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'My fpeech fhould fall into fuch vile fuccefs

As my thoughts aim not at. Caffio's my worthy friend :-

My lord, I fee you are mov'd.-

O:b. No, not much mov'd :

I do not think, but Defdemona's honcft.

Iago. Long live the fo! and long live you to think fo!

Oth. And yet, how nature erring from itself,Lago. Ay, there's the point: As, -to be bold with you,-

Not to affect many propofed matches,

Of our own clime, complexion, and degree;
Whereto, we fee, in all things nature tends:
Foh! one may fmell, in fuch, a will moft rank,
Foul difproportion, thoughts unnatural.

But pardon me; I do not in pofition,


My Speech would fall into fuch vile fuccefs,] Succefs, for succeffion, i. e. conclufion; not profperous iffue. WARBURTON. I rather think there is a depravation, and would read:

My fpeech will fall into fuch vile excels.

If fuccefs be the right word, it feems to mean confequence or event, as fucceffo is ufed in Italian. JOHNSON.

I think fuccef may, in this inftance, bear its common interpretation. What ago means, feems to be this: "Should you do fo, my lord, my words would be attended by fuch an infamous degree of fuccefs, as my thoughts do not even aim at." Iago, who countercits the feelings of virtue, might have faid fall into fuccefs, and vile fuccefs, because he would appear to Othello, to wifh that the enquiry into Deféemona's guilt might prove fruitiefs and unfuccefsful. STEVENS.

The following paffages will perhaps be confidered as proofs of Dr. Johnfon's explanation.

Palace of Pleafure, bl. 1.

"Then the poor defolate women, fearing leaft their cafe would forte to fome pitifull fucceffe,"

Promos and Caffandra, 1578:

"God forbyd all hys hope fhould turne to fuch fuccefe."


2-will most rank,] Will, is for wilfulnefs. It is fo ufed by Afcham. A rank will, is felf-will overgrown and exuberant.



Diftinctly speak of her though I may fear,
Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
May fall to match you with her country forms,
And (hapily) repeat.

Oth. Farewel, farewel :

If more thou dolt perceive, let me know more ;
Set on thy wife to obferve: Leave me,
Iago. My lord, I take my leave.


[Going. Oth. Why did I marry ?-This honeft creature,


Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds. Iago. My lord,-I would, I might entreat your



To fcan this thing no further; leave it to time:
And though it be fit that Caffio have his place,
(For, fure, he fills it up with great ability)
Yet, if you please to hold him off a while,
3 You fhall by that perceive him and his means:
Note, if your lady ftrain his entertainment
With any ftrong, or vehement importunity;
Much will be feen in that. In the mean time,
Let me be thought too bufy in my fears,
(As worthy caule I have, to fear-I am)
And hold her free, I do befeech your honour.
Oth. 5 Fear not my government.
Iago. I once more take my leave,

Oth. This fellow's of exceeding honesty,



And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit,

3 You shall by that perceive him, and his means,] You shall dif cover whether he thinks his best means, his most powerful intereft, is by the folicitation of your lady. JOHNSON.

4-prain his entertainment] Prefs hard his re-admiffion to his pay and office. Entertainment was the military term for admiflion of foldiers. JOHNSON.

5 Fear not my government.] Do not diftruft my ability to contain my paffion. JOHNSON.

with a learned fpirit,] Learned, for experienced.


The conftruction is, He knows with a learned spirit all qualities of human dealings. JOHNSON,




Of human dealings: If I do prove her haggard, Though that her jeffes were my dear heart-strings, I'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind,


7- If I do prove her haggard,] A baggard hawk, is a wild hawk, a hawk unreclaimed, or irreclaimable. JOHNSON.

A baggard is a particular fpecies of hawk. It is difficult to be reclaimed, but not irreclaimable.

From a paffage in Vittoria Corombona, it appears that haggard was a term of reproach fometimes applied to a wanton : "Is this your perch, you haggard? fly to the stews."

Turbervile fays, that "the baggart falcons are the most excellent birds of all other falcons." Latham gives to the baggart only the fecond place in the valued file. In Holland's Leaguer, a comedy, by Shakerly Marmyon, 1633, is the following illustrative paffage :


"Before thefe courtiers lick their lips at her,
"I'll trust a wanton baggard in the wind."

"For fhe is ticklish as any baggard,

"And quickly loft."

Again, in Two Wife Men, and all the Reft Fools, 1619 "the admirable conqueft the faulconer maketh in a hawk's nature; bringing the wild baggard having all the earth and feas to fcour over un controulably, to attend and obey, &c." Haggard, however, had a popular fenfe, and was ufed for wild by thofe who thought not on the language of falconers. STEEVENS.

