Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.

LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE.

THE story upon which this beautiful and instructive tragedy is founded, was taken, according to Mr. Pope, from Cynthio's novels. It was probably written in the year 1611. Mustapha, Selymus's general, invaded Cyprus in May 1570, and conquered it in the following year. His fleet first sailed towards that island; but immediately changing its course for Rhodes, formed a junction with another squadron, and then returned to the attack of Cyprus thus the actual historical periods of the performance are satisfactorily determined. In addition to the admirable lesson set forth in this impressive tragedy, so well calculated to produce an excellent effect upon the human mind, by pourtraying that baneful passion, which, when once indulged, is the inevitable destroyer of conjugal happiness; it may justly be considered as one of the noblest efforts of dramatic genius, that has appeared in any age, or in any language." The fiery openness of Othello, (says Dr. Johnson) magnanimous, artless, and credulous; boundless in his confidence, ardent in his affection, inflexible in his resolution, and obdurate in his revenge---the soft simplicity of Desdemona, confident of merit, and conscious of innocence; her artless perseverance in her suit, and her slowness to suspect that she can be suspected---the cool malignity of lago, silent in his resentment, subtle in his designs, and studious at once of his interest and his vengeance---are such proofs of Shakspeare's skill in human nature, as I suppose it is in vain to seek in any modern writer; whilst even the inferior characters would be very conspicuous in any other piece, not only for their justness, but their strength." In proportion to the enormity of such a crime as adultery, should be the caution with which a suspicion of it is permitted to be entertained; and our great dramatic moralist was no doubt desirous of enforcing this maxim, when he made it, as he has done, the subject of no less than four of his most finished productions.

[blocks in formation]

RODERIGO, a Venetian Gentleman.

vernment of Cyprus.

CLOWN, Servant to Othello.
HERALD.

DESDEMONA, Daughter to Brabantio, and
Wife to Othello.

EMILIA, Wife to lago.

BIANCA, a Courtezan, Mistress to Cassio.

MONTANO, Othello's predecessor in the Go- Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Musicans,

Sailors, Attendants, &c.

SCENE, for the first Act, in Venice; during the rest of the Play, at a Sea-port in Cyprus.

ACT I.

SCENE I-Venice.-A Street.

Enter RODERIGO and IAGO.

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,

Rod. Tush, never tell me, I take it much un- A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife ; +

kindly,

That thou, Iago,-who hast had my purse,
As if the strings were thine,-shouldst know of

this.

Jago. 'Sblood, but you 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,

That never set a squadron in the field,
Nor the division of a battle knows
More than a spinster; unless the bookish the-
oric,

Wherein the toged consuls can propose
As masterly as he mere prattle, without prac.
tice,
[tion:
Is all his soldiership. But he, Sir, had the elec
And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof,
At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds
Christian aud heathen,-must be be-lee'd and
calm'd

By debitor and creditor; this counter-caster, || I know my price, I am worth no worse a place:He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,

But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
Evades them, with a bombast circunstance, t
Horribly stuff'd with epithets of war;

And, in conclusion, nonsuits

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

And I, (God bless the mark!) his Moorship's aucient.

Rod. By heaven, I rather would have been his bangman.

Iago. But there's no remedy; 'tis the curse of service;

Preferment goes by letter and affection,
Not by the old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to the first. Now, Sir, be judge
yourself,

Whether I in any just term am affin'd *
To love the Moor.

Rod. I would not follow him then.

lago. O Sir, content you;

I follow him to serve my turn upon him:
We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,
For nought but provender; and, when he's old,
cashier'd;

Whip me such honest knaves: Others there are,
Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves;
And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
Do well thrive by them; and, when they have
lin'd their coats,

Do themselves homage: these fellows have some soul;

And such a one do I profess myself.
For, Sir,

It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:
In following him, I follow but myself;
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so, for my peculiar end;
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.
Rod. What a full fortune does the thick-lips
If he can carry't thus !

