upon wise (way). [Wherein Dyce is anticipated by Becket.] Maginn (p. 264) : The 
word < damn*d ' is, I think, a comiption of some word which signified delicate, soft, 
dainty, or something of the kind ; and that for < in,' we should read as. ' A fellow 
almost as soft and delicate as a fair wife,* as dainty as a woman. I am not fortunate 
to supply it, but I have somewhat thought it was * almost trimmed as a fair wife.' Such 
a fellow as the ' neat trimfy-dnssed ' courtier, 'perfumed as a milliner,' who excited the 
impatience of Hotspur. I throw out my hint for the leading, or misleading, of future 
editois. White (ed. i) reads 'almost damn'd in a fiiur wise,* that is, *a fellow almost 
damned if the judgment had been given in a hii manner, a use of damn still common 
as applied to plays and operas.' The difference between * wife ' and wt/e, with the long 
J, is so slight that White wonders at any difficulty to be found in the passage. ' Be- 
sides, if Cassio Aad been betrothed to "a customer," "a fitchew," what had that to do 
with his soldierly qualifications ?' In his (ed. ii) White abandons the passage as in- 
comprehensible, if the difficulty have not arisen in this mistake of the long s for an /. 
GiRTWRiGHT (p. 38) : Read otAer wise. Cowden-Clarke says that * wife ' is here 
used in the sense of taoman, and that of the several interpretations proposed the true 
one is : < A fellow who would almost go to perdition for a handsome woman,' or ' a 
fellow who is almost lost in his fondness for a fine woman ;' and to it Cassio's conduct 
with respect to Bianca adds probability. Staunton shrewdly asks : * Are we quite 
assured that when lago calls Cassio a Florentine, he means merely that Cassio was a 
native of that town ? The system of book-keeping called Italian Book-keeping came, 
as is well known, originally fix>m Florence; and he may not improbably use "Floren- 
tine," as he employs *< arithmetician," "counter-caster," and " debto^-and-creditor," in 
a derogatory sense, to denote the mercantile origin and training which he chooses to 
attribute to his rival.' As to the belief that lago in ' a fair wife ' refers to the report 
that Cassio was about to marry Bianca, Staunton thinks that the 'objection b unanswer- 
able that there is no reason for supposing that Cassio had ever seen Bianca until they 
met in Cyprus.' And in despair of eliciting a satisfactory meaning from the line, 
Staunton says that he has sometimes thought Shakespeare must have written ' almost 
damn'd in a fisir-wife* That is, ' a fellow by habit of reckoning debased almost into 
a market-woman. In of old was commonly used for into ; we still say fttll in loi'e.* 
F. A. Leo (A^. &* Qu, 1865, 3d, vii, 453) : lago intends to say that Othello has made 
a bad choice in lus lieutenant, a man who is a mere theorizer, never exposed to a 
shower of bullets, and knowing no more of the division of a battle than a spinster, 
in short, 'a fellow almost damn'd in a fiiint wife.' }. }. B. Workard {N. &» Qu. 
1865, 3d, viii, 80): Read 'almost damn'd in a fair strife* Here the unity of the 
idea is preserved throughout Str, in sixteenth-century writing, might easily be mis- 
taken for w, A (Ibid, p. 126) : No, do not alter Shakespeare, and make him more 
obscure when unnecessary. I have never had a doubt about his meaning in this pas- 
sage, which really seems clear enough. lago wishes to show that Cassio's weakness 
goes beyond even that of a woman — * A fellow ' of so soft a character that a similar 
don would be 'almost damned in a fair wife.' In fine, Cassio is so weak a 


[22, 23. < Florentine, (A Fellow almost damn'd in a faire Wife)/] 
creatine that had you a fair wife of that sort you would condemn her. Bibuothecar. 
Chetham {Ibid^ : Your second conrespondent [Workard] in this passage is undoubtedly 
right in his emendation, but not, I think, in insisting on unity of idea. The strife is not 
that of the battlefield, but of the election. < A fellow [who would have been] almost 
damn'd In a fieur strife.' Arrowsmith (p. 38) [whose interpretation will be found, 
I think, to have been foreshadowed by Maitinus Scriblerus, and by A. — £d.] : Hard 
above all has been the fate of <in;' let but lago say that for soldiership his com- 
rade Cassio is 'a fellow almost damned in a fieur wife' — that his qualifications for 
the post of lieutenant would be almost discreditable in a woman; let him add 
withal, as though on set purpose to preclude every chance of being misunderstood* 
that Cassio possesses no more strategic knowledge than a 'spinster,* when lot a 
goodly troop of commentators, clerk and lay, bishop and bookseller, lawyer and anti- 
quary, cridc professional and critic amateur, home-bom and outlandish, men who have 
read much and men who have read nothing, swarm forth to bury this simple remark 
under a pile of notes, that from first to last contain not an inkling of its purport. • • • . 
The words are to be taken circumscriptly, not sent gadding after Bianca, or no one 
knows who ; their meaning must be sought and found within the compass of the line 
in which they stand. Had Shakespeare written < a fellow almost damned in a raw 
lad,' the dullest brain could scarcely have missed the imputation that Cassio's military 
abilities would be almost disallowed, condemned as hardly up to the mark in an inex- 
perienced boy ; or had the words run, ' a fellow almost damned in an old maid,' then, 
though it might not be understood how an ofBcer, after lago's report, of Cassio's in- 
capacity, should be almost damned in one of her sex and condition, she at any rate 
could not, like the ' fair wife,' have been discovered at Cyprus in a young courtesan. 
Or not altering a syllable, with only a slight change in their order, let us place the 
words thus : ' a fellow in a fair wife almost damned ;' by this disposition of them the 
reader is pinned to their true construction ; the alliance between Cassio and the fair 
wife is closer than the commentators suspected ; they harp upon conjugal union, lago 
speaks of virtual identity ; they seek the coupling of two persons in wedlock, he con- 
templates an embodiment of the soldiership of the one in the condition of the other, 
and so incorporated he pronounces it to be * in a fair wife ' almost reproveable ; adding, 
in the same vein, that it was no better than might be found in < a spinster.' To dwell 
on this point longer would be to upbraid the reader's understanding. [Of Arrowsmith's 
explanation Dyce (ed. iil) says: 'Though it may appear to some to be rather forced and 
obscure, I am far from asserting it to be wrong.'] Forsyth {Shakspere^ &c., p. 107) : 
As contrasted with Staunton's and similar glosses, our proposal is simplicity itself. It 
consists in throwing out the word ' wife ' as a misprint very easily made, and by a differ- 
ence in pointing (to which, as all know, neither the early Qq nor the Ff paid much 

attention) to read thus : 'A fellow almost damned ; in a fair strife That never,' &c 

The greatest deficiency of the expositors, in our humble view, has been their inability 
to compare the author with himself, and if this is intelligenUy done in the present case, 
there can be small doubt of the result Earl of Southesk (Soikatchewan^ p. 413) : 
May it not mean simply — * A man almost degraded into a woman ' (through fenunine 
tastes and habits) ? as when one says : < A sdLiier wasted in a parson,' ' A farmer spoilt 
in a king.' This sense might seem clearer were the definite article employed — the fel- 
low, the fair wife. Dr Schmidt avails himself of a translator's privilege, and finding 
no emendation that at all meets the requirements of the case he strikes out the line 
altogether, ' confident that no reader will perceive the gap.' Hkrr thinks that * framed 


That neuer fct a Squadron in the Field, 

Nor the deuifion of a Battaile knowes 25 

25. Battaile^ Battell QqFjF^. 

nr damn'd in a form if wax ' is harmonious with the context, and agrees with lago's 
contemptuous references to Cassio. Hudson (ed. iii) reads wight in his text instead 
of ' wife,* which, he thinks, < cannot be explained to any fitting sense but by methods 
too subtile and recondite.' Of all the readings hitherto offered he prefers Capell's^^^. 
' It suits the occasion and the speaker very well; for lago dweUs much on Cassio's hand- 
someness of peison ; recurs to it again and again ; and builds his scheme partly on that 
circumstance, as if he longed to make it the ruin of Cassio, sure enough. On the other 
hand, however, lago's thought may well have been that Cassio was badly damaged by 
the fascinations of a handsome mistress ; thus refening to the amorous intrigue with 
Bianca, which comes out so strongly in the course of the play. So I am satisfied we 
ought to read wight. It seems to me a very natural and fitting word for the place; and, 
if spelled phonographically, wite^ might easily be misprinted " wife ;" and lago seems 
rather fond of using it scoffingly in reference to women. It may not be amiss to note 
that lago's talk about Cassio is fidl of contempt Surely a reading that requires an 
explanation so forced as Arrowsmith's may well be distrusted. It has set me more 
than ever against the old text' John Hunter: Cassio is here regarded as about 
to many his mistress, Bianca, whose charms, it would seem, were such as to make 
this world a paradise for him, and thus put him in danger of forfeiting the happiness 
of the world to come. The notion is founded on the parable of Dives and Laz- 
arus: 'Son, remember that thou in thy life-time reenvedst thy good things^ and like- 
wise Lazarus evil things ; but now he is comforted, and thou art tonnented.' — Luke 
zvi, 25. Cf. Mer, of Ven, III, v, 7S-83. Bulloch (Studies^ p. 248) : The line is a 
concentrated essence of lago's opinion of Cassio's soldiership. It is, as it were, spoken 
by the bye, and amplified in the speech. I therefore propose * almost damn'd in war- 
fare life^ Warfare does not occur in Shakespeare, though it does in our English 
Bible. Crosby (Robinson's EpU, ofLit,, 15 Mar. 1879) justifies F, by interpreting 
* in ' as equivalent to on account of and < wife ' as woman in general. Thus : * a fellow 
who is willing to go to perdition — almost sell himself to the devil — for a beautifiil 
wiiman.' R. M. Spence (N. &* Qu, 1879, 5th, xi, 383) : I offer: < A fellow all must 
damn in affairs wise.' lago says, that all who are wise in militaiy affairs must con- 
demn the i^ipointment of a man who knows nothing of war, but ' bookish theorie.' 
F. A. Leo {Shahespeare-Notes^ p. 1 1 6, 1885) ^"^ as far as the sound is concerned, 
that 'damn'd in' could have been 'very easily misunderstood for tempting^ and that 
iht ductus literarum would readily explain 'almost' as at most; and therefore pro- 
poses, as suiting the requirements of sound, of sense, and of letters : ' A fellow, almost 
tempting a fair wife.' [In conclusion I merely re-echo Dr Johnson's words : ' This 
is one of the passages which must, for the present, be resigned to corruption and ob- 
scurity. I have nothing that I can, with any approach to confidence, propose.' — ^Ed.] 

22-27. Coleridge {Notes^ &c., 248) : Let the reader feel how by and through the 
glass of two passions, — disappointed vanity and envy,-— the very vices of which he is 
complaining are made to act upon him as if they were so many excellences ; and the 
more appropriately, because cimning is always admired and wished for by minds con- 
scious of inward weakness ; but they act only by half, like music on an inattentive 
uiditor, swelling the thoughts which prevent him from listening to it. 

25. Battaile] Cotgrave: Battaile: f. A batell, or fight, betweene two armies; 


More then a Spinfter. Vnleffe the Bookifh Theoricke: 26 

Wherein the Tongued Confuls can propofe 

As Mafterly as he. Meere pratle (without praftife) 

Is all his Souldierfliip. But he (Sir) had th*ele6lion; 29 

26. spinfter, Vnleffe\ Spinfter, vnieffe he,meer¥JP^. he; iw^^^ Qq, Rowe el 
Qq,Rowc. Spinfter; hi/ Tope -¥. Spin- cet. 

fter: Vnleffe Ff, Cap. ct cet. 29. Is a//] In all FJF^ 

Bookifti Theoricke'\ booki/h Tkeot' Souldier/hip,„haa\ soldiership-^ 

tque Qq {blockifti Q,). he had Pope+ . 

27. Tongued^ PtQa^f, Rowe, Pope, th'elecHon\ Ff, Rowe+, Jen. ColL 
Hmn. Knt, Sta. Wh. i. tt^idDyc% Huds. Wh. Huds. the election Qq, Han. Cap. 
t^ed Q, et cet et cet. 

28. he, Meere'\]o\iTi&, he, Meere Y^, 

also a battell, or maine battel! ; the middle battallion, or squadron of an army, wherein 
the Prince, or General!, roost commonly marcheth ; also the whole army ; and some- 
times also, any squadron, battalion, or part thereof. Nares refers to Strutt {Manners 
and Customs, &c., iii, 2), where is an account finom an old MS. of the method of regu- 
lating these divisions. See Macb, V, vi, 4, and notes on * Lead our first !}attle,* where 
also is a reference to Holinshed : < when his whole power was come togither, he divided 
the same into three battels.* 

26. Theoricke] : F'or the two other instances of the use of this word, see Mrs 
Cowden-Clarlce's Concordance. 

27. Tongued] : The Fust Qto gave Theobald the hint for liis emendation, viz. : 
'that the Senators assisted the Dulee in Council in their proper goums,* Where, 
farther on, lago bids Bral)antio 'put on his gown,' Theobald does not thinlc that 
night-gown is meant, h\ii gown of office, the Senatorial Gown ; adding that there is 
not that contrast of terms betwixt * tongued,* that there is betwixt toged and soldier^ 
ship ; and thereupon cites six or seven instances from Latin authors (among them, of 
course, Cicero's ' cedant anna togse '), showing that ' the same opposition is for ever 
made ' between toga and arma, Boswell says wisely, that * tongued ' agrees better 
with the words which follow : * mere prattle without practice,' a remarlc which Dyce 
dtes, but does not uphold, believing * tongued ' to be a misprint for togid, since the 
Folio lias a similar error in Cor, II, iii, 122 : 'Why in tliis Wooluish tongtie should I 
stand heere,' &c 

27. Consuls] : Theobalx) reads coun^lors, because the Venetian nobility consti- 
tuted the great Council of the Senate ; and we Icnow that Brabantio was summoned to 
the Council as a Senator, for ' Consul * he certainly was not ; and lastly, because the 
offices of Consuls and Tribunes were abolished when the government was entrusted to 
Doges. But Steevens says, that ' consuls ' seems to have been commonly used for 
counsellors, as in the second scene of this act. < Geoffiey of Monmouth, and Matthew 
Puis after him, call both dukes and earls " consuls." ' Malone : The rulers of the 
state or civil governors. The word is used by Marlowe, in the same sense, in Tambur- 
laine, 1590 [First Fart, I, ii] : 'Both we will raigne as consuls of the earth.' [But 
Marlowe's very next line : < And mighty kings shall be our Senators,' may be with 
equal propriety dted as a proof that ' senators ' also meant ' civil governors.' — Ed.] 

28. Masterly] : For other instances where -fy represents like, of which it is a cor 
nption, see Abbott, $ 447. 

12 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. i 

And I (of whom his cies had feene the proofe 30 

At Rhodes, at Ciprus,and on others grounds 

Chriften'd, and Heathen)mufl be be-leed, and calm'd 

By Debitor, and Creditor. This Counter-carter, 33 

7^1. Ciprus^']CipreStQ<\» Cyprus ;C^^. $2, D^6i/or] Debtor Hun. 

Stecv. Var. Sing. ii. Debtior^and Creditor^debUor-aml' 

others] Ff. other Qq et cet. creditor Sta. 
32. ChHfterid] F^ Knt Chriftn'd Creditor, This Omnter'Cafter.^YU 

Q,Qj. Chriftian Q,FjF^ ct cet Rowe, Johns. Jen. Knt, Sta. Glo. Cam. 

be be-leed] be led (^^^Kf^, be let Creditor^ this counter-cafter : Qq, Pope 

Warb. et cet 

30. his] White: That is, Othello's. 

31. others] Walker (Crit, i, 233) notices the remarkable frequency in F, of the 
mterpolation of an j at the end of a word, and adds that < those who are conversant 
with the MSS. of the Elizabethan Age, may, perhaps, be able to explain its origin. 
Were it not for the different degrees of frequency with which it occurs in different parts 
of the F, — being comparatively rare in the Comedies (except, perhaps, in Wint. Tale), 
appearing more frequently in the Histories, and becoming quite common in the Trage- 
dies, — I should be inclined to think it originated in some peculiarity of Shakespeare's 
handwriting.* [See Lear, V, iii, 258. Walker gives the following nine instances, in 
this play, of this interpolation as he considers it, viz : the present passage, where * others ' 
appears as other in Qq ; * eares ' in F, as eare in QqFf, I, iii, 245 ; ' Ukings,' QqFf, III, 
i, 53 ; ' disproportions,* Ff as disproportion in Qq, III, iii, 274 ; ' Honors,' QqFf, III, 
iii, 427; 'sonowes,' QqFf, III, iv, 136; 'workes' in Ff as worke in Qq, IV, i, 54; 

* senses ' in Ff as sense in Qq, IV, i, 93 ; ' behauiors,' Ff as behauior in Qq, IV, i, 1 19. 
To these nine instances a tenth may be added : < Thicks-lips,' F,, as thick lips in Qq, 
I, i, 72, and perhaps we might include an eleventh : ' warres ' in III, iii, 77. Now if 
from this list we eliminate the three words wherein the Ff and the Qq agree, and 
wherein no critic but Walker has found the s superfluous, viz : likings, horrors, and 
sorrowes, and add the fourth, toarres, which only Capell changed to toar, we shall have 
seven instances remaining where this s is found in the Ff, but not in the Qq. If then 
Walker's adumbration of the cause of this s be accepted, viz : that it originates in some 
peculiarity of the writing of that hand which left ' scarse a blot in his papers,' this 
manifest distinction between the two copies adds a vindication, by no means insig- 
nificant, of the superior authority of the First Folio. — Ed.] 

32. Christen'd] I can see no excellent reason why we should not retain this 
word. — Ed. 

32. be-leed] Steevens : One vessel is said to be in the lee of another, when it is 
«o placed that the wind is intercepted from it. lago's meaning, therefore, is, that Cassio 
had got the wind of him and be-calmed him from going on. Heath and Staunton 
conjectured ' must be le^d,* led to it by Q, and the imperfect measure of the line. 

33. Debitor, and Creditor] Johnson {Cym. V, iv, 171) : That is, an accounting- 
book. Dyce {Gloss,) : Compare the title-page of a very early work on book-keeping : 

* A IVofitable Treatyce, called the Instrument or Boke to leame to knowe the good 
Older of the kepyng of the famouse reconynge, called in LAtyn, Dare and Habere; and 
in Englyshe, Debitor and Creditor,* &c., 1543. 

33. Counter-caster] Way {Foot-note in Prompt, Parv, s. v. Awgrjrm. Algarit' 


' He (in good time) muft his Lieutenant be, 
And I (bleffe the marke) his Moorefhips Auntient 35 

34. LietiteHant'\ Leiutenant Qq. Q, et cet. 

35. / {bUffe\ Ff, Knt / Sir {bUffe 35. Moore/hips AunHent'\ Worjhips 
Q,Qy Rowe, Johns. Jen. 7J God bleffe Ancient Q,. 

mus) : • Augrym, algorisme. To counte, reken by cyfers of agryme, enchifrer. To 
cast an accomptes in aulgorisme with a penne, enckifrer. To cast an accomptes with 
counters after the aulgorisme maner, calculer. To cast an accomptes ailer the comen 
maner, with counters, compter par iect, I shall reken it syxe times by aulgorisme, or 
you can caste it ones by counters.' — Palsg. It would hence appear that towards the 
commencement of the XVIth century the use of the Arabic numerals had in some 
degree superseded the ancient mode of calculating by the abacus ; and counters, which 
at the period when the IVomptorium was compiled, were generally used. Hereafter 
we find the word < Countinge Borde ' as an evidence. They were not, indeed, wholly 
disused at a time long subsequent ; an allusion to calculation by counters occurs in 
Shakespeare, and later authors prove that they had not been entirely discarded. Algo- 
rithm or algorism, a term universally used in the XlVth and XVth centuries to denote 
the science of calculation by 9 figures and zero, is of Arabic derivation. Dycb (Gioss.) 
says that pieces of false coin were used for counters. See Cym. V, iv, 173. 

35. marke] Steevens : Kelly, in his comments on Scots proverbs, observes that 
the Scots, when they compare person to person, use this exclamation. Dyce (Gloss,) 
quotes this note of Steevens, adding, * but the origin and the meaning of the excla- 
mation are alike obscure.' 

35. Auntient] J. D. (N, dr* Qu, 1879, 5^ ^> 4) • '^^ common interpretation of this 
word is that it means an ensign, in the double sense of standard and standard-bearer.' 
So our older Dictionaries explain it ; Cotgrave has : ' Enseigne, an ensigne, auncient, 
standard-bearer.' The explanation is correct as far as it goes, but is not sufBciently 
precise. The ancient was a banner bearing an heraldic device, the token of ancient or 
noble descent, borne by a gentleman or leader in war. ' Lord Westmorland his ancyent 
rais'd. The dun bull he rais'd on hie.' — TTie Rising in the North, 'Master, master, 
see you yon faire ancyent. Yonder is the serpent and the serpent's head.' — Percy's 
Rel. (ed. 1867) i, 303. The servant recc^nized by this device that the ship belonged 
to Duke John of Austria. The word was, however, used to denote one who was con- 
nected with some blazon of this kind, whether as an attendant to a standard or to 
some gentleman who had armorial bearings. In the English edition of the Janua 
Linguarum Trilinguis, by J. Comenius, 1662, it is said, that ' the standard-bearers 
Carrie the standards in the midst of the troops, whom the ancients march before with 
hangeis;' the Latin is, 'quos prsecedunt antesignani cum romphaeis' (p. 245). The 
word antesignanus is explained by Ducange as one * qui pneibat vexillo ad illius cus- 
todiam.' In Anchoran's Gate of Tongues Unlocked (ed. 1639), which is based on the 
work of Comenius, the passage runs thus : * whom the lieutenants precede or go before 
Mrith long two-handed swords ' (p. 143). From these instances it is easy to see how 
the word came to mean a personal attendant or body-squire, who, says Fosbrooke {Ant. 
ii, 752), < had the care of the things relating to the person of the knight, carried his 
master's standard, and gave the catchword in battle,' an office often borne by men of 
honourable descent This is the meaning of the word in Othello, lago was the per- 
gonal attendant of the Moor in a miUtary capacity, in modem language, his aide-de- 

14 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. I. 

Rod. By heauen, I rather would haue bin his hangman. 36 

lago. Why, there's no remedie. 
'Tis the curfle of Seruice; 
Preferment goes by Letter, and afleflion. 

And not by old gradation, where each fecond 40 

Stood Heire to*th*fir(l. Now Sir, be iudge your felfe, 
Whether I in any iuft terme am Affin'd 
To loue the Moore ? 

Rod. I would not follow him then. 

lago. O Sir content you. 45 

I follow him, to ferue my turne vpon him. 
We cannot all be Maflers, nor all Maflers 
Cannot be truely followed. You (hall marke [310 b'\ 

37, 38. One line, Qq et cet ColL to the Qq, Cap. et seq. 

37. Why\ Bui Qq, P6pe+, Cap. Jen. 41. Two lines, Qq. 
Steer. Var. Coll. KUy. 42. lVkether\ If Pope+. 

38. Seruice ;'\ feruice, Qq. AffifCd'\ affigfCd Q,, Pope, Theob. 

39. Letterl favour Coll. (MS). Han. Waib. Affim'd F,. 

40. And,,,old'\ NotbytheoldeQ(\,]tXi. 45. you."] you^ Q,Q,* you; Rowe. 
Steev. Var. Coll. Not (as of old) Warb. 46. him^ to"} Aim to Q, et cet. 

41. tdtJk'l to tJk* F,F^, Huds. t*tJke 48. foUaufd, You\ followed, you Qq. 

camp^ receiving orders from his superior, especially, but not exclusively, about military 
movements. It was in accordance with his duties that he received, through Cassio, 
Othello's lieutenant, directions about the watch that guarded the camp^ in II, iii. 
White: ^Ancient: a mere phonetic corruption of *' ensign,*' consequent upon the pro- 
nunciation of ^ as shoit Ot and of s before a vowel as sh ; ancient was pronounced not 
ane-shent, but etn-shent until a late period. 

39. Letter] Johnson: By recommendation from powerful friends. Cowden- 
Clarke : May it not mean < according to the letter of his promise,' or * in accordance 
with theoretical knowledge and pretensions ' ? in reference either to Othello's answer, 
< I have chose my officer,' or to Cassio's ' bookish theoric' 

40. old gradation] Johnson : That is, gradation established by ancient practice. 

41. Stood] Abbott (§361) : The subjunctive (a consequence of the old inflection) 
was frequently used, not as now vnth would, should, &c., but in a form identical with 
the indicative, where nothing but the context (in the case of past tenses) shows that it 
is the subjunctive. In the present instance, if it be asked, what is the difference be- 
tween ' stood ' here and ' would have stood ' I should say that the simple form of the 
subjunctive, coinciding in sound with the indicative, implied to an Elizabethan more 
of inevitability (subject, of course, to a condition which is not fulfilled). 'Stood' 
means < would certainly have stood.' The possibility is regarded as an unfulfilled fact, 
to speak paradoxically. Compare the Greek idiom of \va vrith the indicative. 

42. Affin'd] Johnson : Do I stand within any such terms of propinquity, or relation 
to the Moor, as that it is my duty to love him ? Staunton : By any moral obligation 
am bound, &c. [See II, ii, 243.] 

48. shall] Abbott ^$ 315): ' You shall ' is especially common in the meaning of 

ACT I, sc. L] 



Many a dutious and knee-crooking knaue ; 

That (doting on his owne obfequious bondage) 

Weares out his time, much like his Mailers Affe, 

For naught but Prouender, & when he's old Cafheer'A 

Whip me fuch honeft knaues. Others there are 

Who trym'd in Formes, and vifages of Dutie, 

Keepe yet their hearts attending on themfelues, 

And throwing but fliowes of Seruice on their Lords 

Doe well thriue by them. 

And when they haue lin'd their Coates 

Doe themfelues Homage. 

Thefe Fellowes haue fome foule, 

And fuch a one do I profeffe my felfe. For (Sir) 




49. dutiou5\ duteous Rowe ii. 
52. naught'\ noughi Q,. nought Qq 
et cet. 

6* when h^s oid'\ and when old, *s 
I Ian. when old, Steev. 
when"] Om. Qj. 
Cajheer*d'\ caJhierdQf\, 
Two lines, Q^Q,. 
53-56. W4(^...Z<?ri] Five lines, end- 
ing knaues :,., formes,, „hearts,.,,thr(nth 
ing.„Lords Q,. Ending, knaues :„, are, 
„.duty,„Jhem/elues... Lords Q^Q,. 
54. trym^d^trimdQ^, Irimm^dKowt, 

56. ^] out Quincy (MS.). 

57-60. J)oe.,./oule} Two lines, Rowe 
et cet. 

57. Doe well] Wr// Pope + , Huds. 
them.'] *em, Qq, Jen. 

58. they haue] the^ve Pope-r , Dycc. 

59. themfelues] Ihemfelmes F,. 

60. Thefe] Thofe Qi\, 
Fellowes] folks Pope + . 

61. For (Sir)] Om. Pope + . Separate 
line. Cap. Steev. Var. Sing. Coll. >Va. i, 
Dyce, Hal. Glo. 

you may, you will, applied to that which is of common occurrence, or so evident that 
it cannot but be seen. 

49. knaue] Staunton thinks that it carries no opprobrious meaning here, out is 
simply servitor. In line 53, Johnson says that it is used for servant, but with a sly 
mixture of contempt. 

50. obsequious] Staunton : That is, obedient, submissive thraldom. 

53. me] The ethical dative, adding emphasis or vivacity to the expressi^: For 
instances see Abbott, § 220. 

54. tiym'd] Collier (ed. ii) notes that his (MS.) amends this line to * learn* d in 
forms and usages of duty,' and adds : ' If alteration were necessary we might read, 
** trained in forms and usages;" but change is inexpedient, since the meaning is clear, 
and ** visages " may be intended as an antithesis to *' hearts " in the next line.' Staun- 
ton paraphrases the line : ' dressM in shapes and masks of duty.' White pronounces 
Collier's emendation not improbable. 

56. throwing] Walker ( Vers, p. 120) cites this among many other instances as 
the contraction frequent in participles, where a short vowel is preceded by a long one 
or a diphthong. Conf. Ham. V, ii, ' That on the view and knowing of these contents.' 

57. Doe] Hudson thinks this was probably caught by the transcriber's or printer's 
eye from « Doe ' in Une 59. 

l6 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i, sc. i 

It is as fure as you are Rodorigo^ 62 

Were I the Moore, I would not be lago : 

In following him, I follow but my felfe. 

Heauen is my ludge, not I for loue and dutie, 65 

But feeming fo, for my peculiar end : 

For when my outward Aftion doth demonftrate 

The natiue a£l, and figure of my heart 

In Complement externe, 'tis not long after 

But I will weare my heart vpon my fleeue 70 

For Dawes to pecke at ; I am not what I am. 

65. Heauen\ Hem/n Rowe+. 67. dolhl does Q,. 

Heauen.. .I'\ One line, Qq. 69. Complement^ QpFU Han. Knt, 

tr my] be my Jen. Sing, ii, Ktly, Del. Huds. comjfiiment 
not I] not I, QqFf, Rowe, Pope, Rowe ii, et cct. 

ilieob. Warb. Johns. Jen. 71. Two lines, Qq. 

65, 66. for.../o] One line, Q,. Datoes] Doues Q,, Mai. 
y^...«k/] One line, Q,Qj. I am^^am"] rm...seem Popc+. 

66. peculiar] pecular Q . Pm.^.am Johns. 

61. For (Sir)] : For instances of placing ejaculations, appellations, &c. (as in Greek 
fei), &c.) out of the regular verse, as Capell placed these words, see AfiBOTT, $ 512. 

63. I would] Hudson : Perhaps for should; and if so the meaning may be, ' Were 
I in the Moor's place, I should be quite another man than I am.' Or, ' if I had the 
Moor's nature, if I were such an honest dunce as he is, I should be just a fit subject 
for men that " have some soul " to practise upon.' Perhaps, lago is purposely mixing 
some obscurity in his talk in order to mystify the gulL 

69. Complement ezteme] Johnson : ' In that which I do only for an outward 
show of civility.' ' Surely,' says Knight, ' this interpretation [of Johnson], by adopt- 
ing the secondary meaning of *< Complement " (compliment)^ destroys lago's bold 
avowal, which is, that when his actions exhibit the real intention and motives of his 
heart in outward completeness^ he might as well wear it on his sleeve.' Walker 
{Crit. iii, 285) cites Toumeur, Revenger's Tragedy, III, i (Dodsley, vol. iv, p. 329) : 
' The old duke. Thinking my outward shape and inward heart Are cut out of one 
piece (for he that prates his secrets, His heart stands o'th'outside), hires me by price 
To greet,' &c. 

71. Dawes] Malone (1790) adopts doves of Q,» and justifies it in a note which I 
should have thought scarcely worth the quoting, were it not that Halltwell, in his 
Folio edition, has reprinted it. Malone suspects that Shakespeare had in his thoughts 
the following passage from Lyly's Euphues and his England, 1580, [p. 322, Arber's 
Reprint] : ' For as al coynes are not good yat haue the Image of Cigfar, nor al golde 
that are coyned with the kinges stampe, so all is not trueth that beareth the shew of 
godlines, nor all friends that beare a faire face, if thou pretende such loue to Euphues, 
carrye thy heart on the backe of thy hand, and thy tongue in the palme, that I may see 

what is in thy minde, and thou with thy fingers claspe thy mouth I can better take 

a blister of a Nettle, then a prick of a Rose ; more willing that a Rauen should pecke 
out mine eyes, then a Turtle pecke at them^ SrsEVENS thought it worth while to de- 
fend F^ saying that lago means that he would expose his heart as a prey to the most 


Rod, What a fall Fortune do\^ the Thicks-lips owe 72 

If he can carry't thus ? 

lago. Call vp her Father : 
Rowfe him, make after him, poyfon his delight, 75 

72. faU'\ FU Knt. /tiU Qq et cet. 74, 75. Fa/Afr: Rowfe him^ Ff, 1 aeob. 
d<f5\ does Qq* Ktly. fcUher^ Row/e him^ Qq» Rcwe ii» 
Tkuks'lips] thicklips Qq. thicke- Pope, Han. Warb. Jen. Father, Rouse 

i^ F,. thick-lips F^F^ et cet. him, Rowe i. father^ Rouse him. Johns. 

73. carr/t"] carry et Q,. carry her et cet. (subs.). 
P(^)e, Theob. Han. Warb. Jen. 

woithless of birds,— ii^Rcv, which are treated with universal contempt ' Shakespeare 
would scarcely have degraded the amiable tribe of doves to such an office, nor is the 
mention of them at all suitable to the harsh turn of lago's speech.' Malone rejoins 
that lago meant to say, that ' not only birds of prey, but gentle and timid doves might 
peck at him with safety.' [' Daws * are the only carnivorous birds, I think, that could 
be here referred to with contempt, or without dignifying the allusion. — Ed.] Harting 
(p. 119): The Jackdaw (Corvus moneduia) has not been so frequently noticed by Shake- 
speare as many other birds, and in the half-dozen instances where it is mentioned it b 
termed 'daw.' 

71. am] Jennens: This signifies I am not that inwardly which I am outwardly, or, 
I am not what I seem to appear to be. Pope has here turned poetry into prose. Hud- 
son : lago probably means ' I am not what I seenit but to speak thus would not smack 
so much of the peculiar dialect with which he loves to practise on the dupe. Maginn 
(p. 268) : Can these last words be intended as a somewhat im>fane allusion to the title 
by which the Almighty reveals himself to Moses ? Exod, iii, 14. I Am that I am is 
the name of the God of truth. lam not what I am is, therefore, a fitting description 
of a premeditated liar. 

72. fall] I can recall no instance in this play where Knight (< Good Knight,' as 
Douglas Jerrold said his epitaph should be) displays more ingenuity in extracting a 
meaning from a misprint in F,, than in this word, and not only a meaning, but a hidden 
beauty thoroughly Shakespearian. *Full fortune,' says Knight, ' means simply how for- 
tunate he is. But the F, conveys a much more Shakespearian idea. If the Moor can 
carry it thus, — appoint his own officer, in spite of the great ones of the city who capp'd 
to him, and, moreover, can secure Desdemona as his 'prize, — he is so puff'd up with his 
own pride and purposes, and is so successful, that fortune owes him a heavy fail, fo 
owe is used by Shakespeare not only in the ancient sense of to own, but in the modem 
sense of to be indebted to, to hold or possess for another. Fortune here owes the thick- 
lips a fall, in the same way that we say, " He owes him a good or an evil turn." This 
reading is veiy much in Shakespeare's manner of throwing out a hint of coming calam* 
ities.' Steevens cites 'full fortune' as used in Cymb, V, iv, no, and Malone adds 
another instance in Ant, &* Cleo. IV, xv, 24. 

72. Tbicks-lips] For the spelling, see note on 'others,' line 31. 

72. owe] 'To owe in ancient language is to own,* says Steevens; 'very true,' 
says Pyb, < but do not explain it so often.' 

73. carry't] Jennens interprets the Qto as a 'mistake of the printer, who put / for 
r, and it might originally be written carry *er, a contraction for carry her.* 

75. him . . . him] Rolfe says, that 'the first "him" refers to Brabantio. the 

l8 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc i. 

Prodaime him in the Streets. Incenfe her kinfmen, 76 

And though he in a fertile Clymate dwell. 

Plague him with Flies : though that his Iqy be loy. 

Yet throw fuch chances of vexation on't. 

As it may loofe fome colour. 80 

Rodo, Heere \s her Fathers houfe. He call aloud. 

lago. Doe, with like timerous accent, and dire yell. 
As when (by Night and N^ligence) the Fire 
Is fpied in populus Citties. 84 

76. Sirati.lJiretU, Q^ Jhvtt, QJQ^ 8l. A^/r^ J2e] lumfr. He Q^ 
JcB. Jirttts^ Y^ [S^iiiiS to^nuds the door. Ca 

77. T^u tikmigk'\ tks Qq. 83. /WJQqFt; Rowe-h,Wh.B. / 
T^Ytttkr9m\Ytt: thrmmYtOtaei. G^LCtccL 

cAmof ] Fi; Rovc^ KflC, Su. DcL witJk /Ue\ wiiJk Jen. 

rkmifgn Qq eft ccL iiMtrrota} Qq, Hmerams FT. 

«■'/] M^Qq. 83. ike fire'\ afire Han. 
8a Uo/el Ufe Q^ 

to OtheDo;' wbicfa b tne if vr folloir Dr Jobmoo's poDctnitioo. Bk I : k- 
ier 10 foIIoir F^ vboe dcvly Olbdlo alone if lefeii c d to in both ooes. Of coone 
knov that Bndbancio b ' loiBcd,' and we, therefore, sappose that reference is here 
to that CKt; bat 'Call op her £tthcr' h ottered in the same harried, parenthetical 
way that ' Incmie her kinsnen ' is immediate] j afterward ; the main idea is to roose, and 
diiCBrii OtheOo^ and pooon hs drKght Bk I am not coontenanced by Booth, whose 
aolcs were made for me after the foregoing was written. Booth sajrs^ ■ make this clear 
to the aadieticc by pointing off toward the Sagittary at the second ••him;" the bnt, 
of ooone, rcfon to Rnihantio^ bat gcstnre most explain this to the "quantity of faorrcB 
•pectaton." ' — Ed. 

77- And thoogh] Wauub (Crif. ii, 156): 'And' is clearly oat of place; re*! 
' Incense her kinsmen : An thoagh he,' kc 

78. tbougfa that] Sec ABBrrrr, 5 287; Afae^. IV, iii, 106, Lear, TV, vi 314. 

78. be loy] KccHTunr (£jep^ p. 299; : Perhaps this second 'joy ' was s&g{:i»t«^ 
by the first, instead of AijfJk, krighi, or some other adjective. 

79. chances] Knight defends the F^ and rightly, I think. ' When Rcdcr^N.' ^ 
Mys, ' soggcats that foftnne owes Othello a iaSH, lago eagerly jnmps at the « A«fc» jt^ 
wexoHcm, which the alarm of Dcademona's fother may bring on him.' It wemt^ bMivU>i 
necesnry to define 'chances,' as fsTAUxroN does, by crmses or camaitieu a ^-nvsr ^ 
vexaiiam is almost tantologkal ; I think ' chances ' mean here simphr jhmilh&tits v^f 
vcxatioii, which m^fat discoloor Othello's joy. To read cJkamges ef vtx^ttium ^wich 
die Qq) renders the contingency of 'ma^ lose' soperflnoos^ A ckan^ <ff ve.vitesm 
coold scarcely foil lo make his joy lose coloor. — ^Ed. 

8a As] There is bat one instance giren in Abbott, S 109b of ar in the sense* 3t» 
here, of tAai ot as ike ramie ef wkuk^ tha mek ; it is firam the Sam^ bat no number 
is giren and I cannot verify it. 

82-84. Gould (p. ti) : J. B. Booth ottered these words, withooft heat» wkh a devU- 
ish nnconcem, as if pleaMd with the foncy of terror and dismay; and pisying, mean> 
whiles with his sword-hilt or palling at his ganntlcts. He then strikes on the door 

ACT I, SC. L] 



Rodo. What hoa : Brabantio^ Siginor Brabantio, hoa. 

lago. Awake : what hoa, Brabantio : Theeues, Theeues. 
Looke to your houfe, your daughter, and your Bags, 
Theeues, Theeues. 

Bra. Aboue, What is the reafon of this terrible 
Summons ? What is the matter there ? 

Rodo, Signior is all your Familie within ? 

lago. Are your Doores lock*d f 

Bra, Why ? Wherefore ask you this ? 

lago. Sir, y'are rob'd, for fhame put on your Gowne, 




85, 86. hoa\ ho QqF^. 

85. Siginor\ Seignior Qq. Signior Ff. 

86. Awake... Brabantio\ One line, Qq. 
Tlieeues, Tkeeues\ Ff, Knt, Sta. ho ! 

ikieveSf thieves ! Pope + . Theeues, theeues, 
theeues (sep. line) Qq. (in same line), Cap. 

87. your daughter'^ you Daughter Q^. 
89. Aboue.] at a window. Qq. within. 

Ci^ Scene II. Pope -f, Jen. 

89, 90. What. .. Summons f'\ Ff. One 
line, Qq et cet. 

92. your Doores locl^ cT^ all doore lockts 
Q,. all doors Ucied Pope + . 

94. 5fr] QaQjFf, Rowe, Johns. Cap. 
Knt. Zounds fir Q,, Pope et cet 

y are"] you are Qq, Johns. Cap. Jen. 
Steev. Var. Knt, Coll. Del. you^re Rowe. 
r^V] robb'd QjFf. robd Q,Q,. 

of Brabantio's house, and speaking through the key-hole, sounds the resonant alarm, 
' What ho, Brabantio !* Yet in saying this, we felt his mind was ' playing with some 
inward bait.' The duplicity, the double nature, the devil in him, was subtly manifest. 

83, 84. Warburton : This is not sense, take it which way you will. If ' night and 
Diligence ' relate to ' spied,* it is absurd to say, ' the fire was spied by negligence.' If 
'night * and ' negligence ' refer only to the time and occasion, it should then be by night 
and thrd negligence. Otherwise the particle by would be made to signify time applied 
to one word, and cause applied to the other. We should read, therefore, < Is spred,* by 
which all these faults are avoided. [Staunton queries if Warburton be not right.] 
Edwards (p. 144) : The plain meaning is, — ^not the fire was spied by negligence, but 
— <he fire, which came by night and negligence, was spied. And this double meanmg 
to the same word is conmion to Shakespeare with all other writers, especially where the 
word is so familiar a one, as this in question. Ovid seems even to have thought it a 
beauty, instead of a defect. Johnson : The particle by is used equivocally ; the same 
liberty is taken by writers more correct : ' The wonderful creature ! a woman of reason ! 
Never grave out of pride, never gay out of season.' M. Mason : This means ' diuing 
the time of night and negligence.' Knight thinks that had the parenthesis of F, been 
adopted, all discussion might have been saved. Delius interprets it, ' according tc 
Shakespeare's use of the copulas, as equivalent to nightly negligence or negligence by 
night, and qualifying * fire.' [Surely night is the cause that a fire takes place without 
being observed ; it is because of night that the fire is neglected. Could we not here 
use from quite as well as by f — Ed.] 

89. Bra. Aboue] Booth : Brabantio should be seen through the open window at 
his book or papers ; this would account for his appearance, instead of his servants, at 
this * terrible summons.' lago should keep in shadow during this. 

94. rob'd] GftRARD here detects a pun, decidedly clearer in French than in Eng- 

20 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. i. 

Your heart is burft, you haue loft halfe your foule [311 d\ 

Euen now, now, very now, an old blacke Ram 96 

Is tupping your white Ewe. Arife, arife, 

Awake the fnorting Cittizens with the Bell, 

Or elfe the deuill will make a Grand-fire of you. 

Arife I (ay. 100 

Bra. What, haue you loft your wits f 

Rod. Moft reuerend Signior, do you know my voice? 

Bra. Not I : what are you ? 

Rod. My name is Rodorigo. 

Bra. The woriTer welcome : 105 

I haue charg'd thee not to haunt about my doores: 
In honeft plaineneffe thou haft heard me fay, 
My Daughter is not for thee. And now in madneffe 
(Being full of Supper, and diftempring draughtes) 
Vpon malitious knauerie, doft thou come 1 10 

To ftart my quiet 

Rod. Sir, Sir, Sir. 

Bra. But thou muft needs be fure, 1 1 3 

95. /ouli\ fouU; Qq, Rowc ct scq. Sing. 

96. Euen new, now] Euen now Qq, 105. worfer] worfe Qq, Pope, Theob. 
FjF^, Rowc, Jen. Stccv.Rann. Sing. Ei^n Han. Warb. Cap. Jen. Steev. Rann. Var. 
mnot et/n Pope + . Coll. 

99, 100. One line, Qq. 106. / haue"] Pve Popc + , Dyce iii, 

99. deuiU] Diueli Q.Q,. Deviii Q,. Huds. 

Dwell F,. Devil F^F^. 108. Daughter is] daughter's Popc + . 

you.] you, Qq. no. knauerie] Ff, Rowe, Knt, Del 

loa /ay] fad Q^. brauery Qq et cet. 

lOI. [appearing above, at a Window. in. quiet.] quiet ?()(\, quiet : Qa^. 

Cap. 112. Sir.] sir, sir — Steev. Var. Sir — 

104. is] is — Cap. Steev. Rann. Var. Rowe et cet. 

Ibh : II y a peut-^tre un jeu de mots entre le mot robbed et robed * rev^tu d'une robe 
Voas €tes un robin, par pudeiir mettez votre robe.' 

94. for shame] Knight : This is not used as a reproach, but means— ^^ decency 
pat on your gown. [See note on ' tongued,* line 27, where Theobald thinks that this 
ffnfers to his Senatorial gown.] 

95. burst] For many instances where this means break, see Schmidt s. v. 

105. worsser] For many instances of double comparatives and superlatives, see 
Abbott, §11. 

109. distempring] M alone : To be distempeied with liquor was, in Shakespeare's 
tmie, the phrase for intoxication. Conf. Ham. Ill, ii, 288. 

no. Vpon] See Abbott, § 191, or Lear, V, iii, 166. 

112. Sir] Gould (p. 84) : Why cannot some actor who represents the silly gentle 
man,' make him interrupt the old man at intervab in order to get a hearing, instead of 
repeating 'Sir, sir, sir* all at once, as Ls invariably done upon the stage? and whkb 

ACT I. sc. lJ the MOORE OF VENICE 2 1 

My fpirits and my place haue in their power 

To make this bitter to thee. 1 1 S 

Rodo. Patience good Sir. 

Bra. What tell'ft thou me of Robbing ? 
This is Venice : my houfe is not a Grange. 

Ro€lo. Mod graue Brabantio, 
In fimple and pure foule, I come to you. 120 

la. Sir : you are one of thofe that will not ferue God, 
if the deuill bid you. Becaufe we come to do you feruice, 
and you thinke we are Ruffians, you'le haue your Daugh- 
ter couer'd with a Barbary horfe, you'le haue your Ne- 124 

114. fpirUi\ Ff,Rowe. fpirit Q<\tictX. 121. 5i>.] Sir, Q^QjFf, Rowe, Pope, 

M^tr] Ff, Rowe +, Cap. Knt. them Han. Johns. Knt. Zauns Sir, Q, et cet 

Qq et cet. you are] you are not Han. (mis- 

117. What] lVkat,Q<{, print?) 

117, 118. fVha/.,. Venice]Yl OneUne, 122. deuW] Dwell F,. 

Qq et cet. 123. and you] you Qqf Pope+, Cap. 

118. Grange] graunge Qq. Jen. Steev. Rann. Var. Sing. Ktly. 

indeed is in the text so set down ? Booth : This should indeed be so spoken, im- 
patiently, but without interrupting Brabantio. 

1 14. In this line Knight silently adopts spirit of Qq, and retains ' their ' of the Ff. 
I think it would have been better had the change been reversed; 'spirits ' in the plural, 
thus used, is quite Shakespearian. — Ed. 

118. Orange] Warton: That is, you are in a populous city, not in a lone house, 
where a robbery might be easily committed. * Grange' is properly the farm of 
a monastery, where com (Lat. granum) is reposited. But in Lincolnshire, and in 
other Northern counties, every lone house, or farm which stands solitary, is called a 
grange. Steevens : Conf. Meas. for Meas. IH, i, 278, ' at the moated grange resides 
this dejected Mariana.* Knight refers to the picture of neglected loneliness, which 
this ' moated grange ' in Meas, for Meas. suggested to Tennyson, in those verses which 
are familiar to us all. 

122. deuiU] Gould (p. 84) : Actors usually commit the ludicrous mistake of bring 
ing down the emphasis plump on ' devil,' as if the highest motive for serving God were 
the devil's bidding ! J. B. Booth said : ' that will not serve God, if the devil bid '^ts^ 
giving the plain meaning, that the devil's bidding was no argument against serving God. 

123. Ruffians] Staunton: Here employed in its secondary sense of roisterer, 
swash-buckler, and the like, though its primary meaning was, undoubtedly, pander ; 
Latin Meno,' the Italian *roffiano.' 

124. Nephewes] Steevens: Here, like Lat. nepos, it signifies a grandson, or any 
tineal descendant, however remote. Boswell : The word grandson never occurs in 
Shakespeare. Dyce (Gloss.): 'Nephew,' like cousin, was formerly used with great 
laxity. See / Hen. VI: II, v, 64, where nephew ought to mean cousin. Haluwell 
appositely cites the fact that Shakespeare in his Will speaks of his grand-daughter, Eliz- 
abeth Hall, as his nitce, [See Richardson's Diet, for manifold citations, from Robert 
of Gloucester down, where nephew is used for grandson or lineal descendant. Cooper's 

This. ' Nepos : the soime or daughters sonne, a nephew.' — Ed.] 


phewes neigh to you, you'le haue G>urfers for Cozens / 1 25 
and Gennets for Germaines. 

Bra, What prophane wretch art thou ? 

la. I am one Sir, that comes to tell you, your Daugh- 
ter and the Moore, are making the Bead with two backs. 

Bra. Thou art a Villaine. 130 

lago. You are a Senator. 

Bra. This thou (halt anfwere. I know thee Rodarigo. 

Rod. Sir, I will anfwere any thing. But I befeech you 
Ift be your pleafure, and mod wife confent, 
(As partly I find it is) that your faire Daughter, 135 

At this odde Euen and dull watch o'th*night 

125. niigh'\ ney Q,. — a Cap. ct cet. 
Onem'\coufens(^, QmfinsYJ?^. 132. Jhtotv] Jiow ¥^. 

126. Germaines] lennans Q,. Ger- Hodor^"] Roderigo QgC^j. 
mans Q/)JPJF^. Germans F,. 134-150. Om. Q,. 

128. iAa£ comes"] that come Qq. 1 36. odde Euen\ od euen Q,Q,. odd- 

129. are\ Ff, Rowe, Knt are now ^r^^n Mai. et seq. odd secuon'^jtxji.cxiVL). 
Qq et cet. odd hour Cartwright. 

131. are a"] QqFf, Rowc+, Knt are 

126. Qennets] Wedgwood: Genet, a small-sized Spanish horse. Sp. gineio, a 
light horseman, named from the Berber tribe of 2^neta, who supplied the Moorish 
tnltans of Grenada with a body of horse on which they placed great reliance. [While 
the alliteration is here evident of gennets and germans, it is not impossible that, in 
addition, in Shakespeare's time, the Berber or Moorish origin of the gennet was sug- 
gested to an auditor quite as much as the Spanish. — Ed.] 

126. Germaines] Dyce (G/oss.) : Relations. 

127. prophane] Johnson : That is, what wretch of gross and licentious language? 
In that sense Shakespeare often uses this word. Steevens : Howell, in a dialogue 
prefixed to his edition of Cotgrave, 1673, has the following: *J* aimerois mieux estre 
trop ceremonieux, que trop prophane,' which he thus angUcizes : ' I had rather be too 
ceremonious, than too prophane.' [See II, i, 188.] 

129. See Rabelais, liv. I, cap. iii. 

131. You are] It was Upton who suggested the dash after these words, which is 
found in all editions since Capell's time, except Knight's. ' A senator,' says Upton (p. 
176), 'is added l)eyond expectation; any one would think lago was going to call him 
as bad names as he himself was called by the senator Brabantio.' 

132. thou] Delius: This is to l)e emphasized. Brabantio does not know lago, and 
therefore Roderigo, whom he does know, must answer for lago's insulting remarks. 

136. odde Euen] Johnson: The even of night is midnight, the time when night 
is divided into even parts. Henley: This 'odd even' is simply the interval between 
twelve at night and one in the morning. Steevens, in his earlier editions, suggested 
•odd Steven,* a Chaucerian word signifying time; but he wisely withdrew the suggestion 
in his Var. '93, although not l)efore M. Mason said that he 'should chuse to read duU 
season as an expression that would more naturally occur either to Shakespeare or to 
Roderigo.' Malone thinks that ' this odd-even of the night ' appears to mean that il 


Tranfported with no worfe nor better guard, 137 

But with a knaue of common hire, a Gundelier, 

To the grofle clafpes of a Lafciuious Moore : 

If this be knowne to you, and your Allowance, 140 

We then haue done you bold, and faucie wrongs. 

But if you know not this, my Manners tell me, 

We haue your wrong rebuke. Do not beleeue 

That from the fence of all Ciuilitie, 

I thus would play and trifle with your Reuerence. 145 

Your Daughter (if you haue not giuen her leaue) 

I fay againe,hath made a grofle reuolt. 

Tying her Dutie, Beautie,Wit, and Fortunes 

In an extrauagant, and wheeling Stranger, 149 

137. nor^ orY^^t Rowe. 141. wrongs^ wrongs? Q,Q3. 

138. common\ Om. Pope-f . 146, 147. {if.,.agaifu,'\ In parenthesis, 
Gundilier\ FfQ,Q . GundalUr Q3. 

Rowe + . Conde/ur Johns. Jen, Gondolier 148. Tying'\ Laying CoVL, ii (MS). 

Ct^. 149. /«<zm] 7b<iMPope+,Rann. On 

139. Moore :J Moor, — Mai. an Cap. Coll. ii (MS). 

140. and'\ and to Q,. 

was just approaching to, or just past, that it was doubtful whether at that moment it 
btood at the point of midnight, or at some other less equal division of the twenty-four 
hours ; which a few minutes either before, or after, midnight would be. So in Miub. 
Ill, iv, 126: * What is the night? Lady M, Almost at odds with morning, which is 
which.' Abbott, § 435 : And is omitted. Cicero says, that the extreme test of a 
man's honesty is that you can play at odd and even with him in the dark. And per- 
haps ' odd-(and-)even * here means, a time when there is no distinguishing between 
odd and even, 

137. Transported] To mend this incomplete sentence Hanmer, followed by Ca- 
PELL, added Be before line 136 : < Be at this odd-even,' &c. Mason added it before 
line 137. Staunton says, that * transported ' is equivalent to transported herself 
[which I doubt], and Knight says that he must leave the sentence as he finds it. 

138. But] See Abbott, § 127, for instances of but used in the sense of except, fol- 
lowing negative comparatives, where we should use than. 

138. Gundelier] Walker ( Vers. p. 218) shows that, just as pioneer, engineer, 
muleteer, &c. should be written pioner, enginer, muleter, &c., so here the verse requires 
gundeUr, Dyce (ed. iii) yields to Walker's authority, and asserts that < if the author 
did not write *'gundeler" (**gondoIer"), he certainly intended the word to be so pro- 
nounced.' Abbott does not include this word in the list which he gives (§ 492) of the 
class referred to by Walker, but places it under ' apparent Alexandrines * (§ 497), and 
contracts it gond{p)lier. Walker's treatment is, I think, the better. — Ed. 

141. saucie] That is, insolent, outrageous, used in a stronger sense than merely 
malapert, Conf. Macb, III, iv, 25 : ' I am ... . bound in To saucy doubts and fears.' 

144. from] For instances where *from' means 'apart from,' *awfy frt)m,* see Ab- 
bott, § 158. Also M(ub, III, i, 131, 'something from the palace.' 
149. In] It is scarcely necessary, I think, to suppose that ' In ' is here used for on or 

24 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. so. i. 

Of here, and euery where : flraight fatisfie your felfe. 1 50 

If (he be in her Chamber, or your houfe, 
Let loofe on me the luflice of the State 
For thus deluding you. 

Bra, Strike on the Tinder, hoa : 
Giue me a Taper : call vp all my people, 155 

This Accident is not vnlike my dreame, 
Beleefe of it oppreffes me alreadie. 
Light, I fay, light. Exit. 

lag. Farewell: for I muft leaue you. 
It feemes not meete, nor wholefome to my place 160 

To be produced, (as if I ftay, I (hall,) [3 " *] 

Againft the Moore. For I do know the State, 
(How euer this may gall him with fome checke) 163 

151. her\ your Ff, Rowe, Jen. 161. produ^ed'\Yi, protht^ d(^fXcxX, 

153. thus deluding you\ this delufiou 163. Hino euer^ New euer Q, [thus 

Qi. noted by Jen. and Camb. edd. Heno euer 

158. Exii,'\ Om. QqFf. Exit Bra. from in Ashbee.] 

above. Han. may"] my Q^. 

160. place"] pate Q,. 

to. The idea of the entire suirender of Desdemona to Othello is intended, which ' in ' 
ceitainlj conveys, even better than on. There are, assuredly, instances where in b 
used where we should now use ^if, as in Gen. i, 22 ; Matt, vi, 10, also / Hen, VI: I, 
ii, 2 (all dted in Bible IVord'Book)^ where, however, the phrase 'in the earth,' is im- 
mediately connected with * in the heavens,* and is not, therefore, exactly parallel with 
the present instance. See 'in your owne part,' I, iii, 91, post. — Ed. 

149. eztrauagant] Used by Shakespeare three times and uniformly in its classical 
sense of tvandering, vagrant, 

149. wheeling] Collier (ed. il) adopts wheedlitig from his (MS), as it is 'just the 
epithet that would be applied by Roderigo to Othello, who had cajoled and cheated 
Brabantio out of his daughter.' Singer {Sh. Vind. p. 279) : Even could Collier adduce 
an instance of wheedUstg before the reign of Charles II., it would be difficult to per 
made us to displace 'wheeling;' for, connected, as it Ls, with 'extravagant,' it is r^"> 
doubt used like the Italian ' girevole,' with its secondary meaning of inconstant, un 
steady. That wheedling should have been suggested, makes it certain that Collier't 
(MS) in this instance lived not earlier than the last century. Staunton says, that he 
would prefer whirling. Schmidt (Lex.) thinks that from meaning ' to fetch a com- 
pass,' as in Cor. I, vi, 19, it came to mean ' to err about,* as here and in Tro. &* Cress. 
V, vii, 2. 

156. dream] Coleridge (jVotes, &c. 249) : The old careful senator, being caught 
careless, transfers his caution to his dreaming power at least. Booth : This dream is 
to the superstitious Italian convincing proof of what he is told, and accounts for his 
sudden belief in his friend's treachery. 

163. checke] Johnson : Some rebuke. 

ACT h SC. i.] 



Cannot with (afetie caft-him. For he's embark'd 

With fuch loud reafon to the Cyprus Warres, 

(Which euen now ftands in A£l)that for their foules 

Another of his Fadome, they haue none, 

To lead their Bufinefle. In which regard, 

Though I do hate him as I do hell apines, 

Yet, for neceffitie of prefent life, 

I muft fhow out a Flag, and figne of Loue, 

(Which is indeed but figne)that you fhal furely find him 

Lead to the Sagitary the raifed Search : 




164. caft-hini^ Hyphen, only in F,. 
embar/ed'\ imbark' d (^ ^, 

165. Cyprus^ Cipres Qq. Cypru^ 
Theob. Warb. Johns. O^. Jen. Stcev. Var. 
Knt, Sing. Sta. KUy. 

IVarres'] itMxr Cop, Rann. 

166. yiands] QqFf, Rowe, Cap. Rann. 
Del. s/and Pope et cet. 

167. /utdomf]/a//iomeQ(i. /adorn F^ 
Rowc+, Wh. fathom Cap. et cet. 

n4me\ not Q,» Cap. Jen. Steev. 
Rann. 6ing. Ktly. 

168. Bufineffi^ business on Cap. 

169. Though'l r/4<»Qq. 

hcU apines"] heU Ff. hells paines 
Qq, Rowe -t , Jen. Sing, hell pains Cap. 
Steev. Var. Knt, Coll. hell-pains Dyce et 

172. Jtgne)1 Ff. Jigne, Qq. sign : Rowe 
i. sign,) or sign, Rowe ii et cet. 

Jhall /urely/ind'\ may surely find 
Pope + . may find Han. 

172, vj"^, find„,Search'\ One line, Q,. 

173. Sagitary'\ Sagi/lar Q^, Cop, Mai. 
Sagi/tary Q^Q^F^. 

164. cast] Johnson : That is, dismiss him. [See H, ii, 31 ; H, ii, 302; V, ii, 400.] 
PURNELL : Cf. * castaway,* and Anglo-Indian ' a caster,* * a horse sold out of a regiment 
as useless.* 

165. Cyprus] See Abbott, § 22, for instances of the conversion of proper names 
into adjectives, for which license, Abbott says, the reason is to be found in an increasing 
dislike and disuse of the inflection in *j. Conf. * Verona walls,* /^om. &* Jul, HI, iii, 
17 [and * hell pains,' line 169 below, where, by the way, in F,, the a and / have simply 
changed places. — Ed.] 

167. Fadome] Booth : Touch your head to indicate judgement^ not your breast to 
imply courage. 

168. Businesse] Coleridge {Notes, &c. 250) : The forced praise of Othello, fol- 
lowed by the bitter hatred of him in this speech ! And observe how Brabantio*s dream 
prepares for his recurrence (1. 188) to the notion of philtres, and how both prepare for 
carrying on the plot of the arraignment of Othello on this ground. 

173. Sagitary] Steevens : This means the sign of the fictitious creature so-called, 
i. e. an animal compounded of man and horse, and armed with a bow and quiver. 
Knight : This is generally taken to be an inn. It was the residence at the Arsenal 
of the commanding officers of the navy and army of the republic. The figure of an 
archer with his dravm bow, over the gates, still indicates the place. Probably Shake- 
speare had looked upon that sculpture. Singer : Yet Cassio's inquiry, * Ancient, what 
makes he here ?* seems to imply that to Shakespeare the sign, whencesoever he derived 
it, ¥ras that of a private house or inn ; and that it was a representation of the centaur 
of the zodiac, or of the Tale of Troy, and not a mere bo^vman. Th. Elze (Shake- 


And there will I be with him. So &rewelL Exit, 

Enter Brabantio^ with Seruants and Tore f us. 175 

Bra, It is too true an euill. Gone (he is, 
And what's to come of my defpifed time, 177 

175. Scene III. F6pe+, Jen. uants with Torches Qq* Rowe, Pope, 

Enter...] Enitr Bra^ofUw (Bar- Theob. Jen. 
iantio Qj) in his night gowne, and Ser- 

t^are Jahrimch^ 1S79, ^i^* ^74) gives a curious list of the Inns of Venice in Othello*! 
day, of which history has preserved the names, as follows : 'a/ Stluadego, alio Stun'opu, 
ai CavaUttOf al Capeiio, alU do (dtU) SpiuU^ alia Campana^ al S, Giorgio or al Flauto^ 
al Lion bianco^ al Gambaro^ alia Luna^ aU^ Aquila fura, alia Corona^ aH* Angelo, alia 
Torre^ — but al SagiUario has not yet been discovered. The most probable supposition 
is,* continues Th. Elze, ' that it was an imaginary name devised by Shakespeare, which 
we should be as Uttle likely to discover as The Pegasus in Genoa, where the Pedant 
lodged with Baptista in Tarn, of Shr, IV, iv, 5. A certain appropriateness in the 
names and characters is not lacking : the soldier lives in the Sagittary^ the Pedant in 
the Pegasus^ Rolfe disposes of Knight's assertion, that this was the Arsenal. ' It 
apiiears,* he says, in his Notes ad loc. * from I, ii, 53, below, that Othello was not at his 
usual lodging, and the messengers of the Senate had not known where to 6nd hinu 
Cassio also asks " What makes he here ?" which impUes that he was in an unfamiliar 
place. Note also what Othello says, in I, iii, 143. If the Arsenal had been the 
'< place," no guide to it would have been necessary.' In an Addendum on p. 210, 
Rolfe still more emphatically disproves Knight's remark : ' We cannot find any evi- 
dence that the Arsenal at Venice was ever called '* the Sagittary ;" probably this is a 
mere conjecture of Knight's. The figure mentioned by Knight is not " over the gates," 
but is one of four statues standing in front of the structure. It represents a man hold- 
ing a bow (not " drawn ") in his hand, but is in no respect more conspicuous than its 
three companions. If Shakespeare was ever in Venice he probably saw the statue (if 
it is as old as the gateway, which was built in 1460), but we cannot imagine why it 
should suggest to him to call the place the Sagiltary, That word means not an ordi- 
nary archer, but a Centaur with a bow, as in the familiar representations of the zodiacal 
sign Sagittarius. This is its sense in the only other passage in which Shakespeare uses 
it, Tro. &* Cress, V, v, 14 : '* the dreadful Sagittary Appals our numbers." That the 
Sagittary in the present passage cannot be the Arsenal is, however, sufHciently clear 
from I, iii, 143, 144. The Arsenal was by far the largest and most prominent public 
building, or collection of buildings, in all Venice, its outer walls being nearly two miles 
in circuit. To suppose that anybody in the employ of the government would need the 
help of lago in finding the place is absurd.' 

177. despised] Warburton: We should read despited, i. e. vexatious. Heath: 
Brabantio very properly calb the remaining part of his life a ' despised time,' since the 
ill-conduct of his only daughter, in matching herself to an adventurer so much beneath 
her birth and rank, could not, in his apprehension, but draw great contempt on himself. 
Johnson: 'Despised time' is time of no vcUue ; time in which 'lliere's nothing serious 
in mortality. The wine of life is drawn, and the me^e dr^ Are left this vault to brag 
of,' Macb, II, iii, 89. Steevens: Again, in Rom, ^ Jul, I, iv, lie: 'a despised life 
closed in my breast' 


Is naught but bitterneffe. Now Rodorigo, 178 

Where didft thou fee her ? (Oh vnhappfe Girle) 

With the Moore faift thou ? (Who would be a Father ?) 1 8c 

How didft thou know 'twas fhe ? (Oh fhe deceaues me 

Paft thought:) what faid ftie to you ? Get moe Tapers : 

Raife all my Kindred. Are they married thinke you ? 

Rodo, Truely I thinke they are. 

Bra, Oh Heauen : how got fhe out ? 185 

Oh treafon of the blood. 

FatherSjfrom hence truft not your Daughters minds 
By what you fee them aft. Is there not Charmes, 
By which the propertie of Youth, and Maidhood 
May be abus'd ? Haue you not read Rodorigo, 190 

Of fome fuch thing ? 

178. /j] /Q . 182. moe\ Ff, Ktly. more Qq et cet. 

naught \ Ff, Rowe i. tumght Qq 183. kindred^ kinred F.F,. 

et cet 185, 186. One line, Qq, Cap. et cet 

hUtemeffe, Now] bitterneffe now 185. got] gat Rowe ii + . 

Qq. 186. of the] of my Ff, Rowe + . 

180. /i^]Mi^/Theob.ii,Han.Warb. 188. Is there] Qq, Var. Sing. Dyce, 

Johns. Ktly, Glo. Cam. Are there Ff et cet. 

181. fhe deceaues] thou deceiueft Q,, 189. Maidhood] manhood Qq. 

Johns. Jen. Steev. Rann. Var. Coll. (No 191. thing?] thing. Q,Q,. things fC^y 
parentheses in this speech in Q,.) 

181. deceaues] May it not be pennitted here to 'froUc in conjecture,' and suggest 
that the printer has accidentally substituted an j for a d, and that we should read de- 
ceaued} Even if we adopt the reading of Q,, I should prefer they deceaued to 'thou 
deceiuest.* In both cases a certain symmetry of the sentence is preserved in the alter- 
nation of thought, which is first fixed on the daughter, and then on the Moor, then 
recurring to the daughter, then to the Moor and the daughter both together, then to 
the daughter, and then to them both together again. — Ed. 

186. blood] Booth : With emotion, as with Shylock : < my own flesh and blood to 
rel)el I* 

188. Is] See Abbott, §335, for instances where the quasi-singular verb precedes 
the plural subject This usage Abbott explains on the ground, that when the subject is 
V yet future, and, as it were, imsettled, the third jierson singular might be regarded as 
the normal inflection. Such passages are very conunon, particularly in the case of 
'There is.' 

188. charmes] Booth : In your study of this play bear in mind the superstition 
that pervades it. Even Othello, while sneering at it, humours it when Desdemona is 
brought before the Duke as a witness against him ; and he has faith in tlie * antique 
token * and the sword of * ice-brook*s temper.' Reflections like these help the actor to 
feei the character he assumes. 

189, 190. By . . . abus'd] Johnson : By which the faculties of a young virgin 
may be infatuated and made subject to illusions and false imagination. 

28 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i, sc. i 

Rod, Yes Sir : I haue indeed. 192 

Bra. Call vp my Brother : oh would you had had her. 
Some one way,fome another. Doe you know 
Where we may apprehend her,and the Moore ? 195 

Rod, I thinke I can difcouer him, if you pleafe 
To get good Guard, and go along with me. 

Bra, Pray you lead on. At euery houfe He call, 
(I may command at mofl)get Weapons (hoa) 
And raife fome fpeciall Officers of might : 200 

On good Rodarigo, I will deferue your paines. Exeunt, 

192. Yes„,indeed'\ I haue fir Q,. 198. JU\ iU Q,. PU F,. PU \\. 

193. Brother^ brothers F^F^, Rowe, 199. mo/iy^ moft : or mmv/. Qq et ceL 
Pope, Han. Weapons {hod)'\ weapons ko^ Qq. 

«A fovwi^] OMa/Q,,Mal.Steev. qoq, mtghfl FfQjQ^, Rowe + , Cap. 

ColL C7>(,'f0«wi^Theob.ii,Warb. Johns. Jen. Del. ni^^h/ Q, et cet. 

Rann. KUy. 201. On good"] On, good F^. 

194. you\ yon Q,. /wi//] Ff, Rowe, Knt. lie Q,Q,. 

195. her, and'] her andThtcb. ii et seq. tie Q^. PU Pope et cet. 

198. you lead] leade me Q,. 

193. Brother] Singer : Gratiano was in the poet's mind, though he is not wanted 
or called upon the stage till the Fifth Act. 

197* %9\ Abbott, §30^ notes that here, as in Mid, N, D, I, i, 123, Tarn, of Shr. 
IV, V, 7 ; ^ Hen, IV: II, i, 191, 'go ' is used where we should use come, 

199. At most] JouRDAiN {PhUol, Soc, Trans., i860, p. 141): It here means, *in 
the greatest degree,* Brabantio being one of the council of three. See note on I, ii, 16. 
[It was not until I had read Jourdain's note, and the following in the excellent edition 
of M. D'HuGUES : ' Nous n'ayons trouv6 dans aucun lexique Texplication de cette locu- 
tion at most,* that any obscurity appeared to me here. Notwithstanding Jourdain's ex- 
planation, I still think that 'at most * is simply elliptical for at most of them, Brabantio 
says, in effect, ' Til call at all the houses of my kindred ; at most of them my call will 
be obeyed.* — Ed.] 

200. might] Malone: I have no doubt that Shakespeare, before he wrote this 
play, read The Commonwealth and Government of Venice, translated from the Italian 
by Lewes Lewkenor, and printed in Qto, 1599; a book prefixed to which we find a 
copy of verses by Spenser. This treatise furnished our poet with the knowledge of 
those officers of night whom Brabantio here desires to be called to his assistance. ' For 
the greater expedition thereof of these kinds of judgements, the heades or chieftaines 
of the officers by night do obtaine the authority of which the advocators are deprived. 
These officers of the night are six, and six likewise are those meane officers, that have 
omy power to coirect base vagabonds and trifling offenses. Those that do execute tliis 
office are called heades of the tribes of the city, because out of every tribe (for the city 
is divided into six tribes,) there is elected an officer of the night, and a head of the 
tribe. — ^The duty of eyther of these officers is, to keepe a watch every other night by 
turn, within their tribes ; and, now the one, and then the other, to make rounds about 
his quarter, till the dawning of the day, being always guarded and attended on with 
wearoned officers and Serjeants, and to see that there be not any disorder done in tht 

ACT I, sc. ii.] 



Scena Secunda. 

Enter Otiiello, lago, Attendants , with Torches. 

la. Though in the trade of Warre I haue flaine men, 
Yet do I hold it very ftuffe o*th*confcience 
To do no contriu'd Murder : I lacke Iniquitie 
S ometime to do me feruice. Nine, or ten times 
I had thought t'haue yerk*d him here vnder the Ribbes. 

Othello, Tis better as it is. 



1. Scene IV. Pope+, Jen. 

2. Attendants] and attendants Qq. 
with Torches] Om. Cap. Steev. Mai. 

Var. Sing. 

[The Street. Rowe. Another Street, 
before the Sagittary. Theob. 

4. ftuffe <ftfCconfcience\ ftuft of eon- 
fcUnce Q,. 

5. Murder\ murrher Q^, murtAerQ^ 
Pbpc, Theob. ii, Han. Warb. Cap. Knt,Wh. 
i. Rife. 

/acke^lacJkQ^. iakeT^^, takeY^, 


6. Sometime] Ff, Rowe, Knt, bca. 
Sometimes Qq et cet. 

Nine,] nine QqFjF^. 

7. I had]/ Pope + . rd Wh. ii. 
l^Aaue] Dyce ii, Huds. Wh. ii. tdve 

Pope + . to haue QqFf et cet. 

yerli^d] ierJ^d Q,. jerJ^d Q,Qy 
Pope + , Jen. Rann. Wh. ii. 

vnder the Ribbes] Separate line, Qq* 

Ribbes] Rib F^, Rowe. 

8. '7m] //'jPope^. 

darkness of the night, which alwaies emboldeneth men to naughtinesse ; and that there 
be not any houses broken up, nor thieves nor rogues lurking in comers with intent to 
do violence.* — Commonwealth of Venice, pp. 97, 99. [This note of Malone seems to 
have satisfied, with the exception of Delius, all modem editors, even Knight, who 
has, in many another passage, maintained the F, on grounds less substantial than he 
might have stood on here. If Brabantio Jhad wished to summon to his aid the cus- 
tomary guardians of the night, the epithet 'special * is needless, whereas it is not only 
expressed, but it is emphasized ; it is transposed from the noun it particularly qualifies 
in order to give it importance. The Ic^cal order is * officers of special might,* just as 
* the whole ear of Denmark ' in Ham. I, v, 36, means * the ear of all Denmark,* or as 
'course of direct session,* 0th. I, ii, 105, means the 'direct course of session.' I am 
afraid that here the zeal of Malone*s learning hath eaten him up, and that ' night ' oi 
Q, is a misprint. — Ed.] 

2. Torches] Delius: To Shakespeare's public this conveyed the idea not only 
that the time was night, but also that the scene was in the street. 

4. it very] Is not this a case of the absorption of the definite article in the / sound 
of • it ' ?— Ed. 

4. stuff] Johnson : That is, substance or essence of the conscience. Lloyd : lago 
gains the confidence of Roderigo by the proper force of his will, and by plain exposition 
of politic hypocrisy ; this is his course with a fool destitute of principles ; his pretensions 
to honesty [as in this hne] gain him the confidence of Othello, whose credulousness inj 
this respect would, in truth, appear to us as gross as that of Roderigo, but that it is m 
associated with the same circumstances of disgracefiilness. 

7. yerk'd] Dyce : To strike with a quick, smart blow. White (ed. ii) : A mere 
phonetic spelling of jerked. 

8. Coleridge : How well these few words impress at the outset the truth of Othellci's 

30 THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. it 

lago. Nay but he prated, 
And fpoke fuch fcuruy, and prouoking termes lO 

Againft your Honor, that with the little godlinefle I haue 
I did full hard forbeare him. But I pray you Sir, 
Are you faft married ? Be affur'd of this. 
That the Magnifico is much belou'd, 

And hath in his effe6l a voice potentiall 15 

As double as the Dukes : He will diuorce you. 

11. Againft your H<mor\^,ie^iiX93utViTi't^ Dyce, Sta.Wh. Glo. Cam. DeL Rife, Huds. 
Pope ct scq. For be Jure Qq ct cct 

12. prayyou'\ Ff, Rowe, Knt, Dyce, 15. his\ its Quincy (MS). 

Sla.Wh. Glo. Cam. Del. Rife, Huds. pray 16. douilel nobU Quincy (MS), capa- 

Qq et cet. bU Caitwright. indubitable Bulloch. 

13. Be affur'd'^ Ff, Rowe, Ci^. Knt, Dukes'^ Duke Q,. 

own character of himself at the end — ' that he was not easily wrought * ! His self-gov- 
enunent contradistinguishes him throughout firom Leontes. Gould (p. 94) : J. B. Booth 
gave this with a gravity, a weighty distinctness on the last three words, ' better— -as — it 
is,' which conveyed a reproof, and was intended to dismiss the subject. 

9. he prated] Steevens asks, 'of whom is this said? Of Roderigo?' Kni(;ht 
answers : ' lago is preparing Othello for the appearance of Roderigo with Brabaniio, 
which he does by representing that Roderigo has communicated to him his intention to 
i^jprise Desdemona*s father of her flight, and that he resented his expressions toward 

12. forbeare] Schmidt {Lex,) : To spare, to let alone. Conf. Ham, V, i, 261 : 
•For love of God, forbear him.' 

12. But] Booth : Now let your manner be more serious. 

12. you] A mere enclitic in pronunciation, absorbed in the final sound of 'pray.'—* 

14. Magnifico] Tollet: 'The chiefe men of Venice are by a peculiar name called 
Magnifies i. e. Magniflcoes.' — Minsheu [s. v. Magnificent, Minsheu adds : Et Aca- 
demiarum Rectores in Germania, eodem titulo insigniuntur. — Ed.] 

15. his] Staunton : Here employed for the then scarce known its, and refers to 
• voice.* 

16. double] Warburton, followed by Theobald (not Capell, as Knight says), 
mterpreted this as signifying as iarge^ as extensive^ equivalent to the Greek din'kovi^ 
and cited Dioscorides and Theocritus. Whereupon Dr Johnson thus improved the 
occasion : All this learning, if it had even been what it endeavors to be thought, is, in 
this place, superfluous. There is no ground for supposing, that our author copied or 
knew the Greek phrase ; nor does it follow, that, because a word has two senses in 
one language, the word which in another answers to one sense should answer to both. 
Manust in Latin, signifles both a hand and troop of soldiers^ but we cannot say, that 
' the captain marched at the head of his hand ;' or, * that he laid his troop upon his 
sword.' It is not always in books that the meaning is to be sought of this writer, who 
was much more acquainted with naked reason and with living manners. 'Double' has 
here its natural sense. The president of every deliberative assembly has a double voice. 
In our coiuls the chief justice and one of the inferior judges prevail over the other two. 

ACT I, sc. ii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 3 1 

[16. ' As double as the Dukes.'] 
oecause the chief justice has a double voice. Brabantio had in his effect, tho' not by 
law yet by weight and influence^ a voice not actual and formal^ but potential and ope- 
rative, as double^ that is, a voice that when a question was suspended would turn the 
balance as effectually as the Duk/s. ' Potential * is used in the sense of science ; a 
caustic is called a potential fire. Malone*s studies in early Venetian polity played 
him false here; so far from the Duke's having a 'double voice,* it appears firom 
Thomas's History of Italy, 1560, that it was exactly what he had not : 'Whereas,' says 
Thomas, 'many have reported, the duke in ballotyng should have two voices; it is 
nothinge so, for in giving his voice he hath but one ballot, as all others have.' Nothing 
discouraged, Malone at once surmises that ' Shakespeare might have gone on this re- 
ceived opinion, which he might have found in some other book. Supposing, however. 
Chat he had learned from this very passage that the Duke had not a double voice in the 
Council of Seven, yet as he had a vote in each of the various G)uncils of the Venetian 
State (a privilege which no other person enjoys,) our poet might have thought himself 
justified in the epithet which he has here used ; and this circumstance, which he might 
have found in a book already quoted, G)ntareno's Commonwealth and Government of 
Venice^ 1 599, was, I believe, here in his thoughts : " So great is the prince's authoritie, 
that he may, in whatsoever court, adjoine himselfe to the magistrate therein, being presi- 
dent, as his colleague and companion, and have equal power with the other presidents," 
&c, p. 41. Again, p. 42 : " Besides this, the prince hath in every Councell equal author- 
itie with any of them, for one suffrage or lotte." Thus we see, continues Malone, though 
he had not a double voice in any one assembly, yet as he had a vote in all the various 
assemblies, his voice, thus added to the voice of each of the presidents of those assem- 
blies, might with strict propriety be called double and potential* Steevens : Double 
and single anciently signified strong and weak when applied to liquors, and perhaps to 
other objects. In this sense the former epithet may be employed by Brabantio, and the 
latter by the chief justice speaking to FalstafT: ' Is not your wit single ?' Here the 
phrase may, therefore, only signify that Brabantio's voice, as a magnifico, was as forcible 
as that of the Duke. Henley : 'The double voice ' of Brabantio refers to the opinion, 
(which, as being a magnifico, he was no less entitled to, than the duke himself), either, 
of nullifying the nuurriage of his daughter contracted without his consent ; or, of sub- 
jecting Othello to fine and imprisonment for having seduced an heiress. Pye [does 
one reader in a thousand know or remember, that Pye is a predecessor of Tennyson as 
Poet-Laureate ? — Ed.] : Surely the obvious purport of the passage is that Brabantio, 
from his popularity and wealth, has effectually such a weight in the .Senate as gives 
him a power equal to the double vote conferred by the constitution on the duke. 
Knight : It is clear that Shakespeare did not take the phrase in a literal sense ; for, 
if he had supposed that the duke had a double voice as duke, he would not have as- 
signed the same privilege to the senator Brabantio. Delius : If what Brabantio says 
has as much weight as what the duke says, his voice must be twice as potential as that 
of the other nobles, i. e. as double as the duke's. Hudson: 'A voice potential or 
powerful as much so as the Duke's.' Jourdain {PhiloL Soc. Trans., i860, p. 142): 
This is an historical mistake made by a typographical error ; the ' as ' should be of. 
The Duke had not a double voice, but the members of the Council of Three had very 
neariy such, as the following will show : — ' Next vnto the Duke are three called the 
Signori Capi or Cai, whiche outwardly seeme inferioure to the Duke, and yet are of 
more auctoritee than he. For theyr power is so absolute that if there happen cause 
why, they maie arrest the Duke.'-— 3^4^ historie of Italie, by William Thomas, 1549. 

32 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act. i, sc ii 

Or put vpon you, what reftraint or greeuance, 17 

The Law (with all his might, to enforce it on) [3^2 a] 

Will giue him Cable. 

OtheL Let him do his fpight; 20 

My Seruices, which I haue done the Signorie 
Shall out-tongue his Complaints. Tis yet to know, 
Which when I know, that boafting is an Honour, 
I (hall promulgate. I fetch my life and being, 
From Men of Royall Seige. And my demerites 25 

May fpeake (vnbonnetted)to as proud a Fortune 

17. or greeuance\ Ff, Rowe+, Ci^. msi/^ale) or promuJ^^,Fopeti hcq. prp- 
Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly, Del. and grew- mulge Cap. conj. (p. 21, «). 

ances Q,. and greeuance Q,Q, ct cet 25. Seige,'\ F,. A«^-*/,Q,Q,.Jcn. hight^ 

18. The\ That Q,. Q^. SUge F,F ct cet. 
enforce] inforce Qq. denierites] demerrits^ Q,. 

19. WiU] WeeU Qq. 26. {vnbonnetted)] vnbonnitedQ^. un- 

21. Seruices] fervice Q,. bonneting Pope, Warb. and bonneted 

22. out-^oif^ue] out tongu£ Q,. Theob. Johns. Cap. Jen. ^en bonneted 
Complaints.] complaints^ Qq. Han. 

23. lVhicA..,Jtnow] Om. Q,. to] Om. Q,Qj. 

24. promulgate.] provuigate^Q^. pro- 

Therefore I read, ' as double of the Duke's.' [In note on I, i, 199, Jourdain asserts 
that Brabantio belonged to this Council of Three. — Ed.] White (ed. ii) : A doubt- 
ful reading, but it may possibly mean merely as potential. [If Johnson's interpretation 
be not the obvious one, then I agree with White that the reading is doubtful, and am 
inclined to think that we might read <as double of* It is lago's aim to poison Othello's 
delight and plague him with flies, therefore he exaggerates Brabantio's power in the 
State, even to saying that the effect of Brabantio's voice is as potential as double that 
of the Duke. But it is hardly worth the time and labour expended on it. We have 
the * double,' and surely in the notes the * toil and trouble,' needing but the * fire and 
chauldron ' to complete the round. — Ed.] 

21. To smooth away this Alexandrine, Abbott ($471) scans : My seru | ices which 
I I've done | the Sign | iorie. See also Walker, Vers.^ p. 243. 

23, 24. Booth : The keynote of his nature, a modest, simple-hearted gentleman^ 
not a braggart as lago would make him out. 

25. Seige] Johnson : Men who have sat upon royal thrones. Clarendon : Seat, 
thence rank, because people sat at table and elsewhere in order of precedence. See 
ffam. IV, vii, 77. 

25. demerites] Steevens: This has the same meaning, among Elizabethan writers, 
as merits. [Both Bullokar, 162 1, and Minsheu, 161 7, give Demerit: A desert] 
Staunton : ' Demerit ' now signifies only ill desert ; in Shakespeare's day it was used 
indiscriminately for good or ill deserving. In the present instance it is apparently em- 
ployed in the good sense, for Othello could hardly mean that his blemishes might stand 
without concealment beside the dignity he had achieved. 

26. ▼nbonnetted] Pope : It should be unbonneting, i. e. without putting off the 
bonnet. Theobald: To speak <unbonnetted' is to speak ttnth the cap off^ which k uj THE MOORE OF VENICE 33 

As this that I haue reach'd. For know lago^ 27 

But that I loue the gentle Defdemona, 

I would not my vnhoufed free condition 29 

29. not my...€ondiHon\ not, my,.. condition, Qq. 

directly opposite to the poet's meaning. So in Lear, III, i, 14, * unbonneted he runs.' 
Othello means to say, that his birth and services set him upon such a rank that he may 
speak to a Senator of Venice with his hat on, i. e. without showing any marks of defer- 
ence or inequality. I, therefore, am inclined to think Shakespeare wrote : * May speak, 
tmd bonnetted^ &c. Or, if any like better the change of the negative un, in the cor- 
rnpted reading, into the epitatic im, we may thus reform it : * May speak imbonnetted^ 
&c. [This last conjecture was withdrawn by Theobald (ed. ii), but proposed anew by 
Steevens, without credit] Johnson : Pope's emendation may as well be not ptUting 
on as not putting off, the bonnet. Steevens : Bonneter, says Cotgrave, is to put off 
one's cap. So in Cor. 11, ii, 30. Mr Fuseli explains this passage as follows : ' I am 
his equal or superior in rank ; and were it not so, such are my demerits, that, unbon- 
neted, without the addition of patrician or senatorial dignity, they may speak to as 
proud a fortune,' &c. ' At Venice the bonnet, as well as the toge, is a badge of aris- 
tocratic honours to this day.* A. C. (in Var.^21) : * Unbonneted * is uncovered, re- 
vealed, made known. See a similar expression in II, iii, * you unlace your reputation.' 
Coleridge {Notes, &c., p. 250) : Theobald's argument goes on the assumption that 
Shakespeare could not use the same word differently in Hifferent places; whereas I 
should conclude, that as in the passage in Lear the word is etnployed in its direct 
meaning, so here it is used metaphorically ; ai\d this is jconfirmed by what has escaped 
the editors, that it is not * I ' but ' my demerits ' that may speak ' unbonneted,' — ^without 
the symbol of a petitioning inferior. Staunton : The import we take to be, — my ser- 
vices when revealed {unbonneted) may aspire or lay claim to {may speak to) as proud 
a fortune as this which I have attained. Even with Fuseli's interpretation it is indis- 
pensable for the integrity of the passage that ' speak to ' be understood in the sense 
just mentioned of ctspire or lay claim to. Schmidt {Lex.) : Perhaps the meaning is 
simply : I may say so with all courtesy and humility, and Othello's words must, per- 
haps, be accompanied by a corresponding gesture, as the writing of F, seems to imply, 
by placing the word ' unbonnetted ' in a parenthesis. White (ed. ii) : The question 
of manners in Shakespeare's time as to the hat seems very difficult. The remembering 
courtesy, the off-capping, and the unbonneting are quite incongruous. No attempt to 
reconcile these expressions has been at all successful. 

29. vnhoused] Johnson : Free from domestic cares. A thought natural to an ad- 
venturer. Whalley : To Othello, talking as a soldier, * unhoused ' may signify the hav- 
ing no settled house or habitation. Hunter {New lUust., ii, 282) : This passage affords 
one of the best proofis of Shakespeare's acquaintance with the Italian language. ' Un 
housed ' conveys to English ears no idea of anything which any one would be unwill- 
ing to resign ; and, in fieLCt, it is only by recollecting the way in wliich the Italians use 
cassare that we arrive at its true meaning, which is unmarried. A soldier was as 
much 'unhoused,' in the ordinary meaning of the term, after mairiage as before. 
Othello would not resign the freedom of his bachelor estate. Knight : Othello ex- 
presses no satisfeiction at having been houseless, but he simply uses * unhoused ' for 
unmarried. The husband is the head or band of the house, — the unmarried is iHe 
unhouse-banded — the 'unhoused.' 



Put into Circumrcription,and Confine, y> 

For the Seas worth. But looke, what Lights come yond? 

Enter Cajfic^ with Torches, 

lago. Thofe are the raifed Father, and his Friends : 
You were beft go in. 

Othel. Not I : I mud be found. 35 

My Parts, my Title, and my perfeft Soule 
Shall manifeil me rightly. Is it they ? 37 

31. Seas\ sea^s Theob. et seq. sea^ 
Anon. (ap. Cam.) 

wortA.'] worth, Qq. 

Lights come] Kght comes Johns. 

yond] yonder Qq, Popc+, Jen. 
Steer. Var.CoU. Sing. Wh.i,KUy. yoneP 

Scene V. Pope+, Jen. 

32. Enter...] Enter Caffio with lights, 
Officers, and Torches (after worth, line 31) 

Qq. Enter, at a Distance... Cap. AfteriMy 
line 38, Coll. 

33. Tho/e] The/e Qq, Jen. Steev. Var 
CoU. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly. 

34. wf.] in: Q,. 

35. fmnd,] found, Qq. 

36. Parts'] part Han. 

37. manife/t] manifeftly F,. 

me rightly.] my right by: (^Q,. 
Is it they r] it is they. Q^. 

31. the Seas worth] Johnson: I wonld not many her, though she were as rich 
as the Adriatic, which the Doge annually marries. Steevens : As the gold ring an- 
nually thrown by the Doge into the Adriatic cannot be said to have much enriched it, 
I believe the common and obvious meaning of this passage is the true one. Pye : I 
think Steevens indubitably right, but not for the reason he gives. I believe Johnson 
thought no more of the Adriatic being enriched by the annual wedding-ring, than 
Shakespeare did of the Adriatic at all. [Steevens refers to the occurrence of the same 
phrase in D'Avenant's Cruel Brother (p. 131, ed. Maidment), and adds, 'perhaps the 
phrase is proveri>ial.' A citation from D'Avenant, in a case like this, carries but little 
weight. I doubt if there be an Act in all D'Avenant's plays, wherein Shakespearian 
phrases may not be found. For instance, the rixth line of this very play of The Cruel 
Brother reads : ' This way to madness leads,' and ' excellent wretch,' occurs more than 
once farther on. With more propriety Steevens refers to IVint. Tale, IV, iv, 501, and 
Hen. V: I, ii, 164 ; but is again far afield in referring to Pliny's Chapter (IX, 34) ou 
The Riches of the Sea, which alludes to the high prices paid by luxury ' in furnishing 
the table with such variede of dishes, in pleasing and contenting the taste with so 
many dainty and delicate fishes.' Conf. Rich. HI: I, iv, 26 : ' Wedges of gold, great 
anchors, heaps of pearls. Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, All scattered in the bot- 
tom of the sea.' — Ed.] Booth : Note the frequent reference to the sea ; — ^for the same 
reason, that I gave anent the 'superstition ' in the play. 

34. You were] Walker {Crit. ii, 202) : Thou wert (sometimes written in the old 
poets Th*wert), you were, I was, &c., occtur frequently, both in Shakespeare and con- 
temporary dramatists, in places where it is dear they must have been pronounced as 
one syllable, in whatever manner the contraction was effected. [See Ham. IV, v, 14, 
and Abbott, $461.] 

36. Parts] Schmidt and Rolfe agree in interpreting this as merits. It seems to 
uie that it is rather the endowments of nature, his natural gifts, like ' your sum of parts ' 
m Ham. IV, vii, 74. — ^Ed. 

ACT i, sc. ii.l THE MOORE OF VENICE 35 

lago. By lanus, I thinke no. 38 

Othel. The Seruants of the Dukes? 
And my Lieutenant ? AP 

The goodneffe of the Night vpon you (Friends) 
What is the Newes ? 

Cajfto. The Duke do's greet you (Generall) 
And he requires your hade, Poft-hafte appearance, 
Enen on the inftant. 4( 

Othello. What is the matter, thinke you ? 

CaJJio, Something from Cyprus, as I may diuine : 
It is a bufmefTe of fome heate. The Gallies 
Haue fent a dozen fequent MefTengers 

This very night, at one anothers heeles : 50 

And many of the Confuls, rais'd and met, 

39, 40. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. Steev.'93 et cet 

39. Dukes r] Duke, Qq, Rowe et seq. 46. IVkat is] What's Qq, Jen. 

4f>, Lieutenant f] Leiutenant, Q,. you r\ you : C^^, 

Zeiutenantf Qj^i^. lieutenant : at Heu- ^T. Cyprus'] CipresQ!\, 

tenant, Rowe et cet. 43. Gallies] Galleyes Qq. 

41. you] your Q,. 49. doien] doszen F,. 

42. Nntfesf] neives, Q,. fequent] frequent Q^' 
44. kajie, Poft'kafte] Ff, Rowe + , Cap. 50. ai one] one at Q,Q . 

Vflr.CoIl.Sing.Wh.i,Kay. kaft^pofthafi 51. Confuls] Counsel Han. Comuil 

Q,. kaJl^pofl'haflQJi^, kaste-post-kaste Johns. 

38. lanus] Warburton: There is great pr o priety in making the doable lago 
swear by Janus, who had two feces. The address of it Ukewise is as remarkable ; for 
as the people coming up appeared at different distances to have different shapes, he 
might swear by Janus without suspicion of any other emblematic meaning. 

39, 40. Is it not better, as more dramatic, to retain the two separate questions of the 
Folio than to combine them as in the Qto ? Knight separates them by a semicolon, 
and Staunton by an exclamation-mark. — ^Ed. 

41. goodness] Deuus : May night, usually unfriendly to everybody, show only its 
good side to 3rou. [Is it not simply the ordinary salutation 'good day,' or ' Godgigoden * 
adi^jted to the hour? — Ed.] 

43. Booth : Cassio alone knew where Othello was to be found. Othello says, that 
he knew from first to last of the secret love, &c. Remember this when lago teUs you, 
* he's married,' &c. 

44. hmste, Post-haste] Ritson : The comma, hitherto placed after < haste,' should 
be a hyphen. ' Your haste-post-haste i^jpearance ' is your immediate appearance. The 
words ' Haste, post, haste,' were, in our author's time, usually written on the cover of 
packets or letters sent express. 

51. Consuls] Theobald changed this to Coun^lers, for the reasons given at I, 
i, 27. Knight says, that in both cases senators were probably meant. Th. ElzsI 
{Sk, fakrbuck, xiv, 1 79) : Shakespeare has not clearly distinguished between the Col\ 
kgio and the Senate, Biabantio's accusation of Othello could not have been brought | 


36 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. it 

Are at the Dukes already. You haue bin hotly call'd for, 52 

When being not at your Lodging to be found. 

The Senate hath fent about three feuerall Quefts, 

To fearch you out. 5^ 

Othel, Tis well I am found by you : 
I will but fpend a word here in the houfe, 
And goe with you. 

Caffio, Aunciant, what makes he heere? 

lago. Faith, he to night hath boarded a Land CarraA, 60 

54. hath /ent'\ fent Qq, Pope, Theob. 58. And goe] And then go KUy. 

Han. Warb. Dyce iii. Coll. iii, Huds. [Exit Othello. Rowe et seq. 

about] about Q,Q,. about Qj, 59. Aunciant] Ancient Q/i^t 

]pope+. Coll. i, Wh. i. out Johns. 60. boarded] boorded QqFf, Rowe i. 

57, 58. One line, Qq. Carrai7] Carrich Q,. Carrion 

57. J wiU but fpend] lie fpend Q^. / C2,Qj. Carrac Ff. 
wiU fpend but YJP^, 

before the Senate, but before the Ministerial Council— the CoUegio, The Third Scene 
of the First Act is correctly laid in the < Council Chamber,' not in the * Hall of the 
Senate.' Ptoperly also, Shakespeare speaks of * the Council ' and the < Consuls,' that 
is, the Counsellors; but improperly in the same speech of the * Senate ' and [line 255] 
of the < Senators.' But, perhaps, Shakespeare purposely avoided the use of the word 
College^ because of its ambiguity to English ears. 

52. You haue] Lettsom (ap, Dyce, ed. iii) would read < you had been,' &c. Hud- 
son tulopted the emendation. 

54. about] Johnson : That is, about the city. Coluer (ed. i) preferred above of 
the Qq, because a < ** quest " necessarily searches in various directions ; and the word 
"about" may, therefore, be considered surplusage. Cassio means that more than 
"three several quests " have been sent in search of Othello.' But as his (MS) re- 
tained 'about,' Collier, in his subsequent editions, followed it. 

54. Quests] Steevens : That is, searches. So in Heywood's Braun AgCy 1613 : 

* Now, if in all his quests, he be withheld.' An ancient MS. entitled The Boke of 
HuHtyng that is cleped Mayster of Game, has the following explanation of the word 

* quest ' : < This word quest is a terme of herte hunteis of beyonde the see; and is thus 
moche to say as whan the hunter goth to fynde the hert and to herbofow him.' Hal- 
I JWELL cites Cotgrave, s. v. < Queste : f. A quest, inquirie, search, inquisition, seeking,' &c. 

57. spend] GtRARD : Les expressions to spend et to pay sont k tout moment em- 
ployees par les Anglais, peuple commercant et pratique par excellence. lis ne ren- 
dent pas, ils patent une visite; ils ne passent pas, ils dipensent leur temps. En 
Am^que la premiere question que Ton fJEUt sur quelqu'un, c'est : Combien vaut-il ? 
[When Mons. Gerard enacts the ' Pow'r,' and < wad the giftie gie us,' shall not we 
Americans accept it, however startling the revelation? — Ed.] 

59. Booth : Speak this with curiosity, as if to learn what lago knows of the mar- 

60. Carradt] Skeat {Etym. Diet,, s. v.) : A ship of burden. (We also find car- 
rich, which comes nearer to Low Lat. carrica, a ship of burden.) Low Lat. carra- 
<are, better carricnr*. to lade a car. — ^Lat. carrus, a car. Staunton : A ship of large ii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 37 

Ifitproue lawfull prize, he' made for euer. 61 

Cajfto. I do not vnderfland. 
lago. He's married. 
CaJJio. To who ? 

lago. Marry to Come Captaine,wiii you go? 65 

OtiieL Haue with you. 

CaJJio, Here come sanother Troope to feeke for you. 

Enter Brabaniio^Rodorigo, with Officers, and Torches, 
lago. It is Brabantio:Gtn^v3\\ be aduis'd, 69 

03. married'\ married F,. 66. Haue with you,"] Ha, with who f Q^, 

64. who] whom Q,Q,Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Ha* with you, Q,Q,. 

Coll. Ktly. 68. Scene VI. Pope +, Jen. 

[Enteis Brabantio, Roderigo, and Enter...] After line 64, Qq. After 

others with lights, and weapons. Qq> imtent line 70, Coll. Dyce, Wh. Glo. Cam. 

(Enter... Q,Q,). Re-enter. 0th. Cap. Sta. Del. Rife, Huds. 

65. go f] go ? Enter 0th. Rowe + . 

burden, like the Spanish galleon ; but the compound in the text appears to have been 
a dissolute expression. 

61. lawfull prise] Lord Campbell (p. 114) : A very distinct proof that Shake- 
speare was acquainted with Admiralty law, as well as with the procedure of West- 
minster Hall, the trope indicating, that there would be a suit in the High Court of 
Admiralty to determine the validity of the capture. 

61. he'] This should be < he*s,' as it is in every other text, but in the copy of F,, 
from which this is reprinted, the s has fallen out. — Ed. 

62. Booth : But show the audience that you do. 

64. To who] Theobald (Nichols's nimt, of Lit., ii, 5S6) : Surely, this is a terrible 
foigetfulness in our author. How came Cassio such a stranger to this affair, when it 
afterward appears he went a-wooing with Othello and took his part in the suit ? [Cf. 
ni, iii, 82.] RiTSON (p. 227) : It is very easy to imagine, that Cassio might wish to 
know if lago were acquainted with the lady, to prevent the latter's suspecting that ht 
was. Blackstone : Cassio*s seeming ignorance might only be affected, in order to 
keep his friend's secret till it became publicly known. Malone : Or he might fear 
that Othello had proved false to the gentle Desdemona, and married another. Steev- 
XNS : How far this suspicious apprehension would have become the benevolent Cassio^ 
the intimate friend of Othello, let the reader judge. Singer : It was probably a mere 
oversight of the poet. Abbott, § 274, gives many instances where the inflection of 
who is neglected. See IV, ii, 115; Macb, III, iv, 42; Ham, II, ii, 193; Lear, IV, 
ni, 7 and V, iii, 249. Booth : Feign much surprise, but do it carefully. 

65. Cmptaine] Abbott, § 506: It is obvious that a syllable or foot may be supplied 
by a gesture, a beckoning, a movement of the head to Usten, or of the hand to dencand 
attention, as here : ' M&ny | \.o-^Enter O^theilo.) \ Come, c4p | tain, will | you g6 V 
However, we may scan, * Marry | to— Come | Cap(i) | tain will | you go,* but very 
harshly and improbably. 

66. you] Steevens : This expression denotes readiness. 

69. adoised] Johnson : That is, be cooi, be cautious, be discreet. 

38 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act. i. sc iL 

He comes to bad intent 70 

Othello. Holla, (land there. 

Rodo. Signior, it is the Moore. 

Bra, Downe with him, Theefe. 

lago. You, Rodarigoe t Cme Sir, I am for you. 

Othe, Keepe vp your bright Swords, for the dew will ^s 

ruft them. Good Signior, you (hall more command with 
yeares, then with your Weapons. 

Bra. Oh thou foule Theefe, 
Where haft thou ftow'd my Daughter f 

Damn'd as thou art, thou haft enchaunted her 80 

For He referre me to all things o f fenfe, [312*] 

(If (he in Chaines of Magick we re not bound) 
Whether a Maid,fo tender, Faire, and Happie, 
So oppofite to Marriage, that (he (hun'd 
The wealthy curled Deareling of our Nation, 85 

71. HoUa,'\ Ho la, Q,. Coll. iii. 

73. [They draw on both sides. Rowe. 80. Damn^d'\ Dambd Qq. 

74. Rodorigoet Cmel Hodangof Come 81. Ile\ Ue Q,. 

Ff. Rodango, come Booth's Rep. ihwgs\ thing Q,. 

75-77. Verse ending them.^yean.,. 82. Om. Q^. 

Weapons Qq, Rowe et seq. 85. wealthy curled"} wealthy culled 

76. rujl them} rujl em Qq. rust *em Warb. Theob. ii. wealthiest cuU'd Han. 

Rowe +, Jen. DeareHng} DearHstg FJF^ Km. 

78, 79. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. DarHug F^. cUarlings Wh. L darUmgs 

1^,Jloufd}ftowed(^, 'sto9^d\^.\ Qq et cet. 

72. Booth : This is spoken 'within.' 

74. Booth : This b to prevent harm to Roderigo, for whose purse lago has a tender 
regard. Make the audience understand this by your manner of singling him out, — a 
look will do it. [See Textual Notes for another instance of the difference between the 
copy of F,, from which Lionel Booth reprinted, and that from which this edition b 
reprinted. — Ed.] 

75. Booth : Othello's party — Cassio, lago, and others — should ' motion ' to draw, 
when these words restrain them. Brabantio's friends enter with swords drawn. Be 
very respectful to Brabantio, resent his abuse, merely with a look of momentary anger. 

75. lor] See Walker (Crit, ii, 321), for an Article, with many examples, on the 
confusion in the Folio of or and for. Walker would here read or, which may be 
oonect, but of the instances of this confusion, cited by Walker, the present is, perhaps, 
the least manifest. — Ed. 

75. Hudson : If I mistake not there is a sort of playful, good-humoured irony ex- 
pressed in the very rhythm of this line. 

85. curled] Wa&burton: I read cutted, i. e. select, chosen. Shakespeare uses 
the word frequently. Cf. Hen, V: III, cho. 24. < Curled' was an improper mark 
of difference between a Venetian and a Moor, which latter people are remarkably 


Would euer haue (t'encurre a generall mocke) 86 

Run from her Guardageto the footie bofome, 

Of fuch a thing as thou: to feare^not to delight? 

ludge me the world, if 'tis not grofTe in fenfe, 

That thou haft praflis'd on her with foule Charmes 90 

Abus'd her delicate Youth, with Drugs or Minerals, 

S6. remcumf] F,F . tHncurr F^ 88. oj M^w .] oj M^ ^ Qq. 
Rowe+, Dyce iii, Hucb. io ituurre Qq del^htf\ deUght^ Q,. deKght: Q,Q|. 

ct cet ^9-94* Om. Q,. 

87. Guardt^^ gardage Qq. f^, not'\no Q,. 

curVd by nature. Johnson : * Curled ' is elegantly and osientatumsfy dressed. He 
had not the hair particularly in his thoughts. Steevens: Shakespeare evidently 
alludes to the hair in ' the curled Anthony,' Ant. 6* Cleo. V, ii, 304. D'Avenant uses 
the same ex pre ssi on in his Just Italian [but as was said before, parallel expressions 
in D'Avenant are of small avail. — Ed.] Malonb: In H. of L., 981, the hair is 
expressly mentioned, and the epithet ' curled ' is tulded as characteristic of a person 
of the highest rank: 'Let him have time to tear his curled hair.' [See notes in 
Lear^ III, iv, 84, 'A Serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled my 
hair.'— Ed.] 

85. Demreling] Knight : This Saxon word is used in a plural sense. Dyce {Re- 
marks, p. 233) : The &ct is, the j has been omitted in the Folio by a mistake of the 
compositor. In Shakespeare's time dearling could never have been used as a plural. 
That even Spenser (who antiquated his language more than any of his contemporaries) 
did not venture to employ such an archaism, is proved by the following from his Hymne 
m honour of Love : — ^ in a Ptouiize Of all delight, and ioyous happie rest. Where they 
doe feede on Nectar heauenly wize. With Hercules and Hebe, and the rest Of Venus 
dearlings, through her bountie blest.' 

87. Ouardage] Rolfe : Guardianship, used by Shakespeare nowhere else. 

88. to feare] Steevens : To terrify, as in j Hen. VI: V, ii, 2, < a bug that fear'd 
us all.' The line is redundant in measure. It might originally have ran, < Of such aa 
thou : to fear, not to delight.' Malone takes * fear' to be a substantive, and used for 
the object of fear; but Abbott, §405, more conectly explains the phrase as an ellipsis, 
common among Elizabethans, after will and is, e. g. < I will to the weird sisters.' ' I 
must to Coventry.' ' I am to thank you for it,' i. e. I am bound to thank you for it ; sc 
here 'such a thing as thou (a thing ^) to fear (or/.), not to delight.' 

89. Judge me] Abbott, § 365, Let the world judge for me. This optative use 
of the subjunctive, dispensing with ' let,' < may,' &c., gives great vigour to the Shake- 
qwarian line. [It is doubtful if < me ' be here the Ethical Dative, as in I, i, 53 : ' Whip 
me such honest knaues,' or * He plucked me ope his doublet,' yt^. Ger. Brabantio calls 
upon the world really to judge him and his position, which he immediately proceeds to 
state.— Ed.] 

90. practis'd] Veiy frequently used, as here, in the sense of plotting, with arts or 
magic See Lear, III, ii, 57 : ' Has pnu:tis'd on man's life.* 

91. Minerals] In Ham. IV, i, 26, < a mineral ' means a mine, but in Cymb. V, v, 50, 
in the present passage, and in II, i, 330, it is used in the sense of a drug or mortnl 


40 THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act i, sc. ii 

That weakens Motion. lie haue't difputed on, 92 

92. weakens Motion\ weaken motion motion Han. Steev. Var. Sing. Wh. Sta. 

Rowc, Pope i, Knt, Coll. Dyce, Glo. Cam. Huds. wakens motion Ktly. wake emotion 

Del. Rife, weaken notion Theob. Pope ii. Anon. 
Warb. Johns. Cap. Jen. Rann. 7»aken 

92. weakens Motion] Theobald suggested and adopted weaken notion, * That 
is, her apprehension^ right conception and idea of things, understandings Judgment; 
and supported the change by the apposite passage, < his notion weakens,* Lectr^ I, iv, 
221. CapeLL thbught Theobald's change wait 'open to no objections.' Malone and 
Steevens approved of Hanmer's text, seeing that motion is used afterward in I, iii, 
364, in the same sense, and also in Cymb, II, v, 20; Ham, III, iv, 72; Meas. fot 
Ideas, I, iv, 59 ; and because, as Malone said, there was ' good reason to beUeve that 
the words weaken and waken were in Shakespeare's time pronounced alike.' * The 
objection to Theobald's « notion," ' continues Malone, < is that no opiates or intoxicating 
potions or powders of any sort can distort or pervert the intellects^ but by destroying 
them for a time; nor was it ever, at any time, believed by the most credulous that love 
powders, as they were called, could weaken the understanding, though it was formerly 
believed that they could fascinate the affections; or, in other words, waken motion. 
Biabantio afterward asserts, *'That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood He 
wrought upon her." Shakespeare, in almost all his plays, uses blood for passion. 
And one of the Senators asks Othello, not whether he had weakened Desdemona's 
understanding, but whether he did ** by indirect and forced courses subdue and poison 
this young maid's affections,^* ' RiTSON (p. 227), however, satisfactorily vindicates the 
Folio, thus : To ' weaken motion ' is to impair tke faculties. It was till very lately, 
and may be still an opinion, that philtres or love potions have the power of perverting, 
and of course weakening or impairing, both the sight and judgement, and of procuring 
fondness or dotage toward any unworthy object who administers them. And by 
motion Shakespeare means the senses which are depraved and weakened by these 
fudnating mixtures. Staunton thinks that this view is expressly contradicted by 
what Brabantlo has just said : that Desdemona was ' so opposite to marriage,' and he 
* therefore readily accepts the easy emendation Hanmer oflfers. Brabantio's grievance, 
it b plain, was not that Othello htul, by charms and medicines, abated the motions 
of Desdemona's sense, but that he had aroused and stimulated them.' R. M. Spence 
(N, 6* Qu,, 1879, 5th, xi, 383) : Twice elsewhere in this Act * motion ' means emotion; 
the usus loquendi thus warrants me to regard emotion as the meaning of the word in 
this passage also ; if so, then Hanmer's waken must indubitably be adopted. [Truly 
does Knight say of this passage that the notes, here very much abridged, of the Com- 
mentators are neither satisfactory in a critical point of view, nor edifying in a moral 
one. — Ed.] 

92. disputed on] Staunton : This is an allusion to the manner in which causes 
were debated by the judges according to the custom of Venice formerly, aud it affords 
one of many iptooh that before writing Otkelh Shakespeare had attentively penised 
Lewkenor's translation of The Commonwealth and Government of Venice, written by 
the Cardinall Gasper Contareno, &c., 1599. From this work he obtained his infor- 
mation concerning those ' officers of night,' whom Brabantio directs to be summoned ; 
his kiK>wledge of the Arsenal; as well as several particular expressions, such as Mine 
tares enclined; doc their countrie service; experience the mistresse of all things; servt 
*he tume; their countrie customs, and others which he has modified and transplanted 

4CT I, SC. iL] 



Tis probable, and palpable to thinking ; 
I therefore apprehend and do attach thee, 
For an abufer of the World, a praftifer 
Of Arts inhibited, and out of warrant; 
Lay hold vpon him, if he do refill 
Subdue him, at his perill. 

Othe. Hold your hands 
Both you of my inclining, and the refl. 
Were it my Cue to fight, I (hould haue knowne it 
Without a Prompter. Whether will you that I goe 
To anfwere this your charge ? 

Bra. To Prifon, till fit time 
Of Law, and courfe of direfl SefTion 





93. probable\ p<nrtabU C^Q,* Jen* 

95. For\ Such Q,. 

96. warrant ;'\ warratUt Qg. 
99. katuU^ hand. F^. 

loi. Cue\ Qu. Q,. 

102. Whether^ Whiiher Ff, Rowe. 
where Qq et cet. 

Ma/] Om. Popc+. 

103. To an/were"] And an/wer Q,. 

104. 105. fit.,.SeJ/ion\ Sep. line, Han. 

into the piece. [Staunton then gives a long extract from Contareno, minutely setting 
forth the way in which criminal questions were disputed on in the ancient l^;al courts 
of Venice, which I do not reprint. I cannot detect a trace of any influence which this 
legal method had upon Shakespeare's mind, either while writing Othello or anything 
else, other than that, perhaps, he might have found there the two uncommon words 
disputed and of^ which Staunton itahdzes. — Ed.] 

95, 96. Booth: Othello and Cassio exchange smiles of pity for the old man's 

99. Booth : Now Othello's friends draw. Othello stands between the two parties 
with sheathed scimetar held up ; its crescent shape lends a little Oriental atmosphere to 
the picture. 'Tis harmless. 

loi. Cue] In Ham. II, ii, 534, Wedgwood's definition is quoted: <The last words 
of the preceding speech, prefixed to the speech of an actor in order to let him know 
when he b to come on the stage. From the letter Q by which it was marked, *< be- 
catise," says Butler, Eng. Gram., 1634, " it is the first letter of quando, when, showing 
when to enter and speak." ' [Note Q^ in Textual Notes.] Skeat now gives a differ- 
ent derivation ; he says, * that an actor's cue seems to be the same word as queue, as 
signifying the last words or tail-end of the speech of the preceding speaker. Oddly 
enough, it was, in this sense, sometimes denoted by Q ; owing to the similarity of the 

102. Whether] This passage is cited by Walker ( Vers. 106) as one of the many 
instances in which hither, whether, &c. are printed as dissyllables, where the verse indi- 
cates that they are monosyllables. Cf. Macb. I, iii, ill; Ham. Ill, ii, 193; Lettr, II, 
i, 53, also in Aiibott, $466. 

105. direct Session] Hudson : The language is rather odd, and, perhaps, some- 
what obscure ; but the meaning probably is, till the time prescribed by law anH by the 
icgolar oomse of judicial procedure. 


Call thee to anfwer. lo6 

Othi. What if do obey ? 
How may the Duke be therewith (atisfi'd, 
Whofe MefTengers are heere about my fide, 
Vpon fome prefent bufinefTe of the State, I i<i 

To bring me to him. 

Officer. Tis true moft worthy Signior, 
The Dukes in Counfell,and your Noble felfe, 
I am fure is fent for. 

Bra. How ? The Duke in Counfell ? 115 

In this time of the night t Bring him away; 
Mine's not an idle Caufe. The Duke himfelfe, 
Or any of my Brothers of the State, 
Cannot but feele this wrong, as 'twere their owne : 
For if fuch A£lions may haue pafTage free, 120 

Bond-flaues,and Pagans (hall our Statefmen be. Exeunt 

107. ^do\ iflVo^ Han. ifldoe 114. /tfOT]/'MPope+,Dyceiii,Huds. 

QqFf et cet 116. nighf^ nigh F,. 

111. bring] bean Qq, G)ll. i, ii. 117. Cau/e,] cau/e^ Q^. caufe: Q,Q^ 

112. Officer] 1. O. Cap. 121. Bond-Jlaues] Bondflaues QqF^ 
'Tii\ Om. Popc+. Bondflaves F^. 

116. In] For other instances of the use of *in ' for during or oi; see Abbott, $ 161. 

121. Pagans] Theobald: Would Brabantio infer, if his private injury were ndt 
redressed, the Senate should no longer pretend to call themselves Christians ? But 
pagans are as strict and moral as the most regular Christians in the preservation of pri^ 
vate p rope rty . Difference of faith is not concerned, but mere human policy. I there* 
fore read pageants^ i. e. if we let such injurious actions go unpunished our statesmen 
must be slaves, ciphers in office, and have no power of redressing, be things of mere 
show and gaudy appearance only. Steevens : I believe the morality of either Christ 
tians or pagans was not in our author's thoughts. He alludes to the common con- 
dition of all blacks, who come from their own country both slaves and pagans; and 
uses the word in contempt of Othello and his complexion. If this Moor is now 
suffered to escape with impunity, it will be such an encouragment to his black country- 
men, that we may expect to see all the first offices of our state filled up by the pagam 
and bondslaves of Africa. Heath (p. 554) . It is certain finom this veiy play that the 
Moor had been both a bondslave and a pagan, though at that time he was neither. 
Malone: In Shakespeare's time pagtn was a very comnron expression of contempt* 

ACT I. SC. uL] 



Sccena Tertia. 

Enter Duke, Senators, and Officers. 

Duke. There's no compofition in this Newes, 
That giues them Credite. 

1. Sen. Indeed, they are difproportioned; 
My Letters fay, a Hundred and feuen Galiies. 

Duke. And mine a Hundred fortie. 

2. Sena. And mine two Hundred : 

But though they iumpe not on a iuft accompt, 
(As in thefe Cafes where the ayme reports. 



1. Scene VII. Pope +, Jen. 

The Senate House. Rowe. AG)ancil 
C3uunber. Cap. 

2. Enter...] Enter Duke, and Senators 
fct at a Table, with lights and Attendants. 

3. Therms] There is QqFf et cet. 
/^]Ff,Rowe. >ImQ,. M^/Q,Q, 

5. they are"] they re Pope, Theob. Han. 

Johns. Dyce iii, Huds. 

5. di/proporHoned'\ QqFf, Rowe, Jen. 
Sta. disproportion^ d Pope et cet 

7. And mine"] and mine Q,* 

a Hundred fortie^ F,Fj, Knt, Sta. 
an hundred and forty (^Q,. a hundred 
and forty Q^F et cet. 

10. the ayme] they aym*dQ^. they ayme 
Q,Q,. they aim Pope, Theob. Johns. Jen. 
Rann. Sing. Hal. 

2. Lloyd : Central in the First Act is the scene in the Council Chamber; and the 
consideration, by the Duke and Senators, of the news from Cyprus is no mere surplus- 1 
■ge ; it strikes a tone of dispassionate appreciation of evidence and opinion that domiJ 
nates all the succeeding scenes of agitation and disorders. From inconsistent intelA 
ligence, the main point of agreement is carefully tulopted for further examinational 
notwithstanding predisposition. to underrate it; intelligence, otherwise of good author- 
ity, is condemned as &llacious from collateral indications ; and lastly, thus prepared for, 
the last courier has full credence, and the critical circumstances once understood action 
follows at once. Othello b dispatched that very night The same solid perspicacity 
distinguishes the reception of the complaint of Brabantio. 

3. composition] Warburton : That is, consistency, concordancy. 

3. this Newes] Skeat (Diet. s. v.) : The form neioes does not seem to be older 
than about a. d. 1500. It is nothing but a plural formed from new treated as a sub8.« 
so also tidings. It is a translation of F. nouveUes, plural of nouveUe, new (Cotgrave) ; 
so also Lat nova — new things, L e. news. [From a rough calculation by means of Mrs 
Cowden-Qarke's Concordance, I find that Shakespeare uses this word in the singular 
more than three times as often as in the plural. — Ed.] 

7. Hundred fortie] White (ed. i) : I think it not improbable that this passage 
stood, as the rhythm requires : * My letters say a hundred seven galleys. Duke. And 
mine a hundred forty. 2 Sen. Mine, two hundred.' Purnrll : The occasional omis- 
sion of the conjunction in numerals may be a relic of the French usage (cent-quarante). 

la the ayme] Warburton: Where there is no better ground for information 
than conjecture. Johnson : The reading of Q, has a sense sufficiently easy and com- 
modious. Where men report not by certain knowledge, but by aim and conjecture. 
[For other instances of its use in the sense of guess^ conjecture, see Schmidt, I^x. 



Tis oft with difference)yet do they all confirme 
A Turkifh Fleete,and bearing vp to Cyprus. 

Duke. Nay, it is poffible enough to iudgement ; 
I do not fo fecure me in the Error, 
But the maine Article I do approue 
In fearefuU fenfe. 

Savior within. What hoa, what hoa, what hoa. 

Enter Saylor, 

Officer, A Meflen g er from the Gallies. 

DuJke. Now? What's the bufmeffe ? 

Sailor. The Turkifli Preparation makes for Rhodes, 
So was I bid report here to the State, 
By Signior Angelo, 

Duke. How fay you by this change ? 

1. Sen. This cannot be 
By no affay of reafon. 'Tis a Pageant 





11. do] Om. Pope, Han. 

1 2. Cyprus] Ciprejfe Q,. Cipres Q/i^ 

14. in /Ae] to the Qq. 

15. Article] Articles Q,. 

17. Saylor within] One within Qq. 
hoc^ ho Qq. 

18. Enter Saylor.] Enter a MefTenger. 
i^fx fenfe, line 1 6), Qq. Enter an Officer 
bringing in a Sailor. Cap. After GaUies^ 
line 19, Dyce. 

19. Officer] Sailor Q,. First Off. Dyce. 
Gidlies] Galley Q,. 

20. Nowf IVhat's the] Now, the Qq, 
Coll. Wh. Kdy. Now ? the Cap. Steev. 
Mai. Knt, Sing. 

23. By Signior Angelo] Om. Q,, 
Pope+. Ending line 22, Q,Qj. 
[they withdraw. Cap. 

25, 26. This.., reafon] One line, Qq. 

26. reafon.] reafon — Qq. 

s. v.] CoLUER (ed. ii) adopts from his (MS) *toith the same reports,* with the note 
that * the clear meaning being, that even when reports of such occurrences are mainly 
the same, it is often with difference. It appears highly probable that the passage was 
misheard, as well as misprinted, and that the true text is what we have adopted.* 
[Nevertheless, Collier returned to F, in the text of his ed. iii. The Cam. Ed. records 
' aim besorts ' and < main accords ' as anonymous conjectures. — Ed.] 

14. secure] Staunton paraphrases, * I do not so over-confidently build on the dis- 
crepancy ;' but PuRKELL, with more fidelity to the derivation of the word, * I do not 
hy aside anxiety on account of the discrepancy.' 

ai. Rhodes] See Appendix, <Date of the Action.* 

24. by] For other instances where * by ' means about, concerning, see Abbott, § 145. 
PURNELL refers [as does also Abbott] to ' I Corinth, iv, 4, " I know nothing by myself* 
(the Greek being, '< I am conscious of nothing against myself'*), where Alford quotes, 
" I know no harm by him,** as a midland-county current expression.* 

25. 26. cannot . . . no] For instances of double negatives, see Abbott, S406. 

26. assay] Johnson : Bring it to the test, examine it by reason as we examine 
netals by the assay, it will be found counterfeit by all trials. 


To keepe vs in falfe gaze, when we confider 27 

Th*importancie of Cyprus to the Turke ; 

And let our felues againe but vnderftand, 

That as it more concemes the Turke then Rhodes, 30 

So may he with more facile queftion beare it, 

For that it (lands not in fuch Warrelike brace, 

But altogether lackes th 'abilities 

That Rhodes is drefs'd in. If we make thought of this, 

We muft not thinke the Turke is fo vnskillfull, 35 

To leaue that lateft, which concemes him firft, 

Negle£ling an attempt of eafe, and gaine 

To wake, and wage a danger profitlefle. 

Duke, Nay, in all confidence he's not for Rhodes. 

Officer. Here is more Newes. 40 

Enter a Mejfenger, 
Mejfen. The Ottamites^ Reueren'd, and Gracious, 42 

27. goMe^ ga^: or goMe. Qq et cct. ea/e and gaim. To wake Q^Q^F^F^ et 
31. faciU] fertile Pbpc. cct 

32-38. Om. Q,. 39. Nay,'\ And Q,. 

33. But^ Who Q,Qj. fl//] Om. Rowe ii. 

34. thought'\ ifMi^A/Q,(ap. Steevens's 41. a Meffenger.] a 2. MeiTenger. Q.. 
reprint). a 2 Meffenger Q,Q,. 

37, 38. ea/e^ and gaine To wake^ F,. 42. Jieueren'd'\ reverend QqFjF^. 

28. impoitancie] Rolfe : Used by Shakespeare nowhere else. 

31. facile question] Johnson : < Question ' is for the act of seeking, with more 
easy endeavour. Mason: May cany it with less dispute, with less opposition. 
Schmidt {Lex,) from the use of < question ' in the sense of a judicial trial, deduces 
the meaning here of * a trial and decision by the force of arms as the ultima ratio 

32. brace] Johnson : State of defence. Whfte (ed. ii) : Warlike strain, military 
necessity or compulsion. [I cannot understand how White deduces this interpretation. 
Fhe very point of the speech is, that Cyprus is of greater < military necessity ' to the 
Turk than Rhodes. * Brace' is, I think, here equivalent to readiness; when a knight 
had braced on his armour he was ready. — Ed.] 

38. wage] Steevbns gives as the meaning here, to fight, to combat, and dtes in 
proof, 'To wage against the enmity o'th'air.' — Lear, II, iv, 206; but 'wage' is tran- 
sitive here; accordingly, Schmidt gives the better interpretation: to haMard, to 

42. Booth here begins his Scene IV, in the Council Chamber. The Duke and the 
Senaton are discovered R. with a Messenger who is kneeling before them. Enter as 
the scene opens. Gnu Rod. and others. The advantage of placing the Duke at the 
side instead of at the back as in the old 'set ' is, that the characters need not turn theb 
backs on the audience when tuldressing the Duke. 



Steering with due couHe toward the He of Rhodes, 
Haue there inioynted them with an after Fleetc. 

iSen. I,fo I thought : how many, as you guefle? 

Meff. Of thirtie Saile : and now they do re-(lem 
Their backward courfe, bearing with frank appearance 
Their purpofes toward Cyprus. Signior Montana, 
Your truflie and moft Valiant Seruitour, 
With his free dutie, recommends you thus, 
And prayes you to beleeue him. 

Duke. 'Tis certaine then for Cyprus : 
Marcus Luccicos is not he in Towne ? 

I. Sen. He's now in Florence. 





44. inioynUd'\ mjoit^d Rowe, Pbpe, 
Theob. Han. Warb. 

thein\ Om. Q|» Huds. liL 
Fleeie\fUeie C^. fleet, QJi^ fleet-^ 
Rowc-f*, Jen. 

45. Om. Q,. 

46. tkirtie'] 30. Qq. 

refleni] reflerine Q,. refteme 


48. /M00n/]/9iM»ni£rQ,Qj. towarcs^^ 
50. his\ this Cap. (misprint). 

