0 F F E N C E S.

That I have ta’en away this old man's daughter,
It is niost true; true, I have married her;
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more. Othello, A. 1, S. 3.
If my offence be of such mortal kind,
That, neither service past, nor present sorrows,
Nor purpos'd merit in futurity,
Can ransom me into his love again,
But to know so must be my benefit ;
So shall I clothe me in a forc'd content,
And shut myself up in some other course',
To fortune's alms.

Othello, A. 3, S. 4. Who is here so base, that would be a bond-man? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so rude, that would not be a Roman? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Who is here so vile, that will not love his country? If any, speak; for him have I offended. Julius Cæsar, A. 3, S. 2. King of England shalt thou be proclaim'd In every borough as we pass along; And he, that cafts not up


for joy, Shall for the offence make forfeit of his head.

Henry VI. P. 3, A. 2, S. 1.

And shoot myself up in some other course.],

The quarto 1630, and the folio read,

“ And shut myself up." I cannot help thinking this reading the true one. The idea seems taken from the confinement of a monastic life.

STEEVENS. I think the quarto right which reads shoot, instead of Jhut. To say that a man will shut himself up in a course of life, is language such as Shakespeare would never make use of, even in his most whimsical or licentious moments.

MONCK MASON. I think the poet may have written,

" And shape myself upon some other course." To shape one's course, is a very common expression, and is used ky Shakespeare elsewhere.

A. B.


The nature of his great offence is dead,
And deeper than oblivion we do bury
The incensing relicks of it.

All's well that ends well, A. 5, S. My life, fir, in any case: not that I am afraid to die; but that, my offences being many, I would repent out the remainder of nature : let me live, fir, in a dungeon, i' the stocks, or any where, so I may live.

All's well that ends well, A. 4, S. 3. This is most strange! that she should in this time Commit a thing fo monstrous, to dismantle So many folds of favour! sure, her offence Must be of such unnatural degree, That monsters it, for your fore-vouch'd affection Fall into taint?.

Lear, A. I, S. 1.

I am


"That monsters it.] This uncommon verb occurs again in Coriolanus.

“To hear my nothings monster’d," STEEYENS. “ Monsters it” should, I think, be masters it;, and I am the more inclined to this opinion, as monstrous occurs a line or two before. I read the passage thus :

that she should
“Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle

many folds of favour! sure, her offence
“ Muft be of most unnatural degree,

“ That masters it." “ That masters it,i. e. that masters your favour or kindness. If we do not admit this reading, where is the antecedent to it?

A. B. r. your fore-vouch'd affe&tion Fall into taint.) Such is the reading of the folio. The common books read, _“fall’n into taint.” Or, fignifies before, and or ever, is, before ever; the meaning of the folio may

therefore be, fure ber crime must be monstrous before your affection can be affected with hatred.

Johnson. I believe the reading of the first quarto,

for vouch'd affection " Fall'n into taint,” to be the true one. In support of the reading of the quarto, in preference to that of the folio, it should be observed, that Lear had not vouch'd, had not made any particular declaration of his




or you

I am myself indifferent honest; but yet I could accuse me of such things, that it were better, my mother had not borne me: I am very proud, revengeful, ambitious; with more offences at my beck, than I have thoughts to put them in, imagination to give them shape, or time to act them in.

Hamlet, A. 3, S. I.


In religion, What damned error, but some fober brow Will bless it, and approve it with a text, Hiding the grofsness with fair ornament?

Merchant of Venice, A. 3, S. 21 The world is still deceiv'd with ornament : In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt, But, being season'd with a gracious voice, Obscures the show of evil?

Merchant of Venice, A. 3, S. 2.

affection for Cordelia; while, on the other hand, Goneril and Regan have made, in this fcene, an oftentatious profession of their love for their father.

MALONE. The reading of the folio is right. Taint, I think, is fufpicion.

or your fore-vouch'd affection “ Fall into taint." That is, the affection which you had before expressed will be questioned or disbelieved its fincerity will be doubted,

Mr. Malone is wrong, in saying that Lear had not made any declaration of his affection for Cordelia. He says of her, in one place, “Now our joy, although the last, not least," and in another, “ We lov'd her most;" &c.

A. B.

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S this the noble Moor, whom our full senate

Call-all-in-all sufficient? This the noble nature
Whom passion could not shake? whose folid virtue
The shot of accident, nor dart of chance,
Could neither graze, nor pierce? Othello. A. 4, S. 1,

By heaven
My blood begins my safer guides to rule;
And passion having my best judgment collied ',
Affays to lead the way. Othello, A. 2, S. 3.

I will go to Benedick,
And counsel him to fight against his passion :
And, truly, I'll devise some honest slanders
To stain my cousin with.

Much ado about nothing, A. 3, S. 1.
The colour of the king doth come and go,
Between his purpose and his conscience,
Like heralds 'twixt two dreadful battles fet :
His passion is so ripe, it needs must break.

King John, A. 4, S. 2. 1. And passion having my best judgment collied.] Thus the folio reads, and I believe rightly. Othello means, that paffion has discoloured his judgment.' To colly, anciently, fignified to be fmut, to blacken as with coal. Hanmer reads, cholered.

STEEVENS. I think we should read “colliding." To collide is to clash, to strike against. The line may stand thus:

“And paffion now colliding 'gainst my judgment." i. c. Paffion clashing or striking against my judgment, assays, &c.


A. B.

O, that

O, that my tongue were in the thunders mouth!
Then with a passion would I shake the world;
And rouze from sleep that fell anatomy,
Which cannot hear a lady's feeble voice.

King John, A. 3, S. 4.

Such smiling rogues as these,
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords in twain
Too intrinsecate t' unloose: smooth every passion
That in the nature of their lords rebels ;
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters.

Lear, A. 2. S. 2.
Now and then an ample tear trill’d down
Her delicate cheek: it seem'd, she was a queen
Over her paffion; who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her. Lear, A. 4, S. 3:

O, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious perriwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb shews and noise: I would have such a fel. low whipp'd for o'er-doing Termagant; it out-herods Herod : pray you avoid it. Hamlet, A. 3, S. 2. For Hecuba! What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, That he should weep for her? What would he do, Had he the motive and the cue for passion, That I have? he would drown the stage with tears, And cleave the general ear with horrid speech; Make mad the guilty and appal the free, Confound the ignorant : and amaze, indeed, The very faculty of eyes and ears.

Hamlet, A. 2, S. 2. That old and antique song we heard last night; Methought, it did relieve my paffion much;



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