Imágenes de páginas

Lod. Wrench his fword from him.
Iago. I bleed, Sir, but not kill'd.

Oth. I am not forry, neither: I'd have thee live ; ·
For, in my fenfe, 'tis happiness to die.

Lod. Oh thou, Othello, that waft once fo good,
Fall'n in the practice of a curfed slave,-
What fhall be faid to thee?

Oth. Why, any thing;

An honourable murd'rer, if you will:
For nought I did in hate, but all in honour.
Lod. This wretch hath part confeft his villany:
Did you
and he confent in Caffe's death?
Oth. Ay.

Caf. Dear General, I never gave you cause.
Oth. I do believe it, and I ak your pardon:
Will you, I pray, demand that demy-devil,
Why he hath thus enfnar'd my foul and body?
Iage. Demand me nothing; what you know, you know;
From this time forth I never will speak word.
Lod. What? not to pray?

Gra. Torments will ope your lips.

Oth. Well, thou dost beft.

Lo. Sir, you fhall understand what hath befall'n,
Which, as I think, you know not; here's a letter,
Found in the pocket of the flain Rodorigo,
And, here, another; one of them imports
The death of Caffio to be undertook

By Rodorigo.

Oth. Oh villain !

Cof. Moft heathenish and most grofs!

Lot. Now, here's another difcontented paper, Found in his pocket too; and this, it feems, Rodorigo meant t'have sent this damned villain ; But that, belike, lago in the interim.

Came in and fatisfy'd him.

Ob. Oh thou pernicious caitiff?

How came you, Caffio, by that handkerchief
That was my wife's?

Caf. I found it in my chamber;

And he himfelf confeft it but ev'n now,



'That there he dropt it for a special purpose,
Which wrought to his defire.
Och. Oh fool, fool, fool!

Caf. There is, befides, in Rodorigo's letter,
How he upbraids Iago that he made him
Frave me upon the watch; whereon it came
That I was caft; and even now he spake,
After long feeming dead, Iago hurt him,
lago fet him on.

Lod. You must forfake this
room, and
go with us;
Your pow'r and your command is taken off,
And Caffia rules in Cyprus. For this slave,
If there be any cunning cruelty,

Ihat can torment him much, and hold him long,
It fhall be his. You fhall close prifoner reft,
Till that the nature of your fault be known
To the Venetian state. Come, bring him away.
Oth. Soft you; a word or two, before you go.
I've done the state some service, and they know't;
No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,
When you fhall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me, as I am : Nothing extenuate,
Nor fet down aught in malice. Then must you speak
Of one that lov'd, not wifely, but too well;
Of one, not eafily jealous; but being wrought,
Perplex'd in the extream; of one, whofe hand, (55)
Like the bafe Judiar, threw a pearl away

Richer than all his tribe; of one, whose eyes,

[blocks in formation]

Like the bafe Indian, threw a pearl away


Ricker than all his tribe.] I have reftor'd, Judian, from the elder quarto, as the genuine and more eligible reading. Mr. Pape thinks, this was occafion'd probably by the word tribe just after I have many reasons to oppofe to this opinion. In the first place, the moft ignorant Indian, I believe, is fo far the reverfe of the dungbil cock in the fable, as to know the estimation of a pearl, beyond that of a barley-coin. So that, in that refpect, the thought itself would not be juft. Then, if our Author had defign'd to reflect on the ignovance of the Indian without any farther reproach, he would have call'd him rude, and not, base. Again, I am perfuaded, as my friend Mr. Warburton long ago obferv'd, the phrafe is not here literal, but


Albeit unused to the melting mood,
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
Their medicinal gum. Set you down this:
And fay befides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk

metaphorical: and, by his pearl, our Author very properly means a fine woman. To inftance only in two paffages from his Troilus, of the like ufage;

Her bed is India; there fhe lies, a pearl;

[ocr errors]

Is the worth keeping? why, the is a pearl, bis dung woY
Whose price hath launch'd above a thousand ships,
And turn'd crown'd Kings to merchants.

[ocr errors]

alluded to,

But Mr. Pope objects farther to reading Judian, becaufe, to of this, we must presuppose fome particular flory of a Jew' which is much lefs obvious: but has Shakespeare never done this, but in this fingle inftance? Let us turn back, for proof, to his Twelfth Night Why fhould I not, had I the heart to do't, Like to th' Ægyptian thief, at point of death,

Kill what I love?


Here is a particular fory hinted at, (which I have explain'd in the proper place) much lefs obvious than the flory above presuppos'd. But this we are to obferve of Shakespeare, that tho' both his stories are introduc'tacito nomine, his allufion and fimilie are as clear, as if he had given us the express hiftory. Ben Jonson, I am fure, does not s always convey his allufions in the fame clearness.

I have a husband, and a two-legg'd one,

But fuch a moonling, as no wit of man,

Or rofes, can redeem from being an afs

Here is a flory presuppos'd, but fo darkly couch'd, that, I dare war-rant, fcarce one reader in five hundred of this poet ever guefs'd at it." Nor can any one know what he would be at, who has not read either Lucian or Apuleius: and obferv'd, that when Lucius by a magical unguent was converted into an afs, the only means of recovering his own form was for him to broufe on fresh rofes. I hope, the explication of this obfcure paffage will compenfate for the digreffion. But.... to return to my Author. I am fatisfied, in his Judian, he is alluding to Herod, who, in a fit of blind jealousy, threw away fuch a jewel of a wife as Mariamne was to him. What can be more parallel in circumftance, than the conduct of Herod and Othello? Nor was the ftory fo little obvious, as Mr. Pope feems to imagine: for, in the year 1613, the lady Elizabeth Carew publish'd a tragedy call'd MARIAM, the fair Queen of JEWRY. I fhall only add, that our Author might write Judian, or Judean, (if that should be alledg'd as any objection) inftead of Judæan, with the fame licenfe and change of accent, as, in his Antony and Cleopatra, he fhortens the fecond fyllable of Euphases in pronunciation.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Beat :

Beat a Venetiar, and traduc'd the State,

I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And fmote him thus.

Lod. Oh bloody period!

Gra. All, that is fpoke, is marr'd.

[Stabs himself.

Oth. I kit thee, ere I kill'd thee.-No way but this,

Killing myself, to die upon a kifs.

[To Defdem.


Caf. This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon, For he was great of heart.

Lod. Oh Spartan dog!

[To Iago.

More fell than anguifh, hunger, or the fea!
Look on the tragick loading of this bed;
This is thy work; the object poifons fight,
Let it be hid. Gratiano, keep the house,
And feize upon the fortunes of the Moor,
For they fucceed to you. To you, Lord Governor,
Remains the cenfure of this hellish villain :
The time, the place, the torture, oh! inforce it.
Myfelf will straight aboard; and to the State
This heavy act, with heavy heart, relate.


[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »