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Act iii. sc. 4.
“Edg. Child Rowland to the dark tower came, His word was still — Fie, foh, and fum,
I smell the blood of a British man.”
Of the ballad here cited (and probably with some variation from the original) fragments of a Scottish version have been preserved by Jamieson in Illustr. of Northern Antiquities, &c. 4to, 1814. He gives (p. 402); .
“ With fi, fi, fo, and fum!
I smell the blood of a Christian man!
I'll clash his harns frae his harn-pan,"
(i.e. I'll knock his brains out of his skull). Child Rowland, it appears, was the youngest son of King Arthur.
Act i. sc. 3.
“I therefore beg it not, To please the palate of my appetite; Nor to comply with heat, the young affects In my defunct and proper satisfaction ; But to be free and bounteous to her mind : And heaven defend your good souls, that you think I will your serious and great business scant, When [Qtos For] she is with me. No, when light-wing’d toys. Of feather'd Cupid seel [Qtos foil] with wanton dulness My speculative and offic'd instrument [Qtos active instru
“We subjoin,” says Mr. Collier, “the representation of the text as made by the corrector of the folio, 1632:
'I therefore beg it not,
In the third line it seems that heat' got transposed, while
of was omitted; in the fourth line, me was misprinted 'my;' and in the sixth line, counsels became 'good souls,' terms Othello would hardly apply to the Duke and Senators of Venice. Foil, in the ninth line, agrees with the quartos, where instruments is also in the plural.” Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 451.
One cannot but regret to see Mr. Collier labouring to account for an imaginary error in the old copies,—“.heat’ got transposed, while of was omitted.” The error lies wholly with the Manuscript-corrector, whose emendation,
“Nor to comply wi' the young effects of heat,”
is not only very violent, but altogether objectionable. In the opening of this speech no alteration whatever is required, except that of a single letter,—the change of “my” to “me” (which was made by Upton);
“Nor to comply with heat (the young affects
In me defunct) and proper satisfaction.”
“ Affects," says Johnson, (whose explanation is termed “ rational and unforced” by Gifford, Massinger's Works, ii. 30, ed. 1813) “ stands here not for love, but for passions, for that by which any thing 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 myself,' but merely that I may indulge the wishes of my wife.”—“ Young affects” (writes Gifford, ubi supra) are therefore perfectly synonymous with youthful 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 communicated for the edification of the rising generation.”
With respect to the other emendation of the Manuscript-corrector, “counsels” for “good souls,” I would advise an editor of Shakespeare to weigh it well before he adopts it. What is the meaning of “Heaven defend your counsels” ? (If “defend” be equivalent here, as Steevens supposes, to forbid, the alteration must be decidedly wrong.)
Act iii. sc. 3.
“ Ajetter un oiseau. To cast, or whistle off, a hawke ; to let her goe, let her flie.” Cotgrave's Dict.
Act v. sc. 1.
Filth, thou liest.”
Here, when Iago calls his wife " filth,” he uses a term synonymous with the word he has just applied to her. Compare Greene's Notable Discouery of Coosnage, &c. 1592 ; “ To him will some common filth (that neuer knew loue) faine an ardent and honest affection.” Sig. c 4.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
Act i. sc. 2.
Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
So all editions,—with a flagrant error.
It would be impossible, I presume, to point out, in any old writer, an instance of “ How now!” used as the exclamation of a person summoning another into his presence. Here the right reading is indubitably,–
I have already shewn* that “ho” was very frequently spelt “ how :" and the probability is, that in the present passage the author's manuscript had "how ;" to which either some transcriber or the original compositor, who did not understand what was meant, added "now" (making the line over-measure).
Act i. sc. 5.
“So he nodded,
* See p. 56.