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Emil. O, God ! O, heavenly God ! *
So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true; Iago.
Zounds,t hold your peace! So speaking as I think, I die, * - I die! [Dies, EMIL. 'Twill out,'t will out !- I hold my peace, OTH. I have another weapon in this chamber, sir ? no;
It ist a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper ;No, I will speak as liberal as the north ! a
O, here it is.—Uncle, I must come forth. Let heaven, and men, and devils, let them all, GRA. [Without.] If thou attempt it, it will cost All, all, cry shame against me, yet I'll speak !
thee dear; Iago. Be wise, and get you home.
Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer. EMIL.
I will not. Oru. Look in upon me, then, and speak with [Iago offers to stab EMILIA,
Fie! Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.
Behold! I have a weapon ; More than, indeed, belong'd to such a trifle, A better never did itself sustain He begg’d of me to steal 't.
Upon a soldier's thigh: I have seen the day, Iago.
Villanous whore ! That, with this little arm and this good sword, EMIL. She give it Cassio ! no, alas, I found it, I have made my way through more impediments And I did give't my husband.
Than twenty times your stop :-but, 0, vain boast ! IAGO.
Filth, thou liest ! Who can control his fate? 'tis not so now.EMIL. By heaven, I do not! I do not, gentle- Be not afraid, though you do see me weapon'd;
Here is my journey's end, here is my butt,
Do you go back dismay'd ? 'tis a lost fear; [Iago stabs EMILIA, and then runs out. Man but a rush against Othello's breast, Отн. ,
Are there no stones in heaven, And he retires :—where should Othello go?But what serve for the thunder ?—Precious villain ! Now, how dost thou look now ? O, ill-starr'd GRA. The woman falls ! sure, he hath kill'd his
Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt, EMIL. Ay, ay :-0, lay me by my mistress' This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven, side!
And fiends will snatch at it !--Cold, cold, my girl ! GRA. He's gone, but his wife's kill'd.
Even like thy chastity.-Mon. 'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this O, cursed, cursed slave !— Whip me, ye devils, weapon,
From the possession of this heavenly sight! Which I have hereg recover'd from the Moor: Blow me about in winds ! roast me in sulphur ! Come, guard the door without; let him not pass, Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire ! But kill him rather. I'll after that same villain, 0, Desdemon! dead, Desdemon! dead ! O, O! For 'tis a damned slave.
[Exeunt MONTANO and GRATIANO. Отн. . I am not valiant neither,
Enter LODOVICO, MONTANO, Cassio carried in a
chair, and Officers, with Iago, prisoner. But every puny whipster gets my sword.But why should honour outlive honesty ?
LOD. Where is this rash and most unfortunate Let it go all.
EMIL. What did thy song bode, lady? Orh. That’s he that was Othello ;-here I am. Hark! canst thou hear me? I will play the swan, Lod. Where is that viper ? bring the villain And die in music ;-Willow, willow, willow.
[Singing. Oth. I look down towards his fcet; – but that's Moor, she was chaste; she lov'd thee, cruel Moor;
(*) First folio, Oh Heaven! oh heavenly pouers !
(3) First folio omits, here.
“I 'le be in speaking, liberall as the ayre." And that of 1630 has,VOL. III.
(*) First folio, alas. (+) First folio, was.
“ I 'le be in speaking liberall as the north." b Man but a rush against Othello's breast,-) This is an allusion to the mock tournaments in which the combatants were armed with rushes in place of spears.
c - towards his feet;-) " To see if, according to the common opinion, his feet be cloven.”—Johnson.
If that thou be'st a devil I cannot kill thee. Fall'n in the practice of a damned * slave,
[OTHELLO wounds Iago. What shall be said to thee? LOD. Wrench his sword from him.
Why, any thing : Iago.
I bleed, sir ; but not kill'd. An honourable murderer, if you will ; OTH. I am not sorry neither ; I'd have thee live; For nought did I t in hate, but all in honour. For, in my sense, 't is happiness to die.
Lod. This wretch hath part confess'd his villany: LOD. O, thou Othello, that wert* once so good, Did you and he consent in Cassio's death ?
(*) First folio, cursed.
(t) First folin, I did.
(*) First folio, was. * - practice) Machination, stratagem.
That can torment him much and hold him long, Cas. Dear general, I never gave you cause.
