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But to go hang my heads all at one side,
And sing it like poor Barbara. Pr’ythee, despatch.

Emil. Shall I go fetch your night-gown?

No, unpin me here.This Lodovico is a proper man.

Eml. A very handsome man.

And he speaks well. Emil. I know a lady in Venice, who would have walked barefoot to Palestine, for a touch of his nether lip.

I. Des. The poor soulộ sat sighing? by a sycamore tree,

[Singing. Sing all a green willow 8; Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,

Sing willow, willow, willow :

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- I have much to DO,

But to go hang my head-]. I have much ado to do any thing but hang my head. We might read :

Not to go hang my head." 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 endeavours to change her train of thoughts, but her imagination at last prevails, and she sings it. Johnson.

From I have much to do, to Nay, that's not next, was inserted after the first edition, as was likewise the remaining part of the song.


poor soul, &c.] This song, in two parts, is printed in a late collection of old ballads; the lines preserved here differ somewhat from the copy discovered by the ingenious collector.

Johnson. - sat sighing -] The folio reads-singing. The passage, as has been already observed, is not in the original copy printed in 1622. The reading of the text is taken from a quarto of no authority printed in 1630. Sighing, as Mr. Steevens has observed, is also the reading in the black-letter copy of this ballad, in the

6 The


The fresh streams' ran by her, and murmur'd her


Sing willow, &c. Her salt tears fell from her, and soften'd the

stones ; Lay by these :

Sing willow, willow, willow; Pr’ythee, hie thee; he'll come anon.

Sing all a green willow must be my garlánd.


Let nobody blame him, his scorn I approve ', Nay, that's not next.-Hark! who is it that knocks?

Emil. It is the wind.

Pepys Collection, which Dr. Percy followed. See The Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, vol. i. 192. Malone.

8 Sing all a green willow; &c.] In the Gallery of Gorgious Inuentions, &c. 4to. 1578, there is also a song to which the burden is

“ Willow, willow, willow, sing all of green willow;

Sing all of greene willow shall be my garland.” Sig. L. ii. Steevens.

9 The fresh streams, &c.] These lines are formed with some additions from two couplets of the original song:

The cold streams ran by him, his eyes wept apace ;
O willow, &c.
The salt tears fell from him, which drowned his face ;
“ O willow, &c.
“ The mute birds sate by him, made tame by his mones;
“ O willow, &c.
The salt tears fell from him, which softend the stones.

MalonE. 1 Let nobody blame him, his scorn I approve,] In the original :

“ Let nobody blame me, her scorns I do prove,
“ O willow, &c.
“ She was born to be fair; I to die for her love."


2 G

Des. I calld my love, false love; but what said

he then?

Sing willow, &c. If I court mo women, you'll couch with mo men. So, get thee gone; good night. Mine eyes do itch; Doth that bode weeping ? Emil.

'Tis neither here nor there. Des. I have heard it said so.-0, these men,

these men ! Dost thou in conscience think,—tell me, Emilia, That there be women do abuse their husbands In such gross kind ?

Emil. There be some such, no question. Des. Would'st thou do such a deed for all the

world ? Emil. Why, would not you ? Des.

No, by this heavenly light ! Emil. Nor I neither by this heavenly light; I might do't as well i'the dark. Des. Would'st thou do such a deed for all the

world ? Emil. The world is a huge thing : 'Tis a great

price For a small vice.

DES. Good troth, I think thou would'st not. Emil. By my troth, I think I should; and un: 2 I calld my love, false love;] This couplet is not in the ballad, which is the complaint, not of a woman forsaken, but of a man rejected. These lines were properly added when it was accommodated to a woman. Johnson,

- you'll couch with mo men.] This verb is found also in The Two Noble Kinsmen, 1634 :

O, if thou couch

“ But one night with her MALONE. It is used likewise in The Merchant of Venice:

- couching with the lawyer's clerk.". STEEvens. 4 I have heard it said so.) This, as well as the following speech, is omitted in the first quarto. Steevens.


do't, when I had done. Marry, I would not do such a thing for a joint-ring ; nor for measures of lawn ; nor for gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty exhibition : but, for the whole world,—Why, who would not make her husband a cuckold, to make him a monarch ? I should venture purgatory for't.

Des. Beshrew me, if I would do such a wrong for the whole world.

Emil. Why, the wrong is but a wrong i'the world ; and, having the world for your labour, 'tis a wrong in your own world, and you might quickly make it right.

Des. I do not think there is any such woman.

Emil. Yes, a dozen; and as many To the vantage, as would store the world they

play'd for. But, I do think?, it is their husbands' faults, If wives do fall : Say, that they slack their duties, And pour our treasures into foreign laps 8 ;

5 - for a joint-RING;] Anciently a common token among lovers. They are mentioned by Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, 544 : “ With tokens, hearts divided, and halfe rings."

The nature of these rings will be best explained by a passage in Dryden's Don Sebastian :

a curious artist wrought them,
“ With joints so close as not to be perceiv'd ;
“ Yet are they both ach other's counterpart :
“ Her part had Juan inscrib’d, and his had Zayda,

(You know those names are theirs) and, in the midst,
“ À heart divided in two halves was plac'd.
“ Now if the rivets of those rings inclos d,
“ Fit not each other, I have forg'd this lye :

“ But if they join, you must for ever part.”. Steevens. 6 To the vantage,] i. e. to boot, over and above. Steevens.

7 But, I do think, &c.] The remaining part of this speech is omitted in the first quarto. Steevens. And

pour our treasures into foreign laps ;] So, in our author's 142d Sonnet : “ Robb’d others beds' revenues of their rents.” MALONE.


Or else break out in peevish jealousies,
Throwing restraint upon us; or, say, they strike us,
Or scant our former having o in despite ;
Why, we have galls ; and, though we have some

grace, Yet we have some revenge. Let husbands know, Their wives have sense like them': they see, and

smell, And have their palates both for sweet and sour, As husbands have. What is it that they do, When they change us for others ? Is it sport? I think, it is; And doth affection breed it ? I think, it doth ; It's frailty, that thus errs ? It is so too: And have not we affections ? Desires for sport ? and frailty, as men have ? Then, let them use us well: else, let them know, The ills we do, their ills instruct us so ?.

Des. Good night, good night: Heaven me such


usage send

Not to pick bad from bad; but, by bad, mend !



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our former having -] Our former allowance of expence.

JOHNSON. have sense like them :] Sense is used here, as in Hamlet, for sensation, or sensual appetite. See vol. vii. p. 397, n. 2.

Malone. instruct us so.] Mr. Malone, in the following note, has described and rejected a correction which I have received on the authority of the following passage in Pericles. Till this instant I had supposed this passage itself to need amendment:

* Your honour and your goodness teach me to it.” Perhaps no rhyme was intended. Steevens.

“ - instruct us so." i. e. so to do. This passage, [in Othello,] as has been already observed, is not in the quarto 1622. The reading of my text (so] is that of the folio 1623. The modern editors, following an alteration made by the editor of the second folio, read-instruct us to. Our poet, for the sake of rhyme, often uses an uncommon phraseology; I have therefore adhered to the authentick copy. Malone.

3 Heaven me such Usage send,] Such uses is the reading of

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