« AnteriorContinuar »
THE MOOR OF VENICE.
PREFACE TO OTHELLO.
This tragedy is justly considered as one of the That adultery is a crime which is deservedis noblest efforts of dramatic genius that has appeared placed next to murder, will be allowed, not only by in any age or in any language ; but the subject is the Christian, but by every being whose mind is unfortunately little suited to family reading. The not wholly insensible to the most obvious principles arguments which are urged, and the facts which of virtue. But in proportion to the enormity of the are adduced as proofs of adultery, are necessarily offence, should be the caution with which the susof such a nature as cannot be expressed in terms of picion is permitted to be entertained; for besides perfect delicacy; yet neither the arguments, nor the injury which is thus done to the person accused, the facts, can be omitted ; for although every reader the jealous accuser will assuredly exclaim with must "weep
Othello : “O'er gentle Desdemona's woes !,"
“O now for ever, yet I believe there is no person who would wish to
Farewell the tranquil mind - farewell content" aggravate the guilt of Othello, by leaving out any Shakspeare appears to have been particularly deof those circumstances which give an appearance of sirous of warning mankind against the indulgence truth to the suggestions of Iago.
of this fatal passion ; for, independent of various From the multitude of indecent expressions which observations in different parts of his works, he has abound in the speeches of the inferior characters, I made it the principal subject of no less than four of have endeavoured to clear the play ; but I cannot his best plays : exerting his matchless powers in erase all the bitter terms of reproach and execration painting it with every variety of colouring that was with which the transports of jealousy and revenge calculated to warn the human mind against its ad. are expressed by the Moor, without altering his mission. It is laughably ridiculous in Ford; it is character; losing sight of the horror of those pas- justly odious in Leontes; we tremble for its consesions; and, in fact, destroying the Tragedy. Iquences in Posthumus; and we view them in their find myself, therefore, reduced to the alternative of utmost horror in Othello. either departing in some degree from the principle After the foregoing observations, I shall only add, on which this publication is undertaken, or ma- that I have endeavoured to erase the objectionable terially injuring a most invaluable exertion of the expressions which so frequently occur in the ori. genius of Shakspeare. I have adopted the former ginal text, whenever it could be done consistently part of the alternative, and, in making this decision, with the character and situation of the speaker; I have been much influenced by an opinion which I but if, after all that I have omitted, it shall still be have long entertained, that this play, in its present thought that this inimitable tragedy is not suffi. form, is calculated to produce an excellent effect on ciently correct for family reading, I would advise the human mind: by exhibiting a most forcible and the transferring of it from the parlour to the cabinet, impressive warning against the admission of that where the perusal will not only delight the poetic baneful passion, which, when once admitted, is the taste, but convey useful and important instruction inevitable destroyer of conjugal happiness. both to the heart and the understanding of the 1 Scott's Rokeby.
PERSONS REPRESENTED. DUKE OF VENICE.
Clown, Servant to Othello.
DESDEMONA, Daughter to Brabantio, and Wife to Lodovico, Kinsman to Brabantio.
Othello. OTHELLO, the Moor.
Emilia, Wife to Iago.
Bianca, a Courtexan, Mistress to Cassio.
Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Musicians, Sailors, MONTANO, Othello's Predecessor in the Government
SCENE I. - Venice. A Street.
And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
Do well thrive by them, and when they have lin'd Enter RODERIGO and Iago.
their coats, Rod. Tush, never tell me, I take it much un
Do themselves homage: these fellows have some kindly,
soul; That thou, lago, — who hast had my purse,
And such a one do I profess myself. As if the strings were thine, — shouldst know of For, sir, this.
It is as sure as you are Roderigo, Iago. But you will not hear me :
Were I the Moor, I would not be lago: If ever I did dream of such a matter,
In following him, I follow but myself; Abhor me.
Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty, Rod. Thou told'st me, thou didst hold him in thy But seeming so, for my peculiar end : hate.
For when my outward action doth demonstrate Iago. Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones The native act and figure of my heart of the city,
In compliment extern, 'tis not long after In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve Oft capp'd I to him ; — and, by the faith of man,
For daws to peck at: I am not what I am. I know my price, I am worth no worse a place :
Rod. What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe", But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
If he can carry't thus ! Evades them, with a bombast circumstance,
Call up her father, Horribly stuff’d with epithets of war;
Rouse him : make after him, poison his delight, And, in conclusion, nonsuits
Proclaim him in the streets ; incense her kinsmen, My mediators; for certes, says he,
And, though he in a fertile climate dwell, I have already chose my officer.
Plague him with fies: though that his joy be joy, And what was he?
