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Upon my soul, a lie; a wicked lie.
to speak :
AU. O heavens forefend!
Emil. Villany, villany, villany!
you home. Emil. Good gentlemen, let me have leave to
speak: "T is proper I obey him, but not now.Perchance, lago, I will ne'er go home.
Oth. O! 0! 0!
Emil. Nay, lay thee down, and roar: For thou hast killed the sweetest innocent That e'er did lift up eye.
Oth. O, she was foul !I scarce did know you, uncle. There lies your niece, Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly
stopped. I know this act shews horrible and grim. Gra. Poor Desdemona! I am glad thy father 's
dead : Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief Shore his old thread in twain : did he live now, This sight would make him do a desperate turn Yea, curse his better angel from his side, And fall to reprobation.
Oth. 'T is pitiful : but yet Iago knows
Emil. O heaven! O heavenly powers!
sir ? no :
lago. Be wise, and get you home.
[Iago offers to stab his Wife. Gra. Fie! your sword upon a woman!
Emil. O thou dull Moor, that handkerchief thou
speak'st of I found by fortune, and did give my husband : For often, with a solemn earnestness (More than, indeed, belonged to such a trifle), He begged of me to steal it.
Iago. Villanous whore!
Emil. She give it Cassio! no, alas; I found it, And I did give 't my husband.
Iago. Filth, thou liest.
men.O murderous coxcomb! what should such a fool Do with so good a wife?
[Iago stabs Emilia, then runs out. Oth. Are there no stones in heaven But what serve for the thunder?--Precious villain! Gra. The woman falls ! sure he has killed his
wife. Emil. Ay, ay.-0, lay me by my mistress' side. Gra. He's gone, but his wife's killed. Mon. 'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this
weapon, Which I have here recovered from the Moor. Come, guard the door without: let him not pass But kill him rather. I 'll after that same villain, For 't is a damnéd slave.
[Exeunt Montano and Gratiano. Oth. I am not valiant neither, But every puny whipster gets my sword:-But why should honour outlive honesty ? Let it go all.
Emil. What did thy song bode, lady? Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan, And die in music:-“ Willow, willow, willow."Moor, she was chaste: she loved thee, cruel Moor: So come my soul to bliss as I speak true : So speaking as I think, I die ;-I die. [Dies.
Oth. I have another weapon in this chamber: It is a sword of Spain; the ice-brook's temper:0, here it is.--Uncle, I must come forth. Gra. [within). If thou attempt it, it will cost
thee dear : Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.
Oth. Look in upon me, then, and speak with me; Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.
Oth. Behold, I have a weapon :
Here is my journey's end, here is my butt, Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo; And very seamark of my utmost sail.
And here another : the one of them imports Do you go back dismayed ? 't is a lost fear: The death of Cassio to be undertook Man but a rush against Othello's breast, By Roderigo. And he retires :-where should Othello go?
Oth. () villain ! Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starred Cas. Most heathenish and most gross ! wench,
Lod. Now here's another discontented paper, Pale as thy smock! When we shall meet at compt, Found in his pocket too: and this, it seems, This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven, Roderigo meant to have sent this damnéd villain; And fiends will snatch at it! Cold, cold, my girl? But that belike Iago in the interim Even like thy chastity.
Came in and satisfied him. O curséd, curséd slave !—Whip me, ye devils, Oth. O the pernicious caitiff!From the possession of this heavenly sight! How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur! That was my wife's ? Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire !
Cas. I found it in my chamber : O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead ?
And he himself confessed, but even now, Dead ?-0! 0! 0!
That there he dropped it for a special purpose
Which wrought to his desire. Enter Lodovico, Montano; Cassio, carried in a
Oth. O fool! fool! fool! chair ; and Officers, with Iago, prisoner. I
Cas. There is, besides, in Roderigo's letter, Lod. Where is this rash and most unfortunate How he upbraids Iago that he made him man?
Brave me upon the watch; whereon it came Oth. That's he that was Othello :-here I am. That I was cast : and even but now he spake, Lod. Where is that viper ? bring the villain After long seeming dead,- Iago hurt him, forth.
Iago set him on. Oth. I look down towards his feet;—but that's Lod. You must forsake this room, and go with
a fable :If that thou beest a devil I cannot kill thee. Your power and your command is taken off,
[Othello wounds Iago. | And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave, Lod. Wrench his sword from him.
If there be any cunning cruelty Iago. I bleed, sir; but not killed. That can torment him much and hold him long, Oth. I am not sorry neither: I'd have thee It shall be his. You shall close prisoner rest, live;
Till that the nature of your fault be known For in my sense, 't is happiness to die.
To the Venetian state.-Come, bring him away. Lod. O thou Othello, that was once so good, Oth. Soft you; a word or two before you go. Fallen in the practice of a curséd slave,
I have done the state some service, and they What shall be said to thee?
know it: Oth. Why, anything :
No more of that :- I pray you, in your letters, An honourable murderer, if you will;
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, For nought I did in hate, but all in honour. Speak of me as I am: nothing extenuate,
Lod. This wretch hath part confessed his villany: | Nor set down aught in malice: then must you Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?
speak Oth. Ay.