It shall be his. You shall close prisoner rest, Oth. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon. Till that the nature of your fault be known Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil
, To the Venetian state. Come, bring away. Why he hath thus ensnar'd my soul and body? Orh. Soft you! a word or two before you go. Iago. Demand me nothing: what you know, I have done the state some service, (1) and they
know't; From this time forth I never will speak word. No more of that.-I
your letters, Lod. What, not to pray ?
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, GRA.
Torments will ope your lips. Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate, Oth. Well, thou dost best.
Nor set down aught in malice: then must you Lod. Sir, you shall understand what hath be
Of one, that lov'd not wisely, but too well ; Which, as I think, you know not. Here is a letter, Of one, not easily jealous, but, being wrought, Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo; Perplex'd in the extreme; of one, whose hand, And here another: the one of them imports
Like the base Indian, (2) threw a pearl away, The death of Cassio to be undertook
Richer than all his tribe; of one, whose subdu'd By Roderigo.
eyes, OTH. O, villain !
Albeit unused to the melting mood, Cas. Most heathenish and most gross ! Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
LOD. Now here's another discontented paper, Their med'cinable gum. Set you down this; Found in his pocket too; and this, it seems, And say, besides, that in Aleppo once, Roderigo meant to have sent this damned villain ; Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk But that, belike, Iago in the interim
Beat a Venetian and traduc'd the state,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
[Stabs himself How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief Lod. O, bloody period ! That was my wife's ?
All that is spoke is marr’d. Cas.
I found it in my chamber; OTH. I kiss'd thee ere I kill'd thee ;—no way And he himself confess'd* but even now,
but this, [Falling upon DESDEMONA. That there he dropp'd it for a special purpose, Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.
[Dies. Which wrought to his desire.
Cas. This did I fear, but thought he had no Отн. O, fool! fool! fool!
weapon ; Cas. There is besides, in Roderigo's letter,- For he was great of heart. How he upbraids Iago, that he made him
LOD. [TO LAGO.] O, Spartan dog, Brave me upon the watch; whereon it came More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sen
! That I was cast: and eyen but now he spake, Look on the tragic loading of this bed; After long seeming dead,—Iago hurt him, This is thy work :the object poisons sight ;Iago set him on.
Let it be hid.—Gratiano, keep the house, Lod. You must forsake this room, and go with And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor, us;
For they succeed on you.—To you, lord governor, Your power and your command is taken off, Remains the censure of this hellish villain ; And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave,- The time, the place, the torture;—0, enforce it ! If there be any cunning cruelty,
Myself will straight aboard; and, to the state,
This heavy act with heavy heart relate. (Exeunt. (*, First folio inserts, it.
(1) SCENE I.-Lead to the Sagittary.) By the Sagittary, Mr. Knight says, was meant the “residence at the arsenal of the commanding officers of the navy and army of the republic. The figure of an archer with his drawn bow, over the gates, still indicates the place.” Others, however, conceive Iago to mean only some house of resort which bore this sign.
In Lydgate's Auncient Historie, &c. 1555, quoted by Steevens, is found a very circumstantial description of the Sagittary :
" And with hym Guydo sayth that he hadde
A wonder archer of syght mervalous,
and likelihoodes of coniecture : having ended his speech, the advocate of the offender pleadeth in the Clyentes behalfe : After which if any of the Advocators will speake afresh, before the Iudges give sentence, he hath libertie so to do : likewise the Lawyers of the defendant have leave to aunswere and to confute, if they can, the opposed arguments. And so of eyther side the cause is debated and tossed to and fro, till eyther the offender or the Advocator whose turne it is to speake, doth declare that he hath no more to say, which done, the offender and his advocates are commanded out of the Court, and the Advocators are shutte into a roome apart with the Iudges and their Secretaries, not any one else being suffred to be there. The Advocators first doe make a motion unto the Iudges of punishing the offender, demaunding their opinions whether they thinke him worthy of punishment or no, not naming or appointing any one certayne kinde of punishment, which custome was (in a manner) observed by the Athenians : for in Athens the Iudges gave two sentences, in the first eyther condemning or absolving the prisoner. If in the first hee were condemned, then was the manner of his punishment determined of in the second, as out of Platoes Apologie of Socrates may plainly bee perceived, the very like order of iudgement is that in manner which we do use: first (as; I say) the Advocators make a motion unto the Iudges of punishing the offender. Then the Indges go unto their suffrages, for by suffrages among the Venetians all things are determined. Three pots are brought forth, by the one of which the offender is condemned: by the