[owe +

Iago. Call up her father,
Rouse him; make after him, poison his delight,
Proclaim him in the streets; incense her kins-
men,

And, though he in a fertile climate dwell,
Plague him with flies; though that his joy be joy,
Yet throw such changes of vexation on't,
As it may lose some colour.

Rod. Here is her father's house: I'll call aloud.

Iago. Do; with like timorous accent, and dire yell,

As when, by night and negligence, the fire
Is spied in populous cities.

Rod. What, ho! Brabantio! signior Brabantio, ho!

Iago. Awake! what, ho! Brabantio! thieves thieves thieves! [bags! Look to your house, your daughter, and your Thieves thieves!

BRABANTIO, above, at a Window.
Bra. What is the reason of this terrible sum-
What is the matter there?
[mons?

Rod. Signior, is all your family within?
Iago. Are your doors lock'd ?

Bra. Why? wherefore ask you this?
Iago. 'Zounds, Sir, you are robb'd; for shame,
put on your gown;
[soul;
Your heart is burst, you have lost half your
Even now, very now, an old black ram
Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise;
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you:
Arise, I say.

Bra. What, have you lost your wits? Rod. Most reverend signior, do you know my voice ?

Bra. Not 1; What are you?

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

I have charg'd thee, not to haunt about my
In honest plainness thou hast heard me say
My daughter is not for thee; and now, in mad-
ness,

Being full of supper and distempering draughts
Upon malicious bravery dost thou come
To start my quiet.

Rod. Sir, Sir, Sir, Sir,——

Bra. But thou must needs be sure,

My spirit and my place have in them power
To make this bitter to thee.

Rod. Patience, good Sir.

Bra. What tell'st thou me of robbing? this is Venice;

My house is not a grange.

Rod. Most grave Brabantio,

In simple and pure soul I come to you.

lago. 'Zounds, Sir, you are one of those that will not serve God, if the devil bid you. Because we come to do you ɛervice, you think we are ruffians: You'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse; you'll have your nephews ↑ neigh to you: you'll have coursers for cousins, and gennets for germans.

Bra. What profane wretch art thou?

Iago. I am one, Sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.

[blocks in formation]

seech you,

If't be your pleasure, and most wise consent,
(As partly, I find, it is,) that your fair daughter,
At this odd-even and dull watch o'the night,
Transported-with no worse nor better guard,
But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,
To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor,-
If this be known to you, and your allowance,
We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs:
But if you know not this, my manners tell me,
We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe
That from the sense of all civility,
[ence:
If thus would play and trifle with your rever-
Your daughter, if you have not given her
leave,-

I say again, hath made a gross revolt;
Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes,
In an extravagant § and wheeling stranger, [self;
Of here and every where: Straight satisfy your
If she be in her chamber, or your house,
Let loose on me the justice of the state
For thus deluding you.

Bra. Strike on the tinder, ho!
Give me a taper ;-call up all my people :-
This accident is not unlike my dream,
Belief of it oppresses me already :-
Light, I say! light!
[Exit from above.
KA
lago. Farewell; for I must leave you:
It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
To be produc'd (as, if I stay, I shall,)
Against the Moor: For, I do know, the state,
However this may gall him with some check,
Cannot with safety cast him; for he's embark'd
With such loud reason to the Cyprus' wars,
(Which even now stand in act,) that, for their
souls,

Another of his fathom they have not,
To lead their business; in which regard,
Though I do hate him as I do hell pains,
Yet, for necessity of present life,

I must show out a flag and sign of love,
Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely
find him,

Lead to the Sagittary the rais'd search;
And there will I be with him. So, farewell.

A lone farm house.

sons.

Wandering.

[Exit.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

had her?

Some one way, some another.-Do you know
Where we may apprehend her and the Moor?

Rod. I think, I can discover him, if you please To get good guard, and go along with me.