5a Mftf] this LeCtsom (ap. Dyce iii). 

51. beleeue'\ relieve (T. dark. Cap. 
Gonj.), Sing, ii, Ktly. 

52» 53.' Tlf . . . Lncdcos] One line,Theob. 
Warb. Johns. 

53. Lncdcos] Lucchese, Cap. Steer. 
Var. Rann. Lncdcos, Booth's Rep. 

not ke'\nct hereQ^, /kefMt'F{,Rowtf 
F6pe,Han.Steev.Var. AemttAereTheob. 
Warb. Johns. 

roamed'] rawne.Q^. 

44. inioynted] Walker (Crit. iii, 285): Injointf Ham, I, ii, 20: <Oar state to 
be disjoint, and out of fimne.' Yet I doubt whether the cases are parallel. [For 
other instances of the omission, in partidples, of ed after </or /, see Walker (Crit, ii, 
324), and Abbott, §342.] 

51. beleeue] Johnson: The late learned and ingenious Mr Thomas Clark, of Lin- 
coln's Inn, read the passage, * relieve him.' But the present reading may stand. He 
entreats you not to doubt the truth of this intelligence. Capell : Montano's message 
to the Senate is worded with great politeness in all the parts of it; in this last relief, 
the thing he stood in want of and wish'd, is only insinuated ; knowing it would follow 
finom them, was belief accorded him. [This emendation of relieve for < believe,' Col- 
lier attributed to Rev. Mr Bany. Dyce and Wkfte ascribe it to Capell ; White pro- 
nounces it 'plausible;' Dyce (ed. iii) quotes Lettsom as follows: 'Believe,' I think 
right as Johnson takes it Relieve would mean *send a successor *'\ 

53. Luccicos] Capell changed this to Lucchese, and justified the change in a 
note in his usual style : ' The corruptions of " Veronese " may induce belief, that this 
which we are come to is no strain'd one ; and the Italian will call it necessaiy, termi- 
nations like that bdow being unknown in his language.' ' But,' asks Knight, with 
more shrewdness than grammar, 'who is the Duke inquiring after? Most probably a 
Greek soldier of Cyprus, an Estradiot, one who from his local knowledge was enabled 
to give him information. Is it necessaiy that the Greek should bear an Italian name ? 
And does not t>e termination in cos better convey the notion which we believe the poet 
to have had?* 

ACT I, 8C. iii.] 



Duke. Write from vs, 
To him,Poft,Poft-hafte,difpatch. 

I. Sen. Here comes Brafiantio^and the Valiant Moore. 

Enter Bradantio, Othello^ Caffio^ I^go^ Rodarigo, 

and Officers, 

Duke. Valiant Othello^^it, muft (Iraight employ you, 
Againft the generall Enemy Ottoman. 
I did not fee you : welcome gentle Signior, 
We lack't your Counfaile, and your helpe to night 

Bra. So did I yours : Good your Grace pardon me. 
Neither my place, hor ought I heard of bufmefle 
Hath rais'd me from my bed ; nor doth the generall care 




55, 56. Two lines, Ff, Rowe, P(^)e, Han. 
Cap. One line, Qq et cet 

Wriie...Pofi;\ One line. Cap.$n\ One line, P(^)e, Han. 
56. riyiM»,]»^>bMQ^Cap.Steev, 
Var. Rann. Sing, to kim Q.Q,. 

Poft^ Poft'hafte\ poft^ poft haft Qq. 
Post-haste Pope, Han. post-post-haste 
Steev. Var. Sing. Dyce, Sta. Del. Glo. 
Om. Hud!. Rife, Wh. ii. 

Poft-hafte^ dispatch'] Post-hasU: 
dispatch Cap. Steev. Var. Sing. 

57. VaKant] Om. Ff, Rowe. 
Scene VIII. Pope + , Jen. 

59. and Officers] Defdemona, and 
Officers Qq (after line 56). 

60. employ] imploy Qq. 

61. Ottoman] Ottaman Q,. 

62. [To Braban. Theob. 

63. lacl^t] lacke Q,. 

65. hor\ nor Qq. for Ff. 
cught] aught Theob. it 

66. nor] not Q^ 

care] Om. Pope,Theob. Han.Waib. 

56. To] Malone interprets the text of the Qq, for those who adopt it, as meaning : 
'tell him we wish him to make all possible haste'^ and adds that all messengeis in the 
time of Shakespeare were enjoined, ' Haste, haste ; for thy life, post haste.' 

61. Ottoman] Malone: It is part of the policy of the Venetian state nerer to 
entrust the command of an army to a native. < To exclude, therefore, (says Contareno, 
trans, by Lewkenor, 1599) out of our estate the danger or occasion of any such ambi- 
tions enterprises, our ancestcxs held it a better coune to defend the dominions on the 
continent with Ibfcign mercenaiy soldien, than with their home-bred citizens.' Again : 
'alwaies they do entertain in honourable sort with great prorision a captaine generally 
wiio alwaies is a stranger borne* Reed : So in Thomas's Hist, of Italy, p. 82 : * By 
lande they are serred of stranngen, both for generalls, for rapitainfs, and for all other 
men of wane ; because theyr lawe permitteth not any Venetian to be capitaine orer 
an armie by lande : Fearing I thinke, Caesar's example.' Schmiot {Lex.) queries 
whether this be used here as an adjective or substantive ; RolfE inclines to think it is 

62. Booth: The Duke should be busy with papers or oonlcmng with the Senaton, 
while Bnbantio takes his seat; whidi will account for his < I did not see you.' 

64. Qood yoor] Abbott, § 13 : The possessive adjectives when unemphatic are 
■omrtimes transposed, being really combined with nouns (like the French tnomienr, 

48 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO f act i, sc. iii, 

Take hold on me. For my pellicular griefe 67 

Is of fo flood-gate, and ore-bearing Nature, 

That it engluts.snd fwallowes other forrowes, 

And it is ftill it felfe. 70 

Duke. Why / What's the matter ? 

Bra. My Daughter : oh my Daughter ! 

Sen. Dead / 

Bra. I, to me. 
She is abus'd, (lolne from me, and corrupted 75 

By Spels, and Medicines, bought of Mountebanks; 
For Nature, fo prepoftroufly to erre, Tj 

67. hoUon\ any hold of ^. hold of Theob. Han. Warb. Jen. Rann. 
Q,Q^ ColL Wh. i. any hold on Rann. 73. Sen.] All. Qq. 

g^fi']g^fuQt' 74- ^fl^QH' '^>'fRowe. Om.Pbpe-h. 

69. efighUs] ingluts F(, Rowe-h, Jen. 75. Jlolne] stollen Rowe ii, Pbpe. 
tnd'\ F,. 76. Medicitus] medUiom Q,. med*- 

70. And «r] And yet Rowe, Vopt^ ones Cap. (Eixata). 

66. To eliminate the two extra syllables in this line, Johnson proposes to omit 
*care' at the end; and Steevens, <Hath' at the beginning, and 'my' before 'bed.' 

68. 80] See Abbott, $67, for instances where 'so' is used before an adjective, 
where now-a-days we use the adverbial stuh or fo with a. But note, says Abbott, that 
in these instances the 'so' follows a preposition. After prepositions the article (see 
§ 90) is frequently omitted. Shakespeare could have written, ' My grief is of nature 
so floodgate,' &c. 

69. engluts] PuRNELL; French 'engloutir,' to swallow. 

76. Spels] Grey (ii, 312) dtes a law of i Jac. cap. xii, to the effect : 'That if any 
person or persons should take upon him or them, by witchcraft, inchantment, charm or 
sorcery, to the intent to provoke any person to unlawful love ; and being thereof law- 
fully convicted, should, for the first offence, suffer imprisoimient for the space of one 
whole year,' &c. Warburton says that Rymer ridicules this accusation of charms 
and medicines, but the passage in Rymer has escaped me, and small wonder, in that 
headlong torrent of amusing abuse of Shakespeare. Warburton, however, avails him- 
self of the chance to dte a Venetian law, Dei maleficii et herbarie^ cap. xvii, of the 
code, entitled 'Delia promission del maleficio.' Whereupon Steevens remarks: 
'Though I believe Shakespeare knew no more of this Venetian law than I do, yet 
he was well acquainted with the edicts of that sapient prince King James the First' 
'But,' says Ritson (p. 228), 'there is no doubt that Shakespeare had the substance of 
Brabantio's speech from Qnthio's novel, however he might come by it ; and Cinthio, it 
may be supposed, knew something of the Venetian Statute.' At this line and at line 
80^ Booth says, Cassio and Othello should exchange smiles, as at I, ii, 95. 

77-79. to erre . . . could not] Abbott dtes this passage under § 350^ where ex- 
amples are given of the use of ' to ' when the finite principal verb is an auxiliary or 
like an auxiliary, as in Ham. I, v, 18 and 178, and thus explains : ' Here either (i) 
**to err" depends on "could," i. e. "Nature was not able to err;" or (2) "could not" 
might perhaps stand for "could not be," "was impossible," having for its subject 


(Being not deficient, blind, or lame of fenfe,) 78 

Sans witch-craft could not. 

Duke. Who ere he be, that in this foule proceeding 80 

Hath thus beguil'd your Daughter of her felfe, 
And you of her ; the bloodie Booke of Law, [3 ' 3 *] 

You (hall your felfe read, in the bitter letter, 
After your owne fenfe : yea, though o ur proper Son 
Stood in your Aftion. 85 

Bra. Humbly I thanke your Grace, 
Here is the man ; this Moore, whom now it feemes 
Your fpeciall Mandate, for the State affaires 
Hath hither brought. 

All. We are verieforry for't. 90 

Duke. What in yonr owne part, can you lay to this ? 

Bra. Nothing, but this is fo. 

Othe. Moft Potent, Graue, and Reueren'd Signiors, 93 

78. Om. Q,. f^f^t y^^ '^ QaQs- ^^^^ > f^^»*g^ P^>pc» 

noi'\ (>n. Q3. 90. All.] Duke and Sen. Mai. 

arl iMT Johns. IVe are] IV^re Pope+, Dycc iii, 

79. Sans\ Saunce Q,. Huds. 

noi.] na — Rowe+, Jen. Steer. verieforry] very /any F^ 

Rann. Vir. Knt, Sing, not be Cap. KUy. /or'/ly&riirSteev. Var. Rann.ColL 

82. her;] her, Qq. Sing. Wh. KUy, Del. 

84. your owne] its owne Qq, CoU. i. 91. [To Othel. Theob. et scq. 

fenfe: yea, thot^k] fenfe, tho Q,. y^^'\ ^v 

** Nature to err." In (2) *«for" may be either (a) a conjunction, or (b) a preposition: 
** It was not possible for Nature thus to err." I prefer (i).' 

77. prepostrously] Morkl: Worcester donne conime Etymologic directe on ad- 
jectif fran^ais * pr6postdre,* dont nous n'avons pu trouver trace. 

84. your] Dyce {Remarks, p. 234) : < Your ' of the Folio is manifestly the tme 
reading, L e. 'According to your own interpretation.' 

84* proper] That is own, very. Is there not a survival, in the copious vocabulary 
of old English phrases still to be found in New England, of this word in this sense ? 
I have frequently heard the phrases there, ' proper good,' < proper nice,' in the sense 
of ' very good,' < very nice.' Webster marks it, in this sense, as < colloquial and vulgar,' 
which b in favour of its antiquity. G&rard calls attention to it, as having 'la mtoe 
valeur que propre en fran^ais : *'notre propre fils." ' — Ed. 

85. action] Johnson: Were the man exposed to your charge or acauaiion. 
Morel: Cest 14 un sens toot fran^ais du mot. 

91. in] Abbott, § 160, gives instances of < in ' used for on. See note on I, i, 149. 

93, &c. Rymer (p. 100) : We find the Duke of Venice with his Senators in Coun- 
cd at Midnight, upon advice that the Turks or Ottamites, or both together, were ready 
in transport Ships, put to sea, in order to make a Descent upon Cyprus. This is the 
pustiure, when we see Brabantio and Othello join theuL By their Conduct and manner 

oi talk, a body must strain Ttard to fancy the Scene at Venice ; And not rather in some 



50 THE TRAGEDJE OF OTHELLO [act. i, sc. in. 

My very Noble, and approu'd good Mafters; 

That I haue tane away this old mans Daughter, gs 

It is mofl true : true I haue married her; 

The verie head, and front of my offending, 

Hath this extent; no more. Rude am I, in my fpeech, 

And little blefs'd with the foft phrafe of Peace; 

For fmce thefe Armes of mine, had feuen yeares pith, 100 

Till now, fome nine Moones wafted, they haue vs'd 

Their deereft a£lion, in the Tented Field : 

And little of this great world can I fpeake, 

More then pertaines to Feats of Broiles, and Battaile, 

And therefore little (hall I grace my caufe, 105 

In fpeaking for my felfe. Yet, (by your gratious patience) 

98. am I^ I am Q,Q^. 104. Feats 0/ BroiUs] Ff.Rowe +, Jen. 

jwy] Om. Johns. Km, Sta. ftaU of broyle Q,. fiaia of 
99- /^]/f^ Qq^Warb. Jen. Steer. Vir. ^royUsi^^, feats of broii Qaa^ fft cdL 

Coll, 105. graci'\ grac Q^. 

loi. nowtfome"] new fome Qq. 106. for] of Q^. 

Moonesl more Jomdain. gratioitsl Om. Fbpe, Theob. Han. 

102. deereft] dearft F^. Warb. 

of our Qnque-poits, where the Baily and his Fisher-men are knocking their heads together 
on acooont of some Whale, or some terrible broil upon the Coast But to show them 
true Venetians, the maritime affairs stick not long on their hand ; the public may sink 
or swim. They will sit up all night to hear a Doctors Commons, Matrimonial, Cause. 
And have the Merits of the Cause at large laid open to 'em, that they may decide it 
before they stir. What can be pleaded to keep awake their attention so wonderfully ? 
Never, sure, was form of pleading so tedious and so heavy, as this whole scene and 
midnight entertainment 
96. her] Fechter : To Brabantio with tender courtesy. 

98. Fechter's version : * Hath this— (/^ the Senate) this extent ! (loith passion on 
the mute denial of Brabantio) no moie ! (Brabantio rises in anger: They regard each 
other with menace. Several metnbers rise simultaneously; Othello is at once calm^ 
and submits to the CoundL) 

99. soft] Warburton : This apology, if addressed to his mistress, had been well 
expressed. But what he wanted, in speaking before a Venetian Senate, was not the 
toft blandishments of speech, but the art and method of masculine eloquence. I am 
penuaded, therefore, that m/ of the Qq is right. 

loi. wasted] Knight: He had been unemployed during nine months. 

102. deerest] Johnson : That is, dear, for which much is paid, whether money 
or labour; dear action is action performed at great expense, either of ease or safety. 
M ALONE thinks it here means most important; Steevens that in modem language 
we should say, their best exertion ; and M. Mason that it means i\it\i favourite action. 
[To me, Dr W. Aldis Wright's definition seems exact : ' dear is used of whatever 
touches us nearly, either in love or hate, joy or sorrow.* See Ham. I, ii, 182. — Ed.] 

106. speaking] Forrest emphasized this word, and not 'myself.' — Rees's Life 
p. 140. 

Acn, sciii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 51 

I will a round vn-varni(h*d u Tale deliuer, 107 

Of my whole courfe of Loue. 

What Drugges,what Charmes, 

What Coniuration, and what mighty Magicke, 1 10 

(For fuch proceeding I am charg'd withall) 

I won his Daughter. 

Bra, A Maiden, neuer bold : 
Of Spirit fo ftill, and quiet, that her Motion 1 14 

107, Itm//} ItuouldQJiy III. proceeding] proceedings Qq. 
vn<uimi/h*d']vnraut/h*dQ^. un- lam] am /Qq, Jen. 

rmnjh'd Qy 112. Daughter.'] Daughter with, Ff, 

108, 109. One line, Qq et cet Rowe + , Cap. Jen. Steev. Rann. Coll. Sing. 

109, no. Drugges,„,Charmes,,„Con' Ktly, Huds. 

mrationi] Drugs f.„Charmes f.„conju' 113, 114. A^.Spirit] One line, Q, 

ratim f FjF^, Rowe i. (reading bold of/pirit,), 

107. vn-vamish'd u] This is a noteworthy and praiseworthy attempt at correcting 
a typographical error : * vn-yamish*d ' should be spelled vn-uami/Vd, In aiming at 
coRCCting it by the substitution of the u for the v, the compositor forgot to remove the 
v^ and put u, with unusual accuracy, within seven letters of its true place* — ^Ed. 

108. my . . . Loue] That is, ' the whole course of my love.' This constractioD, 
plain enough here, sometimes gives rise to difficulty : see ' your sovereignty of reason,' 
Ham. I, iv, 73 ; ' his means of death,' lb, IV, v, 207 ; < my better part of man,' Macb, 
V, viii, 18, and many other examples in Abbott, § 423. 

109. What] The preposition with^ which is here omitted, as in so many other in- 
stances of adverbial expressions of time, or of manner (see Abbott, § 202), the F, sup- 
plied after < daughter,' fine 112, <The editor of that edition,' says Dyce (ed. iii), *no( 
knowing that, according to the earlier phraseology, such an addition was unnecessary 
for the sense.' Doubtless through inadvertence. Grant White (ed. ii) says that with 
was 'recklessly omitted.' Cf. 'The interim having weighed it,' Macb, I, iii, 154; 'shall 
.... More suffer and more sundry ways,' lb, IV, iii, 48 ; ' Which time she cha/ited,' 
Ham, IV, vii, 179. Deuus thinks that with was omitted, because the preceding line 
in the parenthesis ended in ' withal.' 

112. Ryiier (p. loi) : All this is but Preamble, to tell the Court that He wante 
words. This was the Eloquence which kept them up all night, and drew their atten- 
tion in the midst of their alarms. One might rather think the novelty and strangeness 
of the case prevail'd upon them : no, the Senators do not reckon it strange at all. In- 
stead of starting at the Prodigy, every one is familiar with Desdemona, as he were her 
own natural Father, rejoice in her good fortune, and wish their own several Daughters 
as hopefully married. Should the Poet have provided such a Husband for an only 
daughter of any noble Peer in England, the Black-amoor must have chang'd hif Skin, 
to kx>k our House of Lords in the face. 

114. Motion] This may mean, undoubtedly, as Grant White (ed. ii) interprets it : 
•her natural desires,' but I prefer to interpret it with Schmidt (Lex,), 'movement of 
the soul, tendency of the mind, impulse ; German, Regung* especially since ' herself,' 
in the next line, refers to it Shakespeare frequently refers to the soul as feminine. 
Cf. 'Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice,' Ham, III, ii, 58; 'Could tsrc# 
hb Mai .... That from her working,' lb, II, ii, 526. — Ed. 

52 THE TRAGEDI^ OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. iiu 

Blufh'd at her felfe, and (he, in fpight of Nature, 115 

Of Yeares, of Country, Credite, euery thing 

To fall in Loue,with what (he fear'd to looke on; 

It is a iudgement main'd, and moft imperfefl. 

That will confelTe Perfeftion fo could erre 

Againft all rules of Nature, and muft be driuen 120 

To find out praflifes of cunning hell 

Why this (hould be. I therefore vouch againe, 

That with fome Mixtures, powrefull o're the blood, 

Or with fome Dram,(coniur*d to this eflfeft) 

He wtought vp on her. 125 

To vouch this, is no proofe, 

Without more wider, and more ouer Teft 

Then thefe thin habits, and poore likely-hoods 128 

115. her felfe\ it self e Pope+, Jen. 125. vp on\ F,. 

117. <w»/]rf. m — Rowe+,Jcn. mf 126. TV] Du. 7<? Q, et cet 
or 0fi / Qq et cet. vouck'\ youth Q,. 

118. main^d'\ maimdQ^Q^, maimed 127. wider] certaine Qq, Pdpe-t-, Cap. 
F, et cet Jen. Steev. Var. Rann. Coll. Sing. Cam. 

imperfect.'] imperfect^ Qq. Huds. evidence Coll. (MS). 
11^, Peffectum]Affecti4mThtoh.HMn. ouer Teft] over- TeJtYi, over teft 

Jen. Qy Rowe. ouert teft Q,Q, ct cet. 

could] would Qq, Jtii, 128. Then thefe] Thefe are Qq, ColL 

122. be^ bCf Qq. Sing. Wb. i, Huds. 
125. wtought] F,. 

118. main'd] In reference to this misprint Dyce says, that he does not mean to 
defend it when he observes that in 2 Hen, VI: IV, ii, 172, we have the provincialism 
in Cade's speech : ' mained,* u e, lamed. 

119. Perfection] To Theobald the expression perfection erring ^ititmtA a contra- 
diction. < I have ventured,' he says, * to imagine that our author wrote ** Affection so 
could err." ' Dr Johnson : The objection is childish ; * perfection ' is used here, as 
almost everywhere else, for a high degree of excellence. 

121. practises] That is, stratagems, treacherous plots, very frequently thus used. 
Cf. 'a pass of practice,' Ham. IV, vii, 139; 'my practices ride easy,' Lear, L 
ii, 172. 

127. more wider] Is not this to be preferred to 'more certain' of the Qq? A wide 
and open proof seems to stand in clear contrast to thin, narrow shows and trivial con- 
jectures. Johnson defines 'overt test,' open proofs, external evidence ; and the phrase 
'thin .... seeming,' weah show of slight appearance. For the double comparative 
'more wider,' see Shakespeare passim. — ^Ed. 

128. habits] Singer : 'Thin habits' may be a metaphor from dress, but it may also 
be a Latinism from habita, things considered, reckoned, as in the phrase habit and 
repute, t. e. held and esteemed. John Hunter : Than the thin garb with which you 
mvest the matter, and vour slender probabilities as to the aspect in which it must be 
generally regarded. 

ACT I. sc. iii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 53 

Of modeme feeming, do prefer againft him. 

Sen. But (?/Ar/fo, fpeake, 130 

Did you, by indireft, and forced courfes 
Subdue, and poyfon this yong Maides affeflions ? 
Or came it by requeft, and fuch &ire queflion 
As foule, to foule affordeth ? 

OtheL I do befeech you, 135 

Send for the Lady to the Sagitary. 
And let her fpeake of me before her Father; 
If you do finde me foule, in herreport. 
The Truft, the Office, I do hold of you. 

Not onely take away, but let your Sentence 140 

Euen fall vpon my life. 

Duke, Fetch Defdemona hither. 

Othe, Aunciant, conduft them : 
You beft know the place. 

And tell (he come, as truely as to heauen, 145 

I do confefle the vices of my blood. 
So iufUy to your Graue eares. He prefent 

How I did thriue in this &ire Ladies loue, [314 a\ 

And (he in mine. 

Duke, Say it Othello. 150 

Othe. Her Father lou'd me, oft inuited me : 

129. feewtmg\ feemings Q,Q^ Q.Q,). 

do\ yoH Qq, ColL ^ng. Wh. i, 143, 144. One Ime, Qq, Rowe cC oet 

Hads. doe F^ I44« [Exit lago. Rowe. Exeunt At 

150. Sen.] I Sena. Qq, Rowe et cet tendants and lago. Cap. 
Bvi\ Om. Han. 145. UU^ F,. 
fpeake^ speak; Theob. trtuly\ faUkfidl Q,. 

135. do\ Om. Pope+. heauen^ Heat^not Hemven Kowe 

136. S4^iUMry\SagiUarQl^Qx^ Sag- et ccL 

iitary Q,QjF^ ct ceL 146. Om. Q,. 

139. Om. Q|. 151-154. YJa^e^taA f other. ..quatioi^d 

142. [Exit two or three. Qq. (Exeunt... year.,.pas^d. Mai. 

129. modeme] Always, I believe, used by Shakespeare in the sense of trite, ordi- 
nary, coouionplaoe. — Ed. Morel: On co mp r e nd qneDe association d'kl^es a pa 
dooner an mot cette Tdeor. II y a U on ootoUaire de Tid^qni a inspir6 I'adage oild- 
bre : maior a longinqno rererentia. 

133. question] That is, conyersatkni, disooiirse, m in ' made she no yerbal qoe»- 
boOy' Liar, IV, iii, 24. 

136. Sagitary] See I, i, 173. 

147. toatly] That is, truthinlly. Among the Four Cardinal Viitoes : T ci B prran o^ 
Jotfioe, I^vdence, and Fortitude, the second inchides or implies Truth. — Ed. 

151. Fechtex : {Ji£gm»dmg BraSatUw with regret.) Her Either loir'd me ! (cktek^ 


THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO f act i, sc. liL 

Still queftion'd me the Storic of my life, 

From yeare to yeare : the Battaile, Sieges, Fortune, 

That I haue pad. 

I ran it through, euen from my boyifh daies, 

TothVery moment that he bad me tell it 

Wherein I fpoke of mod diiaftrous chances : 

Of mouing Accidents by Flood and Field, 

Of haire-breadth fcapes i'th'imminent deadly breach ; 

Of being taken by the Infolent Foe, 

And fold to flauery. Of my redemption thence. 




152. quefiunC d'\ queftioned C)f\, 
Siorie] Jloryes Q,. 

153. yean:'] yeare, Q<\, 

BattaiU\ baitaila Qq. BattaUs 
BaUells F,F^ Rowe. battles Warb. 

Fortnn€']Ti,¥jA. /arttnus C^ei 



lS4.Aattefia/l,']Aattefia/i:Q(\. had 
/oi/. Coll. (MS), have passed, mtkkis 
demands complying, Ktly conj. 

155- y*ww] to Qj. 

156. bad"] bade Q,Q^ Johns, et seq. 

157. /poke"] Ff, Rowe +, Jen. Var. KUy. 
/pake Qq, Cap. ct cct. 

158. Accidents by"] accident of Q^. 

159. imminent decuUy'] Hyphened by 
Sta. Del. Pur. 

160. Foe,"] foe: Q,. 

161. J!auery,'\ flauery, Q,. flauery; 
QJi^ Rowe cl cet. 

0/my'] and my Q,. 

ing kis emotion, and continuing calmly). Booth : Brabantio may, perhaps, manifesi 
denial of Othello's assertion ; and Othello's tone, after a slight pause, may imply that 
he had at least had reason to think so. But Love often meant merely liking, and sinct 
certainly Brabantio did like the Moor, it may not be proper for him to express any dis- 
approbation here. 

153. Fortune] Morel: Aventures ou accidents. Compares le sens du mot chez 
Froissard : * Leurs vaisseaux eurent a grand fortune sur mer .... que plusieurs de 
leuis ne& ftirent penes.' 

154. PURNELL : The hemistich adds to the effect of the enumeration by giving the 
actor time to think over the list. 

157 et seq. Booth : All this as modestly as possible, — not a breath of bluster, and 
not declamatory ; very difficult to render naturally. The Duke and Senators, indeed 
all present, should listen with rapt attention. 

161-168. In some early Acting Copies these lines are omitted, and in their place the 
following inserted : 

' Of battles brarely , hardly, fought : of Tictories 
For which the conqueror mourn'd, lo many fell : 
Sometimes I told the story of a siege, 
Wherein I had to combat plagues and fiunine ; 
Soldiers unpaid; fearful to fight. 
Yet bold in dangerous mutiny.' 

The earliest trace of them that I can find is in the Acting Copy for the * Theatres Royal 
in Drury-Lane and Covent-Garden ' in 1770. As Ganick did not retire from Druiy« 
Lane until June, 1776, it is not improbable that these lines were written by him ; it is 
bard to see why he felt any necessity for the substitution, unless he were infected with 
lago's icom for < fantastical lies.' Wood (Personal Recollections, &c., p. 265) sayf] THE MOORE OF VENICE 55 

And portance in my Trauellours hiftorie. 162 

Wherein of Antars vaft, and Defarts idle, 

162. portance in my] wUh it all my Cl^t 161. Antars] QqFf, Kowc. Antrea 

Pope, Han. Warb. Q,. antrtes Pope, antra Theob. et cet. 

Trauellours] trauells Qq, Rowe. Defarts] De/erts Q,, Sing, i, Coll. 

Travellers F,Fj. Traveller's F^ Knt, et seq. 

Sing. KUy. travel^ Glo. Cam. Dyce iii, idU] wilde FJ?^. wild F^ Pope, 

Huds. Wh. ii. travel's Pope et cet. Han. Sing. i. 

that he 'distinctly remembeis finding these lines in an old Covcnt-Garden Prompt-book 
of our early library, not in the printed text, but interwritten upon a blank leaf. [Ed- 
mund] Kean, like every other actor or reader to whom I have applied, had never met 
with them, but acknowledged their great beauty and power.' — Ed. 

162. portance] Rymer (p. 90) in quoting this line reads portents, Johnson reads 

* portance ii»V/' and explains : <my redemption from slavery, and my behaviour in it.' 
Steevens : Periuqx Shakespeare meant — my behaviour in my travels as described in 
my history of them. * Portance ' is used in Cor. II, iii, 232. Dyck (Clou.) : That is, 
bearing, carriage, depoftment, behaviour. Knight puts a full stop after * portance,' 
and includes * Wherein .... speake,' 163-165, in parenthesis, with only a comma after 

* speake.' Morel : Montaigne I'emploie comme synonyme de ' fa^n d'agir.' 

162. TraueUours] I cannot but think the Qq are right here. Knight thus up- 
holds the Ff : Othello modestly, and somewhat jocosely, calls his wonderful relations 
a traveller's history^— a, term by which the marvellous stories of the Lithgows and 
Coryats were wont to be designated in Shakespeare's day. Dyce : A personage less 
inclined to jocoseness than Othello cannot well be conceived. Dr Richardson suggests 
to me that 'TraueUours' is a misprint for travellous (or travailous), and adds that 
Wklif has 'Jobs trauailous nights' and 'the traveilous presonn of the Egipdans;' but 
though the epithet is very properly applied to ' nig^ ' or to a ' prison,' can we speak 
of a ' travailous history ' ? 

163. Antars] Pope : French, grottoes. Joh.sson : Caves and dens. Chalmeks, 
{Supp. Apol.^ 464), whose learning was rather tickle o' the sere, has on this line a good 
specimen note : ' Shake^)eare by no very uncommon quibble has used the expressioDs 
"anteis vast " and " desarts idle " in one sense, when he meant another. The progress 
of the wocd " antexs " seems to be this : anteis, annters, aventers, adventures ; and 
hence the wofd "asters" came to signify, in the language of Yorkshire, strange things 
Oi strange stories. So in a di^wtation bytwene a Chrystens man and a Jew, written 
befeie the year 1300 : " Hur schull we longe abyde Anntres [adventures] to htar." 
The play on " dcmts idle " consists in confounding " desart " for a wilderness %rith 
desert for merit ; aikd deserts idle, or unworthy desert, m^;fat be deemed desert, sin^ 

163. idle] JOHXSON : Every mind b liable to absence and inadvertency, the Pope 
eoakl never have rejected a word like this so poetically beantifuL < Idle ' is an epithet 
vsed to exprcs the infertility of the chaotic state in the Saxon translation of the Pes' 
tafmrh Giffokd (Se^ansa, I, i) : It does not seem to have occurred to the commeu- 
that wHd might add a feature of some import, even to a desert; whereas, sterile 
k jnit as it Ibond it, aiMl ts (without a pan) the idlest epithet which oooM be 
appBed Pope, too^ l»d an ear for rh>thm ; and as his reading has some ioadi of 
Shake^xarc, which the other has not, and is besides better poetr>% I should hope thai 
it win one d*j rcsame its p^Jpa place in the text. 

56 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc iii 

Rough Quarries, Rocks, Hills, whofe head touch heauen, 

It was my hint to fpeake. Such was my ProcefTe, 165 

And of the Canibals that each others eate, 

The Antropophague, and men whofe heads 167 

164. Hiils] andhUs QqFf, Rowe et cet. et cet. 

kead\ Roweii. ^rod^rQqFf etcet 1 66. other s\ F,. other QqF^F^ ct cet 

165. hirU'\ hent Q,, Warb. eate;\ eate; Qq. 

fpeake^ fpeake^ Qq, Knt. 167. Antropophague] Anthropophagie 

my\ QjCi^Ff, Rowe, Knt. the Q, Qq. Anthropophagi Ff, Rowe et cet 

165. hint] Warburton adopted Aent, interpreting it as meaning use, custom, a 
meaning which Johnson said kent did not have either in Shakespeare or in any other 
author, adding : * hint ' or cue is conmionly used for occasion of speech, which is ex- 
plained by such is the process, that is, the course of the tale required it Skeat 
(Etym. Diet., s. v.) : Only the substantive occurs in Shakespeare .... Hint properly 
signifies ' a thing taken,' i. e. a thing caught or apprehended ; being a contraction of 
Middle English hinted, taken ; or rather a variant of the old past participle hent, with 
the same sense, .... which occurs in Meets, for Meets. IV, vi, 14. 

167. Antropophague] Wh alley (p. 73) says, that the origin of all these fables 
is to be found in Sir John Mandeville's Travels. — * Aitreward men gon be many Yles 
be See, unto an Yle that men clepen Mitke: and there is a fulle cursed peple : for thei 
delyten in ne thing more, than for to fighten and to sle men. And thei drynken glad- 
Ijrest mannes Blood, the whiche thei clepen Dieu' [p. 195, ed. Halliwell]. 'And in 
another Yle, toward the Southe duellen folk of foule Stature and of cursed kynde, than 
have no Hedes; and here Eyen ben in here Scholdres ' [p. 203, Ib.\ Theobald : Sir 
Walter Raleigh in his Travels [The Discoverie 0/ Cviana, 1596, p. 85, ed. Hakluyt 
Soc.] has given the following account : < Next vnto Arui there are two riuers Atoica 
and Caora, and on that braunch which is called Caora are a nation of people, whose 
heades appeare not aboue their shoulders, which though it may be thought a meere 
fied)le, yet for mine owne parte I am resolued it is true, because euery child in the prou- 
mces oiArromaia and Canuri afHrme the same : they are called Ewaipanoma : they are 
reported to haue their eyes in their shoulders, and their mouths in the middle of their 
breasts, and that a long train of haire groweth backward betwen their shoulders .... 
It was not my chaunce to heare of them til I was come away, and if I had but spoken 
one word of it while I was there, I might haue brought one of them with me to put 
the matter out of doubt. Such a nation was written of by Maundeuile, whose reportes 
were held for fables many yeares, and yet since the East Indies were discouered, wee 
finde his relations true of such thinges as heeretofore were held incredible : whether it 
be true or no the matter is not great, neither can there be any profit in the imagination, 
*br mine owne part I saw them not, but I am resolued that so many people did not all 
combine, or forethinke to make the report.' . . . . ' To the west of Caroli are diuers 
nations of Canibals, and of those Ewaipanoma without heades ' [p. 108, lb. In a foot- 
note the editor. Sir R. H. Schomburgk, calls attention to Humboldt's mention of an old 
Indian whom he met, who boasted of having seen these Acephali with his x}wn eyes. — 
Ed.] This passage in Othello, continues Theobald, and the same allusion in Temp. 
Ill, iii, 46, help us in fixing the date of these plays ; neither of them could have been 
written before 1596. The mystery of these headless People is accounted for by 01- 
sarins, who, speaking of the Samojeds, a people of Northern Muscovy, says : < Theu 

KCT I. sc. ui.] T//£ MOORE OF VENICE 57 

Grew beneath their (houlders. Thefe things to heare, 168 

168. Grew'\Y{. Didgrow^owt, Doe Rowe, Jen. All these Voipt^ , tAu Q^, 
grtfw Qq et cet. Coll. Dyce, Wh. Glo. Sta. Cam. DeL Rife, 

Thefe things] Ff. thefe QJi^ Huds. 

garments are made like those that are call'd Cosaques, open only at the Necks. When 
the Cold is extraordinary, they put their Cosaques over their Heads, and let the Sleeves 
hang down ; their Faces being not to be seen, but at the Cleft which is at the Neck. 
Whence Some have taken Occasion to write, that in these Northern Countries there 
•re People without Heads, ha\ing their Faces in their Breasts.* Staunton thinks 
that possibly Shakespeare had in mind the 2d chi^. of the Seventh Book of Plinies 
NcUuraU History ^ wherein the Anthropophagi and these headless men are mentioned ; 
but I am inclined to think that if Shakespeare had ever read this chapter in Pliny, 
brimming over as it is with monstrosities, he would not have selected as a striking 
item in Othello's ' trauels history ' such a trifling distortion as a man with his face in 
his breast. Within a few pages of the account of the Anthropophagi in Sir Walter's 
Discouerie^ mention is made of a very high hill, and of digging out aystals with dag 
gers and fingers, — rough quarrying certainly. — Ed. 

168. Rymer (p. 90) : This was the Charm, this was the philtre, the love-powder 
that took the Daughter of this Noble Venetian. This was sufficient to make the 
Black-amoor White, and reconcile all, tho' there had been a Cloven-foot into the bar- 
gain. A meaner woman might be as soon taken by Aqua Tetrachymagogon. Shake- 
speare in this Play calls *em the supersubtle Venetians. Yet examine throughout the 
Tragedy, there is nothing on the noble Desdemona^ that is not below any Country 
Chambermaid with us. And the account of their Noblemen and Senate can only be 
calculated for the latitude of Gotham, SHAri*£SBURY (Advice to an Author^ 1 7 10, 
Fart III, sect. 3) : Tho Christian Miracles may not so well satisfy 'em [i. e. Atheists] ; 
they dwell with the highest Contentment on the Prodigys of Moorish and Pagan 
Conntrys. They have far more Pleasure in hearing the monstrous Accounts of mon- 
itiDtts Men and Manners, than the politest and best Narrations of the Affairs, the Gov- 
ernments, and Lives of the wisest and most polish'd People This Humour our 

old Tragick Poet seems to have discovered. He hit our Taste in giving us a Moorish 
Hero, full fraught with Prodigy: a wondrous Story-teller! But for the attentive Part, 
the Poet chose to give it to Woman-kind. What passionate Reader of Travels, or 
Student in the prodigious Sciences, can refuse to pity that fair Lady, who fell in Love 
with the miraculous Moor? especially considering with what sutable grace such a 
Lover cou'd relate the most monstrous Adventures, and satisfy the wondering Appetite 
with the most wondrous Tales; [lines i63>i69 are here quoted]. Seriously, *twas a 
woful Tale ! unfit, one wou'd think, to win a tender Fair-one. It's true, the Poet suf- 
ficiently condemns her Fancy ; and makes her (poor Lady !) pay dearly for it in the 
end. But why, amongst his Greek names, he shou'd have chosen one which denoted 
the Lady Superstitious, I can't imagine : unless, as Poets are sometimes Prophets too, 
he shou'd figuratively under this dark Type have represented to us. That about a hun- 
dred Yeais after his Time, the Fair sex of this Island shou'd, by other monstrous Tales, 
be so seduc'd as to turn their Favour chiefly on the persons of the Tale-tellers; and 
change their natural Inclination for fair, candid, and courteous Knights into a Passion 
for a mysterious Race of black Enchanters : such as of old were said to creep inU 
Houses, and lead captive silly Women But whatever monstrous Zeal yt super- 
stitious Passion the Poet might foretel, either in the Gentlemen, Ladys, or ciimiion 

58 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i, sc ui. 

Would Defdemona ferioufly incline : 

But ftill the houfe Affaires would draw her hence : 170 

Which euer as (he could with hafle difpatch, 

She*rd come againe, and with a greedie eare 172 

170. hou/e Affairs] kouse-aff airs Voipt, 171. Which"] And (l^, 

hence] Ff, Rowc, Del. thence 172. Sh/l'd] She^dq<\, Sh^ldYi. 

Qq el cet 

People, of an after Age ; 'tis certain that as to Books, the same Moorish Fancy, in its 
plain and literal sense, prevails strongly at the present time. Monsters and Monster- 
lands were never more in request : And we may often see a Philosopher, or a Wit, run 
a Tale-gathering in those idie Desarts^ as familiarly as the silliest Woman or the merest 
Boy. Wa&burton : Discourses of this nature made the subject of the politest conver- 
sation, when voyages into, and discoveries of, the new world were all in vogue. So, 
when the Bastard Faulconbridge in King John, describes the behaviour of upstart great- 
ness, he makes one of the essential circumstances of it to be this kind of table-talk. 
The fashion then running altogether this way, it is no wonder a young lady of quality 
should be struck with the history of an adventurer. Johnson: Whoever ridicules 
this account of the progress of love, shows his ignorance not only of history, but also 
of natture and manners. It is no wonder that, in any age or in any nation, a lady — 
recluse, timorous, and delicate — should desire to hear of events and scenes which she 
could never see ; and should admire the man who had endured dangers and performed 
actions, which, however great, were yet magnified by her timidity. 

170. still] That is, constantly. Very frequent in Shakespeare thus used, see Horn. 
&*Jul. V, iii, 106; Macb, V, viii, 14; Lear, II, iv, 102; Ham. II, ii, 42. 

170. would] Abbott, § 330 : « Would ' often means « liked,' • was accustomed.' Com- 
pare k^ikei, 

170. hence] Is there any necessity for deserting the Ff here ? Is not ' hence ' some- 
what more vivid than ' thence,' just as here is nearer than there ? — Ed. 

172. greedie eare] Malone cites, < Hang both your greedy ears upon my lips ; Let 
them devour my speech,' as a parallel passage from Lust^s Dominion, which he says 
was written by Marlowe, and before 1593. If Marlowe were the author, it was, of 
course, written before that year, the year in which Marlowe was killed. Collier, how- 
ever, has shown (Dodsley's Old Plays, vol. ii, p. 311, ed. 1825) by internal evidence 
that this tragedy was written after 1598, the year in which Philip II. of Spain died, 
whose death is represented in the First Act ; furthermore, that a tract was printed in 
London in 1599, called < A briefe and true Declaration of the Sicknesse, last words, 
and Death of the King of Spain, Philip Second,' from which various passages of the 
play were clearly borrowed ; Collier cites three or four of them, which reveal not < simi- 
larity, but identity.' In Henslowe's Diary (p. 165, ed. Shaks. Soc.), an item refers to 
the payment on 'the 13 of febreaiye, 1599,' of three pounds 'for a boocke called the 
Spanesche Mores tragedie, unto Thomas Deckers, Wm. Harton, John Daye ;' this trag- 
edy Collier conjectured (Hist, of Dram. Poetry, vol. ii, p. 477, ed. 1879), with 'great 
probability,' says D3rce (Marlowe's Works, i, p. Iviii), to be the same as Lust^s Do- 
minion. I have thought it worth while to be thus particular about this miserable stuff, 
quite as wretched as portions of Tittis Andronicus, which it somewhat resembles, be- 
cause Malone finds in it another parallelism with Othello, in II, i, 229, and Steeveni 
ipoes so far as to suggest that possibly Shakespeare may have acted in it. Collier men- 


Deuoure vp nr.y difcourfe. Which I obferuing, 173 

Tooke once a pliant houre, and found good meanes 

To draw from her a prayer of earneft heart, 175 

That I would all my Pilgrimage dilate, 

Whereof by parcels (he had fomething heard, 

But not inftin6liuely : I did confent, 

And often did beguile her of her teares, 

When I did fpeake of fome diftreffefull ftroke 180 

That my youth fuffer'd : My Storie being done, 

She gaue me for my paines a world of kifles: 182 

173. difcourfe.'] difcourfe; Qq. Dif Rowc+, Cap. Rann. intentively Qq, 
cottrfe, F^. Johns, ct cet. 

176. dilate'] relate Quincy (MS). 180. diftreffefuU] diftreffed Q,, Morel. 

177. parcels] parcelKi^, 181. fuffer'd] fuffered Qq. 

178. not] nought C14). conj. 182. kiffes] ¥f, Rowe. thanks South- 
in/limliuefy] diftimflivefy Ff, cm (MS), ftghes Qq ct cet. 

dons no earlier printed copy of it than 1657. Malone also cites from the Faerie Queene, 
VI, ix (231, ed. Grosart), * Whylest thus he talkt, the knight with greedy care Hung still 
upon,' &c. And Steevens shows that aures avida may be found in Cicero. 

174. good] Foirest emphasized this word — Rees's Life^^. 141. 

176. dilate] That is, relate at length. Conf. Ham. I, ii, 38, 'these dilated articles.' 

178. instinctiuely] Knight: A decided typographical error. This, and a few 
other errors of the same sort which are corrected by a reference to the Qto, prove that 
the Folio was printed from MS., and most probably before the publication of the Qto ; 
had it been consulted, these errors would not have been committed. Steevens : In- 
tention and attention were once synonymous. Desdemona, who was often called out 
of the room on house-affairs, could not have heard Othello's tale intentivefy, i. e. with 
attention to all its parts. Dyce (Remarks, p. 234) : Intentively was always used as 
equivalent to attentively, not only by the writers of Shakespeare's time, but by thase 
of a much earlier date. Palsgrave has *Inteniyfe, hedefiill.' — ' Ententyfe, busy to do a 
thynge or to take hede to a thyng.' Singer quotes Bullokar's Expositor: *Intentiue * 
Which listeneth well, and is earnestly bent to a thing.' Lettsom (Walker's Crit. i, 
181, Foot-note) : ' Distinctiuely ' seems a mere sophistication of F, for instinctiuely, the 
nonsensical reading of F,. In this particular passage intentively seems to mean either 
all at a stretch, or so as to comprehend the story as a whole. R. M. SPENCE {N. df 
Qu., 5th, xi, 383) upholds distinctively, which means, he alleges, in detail. [Enten- 
tivemeni: Jntentiuely, busily, earnestly; attentiuely, carefully, heedfully. — Cotgrave 
But it is needless to multiply proofs that intentiue meant attentiue. Lettsom seems tc 
me to have rightly interpreted the requirements of the meaning here. — Ed.] 

180. distresseful] Morel, whose thoughtful edition enlists respect for his opinio!^ 
prefers the Qto, as an instance where the past participle in -ed is equivalent to the ad- 
jective in -full, as delighted for delightful, &c. 

182. kisses] Pope : Sighs is evidently the true reading. The lady had been for- 
ward indeed, to give him a world of kisses upon the bare recital of his story, nor does il 
agree with the following lines. [And yet we must remember that kissing in Elizsr 

6o THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO Iact i, sc. iii. 

She fwore in &ith 'twas (Irange : 'twas pafling (Irange, 183 

Twas pittifull : 'twas wondrous pittifull. 

She wifti'd (he had not heard it, yet (he wi(h*d 185 

That Heauen had made her fuch a man. She thank'd me, 

183. in fai/h'\ I faith Qq. fiil,...fnH/uL F^, Ktly. piHJul,,.,pUifid— 
ftrange: ,,,ftrange^ ftrange,,,. Kowe+,Jen. fnttifui/t... pittifull ; Q(\& 

Jirange, F^ Rowc + , Jen. Glo. Rife, Wh. cct. 

ii. ftrange^..firange. F^F^. ftrang€^»„ 185. vnflCd'\ wifkt Qq. 

ftrange; Qq et cet 186. tkani^d'] thanked Qq. 

184. pitHfmU:,.,pitHfiiU:\ F,F,. piH- 

beth*s time was not as significant as it is now. See the openness with which, in II, i, 
Ossio kisses Emilia. — Ed.] 

183. swore] Steevens quotes Whitaker's Vindication of Mary Queen of Scots^ ii, 
487 : * Let not the modern reader be hurt here and in paragraph X. at a Lady, a 
Queen, and a Mary, swearing. To aver upon faith and honour was then called swear 

ing, equally with a solemn appeal to God, and considered the same with it And 

thus Shakespeare makes Othello to represent Desdemona as acting, in a passage [the 
present one] that I have often condemned, before I saw this easy explanation of it, as 
one among many proofs of Shakespeare's inability to exhibit the delicate graces of 
female conversation.' < This remark,' adds Steevens, ' serves at once to justify Des- 
demona and Queen Mary, and to show what kind of swearing was done by both ; not 
a bold and masculine oath put into the mouth of Desdemona, such as Elizabeth fre- 
quently used, but a more earnest afHrmation upon her faith and honour, which she con- 
sidered as the same with a solemn appeal to God.' Whitaker's confession that he had 
once condemned this passage as one of the many proofs of Shakespeare's inability to 
exhibit the delicate graces of female conversation. Knight quotes, but attributes it to 
Steevens, and upon Steevens lets fall his bitter indignation. * Perhaps,' he says, * the 
remainder of his many proofs would, in the same way, have been destroyed, if he had 
possessed the slightest capacity for distinguishing between the true and the meretricious 
in sentiment and style ; but what could be expected of a man who, writing Notes upon 
the Sonnets, laments his " piteous constraint to read such stuff at all" ?' 

183, 184. The punctuation of F, (discarded by almost every modem editor) in these 
two lines is noteworthy, and, in my opinion, should be retained. 'It was strange ; nay. 
it was much more than strange, it was pitifidl ; it was wondrous pitifull.' Staunton 
says, at V, ii, 236, that < strange ' here means more than it now means, it is equivalent 
to * incredible.' — Ed. 

185. 186. She . . . man] In this wish of Desdemona is 'her' the accusative or 
the dative ? Our German brothers, in their translations, are forced to decide this ques- 
tion ; we can smiling put it by. TiECK (or, probably, Baudissin, to whose share fell 
the translation of Othello) notes that Eschenburg in 1779 translated 'her' as an accu- 
sative, and rightly, as Tieck thinks: 'der Himmel h&tte solch einen Mann aus ihr 
gemacht,' but that in his translation of 1805 he had gone astray on the dative : ' der 
Hinmiel hfttte ihr solch einen Mann bestimmt.' Tieck did not notice that the enror, 
f such it be, lay farther back than Eschenburg. In 1766 Wieland translated the line : 
'der Himmel hfttte einen solchen Mann fUr sie gemacht.' Among English editors 
<NIGHT is not sure that the dative is wrong ; Cowden-Clarxe (siu^ly a good author- 
ty on matters >f womanly delicacv, — ^if not the court of last resort therein) decides foi 

kcv I, "C iii.] TJ/E MOORE OF VENICE 6l 

And bad me, if I had a Friend that lou'd her, 187 

I (hould but teach him how to tell my Story, 

And that would wooe her. Vpon this hint I fpake. 

She lou'd me for the dangers I had pad, 190 

And I lou'd her, that (he did pitty them. 

This onely is the witch-craft I haue vs'd. 192 

187. had^ hat Q,. 189. hint'\ heaU Qq. 

AwV] loued Qq. 190. bnid^ Icved Q,. 
189. wooe] woe Q,Q,. had] have Ff, Ro\re. 

ypon] On Popc+. 

the dative, and even thinks it strange that it should be questioned ; ([UDSON also is 
emphatically in favour of the dative, and exclaims at those who, * lest the lady*s deli* 
cacy should be impeached !' insist on the accusative ; ROLFE pronounces in favour of 
the dative : * That is, /or her,' and adds that what follows * favouis this explanation.' 
PuRNELL thinks it is the dative, but gives it a shade of soilness by calling it the ethical 
dative. And yet in spite of all this array, I cannot bring myself to believe that the 
voung girl's thoughts had so quickly turned to marriage, — she was still lost in the won- 
drous, pitiful story, which, although she had with earnest heart prayed for it, she now 
wished she hadn't heard ; *yei she wished ' she could herself have seen these won- 
drous sights, and have been herself the hero of these distressful strokes. Is it not a 
most natiual wish, to be the very hero himself before whose feet smooth success is 
strewed, as it had been before Othello's ? Is it unusual to hear a girl express the wish 
that she were a man ? It was not in this wish that Othello detected the * hint,' but in 
the ' Friend that loved her.' If Desdemona had expressed the wish to Othello's face, 
that Heaven had made a husband for her just like Othello himself, I doubt if the latter, 
or any one else, would have softened the expression into a * hin/.* — Ed. 

192. Lewes ( On Actors, &c., p. 5) : Even in earlier and better days there was 
much in [Kean's] performance of Othello which was spasmodic, slovenly, false. The 
address to the Senate was very bad. He had little power of elocution, unless when 
sustained by a strong emotion ; and this long, simple narrative was the kind of speech 
he could not manage at all. He gabbled over it, impatient to arrive at the phrase : 
' And this was all the witchcraft I have used. Here comes the lady, let her witness 
it* His dehvery of this 'point,' always startled the audience into applause by its 
incisive tone and its abrupt transition ; yet nothing could be more out of keeping with 
the Shakespearian character. Othello might smile with lofty disdain at the accusation 
of witchcraft, or rebut it calmly, but not make it the climax of a withering sarcasm,— 
attacking the word * witchcraft ' with high and sudden emphasis, and dropping into an 
almost disrespectful colloquialism as the lady appeared. Indeed, throughout the First 
and Second Acts, with the exception of occasional flashes (as in the passionate fervour 
with which he greets Desdemona on landing at Cyprus), Kean's Othello was rather 
irritating and disappointing, — arresting the mind, but not satisfying it. From the 
Third Act onwards, all was wrought out with a mastery over the resources of ex- 
pression such as has been seldom approached. In the successive unfolding of these 
great scenes he represented with incomparable effect the lion-like fury, the deep and 
haggard pathos, the forlorn sense of desolation alternating with gusts of stormy cries 
for vengeance, the misgivings and sudden reassurances, the calm and deadly i evo- 
lution of one not easily moved, but who, being moved, was stirred to the very depths. 

62 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. Hi. 

Here comes the Ladie : Let her witneiTe it 193 

Enter De/demona, lago. Attendants. 

Duke, I thinke this tale would win my Daughter too, 195 
Good Brabantio, take vp this mangled matter at the bed : 
Men do their broken Weapons rather vfe. 
Then their bare hands. 

Bra. I pray you heare her fpeake ? 
If (he confeiTe that (he was halfe the wooer, 200 

Deftruflion on my head, if my bad blame 
Light on the man. Come hither gentle Miftris, 
Do you perceiue in all this Noble Companie, 
Where moft you owe obedience? 

Def. My Noble Father, 205 

I do perceiue heere a diuided dutie. 

193. Two lines, Qq. Pope et seq. 

Ladii .*] Lady^ QqF^F^. 20I. on my head'\ Hteonme Qq. {Ughi 

194. Attendants.] and the reft. Qq. **• Q^Q,)* 

Scene IX. P6pc+, Jen. 203. this\ his F^ 

195. too^to^ — Q,. to; — Q^Qj. too — 204. moft you\ you moft Vog/t-^ , you 
Pope+. too. Rowe, Johns, et seq. must Waib. 

196. Good Brabantio] Separate line, 205. My Noble] Noble Pope, Han. 

Booth .* Let this line be the climax, not 'she did pity them.' After 192 : Re-enter 
Roderigo and otheis. Their return announces the lady's coming. Fechtkr's Stage 
direction here is : ' Goes to lead in Desdemona.' 

195. Booth: Othello should playftilly acknowledge this compliment Lloyd : 
This round, unvarnished tale carries conviction to all, — even to Brabantio himself; for 
though he professes to reserve his belief till his daughter shall confess whether she 
were half the wooer, he never asks her that question, but another instead, which she 
could not have answered otherwise than she did, had the accusation of witchcraft been 
well founded. 

202. Come hither] Fechter directs Othello to conduct Desdemona to the place 
he (Othello) occupied, and then retire among his followen. Booth : The ' evil eye ' 
» dreaded, even now, by superstitious Italians, more than other charms ; it is strange 
that Shakespeare did not refer to it Othello must not ' give a loop to hang a doubt 
on ' touching his influence over Desdemona ; he must not even look at her, nor, wonrc 
still, go to meet her, which the Court would not permit. But he must turn his bock 
towards her until she announces him as her husband, then let him turn and face her 
and the whole Court 

206-210. BoADEK (Life 0/ John ICemble, i, 258) : I question whether equal dis- 
crimination was ever before given [as by Mrs Siddons] to these lines: 'My noble 
lather, I do perceive here, a divided duty ; To you, I am bound, &c. But her^s my 
husband.' Moberly {^Rom. ^ Jul. II, vi, 25, in that most exquisite of all love-scenes 
where Romeo begs Juliet to 'let rich music's tongue unfold the imagined happiness ') : 
Compare the admirable way in which Desdemona, when called upon to say whethei 

ACT I. sc. lii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 63 

To you I am bound for life, and education : 207 

My life and education both do leame me, 

How to refpeft you. You are the Lord of duty, 

I am hitherto your Daughter. But heere's my Husband; 210 

And fo much dutie, as my Mother (hew'd 

To you, preferring you before her Father : [314 *] 

So much I challenge, that Imay profefle 

Due to the Moore my Lord. 

Bra, God be with you : I haue done. 215 

Pleafe it your Grace, on to the State Aflaires; 
I had rather to adopt a Child, then get it 
Come hither Moore; 

I here do giue thee that with all my heart, 
Which but thou haft already, with all my heart 220 

207, 210^ 222. /out] Pm Pope + , Dyce l^vfye^ Jen. God be wi^ym ; Cap. Glo. 

iii, Huds. Ktly. God b^wi^you! Sing, ii, Wh. i, 

209. yifu^ you^ Qq* Dyce iii, Huds. 

You are] You^re Pope + , Dyce iii, haue"] ka Qq. ka^ Jen. 

Huds. 219. with ali] wiihall Q.Q,. 

the Lordof\ Lord 0/ ail my Q,. 220. Om. Q,. 

211. Jket^d] Jkewed Qq. Which] Which^ F^ Rowe et seq. 

213. wnuh] much muft Q,. all] Om. P6pe, Han. 
215. God..,you:]GodbtiytQ(\. God 

her love for Othello grew up as he had said, confines herself^ with perfect dignity, to a 
dedantion that her duty is now to the Moor, her lord, in the same sense in which her 
mother's duty had been to her father. The same point is prettily brought out in the 
GaHUe of Fonsard, in which two loveis, Taddeo and Antonia, are imagining a conver* 
sation between two like themselves in the moon: *Ant, Et comment ripond elle? 
Tadd, Ah, je Tignore ! Ant. Eh, bien, Je le sais, moi. Todd, (ardemment) Parlez f 
que dit elle ? Ant. Rien. TeuUl. Rien ? Ant, Mais elle sourit, sur son bras s'appuie 
Et se sent tout toue et tout ipanouie/ 

208. leame] See Schmidt (Lex.) for eight or ten instances, besides the present, 
where we should now use teach. 

214, 215. Walker ( Vers., 227) : *God be with you' is, in fact, God V wi* you ; 
sometimes a trisyllable, sometimes contracted into a disyllabic ; now Good-bye. Ac- 
cordingly write : ' Due to the Moor, my lord. God b' wi' you ! I've done ' [one line. 
Sec HI, iii, 433.] 

214. Fechter : Othello advances, and kisses her hand. Brabantio, overpowered, 
resumes his seat 

217. Schmidt (Trans.) refers to a similar thought, amplified, in Much Ado^ IV, 
i, 129. 

217. get] That is, beget. For other instances of dropped prefixes, see Abbott, $ 46a 

22a White : The omission of this line in the Qto b doubtless due to an oveisigfal 
of the compositor, caused by the recuirence of the same words at the <snd both of 
and of ihft previous line. 

64 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act. i. sc in. 

I would keepe from thee. For your fake (lewell) 221 

I am glad at foule, I haue no other Child, 

For thy efcape would teach me Tirranie 

To hang clogges on them. I haue done my Lord. 

Duke, Let me fpeake like your felfe : 225 

And lay a Sentence, 
Which as a grife, or ftep may helpe thefe Louers. 227 

221. For y<mr\ And for your Han. 225. your felfe] our se/f Vfaxb, 
Cap. 227. as tf] /iJke a Ff, Rowe, Pope, Han. 

222. fouU^ /] foule. /Q,. Cap. 

224. tkem."] em, Qq. grife"] greefe Qq. 

my Lord] lord Q. (Steevens's Louers,] Ff, Rowe, Knt. louers 

Rep.). Into your fauour (reading Into,„faMOur 

225, 226. One line, Qq» Rowe et seq. as a separate line) Qq et cet. 

219 et seq. Boom : Let the actor speak these lines with anguish, and he'll 6nd 
out why the ' First Old Man ' is generally cast for so small a part ; the audience will 
tell him. 

220. hast] Equivalent to * hast it;^ the ii has been absorbed in the final / of * hast' 
Compare 'That' worthied him,' Lear^ H, ii, 116. — Ed. 

221. your] Lettsom : The sense, as well as the metre, requires * For my own sake, 
jewel.' [Although Hudson, in his ed. iii, adopts this reading of Lettsom, yet in his 
note he gives what is, to my thinking, a sufficient reason for adhering to the Folio : 
' For your sake ' can nowise be made to tally with the context, except by taking the 
phrase as equivalent to on your account, — a sense which, to be sure, it sometimes 
bears,' and which I cannot but think is the very meaning here : * It is on account of 
your example, jewel, that I am glad,' &c., is what I think Brabantio says in effect-^ 

223. escape] Cowden-Clarke : Besides its meaning of * getting forth,' < flight,' 
'elopement,' we think it probable that 'escape' here includes the sense of 'sally,' 
'prank,' as shown to be derived from the French, escapade. 

224. To hang] That is, in hanging clogs, &c. For instances of the infinitive thus 
indefinitely used, see Abbott, § 356. 

225-227. Hanmer reads and divides thus : ' Let me now speak more like yoiuself ; 
and lay || A sentence in, which, like a grise or step || May help these lovers here into yow 

225. your selfe] Warburton : It should be ' our self,' i. e. let me mediate between 
you as becomes a prince and common father of his people. The prince's opinion, here 
delivered, was quite contrary to Brabantio's sentiment. Johnson : The duke seems to 
mean, when he says he will sp)eak like Brabantio, that he will speak sententiously. 
Heath (p. 557) : That is, Let me add my own judgement in confirmation of what 
you yourself have just said. For in effect, what Brabantio had just said, implying an 
acquiescence in what was done, merely because it was done and could not be undone, 
b the very purport of the duke's speech. Sir Joshua Reynolds : That is, let me 
speak as yourself would speak vrett you not too much heated with passion. 

227. grise] Dyce (Gloss.) i A step. 'She gan anone by greces to assende Of a 
Touret in to an hye pynacle.' — Lydgate's Warres of Troy, B. i, ed. 1555. See Tiifelftk 
Night, III, i, 135 ; Tim. IV. iii. 16. 

ACT I. sc. iii.] 



When remedies are part, the griefes are ended 
By feeing the word, which late on hopes depended. 
To moume a Mifcheefe that is pafl and gon, 
Is the next way to draw new mifchiefe on. 
What cannot be prefern*d, when Fortune takes : 
Patience , her Iniury a mock'ry makes. 
The rob'd that fmiles, fteales fomething from the Thiefe, 
He robs himfelfe, that fpends a booteleffe griefe. 
Bra, So let the Turke of Cyprus vs beguile, 
We loofe it not fo long as we can fmile : 
He beares the Sentence well, that nothing beares, 
But the free comfort which from thence he heares. 
But he beares both the Sentence, and the forrow, 
That to pay griefe, muft of poore Patience borrow. 
Thefe Sentences, to Sugar, or to Gall, 
Being (Irong on both fides, are Equiuocall. 
But words are words, I neuer yet did heare : 
That the bruized heart was pierc'd through the eares. 






228. ended'\ emUd, Qq, Cap. ended; 

229. tk€ war/l"] worft F^F^. 

230. gm\ F,. 

231. new'\ more Qq, Coll. Wh. i. 

232. pre/em' d'\ pre/ertid QqFf. 
takes :'\ takes, Qq. 

233. mockery] mockery QJ^^i. mock- 
er %. 

234. the Thiefe] a thiefe Q3. 
236. So let] So, let Theob.+, Jen. 

Cyprus'] Cipres Q,. 

237. loofe] lofe QqFf. 

238, 239. beares., .comfort] cares For 
the false comforts Han. 

240. beares] heares Y^. hearsF^RowCf 
Pope, heaps Han. 

244. toords,.„heare :] tvords,.,.Aeare, 
Qq. words:,,. hear, F F^. 

245. brui3ted,„pierc*d]brui^d„,pierced 
QqFf et cet. 

piered] pieced Thcoh,+, Cap. 
eares] F^. 

227. louers] The addition of the Qq : < Into your favour * is not needed ; does it 
not, in fact, sound a little weak after the Duke has said, < Let me speak like yottrself ? 

228. Compare ' Pftst cure is still past care,* Lotf^s Lab. V, ii, 28 ; * What's gone and 
what's past help Should be past grief,' Wint, Tale, III, ii, 223; 'Things without all 
remedy Should be without regard,' Mcub, III, ii, 1 1. — Ed. 

238. nothing beares] Rann : Who is no further interested therein than barely to 
admire the moral beauties it contains. 

239. free comfort] Johnson : But the moral precepts of consolation, which are 
liberally bestowed on occasion of the sentence. 

245. pierc'd] Theobald : It is obvious that the text must be restored, as Mr War- 

buiton acutely observed to me : pieced, i. e. That the wounds of sonow were ever 

cured Gt a man made heart-whole merely by words of consolation. Jknnens : Theo- 

baldy and all after, read pieced (i. e. cured), because 'pierced' (it seems) signifies 


66 THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. ui. 

[245. the bruised heart was pierc'd through the eares]. 

wounded. TVue, so it does sometimes ; but it is also used in a good sense, as here, for 
touching, affecting, comforting, as with music, the < bruised heart ' — < the ear-pierdng 
fife/ — Pie^d is a wretched emendation ; who ever talked of piecing a bruise ? Sir 
Joshua Reynolds: Shakespeare was continually changing his fiist expression for 
another, either stronger or more unconunon ; so that very often the reader, who has 
not the same continuity or succession of ideas, is at a loss for its meaning. Many of 
Shakespeare's uncouth, strained epithets may be explained by going back to the ob- 
vious and simple expression, which is most Ukely to occur to the mind in that state. 
I can imagine that the fiist mode of expression that occurred to the poet was this : 
' The troubled heart was never cured by words.' To give it poetical force, he altered 
the phrase : * The wounded heart was never reached through the ear.' Wounded heart 
he changed to broken^ and that to < bruised,' as a more common expression. Reached 
he altered to touched^ and the transition is then easy to * pierced,' i. e. thoroughly touched. 
When the sentiment is brought to this state, the commentator, without this unravelling 
clue, expounds piercing the heart in its common acceptation wounding the hearty which, 
making in this place nonsense, is corrected to pieced the hearty which is very stiffs and, 
as Polonius says, is a vile phrase, Steevens's thoughts turn to surgery, and he sug- 
gests that as inflammation sometimes results fipom a bruise, a cure can be efiected only 
by < piercing ' or lancing. Malone : * Pierced ' is merely a figurative expression, and 
I means not wounded, but penetrated in a metaphorical sense ; thoroughly affected. 
[Malone here gives a dozen citations from Shakespeare, Spenser, Marlowe, and The 
Mirrourfor Magistrates, which merely show that what is pierced v& penetrated ; while 
the need is, in this instance, of examples in proof that piercing can mean, what Jen* 
nens rightly says it means, viz. : penetrating with a soothing or consoling power. Of 
Malone's many quotations only four are in this sense quite germane, viz. : < Honest plain 
words best pierce the ear of grief,' Lcv^s Lab. V, ii, 763 ; < With sweetest touches 
pierce your mistress' ear,' Afer, of Ven. V, i, 67 ; < Nor thee, nor them, thrice noble 
Tamburlane, Shall want my heart to be with gladness pierc'd,' Marlowe's Tambur- 
lane. Fart First, I, ii ; ' Whose [Meliboee's] sensefull words empierst his hart so neare 
That he was rapt with double rauishment,' Faerie Queene, Bk VI, ix, 233 (ed. Grosart). 
Another example Malone gives from Spenser, where, as he says, < we have the ver>' 
words of the text,' with the implication that the drift is parallel, which I do not think 
is the case. It is in the description of Sclaunder, Bk IV, viii, 231 : *Her words .... 
Which passing through the eares, would pierce the hart And wound the soule it selfe 
with grief vnkind : For like the stings of Aspes, that kill with smart. Her spightfull 
words did pricke, and wound the inner part' Malone quoted only the words which 
are italicized, probably in all honesty, and the trifling matter would not have deserved 
attention had not Knight, and Staunton, and even Dyce, been misled into citing the 
passage, assuredly without looking it up ; the two former, unfortunately, without ac- 
knowledgement to Malone. Hudson cites it, but had verified it Purnell says, that 
we must * take the word here as meaning merely reached.' Bailey (ii, 107), whose 
notes hfe (or at least, my life) is, alas, too short to dte in fiill, and whereof the 
felicity b not al¥rays in direct ratio to their length, proposed as an emendation, which 
he is 'quite sure is far more Ukely to have been Shakespeare's language' than 
either 'pierced' or 'pieced' : 'That the bruis'd heart was /^»/^^ through the ear.' — 
245. eares] See I, i, 31. 


I h umbly befeech you proceed to th'Affaires of State. 246 

Duke, The Turke with a mod mighty Preparation 
makes for Cyprus : Othello, the Fortitude of the place is 
heft knowne to you. And though we haue there a Subfti- 
tute of mod allowed fufficiencie; yet opinion, a more 250 
loueraigne Miftris of Effefb, throwes a more fafer 
voice on you : you muft therefore be content to flubber 252 

246. I.„proceed'\Be/eechyounowQf], 249. you."] you, Qq. 
Theob. Warb. Johns. Jen. Coll. Wh. i, there] here Q3. 

Ktly, Huds. Rife. J humbly be/eech you 250. sufficiencie ;] Ff, Rowc-*-, Jen. 

to proceed F^F^ {Humbly FJ. fufficiency, Qq, Cap. et cet. 

to th\..o/ State'] to the,, .of the a more] Ff, Rowe, Pope, Han, 

JlateQq, to the,., dth* State Thcoh,yfaib, Knt. a Qq et cet. 

Johns. Jen. 251. /a/er] fafe Ff, Rowe+, Cap. 

247. a mo/l] moft Qq. a Johns. Rann. 

246. I] As a trifling instance of the way in which typographical errors are perpetu- 
ated in the early editions, it may, perhaps, be worth noting that in one of my two copies 
of F this letter is exceedingly flEdnt, in the other copy it has failed to leave any im- 
pression whatever, although the type has not fallen out; the space that it should occupy 
is still there and the line begins * humbly,' &c. The compositor of F^, using F, as his 
copy, failing to note the omission of this ' I,' leaves a space at the beginning of Uie line 
and boldly starts with a capital letter : < Humbly,' &c. — Ed. 

247-254. CoLUER : As this speech is the only one in this part of the scene printed 
as prose, it may be doubted, especially from the rhythm of some of the passages, whether 
it was not originally verse. It would not be difficult to render it metricaL Deuus : 
This sudden change from verse to prose indicates a transition, correspondingly sudden, 1 
from theoretical moralizing and epigrammatic banter to the practical demands of the ( 
moment For this reason in the Ff the prose begins even in the last words of Bra- \ 
bantio's speech, whereas the Qq continue the rhythm : * Beseech you now to the affiurs \ 
of state.' 

248. Fortitude] Morel: C'est un vieux mot fran^ais que Montaigne employait 
encore ; mais il n'a jamais eu dans notre langue que le sens du latin fortitudo, force 

248. Booth : Othello leaves Desdemona with Cassio, who regards her with tender, 
yet respectful admiration. lago, at back, watches them curiously, but let him not be 
obtrusive ; he must keep in the background and assume this expression, and feel the 
curiousness, even if only one person in the whole audience sees or understands it ; the 
• censure,' as Hamlet calls it, of that one is worth all the rest. 

250. more] Coluer : The printer caught < more ' from the line below, and inserted 
it also before * sovereign ;' it is altered to most in the (MS). [Is there any good retson 
why we should not retain the < more ' of the Ff here ? — Ed.] 

251. Mistris] D'HUGUES: II est naturel que I'opinion soit r^ardie conmie souve- 
raine dans une r6publique. Cependant en France, dans le courant du XVIIe si^e, 
Pascal lui rendait le m^me timoignage k propos d'un livre italien intitule, Delia opt- 
moHe, regina del mondo, 

252. slabber] Steevens: That is, obscure. So in the First Part of Jerommo, 
1605 : ' The evening, too, begins to slubber day ' [p. 74, ed. Dodsley]. Rolfe : This 


the gloffe of your new Fortunes, with this more ftub- 253 
borne, and boyftrous expedition. 

Othe, The Tirant Cuftome, mod Graue Senators, 255 

Hath made the flinty and Steele Coach of Warre 
My thrice-driuen bed of Downe. I do agnize 
A Naturall and prompt Alacartie, 
I flnde in hardnefle : and do vndertake 

This prefent Warres againfl the Ottamites. 260 

Moft humbly therefore bending to your State, 
I craue fit difpofition for my Wife, 
Due reference of Place, and Exhibition, 263 

253- g^Jff'\ grojfe F,. grofs F^F^ 259. do\ would Q,. 

Rowc 260. This,., Warns] This.„warreQ^' 

more\most^Qmtu, F,. r^w./.iwir Q^F F^, Rowe+, Cap. 

255. Graue] great Q,. Jen. Rann. Sing. Ktly, Dyce iii, Huds. 

256. Coach] Ff, Rowe. Cooch Qq. These„,wars Mai. et cct. 

touch Pdpe ct cct Ottamites] Ottomites Q,QjFf et 

257. thrice-drtuin] thrice dnuen Q,. seq. 

258. Alacartie] F,. 263. reference] reuerence Q,. rever- 

259. m] it Thcob. i, Stecv.'Ss. ence F,F^ Rowe, Pope, Han. 
hardneffe] harness Mason. 

word occurs in Shakespeare only here, and, in the sense of slighting, slurring over, in 
Mer, of Ven, II, viii, 39 : < slubber not business for my sake.' 

253. glosse] Steevens : See Mcub, I, vii, 34 : < golden opinions Which would be 
worn now in their newest gloss.' Rolfe adds from Much Ado, III, ii, 6 : < that would 
be as great a soil in the new gloss of your marriage.' 

257. thrice-driuen] Johnson : A driven bed is a bed for which the feathers are 
selected by driving with a fan, which separates the light from the heavy. Booth says 
that he has heard his mother say that this driving of the feathers was for the purpose 
of drying them, and that not until they had been thrice driven were they considered fit 
for use. * A suggestive movement of the hands,' he adds, * might explain this.' 

357. agnixe] Murray (New Eng, Diet., s. v.) : To recognize the existence of, to 
^knowledge, to confess (with examples from Becon, Policy of fVar, 1543 ; Woolton, 
Chr. Manual, 1576. In Shakespeare only here). Morel : C'est du vieux fran^ais 

259. hardness] Schmidt {Lex.)', Hardship. Also in Cymb, III, vi, 21 : < hard- 
ness ever Of hardiness is mother.' [In the Quincy (MS) it is corrected to hardiness.] 
POTWIN (Bibliotheea Sacra, July, 1862) : Compare < endure hardness as a good soldier 
of Jesus Christ' — 2 Tim, ii, 3. 

260. This . . . Warres] Dyce (ed. iii) : No doubt formerly the plural of waf 
was sometimes used as equivalent to the singular; but in the next page Desdemona, 
speaking of the same expedition, calls it 'the war.' [5)ee I, i, 31 ; also Lear, V, iii, 
258. 'This present war' seems to be preferable to 'These present wars.' — Ed.] 

263. reference] Johnson : I desire that proper disposition be made for my wife, 
that she may have precedency and revenue, accommodation and company, suital>le to 
her rank. I should read preference. 

4CT I, sc. iii.] 



With fuch Accomodation and befort 
As leuels with her breeding. 

Duke. Why at her Fathers ? 

Bra, I will not haue it fo. 

Othe. Nor I. 

Def, Nor would I there recide, 
To put my Father in impatient thoughts 
By being in his eye. Mod Grcaious Duke, 
To my vnfolding, lend your profperous eare, 
And let me finde a Charter in your voice 
Paflift my fimpleneffe. 

Duke, What would you Defdemona ? 

Def, That I loue the Moore, to Hue with him, 




264. WWil Which Q.. 

AecomodaHon^ accomodoHoH /Q,. 

266. ff^^.../iiM^x]Ff,Rowc+,Knt, 
I»cl. If yoi^ pltftff* Mt at her fathers 
(One line) Qq, Jen. (Beginning new line 
with Beit) Cap. et cet 

267. IwiU"^ Ff, Rowe+, Rann, Knt. 
yZr Qq^ Cap. et cet 

269. Nor, . ,there'\ Ff, Rowe + . I would 
not there Knt L Nor I, I would not there 
Qq, Cap. et cet. 

272. your profperous\ a gracious Qq, 
Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Rann. Var. your 
gracious Pope, Theob. Han. Warb. 

273. Charter'\ character Ff, Rowe. 

274. T'aJ/iJi'l And if Q,. To assist 

fimpleneffe,'] fimpleneffe, — Qq. 

275. you Defdemona?] you^-fpeake, 


276. / loue] F{, Knt I did loue Qq 

et cet. 

263. Exhibition] Steevens : Allowance. The word is at present used only at the 
Universities. [See < The king .... Confined to exhibition,' Lear, I, ii, 25 and notes.] 

264. besort] Cowden-Clarke : Befitting attendance, proper retinue. Compare 
'such men as may besort your age,* Lear, I, iv, 244. 

268. Nor I] Booth : Not harshly, but firmly. 

272. prosperous] Steevens : Propitious. Morel : Le mot n'a plus en anglais le 
sens que nous trouvons ici et que le finn^ais a longtemps conserve. * S'il r6vire lea 
dieux, ils lui seront prospires ' — Desmarets, citi par Littr^. 

273. Charter] Johnson : Let your favour privilege me. Hudson : About the same 
as/Zn^ Qt guaranty. The word is used in a considerable variety of senses by Shake- 
speare, and seems to have been rather a favourite with him, as with other Englishmen, 
probably from the effect of Magna Charta and other like instruments in securing and 
pieserving the Uberties of England. 

276. I loue] Knight : Desdemona's love remains, and though the did of the Qq 
assists the rhythm, it enfeebles the sense. Cowden-Clarke : Desdemona is gentle 
even to timidity ; but, like many women whose gentleness has been wrought into timid- 
ity by a too rigid strictness of their elders, she is capable of singularly bold action and 
of self-assertion on occasion. Her independent act in leaving her father's house, and 
in marrying the man of her choice, is precisely characteristic of the one, and her present 
q>eech is an eminent specimen of the other. Encouraged by loving treatment, she is 
capable of mocal strength ; chilled by severity, she is a moral coward. 

yo THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act i, sc. iU. 

My downe-right violence, and ftorme of Fortunes, 277 

May trumpet to the world. My heart's fubdu'd [315 a\ 

Euen to the very quality of my Lord; 279 

277. and,., Fortunes^ and /come of 278. hearths /Hbdu^d'\ hearts fubdued 

FortutusQ^, to forms, my fortunes 'Wbi^. Qq. 

Fortunes'] Fortune Ktly. 279. very quality] vtmq/l plea/ure Q,. 

277. Edwards (Canons, &c., p. 144) : * Downright violence,' means the unbridled 
impetuosity with which her passion hurried her on to this unlawful mazriage; and 
' storm of fortunes * may signify the hazard she thereby ran of making shipwreck of 
her worldly interest. Both very agreeable to what she afterwards says : * to his hon- 
ours and his valiant parts Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.' Heath (p. 557) : 
That is, my entrance upon the fortunes I have chosen in that violent manner of pro- 
ceeding as if I had taken them by storm. Johnson : * Violence ' is not violence suf- 
fered, but violence acted. Breach of common rules and obligations. Perhaps the Qto 
has the true reading. M. Mason cannot understand the * storm of fortunes ' with < for- 
tunes ' in the plural, and asserts that we should read either * scorn of fortunes,' or 
* storm of Fortune,' the latter meaning < not the injuries of Fortune, but Desdemona's 
own high-spirited braving of her.' Steevens : The same mistake of scorn for * storm ' 
occurs in the old copies of Tro, &* Cress, I, i, 35 : < as when the sun doth light a 
scorn.' Dyce (Remarks, &c., p. 234) believes that scorn of the Qto was * no doubt 
right ;' but as an editor he preferred * storm.' He cites a passage, which Mason had 
dted before him, from B. and Fl.'s Honest Afan^s Fortune, IV, i: * where we find,' says 
Dyce, « according to the old eds., " He'll laugh and storm you," &c., while the ex- 
cellent MS. of that play in my possession affords the true reading : <* He'll laugh and 
scorn you," &c' Singer : * Storm ' seems to be used intensively of violence, ' the 
stormy violence I have used against my fortunes.' Hudson : The meaning, probably, 
is the state or course of life which the speaker has boldly ventured upon in forsaking 
the peacefiil home of her father to share the storms and perils, the violences and 
hardships, of a warrior's career. Scorn will not cohere with violence, unless by making 
it express a quality of Desdemona herself, not of her fortunes. She evidently means 
the violence and storm of fortunes which she has braved or encountered in marrying 
the Moor, and not any thing of a violent or scornful temper in herself. Rolfe : The 
bold action I have taken, and the stormy fortunes I have voluntarily encountered, in 
order to marry him. 

279. quality] Malone: ThsXSs, profession, < I am so much enamoured of Othello, 
that I am even willing to endure all the inconveniences incident to a military life and 
to attend him to the wars.' That this is the meaning appears not only from the read- 
ing of the Qto : * even to the utmost pleasure of my lord, i. e. so as to prompt me to go 
with him wherever he wishes I should go,' but also from the whole tenour of Desde- 
mona's speech, viz : that as she had married a soldier, so she was ready to accompany 
him to the wars, and to consecrate her soul and fortunes to his honours and his valiant 
parts ; i. e. to attend him wherever his military character and his love of fanu should 
call him. Cowden-Clarke says 'quality' here means * individual nature,' 'moral and 
mental identity.* Rolfe interprets it * very nature.' Hudson : * Quality ' is here put 
for nature, idiom, distinctive grain, or personal propriety, Desdemona means that hef 
heart is tamed and tuned into perfect harmony with the heroic manhood that has spoken 
out to her from Othello's person, that her soul gravitates towards him as its pre-estah- 


I faw Othello's vifage in his mind, 280 

And to his Honours and his valiant parts. 

Did I my foule and Fortunes confecrate. 

So that (deere Lords)if I be left behind 

A Moth of Peace, and he go to the Warre, 

The Rites for why I loue him, are bereft me : 285 

And I a heauie interim (hall fupport 

By his deere abfence. Let me go with him. 287 

280. Othello's] Othelloes Qq. Ktly. 

283. deere] my dear Qj. 285. for why] Ff, .^owc, Knt, DcL 

285. RiUs] rights Waib. Knt parts for which Qq et cet 

lished centre and home. So that the sense of the passage may be fitly illustrated from 
the I nth Sonn. : * And almost thence my nature is subdued To what it works in, like 
the dyer's hand.' [Malone's interpretation of * quality ' has been followed by Dyce, 
Singer, Deuus, and Staunton, and unquestionably it is a technical interpretation 
which ' quality ' frequently bears ; see a striking instance of it in Ham, II, ii, 333 : 
*Will they pursue the quality no longer than they can sing?' and Jd. 411, *give us a 
taste of your quality,' but I caimot think that the word has this technical sense here. 
Desdemona is vindicating her indifference to the storm of fortunes, and, glorying in 
that as a virtue which others would impute to her as a friult, proclaims that the * qual- 
ity ' in Othello which might be supposed to be most abhorrent to her, < even to that very 
quality ' her heart is subdued. What that quahty is, the connection of thought shows : 
* I saw Othello's visage in his mind ;' and as she had fallen in love with his mind, his 
honours, and his valour, without a taint of passion, so had she fallen in love with the 
very colour of his face. Henley says, that ' quality ' means * the Moorish complexion 
of Othello and his military profession^ but I do not think that the passage appeared to 
Henley as it appears to me, for he goes on to say that the < virtues of Othello had sub- 
dued her heart in spite of his visage ;' whereas the < very quality ' distinctive of Othello 
was the colour of his visage, and to that, even to that, Desdemona would trumpet to 
the world, her heart was subdued. — Ed.] 

280. RoFFE (Ghost Belief of Sh., p. 4) finds included in these words 'the all-im- 
portant hcts ' that we are all ghosts clad in gross dimensions and muddy vestures of 
decay ; that the ghost, which is truly the man, b in a human form as much as the 
body is ; and that the body is in that form simply because the ghost or soul is so. 
' The conmion expression that we see the mind in the countenance, of course conveys a 
truth, or rather a part of the truth ; but Desdemona's words are fuller, for they give the 
fiict that the mind has a visage of its awn^ 

285. Rites] Warburton: Without question Shakespeare wrote rights, i. e. the 
right of sharing his dangers with him. Othello tells the Senate : * She lov'd me for 
the dangers I had passed,' and she was now desirous of sharing with him what were 
to come. Keightley {Exp., 299) : Is not this, whether we read * rites ' or rights, 
rather indelicate coming from the Ups of Desdemona? Juliet {Rom, ^ Jul, III, ii, 8) 
might, to herself, speak of the * amorous rites,' but for Desdemona to do so befon: the 
Senate of Venice I impossible. Would it not, then, be better to read parts t She had 
jUst said, that it was < for his honours and his valiant parts ' she loved him« 

287. deere] See Wright's definition, line 102. 


THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act. i. sc. iii. 

Othe, Let her haue your voice. 
Vouch with me Heauen, I therefore beg it not 
To pleafe the pallate of my Appetite : 
Nor to comply with heat the yong afTeAs 
In my defun£l, and proper fatisfaflion. 




288, 289. Let,.,I'\ Yourvoyces Lords: 
be/eeeh you Ut her will, Haue a free way, 
I Q,, Pope + , Cap. Your voyces Lords : 
hefeech you let her wiU Haue a free way : 
Vouch with me heauen, I (reading Haue 
a free way as a separate line) Q.Q,f Rowe, 
Jen. Steev. Mai. Rann. Var. Sing. Ktly, 
Coll. iii, Dyce iii, Huds. {^Ido befeech you 
Ut Her will Rann. As a separate Une, 
Your voices, lords Ktly, Coll. iii, Dyce iii, 

288. haue your voice"] Ff, Knt, Sta. 
Del. have your voices Dyce i, Wh. Glo. 
Cam. Rife. 

291, 292. heat.^defumfl,] F,, Rowe, 
Wh. i. heaie, the young offers In my 
defun^, Qq. heat theyottng effe^s In my 
defun/t, Ff (yong F,). heat the young 

affects. In my defunct Pope, Knt heaf 
the young affects In my defunct Warb. 
heat, the young Affects, In my distinct 
Theob. Steev.*93. heat affects the young. 
In my distinct Han. heat, the young Af- 
fects, In my defunct Johns. Coll. i, Del. 
heat, (the young affects In me defunct) 
Upton, Cap. Jen. Sing. Dyce, Glo. Sta. 
Cam. CoU. iu. Rife, Wh. ii. heat, (the 
young effects In me defunct) Steev.*8s. 
heat, the young affects. In my disjunct 
Mai. Var. heat, (the young affect* s In 
me defunct) Rann. heat of the young 
affects In my distinct KUy. loi* th' heat 
of young affects, — In medefunct^ — Huds. 
iii. heat, and young affects. In my dis' 
ti$ict Steev. conj . heat, and young affects^ 
In my disjunct Rann. conj. 

288, 289. I do not think that the Qq here give us a reading which b of 
importance. There is a tone of humble, almost servile, entreaty in < beseech yoo,' 
which jars a little on the dignified, < cnbonneted ' bearing of Othello throughout this 
«cene. — Ed. 

291, 292. heat . . . defundt] Theobald was the first to note the obscurity of this 
passage, which, as it had been theretofore printed, he pronounced a * period of as stub- 
bom nonsense as the editors have obtruded upon poor Shakespeare throughout hi& 
whole works ;' the difficulty lay, he thought, in the word < defunct,' which ' signifies 
nothing else either primitively or meti4>horically ' than dead; and Othello could not 
mean to say that ' appetite was dead in him,' because he afterwards says, ' I am de- 
dined Into the vale of years; yet that^s not much,* Wherefore Theobald changed 
* defunct' to distinct, and paraphrased the passage thus: < I do not beg her company 
with me, merely to please myself; nor to indulge the heat and affects (i. e. affections) 
of a new-married man, in my own distinct and proper satisfaction, but to comply with 
her in her request and desire of accompanying me.' Shakespeare, he adds, uses 
'affects' for affections in several other passages which are cited. Upton (p. 183), 
reading 'the young affects' in parenthesis, says that 'defunct' is 'not to be taken 
strictly here as signifying absolutely dead, but almost so ; or from the Latin defunctus, 
it might mean, discharged from youthful appetite, and proper to his age and character. 
So afterwards (H, i, 262), lago says, " there should be loveliness in favour, sympathy 
hi years, manners, beauties, all which the Moor is defective in." Now, if any alter- 
ation be proposed, instead of " defunct " the properest word seems defect : " In my 
defect and proper satisfaction," in whic sense the Latins use defectus. Or what if, 
with a slighter variation still, we read : " Nor to comply with heat (the young affects 
In me defunct) and proper " ? &c.' Warburton paraphrases thus : ' with that heat and 

ACT I. sc. iii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 73 

[291, 292. heat the yong affedts In my defundt]. 
new affecdoDS which the indulgence of my appetite has raised and created ;' and then 
dogmatically adds : * this is the meaning of ** defunct," which has made all the diffi- 
culty of the passage.' Johnson, whose note, wherein he follows Upton's ' in m^ de- 
funct,' does not agree with his text, says: * I do not think Theobald's emendation 
clears the text from embarrassment, though it is, with a little imaginary improvement^ 
received by Hanmer. Warbuxton's explanation is not more satisfactory : what made 
the difficulty will continue to make it. ** Affects " here stands not for hve^ but for 
quality t for that by which anything is affected. " I ask it not," says he, <* to please 
appetite, or satisfy loose desires, the passions of youth which I have now outlived, or 
for any particular gratification of mjrself, but merely that I may indulge the wishes of 
my wife." ' Steevens : In The Bondman (I, iii, p. 29, ed. Gifford) by Massinger is a 
passage which seems to countenance and explain * the young affects In me defunct^ 
Hmoleon is the speaker, and says to Qeon, < youthful heats. That look no further than 
your outward fonn. Are long since buried in me.' Tyrwhitt (p. 5) : If I could per- 
suade the reader, as I am almost persuaded myself, that lines 292 and 293 have by 
some accident changed places, and that the passage ought to read : * Nor to comply 
with heat, the young affects ; But to be free and bounteous to her mind, In my defunct 
and proper satisfaction,' I would then recommend it to consideration, whether the 
word ' defunct ' (which would be the only remaining difficulty) is not capable of a sig- 
nification drawn from the primitive sense of its Latin original, which would very well 
agree with tbe context Tollet: I would propose: *In my defend t^ or defend d^ 
&c., i. e. I do not beg her company merely to please the palate of my appetite, nor to 
comply with the heat of lust which the young man affects^ i. e. loves and is fond of, in 
a gratification which I have by marriage defined, or inclosed and guarded, and made 

my own property I am persuaded that the word * defunct ' must be at all events 

ejected. Henley : Othello here supposes that his petition for the attendance of his 
bride might be ascribed to one of these two motives : either solicitude for the enjoy- 
ment of an unconsummated and honourable mairiage, or the mere gratification of a 
sensual and selfish passion. But as neither was the true one, he abjures them both : 
' I therefore beg it not To please the palate of my i^ppetite ; Nor to comply with heat 

( } and proper satisfaction.' The fonner, having nothing in it unbecoming, he 

simply disclaims; but the latter, ill-according with his season of life, he assigns a reason 
for renouncing : ' the young affects In me defunct* As if he had said, ' I have out- 
lived that wayward impulse of passion by which younger men are stimulated.' By 
<yocmg affects ' the poet clearly means those 'youthful lusts' which St. Paul admon- 
ishes Timothy to flee firom and the Romans to mortify. Malone : For the emendation 
disjunct I am responsible. Some emendation is absolutely necessaiy, and this appears 
to me the least objectionable of those which have been proposed. To the reading of 
Upton * (the young affects In me defunct),' there are three strong objections. The first 
is, the suppression of the word being before defunct^ which is absolutely necessary to 
the sense, and of which the omission is so harsh that it affords an argument against the 
probability of the proposed emendation. The second and the grand objection is, that 
it is highly improbable that Othello should declare on the day of his marriage that the 
youthful affections were dead in him. He himself (as Theobald has observed) informs 
us afterwards that he is ' declined into the vale of years ;' but adds at the same time, 
' yet that's not much! This surely is a decisive proof that the text is corrupt My 
third objection to Upton's regulation is, that by the introduction of a parenthesis, which 
IS not found in the old copies, the words ' and proper satisfaction ' are so unnaturally 

74 THE TRAGEDIE OF 01 HELLO [act i. sc. liL 

[291, 292. heat the yong afiTedts In my defundt]. 
disjoined from those with which they are connected in sense, as to form a most lame 
and impotent conclusion; to say nothing of the awkwardness of using the word 'proper' 
without any possessive pronoun prefixed to it. All these difficulties are done away by 
retaining the original word < my/ and reading disjunct^ instead of ' defunct ;' and the 
meaning will be, ' I ask it not for the sake of my separate and private enjoyment, trj 
the gratification of appetite, but that I may indulge the wishes of my wife.' Rann 
(reading 'the young affect's In me defunct ') : ' The tumult of such young desires is at 
my time of life considerably abated.' Rann here anticipates Gifford, who in his note 
on the passage in Massinger's Bondman^ cited by Steevens, says : ' " Affects " occurs 
incessantly in the sense of passions^ affections : ** young affects " are, therefore, per- 
fectly synonymous with ymUhfid heats, Othello was not an old man, though he had 
lost the fire of youth ; the critics might, therefore, have dismissed that concern for the 
lady, which they have so delicately conununicated for the edification of the rising gen- 
eration I would wish the future editors of Shakespeare to consider whether he 

might not have given affect in the singular (this also is used for passion) to corre- 
spond with heat* Knight : ' Comply ' may be used in the sense of supply, * affects ' 
are affections, and * defunct ' does not necessarily mean dead. Tyrwhitt considers that 
* defmnct ' may be used in the Latin sense of performed. As Junction has the same 
Latin root, we would suggest that Shakespeare used < defunct ' for functional, and then 
the meaning is clear : ' nor to gratify the young affections in my official and individual 
satisfaction.' Collier (ed. i) : * In my defunct and proper satisfaction ' is merely * in 
my own dead satisfaction ' or gratification, the youthful passions or < young affects ' being 
comparatively * defunct ' in him. For the sense, though not for the harmony of the 
verse, it ought to have run ' for my proper and defunct satisfaction ;' and had it so 
run, we doubt if so much ink would have been spilt and wasted upon it It requires 
no proof that 'proper' was often used for own, Dyce {Remarks, p. 235) apprehends 
that ' few persons will be satisfied with Coiner's explanation ; nobody, assuredly, with 
Knight's,' and then cites the passage already given from Massinger's Bondman, to- 
gether with one from Fletcher's Fair Maid of the Inn, I, i, first cited by Gifford, to 
show, as Gifford had already observed, how these lines of Shakespeare were under- 
stood by his contemporaries. 'They also show,' adds Dyce, 'that Upton's alteration 
of "my" io me\& absolutely necessary.' Both Dyce and Gifford approve of Johnson's 
explanation. Collier (ed. ii) gives the lines as they are made to stand in his (MS), 
thus : ' Nor to comply wi' the young affects of heat (In me defunct) and proper satis- 
faction.' JouRDAiN (Trans. Philolog, Soc,, i860, p. 139) is anticipated by Tyrwhitt 
in suggesting that the lines should be transposed, but asserts as ' his firm persuasion ' 
that ' defunct ' is a misprint for default, meaning ' in my want of appearance, in my 
absence, and for my own satisfaction.' For the use of default in this sense Jourdain 
cites several examples. White (ed. i) : Utterly unable either to explain this passage 
or to suggest in what particular it may be corrupted, I leave it exactly as it appears in 
the old copies. Of the page after page of comment which has been written upon it, 
and the several conjectural attempts which have been made to modify it into intelligi- 
bility, only Johnson's appears worthy of notice That Shakespeare, although he 

may very probably have written ' comply with heat,' wrote ' comply with proper satis- 
faction,' I think almost impossible. Bailey (ii, 102) is dissatisfied with all that has 
been said about this passage, and asserts that nothing can be less felicitous than John- 
ton's text, wherein the parenthesis and the change of ' my ' to me combine ' to ruin the 
meaning of the speaker, which yet seems plain enough.' ' The epithet " young " does 


[291, 292. heat the yong affedts In my defundt]. 
not refer, as is generally supposed, to young people or the young, but to the recency 
of his maiiiage.' pVherefore Bailey proposes to read :] ' Nor to comply with heat of 
young affects/ ' Instead of merely <* heat,'' th*heat might be put with advantage and 
with the probability that it was the original reading. This slight emendation gives to 
the line clearness, precision, and propriety.' ' « Defbnct " is used in its etymological 
sense to have done with, like " defimctus laboribus " of Horace, and by its use here 
Othello refers to the gratification of his moments of leisure and privacy, when he 
would be free from the duties of his office. Perhaps, to comprise the same meaning 
in another single epithet, we could not select a better than unofficial: "In my un- 
official and proper or personal satisfaction." ' Keightley {Expositor, p. 300) after 
citing Upton's reading, asks : * But can any one produce a single instance of Shake- 
speare's thus interposing a parenthesis between two substantives connected by a copula, 
or forming a setitence like that in the parenthesis ? and what can be more rugged and 
disjointed than the whole passage as thus arranged ? Would not the following not 
very violent corrections make the whole more Shakespearian and more harmonious ? 
[See Textual Notes.] ** Distinct and proper " means separate and peculiar. Distinct, 
the correction of " defiinct," I r^ard as nearly certain. Its meaning here is separate. 
** Sheds stuff 'd with lambs and jgoats, distinctly kept. Distinct the biggest, the more 
meaQ distinct. Distinct the youngest." — Chapman, Odyss., ix, 34.' Daniel {Notes, 
&C., p. 77) : Read : * heat the young affects — In me defunct — but for her satisfaction 
And to be,' &c. Hudson adopts this reading with the remark that it seems to him 
' one of the happiest emendations ever made of the Poet's text. Nor can the changes 
be justly termed violent ; 9Aforher might easily get misprinted ** proper ;" and such trans- 
positions as and and but are among the commonest of typographical errors.' Daniel in- 
terprets ' the young affects ' as that ' which affects the young,' in which interpretation he 
follows Deuus, who conceived himself justified therein by Malone, but over which Dyce 
lifts his hands in wonder at * what Gifford would have thought if he had lived to read 
it. RoLFE : Othello only means that the early impetuosity of youthfiil passions is past 
— that he can control them, and is no longer controlled by them. White (ed. ii) : 
The parenthetic passage is in a very doubtful condition. The confession put into 
Othello's mouth is the last that a lover would make, and on this occasion, especially 
after Desdemona's foregoing speech. Hudson : * " Defunct " properly goes with " heat,*' 
not with '* affects." Othello means simply that the heat of youthful impulse has cooled 
down, that his passions have become tempered to the rule of judgement.' Hudson 
agrees with Bailey in thinking that < with ' should be with the, regarding it as a case 
of absorption, as in < Bring her to Try with Maine-course,' Temp, I, i ; ' Let's all sink 
wtM' King,' lb. [Cf. also * Holds such an enmity with' blood of man,' Ham. I, v, 65, 
and Allen's note in Rom. ^ Jul., p. 429.] Hudson adds, 'that to *< comply with 
one's own satisfaction " is not and never was English, as it seems to me.' [Is not 
this the speech to be expected from Othello after what Desdemona had just said ? As 
there was no alloy of passion in her love for him whose visage she saw in his mind, 
and to whose honours she had consecrated her soul, so Othello proclaimed that it was 
far the nobler intercourse of marriage that he wanted Desdemona to accompany him, 
to be free and bounteous to her mind, not to please the palate of his appetite ; and in 
laying this, he wishes as delicately as possible to intimate that the 'compulsive ardour' 
of ' flaming youth,' as Hamlet calls it, was over for him. This, I think, is the idea 
which, if we heard the speech on the stage only, we should all gather from it, nor dc 
the various emendations and changes convey any very different meaning. Here then« 

76 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. iiu 

But to be free, and bounteous to her minde : 293 

And Heauen defend your good foules, that you thinke 

I will your ferious and great bufineffe fcant 295 

When fhe is with me. No, when light wing'd Toyes 

Of feather*d Cupid, feele with wanton dulneffe 297 

293. to Arr] of hirQ^, 297. Of\ And Qq. 

295- greail goodq!\. feeU] F,F,. foylesC^, /eelRowt 

296. Wl«i] Ff, Rowc, P6pc, Knt. For iL /<w/Popc+,Jcn.CoU.Ktly. feelY^fX 

Qqctcct CCL 

m^.] me; — Qq. me — Rowe, dulnejfel dtUliance Theob. conj. 

Pope, Han. (withdiawn). 

I think, we may rest The object of the speaker is attained ; he has given us his 
meaning. As a mere intellectual amusement we may inquire into the passage more 
curiously, and rearrange the puzzle while retaining the sense; the pleasure and the 
ptofit will, by the exerdse, accrue to ourselves alone, with but little likelihood of ever 
heading, except in imagination, a band of converts. Moreover, in the inexplicable pas- 
sages in Shakespeare, like <the runaway's eyes,' <the dram of eale,' 'Vllorxa,' the 
present passage, and others, after the printers have borne all the obloquy which we can 
heap upon them, might we not frown a little at Shakespeare himself? He must have 
written rapidly. Would his fame be seriously impaired or stabbed to the centre, if we 
cautiously whispered among ourselves that he now and then wrote carelessly ? — Ed.] 

294. defend . . . soules] Steevens says, and he has been followed by all editors 
who have noticed the word, that < defend ' here means to forbid, a meaning which it 
undoubtedly bears in many passages ; but it may be doubted if it be worth while to 
reject here its ordinary meaning ; if it has a military flavour it b certainly not inappro- 
priate to Othello. Abbott gives prevent as its equivalent, which to me is scarcely better 
atizn forbid. — £d. Coluer (Notes, &c., p. 451): 'Good souls' htoamt counsels in 
the (MS). Othello would hardly apply < good souls' to the Duke and Senators of 
Venice. [Certainly a plausible emendation, which evidently gave Dyce pause ; he ad- 
vises (Few Notes, p. 149) * an editor of Shakespeare to weigh it well before he adopts 
it.' * What is the meaning,' he asks, < of ** Heaven defend your cotmsels " ?' adding in 
parenthesis : < If *< defend " be equivalent here, as Steevens supposes, to forbid, the 
alteration [^counsels'] must be decidedly wrong.' — Ed.] 

294. that . . . think] Abbott, $368: 'Think' seems used subjunctively, and 
*that' as a conjunction, in this passage, i. e. 'that 3rou (should) think.' 

296. When] Is there any urgent reason for deserting the Ff here ? For those, how- 
ever, who prefer the Qq» Abbott, § 151, gives many examples where For is equivalent 
to because. — Ed. 

297. seele] Harting (p. 69) : ' Seeling,' consisted in sewing a thread through the 
upper and under eyelids of a newly-caught hawk to obscure the sight for a time, and 
accustom her to the hood. Turbervile, in his BooJk of Falconrie, 1575, gives the fol- 
lowing directions ' how to seele a hawke ' : ' Take a needle threeded with untwisted 
thread, and (casting your Hawke) take her by the beake and put the needle through 
her eye-lidde, not right against the sight of the eye, but somewhat nearer to the beake, 
because she may see backwards. And you must take good heede that you hurt not 
the webbe, which is under the eye-lidde, or on the inside thereof. Then put youi 
needle also through that other eye-lidde, drawing the endes of the thread together, tye 

ACT I, sc. iii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE jj 

My fpeculatiue, and offic'd Inftrument : 298 

That my Difports corrupt, and taint my bufmeflfe : 

Let Houfe-wiues make a Skillet of my Helme, 300 

298. offi^d'\ actiue Qq* Johns. Jen. 299. my businejfe] by business Steev 

Steev. Mai. Var. CoU. Wh. i, Ktly, Huds. '85. 

Inftrument'\ Ff, Rowe, Cap. Knt, 300. Hou/e-wiues'^ hufwiues Qq. 

Sing. Del. inftrumtnts Qq et cet SkilUt'\ skelUi Qq. 

them over the beake not with a stzaight knotte, but cut off the thieedes endes neare to 
the knotte and twist them together in such sorte, that the eye-liddes may be raysed so 
upwards, that the Hawke may not see at all, and when the threed shall ware loose or 
untyed, then the Hawke may see somewhat backwardes, which is the cause that the 
threed is put nearer to the beake. For a Sparrow*hawke should see somewhat back- 
wardes, and a Falcon forwardes. The reasO is that if the Sparrow-hawke should see 
Ibrwardes, shee would beat off her feathers or break them when she bateth upon the 
fist, and seeing the companie of men, or such like, she would bate too much.* Sir 
Emerson Tennant (Sketches of the Nat, Hist, of Ceylon, p. 246), says : ' Where it [the 
goshawk] is trained for hawking, it is usual, in lieu of a hood, to darken its eyes by 
means of a silken thread passed through holes in the eyelids.* This practice of 'seel- 
ing,* has happily given way to a great extent to the more merciful use of the hood. 
[See post. III, iii, 242; also notes on ' seeling night,* Macb, III, ii, 46. — Ed.] Wright 
(Bible Word-Book, s. v. Cieled) : The etymology of this word is obscured by the spell- 
ing, which seems to connect it with the Fr. del. It cielo, < a canopy.* To seel or seele 
a room was to cover it with boards, or wainscotting, like Fr. plancher. To seel the eyes 
of a hawk or dove (Fr. siller les yeux) was to sew up their eyelids. * What we now call 
the ceiling was formerly called the wp^-seeling, Fr. sus-lambris, to distinguish it from 
the seeling or wainscotting on the walls.* — ^Wedgwood, Diet. 

298. Malone : * Speculative instruments,* in Shakespeare's language, are the eya, 
and 'active instruments,* the hands and feet. As 'seel* is here metaphorically used, 
it applies very properly to the * speculative instruments ;' but foils, of the Qq, agrees 
better with ' active instruments.* Knight : The modem editors have made up a text 
between the Qto and Ff. They reject the foils of the Qto, and adopt the ' seel * of 
the Yf, while they substitute the active of the Qto for the < offic*d * of the Ff. Having 
accomplished this hocus-pocus, they tell us that speculative instruments are the eyes, 
and active instruments the hands and feet; that to 'seel* is to close the eyelids of a 
bird, which applies very properly to the speculative instruments, but that foils better 
suits the active. It is theur own work they are quarrelling with, and not that of the 
anther. Either reading b good, if they had let it alone. The speculative and actn/e 
instruments, which are foiled, are the thoughts and the senses ; the speculative and 
ofi^d instrument, which is seeled, is the whole man in meditation and in action. When 
the poet adopted the more expressive word seel, he did not leave the ugly anomaly 
which the oommentatois have made. He took the whole man as an instrument, sprit- 
ual and material, and metaphorically seeled the perceptions of that instrument. [Cf. 
' no speculation in those eyes,' Afacb. Ill, iv, 95.] 

50a Skillet] Haluwkll : It is unlikely that the poet had any substantial image 
in his mind when penning this line ; but, nevertheless, the following note, communi- 
cated by Mr Fairholt, is an exceedingly curious one : ' The Museum of London An- 
dqiiities, formed by C Roach Smith, F. S. A., furnishes a curious illustration of this 
posng^ proving the custom of so turning an old helmet to use. In this instance 1 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i, sc. iil 

And all indigne, and bafe aduerflties, 
Make head againft my Eftimation. 

Duke. Be it as you fhall priuately determine, 
Either for her ftay, or going : th'Affaire cries haft: 
And fpeed muft anfwer it. 

Sen, You muft away to night. 

Othe, With all my heart 

Duke, At nine i*th*moming, here wee*l meete againe. 
Othello^ leaue fome Officer behind 
And he fhall our Commiflion bring to you : 
And fuch things elfe of qualitie and refpe£l 
As doth import you. 

Othe, So pleafe your Grace, my Ancient, 





302. Eftimatim\ reputation Qq, Coll. 

304. EitAer] t?rPopc+. 
Aer] Om. Q,. 

tfC Affaire cries] the affaires cry 


305. anfwer t/.] anfwer^ you muft 
hence to night, Qq. anfwer. You must 
hence to-night. Pope + , Jen. Coll. iii. an- 
swer it. You must hence to-night, Johns. 
Cap. Steev. Mai. Rann. Var. Coll. ii, Ktly. 
answer' t; you must hence to-night. Cam. 

306. ^n.You,„night'\ iyt{d,Tonight 

my Lord? Du. This night, Qq, Theob. 
Warfo. Johns. Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Rann. 
Var. Coll. Cam. Ktly. Des. To-night^ my 
lord, to-night f Pope, Han. I . Sen. You , , , 
night, Duke. This night, Wh. i. 
308. nine] ten Q,. 

311. And fuch] Ff, Rowe+. Cap. Jen. 
Rann. Knt. With fuch Qq et cet. 

and refpect] or reflect Q,. 

312. import] conceme Q,. import to 
FjF^, Rowe. 

313. So] Om. Qq, Popc+, Cap. Jen. 
Steev. Mai. Rann. Var. Coll. Wh. i. 

crested Morion of the sixteenth centtuy has been fitted with a hook and chain, and 
fonned into a camp-kettle. It was found in dredging the Thames near the Tower of 

301. indigne] Dyce {Gloss,) i Unworthy, disgraceful. 

303. Booth : After consultation with the Senatois. 

306. Booth : Rodeiigo shows alarm at this, but lago quiets him. This must not 
interfere with the action of the scene, but merely be suggested. 

306. In reference to the reading of the Qq, Knight says : It appears to us that the 
careful rejection of the speech of Desdemona was a great improvement in the Folio. 
CoLUER (ed. ii) : It is surely very natural that Desdemona should express surprise at 
the suddenness of the command, and our persuasion is, that the words were left out in 
the Folio by accident. White (ed. i) : In my judgement Shakespeare probably wrote 
the passage originally as in the Qq, but modified it from a consciousness that Desde- 
mona had already expressed with sufficient candour the nature of her feelings towards 
Othello, and that both delicacy and truth of characterization would be gained by sup- 
pressing her exclamation. 

308. nine] Booth : Probably the hour of rehearsal in Shakespeare's time. 

312. As doth] For other instances of singular verbs in relative sentences where the 
antecedents are plural, see Abbott, § 247 ; also, ' it is not words that shakes roe thus,' 
IV, i, 50; « they laugh, that winnes,* IV, i, 141 ; « you [gods] that stirs,' Lear, II, iv, 271. 

ACT I, sc. iii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 79 

A man he is of honefty and truft : 

To his conueyance I afligne my wife, 315 

With what elfe needfull, your good Grace fliall think 

To be fent after me. 

Duke, Let it be fo : 
Good night to euery one. And Noble Sig^ior, 
If Vertue no delighted Beautie lacke, 320 

Your Son-in-law is farre more Faire then Blacke. 

Sen, Adieu braue Moore, vfe Defdemona well. 

Bra, Looke to her(Moore)if thou haft eies to fee : 
She ha's deceiu'd her Father, and may thee. Exit, 324 

316. good'\ Om. Qj. Ktly. 

319. [to Bra. Cap. 324, deceiu^d'\ deceiud^dQ^, deceivd'J 

320. deiighted'\ delighting Han. Cap. Q,. 

322. Sen.] I Sena. Qq. and may thee] may doe thee Q,. 

323. if„,eies'] haue a quiche eye Q,, Exit.] Exeunt. Qq. 
Johns. Jen. Steev. MaL Rann. Var. Sing. 

313-315. So . . . wife] Coleridge (Nota, &c., 250) : Compare this with the be- 
haviour of Leontes to his true friend Camillo. 

316. needfuU] Rolfe: That is, whatever else your grace shall think needful, &c. 
For many similar transpositions, see Abbott, $419 a. Cf. 'whiter skin of hers then 
snow,' V, ii, 6. 

320. delighted] Warburton : This is a senseless epithet. We should read he- 
lighted^ i. e. white and fair. Johnson : I should rather read delight or. Delight for 
deUctation or power of pleasing^ as it is frequently used. Steevens : The meaning is, 
if virtue comprehends everything in itself, then your virtuous son-in-law is, of course, 
beautiful ; he has that beauty which delights every one. * Delighted ' for delighting, 
Shakespeare often uses the active and passive participles indiscriminately. The same 
sentiment occuis in Twelfth Night, III, iv, 403. Tyrwhiti' : « Delighted * is used for 
delighting or delightful in Cymb. V, iv, 102. [In illustration of ' the delighted spirit ' 
m Meas, for Meas, III, i, RiTSON cites from Sir Thos. Herbert's Relation of Some 
Years Travels, &c., 1634, p. 104 : ' Mirza .... gave a period to his miseries in this 
world by supping a delighted cup of extreame poyson,' which Walker {Crit., ii, ii) 
interprets as meaning rendered delicious by the admixture of certain ingredients. 
Thereupon Walker queries if ' delighted ' be not used here in Othello nearly as in Her- 
bert — that is, endowed with cUl^hts, delidis exomata, Deuus adopts this interpre- 
tation, and it is to me also eminently satisfactory both here and in Meas. for Meas, : * If 
virtue lacks not beauty that is endowed with every delightsome quality, Then,' &c. — Ed.} 

323-325. Looke . . . faith] Coleridge (Notes, &c., 251) : In real life, how da 
we look back to little speeches as presentimental of, or contrasted with, an affecting 
event ? Even so, Shakespeare, as secure of being read over and over, of becoming a 
&mily friend, provides this passage for his readers and leaves it to them. 

324. Lloyd : Thus k is that the Venetian Senate comes to the truth of a matter, 
and the impression thus gained of its judiciousness gives great emphasis to the parting 
words of the Senator as he goes out The words fall on the heart like an omen ; it is 
tme, then, that the Senator recognizes as no improbability the ill-treatment of Desde- 

8o THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. liL 

Otlie, My life vpon her faith. Honeft la^o, 325 

My Defdemona muft I leaue to thee : 
I piythee let thy wife attend on her, 
And bring them after in the bed aduantage. 
Come Defdemona, I haue but an houre 

Of Loue, of wordly matter, and direflion 33O 

To fpend with thee. We muft obey the the time. Exit, 

Rod, lago, 

lago. What faift thou Noble heart? 

Rod. What will I do, think'ft thou ? 334 

325. faUh,'] faUk; Q,. faith Q,. 331. the the] F,. 

327. prythee\ preethee Q,. prethee Q, Exit] Exit Moore and Defde- 
QJP^F^, mana. Qq. Exeunt Manent Rodorigo 

328. them"] her Qq, Pope+, Jen. Coll. and lago. Pope. 

Wh. i. Scene X. Pope+, Jen. Scene V. A 

the] their Ff, Rowe. dark Street Booth. 

330. won/fy] F^. 332. /ago,] /ag^o— Johns. Cap. Sta. Glo. 
matter] Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Jen. Dyce in, Huds. Rife, Wh. ii. 

Knt, Sta. matters Qq, Mai. et cet 333. /aiyl] sayest Rowe+, Jen. 

331. fpend] fpeake F,. fpeah F,F^, 334. Mi>f^>?]Mi>tit$((?Q,.Rowe+,Var. 
Rowe+. Coll. Sing. Dyce, Glo. Cam. Ktly, Rife. 

thee,] thee, Qq. 

mona by the gallant husband she has chosen for herself at such a sacrifice. Even so^ 
and the words strengthen the sense of separation between the Moorish and the Vene- 
tian noble ; for addressed by one equal to another, they would justify an answer with 
the hand at the sword-hilt 

324. Fbchter : Brabantio goes out last, disengaging himself from his daughter, who 
attempts to kiss his hand ; and addressing Othello with threatening irony. Booth : 
Exeunt Duke and Senators. All bow to them as they pass. Desdemona appeals, in 
action, to her father. 

326. Lloyd : Some critics moralize the fate of Desdemona as punishment for un- 
dutiful and ill-assorted marriage, yet the punishment falls quite as severely on the 
severity of Brabantio,— on his cruelty, we may say, for he is the first,— and out of un- 
natural pique, — to belie his own daughter's chastity. Morel : Ce premier acte nous a 
donn6 jusqu'ici une exposition complete du sujet. Othello, Desd6mone, lago, Cassio^ 
les caractires de tous les personnages prindpaux nous sont d6j& parfaitement connns; 
tous les faits dont le jeu et les cons^uences am^neront les p^pities diveises de Tac- 
tion sont indiquds, toutes les donn^es du probUme dramatiques sont fix6es. — Les deux 
vers dits par Brabantio sont le prelude d'une phase nouvelle de Pintrigue : ils nous font 
pressentir les suites tragiques de ces amour sur lesquilles ptee d^ la premiere heure la 
mal^ction d'un pire. 

328. aduantage] Johnson : Fairest opportunity. 

329. GuizoT : C'est justement le contraire de ce que Voltaire a fiut dire i Orosmaae. 
cet autre jaloux, dans Zaire: < Je vais donner une heure aux soins de mon empire Et Ic 
reste du jour sera tout i Zaire.' 

334. will] The despairing emphasis laid on this word shows, I think, why it is used, 
and DoC shall, — ^£d. 

ncr I, sc. iiL] THE MOORE OF VENICE 8l 

lago. Why go to bed and fleepe. 335 

Rod. I will incontinently drowne my felfe. 

lago. If thou do'ft, I fliall neuer loue thee after. Why 
thou filly Gentleman ? 

Rod. It is fiUyneffe to liue, when to Hue is torment : 
and then haue we a prefcription to dye, when death is 340 
our Phyfition. 

lago. Oh villanous : I haue look'd vpon the world 
for foure times feuen yeares, and fmce I could diftinguifh 343 

337. If thou do'Jf^ F^ Rowe, Pope, et cet. 

Han. Knt, Dycc, Glo. Sta. Cam. Huds. 339. tormentl Ff, Knt, Dycc, Glo. Sta. 

Rlfe,Wh.u. WeU,iftKoudoeft^eifxX, Cam. Huds. Rife, Wh. u. a torment^ 

after,"] after it, Qq^ Jen. Steey. et cet. 

Mai. Var. CoU. Wh. i, Del. 340. haue we] we kaue Qq. 

337, 338. Why.„Gentieman] Separate prefcription to dye] prefcription^ 
Une, Qq, Theob. Warfo. to dye Qq. 

338. Gentleman f] Yf, Gentleman, Q, 342. OA villanous] Om. Q,. 

Q^ Gentleman, (ly Gentleman / Rowt IAaue]IAaQq. lAa^Jta, 

336. incontinently] Rolfe : Immediately ; used by Shakespeare here only ; see 
'incontinent,' IV, iii, 16, in the same sense. Morel: Le mot, employ^ par Mon- 
taigne et Amyot, a 6t6 introduit en anglais par les ^crivains du XVIe si^e, mais ne 
s'est pas impost k Pusage. 

338. Gentleman] Booth : Tapping him playfully on the forehead. Roderigo is a 
gentleman, though a silly one, not a 'stage-idiot* 

343. yeares] Malonb : From this, Iago*s age may be ascertained ; and it corresponds 
with the account in the novel on which OtAello is founded, where he is described as a 
young, handsome man. [Le Tourneur having said in his translation : Jago pouvoit 
avoir environ quarante ans ; les ann^es qu*il compte sont celles de Pexpirience, Malone 
replies :] that lago meant to say he was but twenty-eight years old is clearly ascertained 
by his marking particularly, though indefinitely, a period witAin tAat time [' and since 
I could distinguish,* &c.] when he began to make observations on the characters of 
men. Verplanck : The actors who have been most celebrated in the part, from Quin / 
to Cooke, are understood to have represented lago as at least a middle-aged man. Yet/ 
the incident of Iago*s youth seems to add much to the individuality and intensity of the I 
character. An old soldier of acknowledged merit, who, after years of service, see& a ' 
yonng man like Cassio placed over his head, has not a little to plead m justification of 
deep resentment, and in excuse, though not in defence, of his revenge ; such a man 
may well brood over imaginary wrongs. The caustic sarcasm and contemptuous esti- 
mate of mankind are, at least, pardonable in a soured and disappointed veteran. But 
in a young man the revenge is more purely gratuitous, the hypocrisy, the knowledge, 
and dexterous management of the worst and weakest parts of human nature, the reck- i 
lessness of moral feeling, — even the stem, bitter wit, intellectual and contemptuous, ' 
without any of the gayety of youth, — are all precocious and peculiar; separating lago 
from the ordinary sympathies of our nature, and investing him with higher talent and 
blacker guilt Cowden-Clarke : It is remarkable that Shakespeare has here taken 
pains to specify the exact age of lago, as he has specified that of Hamlet They are. 

82 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act. i. sc. in. 

betwixt a Benefit, and an Iniurie : I neuer found man that [315 ^] 
knew how to loue himfelfe. Ere I would fay, I would 345 
drowne my felfe for the loue of a Gynney Hen, I would 
change my Humanity with a Baboone. 

Rod, What fhould I do ? I confeffe it is my fhame 
to be fo fond, but it is not in my vertue to amend it 

lago, Vertue? A figge, 'tis in our felues that we are 350 
thus, or thus. Our Bodies are our Gardens, to the which, 
our Wills are Gardiners. So that if we will plant Net- 352 

344. betunxt'\ betweene Qq, Jen. Mai. Omnney-Jfen F^, Rowe+. Guinea- A^w 

Var. Sing. Ktly. Om. Steev.'pj. Jc^ins. 

/Miuru:] inmry, QqFf. 348. do f] doe, Ff, Rowe. 

man] a man Qq, Mai. Steev. Var. 349. in my] in Mai. Steev.'93, Var. 

Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly, Del. 551. tmr Gardens] gardens Qq, Jen. 

346. Gynney Hen] Ginny Hen Qq. Coll. Wh. i, Dyce, Cam. 

352. Gardiners,] Gardiners, Qq. 

-I ■ _ ,i _ _ , ■ m 

perhaps, the two most intellectual characters that our poet has drawn; and he has made 
them nearly of the same age, as if at that period of life a man's intellect were at the 

culminating point of activity and eneigy lago is a hard, cold-blooded, almost 

rivacious scoundrel from inherent disposition, who uses his keen intellect with the 
jame fierce joy in its skill and power to destroy that he uses his sharp dagger or sword. 
Hudson (Introd., p. 22) : Moreover lago's youth goes far to explain the tnist which 
othtjs repose in him ; they cannot suspect one so young of being either skilled in vil- 
lainous craft or soured by hard experience of the world ; while his polished manners 
and winning address gain him the credit of superior parts, without breeding any ques- 
tion of his truth. 
346. Gynney Hen] Steevens : Anciently the cant tenn for a prostitute. 

350. Vertue] Coleridge {Notes, 251): This speech comprises the passionlcb^ 
character of lago. It is all will in intellect ; and therefore he is here a bold partisan 
of di truth, but yet of a truth converted into a falsehood by the absence of all the neces- 
sary modifications caused by the frail nature of man. And then comes the last senti- 
ment : ' Our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this 
that you call — love to be a sect or scion !' Here is the true lagoism of, alas ! how 
many 1 Note Iago*s pride of mastery in the repetition of ' Go, make money !* to his 
anticipated dupe, even stronger than his love of lucre ; and when Roderigo is com- 
pletely won — * I am chang'd. 1*11 go sell all my land,' when the effect has been fully 
produced, the repetition of triumph — < Go to ; farewell ; put money enough in your 

351. thus, or thus] Booth : Qy. Point up and down, to signify good or bad f 

351. our Gardens] In his first ed. White considered < our' an interpolation of the 
printers, due to the recurrence of the same word twice elsewhere in this clause of the 

352, 353. Nettels] Ellacombe (p. 136): We have two native species {Urtica 
urens and U. dioica). ' Nettle,' etymologically, is the same word as needle, and the 
plant is so luuned not for its stinging properties, but because at one time it supplied the 
chief aid to sewing; not in the little familiar instrument, but in the thread, and very 

ACT I, sc. ill.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 83 

tels, or fowe Lettice : Set Hifope, and weede vp Time: 353 
Supplie it with one gender of Hearbes, or diftrafl it with 

353. Lettice:'] LettUe, Qq. Ltttue; 353. Hifope] If op(:^, HyfopY^ Hyf 

Theob. fop F^. 

Ttme] thyme Pope. 

good linen it made. In many parts of England the young shoots are boiled and much 
relished as food, and M. Soyer tried hard, but almost in vain, to introduce it as a most 
dainty dish. In other points the nettle is a most interesting plant. Microscojnsts find 
in it most beautiful objects ; entomologists value it as a favourite of butterflies and other 
insects, of which in Britain alone upwards of thirty varieties feed solely on the nettle- 
plant, and it marks the progress of civilization by following man wherever he goes. 
But as a garden plant the only advice to be given is to keep it out of the garden by 
eveiy means, where, if allowed, it would soon become a sad weed. 

353. Lettice] £llacx>mb£ (p. 106) : This excellent vegetable with its Latin name 
came to us, piobobly, from the Romans. It was cultivated by the Anglo-Saxons, who, 
in recognition of its narcotic qualities, called it ' Sleepwort.' In Shakespeare's time the 
sorts cultivated were very similar to ours, and probably as good. 

353. Hisope] Ellacombe (p. 97) : The Hyssopus officinalis is not a British plant, 
but it was held in high esteem in Shakespeare's time. It is now very little cultivated ; 
it has not much beauty, and its medicinal properties are not much esteemed ; yet it will 
always have an interest to readers of the Bible, though whether or not the hyssop of 
Scripture is the Hyssopus offic, is still a question. It seems likely from the following 
passage in Lyly's Euphuest that the plants were not named at random by lago : < Good 
gardeiners, in their curious knots, mixe Hisoppe with Time, as ayders the one to the 
growth of the other; the one beeing drye, the other moyst * [p. 37, ed. Arber]. 

