Imagens das páginas

That he hath left part of his grief with me,
To suffer with him. Good love, call him back.
Oth. Not now, sweet Desdemona; some other

Des. But shall't be shortly?

The sooner, sweet, for you.
Des. Shall't be to-night at supper ?

No, not to-night.
Des. To-morrow dinner then ?

I shall not dine at home :
I meet the captains at the citadel.
Des. Why, then, to-morrow night; or Tuesday

morn ; Or Tuesday noon, or night; or Wednesday morn: I pr’ythee, name the time ; but let it not Exceed three days: in faith, he's penitent; And yet his trespass, in our common reason, (Save that, they say, the wars must make examples Out of the best,) is not, almost, a fault T' incur a private check. When shall he come ? Tell me, Othello : I wonder in my soul, What you could ask me, that I should deny, Or stand so mammering on.S What! Michael

Cassio, That came a-wooing with you, and so many a time, When I have spoke of you dispraisingly, Hath ta’en your part; to have so much to do To bring him in! Trust me, I could do much,

Oth. 'Pr'ythee, no more: let him come when he


I will deny thee nothing.


7 The old copies have her instead of the. The change is from Singer.

8 So hesitating, in such doubtful suspense. So in Lyly's Euphues, 1580: “Neither stand in a mamering whether it be best to depart

or not."


Why, this is not a boon ; 'Tis as I should intreat you wear your gloves, Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm; Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit To your own person : nay, when I have a suit Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed, It shall be full of poize and difficult weight, And fearful to be granted. Oth.

I will deny thee nothing : Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this, To leave me but a little to myself.

Des. Shall I deny you ? no: Farewell, my lord. Oth. Farewell, my Desdemona: I'll come to thee

straight. Des. Emilia, come. - Be as your fancies teach

you; Whate'er you be, I am obedient.

[Exit, with EMILIA. Oth. Excellent wretch! 9 Perdition catch my soul, But I do love thee! and when I love thee not, Chaos is come

Iago. My noble lord,

What dost thou say, Iago ?
Iago. Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my

lady, Know of



9 The meaning of the word wretch is not generally understood. It is now in some parts of England a term of the fondest and softest tenderness. It expresses the utmost degree of amiableness, joined with an idea which perhaps all tenderness includes, of feebleness, softness, and want of protection. Othello, considering Desdemona as excelling in beauty and virtue, soft and timorous by her sex, and by her situation absolutely in his power, calls her Excellent wretch! It may be expressed, “Dear, harmless, helpless excellence.” – Johnson.

10 The meaning is, “Ere I cease to love thee, the world itself shall be reduced to its primitive chaos." But is used in its exceptive sense, be out, but that, or, if I do not love thee."

[ocr errors]


Oth. He did, from first to last : Why dost thou

ask ?
Iago. But for a satisfaction of my thought ;
No further harm.

Why of thy thought, Iago ? Iago. I did not think he had been acquainted

with her. Oth. O, yes! and went between us very oft. Iago. Indeed! Oth. Indeed! ay, indeed: discern’st thou aught

in that? Is he not honest ?

Iago. Honest, my lord ?
Oth. Honest ? ay, honest.
Iago. My lord, for aught I know.
Oth. What dost thou think?
Iago. Think, my lord ?
Oth. Think, my lord! By Heaven, thou echo'st

me, As if there were some monster in thy thought Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean some

thing: I heard thee say but now, thou lik’dst not that, When Cassio left my wife: what didst not like? And, when I told thee he was of my counsel In my whole course of wooing, thou criedst, “In

deed!” And didst contract and purse thy brow together, As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain Some horrible conceit. If thou dost love me, Show me thy thought.

11 In Act i. sc. 2, when Iago, speaking of the Moor to Cassio, says, “ He's married,” Cassio asks, “ To whom?" Yet here he seems to have known all about it. Of course the explanation is, that Cassio there feigned ignorance, in order to keep his friend's secret till it should be publicly known. VOL. X. 41



Iago. My lord, you know I love you.

I think thou dost : And — for I know thou’rt full of love and honesty, And weigh'st thy words before thou giv'st them

breathTherefore these stops of thine fright me the more: For such things, in a false disloyal knave, Are tricks of custom ; but, in a man that's just, They're close delations, working from the heart, That passion cannot rule. Iago.

For Michael Cassio,
I dare be sworn, I think that he is honest.

Oth. I think so too.

Men should be what they seem ; Or, those that be not, would they might seem none !

Oth. Certain, men should be what they seem.
Iago. Why, then I think Cassio's an honest man.

Oth. Nay, yet there's more in this.
I pray thee, speak to me as to thy thinkings,
As thou dost ruminate ; and give thy worst
Of thoughts the worst of words.

Good my lord, pardon me :
Though I am bound to every act of duty,
I am not bound to that all slaves are free to.
Utter my thoughts? Why, say, they are vile and

false ; As where's that palace, whereinto foul things

12 Thus the folio and the quarto of 1630; the other quarto, denotements. • Close delations” are secret accusings, intimations, or informations. So in Ben Jonson's Volpone, Act ii. sc. 3: “Yet, if I do it not, they may delate my slackness to my patron.” — It should be noted, that in all this part of the dialogue the doubts started in Othello by the villain's artful insinuations have reference only to Cassio.

There is not the least sign that the Moor's thoughts anywise touch his wife; and Iago seems perplexed that his suspicions have lighted elsewhere than he had intended.


Sometimes intrude not? who has a breast so pure,
But some uncleanly apprehensions
Keep leets, and law-days, and in session sit
With meditations lawful ? 13

Oth. Thou dost conspire against thy friend, lago,
If thou but think'st him wrong’d, and mak'st his ear
A stranger to thy thoughts.

I do beseech you,-
Though I, perchance, am vicious in my guess,
(As, I confess, it is my nature's plague
To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not,) — that your wisdom yet,
From one that so imperfectly conceits,
Would take no notice; nor build yourself a trouble
Out of his scattering and unsure observance.
It were not for your quiet, nor your good,
Nor for my manhood, honesty, or wisdom,
To let you know my thoughts.


[ocr errors]

13 Who has so virtuous a breast that some impure conceptions and 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? A leet is also called a law-doy.

This court, in whose manor soever kept, was accounted the king's court, and commonly held every half year:" it was a meeting of the hundred “to certify the king of the good manners and government of the inhabitants."

14 We here follow the quarto of 1630, with which the folio agrees, except that it reads of instead of oft, and omits yet after wisdom. The quarto of 1622 reads the same, except that it has - I entreat you, then," instead of “that your wisdom yet,” and conjects instead of conceits. It has been proposed to read of my jealousy," and change shapes into shape. At first sight, this is plausible, as it satisfies the grammar perfectly. But jealousy is itself, evidently, the “ nature's plague” of which Iago is speaking. So that the sense would be.- .-" It is my nature's plague to spy into abuses, and of my nature's plague to shape faults that are not ;” which comes pretty near being nonsense. On the other hand, if we read, — “It is my nature's plague to spy into abuses, and oft my nature's plague shapes faults that are not,”. the language is indeed not good, but the sense is perfect.


« AnteriorContinuar »