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Lod. Wrench his fword from him.
Oth. I am not forry, neither: I'd have thee live ; ·
Lod. Oh thou, Othello, that waft once fo good,
Oth. Why, any thing;
An honourable murd'rer, if you will:
Caf. Dear General, I never gave you cause.
Gra. Torments will ope your lips.
Oth. Well, thou dost beft.
Lo. Sir, you fhall understand what hath befall'n,
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
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,
Caf. There is, befides, in Rodorigo's letter,
Lod. You must forfake this
Ihat can torment him much, and hold him long,
Richer than all his tribe; of one, whose eyes,
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,
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;
Is the worth keeping? why, the is a pearl, bis dung woY
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.
Beat a Venetiar, and traduc'd the State,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
Lod. Oh bloody period!
Gra. All, that is fpoke, is marr'd.
Oth. I kit thee, ere I kill'd thee.-No way but this,
Killing myself, to die upon a kifs.
Caf. This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon, For he was great of heart.
Lod. Oh Spartan dog!
More fell than anguifh, hunger, or the fea!