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Duke of Venice.
DESDEMONA, Daughter to Brabantio, and Wife to Othello.
Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Musicians, Sailors,
SCENE, for the first Act, in Venice; during the rest of the
Play, at a Sea-Port in Cyprus.
1 An incomplete list of " The names of the Actors" is inserted at the end of the tragedy in the folio, 1623. In the corr. fo. 1632 some descriptive particulars are added in MS.; the only one of importance being, that Bianca is there called not merely “a courtesan,” but “a courtesan of Venice," which may be said to settle the dispute between Tyrwhitt, Henley, Steevens, Malone, &c., whether Bianca had, or had not, followed Cassio from Italy to Cyprus.
THE MOOR OF VENICE.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Venice. A Street.
Enter RODERIGO and Iago.
Rod. Tush! never tell me', I take it much unkindly,
will not hear me: If ever I did dream of such a matter, abhor me.
Rod. Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.
Iago. Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones of the city, In personal suit to make me his lieutenant, Oft capp'd to him’; and, by the faith of man, I know my price; I am worth no worse a place : But he, as loving his own pride and purposes, Evades them, with a bombast circumstance, Horribly stuff'd with epithets of war; And, in conclusion", Nonsuits my mediators; “For certes,” says he, “I have already chose my officer.” And what was he? Forsooth, a great arithmetician, One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
| Tush! never tell me,] The folio, 1623, omits the interjection, " Tush,” as well as “ 'Sblood” three lines lower down.
? OFT capp'd to him ;) So the 4tos : the folio, “ Off capp'd to him.”
3 And, in conclusion,] These words, which no doubt were Shakespeare's, are omitted in the folio, 1623. We regulate the lines as in the 4to, 1622: the 4to, 1630, is like the folio in this respect.
A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife;
Rod. By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.
Iago. But there's no remedy: 'tis the curse of service,
I would not follow him, then.
* A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife;] It appears by a subsequent part of the play (A. iv. sc. I) that the belief was that Cassio was about to be married to Bianca. This line has occasioned a good deal of controversy, and various conjectures have been hazarded : Tyrwhitt would read life for “wife;" but the text is most likely right.
unless the bookish THEORIC, Wherein the toGUED consuls] “Theoric” is the same as theory, and the word was not uncommonly so used. The folio misprints "toged" of the 4to, 1622, tongued, as in “ Coriolanus,” Vol. iv. p. 647, it had misprinted “togue,' tongue. “Togued,” of course, refers to the toga, or robe, which the consuls, or councillors, of Venice officially wore.
6 And I, (God bless the mark !) his MOORSHIP's ancient.] The Master of the Revels having perhaps objected to the exclamation, “God bless the mark !” the line was left imperfect in the folio, where it stands, “And I (bless the mark) has Moorship’s ancient.” The 4to, 1630, interpolated “Sir," to complete the measure : the 4to, 1622, has “(God bless the mark !)" but misprints “Moorship's,” Worship’s.
7 Preferment goes by LETTER, and affection,] “Letter" is erased in the corr. fo. 1632, and favour substituted in the margin ; but inasmuch as "letter" affords a distinct sense, we continue the old text.
- am affin'd] The 4to, 1622, has assign'd. For “affin'd,” (the reading of the folio, and of the 4to, 1630) see “Troilus and Cressida," A. i. sc. 3, Vol. iv. p. 494, where it means joined by affinity. See also this play, A. ii. sc. 3.
Cannot be truly follow’d. You shall mark
Rod. What a full fortune' does the thick-lips owe,
Call up her father;
o Who, TRIMM'd in forms and visages of duty,] We do not here alter the lection of the old copies, but we may remark that in the corr. fo. 1632 the line is amended as follows:
“ Who learn'd in forms and usages of duty." In “Troilus and Cressida,” A. iv. sc. 4, Vol. iv. p. 558, visage is misprinted for "usage." If alteration were necessary, we might be disposed to read,
“Who train'd in forms and usages of duty;" but on the whole we consider change inexpedient, since the meaning of the poet is transparent, and he may have intended " visages,” here, as the antithesis to "hearts," in the next line.
· For Daws to peck at.] So the folio : the 4to, doves : the 4to, 1630, like the folio, has "daws."
2 What a Full fortune] The folio misprints “full,” fall; but both the 4tos. read “full," and in “Cymbeline,” A. v. sc. 4, we have the expression "full fortune," and in " Antony and Cleopatra," A. iv. sc. 13, “ full fortun'd.”
Yet throw such changes of vexation on't,
Rod. Here is her father's house : I'll call aloud.
Iago. Do; with like timorous accent", and dire yell,
Rod. What ho! Brabantio ! signior Brabantio, ho !
Enter BRABANTIO, above at a window.
Rod. Signior, is all your family within ?
Why? wherefore ask you this? Iago. 'Zounds, sir! you are robb’d; for shame, put on your
Bra. What! have you lost your wits?
The worse welcome :
3 Yet throw such CHANGES) The folio has chances, the 4tos, 1622 and 1630
changes,” which in all probability is the true reading; and in the corr. fo. 1632 chances is altered to “changes."
- with like TIMOROUS accent,] Here we have little doubt that clamorous (the word in the corr. fo. 1632) was the language of Shakespeare; but he may, nevertheless, have used "timorous,” in reference to the terror produced by the outbreak of fire : “clamorous accent, and dire yell” seem to agree much better together, than " timorous accent, and dire yell.”
• Are your doors lock’d?] The 4to, 1630, is like the folio here: the 4to, 1622, reads, “ Are all doore lockts ?" and not, as Steevens incorrectly states, “ Are all doors lock'd?"
6 The WORSE welcome:] In the folio only, “The worser welcome.”