Bra. Pray you, lead on. At every house I'll call;

I may command at most :-Get weapons, ho!
And raise some special officers of night.—
On, good Roderigo ;-I'll deserve your pains.
[Exeunt.

SCENE II.-The same.-Another Street. Enter OTHELLO, IAGO, and Attendants. lago. Though in the trade of war I have slain

men,

Yet do I hold it very stuff o'the conscience, To do no contriv'd murder; I lack iniquity Sometimes, to me do service: Nine or ten times 1 bad thought to have yerk'd him here under the ribs.

Oth. 'Tis better as it is.

Iago. Nay, but he prated,

And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
Against your honour,

That, with the little godliness I have,

I did full bard forbear him. But, I pray, Sir,
Are you fast married? for be sure of this,-
That the magnificent ⚫ is much beloved;
And hath, in his effect, a voice potential
As double as the duke's; he will divorce you;
Or put upon you what restraint and grievance
The law (with all his might, to enforce it on,)
Will give him cable.

Oth. Let him do his spite :

My services, which I have done the signiory, Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know,

[our, (Which, when I know that boasting is an honI shall promulgate,) I fetch my life and being From men of royal siege, + and my demerits May speak, unbonnetted, to as proud a fortune As this that I have reach'd: For kuow, Iago, But that I love the gentle Desdemona,

I would not my unhoused free condition
Put into circumspection and confine

[blocks in formation]

The goodness of the night upon you, friends!
What is the news?

Cas. The duke does greet you, general;
And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance,

Even on the instant.

Oth. What is the matter, think you?

Cas. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine; Have sent a dozen sequent⚫ messengers It is a business of some heat: The gallies This very night at one another's heels; And many of the consuls, rais'd, and met, Are at the duke's already: You have been hotly call'd for;

When, being not at your lodging to be found, The senate hath sent about three several quests, To search you out.

Oth. 'Tis well I am found by you.

I will but spend a word here in the house.
And go with you.

[Exit.

Cas. Ancient, what makes me here?
Iago. 'Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land
carack, t

If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever.
Cas. I do not understand.
Iago. He's married.

Cas. To who?

Re-enter OTHELLO.

Iago. Marry, to-Come, captain, will you go? Oth. Have with you.

Cas. Here comes another troop to seek for you.
Enter BRABANTIO, RODERICO, and Officers of
Night with Torches and Weapons.
Iago. It is Brabantio :-general, be advised;
He comes to bad intent.

Oth. Holla! stand there !
Rod. Signior, it is the Moor.
Bra. Down with him, thief!

[They draw on both sides. Iago. You, Roderigo! come, Sir, I am for you, Oth. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.[years,

Good signior, you shall more command with Than with your weapons.

Bra. O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow'd

my daughter?

Damn'd as thou art, thou hast enchanted her:
For I'll refer me to all things of sense,
If she in chains of magic were not bound,
Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy,
So opposite to marriage, that she shunn'd
The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
Would every have, to incur a general mock,'
Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
Of such a thing as thou: to fear not to delight.
Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense,
That thou hast practis'd on her with foul charins;
Abus'd her delicate youth with drugs, or miu-
erals,

That waken motion: I'll have it disputed on;
'Tis probable, and palpable to thinking.
I therefore apprehend and do attach thee,
For an abuser of the world, a practiser.
Of arts inhibited and out of warrant :-
Lay hold upon him; if he do resist,
Subdue him at his peril.

Oth. Hold your hands,

Both you of my inclining, and the rest:

For the sea's worth. But, look! what lights come Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it

yonder ?

[blocks in formation]

Without a prompter.-Where will you that I go To answer this your charge ?

Bra. To prison: till fit time

Of law, and course of direct session,
Call thee to answer.

Oth. What if I do obey ?

How may the duke be therewith satisfied;
Whose messengers are here about my side,
Upon some present business of the state,
To bring me to him?

[blocks in formation]
« ZurückWeiter »