Yet throw such changes of vexation on't, Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
As it may lose some colour. One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
Rod. Here is her father's house ; I'll call aloud. That never set a squadron in the field,
Iago. Do; with like timorous accent, and dire yell, Nor the division of a battle knows
As when, by night and negligence, the fire
Rod. What ho! Brabantio! signior Brabantio, ho! As masterly as he: mere prattle, without practice, Iago. Awake! what ho! Brabantio ! thieves ! Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had the election :
thieves ! thieves !
BRABANTIO, above, at a Window.
Bra. What is the reason of this terrible summons ?
Iago. Are your doors lock'd? Iago. But there's no remedy, 'tis the curse of
Why? wherefore ask you this ? service;
Iago. Sir, you are robb’d; for shame, put on your Preferment goes by letter, and affection,
gown; Not by the old gradation, where each second
Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul; Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge yourself, Awake the snorting citizens with the bell : Whether I in any just term am affin'd 5
Arise, I say. To love the Moor.
Bra. What, have you lost your wits ? Rod. I would not follow him then.
Rod. Most reverend signior, do you know my voice. Iago. O, sir, content you ;
Bra. Not I: What are you? I follow him to serve my turn upon him :
Rod. My name is — Roderigo. We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
The worse welcome; Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark
I have charg'd thee, not to haunt about my doors : Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
In honest plainness thou hast heard me say, That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
My daughter is not for thee; and now, in madness, Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,
Being full of supper, and distempering draughts, For nought but provender; and, when he's old, Upon malicious bravery, dost thou come cashier'd;
To start my quiet. Whip me such honest knaves : Others there are,
Rod. Sir, sir, sir, sir, Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,
But thou must needs be sure, Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves ;
My spirit, and my place, have in them power
To make this bitter to thee. Saluted. · Circumlocution. 3 Certainly. • It was anciently the practice to reckon up sums with
Patience, good sir. counters.
• Own, possess.
Bra. What tell'st thou me of robbing ? this is | Past thought! What said she to you ? - Get Venice?
more tapers : My house is not a grange.?
Raise all my kindred. — Are they married, think Rod. Most grave Brabantio,
you? In simple and pure soul I come to you.
Rod. Truly, I think, they are. Iago. Then, sir, because we come to do you ser- Bra. O heaven, how got she out! - O treason vice, you think we are ruffians.
of the blood ! Bra. What wretch art thou?
Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters' minds Iago. I am one, sir, that comes to tell you, you By what you see them act. — Are there not charms daughter and the Moor are now together.
By which the property of youth and maidhood Bra. Thou art a villain.
May be abus'd? Have you not read, Roderigo, Iago.
You are a senator. Of some such thing? Bra. This thou shalt answer: I know thee, Ro- Rod.
Yes, sir; I have indeed. derigo.
Bra. Call up my brother. -0, that you had had Rod. Sir, I will answer any thing. But I be
Some one way, some another. - Do you know If 't be your pleasure, and most wise consent, Where we may apprehend her and the Moor? (As partly, I find, it is,) that your fair daughter, Rod. I think, I can discover him : if you please At this odd-even 8 and dull watch o' the night, To get good guard, and go along with me. Transported — with no worse nor better guard, Bra. Pray you, lead on. At every house I'll call; But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier, I may command at most ;-Get weapons, ho! To the embrace of a lascivious Moor,
And raise some special officers of night. If this be known to you, and your allowance", On, good Roderigo : — I'll deserve your pains. We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs ;
(Eseuns. But, if you know not this, my manners tell me, We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe,
SCENE II. - Another Street.
Enter OTHELLO, Iago, and Atendants. Your daughter, — if you have not given her Iago. Though in the trade of war I have slain leave,
men, I say, again, hath made a gross revolt;
Yet do I hold it very stuff o'the conscience, Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes, To do no contriv'd murder ; I lack iniquity In an extravagant' and wheeling stranger, Sometimes to do me service: Nine or ten times Of here and every where : Straight satisfy yourself: I had thought to have yerk'd him here under the If she be in her chamber, or your house,
ribs. Let loose on me the justice of the state
Oth. 'Tis better as it is. For thus deluding you.
Nay, but he prated, Bra.
Strike on the tinder, ho! And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
That, with the little godliness I have,
I did full hard forbear him. But, I pray, sir, Light, I say ! light!
[Exit from abode. Are you fast married ? for, be sure of this, Iago.