other he is absolved in maner without any correction, & by the third are known the opinion of those, which doe seeme yet to doubt whether course is to be taken : the first of condemnation is white, the second of absolution greene, the third of doubtfulnes redde. Every of the Iudges, whether the cause be disputed of by the forty (as usually it is) or els that the senate be consulted with (which seldome happeneth) & that only in great and waighty causes, or whether it be by the Advocators reported over to the great councell, which is most seldome, and never but in matters exceedingly enormous, to the ende to have his suffrage undiscerned, letteth fall into whether of these three pots he pleaseth a little linnen ball: which being done, the presidents of the councell doe number the balles, and if more then the half be in favour of the prisoners liberty, he is presently pronounced free, and the request of the Advocators reiected. But if more then the half of those bals, be found in the pot of condemnation, he is presently condemned: if neither of both exceede the half, but that the greater part of the Iudges put their suffrages into the pot of doubtfulnes : then his cause is deferred over til another day, & to the better discussion of the Iudges,"
(2) SCENE II.-I'll have't disputed on.] This is an allusion to the manner in which causes were debated by the judges according to the custom of Venice formerly, and it affords one of many proofs that before writing “Othello," Shakespeare had attentively perused Lewkenor's translation of “ The Commonwealth and Government of Venice, written by the Cardinall Gasper Contareno,” &c. 1599. From this work he obtained his information concerning those " officers of night" whom Brabantio directs to be summoned; his knowledge of the Arsenal ; as well as several particular expressions, such as Mine cares enclined ; doe their countrie service ; experience the mistresse of all things ; serve the turne ; their countrie customs ; and others which he has modified and transplanted into the piece. The following is Contareno's account of the way criminal questions were disputed on before judgment could be obtained, in the ancient legal courts of Venice :
“ The Councell being assembled, the Advocator plaieth the parte of a bitter accuser, strayning the uttermost invention of his wittes against the offender, first obiecting unto him the offence, confirming the same with witnesses, and then strengthening his obiection with probabilities
(3) SCENE III.
Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you
The circumstances originating the siege of Nicosia, “the chief and richest citie of all the Island," and the ultimate conquest of Cyprus by the Turks (for there was no gation of the Turkish fleet” as the play supposes) are thus related by Knolles in his Historie of the Turkes :'
“Selymus (the second) now at peace with all the world (a thing of the Turkes not much desired) began to thinke of workes of charitie : and proposing to build a magnificent temple at Hadrianople for his owne sepulture, with a monasterie, a colledge, and an almeshouse (as bad his father, and other his ancestors before him at Prusa and Constantinople, led thereunto with a vaine and superstitious devotion) was troubled with nothing more, than how to endue the same with lands and revenues sufficient for the maintenance of so great a charge : For that the Mahometan kings, are by their superstition prohibited to convert any lands or possessions to such holy uses, other than such as they have with their own sword woon from the enemies of their religion, which they may (as they are persuaded) as a most acceptable sacrifice, offer to their great prophet: which devillish persuasion, serveth as a spurre to pricke forward every of those ambitious princes to adde something to their empire. This his devout purpose once knowne, wanted not the furtherance of many ripe heads, devising some one thing, some another, as they thought best fitted his humour. But amongst many things to him presented, none pleased him so well, as the plot laid for the taking of the rich island of Cyprus from the Venetians : a conquest of itselfe sufficient, both for the eternizing of his name, and performance of his owne charitable works intended; with a large overplus, for the supplying of whatsoever wanted in his fathers like devout works at Constantinople. But that which moved him most of all, was the glorie of such a conquest, wbich as his flaterers bare him in hand, might make him equall with any his predecessors; who in the beginning of their raign, had usually done or attempted some notable thing against the Christians. Selymus presently commanded preparation to be made both by sea and land, for the performance
of his resolution. Which was not so covertly carried in the Turkes court, but that it was discovered by M. Antonius Barbaras the Venetian embassadour; and not without cause suspected by the Venetian merchants, whom the barbarous Turks began now to cut short in their trafficke, looking big upon them, as men suddenly changed, and evill entreating them with hard speeches, the undoubted signes of greater troubles to ensue. These things and such like as were then done at Constantinople, being by letters sent in post from the embassadour, made knowne at Venice, brought a generall heavinesse upon the citie : for why that understanding and provident state, warned by their former harmes, of all others most dread the Turks forces.