Of one that loved not wisely, but too well; Cas. Dear general, I never gave you cause. Of one not easily jealous, but, being wrought,
Oth. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon. Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand, Will you, I pray you, demand that demi-devil Like the base Júdean, threw a pearl away Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body? Richer than all his tribe; of one whose súbdued Iago. Demand me nothing: what you know,
eyes, you know:
Albeit unused to the melting mood, From this time forth I never will speak word. Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees Lod. What, not to pray?
Their médicinal gum.-Set you down this :Gra. Torments will ope your lips. And say, besides, that in Aleppo once, Oth. Well, thou dost best.
Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk Lod. Sir, you shall understand what hath be Beat a Venetian and traduced the state, fallen;
I took by the throat the circumciséd dog, Which, as I think, you know not:-here is a And smote him—thus. [Stabs himself. letter
Lod. O bloody period !
Gra. All that is spoke is marred. Look on the tragic loading of this bed: [To lago. Oth. I kissed thee ere I killed thee :-no way This is thy work. The object poisons sight:
but this, [Falling upon DesdemonA.! Let it be hid.—Gratiano, keep the house, Killing myself, to die upon a kiss. [Dies. And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor, Cas. This did I fear, but thought he had no For they succeed to you.—To you, lord governor, weapon;
Remains the censure of this hellish villain ; For he was great of heart.
The time, the place, the torture,-0 enforce it ! Lod. o Spartan dog,
Myself will straight aboard; and, to the state, More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea ! This heavy act with heavy heart relate. [Exeunt.
" One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
Act I., Scene 1. If the text in the second line is correct, Iago probably means that Cassio is likely to ruin himself by a marriage with Bianca. On a subsequent occasion (act iv., scene 1), he acquaints Cassio himself that such a report is in circulation.
“ The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders."-Act I., Scene 3. Legends of this description had long been popular: the allusion in the text is probably directed in a particular man. ner to a passage in Raleigh's narrative of his voyage to Guiana :-" Next unto the Arvi are two rivers, Atoica and Caova; and on that branch which is called Caova are a nation of people whose heads appear not above their shoulders: which, though it may be thought a mere fable, yet for mine own part I am resolved it is true, because every child in the province of Arromaia and Canuri affirm the same. They are called Ewaipanoma; they are reported to have their eyes in their shoulders and their mouths in the middle of their breasts, and that a long train of hair groweth backward between their shoulders."
" What tellst thou me of robbing ? This is Venice:
My house is not a grange.”-Act I., Scene 1. That is, we are in a populous city, not in a lone house where a robbery might easily be committed. A grange is, strictly, the farm of a monastery; but in some counties every lone house or farm which stands solitary is called a grange.
“ You'll have your nephews neigh to you."-Act I., Scene 1.
Nephew, in this instance, has the power of the Latin word nepos, and signifies a grandson or any lineal descendant.
" A Sea-port Town in Cyprus."-Act. II., Scene 1.
Nicosia (or Leikosia), the capital city of Cyprus, was situated nearly in the centre of the island, and thirty miles distant from the sea. The principal sea-port town was Famagusta, where there was formerly a strong fort and a commodious haven, the only one of any magnitude in the island; and there undoubtedly the scene should be placed.
“ Tying her duty, beauty, wil, and fortunes,
Act I., Scene 1. The word " in " is here used in the sense of "to." This is one of the many obsolete peculiarities of ancient phraseology. “Extravagant" has its Latin signification of "wan. dering.” As in “ HAMLET:"-"The extravagant and erring spirit hies to his confine."
" Seems to cast teater on the burning bear,
Act II, Scene 1. The “burning bear" is the constellation near the pole. The next line alludes to the star Arctophylax, which word signifies the guard of the bear.
--" I fetch my life and being Prom men of royal siege; and my demerits May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune
As this that I have reached."-Act I., Scene 2. The term “men of royal siege" signifies men who have sat upon royal seats or thrones. "Siege" is used for “seat" by many other writers. "Demerits" has here the signification of “merits." As in “ CORIOLANUS:"
“Opinion, that so sticks on Martius, may
or his demerits rob Cominius." Mereo and demereo had the same meaning in the Latin.
Mr. Fuseli has given the best explanation yet offered of the term "un bonneted:"_" I am his equal or superior in rank: and were it not so, such are my merits, that unbonneted, without the addition of patrician or senatorial dignity, they may speak to as proud a fortune," &c.
"'T is here, but yet confused: Knavery's plain face is never seen till used."
Act II., Scene 1. An honest man acts upon a plan, and forecasts his de signs; but a knave depends upon temporary and local opportunities, and never knows his own purpose but at the time of execution. --JOHNSON,
" King Slephen was a worthy peer."—Act II., Scene 3.
The term “ peer” is here used in the sense of " fellow." The stanzas sung by Iago are taken from an excellent old ballad, which is printed in Percy's "RELIQUES."
