Imatges de pàgina

Def. I cannot speak of this, come, now your promise.
Oib. What promise, chuck?
Des. I've sent to bid Caffio come speak with you.

Oth. I have a falt and forry Rheum offends me;
Lend me thy handkerchief.

Dis. Here, my Lord.
Orh. That, which I gave you.
Dif. I have it not about me.
Oih. Notas
Def. No, indeed, my Lord.

0.h. That's a fault. That handkerchief (41) Did an Ægyptian to my mother give;


moft exquisite, plainly insinuating that some, then created, had handsg. indeed, but no bearts: that is, money to pay for the creation, but no virtue to purchase the honour. But the finest part of the Poet's address in this allufion, is, the compliment he paid by it to bis old mise tress, Elizabeth. For James's pretence for raifing this fum, by the new creation, was the reduction of Ulfter, and other provinces in Ireland; the memory of which he would perpetuate by this addition to the arms, which is the arms of Ulster. Now the methods used by Elizabe:b in the conquest of that kingdom were so different from this, (the dignities, the confer'd, being on those who had employ'd their Jieel, not their gold in that service) that nothing could more add to her glory than being compared to her fuccefor in this point of view.

Mr. Warburton. (47)

-That bandkerchief Did an Ægyptian to my morber give;} Because this episode of the bandkerchief has been attack'd by snarlers and buffoon-criticks, I am tempted to fubjoin an observation or two in juftification of our Author's conduct. The Poet seems to have been aware of the levity of such judges, as fhould account the giving away an handkerchief too Night a ground for jealousy. He therefore obviates this, upon the very moment of the handkerchief being lost, by making lago fay;

Trifles, light as air,
Are, to the jealous, confirmations strong

As proofs of holy writ. Besides this, let us see how finely the Poet has made his handkerchief of fignificancy and importance. Cinthio Giraldi, from whom he has borrowed the incident, only says, that it was the Moors gift, upon his wedding, to Desdemona ; that it was most curiously wrcught after the Moorish fashion, and very dear both to him and his wife ; il quel Panniceiló era lavorato alla Moresca fotrilisimamente, & era carissimo alla Donna & parimente al Mura. But our Author, who wrote in a fuperftitious age, (when philtres were in vogue for procuring love, and


She was a Charmer, and could almost read
The thoughts of people. She told hery while she keptit,
"Twould make her amiable, fubdue my father
Intirely to her love ; but if she loft it,
Or made a gift of it, my father's

Should hold her loathed, and his fpirits hunt
After new fancies. She, dying, gave it me;
And bid me, when my fate would have me wiv'd,
To give it her. I did fo; and take heed on't;
Make it a darling, like your precious eye ;
To lose’t, or give't away, were such perdition,
As nothing else could match.

Def, Is’t possible ?

Oth. 'Tis true; there's magick in the web of it ; A Sybil, that had numbred in the world The Sun to course two hundred compasses, In her prophetick fury few'd the Work: The worms were hallowed, that did breed the filk; And it was dy'd in Mummey, which the skilful Conserv'd of Maidens hearts. amulets for preserving it) makes his handkerchief deriv'd from an inchantress; magick and myslery are in its materials and workmanship; its qualities and attributes are folemnly laid down; and the gift reenmmended to be cherith'd by its owners on the most inducing terms imaginable, viz. the making the party amiable to her husband, and the keeping his affections steady. Such circumstances, if I know any thing of the matter, are the very foul and effence of poetry: fancy here exerts its great creating power, and adds a dignity, that furprizes, to its subject. After this, let us hear the coarse pleasantries of Mr. Rymer. “ So much ado, so much stress, so much passion, and repe. “tition, about an handkerchief! Why was not this call'd the Tragedy of the Handkerchief? What can be more abfurd, than (as « Quintilian expreffes it) in parvis litibus bas Tragoedias mevere « We have heard of Fortunatus's purse, and of the invisible cloak, long

ago worn thread-bare, and ftow'd up in the wardrobe of obsolete

romances : one might think, that were a fitter place for this hand. s kerchief, than that it, at this time of day, be worn on the fage, " to raise every where all this clutter and turmoil. Had it been “ Desdemona's garter, the fagacious Moor might have smelt a rat : “ but the handkerchief is fo remote a trifle, no booby, on this fire " Mauritania, could make any consequence from it.'? -Whether this be from the spirit of a true critic, or from the licence of a railer, I may be too much prejudiced to determine : fo leave it to every in different judgment.