“In the meane time the Senatours sitting oftentimes in counsell, were divided in opinions concerning the chief matter they consulted upon : some there were, that thought it not good to wage warre against such an invincible enemy, nor to trust upon a vaine and idle hope, neither to commit all unto the bazard of such fortune as was unto them in that warre by the enemie propounded : they alleadged that it were better to depart with Cyprus, so that they might quietly enjoy the rest, rather than to enter into armes. Others were of a contrary opinion, as that the island was by force of armes to be defended : saying that nothing could be more dishonourable, than without fight to depart with so notable a part of their Seigniorie; neither anything more commendable, than to prove all things for defence of their honour : neither would the proud Turks with whom no assured league could bee made (as they said) hold themselves content with this yeelding up of the island, by intreating of them and giving them way, become more insolent: and when they had taken Cyprus from them, would also seeke after Creete and Corcyra, & so yeelding them one thing after
another, spoile themselves of all together. The matter thus debated to an fro, it was in the end resolved upon, to take up armes in defence of their honour, and by plaine force to withstand the Turke.
“The greater the danger was now feared from tho angrie Turke, the more carefull were the Venetians of their state. Wherefore they forthwith sent messengers with letters unto the Governours of Cyprus, charging them with all carefulness and diligence to make themsolves readie to withstand the Turke, and to raise what power they were able in the island, not omitting any thing that might concern the good of the state : and at the same time made choice of their most valiant and expert captains both by sea and land, unto whom they committed the defence of their dispersed Seigniorie, with the leading of their forces.
"Selymus thoroughly furnished with all things necessary for the invasion of Cyprus, in the beginning of Februarie sent a great power both of horse and foot into Epyrus to forage the Venetian territorie. About the middle of Aprill following he sent Piall Bassa with four score gallies, and thirtie galliots to keep the Venetians from sending aid into Cyprus. He tooke his course to Zenos, an island of the Venetians, to have taken it from them. Piall here landing his forces, sought both by faire means & foule to have persuaded the inhabitants to have yeelded up their towne ; but when he could get nothing of them but foule words againe, he began by force to assault the same. Two daies the towne was valiantly both assaulted and defended, but at length the Turks perceiving how little they prevailed, and that the defendants were resolutely set downe for the defence of themselves and their countrie; shamefully gave over the assault, and abandoning the island directed their course towards Cyprus. For Mustapha, author of that expedition, had before appointed Piall Bassa at a time prefixed, to meet him at the Rhodes, and that he that came first should tarrie for the other, that 80 they might together saile into Cyprus.
“All being now in readinesse, and a most royal gallie of wonderful greatness & beautie by the appointment of Selymus prepared for the great Bassa the Generall : he together with Haly Bassa and the rest of the fleet, departed from Constantinople, the six and twentieth of May, and at the Rhodes met with Piall as he had before appointed. The whole fleet at that time consisted of two hundred galleys, amongst whom were diverse galliots, and small men of warre with diverse other vessels prepared for the transportation of horses : with this fleet Mustapha kept on his course for Cyprus. They of the island in the meane time carefully attending the enemies comming from their watch towers first discovered their fleet at the west end of the island not far from Paphos : from whence tho Turks turning upon the right hand, and passing the promontorie Curio, now called Del Le Gate, landed diverse of their men, who burnt and spoiled certaine villages, and with such spoile and prisoners as they had taken returned againe unto the fleet: which holding on their former course came at length to a place called Salinæ (of the abundance of salt there made) where they knew was best landing: and there in an open road came to an anchor, where the Bassaes without any resistance upon a plaine* shoare landed their armie."
(4) SCENE III.
The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders.] In this passage the poet had probably in his mind the marvellous account which Raleigh has given in his Discoverie of Guiana, 1596, of the Amazons, the cannibals, and the Nation of people, whose heads appear not above their shoulders : or was thinking of Pliny's description of the “Anthropophagi”:
“ Above those are other Scythians called Anthropophagi, where is a country named Abarimon, within a certain vale of the mountain Imans, wherein are found savage and wild men, living and conversing usually among