Farewell; for I must leave you : That the magnifico s is much beloved ; It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place, And hath, in his effect, a voice potential To be produc'd (as, if I stay, I shall,)
As double as the duke's; he will divorce you; Against the Moor: For, I do know, the state, Or put upon you what restraint and grievance However this may gall him with some check, The law (with all his might, to enforce it on,) Cannot with safety cast him; for he's embark'd Will give him cable. With such loud reason to the Cyprus' wars,
Let him do his spite : (Which even now stand in act,) that, for their souls, My services, which I have done the signiory, Another of his fathom they have not,
Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know, To lead their business : in which regard,
(Which when I know that boasting is an honour, Though I do hate him as I do hell pains,
I shall promulgate,) I fetch my life and being Yet, for necessity of present life,
From men of royal siege 4 ; and my demerits I must show out a flag and sign of love,
May speak, unbonneted, to as proud a fortune Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely As this that I have reach'd: For know, lago, find him,
But that I love the gentle Desdemona, Lead to the Sagittary the rais'd search;
I would not my unhoused free condition And there will I be with him. So farewell. [Erit. Put into circumscription and confine
For the sea's worth. But, look! what lights cone Enter below, BRABANTIO, and Servants with Torches.
yonder ? Bra. It is too true an evil : gone she is; And what's to come of my despis'd time ?,
Enler Cassio, at a distance, and certain Officers with Is nought but bitterness. — Now, Roderigo,
T'orches. Where didst thou see her? - O, unhappy girl !-- Iago. These are the raised father, and his friends : With the Moor, say'st thou ? - Who would be a You were best go in. father?
Not I: I must be found; How didst thou know 'twas she? O, thou deceiv'st me
3 Brabantio, magnifico is his title as a senator. 7 A lone farm-house. & Midnight. 9 Approbation 4 Seat or throne. Wandering
5 Demerits has the same meaning in Shakspeare as merita.
2 Old age.
My parts, my title, and my perfect soul,
Both you of my inclining, and the rest : Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?
Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it Iago. By Janus, I think no.
Without a prompter.
- Where will you that I go Oth. The servants of the duke, and my lieutenant. To answer this your charge ? The goodness of the night upon you, friends!
To prison : till fit time What is the news?
Of law, and course of direct session, Cas.
The duke does greet you, general ; Call thee to answer. And he requires your haste, post-haste appearance, Oth.
What if I do obey ? Sven on the instant.
How may the duke be therewith satisfied; Oth.
What is the matter, think you? Whose messengers are here about my side, Cas. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine; Upon some present business of the state, It is a business of some heat : the gallies
To bring me to him? Have sent a dozen sequent messengers
'Tis true, most worthy signior, This very night at one another's heels;
The duke's in council; and your noble self, And many of the consuls, rais'd, and met,
I am sure, is sent for. Are at the duke's already: You have been hotly Bra.
How! the duke in council ! call'd for;
In this time of the night !- Bring him away : When, being not at your lodging to be found, Mine's not an idle cause : the duke himself, The senate bath sent about three several quests, Or any of my brothers of the state, To search you out.
Cannot but feel this wrong, as 'twere their own ; Oth.
'Tis well I am found by you. For if such actions may have passage free, I will but spend a word here in the house,
Bond-slaves, and pagans, shall our statesmen be. And go with you. [Exit.
[Exeunt, Cas. Ancient, what makes he here?
SCENE III. – A Council Chamber. Iago. He hath to-night boarded a land carack 6; If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever. The Duke, and Senators, sitting at a Table ; Officers Cas. I do not understand.
Duke. There is no composition 7 in these news, Cas.
To who ? That gives them credit.
1 Sen. Re-enter OTHELLO.
Indeed, they are disproportion'd;
My letters say, a hundred and seven gallies.
Duke. And mine a hundred and forty.
And mine, two hundred :
(As in these cases, where the aim & reports, with Torches and Weapons.
A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus. Iago. It is Brabantio : general, be advis'd; Duke. Nay, it is possible enough to judgment; He comes to bad intent.
I do not so secure me in the error, Oth.
Hola! stand there! But the main article I do approve
In fearful sense.
Sailor. [Within.] What ho! what ho! what ho! [They draw on both sides. Tago. You, Roderigo ! come sir, I am for you.
Enter an Officer, with a Sailor. Oth. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew
offA messenger from the gallies. will rust them.
Now? the business? Good signior, you shall more command with years,
Sailor. The Turkish preparation makes for Than with your weapons.
Rhodes : bra. O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow'd so was I bid report here to the state, my daughter ?
By signior Angelo. Wretch that thou art, thou hast enchanted her :
Duke. How say you by this change ? For I'll refer me to all things of sense,
This cannot be, If she in chains of magick were not bound,
By no assay of reason; 'tis a pageant, Whether a maid — so tender, fair, and happy;
To keep us in false gaze: When we consider So opposite to marriage, that she shunn'd
The importancy of Cyprus to the Turk; The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
And let ourselves again but understand, Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
That, as it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes, Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
So may he with more facile question 9 bear it, Of such a thing as thou: to fear, not to delight.
For that it stands not in such warlike brace', Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense,
But altogether lacks the abilities That thou hast practis'd on her with foul charms;
That Rhodes is dress'd in: - if we make thought Abus'd her delicate youth with drugs, or minerals,
of this, 'Tis probable, and palpable to thinking.
We must not think, the Turk is so unskilful, I therefore apprehend and do attach thee,
To leave that latest which concerns him first; For an abuser of the world, a practiser
Neglecting an attempt of ease, and gain, Of arts inhibited and out of warrant:
To wake and wage ?, a danger profitless. Lay hold upon him; if he do resist,
Duke. Nay, in all confidence, he's not for Rhodes. Subdue him at his peril.
Off. Here is more news.
; Consistency. & Conjecture. • Easy dispute. 6 A rich vessel.
1 State of defence ? Combat.
Enter a Messenger.
For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith. Mess. The Ottomnites, reverend and gracious,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have usd Steering with due course toward the isle of Rhodes, Their dearest action in the tented field: Have there injointed them with an after fleet.
And little of this great world can I speak, i Sen. Ay, so I thought : – How many, as you And therefore little shall I grace my cause,
More than pertains to feats of broil and battle; guess? Mess. Of thirty sail : and now do they re-stem
Iu speaking for myself : Yet, by your gracious paTheir backward course, bearing with frank appear. I will a round unvarnished tale deliver
tience, Their purposes toward Cyprus. — Signior Montano, of my whole course of love ; what drugs, what Your trusty and most valiant servitor,
charms, With his free duty recommends you thus,
What conjuration, and what mighty magiek, And prays you to believe him.
(For such proceeding I am charg'd withal,) Duke. "T'is certain then for Cyprus.
I won his daughter with.
Bra. Marcus Lucchesé, is he not in town?
A maiden never bold; 1 Sen. He's now in Florence.
Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion Duke. Write from us; wish him post post-haste: Blush'd at herself; and she, — in spite of nature, despatch.
Of years, of country, credit, every thing, 1 Sen. Here comes Brabantio, and the valiant To fall in love with what she feard to look on?
It is a judgment maim’d, and most imperfect, Moor.
That will confess — perfection so could err Enter BRABANTIO, OTHELLO, Iago, RODERIGO, and Against all rules of nature, and must be driven Officers.
To find out practices of cunning hell, Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ Why this should be. I therefore vouch again,
That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood, you Against the general enemy Ottoman.
Or with some dram conjur'd to this effect,
He wrought upon her.
To vouch this is no proof; We lack'd your counsel and your help to-night.
Without more certain and more overt test , Bra. So did I yours: Good your grace, pardon Than these thin habits, and poor likelihoods
Of modern seeming 7, do prefer against him. me; Neither my place, nor aught I heard of business,
1 Sen. But, Othello, speak; Hath rais'd me from my bed; nor doth the general Did you by indirect and forced courses
Subdue and poison this young maid's affections? Take hold on me; for my particular grief
Or came it by request, or such fair question Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature,
As soul to soul affordeth ? That it engluts and swallows other sorrows,
I do beseech you, And it is still itself.
Send for the lady to the Sagittary 8, Duke.
Why, what's the matter? And let her speak of me before her father : Bra. My daughter! O, my daughter !
If you do find me foul in her report, Sen.
The trust, the office, I do hold of you, Bra.
Ay, to me;
Not only take away, but let your sentence She is abus’d, stol'n from me, and corrupted
Even fall upon my life. By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks:
Fetch Desdemona hither. For nature so preposterously to err,
Oth. Ancient, conduct them; you best know the Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,
place. — (Exeunt Iago, and Attendants Sans 3 witchcraft could not
And, till she come, as truly as to heaven
So justly to your grave ears I'll present
How I did thrive in this fair lady's love, You shall yourself read in the bitter letter,
And she in mine. After your own sense ; yea, though our proper son
Duke. Say it, Othello. Stood in your action. 4
Oth. Her father lov'd me, oft invited me; Bra.
Humbly I thank your grace. Still question’d me the story of my life, Here is the man, this Moor ; whom now, it seems, From year to year ; the battles, sieges, fortunes, Your special mandate, for the state affairs,
That I have pass'd. Hath hither brought.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days, Duke & Sen. We are very sorry for it. To the very moment that he bade me tell it. Duke. What, in your own part, can you say to Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances, this?
[To OTHELLO. Of moving accidents, by flood and field; Bra. Nothing but this is so.
Of hair-breadth scapes i'the imminent deadly breach; Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors, Of being taken by the insolent foe, My very noble and approv'd good masters,
And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence, That I have ta’en away this old man's daughter, And portance in my travel's history: It is most true; true, I have married her; Wherein of antres' vast, and desarts idle, The very head and front of my offending
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
heaven, And little bless'd with the set phrase of peace,
6 Open proof. 7 Weak show.
# The sign of the fictitious creature so called. 3 Without
* Accusation. 9 My behaviour. Caves and dens.
5 Best exertion.