353. Time] Ellacx>mbe (p. 233) : It is one of the most curious of the ctuiosities 
of English plant names that the Wild Thyme, — a plant so common and so widely dis- 
tributed, and that makes itself so easily known by its fine, aromatic, pungent scent that 
it is almost impossible to pass it by without notice, — ^has yet no English name, and 
never seems to have had one. Thyme is the Anglicized form of the Greek and Latin 
7%ymum, which it probably received from its use as incense in sacrifices ; while its 
other name, serpyHum, refers to its creeping habit It is another curious point con- 
nected with the name that thymum does not occur in the old English vocabularies. 
Nor b even its Latin form found, except in the Prompt. Parv., where it is * Tyme, 
herbe, Tlma^ timum — ^Tyme, flowre, Timus* It is thus a puzzle to know how it can 
have got naturalized among us, for in Shakespeare's time it was completely naturalized. 
It is as a bee-plant especially that the thyme has always been celebrated. See Ovid's 
Fastif V ; Vergil, EcL vii. The wild thyme can be scarcely considered a garden plant, 
except in its variegated and golden varieties ; but if it ever should come naturally in the 
turf, it should be welcomed and cherished for its sweet scent 

354* gender] Bucknill {The Medical Knowledge of Shakespeare^ p. 270) : This 
word, which with a degree of probability not more overstrained than that which attrib- 
utes to Shakespeare the knowledge of Harvey's great discovery, by a literal reading 
would lead to the conduaon that he had anticipated Linnaeus's theory of the sexes of 
plants. No other author I know of uses the word < gender ' in any other sense than 
to mark the attributes of sex ; while he himself uses it in this sense in several passages : 
'the nnmbe<^ of the genders,' Merry Wives^ IV, i, 73. But he also uses it to dcsig* 

84 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act i. sc. liu 

many : either to haue it (lerrill with idlenefTe. or manu- 355 
red with Induftry, why the power, and Corrigeable au- 
thoritie of this lies in our Wills. If the braine of our Hues 
had not one Scale of Reafon, to poize another of Senfu- 
alitie, the blood, and bafenefTe of our Natures would 
condufl vs to mod prepoftrous Conclufions. But we 360 
haue Reafon to coole our raging Motions, our camall 
Stings, or vnbitted Lufts : whereof I take this, that you 
call Loue, to be a Seft, or Seyen. 

Rod. It cannot be, 

lago. It is meerly a Luft of the blood, and a permiflion 365 
of the will. Come, be a man : drowne thy felfe ? Drown 

355. to haue] haue Ff, Rowc+, Cap. nalV^. 

Jen. Rann. 362. or\ Ff. our Qq, Rowe et cct. 

355. 356. manured'] manured Q<i. 363. Sect] slip Han. j^/ Johns. 
357. Wills] will Rowe ii+. Seyen] /yen Qq, Rowe + . scyom 

braifte] F,. Ballence Q^. brain Han. Cap. Steev. Mai. scien Johns, scyem 

F,F^. beam Theob. Cap. Rann. baUance Jen. scion Steev.'93. 
0,0^ Rowe et cct 365. of the blood] of blood Qj. 

361. our camall] or camall Ff (car- permijffion] primi£ion Q^. 

nate a kind or species, as ' the great love the general gender bear him,' Hctm. IV, vii, 
18. It is probable, therefore, that it is in this sense the word is used by lago, and that 
Shakespeare had not necessarily any idea of the sexual physiology of plants which the 
great Swedish naturalist developed into a system ; and thus also when he refers, in 
other places, to the sex of plants, that it is merely a poetical metaphor. 

356. Corrigeable] For many instances of the use of adjectives in able and ible in 
an active sense, see Walker, Crit^ i» 183; Abbott, §3; also Ham, I, i, 57; Lear^ 
I, iv, 300. PuRNELL refers to Milton*s use of deceivable in both an active and a pas- 
sive sense, < what not in man Deceivable and vain,' Sams, Agon, [349] ; ' blind, and 
thereby Deceivable,' lb, [941]. 

357. braine] Theobald rejected ballance of the Qto as * certainly wrong,' l)ecause 
it is equivalent to saying, * if the scale of our lives had not one sccde,* &c. ; wherefore he 
believed that the true word is beame, inasmuch as Shakespeare < generally distinguishes 
betwixt the Beam and Balance ; using the latter to signify the scales, and the former 
the steel bar to which they are hung and which poises them.' [Theobald's argument 
and the examples which he dted in support, especially one from /^ich. //.* Ill, iv, 87, 
where balance signifies scale and nothing else, quite converted Capell, who * yerked ' 
out the following note] : Were beam spelt as of old with an {e) final, it's corruption 
into the word below is very easy and natural : consider'd then as a true Folio reading, 
the word beam or beame merits preference that way ; and if consider'd another way, as 
a word absolutely unequivocal, and used often by Shakespeare in the sense that belongs 
to it, we shall not greatly applaud the gentlemen who discard it for balance, [Theo- 
bald overlooked, I think, a notable instance where < balance ' is used for both scales 
and beam in Mer, of Ven, IV, i, 255 : < Are there balance here to weigh the flesh ?'^ 

363. Sedl] Steevens : By modem gardeners called a cuttistg. 

ACT I. SC. iii.] 



Cats, and blind Puppies. I haue profeft me thy Friend, 367 
and I confefTe me knit to thy deferuing, with Cables of 
perdurable toughneffe. I could neuer better deed thee 
then now. Put Money in thy purfe .• follow thou the 370 
Warres, defeate thy fauour, with an vfurp*d Beard. I fay 
put Money in thy purfe. It cannot be long that Defdemona 
fhould continue her loue to the Moore. Put Money in 
thy purfe : nor he his to her. It was a violent Commence- 
ment in her^ and thou (halt fee an anfwerable Seque- 375 
ftration^ put but Money in thy purfe. Thefe Moores 

367. haue proftjf] profeffe Qq, Coll. i. 

369. toughneffe] tounghnejfe Qj. 
fteed] fteede Q,Q,. Uead Han. 

et seq. 

370. thou the] Ff, Knt, Dyce, Glo. Sta. 
Cam. Huds. Wh. ii. thou these Rowe+» 
Jen. Rann. thefe Qq et cet 

371. defeate] disseat Waib. 
vfurfd] ufurpedYt 

372, 373. be.., continue] Yi^ Rowe, Knt, 
Wh. i. be^ that Defdemona fhould long 
continue Qq. (be^ the Q^ et cet. 

373. to the] vnto the Qq, Cap. Coll. i. 

373» 374- Moore. Put. ..purfe: nor] 
Moore, — put... purfe, — nor Qq et cet 

374. he his] he Q,. 

375. in her] Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Knt, 
Del. Om. Qq et cet. 

Sequeftration] fequefteration Q^. 

376. ffut but] but put FjF^, Rowe, 
Pope, Han. 

yj^^yn-pt^fe' 'Jhefe...7mls:fiU]YU 
Rowe + . purfe, — Thefe... wills .'^UQ^ 
et cet. (subs.). 

368. deseniing] Schmidt (Lex, s. v.) interprets this as * that which is due to thee, 
▼iz. : Desdemona's love ;* I rather think that it has here no special reference, but refers 
to deserts or merits in general, quite equivalent to worthiness as used by Shakespeare 
elsewhere. — Ed. 

369. perdurable] Simply durable with the Latin prefix per-, equivalent to throt^n, 
thorough. — Ed. 

371. defeate] Malone: Florio, A Worlde ofWordes, 159S, gives Disfare, to vndoe, 
to fpoilt, to Tvafte, to marre, to vnmahe, to defeate. [Cotgrave, Desfaire. To vndoe, 
breake, defeat.] 

371. fauour] Henley : It here means that combination of features which gives the 
fiice its distinguishing character. Wright {Bible Word-Book) : From Fr. faveur; it 
is the rendering of a word meaning < face, countenance, or appearance,* in which sense 
it constantly occurs in old writers, and is retained in the adjectives '-^favoured, well- 

375> 376* Sequefltration] Johnson : There seems to be an opposition of terms 
here intended, which has been lost in transcription. We may read, * It was a violent 
conjunction, and thou,' &c.; or, what seems to me preferable, < It was a violent com- 
mencement, and thou shalt see an answerable sequel.* Steki'ENS : I believe * seques- 
tration' is here used for sequel. Shakespeare might conclude that it was immediately 
derived from sequor; it may, however, mean no more than separation. We have *a 
sequestor from liberty,' III, iv, 48. Malone ; Surely ' sequestration ' was used in the 
•ense of separation only, or, in modem language, of parting. It is explained in Bul- 
k)kar [Expositor] : a putting apart. Dyce (Gloss.) : No doubt it means separation. 

86 THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act i, sc. lil 

are changeable in their wils : fill thy purfe with Money. 377 
The Food that to him now is as lufhious as Locufts, 
flialbe to him fhortly, as bitter as Coloquintida. She 
mud change for youth : when fhe is fated with his body 380 
flie will find the errors of her choice. Therefore, put Mo- 
ney in thy purfe. If thou wilt needs damne thy felfe, do 
it a more delicate way then drowning. Make all the Mo- 
ney thou canft : If Sanflimonie, and a fraile vow, be- 384 

378. Locufti\ LocuftQl^. lochesy^zAi. 379, 380. SMe.^yaidh'] Om. Q,, Theob. 
lokocks Johns. Warfo. Johns. 

379. JhaIht„.Jhortly\JhaUtohimJkort' 381. errors\ Ff, Rowe+, Knt. error 
fy bee Ff, Rowe. skali shortly be Pope + . Qq ct cet. 

as bitter as'\ as acerbe as the Q,. choice. There/ore"] Ff, Rowe, Pope, 

as bitter as a Warfo. Johns. Han. Cap. Knt choyce : Jhee mujt haui 

change^ Jhe muft. Therefore Qq et cet. 

378. Locusts] Wa&burton : Whether you understand by this the insect or the 
fruit, it cannot be given as an instance of a delicious morsel, notwithstanding the exag- 
gerations of lying travellers. The true reading is loches, a very pleasant confection 
introduced into medicine by the Arabian physicians ; and so very fitly opposed both to 
the bitterness and use of Coloquintida. [Warburton*s ' very pleasant confection * be- 
comes a ' sirop trte-doux ' in Le Toumeur's translation, which he poetically converts in 
his text into Mamanne des roseaux.' — Ed.] Bkisly (p. 163): These 'locusts* are 
the fruit of the Carob tree (Siliqua dulcis), Gerarde in his Herball says : < The carob 
groweth in Apulia, a province of Naples, and other countries eastward, where the cods 
are so fidl of sweet juice that it is used to preserve ginger. It groweth also in sundry 
places in Palestine, where there is such plenty of it that it is left unto swine and other 
wild beasts to feed on. Moreover, both young and old feed thereon for pleasure, and 
some have eaten thereof to supply and keep the necessary nutriment of their bodies. 
This is of some called St. John's bread, and thought to be that which is translated 
locusts whereon St. John did feed when he was in the wilderness. The fruit or cod is 
called Siliqua dulcis,^ Ellacombe (p. 113) says it is the fruit of *the Ceratonia siliqua^ 
a native of Southern Europe and the Levant. Its fruit contains a sweet pulp, and in 
Spain and elsewhere it is fed to cattle. The Carob was cultivated in England before 
Shakespeare's time. Its name survives in the carat of the jewellers, who in trading in 
the East used the Carob beans for weighing small objects. Though the Carob tree did 
not produce the locusts on which St. John fed, there is little doubt that the ** husks 
which the swine did eat," and the prodigal son longed for, were the produce of the 
Carob tree.* 

379. Coloquintida] Rekd: This, says Bullein {Buhvarke of Defence, 1579), 'is 
most bitter, white like a baule, full of seedes, leaves like to cucummers, boat in the 
second, dry in the third degree.* He then gives directions for the application of it, 
and concludes, * and thus do I end of coloquyntida, which is most bitter and must be 
taken with discretion.* 

381. PuRNELL: The repeated reference to 'money* is equivalent to 'This is yoiv 
game. But you must be prepared to pay for it' 

383. delicate way] Dkuus : That is, by adultery with Desdemona. 

ACT I, sc. iiL] 



twixt an erring Barbarian, and fuper-fubtle Venetian be 385 
not too hard for my wits , and all the Tribe of hell, thou 
flialt enioy her : therefore make Money : a pox of drow- 
ning thy felfe, it is cleane out of the way. Seeke thou ra- 
ther to be hang'd in Compaffmg thy ioy. then to be 
drown'd, and go without her. 39c 

Rodo, Wilt thou be faft to my hopes, if I depend on 
the iffue ? 

lago. Thou art fure of me: Go make Money : I haue 
told thee often, and I re-tell thee againe, and againe, I 
hate the Moore. My caufe is hearted; thine hath no lefTe 395 
reafon. Let vs be coniunfliue in our reuenge, againft 
him. If thou canft Cuckold him, thou doft thy felfe a 
pleafure, me a fporL There are many Euents in the 
Wombe of Time, which wilbe deliuered. Trauerfe go, 399 

385. erring\ arrant Han. errant 

and'\ Ff, Knt. and a Qqi Pope 
et cet 

/uper-fubtie] super-iuppU Coll. 
387. Money : a\ money , — a Qq. 

387, 388. of drowning thy felfi] a 
drowning Qq. of drowning Jen. 

388. itis]iisQ<\, Jen. 

390. drown^d'\ drowned Qq. 

391, 392. if -.iffue"] Om. Q,. 

393. me: Go... Money : /] me^goe,,. 
Money — /Qq. 

hatte'] had Wh. ii (misprint ?) 

394. re-tell] tell Qq. 
thee] the Q . 

395. hath] has Qq. 

396. coniun^liiie] communicatiue Q,. 

397. Cuckold] cuckole Q^. 

398. me] and me Q,Q^ Theob. Waib. 
Johns. Jen. Steev. Mai. Rann. Var. Sing. 

399. Trauerfe] Trauerce Q,. 

385. erring] Warburton : We should read errant^ that is, a vagabond, one that has 
no house nor country. Steevens : So in Ham. I, i, 154, <Th' extravagant and erring 
«(pirit' Malone : Perhaps he means a rover from Barbary. M. Mason : ' Erring ' 
IS explained by < extravagant and wheeling stranger,* I, i, 149. RiTSON (p. 229) : Here 
is a collection of quibbles. By an * erring Barbarian ' is meant not only a roving Moor, 
but a shallow, blundering brute; and this character is set in opposition to that of a 
supersubtle Venetian woman. The vow, he concluded, must needs be frail that was 
made between two such unnatural extremes as brutal folly and the most refined female 
cunning. White (ed. ii) considers Hanmer's text * plausible.* 

389. hang'd] See Cotgrave, s. v. Couillatris. — Ed. 

399. Trauerse] Steevens, who has, I think, been unifonnly followed, says this is 
an ' ancient military word of command/ and cites in proof, from 2 Hen. IV: III, ii, 
291, Fklstaff *s command to Wart after a caliver has been put in Wart's hand, ' Hold, 
Wart, traverse,* which is clearly the ordinary fencing or musket-drill phrase, and is 
scarcely parallel with the present passage. Malone cites Bullokar (Eng. Exp., s. 
v.) : ' Trauerse, To march vp and downe, or to moue the feete with proportion as in 
dancing,* which seems somewhat more appropriate here, but is not altogether satit- 
%ictoiy. L. Booth*s Reprint gives a comma after < Trauerfe.* — Ed. 



prouide thy Money. We will haue more of this to mor- 400 
row. Adieu. 
Rod, Where fliall we meete i'th 'morning ? 
lago. At my Lodging. 
Rod, He be with thee betimes. 

lago. Go too, farewell. Do you heare Rodorigo ? 405 

Rod, He fell all my Land. Exit, 

lago. Thus do I euer make my Foole, my purfe : 
For I mine owne gain'd knowledge fhould prophanc 
I fl would time expend with fuch Snpe, 409 

But for my Sport, and Profit : I hate the Moore, [S^^ ^] 

And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my fheets 
She ha*s done my Office. I know not if 't be true, 
But ly for meere fufpition in that kinde, 
Will do, as if for Surety. He holds me well, 414 

401. Adieu\ Adiue Q,. 

405. /?<;... Rodorigo?] Om. Cap. 
heare\ here F,Fj. 

405-407. Rodorigo?... Tku5\ Ff, Rowe, 
Pbpe. Roderigo? Rod. what fay you f 
lag. No more of drownings doe you heare ? 
KoA. lam changed. Exit Roderigo. lag. 
Goe tOffarewellf put money enough in your 
purfe: Thus Q,; followed subs, (except 
that after changed they add merely He goe 
fell all my land. Exit Roderigo. lag. 

Thus) (iSlv ^^*°"» ^^^' ^^®- ^^""* ^^^^ 
Wh. ii. Q, is also followed (including lie, . . 

land fixnn Q,) by Theob. Warb. Johns. 

Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, Coll. Sing. Wh. 

i, Ktly, Sta. Del. Huds. Roderigo? No 
more drowning. Rod. PU sell all my 
land, lago. Thus Han. 

406. lUfeWl Re goe fell Q,Q^ Theob. 
Warb. Johns. Jen. Rann, Dyce, Glo. Sta. 
Cam. Wh. ii. 

Exit.] Exit Roderigo. Qq. 

Scene XI. Pope+, Jen. 

408. would"] fhould Qj, Pope+, Jcu 

409. Snpe] afnipeQq. a Swaine F^ 
a Swain F^F^, Rowe, Pope, Han. 

412. She ha*s] Ha's Qq. He ha's F,. 
'Has Dyce iii. He has F,F^ et cet. 

true,] true — Qq. true; Johns. 

413. But r\Yet IC^ Jen. Coll. Del. 

409. would] See Abbott, § 331, for passages where 'would * is not used for should. 
Here ' would ' is equivalent, says Abbott, to < If I were willing to expend,' &c., and 
should would take from the sense. 

409. Snpe] Steevens: Woodcock is the term generally used by Shakespeare to 
denote an insignificant fellow ; but lago is more sarcastic, and compares his dupe to a 
smaller and meaner bird. Halliwell cites Cotgrave : * a snipe-knave, so called be* 
cause two of them are worth but one snipe.* 

410. Coleridge (p. 251) : lago's soliloquy — the motive-hunting of a motiveless 
malignity — ^how awful it is ! Yea, whilst he is still allowed to bear the divine image, 
it IS too fiendish for his own steady view, — for the lonely gaze of a being next to devil 
and only not quite devil, — and yet a character which Shakespeare has attempted and 
executed, without disgust and without scandal ! Fechter : Roderigo runs out at the 
door at back. lago, who has followed him so far, and, leaning against the door-post, 
watches him as he goer. ; then breaks out into a loud laugh. 

414, 415. Hkraud (p. 268) : lago is the really jealous person, and suspecting 

aCT I, sc. iii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 89 

The better (hall my purpofe worke on him : 4*5 

CaJJio'c a proper man : Let me fee now, 

To get his Place, and to plume vp my will 

In double Knauery. How? How? Let's fee. 

After fome time, to abufe Othello's eares, 

That he is too familiar with his wife : 420 

He hath a perfon, and a fmooth difpofe 

417. his\ this QqFf, Rowc, Pope. 418. Let's\ UtmeQ(\,]ta, Steev. Mai 
toplume]t0make(i^, plumeY^^, Var. Sing. Ktly. 

418. /if] A Qq, Popc+, Jen. Steev. 419. ^-tfrwJFtRowejPtope^Han. eari 
Mai. Var. Sta. Qq et cet. 

Knautry,„fee\ kmmery — htnu, 420. his'\ my Qj. 

kaw^—Ui nu fee Qq. Afl\. hatA] has Qq. 

Othello with his own wife hates him accordingly, and determines on revenge. Snider 
(vol. i, p. 100) : The true motive for Iago*s hate is given here in this and in his suc- 
ceeding soliloquies, since he would not be likely to announce his own shame or herald 
his self-degrading suspicions. He considers that Othello has destroyed the chastity of 

his wife It is often taken for granted that his suspicions are wholly groundless, — 

in fact, that he does not believe them himself. [In the Appendix will be found Sni- 
der's theory that Othello*s guilt in this r^ard is one of the hinges of the tragedy. — 

Ed.] But that lago is sincere in his belief cannot be consistently questioned 

With tins interpretation there is a motive quite adequate for the subsequent vindictive 
conduct of lago » otherwise, he is an unnatural character, — a monstrosity. His slight 
in regard to promotion would doubtless excite his enmity, but not an enmity sufficient 
to involve Desdemona in destruction, or even Othello. To inflict worse than death 
upon a man becanse he did not advance a subordinate when he could have done so is 
altogether di sp rop o rt i onate to the offence, but to cause his wife to perish also Ls merely 
horrible. Thus lago is a monster, a wild beast, and needs no motive at all, — not even 
neglect of promotion, — to bring on a rabid fit of cruelty. And what then becomes of 
the artistic merit and beauty of this drama ? . . . . The second motive is therefore the 
true one, and at the same time b adequate. The family of lago has been ruined by 
Othello ; now lago, in his turn, will ruin the family of the destroyer of his domestic 
life. Hence Desdemona is included in his retaliation. He thus requites the Moor 
with like for like. His conduct is logical, and his revenge only equals the offence. 
But there is absolutely no proportion between motive and deed if he involved Othello's 
£unily in destruction merely because the latter would not promote him. 
414. Surety] M. Mason : That is, ' I will act as if I were certain of the fact.' 
414. holds] Rebd : That is, ' esteems me.' So in Matt, xxi, 26 : * All hold John 
as a prophet' 

416. proper] Booth: Not only handsome^ but a refined and dignified gentleman , 
so 'proper ' that his conduct when tipsy is the more surprising. 

417. plume vp] Cowden-Clarke : As if any project that involved reduplication 
of knaveiy were a feather in the cap of his depraved will, a thing to plume himself 
upon as a feat of intellectual volition. 

421. dispose] Keightley (Expositor, p. 301) : I do not see clearly the sense o! 
■dispose' here; perhi^ we should read discourse, Abbott, $451, cites this in a list 

90 THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [ac r i, sc iiL 

To be fufpefled : fram'd to make women ialfe. 422 

The Moore is of a free, and open Nature, 

That thinkes men honed, that but feeme to be fo. 

And will as tenderly be lead by'th'Nofe 425 

As Affes are : 

I haue't : it is engendred : Hell, and Night, 

Mud bring this monftrous Birth, to the worlds light 428 

^^, is,„Nature\ a free and open na- ^2$, byth*Nofr'\bii'hno/e—Cl^, HtA? 

hire too, Q,. no/e^ Q,Q,. 

424. feeme] fremes Q,Q,' frems Q^. 427. hau^t] haU Qq. 

425, 426. One line, Qq. engendred] iMgender'd(iJi^ in- 
425. lead] led QqF,F^. gendr'd Q,. 

[Exit. Qq. 

of words used by Shakespeare as nouns, to which we should append -a/ion or 'Uion, 
'Ure or -ing, [See also * every gale and vary,* Lear, II, ii, 74.] 

427. Night] Warburton changed this to spite, * i. e. love of mischief and love of 
revenge,* an emendation which Heath (p. 559) properly called * insipid,* and inter- 
preted the original as meaning ' Hellish practices working in impenetrable darkness.' 

i 428. Fechter*s lago, while meditating revenge, 'sits on the angle of the table,' 
h leaning his forehead on his hands, his face hidden,* but at ' How ? how ? Let*s see,' 
he * slowly raises his head and shows his face, which gradually brightens with a diabol- 
ical smile.* At the last word of the scene he * breaks into a savage, ringing laugh, 
stops suddenly, turning quickly round, and looking on all sides, in fear that he has been 
overheard.' Booth says : Be not too flippant with Roderigo, nor too eager to show 
the audience your villainy. Change your manner at Roderigo's exit from 'bonhomie' 
to seriousness. 

428. * Menar per il naso, to Uade by the nose, to make a foole of one,* Florio, A 
Worlde of Wordes, 1598— New Sh. Soc. 

428. W. N. {Memorials of Sh., p. 356) : Shakespeare has shown great judgement 
in the darkness which he makes to prevail in the first counsels of lago. To the poet 
himself all the succeeding events must have been clear and determined ; but to bring 
himself again into the situation of one who sees them in embryo, to draw a mist over 
that which he had already cleared, must have required an exertion of genius peculiar 
to this author alone. In so lively a manner does he make lago show his perplexity 
about the future management of his conduct, that one is almost tempted to think that 
the poet had determined as little himself about some of the particulars of lago's de> 
struct en. 

A6ius Secundus. Scena Prima. 

Enter Montana ^and two Gentlemen. 

Mon, What from the Cape, can you difcerae at Sea? 

I.Gent. Nothing at all, it is a high wrought Flood: 
I cannot 'twixt the Heauen, and the Maine, 5 

Defcry a Saile. 

Mon. Me thinks, the wind hath fpoke aloud at Land, 
A fuller blaft ne're fhooke our Battlements : 
If it hath rufliand fo vpon the Sea, 9 

1. Actus...] Actus 2. Scaena I. Qq. 4. high wr(mght'\ high-wroughi F^ 
The Capital Qty of Cyprus. Rowe. A Pope et seq. 

plat-form. Cap. A Sea-port town in Cy- 5. IIeauen\haum(i^t^2lN9i. heai^nt 

pms. A Platform. MaL ...An open place Rowe ii, Pope, Han. 

near the quay. Glo. 7. hath/poke\ doesfpeake Q,Q^* doth 

2. Enter. . . ] Enter Afon/anio, Gouemor fpeake Q^. 

of Cypres^ with two other Gentlemen. Qq Land'\ hand Q,. 

(CyprusCU^^. Enter Montano, and Gen- 9. ^iM] ia Qq. 

tlemen. Ff. 

Rymer : For the Second Act, our Poet having dispatcht his affairs at Venice shews 
the Action next (I know not how many leagues off) in the Island of Cyprus. The 
Audience must be there too ; And yet our Bays had it never in his head to make any 
provision of Transport Ships for them. In the days that the Old Testament was Acted 
in Qerkenwell by the Parish Clerks of London, the Israelites might pass through the 
Red Sea ; but alas, at this time we have no Moses to bid the Waters make way, and to 
Usher us along. Well, the absurdities of this kind break no Bones. They may make 
Fools of us, but do not hurt our Morals. Fechter : Cyprus : A Platform before the 
Town looking upon the Harbour. At the back of the Scene a large Arcade. Gate 
on the right Left comer a Capstan, around it bales of merchandise. In the distance 
a storm which is gradually abating. Booth : Famagusta, a fortified seaport Town in 
the island of Cyprus. Castle on Platform R. Sea-view C. Stone seat C. Platform 
and Steps at back. Arch L. The Scene is a front of the Castle at Sunset. Cassio, 
Montano, and several gentlemen discovered. [For the notes of Malone, Reed, and 
others on the locality, see Appendix, ' Date of the Action.'] 

3. Coleridge {Noies^ 253) : Observe in how many ways Othello is made, first, our 
acquaintance, then our friend, then the object of our anxiety, before the deeper interest 
is to be i^>proached t 

5. Heauen] Malone is the only editor who prefers the haven of Q, ; we should 
not have had his note in defence of it had he not read in Knolles's History of the 
TitrhSf 1570^ that there was a 'haven of Famagusta, which was defended horn the 
main by two great rocks* forty paces apart. 


92 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii. sc. L 

What ribbes of Oake, when Mountaines melt on them, ic 

Can hold the Morties. What (hall we heare of this? 

2 A Segregation of the Turkifh Fleet : 
For do but (land vpon the Foaming Shore, 
The chidden Billow feemes to pelt the Clowds, 14 

10. MoMMtaina..,them,'\ the huge 12. 2] 2 Gent. Qq. 
wuuntaine mes Uf^^, mouniam€..JkaH^ 13. Foaming'\ banning ^, 

Q^ Mountams„.tkan YJP^, the huge 14. <:^f:t/<^]Ff,Rowe,Knt,ColLDyce 

mountains melt Vojpt, Rann. the huge i, Wh. Glo. Sta. Cam. Del. Rife, chiding 

mountain melts Jen. Qq et cet 

11. A^/^x.] Ff, Rowe. morties^ — Qq. ^iVZ7fer]^V7<mwjQ,Q^ Pope +, Jen 
tnorties f Pope, Theob. i. mortise f or mor- feemes\ feem Q^^ Pc^ + , Jen. 
Hce f Theob. ii et cet. 

10. Mountaines] In adopting the Qq, Pope evidently supposed that < mountains * 
here referred, not to water but, to land ; Theorald showed that Shakespeare refers to 
• hills of seas' in this very Scene, line 215, and 'liquid mountains' in Tro, ^ Cress^ 
and that he had abundance of classical authority for the simile, in Homer, and Vergil 
and Ovid ; and that therefore ' mountains ' here refers to waves. Despite this clear ex- 
position, Jennens, the sturdy follower of Q,, thinks that ' the sense seems to require ' 
either Pope's text or his own, both founded on the Qto. In the mes /r of Q, he sees, 
correctly, a typographical error for melts^ and thus interprets the passage : ' If it hath 
luffian'd so upon the sea as here at land, where the huge mountain melts away before 
the storm, what ribs of oak can hold the mortise ? Theobald did not consider the im- 
propriety of waves melting; clouds have been said to melt indeed, but never wemes 
that I remember. I don't doubt that Shakespeare had the following passage of Scrip- 
ture in his eye, " The mountains melt at the presence of the Lord," &c.' 

12. Segregation] Dyce {Gloss.) i A separation, or dispersion. White (ed. ii): 
The opposite of congregation ; an extraordinary use of the word. 

13. Foaming] Steevens : The Qto offers the bolder image, i. e. the shore thai 
execrates the ravage of the waves. Delius : Even if banning were erased by Shake- 
speare and ' foaming ' substituted, the former justifies ' chidden ' rather than chiding. 

14. chidden] Knight: How weak is the chiding billow pelting the clouds! but 
the billow ' chidden ' by the blast is full of beauty. [Both Dyce and Schmidt give 
to this word in this passage the meaning of ' to sound, to resound, to echo ' and ' to be 
noisy about,' and they refer in support to the Qto. But this definition contains, it seems 
to me, but a small share of the full definition of ' chidden.' I have searched in vain 
for a passage in Shakespeare where ' to chide ' has the meaning to sound, and that 
meaning alone ; in every instance there is, it seems to me, the essential idea of scold- 
ing, brawling, contention in all degrees, from 'chiding as loud as thunder' to 'the sweet 
chiding of well-tuned sounds.' The ' gallant chiding ' which Hippolyta {Mid. N. D. 
IV, i, 120) heard when Hercules and Cadmus bayed the bear in a wood in Crete, ap- 
plies, I think, to the hunters scolding, urging on, the hounds ; which Hippolyta after- 
ward calls a ' musical discord ;' the ' discord ' was the brawling of the hunters, the 
hounds, their followers, and the bear ; the ' music ' was the softened echoes of it all 
from ' the skies, the fountains, every region near.' The essential idea of ' chiding ' is 
there not merely 'sound.' The 'chiding nativity' of Marina (/Vr. Ill, i, 32) was the 
rude, Inawling welcome to *he world given tc her by the contest of ' fire, air, watei 
earth, and Heaven.' — Ed.] 


The winde-fhakM-Surge, with high & monftrous Maine 1 5 

Seemes to cad water on the burning Beare, 

And quench the Guards of th'euer-fixed Pole: 17 

15. winde'JhaJi^d'Surge\Y^^, winde F^ Rowe+, Cap Jen. Stccv. Mai. Var. 

JJuUedfurgeQ^, wind-JhcUi d SurgeY ^ ^ mane Knt et cet. 

lit cet. 17. euer'fixed'\ fuer fired (^ Popc + , 

Afairu^Y^, mayne^)^, MainY^ Jen. ever fixed Y^^owtf]o\iTa. 

15. Maine] To Knight belongs the credit of giving the modern spelling and inter- 
pretation of this word ; his note is : What is * high and monstrous main ' ? We use 
the word main elliptically ; for the main sea, the great sea, as Shakespeare uses it, in 
' 't¥rixt the heaven and the main.' The main is the ocean. Substitute that word, and 
what can we make of the passage before us ? ' the wind-shak*d suige with high and 
monstrous ocean* But adopt the word mane, and it appears to us we have as fine an 
image as any in Shakespeare. It is more striking even than the passage in Hen. IV, : 
* — the winds, Who take the ruffian billows by the top, Curling their monstrous heads.' 
In the high and monstrous mane we have a picture which was probably suggested by 
the noble passage in Job : < Hast thou given the horse strength ? Hast thou clothed 
his neck with thunder?' One of the biblical commentators upon this passage remarks, 
that Homer and Vergil mention the mane of the horse ; but that the sacred author, by 
the bold figure of thunder, expresses the shaking of the mane, and the fiakes of hair 
which suggest the idea of lightning. The horse of Job is the war-horse, < who swal- 
loweth the ground with fierceness and rage ;' and when Shakespeare pictured to him- 
self his mane wildly streaming, ' when the quiver rattleth against him, the glittering 
spear and the shield,' he saw an image of the fiiry of the ' wind-shak'd surge,' and 
of its very form ; and he painted it with ' high and monstrous mane.' 

17. Qumrds] Johnson : Alluding to the star Arctophylax, Steevens : I wonder 
that none of the advocates of Shakespeare's learning have observed that Arctophylax 
literally signifies 'the guard of the Bear.' J. F. Marsh (A^. &* Qu., 1877, 5th, viii, 
83) : Both Johnson and Steevens are in error; and Shakespeare knew better than his 
commentators what he was talking about when he spoke of the guards of the pole, 
and not of the guard of the Bear. Arctophylax is not a synonym for the star Arcturus, 
but for the constellation BoAtes ; and the Bear, of which he is the guard, or rather 
keeper, is not the Little Bear, of which Polaris is the lucida, but the Great Bear, as will 
be evident in the most cursory glance at a celestial globe. Arctophylax, whether it 
mean the star or the constellation, has no connection with the Polar guards. They are 
the two stars P and y Ursae Minoris, on the shoulder and foreleg of the Little Bear, as 
usually depicted, or sometimes on the ear and shoulder. They were more observed in 
Shakespeare's time than now for the purposes of navigation. Norman's Safeguard of 
Sailers, 1587, has a chapter, ' Howe to knowe the houre of the night by the Guards,' 
&c They were even made the subject of mechanical contrivances for fecilitating cal- 
culation, one of which is described in The Arte of Navigation, trans, by Richard Eden 
from the Spanish of Martin Curtis (or Cortez), 1561, consisting of fixed and movable 
concentric circles with holes, through which to observe 'the two starres called the 
Guardhms, or the mouth of the home.' Further details will be found in Admiral 
Smyth's Cycle of Celestial Objects, ii, 331, where is also cited Tap's Seaman* s Gram- 
mar, 1609, 'containing still more upon the Guards;' and Hood's Use of the CcUstial 
Globe^ I59<\ deriving the name ' from the Spanish word fruardare, which is to beholde. 



I neuer did like molleflation view 
On the enchafed Flood. 

Men. If that the Turkifh Fleete 
Be not enfhelter'd, and embay'd, they are drown'd, 
It is impofTible to beare it out. 

Enter a Gentleman, 

3 Newes Laddes : our warres are done : 
The defperate Tempeft hath fo bang'd the Turkes, 
That their defignement halts. A Noble (hip of Venice, 
Hath feene a greeuous wracke and fufferance 





19. On the enchafed'\ On the inchafrd 
Qq. OnUh'enchafd Han. On th^en- 
ckafd Stecv.'93. 

20. thai the] that be the F^. 

21. enJheUer^d^ injhelter'd QqFf, 
Rowe+, Cap. Jen. Coll. Wh. 

embay d'\ embayed Q^, 
they are"] they re Popc+, Jen. Sta. 
Dyce iii, Huds. 

22. to beare'\ Ff, Q,Qj, Rowe + , Knt, 
Coll. Sing. Dyce i, Wh. i, Cam. Del. they 
beare Q, et cet. 

[Scene II. Pope+, Jen. 

23. Enter...] Enter a third Gentleman. 

24 and throughout. 3.] 3 Gent. Qq. 
Laddes :"] F,. Lords, Q,, Pope+, 
Jen. Z^nilr/Steev.Mal.Var. Rann. Lads, 
or Lads : Q^Q^F^F^, Rowe, Johns, et cet. 
our"] your Qq. 

25. Turkes'\ TurheQq. 

26. Two lines, Q,Qj. 

26, 27. That.../eene'\ One line, Q,. 

26. A Noble"] Another Q,, Pope. A 

27. wraehe"] QqFf, Rowe, Pope, Knt, 
Sing. Del. ivreck Theob. ii et cet. 

because they are diligently to be looked unto, in regard of the singular use which they 
have in navigation.' Shakespeare probably meant to include in the Guards all the 
three stars [i. e. P and y Ursse Minoris, and Polaris] required for the observations 
above noticed. Otherwise in describing a tempest which seemed to cast water on one 
constellation, and quench two of the principal stars of another, he could scarcely have 
avoided mentioning the third star, the brightest and most important of the three. 

19. enchafed] There is an unusual number, in this Scene, of words with the prefix 
en: enshelter'd, embay d, ensteep^d, enclogge, enwheele. In Scene iii, enfetter'd, en- 
mesh ; in I V^, i, encave. For this usage elsewhere, see Abbott, § 440. 

22. to beare] For those who prefer they bear of Q,, Abbott, § 368, explains that 
It is probably a subjunctive, and ' that ' is omitted. 

27. wracke] Hunter {Disq. on The Tempest, p. 134) condemns the substitution 
of the modem spelling in this word as a loss in melody in the lines he cites from The 
Tempest, and implies that we should throughout the plays retain the old word. ' These 
ate tiut niceties (he says), but poetry is a luxury, and should therefore be as refined and 
perfect as possible.* ' The reason for the substitution is evident. " Wrack " has in a 
great measure gone out of use, though we still use the familiar phrase " wrack and 
ruin.'' But " wrack " continued in use long after Shakespeare, and cannot have been, 
by any means, extinct in the days of Rowe.' [For four instances fh)m V. &* A., R, of 
L,, and the Sonn., where the rhyme will not permit the substitution of tiyreck, see Mri 
Fomess's ( Concordance, s. v. — Ed.] 


On mod part of their Fleet 28 

Mon. How? Is this truef 
3 The Ship is heere put in.- A Verenneffa, Michael Cajfio 30 

28. On\ Cy Johns. Sing. Dycei, Del. in ; AVeroneisa ; Yi^n. 

their\ tht Q,Qj, Pope ii, Theob. m, ^ F^rr^n^j^; Johns. Cap. Steev/85. m, 

Warb. Johns. A Flertmesi: Mai. Rann, Steev.'93, Var. 

30. Two lines, Qq^ Pope et seq. Coll. iii. in : A Veranesi, Coll. i, Wh. i, 

is heere] is F^ Rowe. in; A Florentine^ Coll. (MS), in^ A 

iM.'AWereuntSbit'lin.'Ayeroneiffa, Venmesa ; do. Cam. I>yce m, in. A 

x^SUl fjf.*^Ven)neflb,Ff, Rowe, Pope. Vertmesi, Ktly. in; A Veronese, Rife, 

in, A Veronessa; Theob. Warb. Jen. Knt, Wh. iL 

28. most] For many other instances of the omission of the, see Abbott, § 89. 

ja Verennessa] Theobald, by simply altering the punctuation, was the first to 
make this refer to the ship and not to Cassio, * who was no Veronese,' says Theobald in 
his ed. i ; < but we find from other passages in the play he was of Rome ' (withdrawn 
in ed. ii). ' The vessel properly belonged to Verona, but was in the service of Venice.' 
HsATH: Shakespeare had no ship in his thoughts, but intended to inform us that 
Cassio was of Verona, an inland dty of the Venetian State. The word Veronese 
should be pronounced after the Italian manner as a quadrisyllable. T. Warton : It 
was common to introduce Italian words, and in their proper pronunciation then familiar; 
see Faerie Queene, III, xii, 90 : ' And sleeues dependant Albimese-yryi/t* The ship 
was a Veronese, just as we now say a Hambuigher. Cassio was a Florentine. In this 
speech the Third Gentleman, who brings the news of the wreck of the Turkish fleet, 
returns to the tale, and tells the circumstances more distinctly. In his former speech 
he speaks of ' a noble ship of Venice,' and now he adds : ' The very ship is just now 
put into port, and she is a Veronese.' That is, a ship fitted out or furnished by the 
people of Verona, a dty of the Venetian State. Steevens: I believe we are all 
wrong. Verona is an inland dty. E^very inconsistency may, however, be avoided if 
we read 7^ Veronessa, i. e. the name of the ship is the Veronessa. [While all the 
critics thus far had stated that Verona was tributary to Venice, yet, having dted no 
authority, they had apparently drawn the fact from the depths of their consdousness ; 
it was reserved for Malone to justify the assertion in a note, which is the only one 
horn the mass that Dyce quotes, as follows :] ' Besides many other towns (says Con- 
tareno), castles, and villages, they [the Venetians] possess seven faire dties ; as Trevigi, 
P^oua, Vicenza, Verona, Bresda, Bergamo, and Crema.' — Commonwealth of Venice, 
1599. Knight retains the Veronessa, because *as a feminine it is applicable to a 
ship.' Collier : The Third Gentleman has already said that the ship was ' of Ven- 
ice,' and it is not likely that he would assert just afterwards that she was a < Veronese ;' 
it seems much more probable that he would by mistake call Cassio, whom he did not 
know, a 'Veronese.' Singer: Whether a Veronessa signified a ship fitted out by 
Verona, or designated some particular kind of vessel, is not yet fully established. But 
as it has not hitherto been met with elsewhere, the former is most probably the true 
explanation. White (ed. i): There is difficulty in dther reading; but of the two 
enors, one of which it is necessary to suppose on Shakespeare's part, a momentary for* 
getfulncss appears the more probable. Keightley (Exp., 301) : Another instance of 

the poet's negligence or foxgetfulness Though the metre is perfect, it might be 

better to insert nam^d or one. It is not likdy that the ship was called ' the Veronessa* 
Daniel (p. 78) : Read : « The ship is here imt hi, | <« La Veronesa :" Michael Cassio» | 



Lieutenant to the warlike Moore, Othello ^ 3 1 

Is come on Shore . the Moore himfelfe at Sea, 
And is in full Commiflion heere for Cyprus. 

Mon, I am glad on't : 
Tis a worthy Gouemour. 35 

3 But this fame CaJJio, though he fpeake of comfort, 
Touching the Turkifh loffe, yet he lookes fadly, 
And praye the Moore be fafe ; for they were parted 
With fowle and violent Tempeft. 

Mon, Pray Heauens he be : 40 

For I haue feru'd him, and the man commands [316 ^1 

31. Lieutenant'\ Leiutenani Q,Q,. 33. heere\ bound Daniel. 

to\ of F , Rowe+. 34, 35. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 

32. on Shore\ q/koreQ^, ^J^^^'Q^Qy 34- /««] /*»» Pope+, Dyce iii, Huds. 
Afoore] Moor's Dyce conj. 38. praye\ prayes QqF,Fj. prays F^ 
him/elfe] QqFf, Dyce, Glo. Sto. et cet. 

Cam. Del. Rife, Wh. ii. himself s Rowe 40. Heauens'^ Heauen Qq, Cap. Jen. 

et cet. Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, Coll. Sing. Ktly. 

lieutenant,' &c. Hudson adopts Daniel's suggestion. Rolfe agrees with White that 
the confusion is perhaps due to a momentary forgetfulness on Shakespeare's part. Th. 
Elze (5^. Jahrbuck, xiv, 176) : The word is clearly corrupt, but F, puts us on the right 
track. Let the true word be < verrinessa,' and the changes, due to editorial lack of 
knowledge, through ' verennessa ' and ' Veronessa ' to * Veronese ' are easily under- 
stood. Now although I cannot at the moment give an Italian authority for the noon 
' verinessa,' yet there is the word ' verrina ' and the verb < verrinare,' which is an old 
nautical term and still in use, equivalent in meaning to ttnebrare^ perforare^ traforare^ 
that is, to * cut through,' to * cleave,' like the French percer. Wherefore the « noble 
ship of Venice ' was a verrinessa, * un perceflot.' [Is not this the exact equivalent 
of the nautical term ' cutter ' ? If only an instance of the use of the Italian word 
could be produced, this vexed question would be settled for ever. As it is, Th. Elze's 
explanation seems far more satisfactory than any other ; but if a supersubtle compositor 
forces us to choose between a lack of memory on Shakespeare's part and a lack of 
geographical information, I prefer the latter. The nationality of a chance ship, men- 
Koned once and never again, is of less moment than the nationality of an important 
cnaracter ; the same wind that can blow a ship to Aleppo can waft one from Verona. 
Furthermore, how in the wild excitement of the moment could the Third Gentle- 
man find out from what city of Italy Cassio came ? That he was the lieutenant to 
the warUke Moor might be revealed at a glance by some distinctive decoration of his 
dress, such as the scarf of company, which always bore the Captain's colours. — Ed. 

33. heere for Cyprus] Unless this means * for Cyprus, here,' it is not easy to ex- 
plain it. Daniel's emendation perfects the sense, but the ductus literarum is against 

it.— Ed. 

34. John Hunter : Montano would be well pleased to resign the post in a time ol 
«o great peril to such a man as Othello, under whom he had served. 

34. on't] See Abbott, § 181. 

ACT II, SC i.] 


Like a full Soldier. Let's to the Sea-fide (hoa) 
As well to fee the Veffell that's come in, 
As to throw-out our eyes for braue Othello^ 
Euen till we make the Maine, and th'Eriall blew, 
An indiflin£l regard. 

Gent Come, let's do fo ; 
For euery Minute is expefbuicie 
Of more Arriuancie. 

Enter Cajfio, 

Caffi. Thankes you, the valiant of the warlike Ifle, 
That fo approoue the Moore : Oh let the Heauens 
Giue him defence againft the Elements, 
For I haue loft him on a dangerous Sea. 

Man, Is he well (hip'd ? 

Cajjio. His Barke is ftoutly Timber'd, and his Pylot 
Of verie expert, and approu'd Allowance ; 






42. Two lines, Qq. 

kca] ko Qq. Om. Pope+. 


45. 46. Om. Q,. 
th'SriaUbleitilYJ^ tfCAyreall 

*^Q,Qs- th'ErialblueY^.'SLowt, th' 
or the aerial blue Pope et cet. 

46. An\ And FfQ,. 

47. Gent.] 3 Gent. Qq. 
49. more'\ our F^. 

Arriuancie'\ Arrvuancy Ff, Knt 
arrtuance Qq et cet. 

Scene III. Pope+, Jen. 

51. Thanka you,"] Ff, Rowe, Coll. i, 
Dyce,Wh.i. TkanJkesloQq, Pope ■\', Cap, 

Jen. Steev. Mal.Var. Coll. iii. Thanh you 
Ktly. Thanks, you Knt et cet 

51. the"] Ff, Knt, Coll. iii. (his Qq et 

war/the] worthy Q,, Jen. Rann. 
Om. Q,Q3. 

52. Moore : Oh U('\ Moore, and let Qq. 
Moor! 0, let Knt. 

53. againjf\ from F^. 
the] their Qq. 

54. fl] the Qy 

56. his] is Q'8i. 

Pylot] Pilate Q,. Pilote Q,a. 
Pilot F,F^. 

57. 0/,..and] Very expert, and of 
Johns, conj. 

44. to throw] A typographical error, in the omission of 'to,* begun in Reed's Var 
of 1S03, was continued in the Var, of 1813, of 1821, and in Singer's ed. i. The line 
thus mutilated, and almost painfully prosaic, was accepted as complete by Guest (i, 
239), and thus bravely scanned : < As | throw out | our eyes | : for brave | Othel | lo.' 

49. ArriuAncie] Dyce: A manifest error caught from the 'expectanrt^' of the pre- 
ceding line. Cowden-Clarke : There is a marked prevalence of words ending in ee 
in this play. 

57. expert. And approu'd Allowance] Steevens : This is put for ' allow'd and 
approved expertness.' [For a list of similar expressions where the relations of adjec- 
tires and their nouns seem inverted, like < paly ashes,' * shady stealth,' &c. see the ea. 
odlent Grammalieal Obs, on p. 141 7 of Schmidt's Lex. — Ed.] 

98 THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act ii. sc. i. 

Therefore my hope's (not furfetted to death) 58 

Stand in bold Cure. 

Within. A Saile, a Saile, a Saile. 60 

58. hopes'] F,Qq. hopes FjF- et cet 60. Within.] MeflT. Qq. 4 G. Cap. 

59. [EnteraMeflTenger.Qq. Enter an- Without. Sta. 

Uher Gentleman. Cap. ^thin. . . Saile,"] In margin as Stage 

Direction Glo. Cam. Rife, Wh. ii. 

58, 59. Johnson : I do not understand these lines. I know not how hope can be 
surfeited to deaths that is, can be increased^ till it be destroyed; nor what it is, ' to stand 
in bold cure ;' or why hope should be considered a disease. Shall we read : ' Therefore 
my fears, not surfeited to death ' ? &c. This is better, but it is not well. Shall we 
strike a bolder stroke, and read thus : * Therefore my hopes, not forfeited to death. 
Stand bold, not sure * ? Jennens : Wishes may be called the food upon which hope is 
very apt to surfeit ; and to surfeit to death too, when there is no ground or foundation 
to expect the thing hoped for. Hope is in perfect health where the grounds for it are 
equal to the wish ; but if the wish preponderate the grounds of expectation, hope is in 
a sickly state. This was the case with Cassio ; his wishes for Othello's safety were 
greater than the pit>bability of it, for he had left him on a dangerous sea ; so his hope 
was sick ; but not sick to death, because the ship had a good pilot ; this thought phys- 
icl^d hope, and put it in a bold state of cure. Steevens : Presmnptuous hopes, which 
have no foundation in probability, may poetically be said to surfeit themselves to death, 
or forward their own dissolution. < In bold cure ' means in confidence of being cured. 
Malone : It is not hope which is here described as the disease ; those misgiving appre- 
hensions which diminish hope are, in fact, the disease, and hope itself is the patient. 
Henley : I believe that Solomon upon this occasion will be found the best interpreter : 
'Hope deferred maketh the heart sick.' Knight: Hope upon hope, without reali- 
zation, is a surfeit of hope and extinguishes hope. Cassio had some reasonable facts to 
prevent his hope being 'surfeited to death.' Coluer : The meaning seems to be, that 
Cassio's hopes are not destroyed by constant repetition and disappointment Singer : 
Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death by excess of apprehension, stand in confi- 
dence of being cured, Staunton (Note on Ant, 6r* Cleo, II, i, 38) : As in our early 
language to expect most conmionly meant to stay or toatt, so to hope on some occasions 
was used where we should now adopt to expect, (Note on present i>assage) : ' Hopes ' 
here are expectations or presentiments, Cowden-Clarke : My hopes, not having 
been utterly destroyed by reiterated false excitement and successive defeat, remain in 
confident expectation of being fulfiUed. Hudson : Cassio, though anxious, does not 
despair; and the meaning of ' stand in bold cure ' seems to be, ' my hopes, though near 
dying, stay themselves upon, or are kept alive by, bold conjecture;' or, it may be, 'are 
confident of being cured.' I was for a while in doubt whether to read ' not suffocate 
to death ' or < not sichyet unto death ;' but on the whole preferred the former as involv- 
ing somewhat less of change, and as being perhaps rather more in Shakespeare's man- 
ner. D'HuGUES : n est clair cependant que les espirances s'ajoutant aux esp^rances, 
sans 6tre jamais r6alis6es, constituent un trop plein (surfeit) d'espdrances, qui fait iva- 
nouir toute esptomce. C'est la m6me chose que MoUdre a voulu dire dans le fameux 
sonnet d'Oronte : Belle Philis, on d^esp^re Alors qu'on espire toujours. [These para- 
phrases are all of them intelligible, and would be entirely satisfactory could we only 
forget the text, which as it now stands is unintelligible to me, and I am willing to ' say 
ditto to ' Dr Johnson. — Ed.] 

ACT II, SC i.] 



Cajfio. What noife ? 

Gent The Towne is empty ; on the brow o'th'Sea 
Stand rankes of People, and they cry, a Saile. 

CaJJio. My hopes do (hape him for the Gouemor. 

Gent They do difcharge their Shot of Courtefie, 
Our Friends, at leaft. 

CaJJio, I pray you Sir, go forth, 
And giue vs truth who 'tis that is arriu'd. 

Gent I (hall. Exit 

Man. But good Lieutenant, is your Generall wiu'd? 

Cajfto, Moft fortunately : he hath atchieu'd a Maid 
That paragons defcription, and wilde Fame : 
One that excels the quirkes of Blazoning pens. 
And in th'effentiall Vefture of Creation, 
Do's tyre the Ingeniuer. 





61. nai/e\ news Cap. 

62. Gent.] Meff. Q<\. 4 G. Cap. 
empty; <m\ epmiy^ one Qj. 

63. Siand^ otand Q,. Standi Q,Qj. 

64. Gouem9r\ guemement Q,. gou- 
imment Q,. government Q^. 

[Guns heard. Cap. 

65. 69, 78, 112. Gent.] 2 Gen. Qq. 
their\ the Qq. 

66. Friends\ friend Qq. 

[A (hot. Qq. Soond of cannon. 
70. Lieutenant'\ Leiutenant Q,Q,. 

71. fortunately :'\ fortunately ^ Qq, 
Rowe, Pope, Theob. Han. Waib. 

73. quirkes of\ Cm. Q,. 

74. th'effentiaU^ the effentiaU Qq. 
75-77. Dds,„in f\ One line, Qq et cet 

75. tyre the Ingeniuer^ beare all excel- 
lency : — Q,, Pope + , Jen. Steev. Mal.Var. 
Coll. Wh. i, Ktly. 6eare an excellency : — 
Q^Qj^ Rowe. tire the Ingeniver YL tire 
the inventer. Cap. Rann. tire the ingener. 
Knt, Dyce, Glo. Sta. Cam. Del. Huds. 
Rife, tire the ingenier Sing. ii. bear all 
excellence Wh. ii. tire the imaginerjerns. 

73. excels] Malonb : See 103d Sonn. : * a face That over-goes my blont invention 
quite, Diiiling my lines, and doing me disgrace.' 

74* 75* Warburton: It is plain that something very hjrperbolical was here in- 
tended. But what is there as it stands ? Why this, that in the essence of creation 
she bore all excellency. The expression is intolerable, and could never come from one 
who so well understood the force of words as our Poet. The essential vesture is th# 
same as essential form. So that the expression is nonsense. For the vesture of crea- 
tion signifies the forms in which created beings are cast. And essence relates not to 
the^^ntpf, but to the matter. Shakespeare certainly wrote : ' And in terrestrial vesture,' 
&c And in this lay the wonder, that all created excellence should be contained within 
an earthly mortal fonn. Heath (p. 559) : I entirely agree with Warburton that the 

common reading is indefensible I should rather suspect that the poet wrote : 

And in the sensual vesture,' &c. The sense is. And within that vesture of the hmnan 
tenses with which she is clothed by the Creator she is endued with every excellency. 
Johnson: I do not think < essential' inexplicable; it seems to be used for existent^ real. 
She excels the praises of invention says he, and in real qualities with which creation 
has ittvested her bears all excellency, [Line 75 in the Folio] I explain thus : Does tire 


[74f 75* essentiall Vesture of Creation, Do's tyre the Ingeniuer.] 
the ingemaus verse. This is the best reading, and that which the author substituted 
in his revisal. Steevens : I beheve the word < tire ' was not introduced to signify to 
fatigue^ but to attire^ to dress. The verb to aUire is often so abbreviated. Thus in 
Holland's Leaguer^ 1633 : ' Cujnd's a boy, And would you tire him like a Senator ?* 
Again in Com. of Err, II, ii, 99: 'To save the money he spends in tiring' ['trim 
ming.' — Glo.] < The essential vesture of Creation ' tempts me to believe that it was 
so used here. I would read something like this : Does tire the ingenuous tdrtue, L e. 
invests her artless virtue in the fairest form of earthly substance. In Afer. of Ven, V, 
i, 64, Lorenzo calls the body ' the muddy vesture of decay.' It may be observed that 
ingener did not anciently signify one who manages the engines or artillery of an army, 
but any ingenious person, any master of liberal science, Cf. Jonson's Sejanus, I, i : ' No, 
Silius, we are no good ingeners. We want the fine arts,' &c. Ingener^ therefore, may 
be the true reading of this passage ; a similar thought occurs in Temp, IV, i, 10 : ' For 
thou shalt find she will outstrip all praise. And make it halt behind her.' In the Argu- 
ment of Sefanus, Jonson Ukewise says that his hero ' worketh with all his ingene, ap- 
parently finom the Latin, ingenium, Malone : Perhaps we should read : < Does tire 
the ingeneeyer,* /ngene is used for ingenium by Puttenham, Arte ofPoesie, 1589: 
' Such also as made most of their workes by translation out of the Latin and French 
tongue, and few or none of their own engine;* engine is here without doubt a misprint 
for ingene, 1 believe, however, the reading of the Qto is the true one. If < tire ' was 
used in the sense of weary , then ' ingener ' must have been used for the ingenious 
person who should attempt to eniunerate the merits of Desdemona. We have in 
Fleckno's Discourse of the English Stage, 1664 : ' We in England .... having pro 
ceeded no further than to bare painting, and not arrived to the stupendous wonders of 
your great ingeniers,* For a similar imagery to that in the first of these lines, see one 
of Daniel's Sonnets : * Though time doth spoil her of her fairest vaile That ever yet 
mofftalitie did cover.' M. Mason : The reading of the Folio appears to have been, 
' Does tire the engineer,^ that is, ' One whose real perfections were so excellent that to 
blazon them would exceed the abilities of the ablest masters.' Henley : ' Ingenieur ' 
is no doubt of the same import with ingener or ingeneer, though perhaps differently 
written by Shakespeare in reference to ingenious, and to distinguish it from ingeneer, 
which he has elsewhere used in a military sense. Daniel uses ingeniate : * Th' adul- 
terate beauty of a fals^d cheek Did Nature (for this good) ingeniate,' &c. Knight : 
The text of the Folio presents no difficulty when we understand the word ingener. 
The word engine is so called 'because not made without great effort (ingenii) of 
genius, of ingenuity, of contrivance.' — Richardson. The ingener, then, is the contriver 
by ingenuity, the designer, and, here applied to a poet, is almost literally the Greek 
fnofnj^, maker. Collier (ed. i) : ' Ingeniuer ' has been taken for inginer, though 
if that were the true word, we cannot tell why the compositor should have put so many 
letters into it. Jervis (p. 25) : Read : * doth tire the imaginer.^ Cf. ' And still he 
did it by first telling the imaginer, and after bidding the actor think.' — Bacon's Nat, 
Hist, [Centmry X, p. 205, ed. 1677. — Dyce]. Staunton : By ingener is meant, per- 
haps, the painter or artist, as in the extract from Fleckno [quoted by Malone]. In- 
genier, or ingener, was, however, a term for any ingenious person ; and finom a passage 
in Certain Edicts from a Parliament in Eutopia, by Lady Southwell : ' Item, that no 
Lady shall court her looking-glasse, past one houre in a day, unlesse she professe to be 
an Ingenir,* it might be thought in the present instance to signify what is now called 
a modiste, or deviser of new fashions in female apparel. White (ed. i) : The tame 

ACT n. sc. i.] THE MOORE OF VENICE loi 

[74, 75. essential! Vesture of Creation, Do's tyre the Ingeniuer.] 
reading of the Qto is given [in the text] with the full consciousness that it does not 
represent the passage as Shakespeare left it, and in the belief that very probably he 
did not write it at all. The attempt to make something of the Folio text by regarding 
the last word as a misprint of ingener^ i. e. artist, writer, ingenious person, I cannot but 
regard as utterly futile. Possibly < lire ' here means attire, and refers to ' vesture ;' it 
may also mean weary, and have for its subject the word or phrase which is incoirectly, 
or both incoirectly and imperfectly, represented by < ingeniuer.' For in K ^ ^., 
Venus's tongue is called <the engine of her thoughts;' and in Tit. And. Ill, i, Mar- 
cus styles Lavinia's tongue 'that delightful engine of her thoughts.' Here Shake- 
speare may have meant Cassio to say, that Desdemona's charms were beyond descrip- 
tion either by pen or tongue. I am inclined to believe that the reading of the text [i. e. 
the Qto] was substituted for the true, but illegible or incomprehensible, reading by the 
transcriber of the passage who prepared the copy. Br. Nicholson (N, <Sr« Qu.<t 1S65, 
3d, viii, 43) : The Qto text lacks a sufficient rise in h3rperbole to conclude fitly the pre- 
vious hyperbolic praises, and a poetical conclusion to the simile commenced in 'vesture.' 
In the Foho 'tire ' cannot mean weary ; but as a verb suggested by < vesture,' and hav- 
ing reference to it, it must be either the shortened form of attire^ or formed (perhaps for 
the nonce, is is not unfrequent in writers of that day) from Hre^ a head-dress ; and this 
either transitively or agentially in the sense of ' arrange a head-dress,' or reflectively in 
the sense of ' to act as.' But if creation be represented as a vesture, it follows that 
Desdemona, as a part of creation, should (agreeably to the last given meaning of ' tire ') 
be part of the dress ; and giving the word this sense, we obtain the plain meaning cor- 
responding with the reading of the Qto, — that creation being the vesture, she, Desde- 
mona, is the tire, tiara, or crown of it, one who < tops all.' Again, if all creation be 
represented as a vesture, it can only be as the regal robe of God its ingener or artificer; 
hence we may consider ingeniver as the representative of some form of ingener ; the 
exact form is unimportant, but I would prefer the French, ingenieur, as this, printed 
mgenievr^ might easily have been changed by an ignorant compositor into ingeniver. 
As to the probable origin of the phrase, I cannot but think that these two lines were 
formed on the remembrance of Psalm cii, 25, 26 : < Thou hast laid the foundation of 
the earth, and the heavens are the work of Thine hands, .... they all shall wax old 
as doth a garment, and as a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed.' 
This being combined with the thought of Desdemona as a pure daughter of Eve, the 
last and therefore, according to the previous gradation of creation, the crowning work 
of God. Combined, perhaps, with these, and assisting the association of the two, may 
have been the remembrance of the ray, circlet, or ' glory,' which surrounds the head 
of sacred images or pictures, and the phrase * forasmuch as man is the glory of God.' 
Possibly the reader who has not paid attention to the frequency with which Shake- 
speare draws finom Scriptural sources, and to the frequency with which these form his 
phrases, may consider my remarks more subtle than sound ; but the addition of the 
word 'essential' strongly corroborates them, and illustrates how fully and perfectly 
Shakespeare elaborated a thought, and how comprehensively and succinctly he ex- 
pressed it. Desdemona is represented as a being of purity and love, a female Abdiel 
'mong Italian women ; and hence Cassio is made to break out into such expression- 
seeking praise as to call her the top of creation, as creation is ' essentially ' and with- 
out 'the accident ' of sin, or as it was when it was beautiful before God and pronounced 
to be very good. Keightley (Exp., p. 301) : It seems almost impossible to make 
any good smse out of the Folio. 'The essential,' &c. means person, lK>dy, form. 

I02 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act. ii, sc. L 

Enter Gentleman, 76 

How now? Who ha's put in? 

Gent Tis one lago^ Auncient to the Generall. 

Cajfio, Ha's had mod fauourable, and happie fpeed : 
Tempefts themfelues, high Seas, and howling windes, 80 

The gutter'd-Rockes,and Congregated Sands, 
Traitors enfteep'd, to enclogge the guiltlefle Keele, 82 

Scene IV. Pope +, Jen. Glo.Wh.iL ^/jWh.i,Huds.Rlfe. 'Ha$ 

76. Enter...] Enter 2 Gentleman (after Dyce uL He has Qq et cet. 
line 77) Qq. Re-enter Sec Gent Cap. 80. high'] by Q,. 

77. Howncwf^ncw^Qii, Haw f Cap. 8l. gutter* d- Roches] gttttered rocks Qi\, 
Rann. guttered Rocks Ff. 

ha*s] has QqFf. 82. enfleefd,] enfcerped; Q,. enured 

79. Caffio.] Om. (continuing speech to Pope conj. 

2 Gent) Qq. enclogge] F.Fj. enclog F^, Cap. 

Ha^s] Has Rowe+. Has Dyce i, Knt, Del. clog Qq et cet. 

Hudson : This seems to mean, she is one who surpasses all description, and in real 
beauty or outward form goes beyond the power of the artist's inventive or expressive 
pencil. RoLFE : The reading of the Folio is doubtfid, but it is preferable to the tame 
phrase of the Qto. White (ed. ii) : From the text of the Folio no tolerable reading 
or sense has yet been extracted. [It is to be feared that Steevens's remark on I, iii, 
291, is equally applicable here, and that it is ' highly probable that this passage will 
prove a lasting source of doubt and controversy.' — Ed.] 

79. Ha's] An instance of the absorption of the personal pronoun, similar to that 
of < it ' in I, iii, 220. Dyce in his last edition has indicated this. Schmidt in his 
admirable translation thus renders this line : ' Er stand in eines guten Engels Schutz,' 
and pleads for it thus : If we consider the meaning of this line in connection with 
what follows it is evident that there must be some reference to Desdemona. < Speed ' 
in Shakespeare means not only swiftness^ haste, but success, fortune, and also that 
propitious power, or exalted guardianship, which brings success, especially in the 
expression of good wishes. 'Saint Nicholas be thy speed!' Two Gent, III, i, 301 ; 
< Hercules be thy speed,' As You Like It, I, ii, 222, and elsewhere ; and with a comic 
turn in 'good manners be your speed,' / Hen, IV: III, i, 190. Hence, therefore, 
Desdemona is here the guardian angel who saves lago's ship, and at the conclusion 
of the speech she is styled not without a purpose, ' the divine Desdemona.' 

82. ensteep'd] Theobald {Sh, Rest., p. 143) : That is. That Rocks and Shoals 
lurk under, and lye covered by the Deep, treacherously to destroy Vessels which hs^ 
pen to be thrown upon them. Steevens : Perhaps escerped was an old English word 
bccTowed from the French, escarpi, which Shakespeare, not finding congruous to the 
image of clogging the keel, afterwards changed. I once thought it might be Traitors 
enscarfd, i. e. muffled in their robes, as in Jul, Cos, or Ham., * My sea-gown scarf d 
about me.' Henley : Steevens*s difficulty would, perhaps, have been removed had 
he recollected Othello's speech in IV, ii, 60 : * Steep'd me in poverty to the very lips.' 
BoswELL: Traitors ensteep'd are merely traitors concealed under the water. Knight: 
Rocks and sand are beneath the water, and what is beneath the water is steeped in the 
water. The identical word thus applied is in the Fcterie Queene, I, xi, 276 : * Now gan 
the golden Phoebus for to steepe His fierie face in billowes of the west' White (ed. 


As hauing fence of Beautie, do omit 83 

Their mortall Natures, letting go lafely by 

The Diuine De/demona. 85 

Mon, What is (he ? 

Cajfio, She that I fpake of: 
Our great Captains Captaine, 
Left in the conduft of the bold lago^ 

Whofe footing heere anticipates our thoughts, 90 

A Senights fpeed. Great loue, Othello guard. 
And fwell his Saile with thine owne powrefuU breath. 
That he may blefle this Bay with his tall Ship, 
Make loues quicke pants in Defdemonaes Armes, 
Giue renewed fire to our extin6led Spirits. 95 

Enter De/demona^ I^go^ Rodorigo, and ^Emilia, 
Oh behold, 97 

S4. inortali'\ common Qq. 95. ex/imfifd'] extin^eft F F^. ^jt/m- 

go /afely\ safe go Pope+, O^. guisfCd Rowe, Pope, Theob. Han. Warix 

87, 88. One line, Qq, Row^ et seq. Spiritsil Ff. fpirits: And bring 

87. /pake] /poke Q,. /peaM Q*8l. ali Cypreffe comfort^— (subs.) Qq et cet 

88. great'\ Om. Q^. [And give Rowe). 

94. Make.„in\ And fwifily come to 96. Enter...] After armes, line 94 Qq. 
Qq, Jen. Scene V. Pope+, Jen. 

95. Two lines, Qq. 

i) reads enscarfd and upholds the word : because Shakespeare never uses < steep ' io 
the sense of ' plunge * or ' submeige,* but always in that of ' lave ' or ' soak,' which is 
almost ridiculously inappropriate here; because 'scarp' in Shakespeare's day meant 
the inner slope of a ditch or intrenchment, then as now descriptive of shelving rocks.* 
and because enscarped might be easily mistaken for < ensteeped,' owing to the likenesf 
between c and / in the MS. of the early seventeenth century. Dyce in his ed. ii re* 
minded White of Henley's reference to IV, ii, 60, and White adopted ' ensteep'd ' is 
his ed. ii, and enscarped was heard of no more. 

84. mortaU] Reed : That is, deadly, destructive. 

88. Captaine] Malone : Cf. < And she shall be sole victress, Caesar's Caesar,' Rich 
III: IV, iv, 336. 

91. loue] Malone: For this absurdity I have not the smallest doubt that the Mas- 
ter of the Revels, and not our poet, is answerable. [Malone made the same remark 
on 2 Hen. VI: IV, x, 56, where the Ff have 'Jove,' and the Qq God. The infer- 
ence is that Malone deemed God the true word here ; Hudson has adopted it. — £d.j 
Cowdkn-Clarkb : We believe it to have been the author's own word characteristic- 
ally put into Cassio's mouth here. To this day Italians use mythological adjurations 
in common with Christian iq^peals ; and in Shakespeare's time the custom was almoiC 

95. The omission in the Folio of the phrase found in the Qto, White (ed. i) pm- 
Dounces due to 'manifest accident;' as well as iw^ in line 104. 



The Riches of the Ship is come on fhore : 
You men of Cyprus, let her haue your knees. 
Haile to thee Ladie : and the grace of Heauen, 
Before, behinde thee, and on euery hand 
Enwheele thee round. 

Def. I thanke you, Valiant Cajfio, 
What tydings can you tell of my Lord ? 

Caf, He is not yet arriu'd, nor know I ought 
But that he's well, and will be fhortly heere. 

Def, Oh, but I feare : 
How loft you company ? 

Cajfio, The great Contention of Sea, and Skies 
Parted our fellowfhip. But hearke, a Saile. 

Witldn. A Saile, a Saile. 

Gent. They giue this greeting to the Cittadell .• 
This likewife is a Friend. 



L317 <»] 



98. onJkore\ ajhore Q,. 

99. You\ Ff, Rowe, Pope, Theob. Han. 
Warb. Cap. Knt, Wh. i. K^ Qq ct ceL 

100. thee LadU] the Lady Q'8l. 

104. tell'\ teii me QqFf et cet. 

105. yet^ Om. Ff. 

flrri«V] arriuedQ^Q^, arruedQ^ 
ought'] QqFf, Rowe, POpe, Han. 
^Varb. aught Theob. et cet. 
107, 108. One line, Qq et cet. 
107. feare: How] Ff. feare: — how 
Qq, Cap. Steev. Mai. Sing, fear, — How 
Coll. i, Wh. i, Ktly. fear—how Rowe et 

109. Sea] the fea QqFf et cet. 

1 10. fellow/hip,] Ff, Rowe + , Jen. Del. 
Huds. /ri7^i^f>—G]o. Cam. Rife. Wh. 
ii. fellow/hip .• Qq et cet. 

111. Within... A«V^] [within] ^/li^ 
a faile (Stage direct, after line 108) Qq. 
Soond of Cannon. Johns. Cry within of — 
A sail! a sail: afterwards. Guns (Stage 
direct.) Cap. After fellow/hip Coll. 

112. Mij]Ff,Rowe+,Steev.'85. their 
Qqet cet. 

greeting] geertisig Q^. 
to the] to this Rowe ii. 

98. Riches] For instances of its use, according to its derivation as a singular noun. 
tee Schmidt, s. ▼. 

100-102. Walker {Crit., iii, 286) : Wheel for circle is not altogether unfrequent in 
the old dramatists. Cf. ' Heaven's grace in-wheel you. And all good thoughts and 
prayeis dwell about you.* — B. and F. The Pilgrim^ I, ii, p. 17, ed. Dyce. Peck (Me- 
moirs of Milton^ p. 164) : These lines are almost directly copied in II Penseroso^ 151 : 
* And, as I wake, sweet music breathe Above, about, and underneath.' 

103. Booth : Desdemona gives her hand to Cassio, who kisses it, and rises from 
his knee. 

107. fear] D'Hugues : £st-ce un pressentiment vague et mystirieux de la destine 
qui I'attend dans cette lie ? Ce mot n'est ^demment pas plac6 au hasard : tout a un 
sens dans Shakespeare. 

112. this] White (ed. i) : This seems a misprint, due to the occurrence cf 'this' 
ffl the next line. [It hardly can be called a misprint. To me, it is doubtful if it be 
not a little better than their. — Ed.] 


Caffio, See for the Newes : 
Good Ancient, you are welcome. Welcome Miftris : 115 

Let it not gaule your patience (good lago) 
That I extend my Manners. 'Tis my breeding, 
That giues me this bold fhew of Curtefie. 

lago. Sir, would fhe giue you fomuch of her lippes, 
As of her tongue fhe oft beftowes on me, 1 20 

You would haue enough. 

Def, Alas : fhe ha's no fpeech. 

lago. In&ith too much : 123 

114. See„.Newes\So/peakesthisvoyce 12a oft beftowes] has beflawed Q<{. 
Q,. on] of Ff, Rowe i. 

[Exit Gentleman. Cap. et seq. 121. You would"] Ff, Rowe. KwVQq 

115. [To i&nilia. Rowe et seq. et cet. 

117. [Kisses her. Johns. 123. Infaith] F,F,. I know Q^, In 
119. Sir,] For Q,. ftiUh Q, et cet 

1 18. Courtesy] Coleruxsb (Notes, &c., 254) : Here is Cassio's warm-hearted, yet 
perfectly disengaged, praise of Desdemona, and sympathy with the ' most fortunately ' 
wived Othello ; and yet Cassio is an enthusiastic admirer, almost a worshipper, of Des- 
demona. Oh, that detestable code that excellence cannot be loved in any form that is 
female, but it must needs be selfish ! Observe Othello^s ' honest,' and Cassio*s ' bold 
Iago» and Cassio's full guileless-hearted wishes for the safety and love-raptures of 
Othello and * the divine Desdemona.' And also note the exquisite circumstance of 
Cassio's kissing lago's wife, as if it ought to be impossible that the dullest auditor 
should not feel Cassio's religious love of Desdemona's purity. lago's answers are the 
sneers which a proud, bad intellect feels towards women, and expresses to a wife. 
Surely it ought to be considered a very exalted compliment to women, that all the sar- 
casms on them in Shakespeare are put in the mouths of villains. Booth : Kiss her 
face ; not, as is firequently done, her hand. lago winces slightly, for he ' suspects Cas- 
sio with his nightcap.' I was once so irritated by Cassio's kissing the hand of Emilia, 
despite directions at rehearsal, that I said ' If she would give you so much of her 
hand^ &C., which staggered Cassio and set all the actors girling. 

123 et seq. Rymer (p. no) : Now follows a long rabble of Jack-pudding farce be- 
twixt Jago and Desdemona, that runs on with all the little plays, jingle, and trash below 
the patience of any Country Kitchenmaid with her Sweetheart. The Venetian Donna 
is hard put to 't for pastime I And this is all, when they are newly got on shore, from 
a dismal Tempest, and when every moment she might expect to hear her Lord (as she 
calls him) that she runs so mad after, is arrived or lost. And moreover * in a town of 
war, the people's hearts brimful of fear.' Never in the World had any Pagan Poet his 
Brains turned at this Monstrous rate. But the ground of all this Bedlam -Buffoonery we 
WW in the case of the French Strollers, the company for acting Chrisfs Passion, oit the 
Old Testament, were Carpenters, Cobblers, and illiterate fellows ; who found that the 
Drolls, and Fooleries interlarded by them, brought in the rabble, and lengthened their 
time, so they got money by the bargain. Our Shakespeare, doubtless, was a great Mas- 
ter in this craft. These Carpenters and Cobblers were the guides he followed. And it 
b then no wonder that we find so much farce and Apocryphal matter in his Tragedie& 

I06 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii, sc. i. 

I finde it ftill, when I haue leaue to fleepe. 

Marry before your Ladyfhip, I grant, 125 

She puts het tongue a little in her heart, 

And chides with thinking. 

^mil. You haue little caufe to fay fo. 

lago. Come on, come on : you are Piftures out of 
doore : Bells in your Parlours : Wilde-Cats in your Kit- 1 30 
chens : Saints in your Iniuries : Diuels being offended : 

124. a Jim, when] it, I ; for when Q,. 129-133. Verse, ending <^<M?nf.*... >K^^- 

itJiill,for when Q,Qj. em:,,, offended :,*.beds, Qq» Rowc ct seq. 

haue] ha Qq> 1 29. you are] youVe Pope+y Dyce iii, 

^aiftf] Q,Q,Ff, ColL i,Wh. i. lust Huds. 

Coll. ii (MS), lifi Q, et cet. 129, 130. of doore] Knt. adores Q,. 

ia6. het] herQqFf. ofdores Q,F,Qj- ofdoores Fj. ddoor^ 

in her] in Q . Cap. of doors F^ ct cet. 

128. haue] ha Q,Q,. 

Thereby un-hallowing the Theatre, profaning the name of Tragedy ; And instead of 
representing Men and Manners, turning all Morality, good sense, and humanity into 
mockery and derision. 

124. Leaue] Dyce {Remarks, &c., p. 237) : When Collier adopted 'leave' of the 
Folio, what meaning did he attach to it ? did he suppose it to be only another form of 
< leve,' ' leef,* or * lief ' (a word which, I apprehend, was never used as a substantive) ? 
List is clearly the true reading. Colxjer (ed. ii) : Lust is from the (MS.). < Leave' 
merely means * when I have permission to sleep,' and has nothing to do with * leef,' 
•leve,' or *lief.' Dyce [Strictures, p. 197) : Collier's present explanation of * leave ' 
makes lago talk sheer nonsense. 

129. PiAures] Gerard: Nous avons en fran^ais la m£me expression: *Sagst 
oomme des images.' [This refers to the * paintings ' with which Hamlet taxes women, 
III, i, 142 : * I have heard of your paintings too, well enough ; God has given you one 
frice, and you make yourselves another.' — Ed.] 

129-133. Steevens: Almost the same thoughts are to be found in Puttenham's 
Arte of Poesie, 1589 : ' We limit the comely parts of a woman to consist in foure 
points, that is to be a shrewe in the kitchin, a saint in the Church, an Angell at the 
bourd, and an Ape in the bed ' [p. 299, ed. Arber]. See also Middleton's Blurt, Mas 
ter- Constable, 1602 [III, iii], and 7)1/ Miseries of Inforced Marriage, 1607 [I, i, p. 
10, ed. Collier]. Puttenham, who mentions all other contemporary writers, has not 
once spoken of Shakespeare ; so that it is probable that he had not produced anything 
of so early a date. The truth is, that this book appears to have been written several 
years before its publication. See p. 115 [p. 152, ed. Arber], where the author refers 
to Sir Nicholas Bacon, who died in 1579, and recounts a circumstance, from his own 
knowledge, that happened in 1553. Malone : How does it appear that this book 
was written several years before its publication, from the circumstances mentioned ? 
Puttenham does not speak of Sir Nicholas Bacon as living ; but speaks of those that 
knew him; from which we might rather infer that it could not be written before X578» 
when that lord keeper died. 

131. Saints] Johnson : When you have a mind to do injuries, you put on an air 
of sanctity. 

ACT 11, SC. i.] 



Players in your Hufwiferie, and Hufwiues in your 132 

Def, Oh, fie vpon thee, Slanderer. 

lago. Nay, it is true : or elfe I am a Turke, 135 

You rife to play, and go to bed to worke. 

^mU, You fliall not write my praife. 

lago, No,let me not. 

Defde. What would'ft write of me, if thou should'ft 
praife me ? 140 

lago. Oh, gentle Lady, do not put me too.t, 
For I am nothing, if not Criticall 

Def. Come on, alTay. 
There's one gone to the Harbour ? 

lago. I Madam. 145 

Def. I am not merry : but I do beguile 

132. Hu/wiferU'\kau/wifiryQ^, Huf- 
wifery F( Rowe, Pope, Knt kusm/ry 
Cap. houfewifery Q,Q, et cet. 
and'\ Om. Han. 

Hu/wiuesl Ff, Rowe, Cap. Knt 
hcu/wmes Q,f Pope, hou/eumus Q^Q, 

154. Def.] Om. Q,. 

139. Two lines, Qq. One line, as verse, 
Rowe et seq. 

139. 2x>KwA/>?]Ff, Rowe, Knt wouldft 
thou Qq et cet. 

140. me /] me, F,Fj. 

141. toof^ tooi F,. to't QqFjF^. 

143. Come OH, affay"] Come, one assof 

143, 144. One line, Qqi Rowe et seq. 
ofay, Tker^s]affay— therms Qn, 

144. Harbour f\ Harbour — Rowe, 
P6pe, Theob. Han. Warb. 

145. /] /, FjF^. Ay, Rowe et seq. 

132. HuBwiues] White (ed. ii) : In Shakespeare's day, and in some parts of Eng- 
land still, housewife is pronounced husif, which has passed into hussy^ with a half joc- 
nlar, half serious, implication of wantonness, which seems not to have been lacking 
three hundred years ago. Indeed, perhaps, we should read here ' hussies in your beds.* 

134. Jennens : Perhaps this speech should be iEmilia's ; Iago*s next speech seems 
to require it Collier : In a handwriting of the time it is given to Emilia in the 
Duke of Devonshire's copy of Q,. 

138. No] Booth : Linger on * no,' with a significant side glance at her. All that 
he says till he speaks * Aside ' should be delivered humorously, to conceal his bitter- 
ness, which his features occasionally reveal. 

14a praise me ?] Horn (i, 340) : Many a poet, heaping up tragic devices for 
tragic ends, would have probably represented Desdemona as feeling an involuntary, 
foieboding aversion to lago; but even her very freedom from all forebodings is in 
itself deeply tragic, and devised with a rare insight into character. 

142. CriticRU] Johnson: That is, censorious. M^lone: Cf. Sonn,, 122, 'my 
adder's sense To eriiic and to flatterer stopped are.' 

145. Booth : Cassio should make this reply. He has been awaiting their arrival ; 
lago has just landed with Desdemona. 

146. Coleridge (Notes, &c., 254) : The straggle of courtesy in De^.d'tmona tc 

Io8 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii. sc. i. 

The thing I am, by feeming otherwife. 147 

Come,how would'ft thou praife me ? 

lago. I am about it, but indeed my inuention comes 
from my pate, as Birdlyme do's from Freeze, it pluckes 1 50 
out Braines and all But my Mufe labours, and thus fhe 
is deliuer'd. 

Ifflte be f aire ^ and wife : faireneffe, and wit , 
Tlie ones far vfe, the other vfeth it. 

Def Well prais'd : 155 

How if fhe be Blacke and Witty ? 

lago. If fhe be blacke^ and thereto haue a wit. 
She' le find a white, tliatfhall her blacknejfe fit. 

Def Worfe, and worfe. 

^ntil. How if Faire, and Foolifh f 160 

lago. She neuer yet was foolifh that was faire. 
For euen her folly helpt her to an heire. 

Defde. Thefe are old fond Paradoxes, to make Fooles 
laugh i'th'Alehoufe. What miferable praife haft thou 
for her that's Foule,and Foolifh. 165 

149-152. Prose Ff,Rowe, Pope, Theob. 153. tt^<f.*] tt^<p» Qq. wise, — Cap. 

Han. Warb. Four lines of veise, ending 154. vfeth'\ v/ing Q,. 

inuention.. .freae.., labors,.. deltuet^d Qq 155, 156. One line, Qqi Rowe et seq. 

et cet 158. fit] hii Q,. 

149. indeed'\ Om. Q^. 160, 165. Fooli/h r\ fooUfli. F^,. 
my\ Om. Johns. 162. her to an heire] her, to a haire Q,. 

150. Freeu'\ FfQq, Rowe + , Cap. Jen. 163-165. Three lines, ending i^i^^l^t^^r, 
frieze Huds. Wh. ii. flize Steev. et cet. ...her,... fooli/h f Qq. 

151. Braines"] draine Qq. 163. old fond "] old Qq. 

152. deliuer'dl deliuered Q,FfQj, 164. iUh'AUhou/e.'\VtheAUhoufe,Q^. 
Rowe+, Jen. Vth Alehouse: Q,. Vth Alehoufe Q,. 

153, 154, 157, &c. Printed in Roman, Q,. hajf\ hajle F,. 

abstract her attention. Deuus : Perhaps lines 146, 147 should be considered as an 

158. fit] Steevens : I believe Q, has the true reading here, as in Love's Lab. IV, i, 
127, [To the same effect, Staunton. See Bishop Percys Folio MS., vol. iv. — Ed.] 

161, 162. Johnson : We tnay read : * She nier was yet so foolish that was fair. But 
sven,* &c. Yet I believe the common reading to be right; the law makes the power 
of cohaUtation a proof that a man is not a natural; therefore, since the foolishest 
woman, if pretty, may have a child, no pretty woman is ever foolish. Haluwell : 
To elucidate this sentence, the reader may remember, that ' if one have so much know- 
ledge as to measure a yard of cloth ; number twenty pence rightly ; name the days of 
the week ; or become the parent of a child ; he shall not be accounted an idiot by the 
laws of the realm.' A statement of which may be seen in The Student* s Companion, 
or the Reason of the Law, 2d ed. 1734. — Anon. 

163. fond] Dycs (Lex.) : Foolish, simple, silly. 


lago. Thett^s none fofoule andfoolijh thereunto, 166 

But do'sfoule pranks, which f aire, and wife-ones do, 

De/de. Oh heauy ignorance : thou praif eft the worft 
beft. But what praife could'ft thou beftow on a defer- 
uing woman indeed? One, that in the authorithy of her 170 
merit, did iuftly put on the vouch of very malice it [317*] 

lago. She that was euerfaire , and neuer proud ^ 
Had Tongue at will^ and yet was neuer loud: 
Neuer lackt Gold^ and yet went neuer gay ^ 175 

Fled from her wifh , and yet f aid now I may. 

167. wi/e-ofus] Hyphen, F,. 170. auihoritky] F,. 

168. thou prai/efti thatprai/es Qq. 171. merW] merrits Q,. nurits Q/iy 
17a ifideedP'} indeed /Siag, indeed,— 171. 172. it /e/fe.JFf, Ktly, it felfe f 

Dycc, Sta. indeed, Glo. Cam. Rife, Wh. Qq ct cct. 

iL indeed ;^vA&. 175. went neuer] iMt/^ievif/Theob.u. 

170. Steevens : The hint for this question, and the metrical reply of lago, is taken 
from a strange pamphlet, called Choice, Chance, and Charge, or Conceits in their Col- 
ours, 1606 ; when after Tidero has described many ridiculous characters in verse, Amo- 
fQo asks him, < But, I pray thee, didst thou write none in commendation of some worthy 
creature ? ' Tidero then proceeds, like lago, to repeat more verses. [It wpuld not have 
been w(»th while to dte this note of Steevens, had not Singer repeated it, without 
acknowledgement, in both his First and Second editions. I never saw the pamphlet, 
and dislike to depart from the safe rule of verifying all Steevens*s citations, especially 
those wherefrom Steevens asserts that Shakespeare ' took hints,' assertions always doubt- 
ful, frequently absurd, and here especially uncertain, in view of the date 1606. — Ed.] 

171. put on] Theobald could not understand how merit could put on the vouch 
of malice. ' I should rather think,' he says, *that merit was so safe in itself, as to repel 
and put off all that malice and envy could advance to its prejudice.' He therefore 
changed his text to * put dcwn^ Warburton : The sense is, one that was so con- 
scious of her own merit, and of the authority her character had with every one, that 
she dnxst venture to call upon malice itself to vouch for her. This was some commen- 
datiotL And the character only of the clearest virtue ; which could force malice, even 
against its nature, to do justice. Johnson : To put on the vouch of malice, is to 
assume a character vouched by the testimony of malice itself. Capell (p. 142) : < Put 
on ' is — push on, push forward the unwilling ; so that the sense is — ^push malice on to 
vouch, dare it to give its testimony, say what it knows of her; this is the very force 
of < pat on ' and < vouch,' and their explanation combin'd ; and other comment than 
this the passage does not require. 

173 &C. Booth : These lines should be spoken as though composed on the spur of 
the moment ; not glibly, as though studied beforehand. 

173. She that] Abbott, % 268 : Generally it will be found that which is more defi 
nite than that. Which follows a name, that a pronoun. Sometimes which is used in 
this sense to denote an individual or a defined class, while that denotes a hypothetical 
penon or an indefinite dass, as here. 

no THE TRAGEDIE OJ^ OTHELLO [Acr ii. sc i 

She that being angredy her reuenge being nie^ 177 

Bad her wrong Jlay^ and her difpleafure flie : 

She that in wi/edome neuer was fofraUe^ 

To c flange the Cods-ltead for the Salmons taile : i8c 

She that could thinke^ and neu'r difclofe her tnindy 

See Suitors following^ and not looke behind'. 

She was a wight ^ {if euer fuch wightes were) 

Def. To do what ? 

lago. To fuckle FooleSy and chronicle fmall Beere, 1 85 

177. being] when Pope -I- . 183. fuch wightes] Ff, Knt, Sta. Del. 

181. neu'r] n^n QqFjF^. net^r F,. fuck wight Qq et cct. 

n^ir Rowe. were)] F,Fj, Rowe ii + , Jen. were. 

182. Om. Q,. Q,. «)«r/,)Q^Rowci. were,)¥^. were, — 
not] 11^^ Johns. Johns. 

180. To] For the omission of as in relative constructions, see Lear, 1, iv, 36, or 
Abbott, $281. 

180. Cods-bead] Steevens : That is, to exchange a delicacy for coarser fare. See 
Queen Elizabeth's Household Book for the 43d year of her Reign : < Item, the Master 
Cookes have to fee all the salmons' tailes,' &c., p. 296. White (ed. ii) : That is, to 
give up the best part of a homely thing for the worst part of something very fine. 
LOders (p. 43) detects herein another, and fUr feinere Ohren weniger schmackhafle 
Bedeutung. Purnell : By the despised salmon's tail he means Othello, whom she had 
chosen in preference to the wealthy, curled darlings of Venice. 

182. Booth: A glance at Roderigo would imply that Desdemona is the 'wight' 
particularly referred to. Roderigo has long been an unnoticed follower. [Qu. Ought 
not Roderigo to be disguised ? Did not lago tell him to defeat his favour with a 
usurped beard ? It seems almost impossible to suppose that Cassio had never met in 
Venice, Desdemona's assiduous wooer, Roderigo, and yet see line 297 of this scene, 
where lago tells Roderigo that Cassio does not know him. Can this refer to an}ihing 
else than to his ' defeated favour ' ? — Ed.] 

183, 185. were . . . Beere] This rhyme is recorded merely in Ellis's Early- Eng. 
Fran., p. 965. It is hazardous to deny that a perfect rhyme is here intended, and yet 
it seems to me that lago pauses so long in search of one that Desdemona breaks in 
with her question ; and that lago, thus spurred, rushes to his lame and impotent con- 
clusion, where a defective rhyme would indicate its off-hand character, and supply a 
dash of humour to counteract the bitterness. There is, however, authority elsewhere 
for rhyming were and beer. In Com. of Err. IV, ii, 9-10, we have were and here; in 
Ji, cf L. 631, were and appear; in Sonn. 140, 5, were and near; but were rhymes with 
bear in Sonn. 13, 6. Chapman frequently rhymes here, were, there, cheer, and dear. — Ed. 

185. Chronicle] In this word Johnson discerned an allusion <to the Roman prac- 
tice of marking the jars with the name of the Consul. The appearance of such a 
woman would make an era , but as the merit of the best woman is but small, that era 
might be properly applied to the distinction of the different ages of small beer.' This 
note was not repeated in either of the two editions which Dr Johnson and Steevens 
afterwards edited. In its stead appeared the interpretation by Steevens, which has 
been since then gen#vally accepted, < of keeping the accounts of a household.' 


Defde. Oh mofl lame and impotent conclufion. Do i86 
not learne of him ^tnilia^ though he be thy husband. 
How fay you (Cajfio) is he not a mod prophane, and li- 
berall Counfailor ? 

CaJJio. He fpeakes home (Madam) you may rellifh 190 
him more in the Souldier, then in the Scholler. 

lago. He takes her by the palme : I, well faid, whif- 
per. With as little a web as this^ will I enfnare as great 
a Fly as CaJJio. I fmile vpon her, do : I will giue thee 
in thine owne Courtfhip. You fay true, *tis fo indeed. 195 
If fuch tricks as thefe ftrip you out of your Lieutenan- 
trie, it had beene better you had not kifs'd your three fin- 
gers fo oft, which now againe you are mofl apt to play 
the Sir, in. Very good : well kifs*d, and excellent Curt- 199 

186-189. Four lines, ending r<7m-/ij^(m.' 194- ^'«'] FjF^. ro/r^ Qq, Jen, gyve 

,.,kusband : ..Jiberall..,Coun/ellour, Qq. F^ Rowe et cet. giue Daniel. 

187. iea9yu'\ lame Qj. thee"] you Qq, Jen. 

188. HberaW] iUiberal Han. 195. thine'l your Qq, Jen. 

189. Counfailor\ censurerThitfh, Han. CounJhip'\ couriefies Q,, Jen. 
Cap. Coll. iii (MS), Huds. indeed.'] indeed— Rowe. 

190^ 191. IIe,„Aim] One line, Qq. 196, 197. Lieutenantrie"] Lieutenancy 

191. the Scholler\ Scholler F,. Rowe + , Jen. 

[They converse apart Cap. 197. ki/s'd'] rift Qq. 

192. lago.] lago. Aside. Rowe. 198. againe] againe^ Qq. 

^] /Qq. -<4y, Rowe et seq. \^^, Very goo<i\ good (i^^. Verygood-^ 

/aid,] fed, Qq. said — Rowe. Rowe. 

whi/per] whisper — Rowe. hi/^d,] kisid/ Steev. et scq. 

193. With as.. , will 1] as,.,will Q^, (Johns, conj.). 

194. Ely] Flee Q,. Flie Q,Qj. and] Q,Q,Ff, Rowe + , Cap. Knt. 
I /mile] /, /miU Q,Q,Ff. Ay, an Q^ei cet. 

iJWfZrRowe. Curt/ie] courte/u Qq. Curtefie 
do:] do — Rowe. F^ 

188. propbane] Johnson : Gross of language, of expression broad and brutal. See 
'profane wretch,' I, i, 127. 

188. liberall] Warburton: Licentious. 

189. Counsailor] Johnson : This seems to mean not so much a man that gives 
counsel, as one that discourses fearlessly and volubly. A talker. 

192. Coleridge {Notes, &c., 254} calls attention in this speech to the importance 
given to trifles, and made fertile by the. villainy of the observer. 

192. palme] Booth : The hands of both should be ungloved. They seldom are so. 

192. well said] Schmidt (s. v. 4, 2} : That is, well done. So also IV, i, 133, and 
V, 1,124. 

194- Siue] Pope : Catch, shackle. 

195. Courtship] Knight : This is used for paying courtesies. 

195. You . . . indeed] Dsuus : This is in answer to Cassio's last speech. 
197. three fingers] Booth : Cassio kisses his three fingers as though desciibiiig 
gome pleasing act or scene, not as though complimenting Desdemona. 



fie : 'tis fo indeed. Yet againe, your fingers to your 200 

lippes ? Would they were Clufter-pipes for your 


The Moore I know his Trumpet. 

CaJJio. Tis truely fo. 

Def. Let's meete him, and recieue him. 205 

Cojffw. Loe, where he comes. 

Enter Othello j and Attendants, 

0th. O, my (aire Warriour. 

Def. My deere Othello. 

Othe. It giues me wonder great, as my content 210 

To fee you heere before me. 
Oh my Soules loy.- 

If after euery Tempeft, come fuch Calmes, 
May the windes blow, till they haue waken'd death : 214 

20a ^tisfo\ tis (^. 

agttme;\ againe Q/i^, agt 

to\atQ<{, Jen. 

201. Clujter-fnpa\ CH/lerpipa Qq. 
CUfter-pipes F,Fj. Oxfier-pipa F^. 

202. /ake,'\ fake, — Q,Qj. 
[Trumpet. Rowe. 

203. Moore\ Moore^ Qq. Moor — 
Thcob. Moor, Johns. Moor I ColL 

206. com€i\ come F,F^. 

207. Enter...] Tnimpets within. Enter 
...(after line 203) Qq. (Trumpet Q,QJ. 
Scene VI. Pope+, Jen. 

211. 212. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 

212. OK\ Om. Pbpe, Han. 

213. eome\ came Q^. 

Calmes\ caimenejfe Qq, Steer.'Ss, 
Mai. Rann. calms F^. 

214. waken^d^w(JkenedQlf^,VMikned 

199. the Sir] Henley : That is, to show your good breeding and gallantry. Staun- 
ton : The courtier, or gallant 

199. Curtsie] Johnson : Spoken when Cassio kisses his hand, and Desdemona 
courtesies. Malone : We have just had < I will catch you in jrour own courtesies ' 
[Qi]* Here, therefore, he probably meant only to speak of Cassio, while kissing his 
hand. < Well kissed ! an excellent courtesy 1 ' i. e. an excellent salute. Courtesy,, in 
the sense of obeisance or saluUt was applied to men as well as to women. < The 
homely villain courtesies to her low,' R, of Z. 1338. Rolfe : It is doubtful whether 
this refers to Cassio or Desdemona. 

208. Warriour] Steevens: In III, iv, 173, Desdemona calls herself an < unhand- 
some Warrior.' This phrase was introduced by our copiers of the French Sonneteers. 
Ronsard frequently calls his mistresses guerriires; and Southern, his imitator, is not 
less prodigal of the same appellation. Had I not met with the word thus fantastically 
applied, I should have concluded that Othello called his wife a * warrior ' because she had 
embarked with him on a warlike expedition, and not in consequence of Ovid's observa- 
tion : * Militat onmis amans, et habet sua castra Cupido.' [Southern was not bom until 
nigh a half century after Shakespeare's death. Steevens's reading was so extensive, 
his memory so tenacious, and his wit so ready, that we shall always owe him gratitude 


And let the labouring Barke climbe hills of Seas 2 1 5 

Olympus high : and duck againe as low. 

As hell's from Heauen. If it were now to dye, 

'Twere now to be moft happy. For I feare, 

My Soule hath her content fo abfolute, 

That not another comfort like to this, 220 

Succeedes in vnknowne Fate. 

Def. The Heauens forbid 
But that our Loues 
And Comforts fhould encreafe 
Euen as our dayes do grow. 225 

Othe. Amen to rhat ( fweet Powers) 
I cannot fpeake enough of this content, 
It ftoppes me heere : it is too much of ioy. 
And this, and this the greateft difcords be 
That ere our hearts fhall make. 230 

215. cUmbe] cHme Qq. 225. dogrow\ Om. Steev. conj. 

216. Olympus IngKl Olymptu-high 226. rhai {fweet Powersy] that/weeU 
SteeY.'93 et scq. pawer^ Q,. that sweet Prayer! Warb. 

kigh:'\ high, Qq. that, Sweet powers! Sing, thai^ sweet 

217. from\ for Q . Powers ! Rowc ct cct 

«r] / Rowe u+ . 229. And'\ Let Quincy (MS). 

223, 224. One line, Qqi Rowe et seq. difcords"] difcord ()(\, 

224. encreafe] mcreafe QqF^. [they kiffe. Q,. kiffe. Q,Qj. 

lor his Ubotns, and ought not to ' mock his useful toil ' if now and then he wanders 
fiur, Teiy far, afield. Desdemona had protested that she could not stay at home a 
<moth of peace,' but must go to <the War' with Othello; and to that, I think, is the 
allusion here. — ^Eo.]. Walker (Vers. p. 175) notes this as pronounced dissohUi, 
Booth : They embrace, with delicacy. There is nothing of the animal in this ' noUe 

215. climbe] Stesvens: Cf. <The sea making mountaines of itself, over which 
the tossed and tottering ship should dimbe, to be straight carried downe againe to z.pii 
§f heUish darknesses — Sidne3r's Arcadia, b. i. 

217. Whalley (p. 71): Thus in Terence's Eunuchus [III, v, 2; ed. Weise], 
Querea in an ecstasy of joy breaks out in a like exclamation : * Pro Juppiter I Nunc 
est profecto^ interfid quum perpeti me possimi, Ne hoc gaudium contaminet vita aegri- 
tndine aliqua.' Booth : To be uttered in low, foreboding tones. 

229. and this] Malonb : So in Marlowe's Lusfs Dominion : * I pri'thee chide. 
If I have done amiss, But let my punishment be this and this [Kissing the Moor* 
Steevens : Marlowe's play was written before that of Shakespeare, who might possi- 
bly have acted in it [see I, iii, 172]. Booth : I think their heart-throbs are better 
than kisses. Holding Desdemona clasped to his breast, Othello feels the quick beating 
of her heart against his own. [However much more refined than kissing thb inter- 
pretation may seem to us to be, the stage direction in the Qq leaves us in no doubt as 
to the practice in Shakespeare's day. — ^£d.] 

114 ^^^ TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii. sr. i. 

I ago. Oh you are well tun'd now : But He fet downe 231 
the peggs that make this Muflcke^ as honefl as I am. 

Othe. Come : let vs to the Caftle. [3*8 ^] 

Newes (Friends) our Warres are done : 

The Turkes are drown'd. 235 

How do's my old Acquaintance of this Ifle f 
( Hony) you fliall be well defir'd in Cyprus, 
I haue found great loue among'ft them. Oh my Sweet, 
I prattle out of fafhion,and I doate 239 

231, 232. Prose, Ff, Rowe, Pope, Theob. 234. Ntwes\ Now Rowe ii + . 

Waxb. Verse, ending naWt„,mufiqu€t,.. 235. dr€wn*d'\ dro Q,. 

mm, Qq et cet. 236. dds my\ doe our Q,, Pope + , Jen. 

231. [Aside. Rowe et seq. Steev. Mml. Var. Sing. Ktly. 

C>>i] Om. Han. of this] of the Q^. wMuRoweu. 

fet ] let Pope + ,Cap. Jen. Steev.'Ss. [To Monlano. Cap. 

232. make'] makes Q,Qj. 237. ffony] Honny Qq. Honey F^. 

233. IH vs] lees Q,. iH's Rowe ii+, 238. / kaue] Pve Pbpe-l-, Dycc ill. 
Cap. Mai. Sleev.'93, Var. Sing. Huds. 

234. 235. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 

231. set downe] Malone: Who can prove that set down [in opposition to let 
down] was not the language of Shakespeare's time, when a viol was spoken of? To 
set formerly signified to tune^ though it is no longer used in that sense. Stskvens : 
To * set down ' has this meaning in no other part of our author's works. However, 
virtus post nummos ; we have secured the phrase, and the exemplification of it may 
follow when it will. Boswell : To * set down ' has the same meaning as to put doum^ 
to lower. Yet, as the phrase to let down is the usual phrase, and might be easily cor- 
rupted, it was probably the true one. Cowden-Clarke : It is possible that 'set down ' 
was fonnerly as much a technical musical phrase as * let down ' is now. Hudson : It 
is worth noting that Milton's Satan relents at the prospect of ruining the happiness 
before him, and prefaces the deed with a gush of pity for the victims ; whereas the 
same thought puts lago in a transport of jubilant ferocity. Is our idea of Satan's 
wickedness enhanced by his thus indulging such feelings, and then acting in defiance 
of them, or as if he had them not ? or is lago more devilish than he ? Booth : This 
should be spoken with calm assurance ; not too pointedly. He knows he will make 
the discord, — so does the audience. 

236. Acquaintance] Capell supposed that this was addressed to Montano only, 
but both Jennens and Knight assume that it is here a noun of multitude. 

237. well desir'd] Steevens : That is, much solicited by invitations. So in the 
Paston Letters : ' at the whych weddyng I was with myn hostes, and also desyiyd 
by the jentylman hym selfe' [i, 296, ed. Fenn; iii, 241, ed. Gairdner]. Delius 
doubts this interpretation, and prefers the simpler and more obvious meaning of wel- 
comet well beloved^ like 'a well-wish'd king' in Meas.for Meas,y II, iv, 27 ; in which 
both RoLFE and the present editor agree with him. 

239. fashion] Johnson : Out of method, without any settled order of discourse. 
239. dote] Schmidt: Talk irrationally. Gerard: Comparez le mot fran^ais 

ACT II. SC. i.] 



In mine owne comforts. I prythee, good lago^ 240 

Go to the Bay, and difimbarke my Coffers : 
Bring thou the Mafter to the Cittadell , 
He is a good one, and his worthyneffe 
Do's challenge much refpeft. Come Defdemona^ 
Once more well met at Cyprus. 24s 

Exit Othello and De/demona, 
lago. Do thou meet me prefently at the Harbour. 
Come thither, if thou be'fl Valiant, (as they fay bafe men 
being in Loue, haue then a Nobilitie in their Natures, 
more then is natiue to them) lifl-me; the Lieutenant to 250 

240. comforisl comfort Pope + . 
/] Om. F6pe+. 
prythee\preethee(i^. pretheeCiJi^ 


241. difimharke\ difembarke F,F^. 

my\ thy Fi, 
244. Dills'} Does F,. 

Defdemona.] Dddemoda Q . 
246. Exit...] Exit. Q,. Exeunt. Q,Qj. 

Exeont. F^. 

Scene VII. Pope+» Jen. 

247. thoul y^ ^^» Rowe+, Cap. 
Harbour] Habour Q,. 

248. thither'] Ff, Rowe + , Knt. hither 
Qq, Cajp. et cet. 

[Calling him back. Cap. 
248, 250. (as... them)] as... the m Q,. 
(as — them) — Q^Q,. as. ..them. Johns. 

250. ii^-me.] lift me. QqF^, Rowe et 
seq. List me, Johns. 

Lieutenant] Leiutenani Q|Q,. 

242. Master] Johnson says this is the Pilot, but M alone says that the < Master' is a 
distinct person, and has the principal command and care of the navigation of the ship, 
onder the captain; Steevens quotes from Smith's Sea-Grammar, 1627, 'The Master 
and his Mates are to direct the course, command all the sailors, for steering^ trimming, 
and sailing the ship,' &c 

245. weU met] John Hunter : This generally means you (not we) are well met, 
that is, I am glad to meet you. 

247. This dialogue, Coleridge (Notes, &c., 255) says, is the rehearsal on the dupe 
of the traitor's intentions on OtheUo. 

247. CoLUER (ed. i) : Roderigo, in his foolish haste, was probably starting off to 
meet lago before lago was himself gone, when he was impatiently recalled by < Come 
hither.' lago had already told him to meet him at the harbour, so that the repetition 
* Come hither ' was needless. Afterwards lago changes his mind and tells Roderigo 
to meet him at the citadel. Delius supposes that line 242 was addressed to a servant. 
[To me, the simplest explanation of * Come hither ' is that lago wishes Roderigo to 
come nearer to him that he may talk more confidentially. — Ed.]. 

248. they aay] Where is this reference to be found ? To this question, with the 
suggestion that it might be in Plato's Symposium, where love is discussed. Prof. J. D. 
Butler (Shahespeariana, p. 444, Sept, 1885) replied that the original was to be found 
in the following passage : ovde2c ohru Kotcbc, bvrtva <wk &v abrd^ 6 *E/xjc hfdeov not^eu 
irpdf &ptr^f Ixff bfiourv elvat r^ hpUnt^ ^et, — Symposium, p. 179 a, ed. Hermann. 
*No man is such a coward that love would not so inspire him to valor [or virtue in 
the claisical sense] that he would become like him who is bravest [best] by 



night watches on the Court of Guard. Firft, I mud tell 251 
thee this : Defdemona^ is dire£Uy in loue with him. 

Rod. With him ? Why, 'tis not poffible. 

lago. Lay thy finger thus : and let thy foule be in- 
ftrufted. Marke me with what violence (he firft louM 255 
the Moore, but for bragging, and telling her fantailicall 
lies. To loue him flill for prating, let not thy difcreet 
heart thinke it. Her eye mud be fed. And what delight 
(hall (he haue to looke on the diuell ? When the Blood 
is made dull with the A£l of Sport, there (hould be a 260 
game to enflame it, and to giue Satiety a fre(h appetite. 

251. Court of Guard'\Omrt'of 'Guard 
Dyce, Kdy. 

of\ Om. Rowe ii. 
mujf\ wt/^Qq, Jen. 

252. thee this : Defdemona,] thee, this 
Defdemona Q,, Theob. Warb. Johns, thee 
this: Defdemona F^F^ Rowe, Pope, 
Han. Cam. thee this, Defdemona Q,Q, 
et cet 

254- y?^^] y^'igw ^4* Rowe, Pope, 
Theob. Han. Warb. 

255. Jif^ Om. Ff, Rowe. 

257. To'] Ff, Rowe, Cap. Knt. and 
wiUJhe Qq et cet. 

257. prating,'] Ff, Rowe, Knt. praiisigt 
Cajp, prating F Qq et cet. 

thy] the Qq. 

258. thinke it] thinke fo Q,. 

260. be a game] Ff, Rowe, Pope, bt 
againe Q,, Theob. +, Del. be, — again 
Cajp, et cet. 

261. enjlame] influence Wh. ii (mis- 
print ?). 

to giue] giue Qq. 

Satiety] /ocietyQ^Q,, fatity% 

appetite^ I^^Qq* appetite; Rowe, 

Pbpe. appetite, or appetite, — Theob. Cap. 

et cet. 

251. Court of Guard] Steevens: The pkce where the Guard musters. 

253. Booth : Express by a slight pause and by a reflective tone, after * him,' that 
you believe her to be incapable of loving any man but Othello. In the dialogue that 
follows, lago sees that Roderigo is losing hope, and shows his anxiety by rapid utter- 
ance and nervous manner. 

254. thus] Johnson : On thy mouth, to stop it while thou art listening to a wiser 
man. D*Hugues : Ces parolles sont accompagn^es d'une pantomime, dans laquelle 
lago saisk la main de Roderigo, et porte Pun de ses doigts sur ses Uvres, comme pour 
lui recommander le silence le plus absolu. 

257. The Qq have the better text here, albeit the infinitive in the Ff might be used 
as indicating supreme incredulity. — Ed. 

259. diuell] Hudson : Another characteristic fling at Othello's color. 

261. Satiety] The spelling in Q,Q, is not accidental, but is the same as that in the 
only other three instances where the word occurs in Shakespeare. ' And yet not cloy 
thy lips with loth'd sadetie,' V. &* A., 1593 ; ' A mere sacietie of commendations,' F,, 
Tim. I, i. ' And with sacietie seeks to quench his thirst,' F,, Tam, of Shr., I, i. I am 
inclined to think that occasionally it must be pronounced as a trisyllable-— certainly in 
the lines from Tam, of Shr, and V, &* A., where a trisyllabic termination is wholly 
out of place. Walker ( Vers, 206) goes so far as to suggest that the Elizabethan poets 
dropped the syllable before -ty in < all substantives, such as honesty, /iberty, purity. Hence 
majesty is almost uniformly a disyllabic.' BoADEN {Life of Kembh, i, 252), speildng 

ACT n. sc i.] THE MOORE OF VENICE \ \<j 

LouelinefTe in ^uour^ fimpathy in yeares^ Manners, 262 
and Beauties : all which the Moore is defe£liue in. Now 
for want of thefe required Conueniences, her delicate 
tendernefTe wil finde it felfe abus'd, begin to heaue the, 265 
gorge, difrellifh and abhorre the Moore, very Nature wil 
inflrufl her in it, and compell her to fome fecond choice. 
Now Sir, this granted (as it is a mod pregnant and vn- 
forcM pofition) who (lands fo eminent in the degree of 
this Forune, as Cajfio do's : a knaue very voluble ; no 270 
further confcionable, then in putting on the meere forme 
of Ciuill, and Humaine feeming, for the better compafTe 
of his fait, and mod hidden loofe Affeflion ? Why none, 
why none : A flipper, and fubtle knaue, a finder of occa- 274 

262. LoueUneffe^ Loue HmsQ^, Loue- Qq et cet. 
lyn€S^ Q3. 273. moft hidden loo/e\kidden()_^, masi 

265. 266. the,gorge\ the gorge QqFf. hidden-loose Walker, Sta. Del. Huds. 

266. abhorre'l arbhore Qj. Affection f^ affections: Qq, Jen. 

267. in it"] to it Qq. 273, 274. IVky none, why none:} Om. 

268. a mo/f] moft Q/iy Qq, Pope+, Jen. 

265, 269. vnfor^d} vnforced Qq. 274. flipper^ and ftdftle'l/ubtU Jlippery 

269. eminent} eminently ()<\, Cap. Jen. Qq, Jen. Coll. flippery, and fubtle FJF^ 
Steev. MaL Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i. Cam. yiippefyand/udtleF^,Rowt-¥,Cap.Sttev. 
Ktly. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. 

270. Forune} F,. 274, 275. finder of occafion} Ff. finder 

271. further} farderC)f\, farther ^tn, out ofoccafions Qq,Cap. Jen. Steev. MaL 
Coll. Var. Coll. Sing. Cam. Ktly, Del. Huds. 

272. Humaine feeming} handfeeming {finder-out. Cap. Del. Huds.). finder of 
Q^. human seeming'RQmt,Vo^, humane zoarm occasions Johns, finder out of occa. 
feeming QjC^^Ff et cet. sion Wh. i. finder of occasions Rowe et 

compaffe} Ff, Rowe. compaffing cet. 

of Sheridan's Readings, says : * The word satiety is commonly pronounced, I think, with 
the iiill power given to all the letters as they stand, and the accent on the letter 1 in the 
second syllable. Mr. Sheridan pronounced it as if written sctssiety* Although Boaden 
goes on to say that Chapman in his Homer always spells and accents this word saciety, 
he does not make it any clearer whether Sheridan pronounced it as of three syllables 
or of four. It is scarcely Ukely that Sheridan pronounced it sas-si-e-ty ; it would bear too 
strong a similarity in sound to society. In Sheridan's Dictionary, 1797, the pronun- 
ciation is given, sa-ti^-e-ty. — Ed. 

262. simpatby in yeares] Purnell: Perhaps here, as in Afid, N, D. I, i, 137, 
Shakespeare is thinking of his own marriage. 

266. very] As in Latin. 

268. pregnant] Nares : Full of force or conviction, or full of proof in itself. [See 
Lear, II, i, 76, and note. — Ed.] 

270. voluble] Staunton: Not fluent in si>eech, as the word now impoits, but 
fickle, inconstant, 

274. slipper] Knight : Why, when the editors followed the Ff in the anrangemeni 
of the words, could they not have retained this fine old adjective ? 



fion : that he's an eye can flampe, and counterfeit Ad- 275 
uantageSy though true Aduantage neuer prefent it felfe. 
A diuelifh knaue : befides, the knaue is handfome, young: 
and hath all thofe requifites in him^ that folly and greene 
mindes looke after. A peftilent compleat knaue, and the 
woman hath found him already. 280 

Rodo. I cannot beleeue that in her, (he's full of mod 
blefs'd condition. 

lago. BlefsM figges-end. The Wine (he drinkes is 
made of grapes. If (hee had beene blefs'd, (hee would 
neuer haue louM the Moore : BlefsM pudding. Didft thou 285 
not fee her paddle with the palme of his hand? Didft not 
marke that ? 

Rod. Yes, that I did : but that was but curtefie. 

lago. Leacherie by this hand : an Index, and obfcure 
prologue to the Hiftory of Luft and foule Thoughts. 290 
They met fo neere with their lippes, that their breathes 
embraced together. Villanous thoughts Rodorigo^ when 
thefe mutabilities fo mar(hall the way, hard at hand 
comes the Mafter, and maine exercife, th'incorporate 
conclufion : Pi(h. But Sir, be you rul'd by me. I haue 295 

275. h^s] has QqFf. 
eye] eye, Qq. 

275, 276. counterfeit,„it felfe] counter- 
feit the true aduantc^es neuer prefent 
themfelues Q,. 

277. A diuelifh knaue] Om. Qq. 

279. peftilent compleat] pestilent-com- 
plete Walker, Sta. Dyce iii, Huds. 

280. hath] has Qq. 

281. in her] of her Pope+. 

282. 283, 284. bUfid] bleft Qq, O^. 
Jen. Cam. blessed Var. Coll. Dyce, Sta. 
Glo. Ktly, Del. Huds. Rife. 

282. condition] conditions Ci^CK^,covL). 
Wh. i. 

283. drinkes] drinke F,. 

285. Blefs'dpudding]Om,Q({, blessed 
pudding Dyce, Sta. Glo. Kdy, Coll. ili. 
Rife, Huds. 

286. fee her] fe her Q,. 
286,287. 2?f;i^...Ma/]Om.Q,. did*Ji 
„.that Q . 

288. that I did] Om. Qq, Cap. 

289. Leacherie] Lechery Qq. 
obfcure] Om. Q,. obscene Sta 


291. met] meetVlasb. 

292. Villanous thoughts] Om. Q,. 
Rodorigo] Om. Qq. 

293. mutabilities] F{,Rowt. mtttusu 
Hies Qq et cet. 

hard] hand Qq. 

294. comes . . . and ] comes the Q,, Johns. 
comes Roderigo, the mafter and the Q,Q.. 

th' incorporate] the incorporate Q, 
Q,. the incorrupt Qj. 

295. Pi/h] Om. Qq. 

278. greene mindes] Johnson : Minds unripe, not yet fully formed. 
282. condition] Johnson : Qualities, disposition of mind. [See IV, i, 210.] 
286. paddle] Purnell : Comiption of pattle, to pat gently. 
289. Index] Edwards {Canons, p. 156): The index was formerly placed at Ibr 
beginning of a book. [See Ham, III, iv, 52.] 

iCT n, sc. i.] 



brought you from Venice. Watch you to night : for 296 
the Command, He lay't vpon you. CaJJio knowes you 
not : He not be farre from you. Do you finde fome oc- 
cafion to anger Cajfw^ either by fpeaking too loud, or [318^] 
tainting his difcipline, or from what other courfe 300 
you pleafe, which the time fhall more iauorably mi- 

Rod. Well. 

lago. Sir, he's rafh, and very fodaine in Choller : and 
happely may ftrike at you, prouoke him that he may : for 305 
euen out of that will I caufe thefe of Cyprus to Mutiny. 
Whofe qualification (hall come into no true tafte a- 
gaine, but by the difplanting of CaJJio. So (hall you 
haue a (horter ioumey to your defires, by the meanes I 
(hall then haue to preferre them. And the impediment 310 
moft profitably remoued, without the which there were 
no expeflation of our profperitie. 312 

296, 297. for th€\ for your Q,. for 


300. tainlit^'\ taunting Cap. oonj. (p. 
26 a). 

courfe] caufe Q,, Coll. iii. 

304. h^s] Ff, Rowe+, Knt. ^ v Qq 

505. hafpefy] haply with his Trunchen 
Qq, Jen. Steev. Mai. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, 
Ktly. (hoply Q,. happely Wh.i). hap- 
pily Ff, Rowe + . haply Johns, et cet 

306. thefe\ those Rowe ii+. 
Cyprus] Cypres Q,. 

306. Mutiny^ mutiny^ Qq. mutiny : 
Pope et seq. 

307. qualification] qualificcUions Jen. 
tafte] truft q_^, taft% 

307, 308. againe] againU Qq. 

308. by the] by F^F^, Rowe+. 
difplanting] difplaying^, trans^ 

planting Theob. ii, Warb. 

310. impediment] impediments Rowe 

311. profitably] profitable Q,. 

the which] which Qq, Pope -f , Jen. 
were] was Pope, Theob. Han. 

297. knowes you not] See note, line 182. 

300. tainting] Johnson: Throwing a slur upon his discipline. 

307. qualification] Johnson : Whose resentment shall not be so qualified or tem- 
pered as to be jvell tasted, as not to ntain some bitterness. The phrase is harsh, at 
least to our ears. Singer : * Qualification,' in our old writeis, signifies appeasement, 
pacification, assuagement of anger. < To appease and quali/ie one that is angiy ; tran- 
quillum facere ex irato.' — Baret Staunton : Whose temperanunt, crasis, [In Baret, 
1580, 1 do not find the definition literally as cited by Singer. Under 'Appease' (to 
which the word < qualifie ' is referred) is given, < To asswage, appease or qualifie. Ira- 
cundias restinguere et cupiditates. — Cic' I do not think that Dr. Johnson's paraphrase 
b happy, although it is adopted by both Dyce and Rolfk. Haluwell, Hudson, 
Cowden-Clarke, and Purnell follow Singer. — Ed.] 

31a preferre] Malone : That is, advance, promote. 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act. ii, sc. l 


I ago. 



I will do thisy if you can bring it to any oppor- 313 

I warrant thee. Meete me by and by at the 
I mud fetch his NecefTaries a Shore. Fare- 



That CaJ/io loues her, I do well beleeu't : 
That (he loues him, 'tis apt, and of great Credite. 
The Moore (howbeit that I endure him not) 
Is of a conflant, louing. Noble Nature, 
And I dare thinke, he'le proue to De/demona 
A mod deere husband. Now I do loue her too, 
Not out of abfolute Luft, (though peraduenture 
I (land accomptant for as great a fm) 
But partely led to dyetmy Reuenge, 
For that I do fufpefl the luflie Moore 
Hath leap'd into my Seate. The thought whereof. 





313. ify<m can] Ff, Rowe + , Steev.'Ss, 
Knt, Sing. Ktly, Del. i/ / can Qq ^ 

316. a SAore] a/kofv Q,FjF^. 

318. Aiiuu] Adue Qq. 
Exit] Om. Qj. 

[Scene VIII. Pbpe+, Jen. 

319. beteetiti Ff, Rowe, Cap. htHevt 
F6pe+ . beleeue ftf Qq et cet 

321. hcwbeit'\ hcwb^t Qq. 

322. eonftantf lomng\ ccnsUmi-loving 
Sta. Dyce iii. 

louingi Ncbli^ noble, louing Qq. 

324. do'\ Om. Pope+. 

325. peraduenture] perapventure Q^. 

326. eucomptttnt'\ accountant Q,Ff. 

327. led] leadQ<{. 

328. lu/lU] biftfuU Qq, Mai. Coll. i. 
bi/ty Ff et cet. 

329. thought] thoughts F^ Rowe. 

313. if you can] Jennens: The sense requires if lean; lago had brought the 
affiur to opportunity by fixing on Roderigo for one of the watch ; Roderigo*s part re- 
mained to be done, viz. : provoking Cassio, which in this speech he promises to do, if 
opportunity offered to give him cause. Knight : But Roderigo is not one of those 
who relies upon himself; and the reading of the Ff is far more characteristic. lago 
replies to this expression of reliance on him, < I warrant thee.' Dyce (ed. iii) : Iago*s 
reply, in fact, determines nothing; it suits equally well with either lection. 

320. him] Booth : Pause, as though questioning the possibility of this. 

322. constant, louing] Walker {Crit, i, 29) : I think Shakespeare wrote con- 
stcmt-loving ; inasmuch as OtheUo's nature, with all its aptitude for true, manly affec- 
tion, could hardly be described as, emphatically, a loving nature. 

325, 327. peraduenture . . . partely] Swinburne (A Study, kc, p. 179, note) . 
What would at least be partly lust in another man is all but purely hatred in lago. For 
* partly' read wholly, and for < peradventure ' read assuredly, and the incarnate father 
of lies, made manifest in the flesh, here speaks all but all the truth for once, to himself 

329. seate] Coleridge (Notes, &c., 255) : This thought, originally by lago's own 


Doth (like a poyfonous Minerall) gnaw my Inwardes : 330 

And nothing can, or (hall content my Soule 

Till I am eeuen'd with him, wife, for wift. 

Or fayling fo, yet that I put the Moore, 

At lead into a lelouzie fo ftrong 

That iudgement c^not cure. Which thing to do, 335 

If this poore Trafli of Venice, whom I trace 

331. cr\ nor Qq. 336. Tretfh„,traee\ tra/h,..€ru/h Q,, 

332. eeuen*d'\ nun Qq, Steev. Mai. Mai. irach^Jrate Theob. brack..,cher' 
Sing. iiiiWazb. /rajA.../raf^ Steev. Var.Dyce, 

wift'\ F,. Sta. Wh. Glo. Cam. Del. Rife, brack,., 

334. At Uajf\ At last Theob. ii, Waib. trash Coll. iii (MS), Sing, ii, Huds. 

confession a mere suspicion, is now ripening, and gnaws his base nature as his own 
' poisonous mineral ' is about to gnaw the noble heart of his general. 

330. Minerall] Johnson : This is philosophical. Mineral poisons kill by corrosion. 

332. eeuen'd] According to Schmidt (Z^'jt.), even is used as a verb in two other 
passages : AlTs Well^ I| iii» 3 ; Cymb. Ill, iv, 184. Skottowe (ii, 78) : Of this enter- 
prise of lago nothing afterwards is heard ; Shakespeare seems either to have forgotten 
his original intentions, or found that lago had already enough business on his hands. 
Booth : This line should be very intense, < not loud, but deep.' 

336. Trash . . . trace] Warburton : < A trifling insignificant fellow may perhaps 
be called Trashy but the metaphor of hunting is not preserved. I suppose therefore 
that the word is brach^ which is a low species of hounds of the chase, and a term gen- 
erally used in contempt. As to ** trace," crush of Q, is plainly a corruption of cherish* 
Warton was the first to suggest that, trash should be substituted for * trace,' but he 
was not strictly accurate in his definition of its technical meaning; he supposed that it 
meant simply to rate, to check, and cited Caratach's reply to Nennius {Bonduca, I, i) 
when Nennius taunted him with flying fix)m the Romans : ' I fled too ; But not so 
fiist, — ^your jewel had been lost then. Young Hengo there ; he trashed me,' i. e., says 
Warton, he stopped me. At last Steevens (1793) discovered the meaning of trash 
which has since been generally accepted. * To trash is still a hunter's phrase, and sig 
nifies to fasten a weight on the neck of a dog, when his speed is superior to that of his 

companions ** Trash " in the flrst instance in this line may be used to signify a 

worthless hound, as the same term is afterwards employed to describe a worthless 
female : ** I do suspect this trash " (V, i, 108). It is scarcely necessary to support the 
present jingle on the word, it is so much in our author's manner, although his worst.' 
Knight upholds 'trace,' but was misled in his interpretation. * Trash' and 'trace,' 
says Knight, • are used with perfect propriety. The " trash " is the thing traced, put 
in trcues—coxiSaitd. — as an untrained worthless dog is held, and hence the present 
meaning of trash* Dyce (Remarks, p. 237) : Knight's explanation of 'trash' is boi 
rowed from Richardson's Diet., where we find: 'A trash — anything (man, dog) 
trashed or traced or confined in treues, that it may not, because it would, run or pursue 
too fast, rashly ; like an untrained dog ; a worthless hound ; hence it is anything worth- 
less,' &c. But in this explanation Richardson is undoubtedly mistaken ; he gives to 
trash a meaning which it never did and never could bear. When used as a huntsman 
or dog-trainer's tenn, or metaphorically with an allus*on to their practices, it invariably 

122 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ll, sc. i. 