8Though that her jeffes were my dear heart-firings,] Jules are fhort ftraps of leather tied about the foot of a hawk, by which fhe is held on the fift. HANMER.

In Heywood's comedy, called A Woman killed with Kindness, 1617, a number of thefe terms relative to hawking occur together:

"Now fhe hath feiz'd the fowl, and 'gins to plume her;
"Rebeck her not; rather stand still and check her.
"So: feize her gets, her jefes, and her bells.'

I'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind



To prey at fortune.-] The falconers always let fly the hawk against the wind; if the flies with the wind behind her, the feldom If therefore a hawk was for any reafon to be difmiffed, fhe was let down the wind, and from that time shifted for herself, and preyed at fortune. This was told me by the late Mr. Clark, JOHNSON. I'll while her off, &c.] This paffage may poffibly receive illustration from a fimilar one in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy,

P. 2.



Το prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black;
And have not thofe foft parts of converfation
That chamberers have: Or, for I am declin'd
Into the vale of years;—yet that's not much ;-
She's gone; I am abus'd; and my relief

Muft be-to loath her. O curfe of marriage,
That we can call thefe delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,
That keep a corner in the thing I love,
For others' ufes. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones;
Prerogativ'd are they lefs than the bafe:
'Tis deftiny unfhunnable, like death;
Even then this forked plague is fated to us,


p. 2. fect 1. mem. 3. "As a long-winged hawke, when he is "first whifled off the fift, mounts aloft, and for his pleasure fetch"eth many a circuit in the ayre, ftill foaring higher and higher, "till he comes to his full pitch, and in the end, when the game. "is fprung, comes down amaine, and floupes upon a fudden."


Again, in The Spanish Gipfie, 1653, by Middleton and Rowley: That young lannerd,


"Whom you have fuch a mind to; if you can shiftle her "To co me to fift, make trial, play the young falconer.' A lannerd is a fpecies of hawk. Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Bonduca:

he that bafely

"Whiffled his honour off to the wind, &c." STEEVENS. Chamberers] i. e. men of intrigue. So, in the Countess of Pembroke's Antonius, 1590%

"Fal'n from a fouldier to a chamberer."

Again, in Chaucer's Romaunt of the Rofe, ver. 4935: "Only through youth the chamberere."

Thus, in the French poem:


"Par la jeuneffe la chamberiere." STEEVENS. -forked plague-] In allufion to a barbed or forked arrow which, once infixed, cannot be extracted. JOHNSON.

Or rather, the forked plague is the cuckold's horns. PARCY. Dr. Johnfon's may be right. I meet with the fame thought in Middleton's comedy of A Mad World my Mafters, 1608:

"While the broad arrow, with the forked head,
"Miffes his brows but narrowly."


When we do quicken. Defdemona comes 3:

Enter Defdemona, and Emilia.

If the be falfe, O, then heaven mocks itfelf!-
I'll not believe it.

Def. How now, my dear Othello?

Your dinner, and the generous iflanders 4
By you invited, do attend your prefence.
Oth. I am to blame.

Def. Why is your fpeech fo faint? are you not well? Oth. I have a pain upon my forehead here. Def.Why, that's with watching; 'twill away again: Let me but bind it hard, within this hour

It will be well.

Oth. Your napkin is too little;

[S. drops bar handkerchief. Let it alone. Come, I'll go in with you. Def. I am very forry that you are not well.

[Exeunt Defd. and Oth. Emil. I am glad, I have found this napkin ; This was her firft remembrance from the Moor:

Again, in King Lear:

"though the fork invade

"The region of my heart.

Mr. Malone fupports the explanation of Dr. Percy, by the fullowing paffage in Machin's Dumb Knight, 1633:

Women, why were you made for man's affliction ?

"You devils, hap'd like angels, through whofe deeds
"Our forked hames are made moft vifible."

Again, from Tarlton's Nevees out of Purgatorie: "-dub the old
Squire Knight of the forked order." STEEVENS.

3 Desdemona comes :] Thus the quartos. The folio reads: Look where he comes. STEEVENS.

4the generous iflanders] Are the iflanders of rank, diftinction. So, in Meafure for Measure:

"The generous and graveft citizens

"Have hent the gates.

Generous has here the power of generofus, Lat. This explanation, however, may be too particular. STEEVENS. • Your napkin, &c.] See vol. iii. p. 394



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