Def. Indeed! is't true ?
Oth. Most veritable, therefore look to't well,
DIf. Then would to heav'n, that I had never seen'it!
Oih. Ha? wherefore ?
Def. Why do you speak fo startingly, and'rash ?
Oih. Is't loft ? 'is't gone? speak, is it out o'th' way??
Def. Bless us!
Orh. Say you ?
Desi It is not lost'; but what, an if it were ?
Oth, Ha!
Def. I say, it is not loft.
Oth. Fetch't, let me see't.
Des. Why, so I can, Sir; but I will not now ::
This is a trick to put me from my suit,
Pray you, let Callio be receiv'd again.

Óch. Fetch me the handkerchief-my mind mifgives
Def. Come, you'll ne'er meet a more sufficient man.
Oth. The handkerchief-

Def. A inan, that, all his time,
Hath founded his good fortunes on your love ;
Shar'd dangers with you.

Orb. The handkerchief-
Def. Insooth, you are to blame.
Oih. Away!

[Exit Othello, Manent Desdemona and Æmilia. Æmil. Is not this man jealous ?

Def. I ne'er saw this before.
Sure, there's some wonder in this ħandkerchief:
l'm most unhappy in the loss of it.

Æmil. "Tis not a year, or two, shews us a man:
They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;
They eat us hungerly, and, when they're full,
They belch us. Look you: Caffio, and my husband.

Enter Jago and Caffio. lago. There is no other way, 'tis the most do't ; And lo, the happiness! go and importune her. (you ?

Def. How now, good. Casin, what's the news with: Cal. Madam, my former suit. I do befeech you,


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That by your virtuous means I may again
Exist, and be a member of his love :
Whom I, with all the office of my heart,
Intirely honour. I would not be delay'd ;
If my offence be of such mortal kind,
That not my service past, nor present sorrows,
Nor purpos’d merit in futurity,
Can ransom me into his love again ;
But to know fo, must be my benefit.
So shall 1 clothe me in a forc'd content,
And shut myself up in some other course, (42).
To fortune's alıns.

Dif. Alås! thrice-gentle Casio,
My advocation is not now in tune ;
My Lord is not my Lord; nor should I know him,
Were he in favour, as in humour, alter'd,,
So help me every spirit fanctified,
As I have spoken for you all my best ;
And stood within the blank of his displeasure,
For my free speech! You must a-while be patient;
What I can do, I will : and more I will
Than for myself I dare. Let that fuffice you.
lago. Is


Æmil. He went hence but now;
And, certainly, in strange unquietness.

Iago. Can he be angry? I have seen the cannon,
When it hath blown his ranks into the air,
(42) And Jhut myself up in some orber course,

To Fortune's arms.) i. e. 10 be embraced by Fortune : 'which waga a greater happiness than Cafio yet dreamt of. I don't know whether we are to dispute here with Mr. Pope's eyes, or his understanding, for departing from all the old copies, which read as they should do ;

And jbut myself up in some o: ber' course,

To Fortune's alms. i. e. To chance, and casualay. So before, in this play ;

I'd whistle, and let her down the wind

To prey at Fortune,
i, e, at random. And so, in King Lear;,

Let your study
B: to content your Lord, who hath receiv'd you

At Fortune's alms,
jo e, a beggar j.; Atript of the indulgence of fortune,



And, like the Devil, from his very arm
Puft his own brother; and can he be angry?
Something of moment then ; I will go meet him :
There's matter in't indeed, if he be angry. [Exit..

Manent Desdemona, Æmilia, and Caffio.
Def. I pr’ythee, do fo.-Something, sure, of State,
Either from Venice, or some unhatch'd practice,
Made here demonstrable in Cyprus to him,
Hath puddled his clear spirit; and, in such cases,
Mens' natures wrangle with inferior things,
Tho' great ones are their object. 'Tis ev'n so,
For let our finger ake, and it endues
Our other healthful members with a sense
Of pain.

Nay, we must think, Men are not Gods ;;
Nor of them look for such observance always,
As,fits the bridal. Belhrew me much, Æmilia,
I was (unhandsome warrior, as I am,)
Arraigning his unkindness with my soul;
But now I find, I had suborn'd the witness,
And he's indited falsely.

Æmil. Pray heav'n, it be
State-matter, as you think; and no conception,
Nor jealous toy concerning you.

Def. Alas-the-day, I never gave him cause.

Æmil. But jealous fouls will not be answer'd fo;
They are not ever jealous for a 'cause;
But jealous, for they're jealous. It's a monster
Begot upon itself, born on itself.

Def. Heav'n keep that monster from Othello's mind!
Æmil. Lady, amen.

Def. I will go feek him. Cafic, walk hereabout;
Jf I do find him fit, I'll move your suit;,
And seek t'effect it to my uttermoft.
Cof, I humbly thank your Ladyship.

[Exeunt Desdem. and Æmil. at ane door

Callio, at the other.

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