For his quicke hunting, (land the putting on, 337 

He haue our Michael Cajfio on the hip, 

signifies the thing which restrains : < Above this lower roome shall be your hunts- 
mans lodgings wherin hee shall also keep his cooples, liams» oollazs, trashes^ boxes/ 
&c. — Markham*s C<m$Urey Omtentments^ b. i. c, i, p. 15, 1615. The trashy whether a 
strap, a rope dragging loose on the ground, or a weight, was fastened round the neck of 
A too forward dog, to check his movements. Coluer (ed. ii) in justification of his 
(MS.) says that * trash and trace were used somewhat synonymously, as a mode of 
keeping back hraches^ i. e. dogs, who hunted too quickly. lago speaks of Roderigo as 
a poor hound, who was so eager in the chase that it was necessary to restrain him.* 
Singer (ed. ii) thinks that Warbuiton*s brach is correct, and that crush is a misprint 
for trash, * The converse has happened in the Ind, to the Tarn, of Shr,, where brach 
has been misprinted trash* * Roderigo is cheeked or trashed by lago for his quick 
hunting ; i. e. he is in too great a hurry to come to an explanation with Desdemona.' 
White (ed. i) : < Whom I trash,' i. e. whom I restrain, whip in. < Trace ' seems to 
have been only a varied form of trash. The misprint in the Qto is evidently due to the 
likeness of c and /. Staunton cannot subscribe to Warburton*s emendation brach^ 
'although persuaded that "trash of Venice" is a vitiation of what the poet wrote. 
Trash signifying to cleg', to impede, is surely the genuine word for *< trace " of the 
Folio.' Bailey (ii, 108) : It is plain to me that the genuine reading is leash, i. e. 
whom I hold in leash for the quick hunting of the Moor. Keightley {Exp, 302) : 
* The jingle,' Steevens says, < being in Shakespeare's manner.' Now to this I object- 
first, that this was not Shakespeare's manner, for the apparent instances of it are mostly 
printers' blunders ; and, secondly, that Roderigo did not require to be trashed or checked 
< for his quick hunting,' for he was always hanging back and ready to give up the chase 
till urged on by lago. This last objection also applies to ' trace ' in the sense of fol- 
low or accompany. It would apply also, though in a less degree, to train, which would 
yield a tolerable sense. On the whole, I think that lago's words may have been praise, 
which would suit his sneering, ironical tone. As to brach, though we frequently find it 
used of a woman, I believe it was never applied to a man. Dyce (ed. iii) : I give the 
reading of Steevens, but I now (1865) entertain great doubts if it be what Shake- 
speare wrote. [I have reserved Haluwell's note for the last, because it gives what 
seems to me to be the troe interpretation ; the Folio needs no change ; < trace ' bears 
here one of its commonest meanings ; ' For his quick hunting ' does not mean, because 
of his quick hunting' but in order to make him,/^ the purpose of making him, hunt 
quickly, a meaning of 'for' which White (ed. ii) especially notes, and, thus noting it, it 
is strange that White should have missed the common meaning of the word * trace.' It 
was Steevens who gave a bias to the word from which it never recovered until Halli- 
well set it straight, whose note is as follows : * The meaning seems to be — if this wretched 
fellow, whose steps I carefully watch in order to quicken his pace, follows my directions, 
I will have our Michael Cassio on the hip.' — Ed.] 

337. the putting on] Rolfe : This refers to h s picking a quarrel with Cassia 
not to his 'quick hunting' of Desdemona. 

338. hip] Johnson : A phrase from the art of wrestling. Dyce (Remarks, p. 52) : 
But in his Dictionary Johnson derives the phrase, and with more probability, from hunt- 
ing : < the >ii^ or haunch of a deer being the part commonly seized by the dogs.' [The 
phrase occurs twice in Mer, of Ven, and here, the only three times in Shakespeare ; as 
nstances elsewhere are not common, Dyce gives font; in none of them, however, is it 

ACTii. sc. i.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 123 

Abufe him to the Moore, in the right garbe 

(For I feare Cajfw with my Night-Cape too) 340 

Make the Moore thanke me, loue me, and reward me 

For making him egregioufly an Affe, 

And prafliflng vpon his peace, and quiet, 

Euen to madneffe. 'Tis heere : but yet confusM, 

Knaueries plaine face, is neuer feene, till vs'd. Exit. 345 

339. right'\ Ff, Rowe, Pope, Theob. cap Ff. 

Johns. Knt. ranke Qq et cet. too'\ to Qq* 

340. Night-Cape\nighicapQ(\, Night' 344. madneffe,'\ madneffe: — Q.C^j. 

dear to me that the sunile is derived from hunting. Halliwell gives three references ; 
two, like those of Dyce, are uncertain, one fix)m Fuller's Historie of the Holy Warre, 
1647, is decidedly from wrestling, * fearing to wrestle with the king, who had him on 
the hip, and could out him at pleasure for his bad manners.' — Ed.] 

339. right garbe] Since Johnson's time, every modem editor, except Knight, 
has preferred rani of the Qto, which Steevens interprets as meaning 'grossly^ i. e 
without mincing the matter,' and cites Marston's Dutch Courtezan [III, i], * Whether, 
in the ranke name of madnesse, — ^whether ? ' To this meaning Malone adds, lascivi- 
ous, as in Mer. of Ven. [I, iii, 81], *The ewes, being rank.' For * garbe' Steevens 
dtes, *as perhaps employed in the sense here required,' Chapman's Odyssey [xviii, 
482] where * cheek-proud Melantho * rails at the disguised Ulysses : * Or 'tis like To 
prove your native garb, your tongue will strike On this side of your mouth.' [Despite 
this array of authority, I cannot but think the Folio has the troe reading. lago's plans 
are not settled, all is * but yet confus'd,' details will depend on circumstances as they 
arise; the main point is to get Cassio on the hip, and then abuse him to the Moor in 
the right garb, in the best fashion, whatever that fashion may turn out to be. If rank 
were the word here, I do not think that lago would say * the rank garb,' as though 
there were but one coarse way of dealing, but rather ' in a rank garb.' Whether * garb ' 
is here used subjectively or objectively, as the style of address which lago will himself 
assume in approaching Othello or as the address which he will impute to Cassio, is 
scarcdy important; the question lies in the use of ' right ' or rank, I prefer the former. 
It is, probably, the fear which lago expresses in the next line that has influenced the 
preference for rank over * right.' But this fear is only lago's ' motive-hunting ' for 
dieting his revenge on Cassio ; it does not specify the manner of his revenge, all that, 
as he expressly says, is but yet confused, which would hardly be true if he had already 
dedded that the garb in which Cassio was to be abused should be rank. For refer- 
ences to * garb * sec Lear, II, ii, 92. Singer (ed. ii) says that * rank garb ' is merely 
in the right down or straightforward fashion, and in support refers to * the right butter- 
woman's rank to market,' which is about as apt as would be the familiar phrase in 
which Hamlet's uncle refers to his own offence. An appropriate support of the Folio 
is to be found in Mid. N D,, where Helena says, < I am a right maid for cowardice,' 
or in the 'right butterwoman' in Singer's own quotation from As You Like It, — Ed.] 

344. madnesse] Hudson : Here we have perhaps the most appalling outcome of 
lago's proper character — namely, a pride of intellect, or lust of the brain, which exults 
above all things in bdng able to make himsdf and others pass for just the reverse of 



Scena Secunda. 

Enter OtheUafs^ Herald with a Proclamation, 

Herald, It is OthellJs pleafure, our Noble and Vali- 
ant Generall. That vpon certaine tydings now arriu'd, 
importing the meere perdition of the Turkifti Fleeter 
euery man put himfelfe into Triumph. Some to daunce, 
fome to make Bonfires, each man, to what Sport and 
Reuels his addition leads him. For befides thefe bene- 



1. Scena Secunda.] Om. Qq. Scaena 
Secunda F,. Scene IX. F6pe+, Jen. 

The Street F6pe. 

2. Enter...] Enter a Gentleman read- 
ing a Proclamation. Q,. 

3. Herald.] Om. Qq. 
pltafure^ pUafure; Q,. 

4. GeneraU^ GeneraU; Ff^ Rowe. 
Gemrallf Qq et cet. 

arriu*d'\ arriuidQ(\» 
6. euery] that euery Qq. 

6. Triumph,'] triumph: or triumph; 
Qqet cet 

7. to make] make Qq. 

Bonfires] bonefires QjQjFj, Pope, 
Theob. Han. bonefirs Q,. Bone-fires F^ 

8. addition] Ff. minde Q„ P6pe-I-, 
Jen. a</4i^/^Q,Qy Rowe et cet. mind's 
addiction Anon. (ap. Cam.). 

thefe] this Rowe ii-f . 

what they are ; that is, in being an overmatch for troth and Nature theniselves. And 
this soliloquy is, I am s^pt to think, Shakespeare's supreme instance of psychologic sub- 
tilty and insight ; as it is also lago's most pregnant disclosure of his real springs of 
action, or what Coleridge aptly calls ' the motive- hunting of a motiveless malignity.' 
For it is not that lago really believes or suspects that either Cassio or Othello has 
wronged him in the way he intimates ; he is merely seeking to opiate or appease cer- 
tain qualms of conscience by a sort of extemporized make-believe in that kind. 

345. seene] Johnson : An honest man acts upon a plan, and forecasts his designs ; 
but a knave depends upon temporary and local oppcntunities, and never knows his own 
purpose but at the time of execution. 

5. meere] Abbott, $15: That is, unmixed with anything else; hence, by infer- 
ence, intact, complete, 

6. put bimselfe into] For instances of this reflexive use, see Schmidt {Lex.), 
where, however, I And neither this passage nor that quoted by Steevens in Per, I, ii, 24. 

8. addition] Dyce (ed. iii) calls this a 'stark misprint.' Is it? Granting, for a 
moment, that it is nonsense, would it be altogether out of place in the mouth of a 
pompous Herald, who has just given us a taste of his quality in the stilted phrase, 
* put himself into triumph ' ? But is there not a glimmer of meaning to be discovered 
in it? That 'addition' may mean title we have seen in Macb,, Ham,, and Lear, 
and that it may so mean elsewhere, see examples in Schmidt, s. v. Would it then 
be a * stark misprint' were the Herald to use it here in this military sense and 
transfer the title to the holder of the rank himself? Then the meaning is that the 
soldiers are to enjoy themselves according to their rank — a somewhat supenluous 
proclamation, it must be confessed ; it is hardly to be supposed that Cassio and lagp 
would £U1 to making bonfires; yet is it not in keeping with the rest of the Herald's 

ACT n, sc. ii.] 



ficiall Newes, it is the Celebration of his Nuptiall. So 
much was his pleafure (hould be proclaimed. All offi- 10 

ces are open, & there is full libertie of Feafting from this 
prefenr houre of fiue, till the Bell haue told eleuen. [319 a] 
BlefTe the Ifle of Cyprus, and our Noble Generall Othel- 
lo. Exit. 

Enter Otltelloy Defdemona^ CaJJio^ and Attendants, 
Otke. Good Michaely looke you to the guard to night 


9. CelebroHiml Detebratian F^ 

JVufitialt'} F(, Rowe, Pope, Han. 
Knt, Dyce, Sta. Glo. Cam. Del. Huds. 
Rlfe,Wh.u. JVuptia/ls Qi et ceL 

11. ofFeaJling\ Om. Qq. 

12. prtfenr\ F,. 

fiui\ nine O^. oonj. (p. 26 b), 
haue\ hath Qq> Cap. Jen. Steev. 

Mai. Var. CoU. Sing. Ktly. 

told^ tolPdY^^, Rowe, P6pe, Han. 


13. BUJI'e\ Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Knt 
Heauen bUJfe Qq et cet 
Cyprtu^ Cypres Q,. 

13. 14. ^i;^ir...Othello.] Asasepumte 
line, Ff, Rowe, Pope, Han. 

14. Exit.] Om. Qq. 

Scene X. Han. Johns. Jen. Scene IIL 
Cap. et seq. 
The Castle. Theob. 

15. Enter...] Enter Othtllo, CaJfto^vBA 
Desdemona, Qq. 

phrases ? But there is an instance in Tro. 6r* Cress, (I, ii, 24) where ' addition ' seems 
to stand for characteristic quality or natural bent ; it is where Alexander says that Ajax 
* hath robbed noany beasts of their particular additions ; he is as valiant as the lion, 
churlish as the bear, slow as the elephant* This is the meaning that I think it possi- 
ble for < addition ' to bear here, certainly with enough plausibility to remove it from m 
black list of * stark misprints.' Each man is to betake himself to what sport or revel 
his particular disposition leads him to indulge in ; and if in * addition ' a military flavor 
be found, it is all the more appropriate among soldiers. Addiction is a cacophonous 
word, never used by Shakespeare, except in one other passage. — Ed. 

9. Nuptiall] Richardson {Diet s. v.) : The noun is usually written with the plu- 
ral termination s, Shakespeare writes it without. [This assertion of Richardson is an 
illustration of the fact which we are all so liable to forget, viz. : that, omitting V, ^ 
A, and Lucrece, we cannot know how Shakespeare wrote anything except through the 
mediimi of the printers, whose work, it is believed, he never corrected. In this very 
word we find the s of the plural in the Qq, which some editors think were fresher from 
Shakespeare's hand than the Folio. — Ed.] 

10. offices] Haluwell : The rooms appropriated to the upper servants of great 

13. Blesse] Walker (i, 215) supposes that the word God, softened in the Qq,watt 
omitted by the editor of the Folio in deference to the well-known act of Parliament ; 01 
was, perhaps, expunged by the licenser of the press. 

16. Qood Michael] Cowden-Clarke ( The Shakespeare Key, p. 91) : These few 
words, seemingly insignificant, are of important dramatic use. They give augmented 
effect to Othello's subsequent anger at Cassio's being betrayed not only into neglect of 
duty in preserving order, but into breach of order himself; while they set well before 
the mind OtheIlo*s trust and confidence in Cassio as his chosen officer, and his liking 
for him as a personal friend, calling him by his Christian name * Michael,' which, after 



Let's teach our felues that Honourable flop, 
Not to out-fport difcretion. 

Caf. lagOj hath direftion what to do. 
But notwithflanding with my perfonall eye 
Will I looke to't 

Otke. lagOy is moft honefl : 
Michaely goodnight To morrow with your earliefl. 
Let me haue fpeech with you. Come my deere Loue, 
The purchafe made, the fruites are to enfue, 
That profit's yet to come 'tweene me, and you. 
Goodnight. Exit. 

Enter lago, 

Caf. Welcome lago : we muft to the Watch. 

lago. Not this houre Lieutenant : 'tis not yet ten 
o'th'clocke. Our Generall caft vs thus earely for the 
loue of his Defdetnona : Who, let vs not therefore blame; 
he hath not yet made wanton the night with her : and 
(he is fport for loue. 

Caf. She's a moft exquifite Lady. 






17. that"] the Q,. 

19. directicn] directed Q,. 

20. naittnth/iandifigl noiwithftaning 

21. /!t>7] t0iiQ(\, Jen. 

23. your] our Mai. Steer. Var. 

24. you^l you, Qq. 
[To Desd. Johns. 

26. Thai] The Q,. 
prifit*s] profits Qq. 

^tweene] ^hveen FJP^, Rowe + , Knt, 
Dyce, Sta. Glo. Cam. Wh. iL fweeme F,. 
tunxiQq et cet. 

27. Goodu^A/^Css. Goodnighi Axkon, 

(ap. Cam.). 

27. Exit^Exii OtAeUoMndDe/demona. 

30. Lieutepum/'] Leiutenant Q,Q.. 
Lieuetenant F^. 

31. dth'clockelaelockQfi, dehckOt^ 
Steev. Mai. Coll. Sing. Ktly, Del. 

32. Defdemona :] Defdemona. Q,. Def- 
demona, Q,Q,. 

H^] Qq, Dyce, Sta. Glo. Cam. 
Del. Huds. Rife, Wh. ii. Whom Ff et cet 

33. wanton the night] the ivanionmyhf 
Pope, Han. 

35. Sh^s] SheisQq, Jen. 

the one final impressive appeal, * How comes it, Michael, you are thus foigot ? ' he 
never again uses. 

22. honest] D'Hugues : II semble, k partir de ce moment, que Tdpithdte * honest ' 
soit devenue inseparable, dans la pens^ d'Othello, du nom de ce scdirat. La des- 
tine a de ces ironies, et Tesprit humain de ces aberrations. 

31. cast] Johnson, perhi^ forgetting that in I, i, 164, he had given to this word 
the meaning which is now generally accepted, to dismi:s, here interprets it as equiva- 
lent to * appointed us to our stations. To cast the pidy* he continues, *is to assign to 
every actor his proper part.' See H, ii, 302, and V, ii, 400. where the meaning to dif 
wUts is equally suitable. — Ed. 

ACT II. sc. ii.] 



lago. And He warrant her, full of Game. 

Caf. Indeed (hes a mod frefh and delicate creature. 

lago. What an eye (he ha's ? 
Methinkes it founds a parley to prouocation. 

Caf. An inuiting eye : 
And yet me thinkes right modeft. 

lago. And when (he fpeakes, 
Is it not an Alarum to Loue ? 

Caf. She is indeed perfeflion. 

lago. Well : happinefTe to their Sheetes. Come Lieu- 
tenant, I haue a (lope of Wine, and heere without are a 
brace of Cyprus Gallants, that would faine haue a mea- 
fure to the health of blacke Othello. 

Caf. Not to night, good lago^ I haue very poore, 
and vnhappie Braines for drinking. I could well wi(h 
Curtefie would inuent fome other Cuftome of enter- 






36. ^/r,] ^/r QqF^ Rowc, Pope, Han. 

37. Jhe5\ Jhe is Qq, Jen. Steer. Mai. 
Var. Knt, CoU. Sing. Wh. i, KUy, DeL 
/k^s Ff ct cct. 

38. 39. Prose, Pope et seq. 

38. ha*s flhasF QqF F^. has I Han. 

39. to] Ff, Rowe+, Knt, Dyce,Wh.i, 
Cam. Del. ^Qq et cet 

40-43. Two lines, Qq, POpe et seq. 
43. /s.^Lou^Pl Hs an alarme to latu. 
Qq, Jen. 

43. Alarum] alarm Mai. Steev. 

44. She is] It is Q,. 

45. Well:] Well^ Qq, Rowe et seq. 
Sheetes,]Jkeetes— Qq. sheets I Han. 

46. I haue] have Jtn, (misprint?). 
y?<^] stoup Glo. Cam. Rife, Wh. u. 

stoo^ Rowe et cet. 

47. Cyprus] Cypres Q,. Cypru^ Qk^ 

48. of] ^/>l/Qq,Theob.Warb. Johns. 
Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. ColL Sing. Wh. i, 

39. Booth : lago watches Cassio intently. 

43. Alarum] Johnson : The voice may sound an alarm more properly than the eye 
can sound a parley, RiTSON (p. 229) : The eye is often said to speak. Thus we fire- 
qnently hear of the language of the eye. Surely that which can talk may, without any 
fiolent stretch of the figure, be allowed to sound a parley. Stkevens : So in Tro, ^ 
Cress, IV, v, 55 : < There's language in her eye, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her foot speaks.' 
Booth : So in Mer, of Ven, I, i, 164 : *firom her eyes I did receive fair speechless mes- 

46. stope] It occurred to me that the uniformity of spelling in Qq and Ff might 
nere betoken the pronunciation, especially as this form is given by Skeat as Middle- 
English. But a comparison of the five times where the word occurs in Shakespeare 
«hows that no such inference can be drawn. It is ' stoope ' in Twelfth Nighty II, m^ 
14; « stope,' lb, 129; <ttoupe,' Ham, V, i, 68; 'stopes,' lb, 278. The fact that the 
spelling agrees in three cases out of the five might at best indicate that the pfonnncttk 
tion was in the transition state firom the old to the new. — ^Ed. 

128 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii, sc. ft 

lago. Oh, they are our Friends : but one Cup, lie 53 

drinke for you. 

CaJJio. I haue drunke but one Cup to night, and that $5 

was craftily qualified too .* and behold what inouation 
it makes heere. I am infortunate in the infirmity, and 
dare not taske my weakenefTe with any more. 

lago. What man ? 'Tis a night of Reuels, the Gal- 
lants defire it 60 

Caf. Where are they ? 

lago. Heere, at the doore .* I pray you call them ip. 

Caf. He do% but it diflikes me. Exit. 

lago. If I can faflen but one Cup vpon him 
With that which he hath drunke to night alreadie, 65 

He'l be as full of Quarrell, and oflfence 
As my yong Miftris dogge. 
Now my ficke Foole RodorigOy 
Wliom Loue hath tum*d almoft the wrong fide out, 
To Defdemona hath to night Carrows'd. 70 

53. Friends :'\ friends^ — Qq. F^Rowc, Pope, mistresi Theob. et seq. 
C«/,] Cup F^, Rowe. mp: Qq, 67. dcjg^e,] dog: — Qq. dog^ Ff. 

Theob. ii et seq. 68. New my] Noy mw Q,. 

55. Aaur] ka Qq. 69. lVk<m,„out'\ {Whom., .out) Q,Q^ 

56. too:"] to, Q,Q>- ^^* Johns. kathl has Qq. 

57. m/orfuna/f] vnforhmate Qq. out'\ outward Qq, Jen. Steer. MaL 
59. Reuils,"] revels; Cap. Var. Coll. Wh. i. 

63. Exit.] Om. Ff. 70. Carrow^d.^earouftQii, Cammid^ 

67, 68. One line, Qq, O^. et seq. Fi. Carowdd F . 

67. Miftris'] Miftrv^s F3. Mi/iri/is 

54. He drink for you] What does this mean ? Is it that lago will use any and 
every aigument, even one as ridiculous as drinking by proxy, to induce Cassio to join 
the revels ? — Ed. 

56. craftily qualified] Johnson: Slyly mixed with water. [Cannot 'craftily' 
here mean strongly^ powerfully t * I have drunk but one cup^ and that was '* power* 
fill weak," too.' The necessity of his ' qualifying ' his cup furtively is not clearly appa- 
rent to me, when he confesses the action thus finely to lago. To be sure, Cassio may 
have accomjymied the confession with a wink to indicate that he thought it a good 
joke ; but this jars a little with my conception of Cassio's character. I prefer to think 
that he openly and finely qualified that first cup» and the innovation it wrought made 
him forget to qualify the second among the lads of Cyprus. — Ed.] 

57. beere] Booth: Merely a flushed face. 

63. it dislikes] For similar instances of the use of impersonal verbs, see Abpott, 

64. one Cup] Booth: This should warn Cassio against overdoing the intoxi- 


Potations, pottle-deepe; and he's to watch. ^\ 

Three elfe of Cyprus, Noble fwelling Spirites, 

(That hold their Honours in a wary diflance, 

The very Elements of this Warrelike Ifle) 

Haue I to night flufter'd with flowing Cups, 75 

And they Watch too. 

Now 'mongft this Flocke of drunkards [319 b'\ 

Am I put to our CaJJio in fome Aftion 

That may offend the Ifle. But here they come. 

Enter CaJJio^ Montana^ and Gentlemen. 80 

If Confequence do but approue my dreame, 

My Boate failes freely, both with winde and* Streame. 

Caf. 'Fore heauen, they haue giuen me a rowfe already. 83 

71. wai€k.'\ watch Qq. 8a Enter...] Enter MmtamU, Cafio^ 

72. el/e\ Ff, Rowe, Cap. Knt, Dyce i, and others (after IJle^ line 79), Qq. Re- 
Wh. i. ehfts Coll. (MS), lads Qq et cet enter... (after line 79), Cap. 

Cyprusl Cypres Q,. Scene X. Pope, Warb. Scene XL Han. 

73. Hon<mrs'\ honour Qq. Johns. Jen. 

76, 77. One Une, Qq, Rowe et seq. 81. dreame\ Deem Theob. Han. Waib. 

76. they\ the Qq. Cap. 

77. *wioHgft'\ amongft Qj. 83. ^Fore heaaen] Fore Gad Qq, Cta^ 

78. Am r\Iam Qq. And /FJF^, Jen. Sta. Glo. Cam. Dyce iii, Huds. Rife, 
fif] on Cap. conj. (p. 26 t^). Wh. ii. 

79. Two lines, Qq. 

71. pottle-deepe] Dyce (Gloss,) : A pottle was a measure of two quarts (' A Pot- 
tle, Qnatuor lihra liquidorum^ congii AngHcani dimidium,* Coles's Lai, and Eng. 
Diet.), but frequently meaning a drinldng-vessel without reference to the measure. 

72. else] Delius suggests, with great ingenuity, that this may have been meant for 
Ls, the abbreviation of Lords, Dyce (ed. iii) : In my former edition I followed the 
Folio (comparing King John, II, i, 276 : ' Bastards and else ') ; but I now think it safer 
to adhere to the lection of the Qq. 

73. Rolfe: That is, are sensitive with regard to their honour, or quick to take 
ofience at a supposed insult. 

74. Elements] Johnson : As quarrelsome as the discordia semina rerum ; as 
quick in opposition as fire and water. SCHMIDT (Lex,) : A pure extract, as it were, 
the very quintessence of the isle. 

80. Montano] Booth doubts if Shakespeare meant to have Montano take pait in 
this carouse, and therefore makes him enter later from a different direction just in time 
to see Cassio stagger off. Steevens felt the same impropriety ; see his note line 85. 

81. Consequence] An instance of the omission of the plural x in words whose 
termination has a plural sound. See Walker's Vers, Art. li, p. 243. This line is not 
there noted. Or see Abbott, $471. 

81. dreame] Theobald suggested and adopted deem, i, e. opinion, judgemeut. 
Johnson : I rather read scheme. But why should * dream * be rejected ? Every scheme 
subsisting only in the imagination may be termed a * dream.' 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii, sc fl. 

Mon^ Good-faith a litle one : not paft a pint, as I am a 

lago. Some Wine hoa. 

And let me the Cannakin clinke^ clinke: 

And let me the Cannakin clinke. 

A Sauldiers a man : Ohy mans lifis but afpan^ 

Why then let a Souldier drinke. 
Some Wine Boyes. 

Caf. 'Fore Heauen : an excellent Song. 

lago, I leam'd it in Fngland : where indeedthey are 
moft potent in Potting. Your Dane, your Germaine, 
and your fwag-belly'd Hollander, (drinke hoa) are 
nothing to your Englifh. 

CaJJio. Is your Englifhmen fo exquifite in his drin- 





84. lam] Pm Cxp, 
S4, 104. Mon.] Gent. Booth. 
S4, 85. as,., Souldier] Separate line, Qq^ 
Cap. Steev.'Ss, Mal.'90. 
87* Qagosingis. Rowe. 
87, 88. Cannakin] Cannikin Qq, Jen. 

87. clinke, clinke :] clink, dink, clink. 
Han. Johns. Cap. 

88. clinke.] clinke, clinke : Qq. 

89. One line, QqFf, Rowe +, Jen. Knt 
Two lines. Cap. et cet'8] Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Knt, 

Wh.i, Sta.Dd. Man's Kf^sQxAi,m, a 
iif^s Qq et cet. 

91. Some Wine] Come, wine Jen. 

92. *Fore Heauen] Fore God Q,, Cap. 
Jen. Sta. Glo. Cam. Dyce iii, Huds. Rife, 

96. Englifli] Engiishman CoU. ii (MS). 

97. Engiijhmen] Englifh man Qq. 
EngH/hman Ff et cet 

exquifite] FfQ,Qj, Rowe+, Knt, 
Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Kdy, Rife, expert Q, 

84. rowse] GiFFORD (The Duke of Milan, Massinger, vol. i, p. 237, ed. 1805) : 
A ' rouse ' was a large glass (' not past a pint ' as lago [sic] says) in which a health 
was given, the drinking of which by the rest of the company formed a carouse, Bar- 
naby Rich is exceedingly angry with the inventor of the custom, which, however, with 
a laudable zeal for the honour of lus country, he attributes to an Englishman, who, it 
seems, * had his brains beat out with a pottlepot ' for his ingenuity. There could be no 
rouse or carouse unless the glasses were emptied. In process of time both these words 
were used in a laxer sense. [See Ham. I, ii, 127 ; I, iv, 8.] Booth : Don't be drunk, 
hut silly, — absurdly polite. 

85. Souldier] Steevens : If Montano was Othello*s predecessor in the government 
of Cjrprus (as we are told in the Dramatis Personse), he is not very characteristically 
employed in the present scene, where he is tippling with people already flustered, and 
encouraging a subaltern officer, who conmumds a midnight guard, to drink to excess. 

87, &c. Halliwell : This song appears to be referred to in The Knave in Grain 
new Vampt, 1640: * Fub. The drawers have drawne him out, sir. — Lod. Clinke, 
boyes. — Toma, Drinke, boys. — Stult. And let the cannikin clinke, boyes.' The song 
itself does not appear to have been discovered. [This allusion I cannot find in Ingle- 
fay's Centurie ofPrqyu. — Ed.] 


lago. Why, he drinkes you with facillitie, your Dane 
dead drunke. He fweates not to ouerthrow your Al- 100 
maine. He giues your Hollander a vomit, ere the next 
Pottle can be fiird. 

Caf. To the health of our Generall. 

Mon. I am for it Lieutenant : and He do you luftice. 

lago. Oh fweet England. 105 

King Stephen was and-a worthy Peere^ 

100. fweatei^ fweares F.F^. /wecrs dash after England, and with king.,.peere 

F^ Rowe. in Roman) Q,. 

104, //f] /wiZ/Qq, }en. 106. and-a] Ff, Rowe, Pope, Han. and 

105, 106. OA...Peere] One line (with ctQaQj* a» a Theob. Warb. Johns. aQs 

et cet. 

97. Englishmen] Steevens : This accomplishment in the English is likewise men- 
tioned in B. and F.'s 7^ Captain [III, ii, p. 267, ed. Dyce] : * Lod. Are the English- 
men Such stubborn drinkers ? Piso. Not a leak at sea Can suck more liquor; you shall 
have their children Christened in mull'd sack, and, at five years old. Able to knock a 
Dane down.' Singer (ed. ii) : Peacham, in lus CompUai Gentleman, 1622, p. 193, 
has a section entitled, < Drinking the Plague of our English Gentry,' in which he says, 
' Within these fiftie or threescore yeares it was a rare thing with us to see a drunken 
man, our nation cauying the name of the most sober and temperate of any other in the 
world. But since we had to doe in the quarrell of the Netherlands .... the custom 
of drinking and pledging healthes was brought over into England ; wherein let the 
Dutch be their owne judges, if we equall them not ; yea I think rather excell them. 

99. you] D'HUGUES: Comme on dit en fran^ais: 'il vaus boit.' 

103. Booth : lago empties his own glass on the ground. 

106, &c. Steevens : So in Greene's Quippefor an Vpstart Courtier [1592, vol. zi« 
p. 234, ed. Grosart], * I tell thee sawcy skipiack, it was a good and blessed time heer 
in England when K. Stephen wore a pair of cloth breeches of a Noble a paire, and 
thought them passing costlye.' Halliwell : This ballad is alluded to in Dekker's 
Guls Horn-book [1609, vol. ii, p. 210, ed. Grosart] : 'his breeches were not so much 
worth as K. Stephen's, that cost but a poore noble.' [These two allusions, together 
with the version in Percy's Reliques, point to an English origin of this song. The 
earliest Scotch version (according to J. W. E., N, 6* Qu,, 1876, 5th, v, 249,) is in 
Allan Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany, 2hovX 1728, certainly later than Percy's MS. 
by three-quarters of a century, if not more. Chappell (Pop. Mus., ii, 505) remarks 
that the <tune to "Take thy old Qoak about thee" is evidently formed out of Green 
Sleeves,* an additional reason, perhaps, for assuming its English origin. The version in 
Percy's FoKo Manuscript, ii, 324, is as follows : 

* King Harry was a verry good Yi\ingf\ 

I trow his hose cost but a Crowne; 
he thought them 12* ouer to deere, 

therfor he called the taylor Qowne. 
he was King & wore the Crowne, 

& thouse but of a low d^ree ; 
itts pride M<jt putts this cumtrye downe; 

nun! put thye old Ooake about theel' — ^Ed.) 

132 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO |actii. sc.iL 

His Breeches cojl him but a Crowney 107 

He held them Six pence all to deere^ 

With that he caTd tlie Tailor Lowne : 

He was a wight of high Renowne^ 1 10 

And thou art but of low degree : 

^Tis Pride that fulls the Country downe^ 

And take thy awVd Cloake about thee. 
Some Wine hoa. 

CaJJio. Why this is a more exquifite Song then the o- 115 

lago. Will you heare't againe ? 

Caf. No : for I hold him to be vnworthy of his Place, 
that do^s thofe things. Well : heau'ns aboue all : and 
there be foules mad be (aued, and there be foules mud 120 
not be (aued. 

lago. It's true^ good Lieutenant. 122 


105. them] 'em Qq. 117. t^ami^ agen Qq. 
all to] all too QsF,F^ et seq. 118. to be\ Om. Qq. 

no. wight] weight Han. ofhis\ in his Jen. 

113. And] Ft; Rowe, P6pe, Han. Knt 119. Mt>^. WeU:'\ things: well^ Q, 

Then Qq et cet. things well^Qj:}^^, things, ff^iT— Rowe. 

thy] Fi; Rowe, Pope, Han. Knt heas^ns'] Heauen's QbQjFjF^. 

thine Qq et cet. G<Ki^s Q,, Cxp. Jen. Sta. Glo. Cam. Dyce 

awl'd] Ff, Rowe. owdQ,. oU iii, Huds. Rife, Wh. ii. 

Pope, Han. auld Q,Q, et cet 120. mu/i 6e] that muft bee Qq, Rowe 

115. Whyl Fore God Q,. ii+, Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. 

117. hear^t'\ hear it Steev. Mai. Var. 120, 121. and,.. /aued'] Om. Qq. 

Knt i, ColL 122. It's'] ftisQq, Jen. Coll. Del. 

106. and-a] Compare ' He that has and— a little tiny wit,' Lear, III, ii, 74, and 
< When that I was and— a little tiny boy,' Tkoelfth N, V, i, 398, where Abbott, $96, 
considers the use of ' and ' as equivalent to and that too, [I doubt if ever in old Ballad 
days it conveyed any more meaning than it does now. It pieced out the line, giving 
a swing to the rhythm and a charm of homeliness to the verse which are to me as inde- 
scribable as they are indispensable.— Ed.] 

106. Peere] Ritson (p. 230) : That is a worthy lord, a title frequently bestowed 
fpon Kings in our old romances. So, in Amadis de Gaule, 1 619 : ' Sir, although you 
be a King and a great lord^ Spenser constantly uses the word ^ peer ' in this sense. 

113. awl'd] This, the solitary indication of an unusual pronunciation, points, I 
miagine, to a rustic rather than to a purely Scotch origin, although Capell seems to 
assume that the whole ballad is Scottish. Speaking of the line in which this word 
occurs, Capell, in one of lus characteristic notes, says that the usual version, 'something 
onscotifies it to it's injury : (a) in " take^' and what is call'd the diphthong in *< asUd,** 
should have the Scottish twang with them, namely— our (ah) sounded broader; and to 
make out the line's Iambi, the first syllable of ** about " must have a small thesis, and 
«/;!«" a full one.'— Ed. 


Caf. For mine owne part, no offence to the Grenerall, 1 23 
nor any man of qualitie : I hope to be faued. 

lago. And fo do I too Lieutenant 125 

CaJJio, I : (but by your leaue) not before me. The 
Lieutenant is to be faued before the Ancient. Let's haue 
no more of this : let's to our Affaires. Forgiue vs our 
fmnes : Gentlemen let's looke to our bufmefle. Do not 
thinke Gentlemen, I am drunke : this is my Ancient, this 130 
IS my right hand, and this is my left. I am not drunke 
now : I can (land well enough, and I fpeake well enough. 

Gent. Excellent well. 

Caf. Why very well then : you muft not thinke then, 
that I am drunke. Exit. 135 

Monta. To th'Platforme (Matters) come, let's fet the 
Watch. 137 

125. too\ Om. Qq. '85, Knt, Sta. fpeake Qq et cet 

126. /.*] Ay^ Rowe et seq. Ay; Coll. 133. Gent.] All. Qq, Cap. Steev. et seq. 
{bufl but, Theob. 134. Why'\ Om. Q,. 

127. kaue'\ ha Qq. thinke then] thinke Q,. 

128. For:gri$te']God/ifrptuQ^,JtiLDeL Scene XI. Pope, Theob. Warb. Scene 
vs our] our F^F^ Rowe+. XII. Han. Johns. Jen. 

131. this is] this Q,. 136. Platforme]plotforme(lfi^, plet- 
left] lefthandC^ Cap. Jen. Steev. forme Qj. plat-form Cap. 

Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly, Del. Mafters] maifters Q,. 

132. I fpeake] Ff, Rowe +, Jen. Steev. fet] fee Rowe, Pope, Han. 

126. < The habit which he [Kjan] had acquired in early life, and which led to soch 
important results, viz. : that of closely observing the expression of the human fiice 
whenever he had the opportunity, continued with him to the last. It was in a room at 
the Castle one night that he was asked by a friend when he studied ? Indicating a 
man on the other side of the room, who was very much intoxicated, but who was 
laK^inng to keep up an appearance of sobriety, he replied, <* I am studying now. I 
wish ifome of my Cassios were here. They might see that, instead of rolling about in 
the ridicnious manner they do, the great secret of delineating intoxication is the en- 
deavour tp ^tand straight when it is impossible to do so. The only man who ever 
played the drunken scene in Othello properly was Holland." ' — Hawkinis Life of 
Kean, vol. ii, p. 360. 

129. sinnes] Booth : The traditional < business,' said to be Charles Kemble's, can- 
not be improved upon. Casao drops his handkerchief, and in his effort to recover it, 
falls on his knees ; to account for this position to his companions, he attempts to pray. 
His clothes being awry, his sword has slipped to his right side, and this confuses him 
for a moment as to which is his right or his left hand. Whatever you do here, do 't 
delicately and with great seriousness, and show a readiness to fight any one who thinAs 
you're drunk. The more dignified your manner, the more absurd and yet correct your 
perlbnnance will be. 

131. right . . . left] PURNELL: A British soldier is not considered drunk if be 
can go through his facings. 

134 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii. sc. ii. 

lago. You fee this Fellow, that is gone before, 138 

He 's a Souldier, fit to (land by Ccsfar^ 

And giue dire6lion. And do but fee his vice, 140 

'Tis to his vertue, a iuft Equinox, 

The one as long as th'other. ^Tis pittie of him : [320 aj 

I feare the truft Othello puts him in, 
On fome odde time of his infirmitie 
Will fhake this Ifland. 145 

MonU But is he often thus ? 

lago. 'Tis euermore his prologue to his fleepe, 
HeMe watch the Horologe a double Set, 
If Drinke rocke not his Cradle. 

MonU It were well 150 

The Generall were put in mind of it : 
Perhaps he fees it not, or his good nature 152 

139. Hes\ He w Qq, Ff et cct. ProU^m Qq et cet 

141. tvfAi^]^7f/K«f FjF^, Rowe+. \^, Horologe\Horolodge(l(:^, Hwo 

143. putsl ptU Qq. logue Ff, Rowe+, Cap. 
him iH\ in him Cap. Coll. iii, 150, 151. One line, Qq. 

Hods. 150. It were] Twere(i^, T*wereQjQy 

147. hisprolcgue] Ff, Rowe, Knt. the 151. were] wete Q,. 

136. Booth : Montano enters here, in time to witness Cassio's conduct as he goes 
off. D'HUGUES : On a jugi avec raison qu'une pareille exhibition de crapule n'etait 
pas absolument n^cessaire k la marche ni k Tintelligence du drame, et que Shakespeare 
aurait aussi bien fait de supprimer toute cette sc^ne. 

140. direction] Hudson : How differently the liar speaks of Cassio's soldiership 
to Montano and to Roderigo ! He is now talking where he is liable to be called to 
account for hb words. 

141. Equinox] Rolfe: Equal, counterpart; the only instance of the word in 

143. puts him in] Dyce (ed. iii) quotes Lbttsom's approyal of Capell's emen- 
dation : ^tUs in him, [I think that change is needless and the Folio is right The 
' trust ' that Othello put Cassto in was that of being Othello's < own second,' referred to 
in line 159. — Ed.] 

148. Horologe] Johnson : If he have no drink, he'll keep awake while the clock 
strikes two rounds, or four and twenty hours. Halliwell quotes a description by 
Admiral Smyth of an ancient clock, wh*rein the dial is described as < divided into 24 
hours, in two portions of 12 each, as was customary on the clockfaces of those days.' 
[This starts the question whether a < double set' is twice twelve or twice twenty-four; 
Halpin (Dram, CMi/ies, p. 1 8) affirms that as 'the Italian horologe numbers upon its 
dial-plate twenty-four hours, a ** double set " or round, i. e. forty-eight hours, is the true 
time meant.' It is, however, of small moment here ; lago is not to be taken literally 
as to the very hours and minutes of Cassio's watchfulness. To Halpin the term if 
important ; on it he bases his theory as to the limit of a dramatic action^ — Ed. J 

kcr n, sc ii.J 


Prizes the vertue that appeares in CaJftOj 
And lookes not on his euills : is not this true / 

Enter Rodorigo. 

lago. How now Rodorigo ? 
I pray you after the Lieutenant, go. 

Mon. And 'tis great pitty, that the Noble Moore 
Should hazard fuch a Place, as his owne Second 
With one of an ingraft Infirmitie, 
It were an honeft Aftion, to fay fo 
To the Moore. 

lago. Not I, for this faire Ifland, 
I do loue Cajfio well : and would do much 
To cure him of this euill. But hearke, what noife? 

Enter CaJJio purfuing Rodorigo. 

Caf. You Rogue : you Rafcall. 






153. PriMes\ Praifes Qq. 
vertue\ vertues Q,. 

154. iookes] looke Q,. 

156, 157. [Aside. Cap. Mai. et seq. 

157. [Aside. Wh. i. 

[Exit ^^.Qq,Roweet seq. push- 
ing him out. Cap. 

160. ofan\ Om. Ff. 

161,162. One line, Qq. Two lines, the 
6zst ending/a;^, Mai. et seq. (except Knt, 

162. T6\ Unto Pope + , Cap. Steev.'Ss- 

162. Moore\ Moor, logo Anon. (1^ 

163. Not'\ Nor Q,. 

164. [Helpe, helpe, within (Italia^ in 
the margin) Qq, Om. Ff, Rowe, Knt 
Within, oTf A cry within, or, Kay with- 
out, htip / htip ! Theob. et cet. 

165. But^ Om. Pope+. 

166. Enter...] Enter Caffio^ driuing in 
Roderigo. Qq. Re-enter... Pope. 

167. You Rogue'\ ZounSyyou rogue Q^ 
Jen. Cam. 

160. ingraft] Johnson: An infirmity rooted^ settled in his constitution. Henley : 
This explanation seems to fall short of the poet's meaning. The qualities of a tree are 
so changed by being engrafted, that its future fruits are not such as would have natu- 
ndly sprung fit>m the stock, but derive their qualities from the graft inserted in it 
Conformably to this idea is the assertion of Hamlet concerning the same vice of his 
ooimtiymen. Malone : Johnson's explanation is certainly just. So in Lear, I, i, 295 ; 
' the imperfections of long-engrafted condition.' See Abbott, § 342, for other instances 
of tl.e omission of the participial -ed after /. Booth : This is not the language of one 
who iiad taken part in the carouse. 

161. Action] Walker ( Vers, 230) cites this as an instance in the middle of the 
line of the old dissyllabic pronunciation of -Hon, so very common at the end of a line. 

161-236. My copy of Q, is imperfect and Uu:ks the page containing these lines. For 
all references to that Qto within these limits I am indebted to the Cambridge Edition, 
which we can all trust as implicitly as anything can be trusted which bears the com- 
mon stamp of human imperfection. — Ed. 

164. Dyce justifies the stage direction here of the Qq, because lago, line 252, says, 
' There comes a fellow, crving out for helpe, And Cassio following him,' &c. 





Mon. What's the matter Lieutenant ? 

Caf. A Knaue teach me my dutie? He beate the 
Knaue into a Twiggen-Bottle. 

Rod. Ueate me ? 

Caf. Doft thou prate^ Rogue ? 

Man. Nay, good Lieutenant : 
I pray you Sir, hold your hand. 

CaJJio. Let me go{Sir) 
Or He knocke you oVe the Mazard. 

Mon. Come, come : you're drunke. 

Cajfio. Drunke ? 

lago. Away I lay : go out and cry a Mutinie. 
Nay good Lieutenant Alas Gentlemen : 
Helpe hoa. Lieutenant Sir Montana : 
Helpe Mailers. Heere's a goodly Watch indeed. 






169,170. Fkx)6e,QqyP6pe+,Jen.Cam. 
Ohriding the lines at duty ! Qxp, et cet 

169. Knaue. „dutUf\ Ff, Rowe, Pope, 
Han. Aiitftf^,...</«/y.*Qq. Knave,„dytyl 
Theob. + » Jen. Sta. Glo. Cam. Aimzv,... 
dniylQxp, Knave to teach,.,diay / lyjcit 
uL Knave, ,„dt$tyt Steev. et cet 

IU\lnit ru^ Jen. Cam. 

170. Tunggen-BottW] wicker bottle Q!\, 
Cap. Jen. Coll. Cam. 

171. mel^ Qq* Jen. me, Ff. 
Rowe + . 01^/0^. et cet 

172. [Beats Rod. Qxp, et seq. 
'73» '74- P*x)se, Qq, Jen. Cam. 

173. Nay] Om. Qq. 
[Staying him. Rowe et seq. 

174. I pray yon] prayQq, 

'75» 176. Rrose, Qq, Rowe + , Jen. Cam. 

176. JknocJte"] know Ff, Rowe. 
dre] on Qj. 

177. yot^re"] you are Qq, Jen. 

178. [they fight Qq. 

179. [Aside. Qxp, et seq. 

[A bell rung. Q,. Exit Rod. Q, 


180. Alas\ godfwiU Q,. God's-wUl 

Q,<X, Cam. Del. 

iSi. Sir Montano:] FT, Rowe, Knt, 
Sing. Sir Montanio,^r, Q,. .Sirr, Mon- 
tanio,^r Q^Qj. — 5f r, Montano— Pope, 
Han. — Sir — Montano— ''V\iti^,-\- , Sir, 
— Montano, — Sir — Cap. et cet. 

182. Ma/lers'] mafter Q,. 

[A bell rings. QjQ,, Rowe et su^ 

168. Booth: Montano holds Cassio. 

170. Twiggen-bottle] Booth : That is, slash him till he resembles a < Chianti ' 
bottle covered with straw net-work ; such a bottle as he has been drinking from, per- 
haps, is in his mind. I have such a bottle used, — ^when I can get one. 

178. Booth : Here they fight, and Cassio should utter incoherent sounds as though 
'high in oath,' as lago, line 261, states that he was. I think Shakespeare intended 
Cassio to ' cuss ' a little. Montano should not thrust, but merely defend, himself. For 
the same reason, to makehjs^sub seque nt account of the fray correct, lago should dis- 
appear with Roderigo at the word < mutinie,' and before they return, almost immedi- 
ately, let them both shout * Mutiny 1 Mutiny 1 ' behind the scenes. 

181. Sir Montano] Knight: lago is pretending to separate the lieutenant and 
Montano, but he is not familiar with Montano, the ex-governor, and he gives him s 
title of courtesy. 

ACT n, sc iL] 


Who's that which rings the Bell/ Diablo^ hoa: 
The Towne will rife. Fie, fie Lieutenant, 
You'le be afhamM for euer. 

Enter Othello^ and Attendants. 

Othi. What is the matter heere? 

Mon. I bleed dill, I am hurt to th'death. He dies. 




183. thatwkich'\thatthatQ(\,C9:p,]tn. 
Steer. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i. Cam. 
Ktly. thai who Pope+ . 

£eU: Diablo, hoa .] beUr Diablo 

— ^Qq. 

184. Fi£, fie LietOenan/'} Ff, Rowe, 
Pope, Han. Sing, fie-fie Leiutenant, hold 
QJQ^ Thcob.Warb. Johns. Jen. Knt. god/- 
wiil LnuUnanit hold Q, et cet 

185. You'WX Ff, Knt you wiU Qq et 

ajham'd'l F^F^ Knt. Jham^dQ^ 

186. Enter...] Enter 0/hello,said Gen- 
tlemen with wei^Mns. Qq. 

Scene XII. Pope, Warb. Scene XIII. 
Han. Johns. Jen. 

187. PVhal w] wha/*s Q,Q,. 

188. Iblffd} Ff, Q,Qj, Rowe+, Cap. 
Jen. Steev. Knt. Zouns, I bleed Q,, Mai. 
et cet. 

hurt'\ hurt, Q,. hurt, but not Ff, 
Rowe, Pope, Theob. Han. Warb. 

He dies."] — he dies. Cap. Steev. 
Del. J/edies^Knt Om.Q,,Ff,Rowe+, 
Jen. Mai. Var. Sing, Dyce i. [he faints. 
(As Stage direction) Q,Qj, Coll. Wh. Glo. 
Sta. Cam. Ktly, Dyce iii, Huds. Rife. [He 
is supported {As Stage direction) Coll. iii. 
[assailing Cassio again. Cap. 

183. Diablo] Collier : An exclamation employed by other dramatists. M. Mason 
obsenres that ' it is a mere contraction of Diavolo, the Italian word for the devil.' Why 
should we go to a contraction of the Italian, when < Diablo ' is the ordinary Spanish 

184. Pie, fie] In comparison with the vehement God'^s will of the Qq, this < fie, fie ' 
does sound weak ; but is lago in earnest ? does he wish to be vehement ? does he really 
want Casao to hold ? Between his desire to tarre Cassio on and yet to seem to hold 
him back, this half-hearted < fie ' seems to me a not unbefitting exclamation — Ed. 

185. Dycb pronounces this line, as compared with the Qq, * most ridiculous.' It 
does not make me laugh. Indeed, to me, it is as much better than the Qq as an ap- 
peal to a man's own self-respect is higher than an appeal to the opinion the world may 
have of him. Unfortunately, we must not forget that it is lago who utters it. — Ed. 

188. He dies] Malone : The editor of the Folio, thinking it necessary to omit the 
first word of the line, absurdly supplied its place by adding these words at the end of 
the line. Tollet : Montano thinks he is mortally wounded, yet by these words he 
seems determined to continue the duel and to kill his antagonist, Cassio. So, when 
Roderigo runs at Cassio in Act V, he says : * Villain, thou diest.' Steevens : That is, 
he shall die. He may be supposed to say this as he is offering to renew the fight. Thus, 
Othello in his very next speech : < he dies upon his motion.' I do not therefore regard 
these words, when uttered by Montano, as an absurd addition in F,. Knight and 
Dklius give the same explanation as Toilet's. Coluer : These words are, in fact, 
nothing more than a printer's blunder, which F, corrects by making Montano say, < I 
am hurt, but not to the death.' The true stage direction, for which * He dies ' was, no 
doabt, intended, is found in Q^ < He faints.' [It is not easy here to decide between 
the rival riaims. As stage directions there are objections both to < He dies ' and < He 



Othe. Hold for your Hues. 

lag. Hold hoa : Lieutenant, Sir J^/i/a/f^^ Gentlemen : 190 
Haue you forgot all place of fenfe and dutie? 
Hold. The Generall fpeaks to you : hold for (hame. 

0th. Why how now hoa ? From whence arifeth this/ 
Are we turn'd Turkes / and to our felues do that 
Which Heauen hath forbid the Ottamittes. 195 

For Chriftian (hame, put by this barbarous Brawle : 
He that ftirs next, to carue for his owne rage, 
Holds his foule light .* He dies vpon his Motion. 
Silence that dreadfuU Bell, it frights the Ifle, 199 

190. Hddhoa .] F,F^ Hold, koldqj^ 
Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. ColL Holp, hold 
Q,. Hold ho: F^ Rowe ct cet 

Sir Montano,] F,F^, Jen. Knt, 
Sing.Wh.L ^r Montanio, Qq. 5fr Mon- 
tane, F,. .Sirr, Montano Mai. Steev. Var. 
Coll. KUy. .Sir — Montana— Rowe et cet 

191. place of/en/e] QqFf, Rowe, Pope, 
Theob. Steev.'Ss. sense of place Han. et 

192. Hold,"] Om. Pope+. Hold, hold! 

Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. CoU. Wh. i, KUy 
Closing line 191, Huds. 

192. hold for] hold, hold, for Qq^ 
Pope 4- , Jen. Glo. Cam. Huds. Rife, Wh. 
ii. for Wh. i. 

193. arifeth'] arifes Qq. 
195. hath"] has Qq. 

Ottamittes] OttamitesQqF^. Otto- 
mites Q*95 et seq. 

197. for his] forth his Q,, Jen. Steev. 
'85, Mai. Var. 

fidnts.' Assuredly Montano does not die ; and it is difficult to see with what propriety 
a man who had fainted could be adjured to stop fighting, both by Othello and lago. If 
these words be not a stage direction, but a part of the text, there is to Toilet's interpre- 
tation this objection, viz. : that Montano was acting throughout in self-defence, as he 
himself tells Othello, line 227, which he would have scarcely piesumed to assert had 
he renewed the attack with such bitterness before Othello's very eyes. This is one of 
the passages, I think, where it will not do to inquire too closely. The dramatic action 
demands a barbarous brawl, in which Montano shall be worsted, and latitude is given 
to the actors to portray the extent of his discomfiture. I am not sure that Cowden- 
Clarkb's course of omitting the words altogether be not the wisest — £d.] 

196. barbarous Brawle] Wordsworth {Sh,^s KnawL and Use of the Bible, 
p. 225) : This line is one of those which make it difficult to beUeve that Shakespeare 
had altogether forgotten his schoolboy classics. Surely, when he wrote it he was think- 
ing of Horace [Lib. I, Ode xxvii] : * Natis in usum laetitiae scyphis Pugnare Thracum 
est ; tollite barbarum Morem, verecundumque Bacchum Sanguineis prohibite rixis,^ 
FEchter: Othello speaks with passion. 

197. carue for] Steevens : That is, supply food or gratification for his own anger. 
So in Ham, I, iii, 20 : ' he may not ... . Carve for himself.' Schmidt : To indulge, 
to act at a person's pleasure. 

198. Booth : lago should go to assist Cassio, hoping that he is hurt. The Gentle- 
men enter in time to care for Montano, whom they place on the seat where Desdemona 

199. dreadful bell] Walker (Crit, ii, 78) cites this as an instance of the use oi 
' dreadful ' in an active sense, as in Ham, I, ii, 207 : * This to me In dreadful secrecy 

4CTii,sc ii.] THE MOORE OF VEMCE 139 

From her propriety. What is the matter, Mafters ? 200 

Honeft Idgo^ that lookes dead with greeuing, 

Speake .• who began this ? On thy loue I charge thee ? 

lago. I do not know : Friends all, but now, euen now. 
In Quarter, and in termes like Bride, and Groome 204 

200. WhtU is\ what*s Qq, Jen. et cet. 

Mqfters] Om. Pope + . 202. thisf^ this, Qq. 

201. lookes] QqF,. looks F^F^, Rowe, 203. not] not not F,. 

Pope, Theob. Warb. Johns. look*st Han. all,] all Qq, Cap. Steev. e( seq. 

impart they did.' Malone : When David Rizzio was murdered in Edinburgh, the 
Provost ordered the common bell to be rung, and five hundred persons were immedi- 
ately assembled. So in Peacham's Valley of Varieties where he is speaking of the use 
of bells, < they call for helpe when houses in cities and townes are on fire ; or when 
there is any mutinie or uproare.' Halliwell : At the poet's native town, Stratford- 
on-Avon, it has been the practice from time immemorial to ring the bell of the Guild 
chapel on the alarm of fire being given. Alger (Life of Forrest, i, 308) : From the 
general group he [Forrest as Othello] turned to a single attendant who stood at his 
elbow, and delivered the command in a subdued tone, as though it were not intended 
for the ear of the multitude. Ottley (Fechter's Version, &c., p. 19) : This command 
Fechter almost screams in passion, rushing up the stage the while. Kean gave it calmly 
and authoritatively, as a thing of course, and * more in sorrow than in anger.' 

200. propriety] Johnson : From her regular and proper state. 

201. lookes] An instance (cited by Walker, Crit. ii, 132) of s substituted for sl'm 
the second person singular of the verb. Compare IV, ii, 207 ; V, ii, 79 ; and two other 
striking instances : Ham. I, iv, 53 : < That thou .... Revisits thus the glimpses,' &C., 
and Lear, IV, vi, 160: <Thou hotly lusts to use her,' &c. I think this usage should 
be observed in even modem editions, when to give the full granunatical form would 
result in harshness. — Ed. 

204. Quarter] Johnson : In their quarters ; at their lodging. Malone : That is, 
on our station. So in Timon, V, iv, 60 : < not a man Shall pass his quarter.' Their 
station or < quarter ' in the present instance was the guardroom in Othello's castle. It 
cannot mean lodgings, for Montano and the Gentlemen had continued, from the time 
of their entrance, in the apartment of Othello's castle, in which the carousal had been ; 
and Cassio had only gone forth for a short time to set the watch. On his return from 
the platform to the apartment he meets Roderigo, and the scuffle ensues. RiTSON (p. 
230) : Rather, at peace, quiet, or, as Johnson elsewhere explains it, * in fiiendship, amity, 
concord.' They had been on that very spot (the court or platform before the castle) 
ever since Othello left them, which can scarcely be called be ng in their quarters or at 
their lodging. And, indeed, they could not have left it without being guilty of another 
offence, as they were directed by Othello to keep the watch. Henley denies that the 
phrase ever meant in quiet, at peace ; it is evident, he says, that the 'quarter' referred to 
was that apartment of the castle assigned to the officers on guard, where Othello, after 
giving Cassio his orders, had, a little before, left him ; and where logo, with his com- 
panions, immediately found him. Pye (p. 331) : This word, in the military language 
of the present day at least, seems to have no very precise meaning ; but the meaning 
on our station seems the leading signification, for the principal camp-guard of a regi- 
ment is called the quarter guard ; but a regiment in quarters has no such guard. 

I40 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act. ii, sc. ii. 

Deuefting them for Bed : and then; but now : 205 

(As if fome Planet had vnwitted men) 

Swords out; and tilting one at others breaftes, [320 ^1 

In oppofition bloody. I cannot fpeake 

Any begining to this peeuifh oddes. 

And would; in A£lion glorious, I had loft 210 

Thofe legges; that brought me to a part of it 

Othe. How comes \X(Michaell)yoyx are thus forgot ? 

Caf. I pray you pardon me, I cannot fpeake. 

Othe. Worthy Montana ^ you were Wont to be ciuill : 
The grauitie, and ftillnefle of your youth 2 1 5 

The world hath noted. And your name is great 
In mouthes of wifeft Cenfure. What's the matter 
That you vnlace your reputation thuS; 
And fpend your rich opinion, for the name 
Of a night-brawler? Giue me anfwer to it 220 

Man. Worthy Othelhy I am hurt to danger, 

205. Diueftingl Digeftingi^:^^, Di- 21 1. Tho/i] Thefe Q,, Cap. Jen. Stecv. 
vefting Q.'8i, Rowe ii + , Cap. Jen. Coll. Mai. Sing. Ktly. 

Wh. i. 212. come5\ came Qq, Jen. Coll. \Vh. i, 

for Bed:'\ to bed, Qq, Cap. Hal. Del. 

then^ Om. Q^. are\ were Qq, Jen. Coll. Wh. i, 

206. men'\ them Coll. (MS). Hal. 

207. Swords'} StvordF^F^, Rowe» Pope. 214. wont to be] Ff, Rowe, Warb. Knt. 
breajies] Ff, Rowe, Pope, Theob. woni be Qq et cet. 

Han.Waib. breJiQ^, breq/lQjQ^ticti, 2iy, mou/Aes} men Q^. 

208. cannot] can't Pope + . 220. to it] toU Qq, Cap. Jen. Sta. 

209. oddes] Staunton : Headstrong or perverse quarrel. 

212. are thus forgot] See Abbott, $295, for other instances of the use of to be 
with intransitive verbs. Thus, *\ am declined,* III, iii, 309. In Booth's Arting 
Cofiyt 'you' is italicized. Casao has staggered towards R. H. and rests against a col- 
umn of the Castle. 

213. Fechtkr's Acting Copy : <I pray you pardon me [Cassio speaks thickly, stops 
short, and then, in deep humiHoHon) I cannot speak ! — ' 

214. wont to be] Abbott, $349, following indirectly the text of the Qq, wont be, 
cites it as an instance of the omission of to of the infinitive, which, of course, it may 
be ; but the presence of < to ' in the Ff shows that in the Qq it may be merely an in- 
stance of the absorption of the to in the / final of ' wont.* — £d. 

215-217. Booth : Could it be possible, after this, to suppose that Montano was one 
of the ' flock of drunkards ' ? 

218. vnlace] Johnson: Slacken, or loosen. Put in danger of drop|nng; or per- 
haps strip off its ornaments. 

219. spend] Johnson : Throw away and squander a reputation so valuable as yours. 
221. Booth : Montano is still seated, supported by gentlemen, one of whom staunches 

the wound. 


Your Officer lago^ can informe you, 222 

While I fpare fpeech which* fomething now offends me. 
Of all that I do know, nor know I ought 

By me, that's faid, or done amiffe this night, 225 

Vnleffe felfe-charitie be fometimes a vice. 
And to defend our felues, it be a fmne 
When violence affailes vs. 
Othe. Now by Heauen, 
My blood begins my fafer Guides to rule, 230 

And pa(non(hauing my bed iudgement collied) 
AiTaies to leade the way. If I once ftir, 232 

223. me,'\ met QiQj* ^^- Ob* 231. coilied'\ coold Qq. choUt^d 

224. ought'\ aft^^ Theob. ii et seq. Rowe+. queWd Cap. Coll. ii. cullied 

225. me^ me; Ft me Q.'95 ct seq. Bailey. 

/aid] fed Q^. 2^2, If lofue^Zouns, if IQ^. Ifmce 

226. fometimes] fometime Qq, Cap. / Q^Qj. 

Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Wh. i. 

223. something] See Ham, III, i, 173, and Lear^ I, i, 20, for other instances of 
this adverbial use like somewhat, 

226. selfe-charitie] Johnson : Care of one's self. 

227. it] Abbott, §404: From this passage we may see how unnecessary and re 
dundant our modem < it ' is. This is (if the order of the words be disregarded) as 
good English as our modem < Unless i^ be a sin to defend ourselves.' The fact is, this 
use of the modem < it ' is an irregularity only justified by the clearness which it pro- 
motes. ' It,' at the beginning of a sentence, calls attention to the real subject which is 
to follow. * // is a sin, viz., to defend one's self.' 

229. Booth : With restrained anger — ^not loud. 

231. collied] Steevens: That is, passion having discoloured his judgement. To 
coUy anciently signified to besmut, to blacken as with coal, Malone : Cole in his Dtct.^ 
1679, renders « collcv/d by denigratus ; to colly, denigro^ Coluer (ed. ii) : Quelled, 
i. e. subdued or conquered, is precisely the word wanted, and we find it in the (MS). 
It is to be remarked that if short-hand were employed in obtaining the copy of Othello 
for the publisher, the veiy same letters which spell quelled would also spell * collied,' 
and even cooVd, Singer {Sh. Vind., p. 283) : To quell is never used by Shakespeare 
in any other sense than that of killing or exterminating. I pity the man who could for 
a moment think of displacing the effective, and now consecrated, word * collied.' Its 
obvious meaning is darkened, obfuscated: and a moio appropriate and expressive word 
could not have been used. Dyce {Strictures, &c., p. 199), after referring to the use of 
' collied ' in Mid, N, D. I, i, 145, and after citing with approval what Singer says of the 
uniform meaning of quell in Shakespeare, and after quoting what Collier says about 
short-hand spelling, goes on to say : Yet no one knows better than Mr Collier that the 
Othello of F,, which has the reading ' collied,' wcu, beyond all doubt, printed from a 
transcript belonging to the theatre, and that in stage-copies of plays {whether intended 
for the use of the prompter or of the actors) short-hand was neifer employed, [Italics, 
Dyce's.] Keightley {Exp. p. 302) : Quelled is not so absurd as Singer thinks it 
D'HuGUVS : On s'^onne qu'Othello poisse tromrer de li belles m^ti^hoies poor ex- 
primer sa oolAre, au moment xsAmt o<k il commence IL la ressendr. [See III, iiit 283.] 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii, sc. fi. 

Or do but lift this Arme, the beft of you 
Shall finke in my rebuke. Giue me to know 
How this foule Rout began : Who fet it on, 
And he that is approuM in this offence, 
Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth, 
Shall loofe me. What in a Towne of warre, 
Yet wilde, the peoples hearts brim-full of feare. 
To Manage priuate, and domefticke Quarrell ? 
In night, and on the Court and Guard of (afetie ? 
'Tis monftrous : lago^ who began't ? 





236. this\ kis Rowe ii, POpe, Han. 

237. twinned'] Hoin^d Q,. 

238. ShaU^ should Q,. 

loofe'\ QqFf, Rowe i, Jen. Knt. 
loosen Cap. lose Q.'95 et cet. 

me^ me ever, Lettsom. 

Whal in\ Ff, Rowe i. whal^ in 
Qq^ Rowe ii, Pope. Wkat^ and in Han. 
What! in Cap. et seq. What! even in 
Huds. conj. 

ofwarre^ with tcwr Daniel, Huds. 

240. Quarrell'\ quarrels Qq, Jen. 

241. and guard of\ of guard and 
Theob. Han. Johns. Cap. MaL Var. Sing. 
KUy, CoU. iii (MS), Huds. 

242. monftrous^ monslerous Cap, Steev. 
'85, KUy. 

lago] Say, /ago Pope+. 

began' t^ began Q,Q,. degan Qj. 
began it Mai. Steev. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. 

236. approu'd] Johnson : He that is convicted by pnx)f of having been engaged 
In this offence. 

238. loose] Jennens: That is, be loose from me, or disjoined. Knight: The 
same word as lose, but differently applied. By the employment of lose we destroy the 
force of 'Though he had twinned with me.' 

238. Towne of warre] Abbott, $163: In Hen V: II, iv, 7, 'towns of war' 
means garrisoned towns, and so probably here, like our < man of war.' 

241. Court and Guard of safetie] Theobald : Guard of safety, though couple- 
with a word of synonymous construction, was never soldiers' language. I have ver 
tured to make the conjunction and sign of the genitive case change places. So < Court 
of Guard,' II, i, 251 ; Mook to the Guard,' II, ii, 16, and 'bear him to the Court of 
Guard,' Ant, &* Cleo. IV, ix, 32. Malone: A similar mistake occurs in 'all place 
of sense and duty,' line 191. ' Couit of guard ' is established as a technical term by 
the uniform usage of the poets of Shakespeare's time. The court of safety may, in a 
meti4>horical sense, be understood ; but who ever talked of the guard (i. e. the safety) 
of safety t Steevens : As a collocation of words, as seemingly perverse, occurs in Mid, 
N, D, III, i, 192, ' I shall desire you of more acquaintance,' I forbear to disturb the 
text. If Safety, like the Roman Salus, or Recovery in Lear, be personified, where is 
the impropriety of saying, under the guard of Safety ? Thus, Plautus, in his Cajitivi * 
' Neque jam servare Salus, si vult, me potest.' Dyce (ed. iii) : Steevens defends the old 
reading not very satisfactorily. Cowden-Clarke : The text of the Ff means, in the 
very spot and guarding-place of safety. 

242. monstrous] Walker (Vers, 11) calls attention, as did Malone before him, 
to the trisyllabic pronunciation >ere of this word ; neither of them, however, noticed 
(nor did the Cambridge Editois, for that matter,) that Capell had long befon to 

ACT II, sc. ii.] 


Man. If partially Affin'd, or league in office, 
Thou doft deliuer more, or leffe then Truth, 
Thou art no Souldier. 

lago. Touch me not fo neere, 
I had rather haue this tongue cut from my mouth, 
Then it fhould do offence to Michaell Caffio. 
Yet I perfwade my felfe, to fpeake the truth 
Shall nothing wrong him. This it is Generall : 
Montana and my felfe being in fpeech. 
There comes a Fellow, crying out for helpe. 
And CaJJio following him with determined Sword 
To execute vpon him. Sir, this Gentleman, 
Steppes in to CaJJio^ and entreats his paufe : 
My felfe, the crying Fellow did purfue. 
Lead by hisc lamour (as it fo fell out) 
The Towne might fall in fright. He,(fwift of foote) 
Out-ran my purpofe : and I returnM then rather 
For that I heard the clinke, and fall of Swords, 
And CaJJio high in oath : Which till to night 
I nere might fay before When I came backe 
(For this was briefe) I found them clofe together 







243. partially] partiality Qq. 
Affin'd'^ ajgigrid Q.'Sl. Q/95. 
le<Mgtti\ QqFf, Rowe. leagued 

Pope et cet. 

244. do/I] doeft Q,Q,. 

deliuer mare,'] deliuer, more Q,. 

245. no] mo Q,. 

247. I had] /VPope+. 

haue] ha Q,. hc^ Q^Q,. 

cut from my] out from my Q,. 
oui of my Q,. out of his Q^. 

249. fpeake the] fpeakfo the Ff, Rowe. 

250. This] Ff, Rowe, Knt, Sta. J^us 
Qq et cet. 

tTw] */irPope+. 

252. comes] corns Q^. 

253. him] Om. Pope+, Huds. 

255. in to] into Q^F.Q^F^, Rowe i. 

256. My felfe,] my felfe QqF^ et scq. 

257. Leaft] Left QqFf et cet. 
259. and] Om. Pope + . 

then] Fi, Knt. the QqFf et cet. 

261. oath] oaths Q,. 

262. fay] fee Q,. 

printed it in his text : monsterous. Walker goes on to show that Drayton, * according 
to his manner of marking a doubtful pronunciation by the spelling, writes monsterous.^ 
' There is also a third spelling, monstruous,* found in Surrey, and in the Faerie Queene, 
I, ii, line 366 (ed. Grosart). See also ' mistress/ IV, ii, 104. — Ed. 

243. Affin'd] Steevens : Afp.n^d is, bound by proximity of relationship ; but here 
it means related by nearness of office. In I, i, 42, it is used in the former sense. 
Staunton : If, bound by partiality. Booth : Montano should be in total ignorance 
of the cause of the disturbance. 

253. him] Capell: This crept into the line from the line beneath. Dyce and 
Walker alio suspect that it is an interpolation. 

144 ^^-^ TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii, sc. n. 

At blow, and thruft^ euen as againe they were 

When you your felfe did part them. 26^ 

More of this matter cannot I report^ 

But Men are Men : The bed fometimes forget. 

Though CaJJio did fome little wrong to him. 

As men in rage (Irike thofe that wifh them bed, 

Yet furely CaJJiOy I beleeue receiu'd 270 

From him that fled, fome (Irange Indignitie, 

Which patience could not pafle. 

Othe. I know lago. [321 a\ 

Thy honeftie, and loue doth mince this matter, 
Making it light to CaJJio : CaJJio^ I loue thee, 27^ 

But neuer more be Officer of mine. 

Enter Dejdetnona attended. 

Looke if my gentle Loue be not raised vp : 

He make thee an example. 279 

264. againe\ agen Qq. 268. wrong'\ woang Q^. 

265. IVktn] Wkn Q,. 269. tho/e\ them Q,. 

266. cannct /^ can/ mffQ(\p Cap, Jtn. 277. Enter...] Enitr De/demotta vnih 
Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Del. others. Qq (after line 278) Q,Q,. 

KUy. 278. rau'd] rcn/de Q,. 

274. Coleridge (JVaffs, &c., 255) : Honesty and love 1 Ay, and who but the readei 
of the play could think otherwise ? 

275. thee] Abbott, § 231 : TAou, in Shakespeare's time, was veiy much like < du ' 
now among the Germans, the pronoun of affection towards friends ; good-humoured 
superiority to servants ; and contempt or anger to strangers. It had, however, already 
fallen somewhat into disuse, and, being regarded as archaic, was naturally adopted in 

the higher poetic style and in the language of solemn prayer In almost all cases 

where tA<m and j^ou appear at first sight indiscriminately used, further considerations 
show some change of thought, or some influence of euphony sufiident to account for 
the change of pronoun. [In a foot-note, Abbott says that the Elizabethan distinction 
between tJkim and j^ou is remarkably illustrated in Early English, as detailed by Skeat 
in fViUiam of PaUme, The passage in Skeat is as follows, and is the result of a 
tabulation of the best examples in that Romance (about A. D. 1350) and also in the 
Romance of Alitaunder (about A. D. 1340)] : < Thou is the language of a lord to a 
servant, of an equal to an equal, and expresses also companionship, love, permission, 
defiance, scorn, threatening ; whilst ye is the language of a servant to a lord, and of 
compliment, and fiather expresses honour, submission, entreaty ' — Preface to JVUHam 
of Palemet p. xlii. — Ed.] 

279. Ottley (p. 19) : Kean said these words, before preparing to go, solemnly and 
sadly, as if justifying and explaining a painful act of duty. And then his walk up the 
stage ! so stately and grand, his cloak swaying gracefully with each well-measured steo 
—who that saw it shall foiiget it? 

ACT II. sc. ii.] TffE MOORE OF VENICE 145 

Def. What is the matter (Deere ?; 280 

Othe. Alps well, Sweeting : 
Come away to bed. Sir for your hurts, 
My felfe will be your Surgeon. Lead him off: 
lagOj looke with care about the Towne, 

And filence thofe whom this vilM brawle diftrafted. 285 

Come De/demonay 'tis the Soldiers life, 
To haue their Balmy flumbers wak'd with ftrife. Exit. 

lago. What are you hurt Lieutenant ? 

Caf. I, paft all Surgery . 

lago. Marry Heauen forbid. 290 

Caf. Reputation, Reputation, Reputation : Oh I haue 

280. What is] Q,F^ Cap. Steev.'Ss, Johns. To Mon. who is led off. Steev. 
Mai. Knt. What's (ij:^^^^ ct cct 283. Lead him off] Om. Huds. 

(Deere fyiYt Dear /Kowt,C9p, [Exeunt some with Mon. Cap. 

Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, Sing. Wh. i, 285. w/V] vile QqFf. 

Ktly. Om. Qq et cet. 287. Exit] Exit Moore, Defdemena^ 

281-283. AW s,., off] Lines end, ^^. ... and attendants, (after line 288) Qq., Pope + , Jen. Steev.*85, Mai. Scene XIII. Pope, Warb. Scene XIV. 

Coll. Dyce,Wh. Glo. Cam. Ktly, Del. Rife. Han. Johns. Jen. 
A^</...>ii#r/r...^Steev.'93, Var. Sing. 289. /,] ^>', Rowe. Om. Popc+. 

281. AWs] Aali*sQ^, Al/is?opt-¥. 290. Marry Heauen] Mary God Q^ 
v>ell^] Ff, Rowe + , Knt well, Mary Heauen (ij:^^. 

Here Johns, well now Qq et cet 291-294. Four lines, ending my repu- 

282. Come away] Com away Q^^. Come, taHon.,./elfe...bea/iiall, my reputation,., 
away F^, Rowe, Pope, Theob. i, Han. my reputation, in Qq. 

Came Theob. ii, Warb. Come^ let*s away 291. Reputation] Only twice, Qq, Ci^ 

Ci^. Oh I] I Q„ Cap. 

283. Surgeon,] surgeon, [To Montano. 291, 292. haue] ha Qq. 

281. Sweeting] Steevens : This surfeiting vulgar term of fondness originates from 
the name of an apple distinguished only by its insipid sweetness. 

283. Lead him off] Malone: I am persuaded these words were originally a 
stage direction. In our old plays all the stage-directions were couched in imperative 
tenns : — Play music. — Ring the Bell. — Lead him off. White (ed. i) : Such is my 
opinion, but for a different reason. If Othello had ordered the removal of Montano^ 
he would have said, not ' Lead him off,' but * Lead him away* We speak of a man's 
being or having been led off, or on, in the sense of away, or onward ; but when we 
direct a man to be taken from where we are, we say * away,' unless we are upon a 
staging, or some place of that kind, which, for Shakespeare's purposes, Othello was not 
The rhythm of this command, too, is not like that of Shakespeare's hemistichs. But 
as Qq and Ff agree, I do not venture to change it upon mere opinion. Rolfr : Ma- 
lone may be right 

285. Booth : lago goes off. Cassio braces himself for the sentence, but sinks to 

the ground at Othello's exit. At line 288, lago hurriedly enters to Cassio. In Cassio's 

speech < Reputation,' &c., don't preach ; be not violent ; avoid rant ; yet be impassioned, 

— feel thoroughly disgusted with yourself, and you'll be natural. Walk about, but don't 

stamp or < saw the air.' 

146 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii. sc. iL 

loft my Reputation. I haue loft the immortall part of 292 
myfelfe, and what remaines is beftiall. My Reputation, 
lagOy my Reputation. 

lago. As I am an honeft man I had thought you had 295 
receiued fome bodily wound; there is more fence in that 
then in Reputation. Reputation is an idle, and moft falfe 
impofition; oft got without merit, and loft without de- 
feruing. You haue loft no Reputation at all, vnleffe you 
repute your felfe fuch a loofer. What man, there are 300 
more wayes to recouer the Generall againe. You are 
but now caft in his moode,(a punifhment more in poli- 
cie, then in malice ) euen fo as one would beate his of- 
fenceleffe dogge, ro afTright an Imperious Lyon. Sue to 
him againe, and he's yours. 305 

292. part of\ part fir ofC)^ Jen. Steev. Q^. 

Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. 296. fence\ offence Qq, Jen. Steev. MaL 

293. my/elft] my falfe (X. Var. ColL Sing. Ktly, Huds. 

294. remaines] remainrsQ^, 300. too/er'] lofer Qq. 
Reputation^ reputation — Rowe 301. iwu?r^] Ff, Rowe. Oni.Qqetc^ 

+, Jen. ogain] agen Qq. 

295. / had] Ff, Rowe + , Steev.*85, 304. ro'lto, 

Knt / Qq et cet. Imperious] impious Han. ii (mis- 

296. receiued] receiued C^J^, recei*d print). 

296. bodUy wound] Gould {TTke jyagedian^ p. 87): The simpler meaning i* 
conveyed by the usual emphasis on < bodily.' But this emphasis would oppose bodily 
to spiiitnal wounds, and lago has no faith in the latter. J. B. Booth, with Bne penetra- 
tion, emphasized both these words, as if there were no other wounds to suffer from. 

296. sence] Knight : The sense of a wound is its sensibility. 

298, 299. oft . . . deserving] Booth : With significant glance at Cassio. Do 
not smile, or sneer, or glower, — try to impress even the audience with your sincerity. 
Tis better, however, always to ignore the audience ; if you can forget that you are a 
'shew' you will be natural. The more sincere your manner, the more devilish your 
deceit. I think the * light comedian ' should play the villain's port, not the * heavy 
man ; ' 1 mean the Shakespearian villains. lago should appear to be what all but the 
audience believe he is. Even when alone, there is little need to remove the mask 
entirely. Shakespeare spares you that trouble. 

299, 300. You . . . looser] DuBois ( IVreath, p. 72) cites parallel passages from 
Menander in Plutarch : Ovdh iriirovfhc <5e<vdv, hv fi^ npoanoiy — ^Thou hast suffered no 
wrong, unless thou dost fancy so. Also Epictetus, Enchirid.^ c. 31 : X^ yap dXXof <n> 
pXd^lfei, hv fi^ av BihfQ, Tdre 6k iaij pepXofifiivoCt trav WoXAp^ pX&imaOat — No 
one will hurt thee, unless thou art willing he should. For then only wilt thou be hurt, 
when thou dost think thyself hurt. Also Marcus Antoninus, B. 7, § 14 : *Ey^ 6k, iav 
fti^ viroXdpo bri Koidtv rb avfjtPePijifbf, olnru pip?xi/ifuu — ^Unless I myself think that 
which happens an evil, I am still unhurt. 

302. cast] J()HNSON : Ejected in his anger. [See I, i, 164; II, ii, 31 ; V. ii, 40a] 


Caf. I will rather fue to be defpisM, then to deceiue 306 
(o good a Commander, with fo flight, fo drunken, and fo 
indifcreet an Officer. Drunke ? And fpeake Parrat? And 
fquabble ? Swagger ? Sweare ? And difcourfe Fuftian 
with ones owne fliadow t Oh thou invifible fpirit of 310 
Wine, if thou haft no name to be knowne by, let vs call 
thee Diuell. 

lago. What was he that you followed with your 
Sword ? What had he done to you t 

Caf. I know not. 315 

lago. Is't poflible ? 

Caf. I remember a mafle of things, but nothing di- 
ftinftly : a Quarrell, but nothing wherefore. Oh, that 
men fliould put an Enemie in their mouthes, to fteale a- 
way their Braines ? that we fliould with ioy, pleafance, 320 
reuell and applaufe, transforme our felues into Beafts. 

307. Jl^ht'\ light Qq, Jen. Coll. 311. kn4n0ne,„vs\ k<mtuen.,.ws Qj. 
and/o\ and Qq. 3 1 3, 314. What, . . Snwrdf] One line ai 

30S-310. Drunke t n^JhiuUno f^ Om. verse, Qq. 
Qj. 313. foWmfd^ followed ()<{, 

308. fpeake Parrat r'\ fpeak Parrat? 316. ///] Is it Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. 
Fj,Cap. fpeak, ParrolfT^,¥joyrt,Vtf^, Ktly. 

speak f Parrot,Theob, speak? parrot t 318. Oh;\ O Q,Q . O God, Q^ Jen, 

Han. j^ai /Virr^/, Johns. Jen. speak Coll. DyceySta.Wh.Glo. Cam. Del. Huds. 

Parrot t Warb. et cet. Rife. 

"^xo. invifible'\ivnifidle(^^ invincible ^ig, ^20, their... their"] there... there Q^. 

Theob. ii (misprint ?), Warb. 320. Braines F"] draines; Qq. 

311. Wine, if thou] wine; thou Qj. 320, 321. pleafance, rettelJ] Reueli, 

Wine! if thou F^, Rowe, Pope, Theob. pleafure Qq, Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. 

Han. Warb. Coll. Del. wine; if thou Johns. Coll. Wh. i. 

304. affright] As Purnell says, this does not suit the comparison. Staunton 
suggests appease, which certainly accords better with the sense. — Ed. 

308. Parrat] Warburton : That is, to act foolishly and childishly. [In proot, 
Warbuiton cites a passage from Skelton, wherein it is true the two words * speke ' and 
' Parrot ' occur, but they occur as an address to the bird to speak, and not as in the 
present phrase. The very title of the piece is Speke, Parrot, and Warburton's quou- 
tion runs thus : < These maidens .... make swete my bowre, With, Speke, Parrot, I 
pray you, full cuitesly they say,' vol. ii, p. 2, ed. Dyce. Cassio's phrase bears its clear 
meaning of senseless talk, but I have met no other instance of it. Parallel passages 
are of use only where there is obscurity. Here there is none. For Shakespeare's refer- 
ences to parrots and their ways, see Harting, p. 272. — Ed.] Morel : On pounait 
comparer Texpression familidre du fran^ais, 'parler ndgre.' 

320. pleasance] Morel : Marot chez nous disait encore au seizidme sidcle < les 
plaisances mondaines,' et le mot nous est rest^ dans les expressions telles que, maison 
dt plaisance, bateau de plaisance. 

148 THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act ii, sc. ii. 

lago. Why ? But you are now well enough : how 322 
came you thus recouered ? 

Caf. It hath pleasM the diuell drunkennefle^ to giue 
place to the diuell wrath, one vnperfeftneffe, (hewes me 325 
another to make me frankly defpife my felfe. 

lago. Come, you are too feuere a Moraller. As the 
Time, the Place, & the Condition of this Country (lands 
I could hartily wifh this had not befalne : but flnce it is, as 
it is, mend it for your owne good. 330 

Caf. I will aske him for my Place againe, he (hall tell 
me, I am a drunkard : had I as many mouthes as Hydra^ 
fuch an anfwer would (lop them all. To be now a fen- 
fible man, by and by a Foole, and prefently a Bead. Oh 
(Irange! Euery inordinate cup is vnblefsM, and the Ingre- 335 
dient is a diuell. 

lago. Come, come : good wine, is a good familiar [321 ^] 
Creature, if it be well vsM : exclaime no more againd it 
And good Lieutenant, I thinke, you thinke I loue 
you. 340 

Cajfio. I haue well approued it. Sir . I drunke ? 

322. Whyfl Why^ QqF^ et seq. 335. incrdifuUe] vnordinate Q,. 

324. pUa^d'\ pUafde Q,. 335, 336. Ingredient'] ingredience Qq, 

328. 6* the] the Qq» Han. O^. 

329. not] notfo 0,0^ Jen. 337. familiar] F,. 

333. them] em Qq. 341. approued] approot^d Q,Q,. ap- 

334. Foole] fouU Q,. prfft/d Q,. 
334,335<^'*A««Sf^A]Om.Qq,P6pc+, Sir, /]/r,— /Qq,Sing.u. Sir, 

Jen. / Ff . 

327. Moraller] For other instances of -er appended to nouns to signify the agenU 
see Abbott, §443. 

328. Time, the Place] Morel: lago prend ainsi plaisir & rappeler & Cassio 
les drconstances qui peuvent rendre sa faute plus criminelle et son remords plus 

335. Ingredient] In that excellent contribution to Shakespearian literature, just 
published, Studies in Shakespeare (alas ! alas t that it should be posthumous !) Grant 
White suggests that the form ingredience should be retained in Macb. I, vii, 11, in IV, 
i, 34, and also in this present passage, on the ground that * the idea is collective, not 
separative.' This ground is valid in both instances in Macb., but is less sure here, albeit 
the Qq have ingredience. Not only are the Ff uniform in giving * Ingredient,' but the 
plural sound of ingredience would strike harshly before the singular verb. — Ed. 

337. famiUar] Morel : C'est le mot * devil,' employ^ par Cassio, qui provoque cetf! 
ironique repartie. 

339. Booth: In tones whose subtlety cannot be described. 

ACT II, sc. ii.] 



lago. You, or any man liuing, may be drunke at a 
time man. I tell you what you fliall do : Our General^s 
Wife, is now the Generall. I may fay fo, in this refpeft, 
for that he hath deuoted, and giuen vp himfelfe to the 
Contemplation, marke : and deuotement of her parts 
and Graces. Confeffe your felfe freely to her : Impor- 
tune her helpe to put you in your place againe. She is 
of fo free, fo kinde, fo apt, fo blefled a difpofition, 
(he holds it a vice in her goodneffe, not to do more 
then (he is requefted. This broken ioynt betweene 
you, and her husband, entreat her to fplinter. And my 
Fortunes againfl any lay worth naming, this cracke of 
your Loue, (hall grow (longer, then it was before. 

CaJJto. You aduife me well. 

lago. I proteft in the finceritie of Loue, and honed 

CaJJio. I thinke it freely : and betimes in the mor- 





342* 343. a time] Ff, Rowe, Knt, Dyce, 
Wh. i, Glo. Rife, /ome time Qq et cet. 

343. man] Om. Q,. 

/ teU] Ff, Rowe + . He lei/ Qq 
et cet. 

345. AalA] has Qq. 

346. marke: and] tnarke and Qq. 
(mark 6* Q,) Theob. ii, Warb. Cam. 
mark : and Y^, — mark, — an</Knti,Sta. 
— mark! — aM4/Kiitii,Sing. Ktly. mark, 
and Rowe et cet. 

deudemenl] Q,Q,. devdemenl 



F£Q^ Rowe, Pope, Knt, Coll. i. 
meni Theob. et cet. 

348. her helpe] her, JheeU helpe Qq, 
Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Ktly, Del 

349. offo] fo Qq. 

350. Jhe] thatjhe Qq, Cap. Jen. Steev. 
Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, KUy, Del. 

351. broken ioynt] hrauU Q,. 
354. ftonger] Jlronger (ip^^,; 

il was] twas Q,. t*was Q,Qj. 
356. hmejl] Om. Qj. 

342. at a time] This is the Scotch * ae,' meaning one. Compare * Doth not rose- 
mary and Romeo begin both with a letter ' ? Rom, ^Jul, II, iv, 187 ; < these foils have 
all a length,' Ham, V, ii, 232. See also Abbott, § 81. 

346. marke] Knight says that this is here used as an interjection ; < to make the 
matter still more ridiculous ' t exclaims Dycs (Rem,, p. 239), after condemning Knighf s 
preference for * devotement ' of F,. 

346. deuotement] Theobald : I cannot persuade myself that our Poet would ever 
have said any one devoted himself to the devotement of anything. The mistake cer- 
tainly arose from a single letter being turned upside-down at press. The three words, 
Contemplation, mark, and denotement, are, indeed, in some d^[ree tautological, but the 
practice is allowed for the sake of eneigy. Malone notes the frequent occurrence of 
this accident in the Qq and Ff. Thus in Merry Wives, IV, vi, 39, < denote her to the 
doctor;' Ham. I, ii, 83, 'That can denote me truly,' where in both cases it should be 
denote. For other instances see his note on the passage in Merry Wives, 

352. splinter] Dyce: To secure by splints 

353. lay] RiTSON • Any bet, any vrager. 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii. sc. u. 

iiingy I will befeech the vertuous Defdemona to vndertake 

for me : I am defperate of my Fortunes if they check me. 360 

lago. You are in the right : good night Lieutenant, I 
muft to the Watch. 

CaJJio. Good night, honed lago. 

Exit Cajfio. 

lago. And what's he then, 365 

That faies I play the Villaine? 
When this aduife is free I giue, and honed, 
Proball to thinking, and indeed the courfe 
To win the Moore againe. 

For 'tis mod eafie 370 

Th'inclyning Defdemona to fubdue 
In any honed Suite. She's fram'd as fruitefull 372 

359. / ttfiV?] will /Qq, Jen. Mai. Steev. 
he/eech'] hefech Q,. 

360. check me,} Ff, Rowe, Pope, Knt. 
ckecke me here. Qq et cet 

361. You.^right'] One line, Qq. 

364. Exit...] Exit. Qq. 

Scene XIV. Pope i, Waib. Scene XV. 
Han. Johns. Jen. Scene II. Pope ii (mis- 

365, 366. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 

368. Proball'] Probable Rowe, Cap. 
Steev.'Ss. Lihefy Pope + . Provable 
Coleridge in quoting. 

369, 370. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 
369. againe] agen Qq. 

371. Th'] Ff, Rowe + , Jen. Sing. Wh. 
Ktly, Dyce iii, Huds. The Qq et cet. 

371, 372. fubdue.,, Suite, Sh^s] fub 
cluet,,./uite,Jh^ s Q,. fubdue, , . ,fuitefh^i 


363. honest] Booth : Not too pronounced. 
365. Booth : Pause, and with a smile of satisfaction, look after him. 
365. Coleridge (Notes, &c., 255) : He is not, you see, an absolute fiend ; or, at 
least, he wishes to think himself not so. 

367. free] Johnson : This counsel has an appearance of honest openness, of frank 
goodwill. Henley : "RsJihet gratis, noi paid for, as his advice to Roderigo was. Pye 
(p. 333) : His counsel has not the appearance only of honest openness and frank good- 
will, but was really such as honest openness and frank goodwill would give. Henley's 
notion is completely absurd. 

368. Proball] Steevens : There may be such a contraction of probable, but I have 
not met with it in any other book. Abbreviations as violent occur in the works of 
Churchyard. Collier : A colloquial contraction for probable. Corresponding con- 
tractions are 'miseral' for miserable in Painter's Palace of Plecuure, \, 151 ; and in 
B. Rich's Dialogue between Mercury and a Soldier, 1574, we have *varial* for varia- 
ble. Singer : A contraction of probable ox proveable. Halliwell: A word of very 
rare occurrence. I have met with it only once elsewhere, in Sampson's Vow Breaker, 
or the Faire Maid of Clifton, 1636 : < Didst thou not make me draw conveighances ? 
Did not th'assurance of thy lands sttmt proball f* White (ed. ii) : A word unknown 
elsewhere : but what cared Shakespeare for that ! [For other somewhat similar con- 
tractions, see Abbott, §461.] 

371. inclyning] M alone: Compliant 

ACT 11. sc u.] THE MOORE OF VENICE \ 5 1 

As the free Elements. And then for her 373 

To win the Moore, were to renownce his Baptifme, 

All Scales, and Simbols of redeemed fin : 375 

His Soule is fo enfettered to her Loue, 

That (he may make,vnmake, do what (he lift, 

Euen as her Appetite (hall play the God, 

With his weake Fun6bon. How am I then a Villaine, 

To Counfell CaJJio to this paralell courfe, 380 

Direftly to his good ? Diuinitie of hell. 

When diuels will the blackeft finnes put on. 

They do fuggeft at firft with heauenly (hewes. 

As I do now. For whiles this honeft Foole 

Plies De/demona^ to repaire his Fortune, 385 

And (he for him, pleades ftrongly to the Moore, 

He powre this peftilence into his eare : 

That (he repeales him, for her bodies Luft' 

And by how much (he ftriues to do h^m good. 

She (hall vndo her Credite with the Moore. 390 

So will I tume her vertue into pitch, 

And out of her owne goodneflfe make the Net, 

That (hall en-ma(h them all. 

How now Rodorigo ? 394 

374. tiWfy]ii«r*/Q,Q,. wr^/Q^Rowe 384. whiUs\ while QjFjF^ Rowc+, 
«t seq. Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. 

375. Simbois] fymboUs Q^. whUft QjCi^. 

376. enfetter' d'\ infetter* d Q^, 385. Fortune'] Ff, Rowc+, Jen. Knt 
379. How am] Am Popc + . fortunes Qq et cet 

381. Diuinitie of heU] ' TisheU's dhnn- 388. for her] from her Johns. 
ity: Pope, Han. 393, 394. One line. Pope et seq. 

382. diuels] Devils F^F^. 393. en-mafh] enmejh Q^Q.. enem^ 
the] their QqF^ Rowc+, Jen. Qj. enmajh F^F^, Rowe. 

Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly, them] em Q,. 

Del. 394. Rodo rigo] Rod*rigo Pope, Han. 

372. fhiitefull] Johnson : Liberal, bountiful, as the elements, out of which aB 
things are produced. [See III, iv, 46.] 

379. Function] Schmidt {Lex,) : The operation of the mental faculties. [Very, 
veiy doubtful. See Ham. II, ii, 529; Macb. I, iii, 140. — Ed.] 

380. paralell] Johnson : That is, level, and even with his design, 

380. course] Walker (Crit., i, 165) : Perhaps dele comma after 'course.' 

382. put on] That is, encourage, thrust forward. A parallel insttnce is in Macb, 
rV, iii, 239 : < the powers above put on theur instruments.' 

383. suggest] Dyce : To tempt, to incite, to seduce. 

387. Booth : All this with a quiet chuckle and increasing intensity. 

388. repeals] Johnson : That is, recalls him. Collier : Its etymological senw. 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ii. sc. iu 

Enter Rodorigo. 


Kodarigo. I do follow heere in the Chace, not 
like a Hound that hunts, but one that filles vp the 
Crie. My Money is almoft fpent ; I haue bin to night 
exceedingly well CudgellM : And I thinke the iflue 
will bee, I (hall haue fo much experience for my paines; [322 a\ 
And fo, with no money at all, and a little more Wit, re- 401 
tume againe to Venice. 

lago. How poore are they that haue not Patience ? 
What wound did euer heale but by degrees ? 
Thou know^ft we worke by Wit, and not by Witchcraft 405 

And Wit depends on dilatory time : 
Dos't not go well ? Cajffw hath beaten thee. 
And thou by that fmall hurt hath caftieer'd CaJJio: 
Though other things grow faire againfl the Sun, 
Yet Fruites that bloffome firft, will firft be ripe : 

395. Enter...] After line 393, Qq. 
Scene XV. Pope, Warb. Scene XVI. 

Han. Johns. Jen. 

396. do'\ Om. Pope, Han. 

398. I haue] I ha Qq. 

399. And'\ Om. Qq. 

400-402. paines ,,.Vemce\ paitus^ as 
that comes to^ and no money at all, and 
with that wit retume to Venice. Q,, Jen. 
paines, and fo no mony at all, and with 
a Httle more wit retume to Venice, Q,Q,> 

402. againe'\ Om. Qq, Jen. Steev. Mai. 


Var. Knt. 
403. haue not'\ ha not Q,. 
405. knffttfjf\ knowft Qq. 

407. Do^t'\ Do'ft Q,. Doft F,F^, 
Rowe i. Doe^t Rowe ii et seq. 

hath'\ has Qq. 

408. hath"] Sing. Dyce iii. haft QqFf 
et cet 

409. grow"] grew Q^. 

410. Kr/] But Q,. 

will. ..ripe"] are notfirstripe : Han. 
fir/f\ fire %. 

398. Crie] Dycb: A pack, properly 'the giving mouth of hounds.* <A crie of 
Hounds have here a Deer in Chase.' — Sylvester's Du Bartas^ The Magnificence^ 
p. 213, ed. 1632. 

408. Booth : Roderigo shows delight at this, and is anxious to learn the particulars, 
but lago urges him to go ; then with triumphant haste speaks the concluding lines. 

410. ripe] Johnson : Of many different things, all planned with the same art and 
promoted with the same diligence, some must succeed sooner than others, by the order 
of nature. Everything cannot be done at once ; we must proceed by the necessary 
gradation. We are not to despair of slow events, any more than of tardy fruits, while 
the causes are in regular progress and the fruits grow/air against the sun. Malone : 
rhe blossoming, or fair appearance of things, to which lago alludes, is the removal of 
Cassio. As their plan had already blossomed, so there was good ground for expecting 
that it would soon be ripe. lago does not mean to compare their scheme to tardy 
fruits. Deighton : Johnson says the meaning is that we are not to despaur of slow 
events, any more than of tardy fruits, while the causes are in regular progress, and the 
MSa grow fair against the sun : but lagc does not say that the fruits grew frur against 

ACT II, SC. ii.] 



Content thy felfe, a-while. Introth 'tis Morning; 411 

Pleafure, and Aftion, make the houres feeme fhort. 

Retire thee, go where thou art Billited : 

Away, I fay, thou (halt know more heereafter : 

Nay get thee gone. Exit Rodorigo. 41 5 

Two things are to be done : 

My Wife muft moue for CaJJio to her Miftris : 

He fet her on my felfe, a while, to draw the Moor apart. 

And bring him iumpe, when he may CaJJio iinde 419 

ill. a-wAiU] awhile Sing. 

Inirotkl F,Fj. In troth F^, Rowc + , 
Knt,Wh. H' thi majfe(^. by th maffe 
Q,Qj. By th? mass C14). Jen. Huds. By 
the mass Steev. et cet. 

412. houres"] timejtn. 

413. Billitedl bill ted q^, 

41 5f 416. One line, Qq, Mai. et seq. 
415-418. \AMStTL<digtme,.,move„.i 
...apartf Ktly. 

415. Exit...] Om. Qq. 

416. 7W] S<mu Qq. 

418. Two lines, the first ending on, Qq, 
Theob. Warb. et seq. 

her on] Ff, Rowe, Pope, her on. 
Qq. heron — Ktly. ^^r off.* Theob. et cet. 

on,„draiw]ontodrawVo^. on; 
so draw Han. 

a while] FfQ,Q , Rowe, Jen. Sing. 
awhile Q,. the while Theob. Warb. et cet. 

to draw] will draw Johns. Steev. 


419. when] where Coll. MS. 

the sun. On the contrary, he says * though other things grow, &c., yet^ &c. I believe 
the argument is this : — lago compares Cassio to one tree, and himself and Roderigo to 
another or others. Cassio, he says, ' grew fair against the sun ' while they were in the 
shade, i. e., Cassio had an advantage over them in his position in life ; but notwith- 
standing this, they had * blossomed first,' i. e., had by their successful tumbling him out 
of his lieutenancy, made better use of their time and opportunities ; and arguing from 
this, it was Ukely that they would * first grow ripe,' i. e., would ultimately beat him in 
the race by attaining their objects, while he would end in failure and disgrace. John- 
son's interpretation quite misses the point, while Malone does not touch the first of the 
two lines, and fails to explain the blossoming first and getting ripe^f?/, which are im- 
portant words here. Hudson : The meaning seems to be, < though in the sunshine of 
good luck the other parts of our scheme are promising well, yet we must expect that 
the part which first meets with opportunity, or time of blossom, will soonest come to 
harvest, or catch success.' 

411. Introth] Malone: One of the numerous arbitrary alterations made by the 
Master of the Revels in the playhouse copies, from which a great part of the Folio way 
printed. White (ed. i) : The change seems to be due rather to a care for the rhythm 
than to the scruples of the Master of the Revels. 

418. Theobald : This unreasonable long Alexandrine was certainly a blunder of 
the editors; a slight transposition and a change will regulate it. [In Text. Notes, 
see Theobald's division of the line, wherein he followed the Qq.] 

418. a while] Jennens : Perhaps this means the same as the while, and may be a 
contraction for at the while, 

418. to draw] Steevens : This is in keeping with the interrupted speech. lago 
is still debating with h'mself the means to perplex Othello. 



Soliciting his wife : I, that's the way : 
Dull not Deuice, by coldnefle^ and delay. 



A£lus Tertius. Scena Prima. 

Enter Caffto^ MufitianSyand Clowne. 

Cajfio. Maflers, play heere, I wil content your paines. 
Something that's briefe: and bid, goodmorrow General. 

Clo. Why MaflerSy haue your Inflruments bin in Na- 
ples, that they fpeake i'th'Nofe thus ? 

420. wifer^ wi/e-~ Ktly. 

421. not Deuite] noi deui/e Qq. noi^ 
Device^ Theob. Warb. 

Exit.] Exeunt. Qq. 

1. Actus...] Om.Q,. Actus3.ScGeiuLi. 
Q,Q,. Actus.. .Scsena Prima. F,. 

Othello's Palace. Rowe. 

2. Enter... ] Enter Caffioimih Mufitians 
and the Qowne, Q,. Enter Cajlio, with 
Mufitians Q,Q,. 

3. Mafters\ Mafter Qj. 

4. bidt goodmorrcwy^ ^, HdgoodmoT' 
row QqFj. Hd good morrow, F^ Rowe, 
P6pe, Han. Coll. Dyce i, Wh. i, Sta. Rife. 

Mi^^VM/M^rr^zef, Theob. Warb. Ktly. hid, 
6^0M/-m9fri9ze>,Johns.Jen. Knt. bid— good 
morrow. Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. Sing, bid, 
good morrow to tA^CoU. (MS). bid*Good 
morrow, Glo. Cam. Del. Dyce iii, Wh. ii. 
[They play, and enter the Qowne. Q,Qj. 
Music plays... Theob. 

5. kaue] ha Qq. 

bin in"] bin at Qq, Cap. Jen. Steev. 
Mai. Var. Sing. KUy. 

6. fpeake\ play Cap. (corrected in Er- 
rata), squeak Coll. ii (MS), Sing. ii. 

iW]fV>I^Q,. Vth(^% Uh'Y^, 

419. iumpe] Exactly ; see Shakespeare passim, 

419. when] Collier (ed. ii) IVkere of the (MS.) is probably wrong, since lago is 
adverting more to time than to place. 

2. Theobald (Nichols's lUus., ii, 593) : The direction Ux this entrance does not seem 
entirely right. The scene should be before Othello's palace. Cassio should speak with 
the musicians ; after his speech they should play their serenade ; and then the Qown 
should enter, as from the house. [This scene and the following scene are generalW 
omitted, I believe, on the modem stage. — Ed.] 

3. play heere] Brand {Pep, Ant., ii, 176) : The custom of awaking a couple the 
morning after the marriage with a concert of music, is of old standing. In the letter 
from Sir Dudley Carleton to Mr. Winwood, describing the nuptials of the Lady Susan 
with Sir Philip Herbert, it is stated that, < they were lodged in the council chamber, 
jrhere the King gave them a reveille matin before they were up.' Chappell (Pop, 
Music, &c., p. 61) : Any song intended to arouse in the morning was formerly called a 
hunts up. See Rom, ^ Jul, III, v, 34. Cotgrave defines < Resveil : A Hunts-vp, or 
morning song for a new-married wife, the day after the marriage.' Ritson : Haut-boys 
are the wind-instruments here meant. 

5. Naples] Johnson : A loathsome disease first appeared at the siege of Naples. 
Parr (p. 36) : There are few Qowns in Italy know this ; Imt every clown there knows 
that Pulcinella is the Neapolitan mask, and that Puldnella speaks through the nose. 
He generally knows, too, that the man who plays the puppet puts into his mouth a reed 
similar to that which is placed in the orifice of the hant-boy. Cowden-Clarke : Tht 
Neapolitans have a singularly drawling nasal twang in the utterance of their dialecL 




Muf. How Sir ? how ? 

Clo. Are thefe I pray you, winde Inftruments / 

Muf. I marry are they fir. 

Clo. Oh, thereby hangs a tale. 

Muf. Whereby hangs a tale, fir ? 

Claw. Marry fir, by many a winde Inflrument that I 
know. But Mafters, heere's money for you : and the Ge- 
nerall fo likes your Mufick, that he defires you for loues 
(ake to make no more noife with it. 

Muf, Well Sir, we will not 

Clo. If you haue any Muficke that may not be heard, 
too't againe. But (as they (ay) to heare Muficke, the Ge- 
nerall do's not greatly care. 

Muf. We haue none fuch, fir. 

Claw. Then put vp your Pipes in your bagge, for He 
away. Go, vanifh into ayre, away. Exit Mu. 

Caffiv. Doft thou heare me, mine honeft Friend ? 

Clo. No, I heare not your honeft Friend : 
I heare you. 

Caffio. Prythee keepe vp thy Quillets, therms a poore 
peece of Gold for thee : if the Gentlewoman that attends 
the Generall be ftirring, tell her, there's one Caffio en- 






7, 9, &c. Muf.] Boy. Qq. 

8. I pray you,"] I pray ^ caU Q^Q^. I 
pray you^ cald Q^ Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. 
CoU. Sing. KUy, Del. 

10, 1 1. taU\ tayle Qq. /<if/Q.*8l, Q.'95. 

13. keer^s]heer's<^, ke^sY^, Aer*sQy 

14, 15. /or hues fake] of all hues Q,, 
Johns. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly, 
Sta. Dyce iii, G>11. iii, Huds. 

1$, no mort] no FfQj, Rowe, Pope, 

18. totft'] tdt Qq, Rowe et seq. 

20. haue'\ ha Qq. 

21. put up] ptU Qq. 

for he] and kye Han. Waib. Jen. 

22. into ayre] Om. Q,, Jen. 
Exit Mu.] Om. Qq. 

23. heare me, mine] hear my Qf\, hear^ 
mine Theob. + , Coll. Wh. hear, my Cap. 
et cet. 

24. 25. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 
26. therms] there s Q,FjF^. 

28. Generall] Generals wife Q,. Gen' 
erals wife Q,Qj» Rowe et seq. 

14. ibr loues sake] Knight : The Qto has the prettier phrase. [See Abbott, 
S 169, f(M: other instances where of is used in appeals.] 

18. too't] Is there a pun here? Whffe (ed. ii) says that <in "the Generall" we 
have a punning allusion to the indifference of the general public to music,' and I think 
one pun is quite as likely, ix as unlikely, as the other. — Ed. 

21. for He away] Ritson (p. 231): This must be wrong; possibly—^ avK^. 
[An unknown former owner of my copy of Jennens has here queried on the maigio^ 
*fore all, away, which is both ingenious and plausible. — Ed.] 

26. Quillets] Malon^: Nice and friTolous distinctbns. [See Ham, V, i, 94]. 




treats her a little fauour of Speech. Wilt thou do this ? 
Clo. She is (lirring fir : if (he will ftirre hither, I (hall 
feeme to notifie vnto her. ExU Qo. 


Enter lago. 
In happy time, lago. 

lago. You haue not bin a-bed then ? 

CaJ/io. Why no : the day had broke before we parted. 35 

I haue made bold {Tago) to fend in to your wi(e : 
My fuite to her is, that (he will to vertuous Defdemona 
Procure me fome accefle. [322 ^] 

lago. He fend her tx) you prefently : 
And He deuife a meane to draw the Moore 40 

Out of the way, that your conuerfe and bu(ine(re 
May be more free. ExU 

Caffio. I humbly thanke you for't I neuer knew 
A Florentine more kinde, and honeft. 44 

29. her\ of her Rowc + . 
Speech^ fpeeck — Qq. 

30. Jlr:,., hither^ sir,,„kith€r, Jen, 

31. feeme to\ ioon so Sing, ii (MS). 
ieem so to G>11. ii (MS). 

Exit Qo.] Om. Q,. (After logo, line 

33) Q.Q,. 

33. In happy\ Ff. Caf. Doe good my 

friend: In happy Qq, Steev. Mai. Var. 
Knt, Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly. Cas. Do, 
my good friend [Enter lago] In happy 
Rowe + , Cap. (subs.). Cas. Do, good my 
friend [To him Enter lago] In happy 
Jen. Dyce, Sta. Glo. Cam. Del. Huds. Rife, 
Wh. ii. 

34, 36. haue\ ha Qq. 
34. lnn\ been F^. 

a-bedl abedQqF^F^. 

35-37. H^^... Defdemona] Lines end, 
parted...her,. Defdemona Qq. Ending 
partfd...w^e;..,her,..Desdemoma, Johns. 
Ending, brohe...Iago»„her...D€ nfem t mm 
Cap. etseq. 

36. lago"] Om. Pope+. 
wife:"] wife, — Qq. 

37. io her] Om. Fbpe, Theob. Haa. 

t^ertuoiu] Om. Pope, Theob. Han. 

39. to you] Om. Pope + . 

42. Exit] Aftery&r'/, line 43, Cap. Ktly, 
Glo. Cam. 

43. /or'fl for it Q,. 

43, 44. Lines tnd/for't,„hottest, Cq>. 

44. A Florentine] a man Cap. 

30, 31. These lines are, of course, prose. In the Globe Edition they chance to 
divide at * hither.' White overlooked this, and, in printing his second edition from 
the Globe, has in his own text retained the division at * hither ' and printed as Terse. 
< To err b human,' and no divineness is needed to forgive so venial a slip as this. — Ed. 

31. to notifie vnto] Deuus : A pedantic, affected phrase which the Qown pm^ 
posely uses, and in such a way as to leave it uncertain that he himself understood it. 

33. In happy time] A la bonne heure. See Rom. ^ Jul. Ill, v, no; Ham. V, 
ii, 193, &c., &c. 
38. accesse] For the accent, see ABBrrr, §490. 
43, 44. Walker ( Crit. i, 89) suggests 'n view of the very frequent interpolation of 


Enter jEmilia. 45 

jEmil. Goodmorrow(good Lieutenant) I am forrie 
For your difpleafure : but all will fure be well. 
The Generall and his wife are talking of it, 
And (he fpeakes for you ftoutly. The Moore replies, 
That he you hurt is of great Fame in Cyprus, 50 

And great Affinitie : and that in wholfome Wifedome 
He might not but refufe you.But he protefts he loues you 
And needs no other Suitor, but his likings 
To bring you in againe. 

CaJJio. Yet I befeech you, 55 

If you thinke fit, or that it may be done, 
Giue me aduantage of fome breefe Difcourfe 
With Def demon alone. 58 

47. fure\ foone Qq, Cap. Jen. Steev. Theob. Han. Warb. likings^ To take the 

Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly. /afeftoccafionbytAe/roniQueLcti, (first 

51. whol/ome'] Om. Pope, Theob. Han. occaswn]ohs!is. saf st occanonOx^. Steev. 
Waib. *93, Var. Knt, Sing. Dyce, Wh. Ktly, Sto. 

52. hut^ batOi^, Del.). 

refufe you\ refufe QJQ^ Cap. 58. Defdemon] Ff, Rowe, Wh. i, Sta. 

hi proteft5'\ Om. Han. Del. Dyce iii. Defdemona Qq et cet 

53» 54- lihings To\ Ff, Rowe, Pope, 

a in the Folio, this division and reading : < I humbly thank 3rou for't | I ne*er knew 
Florentine more kind and honest' ' Perhaps,' he adds, * we should arrange rather,^ 
**I humbly thank you for't; I ne'er knew Florentine | More kind and honest."' [See 
Capell's reading and division, in Textual Notes.] 

43. humbly] Dyce (ed. iii) : ' The word *< humbly " is constantly used with 
« thank," " prayi" " beseech," and the like : hence, I suppose, a transcriber inserted 
it here. Cassio was lago's equal, or rather his superior, and would scarcely have used 
the word even in his present dejected state.' — ^W. N. Lettsom. Here, I apprehend, 
< humbly ' is no more to be taken in its literal sense than is ' humble ' now-a-days when 
some very courteous correspondent signs himself * Your humble servant.' 

44. Florentine] Malone : In consequence of this line, a doubt has been enter- 
tained concerning the country of lago. Cassio was undoubtedly a Florentine, as 
appears by I, i, 22, where he is expressly called one. That lago was a Venetian is 
proved by what he says after having stabbed Roderigo, V, i, 112. All that Cassio 
means to say here is, * I never experienced more honesty and kindness even in any on^ 
of my own countrymen than in this man.' 

47. displeasure] Steevens : The displeasure you have incurred from Othello. 

53. likings] Walker {Crii. i, 250) : Why the plural ? In F^ there is no stop aftcf 
the word ; perhaps 5 has usurped the place of the comma, as it has elsewhere [in the 
examples which Walker then proceeds to give]. 

58. Desdemon] This instsmce of the name thus spelled must have escaped 
Knight's notice, or, I think, he would not have written, or at least would have modi- 
fied, the following note, which he appends to III, iii, 64 : < In five passages in the 

IS8 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act. in. sa ii. 

jEinil. Pray you come in : 
I will beflow you where you (hall haue time Cx) 

To rpeake your bofome freely. 

Caffio. I am much bound to you. 

ScoBfia Secunda. 

Enter Othello ^ lago^and Gentlemen. 

Otke, Thefe Letters giue {lago) to the Pylot, 
And by him do my duties to the Senate : 

That done, I will be walking on the Workes, 5 

Repaire there to mee. 

lago. Well, my good Lord, He doo't 

0th. This Fortification (Gentlemen) (hall we fee't? 

Gent. Well waite vpon your Lordfhip. Exeunt 9 

59. Pray you\ Pray Ff, Rowe. 4. byhim\ bid him Cap. conj. (p. 28 b). 

62. Om. Q,. Senate^ StaU Qq, Cap. Steev. Mai. 

/ am\ Pm Pbpc, Theob. Han. Var. Coll. Wh. i. 

Warb. 5. m the\ to the Q^Q,. 

[Exeunt QqFjF^. Work€s;\ works; Coll. Dycc, Gla 

1. Scoena...] Om. Qq, Rowe. Cam. works, — Knt, Sta. 

2. Enter ...Gentlemen] Enter... other 7. ff^i/] Om. Pope+. 
GenUemen. Qq. 9. W'^/flWrQqJcn.CoU.Wh.i. IVeel 

3. Pylot^ Pilate Q,Q,. Pilot QjF/^. F,. W^U FJF^ et cet. 

Folio Desdemona is called Desdemon, The abbreviation was not a capricious one, 
nor was it introduced merely for the sake of rhythm. It is clearly used as an epithet 
[sic] of familiar tenderness. In the present instance [III, iii, 64] Othello playfully 
evades his wife's solicitations with a rarely-used term of endearment. In the next 
case, IV, ii, 50^ it comes out of the depth of conflicting love and jealousy — "Ah ! De^- 
demon, away, away, away ! " In the next place where he employs it, V, ii, 29, it is 
used upon the last solemn occasion when he speaks to her, " Have you prayed to-night, 
Desdemon f ** And, lastly, it is spoken by him when he has discovered the full extent 
of his guilt and misery, *' O Desdemon ! dead Desdemon, dead." The only other occa- 
sion on which it is employed is by her uncle Gratiano, — *< Poor Desdemon ! '* Surely 
we have no warrant for rejecting such a marked peculiarity.' Walker (Crit. \, 230) 
suggests that Knight supposed the spelling in the present instance, the sixth, * to be an 
enatum ' ; but it is not ; the verse requires, as Walker says, that we should read Desde- 
mon, and assuredly there can be no thought of < familiar tenderness ' here, from Cassio. 
This alone is a serious, perhaps fatal, objection to Knight's theory, which I regretfully 
relinquish ; nor is the objection lessened when we find, as Walker points out, that a 
double form of proper names is by no means uncommon. There are half a dozen 
instances of < Helen ' foi Helena 'n Mid, N. D., and again in Alts WelL-^Ys^. 



SccBfia Tertia. 

Enter De/detnonay CaJJiOy and Emilia. 

Def. Be thou affur'd (good Caffio) I will do 
All my abilities in thy behalfe. 

jEmU. Good Madam do : 
I warrant it greeues my Husband, 
As if the caufe were his. 

Def. Oh that's an honed Fellow, Do not doubt Cajfio 
But I will haue my Lord, and you ag^aine 
As friendly as you were. 

Caffio. Bounteous Madam, 
What euer (hall become of Michael CaJftOy 
He's neuer any thing but your true Seruant 

Def. I know't : I thanke you : you do loue my Lord : 
You haue knowne him long, and be you well aflur'd 
He (hall in (IrangeneflTe (land no farther off. 
Then in a politique diftance. 

Cajpo. I, but Lady, 




I. Scoena Teitia] Om. Qq* Scene II. 

An Apartment Rowe. Before the Qes- 
tle.Oq). The Garden of the Castle. Dyce. 

3. do] use Quincy (MS). 

5. 6. One line, Qq» Pope et seq. 

6. warrant] know Qq, Pope+, Jen. 
Steev. Mai. Var. ColL Sing. Ktly. 

7. cau/e] Ff, Rowe+, Knt, Sta. Del. 
cafe Qq et cet 

8. FeUoWt"] fellow : — Qq. Fellow: Fj 
F^ Rowe+. fellow, Johns, et seq. 

Do noi doubt] doubt not Pope+. 

II. Bounteous] Bountious Q,. Mou 
bounteous Pope+, Ci^ 

14. / knou^t:] O Jir, Qq, Cap. Jen. 
Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Ktly, Huds. 
Iknau^t, Rowe, Pope, Theob. Han.Waib. 
Knt, Dyce, Sta, / knau^t! Wh. i. 

15. You haue] You*ve Pope -f- , Dyce iii, 

be you well] be Qj. 

16. ftrangeneffe] firangeft Qq. tit 1 
strangest Anon (ap. Cam. ed.). 

farther] further Steev.*93, Var 
Dyce, Glo. Del. Huds. Rife, Wh. ii. 

Fbchter's setting of the stage for this scene is noteworthy ; some of its details have 
been since adopted by eminent actors, and the public has not given due credit to the 
ori^nator. It is thus : A Room in the Castle. At the back, an arched opening, look- 
ing over the sea. Right and left, in front, — and feeing the public, — two large doorways 
closed with tiq[)estTy. At the left, a divan, and table covered with papers, maps, instm- 
ments of navigation, &c. On the right a low chair and stool ; around and about them, 
embroideries, music, musical instruments, &c. As the curtain rises, Desdemona, seated, 
winds off silk, which Emilia (sitting on the stool) holds to her ; Cassio stands respectfblhr 
before Desdemona, who continues her work as she speaks. 

16. ttrangenette] The Anonymous conjecture recorded by the Cambridgb Ex>- 
ITORS teems singularly happy. — ^Ed. 

l6o THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act hi, sc. ffl. 

That policie may either lad fo long, 

Or feede vpon fuch nice and waterifh diet, ao 

Or breede it felfe fo out of Circumflances, 

That I being abfent, and my place fuppIyM, 

My Generall will forget my Loue, and Seruice. 

Def. Do not doubt that : before jEmilia here, 
I giue thee warrant of thy place. Affure thee, [323 a] 

If I do vow a friendfhip, He performe it 26 

To the laft Article . My Lord fhall neuer reft. 
He watch him tame, and talke him out of patience ; 
His Bed (hall feeme a Schoole, his Boord a Shrift, 
He intermingle euery thing he do's 30 

With Caffu/s fuite : Therefore be merry Cajfio^ 
For thy Solicitor fliall rather dye, 32 

19. That'\ The Q,. 23. vfiWl ztMnOJ Jtn. 

20. wafert/h'\ wairi/k Q,, Ci^. and^ an Q^. 

21. Circwnftances] Ff, Rowe + . or- 24. y£mi/ia] EmiUia Qq. 
eumflance Qq ct cct 25. place,'\ place P Q,. 

22. /uppiyd^ fupplied Qq. 27. Jhail neuer\ shan't Han. 

19. That policie] Johnson : He may either of himself think it politic to keep me 
out of office so long, or he may be satisfied with such slight reasons, or so many acci- 
dents may make him think my re-admission at that time improper, that I may be quite 

24. doubt] White (ed. ii) : Do not imagine, fear, that. 

25. warrant] Coleridge (p. 255) : The over-zeal of innocence in Desdemona. 
28. tame] Johnson : It is said that the ferocity of beasts, insuperable and ine- 

claimable by any other means, b subdued by keeping them from sleep. Steevens : It 
is to the management of hawks and other birds that Shakespeare alludes. So, in Cart- 
wright's Lady Errant : * we'll keep you. As they do hawks, watching until you leave 
Your wildness.' Again, in Monsieur D'Olive^ 1606: 'your only way to deal with 
women and parrots, is to keep them waking.' Harting (p. 45) : A wild hawk was 
sometimes tamed by watching it night and day, to prevent its sleeping. So, in * An 
approved treatyse of Hawks and Hawking,' by Edmund Berk, Gent, 1619 : — * I have 
heard of some who watched and kept their hawks awake seven nights and as many 
days, and then they would be wild, nunmish, and disorderly.' Pye (p, 335) : This 
strumpet-like resolution of Desdemona takes off much from the interest we should take 
in her fate. [In Pye's Preface, where he is pleased to speak favorably of Shakespeare 
(Pye was Poet Laiueate, be it remembered), he observes that Shakespeare < does not 
possess the power of Otway, and many inferior poets, in exciting pity.' Should not a 
list of those poets who are superior to Shakespeare in exciting pity include Pye ? Is 
there anything in Shakespeare that excites more pity than this remark on Desdemona ? 
Pye says that his Notes are the result of his < perusal ' of Shakespeare, which has been 
< a favorite amusement in his hours of leisure.' With what force is not the truth of the 
infant hymn driven home to us : * For Satan finds some mischief still For idle hands 
!odo'l— Ed.] 

Acr III. sc. iii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE (Ol 

Then giue thy caufe away. ^J 

Enter Othello^ and lago. 

jEmii. Madam, heere comes my Lord. y 

Cajfw. Madam, He take my leaue. 
Dcf. Why ftay, and heare me fpeake. 
CaJJio. Madam, not now : I am very ill at eafe, 
Vnfit for mine owne purpofes. 

Def. Well, do your difcretion. Exit Cajff*. 40 

lago. Hah? I like not that 

OtheU What doft thou fay ? 

lago. Nothing my Lord ; or if — I know not what 

OtheL Was not that Cajfio parted from my wife ? 44 

33. thy caufe\ thee caufe : (^, 38. / am\ Fm Pope *lr vob. Han. 

Scene IV. Pope+, Jen. Warb. Dyce iii, Huds. 

33, 37. Lines end, comes. ». stay,,. speak 39. purpofes'] purpofe 12<lt Coll. i, Wh. 
Steev.*93, Var. Knt, Sing. i, Ktly. 

34. Enter...] Enter Othello, lago, and 40. Wr//] Closing line 39, Sing. Wr//, 
Gentlemen Qq. distance. Theob. i&r//, (closing line 39) Cap. Steev.*93, Var. 
After line 40, Dyce, Wh. Glo. Sta. Huds. 41. Hah ;*] Ha, Qq. 

Rife. 43. if-'] if. Qr »/-Q,Q,. 

37. IVhy-] Nay Q.Q,, Jen. 

35 et seq. Deuus : In short colloquies like this, Shakespeare is fond of using half 
Alexandrines, which are usually cut up by the Editors into blank verse. Capell's 
emendation and division of line 40 occurred independently to Walker (Crit, ii, 147). 

40. Fechter : Othello and lago appear at the back, in the gallery. Emilia draws 
the tapestry on the left, to give passage to Cassio. lago (as by an involuntary move- 
ment) touches the arm of Othello, who raises his head at the moment when Cassio 
bows to Desdemona and goes out. Booth : Enter Othello and lago. Desdemona 
and Emilia go with Cassio into the garden at back, and Cassio lingers just long 
enough to be seen by Othello and lago. The women remain for a moment after 
his exit. 

41. Booth : Don't growl this, — ^let it barely be heard by the audience. 

44. Fechter : Othello comes forward, opening dispatches and petitions, and fol 
lowed by lago. Lewes (On Actors, &c., p. 156) : It is one of Fechter's new arrange- 
ments that Othello, when the tempter begins his diabolical insinuation, shall be seated 
at a table reading and signing papers. When I first heard of this bit of ' business * it 
struck me as admirable ; and indeed I think so still ; although the manner in which 
Fechter executes it is one of those lamentable examples in which the dramatic art is 
subordinated to serve theatrical effect. (Foot-note: Having now seen Salvini in 
Othello, I conclude that this * business * was imitated from him, — but Fechter failed 
to imitate the expression of emotion which renders such business significant) That 
Othello should be seated over his papers, and should reply to lago's questions while 
continuing his examination and affixing his signature, is natural; but it is not nata- 

nlf — that is, not true to the nature of Othello and the situation, — for him to be dead 

l62 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iii. sc. uL 

lago. Caffio my Lord f No fure, I cannot thinke it 45 

That he would fteale away fo guilty-like, 
Seeing your comming. 

0th. I do beleeue 'twas he. 

Def. How now my Lord ? 
I haue bin talking with a Suitor heere, 50 

A man that languifhes in your difpleafure. 

OtK Who is't you meane ? 

Def. Why your Lieutenant Cajfio : Good my Lord, 
If I haue any gtace, or power to moue you, 
His prefent reconciliation take. 55 

For if he be not one, that truly louesyou. 
That erres in Ignorance, and not in Cunning, 
I haue no iudgement in an honed &ce. 
I prythee call him backe. 

OtA, Went he hence now ? 60 

De/. I footh ; fo humbled, 
That he hath left part of his greefe with mee 
To fuffer with him. Good Loue, call him backe. 63 

4$, LordF] LordF—Qq. F^F^, Theob. Warb. /« jwj/A Rowe, Pbpc, 

46. fteale\ /make Q,. Han. /* sooth Johns. Jen. Ay^ sooth Cap. 

47. your\ F^ Knt. j'wQqFjF^, Rowe ct cct. 

et cet humbled'\ humbVd Cap. (correcteil 

48. do\ Om. Pope+. in Errata). 

48, 49. One line. Walker. 62. hath'\ has Qq. 

53. Caflio :] Caffio, Qq. Caffio. Ff. greefe\ griefes Qq. 

60, 61. One line, Walker. 63. To/ufftr] I fuffer Q,, Mai. Steev. 

61. I/ooth']Y^, YesfaithQi\' I, Sooth Var. Sing. Ktly. 

to the dreadful import of lago's artful suggestions. [I do not know when Salvini 
first acted Othello, but Fechter, I believe, had acted Othello many times when his Art- 
ing Copy was printed in 1861. — Ed.] 