"He'll watch the horologe a double set,
If drink rock not his cradle."-Act II., Scene 3. That is, if he have no drink he'll keep awake while the clock strikes two rounds, or four-and-twenty hours. Chancer and other old writers use the term horologe familiarly.
“ Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you
Against the general enemy Ottoman."-Act I., Scene 3. It was part of the policy of the Venetian state never to entrust the command of an army to a native. “By land (says Thoma3), they are served of strangers, both for generals, for captains, and for all other men of war; because their law permitteth not any Venetian to be captain over an army by land: fearing, I think, Cæsar's example."
“ Send for the lady to the Sagillary."— Act I., Scene 3.
“ Sagittary” was the name applied to a fictitious being, compounded of man and horse. As used in the text, it has been generally supposed to be the sign of an inn; but it now appears that it was the residence of the commanding officers of the republic. It is said that the figure of an archer, over the gate, still indicates the spot.
** When derils will the blackest sins put on,
Act II., Scene 3. The term "put on” is here and in various other places used in the sense of "urge on." The meaning is, when
* Excellent toretch! Perdition catch my soul
But I do love thee!"-Act III., Scene 3. The meaning of the word wretch is not generally understood. It is now, in some parts of England, a term of the softest and fondest tenderness. It expresses the utmost degree of amiableness, joined with an idea, which perhaps all tenderness includes, of feebleness, softness, and want of protection.-Jouxsox.
"Who has a breast so pure But some uncleanly apprehensions Keep leels and law-days, and in session sit With meditations lawful."-Act III., Scene S.
- "I'll have the work la'en ont, And give it Iago."-Act III., Scene 3. By having the “work ta'en out," Emilia means that she will have it copied. This is her first thought; but the sudden coming in of Iago, in a surly humour, makes her alter her resolution. The same phrase afterwards occurs between Cassio and Bianca, in the last scene of this Act.
It is impossible not to regret the execrable conduct which the poet (most likely from inadvertence) has assigned to Emilia in this matter of the handkerchief.-In Cinthio's novel, while Desdemona is caressing the child of the Iago oi the play, the villain steals the handkerchief, which hung at her girdle, without the knowledge of his wife
That is, who has so virtuous a breast that some uncharitable surmises will not sometimes enter into it; hold a session there as in a regular court, and "bench by the side" of authorised and lawful thoughts?
“OTH. But this denoled a fo:e pone conclusion. Iago. 'T is a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream."
Act III., Scene 3. The last of these lines is usually given to Othelle, on the authority of the folio: the quarto ascribes it to Iago; and we coincide with Warburton in thinking the latter arrangement preferable. Othello believes that the dream leaves no ambiguity about the matter: in his judgment, it "denoted a foregone conclusion." Iago, with affected reluctance, merely admits it "a shrewd doubt."
" O beware, my lord, of jealousy:
It is the green-eyed monster which doth make
The meat il feeds on."-Act III., Scene 3. The old copies have “mock." The correction was made by Sir T. Hanmer. I have not the smallest doubt that Shakspere wrote make," and have, therefore, inserted it in the text. The words "make" and "mocke" (for such was the old spelling) are often confounded in these plays.MALONE,
I have received Hanmer's emendation : because, "to mock" does not signify "to loathe;" and because, when lago bids Othello “ beware of jealousy, the green-eyed monster," it is natural to tell why he should beware; and, for caution, he gives him two reasons :-that jealousy often creates its own cause, and that, when the causes are real, jealousy is misery. - Jouxsox.
Various passages, both from Shakspere and other writers, are quoted in support of this reading. The chief is what Emilia says of jealousy, in the last scene of this Act:-"'T is a monster begot upon itself, born on itself."
“She was in love; and he she loved proved mad,
And did forsake her."- Act IV., Scene 3. "Mad" must here be understood in the sense of wild, unruly, fickle. As in " Love's Labour's Lost:"
“Do you hear, my mad wenches ?"
"She had a song of 'willow.'"-Act IV., Scene 3.
The original of this ballad (in two parts) is preserved in Percy's collection.
“She did deceive her father, marrying you :
And when she seemed to shake and fear your looks,
She loved them most."--Act III., Scene 3, This and the following argument of Othello ought to be deeply impressed on every reader. Deceit and falsehood. whatever conveniences they may for a time promise or produce, are in the sum of life obstacles to happiness. Those who profit by the cheat distrust the deceiver, and the act by which kindness was sought, puts an end to confidence. The same objection may be made, with a lower degree of strength, against the imprudent generosity of disproportionate marriages. When the first heat of passion is over, it is easily succeeded by suspicion that the same violence of inclination which caused one irregularity, may stimulate to another : and those who have shewn that their passions are too violent
“ Marry, I would not do such a thing for a joint-ring."
Act IV., Scene 3. A joint-ring was anciently a common token between lovers. Their nature will be best understood by a passage from Dryden's “Don SEBASTIAN;"
"A curious artist wrought them,