48. Booth: Exeunt lago and Emilia. Their presence would distract attention; 
besides, it is proper for them to retire during an interview between their superiois. 

49. Fechter: Othello kisses Desdemona on the forehead. 

55. take] Warburton : Cassio was to be reconciled to his General, not his Gen- 
eral to him ; therefore < take ' cannot be right. We should read make. Johnson : To 
take his reconciliation, may be to accept the submission which he makes in order to be 

57. Cunning] Warburton: Design or purpose simply. Malone: Peihaps, 
rather, hnowledge, the ancient sense of the word. It is opposed to ignorance. 

60. Fechter : Othello seats himself in Desdemona*s chair and returns to his papers, 
as if to break the conversation. 

61. humbled] Walker (Crit, iii, 286) : A trisyllable here. 


Othel. Not now (fweet Defdemon) fome other time. 

Def. But (hairt be (hortly ? 65 

0th. The fooner (Sweet) for you. 

Def. Shairt be to nighty at Supper ? 

0th. No, not to night. 

Def. To morrow Dinner then ? 

0th. I (hall not dine at home : 70 

I meete the Captaines at the Cittadell. 

Def. Why then to morrow night, on Tuefday mome. 
On Tuefday noone, or night ; on Wenfday Mome. 
I prythee name the time, but let it not 74 

64. Defdemon] F,FjQ^ Knt, Sing. 73. night; (m] night, or Qq, rcpe+, 

Dyce, Wh. i, Sta. Hal. Del. Coll. iii, Huds. Jen. night; or C14). Steev. Mai. V«r. Sing. 

Defdemona Q,QjF4f Rowe et cet. Ktly. 

66. The fooner'\ Sooner Yg^ ^931, Wenfday\wedenfday(X^, wednef- 
68. No, nof^ Not Pope+. day Q^jF^. 

72. on"] Ff, Rowe, Knt. <>r Qq et cet 74. prythee"] preethee Q,. prethte Q,Qj 

73. On Tuefday] Or Tuesday Pope+, F F^. praytheeY^. pray thee QM^,^txy, 
Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. Mai. Var. 

noone] mome Qq. 

64. Desdemon] See III, i, 58. Booth : He leads her to the couch — they sit. 

67. to night] Heraud (p. 278) : I know not whether the poet had any design in 
k, but it may be, and perhaps profitably, remarked that the action of the Third Act 

takes place on a Sunday In the arrangements of the scene, the difTerent persons 

engaged in it should appear as if coming from their devotions. In the next Act we 
find Othello derisively alluding to having seen the meretricious Emilia so engaged ; 
and this event may have happened on this very Sunday, and probably had. 

70. Lewes (p. 158) : These preceding short, evasive sentences are subtly expressive 
of Othello's mind ; but Fechter misrepresents them by making Othello free from all 
misgiving. He * toys with her curls,' and treats her as a father might treat a child who 
was asking some favour which could not be granted yet, which called for no explicit 
refusal. If the scene stood alone, I should read it diflferently; but standing as it does 
between the two attempts of lago to fill Othello's mind with suspicion, the meaning is 
plain enough. He has been made uneasy by lago's remarks ; very naturally, his bear- 
ing towards his wife reveals that uneasiness. A vague feeling, which he dares not 
shape into a suspicion, dtstm-bs him. She conquers him at last by her winning ways ; 
and he vows that he will deny her nothing. If this be the state of mind in which the 
great scene begins, it is obviously a serious mistake in Fechter to sit down to his papery 
perfectly calm, fipee from all idea whatever of what lago has suggested ; and answering 
lago's insidious questions as if he did not divine their import. So clearly does Othello 
divine their import that it is he, and not lago, who expresses in words their meaning. 
It is one of the artifices of lago to make his victim draw every conclusion from prem- 
ises which are put before him, so that, in the event of detection, he can say, < I said 
nothing, I made no accusation.' All he does is to lead the thoughts of Othello to the 
conclusion desired. 

72, 7 1. On] Knight : The repetition of * on ' is much more emphatic than §r. 



Exceed three dayes. Infaith hee's penitent : 
And yet his Trefpaffe, in our common reafon 
(Saue that they fay the warres muft make example) 
Out of her bed, is not almoft a fault 
T'encurre a priuate checke. When (hall he come ? 
Tell me Othello. I wonder in my Soule 
What you would aske me, that I (hould deny, 
Or (land fo mam'ring on ? What ? Michael CaJfWy 
That came a woing wirh you ? and fo many a time 
(When I haue fpoke of you difpraifmgly) 




75. InfaithllfaithQji, /n/ai/A Kowe 

77. ttfarres] war Cap. 

77, 78. exampU) . . . beft^ Ft example. . . 
hest^ Rowe ii. Pope, Han. Knt, Sta. ex- 
amples, .,beft) Qq et cet. 

78. her\ QqFf, Cap. CoU. i, Dycc i, Wh. 
i, Hal. Del. the Sing, li, Huds. our Coll. 
iii (MS), their Rowe et cet 

almoJf\ at most Anon (ap. Cam.). 

79. Tencurre\ TincurreY^^, Tin- 

cur F^, Rowe+, Coll. Wh. i, Dyce iii, 
Huds. To incurre Qq et cet. 

8x. would 1 could Qq^Csip, Jen. Steev. 
Mai. Var. CoU. Sing. Wh. i, KUy, Del. 
/ykould] I would Yi^ Rowe + . 

82. mam^ring\ muttering Q,, Pope 
Theob.Warb. mummering^^ns, mam- 
mering or mamm^ring Cap. et cet. 

83. fo] Om. Pope-*-, Cap. Steev.'93. 

84. dispraifingly\ disparagingly Mn 

78. her best] Johnson : The severity of military discipline must not spare the hen 
men of their army when their punishment may afford a wholesome example. Collier 
(ed. i) : A personification of < the wars,' which Shakespeare often treats as a substantive 
in the singular. Collier (ed. ii) : < Her best ' is a misprint for < our best,' as appears 
by the (MS.) Dyce (ed. i) : If we consider < the wars ' as used for war generally, the 
usual modem alteration, < their best,* is unnecessary. Dyce (ed. iii) : < I must own I 
think «* her " wrong. The is perhaps better than their or our* — W. N. Lettsom. 
[Would the difficulty be lessened by considering the s in < Warres ' that superfluous 
letter to which Walker, I, i, 31, calls attention, and of which, in this play, some eight 
instances are given ? — Ed.] 

78. not almost] Abbott, § 29 : < Almost ' frequently follows the word which it 
qualifies. Hence, in negative sentences < not-almost,' where we should use 'almost 
not,' or, in one word, < scarcely,' * hardly.' Thus, here, in this present instance, it is 
equivalent to, <Is not (/ may almost say) fault enough to,' &c., or, <is scarcely fault 
enough to,' &c. It was natural for the Elizabethans to dislike putting the qualifying 
' almost ' before the word qualified by it. But there was an ambiguity in their idiom. 
' Not almost-a-fault ' would mean < not approaching to a fault ' ; < not-almost a fault, 
* very nearly not a fault.' We have, therefore, done well in avoiding the ambiguity by 
disusing * almost' in negative sentences. 

82. mam 'ring] Hanmer {^Gloss,) : To hesitate, to stand in suspense. Haluweli 
cites from Lyly's Euphues [p. 299, ed. Arber] : < I stoode in a great mamering, how I 
might behaue my selfe, least being too coye h^ might thinke mee proud, or vsing too 
much curtesie, he might iudge mee wanton.' 

83. with you] See Note on I, ii, 64. 


Hath tane your part, to haue fo much to do 85 

To bring him in ? Truft me, I could do much. 

0th. Prythee no more : Let him come when he will : 
I will deny thee nothing. 

Def. Why, this is not a Boone : 
'Tis as I (hould entreate you weare your Gloues, [323 b'\ 

Or feede on nourifhing dilhes, or keepe you warme, 91 

Or fue to you, to do a peculiar profit 
To your owne perfon. Nay, when I haue a fuite 
Wherein I meane to touch your Loue indeed. 
It fhall be full of poize, and difficult waight, 95 

And fearefull to be granted. 

0th, I will deny thee nothing. 
Whereon, I do befeech thee, grant me this. 
To leaue me but a little to my felfe. 

Def. Shall I deny you ? No : farewell my Lord. loc 

0th. Farewell my De/demona^ He come to thee flrait. 

86. Truft nU] Birlady Q,. 93. afuiU\fuU F^F^, Rowe + . 
muchT^ QjFf. mtuh^ — or much — 95. p<nze\ pai/e Qq. 

Q,QjCtcct. difficult waight^ difficulty Q^ 

87. Prythcc] Preethee Q,. PretKee Q, Pope + , Cap. Stccv. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly, 
QjF F^. Prithee Q.'8i. Sta. 

88. [Re-enter lago and Em. Booth. wa^ht^ weight Q^QjFjF^. 

90. Gloues] cloths '^zih, loi. Defdemona]DefdomonaQ,. Def- 

91. dijhes] meats Pope + . damona F,. Desdemon Dyce iii. 

92. you^ you Cap. lie] I will Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. 
a] Om. Pope + , Cap. Steev.'93,Var. Sing. Ktly. 

Dyce iii, Huds. to thee] Om. Pope+. 

84. dispraisingly] Booth : Reprove her playfully. Throughout this colloquy gaze 
lovingly in her face, and seem to encourage her to coax by your teasing silence. 

86. Booth : Here she begins to * pout * at her failure to obtain his consent, and he, 
fearing that she has misconstrued his silence during her last appeal, stops her with a kiss. 

91. dishes] Walker (Vers. 267): The extra syllable in the body of the line 
teems hardly allowable, where the pause is so slight; and yet 'dish* for 'dishes' 
appears much too harsh. 

92. a] Walker (Crit. i, 88) suggests that this is one of the many instances where 
a is interpolated in the Folio, and, if it can be dispensed with, it should be omitted here 
for the sake of rhythm. [See Text. Notes.] 

95. poise] Knight: In the sense before us * poize* is balance, und Desdemona 
means to say that, when she really prefers a suit that shall task the love of Othello, it 
shall be one difficult to determine; and, when determined, hard to be undertaken. 
Dyce (Gloss,): Weight, moment, importance. Staunton: Since 'poize' meant 
weight, the line in F, is apparently an error, arising probably from the poet's havings 
in the first instance, written both poiu and weight, uncertain which to adopt, and after- 
wiidt forgotten to cancel the discarded word. 

l66 THE TRAGEDIE OF 01 HELLO [act. hi, sc. iiu 

Def. Emilia come ; be as your Fancies teach you : 102 

What ere you be, I am obedient Exit. 

0th. Excellent wretch : Perdition catch my Soule 
But I do loue thee : and when I loue thee not, 105 

Chaos is come againe. 

102. come : ^] Ff, Rowe + , Knt come^ Exeunt Def. and Em, Q,Q,. 
be U Qq. come ; beii Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Scene V. Pope + , Jen. 

Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly. Come, Be 104. wretch :'\ wretch^ Qq. wretch t 

Johns, et cet Rowe. wench! Theob. Han, Wh. iL 

103. Exit] Exit Defd. and Em, Q,. 

104. Fechter : Othello follows her with Us eyes, and sends her a last kiss. 
104-106. Booth : With joyousness, — ^yet there should be an undertone of sadness, 

-«s at their first embrace in Cyprus. lago, at the back of the stage, watches him with 
a sneering smile. 

104. ¥rretch] Theobald : This word can scarce be admitted to be used unless in 
compassion or contempt. I make no question but that the Poet wrote wench^ which 
was not then used in that low and vulgar acceptation as at present. See < ill-starr'H 
wench,' V, ii, 335. Upton (p. 289, n.) : Giraldi Gnthio calls Desdemona, in allusion 
to her name, la infelice Disdemona. And I make no question but Othello, in his rap- 
turous admiration, with some allusion to her name, exclaims, < Excellent wretch.^ 
Heath (p. 561) : The poison of jealousy has already begun to work in Othello, in- 
fused by the artful hints and half sentences of lago, and by the frank and pressing 
solicitations of Desdemona on behalf of Cassio. His assurance in her faith and vir- 
tue is already somewhat staggered, and he begins to consider it as a thing possible that 
she may be unworthy of his love. To this state of mind this exclamation is admirably 
well adapted, expressing the utmost fondness, and at the same time a distrust growing 
upon him. If the etymology of the name had been known to Shakespeare, as Upton 
suggests, he would not have spoiled it by changing it from Disdemona to Desdemona. 
Johnson : The meaning of the word < wretch * is not generally understood. It is now, 
in some parts of England, a term of the softest and fondest tenderness. It expresses 
the utmost degree of amiableness, joined with an idea which, perhaps, all tenderness 
includes, of feebleness, softness, and want of protection. Othello, considering Desde- 
mona as excelling in beauty and virtue, soft and timorous by her sex, and by her situ- 
ation absolutely in his power, calls her * Excellent wretch ! ' It may be expressed : 
* Dear, harmless, helpless excellence.' Collier : Such words of endearment are re- 
sorted to when those implying love, admiration, and delight seem inadequate. [One 
of Collier's best notes in this play. — Ed.] Hudson : As here used, « wretch ' was the 
strongest expression of endearment in the language. White (ed. ii) : It is needless 
to point out that * wretch ' may be used as a term of fondest endearment ; but not in 
connection with « excellent.' The misprint [from wench to 'wretch '] was easy. 

106. Chaos] Johnson : When my love is for a moment suspended by suspicion, & 
nave nothing in my mind but discord, tumult, perturbation, and confusion. Steevens : 
There is another meaning possible : * When I cease to love thee, the world is at an 
end,* i. e., there remains nothing valuable or important. The first explanation may be 
more elegant ; the second is perhaps more easy. There is the same thought in K ^ 
A.^ 1. 1019 : ' For he being dead, with him is beauty slain. And, beauty dead, black 
Chaos comes again.' [Hunter (ii, 282) also cites this passage from V, &* A, 9\ one 

4CT III. sc. iii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 167 

lago. My Noble Lord. 107 

0th. What doft thou fay , lago ? 

lago. Did Michael CaJJio 
When he woo'd my Lady, know of your loue ? 1 10 

0th. He did, from firft to laft : 
Why doft thou aske ? 

lago. But for a fatisfaflion of my Thought, 
No further harme. 

0th. Why of thy thought, lago ? 1 1 5 

lago. I did not thinke he had bin acquainted w\th hir. 

0th. O yes, and went betweene vs very oft. 

lago. Indeed ? 1 1 8 

107. L<n'd.'\ QqFf. A>r</,— Theob. et 113. Thfn^ht;\ thottghts, Q,. 

leq. 1 14. /urtM^r] farther Pope ii. 

109, no. Did,„Lady\ One line, Qq» 116. ^ kad'\ h^d Pope, Thedi). Han. 

Pope ct seq. Warb. 

I xo. he\ you QqFf el cet hir'\ it Ff, Rowe + , Cap. Jen. Wh, 

wadd"] wooed Qq. ii* her Qq et cet. 

Ill, 112. One line, Qq» Pope et seq. 117. off^ often Q,. 

113. ftfrd]ftfrQy 

of the many in this play, more than in any other, which remind us of that poem and of 
R, o/L."} Malonb : Compare the same thought in IVbi/. Tale, IV, iv, 490 : * It can- 
not fail but by The violation of my faith ; and then Let nature crush the sides o' the 
earth together and mar the seeds within I ' Franz Horn (i, 330) : Othello refers to 
the chaos in his life before he knew Desdemona. 

107. Rymer (p. 118): One might think after what we have seen, that there needs 
no great cunning, no great poetry and address to make the Moor jealous. Such impa- 
tience, such a rout for a handsome young fellow, the veiy morning after her mairiage, 
must make him either to be jealous, or to take her for a Changeling below his jealousie. 
After this scene, it might strain the Poet's skill to reconcile the couple, and allay the 
jealousie. lago now can only actum agere, and vex the audience with a nauseous 
repetition. Whence comes it then that this is the top scene, the scene that raises 
Othello above all other Tragedies on our Theatres ? It is purely fh)m the Action ; 
bom. the Mops and the Mows, the Grimace, the Grins, and Gesticulation. [It is to 
be hoped that the reader comprehends the motive which prompts the occasional in- 
•eition of these criticisms by Rymer. He has read his Shakespeare to little purpose 
who does not appreciate the relief, amid tragic scenes, afforded by a dash of buf- 
foonery. — Ed.] 

114. harme] Booth: With the merest shade of emphasis. Fechter: Othello, 
at the table, throwing aside some of his papers and signing others. 

116. hir] White (ed. ii) : Cassio's acquaintance or non-acquaintance with Desde- 
mona had no necessary connection with his knowledge of Othello's love. [See Text 

118. Booth : Contract the brows, but do not fh)wn, — rather look disappointed, and 
merely mutter in surprise, ' Indeed ' ! 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act hi, sc ill 

0th. Indeed? I indeed. Difcem'ft thou ought in that f 
Is he not honeft ? 1 20 

lago. Honeft, my Lord ? 

0th. Honeftf I, Honeft. 

lago. My Lord, for ought I know. 

0th. What do'ft thou thinke t 

lago. Thinke, my Lord? 125 

0th. Thinke, my Lord ? Alas, thou ecchos't me ; 

119. Iindeed'\ Indeed ^^, Ay^ indeed 
Rowe et seq. Oni. Steev. conj. 

119, 123. ought^ attghi Theob. u et 

119. in that'\ of that Rowe, P6pe, 

122. Honeft t /, Honeft'\ Ay, honest 
(reading lines 120^ 121, 122 as one line) 

124-126. lVhat„.Lord f'\ One line, 

Steev.'93, Var. Coll. Sing. Dyce, Wh. Glo. 
Del Rife. 

126. Aias,„me;'\ Separate line. Steer. 
'93, Var. Coll. Sing. Dyce, Wh. Glo. DcL 

Alas, thou ecchos't'] F( Rowe, 
Knt why doft thou ecchoe Q,Q,» Johns. 
Jen. why, by heai/n, thou ecchdst Pope + . 
By heauen he ecchoes Q, et cet. 

121. Honest] Booth: Hesitatingly. 

122. Honest ?] Steevens : It appears from many instances that where words were 
u> be repeated at all, our old, blundering printers continued the repetition beyond pro- 
priety. [See Text Notes.] Knight : This re-echo of lago's echo is rejected by Steer- 
ens, because it violates the measure. He could only see two syllables beyond the ten, 
without any regard to the force and consistency of the passage. 

123. Booth: With indifference. Fechter marks this as a broken speech, by a 
dash after 'know — ' 

125. Booth : With embarrassment. 

126. Coleridge (Note on Winter's Tale, p. 243) : The idea of this delightful drama 
[ The IVinter's Tale"] is a genuine jealousy of disposition, and it should be immediately 
followed by the perusal of Othello^ which is the direct contrast of it in every particular. 
For jealousy is a vice of the mind, a culpable tendency of the temper, having certain 
well-known and well-defined effects and concomitants, all of which are visible in Leon 
tes, and, I boldly say, not one of which marks its presence in Othello ; — such as, first, 
an excitability by the most inadequate causes, and an eagerness to snatch at proofs ; 
secondly, a grossness of conception, and a disposition to degrade the object of the pas- 
sion by sensual fancies and images; thirdly, a sense of shame of his own feelings 
exhibited in a solitary moodiness of humour, and yet from the violence of the passion 
forced to utter itself, and therefore catching occasions to ease the mind by ambiguities, 
equivoques, by talking to those who cannot, and who are known not to be able to, 
u^ierstand what is said to them, — ^in short, by soliloquy in the form of dialogue, and 
hence a confused, broken, and fragmentary manner; fourthly, a dread of vulgar ridi- 
cule, as distinct from a high sense of honour or a mistaken sense of duty ; and lastly, 
and inmiediately consequent on this, a spirit of selfish vindictiveness. 

126. Alas] M ALONE: One of the numerous alterations made in the Folio by the 
licenser. Knighi : There is, in this reading, a quiet expression of dread, — a solcmc 

ACT III, sc. iiL] 



As if there were fome Monfter in thy thought 

Too hideous to be fhewne. Thou doft mean fomthing : 

I heard thee fay euen now, thou lik'ft not that, 

When Cafsio left my wife. What didd'ft not like ? 

And when I told thee, he was of my Counfaile, 

Of my whole courfe of wooing ; thou cried'ft, Indeede ? 

And didd'ft contrafl, and purfe thy brow together, 

As if thou then hadd'ft fhut vp in thy Braine 

Some horrible Conceite. If thou do'fl loue me. 

Shew me thy thought 

lago. My Lord, you know I loue you. 

0th. I thinke thou do'ft : 
And for I know thou'rt full of Loue, and Honeftie, 
And weigh'ft thy words before thou giu'ft them breath. 
Therefore thefe flops of thine, fright me the more : 
For fuch things in a falfe difloyall Knaue 
Are trickes of Cuflome : but in a man that's iufl. 
They're clofe dilations, working from the heart. 






127. ihy\ Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Knt his 
Q, ctcct 

128. dofil didft Q,. 

129. euen\ Yi^ Rowe, Knt, Dyce, Glo. 
Cam. Rife, ^m/ Qq et cet 

lik'/i\ QqFf, Rowc. IVedU Pope 
et ceL 

132. Ofmy^ Yi^ Rowe. /» m^ Qq et 

135. Corufiie] counfell Q,. conceits 
Rowe ii. 

138. ddff\ doest Theob. ii, Warb. 

139. ^iii/^v]Qq, Rowe + , Cam. For 
Ff. Andi—for or And^ for Cap. et cet 

thou'rt^ thout^t FjF^. thou art 
Qq, Pope ii, Theob. Warb. Johns. Jen. 

Steev. Mal.Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly. 

139. Loue and"] Om. Han. 

140. wei^hyi'] we^heft Qq. 

giu^ft them] giue em Q,. giu^JI 
^em Q.Q3. 

i^\. fright] affright q^. 
142. fal/e difloyatl] fatse-disloyal Sta. 
144. They re] Ff, Rowc + , Knt, Dycc, 
Wh. i, Sta. Cam. Del. Huds. They are 
Qq et cet. 

clo/e] coldYi, Rowe, Theob.Warb. 
Om. Han. 

dilations] FfQ,Qj, Rowe, Theob. 
Warb. Johns. Jen. Sta. denotements Q^ 
Pope, Gap. Mai. Steev.'93, Var. Hal. dis^ 
tiliations Han. delations Steev.' 73 et cet 

foreboding of evil. Coluer: Tame and flat. Hudson: It is not easy to choose 
between the three readings, but I am strongly inclined to prefer Q,. RoLfs : Thr 
'alas* was, of course, put in to fill the gap made by the omission of the oath. 

128. Booth: lago again pretends embarrassment. 

137. Booth : Reproachfully. Fechter : Taking his hand, across the table, and 
grasping it with feigned emotion. 

144. dilations] Upton (p. 291) : From the Latin dilationes, delayings, pauses, k 
differendo. [This is one of the very many instances dted by Upton to prove that 
Shakespeare < makes Latin words English, and uses them according to their original 
idiom.*] Warburton : These stops and breaks are cold dilations, or cold keeping 
back a secret, which me*^ of phl^;matic constitutions, whose heaxts are not swayed oc 

I70 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act in, sc lii. 

That Paflfion cannot rule. 145 

lago. For Michael Cafsio^ 
I dare be fwome, I thinke that he is honeft. 147 

147. bt/uHfme] pre/ume Q,. 147. that he] he Qj. 

governed by their passions, can do ; while more sanguine tempers reveal themselves at 
once, and without reserve. Johnson : The reading of the earlier Quarto was changed 
by the author not to * dilations, but to delations; to occult and secret accusatums^ work- 
ing involuntarily from the heart, which, though resolved to conceal the Dsiult, can- 
not rule its passion of resentment. Stesvens : I should willingly have adopted Dt 
Johnson's emendation, could I have discovered that the word delation was ever used 
in its Roman sense of accusation^ during the time of Shakespeare. Bacon fi«quently 
emplo]^ it, but always to signify carriage or conveyance, Malone : Delation is not 
found in any Dictionary that I have seen, nor has any passage been quoted in support 
of it On the contrary, we find in Minsheu the verb < To delate,' not signifying to 
accuse^ but thus interpreted : *to speah at large of anything, vid. to dilate*; so that if 
even delations were the word of the old copy, it would mean no more than ' dilations.' 
No reasonable objection can be made to denotements, i. e., indications, or recoveries, 
not openly revealed, but involuntarily working from the heart, which cannot rule and 
suppress its feelings. Nothing is got by the change of the Folio to * dilations,' which 
was undoubtedly used in the sense of dilatements, or large cmd full expositions. Bos- 
well : In Todd's Johason an authority is given for delations in the sense of accusa- 
tions, from Wotten's Remains, p. 460, ed. 1651. Knight : We have adopted Johnson's 
ingenious suggestion of delations, i. e., secret accusations. Staunton : * Dilations ' may 
be a contraction of distillations [see Text. N.], and the meaning of ' close dilations,' 
secret droppings. White (ed. i) : Delations, i. e., subtle, intimate confessions or in- 
formations. White (ed. ii) : Delations, i. e., revelations. [To me the interpretations, 
'secret accusation,' and the others, are here barely intelligible. What has frighted 
Othello is these ' stops,* these pauses, of lago, which he would have disregarded in a 
false knave, as a common trick, but in a man that's just, such * stops,' such < dilations ' 
indicate something deeper, some horrible conceit which he hesitates to disclose, and 
which makes him weigh his words and protract the revelation. For * dilation ' Shake- 
speare had the classical and common Latin word meaning to delay, as Upton pointed 
out, and he had, besides, the very same word, exactly so spelled, in French. Cotgrave 
gives : ' Dilation : A deferring, delajring, prolonging, protraction.' I do not think this 
explanation pre-eminently happy. I have seen better explanations of difficult passages 
— and worse. — Ed.] 

145. Passion] Staunton: Unless this word is here employed in the unusual 
sense of prudence, caution, &c., we must understand Othello to mean, — working 
from a heart that cannot govern its emotions. [I prefer Warburton's interpretation in 
the preceding note. — Ed.] Hudson: It should be noted that in all this part of the 
dialogue the doubts started in Othello by the villain's artful insinuations have refer- 
ence only to Gissio. There is not the least sign that the Moor's thoughts anywise 
touch his wife ; and lago seems perplexed that his suspicions have lighted elsewhere 
than he had intended. The circumstance is very material in reference to Othello*! 
predispositions, or as regards the origin and nature of his jealousy. 

147. swome] Dyce (ed. ii, 1866) : < Should not this be written with a break, as if 
lago were correcting himself? " I dare be sworn — I think," &c.' — W. N. Lettsoil 

4CT .li, iC. iii.J T//£ MOORE OF VENICE 


Oih. I thinke fo too. 

/ago. Men (hould be what they feeme, 
Or thofe that be not, would they might feeme none. 

0/A. Certaine, men (hould be what they feeme. 

/a£^o. Why then I thinke Cafsufs an honeft man. 

0th. Nay, yet there's more in this ? 
I prythee fpeake to me, as to thy thinkings, 
As thou doft ruminate, and giue thy word of thoughts 
The worft of words. 

lago. Good my Lord pardon me, 
Though I am bound to euery Afte of dutie, 
I am not bound to that : All Slaues are free : 



[324 «] 


148. too\ to Qq. 

149. wkat'\ that Q,. 

150. feeme Hone.'\feeme^ Q,. 

151. Certaine, men] Certain men, Q^. 
151, 152. Certaine,.. IVky then] One 

line (reading that Cassio is in 152) Steev. 


153. theris\ thet's Q,Q,. 

this?] this,Qq. 

'54- prythee] pray thee Ff, Rowe+, 

Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, 

Ktly, Del. 

154. Of to] to Q,. 
thy] my Rowe ii. 

155. As...worft] One line, Han.] the...thoughi Q.. 

thy thoughts Q,. 

156. words] wordQ^. 

158. Though lam] lam not Rowe B. 

159. that: All] that, aliKowt-\-. that 
ail Qq» Han. et seq. 

free] Ff. free /(» Qq et cet 

[Five years earlier, Fschter had so printed the line, and had also put a dash aftei 
•Cassio.*— Ed.] 

149. be] Booth : With the least possible suggestiveness in tone and look. 

150. none] Warburton: There is no sense in this reading. I suppose Shake 
speare wrote knaves. Heath (p. 562) : I am rather inclined to think that it should 
be : ' they might be known* That is, I wish there were any certain way of distin- 
guishing and detecting them. Johnson : I believe the meaning is, * 'would they might 
no longer seem, or bear the shape of men.' Jknnens : The old reading is plain 
enough. Those that seem honest should be honest, or those that be not what they 
0eem, i. e., honest, would they might seem none, i. e., have no seeming or appearance 
of honesty. 

151. Fechter: Rising, without leaving the table; and smiling as if in raillery. 

152. Booth: As though you would dismiss an unpleasant topic. 

158. Though I am] The misprint in Rowe's ed. ii (see Text. Notes) Pope, in his 
edition, prints at the foot of the page, as though it were a genuine reading of the old 
text, and a proof of the fidelity of his collation. In his Preface Pope says that he had 
discharged the * dull duty of editor with more labour than he expected thanks ;' 1^ 
parently at times the dulness was very great and the labour very small. — Ed. 

159. free :] M alone [See Text. N.] : I am not bound to do that which even slavei 
are not bound to do. Steevens : So, in Cymh. V, i, 7 : < Every good servant does not 
all commands : No bond but to do just ones.' RoLFE : We may say that * free ' if 
equivalent to not bound. 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act hi. sc. iiu 

Vtter my Thoughts ? Why fay, they are vild, and falce ? i6o 

As whereas that Palace, whereinto foule things 

Sometimes intrude not ? Who ha's that breaft fo pure, 

Wherein vncleanly Apprehenfions 

Keepe Leetes, and Law-dayes, and in Seflfions fit 

With meditations lawful! ? 165 

0th. Thou do'ft confpire againft thy Friend {lagd) 
If thou but think'fl him wronged, and mak'fl his eare 
A ftranger to thy Thoughts. 

lago. I do befeech you. 
Though I perchance am vicious in my guefle 170 

100. Thoughts?^ thoughts .'i^^fl^. 

lVhyfay,-\Why,fay^, Why 
/tfx FjF^. Why, say, Theob. 

thiy are] they re Pope+, Dyce iii, 

vild'\ Ff, Rowe. vt^ Qq et cet 

161 . Aswher^s'\ As, whirls F^ Rowe i. 

162. ha'5'\ has QqF^F^. 

that'} Ff, Rowe, Knt, Coll. iii. a 
Qqet cet. 

163. Wherein] Ft But/omeQqticet, 

164. Sefiians'} Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Knt, 
Sing. Ktly, Del. Sejion Qq et cet 

167. think^ft,,,mak^ff\thinkeft,,.mak' 

169, 170. y<m,„,perchance'\ QqF^ 
Rowe, Pope, Cap. you. Cause /perchance 
Han. you, Thmh J, perchance, Warb. 
you. Though, L — perchaftce, Johia, you. 
Though /, perchance Theob. ii, Jen. Knt 
you, — Though /, perchance, Mai. Steev. 
*93 et seq. 

170. gueje] gheje Qq. 

160. Booth : Don't speak this as though you held your thoughts to be really * vile 
and false,' nor took so; be frank in appearance. 

161, 162. Malone: So, in ^. 0/ L., 854: *But no perfection is so absolute. That 
some impurity doth not pollute.' 

163. Wherein] Qu. a misprint for Where no? — ^Ed. 

164. Leetes] Warburton: A metaphor wretchedly forced and quaint. Steev- 
ENS: <Leets' and Maw- days' are synonymous terms: 'Leet,' says Jacob, Law Diet,, 
' is otherwise called a law-day.' They are there explained to be courts, or meetings 
of the hundred, * to certify the King of the good manners, and government, of the 
inhabitants,' and to enquire of all offences that are not capital. Malone : Who has 
so virtuous a breast that some uncharitable surmises and unpure conceptions will not 
sometimes enter into it ; hold a session there as in a regular court, and < bench by the 
side ' of authorized and lawful thoughts ? We find the same imagery in the 30th Son- 
net ; * When to the sessions of sweet silent thought.' 

164. Sessions] Dyce (ed. iii): Session occurs in Shakespeare oftener than * ses- 
sions.' [See Walker (Crit. i, 233), Art. xxxviii : The final s frequently interpolated, 
And frequently omitted, in the first Folio.] 

170. Though] Theobald, in a letter to Warburton (Nichols's Il/ust. ii, 593), 
writes : * I own I cannot understand the reasoning of this passage. — " Though I, pei 
haps, am vicious, &c., do not let your wisdom give you disturbance," &c. Hoc mimme 
videtur Shakespearianum, I have conjectured ** Think, I perchance," &c. [Theobald 
did not repeat this in his ed., but Warburton did in his, without alluding to Theobald, 
and complacently added that the sense thereby was made < pertinent and perfect.' — Ed.] 

ACT m, sc. iiu] T^£ MOORE OF VENICE 173 

(As I confefTe it is my Natures plague 171 

To fpy into Abufes, and of my iealoufie 

Shapes faults that are not) that your wifedome 

From one, that fo imperfeftly conceits, 

Would take no notice, nor build your felfe a trouble 175 

172. Abu/es] abuse Pope+. 174. impetfetliy] improbably Johns. 
0/ my] Ff, Rowc i, Pope ii, Knt, canceiis] ccniects Q,. conjecti 

Dycc i, Wh. i. ^ iwy Qq et cct. Warb. Jen. Mai. Steev.'93, Var. 

173. Shapes] Shape YjDX^\i^c^\,\rti.\, 175. fT^wA/] KwVQ,,Jen.Mal.Steev. 
that your wifedome] Ff, Rowc, '93, Var. Will Qj. 

KntySta. JinlreateyoutAen(i^tVoipt^^ Would ,„ build] Your wisdom 

Jen. MaL Steev.*93, Var. thai your wife- would not build Pope + . 
dome yet QbQ, et cet. 

Heath (p. 562) : * Vicious' doth not signify here, wrong ox mistaken, but, apt to put 
the worst construction upon everything. The sense then is, ' I beseech you, though I 
for my own part am perhaps apt to see everything in the worst light, which is a fault in 
my nature that carries its own punishment with it, yet let me intreat you that my imper- 
fect conjectures, with the loose and uncertain observations on which they are founded, 
may not be the means of raising disquiet in the breast of a person whose wisdom is so 
much superior to mine.' The abrupt and broken character of the sentence was pur- 
posely intended, as it represents the artful perplexity of fraud and circumvention prac- 
tising on the credulity of an open, honest heart. Steevens : lago seems desirous by 
his abruptness and ambiguity to inflame the jealousy of Othello, which he knew would 
be more effectually done in this manner than by any expression that bore a determinate 
meaning. The jealous Othello would fill up the pause in the speech, which lago turns 
off at last to another purpose, and find a more certain cause of discontent, and a greater 
degree of torture in the doubtful consideration how it might have concluded, than he 
could have experienced had the whole of what he inquired after been reported to him 
with every circumstance of aggravation. We may suppose him imagining to himself 
that lago mentally continued the thought thus, 'Though I — know more than I choose 
to speak of.' Malone: The adversative 'though' does not appear very proper ; but 
in an abrupt and studiously clouded sentence like the present, where more is meant 
than meets the ear, strict propriety may well be dispensed with. Knight : The mod- 
em editors enter into a long discussion about abruptness, and obscurity, and regulation 
of the pointing, without taking the slightest notice of the perfectly clear reading of the 
Folio, which we give without the alteration of a point or letter. Cowden-Clarke : 
' Though ' is here used in the sense of * inasmuch as ' or < since.' Rolfe : The read- 
ing of Q, for * that your wisdom,' line 173, perhaps better suits the broken character 
of the sentence. Possibly, in revising the play Shakespeare made the change to the 
more logical form of the Folio, and overlooked the < though,' which does not suit that 
form so well. Hudson : lago here feigns self-distrust, and confesses that he has the 
natural infirmity or plague of a suspicious and prying temper, that he may make Othello 
trust him the more strongly. So men often prate about, and even magnify, their own 
faults, in order to cheat others into a persuasion of their rectitude and candour. 

174. imperfectly] Cambridge Editors : Johnson attributes the reading improba- 
bly to what he calls * the old Quarto.' We have not found it in any copies. 

174. conceits] Malone i Conject of the Q, is to conjecture^ a word used by othei 
writer* Hali.twell : * Conceits ' looks like a modernization by the compositor. 

174 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act hi. sc. iii. 

Out of his fcatteringy and vnfure obferuance: 176 

It were not for your quiet, nor your good, 

Nor for my Manhood, Honefty, and Wifedome, 

To let you know my thoughts. 

0th. What doft thou meane ? 1 80 

lago. Good name in Man, & woman(deere my Lord) 

Is the immediate lewell of their Soules ; 

Who fteales my purfe, fteales trafti : 

'Tis fomething, nothing ; 

Twas mine, 'tis his, and has bin flaue to thoufands : 185 

But he that filches from me my good Name, 

Robs me of that, which not enriches him, 187 

176. hi5\ my Qq, Popc + , Jen. my Lord; Q,. 

178. and^ Ff, Rowe+, Knt, Sta. or 182. thtir\ ourQq. 

Qq et cet. 183, 1 84* One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 

180. IVka/.,.meam F"] Zouns, Q,. 183. fteales my'\fteles my Q . 

181. woman.., Lord)'\ womatCs deere 187. enrichesi inriches Qq. 

177. Booth : Not mysteriously as though you really have anything definite in your 

1 81-188. Booth: Don't fire this directly at Othello, but trust to the *whifr and 
wind ' of it, for your effect on him, and on the audience too, although it may not gain 
applause from them as do the scowls and growls of the stage-villain. 

181. and woman] Gould (p. 88) : J. B. Booth, isolating the words *and woman ' 
by a pause before and after, and completing the isolation by uttering them in an altered, 
clear, low tone, aims directly at Othello's heart, and plants in it the first surmise of his 
wife's infidelity. 

184. Staunton: This is invariably printed * something, nothing'; but something- 
nothing [as in Staunton's text] appears to have been one of those compound epitliets 
to which our old writers were so partial, and of which the plays before us afford very 
many more examples than have ever been noted. The precise meaning of the phrase 
is not easy to determine; the only instance of its use we have met with is the following : 
' Before this newes was stale came a taile of freshe sammon to countermand it with 
certain newes of a something nothings and a priest that was neither dead nor alive, but 
suspended between both.' — A Watch Bayte to Spare Provender, &c., 1604. It appears, 
however, to have been nearly equivalent to the expression, neither here nor there. 

185. Theobald cites several passages from Greek and Latin authors concerning the 
uncertainty of wealth, * which,' he says, * might have given our author a hint for this 
sentiment.' [Is it not strange that it seems never to have occurred to the earlier editors 
of Shakespeare, who certainly had, especially Theobald, a great reverence for their 
* poet,' as they termed him, that Shakespeare might be trusted to have conceived, now 
and then, here and there, and once in a while, an original idea, with quite as much 
likelihood as Ludan, or ApoUodorus, or Publius Syrus ? — Ed.] 

187. not] White (ed. i) : Were it not that this quite unexceptionable reading is 
fcund in both Qq and Ff, I should be inclined to regard * not ' as a phonetic misprint 
of naught. 


And makes me poore indeed. 188 

0th. He know thy Thoughts. 

lago. You cannot, if my heart were in your hand, 190 

Nor (hall not, whil'ft 'tis in my cuflodie. 

0th. Ha/ 

lago. Oh, beware my Lord, of iealoufie. 
It is the greene-ey'd Monfter, which doth mocke 194 

189. Ile\ FfQ,Qj, Rowe+, Cap. Knt. 193. Oh,.,ieahufie^'\Ob€ware iealoufie. 

By heauen Pie Q, ct cet. Q,. 

Thotights\ thought Q,, Cap. Steev. 194. // u the'\ It is a QJQ^ Pope + , Jen. 

MaL Var. Sing. Ktly. mocheJQqF^- mochFJF^. make 

192. 0th. Ilaf] Om. Q,. Han. Johns. Cap. Mai. Var. CoU. Ktly, 

Huds. Wh. ii. 

188. indeed] Hunter (ii, 283) : There are several passages in Wilson's Rhetorique 
which remind one of Shakespeare, so many that it might be affirmed to be a book which 
Shakespeare had at some period of his life not only read but studied. The resemblance 
of this present passage to the following in the chapter on Amplification is remarkable : 
' The places of Logique help oft for ampUfication. As, where men have a wrong opin- 
ion, and think theft a greater fault than slander, one might prove the contrary as well 
by circumstances as by arguments. And first, he might shew that slander is theft, and 
every slanderer is a thief. For as well the slanderer as the thief do take away another 
man's possession against the owner's will. After that he might shew that a slanderer 
is worse than any thief, because a good name is better than all the goods in the world, 
and that the loss of money may l)e recovered, but the loss of a man's good name can 
not l)e called back again ; and a thief may restore that again which he hath taken away, 
bat a slanderer cannot give a man his good name again which he hath taken from him.' 

189. Booth : Indignantly, not with rage. 

190. 191. Booth : Respectfully, not defiantly. 
192. Booth : With a tinge of anxiety. 

I93> &c* Booth : In a tone of solicitude. 

194. mocke] In a letter to Warburton, dated 'March 31, 1730,' from his *mo6t 
affectionate and obliged friend and humble servant,' Theobald says : * I am at a loss 
to form any idea to myself, how jealousy mocks its own food, or the cause on which it 
subsists. No passion whatever is more in earnest than jealousy, or more intent on the 
object which exercises it But jealousy, we know, is generally mistaken in its object, 
tnd raises to itself uneasinesses from its own mistaken conceptions. What if we should 
then read, ** which doth make" &c., i. e., jealous persons feed on the matter of their 
own suspicions.' Warburton's reply has not been preserved. The future bishop required 
the punctilious return of all his letters to * his dearest friend,' and perhaps destroyed 
them, but it is reasonable to suppose that he failed to commend the emendation, and 
probably criticised it with such severity that Theobald did not venture to allude to it ir 
his editidn, nor did Warburton in his edition, where, instead, a note is found justifying 
*mock ' and condemning make, which in the mean time had appeared in Hanmer's text 
Whether or not the emendation is original with Hanmer it is impossible to say. He 
rarely gives an authority for his changes. It is possible that he may have received it 
from Warburton, who may have passed over to him Theobald's letters. It was the use 

176 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [aci hi. sc. In. 

[194. the greene-ey'd Monster, which doth mocke] 
by Hanmer of Warburton's notes, without giving him credit, that drove Warbmton to 
iaoe an edition of hit own, in the VttXMCt to which he thus meanly and haughtily refen 
to both Theobald and Hanmer : ' The one,' he says, ' was recommended to me as a 
poor man ; the other as a poor critic ; and to each of them, at different times, I com- 
municated a great number of observations, which they managed, as they saw fit, to the 
relief of their several distresses.' The credit of this emendation (which Grant Whitfi 
asserts to be the ' surest ever made in Shakespeare,' and therefore well worth contend- 
ing for) has been, I believe, generally accorded to Hanmer down to the appearance of 
the invaluable Cambridge Edition, where for the first time it is rightly given as a 
conjecture of Theobald. Warburton's note in his edition is as follows : * Mock,' i. e., 
loaths that which nourishes and sustains it This being a miserable state, lago bids 
him beware of it. The Oxford Editor [Hanmer] reads makef implying that its sus- 
picions are unreal and groundless, which is the very contrary to what he would here 
make his General think, as tcpptaxs from what follows, * That cuckold lives in bliss,' 
&c. In a word, the villain is for fixing him jealous ; and therefore bids him beware 
^ jealousy, not that it was an unreasonable, but a miserable, state, and this plunges 
him into it, as we see by his reply, which is only * Oh, misery ! ' Grey (ii, 318) : That 
is, ' 'mock,' with an apostrophe for mamock, L e., by continually ruminating or chewing, 
it makes mammocks of it, in a meti4>horical sense. The verse will bear the whole 
word mammock, and will stand thus : * which doth mamock The meat,' &c. [This 
note is so printed as to imply that it is due to 'Mr Smith,' whom Grey, in his 
IVeface, pronounced *the most friendly and communicative man living;' surely, an 
enviable elevation above the vagueness of the patronymic] Heath : * Mock ' cer- 
tainly never signifies to loaih. Its common signification is, to disappoint, in which 
sense I think it is used here. The proper and immediate destination of food is to sat- 
isfy hunger; when this end is not attained by the use of it, the food may be metaphor- 
ically said to be mocked or disappointed. So the end proposed by that suspicious 
inquisitiveness, which is the natural food of jealousy, is certainty and satisfaction some 
way or other. But this end it very rarely attains, and those very doubts and suspicions 
are perpetually mocked, and disappointed of that satisfaction they are in such eager pur- 
suit of. Johnson : I have received Hanmer's emendation ; because to * mock ' does 
not signify to loath ; and because, when lago bids Othello * beware of jealousy, the 
green-ey'd monster,' it is natural to tell why he should beware ; and for caution he gives 
him two reasons, that jealousy often creates its own cause, and that, when the causes 
are real, jealousy is misery. Farmer : In this place, and some others, to mock seems 
the same with to mammock [vide Grey]. Jennens : I am apt to think that Shake- 
speare had here the Crocodile in his eye, who, by its tears, is said to deceive and entice 
its prey. To * mock ' is used by our Author to signify to delude and deceive. But if 
this be the allusion, what is the meat that Jealousy feeds on ? And the context seems 
to show that Shakespeare makes Love the food of Jealousy. ' That cuckold lives in 
bliss, who certain of his fate, loves not his wronger ' ; he feels not the pang of Jeal- 
ousy, because he wants that which nourishes and supports it, viz. : Love. But how 
does Jealousy mock love ? By pretending to be its friend, and by seeming to pity and 
condole with it, at the same time that it is its great enemy and destroyer. Steevens : 
If Shakespeare had written a green-ey'd monster, we might have supposed him to 
refer to some creature existing only in his particular imagination ; but ' /<^ green-ey'd 
monster ' seems to have reference to an object as familiar to his readers as to himself. 
It is known that the tiger kind have green eyes, and always play with the victim to 


[194. the greene-ey'd Monster, which doth mocke] 
their hunger before they devour it. So, in ^. ^ Z. 554, * yet, foul night-waking cat^ 
he doth but daUy^ While in his hold-fast foot the weak mouse panteth.' Thus, a jeal- 
ous husband, who discovers no ceitain cause why he may be divorced, continues to 
sport with the woman whom he suspects, and, on more certain evidence, determines to 
punish. There is no beast that can be literally said to make its own food, and there- 
fore I am unwiUing to receive Hanmer's emendation, especially as I flatter myself that 
a glimpse of meaning may be produced from the old reading. One of the ancient 
tenses of the verb to mock is to amuse, to play with. Thus, in * A Discourse of Gen- 
tlemen lying in London that were better keep House at Home in their G>untry,* 1593 : 
' A pretty toy to mock an ape withal,' i. e., a pretty toy to dvuert an ape, for an ape to 
divert himself with. The same phrase occurs in Marston, whose Ninth Satire is en- 
titled ' Here's a Toy to mocke an Ape indeede,' i. e., afford an ape materials for sport, 
furnish him with a plaything. In Ant, 6^ Cleo., *mock' occurs again: *tell him He 
mocks the pauses that he makes,' i. e., he plays wantonly with those intervals of time 
which he should improve to his own preservation. Should such an explanation be 
admissible, the advice given by lago will amount to this : Beware, my lord, of yielding 
to a passion which, as yet, has no proofs to justify its excess. Think how the interval 
between suspicion and certainty must be filled. Though you doubt her fidelity, 3roa 
cannot yet refuse her your bed, or drive her from your heart ; but, like the capricious 
savage, must continue to sport with one whom you wait for an opportunity to destroy. 
A similar idea occurs in AlVs Well: *so lust doth play With what it loaths.' Such b 
the only sense I am able to draw from the original text. What I have said may be 
liable to some objections, but I have nothing better to propose. That jealousy is a 
monster which often crecUes the suspicions on which it feeds may be well admitted, 
according to Hanmer's proposition ; but is it the monster ? (i. e., the well-known and 
conspicuous animal), or whence has it green eyes f Yellow is the colour which Shake- 
speare usually appropriates to jealousy. It must be acknowledged that he afterwards 
characterizes it as * a monster. Begot upon itself, bom on itself.' But yet * what damned 
minutes tells he o'er,' &c. is the best illustration of my attempt to explain the passage. 
To produce Haimier's meaning a change in the text is necessary. I am counsel for 
the old reading. M. Mason : It is so difficult, if not impossible, to extract any sense 
from this passage as it stands, even by the most forced construction of it, and the slight 
amendment proposed by Hanmer renders it so clear, elegant, and poetical, that I am 
surprised the editors should hesitate in adopting it, and still more surprised that they 
should reject it. As for Steevens's objection that the definite article is used, not the 
indefinite, he surely need not be told in the very last of these plays that Shakespeare 
did not regard such minute inaccuracies, which may be found in every play he wrote. 
When Steevens compares the jealous man, who continues to sport with the woman he 
suspects, and is determined to destroy, to the tiger who plays with the victim of his 
hunger, he forgets that the meat on which jealousy is supposed to feed is not the 
woman who is the object of it, but the several circumstances of suspicion which jeal- 
ousy itself creates, and which cause and nourish it. So Emilia, III, iv, 183: 'They 
are not jealous ever for the cause. But jealous, for they are jealous ; 'tis a monster 
Begot upon itself, bom on itself.* This passage is a strong confirmation of Hanmer's 
reading. The same idea occurs in Massinger's Picture [I, i], where Matthias, speak- 
ing of the groundless jealousy he entertained of Sophia's possible inconstancy, says : 
<but why should I nourish A fury here, and with imagined food, Holding no real 
froond on which to raise A building of sus{ncion.' Imagined food is food created by 


178 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iu. sc. iiu 

[194. the greene-ey'd Monster, which doth mocke] 
imagination ; the food that jealousy makes and feeds on. Henley : Mason's objec- 
tions to ' mock ' and to Steevens's most happy illustration of it, originate entirely in his 
own misconception, and a jumble of figurative with literal expressions. To have been 
consistent with himself, he should have charged Steevens with maintaining that it was 
the property of a jealous husband, first to mock his wife, and afterwards to eat her. In 
Act V the won^ mocks occurs in a sense somewhat similar to that in the passage before 
us : ' villainy 1.4th made mocks with love.' Malone : I have not the smallest doubt 
that Shakespeare wrote make. The words make and mocke are often confounded in 
these plays. Mr Steevens, in his pan4>hrase on this passage, interprets the word mock 
by sport; but in what poet or prose writer, from Chaucer and Mandeville to this day, 
does the verb to mock signify to sport with f Besides, is it tnie, as a general position, 
that jealousy {as jealousy) sports ot plays with the object of love (allowing this not very 
dehcate interpretation of the words, the meat it feeds 011, to be the true one) ? The 
position certainly is not true. It is Lave^ nci Jealousy, that sports with the object of its 
passion ; nor can those circumstances which create suspicion, and which are the meat 
it feeds on^ with any propriety be called the food of Love, when the poet has clearly 
pointed them out as the food or cause of Jealousy ; giving it not only being, but nutri- 
ment * There is no beast,' it is turged, * that can literally be said to make its own food.' 
It is, indeed, acknowledged that jealousy is a monster which often creates the suspi- 
cions on which it feeds, but is it, we are asked, ' the monster ? (i. e., a well-known and 
conspicuous animal), and whence has it ^een eyes ? Yellow is the color which Shake- 
speare appropriates to jealousy.' To this I answer that yellow is not the only colour 
which Shakespeare appropriates to jealousy, for we have in Afer. of Ven, III, ii, 1 10^ 
'shuddering fear, zn^green-eyd jealousy \' and I suppose it will not be contended that 
he was there thinking of any of the tiger kind. If our poet had written only *li\& the 
green-ey'd monster; beware of it,' the other objection would hold good, and some par- 
ticular monster must have been meant ; but the words, ' It is M^ green-ey'd monster, 
which doth,' &C., in my apprehension have precisely the same meaning as if the poet had 
written, ' It is that green-ey'd monster, which,' or < it is a green-ey'd monster.' When 
Othello says to lago in a former passage, * By heaven, he echoes me, as if there were 
some monster in his thought,' does any one imagine that any animal whatever was 
meant ? The passage in a subsequent scene, to which Steevens has alluded, strongly 
supports the emendation which has been made : * jealousy .... 'tis a monster. Begot 
upon itself, bom on itself^ It is, strictly speaking, as false that any monster can be 
begot, or bom, on itself, as it is that any monster can make its own food; but, poet- 
ically, both are equally true of that monster, jealousy. Steevens seems to have been 
aware of this, and therefore has added the word literally : ' No monster can be liter- 
ally said to nuike its own food.' It should always be remembered that Shakespeare's 
allusions scarcely ever answer precisely on both sides ; nor had he ever any care upon 
this subject. Though he has introduced the word monster, — ^when he talked of its 
making its own food and being begot by itself, he was still thinking of jealousy only, 
careless whether there was any animal in the world that would correspond with this de- 
scription. That by the words, the meat it feeds on, is meant, not Desdemona herself, as 
has been maintained, but pabulum zelotypia, may be likewise inferred from a preceding 
passage in which a kindred imagery is found : ' That policy may either last so long, C)r 
feed upon such nice and waterish diet,* &c. And this obvious interpretation is still 
more strongly confirmed by Daniel's Rosamond, 1592, a poem which Shakespeare had 
diligently read, and has more than once imitated in Rom, ^ Jul, : *0 jealousy .... 


[194. the greene-ey*d Monster, which doth mocke] 
Feedi$tg vpon suspect that doth renut thee, Happy were louers if they neuer knew 
thee.* Becket : I substitute muck, i. e., bedaub or make foul; and this is the true 
chaiacter of jealousy, it &c., &c. For the * green-eyed monster ' I read the agreinicd, 
i e., sportive, with a mixture of pleasure or satisfaction in what it is engaged in ; in which 
sense the word is used by our earlier writers. The lines thus altered will be highly 
descriptive of jealousy. Jackson : It may seem strange to my readers that a small 
domestic animal may have been the mighty green-eyed numster to which our ingenious 
Bard alludes — I mean the mouse; indeed, familiarly, it is often called a little monster; 
but its eyes are not to say green ; however, a white mouse in Shakespeare's time would 
have been a very great curiosity, and if one had been produced with green eyes, it would 
have equally attracted the notice of the naturalist. Now, the mouse has a peculiar pro> 
pensity, ' which doth muck the meat it feeds on/ The mouse, after it has glutted on a 
piece of nice meat, leaves as much defilement on the residue as it possibly can ; and 
thus treats that with indecency and contempt which it doted on until its hunger was 
perfecdy appeased, &c., &c. [Some years ago I announced the exhaustion of my 
patience with Andrew Becket and Zachary Jackson; both of whom at times have 
been praised by my betters. I know that only unfamiliarity with these two writen 
would impute to me this large omission as a fault; and as an attempt to hush 
even this source of hostile criticism, I have inserted the two foregoing notes. I feel 
that my vindication is complete. There is a third Commentator, the sight of whose 
volume starts a shudder. From him let me here add the last note that I will ever 
take from his pages, as follows: Lord Chedworth: I think I have heard or 
read, though I cannot recollect where, of a sort of large dragon-fly, that voids a 
greenish foam from its mouth, and then gradually sucks it in again: — if there be 
such a creature, it would be suftident to justify the expression, < green-ey*d monster.' 
— Ed.] Martinus Scriblerus (Explanations, &c., p. 19) : What if the poet meant 
to say that the meat mocked the monster, instead of the monster mocking the meat ? 
This is an inverted construction, to be sure, but it is admissible and gives a very good 
meaning. Jealousy is certainly a monster which the meat it feeds on doth mock, that 
meat consisting of mere surmises and ' trifles light as air.' ' It is the green-eyed mon- 
ster, which doth mock — ^The meat it feeds on ! ' Knight : One of the difficulties 
would be got over by adopting the indefinite article, * a green-eyed monster,' of Q, ; 
this leaves us the license of imagining that Shakespeare had some chimera in his mind, 
to which he applied the epithet * green-eyed.' We have no doubt that mock is the true 
word ; and that it may be explained, which doth play with, — ^half receive, half reject,— > 
the meat it feeds on. Farmer [sic] suggested that it was used for mammock, which is 
not unlikely. Collier : Nothing could be much easier than for a compositor to mis- 
read make ' mocke.' The sense seems indisputably to require make. It was so altered 
by Southern in his copy of F^, and such too is the emendation of the (MS.). Singer : 
Jealousy is personified, and like another green-eyed creature of the feline race, sports 
with its prey, mammocks and mocks the meat it feeds on. Cowden-Clarke : ' Mock ' 

bears the sense of * disdain,' * spurn,' ' tear wrathfully,' even while feeding on 

Jealousy, even while greedily devouring scraps of evidence, and stray tokens of sup- 
posed guilt, bitterly scorns them, and stands self-contemned for feeding on them. 
Keightley (Exp., 303) : Make appears to me indubitable ; for this is the very thing 
which jealousy does — ^witness Ford and Leontes, — ^while I cannot see how jealousy, 
which is given to anything rather than mockery, should mock its food. Hudson [read* 
ing maktl : That is, jealousy is a self-generated passion ; that its causes are subjective^ 


THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [Ai:r. in. sc. tti 

The meate it feeds on. That Cuckold Hues in blifle^ 
Who certaine of his Fate, loues not his wronger : 
But oh, what damned minutes tels he ore, 
Who dotes, yet doubts : Sufpe6b, yet foundly loues? 



195. The\ ThaiCl^. 
That^ HHkai Q,. 

196. Fate, hues noi his\ Om. Q,. 

198. foundiy] FT, Dyce i, Sta. Del 
fmdfy Knt, Sing. Wh. i, Coll. m (MS) 
ftrongly Qq et cct 

or that it lives on what it imputes, not on what it finds. And so Emilia afterwardk 
describes it. lago is, in his way, a consummate metaphysician, and answers perfectly 
to Burke's description : * Nothing can be conceived more hard than the heart of a 
thocough-bred metaphysician. It comes nearer to the cold malignity of a wicked spirit 
than to the frailty and passion of a man.' White (ed. ii) : Theobald's correction b 
the surest ever made in Shakespeare. Without it the passage is naught. [I have 
reserved Hunter and Staunton to the last, because both give what seems to me to be 
emphatically the true explanation, and one which occurred to me before I had re<id 
theirs. How many times the sigh is breathed : * Pereant qui ante nos,' &c. The meat 
that jealousy feeds on is the victim of jealousy, the jealous man, who is mocked with 
trifles light as air. Substitute mind for ' meat,' and is not the meaning clear ? Is i 
the mark of a monster to make his food ? Then are cooks monsters, — and they some 
times are. — Ed.] Hunter {New lUust.^ ii, 284) : Jealousy mocks the person whc 
surrenders his mind to her influence, deluding him perpetually with some new show 
of suspicion, sporting herself with his agonized feelings, just as the feline tribe sport 
with the prey which they have got into their power. The cat is 'green-eyed.' 
Staunton : Strange that it should have occurred to no one that the meat the mon> 
ster mocks (i. e., scoffs^ jibeSf or ridicules), while he feeds on it, may be his credulous 
victim, — that thrice-wretched mortal, — * who dotes, yet doubts ; suspects, yet soundly 
loves.' [LUEDERS (p. 66) also gives the true explanation, and quotes as applicable to 
Theobald's make that clever definition of jealousy by Saphir, as clever as it is untrans- 
latable : * Eifersucht ist eine Leidenschaft, die mit Eifer sucht, was Leiden schaflt.' 
My friend, Mr Edwin Booth, confesses his conversion to * mock,' and suggests that 
lago can indicate by touching his own breast that the victim of jealousy is the meat 
it feeds on. — Ed.] 

196. loues] Jennens calls attention to the reading hates in Steevens's Reprint, 
which he ' finds in no other edition.' Cambridge Edition : In the Devonshire copy 
of Q,, which formerly belonged to Steevens, and which was the original of his reprint, 
the word * loues ' is partially obliterated by being changed w ith a pen to * hates,' but 
being still obscure, * hates ' is written in the margin opposite in the same hand as the 
stage direction mentioned [in a previous note]. Capell's C(py has distinctly Moues,' 
and that this was originally the reading of the Devonshire copy is evident from the 
traces of the letters which still remain. [These maiginrd stage directions in the 
Devonshire Qto, just alluded to, are, as the Cambridge Editors inform us, in a 17th 
century hand. * More than one hand seems to have been employed, and there are 
other notes of a much later date in pencil.'] 

198. soundly] Coluer (ed. ii) : There is little or no doubt that this was a mis- 
print ioi fondly. The (MS.) and Singer's (MS.) both have the same alteration. Dyce 
(Strictures, p. 199) : The two MS. Correctors and Collier must have forgotten what 
King Henry says to the I^ncess Katharine, * O fair Katharine, if you will love me 


0th. O miferie. 

lago. Poore^ and Content^ is rich^ and rich enough^ 200 

But Riches fineleffe, is as poore as Winter, 
To him that euer feares he fhall be poore / 
Good Heauen, the Soules of all my Tribe defend 
From lealoufie. 

0th. Why ? why is this ? 205 

Fhink'fl thou, Pld make a Life of lealoufie ; 
To follow ftill the changes of the Moone 
With frefh fufpitions ? No : to be once in doubt, 
Is to be refoluM : Exchange me for a Goat, 
When I (hall tume the bufmefle of my Soule 210 

201. Richii,,,is as\ rick,„is Q^. 205. thisF"] tAis, logo? Cap. 

fineUffe\ endless Pope, Theob. 206. Think' JT^ Thinkeft Q^. 

Han. Warb. rid'\ Tde Qq. 

Winter\ want Theob. conj. (with- 208, 209. lVith,.Js'\ One line, Han. 

drawn). 209. Is\ is At once Han. Is — cnce 

203. Heauen"] God Q,. Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. Is once Qq 

205. IVhy f why\ Wky^ why Qq, Dyce, ct cet. 
Sta. Glo. Cam. Rife, Wh. u. 

soundly with your French heart,' Hen, V : V, ii. White (ed. i) : I cannot hesitate, 
on looking at the whole line, to believe that ' soundly ' is a misprint lot fondly. True, 
Henry V says to Katharine [as quoted by Dyce], but the sentiment and the occasion 
of the two passages are entirely dissimilar. 

199. O miserie] Booth : Spoken without reference to himself. (I claim the credit 
of curing Othello's ' Misery ! misery ! misery ! ' as formerly given by actors. I directed 
my father's attention to it when I was a boy, and he approved.) 

201. finelesse] Johnson: Unbounded, endless, unnumbered treasures. 

201. Winter] Warburton : Finely expressed ; < winter ' producing no fruits. 

204. Booth : A pause. Spoken slowly and with significance ; watch him curiously 
to observe the effect of your poison, suggest the ' evil eye.' Othello now, for the first 
time, begins to be conscious of a doubt — ^which, however, he immediately shakes off, 
and turns, as' though fiom a trance, to lago with a clear front. 

206. Think'st thou] Haluwell : There is nothing makes a man suspect much, 
more than to know little ; and, therefore, men should remedy suspicion by procuring 
to know more, and not to keep their suspicions in smother. — Bacon^s Essays [p. 52S, 
ed. Arber]. 

209. resolu'd] C. P. Mason {Athenaum, 22 Apr. 1876) : Schmidt explains this as, 
< to be fixed in a determination.* I would suggest that it here means * to be freed from 
uncertainty.' The gist of Othello's speech is that, if once he doubts, he will make that 
first occasion settle the whole question for ever, by having the doubt turned into a cer- 
tainty, one way or the other. This relation between doubting and being resolved is 
repeated in lines 219, 220 : He see before I doubt, &c. 

209. White (ed. i) : A syllable is needed for the verse, and the omission of the 
once of the Qq seems do ibtless acddentaL 

l82 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act in, sc ili. 

To fuch exufflicate^ and blov/d Surmifes, 2il 

Matching thy inference. 'Tis not to make me I ealious^ 

To (ay my wife is faire, feeds well, loues company, 

Is free of Speech, Sings, Playes, and Dances : 

Where Vertue is, thefe are more vertuous. 21 5 

Nor from mine owne weake merites, will I draw 

211. exufflicate] QqF,Fj, Rowc, Pope, 212. lea/iaus] ua/ous QqFjF . 
Theob. exuffliceUedY^, exsuffoUUe Han. 213. fieds toellt'] feeds, weil^ Q^ 
Warb. }ohii». Jen. Steev.*85. exsmfiicaU 214. Dan<es\ Yl, Knt, Sing, doncu 
Cap. et cet. well Qq et cet. 

bl(ndd'\ Knty Sing, bhwed Yi, 215. are mare'] are moft Ff^ Rowe+. 

Uewme Qq et cet moMe more Warb. 

212. thy] the Yi. 

211. ezufflicate] Hanmer defines his exsuffolate by < whisper' d, buzz'd in the 
ears ; from the Italian verb suffolare! Johnson : The allasion is to a bubble. Do 
not think, says the Moor, that I shall change the noble designs that now employ my 
thoughts, to suspicions which, like bubbles blcwn into a wide extent, have only an 
empty show without solidity ; or that, in consequence of such empty fears, I will close 
with thy inference against the virtue of my wife. Malone : Whether our poet had 
any authority for the word exsufflicate, which I think is used in the sense of swollen^ 
and appears to have been formed from sufflatus, I am unable to ascertain. Boswell : 
This may be traced to the low Latin exsufflare, to spit down upon, an ancient form of 
exorcising, and, figuratively, to spit out in abhorrence and contempt. It may thus sig- 
nify contemptible. See Du Cange, s. v. exsufflare. Richardson (DUt, s. v.) : Elxsuf- 
flare, it is true, is explained by Du Cange (consequentially) to signify contemnere^ 
despttere^ rejicere ; arising from the custom in the Romish administration of baptism 
of renouncing the devil and all his works, exsufflando et despuendo, by blowing and 
spitting him away. Hence, also, the application of exsufflare^ and exsufflatio (common 
words among early Latin ecclesiastical writers) to a species of exorcism. Exsufflafiom 
is used by Bacon in its ordinary sense. And * exufHicate * in Shakespeare is not im- 
probably a misprint for exsSffliUe, i. e., efflate or ejfflated, puffed out, and consequently 
exaggerated, extravagant, — to which < blow'd ' is added, not so much for the sake of a 
second epithet, with a new meaning, as of giving emphasis to the first. Coluer : The 
meaning of this word is more obvious than its etymology; and if we had any difficulty, 
it would be removed, perhaps, by the additional epithet ' blow'd.* It is one of the words, 
the origin of which must not be traced with too much lexicographical curiosity. Dycb 
(Gloss.) : Exsufflieate, swollen, puffed out. For my own part, I can see no reason to 
doubt that such was Shakespeare's word, and such the meaning he intended to convey. 
White (ed. ii) : That is, puffed out, thin and bubble-like, or, spat upon, according to 
its derivation, as to which, and as to his own exact meaning, I think that Shakespeare 
himself was not clear. 

212. lealious] Walker ( Vers, 154) calls attention to this uniform spelling, in this 
play, in the Folio. 

214. Dances] White (ed. i) : The omission of well was doubtless accidental. 

215. vertuous] Johnson : An action in itself indifferent grows virtuous by iti end 
and application. 


The fmalleft feare, or doubt of her reuolt, 217 

For (he had eyes, and chofe me. No lago^ 

He fee before I doubt ; when I doubt, proue ; 

And on the proofe, there is no more but this, 220 

Away at once with Loue, or lealoufie. 

la. I am glad of this : For now I (hall haue reafon [324 b'\ 
To (hew the Loue and Duty that I beare you 
With franker fpirit. Therefore (as I am bound) 
Receiue it from me. I fpeake not yet of proofe : 225 

Looke to your wife, obferue her well with Ca/sioj 
Weare your eyes, thus : not lealious, nor Secure : 
I would not haue your free, and Noble Nature, 
Out of felfe-Bounty, be abus'd : Looke too't : 229 

218. cho/e] chofen Q,Qj. Warb. Huds. 

221. or\ afuiQ'Si, Q*95, Han. 225. o/^/arQ^ 

222. / am"] Fm Pope, Thcob. Han. 227. Weare\ Were Qj. 

Warb. Dyce iii, Huds. O'^'j] Ff, Rowe, Knt, Sing. Ktly. 

this\ it Qq, Coll. Dycc, Wh. Glo. ^ Qq et cet. 
Cam. Del. Huds. Rife. leaiious] iealous QqFjF^. 

224. / am] Fm Pope, Theob. Han. 229. tooU\ toU Q,FjF^, Rowe et seq- 

217. doubt . . . reuolt] See Schmidt (Z^x.) for many other instances where the 
former means apprehension^ suspicion ; and the \sXitr, faithlessness in love, inconstancy, 
Gould (p. 103) : This word, * revolt/ was one of those strokes of genius in tone of 
which J. B. Booth furnished such numberless examples. It came with an access of 
emphasis, as if he felt, for an instant, how dreadful a thing her revolt might be, then 
dismisses the thought at once. 

221. Booth : Touch your breast to signify that /ove is * hearted ' and your head at 
jealousy t to denote that it is a brain disease which ' follows still the changes of the moon.' 

227. thus] Booth : With a side-glance to indicate a certain degree of watchful care. 

227. nor Secure] Alger {Life of Forrest, i, 145) : Forrest represented lago as a 
gay, dashing fellow on the outside, hiding his malice and treachery under the signs of » 
careless honesty and jovial good humour. One point, strictly original, he made, which 
powerfully affected Kean. lago, while working insidiously on the suspicions of Othello, 
says to him [lines 226, 227]. All these words, except the last two, Forrest uttered in 
a frank, easy fashion ; but suddenly, as if the intensity of his under-knowledge of evil 
had automatically broken through the good-natured part he was playing on the surface, 
and betrayed his secret in spite of his will, he spoke the words nor secure in a husky 
tone, sliding down from a high pitch and ending in a whispered horror. This fearful 
suggestiveness produced from Kean a reaction so truly artistic and tremendous that the 
whole house was electrified. As they met in the dressing-room, Kean said excitedly, 
* In the name of God, boy, where did you get that ? ' Forrest replied, * It is something 
of my own.' < Well,' said he, while his auditor trembled with pleasure, * everybody 
who speaks the part hereafter must do it just so.' 

229. selfe-Bounty] Warburton: That is, inherent generosity. [Just as <self- 
shaiity ' in II, ii, 226, means charitv to one's sel( so here, it seems tci me, * self-bountjF 

1 84 THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act iii. sc. iii, 

I know our Country difpofition well : 230 

In Venice, they do let Heauen fee the prankes 

They dare not (hew their Husbands. 

Their beft Confcience, 

Is not to leaue't vndone, but kept vnknowne. 

0th. Doft thou fay fo ? 235 

lago. She did deceiue her Father, marrying you, 
And when (he feemM to (hake, and feare your lookes. 
She louM them moft. 

Otiu And fo (he did. 

lago. Why go too then : 240 

230. Country difpoJUion\ ctmntry-dis' Mai. Var. Knt, Sing. Dyce, Ktly. 
position Johns, coufUrysdisposUumSitev, 234. >&^] Ff, Rowe i. keipeQ^,CM.p. 
'85. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, Sing. Dyce, 

231. Heatun] God Q,. Ktly. keep^t Q,. keeft Q^ ct cet. 

232. 233. One line, Qq, Rowe ct seq. 235. /o ^] fo. Q,. 

232. notj Om. Q,. 240. Why] Om. Popc + , Cj^. 

234. leau^t] Uaue Q,, Cap. Jen. Stecv. too\ to F^F^, Rowe et seq. 

means a little more than * inherent generosity ' ; rather, is it not that ' bounty/ where 
'self* is concerned, which approaches what we should call < self-forgetfulness * ? — Ed.] 
231. Venice] Johnson: Here lago seems to be a Venetian. Henley: There is 
nothing in any other part of the play, properly understood, to imply otherwise. 

233, 234. Booth : Very confidentially. 

235. Fechter : A^th indignant menace. Booth : Let your tone express unbounded 
faith in lago's knowledge of * human dealings.' 

236. Fechter : With a look of the basilisk, darting the sting which he had kept for 
the last. 

237. seem'd] Johnson: This and the following argument of lago ought to be 
deeply impressed on every reader. Deceit and falsehood, whatever conveniences they 
may for a time promise or produce, are, in the sum of life, obstacles to happiness. 
Those who profit by the cheat distrust the deceiver, and the act by which kindness is 
sought puts an end to confidence. The same objection may be made, with a lower 
iiegree of strength, against the imprudent generosity of disproportionate marriages. 
When the first heat of passion is over, it is easily succeeded by suspicion, that the same 
violence of inclination which caused one irregularity may stimulate to another ; and 
those who have shown that their passions are too poweiful for their prudence, will, 
with very slight appearances against them, be censured as not very likely to restrain 
them by their virtue. 

238. most] Hudson: This is one of lago's artfullest strokes. The instinctive 
shrinkings and tremblings of Desdemona's modest virgin love are ascribed to craft, 
and made to appear a most refined and elaborate course of deception. His deep sci- 
ence of human nature enables him to divine how she appeared. 

239. Fechter : Othello stops at once, as struck by a thunderbolt ! His face changes 
by degrees, his eyes open as if a veil had been taken away ! Booth : Hoarsely and 
irith despairing look. 

240. Fechter : Placing nimself behind him and speaking in his ear, as if better to 


Shee that fo young could giue out fuch a Seeming 241 

To feele her Fathers eyes vp, clofe as Oake, 

He thought 'twas Witchcraft. 

But I am much too blame : 

I humbly do befeech you of your pardon 245 

For too much louing you. 

0th. I am bound to thee for euer. 

lago. I fee this hath a little dafh'd your Spirits : 

0th. Not a iot, not a iot. 249 

242. feele\feaU QqFj. fealY^ Rowe + , 244, 247. / « «] Fm Pope + , Dyce iii, 
Jen. G)ll. Huds. 

Oake^ oak — Rowe et seq. 244. too blame] to blame F^ Rowe et 

243, 244. One line, Qq, Pope et seq. seq. 

243. lVUchcraft,'\¥{,CoYL.yi\\.i. witch' 247. tothee\tototheeY^, toyouKowt 

eraft : Qq, Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, Sing. ii, Pope, Theob. Han. Warb. 
Sta. witchcraft — Rowe et cet. 

instil his yenom. [Although there is much, as I have said elsewhere, that is, to me, 
highly objectionable, not only in Fechter's style of acting, but even in his conception 
of character, yet in this instance he jumps with the very way in which it is barely pos- 
sible that Burbadge spoke these lines while Shakespeare listened. See Appendix, 
where the ballad on The Tragedie of Othello the Moore is given, wherein it is said ofi 
lago that ' He whisper'd at Othelloe's backe. His wife had chaungde her minde,' &cJ 

242. seele] See notes on I, iii, 297. Coluer : The ordinary word seal seems here 
only intended. 

242. Oake] Johnson : There is little relation between eyes and oak, I would read 
owls, * As blind as an owl ' is a proverb. [This note is repeated in Johnson and 
Steevens's Variorum editions of 1773 and 1778, but in that of 1785, after Dr Johnson*:- 
death, Steevens omitted it, — ^presumably out of respect to his friend's memory. — Ed.j 
Steevens : The ' oak * is, I believe, the most close-grained wood of general use in 
England. ' Close as oak * means close as the grain of oak. D. (N. &* Qu., 1857, 2d, 
iv, 44) suggests that in connection with * seel,' * oak ' should be hawk, ' an alteration 
which,' so he says, ' gives significancy to a simile which has otherwise no meaning at 
all.' Staunton and Harting make the same conjecture. 

243. Fechter : Othello stands immovable as a statue. Booth : Othello should 
wince slightly at the recollection. 

244. much too blame] See also line 328 in this same scene. This phrase * too 
blame ' is so common, not only in the Folio but in other Elizabethan authors, that Ab- 
bott, § 73, suggests that perhaps ' blame ' was considered an adjective, and that ' too ' 
may have been used as in Early English for ' excessively.' Even in modem editions, 
it seems to me, this * too ' should be retained. — Ed. 

245. of] See Abbott, §174, for other instances where *of' means 'concerning,' 

247. Fechter : His eyes fixed — extending his hand to lago, without looking at 
him. Booth: With great constraint 
249. Ottley (p. 22) : Kean gave the^e wordi with a plaintive, choking cry, nhich 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO |act in, sc fit 

lago. Truft me, I feare it has : 
I hope you will confider what is fpoke 
Comes from your Loue. 
But I do fee y^are moouM : 
I am to pray you, not to flraine my fpeech 
To groffer iflues ,nor to larger reach, 
Then to Sufpition. 

0th. I will not 

lago. Should you do fo (my Lord) 
My fpeech (hould fall into fuch vilde fuccefle, 
Which my Thoughts aymM not 
CaJJfu/s my worthy Friend : 
My Lord, I fee y'are mouM : 

0th. No, not much mouM : 





250. Truji me] I faith Q,, Sta. Glo. 
Cam. Dyce iii. Rife, Huds. Wh. ii. 
252, 253. One line, Qq» Rowe et seq. 

252. your Loue] my loue QqFf et cct 

253. yare] Ff, Wh. ii. you are Qq, 
Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, CoU. Sing. 
Wh. i, Ktly. you^re Rowe et cct. 

259. Jhould] would Pope+, Jen. 
into fuch] into Qj. 
vilde] vUd F^, Rowe. vile Qq, 
Pope et seq. 

fucceffe] excess Pope iL 

260, 261. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 

260. IVhich] Ff, Rowe, Pope, TheoU 
Han. Warb. Knt, Dyce i. ^ j Qq et cct 

aym'd not] F,. aim'd not F^F^ 
Knt, Dyce i. aim'd not at Rowe. aime 
not a/ Qq et cct. 

261. worthy] trufly Q,. 

Friend:] friend. Pope, friend-^ 

262. yare] Ff, Wh. i. you are Qq, 
Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, Coll. Sing. 
Ktly. you^re Rowe et cet. 

went to the heart. Fechter : Crosses, and leans on the back of the low chair. 
Booth : With forced indifference and trembling voice. 

250. Booth: Soothingly. 

253. Booth : A smothered moan. 

253. y'are] Both here and in 262, this contraction, it seems to me, should be used 
in modem editions in preference to the usual yotire^ or even to the you are of the Qq. 
Sec also Walker, line 450, post, — Ed. 

255. issues] Warburton : Conclusions. 

255. reach] Walker {Crit, ii, 167) cites this as only an apparent rhjrmc with 
« speech* in the preceding line; * Ea was pronounced nearly as a in mate^ 

259. successe] Johnson : If this be the ri^ht word, it seems to mean consequence 
or events as successo is used in Italian. Richardson (Diet. s. v.) : ' Success * is that 
which is come to, arrived at, reached, or attained ; whether good or bad. ' I haue bene 
longer in describing, the nature, the good or ill successe, of the quicke and hard witte, 
than perchance som will thinke, this place and matter doth require.' — ^Ascham, 7)i« 
Scholemaster [Book i, p. 35, ed. Arber]. 

261. Fechter: Othello makes a step in advance, his hand on his poignard. 
Booth: Give this as a stiletto-stab in the back — at which Othello groans aloud. 

263. Fechter : Supporting himself by the chair, and then sinking down on it. 


I do not thinke but Defdemoncfs honeft. 

lago. Long Hue (he fo ; 26; 

And long liue you to thinke fo. 

Otk. And yet how Nature erring from it felfe. 

lago. I, there's the point : 
As (to be bold with you) 

Not to aflfefl many propofed Matches 270 

Of her owne Clime, Complexion, and Degree, 
Whereto we fee in all things, Nature tends : 
Foh, one may fmel in fuch, a will mod ranke, 
Foule difproportions. Thoughts vnnaturall. 
But (pardon me) I do not in pofition 275 

DiftinfUy fpeake of her, though I may feare 
Her will, recoyling to her better iudgement. 
May fal to match you with her Country formes, 278 

264. I do] doe Qj. 273. one\ we Qq. 

265. 266. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. mofi] mu^ Q,. 

267. itfelfe.'\itfelfe^Y^, it/elf--~Y^ 274. dtfprofwrHom\ Ff, Rowe +, Jen. 
F^. itself— Warb. et seq. Knt, Sta. di/proportion Qq et cet. 

268. 269. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 276. Di/Hnctiy] Deftinctly Q,. 

271. her\ our Steev.'Ss. 278. fal to match] fail to catch Wh. d 

272. IVhereio] Wherein Q^. (misprint ?). 

273. Foh,] Fie Qq. Foh I Rowe et seq. 

266. think] Booth : Perhaps a slight emphasb on this, though I doubt its value. 

267. Booth : Referring to his color. (My Father indicated this by a glance at hit 
hand as it passed down before his eyes from his forehead, where it had been pressed), 
lago seizes this with eagerness and interrupts him. 

269. bold with you] Booth : My Father interpreted this as a covert reference to 
Brabantio*s assertion before the Senate (I, iii, 113) that Desdemona was 'a maiden 
never bold,' an assertion which Othello, with his knowledge of Desdemona's share in 
their wooing, might somewhat modify ; my Father, therefore, spoke the line not as an 
apologetic parenthesis addressed to Othello, as it is usually printed, but as though catch- 
ing up and pursuing Othello's own train of thought, and thus insidiously summoning to 
Othello's memory secret occasions when Desdemona had shown a * will most rank,* and 
had been * bold ' with him. I wish I could describe the white-lipped, icy smile, the 
pierdng glance at Othello's half-averted face, and eager utterance, with which my 
Father said, ' Ay, there's the point ; as to be bold with you^ 

273. will] Johnson : That Is, wilfulness. A 'rank will' is self-will overgrown and 
exuberant. RiTSON (p. 235) : To smell wilfulness and an overgrown self-will is a &c- 
olty peculiar to the learned critic. But with all imaginable deference to him, t)M 
expression means, inclinations or desires most foul, gross, and strong-scented. 

274. Booth : Othello repels this by a look of indignation. 

274. disproportions] See I, i, 31. 

275. position] CoiJJER : The (MS.) reads suspicion^ but if this were the woid wc 
should be inclined to think that ' not * had also been misprinted for bttt^ the meaning 
of lago then being, « I kut speak of her distinctly in tuspuum! 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act m. sc. ii. 

And happQy repent. 

Otlu Farewell, &rewell : 2S0 

If more thou doft perceiue, let me know more : 
Set on thy wife to obferue. 
Leaue me lago. 

lago. My Lordy I take my leaue. 

Othil. Why did I marry ? 285 

This honeft Creature (doubtlefle) 
Sees, and knowes more, much more then he vnfolds. 

lago. My Lord, I would I might intreat your Honor [325 (i\ 
To fcan this thing no farther : Leaue it to time. 
Although 'tis fit that CaJJio haue his Place ; 290 

For fure he filles it vp with great Ability ; 
Yet if you pleafe, to him off a-while: 
You fhall by that perceiue him, and his meanes : 293 

279. happiiy\ haply so POpc-f-. 
repent.'\ repent^- Ktly. 

2S0, 281. Farewell^ farewell : If more"] 
Fareivellf If more (as one line) Qq. 

281, 283. M<w...Iago.] Two lines, end- 
Hig on,, .logo. Qq. 

281, 282. One line, Rowe et seq. 

283. [Going. Rowe et seq. 

284, 285. One line, Qq, Cap. et seq. 

288. Continued to Oth. Q,. 
lago.] Om. Q,. 
[Returns. Cap. 

289. Tofcan\ lag. To fcan Q,. 

289. farther^ Ff, Rowe-f-, Knt, CoH 
Sta. further Qq et cet. 

290. Although 'tisfifl Tho it befit Q^ 
Jen. Var. Glo. Cam. Rife. And though tis 
P Q,Qj. Cap. Sing. And though it befit 
Steev. Mai. 

292. to him] to put him Ff, Rowe, Vo^ 
Han. to hold him Qq et cet. 

a-while] F,. a while iij:^^^^ 
Rowe+, C14). Steev. Mai. Var. Ktly. 
awhile Q, et cet. 

279. happily] Jennens : It is plain that haply or perchance is here meant. See, 
*o the same effect, Abbott, S 42. 

280. G&RARD : Othello n'est pas sans amour-propre. II se rend justice sur ses traits 
et son teint basan^ et il conviendra avec lui-m6me des disavantages de sa personne, 
mais ce qu'il s'avoue tout has il est flU:h6 de Tentendre de la bouche d'un autre, et, 
tianchant sur ce sujet, il congee lago. Fechter : Dismissing lago with a gesture, 
bat stopping him as he goes to the door. Booth : Impatiently ; unable to endure his 
presence any longer ; line 282 he speaks as though overcome by shame at his own 
baseness in the suggestion; and at the close falls on a seat. 

284. Booth : A quick, fiendish smile of triumph and a rapid clutch of the fingers, 
as though squeezing his very heart (Othello's face is buried in his hands), is quite legit- 
imate here, but do it unobtrusively, as you vanish. Fechter : lago pretends to go, 
bat stays on the threshold to watch Othello hom the opening in the tapestry. 

288. Booth : Othello assumes indifference for a while, but it leaves him at the men- 
tion of Cassir>. 

293. meanes] Johnson : You shall discover whether he thinks his best means, hit 
mc'St powerful interest is by the solicitation of your lady. 


Note if your Lady flraine his Entertainment 

With any ftrong, or vehement importunitie, 295 

Much will be feene in that : In the meane time, 

Let me be thought too bufie in my feares, 

(As worthy caufe I haue to feare I am) 

And hold her free, I do befeech your Honor. 

0th. Feare not my gouernment 300 

lago. I once more take my leaue. Exit. 

0th. This Fellow's of exceeding honefty, 

And knowes all Quantities with a learnM Spirit 

Of humane dealings. If I do proue her Haggard, 304 

294. his\ her Qq. 303. Uam'd'\ Ff, Rowe, Pope, Wh. 

295. imporfunt/iel opportunityV^x.^O'^ learned Qq et cet. 

•13, '21 (misprint). 303, 304. SpirU Of] Q,Q^f, CoU. SU. 

299. //(morJ] Honor: Yi, Wh. i. fpirit^ Q/Q.^ ct ccl. 

301. Exit.] Dm. Ff. 304. humane'] humaine Q,. human 

Scene VI. Pope +, Jen. Rowe et seq. 

303. Quaniities] Q,QjFf, Rowe. qual- dealings] dealing Q^. 

ities Q, et cet. do] Om. Poj)e + . 

294. Entertainment] Johnson : Press hard his re-admission to his pay and office. 
' Entertainment ' was the military term for admission of soldiers. 

295. importunitie] Walker ( Vers, 201) : The 1 in -ity is almost uniformly dropped 
in pronunciation. [See * satiety,* II, i, 261.] 

299. Booth : Imploringly. 

300. gouernment] Johnson : Do not distrust my ability to contain my passion. 
Gould (p. 104) : J. B. Booth indicated this meaning of self-control by a gesture 
strangely original and fine — the forefinger of the lifted hand pointed vertically to the 
top of the head. 

301. Fechter: He retires humbly — ^looking on from the back with a triumphant 
smile. At the door raises his shoulders in contempt ; and exit. Booth : lago should 
be rapid in all his actions except at this point— do nothing, but go slowly off with 11 
tender respect : Othello should watch lago keenly till he is gone. 

303, 304. Johnson : The construction is. He knows with a learned spirit all quali 
ties of human dealings. Walker (Crit. i, 160) : Quare whether the comma ought 
not to be expunged after * spirit * ? * And knows all qualities with a spirit learned of 
(i. e., in) human dealings. (I believe I am wrong as to this passage.) [See Text 
Notes, where Walker is anticipated.] Lettsom [Foot-note to Walker]: Notwith- 
standing Walker's hesitation, I prefer the construction which he has suggested. Qual' 
ity here, as frequently elsewhere, seems to mean natural disposition. In this passage 
Che poet has unconsciously described himself. 

304. Haggard] Harting (p. 57) : A wild-caught and unreclaimed mature hawk, 
as distinguished from an * eyess ' or nestling. Steevens : From a passage in ThtWhiii 
Devils 1 61 2, it appears that it was a term of reproach sometimes applied to a wanton : 
'Is this your perch, you haggard? fly to th' stews' — [Webster's fVorhs, vol. i, p. I2(\ 
ed. Dyce]. It had, however, a popular sense, and was used for wild by those who 

igo THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act iii, sc. iii 

Though that her lefles were my deere heart-ftrings, 305 

rid whifUe her ofT, and let her downe the winde 

To prey at Fortune. Haply, for I ani blacke, 

And haue not thofe foil parts of Conuerfation 

That Chamberers hiue : Or for I am declinM 309 

306. rid^ Pde Qq. 307. Haply] Hapfnly Qq. 
d(noHe\ dewne Q,Q,. J anf^ Pm P6pe+. 

307. prey\ pray Ql^. 

thought not on the language of falconers. Fbchter : Rousing himself, and trembling 
with rage. Booth : All this passage should be spoken more vrith anguish than with 

305. leases] Harting (p. 58) : These were two narrow strips of leather, fastened 
one to each leg, the other ends being attached to a swivel, from which depended the 
' leash.' When the hawk was flown, the swivel and leash were taken off, the jesses and 
bells remaining on the bird. Turbervile, in his Book of Falconries 1575, speaking of 
the trappings of a hawk, says : * Shee must haue jesses of leather, the which must haue 
knottes at the ende, and they should be halfe a foote long, or there about ; at the least 
a shaftmeete betweene the hoose of the jesse, and the knotte at the ende, whereby you 
tye the hauke.' 

306. whistle] Johnson : The falconers always let fly the hawk against the wind ; 
if she flies with the wind behind her, she seldom returns. If, therefore, a hawk was 
for any reason to be dismissed, she was * let down the wind,' and from that time shiAed 
for herself and * preyed at fortune.' Dyce (Few Notes^ p. 149) : *Ajetter un oiseau. 
To cast, or whistle off*, a hawke ; to let her goe, let her flie.' — Cotgrave. [It is need- 
less to cite the numberless allusions throughout Shakespeare and Elizabethan authors 
to every the minutest department of Hawking. To Walker ( Vers, 68) I can simply 
refer; in his enthusiasm for scansion he would be wiUing (if I understand him) to pro- 
nounce * whistle her ' as two syllables. — Ed.] 

307. blacke] Fechter : Paces the stage, and starts on seeing his face in a glass. 

308. parts] Reed : This seems to be here synonymous with arts^ as in ' Ttj Pity 
Skis a Whore f speaking of singing and music : * They are parts I love ' [II, i, ed. 
Dyce]. Morel: Le mot qui est rest^ courant dans la langue est comment^ par Vol- 
taire comme suit : * Great parish de grandes parties. D'oft cette mani^re de parler qui 
itonne aujourd'hui les Fran^ais peut-elle venir ? D'eux-mftmes. Autrefois nous nous 
servions de ce mot de parties tr^s conmiuniment dans ce sens-1^. Q^lie, Cassandre, 
nos autres anciens romans ne parlent que des parties de leurs h^ros et de leur h^roTnes, 
et ces parties sont leur esprit. En eflet, chacun de nous n'a que sa petite portion d'in- 
telligence, de m^moire, de sagacity. Les Fran^ais ont laiss^ ichapper de leurs diction- 
aires une expression dont les Anglais se sont saisis. Les Anglais se sont enrichis plus 
d'une fois ^ nos d^ns. — Diet, philosophique^ s. v. * Esprit.' 

309. Chamberers] Steevens : That is, men of intrigue. So in the Countess of 
Pembroke's Antonius^ 1590 : * Fall'n from a souldier to a chamberer.' Henley : See 
Romans, xiii, 13: <Let us walk honestly as in the day; not in rioting and drunken- 
ness, not in chambering and wantonness.' Wright (Bible IVord-Book) : Latimer, m 
ilis remarks on Rom. xiii, 13, thus explains the word : *St. Paul useth this word ckam 
benng; for when folks will be wanton, they get themselves in comers.' — Rem. p. i&. 


Into the vale of yeares (yet that^s not much) 310 

Shee's gone. I am abusM, and my releefe 

Muft be to loath her. Oh Curie of Marriage ! 

That we can call thefe delicate Creatures ours. 

And not their Appetites ? I had rather be a Toad, 

And Hue vpon the vapour of a Dungeon, 315 

Then keepe a comer in the thing I loue 

For others vfes. Yet 'tis the plague to Great-ones, 

PrerogatiuM are they leffe then the Bafe, 

*Tis defliny vnfhunnable, like death : 

Euen then, this forked plague is Fated to vs, 320 

When we do quicken. Looke where (he comes : 

31a the vale\ the volt Q,. a vale Q,. 317. plague to\ Ff, Rowe. plague of 

^11. abuid'\ adui^d Q,. Qq et cet. 

releefi] releife Q,C;^. Great-ones] Ff, Rowe, P6pe. great 

311. Cur/e] the curse Pope + . ons Qj. great ones Q,(i, Theob. ct scq. 

315. of a] in a Qq. 318. Prercgatiu'd'] PrerogatitnC d Q^. 

316. comer'\ comet Q^. 319. ^Tis'\ This Qj. 

the thing'] a thing Qq. 32 1. Loohe where Jhe] Ff, Rowe, Knt, 

317. v/es] use Pope + . Del. Defdemona Q,Q, ct cet 

Schmidt defines it, but I am afhud on insufficient grounds : a man conversant with the 
arts of peace, opposed to a soldier ; the same as * carpet-monger.* 

312. Marriage] Walker {Vers, 176): Plx)nounce dissoluU. 

314. Appetites] Booth : This word may bother the many, so touch your heart to 
signify, likings^ or longings, 

318. Prerogatiu'd] Malone : Compare As You Like It, III, iii, 58, where Touch- 
stone holds forth a contrary opinion. * Shakespeare would have been more consistent 
if he had written : Prerogativ'd are they more than the base ? ' Othello would then 
have answered his own question : * (No :) 'Tis destiny unshunnable,' &c. Steevens 
soothingly remarks : * Allowance must be made to the present state of CXhello's mind : 
passion b seldom correct in its effiisions.' 

319. vnshunnable] Malone: To be consistent, Othello must mean that it b des* 
tiny unshunnable by * great ones,* not by all mankind. 

320. forked plague] Percy: That is, the horns of the cuckold. Malone: See, 
in proof, Tro, ^ Cress, I, ii, 178; and Wint, Tale, I, ii, 186. One of Harrington's 
Epigrams contains the very expression : * Actseon .... Was plagu'd with homes ; . . . . 
Wherefore take heed, ye that are curious, prying. With some such forked plague you be 
not smitten,' &c 

321. comes] *The burst of mixed passions with which Forrest uttered the first part 
of this speech was tenific. His voice then sank into tones the most touching, express- 
ive of complaining regret. The conclusion seemed to have excited him to the utmost 
pitch of loathing and disgust, and, as he sees Desdemona advancing, he, for a few mo- 
ments, gazed upon her with horror. The feeling gave way, and all his former tender- 
ness seemed tc return as he exclaimed, ** If she be false," &c.' — ^Alger's Life of Fomsi^ 

192 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iu. sc. itt. 

Enter Defdemona and ^Emilia. 32a 

If (he be fidfe, Heauen mocked it felfe : 
He not beleeue't 

Def. How now, my deere Othello ? 335 

Your dinner, and the generous Iflanders 
By you inuited, do attend your prefence, 

Otiu I am too blame. 

Def. Why do you fpeake fo faintly ? 
Are you not well ? 330 

0th. I haue a paine vpon my Forehead, heere. 

322. Enter...] After line 323, Qq,Dyce, 328. too\ to Qq, F,F^ et seq. 

Sta. Del. 329, 330. One line, Qq, Cap. Steer. 

323. falfe\fah Q,. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. KUy. 

Heauen mccJ^d'^ Ff. O then ^^9. Why.„/aintiy\iVhyisyour/peecA 

Meamn mocks Qq et cet. /o faint Qq, Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. ColL 

324. beleeu^t ] beleeue it Qq, Jen. Steev. Sing. Ktly. 

Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Ktly, Del. 331. heere^ heare Q,Qj. 

326. IJlanders\ /lander Qq. 

323* 324. Coleridge (p. 255) : Divine I the effect of innocence and the bettei 

323. mock'd] Malone : That is [see Text. Notes], renders its own labours fruit- 
less, by forming so beautiful a creature as Desdemona, and suffering the elegance of 
her person to be disgraced and sullied by the impurity of her mind, — such, I think* h 
the meanings — the construction, however, may be different. If she be false, Oh, then, 
even heaven itself cheats us with * unreal mockery,' with false and specious appear- 
ances, intended only to deceive. Steevens : The first of the foregoing explanations 
is, I believe, the true one. If she be false, heaven disgraces itself by creating woman 
after its own image. To have made the resemblance perfect, she should have been 
good as well as beautiful. Knight : By the reading of the Folio we may understand 
that, if Desdemona be false, — be not what she appears to be, — heaven, at her creation, 
instead of giving an image of itself, mocked itself, — gave a false image. The reading 
of the Qq is more forcible and natural. 

324. Booth : I strike my forehead as if to kill the devilish thought. After Desde 
mona and Emilia have entered it is better for the latter to retire, for the reason given at 
line 48 of this scene. Moreover, it is better for her on her re-entrance to find the hand- 
kerchief than to steal it 

326. generous] Steevens: The islanders of rank, distinction. So, in Meas,for 
Meas, IV, vi, 13, *The generous and gravest citizens.' See also Ham, I, iii, 74, * select 
and generous.' 

328. too blame] See supra^ III, iii, 244. 

331. Forehead] Rymer (p. 121): Michael Cassio came not firom Venice in tlie 
ship ¥rith Desdemona, nor till this morning could be suspected of an opportunity with 
her. And 'tis now but dinner time ; yet the Moor complains of his forehead. He 
might have set a guard on Cassio, or have lockt up Desdemona, or have observ'd theif 
carriage a day or two longer. He is on other occasions phlegmatic enough : this if 


Def. Why that's with watching, 'twill away againe. 332 

Let me but binde it hard, within this houre 
It will be well. 

0th. Your Napkin is too little : 335 

332. Why\ Faith Q,, Mai. Stccv.'93, 333. it hard'\ your head q^^, 
Var. Coll. Dyce,Wh. Glo. Cam. Del. Huds. 334. weU.'\ well againe, Q,, Jen. 
Rife. 335. [She drops her Handkerchief 

'tTviW^riviUq^Q^, rw//Qy Rowe. 

Tery hasty. [Rymer's innuendo that in the pain upon his forehead Othello here covert 
ly alludes to the forked plague is, I am afraid, only too correct. Delius, also, thus inter 
prets it Note the use of * upon.* If this reference was understood by Shakespeare's 
auditors, — and it seems as though it were scarcely possible in those days to refer to the 
forehead other than as a groundwork for this plague, — then, in Desdemona's tender 
response they perceived a proof of her unconscious innocence which is otherwise lost 
on us. — Ed.] 

333. Booth : She kneels to do so, — ^he is sitting. 
335. Napkin] Warner {Letter to Garrick, p. 35) : This word is still used to sig 

niiy a Handkerchief in Scotland and in the North of England, especially about Shef 
field in Yorkshire. We meet with it in that sense in the Proceedings in Scotland in 
the Douglass cause : * Lady Jane never admitted any person to see her till she was 
fully dress'd .... with a large Napkin on her breast.' [* Oft did she heave her nap- 
kin to her eyne* — Lover's Complaint^ 21. — Ed.] 

335. CoLUER (ed. i) : We take this necessary stage direction [*Lefs fail her Nap- 
kin '] from a MS. note, in a hand- writing of the time, in the Duke of Devonshire's Q,. 
Dyce (Remarks^ p. 239) : The stage direction inserted by other modem editors is far 
better, viz. [*Ife puis (he handkerchief from him, and it drops''\ There can be no 
douU that, while Othello pushes away the handkerchief, Desdemona lets it fall : Emilia 
(who is now on the stage) says presently : ^she let it drop by negligence; And I,' &c. 
Collier (ed. ii) : This stage direction [* The napkin falls to the ground*'] and others 
[* Offering to bind his heady after line 333] are from the (MS.) [Where stage directions 
occur in the Qq or Ff they are to be reverently accepted, and they are also respectable 
in Rowe, as indications of stage tradition, but in other cases, where they are devised by 
editors, they are apt to be intrusive and are mostly superfluous. They belong more to 
tlie province of the actor than to that of the editor. We editors readily lose sight of 
the fact that we are, for the most part, mere drudges, humble diggers and delvers io 
forgotten fields, and from close poring over the words of a dramatic character we are 
apt to forget ourselves, and bound in imagination for one wild moment on the stage 
to dictate action to the player-folk themselves. Picture Dr Johnson in the ifAe ot ( ^ 
Mercutio ! Yet when Dr Johnson modified or inserted stage directions, be they ever 
so slight, as he has in Mercutio's speeches, did not his imagination, for an instant, 
play him that same fantastic trick? To editorial stage directions far more than to 
aesthetic illustrations the phrase * sign-post criticisms ' may be properly applied, as it 
seems to me. The stage directions of actors stand on a different footing. Here lies I 
the actor's true province, and to his interpretations must be applied the supreme test \ 
of public judgement, wherein we, as a part of that public, have a right to give our J 
voice. Here Fechter decides that it is Othello who throws down the handkerchief, / 
and does it in a rage ; but Booth, with finer insight, lets Othello gently push the hand \ 
kettiiief aside and Desdemona drop it.— Ed.] 

194 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act hi, sc. lii. 

Let it alone : Come, He go in with you. Exit. 336 

Def. I am very forry that you are not well. 

jEmil. I am glad I haue found this Napkin : 
This was her firft remembrance from the Moore, 
My wayward Husband hath a hundred times 340 

Woo'd me to fleale it But (he fo loues the Token, 
(For he coniur'd her, (he (hould euer keepe it) 
That (he referues it euermore about her. 
To kiiTe, and talke too. He haue the worke tane out, 
And giu't lago : what he will do with it 345 

Heauen knowes, not I : 

336. Exit.] Ex. 0th. and Defd. (after 344, 345. IU,.M wiil'\ I will have the 
napkin^ line 338) Qq. Exeunt Ff. After work \ Ta^enout^andgiveittoIago^UU \ 
lu^e 337f ^'omt, et seq. What heU (reading What h/ll,..nci I in 

337. Om. Ci4>. (corrected NoUs, ii« lines 345, 346 as one line) Han. 

148 b), 345, 346. Lines end, lago,,, I: Johns. 

Scene VII. Pope + » Jen. Cap. Jen. Steev. Mal.Var. Sing. Dyce, Del. 

338. Napkin .*] napkin here. Han. Huds. 

341. WWflT] Wooed Qq, 345. ^V] give it Steev. Mai. 

342. Jkould^ would Var.*03, '13, '21, he will^ he^ll Q,, FV>pc+, Jen. 
Sing. i. Steev. Mai. Var. Sing, h^l Q,Qj. 

344. talke too'\ talke to QqFf. 346, 347. One line, Ktly. 

haue'\ ha Qq. 

336. Exit] Booth : Take time, gently push the handkerchief from her hand as she 
is in the act of binding it on your forehead. Pass her, while on her knees, with forced 
indifference, but turn lovingly, and holding your arms for her to enter them, say * Come, 
I'll go in with thee.* Then with a long soulful look into her eyes, fold her tenderly 
to your heart and go slowly off. Keep time. Don't drawl in either speech or move- 
ment, yet be not abrupt nor rapid. Every movement, gesture, look, and tone should 
be in harmony. 

338. Fechter: Comes forward with caution, and seizes the handkerchief, which 
she has watched narrowly since Othello threw it down. Booth : Emilia, by chance, 
sees the handkerchief and picks it up. 

339. remembrance] Staunton : That is, memorial^ or forget-me-not. 

344. tane out] Johnson : The meaning is not, to have the work picked out and 
leave the ground plain, but to have this work copied in another handkerchief. Steev- 
ENS : So in Middleton's Women Beivare Women^ I, i, ' she intends To take out other 
works in a new sampler.* Again, in the Preface to Holland's Pliny : * Thus Nicophanes 
(a famous painter in his time) gave his mind wholly to antique pictures, partly to exem- 
plifie and take out their pattemes.' Blackstone : Her first thoughts are to have a 
copy made of it for her husband, and to restore the original to Desdemona. But the 
sudden coming in of lago, in a surly humour, makes her alter her resolution, to please 
him. Malone : This scheme of having the work copied was to render Emilia less 
unamiable. It is remarkable that when she perceives Othello's fiiry on the loss of this 
token, though she is represented as affectionate to her mistress, she never attempits to 
relieve her of her distress, which she might easily have done. Shakespeare fell into 
this incongruity by departing from Cinthio's noveL 



I nothingi but to pleafe his Fantafie. 


Enter lago. 

lago. How now ? What do you heere alone ? 

jEmil. Do not you chide : I haue a thing for you. 350 

lago. You haue a thing for me ? [325 b'] 

It is a common thing 

jEmil. Hah ? 

lago. To haue a foolifh wife. 

jEmil. Oh, is that all ? What will you giue me now 355 
For that lame Handkerchiefe. 

lago. What Handkerchiefe ? 

jEtnil. What Handkerchiefe ? 
Why that the Moore firfl gaue to Defdemonay 
That which fo often you did bid me fleale. 360 

lago. Haft ftolne it from her ? 

jEmil. No : but ftie let it drop by negligence, 
And to th'aduantage, I being heere, took't vp : 
Looke, heere 'tis. 

lago. A good wench, giue it me. 365 

547. mftAmg...Ais'] nothing knawy but 
for his Q,, Johns. 

348. Enter...] After line 545, Qq. 

351, 352. One line, Qq, Cap. Steev. et 

35 1 . You haue\ Ff, Rowe + , Jen. Steev. 
•85. Om. Qq et cet 

352. thing—] thing, Q,. thing: Cap. 
354. rvi/f] thing Q,. 

356, 357. 358. Handkerchiefe] hand- 
kercher Q,. 

361. ftolne] ftole Qq, Cap. Jen. ftoln 
Fj. ftollen F^ Rowe, Pope. 

362. No: but fhe] Ff, Rowe+, Cap. 
Jen. Steev.*85, Knt. No faith^ flu Qq 
et cet. 

363. th'] Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Coll. Dyce 
iii, Huds. the Qq et cet. 

tookt] tooke it Q,Q^ Steev.'Ss, 

364. 'tis] Ff, Rowe + . f^ w Qq, Han. 
et cet. 

349-352. Walxer (Crit, iii, 287) : Arrange, perhaps^ — How now ! | What do yoa 
here alone ? Emil, Do not you chide ; | I have a thing for you. Ic^o, A thing for 
me ? I It is a common thing. 

350. chide] Booth : Note this. lago's manner is brusque, — disappointed at not 
finding Othello here; he had come to drive the dagger deeper in his heart. 

357. Fechter: Earnestly. Booth: Indifferently. Up stage. 

361. Booth : Turn quickly, with delighted expectancy. 

362. No] COLXIER (ed. i) : The Master of the Revels seems to have been ciqpn- 
ciously scrupulous in this play ; here, according to the Folio, ' 'faith * was erased as an 
oath, and this not for the first time. In line 332 the same thing occurs. 

363. to th' advantage] Johnson : I, being opportunely here, took it of . 
365. Booth : Snatch at it eagerly. 


THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act in, sa iii. 

jEmil. What will you do with't, that you haue bene 366 
fo earned to haue me filch it ? 

lago. Why, what is that to you ? 

jEmil. If it be not for fome purpofe of import, 
Giu't me againe. Poore Lady, (hee'l run mad 370 

When (he (hall lacke it 

lago. Be not acknowne on't : 
I haue vfe for it Go, leaue me. Exit jEmil. 

I will in Cajp(/s Lodging loofe this Napkin, 
And let him finde it. Trifles light as ayre, 375 

Are to the iealious, confirmations (Irong, 
As proofes of holy Writ This may do fomething. 377 

366, 367. lVkat.,./o\ PVhat.^So (As 

Terse) Q,. (As verse, the first line tndL' 

iagwiiAi/)Qj(i^. Prose Ff, Rowe, Pope. 

fVAa/...tam(/l'\ One line, Theob. 

et seq. 

366. wi/A'i] with U Qq, Jen. Steer. 
Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. 

Mtf/] Om. FjF^, Rowe+. 
you haui\ you^ve Huds. 

367. fikh\ fetch Q,. filtch F^, Rowe. 

368. what is'\ Ff, Rowe + , Jen. Steer. 
'85. what's Qq et cet. 

[Snatching it Rowe. 

369. Ifit^ Ift Q,Q3. Pope + , Cap. Jen. 
Cam. Dyce iii, Huds. 

y&r] Om. CoU. (MS). 

370. GiuUme\Giiume^t(iJ^, Give 
m^t Qj, Jen. Give it me Steev. Mai. Var. 

372, 373- 0°c line, Qq, Jen. Be.„fof 
it One line. Cap. et seq. (except Ktly ano 
Dyce iii). 

372. not acknowne ohW\Y^, not yom 
knowne onU Q,Qj, Pope -f- , Cap. Jen. not 
you (uknowne onU (^ Dyce iii, Coll. iii. 
not you known of*t Mai. Steev.'93, Var. 
not acknown onU F^F^ et cet. not yom 
known irCt Johns, conj. 

373. forit.']forit:'^Q(\, /or'tVfdXVtt 

GOf leaue me"] Separate line. Cap 
et seq. (except Ktly and Dyce iii). 

Exit i&nil.] Exit Em. (after na^ 
kin, line 374) Qq. 

374. /00/e^ lofe Qq. 

376. iealious] iealous QqFf. 

377. IVrU.-] Wright, Q3. 

368. Why] Booth : Pause mysteriously, • Why ,* as if about to give her some 

wonderful reason. Then snatch it, with * What's that to you ? ' 

372. acknowne] Steevens : That is, do not acknowledge anything of the mattei. 
The word occurs in Golding*s Ovid : * Howbeit I durst not be so bolde of hope ac 
knowne to bee' [p. 91, Lib. vii, 632, *nec me sperare fatebar']. Again in Putten- 
ham's Arte of Poesie [p. 260, ed. Arber] : * so would I not haue a translatour to be 
ashamed to be acknowen of his translation.' PoRSON : Again in The Life ofAriosto, in 
Harrington's translation of Orlando, ed. 1607 : ' Some say, he was married to her privi- 
lie, but durst not be acknowne of it.' 

373. Booth : Many * lagos ' kiss her, and coax her to leave him,— he is given rather 
to chiding than to caressing. 

374. Napkin] Booth : Why may not Cassio bind this about his wounded leg at 
dose of the next Act ? 'Tis traditional, and reasonable, — do it 

375. 376. Hunter (ii, 281) : Compare V. &* A, 1023 : « Trifles unwitnessed with 
eye or ear Thy coward heart with false bethinking grieves.' 



The Moore already changes with my poyfon : 
Dangerous conceites, are in their Natures poyfons, 
Which at the firft are fcarfe found to diftafte : 
But with a little a£le vpon the blood, 
Bume like the Mines of Sulphure. I did fay fo. 

Enter Othello, 
Looke where he comes : Not Poppy, nor Mandragora, 



378. Om. Q,. 

poyfofC^ poyfons Ff, Rowe -I- . 

379. Om. Rowe ii. 
N(»tures\ nature Popc+. 

380. diftafte\ diftaft Qq. 

381. a^e vpon"] art, vpon Q,. 

382. Mines] mindes Q,. 

383. Enter...] (After blooii, Hne 381) 
QiQa- Om. Qj. After yesterday^ line 
387, Knt, Sing. Dyce, Wh. Ktly, Sta. 

Scene VIII. Pope +, Jen. 

384, nor] Om. F^. 

378. my poyson] Staunton : The repetition of « poison * here is so inelegant that 
we may well suspect the word in one line was caught by the compositor's eye from the 
other, but it is hard to say in which the corruption lies. Walker (Crit, i, 287) : I 
once thought that we should read « with my practise;^ but it would seem that the word 
required should be similar in termination, or general api)earance, to * poison ' ; for this 
line has dropt out, most probably from that cause, in Q,. Therefore I conjecture potion, 

382. I did say so] To Blackstone this exclamation was most unmeaning in the 
mouth of such a speaker, at such a time ; he therefore suggested that as lago has the 
handkerchief in his hand there may be a reference to it, and that the phrase is * Hide 
it!— «o— «o'; but he * readily retracted* his emendation (though still thinking the 
phrase obscure) after reading the following notr by Steevens : lago first ruminates en 
the qualities of the passion which he is labouring to excite ; and then proceeds to com- 
ment on its effects. * Jealousy (says he), with the smallest operation on the blood, flames 
out with all the violence of sulphur,' &c. * I did say so ; Look where he comes — ! ' 
i. e., I knew that the least touch of such a passion would not permit the Moor to enjoy 
a moment of repose : — I have just said that jealousy is a restless commotion of the mind ; 
and look where Othello approaches, to confirm the propriety and justice of my observa- 
tion. Hudson : The moment lago's eye lights on Othello, he sees that his devilish in- 
sight of things was punctually prophetic of Othello's case ; that his words are exactly 
verified in the inflamed looks of his victim. Booth's dramatic instinct clears any diffi- 
culty by a stage direction — * Othello groans.' 

383. In a note on Tro, &* Cress., Dyce, in his Remarks, p. 147, shows that these 
ktage directions were not meant to be taken as the actual entrance of the actor, but that 
they were merely, as in the present case, to show that towards the end of a soliloquy 
the actor who spoke next was to prepare himself (or be summoned) to enter, — not that 
he was to come on the stage before the conclusion of the soliloquy. It is the same in 
IV, i, 116, where * Enter Cassio ' occurs four lines before lago addresses him. [I sup- 
pose it was on this fact that Dyce founded his positive assertion (see note on II, ii, 231) 
that F, was printed firom a stage transcript, and not from one where shorthand had been 
used. Knight was the first to indicate Othellu s entrance at the proper word, although 
Capell had « Enter Othello, at a dis/anee.'—ED.] 

384. Mandragora] Staunton quotes from Holland's R/iny, Bk. zxv, ch. 13: 
*This herbe ilandragoras, some writers cal Circeium; and two kinds there be ^ it* 


THE TRACED IE OF OTHELL O [act hi. sc iiL 

Nor all the drowfie Symips of the world 385 

Shall euer medicine thee to that fweete fleepe 
Which thou owd'ft yefterday. 

0th. Ha, ha, ialfe to mee ? 

lago. Why how now Generall ? No more of that 

0th. Auant, be gone : Thou haft fet me on the Racke: 390 
I fweare 'tis better to be much abus'd, 
Then but to knoVt a little. 

lago. How now, my Lord ? 

0th. What fenfe had I, in her ftolne houres of Luft ? 394 

387. aw/yf} €wedft Qq, Han. Waib. 
Johns. Jen. Glo. Cam. Huds. had^st Pbpe, 

yesierday\ yester-night Edwards 
(in jest). 

388. Ha, ha,'\ Ha! Pope+, Cap. 
falfe to meef^faife to me, tome? 

Q,(i,Jcn. fai/etometomeKi^, Falsef 
Tome/tome/Johxa. false to met tome? 
Stecv. Mai. Var. CoU. Sing. Wh. i, KUy. 
390. Thm kajr\ tkotist Pope+. 

391. f'weare'\ /ware Qj. 

392. Jknott^t^ knew Q.* Rowe, Pbpe, 
Theob. Han. Waib. 

393. now] Om. Pope+. 

394.. /«!/>] fence Q,Q,. fent FJP^ 
fcent F^, Rowe. 

in her\ Yi, Rowe, POpe, Han. Knt 
of her Qq et cct. 

ofLuflf] or hut Theob. ii, Waib. 
Johns. [See Commentaiy.] 

the white which is supposed the male ; and the black which you must take for the 

female It may be used safely enough for to procure sleeps if there be good regard 

nad in the dose Also it is an ordinarie thing to drink it ... . before the cutting 

or cauterizing, pricking or laundng of any member to take away the sence and feeling 
of such extreme cures. And sufficient it b in some bodies to cast them into a sleep 
with the smel of Mandrage, against the time of such Chirurgery.' Hunter (ii, 286) : 
It may be suspected that when Shakespeare used the word, mandragora had but a tra- 
ditional and historical claim to be reckoned among the * drowsy syrups of the world.' 
BucKNiLL (p. 217) : Shakespeare refers to this plant altogether six times, and it is 
noteworthy that on the two occasions where its real medicinal properties are mentioned, 
the Latin term mttndragora is used ; the vulgar appellation, mandrake^ is employed when 
the vulgar superstition is alluded to. [See notes on * mandrake' in Rom. ^ Jul IV, 

387-389. Stkevens reads and divides : Which thou ow'dst yesterday. 0th, Ha ! 
ha I false to me ? | To me ? logo. Why, how now, general ? no more of that. | 

388. Booth : Mournfully. lago addresses him as though not expecting him. 

394. in] Knight : Sense <^ b the modem use of the term knowledge of; * sense 
in ' is the more proper and peculiarly Shakespearian use, which implies the impresidon 
upon the senses, and not upon the understanding. The difference is the same as be 
tween a sensible man and a man sensible to pain. 

394. of] At first sight, in Theobald*s ed. ii, this looks like or, but closer scrutiny 
shows the r to be simply a battered, mutilated // in one of my copies of thb edition, 
the / of the following word is totally lost, and half of the u, presumably from the same 
accident that destroyed the upper half of this f But Warburton, who had denounced 
Hanmer for not comparing Pope's edition with Theobald's, falls here under his uwn 


I faVt not, thought it not : it harm'd not me : 395 

I flept the next night well, fed well, was free, and merrie. 

I found not Caffufs kiffes on her Lippes : 

He that is robbM, not wanting what is ftolne. 

Let him not knoVt, and he's not robbM at all. 

lago. I am foriy to heare this ? 400 

0th, I had beene happy, if the generall Campe, 

Pyoners and all, had tafted her fweet Body, 402 

395. /tf«f*/] faw it F^ Rowe, Stccv. 400. I am\ Pm Huds. 

BiaL Var. CoU. Del. 402. Fjfoners] QqF,. Pioners Cap. 

396. fed weli'\ Ff, Rowe, Knt, Sing. Dyce, Sta. Wh. Glo. Cam. Del. Rife. 
Wh. i, Ktly, Del. Om. Qq et cct. Pioneers F^F^ et cet. 

399. knatt^i'\ know it Steev. 

eondemnation ; he accepted the or, without comparing it with any edition, and incor- 
porated it in his own text bore of comment. So likewise did Dr Johnson, who, while . 
using Theobald's text to print from, sneered at him in his Preface, and raised a laugh / 
against him by saying : ' I have sometimes adopted his restoration of a comma, without 
inserting the panegyric in which he celebrated himself for his achievement' Sir, he 
who accepts a text to print from on the one hand, and vilifies his benefactor on the 
other, is, on this occasion, removed alike either from the claims of consideration or 
the requirements of respect. — Ed. 

394 et seq. Steevens calls attention to certain passages in Middleton's IVitck resem- 
bling this and other passages in this scene, to which, apparently, he attached importance 
as indications that Shakespeare had followed Middleton, but Malone afterwards showed 
that The Witch must have been produced after 1613. [See Macbeth^ Appendix^ p. 388.] 

396. fed well] Knight : The rejection of these words by the modem editors can 
be accounted for only by the fact that they would make any sacrifice of sense or poetry, 
and prefer the feeblest to the strongest expression, if they could prevent the intrusion 
of a line exceeding ten syllables. This sacrifice, for the sake of a tame and uniform 
riiythm, is even more ludicrous when they strive to make an heroic line out of the 
broken sentences of two or more speakers, as in line 122, where ' Honest * b omitted. 
Collier (ed. i) : A strange coiruption, for which it is difiicult to account. Collier 
(ed. ii) : An absurd insertion, as if Othello meant to say that he had fed tueil in the 
night, while he was * free and meiry,* a corruption of the verse for which, however, it 
is not difficult to account 

396. Fechter : In a feverish agony of rage. 

398. wanting] Booth : I prefer kncwing, for surely Othello did * want ' Desdemona's 
knre at all times and forever. [But * wanting ' is here used not in the sense of needing, 
but of OTuw^,— and yet even in this sense it has a lack of tenderness. — ^£d.] 

398, 399. Haluwell quotes Milton, ix, 756 : ' For good unknown sure is not had ; 
or had And yet unknown, is as not had at all.' 

401. Gould (p. 105) : We may imagine the guileless hospitality of the gentle lady 
to her guests, maddening her husband, so that he leaves them abruptly, and re-enteis 
on the scene to lago. 

402. P3roner8] Grose: 'A soldier ought ever to retaine and keepe his arms in 
safetie and forth comming, for he is more to be detested than a coward, that will lost 

300 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act in. sc. iB. 

So I had nothing knowne. Oh now, for euer 403 

Farewell the Tranquill minde ; farewell Content ; 

Farewell the plumed Troopes, and the bigge Warres, 40^ 

That makes Ambition, Vertue I Oh farewell; 

Farewell the neighing Steed, and the (hrill Trumpe, 

The Spirit-ftirring Drum, th'Eare-piercing Fife, 408 

403. knowni\ knawen Q . 406. maJkes] Qq, Johns. Cap. Ktly. 

40$. 7VM»//i] F,. 7>w/xFjF^,Rowc-»-, maJke Ff et cet 
r:i4». K nl, Sla. Wh. i, Del. trocpe Qq ct fareweU:'\ farewell^ QqFt Rowe, 

Ml. Cam. farewell! Pbpe et cet 

W^rret\ war Rowc u+, Cap. 408. M»] Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Jen. Dyce 

iii, Huds. /^ Qq et cet 

or |ilay away any pait thereof, or refuse it for his ease, or to avoid paines ; wherefore 
iUCh a one is to be dismissed with punishment, or to be made some abject pioner.* — 
havies's Ari of War and England TVayningi^ 1619. So, in The Laws and Ordi- 
manffi t»/ War, established by the Earl of Essex, printed in 1640: < If a trooper shall 
Unmo liis hone or hackney, or a footman any part of his arms, by negligence or lewd- 
ltaM«, l»y dice or cardes ; he or they shall remain in qualitie of pioners, or scavengers, 
liU Ihey Imi furnished with as good as were lost, at their own charge.* Walxer ( Vers. 
|i. ai7) shows that the spelling ^'oner, from the flow of the verse, were there no other 
imtii Nlion, should be retained. [See J/am, I, v, 163.] 

4414 «l seq. Maix)NK quotes two passages, one from a *very ancient drama entitled 
('ftmmttH CondiHons,* and another from a Farewell by Peele, which he intimates may 
liMVo kuutfMted these lines to Shakespeare. Steevens : I know not why we should 
lUirtNAtf that Shakes|)eare borrowed so common a repetition as those diversified fare- 
W0lh frttiii any preceding drama. A string of adieus is perhaps the most tempting of 
nil icjielitions, liecause it serves to introduce a train of imagery as well as to solemnity 
n sfHct h (»r i.'oiii|K>silion. Wolsey, like Othello, indulges himself in many farewells; 
miii llm Valrte, ajirica montium cacumina ! Valete, opaca vallium cubilia! &c., are com- 
liMiii It* |M»el» (if different ages and countries. I have now before me an ancient MS. 
|£|iull»li (uMim, In which sixteen succeeding verses begin with the word /rr^w^/i; applied 
III a vsrlffly of objects and circumstances. Booth : Utter this, looking off, — towards 
I iMdaiiioiiM. My Father once said to me, *No human voice could surpass, if equal, 
l^itiiiuiid Koan's In his delivery of this passage.' B^n slowly, with suppressed emo- 
Mfiiii KiMiluslly Increase the volume and intensity of voice, — never loud, nor let your 
iiiiia* !•# liNi Irarful or tremulous, — it becomes monotonous. 

411^ plumtd] Daniel (AlAenaum, 14 Jan. 1871) calls attention to the change ot 
IliU wmmI Io ^Inm^d, in a quotation of these two lines in Suckling's CobUns, 1696, 
%\\\\ quvilM whrllier it be a misprint, or a misquotation, or the reading of some copy of 
i^4tlltt iimw KmI. Its meaning, he adds, would be in serried ranks ; in proof, several 
llltiMulloii* arc given from Hairs Chronicle, a book with which Shakespeare must 
Imvfi bui^ii familiar. Tifpin (Athenetum, 28 Jan. 1871) asserts thai plum/fed \s merely 
a Mtlii|*iiiil of Ihe 1696 edition of Tke Goblins; in the edition of 1658 it is correctly 
f|luilMl * Illumed.' 

4«iM |C«rt*pitrcinf ] Warburton : I would read fear-aspersing, i. t, fear-dispers- 
mif ; wlii>MiU|ion Edwards (p. 34) suspects a misprint, and that Warburton intended 
Im »«>! * 1 would wri/e ; for no man living can read such a cluster of consonants. 

ACl III, sc. iu.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 201 

The Royall Banner, and all Qualitie, 

Pride, Pompe, and Circumftance of glorious Warre: 410 

And O you mortall Engines, whofe rude throates 

Th'immortall loues dread Clamours, counterfet, 

Farewell : OUullcfs Occupation's gone. 413 

410. Pride^ Pompe] Prid, Pompe Q^. S'}!^ Qq et cct. 

411. you\ ye Qq, Jen. 412. dretut] great Qq, 
rude] wide Qq. Clamours] clamor Q,. 

412. 7>§'] Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Dyce iii. counterfet] counterfeit Qf\Fl, 

408. Fife] Warton : In mentioning the Jife joined with the drum^ Shakespeare, 
•8 usual, paints from the life ; those instruments accompanying each other being used 
in his age by the English soldiery. The Ji/e, however, as a martial instrument, was 
aherwards entirely discontinued among our troops for many yeais. It was first used 
within the memory of man, among our troops, by the British guards, by order of the 
Duke of Cumberland, when they were encamped at Maestricht, in the year 1747. 
They took it from the Allies, with whom they served. This instrument, accompanying 
the drum, is of considerable antiquity in the European armies, particularly the German. 
In a curious picture in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, painted 1525, representing 
tlie siege of Pavia by the French King, where the Emi)eror was taken prisoner, we see 
fifes and drums. In Rymer's Fcedera, in a diary of King Henry's siege of Bulloigne, 
1544, mention is made of the drommes and viffleurs marching at the head of the King's 
army. The drum and fife were also much used at ancient festivals, shows, and pro- 
cessions. Gerard Leigh, in his Accidence of Armorie, printed in 1576, describing a 
Christmas magnificently celebrated at the Inner Temple, says, * we entered the prince 
his hall, where anon we heard the noyse of drum and fife.* At a stately masque on 
Shrove-Sunday, 15 10, in which King Henry VIII was an actor, Holinshed mentions 
the entry ' of a drum and fife appareled in white damaske and grene bonnettes *— i- 
Chron. Ill, 805, col. 2. Knight: Among the French regiments the fife is not found, 
and b so completely unknown to the French in the present day, that M. Alfred de 
Vigny, in his translation of this passage of Othello, gives us only the drum. [It is to 
be feared that Knight drew a conclusion from insufficient premises. The instrument 
was known in France in the days of Shakespeare. Cotgrave gives * Fifre : m. A Fife ; 
a Flute, or little pipe accorded with a Drumme, or Taber,' and that it was never ' com- 
pletely unknown ' may be inferred, I think, from the fact that from Lb Tourneur in 
1776, down through Laroche, Guizot, Hugo, and Cayrou, to Aicard in 1882, the 
word * fife ' is translated * fifre,* and De Vigny is the solitary exception where it is not 
found, the omission being presumably due to the exigencies of his rhythm. — Ed.] 

410. Circumstance] Hunter (ii, 286) : So singular a use of this word requires 
something to show that it was not without precedent. Take the following from Lang- 
ley's Translation of Polydore Virgil, where we find that the Romans celebrated their 
dead <with great pomp and circumstance' — Fol. 122, b. [Steevens, in his Preface, 
refers to the * ambition in each little Hercules to set up pillars, ascertaining how far he 
had traveled through the dreary wilds of black letter.' There have been, however, 
very, very few contributions to Shakespearian literature more valuable, or more attract- 
ive, than Hunter's l^ew Illustrations. — Ed.] Rolfe : Shakespeare uses the singular 
and plural indiffertmtly. See P. of L., 1262 and 1703. 

413. GiLBS (p. 227) Othello does not here allude once to his rcr d grief, or to his 


lago. Is't poflible my Lord ? 

0th, Villaine, be fure thou proue my Loue a Whore; 415 

414. Z/'/] h it Steer. MaL Var. ColL Sing. Sta. Ktly, Del poffihU^myLordf 
poffdfU my Lordr\ passible f^ QqFf, Booth's Repdnt et cet 

My Lordy — Cap. Steev. MaL Var. Coll. 

recent happiness ; but, with a tcnible spring of the mind, he lei^ the chasm of aflSiic- 
tion into which he cannot dare to look, and alights on the other side, amidst the tur- 
moils of his youth, amidst the noise and glories of his soldierdiip. This is the instinct 
of the mind to save itself from madnrss. The mind thus blots out the present from its 
riew, and takes refuge in the past Othello will not front his deadliest loss; he shrinks 
from it, to grasp with associations which restore him for an instant to the vigofous gian- 

i deur of his manhood ; when that instant is over, his energies coUi^xe ; then comes the 
depressing sense that for him no more is either hope or action ; and so he murmurs 
< Othello's occupation's gone.' Othello^ in this passage, reveals the casuistry with which 
the mind blinds itself to ruin; the sophistry in which it quibbles with despair; the 

[ maniac strength with which it wrestles against fate and fact It is as when we fall 
asleep with a heavy trouble on the soul ; the soul takes advantage of this sQent hour to 
escape from its bondage ; again it is on the sunny hills ; the strength of youth comes 
back, with the gladness of love and the hopes of life ; not once does the spectre of ill 
throw its shadow on the dream ; the vision is bright while the eyes are shut ; but no 
sooner do they open than the dismal reality is present, and it cannot be dismissed. 

413. Gould (p. 106) : In the mere word * fiuewell ' his [J. B. Booth's] great heart 
seemed to burst as in one vast continuing sigh. The phrase, 'the tranquil mind,' im- 
mediately succeeding, came in clear bndn-tones, with a certain involved suggestiveness 
of meaning almost impossible to define, but as if the tranquil mind had flown. The 
whole passage, with its successive images of glorious war filing and disiq>pearing before 
the mind's eye, employed some of the grandest elements of voice, subdued to retro- 
spective and mournful cadences. * Othello's occupation's gone.' And he stood with a 
look in his large blue eyes, — the bronzed fieice lending them a strange sadness, — as if 
all happiness had gone after. Kean's manner in this scene was very different At the 
close of the * farewell ' he raised both hands, clasped them, and so brought them down 
upon his head, with a most effective gesture of despair. But the action seems to us like 
transfeiring Othello into Edmund Kean. Fechtkr : Othello falls back on his seat, 
quite humbled. 

415. Lewes (p. 4) : Kean's range of expression was veiy limited. His physical apti- 
tudes were such as confined him to the strictly tiagic passions ; and for these he was 
magnificently endowed. Small and insignificant in figure, he could at times become 
impressively commanding by the lion-like power and grace of his bearing. I remem- 
ber the last time I saw him play Othello, how puny he appeared beside Macready, 
until in the Third Act, when, roused by lago's taunts and insinuations, he moved 
towards him with a gouty hobble, seized him by the throat, and, in a well-known exjdo- 
sion, * Villain ! be sure,' &c., he seemed to swell into a stature which made Macready 
appear smalL On that very evening, when gout made it difficult for him to display 
his accustomed grace, when a drunken hoarseness had ruined that once matchless 
voice, such was the irresistible pathos, — ^manly, not tearfiil, — ^which vibrated in his tones 
and expressed itself in looks and gestures, that old men leaned their heads upon their 
arms and fairly sobbed. It was, one must confess, a patchy perfonnance considered as 
a whole ; some parts were miserably tricky, others misconceived, others gabbled ovet 

ACT in, sc. ill.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 203 

Be fure of it : Giue me the Occular proofe, 416 

Or by the worth of mine etemall Soule, [326 d\ 

Thou had'ft bin better haue bin borne a Dog 
Then anfwer my wak'd wrath. 

lago. Is't come to this ? 420 

0th. Make me to fee^t : or (at the leaft) fo proue it, 
That the probation beare no Hindge, nor Loope, 
To hang a doubt on : Or woe vpon thy life. 

lago. My Noble Lord. 

0th. If thou doft flander her, and torture me, 425 

Neuer pray more : Abandon all remorfe 
On Horrors head, Horrors accumulate : 
Do deeds to make Heauen weepe, all Earth amazM ; 428 

416. Oceular^ oculer Q,. ocular Q,Qj 420. /i*/] Is it Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. 
Ff. W:-.i,Del. 

[Catching hold on him. Rowe. 421. /r^/] see it Steev. Mai. Var. 

417. minel mans Q,, Waib. Sta. Glo. 424. Z<w</.] QqFf, Rowe. lord~~Vo\^ 
Cam. Pyce iii, Huds. Rife, Wh. ii. my et seq. 

Q,Qy Oip. 426. remor/e"] remorce, Q,. remorce : 

418. had' ft lnn\ hadft Q*8l. kadsi Q,. remor/e: Q,. 

much Quincy (MS). 427. Horrors h(ead'\ horror' shead'HtJi, 

419. Then] That Q^. Johns, et seq. 

accumulate"] cucumilate Q,. 

in haste to reach the < points * ; but it was irradiated with such flashes that I would 
again risk broken ribs for the chance of a good place in the pit to see anything like it 
Booth : As before, with smothered intensity, not loud, gradually increasing, till < If 
thou dost slander her ' — ^when the full force of Othello's wrath breaks forth in violent 
tones and he seizes lago, who cowers. 

415. Loue] Maginn (p. 273) : We may observe that he still, though hb suspicions 
are so fiercely aroused, calls her hb * love.' It is for the last time before her death. 
After her guilt is, as he thinks, proved, he has no word of affection for her. She is a 
convicted culprit, to be sacrificed to hb sense of justice. 

417. mine] Steevens : An opposition may have been designed between man and 
<dog.' [See Text Notes. Boswell, in the Var, of '21, gives man*s as the reading 
of a Quarto for ' my ' in line 419. I think it b merely a mbprint in the reference, and 
that the varia lectio refers to * mine ' in thb present line, and not to the * my.' It appa- 
rently puzzled Collier, or I shoidd not have referred to it. — Ed.] 

418. have been] See Ham. V, i, 232, or Abbott, § 360. 

426. remorse] Malone : All tenderness of nature, all pity. [See post, line 532.] 
Hudson : That b, apparently here, conscience ; * Cast off the restraints and regards 
of conscience altogether.' The sense of pity, however, b included and interfused with 
it. What an appalling disclosure thb speech b, of Othello's excruciating agony of mind I 

427. Horrors accumulate] Walker {Crit, i, 253) : Read horror. The corrup- 
tion originated in the preceding < horrors.' [See I, i, 31.] 

428. weepe] Steevens: Compare Meeu. for Meas, II, ii, 121 : * Plays such &n> 
tastic tricks before high Heaven As make the angeb weep.' 



For nodiii^ canft thoa to dammti o n adde. 




lago, O Grace ! O Hcaocn forgioe me ! 
Are yoa a Man? Hane >-oq a Soul^ or Senfe? 
God bin- }-ou : take mine Oflice. Oh wretched Foole, 
That lou'ft to make thine Honefty,a Vice! 
Oh monftrous world ! Take note, take note (O World) 
To be direcl and honed, is not lafe. 
I thanke you for this profit^ and firom hence 
He loue no Friend, fith Loue breeds foch ofience. 

Otiu Nay ftay : thou (hould'ft be honeft. 

lago. I (hould be wife ; for Honeftie's a Foole, 
And loofes that it workes for. 

0th. By the World, 
I thinke my Wife be honed, and thinke die is not : 

429, 450. One line, Qq. 
431. f9rgm/\ defend qo^Y^i^^^QM!^ 
Jen. Steer. Mai. Var. Cc^. Sing. Cam. Kt^. 

433. ^] QqF.F,- ^'•'F^Jen. he 
»^Theob.Warb. Johns, ^m ' Sing. Dyce, 
Wh. Httds. he wi* Rowe et ccC. 

qfiee.l office,^ Qq. 
OAI Om. Pope, Han. 

434. icu'Jl] YU Rowe, Cap. Knt, Wh. 
&. /Mf^Qqctcet. 

iAifu] thy Q'95. 

450. Booth : I carry no weapon in this scene, but seeing lago's dagger I clutch it in 
firenzy and am about to stab him, when the Christian overcomes the Moor, and throwing 
the dagger from me, I fall again upon the seat with a ikx)d of tears. To this weeping 
lago may allude in his next speech, where he says contemptuously, * Are you a man ? * 

433. buy] See I, iii, 215. This spelling must not mislead us as to the pronuncia- 
tion; 'buy' should not be pronounced like our present bye ; the^ is merely phonetic, 
and represents not ye but wi\ and should be pronounced like it, as, indeed, it is indi- 
cated l^ Singer. See Text. Notes.— Ed. 

434. lou'st] Knight : Surely the man that loves to cany his honesty so far that it 
becomes a vice is what lago means when he calls himself a fool. 

438. sith] See Ham, II, ii, 6, where Marsh points out the distinction between sith 
and since, viz. : that sith belongs to logic and since to time, a distinction which the 
printers of Shakespeare's plays were not always careful to preserve. 

439. Booth : Peremptorily, as to your subaltern, and lago halts at the word of com 

443. be . • . is] Abbott, § 299 : Be expresses more doubt than is after a verb of 
thinking. Very significant is this difference in this line of the doubtful Othello where 
is is the emphatic word and the line contains the extra dramatic syllable. 


435. ■wZ/.T worlds Qq. 
438. Jl/AX/SnceQiyJtxL Mai. Steev.*93. 
Var. Con. Sii^.Wli. i, Ktly, Huds. 

439-J^'U^*Qf\' xtoj*— Rowe-I-. 
stay, Johns. Jen. Cc^. Wh. Ktly, Dd. 

i««i^.] hvnes^ — Rowe-I-, Jen. 
441. lo^ffa] Icfes Yi. 

442-449. Om.Q,. 
443. A'] w F/^ Rowe+,Cap. 

and^ Om. Cap. 



I thinke that thou art iuft^ and thinke thou art not : 

He haue fome proofe. My name that was as frefli 445 

As Dians Vifage, is now begrimM and blacke 

As mine owne face. If there be Cords, or Kniues, 

Poyfon, or Fire, or fuffocating ftreames. 

He not indure it Would I were fatisfied. 

lago, I fee you are eaten vp with Paflion : 450 

I do repent me, that I put it to you. 
You would be fatisfied ? 

0th. Would? Nay, and I will. 

lago. And may : but how ? How fatisfied, my Lord ? 
Would you the fuper-vifion groffely gape on? 455 

Behold her topM ? 

445. My\ Ff, Rowe, Mai. Knt. her 
QJi^ et cet. 
44.6. begrtm^d'\ begrimdQ^, begrimed 

448. Jireames] steams Pope, Han. 
450. I fee"] Ff, Rowe. I/eeJir, Qq ct 

452. fatisfied?^ fatisfied, Qq. 

453. WouU?'\ Would^ Qq, Rowe i. 
fl«<//]Ff, Rowe, Knt, Ktly. and 

Pope+. /Qqetcct. 

454. hcwf\ turwf Rowe i. 

455. you the fuper-vifion] Yi, Rowe, 
Knt, Coll. Ktly. you, the fuperuifor Q,. 
you, the fuperuifion Q,Qj. you be super' 
visor, Pope+. you, the supervisor. Cap. 
et cet. 

on /] on, Qq. on — Dyce, Wh. 
Glo. Sta. 

456. top'd] Warb. topt Qq. topfd 
Ff, Rowe, Pope i, Knt, Sing. Glo. Ktly, 
Cam. Wh. ii. tupfid Pope ii et cet. 

445. My name] Knight : There is probably not a more fatal corruption of the mean 
ing of the poet [than her of Q J amongst the thousand corruptions for which his editon 
are answerable. It destroys the master-key to Othello's character. It is his intense 
feeling of honour that makes his wife's supposed fault so terrific to him. It is not that 
Desdemona^s name is begrimed and black, but that his own name is degraded. This 
one thought, here for the first time exhibited, pervades all the rest of the play ; and 
when we understand how the poison operates upon Othello's mind, we are quite pre- 
pared fully to believe him when he says, in conclusion, — * For naught I did in hate, 
but all in honour.' The thought that his own name is now tarnished drives him at 
once into a phrenzy. He has said, */'// have some proof; but the moment that the 
idea of dishonour comes across his sensitive nature he b trsts into uncontrolled fury : 
• If there be cords, .... Pit not endure it.* Dyce {Remarks, p. 240) : The word 
' own ' in the phrase * mine own face,' is alone sufficient to refute Knight's long and 
laborious defence of < My.' Othello would not have said, * My name is now as black 
as mine OWN face.' Mr Knight's text of the present tragedy is, on the whole, as bad 
as his text of Hamlet; and a worse text of either play could hardly be produced. [These 
harsh expressions of opinion are apt to make one antagonistic and far fh>m willing to 
accept them as decisive. In justice to Dyce it should be noted that when, a dozen yean 
later, he became himself an editor of Shakespeare, his tone to his fellow-editors became 
much less supercilious and dogmatic. — Ed.] 

45a I see jrou arc] Walker {Crit. iii, 287) prefers this to the / see, sir of the 
Qq^ and contracts <you are' to yare. See line 253 above. 

ao6 THE TRAGEDJE OF OTHELLO [act. hi. sc. iiu 

0th. Death, and damnation. Oh ! 457 

lago. It were a tedious difficulty, I thinke, 
To bring them to that Profpe6l : Damne them then, 
If euer mortall eyes do fee them boulder 460 

More then their owne. What then ? How then ? 
What (hall I lay? Where's Satisfadlion ? 
It is impoflible you (hould fee this, 
Were they as prime as Goates, as hot as Monkeyes, 
As fait as Wolues in pride, and Fooles as grofle 465 

As Ignorance, made drunke. But yet ^ I fay^ 
If imputation, and ftrong circumftances, 
Which leade direftly to the doore of Truth, 
Will giue you (atisfa6lion, you might haue't 469 

457. damnatum, Ohf] damnation — 461. Hiywthenf\ how then^ say you t 

9h Qq. Cq). 

459. bringtkeml bring em Qq, Rowe + , 462. What. . ,/aHsfaction /] Wher^ssat- 
Cap. Jen. Steev.'Ss, Mai. bring Ff. bring isf action f What shall I say t Cap. 
i;rCoU.(MS). 469. you migkt'\ Ff, Rowe+, Jen. 

Damnt them] dam em Qq^ Cap. SteeT.*85, Knt, Del. you may(^ et cet. 

Jen. hauit] haU Qq. have it Steev. 

460. mortall] morall Q^. Mai. Var. Coll. Del. 
do fee] did fee Qq. 

457. Hazutt (Hawkins's Life of Kean^ ii, 209) : Kean was great, as we expected, — 
surpassingly great In the Third Act he let himself loose on the ocean of hb pas- 
sion, and drove on in darkness and in tempest, like an abandoned barque. The agony 
of his heart was the fiery Moorish agony, not cramped in within an actor's or a school- 
man's confines, but fierce, ungovernable, dangerous. You knew not what he would do 
next in the madness of his spirit, — ^he knew not himself what he shoidd do. One of 
the finest instantaneous actions of Kean was his clutching his black hand slowly round 
his head as though his brain were turning, and then writhing round and standing in 
dull agony with his back to the audience, — ^what other performer would so have fosgot- 
ten himself? 

461. 462. Capbll indicates a quotation by Italics in his text, and thus prints these 
two lines : * More than their own ! What then f haw then^ say you ? | Wheris satis- 
faction f What shall I say ? ' Thereupon he has the following wellnigh unwedge- 
able note : What is spoke in another's person ought ever to be distinguish'd fix>m what 
a speaker says in his own ; and this fitness is greatest in such a case as the present, 
where interrogations follow interrogations ; for want of such distinction, the two mem- 
bers of [line 462] (by what accident transpos'd, we know not ; but, probably, of the 
press) keep through all prior copies the perverse order that accident put them in, the 
latter member preceding : Was all other proof wanting that what is now the first mem- 
ber stands in it's due place, we might receive it fix>m what the speaker concludes with, 
in which is mention of 'satisfaction' as a thing of Othello's asking: to which asking 
the insertion [of say you in line 461] is as favorable on the score of perspicuousnes^ 
as it is to the verse's numbers which nre now first compleated. 



0th. Giue me a liuing reafon (he's difloyall. 

lago. I do not like the Office. 
But fith I am entred in this caufe fo farre 
(Prick'd too't by foolifh Honefty, and Loue) 
I will go on. I lay with Caffio lately, 
And being troubled with a raging tooth, 
I could not fleepe. There are a kinde of men, 
So loofe of Soule, that in their fleepes will mutter 
Their Affayres : one of this kinde is Caffio : 
In fleepe I heard him fay, fweet De/demona^ 
Let vs be wary, let vs hide our Loues, 
And then (Sir) would he gripe, and wring my hand : 
Cry , oh fweet Creature : then kifle me hard, 
As if he pluckt vp kifles by the rootes. 
That grew vpon my lippes, laid his Leg ore my Thigh, 
And figh, and kifle, and then cry curfed Fate, 




[326 b^ 

470. rea/on\ rea/on, that Qq, Jen. Mai. 

471. lago.] logo. F,. 

472. Jith'\ since Theob. ii, Warb. Johns. 
I am] Pm Popc+, Sta. Dyce iii, 


in\ into Qq, Jen. 

473. /«?'/] tdt QqFjF^. to it Stecv. 
Mai. Var. 

474. on'] one Q . 

475-478. Ff, foUowed by Rowe, Han. 
Cap. Ktly. Lines e.vA^fleep.,.fouU.,, af- 
faires. . . Cafsio, Qq. Ending, tootA, . . .sUi^ 
...soul... affairs. „Cdssio Pope et cet. 

476. could] coludQ^^. 

477. A<A^O Ao^ Q*8«. Q'95- 

478. Thnr] AU their Han. Of their 

480. wary] merry Q^. 

482. O7, oh] Cry out, Qq. 

then] Ff, Rowe, Knt. and then 
Qq et cet. 

484-486. Ff, Rowe, Knt. Ending lines, 
leg.. .then.,. Moore. Qq et cet. 

484. That] And Rowe ii, Pope, Han. 
laid] Ff. then layedot laied Qq. 

lay Rowe, Knt then lay Pope+. and 
lay Steev.*85. then layd Cap. et cet. 
ore] Ff, Rowe. ouer Qq et cet 

485. figh ... kiffe ... cry] Ff, Rowe+, 
Steev.*85 Knt ftgh'd...kijff'ed... cried Q(\ 
et cet 

470. liuing] Malonk : A reason founded on fact and experience, not on surmise 
and conjecture. 

477. Bleepes] See Ham. IV, vii, 30. The use of this plural form is so common 
that the s can scarcely be regarded as an interpolation under Walker*s Art. xxzviii 
(Crit. i, 233; see I, i, 31); it is rather a genuine plural, like Moves,' Ham. I, i, 173^ 
* consents,' * wills,* * sights,' &c. 

481. Booth: Holds Othello's hand, which Othello draws with disgust from his 

482. Walkkr {Crit. ii, 20), in a list of many instances where creature is pronounced 
as a trisyllable, dtes this line, but doubts whether the conmion reading, which adopts 
and then of the Qq, is not preferable ; in this case creature would be a dissyllable. 
Lbttsom (in a foot-note to Walker) thinks the Qq far superior, in which, however, the 

208 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act im, ac. iii 

That gaue thee to the Moore. 486 

0th, O monftrous ! monftrous ! 

lago. Nay, this was but his Dreame. 

Ottu But this denoted a fore-gone conclufion, 
Tis a (hrew'd doubt, though it be but a Dreame. 490 

lago. And this may helpe to thicken other proofes. 
That do demonftrate thinly. 

0th. He teare her all to peeces. 

lago. Nay yet be wife ; yet we fee nothing done. 
She may be honed yet : Tell me but this, 495 

Haue you not fometimes feene a Handkerchiefe 
Spotted with Strawberries, in your wiues hand ? 

0th. I gaue her fuch a one : 'twas my firft gift. 498 

487. O man/lrous"] O mmfterous Q^. 490. Jkreufd'\Jkr€tudQi\, JhrnodeF^. 

488. Nay] Om. Pope, Han. 494. Nay yet] Ff, Rowe. Nay^ bui 
489 denoted] denoted Q,. Qq ct cet. 

fore-gone] fore-gon Q,Qj. 496, 499. Handkerchiefe] handkerchef 

490-492. *Tis... thinly] Given to lago Q,. 
by Q,, Warb. 497, 500. wines] wif^s Rowe et seq. 

then would be better away, for cry and kiss are most closely connected, and this then 
may have crept in fix>m the then two lines below. 

489. conclusion] Malone: An experiment, or trial. See Ant. 6r* Cleo, V, ii, 
358. ' She hath pursued conclusions infinite Of easy ways to die.* [See Ham. Ill, 
iv, 195.] Delius finds here an allusion to the * conclusion ' in II, i, 295. 

490. Johnson : I think this line is more naturally spoken by Othello, who, by dwell 
ing so long upon the proof, encouraged lago to enforce it. 

490. doubt] Suspicion. See line 217 of this scene. 

493. Fechter : Othello crosses with the fierceness of a tiger, and with action as if 
destroying Desdemona's work. Booth : Here you may let the savage have vent, — but 
for a moment only ; when Othello next speaks he is tame again and speaks sadly. lago 
has caught and held him as he was about to rush off to < tear her all to pieces.* Do not 
stoop to the old stage-trick of displaying Desdemona's handkerchief, as if by accident, 
while Othello's back is turned. 

494. we see] Warburton : An oblique and secret mock at Othello's saying, *Givc 
me ocular proof.' Hudson : lago is exulting in his intellectual mastery, as shown in 
the success of his lies. Truth prevails by her own might; lies by the skill of the liar; 
hence, gaining his ends by falsehood is to lago just the sweetest thing in the world. 

497. spotted] Halliwell: Mr Fairholt sends me the following curious note: 
'The ladies of the Shakespearian era were great adepts in the use of the needle; the 
designs they made use of were consequently conventional like those worked by our 
grandmothers in the school sampler. Flowers and firuits were depicted in a sort of 
heraldic fashion, and repeated mechanically over the surface to be ornamented.' * The 
habit of wearing curiously wrought handkerchiefs, which prevailed in our author's day^ 
was derived fix>m the East, where it was customary for both sexes to cany them.'— 

ACT in. sa iiu] THE MOORE OF VENICE 209 

lago. I know not that : but fuch a Handkerchiefe 
(I am fure it was your wiues) did I to day 500 

See CaJJio wipe his Beard with. 

0th. If it be that 

lago. If it be that, or any, it was hers. 
It fpeakes againft her with the other proofes. 

OtheL O that the Slaue had forty thoufand liues : 505 

One is too poore, too weake for my reuenge. 
Now do I fee 'tis true. Looke heere lago^ 
All my fond loue thus do I blow to Heauen. 'Tis gone. 
Arife blacke vengeance, from the hollow hell, 509 

500. /aiff]/*OTPope-f ,Dyceiii,Huds. 508. Heauen. * Tis"] Aeauen, — Hs Qq. 

502. Jfi/] Ift Qq, Cap. Jen. heaven : * Tis Pope ct seq. 

Mo/.] tAal — Rowe et seq. ' Tis gone"] Separate line, Pope d 

503. any^ it was hers. 1 any^ it was hers, seq. (except Coll. Wh. i, Ktly). 

Qq. any, if 'twas hers, Ff, Rowe+, Cap. 508, 509. * Tis...heil\ One line, Ktly. 

Jen. SteeY.*85, Knt any that was hers, 509. the hdlow heW^ thy hollow cell Q<^ 

Mai. et cet John». Jen. Steev. MaL Var. Coll. Sing. 

507. do r\ I doe Q,Q . Glo. Ktly, Cam. Wh. ii. M* unhalUn^d 

trial ^^^ Qi» Warb. cell Warb. 

503. it was hers] Malone : For the emendation that in place of < it,' I am answer- 
able. The mistake probably arose from yt only being written in the manuscript. Steev- 
ENS : I prefer Mr Malone's correction to that of F^ though the latter gives sense where 
it was certainly wanting. Knight prefers F, [as does also the present Ed.]. 

505. forty thousand] Elze (Note on Ham. V, i, 257) calls attention to Shake- 
speare's fondness for this number as an expression of indefiniteness. Booth : Whether 
this refers to Cassio or Desdemona I'm uncertain. He would prepare swiA means of 
death for her and tear her all to pieces, yet * slave ' seems very inappropriate to apply 
to a woman. I think he has Cassio in mind, and his reference to him in the Fifth 
Act, * Had all his hairs been lives,' seems to give an additional warrant. [Assuredly, 
it was Cassio. I doubt if Othello even heard what lago had just said. — Ed.] 

507. true] Warburton upholds Q, as an < allusion to what Othello had said before, 
line 221 : ** Away at once with love or jealousy." This time has now come.' 

508. fond love] Booth : Although the savage blood is up, let a wave of humanity 
■weep over his heart at these words. Breathe out ' 'Tis gone ' with a sigh of agony 
which seems to exhale love to heaven. 

509. the hollow hell] Warburton: < Hollow' as applied to 'hell' is a poor 
unmeaning epithet It is corrupt, and shoidd be read unhallott^d cell, i. e. the infernal 
regions. Stsevens : The same phrase occurs in Jasper He3rwood's translation of Sen- 
eca's Thyestes, 1560: * Where most prodigious vgly thlnges the hollowe hell doth 
hyde.' Holt White: Again in Paradise Lost, i, 314: <He call'd so loud, that all 
the hollow deep Of hell resounded.' Malone : Also, line 542 of the same book : 
< the universal host up sent A shout that tore hell's concave.' Knight : It seems per- 
fectly incredible that Johnson, Steevens, and Malone should have rejected the magnif- 
icent reading < hollow hell ' ; if it had failed to impress them by its power, the imitationf 
of it by Milton should have rendered it sacred. But let us only mark the opposition 


TTJAGFniE J^ ITSELLQ [act in. sc. in. 

VI? C 

thr :i- 



2£ ^ -SIT . 'tnxT TniiiTir sianr 

yi die Fomzck 





rj Fl^ Raw^ Pope. Has 

Zs^ .vT lair Pope; Haa Warix 

UX w 



U 'K i* 1 

ift oc^ 3> die 

x«> '*lm««ftttA Yfcuiitti^ 'haik 3tvn« Si^c***^ « if to cfiiadk the aafl Ik Ittt 

K4Wi ^%i^U6^ ;|^ ^*«« r^ :MMk :» Tiliii ^ the OBt cdikioB; I Amk k 
;)^-m'i X '^ ^ ^ inifcMWiiii i wi : <«wJ a Ji titti l ifc at Smvias : Evay reader wiD, 
t viHtoBi^ >V« *»'^^ > ^ ^^^1*^ '^ ^wanve j« :hifr -j— n p a > Wbes S>afce%pcai e grew 
^•ddi >w^^ ^«K«i»a» A '«iM«Mc^ ^ «Mift a vfispiay of them as 9000 as 
N^ .^JtM^ ^« ^MM *iM> -A Huiteoa*^ ^Pawn Bk. iw chap. 97, 1601 : « And 
.^ «%A >V.MM» .cfMiiiUMrfM <Q<a^ «M iM M W i rti vMi .Mtf FbipuBiiik b«t ^ sca nencr 
^lifciiw* ^»^ ^<<fcii»i ^ttAtja ^^<iWfc» IS^Mmiw tt te )IS. auaes^ CQDCcives this simile 
.y ^iw^ V xi M^k^^ ::<^kM<« V it««;% ^ahifCh «» iie C^^mbb 5ca» vilh this motto, Situ 
1^ Wv««* -^ '^ ^vi^ihtMft :» w» Vi« s"^a>M|nari''^ kmrn i e d ^e impresses 
4^^ «b Vk^uMOiiNMik. mvtt :«c«aK«K itctt whoM M»i» SR ttot dooded by the 
V^ xv«»*^w .^ >«w^^ xub«>^ «^ ;^KMMft^ \ ^l^ciiUiMMU vhtf wiifees to as as 'a sailor/ 
"w*. «•. V k>nns i^ .^K^ 4i^ >;^'MMtiii^ 4 v^Mi ot dbe pocc^ knoiriedge 'of the 
.v^uv»iri» «^>« x^ h^ -t*^^ .^v«^<^ -Jw v.^ .M v^UMaitar/ HvxTSE (ii, 179): Few per- 
%««fc ^-* «i>»^x ^^ >^M%«ria.\ .(tftkMiAKM !i^fai KMhmif^ JVmw was sabrtantial and 
x\w» \ «-*v.^v^ .vy>»>tg<»»K^ .V .h« itWuiMKNi «rt the ptegr; Kiui}^*s conespondent's 
%« OK V^X«ft -^AM ^"^^ v*^ -MKH^^Mik :^t>M.'a\ft ^ i;^j) : In their version of 
^i4i. A -L-^T^-^^ ««K'^\ "hit i^a^kid^qiiitocs* «^wlKa^r to their wont, have added to 
.^ %^«wMws V'^Mi >^ ^Kid -vAA «>M «^ '-h« ikM precitivs jewels that ever the prodigal 
v%^«vK«%^v X 1 >:kMte A,N^ >iMv^^ 4t;^M <h« ai|}Oire «jf hi» readers. Some of these, 
-\k ^^^ . .w«^i^4^A^ Vk«^ H%HM|t^i»M %tth A toiich «if pctalance that it was out of 
vAikx v%s- s^\««Wk.>^ u iW >ihaii^: -fe^vL. ;hat « wa» iKwa^pnoos with all the drcum- 
^k.K\«i« .•^ >i s^^ «p*iA >*^ v4 WM^jt .MKt om gt kMfMiip with chaiacteT and tune 


Whofe Icie Current, and compulfiue courfe, 517 

Neu'r keepes retyring ebbe, but keepes due on 

To the Proponticke, and the Hellefpont : 

Euen fo my bloody thoughts, with violent pace $20 

Shall neuV looke backe, neuV ebbe to humble Loue, 

Till that a capeable, and wide Reuenge 

Swallow them vp. Now by yond Marble Heauen, 523 

518. Net^r\ Ner Q,Qj. Neifr F,. 
Nere F,F^. Nier Rowe ct scq. 

i/i^]Ff,Knt >bt^«tfColl.Wh. ^2^, by yond^ be yond (^^, by yond* 

521. nmW\ n^re Q,QjF F^. 

522. capeable] capable Ff. 

L feels Q,Q, ct cct Cap. 

and time. In other lips, indeed, than Othello% at the crowning minute of culminant 
agony, the rush of imaginative reminiscence which brings back upon hb eyes and eais 
the lightning foam and tiddess thunder of the Pontic sea might seem a thing less nat- 
ural than sublime. But Othello has the passion of a poet closed in, as it were, and 
shut up behind the passion of a hero. For all his practical readiness of martial eye 
and ruling hand in action, he is also in hb season ' of imagination all compact.' There- 
fore it is that in the face and teeth of all devils aldn to lago that hell could send forth 
to hiss at her election, we fed and recognize the spotless exaltation, the sublime and 
snnbright purity, of Desdemona's inevitable and invulnerable love. When once we 
likewise have seen Othello's visage in his mind, we see, too, how much more of great- 
ness b in thb mind than in another hero's. For such an one, even a boy may well 
think how thankfully and joyfully he would lay down hb life. Other friends we have 
of Shakespeare's giving whom we love deeply and well, if hardly with such love as 
could weep for them all the tears of the body and all the blood of the heart: but there 
is none we love like Othello. 

517. Icie] Singer (ed. ii) : Thb b a palpable misprint fotyesty, 

518. keepes . . . keepes] Malonb: Many similar repetitions in the same line, due 
to the compositor's mbtakes, may be found in F,. See Ham, II, ii, 52 ; 3. Ill, iii, 14. 
Knight : The repetition would not be objectionable if in the first instance it gave us a 
dear meaning, — the same meaning as in the second instance, — but it b not so. And 
yet feels does not seem to be the right word. Collier (ed. ii) : Southern altered it to 
knows in hb F^ and it b knows in the (MS). White (ed. i) * cannot but regard feels 
as a mere sophistication,' but in hb ed. ii he silently adopts it. Walker (Crit. i, 314) : 
Feels b wrong ; brooks would be better, though not, I think, the true word. Keightlky 
(Exp. 303) : I doubt much if the original word was not makes, which I have given, 
corresponding with ' keeps ' in not personifying. 

523. marble] In that delightful book. The Plain Speaker (p. 483, Bohn's ed.), 
Hazutt discerns, with an insight keen and poetic, a meaning here which at first siglit 
b so taking that I cannot but regret that a doser scrutiny will hardly justify it, or at 
most accept it only as one of those interpretations which it b the prerogative of a fine 
critic to find where he will. Hazlitt says : < when Othello swears <* By 3ron marble 
heaven," the epithet b suggested by the hardness of hb heart from the sense of injury ; 
the texture of the outward object b borrowed from that of the thoughts ; and that noble 
simile, " Like the PTOpontic," &c., seems only an echo of the sounding tide of passion, 
and to roll from the same source, the heart.' If thb passage in Othello were the only 

212 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ill. 9C. iH 

In the due reuerence of a Sacred vow, 

I heere engage my words. 525 

lago. Do not rife yet : 
Witnefle you euer-buming Lights aboue, 
You Elements, that clip vs round about, 
Witneffe that heere lago doth giue vp 
The execution of his wit, hands, heart, 530 

524. of\ to Qj. Wihu/syourF^Kowe, fVUness,ye]ohx^ 
[He kneels. Rowe et seq. 528. Kw] Ye Johns. 

525. engage] ingage Qq. [lago knedes. Q,. 
wards,'] words — Ff, Rowe -f , Jen. 530. executim] exceUency Q,. 

526. [lago kneels. Q^ Rowe et seq. hands] hand Qq^ Cap. 

527. Wiimffe you] WUneffe the Q,Q,. 

instance in Shakespeare where < marble ' is applied to the < heavens,' this fine inter- 
pretation might stand without question. But it is used elsewhere in passages where it 
cannot have a subjectiTe meaning, and it is these passages and others, which, I think, 
should determine its meaning here. In Timon*s wild address to the earth (IV, iii, 191) 
he bids it * Teem with new monsters, whom thy upward face Hath to the marbled 
mansion all above Never presented ;' again, twice in Cymb, (V, iv) where SiciUus first 
invokes Jupiter to < Peep through thy marble mansion,' and then when Jupiter retires, 
he exclaims, < The marble pavement doses.' In these three instances < marbled ' is, it 
seems to me, purely objective, and is not a quality projected by the emotions of the 
speaker; it is suggestive of all the imposing pomp of masoniy with cloud-capt towers 
and glistening domes. Furthermore, Marston uses the same phrase, as Steevens and 
Malone pointed out, in Solyman and Perseda, 1 599: 'Now by the marble face of 
the welkin,' &c., and in Antonio and MeUida, 1602 : 'And pleas'd the marble heavens,' 
&c. Lastly, Milton {Par, Losty iii, 564) describes how Satan * into the world's first 
region throws His flight predpitant, and winds vrith ease Through the pure marble air 
his oblique way.' We are safe in ascribing a classic origin to many a Miltonic phrase, 
and it was Upton (p. 25) who, in vindicating Paradise Lost from the strictures of 
Bishop Burnet, shows that * marble ' is used by Milton * in its thoroughly classic sense 
from ftapfMlpu, to sparkle, to glow, or, as in the « aequor marmoreum " of Vergil, the 
sea shining or resplendent like marble.' This, then, is the meaning in which, I think, 
it was always used by Shakespeare, of course without a thought, or perhaps even know- 
ledge, of its dassic origin. * Marble' refers, I think, to color, aglow with lacing streaks, 
and not to texture or to substance. — Ed. Schmidt (Lex, s. v.) queries whether 'mar- 
ble ' is appUed to the heavens on account of their eternity. 

523. Booth : Kneels. Both hands above the head, with upturned palms and fingers 
towards the back. I used this gesture impulsively, in England first, and it was spoken 
of as suggestive of the Orient lago watches Othello keenly — sidewise — during his 
next speech; while Othello seems absorbed and with upturned eyes. 

528. clip] Dyce: That is, embrace. Purnell: Originally, 'to hold tight'; and 
then, as the shears press down on the doth in the act of cutting, the later meaning 
superseded the earlier. 

530. execution] Malone : That is, employment, exercise. Steevens : So in 7>w 
^ Cress, V, vii, 6, ' In fellest manner execute your arms.' 


To wrongfd Othellc^s Seruice. Let him command, 531 

And to obey (hall be in me remorfe, 
What bloody bufmeffe euer. 

0th. I greet thy loue, 
Not with vaine thanks, but with acceptance bounteous, 535 

And will vpon the inftant put thee too't 
Within thefe three dayes let me heare thee fay, 537 

532. And to obey] And to obey, Qq, Jen. Steer. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. work 
Warb. Johns. Not to obey Pope. Nor to io^er Coll. Hads. 

obey Theob. Han. And not to obey Jen. 533. euer^l ever — Knt. 

be in me retnorfe'\ be remorce Q,. [Rising. Cap. 

be in me. Remord Waib. be in me no re- 536. thee'\ the Qj. 
morse Upton, Cap. /«^/] tdt QqFjF^. 

533. bufineffe e%ur'\ worke/o euer Qq, 

532. And to obey] Theobald changed Pope's Not to Nor, * that is, let your com 
mands be ever so bloody, remorse and compassion shall not restrain me fix>m obeying 
them.* Upton (p. 200) : A negative particle has slipped out here, we must read < And 
to obey shall be in me n^ remorse.' Johnson : lago devotes himself to wronged 
CXhello, and says, * Let him command whatever bloody business, and in me it shall be 
an act, not of cruelty, but of tenderness, to obey him ; not of malice to others, but of 
tenderness to him.' Steevens : * Remorse ' is used for pity in Surrey's translation of 
the Fourth iCneid : ' Sister, I crave thou have remorse of me.' Again, in King Ed- 
ward III. 1599: 'But for yourselves, look you for no remorse,' and in many more 
instances, but I shall content myself to observe that the sentiment of lago bears no 
small resemblance to that of Arviragus in Cymb. IV, ii, 168 : * I'ld let a parish of such 
Cloten's blood, And praise myself for charity.' Reed quotes Mason as saying that 
Shakespeare seldom, if ever, uses the word in any other sense. [It is the only sense 
given by Dyce (Glcss.)"]. Tollet: That is, let him command any bloody business, 
and to obey him shall be in me an act of pity and compassion for wrong'd Othello. 
Farmer : I read, * let him command An* to obey shall be in me remorse What bloody 
business ever — ^— ' ' And ' for ^ is sufficiently common ; and Othello's impatience 
breaks off the sentence, I think, with additional beauty. Knight : It Ls quite clear 
that Othello interrupts the conclusion of lago's speech. At the moment when he has 
said that ' obedience to Othello shall stand in the place of remorse (mercy) — ^What 
bloody business ever ' (Othello may command), Othello, jumping at his meaning, at 
once sets him upon the murder of Cassio. Singer (ed. ii) : < To remord — to prey 
npon continually and repeatedly ; and hence lago's prefigured remorse ; a feeling that 
will continually prey upon his mind — Mordax — Edax-cara.' [This Latin I do not 
understand. — Ed.] I owe this admirable solution of a difficult passage to the kind- 
ness of Dr Richardson. Hudson : < Remorse ' for conscience, simply. lago has said 
before, < I hold it very stuff o' the conscience to do no contrived murder.' So the mean- 
ing here is, ' Let him conmiand whatever bloody work he may, to perform il shall be 
with me a matter of conscience.' This explanation is Joseph Crosby's. White (ed. 
ii): 'Remorse,' a doubtful reading, or else a very forced use of the word in the 

sense of pity, for Othello. Bulloch (p. 250) : I would read, < shall be in men 

remorse What bloody business severs* That is the ordinary pity experienced at the 
separation ot soul and body in others. [See III. iii, 426.] 

214 THE TRACE DIE OF OTHELLO [act in. sc. iiL 

That Cajffuifs not aliue. 538 

lago. My Friend is dead : 
'Tis done at your Requeft. 540 

But let her Hue. 

0th. Damne her lewde Minx : 
O damne her, damne her. 
Come go with me a-part, I will withdraw 

To fumifh me with fome fwift meanes of death 545 

For the faire Diuell. 
Now art thou my Lieutenant. 

lago. I am your owne for euer. ExtxnU 548 

539» 540. One line, Cap. Steev. et seq. 542, 543. Damne\ Dam Qq. 

540^ 541. One line, Qq, Rowe+, Jen. 542. Minx\ minks Qq. 

540, aty<mr] as you Qq, Cap. Jen. 543. O.^her,"] Ff, Rowe-f , Jen. Knt, 

541, 543. As one line, SteeY.'93 et Ktly. O dam her, Qq et cet. 

^eq. 546, 547. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 

542, 543. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 546. DiueW^ deutl/QJ^y Devil ¥^^, 

538. Booth : lago is shocked, of coiixse, and slightly shudders as he rises to his feet 
Line 541 he speaks beseechingly. 

539. Theobald : In like manner Jonson in his CataUne [III, iii] expresses the 
impetuosity of Cethegus for the death of Qcero, ' He shall die. Shall was too slowly 
said ; he's dying, that Is yet too slow ; he's dead.' But this is a copy fiom Seneca's 
Hercules Jmrens [▼. 644] : < Si novi Herculem Lycus Creonti debitas poenas dabit 
I^ntum est, dabit ; dat ; hoc quoque lentum est ; dedit.' 

542. Minx] PuRNELL : Possibly short for mmihin, 

543. Booth : Take a liberty here and ' damn her ' /our times ; the first savagely, the 
second time less so, melt with the third, and choke with tears at the fourth ; the merest 
pause— then recover and ' Come, go with me,' &c. lago shows deep grief till * Now 
art thou my lieutenant,' then, quickly kneeling, he kisses Othello's hand, and his face 
reveals his triumph. Fechter's Othello returns as he is going out, and, striking lago 
on the shoulder, with a savage smile of triumph says, < Now art thou my lieutenant' 

545. death] Rymer (p. 92) : Othello is made a Venetian General. We see nothing 
done by him, nor related concerning him, that comports with the condition of a General, or, 
indeed, of a Man, unless the killing himself, to avoid a death the Law was about to inflict 
on him. When his jealousy had wrought him up to a resolution of 's taking revenge 
for the suppos'd injury. He sets Jago to the fighting part, to kill Cassio ; And he chuses 
himself to murder the silly Woman his Wife, that was like to make no resistance. 

548. Booth : To portray lago properly you must seem to be what all the characters 
think, and say, you are, not what the spectators know you to be ; try to win even them 
by your sincerity. Don't acl the villain, don't looh it or speah it (by scowling and 
growling, I mean), but fhinh it all the time. Be genial, sometimes jovial, always gen- 
tlemanly. Quick in motion as in thought ; lithe and sinuous as a snake. A certain blufi*- 
ness (which my temperament does not aflbrd) should be added to preserve the military 
flavour of the character ; in this particular I fail utterly, my lago lacks the soldierly qual 
ity. My consolation is that we know him more as a courtier than as a soldier. 

ACT III, SC iv.] 



Sccena Quarta. 

Enter Defdemona^ jEmilia^and Clown. 

Dtf. Do you know Sirrah, where Lieutenant Caffio 

Claw. I dare not lay he lies any where. 

Def. Why man ? 

Clo» He's a Soldier, and for me to (ay a Souldier lyes, 
'tis ftabbing. 

Def. Go too : where lodges he ? 

Clo. To tell you where he lodges, is to tel you where 
I lye. 

Def. Can any thing be made of this f 

Clo. I know not where he lodges, and for mee to de- 
uife a lodging, and (ay he lies heere, or he lies there, were 
to lye in mine owne throat 

Def. Can you enquire him out ? and be edified by n 

Clo, I will Catechize the world for him, that is, make 
Queftions, and by them anfwer. 






1. Scsena Quarta.] Om. Qq^ Rowe. 
Scene IX. Pope+f Jen. 

Another Apartment in the Palace. 
Theob. Before the Castle. Dyce. 

2. Enter...] 'Enitx De/demonia, Emil- 
ia and the Qowne. Qq (De/demona Q«Q,). 

3. LuulenatW]lA€ Lriu/inafUQc^ Jtn, 
Coll. Wh. i. 

7. Qo.] Om. Q,. 

I/^s} Ff, Rowe+, Dyce, Glo. Cam. 
Huds. Rife, Wh. ii. Jle is Qq et cet 

me] Ff, Rowe+» Steev. Mai. Var. 
Knt, Sing. Ktly. oh€ Qq et cet. 

8. *Hs] Ff; Rowe+, Knt. u Qq et cet. 

9. /<».-] /o, Q,Q,. fo Q^. to: Ft t^t 

10^ II, 12. Om. Q,. 

14. lies.., there] lies there Qq. 

15. mine own] my Q,. my own Capw 
Mai. SteeY.*93,Var. Sing. Kdy. 

16. enquire] inquire Q,. 
a$ui be] and Q,. 
by] to Coll. (MS). 

18. Catechise] eathechise Qq. 

19.] Separate line, Qq. 
by them] make them Q^ Jen. Steer. 

'85. ^f^/Zii/m Theob. +, Cap. 

3-24. These lines are, I believe, invariably omitted on the stage. Fbchtkr con- 
tinues the scene, that is, it is still III, i. Booth at line 25 begins IV, L 

2. Clown] Douce (ii, 272) : He appears but twice in the play, and was certainly 
intended to be an allowed, or domestic, y^/ in the service of Othello and Desdemona. 

4. lyes] Shakespeare was not above sharing the weakness of hb contemporaries in 
making puns on this word. See also Ham. V, i, Il6. 

15. throat] John Hunter : This meant, to utter a wilful lie. < To lie in the teeth ' 
was less intentional, and gave less ofience. 

19. by them] Warburton : The Clown was to go seek for one ; he says he will 
ask for him, and by his own questions make answer. Without dcubt we should read^ 

2l6 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ill, sc. ir. 

Def, Seeke him^ bidde him come hither : tell him, I 20 

haue moouM my Lord on his behalfe, and hope all will 
be well. 

Clo. To do this is within the compafTe of mans Wit, 
and therefore I will attempt the doing it Exit Clo, 

Def. Where (hould I loofe the Handkerchiefe, jE- 25 


^mil. I know not Madam. 

Def. Beleeue me, I had rather haue loft my purfe 
Full of Cruzadoes. And but my Noble Moore 
Ts true of minde, and made of no fuch bafeneflfe, 30 

21. mo<nid'\ mimed Q(\. 24. Exit Qo.] Exit. Qq. 

on] in (^ Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. 25. loo/e] lo/e Q'8i ct seq. 

ColL Sing. Wh. i, KUy, Del. the\ Ff, Rowc, Pope, Han. Knt, 

23. of mans WU'\ of a man Q,. Wh. i. that Qq et cet. 

24. IwiU] rUot lUQfi, 25, 62, 68, 105, &c. ffandkerckUfe] 
^^ »^] doing of it Qq, Rowe+, ' handkercher Q,. Handkerckiffe F . 

Jen. Steev.'Ss, MaL doing Rife. 28. haue loft] loofe Qq. lofe Q'li. 

and hid them answer; i. e., the world; those whom he questions. Henley: His 
design was to propose such questions as might elicit the information sought for fix>m 
him, and, therefore, by his questions he might be enabled to answer. Malons : That 
^8, and by them, when answeredt form my own answer to you. RoLFE states it clearly : 
By them be enabled to answer, or get the information to use in my answer. 

24. the doing it] For a full exposition of verbals, followed by an object, see 
Abbott, § 93, or Macb. I, iv, 8. 

25. should I loose] Abbott, § 325 : * Should,* in a direct question about the past, 
seems to increase the emphasb of the interrogation, since a doubt about the past (time 
having been given for investigation) implies more perplexity than a doubt about the 

25. the] White (ed. i) : That of the Qq has a loss of significance. To Desde- 
mona this handkerchief was at any time the handkerchief, and now more so than ever. 

27. Hudson : Objection has been made to the conduct of Emilia in this scene as 
inconsistent with the spirit she afterwards shows. I can discover no such inconsist- 
ency. Want of principle and strength of attachment sire often thus seen united. 
Emilia loves her mistress deeply, but she has no moral repugnance to theft and fiBilse 
hood, apprehends no fatal consequences from the Moor's passion, and has no soul to 
conceive the agony her mistress must suffer by the charge of infidelity ; and it is but 
natural that when the result comes she should be the more spirited for the very remem- 
brance of her own guilty part in the process. Booth : Emilia speaks with slight em- 

28. rather] Qted by Walker ( Vers, 108) as an instance of its contraction Into a 
monosyllable. See also, to the same purpose, Abbott, $466. 

29. Cruzadoes] Grey : A Portuguese coin, in value three shilling!. J0H1«S0N : 
So called from the cross stamped on it. Fechter : Desdemona turns over her work 
and m^t«^ttlg to find the handkerchief. 



As iealious Creatures are, it were enough 
To put him to ill-thinking. 

^mil. Is he not iealious ? 

Def. Who, he? I thinke the Sun where he was borne, 
Drew all fuch humors from him. Looke where he comes. 

Enter Othello. 

Def. I will not leaue him now, till CaJJio be 
Caird to him. How is't with you, my Lord ? 

0th. Well my good Lady . Oh hardnes to diffemble I 
How do you, Defdemona ? 

Def. Well, my good Lord. 

0th. Giue me your hand. 
This hand is moid, my Lady. 

Def It hath felt no age, nor knowne no forrow. 

0th. This argues fruitfulnefle, and liberall heart : 
Hot, hot, and moyft. This hand of yours requires 






31,33. tWi/i^Mtf] ^a/ewfQ,Q,. jeaHous 
F,. Jea/ous Q^^F^. 

37. Enter...] After kirn line 35, Qq. 
Aher /orrow Une 45, Fj. After Lordf 
line 39, F^ Rowe+, Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, 
Sing. Ktly. After him line 39, Jen. Dyce, 
Sta. Glo. Cam. Del. Rife, Huds. Wh. ii. 

38, 39. Lines end, now,., Lord f Qq^ 
Cap. Ending, Cafflo,„Lord f Steev.'93, 
Var. et seq. Prose, Mai. 

38. ttll\ Let Q,. 

39. tit"] is it Qq, Pope, Theob. Han. 
Warb. Jen. Steev.'Ss. 

Scene X. Pope+, Jen. 
40. Ok,„diffefnbl^ As Aside, Han. 
Johns, et seq. 

42. Def.] Lef. F^ 
good'\ Om. Pope-f . 

43, 44. One line, Qq^ Rowe et seq. 
45. // hatKl Ff, Rowe ii. // yet hath 

Rowe i+, Jen. Steev.'Ss, Dyce, Glo. Rife, 
Huds.Wh. ii. It yet has Ciq ti cdL 
^T, Hot, hot"} Hot hot Q,. 

mox/l,] Ff, Johns. Jen. Ktly. moi/l 
Qq. moist — Rowe+. in^/.-Cap.etcet. 

35. Rymer (p. 126) : By this manner of speech one wou'd gather the coaple had 
been yoak*d together a competent while, what might she say more, had they been man 
and wife seven years? 

39. to him] Fechter : Exit Emilia R. at the moment when Othello appears at the 
tenace. He observes them an instant ; then comes down, straight to where Desdemona 
has been deranging her work and materials, looking at them with mistrust ; when he 
speaks he represses his anger. Booth : Othello addresses Desdemona as he passef 
her, then he suddenly changes his tone and manner from indifference to sadness. 

42. Fechter : Coaxing by placing her hands, clasped, on the shoulders of Othello, 
who releases himself from her caress and takes her hand. 

45. Booth : At the word * sorrow ' he looks anxiously into her eyes, and witL a sigh 

46. fruitlulnesse] Deuus : That is, liberal, bountiful, as * fruitful ' is used in H, 11, 


47. moyst] Bucknxll {Med Knowledge 0/ Sh,p, 273) : This appear) to txpras 


2l8 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act in, sc. iv. 

A fequefter from Liberty : Fading, and Prayer, 48 

Much Caftigation, Exercife deuout, 

For heere's a yong, and fweating Diuell heere 50 

That commonly rebels : 'Tis a good hand, 

A franke one. 52 

48. Prt^er\ praying Qq, Jen. ColL i, 5a ycng\ Jlrong Wtib. 
Wh. L /weaHng\ fweoHe (^ 

49. deuomt'\ devoted Q,. 52. franke one'] xftry frank one Han. 

50. keerii\ tker^s Daniel frank one too Cap. Ktly. 

an old opinion that * a moist palm indicates a hot liver/ one, however, which Frimioie 
considered a vnlgar eiror, and to the refutation of which he devoted a chapter. Booth i 
Kxamining its lines as in palmistry. 

49. Exercise] Malone : This was the term for religions duties. < Heniy VII,* 
says Bacon, < had the fortune of a true Christian as well as of a great king, in living 
exercised, and dying repentant' 

49, etc. Gould : As he uttered these words, J. B. Booth held up the innocent hand 
between his two in momentary, but fervent, attitude of prayer. Then, still holding her 
hand in one of his and pointing with the other, and looking keenly, but without 
nnldndness, into her palm, he adds, with heightening and ringing accent : * For here's,' 
&c. The three words, * That commonly rebels,' in changed tone, and with the v(Hce 
sustained at the dose, and given in such a manner that the attentive listener supple- 
mented the meaning — * and I fear must do so in your case.' So, at the first perform- 
ance. On the second, a fine variation — * For here's a young and sweating — devil here,' 
with the same searching intensity ; then a kindly doubt seems to rise in his mind, and 
he gives her the benefit of it in saying — * That commonly (slight pause) rebels* 

51. etc Walker (iii, 288) : Arrange, perhaps, — ^"Tis a good hand, a fiwik one. | 
Desd, You may indeed say so ; for 'twas that hand | That gave away my heazt' [I 
record this note, like many another of Walker, simply because I lack the moral cour- 
age to omit it Wlien Walker spends his time and ouis in cutting up verses, and frag- 
ments of verses spoken by diflerent characters, into lines, what else is it but scanning 
by the eye and for the eye ? If the words do not flow musically, cutting them into lines 
will not make them musical. If they do flow musically, the lines will take care of 
themselves. Is it to be imagined that Shakespeare ever followed any guide but his 
ear? What does the ear know of lines ? recurrent or uncurrent rhythm is all that ever 
it can note. — Ed.] 

51, 52. hand, . • • one.] As questions in Fechter's copy. 

52. Keightley {Exp, 304) : I have given in my edition * A fiuik one too^* but no 
addition was necessary. I made an error for the sake of metre, and, I think, weak- 
ened the passage. [And was anticipated by Capell, after all. — Ed.] 

52. Boaden {Life ofJCemble, i, 259) : During this speech of Othello, Mrs Siddons's 
lace had a beauty of expression that offered one of the most striking and varying ]nc- 
tures ever contemplated. The surprise, arising to astonishment, a sort of doubt if she 
heard aright, and that being admitted, what it could mean / a hope that it would end 
in nothing so unusual from him as an offensive meaning ; and the slight relief upon 
Othello's adding — * 'Tis a good hand, a firank one ' ; all this commentary was quite aff 
legible as the text 


Def. You may (indeed) lay fo : S3 
For 'twas that hand that gaue away my heart 

Ottu A liberall hand. The hearts of old, gaue hands : 5 5 
But our new Heraldry is hands, not hearts. 

55. hand!\ Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Ktly. 55. hearts ,.. kand5\ hands .., heartt 

kand, CJq. hand: Cap. et ceL Han. Warb. Ctcp, 

53. You] Abbott, §483: Emphasized pronouns sometimes dispense with the un- 
accented syllable. Here you is emphatic. ' A fr&nk | one. Vf \ u m&y | indeed | 
say s6. 

55, 56. In these lines Wahbu&ton discerned a satirical allusion to the creation ot 
baronets by James the First, and founded on it the date of the composition of the play. 
For his arguments in this regard and Malone's reply to them, see Appendix, Dale of 
the Composition, Warburton also asserted that < it is evident that line 55 should be 
read : '< The hands of old gave hearts "/ otherwise it would be no reply to « For 'twas 
that hand that gave away my heart" Not so, says her husband, ** The hands of old 
indeed gave hearts; but the custom now is to give hands without hearts." ' Johnson : 
Of emendation there is no need. She says that her hand gave away her heart. He 
goes on with his suspicion, and the hand which he had before called frank, he now 
terms liberal; then proceeds to remark that the hand was formerly given by the heart; 
but now it neither gives it, nor is given by it. Steevens : The phrase < our new her- 
aldry ' is only figurative, without the least reference to Jsunes's creation of baronets. 
The absurdity of making Othello so fiEuniliar with British heraldry, the utter want of 
consistency as well as policy in any sneer of Shakespeare at the badge of honoun 
instituted by a Prince whom, on all other occasions, he was solicitous to flatter, and at 
whose court this very piece was acted in 1 61 3, most strongly incline me to question the 
propriety of Warburton's historical explanation. Malone : The hearts of old, says 
Othello, dictated the union of hands, which formerly were joined with the hearts of the 
parties in them ; but in our modem marriages, hands alone are united, without hearts. 
Such is the plain meaning of the words. I do not, however, undertake to maintain 
that the poet, when he used the word < heraldry,' had not the new order of baronets in 
his thoughts, without intending any satirical allusion. Knight : We do not think that 
Shakespeare would have gone out of his way to introduce a covert sarcasm at a passing 
event, offensive as it must have been if understood, and perfectly useless if not under- 
stood. The obvious meaning of the words, without any allusion, is plain enough ; and 
* our new heraldry,' if it be any more than a figurative expression, may be easily referred 
to the practice of quartering or joining the arms of husband and wife. Dyce [Remarks^ 
p. 241) : The reader will probably recollect with dismay the immense mass of annota- 
tion which this passage has called forth in consequence of Warburton's ridiculous idea 
that the poet alluded here to the new order of baronets created by King James. I have 
only to observe : first, — that the word < heraldry ' (which the commentators are surprised 
at finding here) was evidently suggested to Shakespeare by the words in the preceding 
line, 'gave hands' (to 'give arms' being a heraldic term) ; secondly, that Warner, in 
his Albion* s England, p. 282, ed. 1596, has, ' My hand shall neuer giue my heart, my 
heart shall giue my hand.' White (ed. i and ed. ii) adopts Warburton's idea. In his 
ed. ii he says : ' This seems to be the new heraldry Othello speaks of ; but in that 
the passage was probably added after the first production of the play.' 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act ni, a:, iv. 

Def. I cannot fpeake of this : 
Come, now your promife. 

0th, . What promife, Chucke ? 

De/l I haue fent to bid CaJ/io come fpeake with you. 

OtA. I haue a fait and forry Rhewme offends me : 
Lend me thy Handkerchiefe. 

Df/. Heere my Lord. 

OtA. That which I gaue you. 

Df/. I haue it not about me. 

Oik. Not ? 

De/l No indeed, my Lord. 

OtA. That's a fault : That Handkerchiefe 
Did an i£gyptian to my Mother giue : 



[327 *] 


57» 5^* One line, Qq^ Rowe et seq. 

58. C4fme,now']F{,Kowt-hfJtn. Qmu, 
tome, Q|. Come now QJ^i^ Han. Mai. 
*oteev.'93, Var. Come now. Cap. et cet. 

60. I haue'] Pve Pope, Theob. Waib. 
Johns. Dyce iii, Huds. 

61. forry] fuUen Qq, Steev. Mai. Var. 
Cud. Sing. KUy. 

Rheivme] rhumeQf{. rkeum'Bxmt, 
u6. Notf] Not, Qq. 

66-68. Not f.,. fault:] As one line, 
Steev.*93, Var. Knt, Coll. Sing. Dyce, Wh. 
Sta. Glo. Rife. 

67. No indeed,] No faith Q,. 

68. That's] Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Sing. 
Cam. Thats Qq. That is Cap. et cet 

That Handkerchiefe] Separate line, 
Steev.'93, Var. Knt, Coll. Sing. Dyce, Wh. 
Sta. Glo. Del. Rife. 

69. JEgyptian] JEgypttan F,. 

01. sorry] Johnson's inteipretation of sullen of the Qq is 'a rheum obstinately 
troublesome.' Collier (ed. ii) : Perhaps the word is sudden, to which it is altered in 
the (MS.). Fechter : Stretching out his hand, without looking at her. 

04. Booth : Quickly — ^hoping to see the one he gave her. 

68. Handkerchiefe] Theobald : Cinthio Giraldi only says it was the Moor's gift 
apon his wedding to Desdemona ; that it was most curiously wrought after the Moorish 
Fashion, and very dear both to him and his wife, *■ il qual pannicello era lavorato alia 
moresca sottilissimamente, & era carissimo alia Donna & parimente al Moro.' Booth : 
All this description of the Handkerchief should be told with an air of intense and 
earnest mystery. Desdemona should listen in wonder and speak like a frightened 
child. [This description, with its witchcraft, is among those passages which Knight 
(Biography, p. 438) cites to prove that Shakespeare probably visited Scotland in the 
autumn of 1 601. I cannot see that the inference can be drawn from anything stronger 
than that in the information against Isobell Straquhan for witchcraft it is averred that 
she made a charm out of a bent penny, a clout, and a piece of red wax, wherewith 
the face being stroked, love and marriage would follow. — Ed.] 

68, etc. Rymer (p. 135) : So much ado, so much stress, so much passion and repe- 
tition about an Handkerchief! Why was not this call'd the Tragedy of the Handker- 
chief f .... The Wardrobe of obsolete Romances, one might think, were.a fitter place 
for this Handkerchief than that it, at this time of day, be worn on the stage, to raise 
everywhere all this clutter and turmoiL 

69. JBgyptian] Hunter (ii, 284) : By this, Shakespeare may mean either an 



She was a Channer, and could almoft read 

The thoughts of people. She told her, while (he kept it, 

'T would make her Amiable, and fubdue my Father 

Intirely to her loue : But if (he loft it. 

Or made a Guift of it, my Fathers eye 

Should hold her loathed, and his Spirits fhould hunt 

After new Fancies. She dying, gaue it me, 

And bid me (when my Fate would haue me WiuM) 

To giue it her. I did fo ; and take heede on% 

Make it a Darling, like your precious eye : 

To loofe^t, or giue't away, were fuch perdition, 

As nothing elfe could match. 

Def. Is't poflTible ? 

0th. 'Tis true : There's Magicke in the web of it : 
A Sybill that had numbred in the world 
The Sun to courfe, two hundred compafTes, 





72. €md fubdue\ fubdtu Ff, Rowe+. 

73. Repeated at the top of the next page 

Intirely] Q,Q,Ff, Rowe+, Jen. 
Stecv.'Ss. ItUierfy Q^. Entirely Cap. 
75. loathed] lothely Q,. loathly Cap. 
Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, Sing. Sta. Ktly. 
his] her Jen. (misprint ?). 
Spirits] fpirU Q'8l, Wh. i. 
Jhould] Om. Pope+. 
77. mu'd] Ff, Rowe + ,Wh. Del. vnue 
Qq» Cap. et cet 

78. on't] oft Mai. Steev.*93, Var. 

80. loo/it] F^ Rowe ii, Pope, loo/e 
0,0,. lo/e Oj, Jen. Stecv.»93, Var. ColL 
Wh. i, Sing, iiw*/ FjF^ Rowe i. los^t 
Theob. et cet. 

perdition] prediction 0,> 

82. lit] Is it Steev. Mai. Var. 

84. had] hath Han. iL 
numbred] numbered Q^^, 

85. The,„coHr/e] The Sun to mahe Q^ 
Mai. Steev.'93, Var. Of the sun^s course 

^Egyptian properly so called, or a Gypsy or Bohemian, as the same people are called 
in many parts of the continent. Presents of this Idnd from Gypsies proper occur in 
Italian Poetry ; thus Ariosto : < About her neck a jewel rich she ware, A cross all set 
with stones in gold well tried ; This relick late a Boem pilgrim bare, And gave her 
iiEUher other things beside,* &c. But the mention of < mummy,' and other points in the 
passage, seem to guide us to the true Egyptians, neighbours of the Moors. Elze (Sh, 
Jahrbuch, xi, 299) calls attention to Maudlin's description of her ' browder'd belt,' 
which 'A Gypsan lady, and a right beldame Wrought by moonlight,' in Jonson's 
Sad Shepherd, II, i. Elze finds a noteworthy similarity therein with this passage in 

77. Wiu'd] It is not necessary to adopt the 0^ here. * Wiu'd ' is in the same con- 
struction as * loathed,' line 75. — Ed. 

85. to course] Johnson : The expression is not very infirequent ; we say, I counted 
the clock to strike four; so she number'd the sun to course, to run, two hundred com- 
passes, two hundred annual circuits. 

M2 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act. ni. sc. ir. 

In her Prophctticke furie fow'd the Worke : 86 

The Wormes were hallowed, that did breede the Silke, 

And it was dyde in Mummey, which the Skilful! 

Conieru'd of Maidens hearts. 

Def. Indeed ? Is't true ? 90 

0th. Mod veritable, therefore looke too't welL 

Def. Then would to Heauen, that I had neuer feene't? 92 

86. f<ndd^ VU Rawe+, Cap. famed 9a ///] is it Steer.'Ss, MmL 

Qq. snddjchm, 91. udf} tdt QqFJ . U U SteeT/85, 

%T. haihmed^haihmedq^ kaJhtdd MaL 

Gip. ct seq. 92. to Heamen\ to GodQq, Jen. Dyce, 

88. drde}difdQq. dyedeY^ di'dYf^. Su. (»o. Cun. Rife, Hods. WK ii. M^ 
Mummey\ Mommy Q^ Heaven FT. 

whickl with Q,Q^ Jen. feem^tr] feme it, Qq, Jen. Steev. 

89. Com/enid^ Com/enia(i^]fsa. Qm- MaL Var. Knt, ColL Sii^. Wh. i, KUy. 
time Q^ Comferve (^ feem^t, Ff. seenU! Rowe et cet 

90. Indeed r\ If aitkQ^ Indeed,Q/i^. 

86. Piophetticke Iniie] Hunter fii, 285) : There is something more classical in 
this expresrion than is, perhaps, anywhere else to be found in these plays ; but the 
phrase osay have presented itself to Shakespeare in the writings of Sylvester, where it 
often occurs. 

88. Mammey] Steevens : The balsamic liquor running fix>m munmiies was for- 
merly celebrated for its anti-epileptic virtues. This fiuidful medicine still holds a place 
in the principal shops where drugs are sold. Dyce: A preparation for magical pur- 
poses, made from dead bodies. Steevens*s note seems irrelevant [I doubt if the word 
conveyed, of necessity, any reference to Egyptian mummies ; that reference was perhaps 
restricted to mtimmia, Falstaff refers to himself as being turned by drowning into a 
' mountain of mummy,' and we have < Witches' mummy ' in AfaeS. IV, i, 23, which 
see with the notes. In Johnson's Diet. s. v. there is a full account of the medicinal 
preparation, from Dr Hill's Materia Medico^ and in Latham's Johnson a passage is 
given from Sir T. Herbert's Travels^ &c. 1677, which shows that that traveler not only 
did not associate 'mummy' with Egypt, but not even with dead bodies : — * In or near this 
place is a precious liquor or mummy growing ; .... a moist, redolent gum it is, sove- 
reign against poisons.' Steevens dtes from The Microcosmos of John Davies of Here- 
ford (1603, p. 77, ed. Grosart) : 'That's Mummey made of the meere Hart of Lave? 
That Davies was well read in Shakespeare's Sonnets is felt throughout the Microcosm^ 
but the date of the latter is rather too early to permit the supposition that it had been 
influenced by OtheUo.—YTi,'\ 

92. Mrs. Jameson (ii, 38) : Desdemona, whose soft credulity, whose turn for the 
marvellous, whose susceptible imagination had first directed her thoughts and affections 
to Othello, is precisely the woman to be frightened out of her senses by such a tale as 
this, and betrayed by her fears into a momentary tergiversation. It is most natural in 
such a being, and shows us that even in the sweetest natures there can be no complete- 
ness and consistency without moral energy. There is an incident in the original tale 
which could not well be transfened to the drama, but which is very effective, and adds, I 
think, to the circumstantial horrors of the stoxy. Desdemona does not accidentally drop 
the handkerchief; it is stolen from her by logo's little child, an infant of three yean 


0th. Ha? wherefore? 93 

Def. Why do you fpeake fo ftartingly and rafli ? 

0th. \s\ loft ? Is't gon ? Speak, is't out oWway ? 95 

Def. Bleffe vs. 

0th. Say you ? 

Def. It is not loft : but what and if it were t 

0th. How t 

Def. I fay it is not loft. lOO 

0th. Fetcht, let me fee't 

Def. Why fo I can : but I will not now : 
This is a tricke to put me from my fuite, 
Pray you let Cafjio be receiuM againe. 

0th. Fetch me the Handkerchiefe, 105 

My minde mif-giues. 

94. ftartit^ly\ftaringly F^F^. Stecv/85, Mai. FetchU QqF^ ct cet 
rafli^ rajhly Q,. loi. fe^t'\ fee it Qq, Jen. Steev. MmL 

95. hU,,Mt^ Is it„.Is it Stecv/85. Var. Knt, Cam. 

ij^t cut'\ Ff, Rowe, Knt, Sta. is it 102. can .] Ff. can/ir, Qq et cet 

Mc/ Qq et cet. 104. Pray you] I pray Qq^ Cq). Jen. 

dth'] o7A/Qq. oih' F,. ofthe^wr. Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Wh. i. Sing. Ktly, 

96. ^/(^<r]Q,Q3Ff,Rowe + ,Cap.Knt. Del. 

Heaum bUJfe Q, et cet. 105, 106. One line, Qq et seq. 

98. and i/] QqFf, Rowe, Pope, Theob. 105. tA/} that Qq, Cap. Jen. Steev. MaL 
i, Jen. Knt. an t/Theob. ii et cet. Var. Coll. Sing. Ktly, Del. 

99. Howf] Ha, Qq. Ha! Pope + , 106. mif-giues^ misgives — Rowe, 
Ci^. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. Pope, Theob. Han. Warb. misgives 

loi. Fetcht] F,. Fetcht' Fj. Fetch it Ktly. 

old, whom he trains or bribes to the theft. The love of Desdemona for this child, { 
her little playfellow, — the pretty description of her taking it in her arms and caressing 1 
it, while it profits by its situation to steal the handkerchief from her bosom, are well 
imagined, and beautifully told ; and the circumstance of lago employing his own inno- 
cent child as the instrument of his infernal villainy adds a deeper, and, in truth, an 
unnecessary touch of the fiend, to his fiendish character. [It is so common among the 
critics to accuse Desdemona of telling a falsehood here, that gratitude is due to Mrs 
Jameson for the milder term 'tergiversation.' Although Desdemona herself sa3rs, 
* where should I lose the handkerchief? ' she did not believe it to be actually lost, irre- 
coverably gone ; it was merely mislaid, and a further search would reward her with 
discovery. If she had not been terrified she might have told all this to Othello (and 
we should not have had the tragedy, which would be a relief), but, as it is, I think in 
her soul she believed she was telling the truth. — ^Ed.] 

94. startingly and rash] Walker {Crit, i, 220) dtes this, sunong others, as an 
Instance of the termination -ly attached to one adjective and affecting others. See also 
Abbott, §397, or Schmidt, p. 141 9. 

105-115. Booth : This little < bit ' is difficult to act without being tame, or too vio- 
lent I have never hit it. [At line 1 14, Fechtkr actually directs Othello to seiie 
Desdemona violently, and raise his hand is if to strike her ! — Ed.] 

224 ^^^ TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act in, sc. iv. 

Def. Come, come : you'l neuer meete a more fuffici- 107 
ent man. 

0th. The Handkerchiefe. 

Def. A man that all his time I lO 

Hath founded his good Fortunes on your loue ; 
Shar'd dangers with you. 

Otk. The Handkerchiefe. 

Dc/. Infoothy you are too blame. 

Ot&. Away. Exit Othello. 115 

107. Come^ come .*] Sepante line. Cap. III. fmnded kis] fimnded Q,. 

Steev. et seq. I12-115. Shared,,. Away, '\ Two lines, 

Come„,neuer\ Coim, yotill n^er first ending tooik^ Ktly. 

Pope-(- . 112. you^ you : Cap. Steev. MaL Var. 

109, 113. Handkerchiefe^ handker- Knt, Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Del. you — Steev. 

tkiefl Dyct, Sta. Glo. KUy, Cam. Coll. '73, Dycc, Sta. Glo. KUy, Cam. Rife, 

ill. Rife, Hads. Wh. U. HandMerchief-- Huds. Wh. ii. 

RoweetceL 114. In/ooth'] IfaitkCi^. Separate line, 

109, 1 10. Handkerchiefe, Def. A inaif ] Steev.'93. 

hemdkercher, Def. I pray talke me of Caf- too"] to Q^^, 

tis. Oth. The handkercher, Def. A man 1 1 5. Away.} Zouns. Q,. 
Q,, Johns. Jen. et seq. 

109, 1 10. It is easy to see how the printer came to omit the sentences given in the 

109. When De Vigny makes his dashing attack on the French Classic School, ridi- 
culing its honor at the word mouchoir, which, under the hands of the fiastidious Ducts, 
becomes a < bandeau de diamants, que Th^rolne (as De Vigny says) voulut garder mtoe 
au lit de peur d'etre vue en n^glig6,' our hearts and admiration go entirely with him, 
and an almost instinctive contempt arises for any one who can find in such a word^as 
< handkerchief,* at such a time, anything unwoithy of this tragic scene. But will not 
the curl of our lips at Ducis straighten, and even some fellow-feeling for him spring 
up, if we imagine the word as it b in the Qto, uttered by Othello with passionate vehe- 
mence ? As this word sounds to us, so must mouchoir, on the stage, have sounded to 
Duds. — Ed. 

no. A man] Bodenstedt [Sk, Jahrhuch, ii, 263): With the same recklessness 
and self-will with which Desdemona, out of love to Othello, had exposed heiself to 
the anger of her Father, she now defies the anger of her husband out of firiendship 
to Cassio. 
. 115. Away] Fielding : Nothing can be more provoking to the human temper, nor 
more dangerous to that cardinal virtue. Patience, than solicitations of extraordinary 
offices of kindness in behalf of those very persons with whom we are highly incensed. 
For this reason Shakespeare hath artfiilly introduced his Desdemona soliciting fieivours 
for Cassio of her husband, as the means of inflaming not only his jealousy, but his rage, 
to the highest pitch of madness ; and we find the unfortunate Moor less able to com- 
mand his passion on this occasion than even when he beheld his valued present to hia 
wife in the hands of his supposed rival. In fact, we regard these efforts as insults to 
our understanding; and to such the pride of man is with great difficulty brought ta 
submit — Tom Jones, ix, 3, quoted by Haluwkll. 

4CT III. sc. iv.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 225 

jEmil, Is not this man iealious ? 1 16 

Def. I neuV faw this before. 
Sure, there's fome wonder in this Handkerchikfe, 
I am mod vnhappy in the loffe of it 

^mil. 'Tis not a yeare or two (hewes vs a man : 120 

They are all but Stomackes, and we all but Food, 

They eate vs hungerly, and when they are full 

They belch vs. 

Enter TagOj and CaJJio. 

Looke you, Caffio and my Husband. 125 

Scene XL P6pe+, Jen. 119. the loffe of it.'] the loffe. Q,, 

116. iealious] iealous or jealous Qq 121. They are] They reiyyctm^lbids. 
F F^. are all] are Rowe ii. Pope, Han. 

117. net^r]n^reQ^. »^^Q,Qs* «««^ 1 22. theyare]the/reVopt-\-,Dycem, 
FjF^ Rowe. n/er Pipe et cet. Huds. 

118. Sure] Sir Q^. 123, 125. One line, Qq et seq. 
there's] ther*s Q,Qj. 124, Enter...] Ff, Rowe, Coll. Wh. L 
Handkerchikfe] F,. After line 119 Qq. After line 125 Pope 

1 19. lam] Pm Pope + , Dyce iii, Huds. et cet. Enter Cassio and lago. Dyce. 

120. Rymer (p. 126) : As if for the first year or two Othello had not been jealous? 
This Third Act begins in the morning, at noon she drops the Handkerchief, after dinuer 
she misses it, and then follows all this outrage and horrible clutter about it If we 
believe a small Damosel, in the last scene of this Act, this day is effectually seven days. 
Our Poet is at this plunge, that whether this Act contains the compass of one day, of 
seven days, or of seven years, or of all together, the repugnance and the absurdity 
would be the same. For Othello, all the while, has nothing to say or to do, but what 
loudly proclaim him jealous ; her friend and confident Emilia again and again rounds 
Ifer in the ear that the Man is jealous ; yet this Venetian dame is neither to see, nor to 
hear ; nor to have any sense or understanding, nor to strike any other note but Cassio, 
Cassio. Steevens : This line has no reference to the duration of the action, or to the 
length of time that Desdemona had been married. What Emilia says is a sort of pro- 
verbial remark, of general application, where a definite time is put for an indefinite. 
Besides, this * year or two ' may refer to the beginning of the acquaintance and inti* 
macy between the couple. Pye (p. 342) : Emilia's saying, < it is not a year or two 
shews us a man,* may be well supposed to insinuate, how then should a month or two. 
or even a day or two ? 

121. White (ed. ii) : Emilia means. They are nought but stomachs, and we nought 
but food. The obscurity results from an inversion of. They are but all stomach, and 
we but all food. [There may be an inversion here, but I do not think that it is the 
inversion which White points out. 'All' does not qualify < stomachs,' or <food,' but 
* They ' and < we.' The meaning is that they, every one of them, are merely stomachs 
for which we, every one of us, are merely food. When White represents Shakespeare 
as making man revert to the Gasteropods or to the Amoebas, his admiration and exal- 
tation of our demi-god go one step farther than mine. < We know what we are, bat 
we know not what we may be,' as Ophelia says, so that I may even yet be brought to 
believe that Shakespeare anticipated Darwin, — ^but not firom this passage.^ — ^Ed.] 

125. Booth : As if glad to change the subject 

226 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act hi, sc. iv. 

lago. There is no other way : 'tis fhe muft doo't : 126 

And loe the happinefle : go, and importune her. 

Def. How now (good Caffid) what's the newes with [328 a] 

Caffio. Madam, my former fuite. I do befeech you, 130 

That by your vertuous meanes, I may againe 
Exift, and be a member of his loue, 
Whom I, with all the Office of my heart 
Intirely honour, I would not be delayd. 

If my offence, be of fuch mortall kinde, 135 

That nor my Seruice paft, nor prefent Sorrowes, 
Nor purposed merit in futurity. 
Can ranfome me into his loue againe. 
But to know fo, muft be my benefit : 

So (hall I doath me in a forced content, 140 

And {hut my felfe vp in fome other courfe 

126. doffil doe it Qq. ddt F,F^ Rowe Rowe+, Jen. 

et teq. 136. Sorrowes\ sorrow Walker. 

131. I may ii^ami\ I doe he/eech you : I40. cloatk'\ cioik Q,t Ca|>. cloatke t ^ 

(X. ciotke Johns. 

133. Q^]iAffKQ,f Johns. Jen. Steev. l\\, Jhut.„in\ ^ooie,„m Q,, Johns. 
MiL Var. Sing. Ktly. Jen. shoot myself tt^onCu^^Jum. sk^^ 

134. delayd'\dek^ed^j^. delaydeC^^, myself t^om Rann conj. stnt...m and 
136. if^ Jif^'] ff^^!!^/r Q,, Johns. Steev. sAooi myself forth in Anon. conj. ap. 

Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. noi my QjQJPf, Cam. 

127. happinesse] Hudson: That is, good hap, or lucky chance; refenring to the 
timely and opportune meeting with Desdemona. Morkl : Cest bien I'dquivalent do 
firan^ais: *Quel bonheur'l 

127. importune] Rolfe: For the accent, see also J^om, ^/ul. I, i, 138; and 
Ham, I, iii, no. 

131. vertuous] Morel: 'Vertuous,' puissant, nous rappelle le sens primitif dn fran- 
9ais verin ' Vertu me done [donne-md force] veis cele gent hale (/Poland d Ronce- 
vaux, dt^ par Littr6). 

133. Office] Singer: 'Office' and duly of the Qq are synonymous. Thus Baret 
-»< Dutie, office, dutie of behaviour in honestie and reason : ofidum, 

136. Sorrowes] Another instance, according to Walker (Crit, i, 246), of the inter- 
polated s; see I, i, 31. 

141. shut] Steevens: That is, I will put on a constrained appearance of being 
contented and shut m3rself up in a dlflerent course of life, no longer to depend on my 
own efforts, but to wait for relief from the accidental hand of charity. See the same 
expression, ' shut up In measureless content,' Afac^, II, i, 16. Mason prefers shoot, 
that is, to push suddenly, or forward, * Cassio means that he will push forvrard into 
some other line of life and seek his fortune.' Collier (ed. ii) : We formerly suggested 
that ' And set myself upon some,' &c., may have been the true lection ; but the (MS.) 
tells us to put it, ' And shift myself upou some other cooise.' 


To Fortunes Almes. 142 

Def. Alas (thrice-gentle Caffio) 
My Aduocation is not now in Tune ; 

My Lord, is not my Lord ; nor (hould I know him, 145 

Were he in Fauour, as in Humour altered. 
So helpe me euery fpirit fan6lified. 
As I haue fpoken for you all my beft, 
And flood within the blanke of his difpleafure 
For my free fpeech. You muft awhile be patient : 150 

What I can do, I will : and more I will 
Then for my felfe, I dare. Let that fuffice you. 

lago. Is my Lord angry ? 

jEmil. He went hence but now : 
And certainly in ftrange vnquietneffe. 155 

lago. Can he be angry ? I haue feene the Cannon 
When it hath blowne his Rankes into the Ayre, 
And like the Diuell from his very Arme 
PufTt his owne Brother : And is he angry ? 
Something of moment then : I will go meet him, 160 

There's matter in*t indeed, if he be angry. Exit 

Def. I prythee do fo. Something fure of State, 
Either from Venice, or fome vnhatchM praftife 
Made demonftrable heere in Cyprus, to him, 
Hath pudled his cleare Spirit : and in fuch cafes, 165 

142. Almes] arms Pope. Cap. 

143. thrue-genile] thrice gentile Q^. Scene XII. Pope+, Jen. 
146, altered'] alfred Q/}^. aitr'dCi^, 16^. ^ fame] 0/ some Johia. 

149. ftood^ftoop Qj. 164. demonftrabU heere] here demote 

159. is he] Ff, Rowe, Sing. Wh. i. can strable Pope+, Jen. 
>!/ ^ Qq et cet. heere] her Han. ii (misprint ?). 

161. Exit.]Om.Qq. Aftcr/o line 162, 16$. ^led]pulldQ^, 

142. Almes] Malone : That is, waiting patiently for whatever bounty or chance 
may bestow upon me. See * at fortune's alms,' Lear, I, i, 277. 

146. Fauour] Johnson : That is, in look, in countenance. See I, iii, 371. 

149. blanke] Johnson: Within the shot of his anger. Steevkns: The white 
mark at which the shot or anows were aimed. — [Note on /fam, IV, i, 42.] 

153. Booth: With surprise. 

159. Brother] Malone: Something is suppressed here. lago means to say "and 
his own brother p^ed from his side, — and meanwhile have seen him cool and uttru/- 
fled^ Booth : What is ajq^nrently omitted here, my Father, following, I presume, (dd 
itage traditions, always supplied by adding <yet he stood unmoved.' 

163. vnhatch'd practise] Johnson: Some treason that has not taken effect. 

165. pudled] RoLFE: Muddied, disturbed, or the Yankee 'riled.* 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act hi. sc hr. 

Mens Natures wrangle with inferiour things. 

Though great ones are their obie£l. 'Tis euen fo. 

For let our finger ake, and it endues 

Our other healthful! members, euen to a fenfe 

Of paine. Nay, we mud thinke men are not Gods, 

Nor of them looke for fuch obferuancie 

As fits the Bridal!. Beflirew me much jEmiliaj 

I was (vnhandfome Warrior, as I am) 

Arraigning his vnkindnefTe with my foule : 

But now I finde, I had fubom'd the Witneffe, 




167-170. Though,,, Gods] Lines end, 
object^,,,ake^,„ members^,,, thinke,.,, gods^ 

167. Though] ThoQ^Q^, 75b Q,. 
their] the Qq. 

168. endues] endures Ci^^, induces YJlj 

169. euen to a] Ff, Rowe, Steey.'85, 
KntfSU. fc^aPope+. Euen to that 
Qq etcet 

171. Nor] Not Qj. 

171. ob/eruaneie]ob/eruancesQf\f}Atl, 
Stccv/93, Var. Coll. Sing. Glo. Ktly, Wh. 
ii. ob/eruance Ff. observance always 
Rowc+, Jen. 

172. fits] fit Mai. Stecv.*93, Var. CoU. 
Sing. Wh. Glo. KUy. 

173. Warrior] wrangler Han. Warb. 
174, 175. Arraigning,., vnhindnejfe.: 

fuborfCd] Arraingning,„unhinhneffe... 
fubbome Q^. 

167-170. Walker (Cril. iii, 288) proposed, for the sake of ocular scansion, a divis- 
ion of these lines that happens to be the same as that of the Qq (which was pointed 
out by Lettsom), and also of Capell (which was not pointed out by Lettsom). 

168. endues] Johnson : I believe it should be, rather, subdues our other healthful 
members to a sense of pain. Malone : The meaning is, this sensation so gets pos- 
session of, and is so infused into, the other members, as to make them all participate 
of the same pain. Dyce (Gloss.), after quoting this paraphrase of Malone, adds, — 
' rightly perhi^ss.' 

171. obseniancie] Hudson : That is, watchful, tender, and devout attention. So 
in As You Like It, V, ii, 102, where Silvius describes ' what 'tis to love ' : < It is to be 
.... All adoration, duty, and observance, All humbleness, all patience,' &c. Rolfe : 
Not used by Shakespeare elsewhere. 

172. As fits] Rolfe : Another suggestion of < long time.' 

172. the BridaU] Deuus : Used as a noun by Shakespeare only here. 

173. Warrior] Johnson: Evidently, unfair assailant. Cowden-Clarke : A 
lovely reminiscence of her husband's having called her *my fair warrior' in the joy 
of his first meeting, on arrival. 

174. 176. Arraigning . . . falsely] Heard (5^. as a Lawyer, p. 76, ed. ii) : 
This is clearly a reference to the crime of subornation of perjury, which is an offence 
at common law, and consists in the procuring another to take such a false oath as con- 
stitutes perjury in the principal, or person taking it 

175. Witnesse] Walker ( Vers, 244 and 246) gives this, among many others, as 
an instance of a plural, but which, because it already ends in s, lacks that additional 
plural sound. In many of these examples Walker would end the word with an apos- 
trophe, to indicate that although it is the singular both in spelling arui in pconundatioii, 

ACT III, SC. iv.] 



And he's Indited falfely. 176 

jEmil. Pray heauen it bee 
State matters^ as you thinke, and no Conception^ 
Nor no lealious Toy, concerning you. 

De/, Alas the day, I neuer gaue him caufe. 180 

yEmU. But lealious foules will not be anfwer'd fo ; 
They are not euer iealious for the caufe, 
But iealious, for they're iealious. It is a Monfter 
Begot vpon it felfe, borne on it felfe. 

Def. Heauen keepe the Monfter from Othellcfs mind. i8f 

jEmil. Lady, Amen. 

Def. I will go feeke him. Caffio^ walke heerc about : 
If I doe finde him fit. He moue your fuite. 
And feeke to effeft it to my vttermoft. Exit 

Caf. I humbly thanke your Ladyfhip. 190 

• Enter Bianca. 
Bian. 'Saue you (Friend Cajfio,) 192 

176. Indited'] indicted Coll. et seq. 
(except Del.). 

177-179. lXne&tn!di,tkinke„Joy..,you. 
Qq, Cap. et seq. 

178. State matters] State-matters F^. 
State-matter POpe. 

no] on Steev.'93 (misprint). 

179. Nor no] Nor Rowe+. 

179, 181, 183, 212. Iealious] F,F.. 

182. iealious] F,. 

tMe cau/e] a cause Pope+. 

183. they re] Ff, Rowe+, Knt, Sta. 
Dyce iii, Huds. they are Qq et cet. 

// is] Ff, Rowe, Knt, Sta. It*s 
Pope+. /i!r CJq et cet. 

184. vpon] unto Q . 

185. the] Ff, Rowe, Cap. Knt that 
Qq et cet. 

Othellds] OtheWs F,. 

187. heere about] F,. hire about Qq, 
Jen. Ktly. hereabout F^¥^ et cet 

187-IV, ii.] Om. Booth. 

189. to effect] t' effect Pope + , Dyce iii, 

vttermoft] utmoft Q^. 
Exit.] Exeunt Defd. and Emillia 
(opposite to lines 189, 190) Qq. Ex. Des- 
dem. and i&nil. at one door ; Cassio, at 
the other. Theob. 

Scene XIII. Pope+, Jen. Changes to 
the street before the Pidace. Theob. 

191. Enter...] After line 192, Q,. Re- 
enter Cassio meeting Bianca. The(^. 

yet it li, in reality, a plural. In this present passage, however, if I understand Walker 
aright, he would have the full plural form, witnesses, because it seems * more naturaL* 
But I do not think it would be correct. The word here is singular, not plural. There 
was but one ' Witness,' viz. : this solitary instance of discord in her advocation, and 
this it was that had been * suborned,' by falsely interpreting, as a lack of observance, 
that which was in truth due to ' something of state.' — Ed. 

179, etc. lealious] White (ed. ii) : It is worth while to remark that this word was 
pronounced jelyus in Shakespeare's time It is almost invariably spelled jealious, as 
here five times ivithin five lines. [See Walker's note on III, iii, 212, where he is mote 
cantiouA than W bite, and restricts the peculiarity of this spelling to the First Folio. It 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act hi, sc iv. 

Cajfto. What make you from home ? 
How is't with you, my moft feire Bianca ? 
Indeed (fweet Loue) I was comming to your houfe. 

Bian. And I was going to your Lodging, Caffio. 
What? keepe a weeke away ? Seuen dayes, and Nights ? 
Eight fcore eight houres ? And Louers abfent howres 
More tedious then the Diall, eight fcore times ? 
Oh weary reckoning. 

Cajfto. Pardon me, Bianca : 
I haue this while with leaden thoughts beene preft, 
But I (hall in a more continuate time 
Strike off this fcore of abfence. Sweet Bianca 
Take me this worke out 

Bianca. Oh Cajfto^ whence came this ? 
This is fome Token from a newer Friend, 
To the felt-Abfence : now I feele a Caufe : 

[328 *] 





193. make] makes F^, Rowe+, Var. 

194. if'/] is it Qq^ Rowe et seq. 

195. Indeed] Q,Q,Ff, Rowe+, Knt 

comming] going Cl^. 
hon/e] lodging Oip, (misprint?) 
198. Loners] Qq. Loves Ft, Rowe. 
lover's Pope, Han. loveri Theob. et cet 
aoa Ok] No Q,. 

recJ^ning] reckoning QjQ^ Jen. et 
teq. reckning Q,. 
202. leaden] laden Q,. 

203. continuale titne] conuenienl titne 
Qi> Pope + 1 Cap. Jen. Coll. Ui. continuale : 
of time, Qj. 

204. Giving her Desdemona*s hand- 
kerchief. Rowe et seq. 

206. Ok] Om. Han. 

207. d] Om. Johns, (misprint). 

207, 2oi8. Ffiendt,»,ncw] Ft /riend. 
To tke felt abfence^ now Q,. friend To 
tke felt abfence, now Q,Qj. friend; To 
tke felt-aksencct now Rowe, Jen. friend. 
Oftkyfelt absence^ now Pope+. friend. 
To tke felt absence now Cap. et cet. (subs.). 

is almost uniformly leaUms in the Qq. See Textual Notes in this scene, lines 31, 33, 
and 116. — Ed.] 

193. make] Coluer (eds. i and ii) : A Saxon idiom, which Malone destroyed by 
printing makes, [See Text Notes.] 

195. I was] Walker (CHt, ii, 202) cites this instance, with others, as a pcoof that 
/ was^ from its position in the line, must have been pronounced as one syllable, in 
whatever manner the contraction was effected. See also Ham, IV, v, 14. 

197. weeke] Hudson : It would seem by this that seven days at least have elapsed 
since Cassio was cashiered ; perhaps much more, as the < leaden thoughts ' may have 
been kept off for some time by the thoughts of Desdemona's promise of intercession, 
and brought on again by the unexpected delay. 

203. continuate] Johnson : That is, less interrupted, time which I can call moiv 
my own. 

204. score] Delius finds here a punning allusion to Bianca's < eight score! 

205. Take . . . out] See 'coppied' line 219, and III, iii, 344. 



Is't come to this ? Well, well. 

CaJJio. Go too, woman : 
Throw your vilde gefles in the Diuels teeth, 
From whence you haue them. You are iealious now, 
That this is from fome Miflris, fome remembrance ; 
No, in good troth Bianca. 

Bian. Why, who's is it ? 

Caffio. I know not neither : 
I found it in my Chamber, 
I like the worke well ; Ere it be demanded 
(As like enough it will) I would haue it coppied : 
Take it, and doo't, and leaue me for this time. 

Bian. Leaue you ? Wherefore ? 

Caffio. I do attend heere on the Generall, 
And thinke it no addition nor my wifli 
To haue him fee me womanM. 

Bian. Why, I ptay you ? 

Caffio. Not that I loue you not 

Bian. But that you do not loue me. 
I pray you bring me on the way a little. 
And (ay, if I fhall fee you foone at night ? 






209. ///] h it Steev. MaL Var. ColL 

Weil, weil.^ Om. Cl^. WeU^weli, 
weU-^ KUy. 

210. Go too, woman /] Go to woman, 
Qq. Well, go to, woman :')^»ii. Woman, 
goto! Cap. Stccv.*93. 

211. vilde gefeslvilegheffesOJ^, vile 

212. them"] *em Cap. 

214. ingoodtrotA']fymj^foitAQ^,CanL 
in good trulh Johns. 

215. whds\ whofe Q,Q,FjF^. 

216, 217. One line, Qq^ Rowe et teq. 

216. neither :'\ Yi, Rowe+, Cap. Kntp 
Dyce, Sta. Del. fweete, Qq et cet 

219. Iwouldl ¥{, Rowe. rde Qq el 

223. nor my] nor do /] Qninqr (MS). 

224. kim\ k m F,. 

225. 226. Om. Q,. 
225. ptay\ F,. 

227. Bui,, .me] Nor that you lave me. 
229. night f] night. Qq. 

221. Wherefore] Walker (Vers, 112): With the stronger accent on the latter 

223. addition] Rolfe: That is, credit. 

224. woman'd] Abbott, § 294 : That is, accompanied by a woman. 

229. soone at] White (ed. i, note on JIfeny Wives, I, vr, 8) : This ph* ase was 
used with a meaning which it is not very easy to express. It may, perhi^, be taken 
to signify surely, or without let or hindrasue, which is, probably, the radical meaning 
of 'soon.' See Richardon's Diet, Marston has two instances of it, — <0 wee wiQ 
mount in triumph : soone at night He set his head up.' — Antonio and MelUda, Fart I, 

232 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act nr. sc L 

CaJJio. ^is but a little way that I can bring you, 230 

For I attend heere : But He fee you foone. 

Bian. rTis very good : I muft be circumftanc'd. 

Exeunt amnes. 233 

A£ius Quartus. Scena Prima. 

Enter Othello ^ and logo, 

lago. Will you thinke fo? 

0th. Thinke fo, lagol 

logo. What, to kifle in priuate ? 5 

0th. An vnauthorizM kifle ? 

a^. Exeunt...] Exeunt. Qq. Qq. 

I. Actus...] Actus. 4. Q,. Actus 4. J-5^ Om. Fechter. 

8ocen« 1. Q.Q (Scacna Q^. 3-5. WiU.„ fVka/'} One line, Cap. et 

A Room of State. Ro we. A Court before seq. 

the l^alace. Theob. An open place, be- 4. /4^ A] It^, Qq. 

fore the Castle. Steev. 6. JHft r] Ff; Rowe+, Knt Jtiff^e, Qq, 

a. Enter...] Enter Ii^ and OiAello, Johns, et cet 

Act III. * Gentlemen, as yet I can but thanke you; but I must bee trusted for my 
oitllnarie soone at mghV^ IVAat You WiU^ V, i. Dyce {Gloss.) : About Schmidt : 
This very night, so early as to-day in the erening. 

•31. toone] Cassio here uses this woid in the sense of nightfaU^ an acceptation to 
which Arrowsmith (p. 7) first, as far as I know, called attention by the following 
quotation from GiPs Lcgomomia Anglican ed. 1619: — * Quickly dto, sooner dtior aut 
eltluH, soonest citissimus aut dtissime, nam <soon' hodle apud plurimos significat ad 
|«lnuun vcM|)eram, olim dto.' Whether or not this acceptation of <soon ' lies perdu in 
thf |irrceiUng phrase, *soon at night,' I do not feel competent to say, but I suspect 
that it (loeii.— Ed. 

sja. 'Tit v«ry (ood] Deighton: Said with bittemesb. 

•33. clrcumttanc'd] Mason : I must give way to circumstances. 

3-^. Wai.KKK (Crit, iii, 288) : Arrange, perhaps,— Will you think so? | Think so, 
lim<i ? What, to kiss in private ? | An unauth6riz'd kiss. Lettsom [in a foot-note] : 
Walker, Intentionally or otherwise, has placed a full stop after kiss. So the Qq, I 
ballfve, and Dyce; the F, has a note of inteirogation. [See Text. Notes.] Are these 
ihtirt kpeecheM |vo|)erly distributed ? lago seems to have been pretending that, if 
K Hhvllo had caught Cassio kissing Desdemona, that would have been no proof of guilt 
III the lady an<l her friend ; from this Othello seems to have dissented. ^., — * Thinks 
Ki, Ia||i» i what, to kiss in })rivate ! | An unauthoriz'd kiss I ' Dkighton is inclined to 
think lliat lines 3 and 5 should be also given to Othello, and that lago first speaks at 

IIm# 7< 
n. vnauthoria'd] For the accent, < unauth6riz'd,' see Walker (Vers, Art. xxxvii« 

|i lU4)i*r Ahiioit, $491. 


lago. Or to be naked with her Friend in bed, 7 

An houre, or more, not meaning any harme t 

0th. Naked in bed ijagd) and not meane harme ? 
It is hypocrifie againil the Diuell : 10 

They that meane vertuoufly, and yet do fo, 
The Diuell their vertue tempts, and they tempt Heauen. 

lago. If they do nothing, 'tis a Veniall flip : 
But if I giue my wife a Handkerchiefe. 

0th. What then ? 1 5 

lago. Why then 'tis hers (my Lord) and being hers, 
She may (I thinke) beftoVt on any man. 

0th. She is Proteftrefle of her honor too : 
May (he giue that ? 19 

1. Friend^ FHendsYi. Sing. Sta. Wh. i, Ktly, DeL Soik^y^ 

7, 9. in btd'\ Yi^ Rowe+» Cap. Knt, et cet 

Dyce, Sta. Glo. Cam. CoU. iii, Wh. ii. 14. But if I^ But lYY^, 

abed Qq et cet. 14, 22. Ifandkerchiefe?\ kandkercher, 

8. harme /] harme, Q,. Q,. Handkerchiffe, F^. handkerchief— 

12. tempts^ and"] tempts not; Waib. Rowe et seq. 

Han. 18. Pratectreffe'\proprietor'^93^,cicm). 

13. If they] Ff, Rowe+, Knt, ColL Han. propertied Vfaib. proprietress Cap. 

too:] to, Q,. 

7 and 9. nmked] Dyce, in both his Second and his Third Edition, prints these 
words with an accent, thus : < nak^.' I wish I knew why; especially since a similar 
forethought for heedless readers of this word is not extended by Dyce elsewhere ; after 
having learned to lean on our accented /s, we are liable to read, in his edition, that 
Emilia wishes rascals to be lashed < nak'd through the world,' and that Othello threatens 
Gradano that he will assault him * nak'd as he was.' — Ed. 

10. Diuell] Johnson : This means, hypocrisy to cheat the deviL As conmion hypo- 
crites cheat men by seeming good, and yet living wickedly, these men would cheat the 
devil, by giving him flattering hopes, and at last avoiding the crime which he thinks 
them ready to commit Rymer (p. 128) : At this gross rate of trifling, our General 
and his Auncient March on most heroically ; till the jealous Booby has his Brains 
tum'd ; and falls in a Trance. Would any imagine this to be the Language of Vene- 
tians, of Souldiers, and mighty Captains ? no Bartholomew Droll cou'd subsist upon 
such trash. [According to Alubone (Diet.), Pope considered Rymer, * on the whole, 
one of the best critics we ever had ' ; Dryden and Sir Walter Scott quote him with 
respect; Dr Johnson was disgusted at his 'ferocity'; Sergeant Talfourd praises his 
acuteness at the expense of his judgement, and Lord Macaulay deems him ' the worst 
critic that ever lived.'— Ed.] 

12. Heauen] Henley; The true key to the explanation of this passage may be 
found in St. Matthew, iv, 7. The poet's idea is, that the devil tempts their virtues 
by stirring up their passions, and they tempt heaven by placing themselves in such 
a situation as makes it scarcely possible to avoid falling, by the gratification of 

234 ^^^ TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv, sc. L 

lago. Her honor is an Eflence that's not feene, [329 d\ 

They haue it very oft, that haue it not 21 

But for the Handkerchiefe. 

Othe. By heauen, I would mod gladly haue forgot it : 
Thou (aidft (oh, it comes ore my memorie, 
As doth the Rauen o're the infeflious houfe : i^ 

Boading to all) he had my Handkerchiefe. 

lago. I : what of that ? 

Othe. That's not fo good now. 

lag. What if I had (aid, I had feene him do you wrong/ 
Or heard him fay (as Knaues be fuch abroad, 30 

Who hauing by their owne importunate fuit, 
Or voluntary dotage of fome Millris, 32 


25. mfecHous\ Ff, Rowe, Cap. Knt, SUu 27-29. /. . . lVhat'\ As one line, Dyoe, 
Del mfecUd Qq et cet Glo. Cam. Huds. Rife, Wh. ii. 

26. aU) h€\ Yi, aU,) ^^ Qq. ail, he 29. had /aid, /had] said, Pad F6pe, 
Rowe. fZ^— i^Popeii,Theob.Waib. aU, Theob. Waib. Johns, said, I had 'Hxdl. 
—hi Han. et cet 30. iuard'\ heare F^ hear F,F^. 

Handkerchiefe] hanhercher Q,. fi^ {as] sayf as Han. 

hatUUrchief Waib. 32. Or] Or by the (i^, 

23. forgot] Db Vigny : H est l»en beau, H mon avis, qu'Othello ait oubli^ cette 
dxoonstance, 16g^re en apparence, et qu'il Cuit lui n43peler souvent Cela diminnen 
beanooup le reproche qae Ton £ut H Shakespeare d'avdr construit toute I'intrigue sor 
un fondement aussi pen solide que le mouchoir perdu. 

25. Rmuen] Harting (p. 99) : Go where we will over the face of the wide world, 
the hoarse croak of the raven is still to be heard. He was seen perched on the bare 
rocks, looking over the dreary snows of the highest points visited in Arctic expeditions 
Under the burning sun of the equator he enjoys his feast of carrion. He was discov- 
ered in the islands of the Pacific by Captain Cook $ and in the lowest Antarctic regions 
travellers have found him pursuing his cautious predatory Ufe, just as in England. From 
the earliest times, with his deep and solenm voice he has always commanded attention, 
and in his croaldngs the superstitious have found something unearthly and ominous. By 
the Romans he was consecrated to Apollo and regarded as a prophet of good or of eviL 
Through a long course of centuries this character has clung to him; and even at this 
day there are many who believe that the raven's croak predicts a death. No wonder 
then that Shakespeare has used this widespread belief, and has introduced the raven 
into many of the solemn passages of his Plays. Malonb quotes these fine lines of 
Marlowe, yWv of Malta, II, i, I : ' Thus, like the sad presaging raven, that tolls The 
sick man's passport in her hollow beak. And in the shadow of the sOent night Doth 
shake contagion fixnn her sable wings.' 

27. PuKNELL : lago would attach no importance to that OthcUo says that that is 
unlike his usual wisdom. 

28. 29. That's . . . wrong] Walker {Crit, iii, 288) : Arrange, perhaps, — ^That's 
not so good now. What if I had said | I had seen him do you wrong ? | 

ACT IV, SC. i.] 



Conuinced or fupply^d them, cannot chufe 
But they muft blab.) 

0th. Hath he (aid any thing ? 

lago. He hath (my Lord) but be you well aflur'd, 
No more then heMe vn-fweare. 

0th. What hath he faid ? 

lago. Why, that he did : I know not what he did. 

Othe. What? What? 

lago. Lye. 

0th. With her ? 

lago. With her ? On her ; what you will. 

Othe. Lye with her t lye on her ? We fay lye on her, 
when they be-lye-her. Lye with her ; that's fuUfome: 
Handkerchiefe : ConfefTions : Handkerchiefe. To con- 





33. ConuUued or\Coniured orQ^, Can* 
jured or Qj. amvin^d or Thcob. Han. 
Warb. Johns. Cap. convincd her and 

/M>^^</]Ff,Wh. suppUdiyitxki, 
Han. Waib. Johns. suppVdOx^, fupplied 
Qqet cet 

cannoi ] they cannoi Theob. Waib. 
Johns, then cannoi Han. stra^ht cannoi 

34. blab,)'] blab, Q,, Rowe, Pope, Han. 
Steev.'Ss, Del. ^/o^.* Cap. bla^^]tn. 
Mai. etseq. 

39. ff%^]Q,QjFf,Rowe+, Cap. Steer. 
85, Knt Faith Q, et cet. 

he.., did,] hi did I know noi what; 
he did. Rann. 

he did :/]¥{. hedid-^/QqttctA, 

40. lVhainVkair]ButwhairCi^,]txu 
IVhatr Q,Q,. 

41. Lye,] Lye — Rowe et seq. 

43. herf On her:] her, on her, Qq. 
her f on her — Rowe, Pope, her; on her — 
Theob. Warb. Johns, her Ion her — Han. 
her, on her—^ Jen. her :'~'on her ;— Knt, 
Sta. her, on her; Cap. et cet 

wiUJ] wiU~^ Rowc+, Jen. 

44. 45. IVe,.. be-lye-her] Om. Pope^ 
Theob. Han. Waib. 

45. be-lye-her.] bely her; Qq, Cap. 
be-lye her FjF^. 

her: ihai*s] her, Zonns, thai's Q,. 
her/ Zouns, ihai*s Jen. Cam. 

46. Handkerchiefe :Co9rfemons : Hand" 
kerchiefe.] handkerchers, Confefflon, han- 
kerchers, Q,. handkerchiefi, confeffion, 

handkerchiefe Q^JX^' handkerchief— eon^ 
fessunu — ha$ulkerchief — handkerchief— 
Theob. Warb. Johns. 

46-52. 7> confeffe,..diuell] Om. Q,. 

46-48. To confejfe. . .confeffe] Om. Pope, 

33. Conuinced or supply'd] Theobald : I read * convinced or suppled,* and the 
meaning is, there are some such long-tongued knaves in the world, who, if they through 
they^^^ of importunity extort a favour from their mistress, or if through her own fond* 
ness they make her pliant to their desires, cannot help boasting of their success. To 
convince, here, is not, as in the common acceptation, to make sensible of the truth of 
anything by reasons and arguments ; but to ' overcome, get the better ofi &c. Jennens :S 
I see no reason for this alteration; lago is here describing two sorts of gallants; onel 
who by their importunities have convinced, or overcome, their mistresses; the other, who^ | 
when their mistresses voluntarily doated on them, have supplied them with the eflfects of / 
love. Stesvens : < Supplied ' is certainly the true reading. See Meas. for Meas, V, i, 212^ 

44-52. Here, as in Lear, IV, vi, 127, the highest passion of all, m AitvoTT ($511) 
says, is expressed in prose Compare lines 198 et seq. of this Scene. 

236 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv, sc. L 

feflCy and be hanged for his labour. Firft, to be hang'd, 47 

and then to confefle : I tremble at it. Nature would not 
tttueil her felfe in fuch (hadowing paffion, without fome 
loftruAion. It is not words tha/ (hakes me thus, (pifli) 50 

Vv. Km» CoD. Dyce, Sta. y^ Im/tnutitm\ F^ imduOum Warb. 

4& tkemt»amftfe:\ tktm—iacmftss! Han. Cap. 
TWol). Waib. Johns. mT] m Rowe iL 

4» ^li irfiiiiV] linrfrfn |-ivCba.(MS). >Ui»] QqF^ Cap. Cam. DeL li^i^ 

fmfim'\ Ob. I^jpc* Theob. Han. Rofwe d ccL 

46-52. To . . . diadl] Fors: No kini of this tnsh in the fint edition. Malone : 
Ste Maiiove*s/rar tf Mmlt*^ IV, i: «Bbme not vs, but the pforexb,— Confess and be 
httK^ed.* HaluwklL: Again in Shiriqr's LmM Tricks [IV, ri] : Hmf, Did you hear 
iMi confess il? B^kHtsKSTi^ cm^m^ keUmgtJ nam: Walkol (Or/, iii, 
189) : In the confiBno of Olhdlo*s wiai^ 'haadkerdkief^' from the soond and its com- 
^ in conncctioa vilh *coofessions»* snQg e sti the idea of hanging. 

50W IttStnictmi] Wark^tox : The starts and broken reflections in this qxech 
httve soflMthing ttiy tcnible* and shov the miiid of the ^)eakcr to be in inexpressible 
t^onktf. But the voids we arc npon hnve a snWimf in them that can nerer be enough 
ttiwMi. 'I'be ndkttkws blander of viiling 'instraction * fcr imdiuium (for so it should 
bt ictti) has indeed, sank il into arrant wvnntont OtheDo is just going to fall into a 
twMMi ; and. as b common fcr people in that c ir c mnstanrf, feeb an unusual mist and 
dMkMMSk accompanied vith honor, coming upon him. This, with Tast sublimity of 
tlMMght. ia compared li> the season of the san*s e^pse, at which time the earth becomes 
ifciwinaiit N thf iwii^-fiirM iir trringin^ ^-mrf Thr mtmn trrtr-rrn it intl thr mn This 
Mm^ the aUuskoo» the Rasoning stands thus, Mj nature oonM nerer be thus oveishad- 
«MM^ aad £aUing» as il wtre» into dissolution fcr no cause. There must be an mduc- 
$um \fi vooMKhing; there most be a real caase. Mj jealousy cannot be merely imagi- 
Mi^. K)««aw «»«^u^ o«dy» could not shake me thas» and raise all this disorder. My 
jtaK'Ufry aiyal be gioanded. thertfcre, on matter of &ct This word is used in this 
l»ai# ia ASt-l. //// IV, iv» 5. Jomxson: This is a noUe conjecture, and, whether 
l^hl K« wiN>i^ dvM:» honour to its author. Yet I am in doubt whether there is any 
^s^iwii^ of tmettdalioa. IVre has always prevailed in the world an opinion that, 
wh«a aay ^i«al calamity ha^yras at a distance* notice b given of it to the sufferer by 
M«i# vlti^t^ ^« (Hntuibation of mind« of whidi he discorers no external cause. This 
Il lM«tb<^il IVi^ that general communication of one part of the universe with another, 
whMi'h i» called »ympftlhy and antipathy; or to the secret monition, mstruc/wn, and 
taiihfctm^ U a Sapericc Hetng> which superintends the order of nature and of life. 
VHh«IK^ M>X Nature c\mKI n^^ invest heiself in such shadowing passion without 
iMij^^^WM. U b aol w\^b that shake me thus. Thb passion which spreads its 
vW^W v'v^ w^ b the 9^^ of some agency, more than the operation of words ; it is 
I wii* v4 lh^«e Vk«,^W«it which men have of unseen cabunities. Heath (p. 569) : Othello 
I IH^ a^t 1^ iKM^llMfa liiuhi^ him on the sudden, and a cloudy or misty darkness creeping 
I \^Y tM U|VM KiiM. Thb ciivamstance suggests to him the thought that hb very nature, 
N^hK^ \v4M^^hue« with him in hb ^vtsent agony, must have received some secret mys- 
J iW».'U'> iVMimctK^ iutU{U*lk>nft vht instinctive knowledge of the reality of that calamity 
H^kMk a^ ^^ei^ v^«|HV«u««» him« \>therwise she would never have spontaneously invested 


Nofes, Eares, and Lippes : is't poflible. Confefle? Hand- 51 

kerchiefe ? O diuell. Falls in a Traunce. 

lago. Worke on, 
My Medicine workes. Thus credulous Fooles are caught, 
And many worthy, and chad Dames euen thus, 55 

(All guiltleffe) meete reproach : what hoa ? My Lord ? 
My Lord, I fay : OtJullo. 

Enter CaJJio. 
How now Cvjfto t 

Caf. What's the matter? 60 

5 1 . pojffible.'] pofiibU f Q^Q,. possible ! Rowe, Pope, Han. on my medicine^ worke: 
Rowe. Qq. on,MymedicinefTvork!Thtx^i.^c^ 

51,52. Confeffef Handkerchief ef^CoH' $$, $6, Datnes.^paltleffe)'} dames, euen 

/ess i^Handkerchief!^ Rowe. tkus ailguililefe, Q,. 

52. Falls...] He faIsdowne.Q,. Falles 57. Othello.] Othello,— Qq, Theob. 
...txance. QgQjF^. Johns. 

53-59. Prose, Qq. 58. Enter...] After line 59, Qq. 

53> 54* One line, Cap. Scene II. Pope+, Jen. 

on. My Medicine workes,} Ff, 60. lVkat*s] What is Steev.'pj, Vai. 

herself in that horrid darkness which he now felt overwhelming him. SiR J. Rey- 
nolds : Othello alludes only to Cassio'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 such rapidity that it has not time to shape or digest them, if it does 
not relieve itself by tears (which we know it often does, whether for joy or grief) it 
produces stupefaction and fainting. Othello, in broken sentences and single words, all 
of which have a reference to the cause of his jealousy, shows that all the proo& are 
present at once to his mind, which so overpowers it that he falls into a trance, the nat- 
ural consequence. Malone : Induction^ in Shakespeare's time, meant introduction or 
prelude, and at no time signified bringing over, as Warburton interprets it. 

50. that shakes] See I, iii, 312. 

51. Lippes] Steevens : Othello is imagining to himself the familiarities which he 
supposes to have passed between Cassio and his wife. If this be not the meaning, we 
must suppose he is meditating a cruel punishment for the guilty lovers. 

53. Fechter here b^ns his Act IV. Othello and lago discovered. Othello is 
stretched, unconscious, on the divsm. lago behind, contemplating him with a diabol- 
ical sneer. 

54. workes] An interpolated j, according to Walker. See I, i, 31. 

57-200. Salvini justifies his omission of this portion of the scene on the ground 
that it is not in accord with Othello's character. ' Is it to be imagined,' he asks, 'that 
a man of the Moor's haughty and violent temper could command himself during the 
recital of his dishonour from the lips of his wronger ? Would you not suppose that he 
would spring like a tiger on Cassio and tear him to pieces ? To be sure, Cassio would 
gain enough time to clear up the misunderstanding, and the Tragedy would fall through 
Hence, either this scene must be retained to the injury of Othello's character, or it must 
be omitted.' The gap in the story Salvini considers as filled by Othello's assertion in 
the last scene, that he had seen the Handkerchief in Cassio's hand. 



lago. My Lord is falne into an Epilepfie, 
This is his fecond Fit : he had one yefterday. 

Caf. Rub him about the Temples. 

lago. The Lethargie mud haue his quyet courfe : 
If noty he foames at mouth : and by and by 
Breakes out to (auage madnefle. Looke, he (lirres .* 
Do you withdraw your felfe a little while, 
He will recouer ftraight : when he is gone, 
I would on great occafion, fpeake with you. 
How is it Generall ? Haue you not hurt your head ? 

Othi. Doft thou mocke me ? 

lago. I mocke you not, by Heauen: 
Would you would beare your Fortune like a Man. 

Othe. A Homed man's a Moniler, and a Bead. 

lago. Ther's many a Beaft then in a populous Citty, 
And many a ciuill Monfter. 

Othe. Did he confeffe it ? 

lago. Good Sir, be a man : 
Thinke euery bearded fellow that's but yoak^d 






61. fahu\ QqFf, Rowe, Pbpe. fell 
Theob. Waib. fallen Steev. Mai. Var. 
Knt, CoU. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly. faWn Han. 

62. is his\ is the Y^ Rowe+. 

64. lago. Thel lag. No,forbeare, The 
Qq {forbare, Q^) Pope ct seq. 

haue his"] have Q,. 

65. a/] at' Ed. conj. 

66. hejlirres'\ he ftarres Qj. 

68. 69. gone^fpeake"] gon„.fpahe Q,. 

69. [Exit Cassio. Rowe et seq. 

70. headf^ handf Ff {hand; FJ 

71. Doft thou] Doft Qy Cap. 
met] met Exit Caf Q/l^ 

72. ^<m not, by] Ff^ Rowe+. you no 
by Qj. you f no by Q,Q; ct cct 

Heauen :] heaven ; I mock you not. 

73. Fortune] Ff, Rowe, P6pe, Han. 
Cap. Knt, Dyce, Sta. Glo. Cam. Del ColL 
iii, Wh. ii. fortunes Qq et cet 

Hke] life F,. 
77. confeffe itf] confeffe fQq, 
79. euery] ever Qj. 

61. Epilepsie] Bucknill {Med. Knowledge of Sh. p. 274): This designation 
!^ppeais a mere fidsehood. It is to be observed, however, that Shakespeare's know- 
ledge of ejMlepsy here goes fiuther than in Jul, Cos, I, ii, 256^ since he describes the 
maniacal excitement which so often follows the (it. When Cassio has been persuaded 
to withdraw, lago applies to the patient himself the truthful and correct designation 
of his morbid state. 

62. yesterday] Cowden-Clarke : lago is so solid a liar that this cannot be taken 
literally ; but it aids to give the effect of long dramatic time. 

64. White (ed. i) : The words [supplied by the Qq, see Text. Notes,*^ were omitted 
from the Folio, accidentally we may be sure. 

71. mocke] John Hunter : As if lago had meant the hurt done to the head when 
one is made a homed monster. 

ACT IV, SC i.] 


May draw with you. There's Millions now aliue, 

That nightly lye in thofe vnproper beds, 

Which they dare fweare peculiar. Your cafe is better. 

Oh, 'tis the fpight of hell, the Fiends Arch-mock, 

To lip a wanton in a fecure Cowch; 

And to fuppose her chart. No, let me know. 

And knowing what I am, I know what (he (hallbe. 

Otiu Oh, thou art wife : 'tis certaine. 

lago. Stand you a while apart. 
Confine your felfe but in a patient Lift, 
Whil'ft you were heere, o're-whelmed with your griefe 
(A paffion moft refulting fuch a man) 


[329 *] 


80. you. Tker^s] you^ there i Qq. 
There 5 MiUums\ Millions are 


now"] uow F,. 

81. /ye] lyes Q,. 

82. peculiar] prcuHarY^, peculiar Q^, 
ca/e] caufe Ff, Rowe. 

%l. Oh, 'tis] O this Q,. Oh, it is Han. 

8a-88. Lines end, cafe...hell,„,in,,„ 
cha/l. .„am.,. wife :.., apart, Han. (read- 
ing ^Mf now line 88). 

85. let me] let not me Q . 

87. *tis] that's Cap. (Corrected in Er- 

88. Stand you] Stand you now Han. 

89. Lift,] lift: Qq. Ust, Rowe. 

90. heere, d re-whelmed] here ere while, 
mad Q^, Steev. Mai. Rann. Var. 

91. re/ulting]F{,'Rowt» vn/uting(^. 
vnfittiHg QjCi^, Vopt, Han. Cap. Coll. 
Dyce iii. unsuitistg Theob. et cet 

81. vnproper] Dycb: Not peculiar to an individual, common. RoLFB: Shake- 
fpeare uses it only here ; improper, that is, not becoming, only in Lear, V, iii, 222. 

82. peculiar] White (ed. ii) : Equivalent to belonging to one ; that is, to each 
one of them (the millions) respectively. 

83. spight] Schmidt {Lex, s. v.) : Vexation, mortification. Rolfe : It rather 
teems to be malice. The ' spite of hdl ' is explained by * the fiend's arch-mock.' The 
man is not mortified, for he does not know his disgrace. 

84. secure] Maix>ne : In a couch on which he is lulled into a false security. So, 
'though Page be a secure fool,' &c.. Merry Wives, II, i, 241. [For other instances of 
the accent on the first syllable, see Walker ( Vers. 292) or Abbott, $492.] 

85-87. Walker {Crit. iii, 289) proposes an arrangement, 'if the reading be right,' 
of these lines, wherein he was anticipated by Hanmer. See Text. Notes. 

86. she] Steevens : Redundancy of metre, without improvement of sense, inclines 
one to consider this word as an intruder. lago is merely stating an imaginary case as 
his own. ' When I know what I am, I know what the result of that conviction shall 
be.' To whom, indeed, could the pronoun 'she ' grammatically refer? 

89. List] Collins : That is, barrier, bound. Keep your temper, says lago^ within 
the bounds of patience. 

90. o're-whelmed] Knight: These words, in the Qq^ afibrd one evidence, 
amongst many, that both his texts were printed fipom a manuscript. 

91. resulting] Coluer (ed. ii): That unfitting ynm the word usually recited on 
the stage we mny infer, perhaps, fipom its having been thus altered in the (MS.). 



CaJJio came hither. I fhifted him away, 

And layd good fcufes vpon your Extafie, 

Bad him anon retume : and heere fpeake with me. 

The which he promisM. Do but encaue your felfe, 

And marke the Fleeres, the Gybes, and notable Scomes 

That dwell in euery Region of his face. 

For I will make him tell the Tale anew; 

Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when 

He hath, and is againe to cope your wife. 

I fay, but marke his gefture : marry Patience, 

Or I (hall fay y'are all in all in Spleene, 

And nothing of a man. 

Othe. Do'ft thou heare, lagOj 
I will be found mod cunning in my Patience : 
But(do'ft thou heare) moft bloody. 

lago. That's not amifle. 
But yet keepe time in all : will you withdraw ? 
Now will I queilion CaJJio of Bianca^ 
A Hufwife, that by felling her defires 
Buyes her felfe Bread, and Cloath. It is a Creature 






92. hither,'\ hither^ Qq* 

93. hyd^ layed Qq. laid Ff. 
fcufes vp<m\fcufe^vpcn()_^, fcufes 

on Ff, Rowe-H fcufe vp<m Q;Qj ct cct 

94. Bad'\ Bid Q,. Bade Johns, Steer, 

retume :'\ retire^ Qq. 

heere fpeake"] her fpeake Q^. 
9$. Do du/] dut Qq, Coll. Wh. i. 

encaue'] incaue Qq. 
96. Fleeres] leeres Q,. geeres Q;Qj. 

Gybes] libes Q,. 
98. TaU] rale Q,. 
100. hath] has Qq. 
loi. gefture: marry] ieafture^ mary 

loa. yare] Ff, Rowc, Wh. Dyce iii, 
Huds. yotire Pope, Han. yim are Qq 
et cet. 

all in aU] aUin-all SUl Huds. 
in Spleene] a spleen Johns, conj. 
Cap. ofu spleen Lettsom conj. Huds. 
104. thou] Om. Cap. 

107. lago.] aago. F,. 

108. But yet] But Q^. 

[Othello withdraws. Rowe. Othel- 
lo conceals himself. Cap. 

109. Bianca,] Bianca? Q^. 

III. Cloath] cloathts Qq. cloth Yf^ 
Rowe+. clothes Steev.'93 et seq. 
It is a Creature] Om. Q^. 

93. souses] Walker (Crit, i, 239) cites this in the same article refeired to at I, i, 
31, adding <it is possible that Shakespeare may have written 'scuses on^ Neither 
Walker nor his Editor noticed that this is the reading of all the Ff but the Fust For 
the dropped prefix, see Abbott, $ 460. 

102. in Spleene] Steevens : We still say, such a one is in wrath, in the dumps, 
&c. The sense, therefore, is plain. Dyce (ed. iii) : Lettsom suggests < one spleen.' 

no. Huswife] White (ed. ii) : Pronunciation, husif; sense, hussy, 

III. It is] RoLFE: Used contemptuously, as in Rom, &*Jul, IV, ii, 14. 


That dotes on CaJJio^ (as 'tis the Strumpets plague 1 1 2 

To be-guile many, and be be-guilM by one) 

He, when he heares of her, cannot reftraine 

From the exceffe of Laughter. Heere he comes. 1 1 5 

Enter Cajpo. 

As he fhall fmile, Othello fhall go mad : 

And his vnbookifh leloufie mud conferue 118 

113. beguile.'guWd'\ beguUe.,. Il6. Enter...] Afterline 1x3, Qq. After 
b^^d QqFjF^. wrong line 120, Dycc, Sta. Wh. 

114. r^raM^]Fi^Rowe,Sta. rejraine Scene III. Pope +, Jen. 

Qq et cet 118. con/eruel confter Qq. cominti 

Rowe et seq. 

116. See note, III, iii, 383. 

118. vnbookish] Whiter (p. 112), after citing many instances where Shakespeare 
has used the imagery of a booA in connection with love, ends with the celebrated 
description of Cressida ( Tro, &* Cress. IV, v, 54) wherein Ulysses speaks of < unclasp- 
ing the tables of their thoughts To every ticklish reader;' and the same metaphor. 
Whiter is persuaded, lago uses here. ' The ** unbookish ** jealousy of Othello,' says 
Whiter, ' is that which confounds his knowledge in the BoaJb of Love, and blinds his 
discernment respecting the language of Lovers. It will cause him to mistake the 
artless smiles and gestures of Cassio for the significant expressions of amorota parley. 
Whether our Poet intended to comprehend the whole of this meaning, I am not able 
to decide : I am convinced, however, that this remote epithet " unbookish," as applied 
to jealousy, was suggested to his mind by the above very singular imagery of the Lomr 
and the Book: Walker {Cril. iii, 289) noticed what had escaped Whiter, tliat <un- 
bookish ' is connected with < construe,' but when he adds that * it is explained by it,' he 
does not take me wholly with him. ' Unbookish ' is certainly used here in an unusual 
sense ; it is as though there were Books kA Jealousy , like Saviolo's Practise of Honorable 
Quarrels, which should guide Othello, but did not. Warburton's explanation, followed 
by Dyce and others, that it is equivalent to ignorant, is scarcely sufficient The use of 
* bookish ' in the first scene of this play, in its manifest meaning (where lago talks 
of the ' bookish Theoric *), shows that more is meant by ' unbookish ' than mere lack 
of knowledge or of skill. Until a better can be given. Winter's explanation seems the 
nearest, viz. : that Shakespeare having so firequently compared love and lovers to books, 
here, by the association of ideas, makes Othello's misconstruction of Cassio's smiles due 
to Othello's lack of learning in the books of love. — Ed. 

118. consenie] This is a mere misprint, of one letter, for construe, which is speUed 
in the Qq as it was probably pronounced. It is spelled conster in the Ff Tkvelfth Night, 
ni, i, 54; thus also in F,F,F, Tarn, of Shr, III, i, 30 and 40; constured in Qq Merry 
Wives, I, iii, 42 ; consture in Lov^s Lab, V, ii, 341 ; consters in R, of L, 324, and cou- 
ster in Pass, Pil, 14, 8; construe in all other instances, viz. : Two Gent, I, ii, 56; Ff 
Merry Wives, I, iii, 42 ; Ff Lovis Lab. V, ii, 341 ; Jul, Cos, I, ii, 44; I, iii, 34 ; II, i, 
307 ; 2 Hen, IV: IV, i, 103. G>llier, in all honesty doubtless, says that F, has con- 
serve, which shows how necessary it is to have the ipsisdnue liters of the or^;inal text 

in sight, where the t^s are not converted to t^'s. Dycb {Remarks, p. 54, note on the 



Poore CaJJicfs fmiles, geftures, and light behauiours 

Quite in the wrong. How do you Lieutenant? I20 

Caf. The worfer, that you giue me the addition, 
Whofe want euen killes me. 

lago. Ply Defdemona well, and you are fure on't : 
Now, if this Suit lay in BiancJs dowre, 
How quickely fhould you fpeed? 125 

Caf. Alas poore CaitifTe. 

0th. Looke how he laughes already. 

lago. I neuer knew woman loue man fo. 

Caf. Alas poore Rogue, I thinke indeed (he loues me. 

0th. Now he denies it faintly : and laughes it out 1 30 

lago. Do you heare CaJJio ? 

0th. Now he importunes him 
To tell it o're : go too, well (aid, well (aid. 

lago. She giues it out, that you (hall marry her. 
Do you intend it ? 135 

Caf. Ha, ha, ha. 

0th. Do ye triumph, Romaine ? do you triumph ? 137 

119. Po€ri\ Our Theob. conj. (with- 

AeA«iM0MfY] F^ Rowe. hehauumr 

120. you\ Ff, R«we. you now Qq et 

LinUenmnt'\ Lnuienant Qq. 
121. wor/er] wor/e Qj. 

gitte\ gave Ff, Rowe, Pope, Han. 

123. tfiiV] eft Mai. Stecv.*93, Var. 

124. [Speaking lower. Rowe. 
dawre] ¥i^ Rowe, Knt, SUu Del. 

power Qq et cet 

126. CaUiffel caHue Qq. 

127, 130^ 132, 137, 141, 145, 149^ 154. 
15S, 176. As Aside, Theob. Waifo. et seq. 

128. f0mvfa»]Ff,Knt,ColLDycei,Stm. 
Wh. Glo. Del. Rife, a woman Qq et cet 

129. uuUed'l F( Rowe+, Cap. Steev. 
'85, Knt ^aith Q, et cet 

130. f/0K/] 0K/POpe-t-. 

132, 133. N<rw.,,tfre'\ One line, Qq. 

132. importu$u5\ in porhmii Q,. 

133. it (^rel it on Q,Q,. it out Q,. 

wett/aidt well/aid'\ weU/aidQf\. 
137. Z^^y^'^] Ff,Rowe,P6pe. Doe yon 
Qq et cet. 

Mer. of Ven, II, ii) says that the fonn miscomter is common in our early writers, and 
gives several instances. — ^Ed. 

119. behauiours] See I, i, 31, or Walker (Crit, i, 241). 

124. dowre] Knight : Dower in the sense of gift. Collier : The letter d having 
been turned in the Folio, 'power' there became dower. Deuus thinks that < dower' 
aoooids better with what lago afterwards insinuates, viz. : * she gives it out that yon 
shall marry her.' 

133. weU said] See II, i, 192. 

137. Romaine] Warburton : Never was a more ridiculous blunder than the wocu 
' Roman.' Shakespeare wrote rogue^ which, being obscurely written, the editois mis- 
took for Rome, and so made Roman of it Johnson : Othello calls him ' Roman ' 

ACT IV, SC. i.J 


Caf. I marry. What ? A cuftomer ;prythee beare 
Some Charitie to my wit, do not thinke it 
So vnwholefome. Ha, ha, ha. 

OtK So, fo, fo, fo : they laugh , that wimies. 

lago. Why the cry goes, that you marry her. 

Caf. Prythee fay true. 

lago. I am a very Villaine elfe. 

0th. Haue you fcoar'd me ? Well. 




138-140. /...^.] Two lines, ending 
mf...ia.Q,. Three lines, ending Cs^mh- 
/r...««^...>la.(^Qy Walker. Prose, P6pe 

138. I marry ^ Ff, Rowe, Pope, Han. 
Knt I marry her f i)f\ ti KXX. 

* What? A Cuftomer'\ Om. Q,. 
prytk€e\ I prethee Qq, Jen. Steev. 
MaL Var. ColL Sing. Wh. i, Kdy, Cam. 

141. Sot/Ot/Ot/o'\ So,/o FjF^ Rowe + . 
they iaugh"] laygh Q,, Cap. 
winnes'} Ff. unns QiQ,, Cap. 

wims Qj. win F^, Rowe et cet 

142. kVAy} FfQ,Qj, Rowe+, Ci^ 
Steev.'85, Knt. Fai/Jk Q, et cet. 

Mo/ ycu] F^ Knt. y<m JhaU 
Q,. that you JhaU Q,Q,FjF^ Rowe eC 

marry'\ merry Qj. 

144. very'\ Om. Han. 

145. Haue..,mef'\ Om. Coll. (MS). 
Haue'\ Ha Qq. 
fcoar'dme? WeUytot* d wuwelL 

Q,. /coated me; weU, Ff. scor'dme f WeU, 
Theob. ii et seq. 

ironically. 'Triumph,' which was a Roman ceremony, brought Roman into htk 
thoughts. ' What r says he, < you are now triumphing as great as a Roman?' Collier 
(ed. ii) : The (MS.) informs us that for ' Roman ' we ought to substitute tfer me. This 
may be so, and the reason for ' Roman,' in reference to 'triumph,' is not obvious; but 
as the change is somewhat violent, and in no respect compulsoiy, we do not make it. 
PURNXLL : Shakespeare had been studying for the Roman plays about this time. 

138. customer] Johnson : A common woman, one that invites custom. White 
(ed. ii) : Both lago and Cassio are led by the occasion to make out Bianca woise, or at 
least lower in condition, than she was. Wise, in his Glossary appended to his Shake' 
speare and his Birthplace^ gives this word as in use in this sense among the peasantry 
of Warwickshire at this day. 

139. Charitie] Walker ( Vers. 201) : The t in -t/^ is almost uniformly dropped in 
pronunciation. See also III, iii, 295. 

141. winnes] See I, iii, 312. 

145. scoar'd] Johnson : Have you made my reckoning ? have you settled the term 
of my life ? Steevens : To score originally meant no more than to cut a notch upon 
a tally, or to mark out a form by indenting it on any substance. But it was soon fig- 
uratively used for setting a brand or mark of disgrace on any one, akid it is employed 
in this sense here. Coluer (ed. ii) : In view of the reading of the Qq, we cannot be 
by any means sure that * scored ' is the true lection ; possibly some other word ought to 
be substituted. The sense usually attached to the phrase has been : Have you marked 
me like a beast, which you have made me, by giving me horns. Staunton : That is, 
krandedf unless the word is a misprint. Deuus : Othello applies to Desdemona lago's 
words, < you shall marry her,' and asks, ' Have you made out my reckoning ? Are 
you finished with me ?' it is not until Othello is out of the way that a marriage with 
her is possible. Hudson : I am not clear as to the meaning of this. To score was to 



Cmf. This is the Monkeys owne giuing out : 146 

She is perfwaded I will marry her 
Out of her owne loue & flattery, not out of my promife. 

OUu lago becomes me : now he b^ns the (lory. [330 a] 

Caffio. She was heere euen now : (he haunts me in e- 1 50 
ueiy place. I was the other day talking on the Sea- 
banke with certaine Venetians, and thither comes the 
BauUe, and fidb me thus about my neck. 

Odu Crying oh deere Caffwy as it were: his iefture im- 
ports it 155 

Cajffio. So hangs, and lolls, and weepes vpon me : 
So fliakes, and pulls me. Ha, ha, ha. 

OtIL Now he telb how (he pluckt him to my Cham- 
ber : oh, I fee that nofe of yours, but not that dogge, I 
(hall throw it to. 160 

Cajfio. Well, I mud leaue her companie. 

It^go. Before me : looke where (he comes. 162 

146-14S. Frase, Qq» Pope d seq. 
144. M9mkeys\ mtmkia QqF,F^. 
149. Afrfwei] AftMtf F^ kecktn^s F^ 
^Jhm QqF^ ct cet 

151. Mr fiJUr] Uiker Qq» Jen. 
15a. tkkker\ tkekker Q^ 

153. «W...M«f] by t^ kmmd JIu faU 
thm Q,, Jen. Steer. MaL Var. fais mu 
M«fQ,Q,. mmd, hy this handy she faUs 
wu ikm Coll. Wh. Del Gk>. Cam. Rife. 
MM-i.] FfQq^ Jen. neck — Rowe. 

154. i^har] g^hoT QJiJFt 
l$6^ 157. IVose, Qq, Fbpe et seq. 

156. Uas\ Mb Q^ /0Us Q^ 

157. >Uia]F^ Rowe +,KbL JknlsQ^ 
i«iSer 0,0, et cet 

I58-l6a Two lines, ending chamber,.. 
£9. Qq. Three, ending chamber. ..dtf... 

159. •*• /] /Qq. 

but »«r] but nem FT. 
I6a thrtm tir] threat Oq^ Jen. 
162, 164. lago, Caf.] Om. Q,0,. 

cut ndchet in a stick, and accounts were fo n nci ly kept by scoiing the items thus ip 
what were called tally-sticks. In Aifs Well^ IV, iii, we have the line, < After he scores^ 
Ke never /«|v the scprt V and the context there shows the meanii^ to be, that when he 
has sworn a woman into granting his wish, he never keeps his oaths ; or what the Poet 
elsewhere calb * beguiling rirgins with the bcokens seals of perjury.' So, in the text, 
the meaning may be, * Have you run up an account against me, which I must pay ? 
very well, 1*11 see you paid.* Or it may be, ' Have you squared the account with me 
fokr cashiering you ? * 

159. nose . . . dogge] Deighton (p. 62) : I see your nose, which I shall soon 
tear fn>n\ your face and fling to the 6rst dog that comes in my way. 

16 J. Before me] Schmidt interprets this as equivalent to * by my soul,* and refien 
lo IVfifth y^K^t 11> iii* 194- PuKNEix consider it as a euphemism for "belnfr God.' 
»nd refers to cV. I, i, 134. 


Enter Bianca. 1 63 

Caf. 'Tis fuch another Fitchew:mariy a perfumM one? 
What do you meane by this haunting of me ? 165 

Bian. Let the diuell, and his dam haunt you : what 
did you meane by that fame Handkerchiefe, you gaue 
me euen now f I was a fine Foole to take it : I muft take 
out the worke ? A likely piece of worke, that you fhould 
finde it in your Chamber, and know not who left it there. 170 
This is fome Minxes token, & I muft take out the worke? 
There, giue it your Hobbey-horfe, wherefoeuer you had 
it, He take out no worke on't 

Cajpo. How now, my fweete Bianca ? 
How now ? How now? 175 

Othe. By Heauen, that (hould be my Handkerchiefe. 

Bian. If you'le come to fupper to night you may, if 
you will not, come when you are next prepared for. Exit 

lago. After her : after her. 

Caf. I muft, fhee'l rayle in the ftreets elfe. 180 

lago. Will you fup there ? 

CaJJio. Yes, I intend fo. 

lago. Well, I may chance to fee you : for I would ve- 
ry faine fpeake with you. 

Caf. Pr)rthee come : will you ? 185 

163. Enter...] After line 161, Qq. After 172. it y(mr\ tithe ()<], Jen. 

line 164, Dyce. 174, 175. One line, Qq, P6pe et seq. 

Scene IV. Pope+, Jen. 177. If..Jf] Ff, Rowe+, Knt, Sing. 

164. Caf.] Om. Q,. Ktly. An.., an Qq et cet 

FUckew\ ficho Q,. 180. I muflf\ Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Steev. 

164, 165. ontt What^ one^ what Q,. '85, Knt Faith I muft Q, et cet. 

9mi : What Q/i/^Y^- in the} Vthe Qq, Cap. Jen. 

167, 176, 190. ffandkerehieft] hand- ftreets\ Ff, Rowe-H, Knt, Sta. 

hercher Q,. Handkerchiffe or Hanker- Wh. i. ftreeU Q,. ftreet Q,Qj et cet 

chiffeY^. 181. mi/...there r] You /up there. 

169. the wcrke'\ the whole worke Q,, ^Q,* You sup there f Johia, 

Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. 182. Yes,'] FfQ,Qj, Rowe+, Cap. Jen. 

170. know not] Ff, Rowe-I-, Cap. Knt, Steev.'Ss, Knt, Dyce iii, Huds. Faith Q, 
Coll. Sta. Wh. i, Del. not know Qq et cet et cet. 

171. worke /*] worke; Qq, Han. work/ 185. Prythee] Preethee Q,. Prethe Q, 
Knt, Sing. Sta. Q,. Prethee Fj. Prithee F^. 

164. such another] See Schmidt (s. y. another), for other inMances of this kindly 
contemptuous phrase, to which Schmidt gives as equivalent the German ' auch so eine. 

164. Fitchew] Dyce (Gloss,) : A polecat, and the cant term for a stimnpet [The 
Qq g^ve what was probably the pronunciation. Cotgrave has Fusau, — Ed.] 

172. Hobbey-horte] Dyce (Gloss,) : An abandoned woman 



lago. Go too : iay no more. i86 

Oik. How (hall I murther him, lago. 

lago. Did you perceiue how he laugh'd at his vice ? 

Oik Oh, lago. 

lago. And did you fee the Handkerchiefe ? 190 

Otk. Was that mine ? 

lago. Yours by this hand : and to fee how he prizes 
the foolilh woman your wife : (he gaue it him, and he 
hath giu'n it his whore. 

Oik I would haue him nine yeeres a killing : 195 

A fine woman, a (aire woman, a fweete woman ? 

lago. Nay , you muft forget that 

Othello. I, let her rot and peri(h, and be damn'd to 
night, for (he (hall not Hue. No, my heart is tum'd to 
ftone : I (Irike it, and it hurts my hand. Oh, the world 200 
hath not a fweeter Creature : (he might lye by an Em- 
perours fide, and command him Taskes. 202 

186. t9o:/i^'\to,/i^(i^. ^/«yQ.Q,- "89. lago.] laga. Q,. 

$9;/^ Pf. 192-194. Om. Qq. 

imore,"] mart. Exit Caffh. Qq. 195, 196. Fkose, Qq, Cap. Jen. Coll. el 

Exit Ft seq. 
Scene V. Pope+, Jen. 196. woman f\ woman. Qq. looman /— 

[Coming hastily from his conceal- Rowe el seq. 
ment Cap. Advancing. Coll. 197. firgettkat,'] forget, Q,. forget thai 

187. mnrther\ Ft; Rowe+, Cap. Knt, Q,Q,. 

Wh. i, Rife, murder Qq, Johns, et cet 198. /,] And Qq. Ay, Rowe et seq. 

lago.] lago? QqF,F^ Rowe el damn'dldami^di^, 

seq. 200. Jiome'l ajtone Qj[i^. 

188. la$^A*d1 laughed Q<{, 201. hatk'\ has Qq. 

192-194. Jknnxns : The omission of this speech in Q, eridently appears to be a 
blunder of the compositors ; for Othello's speech, ' Was that mine ? ' concludes the 
page ; and the catchword to the next page is Iag,t which shows that this speech of lagc 
was in the MS. ; otherwise the catchwords would have been < I would.' 

195. a killing] See Abbott, § 24, for instances of a- before verbal iiouns where it 
represents on; bb here, * nine years on, or in the act of killing.* 

198-202. This speech is assuredly metric prose. In moments of wild pessioq the 
least restraints of verse, even to Shakespeare it seems, are choking, yet the phrases 
will fall rhythmically. I cannot find that any one has ever attempted to cut it up into 
lines, and yet Walker {Crit, ii, 23) says that 'creature,* in line 201, is 'probably a 
dissyllable' where the innuendo is that it occuis in verse. To my ear <crCature' is 
better. — Ed. 

200. atone . . . hand] Steevens : This thought, as often as it occurs to Shake- 
speare, is sure to be received, and as often counteracts his pathos. See Ant, &* Cleo. 
IV, ix, 16. 

ACT IV, SC. i.] 



lago. Nay, that's not your way. 203 

Oihe. Hang her, I do but fay what (he is : fo delicate 
with her Needle : an admirable Mufitian. Oh (lie will 20f 
fing the Sauagenefle out of a Beare : of fo high and plen- 
teous wit, and inuention f 

lago. She's the worfe for all this. 

Othe. Oh, a thoufand, a thoufand times : 
And then of fo gentle a condition ? 210 

lago. I too gentle. 

Othe. Nay that's certaine : 
But yet the pitty of it, lago : oh lago^ the pitty of it 
lago. [330 *J 

lago. If you are fo fond ouer her iniquitie : giue her 215 
pattent to offend, for if it touch not you, it comes neere 
no body. 

0th. I will chop her into Meflfes : Cuckold me t 

lago. Oh, 'tis foule in her. 219 

204. do htfl do noi Q.^. 

206. high and] high a ¥(, Rowe. 

206, 207. plenteous] pUntiout Q^F,. 
pUfUiom Q,* 

207. inueniionf\ tnuentwn, Qq. wi- 
ventioml — Rowe. 

209, 210. Fkose, Qq* Cap. et seq. 

209. Ohj a] A Qq. 

thoufand^ a ihou/and"] Ft, 
Rowe+, Cap. Steev. MaL Var. Knt, Dd. 
thousand-thousand Sta. Dyce iii, Hnds. 
thoufand thou/and Qq et cet. 

210. a condition A] a condition, Q,Q^ 

Jen. a condition^Q^, condition fPcfpt-^. 
a condition/ Cap. et seq. 

212-214. One line, Qq. Fkose, Cap. d 

212. IVay] /Q,. 

213,214. ohlaff^..,ltLgQ.']thepitty,(jg, 
oh the pitty. Q.Qy Jen. 

215. you are'] you be Qq, Cap. Jen. 

216. touch] touches Qq, Cap. 

218. Meffes :] mejfes — Q,. meffest^ 
Q^Qj. messes, Johns. 
met] me/ Q({. 

203. your way] Deighton (p. 63) : That la, it won't do for yon to let yoor thon^ita 
dwell upon her many excellences, or you will be unmanned. 

206. Malone: So in K 6*^. 1096: 'when he hath sung The tiger would be tame ' 

210. condition] See II, i, 282. 

212. Mrs Jameson (ii, 35) : Desdemona displays at times a transient enexgy, arising 
from the power of afiectiou, but gentleness gives the prevailing tone to her chazicter^ 
gentleness in its excess, — gentleness verging on passiveness, — gentleness which not only 
cannot resent, but cannot resist Here in this passage the exceeding softness of Desde- 
mona's temper is turned against her by lago, so that it suddenly strikes Othello in a new 
point of view, as the inability to resist temptation; but to us, who perceive the character 
as a whole, this extreme gentleness of nature is yet delineated with such exceeding 
refinement that the effect never approaches to feebleness. It is true that oftce her 
extreme timidity leads her, in a moment of confusion and terror, to prevaricate about 
the fatal handkerchief 

216. pattent] See Chalmers, on Date of Composition, in Appendix. 



th. With mine Officer ? 220 

lago. That's fouler. 

Othe. Get me fome poyfon, lagc^ this night He not 
cxpoftulate with her .* lead her body and beautie vnpro- 
uide my mind againe : this night lago. 

lago. Do it not with poyfon, (Irangle her in her bed, 225 
Euen the bed (he hath contaminated. 

0th, Goody good : 
The luftice of it pleafes : very good. 

lago. And for Cajfto^ let me be his vndertaker : 
You (hall heare more by midnight. 230 

Enter Lodauico^ Defdemona^ and Attendants, 

Othe, Excellent good : What Trumpet is that (ame ? 

lago, I warrant fomething from Venice, 
'Tis LodouicOj this, comes from the Duke. 
See, your wife's with him. 235 

220. Officer r\ Officer, Qq. officer I 

222. nigki, Ilel n^ki lie Qq. 

223. beautie'\herbea$tiy¥^^'R<omt-¥, 

224. againe:^ ^ffft* Qq* 

325, 226. Fkose, Qq, Cap. Steev. et aeq. 

225. Aer m] Aere m Q,. 

226. Euen] Even m BDpe+. 

227, 228. One line, Qq; or prose, Cap. 

228. plea/es: very] pleafes very Q,. 
plea/es^ very Q,Q3. 

229, 230. Ftose, Qq, Cap. Steev. Mai. 
Var. Dyce, Sta. Glo. Cam. 

23a midmgki^ midnight. A Tnunpet 

230. [A trumpet within. Theob. After 
good, line 232, Dyce. 

Scene VI. Pope. After line 233, Han. 
After line 235, Warb. Johns. Jen. 

231. Enter...] After Lodovico line 234, 
Cap. After line 235, Steev. 

232. Two lines, Qq. 

233-235. I,„him,'\ ¥(, Rowe, Pope, 
Knt SomeiAifig/romWemct/ure,(Jure ; 
Q^. /ure Qj) Hs Ludouico, Come from the 
Duke^ and fee your wife is wiih him. Qq 
et cet. (subs.). I warrant you *tis some- 
thing come fromVenice, OhIiiisLodovicc 
from the Duke, And see your w^e is wiih 
him, Han. 

234. thiSf comes] F^ Knt. this come^ 
F-F., Rowe, Pope. 

222-229. Walker {Crii, i, 11) thus divides these lines: 'I'll not expostulate with 
her, lest her bodj | And beauty unprovide my mind again : | This night, lago. | Do*t 
not with poison, strangle her in her bed, | Even the bed she hath contaminated. |- Good, 
good : I The justice of it pleases ; veiy good. | And, | For Cassio, let me be his under- 
taker.' I But the latter part is very doubtful. Dycb {Rem, 241) anticipated Walker 
as regards 225, 226. 'This speech,' says Dyce, ' (printed by all the modem editors as 
prose) is, I suspect, two lines of blank verse.' 

223. vnprouide] Rolfe: Used by Shakespeare only here. 

233-235. According to Walker ( Vers, 65), 'warrant ' is a monosyllable, and {Crii, 
\ 223) something is pronounced something, [The lines in the Qq are smoother.— 

ACT IV, SC. i.] 



Lodo, Saue you worthy Generall. 236 

Othe. With all my heart Sir. 

Lod. The Duke, and the Senators of Venice greet you. 

Othe. I kiffe the Inftrument of their pleafures. 

Def. And what's the newes, good cozen Lodouico ? 240 

lago. I am very glad to fee you Signior; 
Welcome to Cyprus. 

Lod. I thanke you : how do's Lieutenant Caffio ? 

lago. Lines Sir, 

Def. Cozen, there's falne betweene him, & my Lord, 245 

An vnkind breach : but you (hall make all well. 

Othe. Are you fure of that ? 

Def. My Lord ? 

Othe. This faile you not to do, as you will 

Lod. He did not call : he's bufie in the paper, 250 

Is there deuifion 'twixt my Lord, and Caf/io ? 

Def. A moft vnhappy one : I would do much 
T'attone|themfor the loue I beare to Cafjio. 253 

236. Saue you\ God fave the Q,, Jen. 
God save you Mai. 

238. the Senators] Ff, Rowe, Pope, 
Theob. Warb. Johns. Senators Qq, Han. 
Oqp. etseq. 

[Gives bim a letter. Rowe. 

239. plea/ures'\ good pleasures Han. 

[Opens and peruses it. Oqp. 
241, 242. One line, Q,, Cap. /... fVel- 
come One line, Ktly. 
241. veryl Om. Cap. 

241. Signi4fr:'\ Seignior: — QgQ^ 

243. yoti\ you, sir Cap. 

244. 5i>,]>7r. Q,. Ff. 

247. [Aside. Theob. Warb. 

248. Lordt] Lord, Qq. 

249. [Reads. Theob. et seq. 
will—'] wilt.'- 0,0,. 

251. * twixt my"] betioeene thy Q^, *twixt 
thy Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. 

253. Tattone"] Ff, Rowe + ,Wh. i, Dyce 
iii, Huds. To attone Oq ct cet. 

237. Malone : This does not relate to what Lodovico has just said, but is spoken by 
Othello while he salutes him. Steevens : I know not how the meaning of this speeh 
can be ascertained, unless by reference to the salutation of Lodovico. The distracted 
Othello, considering his own hapypiness at an end in this world, readily catches at the 
idea of future felicity suggested by the words : ' 'Save you, general ! ' In his reply, 
therefore, he must be supposed to welcome the pious wish expressed in his behalf. In 
Meas, forMeas, II, ii, 157, two replies of Angelo, equally equivocal, are derived from 
similar premises : ' Isah, Heaven keep your honour safe ! Af^. Amen ! * Again, al 
the conclusion of the same scene : ' Iscdf, 'Save your honour ! Af^. From thee : even 
from thy virtue ! ' If it be urged that ' ^save yon * only means preserve you in this world, 
my sense of the passage will not be much weakened : as our protection, even *here^ 
upon this bank and shoal of time,' depends on the Almighty. 

253. attone] Johnson: Make them <mi^; reconcile them Henley: The verbis 
fonned by the coalesce ice of the words at one. 

250 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv. sc. L 

0th. Fire^ and brimeftone. 

Def. My Lord. 255 

0th. Are you wife ? 

Def. What is he angrie ? 

Lod. May be thLetter mouM him. 
For as I thinke^ they do command him home. 
Deputing Cafsio in his Gouemment 260 

Def. Truft me, I am glad on't. 

Othe. Indeed ? 

Def. My Lord ? 

Othe. I am glad to fee you mad. 

Def. Why, fweete Othello ? 265 

Othe. Diuell. 

254. krimefionel Brimfiotu QqF^^. 262. Indeed f^ Indeed, Qq. Indeed! 

255. Lord.l Lord I Pope. Rowe. 

258. May bel *May be, Theob. 263. Lordf] Lord, Qq. Lordt Rowe. 
261. TVu/i me"] By my troth Q,, Jen. 265. Why'\ Haw Qq, Jen. Mai. Steer 

Steey. MaL Var. CoU. Sing. KUy, Cam. Var. ColL Sing. Wh. i, KUy. 

Ittm'\ Fm Stee¥.'93. Othello r\ Othello-^ Glo. 

266. [Striking her. Theob. 

256. Oth.] Fkchtbr gives this speech to lago^ directing him to seize the arm of 
Othello across the table and stop him yiolentlj. Othello, ' rising fiuiouslj,' had just 
uttered line 254. [Much as I dislike the Forte St Martin, or Bowery, style of Fechter's 
Othello, I must confess that here his suggestion strikes me as worthy of consideration. 
There is no small degree of propriety in representing the cool lago as recalling Othello 
to his senses ; and even if lago's attempt be obtrusive or unmilitary, it is, perhaps, a 
less dramatic fault than what might seem the anticlimax of a sedate expostulation, 
addressed to Desdemona after the furious explosion, ' Fire and brimstone.* — Ed.] 

259. Theobald : Othello is but just arrived at Cyprus ; the Senate could hardly 
yet have heard of the Ottoman fleet being scattered by the tempest; and Othello is at 
once remanded home, without any imputation suggested on his conduct, or any hint 
of his being employed in a more urgent Commission. Tis true, the deputation of Cas- 
sio in his room seems designed to heighten the Moor's resentment; but some probable 
reason should have been assigned for hb recall. As to what lago says afterwards, that 
Othello is to go to Mauritania, this is only a lie of his own invention to cany his point 
with Roderigo. Lloyd : The news that Othello is superseded recalls the impressions 
of the judicial deliberations of the Venetian Senate in the First Act, and seems to com- 
plete the proof of the infallible instincts of the statesmen. 

264. C6wden-Clarkx : We cannot help thinking that the author probably wrote, 
'I am mad to see you glad^ But we have not ventured to alter the text; because 
Othello's reply, as it stands, allows the meaning to be understood of ' I am glad to see 
yon unwise,' in reference to his having asked, ' Are you wise ? ' 

265. Othello ?] Danisl (p. 79) : This speech should be marked as exclamatory. 
It is one of the innumerable instances where the printers use the < ? ' for the M * 

266. That Theobald added the proper stage direction here there can be, unfbftii« 

Acriv.saL] THE MOORE OF VENICE 25 1 

Def. I haue not deferuM this. 267 

Lod. My Lord, this would not be beleeu'd in Venice, 
Though I (hould fweare I faVt Tis very much, 
Make her amends : (he weepes. 270 

Othe. Oh diuell, diuell : 
If that the Earth could teeme with womans teares, 
Each drop (he (alls, would proue a Crocodile : 
Out of my fight. 

Def. I will not (lay to o(rend you. 275 

Lod. Truely obedient Lady : 
I do befeech your Lord(hip call her backe. 

Othe. Miftris. [331 ^] 

Def. My Lord. 

Othe. What would you with her, Sir ? 280 

Lod. Who I, my Lord/ 

Othe. I, you did wi(h, that I would make her tume : 
Sir, (he can tume, and turne : and yet go on 
And tume againe. And (he can weepe, Sir, weepe. 
And (he's obedient : as you fay obedient. 285 

Very obedient : proceed you in your teares. 

269. /€mft'\ saw it Steev. Mai. Var. 275. to offrnd"] t^offend Popc+, Dyce 

ColL Sing. Wh. i, KUy, Del. iii, Huds. 

much^ much; Theob. much. [Going. Rowe. 

Johns. 276. TWf^^K] F( Rowe. Tnufyan^ 

272. womans\ womens Qq. et cet 

273. CrocodiU] crocodile Qq. 282. /,] // Rowe, Pope. Ay, Theob. 

285. flies\Jke is Q3. 

oately, no doubt This blow is the ineffaceable blot in Othello's history which leavesJ 
upon me at least, a more painful impression than even the smothering. This, is simplyl 
the rage of a coward ; that, is an act of supposed justice. Fkchtbs. strikes with theV 
letter which he holds ; this is a slude better than the backhanded blow which Salvini J 
delivers full on those sweet lips, and which makes your own lips grow white as death, \ 
at the sight. — Ed. 

272. teeme] Johnson : If women's tears could impregnate the earth. By the doc- 
trine of equivocal generation, new animals were supposed producible by new combina 
tions of matter. See Bacon, vol. iii, p. 70, ed. 1740. Malone: <It is written,' says 
Bullokar, 'that the crocodile will weepe ouer a man's head when he hath deuoured the 
body, and then will eate vp the head two. Wherefore in Latine there is a proverbe, 
CrocodUi Lachryma, crocodiles teares, to signifie such teares as are fained, and spent 
onely with intent to deceiue or doe harme.' — Expositor^ 1621. 

273. falls] For other instances of intransitive verbs used transitively, see Abbott, 

286. teares.] Warnkr suggests an intenogation-mark : * What ! will you still ooo* 
tinue to be a hypocrite by a display of this weU-painUd pcusion f ' 



Concerning this Sir, (oh well-painted pafTion) 287 

I am commanded home : get yoir away : 

He fend for you anon. Sir I obey the Mandate, 

And will retume to Venice. Hence^ auaunt : 290 

CaJJio (hall haue my Place. And Sir^ to night 

I do entreaty that we may fup together. 

You are welcome Sir to Cyprus. 

Goates^ and Monkeys. Exit. 

Lod, Is this the Noble Moore^ whom our full Senate 295 
Call all in all fufficient ? Is this the Nature 
Whom PafTion could not fhake ? Whofe folid vertue 
The (hot of Accident, nor dart of Chance 298 

288. home :'\ here: — Q^. home: — Q^ 
Q^. home — Rowe. 

289. anon."] anon : — Q|Q;> anone : — 
Q^. anoH — Rowe. 

Mandate'] mandat Qq. 
29a Vemce,"] Veniee: — Qq. 

auaunt :] auant, Qq. avanti — 
[Exit Desd. Rowe. 
293, 294. One line, Qq, Cap. ct seq. 
293. You are] Yotire Cap. 

Cyprus^ Cypres^ — Qq. 

Scene VII. Pope+, Jen. 

296. aU in all] QqFf, Rowe, Jen. Glo. 
Cam. Rife, Wh.iL all-in-all Vo^ €i c€L 

Isthisthe] This the noble <^]txi. 
Steer. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Ktly. this the 
Fope+, Cap. Coll. ii. Cam. 

297. Whom] Which Pope+. 

298. Accident] accidents Jen. 
nor] or Han. 

Chemce] Change Warb. oonj 

290. Fkchtbr : Othello^ finding in the dispatch the name of ' Cassio,' which he 
mutters, tears it violently, and turns in hb rage to Desdemona, who shrinks af&ighted. 

291. Place] Stkevens: Perhaps this is addressed to Desdemona, who had just 
expressed her joy on hearing Cassio was deputed in the room of her husband. 

294. M ALONE: lago^ in III, iii, 464, alludes to 'goates' and 'monkeyes' where he 
says that ocular proof of Cassio*s and Desdemona's guilt was impossible. These words^ 
we may suppose, still ring in Othello's ears. Steevxns : A reference to a distant scene 
but ill agrees with the infuriation of Othello's mind. His fancy, haunted by still grow- 
ing images of lewdness, would scarce have expressed his feelings in recollected phrase- 
ology. BoswsLL : They were words which he was not likely to have forgotten. Fech- 
TXR : Aside^ — and as if comprising the whole world in a bitter sarcasm. As he goes out 
he casts a last infuriated glance at Desdemona's door. 

296. la thia the] Dycb {Rem, 242) : The word noble in the Qq was undoubtedly 
inserted by a mistake of the compositor, his ejre having caught it from the preceding 

298. Theobald : I cannot see, for my heart, the difference betwixt the shot of acci- 
dent and dart of chance. The words, and things they imply, are purely synonymous; 
but that the Poet intended two different things seems plain from the discretive adverb. 
Chance may afflict a man in some circumstances; but other distresses are to be 
accounted for from a different cause. I am persuaded our Author wrote : ' nor dart 
of changed In several other places he industriously puts these tvro words in opposi- 
tion to each other. Heath (p. 569) : There is no occasion for Theobald's alteration. 




Could neither graze, nor pierce ? 

lago. He is much changed. 300 

Lod. Are his wits iafe ? Is he not light of Braine ? 

lago. He's that he is : I may not breath my cenfure. 
What he might be : if what he might, he is not, 
I would to heauen he were. 

Lod. What ? Strike his wife ? 305 

lago. 'Faith that was not fo well : yet would I knew 
That (Iroke would proue the word. 

Lod. Is it his vfe ? 
Or did the Letters, worke vpon his blood, 
And new create his fault f 310 

lago. Alas, alas : 
It is not honeflie in me to fpeake 312 

299. grtae\ rate Warb. Theob. Han. 

300. ckafig*d'\ changed Qq. 

301. light of] of light Ff, Rowe, Pope. 

302. J/e's] He is Steev. Mai. Var. Knt 
/r/j— Sta. 

that ] what Pope + . 

breath"] F^Q^Qj, Rowe, Cap. 
breathe Q.FjF^ Pbpc et cet 

een/ure,] cenfure^ Qq. cemure 
Jen. Cam. Wh. ii. censure: Coll. iii. 

303. 3r.']Ff,Jen. Cam.Wh.ii. ^^Qq. 

bcf — or be, Rowe et cet 

303. if what] FfQ,Qj, Rowe+, Jen. 
Sing. Wh. Ktly, Glo. Cam. Huds. Rife. 
ifasQ^^, if what Cap. et cet 

305. What r .,, wife P] What,.., wife. 
Qq. What,.,.wifef Ff. What,...wife f 
Rowe ii et seq. 

308. Is it] It is Q,. 

310. new create] new-create Pope et 

^£r]Ff, Rowe, Knt MuQqetcet 

' Accident * is commonly used to denote personal calamities ; ' chance,' to distinguish 
those in which we are involved in consequence of more general revolutions of fortune. 

299. graxe] Warburton : 'Tis no commendation to the most solid virtue to be free 
from the attacks of fortime, but that it is so impenetrable as to suffer no impression. 
Now, to < graze * signifies only to touch the superficies of anything. That is the attack 
of fortune ; and by that virtue is tiy'd, but not discredited. We ought certainly, there- 
fore, to read rate, i. e., neither lightly touch upon nor pierce into. The ignorant tran- 
scribers being acquainted with the phrase of a bullet grazing, and < shot ' being men- 
tioned in the line before, they corrupted the true word. Johnson : To < graze ' is not 
merely to touch superficially, but to strike not directly, not so as to bury the body of the 
thing striking in the matter struck. Theobald trifles, as is usual. 'Accident and * chance ' 
may admit a subtle distinction ; * accident ' may be considered as the act, and < chance ' 
as the power or agency of Fortune ; as. It was by chance that thb accident befel me. 
At least, if we suppose all corrupt that b inaccurate, there will be no end of emenda* 
tion. Malone : I do not see the least ground for supposing any corruption. Ak 
' pierce ' relates to * the dart of chance,' so < graze ' is referred to < the shot of accident 

302, 303. That the punctuation of these lines is puzzling may be inferred from tht 
fact that the Cambridge Editors, in 1866, did not follow their own punctuation of 1864 
1 do not think that the F, can be much improved. — Ed. 

306, 307. yet . . . worst] Purnell : Probably this is an aside. 

254 ^^^ TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv, sc. iL 

What I haue feene^ and knowne. You (hall obferue him, 3 1 3 
And his owne courfes will deonte him fo, 
That I may iaue my fpeech : do but go after 315 

And marke how he continues. 

Lod. I am forry that I am deceiuM in him. Exeunt. 

Scena Secunda. 

Enter Otltello^ and yEmilia. 
Otke. You haue feene nothing then f 3 

313. kirn] Om. Q,Qj. i. Scena...] Scene VIII. Pope+, Jen. 

314. deotUi] denUi QqFf. An Aputment. Rowe. A room in the 

315. afterl after him Q.Qy Jen. Castle. Mai. 

317. Iam\ Pm Pope -t- , Dyce iii, Huds. 3. then /] then. Qq. 

thai /am'] tJka/ /was Han. 

317. FItCHTER : They go out as following Othello; who, as soon as they are out of 
tight, appean from the tapestiy on the left, faring^ forward Emilia, and speaks as con- 
tinuing to intenogate. [Of course the Scene continues. Here begins Booth's Second 
Scene, Act Fourth.] Lloyd : When this Scene, in which the fJEunting Othello appears 
as the suffering and passive instrument of lago, is left out in representation, the best 
acting in the world, or to be in the world, will not preserve the Scene in the bed-cham- 
ber from having, to well-ordered sympathies, all the shockingness of a contrived, cold- 
blooded murder. 

Scena Secunda] Malone : There are great difficulties in ascertaining the place 
of this Scene. Near the close of it, lago says to Desdemona, ' Go mi, 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 in/o the supper-room ' (though I do not think 
that the meaning); but immediately afterwards Roderigo enters and converses with 
lago, which decisively ascertains the scene not to be in Othello's house ; for Roderigo, 
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 
take the liberty of walking into his house at pleasure. On the other hand, what 
Othello says early in the scene to Emilia, line 35, 'sAul the doifr^ 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 interiocutors there, however 
inconsistent with Roderigo's entry and lago's address to Desdemona. The truth is, 
that our poet and his audience, in this instance as in many others, were content, from 
want of scenery, to consider the very same spot, at one and the same time, as the 
outade and inside of a house. Cowden-Clarke : But if it be remembered that a 
portion of the mansion is used as a guard-room, it would be natural enough that Rode- 
rigo should seek lago there, and, not finding him, should pursue his search in some of 
the apartments adjacent; moreover, it should be remembered that Roderigo is partially 
disgdsed, and therefore not likely to be recognized as the man who gave Brabantio 
inteOigeiice of Othello's having married Desdemona. 

3-5. Walker (Crit, iii, 289) : Arrange, perhaps, — < You have seen nothing then ? Nor 
ever heard, | Nor ever did suspect Yes, you have seen | Cassio and she together.' Booth: 
Othello shoLld look her steadily in the eyes while questioning her with incredulous tones. 


jEmil. Noi>euer heard .* nor euer did fufpe£L 

Othe. Yes, you haue feene CaJfto^dSiA (he together. 5 

jEnti. But then I (aw no harme : and then I heard, 
Each fyllable that breath made vp betweene them. 

Othe. What ? Did they neuer whifper ? 

jEmil. Neuer my Lord. 

Othe. Nor fend you out o'th^way ? lO 

jEtnU. Neuer. 

Othe. To fetch her Fan, her Gloues, her Mask, nor no- 

jEmU, Neuer my Lord. (thing ? 

Othe. That's (Irange. 

jEmil. I dur(l(my Lord) to wager, (he is honeft : i; 

Lay downe my Soule at (lake : If you thinke other, 
Remoue your thought It doth abufe your bofome.* 
If any wretch haue put this in your head , 
Let Heauen requit it with the Serpents curfe, 19 

5 Yesti Yes, and Qq. her gloues Qq. 

Jke^ her Pope+, Coll. Wh. i, Ktly. 12, 13. nothing ^[noihing.Q^. noihing^ 

7 them] '*em Qq, Jen. Q^. 

8. Whatf] Ff, Rowe+. Whail CoU. 18. wreteh'\ wreatck Q . 

Wh. i, Ktly. What, Qq et cet. haue'\ ha Qq. hath F F^ Rowe+, 

10. Nor\ Never Q,. Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. 

11. Neuer^ Never, my lord, KUy. 19. Heauen'\ heauens Q,. 

12. her Gloues, her Mask'\ her mask, refui/']re^uileQ^Ff. require QjQy 

5. she] See Abbott, $211, and to the instances there given of this use of 'she' 
for her, add : 'the earth hath swallow'd all my hopes bat she,* Rom, ^ Jul, \, ii, 14. 
Schmidt also gives, *she that was thy Laoece,' R, of L, 1682; < I will detest myself 
also as well as she^ Meas.for Meas, II, i, 76; ' She should this Angelo have married,* 
lb. III, i, 221 ; 'but jA^ I can hook to me,* Wini, Tale, II, iii, 6; 'for she that scorned 
at me, now scorned of me,* Rich, III: IV, iv, 102. White (ed. ii) : Mere careless- 
ness; not the 'grammar' of Shakespeare*s time. 

12. Fan] Halliwell quotes from Fairholt that the most ordinary fan used by 
Venetian ladies was the flag or vane-shaped fan, moving round an upright handle. 

12. nor] Elze {Nates, &c. p. 189) : Although this line, as far as my knowledge 
goes, has never been queried, yet I cannot but think it faulty ; I feel certain that 
Shakespeare wrote, ' her mask, her nothing.' Compare Cbr. II, ii, 81 : ' To hear my 
nothings monster*d,' although it seems doubtful whether nothing is to be understood in 
the same sense in these two passages. fVint, Tale, I, ii, 295 : ' nor nothing have these 
nothings. If this be nothing.* 

15. durst ... to] For other instances of the insertion and omission of to before 
the infinitive, see Abbott, $ 549. 

15-22. Booth: During this Othello is a little moved. He takes a chair from 
behind the arras and sits. 

16. other] For this adverbial use, equivalent to otherwise, see Abbott, $ 12, p. 24. 



For if (he be not honefl, chaflei and true, 

There^s no man happy. The pureft of their Wiues 

Is foule as Slander. 

Othe. Bid her come hither : go. Exit jEmilia, 

She iaies enough : yet (he's a fimple Baud 
That cannot fay as much. This is a fubtile Whore : 
A Cloflet Lockeand Key of Villanous Secrets, 
And yet fheMe kneele, and pray ; I haue feene her do^t 

Enter De/demonay and Emilia. 

Def. My Lord^what is your will t 

Otke. Pray you Chucke come hither. 

Def. What is your pleafure ? 

0th. Let me fee your cy^s : looke in my iace. 

De/. What horrible Fancie's thi s ? 

Othe. Some of your Funflion Miftris: 
JLeaue Procreants alone, and (hut the doore: 
Cough, or cry hem; if any bodycome: 
Your Myftery, your Myftery : May difpatch. Exit jEfPti, 






21. ikeir Wiues] her Sex Q,, Jen. 
23. Exit...] After Slander line 22, Qq. 

25. Whore"] <me Han. 

26. Chffet Locheand Key] clo/ef, hche 
^^'^ ^> Q<1* eloffet'loch and key Rowe, 
F6pe. chset'tock-and'hey Mai. Steev.'93, 
Var. Knt, Coll. Sing. Dyce, Sta. Wh. i, 
KUj, Del. Huds. 

27. / haue] / ha Qq. Pve Pope+, 
Dyce iii, Huds. 

28. Enter.. .and] Reenter.. .with Cap. 

Scene IX. Pope+, Jen. 

30. Prayyou] F^ Rowe+, Knt, Sta. 
Pray Qq et cet. 

32. eyes: looke] eyes — looke Qq^ Jen. 
eyes. Look Johns. 

32» 33. looke,„this f] As one line, Cap. 
Steev. et seq. 

.34. [To i&nilia. Han. Johns, et seq. 

36. CoHgh] Coffe Qq. 

37. May] nay QqFf. 
Exit...] Om. QjQj. 

27. pray] Hkraud (p. 279) : Emilia's supposed hypocrisy embitters Othello both 
against her and her calumniated mistress. Perhaps, too, the poet intended his free- 
thoughted and noble Moor to entertain a customary protest against superstitious cere- 
monies; and here we have a glimpse vouchsafed of his religious tendency. It is in 
this furtive manner that Shakespeare always alludes to the theological aspects of his 
theme. Never will he altogether neglect them ; but nowhere will he thoroughly unveil 
them. Botn political and religious prudence are evidently observed by Shakespeare in 
the treatment of all his subjects. The spirit of the time compelled him to thb reticence. 
[See Hkraud, III, ui, 67.] 

32. Booth : She looks up, but, frightened by his piercing glare, drops her eyes again. 

37. Cowdkn-Clarke : Othello taunts Emilia vrith having made a traffic in comu- 
vance at stolen meetings between Cassio and Desdemona, and now bids her give a 
qpedmen of her proficiency in her avocation. Hudson : As in mere wantonness of 
self-torture, Othello here fondles the most agonizing conceptions, and seeks a morbid 

ACT IV, sc ii.] 



Def. Vpon my knee, what doth your fpeech import? 
I vnderftand a Fury in your words. 

Othe. Why ? What art thou ? 

Def. Your wife my Lord : your true and loyall wife. 

Othello. Come fweare it / damne thy felfe, lead 
being like one of Heauen^ the diuells themfelues fhould 
feare to ceaze thee. Therefore be double damnM : fweare 
thou art honed. 

Def. Heauen doth truely know it. 

£7////.Heauen truely knowes^ that thou art falfe as hell. 

Def To whom my Lord ? 
With whom ? How am I falfe ? 

Othe. Ah Defdemofty away, away, away. 

Def. Alas the heauy day : why do you weepe ? 
Am I the motiue of thefe teares my Lord ? 
If happely you my Father do fufpeft, 
An Indrument of this your calling backe^ 






38. Jkme^ Ff, Rowe+, Knt Jhtees Qq 
et cet* 

daA} does Qq. 

39. ttfords.'} Ff, Rowe. words. But noi 
the words, (As a separate line) Qq et cet 
(your words Pope+). 

40. Wly/]Ff, Rowe +, Jen. IVhy^Qn 
et cet. 

41. 42. your true »„f elf e\ As one line. 
Cap. Steev. Mai. and.., felfe as one line, 
Steev.'93, Var. Coll. Sing. Dyce, Wh. Glo. 
Kdy, Rife. 

42-^45. Gwf^...i<;if^] Verse, lines end- 
ing felfe .,. themfelues... damned.,, honeft 
Qq, Ca^. et seq. Three lines, ending one.,, 
tkee...honeft Rowe-t-, Jen. 

42. leaft'\ Left QJiy Om. Ff, Rowe. 

44. eeoMe] ceafe Qq. ceife F^. feisu F^. 

47. Dividing the line at i#f^zevj Rowe +. 

48, 49. One line, Qq, or prose. Cap. el 

50. Ah Defdemon,] Ff, Rowe, Pope, 
Knt, Dyce, Sta. Del. Huds. Ah, Desde- 
mona I Theob. Han. Warb. Johns. Jen. 
O Desdemon Wh. i, CoU. iii. O Defde 
mona, Qq et cet. 

[Sits. Booth. 

51. he€iuy'\ heavenly Q^. 

52. motiue'\ occafion Qq, Jen. Steer. 
MaL Var. CoU. Sing. Kdy. 

thefe'\ thofe Qq, Jen. 
[Kneels beside him. Booth. 

53. hafpely^ F^F^. ^z^i^F^Rowe. 
haply Qq et cet 

relief in thinking of Emilia as doing the office or mystery of a procuress. A master- 
stroke of delineation. 

38. Rymer (p. 130) : Here follows another storm of horrour and outrage against the 
poor Chicken, his Wife. Some Drayman or drunken linker might possibly treat his 
drab at this sort of rate, and mean no harm by it ; but for his excellency, a My Lord 
General, to Serenade a Senator's Daughter with such a voUy of scoundrel filthy Lan- 
guage, is sure the most absurd Maggot that ever bred from any Poets addle brain. 

43. Heauen] Cowden-Clarke : These few words serve to paint Desdemona's look 
of angelic purity, as well as the impression it creates, even on her husband's jaundiced 

50. Desdemon] See III, i, 58. 



Lay not your blame on me : if you haue loft him, 
I haue loft him too. 

Othe. Had it pleasM Heauen^ 
To try me with Affliftion, had they rain'd 
All kind of Sores, and Shames on my bare-head: 
Steep'd me in pouertie to the very lippes, 
Giuen to Captiuitie, me, and my vtmoft hopes, 
I (hould haue found in fome place of my Soule 
A drop of patience. But alas, to make me 
The fixed Figure for the time of Scome, 
To point his flow, and mouing finger at. 




55. y<m haue\ yoUve Pope. 
559 5^* loJi,„loflf\ Uft,„left Q,. 

56. /] Why /Qq, Rowe et seq. 

57. Heauen] heavens Johns. Ktly. 

58. they'\ Ff, Johns. Dyce, Glo. Cam. 
Ktly, Dd. Rife, Wh. u. t^Han. >UQq 
ct cet 

ram*d'] ram*dQ^, 

59. Jkmi'] Ff, Rowe +, Cap. Steev.'85. 
kimdes Q,Q.. hmds Q, et cet 

on] noQy 

^are-Aead'] dare head QqF^. 

61. Gimni Give Q . 

vtmojil Om. Qq, Pope, Theob. 

62. plaee'\pariQi:\, Cap. Mai. Steev.'93, 
Var. Coll. ^. KUy. 

63. ^n^3/n^Theob.conj. withdrawn. 

64. The fixed Figure'\ Ff, Knt, Dyce i, 
Sta. Del A fixed figure, Qq et cet. 

/or.„of\ ofi„for Hunter, Sta. 
time"] hand Rowe + , Cap. Jen. Coll. 

65. fioWfOnd mcuing] Ff, Rowe, Pope, 
Theob. Han. Knt, Dyce i, Sta. Del. eoU 
unmaving Cartwright. fiow vnmottmg 
Qqet cet. 

finger"] fingers Q,. 

fl^.] ai— Rowe+, Knt, Sing. Dyce 
i, Sta. Del. Ktly. «/; Coll. Wh. L at! 
Glo. Cam. Dyce iii, Huds. Rife, Wh. iL 
at — oh, oh, Qq, Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. 
(0/0/ in separate line, Ci^. Steev. Mai. 

57 et seq. Booth : With all the pathos you are capable of. 

58. they] Walker {Crit, ii, 1 10) shows that ' Heaven * is used as plural, by instances 
not alone from Shakespeare, but from Massinger, Beaumont and Fletcher, Shirley, Ford, 
and others. See J/am, III, iv, 173, 175. 

64, 65. Stkevens : We call the hour in which we are to die, 'the hour of death,' — the 
time when we are to be judged, 'the day of judgement,' — the instant when we suffer 
calamity, ' the moment of evil ' ; and why may we not distinguish the time which 
brings contempt along with it by the title of ' the time of soom ' ? Othello takes his 
idea finom a dock. ' To make me (says he) a fixed figure (on the dial of the world) 
for the hour of scorn to point and make a full stop at ! ' By 'slow unmoving finger ' 
our poet could have meant only * so slow that its motion was imperceptible.' Thus, in 
Ant. &* Cleo, III, iii, 22, the messenger, describing the gait of the demure Octavia, says, 
' she creeps ; Her motion and her station are as one,' i. e., she moved so slowly that she 
i^ipeared as if she stood still. Malone : Might not Shakespeare have written < for the 
seom of time,^ &c., i. e., the marked object for the contempt of all ages and all time? 
So in Ham, III, i, 70, ' the whips and scorns of time.' However, in support of the 
old copies it may be observed that 'scorn' is personified in the 88th Sonnet: 'And 
place my merit in the eye of scorn.' The epithet tmmcvietg may likewise derive some 

ACT IV. 8C ii.] T//£ MOORE OF VENICE 259 

[64, 65. time of Scome . . . slow, and mouing finger.] 
support fix>m the 104th Sonnet^ in which this veiy thought is expressed : < Ah ! yet doth 
beauty, like a dial-hand, Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived ; So your sweet 
hue, which methinks still doth stand, Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived.' 
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. The fitter of the dial was the technical phrase. So in Albovine, by 
D'Avenant, 1629 : ' Even as the slow finger of the dial Doth in its motion circular 
remove To distant figures.' The reading of F,, < and moving,' certainly agrees with 
the image presented, and its counterpart, better than untnoving, which can be i^)plied 
to a clock only by license of poetry {not appearing to move), and as applied to * scorn ' 
has but little force, to say nothing of the superfluous epithet ' slow ' ; there needs no 
ghost to tell us that that which is unmoving is ' slow.' * Slow ' implies some sort of 
motion, however little it may be, and therefcnre appears to me to favour the reading 
of F,. M. Mason : Perhaps we should read, *siowfy moving finger at.' Hunter (ii, 
287) : I have little doubt that the particles *of ' and 'for' have chsmged places; and 
that, on the whole, the true reading is, ' The fixed figure of the time, for Scorn To 
point his slow and moving finger at.' It is of the nature of that feeling which leads a 
person to suppose himself ^an object of scorn and derision, to think of himself also as 
an object of universal attention. Thus, Othello represents to himself that he shall be 
'the fixed figure of the time,' the one object of public attention, every passer-by point- 
ing at him the finger of soom. Knight : There is certainly the most extraordinary 
confusion in Malone's interpretation ; if the figure of Time be in the middle, the dial* 
hand points from it, and not at it, and there is nothing more remarkable in one numeral 
of a dock than in another. But why are we to have the notion of a clock at all ? There 
is nothing whatever in the passage to warrant us in believing that the poet meant such 
a metaphor. By the * fixed figure ' we understand, literally, a living man exposed to 
public shame ; or an effigy exhibited to a multitude, as Butler has it, * To punish in 
effigie criminals.' By < the time ' we receive the same idea as in Ham, III, i, 70^ where 
' time ' is used distinctly to express the times, the age; and it is used in the same way 
by Ben Jonson : ' Oh, how I hate the monstrousness of time ! ' In the expression before 
us, then, the ' time of scorn ' is the age of scorn. The * slow finger ' is the pausing 
finger, pointing at the fixed figure ; but while it points it moves in mockery. Shake* 
speare was probably thinking of the Digito Monstrari of the ancients, and it may be, 
also, of the finger gesticulations of the Italians. Collier (ed. ii) reads, with his 
(MS.), ^hand of scorn' and * slowly moving finger'; but returns to the Qq in ed. iii. 
White (ed. i) ; * Unmoving ' may mean either that the finger of scorn does not move 
from its object, or that it moves so slowly that its motion is not perceived. So in Lyly's 
Euphues : * You were ignorant of the {practices, thinking the Diall stands still, because 
you cannot perceive it to move.' — Sig. £ e, ed. 1597. 'The tongue of a Louer should 
be like a poynt in a Dial, which though it goe none can see it going.' — Id, Sig. Y, 3, b. 
I was once in favour of Hunter's transposition. But < the time of scorn ' is a phrase 
like 'the day of sorrow,' 'the hour of joy,' 'the age of progress.' Bailey (ii, 112) 
makes ' the passage run ' thus : ' A fixid figure for the time, in scorn, To point his sly 

and mocking finger at, ' and then adds : ' These epithets greaUy enhance the 

expression of Othello's horror of the ridicule of the world.' Keightley {Exp, 305) : 
I see no need of changing the text of the Qto. ' The Time of scorn ' is the scornful 
age or world, a frequent sense of < time ' ; and we should print, ' To point his slow— 
mmioving finger at,' the latter term being a correction of the former. Deuus : ' Slow 

26o THE TIcAGEDJJl UI* OTHELLO [act nr. sc. u. 

Yet could I beare that too, well, very well : 66 

But there where I haue gamerd vp my heart, 

Where either I muft Hue, or beare no life, 

The Fountaine from the which my currant runnes. 

Or elfe dries vp / to be difcarded thence, 70 

Or keepe it as a Cefteme, for foule Toades 

To knot and gender in. Tume thy complexion there : 72 

67. th€rewhere]there:where(l^. there, 71. Toades] TaodesC^^, 

where Q^Q,. 72. w.] in : Qq. 

69. Fountaine] foundation Qj. there .•] there, Qq. thence Warb. 

71. Cefteme] eeftem Fj. Ciftem F^. there! Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. 

and moving,' according to Shakespeare's use of the copula, fonns one idea [like * by 
night and negligence,' I, i, 83]. Massey ( The Secret Drama, &c. p. 257) : Othello 
cannot mean that he is made into a clock or a dial, but the laughing-stoch of the time. 
R. H. Legis (N, &* Qu, 5th, vi, 25), having appropriated Hunter's emendation, and 
changed 'slow ' to lew, asserts < the image ' to be < absolutely correct in both sense and 
artistic rectitude.' Bulloch (p. 252) assumes that Othello ' had in view the scurrilous 
writers of pithy lampoons, those vile scoffing wits who ridiculed misfortune and enjoyed 
the degradation of others,' and therefcnre thus emended : < A fixed figure for the rhymer's 
scorn. To point his foul unmoving finger at' Cowden-Clarke : We take the ' time 
of scorn ' to be an impersonation of the scornful spirit of the epoch, and alluding to 
the image of Time which many ancient clocks bore. To our minds the combination 
'slow, unmoving,' serves exactly to describe the hand of a dial, with its onward-stealing 
yet apparently still finger ; so that, in every way, the idea of the clock is presented to 
the imagination by this passage. John Hunter : ' For the time of scorn ' is for scortCs 
opportunity, HUDSON : ' The time of scorn ' means, I think, the age of scorn, thai is, 
the whole period during which scorn may be said to live. The < fixed figure ' is simply 
the speaker himself. As to sUno unmemng, the sense of it can be better felt than 
exprosed; we can see the sneer darting firom the inexorable finger, ever slowly moving 
with the object, never moving yVom iL Rolfe : That Shakespeare should be supposed 
to have written ' slow and moving,' shows what a poet may suiTer at the hands of a pro- 
saic critic The mistake in the Folio was doubtless one of the ear in transcribing the 
MS. [I am afiraid that this may be classed among those readings to which Steevens 
elsewhere refers as having hitherto disunited the opinions of the learned, and which 
' will continue to disunite them as long as England and Shakespeare have a name.' — 

67. gamer'd] Johnson : The < gamer' and the ' fountain' are improperly conjoined. 
Rolfs : But a succession of metaphors is not a fault, like the mixing of them. Deuus : 
The word is finely chosen ; to ' gamer ' is to store that on which life depends. 

67-70. This passage Salvini adduces as proof that Othello was not jealous, but that 
his love was of a purely poetic nature, untainted with passion. 

72-74. Johnson : At such an object do thou. Patience, thyself change colour; at 
this do thou, even thou, rosy cherub as thou art, looh grim as hell. The old editions 
and the new have it : ' / here look grim as hell.' / was written for ay, and not since 
conected. [It was hard, very hard, for Dr Johnson to be just to Theobald, ' poor pid- 
dling Tibbald.' The ibregoing note b substantially the same as Theobald's, and ka 

ACT IV, sc. ii.] 


Patience, thou young and Rofe-lipM Cherubin, 
I heere looke grim as hell. 

Def, I hope my Noble Lord efteemes me honeft. 

Othe. Oh I, as Sommer Flyes are in the Shambles, 
That quicken euen with blowing. Oh thou weed : 
Who art fo louely faire, and fmell'ft fo fweete, 
That the Senfe akes at thee, 
Would thou had^ft neuer bin borne. 

Def. Alas, what ignorant fm haue I committed ? 




73. th<m\ thy Qq. 

74. / heere'\ I here QqFjF^ Rowe, 
Pbpc, Warb. Ay^ there Theob. There^ 
M^/ Han. ^^,^ti?nr Johns. Jen. Ay^there^ 
Ci^p. et seq. 

75. my NobU\ my Ff. 

76. Sommer Flyes\ fummers JUes Qq. 
Summer-flies Rowe, Pope, Han. 

Shambies\fliamples Q^. 
77-79. Oh.^.thee"] Two lines, ending 
faire, ,Jhee Qq, Warb. Jen. 

77. thou weed:'] thou blacke weede, Qq, 
Jen. thou bale weed\f9i\}, thou base Tveed 


78. pyho„/aire,'] H^y.,. fairer Qq, 
Warb. Jen. 

and fmeWft\ Thm fmeWft Qq, 
Warb. Jen. 

79, 80. That,„bome^ One line, Cap. 
Steev. et seq. 

79. akes] askes F,. asks RF^ Rowe i. 

80. thou hadfl] thad'ft F,. thoiidft 
F^, Rowe. 

neuer] Yi^ Rowe. n^re Qq. n^ef 
Pope et cet. 

bin] been F^F^. 

orrer thirty years, when Dr Johnson wrote, Theobald's text had read Ay for /. To 
S. T. P. (N, 6r* Qu. 5th, vi, 405), Dr Johnson's interpretation seems veiy forced and 
inapplicable. The suggestion is then ventured that ' possibly the words were meant as 
addressed to Desdemona, who first blushes at Othello's gross accusations. He then 
bursts out in admiration of her beauty ; and then when she looks gravely indignant, 
challenges her to ** look grim as hell." ' S. T. P. demands no verbal change, but appa* 
rently finds the passage cured by an heroic exhibition of exclamation-marks. — Ed.] 

73. Cherubin] It is not to be supposed that either Shakespeare, or his contempo- 
raries, knew or cared that this is a Chaldee Plural. Cotgrave translates * Cherubin, 
a cherubin,' and it is probably through the French that the word was introduced into 
English. — Ed. 

76. Sommer Flyes] These words might serve, in F^ as an approximate test, among 
the various copies, of priority in printing. The Cambridge Edition notes between 
them a hyphen. In one of my copies of F^ this hyphen is distinct and unmistaka- 
ble; in the second, it is quite faint; in the third, it has vanished, leaving behind a 
warning to all not to lean too confidingly on the punctuation of the old texts. — Ed. 

79, 80. Walker {Crit, iii, 289) reduces these two lines to the rhythmical standard 
by omitting * That ' and contracting * thou hadst ' : < The sense aches at thee, — ^Would 
th' hadst ne'er been bom ! * [See Text. N.] 

79. akes] Thus the verb is uniformly spelled throughout the Folio; one of the 
instances, we have had before in this play, III, iv, 168; the noun is spelled <uhey and 
its plural is dissyllabic, from which it is reasonable to infer that the singular was pro- 
nounced aatsh. There s an oversight in Ellis's Early Eng, Pronunciation, p. 930^ 
where this present line is cited as an instance of a < Monosyllabic Plural.* — Ed. 

262 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv, sc. iL 

Othe.^ds this faire Paper ? This moft goodly Booke 82 

Made to write Whore vpon ? What commited, 
Committed ? Oh, thou publicke Commoner, [332 ^] 

I ihould make very Forges of my cheekes, 85 

That would to Cynders burne vp Modeftie, 
Did I but fpeake thy deedes. What commited ? 
Heauen (loppes the Nofe at it, and the Moone winks : 
The baudy winde that kifTes all it meetes. 
Is hufh'd within the hollow Myne of Earth 90 

82. Paper f] paper, Qq. 87. / *«/] bta I F^F^ Rowe, Pope, 

83. ypan /] m t — Q,, Jen. ThcK>b. Warb. Johns. 

lVkat'\ What, Q,. what, what dtedes."] deed, Jen. Steer.'Ss* 

Theob. Warb. Han. Johns. Cap. What IVkaf] What, what Theob. Han. 

tm Ktly. Warb. Johns. Cap. What sin KUy. 

841-87. Om. Qj. commited'] F,. commit/ad Qy 

87. Did} Jhould Cap. (Connected in 90. hoUcw'] hallow Q,. 

82. 83. Steevbns : Massinger has imitated this in 7^ Emperor of the East, IV, v. 
GiFFORD, in a note (p. 321) to this passage in Massinger, observes that there are sev- 
snd other short passages in that same scene copied from Othello. Rolfs : For the 
metaphor, compare King John, II, i, 485; Rom. b^ Jul. I, iii, 87; III, ii, 83; R.of 
Z. 615, 1253, &c. 

83. commited] Malone : This word, in Shakespeare's time, besides its general 
signification, seems to have been applied particularly to unlawful acts of love. [Might 
not this have been due to its use in the Seventh Commandment ? — Ed.] Knight : 
Othello, indignant at Desdemona's question, with a mocking fury repeats it foui 
times, — * what committed ? ' The commentatois have changed it into an interjectional 
phrase, telling us that * committed ' had a peculiar signification. The plain and natural 
interpretation seems the true one. Deighton agrees with Knight; 'Othello repeats 
interrogatively, over and over again, the last word of Desdemona's speech, which is 
here used in its ordinary sense.' 

84. Booth : Not too violently, — more of indignation than anger. 

85. my] White (ed. i) : I suspect that Shakespeare wrote thy. The misprint is 
common. Othello has already, when with lago, spoken Desdemona's imputed deeds 
▼eiy plainly ; and would Shakespeare have forgotten that Othello's cheeks were too 
dark to show a blush ? or, still more, would he have referred the blush in such a case 
to the countenance of the man when the woman was present ? In Tit. And. IV, ii, 
Aaron the Moor speaks of Chiron's < beauty' as a 'treacherous hue, that will betray 
with blushing,* whereas his own blackamoor child is a < lad fram'd of another leer* 
Dyce (ed. iii) : But, as Lettsom observes, ' Othello is speaking not of blushes, but of 
heat' White (ed. ii) : A doubtfid reading. Shakespeare surely may have written 
*thy cheeks.' Not ordy was it Desdemona's part to flush, but Othello's cheek was 

89. baudy] BiIalone: So in Mer. of Ven. II, vi, 16. Haluwell: The wind is 
more elegantly alluded to in Hen. V, as the 'chartered libertine.' Rolfe: So, Mid. 
AT. D. II, i, 129. 

ACT IV, sc iL] 



And will not hear't What commited / 

Def. By Heauen you do me wrong. 

Othe. Are not you a Strumpet ? 

Def. N09 as I am a Chriftian. 
If to preferue this veffell for my Lord, 
From any other foule vnlawfuU touch 
Be not to be a Strumpet, I am none. 

Othe. What, not a Whore ? 

Def. No, as I (hall be fauM. 

Othe. IsH poffible ? 

Def, Oh Heauen forgiue vs. 

Othe. I cry you mercy then. 
I tooke you for that cunning Whore of Venice, 
That married with Othello. You Miftris, 

Enter Emilia. 
That haue the office oppofite to Saint Peter^ 
And keepes the gate of hell. You, you : I you. 






91. heaf't.'\ heav't: — Qq. hear ofU 
KUy. hear ii Steev. et seq. 

What commited ?'\ Ff, Rowe, Pope, 
Knt. what committed^ — impudent ftrum- 
/«r. Qq. Committed f — impudent strum- 
pet I "iizxi. Committed ! what committed I 
Impudent strumpet I Cap. IVhat sin com- 
mitted! Impudent strumpet !YiWj. What 
committed f — Impudent strumpet I Theob. 
et cet 

Reading Impudent strumpet as if of 
ane 92, Cap. Coll. et seq. 

96. other"] hated Ci^, Jen. Wh. i. 

99. fau'd,"] fctued. Enter Emillia Q,. 
/aued. Q,Q . 

100. lit] Is it Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. 
Wh. i, Dd. 

loi. forgiue vs^forgiueneffe Q,. 
X02. mercy then,] mercy, Q,. 

103. Venice,] Venice, Entet Emiitia, 


104. Othello, You] Othello. [Raising 
his voice] You Glo. Oun. Wh. ii. 

Scene X. Pope4-, Jen. 

You Miftris,] Come you, mistress, 
Han. You, mistress, there t Cap. You, 
misteress, Ktly. 

105. Enter...] After ^0M. line 107, Knt, 
ColL iii. After hell line 107, Dyce, Sta. 
Wh. Glo. Cam. Del. 

106. Saint Peter] S. Peter Qq. Saint 
Peter's Ktly. 

107. ie^s] QqF,. heeps F^F^. hee^ 
Rowe et cet 

gate of] gates in Qq. 
heU,] hell, (i^. heU;QJ^^, 
You,you : I you,] I,you,you,you , 

Q,. you, you, I, you Q/i^, you,youl Ay 

you I Rowe et seq. 

95. vessell] Upton (p. 219) : Thos, in / Thess, iv, 4: ' To possess his vessel in 

104. Mistris] Walker ( Vers, 48) : That is, < mist(e)ress.' [See Keightley, Text 
N., and II, ii, 242.] 

106. opposite] Hudson : 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, 
tequires that the special emphasis, if there be any, should be laid on < opposite.' 

107. Booth : Desdemona sinks to the floor, whence Emilia, at line iii, raises her. 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv. sc. li. 

We haue done our courfe : there's money for your paines : 
I piay you tume the key, and keepe our counfaile. Exit. 

^mil. Alas, what do's this Gentleman conceiue ? 
How do you Madam ? how do you my good Lady ? 

Def, Faith, halfe a fleepe. 

j£mu Good Madam, 
What's the matter with my Lord ? 

Def. With who ? 

jEmil. Why, with my Lord, Madam / 

Def. Who is thy Lord ? 

jEmil. He that is yours, fweet Lady. 

Def. I haue none : do not talke to me, jEmilia^ 
I cannot weepe : nor anfweres haue I none. 
But what fliould go by water. Prythee to night, 
Lay on my bed my wedding flieetes, remember, 
And call thy husband hither. 

jEmil, Heere's a change indeed. Exit. 

Def. Tis meete I fliould be vs'd fo : very meete. 
How haue I bin behau'd, that he might fticke 
The fmall'ft opinion on my leaft mifvfe ? 







l<A.lVehaue\Weha(^. ffVv^Dyce 

113, 114. One line, Qq» Rowe et seq. 

115. who\ whom Ff, Rowe + , Jen. ColL 
Ktly. wkom, jEmiHa f Han. 

1X6. Whyj\ Om. Cap. Steev.*85. 

117, 118. Om. Q,. 

XI9. Ikame] I ha Qq. 

12a an/weres] F,. an/wen F^^ 
Kowe. anfwer Qq et cet 

X2I. Prythee\ Pray Pdpe+. 

122. my7veddi$^ourweddmg(^^^^tsu 

124. ffeer^s] Here is Qq, Cap. Jen. 
Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Ktly. 

125. vid"] vfde Q/i^. ufed Q,. 
very meete,'\ very well; Q,. 

127. /maliyi]/malle/l Q^,Rowe\,Jtn, 
cm] of Pope, Theob. Han. Waib. 
Uaft mifvfe f] greatefi abufe Q,, 

Jen. great *staiuse Steev. Mai. Rann. Var. 

Sta. Dyce iii, Huds. least misdeed Coll. 


X08. paines] Hudson quotes White: Othello, who in his relations towards womer 
b one of the most delicate and sensitive of men, in the bitterness of his soul pays his 
wife's own maid as he leaves the fonner's bed-chamber; not either to reward or to 
ofiend Emilia, but that he may tonnent his own soul by carrying out his supposition to 
its most revolting consequences. Fechter : He throws a purse on the table and exit. 
Booth : Don't use a purse, it is absurd, and 'tis not likely that lago would pass it by ; 
he confesses himself a thief in his dealings with Roderigo, and he would never leave a 
purse of money unheeded on the floor. This purse once tempted me so annoyingly 
that I picked it up^ and veiy pcoperly was reproved for it, — but I could not help it 

121. water] Hudson : That is, ^ expressed hy tears. Surely a conceit quite out 
of place. Laertes, in Ham, IV, |v, vents a similar one on learning that his sister is 

127. misvte] Soigkr : 'On' most be understood to signify (f. The tense appeals 


Enter lagOj and Emilia, 1 28 

lago. What is your pleafure Madam ? 
How is't with you ? 1 30 

Def. I cannot tell : thofe that do teach yong Babes 
Do it with gentle meanes, and eafie taskes. 
He might haue chid me fo : for in good faith 
I am a Child to chiding. 

lago. What is the matter Lady ? 135 

jEmil. Alas {lago) my Lord hath fo bewhor'd her, 
Throwne fuch difpight, and heauy termes vpon her 
That true hearts cannot beare it 

Def. Am I that name, lago ? 

lago. What name,(faire Lady ?) 140 

Def. Such as (he faid my Lord did fay I was. 

jEmU. He callM her whore : a Begger in his drinke : 
Could not haue laid fuch termes vpon his Callet. 143 


Scene XI. Pope+, Jen. 138. 'nuU'\ Ff, Rowe+, Knt As Qq 

129, 130. One line, Pope et seq. et cet. 

130. u'/] u it Steer. Mai. Var. Coll. ^rar/f^]Ff,Rowe+,Knt heart 
Wh. i. Qq et cet. 

U'- >'«*^]>'<»*irQq- y<n*rYiy Rowe, 141. faid'\ Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Knt, Sta. 

Pope, Theob. Han. Waib. fay^^ Qq ^ cet- 

133. haMe\ ha Qq. 143. laid'\ hyed Q,Q.. laied Q,. 

1 34- tolat Q„ Jen. /^^^] ^tforse Cap. conj. 

135. IVhai «] What's F^ Rowe, Pope, CalUi'\ caUatCoXL Dyce, Sta. Wh. 

Theob. Warb. Johns. Steev.*93, Var. Coll. Glo. Cam. Del. Rife. 
Sing. Dyce, Sta. Wh. Glo. Cam. KUy, Del. 

to be : < How have I behaved that he can attach the smallest notion of the least mis- 
eonduct ? * Hudson [adopting Q,] : A veiy harsh and awkward expression, but mean- 
ing, * What have I been doing, that upon my worst act he should fasten the slightest 
imputation of crime ? ' We cannot take < on * here as equivalent to of, for the connec- 
tion is < stick on ' and not ' opinion on ' ; so that < least ' of F, does not give the right 
sense. [' How have I been behaved that he could find the smallest possible fault with 
my smallest possible misdeed ? ' a paraphrase which is substantially the same as Cowden- 
Clarke's.— Ed.] 

136-138. Cowden-Clarke : This shows that Emilia, among her other objection- 
able characteristics, is a listener, — a mean listener at doors. 

139. that name] Mrs Jameson (ii, 42) : A stroke of consummate delicacy, sur- 
prising, when we remember the latitude of expression prevailing in Shakespeare's time, 
and which he allowed his other women generally. So completely did Shakespeare 
enter into the angelic refinement of the character. 

143. Callet] GiFFORD (Note in Jonson's Volpone, IV, i, p. 277) : Callet, eallat, or 
ealot is used by all our old writers for a strumpet of the basest kind. It is derived, as 
Uny observes, fipom ealote, Fr., a «^r of cap once worn by country-girls ; and, like a 

266 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv, sc. iL 

lago. Why did he fo ? 

Def. I do not know : I am fure I am none fuch. 14; 

lago. Do not weepe^ do not weepe : alas the day. 

^niil. Hath (he forfooke fo many Noble Matches ? 
Her Father ? And her Country ? And her Friends / 
To be callM Whore ? Would it not make one weepe ? [332 b'\ 

Def. It is my wretched Fortune. 1 50 

lago. Beflirew him for't : 
How comes this Tricke vpon him ? 

Def. Nay, Heauen doth know. 

^mi. I will be hang'd, if fome eternall Villaine, 
Some bufie and infmuating Rogue, 155 

Some cogging, cozening Slaue, to get fome Office, 

145. lam/ure] Pm sure Pope + , Dyce 148. And her Friends] all her friends 

147. Hath] Has Qq, Cap. Mai. Steev. 151, 152. One line, Qq, Rowe+, Jen. 

'93f Var. Knt, ColL Sing. KUy. 151. fort] forii^ Jen. Steev. Mai 

Var. CoU. Wh. i. 

hundred other tenns of this nature, from designating poverty or meanness, finally came, 
by no nnnatural progress, to denote depravity and vice. Dyce ( Gloss,) dtes Cotgrave : 
' Goguenelle, A fained title, or tearme, for a wench ; like our Gixie, Callet, Minx, &c.' 
Wedgwood (s. v. ed. ii) : Probably an unmeasured use of the tongue is the leading 
idea. NS. to callet^ to rail, or scold ; caUeting^ pert, saucy, gossiping. [I do not find 
it in Skeat. — ^£d.] 

150. Othello echoes this with ' Who can control his iaSut ? ' V, ii, 328. — Ed. 

154. Fechter : Suspiciously eyeing lago. Cowden-Clarke : Emilia, by no means, 
here refers to her husband, but to some one who, as she thinks, has misled both lago 
and Othello. She has before told the Moor, ' If any wretch have put this in your head, 
let Heaven requite it with the serpent's curse.' Her suspicion never for an instant &lls 
on her own husband. [Witness her incredulity, in the last Scene, when Othello tells 
her it was < her husband ' who first told him Desdemona was false to wedlock. — Ed.] 
Booth: This is spoken without intended reference to lago. 

154. eternall] WiiLKER {Crit. i, 62) dtes this passage and Ham, I, v, 21 ; V, ii, 
352, and Jul, Cas, IV, ii, 160, as instances of the inaccurate use by Shakespeare of 
'eternal' for infernal. See also, to the same effect, Abbott, Introduction^ p. 16. 
[Walker's instances from Hamlet may be well chosen ; in * this eternal blazon,' and in 
' what feast is toward in thine eternal cell,' Shakespeare may have used the word inac- 
curately ; it is also possible that the error is the printer's. But here in Othello and m 
Jul, Cess, (' There was a Brutus once, that would have brook'd Th' eternal devil,' &c.) 
the supposition of inaccuracy is, I think, far from probable. Walker himself says that the 
phrase * eternal villain ' seems to be still in use among the conmion people, and antid- 
pates the thought which rises in every American mind, when he adds : * I need scarcely 
notice the Yankee *tamal,* When needs must, nowadays, we speak of our friends ai 
' everlasting fools ' ; I think, therefore, that here Emilia means what she says. — Ed.] 

156. Slaue] Walker {^Cril, ii, 307) : Does 'slave' here mean anything more thaa 


Haue not deuisM this Slander : I will be hanged elfe. 157 

lago. Fie, there is no fuch man : it is impoflfible. 

Def. If any fuch there be, Heauen pardon him. 

^mil. A halter pardon him : 160 

And hell gnaw his bones. 
Why ihould he call her Whore f 
Who keepes her companie ? 
What Place ? What Time ? 

What Forme ? What liklyhood ? 165 

The Moore's abus'd by fome mod villanous Knaue, 
Some bafe notorious Knaue, fome fcuruy Fellow. 
Oh HeauenSy that fuch companions thouM'ft vnfoldi 
And put in euery honed hand a whip 

To lafli the Rafcalls naked through the world, 170 

Euen from the Eaft to th'Weft. 

/ago. Speake within doore. 

yEmU. Oh fie vpon them: fome fuch Squire he was 
That tum'd your wit, the feamy-fide without, 174 

157. Haui] Has Ff, Rowc+, Ci^. 168. tMau'd'jr^tkotuifiCU^, Jhouidft 
Stcev/85. Q,. 

deui^d'\ deui/de Q^Q.. devifed 170. Ra/calis] ra/callQqFf, Rowe+, 

Q,. Cap. Mai. Steev.'93, Var. Sing. Coll. iii. 

Ittnl/'] Ff, Rowc, Knt. rie Q,. 171. Euen] Ex^n Popc+. 

lU Q^Qj. rU Pope ct cct. to M*] Ff, Rowe+, Wh. i. tdth 

158. Fii\ Sq}arate line, Dyce iii. QaQj* tothi^i^ei cet 

159. there bi^ there are Q^Q,. 172. doore\ dares Qq, Jen. 
160-165. Three lines, QqiRoweetseq. 173. them] him Qq, Han. Cap. Steev. 

166. mo/i villanous'] outragious Q,. Mai. Var. Sing. 

168. Oh Heauens"] Ff, Rowe i. O heauen Squire] * Squire F^, Rowe+ , Jen 

Qq et cet. I73-I75* fome,,, Moore] Aside to lago 

companions] companion Han. Sta. 
Cap. 1 74- feamy-fide] feamy/ide QqFjF^. 

villain, abandoned wretch t This use of * slave * (compare the Italian cattiuo, whence 
our caitiff) is frequent in old plays. 

158. Walker ( Vers, 272) : Arrange and write, perhaps, — * Fie | There's no such 
man, it is impossible.' [Dyce (ed. iii) adopted this.] Booth : Wait until the effect 
of her speech is past. Fechter : lago has not even frowned, but looks at her with 
cold self-possession. 

167. notorious] Johnson : Far gross, not in its proper meaning for known, 

168. companions] Malone: Used as a word of contempt, in the same sense as 
fellcrw is at this day. 

172. Johnson : Do not clamour so as to be heard beyond the house. Booth : Goes 
to her and speaks low. 

174. seamy-side] Johnson : That is, inside out. Stesvens : Compare II, ii, 69 s 
'Whom Love hath tum'd almost the wrong side out.' 

268 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv, sc. fl. 

And made you to fufpeft me with the Moore. 175 

lago. You are a Foole : go too. 

Def. Alas lago^ 
What (hall I do to win my Lord againe ? 
Good Friend, go to him : for by this light of Heauen, 
I know not how I loft him. Heere I kneele : 180 

If ere my will did trefpafTe 'gainft his Loue, 
Either in difcourfe of thought, or a6luall deed, 
Or that mine Eyes, mine Eares, or any Sence 183 

176. [Aside to Emilia. Sta. 180. Two lines, Q.Q,. 

too\ to QqFf. 180-193. Heere.^me] Om. Q,. 

177. Alas] Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Knt« 180. [kneeling. Rowe+, Cap. Jen. 
Dyce, Sta. Wh. i, Coll. iii. OgvodQfiei 182. Ei/A^r} Or Pdpe+. 

cet of thoHghi] or thought Q,Q^ 

179. for] Om. Pdpc+. P<)pc+, Jen. Stccv.'85, Huds. 

176. Booth : Angrily, but sotto voce, 

181. Booth : lago replaces chair behind the anas. 

182. diaccurse of thought] This phrase is no easier of comprehension than the 
fimilar phrase in Ham, I, ii, 150, to which Malone refers : * discourse of reason.' The 
precise meaning which our ancestors attached to < discourse ' it is now very difficult to 
determine, as GifTord says in a note, dted in this edition, on the passage in Hamlet, 
Johnson, in his Dict,^ defines it as ' the act of the understanding, by which it passes from 
premises to consequences,' which is little else than a paraphrase of his own illustration 
fix>m Glanville, which reads : ' The third act of the mind is that which connects propo- 
sitions, and deduceth condunons from them; and this the schools call discourse; and 
we shall not miscall it, if we name it reason.' But that it was not mere ' reason,' as 
Shakespeare used it, is clear from the phrase < discourse of reason,' nor that it was merely 
'the reasoning faculty,' as some have defined it, as b shown by this phrase in Othello^ 
'the discourse of thought.' May it not be that in the few instances where Shakespeare 
uses it in reference to the operations of the mind (I speak with great hesitation) that its 
Latin origin was uppermost in his thought, vaguely, perhaps, but still (^)erative, espe- 
cially if, as is not unlikely, he pronounced the word 'discoorse,' Hibemidl This 
would lead to Singer's paraphrase, discursive range, which, although somewhat tauto- 
logical, is, perhaps, as satisfactory as any that has been yet proposed. Why may we 
not omit the discursive, and say that ' discourse when applied to the mind means the 
range f* Thus, <a beast that wants the range of reason'; 'he that made us with so 
large a range, looking before and after.' This, too, will explain what Guildenstem 
5ays to Hamlet (III, ii, 320), 'put your discourse into some frame,' i. e., 'restrict the 
range of your fancies.' And here, too, in Othello, Desdemona says, ' either in range 
of thought, or actual deed.' — Ed. Steevbns gives a note, signed ' C,' to the effect that 
the Qq are right, and that Desdemona refers to the three ways of committing sin, men 
tioned in the Catholic Catechisms [and in our Liturgy, adds Steevens], viz. : in thought, 
word, and deed, Verplanck and Hudson prefer the Qq. The former says : ' The on 
of the Qq appears to me more probable in itself^ because more impressive, and more in 
unison with the particularity of Desdemona's asseveration of innocence in every poni* 
Ue manner.' 

ACT IV, SC. ii.] 



Delighted them : or any other Forme. 

Or that I do not yet, and euer did, 

And euer will, (though he do fhake me off 

To beggerly diuorcement) Loue him deerely. 

Comfort forfweare me. Vnkindneffe may do much, 

And his vnkindnefle may defeat my life, 

But neuer taynt my Loue. I cannot fay Whore, 

It do's abhorre me now I fpeake the word. 

To do the A61, that might the addition eame, 

Not the worlds MafTe of vanitie could make me. 

lago. I pray you be content : 'tis but his humour : 
The bufmefle of the State do's him offence. 

Def. If 'twere no other. 

lago. It is but fo, I warrant, 
Hearke how thefe Inftruments fummon to fupper : 
The Meffengers of Venice flaies the meate, 





184. them: or] Ff. /A^m on Rowe+. 
/Aem in Q^Q, et cet. 

J*bnm,] forme; Q,Qj. form: 
F F 

188. forfweare me.] for f ware me Q . 

190. cannoi] can*/ Pope+y Cap. 

191. do's] doth Q,Qj. 

192. the addition] th* addition Q^Q,, 
Popc+, Jen. Dycc iii. 

195. offence!] Ff, Rowe. offence. And 
he does chide with you Qq et cet. 

196. *twere] t^ware Qj. 

<tf>l^r.] QqFf, Rowe. other /KxA, 
Sta. Wh. i. other— Pope et cet 

197. Itis] Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Steev. Mai. 
Var. Knt, Sing. Sta. Ktly. Tis Qq et cet 

warranty] warrant you, Qq, Jen. 
Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. 
[Trampets. Rowe. 

198. fummon] fummon you Qq, Jen. 

199. The. . .meate] And the great Mef- 
fengers of \tmct fiay, Q,, Johns. Jen. 
Steev. MaL Var. Sing. The meate, great 
Meffengers of Ytoict flay; Q,Qj. 

Meffengers] Meffenger Ff, Rowe, 
Pope, Theob. Han. Warb. Cap. 

ftaies the meate] ftayes the meat 
FjF^, Ktly. stay the meat Knt et seq. 

191. abhorre] Rolfe: It is abhorrent to me, it fills me with horror; the only 
instance of this sense in Shakespeare. [* Here hung those lippes .... now they 
abhorre me,' Ham. Q,, line 1946. — Ed.] 

193. vanitie] White (ed. ii) : Splendor, fineiy, as in < Vanity Fair.' 

194. Booth : lago assists Desdemona to rise. 

195. 196. In the line here regained from the Qq, many editors, following Steevens 
and Malone, note that ' chide with ' is the phraseology of the time, and adduce examples. 

199. Knight : Steevens calls the reading of the Folio ' poor,' but its precision and 
familiarity make it more dramatic and characteristic. White (ed. ii) : ' Stay the meat,' 
that is, for the meat. In some parts of England a visitor is still invited to < stay dinner.' 
Vice-regal persons and grandees had, and in some courts still have, all their movements 
announced by trumpets. [Either * Messengers ' is wrongly in the Plural or < stales ' 
is wrongly in the Singular, and at first sight the * extravagant and erring ' s might be 
thought to come under Walker's Article (cited at I, i, 31), but I am inclined to think 
that * stales ' is in the Singular by attraction with < Venice.' — Ed.] 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv. sc. ii. 

Go in, and weepe not : all things (hall be well. 200 

Exeunt Defdemona and jEmUia, 

Enter Rodorigo. 
How now Rodorigo f 

Rod, I do not finde 
That thou deal'ft iuftly with me. 205 

lago. What in the contrarie ? 

Rodari. Euery day thou dafts me with fome deuife 
lagOy and rather, as it feemes to me now, keep'ft from 
me all conueniencie, then fupplieft me with the lead ad- 
uantage of hope : I will indeed no longer endure it Nor 3 10 
am I yet perfwaded to put vp in peace, what already I 
haue fooliflily fuffred. 

lago. Will you heare me Rodorigo 7 213 

Rodari. I haue heard too much .- and your words and [333 ^] 

aoa weU'\wiii(y 
201. Exeunt...] Exit women. Qq. 
Scene XII. F6pe+, Jen. Scene III. 
Booth. Scene II. Fechter. 

204, 205. One line, Qq» Pope et seq. 

205. deui'Jl'] dtaljt Qq. deaUst \yr:it^ 
Glo. Cam. Rife. 

207-212. Euery, „/uffrtd'\ Six lines, 
ven»e, ending Iago,,,from wUt.„lea/i„M 
^,Mrtady,*,fHfferd, Q,. 

207. dafts\ Knt. doffift Qq. dofls Ff. 
doffift Q'8i. doft'st Rowe+, Jen. Cap. 
i^i^i/ Coll.-Sta.Wh. Del. Huds. daffest 
Dyce, Glo. Cam. Rife, dojpst Han. et 

207. deuife\ device Ft 

208. me Mew,"] me, tJkou Q,. 
keefj(\ keepeft i^, Me^pjl QJ^^. 

209. tJkenI thou F^. //la/ Waib. than 

212. /uffred'\/ulirerd q^, f^ff^^dQ^ 
Q,. fuffef>dYf^, 

214, 215. Two lines, the first endmg 
VHfrds, Q,. Three, ending much, ., per- 
fcrwtmucc^togeiker Q^Q,. 

214. /] Ff, Rowe, Pope, Han. Johns. 
Knt Sir,/QjCi^C9^ /atM /Q, et cet. 
and your] Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Knt 
for your Qq et cet 

200, Booth: Sometimes the scene ends here, in which case, exit lago with an 
angry glance at Emilia. 

203. Booth i They ran against each other, — lago somewhat embarrassed. Rode- 
rlgo refuses his proffered hand, and while the former is speaking 207 et seq. lago is 
•omewhat nervous, 

S07. Bvery dmy] Cowden-Clarkb : Effect of <long time' given; though they 
have been in Cypnis, according to < short time,' but one day. 

207. dafts] An instance, under Walker's Article {Crii, ii, 128), on the substitu- 
tion of t fur it in the second person singular of the verb. See II, ii, 201. 

209. aduantag e of hope] Collier (ed. ii) : Ought we not to read, * the least 
ho|M of advantage ' ? [If Collier can thus ask, should he not have been contented 
with merely converting *the time of scorn,' line 64 of this scene, into <the scorn of 
lime,' and not have changed it to the ^kanduS soom ' ? The two phrases are parallel. 
If we chooM to make them so; but it is not necessary. < Advantage of hope ' is the 

ACT IV, SC. li.] 



Performances are no kin together. 215 

Ia£^o. You charge me mod vniuftly. 

Rodo. With naught but truth : I haue wafted my 
felfe out of my meanes. The lewels you haue had from 
me to deliuer De/demona, would halfe haue corrupted a 
VotarifL You haue told me (he hath receiu'd them, 220 
and returned me expeflations and comforts of fodaine 
refpe£l| and acquaintance, but I finde none. 
, la^o. Well, go too : very well. 

Rod. Very well, go too : I cannot go too, (man) nor 
tis not very well. Nay I think it is fcuruy : and begin to 225 
finde my felfe fopt in it 

la^o. Very well. 

RodoK I tell you, 'tis not very well : I will make my 
felfe knowne to Defdemona. If (he will retume me my 
lewels, I will giue ouer my Suit, and repent my vnlaw- 230 
full folicitation. If not, aflure your felfe, I will feeke 
(atisfaflion of you. 

lago. You haue faid now. 233 

215. Perfifrmofues] performance Qq. 

217. WUh,„truih'] Om. Q,. 

218. out ofmy\ out of()p^ Cap. 

219. deHi^er'] Ff, Rowe. deliuer to Qq 
et cet. 

220. kath'\ has Qq, Mai. Steev. Var. 
CoU. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly. 

them] em Qq. 

221. expectations] expectation Qq. 
comforts] comforst Q^. 

222. acquaitUance] acquittance Q,, 
Theob. Han. Warb. Cap. Jen. Mai. Steev. 
'93, Var. Sing, acquintance Q^. 

223. very well] very good Q^. 

224. 22$, nor tis] it is Q^, 

225. JViy Ithinh it is]fy this hand, 
I fay tis very Q,, Jen, Steev. Mai. Var. 
Coll. Sing. Wh. i. Cam. Ktly, Del. (all 
read it is except Jen. Cam.). I fay t'is 
very Q^Q^, 

226. fopt] QqFf. /a*VRowe+, Cb\k 
Jen. fodd'dSieev. Mai. Wh. fcppedDycc, 
Cam. Del. fobbed Var. et cet. 

228. I tell you, 'tis] I fay it is Qq, Jen. 
231. /ufill] rie Q,. lU Q,Q,. 
233. now^nom — llieob. Warb. Johns. 

advantage tc be derived from hope ; it was because lago doffed him with devices that 
he had no hope, and had lost even that advantage. — ^£d. 

214, 215. COLXIER : Here we meet with an extraordinary variation in copies of F, ; 
that belonging to the Duke of Devonshire has the following at the top of the page : 
' I have heard too much : And hell graw his bones Performances.' Cambridge Edit- 
ors : The mistake was discovered and corrected in other copies. This accounts for the 
<and' which the corrected copies still retain instead of 'for.' 

223. Booth : With nonchalance, walking up and down, both here and at 227, but 
Roderigo's threat to make himself known to Desdemona arrests lago, and he instantly 
plans the removal of Roderigo as well as Cassio. 

229. knowne] Can this refer to anything else but his disguise ? his favour, defeated 
with an usurp'd beard ? — Ed. 


272 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv. sc fi. 

Rodo. I : and (aid nothing but what I proteft intend- 
ment of doing. 235 

lago. Why, now I fee there's mettle in thee : and 
euen from this inftant do build on thee a better o- 
pinion then euer before : giue me thy hand Rodorigo. 
Thou haft taken againft me a moft iuft excepti- 
on : but yet I proteft I haue dealt moft direfUy in thy 240 

Rod. It hath not appeer'd. 

lago, I grant indeed it hath not appeer'd : and 
your fufpition is not without wit and iudgement 
But RodorigOy if thou haft that in thee indeed, which 245 
I haue greater reafon to beleeue now then euer ( I 
meane purpofe, Courage, and Valour ) this night 
fliew it If thou rhe next night following enioy not 
De/demona^ take me from this world with Treache- 
rie, and deuife Engines for my life. 250 

Rod, Well: what is it ? Is it within, reafon and com- 

lago. Sir, there is efpeciall CommiHion come from 
Venice to depute Caffto in Othellcfs place. 

Rod. Is that truef Why then Othello and Defdemona 255 
retume againe to Venice. 

234. and /aid'\ and I home /aid C^^, 248. enioy] enioyeft Qq, Jen. Steer. 

Jen. Stecv. Mai. Var. ColL Sing. Wh. i, Mai. Var. Coll. Wh. i, Del. 

Ktly, Del 250. for] from Q^. 

234,235. in/mdmen/] eniendment Q(i, 251. what is itf\ Om. Qq. 

237. injlani] time Q,. within^] within QqFf. 

th] do /Rowe4-. 253-264. Sir,„6raines\ Eleven lines, 

2^1^ 2^, excej^tion] conception ()<\, ending: Venice. ../Ai^^... Defdemona... 

240. but yet']htt'R!Owtn-\r, \tmct,,,kim.,Jingef'd.„/o (Q,. deter- 

241. Affaire] affaires Q,. minate Q^Q^...Cti&\o,.,Aim f„,place,„ 

242. c^peef'd] appeared Qq. braines Qq. 

245. in thee] within thee Qq, Cap. Jen. 253. efpeciall] a special Mai. conj 
Steev. MaL Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly, Commiffion] command Q,. 

238. giue . . . hand] Booth : Roderigo does not, but lago wheedles, and gets his 
hand laughingly. 

243-250. Booth : This, veiy earnestly. 

250. Engines] RrrsON : This seems to mean, to contrive rachs^ tortures^ &c. Dyce 
{Ghss^ : Does it not rather signify * contrive axtful means to destroy my life ? ' ('An 
Engine [device], Artificium^ Ingenium* — Coles's Lot, and Eng, Diet.) [See Lear, 
I, iv, 262]. 

256. Booth : Roderigo is elated at the thought of Desdemona's return to Venice, 


lago. Oh no : he goes into Mauritania and taketh 257 
away with him the (aire De/demonay vnlefTe his a- 
bode be lingred heere by fome accident Where- 
in none can be fo determinate^ as the remouing of 260 

Rod. How do you meane remouing him ? 

lago. Why, by making him vncapable of OthelUfs 
place : knocking out his braines. 

Rod. And that you would haue me to do. 265 

lago. I : if you dare do your felfe a profit, and a 
right He fups to night with a Harlotry : and thither 
will I go to him. He knowes not yet of his Honourable 
Fortune, if you will watch his going thence (which 
I will &fhion to fall out betweene twelue and one) 270 
you may take him at your pleafure. I will be neere 
to fecond your Attempt, and he (hall fall betweene 
vs. Come, (land not amaz'd at it, but go along with 
me : I will (hew you fuch a neceflfitie in his death, that 
you (hall thinke your felfe bound to put it on him. It 275 
is now high fupper time : and the night growes to waft. 
About it 

Rod. I will heare further reafon for this. 

lago. And you (halbe fatisfi'd. Exeunt. 279 

257. taketJi^ Ff, Rowc-H, Cap. Jen. 266. ami a] and Qq, 

Steev.85, Knt. taJkfs Qq ct cct. 267. Harlohy\ harlot Q,, Pope +, Jen. 

259, 260. }Vherein\ whereof Cai^. cony Stccv. MaL Var. 

(p. 35 6)' 268. him. He"] him; — heQ^J^, him-^ 

262. him'\ Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Knt, Sta. he Qj. 

of him Qq et cet 276. h^^h"] nigh Mason. 

263. fy makifig] making Cap. conj. wa/i'\ wajle F^. loaist Mai. conj. 
(p. 35 b)' 277. [Enter Othello, Defderaona, Lo- 

vneapabW] ineapadleVfaib. Johns. douico, Emillia, and Attendants Q,. 

265. do."] FfQq, Rowe, Cap. doF Pope 279. Jhalbe'\ shall; be Sta. 
et seq. fatisJCd ] fatisfied Qq. 

266. if\ and i/Qq. Exeunt.] Ex. fag. and Rod. Q,. 

his home as well as hers ; and is correspondingly disappointed when lago sajrs it is to 
Mauritania. The ' removing of Cassio ' lago speaks slowly, and mysteriously. 

259. Mauritania] Theobald : This is only a Lie, of lago's own invention, to cany 
a point with Roderigo. [See Othellds Color^ in Appendix.] 

206. Booth : Utter all this rapidly,^-don't give Roderigo a chance to think. 

267. Harlotry] See Rom. ^ Jul. IV, ii, 14. 
276. high] Steevens: Thai is, full complete ximt. 

276. wast] Malone: The night is wasting apace. [See J/am. I, ii, 198: 'the 

dead vast,' where Malone makes the same conjecture as here. See Text. Notes. — Ed.I 


THE TfiAGEDIE 01' OTHELLO [act iv, sc. ill. 

Scena Tertia. 

Enter Othello^ LodouicOy Defdemana^ jEmiliay 

and AUndants. 

Lad. I do befeech you Sir, trouble your felfe no further. 

Otk. Oh pardon me : 'twill do me good to walke. 

Lodauu Madam, good night : I humbly thanke your 

Def. Your Honour is mod welcome. 

0th. Will you walke Sir ? Oh Defdemona. 

Def. My Lord. 

Othello. Get you to bed on th'inflant, I will be re- 
tum'd forthwith : difmifle your Attendant there : look't 
be done. Exit. 

Def. I will my Lord 

^m. How goes it now? He lookes gentler then he did. 

Def. He (aies he will retume incontinent. 
And hath commanded me to go to bed, 
And bid me to difinifle you. 

[333 *] 





I. Scena...] Scene XIII. Pope+, Jen. 
A Room in the CasUe. Cap. 
^ Ido befeeek'\ ^Beseech Ci^p. 

5. pardcn me\ pardon FjF^ Rowe^ 
PopCy Han. 

'twin} UJkatt Qq. 

6. Madam\ Madame Q,. 

9. Dividing the line at 5fr/ Cap. Steev. 
'93 et seq. (except Hnds.). 

Sir? Oh'\ FT, Pdpe+. Knt, Ktly. 
fir: — O Qq, Rowe. sirt — O, Jen. 
Hnds. sir t—0^ — Cap. ct cet 

Defdemona.] Desdemana I — Rowe 
•f . Desdenumot — Ci^p. et seq. 

[Ex.Lod,&c Han. Stepping back. 


II. hed.„inftant^bed^dtheinfianiK^, 
«•!*'] Ft; Rowe +,Wh. dtheC^ 
Cap. Jen. cm the Steev. et cet 

11. 12. retunCd forthwith :'\ return' d^ 
fortktmth^Cl^, returned, forthwith Cij:^^ 

12. difmiffe\ difpatch Qq. 
there :"} there, — Qq. 

looh^f} Ff, Rowe, Pope, Han. Dyce, 
Wh. i, Hnds. loohe it tx look, f/ Qq et cet. 

13. Exit.] Exeunt Qq. 

17. And\ Ff, Rowe+, Knt, Sta. He 

18. hid"\ Ff; Rowe+. bad Q,, Cap. 
Jen. bade Q.Q, et cet. 

279. sbalbe] Note Staunton's ingenious punctuation, which is likely to give an 
editor pause. — Ed. 

5. walke] Cowden-Clarkx : This shows the restlessness of the body, with fever 
of the mind. 

9. walke] Schmidt: That is, withdraw; as in Lear, IV, vii, 83. 

15. Hazutt (p. 51) : In this short speech of Emilia's there occurs one of those 
lide-intimations of the fluctuations of passion which we seldom meet with but in Shake- 
ipeaze. After Othello has resolved upon the death of his wife and bids her dismiss her 
attendant for the night, Emilia says ' he looks gentler than he did.' Shakespeare has 
here put into half a line what some anthon would have spue out into ten set speeches. 

ACT IV, SC. Ui.] 



JEmi. DifmifTe me f 

Def, It was his bidding : therefore good ^milia^ 
Giue me my nightly wearing^ and adieu. 
We mufl not now difpleafe him. 

^mU. ly would you had neuer feene him. 

Def. So would not I : my loue doth fo approue him. 
That euen his ftubbornefTey his checks, his frownes, 
(Prythee vn-pin me) haue grace and fauour. 

yEmi, I haue laid thofe Sheetes you bad me on the bed. 

Def. Airs one : good Father, how foolifli are our minds ? 
If I do die before, prythee flirow'd me 
In one of thefe fame Sheetes. 

jEmil. Come, come .• you talke. 

Def. My Mother had a Maid call'd Barbarie^ 





19. Difmiffe\ To dismiss Ktly. 
23. /,«PM^]fKwA/Q,Q,. Ay,would 
Knt. / would Q,Ff et cet. 

25. checks] cheeks Jen. (misprint ?). 
his/rownes'] andfrovmes Qq* Pope 

U, Theob. Warb. Johns. Cap. Jen. Stecv. 
Mai. Var. CoU. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly, Del. 

26. and'\ ond F,. 

fauour ^fasumr in them, Qq» Rowe 
ct seq. 

[beginning to undress. Cap. 

27. I haue"] Pve Dyce iii, Huds. 
laid'\ laied Q,Q,. 

thofe] thefe Q,. 
bad] bade Q,. 

28. one : good FcUher^ Ff. one^good 
father; Q^Qj. one : good Father ! Rowe + , 
Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, Coll. i. 
Sing. Wh. i, Del. one good faith : Q,. 
one, Goodfaithf Dyce, Coll. ii, Sta. Glo. 
Ktly, Cam. CoU.1ii, Huds. Rife, Wh. iL 

minds f] Ff, Rowe+. minds; Q. 
Qj. minds/ Han. et cet. 

29. before^] before thee^ QqFf et eel. 
fhrffufd^fhrmvd QqFf. 

30. M^«]Ff,Rowe4-. M^/Qqetcet 

31. talke,] talk^ Ktly. 

32, 39. Barbaric] Baibary Qq. Barbara 
Ff et cet. (line 39, Brabarie F,). 

26. Walker (Crit. i, 92) : Whence in them / it is not in the Folio. Qu., 'have a 
grace and favour.* Lettsom (Foot-note to Walker) : The words * in them ' appear in 
Q,. The Folio reading, as emended by Walker, is such as Shakespeare might well 
have written ; on the other hand, the additional words do not look either like a sophis • 
tication or a printer's blunder. 

29. CoRNHiLL Magazine (Oct. 1866) : This presentiment of Desdemona does not 
bear the same tests as that of Romeo [see note ad loc, V, i, i], nor Hamlet [V, ii, 207]. 
She had no reason to apprehend a violent death, but she had enough to apprehend from 
Othello's anger. He had struck her and called her the vilest names. Naturally, these 
unkindnesses would throw her into a deep state of depression. * A sort of gain-giving ' 
would naturally trouble her and exclude every chance of a real presentiment, the essence 
of which is, that it shall be spontaneous, at a time when you have no reason to look for 
it, when you are not under the influence of any fear or anxiety from known causes, and 
when, perhaps, you have some difficulty in its interpretation. 

31. talke] For other instances where this means to talk idfyy Koprattle^ see Schmidt. 

32. Maid] See Le Tourneur, in Appendix, 'Othello's Colour.' 

32. Barbarie] Knight : Barbaric is a pretty word, and we would not willii^^ly 

2/6 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act vi, sc. UL 

She was in loue : and he (he louM prouM mad, 33 

And did forfake her. She had a Song of Willough, 

An old thing 'twas : but it exprefs'd her Fortune, 35 

And (he dy'd Tinging it. That Song to night. 

Will not go from my mind : I haue much to do, 

But to go hang my head all at one fide 

And fmg it like poore Brabarie : prythee difpatch. 

jEmi, Shall I go fetch your Night-gowne ? 40 

Def. No, vn-pin me here, 
This Lodouico is a proper man. 

jEmi. A very handfome man. 

De/. He fpeakes well. 44 

33t 34- am/,, Mr,"] and he, she Md, 37. / hatu] Pve Popc+, Dyce Hi, 

forsook her. And she pratfd mad: Warb. Huds. 

34. had^ has Q,. to do'\ ado Pope + . to-do Huds. 

34. &c. fVit/ottgh} wiilaw QqF^. 38, 39. Prose, Q,Q . 

35. o^] <M^ Quincy (MS). 38. i9»/] Not Theob. conj. (with 

36. dyd'\ died Qq. drawn), Han. Cap. 

37. Two lines, Q.Q,> at one"] on one Han. d one Cap 
go\ grow Rowe i. Steev.*85. 

mind:"] mind — Q,. 40. go"] Om. Cap. 

37-58. I haue,„next,'] Om. Q,. 44. lle'\ And he Cap. Steev.'93, Var. 

change it ; but it would appear like an affectation of singularity to retain it. Walker 
{Crit. iii, 290) : The form is not yet obsolete among the common people. [It is still fre- 
quently so pronounced in New England. I doubt if any New England old lady who 
can sing < Barbara Allen,' would pronounce it otherwise than < Barbaric Allen.' — Ed.] 

33. mad] Johnson: I believe that 'mad' only signifies wild, frantic, uncertain 
RiTSON : Here it ought to mean inconstant, Keightley : For * mad,' which is cer- 
tainly wrong. Theobald read bad, and I think he was right. < Proved bad ' answers to 
our present turned out bad. Regarding bad as rather low and trivial, I read in my YA\- 
^n false, as that is the term in the ballad. I thought < mad ' might have been suggested 
by ' maid ' in the preceding line. [Theobald proposed bad in a letter to Warburton 
(Nichols, Illust, ii, 599), but did not allude to it in his edition, where the text is * mad.' 
Capell reads bad; no one else. — Ed.] Cowden-Ciarke : We see no reason to suppose 
it used in any other sense than insane. 

37, 38. Johnson : This is, perhaps, the only insertion made in the latter editions 
which has improved the play. The rest seem to have been added for the sake of 
amplification, or of ornament. When the imagination had subsided, and the mind was 
no longer agitated by the horror of the action, it became at leisure to look round for 
specious additions. This addition is natural. Desdemona can at first hardly forbear 
to sing the song; she endeavors to change her train of thoughts, but her imagination 
at last prevails, and she sings it 

37. to do] For instances where this is equivalent to ado, see Schmidt, s. v. b, or 
Ham, II, ii, 338. But, as Rolfe well observes, in this present passage it < may have 
no more than its cmlinary meaning : / have to do much, that is, make a great eflbrt.' 

38. But] For instances of 'but' signifying /vr^'^yi/r^^if, see Arbott, § 122. 

ACT IV. sc. iii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 277 

^mil. I know a Lady in Venice would haue walked 45 

barefoot to Palefline for a touch of his nether lip. 

Def. The poare Soule fatjinging^ by a Sicamour tree. 47 

45. /...nfti/i'i/] One line, as verse, Cap. 46. imM^] nWM^r Q,F,F^ Theob. 1. 
Ktly. 47. l^ti^DeJdemma^m^Qlfl^, Sing- 

w<nUd'\ who would Steev/93, Var. ing. Rowe. 

46. barrfoof] barefooted Q^(l'%i,Dyct finging] Ff, Rowe+, Steev.'Ss, 
iii. Knt. finghing Q^. fighing Q^ Cap. et 

for\fore^^, cet. 

47. Collier (ed. i) referred to a ballad, <of which some of the stanzas ended with 
** For all the grene wyllow is my garland," by old John Heywood, preserved in MS. in 
B. H. Bright*s library.' [This ballad is printed in The Shakespeare Society s Papers^ voL 
i, p. 44 ; it has nothing in conunon with Desdemona's song except the refirain. War- 
ton {Hist, Eng. Poetry f iii, 287, note) mentions a song, called The Willow-Garland, 
attributed to Edwards, and which he thinks is the same, that is licensed to T. Colwell 
in 1564 (22 July, — ^Arber's Transcript^ i, 270), beginning, ' I am not the fyrst that hath 
taken in hande. The wearynge of the willowe garlande.' Percy (Reliques, 1765, vol. 
^ P* 175) giv^ ^ black-letter ballad from the Pepys Collection thus entitled, < A Lovers 
complaint, being forsaken of his love. To a pleasant tune.' The stanzas which cone- 
nwnd to those of Shakespeare are as follows :] 

A poore foule fat fighing under a ficamore tree, 

O willow, willow, willow ! 
With his hand on his bofom, his head on his knee ; 

O willow, willow, willow ! 

O willow, willow, willow ! 

Sing, O the greene willow (hall be my garland. 


The cold dreams ran by him, his eyes wept apace, 

O willow, &c. 
The felt tears fell from him, which drowned his fisice ; 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

The mute birds fate by him, made tame by his mones -, 

O willow, &c. 
The fait tears fell from him, which foftned the flones. 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

Let nobody blame me, her fcomes I do prove ; 

O willow, &c. 
She was borne to be fair ; I, to die for her love ; 

O willow, &c. 
Sing, O the greene willow, &c. 

Thu ballad. Collier says, is obviously a comparatively modem re-impression (atMWt 
the 3rear 1640 or 1650) of a much older production. Chapfell (i, 206) : The song, 
which Desdemona sings, is contained in a MS. volume, with accompaniment for the 


THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv, sc. iii. 

[Sing WiUough, WiUough, WUlough.] 
Inte, in the British Museum (Addit. MSS. 15,117). Mr Halliwell considers the tran- 
script to have been made about the year 1633; Mr Oliphant (who catalogued the 
Musical MSS.) dates it about x6oo; but the manuscript undoubtedly contains songs 
of an earlier time, such as, — ^ O death 1 rock me asleep^ Bring me to quiet rest,' &c., 
attributed to Anne Boleyn, and which Sir John Hawkins found in a MS. of the reign 
of Heniy VIII. [< The music is older than 1600. It is found in Thomas Dallis's MS. 
** Lnte Book," with the title, " All a greane willow.'' Dallis taught music at Cambridge ; 
and his book, dated 1583, is now in the libraiy of Trinity College, Dublin.' — Skak" 
^erii SoMjgs, p. 50^ New Sh. Soc. 1S84. In this same excellent publication of Tk^ 
N€w Skak^ift Society ten compositions of this song are enumerated. Zelter's com- 
position is given in Voss's OtheUot Jena, 1S06; in Le Toumeur the composition by 
Martini is given; and for Duds's Romance du Saule the music was composed by 
GRiT&Y. Of couise the song is also to be found in the Opera of OUllo by Rossini. 
The music here g^ven is from Ouqipell's Popular Music of the Olden Time, i, 207 ; 
however lovely the melody, its chann is heightened by the knowledge that its plaintive 
notes once 'signed aknig' the txmveises of the Gbbe Theatre.— Ed.] 

RmtJUr Utm mmd * m0 §i k fy, 

mf The poor soul tat si|^-ing by a si - ca-more tree. Sing wiUow,wfllow,wiUow 1 With his 

<\nA^^ ji|i f i|''''rir^.i^ ^'^ i ^ P I 

haad in his bosoai, and hb head upon hb knee ; Oh 1 willow ,wiIlow,wiUow,waiow, Oh I 

kn' i^^w j ^^ 

willow, wHloWfVilloWfWiUow, Shan be my gar -land: Sing all a green wQ - low, 

IP lU \ 

wU-low, willow, wil- low. Ah met the green wfl-lownnst be my gar • land. 

feu r r | M f i r r 

ACT IV, SC. ill.] 



Sing all a greene Willough : 

Her hand on her bofome her head on her knee^ 

Sing WiUoughy Willough^ Wtllough. 

Thefrejh Stre antes ran by her^ and murmut^d her moanes 

Sing Willoughj &c. 

Her /alt teares fell from her^ andfoftned thejlones^ 

Sing Willoughy &c. (Lay by thefe) 

Willough^ Willough. (Prythee high thee : he'le come anon) 

Sing all a greene Willough mufl be my Garland. 

Let no body blame htm^ his f come I approue. 

(Nay that's not next * Harke, who is't that knocks ? 

jEmil. It's the wind. 

Def. I called my Louefalfe Loue : but whatfaid he then ? 
Sing Willough J &c. 
If I court mo women^yot^le couch with mo men. 






52. 61. Willough, &c.] willow, willow, 
willow; Q,Qj, Cap. Jen. ColL Dycc, Sta. 
Wh. Glo. Cam. Del. Huds. Rife. 

53. Her Dedt] The sat Cap. (corrected 
in Errata). 

and] which Q,Q3» Jen. 

54. Sing Willough, &c.] Ff. fing wil- 
low, &c. Q^ Rowe + , Jen. Steev.*85. fling- 
willow &c. Qj. Om. Cap. et cet. 

{Lay fy the/e)"] Rowe i, Johns. Jen. 
(Lady by tke/e) Ff, Rowe ii. Om. Pope, 
Theob. Han. Warb. Separate line, no 
parenthesis. Cap. et cet. 

[giving her her Jewels. Cap. Jen. 

55. Willough, Willough.] willow, wil- 
low. QqFf, Rowe, Pope, Han. Jen. Wil- 
hwy willawt 6*r. Theob. Warb. Johns. 
Sing willow, wilhw, Tvilhrw, Cap. et cet. 

{Prythee,., anon)"] Ff, Rowe, Pope, 
Theob. i, Han. Jen. Separate line, Q^Qjf 
Theob. ii, Warb. Johns. Separate line, no 
parenthesis. Cap. et cet. 

high-] hie Q.Q,. 

57. Marked as Second Stanza, Cap. 
Steey. Mai. Var. Knt^ Sing. Ktly, ColL lii. 

approue.] approue : Q,Q,. approve^ 
— Cap. et seq. 

58. Nay,.,next^ In parenthesis, Jen. 
Harke.'] Hark! hark! Ci^. 
who is* I that ] who^s that Qq. wh^ 

is it that Theob. ii, Warb. Johns. Jen. 
Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly, 

59. It's] It is Q,, Jen. Steev. Mai. Var, 
Coll. Sta. Wh. i, Del. Tis Q,Q,. 

60-62. Def. I... men.] Om. Q,. 

60. falfe Loue] falfe, Qj:^^, 

62. mo women] no women F F^. mon 
women Rowe+, Jen. Steev.*85, Dyce ilL 
moe women Glo. Ktly, Cam. Del. Rife, 
Wh. u. 

couch] touch Upton. 

mo men] more men Rowe-f*, Jen. 
Steev.*85, Dyce iii. moe men Glo. Ktly, 
Cam. Del. Rife, Wh. ii. 

54. Lay by these] After this Aside, nearly every modem editor, even Keightley 
(for whose punctuation I have much respect), puts a colon or a semicolon, as though 
the sentence were incomplete. Almost the same can be said of the punctuation after 
* anon ' in the next line ; a few editors do put a full stop there. Let the record of the 
punctuation of these lines at least, be red-lettered for Isaac Jaggard. — Ed. 

58. knocks] W. N. {Memorials of Sh. p. 364) : What gives a finishing stroke to 
the terror of this midnight scene is the rustling of the wind, which the afl&ighted imagi- 
nation of Desdemona supposes to be one knocking at the door. This circumstance. 

28o THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act iv, sc. iii 

So get thee gone, good night : mine ^ts do itch : [334 a\ 

Doth that boade weeping ? 

jEmily Tis neyther heere, nor there* 65 

Def. I haue heard it faid fo. O thefe Men, thefe men ! 
Do'fl thou in confcience thinke (tell me ^Emilia) 
That there be women do abufe their husbands 
In fuch groflfe kinde ? 

^fml. There be fome fuch, no queflion. 70 

Def. Would'ft thou do fuch a deed for all the world ? 

jEmil. Why, would not you ? 

Def. No, by this Heauenly light 

jEmil. Nor I neither, by this Heauenly light: 
I might doo't as well i^th'darke. 75 

Def Would'ft thou do fuch a deed for al the world ? 

^mil. The world's a huge thing : 
It is a great price, for a fmall vice. 

Def Introth, I thinke thou would'ft not 

jEtml. Introth I thinke I (hould, and vndoo't when 80 

I had done. Marry, I would not doe fuch a thing for a 
ioynt Ring, nor for meafures of Lawne, nor for Gownes, 82 

63. So\ New Qx- P^^t as one line, Qq, Cap. Steev. Mai. 

63, 64. mine^.toeepimg] One line, Q,. Var. Coll. et seq. 

64. Doik'] does Qq, Cap. 77. worid^s] world is Qq, Johns. Cap. 
66-70. Om. Q,. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, 
69. kmde\ kmdes Q.Q,. Ktly, Del. 

71. deed'\ thing Q,Qj, Cap. 78. // is] Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Dycc, Glo. 

74,75. Fftse, Han. Cam. Del. Dyce iii. Cam. Rife, Wh. iL ' Tlr Ci^. et cet 
Nor...migkt^ as one line, Ktly. 79. Introik'] Good troth Q,, Mai. Steev. 

74. Nor"] Not nor Cap. '93, Var. Sing. Ktly. 

75. dodt as «v//] doe it as weliQ^. as So, Introth"} By my troth Q,, Mai. 
weU doe it Q,Q,. Steev.'93, Var. Sing. Ktly. 

f 'M'] FT, Rowe+, Jen. Wh. in the vndodf] unsweat^t Han. 

Qq. f ' the Cap. et cet 81. done.] done it, Qq. 

76. WohU'^ Would Q,. 82. ioynt Ring] join* d-ring Wh. L 
deed] thing Q,, Jen. nor for meafures] or for meafur 

*l*l^ 78. Fftse, Han. Jen. Knt. The,.. CJq. 

which would have been overlooked as trifling by an inferior writer, has a most sublune 
effect in the hands of Shakespeare. 

62. mo] Walker (Crit. iii, 290) : Why write 'mo' [in modem editions] ? This, 
indeed, is the spelling of F^ but F, has < mo' or <moe ' in numberless places where no 
one has thought it necessaiy so to read, unless the rhjrme demanded it. 

71-94. CoLUER (ed. ii) : These lines are struck out with a pen in the (MS.), as if 
not acted in the time of the old annotator. 

78. Dyce (ed. iii) : A quotation evidently. [Printed by Dyce as a distich.] 

82. iojmt Ring] Stbevens : These rings will be best described by a passage in 

ACT IV. sc. iii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 28 1 

Petticoats, nor Caps, nor any petty exhibition. But for 83 

all the whole world : why, who would not make her hus- 
banda Cuckold, to make him a Monarchf I (hould ven- 85 

ture Purgatory for't. 

Def. Beftirew me, if I would do fuch a wrong 
For the whole world. 

yEmil. Why, the wrong is but a wrong iWworld; 
and hauing the world for your labour, 'tis a wrong in 90 

your owne world, and you might quickly make it right. 

D^f. I do not thinke there is any fuch woman. 

yEmil. Yes, a dozen : and as many to'th'vantage, as 
would (lore the world they plaid for. 

But I do thinke it is their Husbands faults 95 

If Wiues do fall : (Say, that they flacke their duties. 
And powre our Treafures into forraigne laps; 
Or elfe breake out in peeuilh lealoufles. 
Throwing reftraint vpon vs : Or fay they ftrike vs. 
Or fcant our former hauing in defpight) lOO 

Why we haue galles : and though we haue fome Grace, 

83. Peaicoais] or Petticota Q,. t ' ik Q,Qj. V the Q, et cet 
nor Caps] or Caps QbQ,. 91. rtght] wright Qj. 

petty] fuck Q,. 93. te^tk'] Ff, Rowe + , Jen. Wh. to tko 

84. aUtke] the Qq, Cap. Qq et cet 

Vforld:] world? Q,. world! Han. 93, 94. As veise, Theob. Warb. Cap. 

worlds — Cap. et seq. MaL Yes.. . many ont line, Steev.'93, Var. 

why,] vds pitty, Q,. Coll. Sing. 

85. Cuckold] cuckole Q,. 94. plaid] played Qq. 

86. fof't ]/oritQq, Jen. 95-1 1 2. Om. Q,. 

87,88. I¥o6e, Jen. Steev.'93, Var. Knt, gj. powre] poureQ^, P^nerQ. pour 

Coll. Sing. KUy, Huds. F,F^. 

87. a wrong-] wrong Q^Qj. our] out Rife. 

89. i*th'] Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Jen. Wh. 99. vpon] on Rowe ii+. 

Dryden's J?on Sebastian : * a curious artist wrought them, With joints so close as 

not to be perceived ; Yet are they both each other's counterpart : Her part had Juan 
inscribed, and his had Zayda, (You know those names are theirs) and, in the midst, A 
heart divided in two halves was plac'd. Now if the rivets of these rings inclos'd. Fit 
not each other, I have forg'd this lye : But if they join, you must forever part.' 

83. exhibition] Dyce (Gloss.) : An allowance, a pension. See Lear, I, ii, 25. 

89. wrong i' th' world] White (ed. ii) : That is, a wrong in the world's eye, a 
conventional wrong. Emilia is quibbling. Purnell : It is only wrong if it becomci 
known to the world ; now, if one is to gain the worlc for it, the world is at your com- 
mand, and therefore it is no matter. 

93. vantage] Steevens : That is, to boot, over and above. 

100. hauing] Johnson : Our former allowance of expense. 

101. Grace] In a theological sense. — Ed. 

282 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act nr. sc. liL 

Yet haue we fome Reuenge. Let Husbands know, 102 

Their wiues haue fenfe like them : They fee^ and fmell. 

And haue their Palats both for fweet,and fowre, 

As Husbands haue. What is it that they do, 105 

When they change vs for others / Is it Sport? 

I thinke it is : and doth Afre6tion breed it ? 

I thinke it doth. Is't Frailty that thus erres ? 

It is fo too. And haue not we Afre6tions ? 

Defires for Sport? and Frailty, as men haue t 1 10 

Then let them vfe vs well : elfe let them know, 

The illes we do, their illes inflruA vs fo. 

Def. Good night, good night : 
Heauen me fuch vfes fend. 
Not to picke bad, from bad ; but by bad, mend. Exeunt 115 

108. /y/] ItU Var. (misprint). Steev. Coll. ii. too Rowe i. 

iia Spcrt'\ sports Waib. Johns. 113, 114. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 

111. tkem.*Jhetn\ em».,em Q.Q,* IX4- Heauen\ GodQ^. 

112. The fZfer] 731^ iU Q^. t/«] v/age Q,, Johns. Cap. Steev. 
fo,"] to, Ff, Rowe u+. Cap. Jen. Mai. Var. 

103. sense] Malonk and Dyce: That is, sensnal appetite. [As Hamlet uses it 
in his intenriew with his mother.] 

114, X15. HUNTKR (ii, 288) : Shakespeare having remarked in King Jokn^ ' How 
oft the sight of means to do ill deeds Makes ill deeds done,' we may probably take 
these words of Desdemona as, beside their purpose in the drama itself intended as a 
hint and warning to the audience not to be infected by the fearful instance, about to be 
presented, of the higher paroxysms of passion. We have noticed similar cautions on 
other occasions. 

X14. vses] Johnson : C/s^^t is an old word for custom^ uid, I think, better than 
*uses.' COLLIKR (ed. ii) : We may almost suspect that neither 'uses ' nor usi^ is cor- 
rect; perhaps <uses ' oug^ to be issues, L e., results; in Tim, I, i, 23, we have seen 
'issues' misprinted uses, Staunton: It may be doubted whether either 'uses' or 
usi^ is the poef s word. [' Uses,' it seems to me, is emphatically right It is merely 
a repetitbn of Emilia's own word. Emilia has threatened that if ' husbands do not 
** MCf us well," it will be their £uilt if we follow their example.' Desdemona prays 
that she may receive such 'uses ' that, instead of imifaling the bad by bad, she may 
be able even to mend and become better thereby. The noble, self-forgelting music in 
which iEmilia dies, goes hi to drive away the shadow that envelops her theft of the 
handkerchief^ for which, in the retrospect, m^are ready to make every excuse. But 
no excuses can be suggested for her here. Her insidious r e f er en ce s to Lodovico, and 
her aUusbn to OtheDo's blow, while Desdemona's lips are still bruised from it, stone 
our hearts, and we can see in her here only the dark foil to Desdemona's snow-white 
purity. — ^Ed.] 


A6ius Quintus. Scena Prima. 

Enter lagOj and Rodarigo. 

lago. Heere, (land behinde this Barke, 
Straight will he come : 

Weare thy good Rapier bare, and put it home : ( 

Quicke, quicke, feare nothing ; He be at thy Elbow, 
It makes vs, or it marres vs, thinke on that, 
And fixe moft firme thy Refolution. 

Rod. Be neere at hand, I may mifcarry in't [334^] 

lago. Heere, at thy hand : Be bold, & take thy (land. 10 

Rod. I haue no great deuotion to the deed, 
And yet he hath giuen me (atis(ying Reafons : 
'Tis but a man gone. Forth my Sword : he dies. 

lago. I haue rub'd this yong Quat almod to the fenfe, 14 

I. Actus...] Actus. 5. Q,. Actus 5. 10. ftand'\ /word Q,, Pope, Theob. 

Scoena l. Q,Q,. Han. Warb. Jen. Stccv. Mai. Var. 

The Street Kowe. A Street before the [Retires to a little distance. Cap. 

Palace. Theob. 11. detd^ dead(^, 

3, 4. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 12. And^ Om. Pope+. 

3. Barke\ F,. Bulke <^>Bark F,F^. hathl has Qq, Ci^. Mai. Steev.'93, 

balk Sing. Wh. i. bulk Rowe et cet Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Del. 

7. Off] ^Qq- ^ I3< [Stands apart. Theob. 

8. fnoJf\ more C^Qj. 14. Ikaue] Pve Pope+, Dyce iii. 
10. Be bold"] Bekold Ff, Rowe. Quat'\ gnat Q,, Pope, Waib. knoi 

Theob. quab Han. 

3. Barke] Knight : We prefer the more intelligible reading bulk^ although we 
have little doubt that < bark ' was correctly used by Shakespeare in this instance as a 
projecting part of the fortification, — a buttress. Singer : I feel assured that balke was 
intended, and not bulk. Ptdsgrave renders that word hf pouste^ and Huloet defines it, 
< the chief beame or piller of a house.' 

8. Resolution] White (ed. ii) : Five syllables. 

14. Quat] Johnson : Hanmer reads quab, a gudgeon ; not that a gudgeon can be 
rubbed to much tense, but that a man grossly deceived is often called a gudgeon, 
Upton reads quail, which he proves, by much learning, to be a very cholerick bird. 
Theobald would introduce knot, a small bird of that nsune. A 'quat' in the midland 
counties is z, pimple, which by rubbing is made to smart, or is rubbed to sense. Rode- 
rigo is called a <quat' by the same mode of speech as a low fellow is now termed in 
low language a scab. [Dr Johnson forgot that Shakespeare uses this word too. — 
Ed.] To rub to the sense is to rub to the quick. Steevens dtes several instances of 
the use of 'quat' in Dekker and others, but more to the purpose is it that Wise (p. 156) 
gives it in his Glossary of Wantnckskire Words, as in use at this day, in the same sense 
as here. 



And he growes angiy. Now, whether he kill Caffio^ 
Or Cajfio him, or each do kill the other, 
Euery way makes my gaine. Liue Rodorigo^ 
He calles me to a reftitution lai^e 
Of Gold, and lewels, that I bobM from him, 
As Guifts to Defdemona. 
It muft not be : If Caffio do remaine. 
He hath a dayly beauty in his life, 
That makes me vgly : and befides, the Moore 
May vnfold me to him : there (land I in much perill : 
No, he muft dye. But fo, I heard him comming. 

Enter Cajffw. 

Rod. I know his gate, 'tis he : Villaine thou dyeft. 

Caf. That thruft had beene mine enemy indeed, 
But that my Coate is better then thou know'ft : 
I will make proofe of thine. 





15. ongry, Now^ ongry now: Q,. 
tmgry, tww^ Q,. angry, now Q,. 

17. gaine\ game Qq, Jen. G)U. Wh. i, 
Ktly, Rife. 

19. Of\ For Qq. 

22. hatK\ has Qq. 

dayly'\ daynty Jabex (N. & Qu. 5, 

24. him: there\ him there; Q^. 
muchperili^perillCl^, Pope + , Jen. 

25. -^«i/o,]A^//o,Qq, Jen. Sing. Klly. 
Beitso,VQpt-\-. A^/jo/Coll.Wh.i,Dyce 

iii, Huds. Bit so. Cam. 

25. heard'\ heare or hear QqF' ct cet 

[Exit Jago. Rowe. 
27* gate'\ gait ]<i\XD&. 

[He runs at Cassio and wounds him. 

28. mine'\ my Qq* 

29. kno^Ji'\ thini^Jl Q,, Jen. Steev. 
Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. 

30. [Fight lago cuts Cassio behind in 
the Leg, and Exit. Then Rod. and Cas- 
sio fall. Theob. 

17. Liue] For instances where the subjunctive may be indicated by placing the 
verb before the subject, see Abbott, $361. 

19. bob*d] Malone: That I fooPd him out of. [Both Malone and Dyce cite 
Coles's Latin Diet,, 1679, as an authority for this word ; but Rider's Latin Diet, ok 
1626, half a century earlier, gives < A bob or mocke, sanna* It is still current slang 
here in America. — Ed.] 

25. But so] Dycb (ed. iii) : Qy. if intended for * But, soft ' ? Hudson : And so I 
suspect it should be. 

29. Coate] Malone supposes that lago overhearing this, and inferring from it that 
Cassio wears secret armour, afterwards wounds Cassio in the leg. Knight says that 
the characteristics, according to Vecellio, of the costume of a 'soldato disarmato,' which 
would be that of Cassio and lago when off guard, were the ' buff jerkin and the scarf 
of company,* and that it is to this 'buff jerkin ' that Casao refers, and not to any secret 
armour. Theobald asserts, however, that Shakespeare 'copied his Italian Novelist in 
thtt incident,' wherein it is stated that the Ancient 'dirrizz6 un colpo alle gambe, per 

ACT V, SC. I.] 



Rod. Ohy I am flaine. 

Cajfio. I am maymM for euer : 
Heipe hoa : Murther, murther. 

Enter Othello. 

0th. The voyce of CaffiOy lago keepes his word. 

Rod. O Villaine that I am. 

0th. It is euen fo. 

Caf. Oh helpe hoa : Light, a Surgeon. 

0th. 'Tis he : O braue lago^ honed, and iuft, 
That haft fuch Noble fenfe of thy Friends wrong, 
Thou teacheft me. Minion, your deere lyes dead, 
And your vnbleft Fate highes : Strumpet I come : 
For of my heart, thofe Charmes thine Eyes, are blotted. 
Thy Bed luft-ftainM, fhall with Lufts blood bee fpotted. 

Exit Otiiello. 
Enter Lodouico and Gratiano. 

Caf. What hoa? no Watch? No paflage ? 
Murther, Murther. 

Gra. 'Tis fome mifchance, the voyce is very direfull. 






31. [Fight, and both fall. Rowe. 
32f 33. One line, Qq, Pope el seq. 

32. Iam\ Pm Pope + , Dyce iii, Huds. 
maym^d'\ maind Q^^. 

33. Heipe] light Qq, Cap. CoU. 
Murther, murther.'] murder, Q,Qj. 

34. Enter...] Enter Othello, above at a 
Window. Rowe. 

Scene II. Pope + , Jen. 

37. // «] Harke tis Q^Qj. Harke, tis 
Q,, Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Sing. Ktly. ' Tu 
Knt, Sta. 

euen] ^en G)ll. Wh. i. 

41. me. Minion] Ff, Rowe, Coll. Sing. 
Wh. Glo. Ktly, Cam. Rife, me; — minion 
Qq, Knt, Dyce iii. me — minion Pope et 

42. vnbleft Fate highes :]fate hies apace 
Q,, Popc+, Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. 
Sing, vnbleft fate hies ; QJ^i^, unblestfati 
hies apace; Ktly. 

43. For of] For off Ff, Rowe. From 
off Pope, Theob. Han. Warb. Forth of 
Qq, Johns, et seq. 

are] have Han. ii. 

44. Bed luft'ftain'd] BedUftftain^ a 
F F 

45. Exit...] Ex. Q,. Exit. Q,Qj. 

46. Enter...] Enter... at a distance. 

Scene III. Pope+, Jen. 

47. 48. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 
49. voyce] Ff, Rowe + , Cap. Knt, Dyce 

i, Sta. frj/ Qq et cet. 

39-44. Ingleby {Shakespeare, the Man, &c. ii, 1 92), believing that Shakespeare did 
not intend Othello to speak at all in this Scene, denies that Shakespeare wrote these 
lines, which he calls ' atrocious stuff.' 

43. For of] Unquestionably a misprint for Forth of, of which form sec other 
instances in Abbott, § 156. 

47. passage] Johnson : No passengers ? nobody going by ? Singer : A passen^ 
ger anciently signified a passage-boat or vessel, and could not, therefore, be used in Hi 
modem <«ense without an equivoque. 



Caf. Oh helpe. 

Lodo. Hearke. 

Rod. Oh wretched Villaine. 

Lod. Two or three groane. 'Tis heauy night ; 
Thefe may be counterfeits : Let's think't vnfafe 
To come into the cry, without more helpe. 

Rod. Nobody come : then fhall I bleed to death. 

Enter lago. 
Lad. Hearke. 

Gra. Here's one comes in his fhirt, with Lights and 

lago. Who's there t 
Who's noyfe is this that cries on murther ? 

Lodo. We do not know. 

lagOy Do not you heare a cry ? 

Caf. Heere, heere : for heauen fake helpe me. 

lago. What's the matter ? 

Gra. This is Othellc^s Ancient, as I take it. 

Lodo. The fame indeede, a very valiant Fellow. 

lago. What are you heere, that cry fo greeuoufly ? 






51. ffearki,'] Hark^ hark! KUy. 

53. groa$u\gronei(^, ^oansFapt-^, 
Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. 

'7&] Ff,Rowe,Knt itisaQqei 

55. mlif] QqFf, Rowe+, Jen. Sing. 
Ktly. in to Cap. et cet 

56. conu:'\ Fl^ Rowe, Pope. eom£,Q<{. 
egnuf Tlieob. et cet 

57. Enter lago] Enter Ajf0 with a light 
Qq. Enter Jago in his shiit Rowe. 

59. Z^A/] i^rhts Qq. 

6a [Re-enter lago with a light Dyce. 

61. 62. One line, Qq, Pope et seq. 

62. Off] out Ff, Rowe + , Cap. Jen. Steer. 


murther f^ murther thuif Coll. 

63. We^ /Qq, Jen. 

64. D^ Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Knt Did 

65. heauen\hiauens^^, heavefC iHzxi, 
et seq. 

52. John Hunter : Roderigo here reproaches himself. 

53. groane] Knight : Lodovico does not merely say that there are two or three 
groans from one man, but that two or three men groan ; and he adds, ' these may be 
counterfeits.' Lettsom (Walker, Crit, iii, 290^ foot-note) : How could people at a dis- 
tance distinguish whether groans proceeded from one person or from more, when the 
groaners were lying dose together? [Probably they did not both groan in the same 
key.— Ed.] 

$3. heauy] Johnson : A thicks cloudy night, in which an ambush may be com- 
modiously laid. Purnell : < Gloomy.' Used elsewhere only of the eye in this sense. 

62. cries on] Malone: So in Eastward Hoe^ 1605: <Who cries on murder? 
Lady, was it you ? ' That line is a parody on a line in The Spanish Tragedy* See 
also Ham, V, iif 351. White (ed. i) : That is, cries continually murder. 

ACT y, 8C. L] 



Caf. lago ? Oh I am fpoylM, vndone by Villaines : 
Giue me fome helpe. 

lago. O mee. Lieutenant ! 
What Villaines haue done this ? 

Caf. I thinke that one of them is heereabout. 
And cannot make away. 

lago. Oh treacherous Villaines : 
What are you there ? Come in, and giue fome helpe. 

Rod. O helpe me there. 

CaJJio. That's one of them. 

lago. Oh murd'rous Slaue ! O Villaine ! 

Rod. O damnM lago I O inhumane Dogge ! 

lago. Kill men i'th'darke ? 
Where be thefe bloody Theeues ? 
How filent is this Towne ? Hoa^ murther, murther. 


[335 ^] 



70. lago?] lago, Qq. 

Iam\ Pm Pope+f Dyce iii, Huds. 
72, 73. One line, Qq, Fope et seq. 
72. nue^ my Q,. tm Qj. wte^ Q^ 
et ceL 

74. thai om/] ike (me Qq. 

77. [To Lod. and Gnu Theob. 

78. mi there,"] met here. Coll. Wh. 1. 
there"] Ff, Rowe+, Jen. Sta. here 

Qqet cet 

79. them] em Qq. 

So. murderous] Ff, Rowe+.Cap. Wh 
ii. murderous Qq, Johns, et cet 

[Thrulls him in. Q,Q,. Jago stabs 
him. Rowe. 

81. inhumane] inhumaine QJQ^ mi 
humaine Q^. 

Dogge f] dogf — 0, 0, 0, Qq, Cap. Jen. 
Steev. Mai. Var. 
[Dies. Han. 

82, 83. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 

82. men] him Q,. 

83. the/e] thofe Qq. 

79. Booth : Cassio takes Desdemona*s handkerchief, — the gift of Othello, — from 
his pocket and binds his leg. 

80. Hawkins {Life of Kean^ i, 253) : Previous actors of lago did not appear to have 
remembered that the whole fortune of the Ancient hinged upon this event ; they stabbed 
Roderigo, and then walked away with perfect ease and satisfaction. Not so Kean. He 
gave and repeated the murderous thrust till no life could be supposed to remain ; but 
feeling this to be too important a matter to be left in doubt, he, though conversing 
coolly with those about him, threw his eye continually towards the prostrate body, with 
an intensity as if he would pierce its vital recesses to ascertain the important &ct. 
Sometimes he walked by it carelessly and surveyed it with a glance too rapid to be 
observed ; sometimes he deliberately approached it and looked at it with his candle, as 
if to satisfy the spectators that it was the villain who had attacked his friend Cassio, 
and thus he continued to watch and hover over it until he left the stage, his manner 
perfectly cool, while his eye expressed the most restless anxiety. 

83. be] Abbott, $ 299 : Be is used in questions implying doubt : < where can they 

84. Booth : As lago is about to stab Cassio, he sees Lodovico and Gratiano approach- 
ing with servants and torches. 



What may you be ? Are you of good, or euill ? 

Lod. As you (hall proue vs, praife vs. 

I(igo. Signior Lodouico ? 

Lod. He Sir. 

lago. I cry you mercy : here's CaJJio hurt by Villaines. 

Gra. CaJJio t 

lago. How is't Brother ? 

CaJ. My Legge is cut in two. 

lago. Marry heauen forbid : 
Light Gentlemen, He binde it with my Ihirt 

Enter Bianca. 

Bian. What is the matter hoa? Who is't that cry'd ? 

logo. Who is't that cry'd ? 

Bian. Oh my deere CaJJio, 
My fweet CaJJto : Oh CaJJio, CaJJio, CaJJio. 

lago. O notable Strumpet. CaJJio, may you fufpeA 
Who they (hould be, that haue thus mangled you ? 

CaJ. No. 

Gra. I am forry to finde you thus ; 
I haue beene to feeke you. 

lago. Lend me a Garter. So : Oh for a Chaire 

To beare him eafily hence. 

Bian. Alas he faints. Oh CaJJio^ CaJJio^ CaJJto. 

lago. Gentlemen all, I do fufpefl this Trafh 
To be a party in this Iniurie. 
Patience awhile, good CaJJio. Come, come ; 







87. Lodouico?] Lodouico. Q<lFf, 
Rowe, F6pe. 

88, 89. He,,,kurt'\ As one line, Steev. 
'93, Var. Sing. Ktly. 

9a Caflio?] Caflio. QqF,F^. Cassio! 

91. f?/] tr £r Qq, Cap. Jen. Steev. MaL 
Var. CoU. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly. 

Scene IV. Pope+, Jen. 

96. €rydf\ erudf Qq. 

97. As a quotation. Sta. 

€rydr\ cHed, Q,Q,. cryd! Han. 
Coll. Dyce, Glo. Cam. Rife, Wh. ii. 

98. 99. TI1US divided, Ff, Rowe+, Jen. 
One line, Qq. Prose, Cam. Rife, Huds. 

Oh., .fweet CaJ/io : as one line. Cap. et cet 
99. A^... Caflio.] O my fweete QaSsoo, 

Calsio, Cafsio. Qq. 

loi. haue thus\ thus haue Qq, Jen 

103, 104. One line, Qq, Cap. et seq. 
/tfw] Pm Theob. Warb. Johns. 

Dyce iii, Huds. 

104, /haue'] Pve Dyce iii, Huds. 

105, 106. Om. Q,. Pttjse, Q,Qj. 
109-111. Two lines, ending, Cafsio... 

no f Q,. Three, ending, Cafsio,..l^ht:,., 

109. de a party"] heare apart Qq. 
this Iniurie] this Q,. 

no. Come, come;] Om. Q,. 

loi. should] See III, iv, 25. 

ACT V, SC. i.] 



Lend me a Light : know we this face, or no? Ill 

Alas my Friend, and my deere Countryman 
Rodorigo} No : Yes fure : Yes, ^tis Rodorigo. 

Gra. What, of Venice ? 

lago. Euen he Sir : Did you know him? I15 

Gra. Know him? L 

lago. Signior Gratiano ? I cry your gentle pardon : 
Thefe bloody accidents mud excufe my Manners, 
That fo neglefted you. 

Gra. I am glad to fee you. 120 

lago. How do you CaJJto ? Oh, a Chaire, a Chaire. 

Gra. Rodorigo ? 

lago. He, he, 'tis he : 
Oh that's well faid, the Chaire. 

Some good man beare him carefully from hence, 125 

He fetch the GeneralPs Surgeon. For you Miftris, 
Saue you your labour. He that lies flaine heere {Cajffio) 
Was my deere friend. What malice was between you f 

Caf. None in the world : nor do I know the man ? 

lago. What? looke you pale? Oh beare him o'th'Ayre. 130 
Stay you good Gentlemen. Looke you pale, Miftris ? 

112. C&utUryman] countrey man : Q<\. 

113. K«, Vw] Q^Qj, Cap. Knt. Yea,'tis 
Ff, Rowe+. O keauen Q,, Jen. et cet. 

Rodorigo] Rederigo Q,Q,. 

114. What ] Roderigo ? what Cap. conj. 
(p. 36 li). 

116. /] QqFf. Ah! Rowe+. Ay, 
Han. et cet. 

117. your^ Ff, Rowe + , Cap. Knt, Sta. 
you Qcj et cet. 

120. I am\ Pm Dycc iii. 

123, 124. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 

123. He^ he^ He, Qq. 

[Enter Some with a Chair. Cap. 

124. th€] a Qq. 

126. GeneraWs] General Y^. 
[To Bianca. Johns. 

127. labour, He] labour^ he Qq. 
(CaOio)] Om. Han. 

128. between'] betwixt Q^fj^y betwtxQ^ 

129. man f] man: F^, maM,Qq,Kawt 

130. [To Bianca. Johns. 
oU)C]<nitdthCl^, outMYi, out 

<?'M*Rowe+,Jcn. Dycc iii, Wh.u. •/*/ 
Knt. out d the QjQ^ et cet 

131. Gentlemen,] Gentlewoman, Qq, 
Mai. V-j. 

112. Countryman] Steevens: This passage incomestably proves that lago was 
meant for a Venetian. Booth : lago is very much overcome. 

124. weU said] See II, i, 192. 

131. Gentlemen] Malone upholds the Qq: 'No reason can be assigned why 
Lodovico and Gratiano should leave before they had heard from lago further partic- 
ulars of the attack on Cassio, merely because Cassio was borne off; whereas, Biancm 
would naturally endeavour to accompany Cassio, to render him assistance.' BoswELL 
agrees with Malone, and thinks that lago stops Bianca under a pretended suspicion 



Do you perceiue the gaftneffe of her eye ? 132 

Nay, if you ftare, we fliall heare more anon. 

Behold her well : I pray you looke vpon her : 

Do you fee Gentlemen ? Nay, guiltinefTe will fpeake 135 

Though tongues were out of vfe. 

yEmil. Alas, what is the matter T 
What is the matter, Husband ? 

lago. CaJJio hath heere bin fet on in the darke 
By RodorigOy and Fellowes that are fcap'd : 140 

He^s almoft flaine, and Rodarigo quite dead. [335 b'\ 

jEmil. Alas good Gentleman : alas good Ca/sio. 

lago. This is the fruits of whoring. Prythe ^milia^ 
Go know of Caffio where he fupt to night. 144 

132. gaftneJfe\uafture5ClSl^, jejiures 
Qs* gfftures Q'8l. ghastness Knt, Sing. 
Ktly, Del. 

[To Bianca. Rowe. 
^ZZ' if you Jiari\ an you ftirre Qq. 
{Jtirr Qj). an you stir .— Coll. Hal. 
heare\ haue Qq* 
X34. well :,'\w€U,,.yo%t^C^. weli^ 
,„you Rowe. 

135. Do„.guiUiHeJI'e\ One line, Qq^ 
Pope+, Jen. 

136. t/2r.] vfe. Enter Em, Qq. (EmL 


Soene V. I\)pe+, Jen. 

137. 138. One line, Qq, Ci^. et seq. 
(except Knt). 

137, 138. Alas^what is... IVhat w] Ff, 
Rowe+, Knt. Alas! what^s...what^s 
Coll. Wh. i, KUy, Hal. Rife. 'Las, what's 
,..what is Sta. *Las what's... what's Qq 
et cet. 

139. hath heere Hn"] has here bin Qq, 
Cap. has heen Q*8l. has been Q'95. 
hath there been Theob. Warb. Johns. 

141. quite"] Ff, Rowe, Knt. Om. Qq, 
Pope et cet. 

143. fruits'] Ff, Rowe, Knt, Sta. Wh. 
i, Del. fruUe Qq et cet. 

Prythe] pray Q,, Pope + , Jen. 
prithee Q,F F^, Rowe, Knt, Dyce, Glo. 
Cam. Rife, Wi.ii. PreiheeYj:^^. 'Pr'ythee 
Sing. Ktly. Pf^ythee Cap. et cet. 

that she would txy to escape. Reed defends the Ff on the ground that it was mure 
proper for the two gentlemen to leave with Cassio in order to assist him, than to stay 
and gratify their curiosity. Respect for Othello's successor, if not personal regard, 
would have dictated such a proceeding had they not been stopped by lago's desiring 
them not to go. 

135. will] Morel : Ce n*est pas un futur, mais une forme emphatique on frequenta- 
tive. Le latin donne parfois une valeur analogue aux dteinences du futur : Cantabit 
vacuus coram latrone viator.' — •Juvenal. 

136. use] Steevens: So m Ham. H, ii, 569: <For murder, though it have du 
tongue, will speak With most miraculous organ.' 

144. to night] Malone : In the last Scene of the preceding Act, lago informs 
Roderigo that Cassio was to sup wiiu Bianca ; that he would accompany Cassio to her 
house, and would take care to bring nim away from thence between twelve and one. 
Cassio, too, had himself informed lago (IV, i) that he v^ould sup with Bianca, and lago 
had promised to meet him at her house. Perhaps, however, lago chose to appear igno- 
imnt of Cassio's movements during the evening. Steevens : Yet how happens it tha} 

ACT V, sc. ii.] 



What, do you fhake at that ? 14S 

Bian. He fupt at my houfe^ but I therefore fhake not 
lago. O did he fo ? I charge you go with me. 
jEmil. Oh fie vpon thee Strumpet. 
Bian. I am no Strumpet, but of life as honeft. 

As you that thus abufe me. 150 

^mU. As I ? Fie vpon thee. 
lago. Kinde Gentlemen : 

Let's go fee poore Cajfto dreft. 

Come Miftris, you muft tel's another Tale. 

jEmilia^ run you to the Cittadell, 155 

And tell my Lord and Lady, what hath happM : 

Will you go on afore t This is the night 

That either makes me, or foredoes me quight. Exeunt 158 

SccBna Secunda. 

Enter Othello^ and Defdemona in her bed. 
0th. It is the Caufe, it is the Caufe (my Soule) 3 

148. Ohfie\ Ff, Rowc+, Cap. Knt, 
CoU. Wh. i. Fie Q,Q,. FU.fie Q, ct cct, 

151. Fu\ Ff, Rowc+, Knt, CoU. Wh. 
i. fough,fie Q,, Jen. mwfie C^fl^, foh! 
fie Cap. et cet. 

152. 153. One line, Qq» Rowe et seq. 

153. go\ Om. Popc+. 

154. UV5\ tell us Stecv. Mai. Var. 
Rann. Knt 

155. you\ Om. Pope, Theob. i, Han. 

156. kath] has Qq, Mai. Stccv.*93, Var. 
Sing. Ktly. 

157. on afore ?'\ on, I pray ^ Q,. on^ 
Iprayfjtn, Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. 

Rife, on ? I pray : Q,Qj. on f I pray, 
Glo. Cam. Wh. ii. 

157. [Aside. Steev. et seq. 

158. makes\ market Q,. 

1. Sccena...] Om. Qq. Scene VI. 
Pope+, Jen. 

2. Enter...] Enter (^Mz/A? with a light 
Q,. Enter Othello with a light, and Def- 
demona in her bed. 0.0,* A Bed-cham- 
ber: Desdemona is discovered asleep in 
her bed. Enter Othello. Rowe. Enter 
Othello with a light and a sword. Pope. 
...A light burning. Steev. 

Bianca, instead of replying, — < He supp'd,' &c., did not answer, addressing herself to 
lago: 'Why, you well know | He supp'd,' &c. The former line being imperfect, 
some such words might have been omitted. Or, perhaps, our author was unwilling 
that Bianca should say, in the presence of lago's wife, that he too had been of Cassio't 
supper-party ; and hence this seeming inconsistency. Singer : We must suppose that 
lago thought it more secure to waylay Cassio, as we find he does, without actually join- 
ing him at supper-time. 

157. Booth : Watch them well off, then take a look at Roderigo and speak hoarsely. 

158. foredoes] See Ham. H, i, 103. 

2. Knight is at some pains to explain the setting of the stage for this Scene 
in Shakespeare's time, and, with the aid of Tleck and Ulrici, devises a satisfactofy 
arrangement, wherrby we have a stage within the stage. But I do rot think that 

292 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act v. sc. li. 

[2. Enter OtAfllo, and Defdemona in her bed.'\ 
much real infonnadon has been added to that which Malone has left us : certainly Dyce 
and Collier found nothing to add, and all that Malone was able to discover was, sub- 
stantially, that there was a balcony, or upper stage, at the back of the principal stage, 
and that, in addition to the principal curtain in the front, there were others, as substi- 
tutes for scenes, which were called traverses^ and could be drawn aside, disclosing 
inner compartments. It is really not difficult to imagine that even these simple resources 
were adequate to all the needs of this last scene. — Ed. Fechter: Desdemona*s 
Chamber. At the back a large window with balcony, overlooking the sea. On the left 
of the window an arch discovering an oratory ; by the half-raised curtain is seen a prie- 
Dieu, surmounted by a Madonna, and lighted by a red lamp. On the same side, in front, 
a bed raised by two steps. A door at the right. A high and el^ant Venetian lamp 
bums at the head of the bed, where Desdemona lies asleep; a small toilette glass, 
fallen from her hand, lies near her. Her clothes scattered about. On the balcony, 
Othello, motionless, enveloped in a long white burnous, is looking at the stars. Far 
off, — at sea, — is heard the Song of Willow, As the voices die away, Othello, who, 
during the last couplet, comes slowly forward to the bed to look at Desdemona, acci- 
dentally touches the glass in which he sees his bronzed face, — ( Wilh bitter despair) : 
< It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul ! {returning to the window^ his eyes fixed on the 
heavens,) Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars ! — (looking at his face once 
again). It is the cause ! (He violently throws the glass into the sea, goes to the door, 
locks it, adt'ances to the bed, half drawing his sword ; then suddenly stops, and returns 
it to the scabbard) Yet Pll,' &c. Booth : A Bed-chamber in the Castle. Raised 
Bed L., opposite to large Window R. Moonlight streams through window and falls 
upon Bed. Door c Divan c. A Light burning on Table. Desdemona in Bed, asleep, 
discovered. Othello also discovered. Booth (MS.) : I prefer the bed at the side of 
the stage, with the head towards the audience ; it is of more importance that Othello's 
fiice should be seen than Desdemona*s dead body, and the killing is partly hidden at 
the same time. Mrs F. A. Kemble (Temple Bar, July, 18S4) : This last Scene pre- 
sents technical difficulties in its adequate representation which have never yet been 
even partially overcome. The audience, of course, cannot be expected to sit by and 
see Desdemona smothered ; the curtains of the alcove in which the bed is, are there- 
fore lowered during that operation, but it is very desirable, if not absolutely necessary, 
that she should be both heard and seen when she gasps out her dying exculpation of 
her husband, and while she is peri)etually apostrophized by Emilia, Othello, and Lodo- 
vico. The lines addressed to the lamp, * If I quench thee, thou flaming minister/ 
should certainly be spoken with the light in near juxtaposition to the bed, and th<» 
mtense pathos of the following ones, * When I have plucked the rose,* &c., can only 
be given with due effect, — and what effect Salvini's voice would give to them ! — by 

Othello leaning over his sleeping wife The position of the bed (which for all the 

purposes of the Scene would be altered with advantage to the side of the stage), by 
which Othello is constrained to turn his back to the audience while addressing Desde 
mona, if she remains in it, has, we suppose, induced Signor Salvini to make her come 
from the alcove and speak the greater part of the dialogue standing in front of it ; an 
alteration of the stage tradition which hurts the effect of the Scene, and is untrue to 
the intention of Shakespeare, who makes Othello tell his wife that she is on her death- 
bed, and in reply to his furious command, * Peace, be still,' receives the answer, * I 
will; what is the matter?' with which the terrified woman cowers down upon her 
fallow like a poor, frightened child. Indeed, the whole Scene loses its most pitiful 


Let me not name it to you, you chafte Starres, 

It is the Caufe. Yet He not flied her blood, S 

Nor fcarre tliat whiter skin of hers, then Snow, 

element, by allowing Desdemona to confront Othello standing, instead of uttering the 
piteous pleadings for mercy in the helpless prostration of her half-recumbent position ; 
although we have no doubt that a most powerful effect might be produced by any 
actress equal to the situation, who should herself nish from the bed to Othello's feet, 
as she utters the piercing denial, < No, no, no ; send for the man and ask him.' 

3, 4. Johnson : The abruptness of this soliloquy makes it obscure. The meaning, I 
ihink, is this :^I am here (says Othello in his mind) overwhelmed with horror. What 
is the reason of this perturbation ? Is it want of resolution to do justice ? Is it the 
dread of shedding blood ? No ; it is not the action that shocks me, but < it is the 
cause, it is the cause, my soul.' Steevens : Othello, full of horror at the cruel action 
which he is about to perpetrate, seems at this instant to be seeking his justification, by 
representing to himself the cause, i. e., the greatness of the provocation he had received. 
He may, however, mean, — It is the cause of chastity and virtue that I maintain. Hud- 
son : Othello means that Desdemona's crime is the sole motive or reason that impels 
him to the present act ; that in this alone he has a justifying cause, a < compelling occa- 
sion,' for what he is about to do; so that he cannot justly lie imder the reproach 
of having acted from any subjective or self-generated animus of revengeful jealousy. 
White (ed. ii) : This is, to me, one of the most doubtful and perplexing passages in 
all these plays. Which is the emphatic word, * it ' or < is ' or * cause,' and what is * the 
cause,' and of what it is the cause, I confess that I am not ready to decide. That * it ' 
in the second line refers to Desdemona's supposed unchastity is plain enough ; but that 
her unchastity is * the cause ' is not so certain. For Othello to say to himself, and at 
this moment, that Desdemona's conduct is the cause of his intended murder, seems 
very tame ; and the [eighth] line, with its conclusion, ' else she'll betray more men,' 
seems to imply that Othello has deluded himself into looking upon his act as providen- 
tial rather than retributive, and that ' cause ' is his emphatic word. [If * cause ' is the 
emphatic word, and assuredly it is when it first occurs, it should not receive an equal 
emphasis twice in the same line ; then White's perplexity falls on all of us. Is the 
second ' it ' or the second ' is ' to be emphatic ? I should prefer to let the emphasis 
fall on ' is.' But is it necessary to emphasize any one word ? Is not the mere repeti- 
tion of each word in itself an emphasis of each word ? — Ed.] 

4. chaste Starres] Hudson : In classical poetry the Moon is Diana, the goddess 
of chastity, and the stars are the train of virgins attending on her. The epithet 
' chaste ' thus applied suggests the nature of the cause which the purity of the stars 
forbids to be named in their presence. The Athenaum (10 April, 1875) • After deliv- 
ering the speech, ' It is the cause,' slowly, the first lines being spoken close to the door 
by which he enters, Othello [Salvini] kisses his sleeping wife, then goes to the window, 
and stands with the lightning playing upon his face. 

6. whiter] For many instances of this transposition of the adjective, see Abbott, 
$419 a, and Walker {Crit. i, 160). 

6. of hers] Abbott, § 239 : * This of youzs ' is now, as in E. E., generally applied 
to one out of a class, whether the class exist or be imaginary. We could say ' this coat 
of yours,' but not (except colloquially) < this head of yours.' It is, however, commonly 
nsed by Shakespeare, as in the present instance, where even the conception of ; class 
is imp)ssible. 


And finooth as Mooomentall Alablafter : 

Yet fhe maft djre, elfe (hee^ betray more men : 

IHit out die Light, and then put out the Light : 

[act t, sc i. 


7. m\ mmd Pbpe i. 

AImUm/tir\ QqF/*^ Rove n, Fbpe. 

ilmU/irr F^ Rove L 


9. Z4r<^..X%Ar. ] QqF^ MaL Steer. 

•9i Vmi'oi Var/ii Var/ai, Dyce i, Ox 

omr tbe %4r,- Pbpe. %i^ 

^■rchjij^jiiL Han. ^it^ 

CblLi^GsILiL iighl,mU,tkem^Pmt 
tie U^f Johnsw ^Jki, amd 
€mt the S^t Cap. SteeT.'jS^ SteeT.-Ss. 
Sta. Ktir, Rife, ^ib; a< 

^■rfi54^i^/SteeT/73- ^%*; 
^ then pt^imt the Sgkt^^'^i^l. S^it, — 

tk€n fmt ^mt dkjf a^ : DyceByChFce 

] Hcam (i, 2S1) : CompiKe vidi das» H.^L^^ Wboe, Eke a 
sbe fieL' — 3^ And again, • Wkboat tbe bed her odter finr 
Ok tbe pen oivaiet; vbcse perfect wUte Stev'd like an .\pdl dasr a 
* — 3^ 393* Aad again, «Widi auR than aitniirafiiw he admiRd Hi 

By Her conl fi|i^ her saov-vhxte <fiiiiplci ckixL.'— /^. ^^SL 
ICumBAT (Aat .fj^. DiOi) : The speffing in C&e i6>i7tk vntfuiMn is almoit ah 

Id acoofiiBaa vidi 

8l move mca] Hcvn^ ^ 2SS) : I canfes the sexse is nd dear to 
; if it ihoeki be that Odfedb s Cbe 'beCcaTcd,' aot Cassio» or anr otba 

w^jpiiMfce to be a second Cawani. I wonki 
of iiaaiiiTii tfiiii, that the words oar ha:ie been OEBginalbr. *< 
This cuBf e aai e is, to a oettui extent, sapported bv t!te 
of the woad *bettaf ' in Ae feOowtng passage of Beatd^s Tlrabnr if Gm's^ 
1531 r «Oat of the ane i w infjiH spemg the words of Qaeen Hecofaa in Far'\nlrs 
to MemdnB >Tiii'hing HeLen, when she adnooB&ed him to ennct ths bw. 

hasfaand^s cretfit and her own " ^j**-^ ^« b? 


9. Urroif (p. 177} : Ol&eifc entes widi a tiper (not witk a swcrd, fix ^ intendeii 
aD aicng to steangie hs wife in her bed), and in Ae vtaust agonr at mind sa^ be has 
r bis cnseitT, a onse not to be nawied to die fhaBiir scks : lis at» dteiefere. De^ 
sooiiid <&e. * m pat oat the fight, and thea,' itfnn^le her* 3e was going to 
; bat this EBcaQs a thoBsand tends ideas in his tnjdbled scul: !be stops sStoiE — If I 
the apei; bow eaif tis to restore;* &c WA&scxroBC : Tbe Tumnirw^ is^ I wiH 

hAuiieed to the eieciLfiifn of orr cmrcse. But the aaesavn 
m^ die iq^jfa; bKxngDBg to annd the eifect^ d tito extsoctaoncf tite Sght cf 


Us, he breaks sboit, and -^"i^ti* ■»* bxmseif iboot die eSecB cf this mefivncccsi essmr^ 

by a '■^«^f>u-" of lis scst worcs*. as szodt as to svr. Bur bcid. let 3K 
the '^Tw > " ! ■ ■« which, this < i[iii mil sc narmiTy < ng^tes > Fjxvzs. : War* 
r's panctnadon srvcs a jpict wbodu I tea^ was aX Micmifed - It scoibs to ba:i« 
been oncv a 3iaf apoa woadL *To pacnt theSght* was xphEa» » 'to knL' FrcD- 
sc {AJmmmjJ\\wm dUt Wirii to dke Xtxt, ^TvnTaiwrs: t74o; ^^ 3. ?. 75 : I then 
' T i »& « *l^ i*M » «ft—»ffw^ between BcOeiicrn ami Bocdu aai ievTinrrg x Pitos^ 

Gonoening the pladni^ an JLxenc in %nie ^ hr 

ACTV, sc. ii.] 



[9. Put out the Light, and then put out the Light :] 

lines ; this was disputed on both sides with a Wannth, which suzprised me in Elysium, 
till I discovered by Intuition that every Soul retained its principal Characteristic, being, 
indeed, its very Essence. The Line was that celebrated one in OtheUo : * Put out the 
Light, and then put out the Light,' according to Betterton. Mr Booth contended to have 
it thus : ' Put out the Light, and then put out the Light.' I could not help offering my 
Conjecture on this Occasion, and suggested it might perhaps be : * Put out the Light, 
and then put out thy Light.' Another hinted a Reading very sophisticated in my Opin- 
ion, < Put out the Light, and then put out thee^ Light,' making ' Light ' to be in the voca- 
tive Case. Another would have altered this last Woid, and read, < Put out thy Light, and 
then put out thy Sight.' But Betterton said, if the Text was to be disturbed^ he saw no 
reason why a Word might not be changed as well as a Letter, and instead of 'put ou: 
thy Light,' you might read, ' put out thy eyes» At last it was agreed on all sides to refei 
the matter to the decision of Shakespeare himself, who delivered his Sentiments as fol- 
lows : 'Faith, Gentlemen, it is so long since I wrote the Line I have forgot my Meaning. 
This I know, could I have dreamt so much Nonsense would have been talked and writ 
about it, I would have blotted it out of my Works ; for I am sure, if any of these be my 
Meaning, it doth me very little Honour.' He was then interrogated concerning some 
other ambiguous Passages in his Works, but he declined any satisfactory Answer, saying, 
if Mr Theobald had not writ about it sufficiently, there were three or four more nei» 
Editions of his Plays coming out, which he hoped would satisfy every one ; Concluding^ 
' I marvel nothing so much, as that Men will gird themselves at discovering obscure 
Beauties in an author. Ceites, the greatest and most pregnant Beauties are ever the 
plainest and most striking ; and, when two Meanings of a Passage can in the least bal- 
ance our Judgements which to prefer, I hold it matter of unquestionable Certainty that 
neither of them are \sic] worth a farthing.' Malone : The poet, I think, meant merely t 
to say : ' I will now put out the lighted taper which I hold, and then put out the light I 
of life /' and this introduces his subsequent reflection and comparison, just as aptly, as I 
supposing the latter words of the line to be used in the same sense as in the beginning ^ 
of it, which cannot be done without destroying that equivoque and play of words of 
which Shakespeare was so fond. I believe, however, that Shakespeare wrote, ' and 
then put out thy light'; and the reading of Q, in line 12, 'but once put out thine,* 
seems to me to coimtenance this emendation. [This very line in the Folio Knight 
adduces as strengthening Warburton's interpretation.] Boswkll : If Warburton's expla- 
nation be an error, it is demptus per vim, and I, for one, am very sony to part with it 
Broken sentences are very much in Shakespeare's manner, and are surely natural in 
the perturbed state of Othello's mind. I am unwilling to persuade myself that a regu 
VUion of the text which contains so much beauty could be merely the refinement of a 
critic, and that our great author, in one of his most highly-wrought scenes, instead of it, 
intended nothing but a cold conceit. [Both Steevens and Malone dte many instances 
from Shakespeare, his predecessors, and contemporaries, to prove that ' to put out the 
light ' means < to kill ' or to die. As if the inverted torch were not as old as mortuary 
symbolism ! — Ed.] White (ed. i) : Warburton's ingenious reading makes the second 
clause the Uvely expression of stimulated intelligence ; to me it is the despairing utter 
ance of the profoundest woe. Walker {Crit,m, 291) : Read, I believe, 'then put 
out thy light I * or, possibly, ^her light.' Cambridge Editors : Mr Goldwin Smith, 
regarding the line in question as a stage direction which has crept into the text, sug- 
gests to us that the passage ought to be printed as follows : ' Yet she must die, else 
she'll betray more men.' [ Takes off his sword, and then puts out the light,'\ If I 



If I quench thee, thou flaming Minifter, 10 

I can 2^[aine thy former light reftore. 

Should I repent me. But once put out thy Light, 

Thou cunning'ft Patteme of excelling Nature, 

I know not where is that PromeUuEan heate 

That can thy Light re-Lume. IS 

When I haue pluck'd thy Rofe, 

I cannot giue it vitall growth againe, 

It needs muft wither. He fmell thee on the Tree. 

Oh Balmy breath, that doft almoft perfwade 19 

la. wU\ Om. Pdpe + . not potting it ouL Han. 

thy LifJkt] tAine Qq, Jen. Rann, 16. /ir] tke Qq, Han. Jen. Rann, Glo. 

Sleev,*93, Var. Sing. KUy. Cam. Dyce iii, CoU. iii. Hods. Rife, \\h. u. 

13. €ummingjf\ ammim^ Q,, Jen. iS. turds mmjl^ mujl tuedes Qq, Glo. 

14. PlomeihxmnJ/rMKWiiajtQq. Pko- Cam. Rife, ^\'h. ii. 

nethean Ff. tJkft] Ff, Rowe+, Cap. KnL /Jke 

JUaie']/ire Cap. conj. (p. 37 *). Fj. it Qq, Johns, et ceL 

15. 16. One Une, Qq, Cap. et seq. [Rifles her. Q,Q,. He laflies her 
15. rt^Lmmu^ F,F . rtfmmtQ^, reham- (after lines 22, 23^ Q,. 

me Q,Q^ Cap. Jen. Sleer.'Ss. re^'mmumt 19. OA] A Qq. O Rowe. Ak Glo. 

Rowe-f. rfhame F^. reimmu MaL etcet d*^ alwuyi'} d>ik abmmt Qq, KoL 

[Sets down the Taper. TheoK ... «/wMr dcsi Jen. 

quench thee,* v^c, oc thus : • alabaster. [ Takes cf kis ravn/.] Yet she most die» 

cbe sheUl bctxay nx«« men. [Pmis ,mf tke ^t/.] If I quench thee,* &c. Dtcb 
(ed. iii) : I a^:ree with Malone and Walker that [.'«» l-^ht] is the tzce reading, thoogfa 
Boswell objects to it as intnxiucing * a cold coxsceit * ^he. we may sopcose, having sod- 
denbr fw^xten what a oop of • conceits ' there is in ShAkespeaie). Compare the con- 
text : •but once fml mi fkr Afi.*, .... that can r*r ^fif rehane.' [Screhr Malone 
knew that his change to * tkv li^ht * was not or^&jlL Fizmer's reference to Fielding 
b quoted in Malone's own edition ; it was this ca>;al refoecce to Fielding that led me 
K* look up the (passage. Ought not Djxe to hxTe kncwsi tia: it was a! least as old as 
Hanmer ? l>)ve is uns)>anng in his criticssiss of mistakes cr cTvrsights in others, yet 
he b no mcwe in£UhNe than the itst of us. In the iae xLt t ti txa of the pttsent line 
rv«fy one will decide, and Rv the nonce rigMhr. accc«\ii=$ to bis own temperament. 
\Varburton*s suggesti\>n suits mine. — Eiv] THio«w*.X-r grnes cs a gixmpw of the stage 
business of his dat where he sars : * The p^a^^rs := all t^ cocracies ■ b e i e iei I have 
•ten this trKgt\ly peitorawd, cvwmit the ahKxuiry cf r-ak^rg C^heljo cct out the can- 
dle.* He goes on h> say, * Dea d emccji cs dsscorcre^i i= her be\i ia the dark; Othello 
CBlcn the chamber with a taper. If there were a=y ccbcr !i^:b:s in the toob, where 
wvttkl be the viiift of pulDi^ out lir / If there were no ethers^ aad thM he pet oat 
hkSk how absmd is it Rv Dcsdenona ia the xisrk to talk of hs -^eves roIKc^*' and his 
«gnawu^ his nether h|\*^' 1^ &&.-«::▼ » x^red. Thect«:>i thinks, by making 
VXheQo set vK^wn the h^ht while he goes to kss Des^iesacca: thss wakens her, and so 
*they cvMUinue in ducourse Kyether itll he stifes her/ [Hew Tipd is the Itafian 
tnunslation : *.>* v *^>e«^pfc y;er»ta t*ce. F f« !a rari ssa.*] 

IN Hqt Ru««] lo me. thks s» ur lYefleraSe lo -•«.- "tot c« tie Q»;. Thb it •beaity^ 
Rom ' of the .>4mmm:. — £lv 

ACT V, 8C. iL] 


luftice to breaice her Sword. One more, one more : 
Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee. 
And loue thee after. One more, and that's the laft. 
So iweety was ne're fo fatall. I muft weepe, 
But they are cruell Teares : This forrow's heauenly, 
It flrikesy where it doth loue. She wakes. 

Def. Who's there f Othello ? 

Othel. I Defdemona. 

Def. Will you come to bed, my Lord? 

0th. Haue you pray'd to night, Defdemon ? 

Def. I my Lord. 

0th. If you bethinke your felfe of any Crime 
Vnreconcil'd as yet to Heauen, and Grace, 
Solicite for it ftraight 





20. luftice] luftice htr felfe Qq, Jen. 
Steev.'85, Mid. Rann. 

Sword, One more^ one more:"] 
fvxnrd once more, Q,. fword: one more; 
Q,Qj. Sword, — Once more — Jen. Steev. 
'85, Mai. Rann. 

22. One more"] Once more Q,, Jen. Steev. 
'85, Mai. Rann. 

and Mtf/V] Ff, Rowe, Knt, Dyce, 
Sta. Mo/ V Pope + . and this Qq et cet. 

25. where"] when Q,, Jen. 
doth] does Qq. 

She wahes,] — She wakes — Pope. 
.S^ wahes — Steev. A Stage dixection, 
reading //...Othello? as one line, Anon. 
1^. Cam. 

27. /] /, QqFjF^. Ay, Rowe. 
29. pray d] preyed Q(\, 

Defdemon] F^ Knt, Dyce, Sta. 
Del. Defdemona QqF^F^ et cet 

23. weepe] Booth : Remember how often he is moved to tears, — ^therefore I do 
not attempt to restrain them in the excess of passion here, in Act III, and elsewhere. 
[Yet Othello himself says that his eyes are * unused to the melting mood.' — Ed.] 

24. heauenly] Johnson : * This tenderness, with which I lament the punishment 
which justice compels me to inflict, is a holy passion.' I wish these two lines could be 
honestly ejected. It is the fate of Shakespeare to counteract his own pathos. Steev- 
ENS: The 'cruel tears' seem adopted from the fabulous history of the crocodile 
[ROLFE quotes this, and befittingly adds an exclamation mark]; the 'heavenly sor-^ 
row ' from a passage in the Scriptures. Deighton : Othello surely means, * I can- 
not help weeping at your fate, but my tears do not soften my heart, so as to cl 
my determination to kill you.' Hudson : The tears are cruel, because, while heart-! 
wringing pity is streaming from the eyes, an overmastering strain of duty is forcing 
him to what is, objectively, an act of cruelty. And the very loveliness of the victim 
only works to intensify his purpose, lest love should usurp the crown that belongs to 
a higher passion,— a passion, too, that must wear the crown, else love itself will fall 
from its propriety. Pathos carried to the most soul-searching height I And the ' sor- 
row is heavenly,' because it is baptized and washed into holiness by the sacred and 
divine regards of justice. 

33. Solicite] Walker {Crii, iii, 291) : That replead, as in thf old sense of soUei- 
tor: yet I do not know that plead exactly expresses the meaning. 

298 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act v. sc. iL 

Def. Alacke, my Lord, 
What may you meane by that ? 35 

0th. Well, do it, and be breefe, I will walke by : 
I would not kill thy vnprepared Spirit, 
No , Heauens fore-fend) I would not kill thy Soule. 

Def. Talke you of killing ? 

Otiu I, I do. 40 

Def, Then Heauen haue mercy on mee. 

0th. Amen, with all my heart. [336 d\ 

Def. If you (ay, I hope you will not kill me. 

0th. Humh. 

Def. And yet I feare you : for you're fatall then 45 

When your cyos rowle fo. 
Why I (hould feare, I know not. 
Since guiltinefle I know not : But yet I feele I feare. 

0th. Thinke on thy fmnes. 

Def. They are Loues I beare to you. 50 

0th. I, and for that thou d/ft. 

Def. That death's vnnaturall, that kils for louing. 
Alas, why gnaw you fo your nether-lip ? 
Some bloody paflion (hakes your very Frame : 
Thefe are portents : but yet I hope, I hope, 55 

34, 35. One line, Qq, Cap. et seq. 4S. guiUmeJfe\ g%UU Pope-f . 

34. Alacke] Ff, Rowe+, Knt, Dyce, Bia'\ Om. Popc+. 

Sta. Huds. Alas Qq et cet 50. They are] They're Popc+, Dyce 

35. may"] doe Q,Q,, Glo. Rife, Wh. U. iii, Huds. 

38. Heauens] Ff, Rowe + , Knt heauen Loues] love Yi, 

Qq et cet. / beare] to beare Qj. 

41, 42. haue^.heart] As one line, Cap. 51. /, and] And Qq. 

Steev. et seq. (except Cam.). dy/f] dieft Qq. 

A^. /ay]/oy/oQpiFi ^cd, ^2, vnnaiurall,,. louing] unna/ural; 

44. Humh] Hum Qq. Humph ! Mai. what! kill for loving! Han. 

45. you* re] Ff, Rowe + , Dyce iii, Huds. 53. gnaw] know QjQj. 
yare Q,Qj. you are Q, et cet. nether-lip] mother lip Qq. 

46. 47. One line, Qq, Theob. et seq. 55. I hope ^ I hope] I hope Qq. 

36. walke by] Booth : Paces the room. 

38. Soule] Steevens : Othello appears to have been a favourite of his author ; he has 
bestowed on him that piety which he had refused to Hamlet. See Ham. Ill, iii, 94. 

42. Booth : Say it with all your heart and soU. 

52. vnnaturall] Malone: Compare Rich, III: I, ii, 134, < It is a quarrel most 
unnatural, To be revenged on him that loveth you.' 

54. Fechter : She throws back the coverlet, rises, and sits on the bed. 

55. portents] For other instances of 'portent* thus accented on the last syllable^ 
•ee Abbott, $49a 


They do not point on me. 56 

0th. Peace, and be ftill. 

Def. I will fo : What's the matter ? 

0th. That Handkerchiefe 
Which I fo lou'd, and gaue thee, thou gau'ft to Caffio. 6c 

Def. No by my Life, and Soule : fend for the man. 
And aske him. 

0th. Sweet Soule, take heed, take heed of Periury, 
Thou art on thy death-bed. 

Def. I, but not yet to dye. 65 

0th. Prefently. 
Therefore confeffe thee freely of thy fmne : 
For to deny each Article with Oath, 
Cannot remoue, nor choake the (Irong Conception 
That I do grone withall. Thou art to dye. 7c 

Def. O Heauen haue mercy on me. 

0th. I fay, Amen. 

Def. And haue you mercy too. I neuer did 
Offend you in my life : neuer louM Cafjio^ 

But with fuch generall warrantie of Heauen, 75 

As I might loue. I neuer gaue him Token. 

0th. By Heauen I faw my Handkerchiefe in's hand. 
O periur'd woman, thou do'ft ftone my heart, 78 

58. wiU fo:^ Ff, R0WC+, Cap. Jen. 64. Thou art"} thn^rt Stccv/93, Var. 
Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, Sing. Ktly. wUl^ Knt, Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly, iSyce iil, 
/<?, Q,Q,. will f Of Qj. wiU so, Johns, et Huds. 

cct. 66. Pre/enlly] Ff, Rowe, Pbpe, Thcob. 

59, 60. T^ai...thee] One line, Qq, Cap. Warb. Johns. Yes, prefently Qq et cet 
Steev. et seq. 69. Conception^ conceit Q^y Jen. 

59, &c. Handkerckiefe'\ handkerchtr 71. O /^^m^h] Ff, Rowe + , Cap. Jen. 
Q,. Steev.'Ss, Knt Thm Lord Qq et cet. 

60. gau'Jt\ gaueft Qq. 73, 74. /...Caflio] One line, Qq. 
to] Om. FjF^ Rowe + . 74. life: neuer"] life, — neuer Qq. 

61, 62. Lines end, Soule :,,, him, Qq, 77. in^s] in his Qq, Jen. Steev. MaL 
Cap. Steev. et seq. Var. Sing. Ktly. 

63,64. "Lines ^y\dt6.,heedf... death-bed. ^%, periur' d...ddff]periured„,doefli^ 

Cap. Steev. et seq. my] thy Q,. 

58. will so :] Note the punctuation of Q,Q,; indicating what seems to me to be the 
true reading : * I will. — So. — What's,* &c. — Ed. 

65. BoarH : Desdemona comes from her bed, and rests tremblingly against it. 

66. Presently] Abbott, § 59 : That is, ' at the present time,' ' at once,' instead o( 
as now, ' soon, but not at once.' 

71. Booth : Sinking on her knees. During the rest of this, down to line 98, she is 
iialf reclining on the steps and dais of the bed. 

300 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act v. sail. 

And makes me call, what I intend to do, 

A Murther, which I thought a Sacrifice. 80 

I faw the Handkerchiefe. 

Def. He found it then : 
I neuer gaue it him : Send^ for him hither. 
Let him confefle a truth. 

0th. He hath confeft. 85 

Def. What, my Lord ? 

0th. That he hath vs'd thee. 87 

79. makes\ makefi Q,Ff. makft Q,Q,. 85. katfil has Qq. 

Sa Murther\ Ff, Rowe+, Cap. Rnt, 87. haih vid thee."] Ff, Rowe, Knt, 

Wh. Rife, murder Qq, Johns, et cet. Dyce, Wh. Glo. Cam. Del. Rife, hath^ 

84. Let'\ And let Q,, Jen. Steev. Mai. vds death, Q,. haih—v/de thee, Q,Q, el 

Var. Sing. KUy. cet. 

80. Sacrifice] Johnson: This line is difficult. *Thou hast hardened my heart, 
and makest me kill thee with the rage of a murderer, when I thought to have sacrificed 
thee to justice with the calmness of a priest striking a victim.' I suspect ' thy heart ' 
of Qi to be genuine. The meaning then will be, — ' Thou forcest me to dismiss thee 
from the world in the state of the murdered without preparation for death, when I 
intended that thy punishment should have been a sacrifice atoning for thy crime.' I 
am glad that I have ended my revisal of this dreadful scene. It is not to be endured. 
Haluwell : Many readers will probably sympathize with Dr Johnson's concluding 
observation. Without disputing the masterly power displayed in the composition of the 
present tragedy, there is something to my mind so revolting, both in the present Scene 
and in the detestable character of I ago, which renders a study of the drama of Othello 
rather a painful duty than one of pleasure. [I do not shrink from saying that I wish 
this Tragedy had never been written. The pleasure, however keen or elevated, which 
th'e inexhaustible poetry of the preceding Acts can bestow, cannot possibly, to my tem- 
perament, countervail, it does but increase, the unutterable agony of this closing Scene. 


65-98. Hales (p. 112) : For the most part Shakespeare delights in tracing the action 
of the great moral laws of the world, and showing how fearful is the penalty of trans- 
gression. But sometimes he exhibits a yet more dreadful spectacle, — a spectacle mys- 
terious, inscrutable, soul-prostrating. It is Fate blind, inexorable, rapacious. Desde- 
mona is one of Fate's choicest victims. Her ' graces serve ' her ' but as enemies.' Her 
very virtues bring on her ruin. What is most innocent is construed into e\idence 
against her. In obeying the best instincts of her clear spirit she excites the evilest 
•uspicions and secures the bitterest condemnation. The truth from her lips is turned 
into a lie. In the present passage, her answers, by an almost incredible infelicity, 
are, through the very purity of her nature, just such as to confirm Othello's detestable 
impeachment Could replies be more unfortunate ? She lies in the toils of Fate, and 
there is no escape for her. We may go further than her name in Greek, 6vodahuju, 
'Ul-starred,' and say it is merely a variation of ivadatfiovUi^ < ill-starredness.' She if 
not only unhappy, she is unhappiness itself. 

87. vs'd thee] Collier (ed. iii) : The First Qto gives an important reading, as if 
Othello were choked and unable to utter the words. [To be sure * iids death ' is net 


Def. How? vnlawfully / 88 

0th. I. 

Def. He will not fay fo. 90 

0th. No : his mouth is ftopp'd : - 
Honeft lago hath 'tane order for't. 

Def. Oh, my feare interprets. What is he dead ? 

0th. Had all his haires bin Hues, my great Reuenge 
Had ftomacke for them all. 95 

Def. Alas, he is betrayed, and I vndone. 

Oth.OwX. Strumpet : weep'ft thou for him to my face ? 

Def. O banifh me, my Lord, but kill me not 

0th. Downe Strumpet 

Def. Kill me to morrow, let me Hue to night ioo 

0th. Nay, if you ftriue. 

Def. But halfe an houre. 

0th. Being done, there is no pawfe. 

Def. But while I fay one prayer. 104 

93. Oh,.., interprets,'] My feare inter- 97. weepyi"] weepeft Qq. 
prets then, — Qq, Theob. Warb. Johns. loi. if] an Qq. 

Ci^. Jen. Mai. Stecv. Var. Coll. Sing. ftriue.] QqFf, Rowe, Pope, Knt 

Ktly. My fear interprets. Oh ! Han. strive — Theob. ct cet. 

94* 95* fny...(Ul^ One line, Qq. 102. houre^hour — Rowe, Pope, Har. 

95. them] ^em Q,, Jen. em Q,Q,. 103 is omitted, joining in one lines 102, 

96. betrayed] betrayed Q^. 104, by Q,, Pope, Han. Dividing it at done 
I] Pm Han. Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, Coll. Sing. Sta. 

97. Out Strumpet :] Oftrumpet,^<^. Wh. i, Ktly. 

an uncommon exclamation in the old dramas (< vds pitty * occurs in Q, at IV, iii, 84), 
but Desdemona's next question shows clearly, I think, that it is out of place here.— 
92. 'tane order] Steevens : That is, has taken measures. [See Schmidt, s. ▼. 2.] 

94. liues] Steevens : This thought appears to have been very common ; it occurs 
firequently in dramas prior to Othello. 

97. Booth: Enraged. After his next speech there is a struggle, during whicl 
Othello hides her from the audience while she gets back upon the bed. 

103. Being done] Knight : A correspondent suggests that the reading should be, 
' being daum, there is no pause.' We cannot agree to receive Othello's meaning so 
literally. He certainly has already said, ' Down, strumpet,' and has probably at thai 
moment commenced the death-struggle ; for he adds, * my, if you strive^ But the 
words * being done ' appear to us to have a much greater depth of meaning. They are 
not addressed to Desdemona, but exhibit what is passing in Othello's mind. The con- 
flict between his love and his wounded honour is over; he looks upon the act of retri- 
bution as done when he has lifted his murderous hand against his wife. It is done. 
For the mere completion of the violence, which will then be mercy, * there is no 


Oth. It is too late. Smothers her. 105 

jEmilia at the doore. 

jEmil. My Lx)rd, my Lord ? What hoa ? 
My Lx)rd, my Lord. [336 b\ 

0th. What noife is this ? Not dead? not yet quite dead ? 
I that am cruelly am yet mercifully 1 10 

I would not haue thee linger in thy paine ? 
So, fo. 112 

105. // is too] Tis too Q,, Jen, Tb to Scene VII. Pope+, Jen. 

Q,Q,. 106. i&nilia...] EmiUia calls within. 

Smothers her.] he (tiflles her. Q^. Qq. 

he ilifles her. (after line 104) Q,Q,. At- 107, 108. One line, Qq, Pope et seq. 

tempts to smother her. Rowe ii. 109. Hoife\ voyce Qq» Jen. 

105, 107. hie, iEmil. My Lord] late, ill, 112. One line, Qq. 

Def. O Lord^ Lord, Lord, Em. My Lord 112. [Stabbing her. Rann. 
Q„ Jen. Coll. Ktly. 

105. Stebvens : After this speech, Q, adds an invocation from Desdemona, consist- 
ing only of the sacred name thiice repeated. As this must be supposed to have been 
uttered while she is yet struggling with death, I think an editor may be excused from 
inserting such a circumstance of supererogatoiy horror. Singer was misled by this 
note of Steevens, as was pointed out by the Cambridge Editors, and * invented a read- 
ing of Q, ' ; he nays that Desdemona's invocation was ' God ! God ! God ! * Coluer 
(ed. i) having adopted these exclamations, which, as he said, are found only in Q,, Dyce 
{Rem, 242), adds: <And there Collier ought (with the other modem editors) to have 
left them ; for they were most probably foisted into the text by the players. So far is 
** O Lord, Lord, Lord ! " from adding to the terror or pathos of the scene, that [sic\ it is 
disgustingly vulgar; and being inmiediately followed by Emilia's *<My lordf my lord I 
what ho ! my lord, my lord!** the effect of the whole is not a little comic' Collier, 
nothing intimidated, calmly printed the Quarto's words in his next edition. Where- 
upon Dyce, in kis next edition, observed that though he had protested against the 
insertion of * Oh Lord, Lord, Lord,' as disgustingly vulgar, &c., his * protest appears to 
have had no other eflfect than to make Mr Collier the more determined to retain it in 
his second edition.' In his third and last edition Collier again imperturbably prints 
the invocation from the Qto^ and says that the words are ' exclamations by Desdemona, 
to show that she is not killed, and she speaks afterwards.' 

105. Booth : Long pause. Emilia's rap must not be loud. 

112. In the Appendix will be found the Ballad which was discovered among the Egto*- 
ton Pftpers by Collier. From this ballad we learn that the earliest actor of Othello, Bui 
badge, Shakespeare's friend and fellow-actor, stabbed Desdemona, and * dyed to gory 
red, his hands of blackest shade.' Collier, however, shows that the writer * spoke at 
imndom ' in it, with regard to Burbadge's early career, and its antiquity has been recently 
questioned, so that its authority as to the 'stabbing' must pass for what it is worth. 
?rom the tone of FRANas GentleiiCAN's remarks in the Dramatic Censor (i, 148) in 
1770, where he is presumably criticising Garrick, we may infer that the stabbing of 
Desdemona was an iimovation which needed justification. Gentleman says: 'The 
revival of Desdemona from a state of suffocation, and her expiring without any fresh 
violence, we apprehend to be rather absurd, therefore, highly approve Othello's stabbing 

ACT V, sc. ii.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 303 

[112. I would not haue thee linger in thy pmine ? So, so.] 
her with a dagger, — drawing blood accounts naturally for gaining power of speech, and 
yet may be mortal.* The editors and commentators, in the Variorum Editions, are singu- 
larly silent. Steevens alone alludes to the question, and he approves of 'stabbing' on 
the ground, suggested by Gentleman, of its reUef to congestion, and believes that a 
stage direction to that effect had been accidentally omitted. This omission was sup- 
plied by Rann, the solitary editor who has inserted it. Knight thinks it is * most 
probable ' that Othello stabs Desdemona, < according to the practice of the modem 
stage. His previous resolution, '* Til not shed her blood," is forgotten in the agony 
and terror of the moment, when he sa3rs « not dead, not yet quite dead." ' Dsuus 
believes that if Shakespeare had * intended Othello to stab Desdemona, he would have 
given us in the context some hint, no matter how slight, from which it might be inferred. 
The lack of this hint, coupled with the express stage directions, compels us to suppose 
that with the ** So, so " Othello again stifles Desdemona.* Coluer says, in reference 
to the stabbing, that ' it may be so.' Hudson thinks the stage custom of stabbing 
< may be right.' Cowden-Clarke believes that < '< So, so " may merely be intended to 
represent that Othello heaps more clothes around her, pressing the pillow more closely 
upon the mouth.' Dyce, Staunton, White, Rolfe, and Puenell are silent. Fech- 
TER : Passing his poignard under the pillow and turning away his eyes. Booth : Hide 
your face in trembling hand while you stab and groan < So, so ' ; the steel is piercing 
your own heart. Salvini : I think that this < So, so ' means that Othello kneels on her 
breast to hasten her death. 

Thus Ux Editors and Actors, with a ground-tone from the public at large to the effect 
that there does seem to be something not altogether true to physiology in the subsequent 
revival of Desdemona ; yet, such is the Anglosaxon faith in Shakespeare, that, in any 
variance between him and Nature, Shakespeare b considered quite able to hold his own. 

It was the phrase ' Pale as thy smock ' which first caught my attention ; it seemed to 
reveal either an oversight on Shakespeare's part, or that he had intended, contrary to the 
directions in the QqFf, that Desdemona should be stabbed. As fitf as I know, no one 
has ever noticed the bearing, on the manner of Desdemona's death, of this exclamation. 
To my layman's small knowledge there seemed here a violation of physiological laws 
so downright, in representing a smothered person as pale, that I knew Shakespeare, who 
could note the < crimson drops i' the bottom of a cowslip,' never could have committed 
it. The reality before our very eyes cannot be as vivid as the coinage of his brain was 
to Shakespeare. What he saw, he spoke ; so that he must either have known of a case 
where congestion of blood in the face did not follow stifling, or he must have intended 
Othello to stab Desdemona ; which, after all, would only half solve the difficulty ; the 
i^tabbing would leave the face pale, but the smock red, as I thought. For Shakespeare's 
credit I felt no concern, but I did feel mortified for Nature, on whose behalf it seemed 
that if ever our best medical wisdom were to be unmuzzled, this was the hour. To this 
trial, in which Nature is the defendant (not Shakespeare, perish the thought !) I hoped 
to summon such an array of experts that their verdict would be accepted as final wher- i 
ever the masters in medicine are known and honored, or any faith exists in diagnosis. 
To each one of the following eminent men, whose friendship I am glad to own, I sent 
a copy of this last Scene, with the following passages underscored : < Yet PU not shed 
JUr blood'; * So, so*; * SAe^s Dead*; * Ha, No More Moving? Still as the Grai>e*: 
* I think she stirs again, — No*; all Desdemona's words after the smothering: *Yottr 
miece. Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopped*; and lastly, ' Pale as thy 
smock,* accompanying which were these questions: I. Do you think it likely thai 

304 THE TRACED IE OF OTHELLO [act v, sc. n. 

[ii2. I would not haue thee linger in thy paine ? So, so.] 
Othello stabbed Desdemona at * So, so ' ? 2. If he stabbed her, could her smock be 
pale ? 3. If she were smothered, could she be pale ? 4. In either case, could she 
speak after apparent death ? 5. If she could speak, why did she not quite revive ? 
6. From what cause, then, did she really die ? 

To these questions there came the following answers: — 

Dr D. Hayes Agnew : In answer to your inquiry, I would say that Shakespeare has 
been most unfortunate in kiUing Desdemona. Death by strangulation, inferred from 
the language used by Othello : ' Whose breath indeed^ these hands have newly stopfid^ 
cannot readily be reconciled with a temporary revival and ability to speak at three dif 
ferent times on the part of the victim, after ail signs of life had apparently disappeared 
nor with the post-mortem appearances, in which the color of the face and of the smock 
are compared (both presumably white). 

Against the theory of death by stabbing, we have the declaration of Othello himself^ 
* Yet m not shed her bloody and the supposed absence of blood-stains on the clothing 
of Desdemona, indicated by the expression, *pale as thy smock '; and yet all the phe- 
nomena before and after death are comprehensible on the theory of internal hemor- 
rhage, namely, the possibility of a stab in a vital region of the body, without more 
than a few drops of blood being seen externally ; syncope, resembling actual death, 
causing a temporary anrest of bleeding and a return to consciousness and to speech, 
followed by the recurrence of a rapidly-fatal hemorrhage, leaving the face bloodless 
and pale. 

There is, however, a theory which (though somewhat strained) would meet all the 
conditions of the text ; namely, that death ensued from the secondary effects of injury 
to the larynx. It is true that in fatal cases following laceration or fracture of that 
organ, the patient dies from a slow asphyxia, and may be rendered voiceless by the 
lesion ; but surgical writers refer to instances in which, after violence applied to the 
neck and the person apparently suffocated, partial recovery has followed with ability to 
speak, and yet death suddenly followed from shock, with probably some spasm of the 
glottis. In shock the blood retreats from the superficial vessels, giving to the surfru:e 
the pallor of death. Prt>bably such were the conditions in the case of Desdemona. 

Dr D. G. Brinton : There is not a word in the text about stabbing, and several 
passages make directly against it. In describing Desdemona*s death, Othello distinctly 
states that he ' stopped her breath,' — smothered her. Death by stabbing, therefore, 
could not have been in the mind of the author at all. 

This leads to the further result that her death is not represented as the immediate act 
of her husband ; he is not the murderer that he thinks himself; his hands refused the 
deed and failed at the second attempt, as they did at the first. Again she moves and 
^>eaks. But her frail body has been put to too severe a strain. Anxiety and fear have 
been too much for her debilitated heart, and her last and superhuman effort to exculpate 
her loved husband completely exhausts her vital powers ; the central organ fails, and 
the frJls back dead from ' cardiac exhaustion.' We may call it ' paralysis of the heart,' 
like that brought about by certain potent poisons, or that which supervenes in feeble 
•ubjects on sudden and violent emotions, either of fear or joy. We know little of the 
intimate pathology of this fatal process. Writers say that such physical or mental 
shocks 'extinguish life by their action on the cardiac plexus.' The phrase sounds 
well, but leaves us where we were before. 

Such instances are by no means rare, and must have come to the knowledge of the 
abthor of OtheUo, A number of them were quoted for the defence in a trial in New 


[112. I would not haue thee linger in thy paine ? So, so.] 
York Qty a few years ago. The victim, wife of a physician, was smothered by the 
assassin. The defence was, that the attempt at suffocation was abortive, that she revived, 
but died of heart-shock from fright and struggling. The theory of her death thus 
advanced by the defence is my theory of the death of Desdemona. It consistently 
explains the appearance of her face, her smock, her recovery of speech, &c., and relieves 
us from the painful and repugnant contemplation of her husband as her actual murderer. 
I shall be delighted if these crude remarks aid you in any degree in throwing light on 
the train of thought in this wonderful literary creation. 

Dr J. M. Da Costa : The features of Desdemona's death cannot, I believe, be recon- 
ciled to strict scientific facts; it is best to accept them as not transgressing poetic license. 
That she should have spoken after being smothered is not possible ; if she had regained 
consciousness sufficiently to speak intelligently, as she did, recovery would have ensued, 
though death might have happened, after a time, from injuries induced by the violence. 

Concerning the pallor of the countenance, it is contrary to the customary conception 
of death by strangulation ; the fiitce is held to be suffiised and swollen, of dusky or vio- 
let hue ; but the great poet, in assuming it otherwise, has not been guilty of error. The 
countenance in strangulation may be pale and sunken ; indeed, so eminent an authority 
as Casper declares his observation to have taught him that the greater number of per- 
sons strangled have neither a turgid nor a livid countenance, but one simply like that 
of any other corpse. 

These statements deal with the supposition that Desdemona's death was caused by 
strangling. If the stage tradition of her being also stabbed be admitted as correct, a 
view suggests itself which removes all difficulties. The effect of the bleeding would 
be to relieve the cerebral and pulmonary congestion occurring in strangulation. She 
revives sufficiently to speak ; the internal henoorrhage continues ; she dies exhausted, 
and, as alwajrs in death from loss of blood, with extreme pallor marked. < Pftle as thy 
smock ' Othello might well say ; nor need a poet's words be so literally construed as to 
exclude the thought of some blood-stains on the white garment ; though in point of fact 
a stab severing large vessels in the chest may prove fatal without giving rise to external 

The stabbing subsequent to the smothering makes, then, the death of Desdemona 
one which is described with the closest attention to truth. Whether the stage tradition 
represent Shakespeare's thought is, of course, an open question. There is that in the 
text, however, which supports the supposition of the stabbing, notwithstanding Othello's 
first-declared intention of not shedding blood. He sees her linger, and he determines 
on quick, decisive measures. The words * So, so,' when he is supposed to stab her, 
are short, abrupt expressions, very suitable to rapid, sudden movements as in stabbing. 

Dr William A. Hammond : The matter that engrosses your attention has many 
features of interest to me, and your questions lead up to several important points. 

Without going into details, I may say, first, I do not think Othello stabbed Desde- 
mona ; he expressly says, * I will not shed her blood.' I am of the opinion that, at the 
vords < So, so,' he pressed the pillow more forcibly against her face. 

If he stabbed her, I think it possible, though not probable, that her smock might be 

If she were smothered she might be pale. Persons who are smothered do not ordi- 
narily show any signs of having suffered a violent death. For my views in full on this 
point, permit me to refer you to my novel, Mr Oldmixan, chap, xiii, in which Hogarth 

Oldmixon smothers his wife. 


[ii2. I would not haue thee linger in thy paine ? So, so.] 

If she were smothered sufficiently, she certainly could not speak after the act. A 
person smothered, and speaking afterwards, would not die from the smothering. The 
mere fact of her s|)eakiiig shows that she was not smothered to the extent necessary to 
cause death. 

As to what really killed her, I thmk it is clearly apparent that Shakespeare was ignor- 
ant of the modus operatuH of smothering. She ought not to have died at all so far as 
any act of Othello's is directly concerned, except, perhaps, from what is called a ' broken 
heart,' or from extreme shock to her nervous system. 

Dr Wilxiam Hunt : You have asked me some interesting questions about Desde- 
mona's death. I am happy to be able to answer you positively and at once ; her sad 
end is no pathological puzzle to me. She died of fracture of the cricoid cartilage of the 
larynx. Shakespeare is entirely consistent, and must have had, as in everything else, 
an intuitive, if not practical, knowledge of the subject Years ago I wrote an Article 
upon that fracture, founded upon a case of it The Article is quoted as authority to this 
day. I collected all the reported cases I could find, and several of them were Hke 
Desdemona's. It was a piece of unpardonable oversight in me that I did not put her 
in the list. The poet's story is exactly in accordance with the ordinary sequence of 
symptoms. There is nothing for a school-boy or anybody else to laugh at in it. 

Othello, true to his stated purpose, did not < shed her blood, nor scar that whiter skin 
of hers than snow.' He first tried a very ineffectual method of smothering with pillows. 
Hb poor victim was simply dazed, ' not dead.' Seeing this, he grasps her neck with his 
powerful hands, his thumbs being over the larynx, and with two strong squeezes and a 
' So, so,' garrotes her. 

The cricoid cartilage breaks, and under the shock there is * no more moving.' She 
is 'still as the grave.' But I have no doubt she did <stir again ' ; had any good aus- 
cultator placed his ear to her chest he would have heard her heart beating feebly and 
rapidly. Paleness, not lividity, would accompany this condition. I have seen it so in 
others. A short time passes. Desdemona slowly and temporarily reacts. An exciting 
conversation is held in her presence. She hears, and in a smothered, hoarse whisper, 
perfectly audible, she speaks; there is a slight spitting of blood, for which, in her nicety, 
she uses a handkerchief she had about her, and which must have reminded her of that 
other fatal one 'spotted with strawberries,' and so her smock is left pale and unde- 
filed. In my case the patient was pale as a ghost, and his speech as hoarse as a raven's. 
Gradually Desdemona succumbs to the pressure of swelling and emphysema, and to the 
nervous shock. Tracheotomy was the only thing that might have saved her, but there 
was ix>body there to perform it, and the chance was slim. I have thus, I think, answered 
all your questions. Does not Othello himself acknowledge my method when he says, 
* There lies your niece, whose breath indeed these hands have newly stopped ' ? There 
was never a clearer case. Is not Shakespeare's imiversality wonderful ? 

Rest assured, Desdemona died of fracture of the larynx. The history and the sequencer 
are without flaws. 

In future, let no Othello stab ; and let Desdemona learn a hoarse, grating, audible 
irhisper that will rasp the audience into sympathetic agony. 

Dr Ad. Lippe : To the first question, I answer No ; Othello stifles, but does nnt stab 
Desdemona ; he had said ' I will not shed her blood ' ; at * So, so,' he stifles her the 

Had she been stabbed, her smock would have been saturated with blood. 

If she were smothered, she could be nothing else but pale. 


jEmil. within. What hoa? my Lord^ my Lord ? 113 

0th. Who's there ? 

113. within.] Om. Qq. 

Had she been stabbed and the dirk or knife not withdrawn, she might have spoken. 
If the dagger had been withdrawn, she could not have spoken. If smothered, and, 
since Othello says * I think she stiis again,' not fully dead, a few drops remaining in 
the left heart would pennit of a contraction, and the lungs not being completely 
clogged would allow the utterance of a few words. These last few contractions of the 
left heart must have been caused by the violent mental emotions produced by Emilia's 
relation and her questions. These few remaining drops having been expelled, her 
ability to speak ceased, and she was fully dead. The real cause of her death was 
suffocation and stifling. In Wharton and Still^'s Medical Jurisprudtnce^ ii, 802, we 
find a complete vindication of Shakespeare: * Homicidal Suffocation, Those who 
are usually the victims of this form of murder are infants and the aged, or those 
who are otherwise helpless. So slight a degree of resistance is necessary to defeat 
the purpose of the assassin, that a great disproportion of strength must exist for the 
attempt to be successful. Nevertheless, those miserable wretches, Burke and his 
accomplices, reduced murder by suffocation to a system, choosing it as a mode of death 
most likely to leave no mark of crime behind it. The murderer bore with his whole 
weight upon the breast of his victim, and with his hands forcibly covered the mouth 
and nostrils till death came on. The body of one of the victims presented, according 
to Dr Christison, so few traces of injury, that without the assistance of proof fix>m other 
sources, it would have been impossible to have declared that the death was not a nat- 
ural one.' How well Shakespeare knew the difference between suffocation and stran- 
gulation is evident from his masterly description of the latter in the case of Gloucester 
in 2 Hen, VI: III, ii. Suffocation alone caused the death of Desdemona, and the 
suffocation was slow. Violent mental emotion caused the heart to expel the last few 
drops of blood, and when the right side of the heart became filled with dark venous 
blood, she died. How violent mental emotions can affect the heart belongs to the deep 
mysteries of Nature. Materialists cannot solve the question. 

Dr S. Weir Mitchell : I suppose Shakespeare would have put in a stage direction 
at ' So, so,' if he had meant that Othello used a dagger. Were I an actor I should 
simply throttle her fiercely again and again as I said * So, so.' With this view her 
smock need not trouble us. Death by strangling leaves the face horribly congested, not 
pale. Believing that Othello simply choked Desdemona, how could she have been 
pale of visage and spoken several distinct sentences with so clear a brain as the rele- 
vancy of her words displays, and yet have been fatally strangled ? 

It could not have been ; but I fancy Shakespeare cared little for realism when he 
desired an explanatory dramatic effect. 

If there is evidence that Shakespeare meant that Othello choked her insufficiently, and 
finished with a dirk, it becomes clearer, because then speech, partial recovery, death fix>m 
bleeding, help us to understand the passage. At the same time the face would have been 
paling from blood-loss, and as to the smock, all wounds do not bleed externally ; then a 
little blood on the smock would not have made less for him its general whiteness. 

Again, where Othello says he has ' newly stopp'd her breath,' he does not speak 
of what would have been the more striking object to the spectator, the dagger-wound. 
For him, too, that would have been the murder, not the ineffectual throttle. 

308 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act v. sc. u 

jEmil. Oh good my Lord^ I would fpeake a word 115 
with you. 

0th. Yes : 'Tis Emilia : by and by. Shee's dead. 
'Tis like ftie comes to fpeake of Caffu/s death : 
The noife was high. Hah, no more moouing ? 
Still as the Graue. Shall fhe come in? Wer't good ? 120 

I thinke fhe ftirres againe No, what's beft to do ? 
If fhe come in, fhee'l fure fpeake to my wife : 
My wife, my wife : what wife ? I haue no wife. 
Oh infupportable ! Oh heauy houre ! 

Me thinkes, it fhould be now a huge Eclipfe 12^ 

Of Sunne, and Moone ; and that th'afirighted Globe 
Did yawne at Alteration. 

^tnil. I do befeech you 
That I may fpeake with you. Oh good my Lord. 129 

115, 128. iGmil.] Emil. within. Mai. 126. M'] Ff, Rowe ii+ Jen. Coll. Wh. 

115. good my] my good FJF^, Rowc+. i, Dycc iii. /^ Qq et cet. 

/wo$ad] Pdi Qq> Cap. Jen. 127. Did] Ff, Rowe i, Knt. Should 

117. idnilia: byandhy:] Emilia, 3^ Qq et cet. 

mtd hy: Qq. jEmilia~~iy and by— Alteration^ Alteration — Rowe, 

Rowe+, Cap. Jen. Pope, Theob. Han. Warb. 

119. high] here Q,, Jen. Glo. Cam. 128, 129. I do... Lord] One line, Qq. 

Rife, Wh. ii. Good my lord, \ I do beseech you I may 

119, 120. moouing f StUl] moving; speeUk with you. Cap. / do... with you. 

Still Jen. One line, Johns. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. 

121. be/l to do] the bejt Qq, Popc+, Coll. Sta. Wh. i, Del. 

Cap. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. 128. do] Om. Pope, Theob. Han. Warb. 

122. ^ come] Jh^U come Coll. iii. 129. That I] /Qq, Johns. Jen. Steev. 

123. wife: what wife f]wife, my wife; Mai. Var. Coll. Wh. i, Del. 
Qj. Oh good] good Q,. 

I haue] I ha Qq. 

119. noise . . • high] Booth : That is, of the struggling with Desdemona, whose 
cries were mingled with Othello's angry voice. (Irving supposes this to refer to Emilia's 
knock.) [Does not this refer to Roderigo's attack on Cassio ? — Ed.] 

119. Walker, in his Article 'On the omission of repeated words' {Crit. ii, 144), 
queries if stiU be not omitted at the end of this line ? Hudson answered in the affirm 
ative by adding it, * because,' as he says, < the metre certainly wants it, and the sense 
even more, perhaps, than the metre.' 

122. wife] Booth : At this word he pauses as if stunned, or, rather, puzzled by so 
strange a word, and mutters it twice inquiringly, then, under the full force of the horror, 
he almost screams, ' I have no wife ! ' and falls prostrate on the divan in centre of the 
stage, where he writhes while speaking the lines that follow. 

125-127. Theobald : Let the Poet account for the profanation, if he has committed 
any ; but it is very obvious to me his allusion is grounded on a certain solemn circum- 
stance, when darkness is said to have covered the whole face of the land ; when rocks 
were rent; and graves opened. 

ACT V, sc. iL] T//£ MOORE OF VENICE 309 

0th. I had forgot thee : oh come in jEmilia. 1 30 

Soft, by and by, let me the Curtaines draw. 
Where art thou ? What's the matter with thee now ? 

Enter jEntilia. 

^miL Oh my good Lord, yonders foule Murthers 
done. 135 

0th. What ? now ? 

jEmil. But now, my Lord. 

0th. It is the very error of the Moone, 
She comes more ncerer Earth then ftie was wont, 
And makes men mad. 140 

jEtnU. Caffio^ my Lord, hath kiU'd 
A young Venetian, callM Rodorigo. 

0th. Rodorigo kill'd ? and Cajpo killM? 

^mil. No, CaJJio is not kill'd. 

0th. Not CaJJio killMf Then Murther's out of tune, 145 

And fweet Reuenge growes harfli. 

DeJ. O falfely, falfely murdered. 147 

130. forgoi'l forgotten Q^Q^ Cap. Knt, Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Ktly, Del. Whai^ 

oh come] come Q.Qjt Cap. Q^ et cct. 

132. [Unlocks the door. Theob. 139. if^^r/r]if^^^M^Qq, Pope +, Cap. 

133. Enter...] After </rflw line i3X,Qq. Jen. Steev. Mai. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i. 
After thou t line 132, Dyce. Ktly, Dyce iii. 

134- my good] good my Steev.'93, Var. 14Z, 142. Caflio... Venetian] One line, 

Coll. i, ii. Qq, Cap. et seq. 

yonders] yonder' 5 Qq. 141. hath] has Qq« Cap. Mai. Steev. 

Murthers] Ff, Rowe, Pope, Han. Var. Coll. Sing. Wh. i, Del. 
Cap. Knt, Wh. ii. murders Qq> Sing. 143. Two lines, Cap. Steev. et seq. 

Dyce i, Glo. Ktly, Cam. murther Theob. 147. murder d^ murdered Qq. muT' 

Warb. Wh. i. Rife. »i«r<i;rr Johns, et cet. thet'd Theob. Han. Warb. Knt, Wh. 

136. What?] FfQ^Qj, Rowc+, Steev. Rife. 

130. Fechter : Othello goes to the door, which, in his agitation, he tries to open at 
the hinges ; and, perceiving his mistake, leans against the wall distracted, wiping the 
cold damps from his forehead. 

134. my good] Dyce : Perhaps Steevens and the others may be right; Emilia has 
just before twice used that form of expression. 

Z34. murther] Booth : Othello starts at this word. 

139. more neerer] Compare Ham, II, i, 11, or Abbott, $11, for instances of double 
comparatives and superlatives. 

147. Keightley : It would not be possible, in the whole compass of poetry, to find 
A more glaring absurdity than this of making Desdemona speak after she had been 
smothered. [The following extract, involving, as it does, a name around which still 
cluster holy memories in living hearts, is of a date so recent that I should hesitate to 
use it here did I imagine that any service in the illustration of Shakespeare could bring 
anght but honour, or that I should hereby lightly treat him whose voice appearec* to 


jEmil. Alas ! what cry is that / 148 

0th. That? What ? 

^tnil. Out, and alas, that was my Ladies voice. 150 

Helpe, helpe hoa, helpe. Oh Ladie fpeake againe, 
Sweet Defdentonay oh fweet Miflris, fpeake. 

Def. A guiltleffe death, I dye. 

^mil. Oh who hath done this deed ? 

Def, No body : I my felfe, farewell : 155 

Commend me to my kinde Lord : oh farewell. 

0th. Why, how ftiould fhe be murdred ? 1 57 

148. Alas] O Lord Q^, Cap, Jen. Ahlas 154. this tUed] As beginning 155, Cap. 

Q^ Steev. Mai. Var. Knt, CoU. Sing. Wh. i, 

ay w] crys Stecv.*93. Ktly, Dyce iii. 

150. that was] it is Q^, Jen. it was 156. [She dies. Qq. 

QjCi^' 157. murdrtd] murdered Qq. 

154. hath] has Qq. 

me the solitaiy one worth listening to, on a London Sunday, thirty years ago. — Ed.] 
* When I retamed at 5 A. M. next day, copious effusion had taken place in one of the 
pleura, and death was close at hand .... almost immediately afterwards, without any 
straggle, all was over, — as it seemed. We remained kneeling aroimd the bed. No 
sound came from the motionless chest, the beating of the artery under my finger was 
no longer perceptible ; the hand, which a moment before was grasping mine, had relaxed 
its hold; the countenance was no longer scored by lines denoting difficulty in breathing; 
the spark in the eye had gone out, and nowhere, so far as I could see, was there any 
reason for thinking that the fire of life was still smouldering. I could find no such 
reason then, I can find no such reason now. And yet shortly afterwards, he, who 
seemed to have died, and to have been dead for several minutes, or moments, minutes 
rather than moments, as I remember them, slowly raised himself upon one of his 
elbows into a half-sitting posture, and said distinctly, <* The peace of God, which pass- 
eth all understanding, keep your — <mr — hearts and minds in the knowledge and love 
of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord ; and the blessing of God Almighty, the 
Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst us and remain with us always;" and 
having so said, without another word, he lay down and died — again. The voice in 

which these words were uttered was the old familiar voice, clear and solemn 

Between them and tl;^e preceding words, which were hurried and scarcely coherent, 
and almost lost in distracting sounds connected with lack of breath, a broad line of 
separation must be drawn. In uttering these last words no difficulty in breathing or 

speaking was noticeable I cannot confound these words with any ordinary 

death-bed utterances.' — ^Dr C. B. Radcuffe {^Life of Frederick Dcnison Maurice^ 2d 
ed., vol. ii, p. 645, London, 1884). 

150. Booth : Emilia rushes to the bed and throws back the curtains. 

155, 156. Booth : This should afiect Othello; he believes her dying with a lie on 
her lips, and he shows how it pains him. Hb next speech is in half-choked utter- 
ances. Fbchter says that this line 157 is spoken < looking at Emilia with steady 
effiontery.' Elze {Notes^ &c., 2d Ser. p. 157) would divide these Imes at *me,' read- 
ing the second, *To my | kind lord. | O, f&re [ well.' 


^mil. Alas : who knowes ? 158 

0th. You heare her fay her felfe, it was not I. 

jEtniln She faid fo : I mufl needs report the tri;th. 160 

0th. She's like a Liar gone to burning hell, 
'Twas I that kill'd her. 

jEtnil. Oh the more Angell (he, and you the black- 
er Diuell. 

0th. She turnM to folly : and (he was a whore. 165 

jEmil. Thou do'ft bely her^ and thou art a diuell. 

0th. She was falfe as water. 

jEmil. Thou art rafh as fire, to fay 
That (he was falfe. Oh (he was heauenly true. 169 

159. i^ar^] Ff, Rowe. i^an/Qqetcet 168. Tlim art'\ Tkou as Q^, Tkotirt 

160. M«/>t«M]a/ntfMQq,Coll.Wh.i. Cap. 

161. lmming'\ burnt in Q^ Cap. 168, 1 69. to /ay,„true\ One line, Qci, 
163, 164. Two lines, Ci^). Steev. et seq. 

161, 162. Fbchter : With a burst of triumph. Booth : With deep emotion, not 

163. Angell] Hudson : Emilia evidently means that Desdemona is the more angd 
for having spoken the falsehood in question. And surely all well-ordered minds must 
agree with her; at all events, I, for one, cannot choose but love and honour Desde- 
mona the more for that lie. For, indeed, the sweet, dear sufferer knows that Othello 
is driven onward by some monstrous delusion ; that some hideous inspiration has put 
him clean out of his native self; that he is sure to have the worst of it, and so is even 
more an object of compassion than herself; and the unspeakable agony legible in his 
features wrings her pure soul with a pity so intense as to take from her all sense of the 
pangs of death ; and so her last breath b hallowed with a tender yearning to shield I 
him, as far as she possibly can, from the dreadful retributions which await him, both I 
from without and from within, when the truth shall be known. So deep and sacred is 1 
the head and spring of Desdemona's dying falsehood I It is a lie bom of the very holi-. J 
ness of truth itself! 

165. folly] Malone : This signifies here, as in the sacred writings, ttfantanness or 
unchastity. So in ^. o/L., 556 : * Her sad behaviour feeds his vulture folly.' Stekv- 
ENS: So in Deut, xxii, 21 : 'She hath wrought ^//^ in Israel.' Morel: C'est une 
vieille acception du fran^ab * folic ' qui a persists jusqu' au dix-septi^me si^e. La 
Fontaine dit encore 'faire la folic' pour <se livrer k la d^bc.iche.' Prof. George 
Allen (MS note) : So also in Greek. Cf. Euripides, Hippoiytus, 644: 1^ ^'hfjtfixavo^ 
yw^ I yv^ii'^ ppaxet^ fiupiav a^piBif, Monk says : /lopla, impudidtia^ vel lididOf quA 
significatione adhibitur etiam in Ion, 557. 

167. as water] Johnson: As water that will support no weight, nor keep any 
impression. Purnell: The comparison is as old as Jacob's farewell to his sons: 
* Reuben, unstable as water.* — Gen, xlix, 4. 

168. Thou art] Walker {Crii, ii, 203) : To be pronounced as one syllable. See 
I,i•^34; III,iv, 195. 


312 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act v, sen. 

0th. CaJJio did top her : Ask thy husband elfe. 170 

Oy I were damn'd beneath all depth in hell : 
But that I did proceed vpon iufl grounds 
To this extremity. Thy Husband knew it all. 

jEmil. My Husband ? [337 a] 

0th. Thy Husband. 175 

jEmil. That fhe was falfe to Wedlocke ? 

0th. I, with CaJJio : had fhe bin true, 
If Heauen would make me fuch another world. 
Of one entyre and perfeft Chryfolite, 
rid not haue fold her for it. 180 

^mil. My Husband? 

0th. I, 'twas he that told me on her firft, 
An honefl man he is, and hates the flime 
That flickes on filthy deeds*. 

^mil. My Husband? 185 

0th. What needs this itterance, Woman ? 

170. top'\ QqFf, Rowe, Pope i, Knt, 180. for it'\/or't Qxp. 

Coll. i, Sing. Glo. Ktly, Cam. Wh. ii. tup 182. m€on herjirft'\ Ff, Knt. nujirji 

Pope ii et cet. Qq et cet. 

173. exiremity\ extreme Steev. conj. 184. on\ <me Q^. 

174. Husband t\ husband: Q^Q,. 186, 187. One Une, or prose, Qq, Cap. 
177. Two lines. Cap. Steev. Var. Knt, Steev. et seq. 

Sing. 186. itterance. Woman ?'\ iteration f 

I, with"] Ay, and with Ktly. woman, Qq, Ktly. iteration, woman T 

Aad} Ff, Rowe+ , Cap. Knt. nay. Pope (subs.) + , Jen. Steev.'85, MaL CoU. 

kad Qq et cet. Sing. Glo. Cam. Wh. ii. 
true] but true Coll. (MS). 

171, 172. Booth : With vigour; in justification of what he has done. 

179. Chrysolite] Holland's Translation of Pliny s Naturall Historie, The seuen and 
thirtieth Booke, Chap, viii : ' The Topaze or Chrysolith, hath a singular green colour 
by it selfe, for which it is esteemed very rich, and when it was first found, it surpassed 

all others in price It is said, that the first that tooke a liking vnto the stone, was 

queene Berenice the mother of Ptolome the second, and that by the meanes of Phile- 
mon (lieutenant generall to her son in those countries) who presented one of them to 
the said queen. Of which Chrysolit, Ptolomctus Philadelphus K. of Egypt, caused the 
statue of his wife Arsind to be made, 4 cubits long ; and in honour of the said queene 
his wife, dedicated it in a chappell named the Golden temple.' [This passage in Hoi 
land's Pliny is referred to by Plumptre. Can it be doubted that it was the story of this 
precious statue which suggested < chrysolite ' to Shakespeare ? — Ed.] White (ed. ii) : A 
greenish, yellow stone of no rarity and small value. It is little worn : probably Shake- 
speare never saw one ; but the word promises largely, and it sounded well in his verse. 

185. RoLFE: Emilia's astonishment here is sufficient proof that she did not before 
inspect logo of being the ' eternal villain ' that had devised this slander. See IV, ii, 154. 

186. itteranco] See note on ' Reprobance,' line 261, post. 


I (ay^ thy Husband. 187 

jEmil. Oh Miftris, 
Villany hath made mockes with loue 
My Husband fay (he was falfe ? 190 

0th. He, Woman ; 
I fay thy Husband : Do'ft vnderftand the word? 
My Friend, thy Husband ; honeft, honeft lago. 

^mil. If he fay fo, may his pernicious Soule 
Rot halfe a graine a day : he lyes to'th'heart, 195 

She was too fond of her moft filthy Bargaine. 

0th. Hah ? 

jEmil. Do thy wotft : 
This deede of thine is no more worthy Heauen, 
Then thou was't worthy her. 200 

0th. Peace, you were beft. 

jEmil. Thou haft not halfe that powre to do me harm, 
As I haue to be hurt. Oh Gull, oh dolt. 
As ignorant as durt : thou hafl done a deed 
(I care not for thy Sword) He make thee known, 205 

18&-193. 0°^ Q,- '9^- toofond^ to fond (l^. 

188, 189. One line, Q,Qj^ Rowe et seq. 198. wo^] F,. 

189. hath'] had¥^, has Rowe+. 202. thai powre] the power Qq, Jen. 

190. fayflte] Ff, Rowe+. fay that Jke Mai. Stecv. Var. Coll. Sing. Ktiy, Huds. 
(^Q, et cet 203. be hurt] bear hurt Han. 

191. 192. One line, Q,Q,. 204. thou hafi] thcu^st Pope+. 

193. honeft, honeft] honest-honest Sta. deed] Ff, Rowe i. deed — Qq et 

194. /ay] says Theob. cet 

195. to'th'] QqFf, Rowe +, Jen. Wh.i, 205. Suford] wordY^, 
Hods, to the Cap. et cet knauni] know Qq. 

189. mockes] Johnson : ' Villainy ' has taken advantage to play upon the weak- 
ness of a violent passion. Hudson : That is, vilUiny has made a sport and mockery 
of love, by playing upon it, and beguiling it into a conflagration of its own home. 
Emilia probably refers to Desdemona*s friendly efforts in Cassio*s behalf. 

195. to'th'heart] The Cambridge Editors note that Johnson reads 'o* th' heart.' 
In my copy of Johnson the / of * to ' is very faint, but I think it is unmistakably pres- 
ent. There is, however, no indication whatever of an apostrophe after the o. Let the 
vanity be pardoned which prompts me to show how exact is my collation, by comparing 
it with that of the Cambridge Editors. — Ed. 

202, 203. Johnson : She means to say, * I have in this cause power to endure more 
than thou hast power to inflict.' Malone : Compare Hen. VIH: III, ii, 387, ' I am 

able Out of a fortitude of soul, I feel, To endure more miseries Than my 

weak-hearted enemies dare oflier ' ; and 2 Hen, VI: IV, i, 130 : ' More can I bear than 
you dare execute.' 

203. As] See Abbott, § 109, for an instance of * as' for that without the antecedent so 

314 THE TRAGEDIE OF OTHELLO [act v, sail. 

Though I loft twenty Hues. Helpe^ helpe^ hoa^ helpe : 206 

The Moore hath kill'd my Miftris. Murther, murther. 

Enter Montanoy GratianOy and lago. 

Mon, What is the matter ? How now Generall ? 

jEmiL Oh, are you come, lago : you haue done well, 210 
That men muft lay their Murthers on your necke. 

Gra. What is the matter ? 

^mil. Difproue this Villaine, if thou bee'ft a man : 
He fayes, thou told'ft him that his wife was falfe : 
I know thou did'ft not : thou'rt not fuch a Villain. 215 

Speake, for my heart is full. 

lago. I told him what I thought, 
And told no more 
Then what he found himfelfe was apt, and true. 

^mU. But did you euer tell him, 220 

She was falfe ? 

lago. I did. 

jEtnil. You told a Lye an odious damned Lye : 
Vpon my Soule, a Lye ; a wicked Lye. 224 

206. hoa^ ^^] O helpe Qq. 212. Gra.] All. Qq. 

207. hath'\ has Qq, Steev. Mai. Var. 213. Di/proue this VtUame'] Disprtfoe 
ColL Sing. Wh. i, Ktly, Del. it, viUam Cap. Disprove this viUany Ci4>. 

208. Enter.. .and lago] Enter.. .lago^ oonj. Rann. 

and others. Qq. (Gragantio Q.Q,). 215. did'ft\ dift Q,Q,. 
Scene VIII. Pope+, Jen. th(n^rt'\ thou art Qq. 

209. [Staying him. Cap. 217, 218. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 
2ia you haue\ yot^ve Dyce iii, Hnds. 219. Then] But Cap. 

211. Murthers] murder Qq. 220^ 221. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq 

206. Booth : Othello goes to the bed, and lies moaning there, not loudly. 
211. Booth : lago^ of course, b much astonished. 

213. this Villaine] Capell (having misprinted it instead of 'this,' has the follow- 
mg note, which is unusually lucid) : One of the present Editor's oversights is corrected 
in the < Errata.' At discovery, and in ruminating upon it, it appears to him that there 
IS a further mistake by the old printers made in the same line : * villained as they point 
it, IS predicated of Othello ; suppose their pointing erroneous, and make viUaine a voca- 
tive, it then belongs to lago ; but this direct application, and to their face, of such a term 
as is viiiaine to parties standing in such relation as both do to the speaker, is a trespass 
on character ; and may easily be remov'd by supposing the word intended was — villainy, 
which takes off the directness. 

214. Booth : lago hardens himself, as it were, looking straight before him ; immov- 
able,— and answers after a pause, and doggedly. 

\222. Booth : Short and sharp. He darts a quick, steely glance at her in defiance^ 
but quails as she proceeds, and speaks line 227 with desperation. 


Shee &lfe with Cajfio ? 235 

Did you fay with CaJJio ? 

lago. With CaJJio^ Miftris? 
Go too, charme your tongue. 

Emil. I will not charme my Tongue ; 
I am bound to fpeake, 230 

My Miftris heere lyes murthered in her bed. 

AIL Oh Heauens, forefend. 

Emil. And your reports haue fet the Murder on. 

Othello. Nay ftare not Mafters, 
It is true indeede. 235 

Gra. 'Tis a ftrange Truth. 

Mont. O monftrous A6le. 

Emil. Villany, villany, villany : [337 ^] 

I thinke vpon't, I thinke : I fmel't : O Villany : 
I thought fo then : He kill my felfe for greefe. 240 

225-230. Three lines, Qq»Roweetseq. 232. All.] Mod. Gn. Cap. Dyce iii* 

225. Sheefal/e] She wasfai/e Q . Huds. 

230. lam] Pm Pope+, Dyce lii. 232-241. Put in margin. F6pe, Han. 
231-241. Om. Q,. 233. Murder\ murderer Q^ Jolms. 

231. heere fyes\ lies here P6pc+ . Murther F^F^. 

murthered] murdered Q;Q,. 234, 235. One line, Q^Qjt Rowe, Theob. 

murthet^d Pope et seq. Waib. et seq. 

bed.] bed, Q,, Cap. Dyce, Sta. 239. I fmeVt: O Villany] I fmell a 

Hads. villany (^.Q,. 

228. charme] Johnson : I know not whether I have read, or whether my own 
thoughts have suggested, an alteration here. It seems to me not impiobable that 
Shakespeare wrote clam your tongue ; to clam a bell is to cover the clapper with felt, 
which drowns the blow and hinders the sound [qu., hinders the blow and drowns the 
sound ? The Cambridge Editors record ' chain. Anon, conj.' — Ed.] Malone : That 
is, compel to be silent, as if by the power of enchantment. Steevens : Thus Jonson, 
CynthicCs Revels [I, i] : < Charm your skipping tongue.' Also Faerie Qneene, V, b 
[line 350] : < That well could charme his tongue, and time his speach.' [For addi- 
tional examples in Shakespeare, see ScHidlDT.] 

236. strange] Staunton : This is one of the many words which have lost weight 
and emphasis since Shakespeare's time. With us it imports no more than imusnal, not 
customary, &c.; but when Desdemona spoke of the Moor's adventures as 'strange,' 
she meant that they were wonderful, incredible; and it is in this deeper sense of the 
word that Gratiano employs it here. 

239. In the punctuation of this line the Ff are followed by the Globe, Hudson, Rolfe, 
White ii. All other editions substantially follow Rowe in separating the first clause : 
< I think upon't — ^I think — I smell't — O villainy ! ' except Staunton, whose punctua- 
tion seems, to me, the best : < I think upon't^ — ^I think I smell't; — O, villainy I — * — Ed. 

240. then] Steevens : That is, at the instant when she gave Desdemona's hand- 
kerchief to lago ; for even then Emilia appears to have suspected it was sought after 


villany ! villany ! 241 
lago. What, are you mad ? 

1 charge you get you home. 

Etnil. Good Gentlemen, let me haue leaue to fpeake : 
'Tis proper I obey him ; but not now : 245 

Perchance lago^ I will ne're go home. 

0th. Oh, oh, oh. 

Emil. Nay, lay thee downe, and roare : 
For thou haft kill'd the fweeteft innocent. 
That ere did lift vp eye. 250 

0th, Oh ftie was fowle / 
I fcarfe did know you Vnkle, there lies your Neece, 
Whofe breath (indeed) thefe hands haue newly ftopp'd : 
I know this a£le fhewes horrible and grim. 

Gra. Poore Desdemon : 255 

242, 243. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 251. [Rising. Theob. 

246. Perchance] Perhaps Q^Qj. 254. horrible'] terrible Qq, Coll. Wh. i. 

247. Oh, oh, oh,] Oh I oh! oh! oh ! Cap. 255, 256. One line, Qq, Rowe et seq. 
Steev.'93, Ktly. 255. Dcfdemon] F^ Knt, Dyce, Sta. 

[Oth. fals on the bed. Qq. (falls Del. Huds. Desdemone Cap. Defdemona 
Q.Q3)- QqF^F, et cet. 

for no honest purpose, and there asks her husband : ' What will you do with it ? ' &c., 
Ill, iii, 366. CowDEN-CiARKE : In allusion to her suspicions at IV, ii, 154; she seems 
to be about to say, < I thought then that there was villainy going on, but little thought 
my husband was the author.' The very thought that lago could be capable of such 
villainy, causes her to interrupt her half-uttered sentence with * I'll kill myself for 
grief.* RoLFE agrees with Cowden-Qarke. 

246. I will] Abbott, $319 : Some passages which are quoted to prove that Shake- 
speare used will with the first person without implying wish, desire, &c., do not warrant 

such an inference [see Ham, V, ii, 167] There is a difficulty in the expression 

'perchance I wiW: but, from its constant recurrence, it would seem to be a regular 
idiom. Compare this passage in Othello with Com, of Err. IV, i, 39 ; « Perchance I 
will be there as soon as you,* and Mer, of Ven, II, v, 52 : * Perhaps I will return imme- 
diately.' In all these passages * perchance ' precedes, and the meaning seems to be in 
the last example, for instance : ' My purpose may, perhaps, be fulfilled,' and ' my pur- 
pose is to return immediately,' or, in other words, < If possible, I intend to return imme- 
diately.' In all these cases the ' perhaps ' stands by itself. It does not qualify will, 
iiut the whole of the following sentence. 

247. Booth : lago gloats over this quietly. Emilia sits on divan, c. 

252. Vnkle] Booth : Gratiano falls into a seat near the bed, soon after his entrance, 
when he discovers his niece dead. 

255. Desdemon] See III, i, 58. Deuus : Gratiano appears to have come to Cyprus 
K) bring to Desdemona the news of her Father's death. [In that < the gentle lady ' never 
knew of her Father's death, is the one tiny glimmering ray of comfort in this blackness. 

Acrv.scu.] THE MOORE OF VENICE 317 

I am glad thy Father's dead, 256 

Thy Match was mortall to him : and pure greefe 

Shore his old thred in twaine. Did he Hue now, 

This fight would make him do a defperate turne : 

Yea, curfe his better Angell from his fide, 260 

And fall to Reprobance. 

Otiu 'Tis pittifuU : but yet lago knowes 
That fhe with CaJJio, hath the A61 of fhame, 
A thoufand times committed. Caffio confefl it, 
And fhe did gratifie his amorous workes 265 

With that Recognizance and pledge of Loue 
Which I firft gaue her : I faw it in his hand : 
It was a Handkerchiefe, an Antique Token 
My Father gaue my Mother. 269 

256. /urn] Fm Pope + , Dycc iii, Huds. 266. that ] the Q,. 

258. in twain/] atwaine Q,. 267. gaue her] gave Pope, Hol. 

261. Reprobance] Ff, Cap. Knt, Dycc, 268. a] an Popc+, Steev.'Ss. 

Wh. i, Del. Huds. Rife, reprobation Qq 268, 280. Handkerchiefe] handkerchet 
et cet. Q,. 

263. hath] had Q,Qj, Theob. Warb. 268. Antique] Antick FjF^, Rowc. 

260. side] Malonb : So in Sonn, 144 : < My female evil Tempteth my better angel 
from my side.' 

261. Reprobance] In his Article on 'the instance of eiror in the beginning or 
earlier paits of words, Walker (Crit. ii, 241) says : < By the way, tenninations in ance 
for atiim are not infrequent.' He then gives five or six instances in addition to the 
present. His Editor, Lettsom, in a foot-note, says : ' So we have a little above " iter- 
ance," which is necessary for the metre. Collier reads iteration and reprobation with 
the Qq, because there is no authority for the other forms. That is the very reason why 
they were corrupted in the Qq.* 

262. Booth : lago, who has turned aside, now faces them as all look towards him. 

264. thousand] Pye (p. 342) : This is merely hyperbolical, and is used every day 
by impatient men in common speech for five or six. Cowden-Clarke : Merely an 
indefinite number ; used here to convey the effect of long time. See ' a hundred times,' 
ni, iii, 339. 

265. gratifie] Walker {Crit. iii, 291) : That is, express her gratitude for, recompense. 
269. Mother] Steevens : In IH, iv, 69, Othello says that * an Egyptian ' gave this 

handkerchief to his Mother ; and here he says it was his Father. This has been cen- 
sured as an oversight in Shakespeare, but perhaps it is only a fipesh proof of his art. The 
first account of the handkerchief, as given by Othello, was purposely ostentatious, in 
order to alarm his wife the mo^e. When he mentions it a second time, the truth was 
sufficient for his pturpose. Cowden-Clarke : Even this slight deviation from truth 
works its own retribution. Had not Othello over-excited Desdemona's fears by his 
description of the handkerchief, she might not have been led to prevaricate and into 


Emil. Oh Heauen ! oh heauenly Powres ! 270 

lago. Come, hold your peace. 

Emil. 'Twill out, 'twill out I peace ? 
No; I will fpeake as liberall as the North ; 
Let Heauen, and Men, and Diuels, let them all. 
All, all, crie fhame againft me, yet He fpeake. 275 

lago. Be wife, and get you home. 

Emil. I will not 

Gra, Fye, your Sword vpon a Woman. 

Emil. Oh thou dull Moore, 
That Handkerchiefe thou fpeak'fl of 280 

I found by Fortune, and did giue my Husband : 
For often, with a folemne earneftneffe, 
(More then indeed belongr'd to fuch a Trifle) 
He begg'd of me, to fteale't 

lago. Villanous Whore. 285 

Emil. She giue it CaJJiol No, alas I found it. 
And I did giu't my Husband. 

lago. Filth, thou lyeft. 288 

270. Oh.„Pcwres] O God, O keauenly 273. North /] ayre Q„ Pope, Theob. 
GodQ^ Sta. Han. Warb. Cap. Jen. Mai. Steev. Var. 

271. Qmu] Zouns Q,, Sta. Sing. Ktly. wind Coll. (MS). 

272. 'Twill out, 'twiU out.'\ FfQ^Q^, 274. tA^m] em Qq, Jen. 

Cam. 'Twin Ota, *tunll:(l^, * Twill out, 277. [Jago ofiers to sUb his wife. Rowe. 

^tnrill out — Rowe+, Jen. * Twill out, 278. Jye^ As closing line 277, Cap. 

'iwill out/SiBL Huds. ' T^ill out, * twill Steev. et seq. 

out; — Cap. et cet. 279, 280. One line, Qq, Pope et seq. 

/peace f\ Ff,Cap. /peace /Ikowt, 280. of^ on, Qq, Jen. 

P6pe, Theob. Han. Dyce, Wh. Glo. Cam. 284. y?M/f*/] F.Fj, Sing. Ktly, Su. 

Huds. Rife. /, peace I Warb. /hold my fteaU it QqF^ et cet. 

peace fir, no, Qq, Johns, et cet. 286. giue'\ gout Qq, Johns. 

273. No'\ Om. Qq, Jen. Sing. Ktly. No, alas\ Alas F^F^, Rowe + . 
/will fpeake as\ /le be in/peaking, found'\ find Q,. 

Qq, Jen. Sing. Ktly. 287. ^/] give it Steev.*85, Mai. 

271. Booth : lago had not thought of her betraying him, and now starts and trem- 
bles violently. 

273. North] Compare Cymb, I, iii, 36 : < the tyrannous breathing of the north Shakes 

all our buds from growing.' Also ^. of L, 1335 : ' hie as fast As lagging fowls 

before the northern blast.' It was the wind which, it seems to me, symbolized masterful 
rudeness. Steevens cites from Webster's White Devil [p. 92, ed. Dyce] : < And let th' 
irregular north wind sweep her up,' which does not help us much. — Ed. 

281. by Fortune] Morel : Cf. la locution fran^aise : ' Comme elle ces mots 
I Le loup, de fortune, passe.' — La Fontaine. 

288. Filth] Dyce {Few Notes, p. Z49) : Here lago uses a term synonymous with 
the word he has just P{^ed to her. Compare Greene's Notable Discouery of Coosnage, 


Enul. By Heauen I do not, I do not Gentlemen : 
Oh murd'rous Coxcombe^ what fhould fuch a Foole 290 

Do with fo good a wife ? 

Oih. Are there no ftones in Heauen, 
But what ferues for the Thunder? 
Precious Villaine. 

Gra. The woman falles : ' 295 

Sure he hath kill'd his Wife. 

Emil. I, I : oh lay me by my Miftris fide. 

Gra. Hee's gone, but his wife's kill'd. 
' Mon. 'Tis a notorious Villain : take you this weapon 299 

29a [To Oth. Cap. 393. £tit...for] For what then serves 

391. wife'] woman Qq» Coll. i, ii, Glo. Waib. 
Wh. iL /en$es] QqF,F^ Cap. ferve F^ d 

[The Moore mnnes at iSiQ^. logo cet 
Idls his wife. Qq. Jago breaks through, 294. Preeiousi pretious Q^. pemitiaus 

and woimds his W}£^ then runs out. Rowe. Q^Q,* 

Oth. offers to stab lago but is disarmed by 295, 296. One line, Qq^ Rowe et seq. 

Mont Dyce. 297. [Exit lago. Qq. 

293, 294. One line, Qq^ Rowe et seq. 299. y(m this] your Qq. this Pope+ 


&c., 1592 [p. 44, ed. Grosart] : <To him will some common filth (that neuer knew 
loue) £une an ardent and honest affection.' Haluwell : * ^th,' iapplied to man or 
woman, was a term implying the greatest possible degree of contempt 

291. wife] Dyce {Remarhs, p. 243) : It is absolutely necessary to adopt here the 
reading of the Folio. 

292, 293. Warburton: Without question Shakespeare wrote and pointed thus: 
< Are there no stones in heaven? For what then serves the thunder?* i. e. are there 
no bolts in heaven for this villain ? for what purpose then serves the thunder, that 
instrument of vengeance ? [Kean adopted this emendation; see Wood's Personal Rec' 
oUections, &c., p. 264. — ^Ed.] Steevens: Othello does not demand a thunder-bolt for 
lago. He only asks, if there are no lesser degrees of chastisement more proportioned 
to the guilt of mortals, ready to drop down on such villains as lago, though Onmipo- 
tence withholds its thunder as too noble an instrument for the punishment of crimes 
like his ? Shakespeare might, however, mean. Does heaven reserve its thunder only to 
make a noise ? has it no implements of mischief to punish as well as terrify ? Malone: 
Has not heaven one supernumerary bolt, to hurl directly at the head of this atrocious 
villain ? Must all the stores of its arsenal be reserved for common and ordinaiy thunder? 

294. Precious] Collier : Pemitious of the Qq does not suit the measure. Dyce 
(ed. iii) : '" Precious villain " b more in the style of Qoten than of Othello : qu. Per- 
nicious with Q,. This could scarcely have crept in from <* pernicious caitiff" 80 lines 
below. Collier's metrical objection is ** naught'' See Walker, Vers., &c., Art ix.'«- 
Lettsom. [I have failed to find this passage in Walker; it certainly b not in Art. be 
I therefore give it on Lettsom's authority. — £d.] 

299. notorious] See IV, ii, 167. Rolfe : lago was not a notorious villain in its 
OKKlem sense ; his villainy had but just then become known. 


Which I haue recouer'd from the Moore : 3CX) 

Come guard the doore without, let him not pafle, 

But kill him rather. He after that fame villaine, 

For 'tis a damned Slaue. ExiL 

0th. I am not valiant neither : [338 a\ 

But euery Punie whipfter gets my Sword. 305 

But why fhould Honor out-liue Honefty ? 
Let it go all. 

jEmil. What did thy Song boad Lady ? 
Hearke, canft thou heare me f I will play the Swan, 
And dye in Muficke : Wiilough, Willoughy Willough. 310 

Moore, ftie was chafle : She lou'd thee, cruell Moore, 
So come my Soule to blifle, as I fpeake true : 
So fpeaking as I thinke, alas, I dye. 

0th. I haue another weapon in this Chamber, 3 14 

300. haue recouef^d'\ haue here re- Scene IX. Pope +, Jen. 

eouered Qq. recover' d have here Pope i. 308-310. ff^>ia/...Willough] Om. Q^. 

have here reccvet'd Pope ii et seq. 310. [Singing. Dyce. 

301. Come guard^ Some guard Thex^, 313. aias, I ^y^-^ Ff, Rowe+» Knt, 
oonj. (withdrawn). Wh. i. Idie^ I die. Qq et cet 

303. Exit.] Esdt Mont, and Gratiano, [She dies. Qq. 

Qq. Exit Montane. Knt. 

303. Slaue] See IV, it, 156. 

305. Punie] Booth : Can we infer from this that Othello was a large man ? Yet, 
further on he speaks of his ' little arm.' The Moors, I believe, are usually slight of 
build and wiry. [I think it is more an expression of contempt in both cases, without 
any reference to physical size. Is the contemptuous inferiority implied in 'whipster' 
due to a survival of the feeling of feminine weakness involved in the feminine termina- 
tion ?— Ed.] 

306. Honor . • . Honesty] Walker (Crit, i, 22) suggests that * Honor ' belongs 
to birth, dignity, grace of mind or person, while 'Honesty' is equivalent to virtue, 
and cites Wint, Tale^ II, i, 66: 'She is a goodly lady .... 'Tis pity she's not 
honest-honourable ' (the hyphen is Walker's), i. e., honourable with honesty. Also 
Hen, Vni: I» i, 39 : ' As I belong to worship, and affect In honour honesty.' ' Each 
of these vrords, by the way,' adds Walker, ' " honour " and " honesty," was, at times, 
used in both meanings.' 

309. Swan] Steevens : Compare, for the same thought : Mer. of Ven. Ill, ii, 44, 
and *^ingJohn, V, vii, 21. Rolfe adds < And now this pole swan in her watery nest 
Begins the sad dirge of her certain ending,' — R, of L, 161 1; and 'death-divining 
swan.' — Phcen, 6r* Turt, 15. Douce (i, 262), in a note on the passage from Mer. of 
Ven,, cited by Steevens, proves the antiquity, from Plato to Luther, of the belief in the 
swan's dying song. 

ACT V. sc. ii.] 


It was a Sword of Spaine^ the Ice brookes temper : 
Oh heere it is : Vnkle I muft come forth. 

Gra. If thou attempt it, it will coft thee deere ; 
Thou haft no weapon, and perforce muft fufTer. 

0th. Looke in vpon me then, and fpeake with me, 
Or naked as I am I will aHault thee. 

Gra. What is the matter? 

OtheL Behold, I haue a weapon : 
A better neuer did it felfe fuftaine 
Vpon a Soldiers Thigh. I haue feene the day. 
That with this little Arme, and this good Sword, 
I haue made my way through more impediments 
Then twenty times your ftop. But (oh vaine boaft) 
Who can controU his Fate ? 'Tis not fo now. 
Be not afTraid, though you do fee me weaponM : 
Heere is my iournies end, heere is my butt 
And verie Sea-marke of my vtmoft Saile. 
Do you go backe difmaid? 'Tis a loft feare : 






315. It was\ Ff, Rowe+» Cap. // is 
Qq et cet. 

the Ice brookes\ the Ifehrookes Qq« 
the Ice broohs F^F^. the Ebrtfs Pope, 
Theob. Han. Warb. Cap. 

temper :'\ temper; — Cap. temper, 
— CoU. 

316,317.^^^. Gol,"] firth. C7rtf.wilh- 
n. Gnu Qq. firth, Gra. [within] Pope. 
forth, Gra. [without] Sta. 

319. with me] to me Qq, Coll. 

320. [Re-enter Gnu Theob. 
322. Behold] Lol Pope+. 
324. / hatu] Pve Pope+, Dyoe iii, 

326. I haue made] I made Pope, Han. 
Pve made Theob. Waib. Johns. Dycc iii, 

327. your ftop] you ftop Q,F,F^. 
329-335- Om. Q,. 

331. And verie] The very Q,Qy 
Theob. Warb. Johns. Jen. Steev.'Ss. 

315. Ice brookes] Johnson : Steel is hardened by being put red-hot into very cold 
water. Steevens identifies the ' ice brook ' with the river called Salo (now Xalon), 
near Bilbilis, by citations from Martial \Epig, IV, Iv, 15, and I, xlix, 12] and Justin, 1, 
44. Pope's needless change was thus justified by Blackstone : I incline to read < 'ASr 
ebroes temper.' If we suppose that the words, ^tis ebroa, were huddled together, either 
in transcribing or composing, thus, *tisebroes, the compositor, in running it over with his 
eye, might (to make it sense, as he thought) add a couple of letters, and divide the 
words thus : ih^isebroies, which is nearly as it stands in the old Qto. I doubt whether 
< ice-brooks ' are usual in the climate of Spain. Malone : How this fact may be, I 
know not ; and I am confident Shakespeare did not inquire. 

320. naked] White (ed. ii) : That is, weaponless, as Gratiano supposes him. 

327. stop] Steevens : So in Cor. I, i, 72 : * cracking ten thousand curbs Of more 
strong link asunder, than can ever Appear in your impediment.' 

328. Fate] The echo of Desdemona's < It is my wretched Fortune.' — ^Ed. 




Man but a Rufli againft Othell(fs breft^ 

And he retires. Where ftiould Othello go ? 

Now : how doft thou looke now? Oh ill-Starr'd wench, 

Pale as thy Smocke : when we (hall meete at compt, 

This looke of thine will hurle my Soule from Heauen, 

And Fiends will fnatch at it. Cold, cold, my Girle ? 

Euen like thy Chaflity. O curfed, curfed Slaue ! 

Whip me ye Diuels, 

From the poHefnon of this Heauenly fight : 

Blow me about in windes, roaft me in Sulphure, 

Wafti me in fteepe-downe gulfes of Liquid fire. 

Oh Defdemon ! dead Defdemon : dead. Oh, oh ! 





335. Ncw:kow\Yi, ffawCij:^^. Now 
— 4<wr Rowe+9 Jen. New, hiw Cap. et 

336. cifmpt'\ count Q,. Uount Jen. 
339, 340. Three lines, Rife. 0,„Diuels 
one line, Cap. Steev. Mai. Var. Knt 

339. curfed^ curfed'\ cur/ed Qq, 
Ptope+, Jen. Coll. Glo. Cam. Wh. ii. 

340. ye\ you Qq. 

342. roaJf\ and roaft F^F^, Rowe. 

343. fteepe'downe\fteepe doume Qq. 
gulfes\ Gu/fRowt ii. 

344. OA,.,oJkf] Knt O DesdemonI 
dtod^ Deidemon / dead! 0,0!S\3^ Huds. 
O Defdemona, Defdemoua, tlead, 0, 0, 0. 
Q,. O Defdemona, Defdemona; dead, O, 
o, o, QaQ.* OA Desdemona, Desdemona ! 
dead I oh, oh, oh I Jen. O Desdemona ! 

Desdemona! dead? 0,0,0! Coll. O 
Desdemona ! Desdemona ! dead! \ Oh ! 
Oh! Oh! Glo. Cam. Rife, Wh. U. Oh 
Defdemon ! dead Defdemon : dead. dead. 
Oh, oh ! F,. Oh Defdemona ! dead Dcf 
^tmon^Li dead, tlead. Oh,oh!Y^. OhY^ti- 
demona ! De<sd, Defdemona : Dead, dead. 
Oh, oh