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LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. TUSE story upon which this beautifal and instructive tragedy is founded, was taken, according to Mr. Pope, from
Cynthio's novels. It was probably written in the year 1611. Mustapha, Selymus's general, invaded Cyprus in May 1570, and conquered it in the following year. His fleet first sailed towards that island; but immediately changing its course for Rhodes, formed a junction with another squadron, and then returned to the attack of Cyprus : thus the actual historical periods of the performance are satisfactorily determined. In addition to the admirable lesson set forth in this impressive tragedy, so well calculated to produce an excellent effect upon the human mind, by pourtraying that baneful passion, which, when once indulged, is the inevitable destroyer of conjugal happiness; it may justly be considered as one of the noblest efforts of dramatic genius, that has appeared in any age, or in any language. " The fiery openness of Othello, (says Dr. Johnson) muge nanimous, artless, and credulous ; boundless in his confidence, ardent in his affection, inflexible in his resolution, and obdurate in his revenge---the soft simplicity of Desdemona, confident of merit, and conseious of innocence; her artless perseverance in her suit, and her slowness to suspect that she can be suspected--the cool malignity of lago, silent in his resentment, subtle in his designs, and studious at once of his interest and his vengeance---are such proofs of Shakspeare's skill in human nature, as I suppose it is in vain to seek in any modern writer ; whilst even the inferior characters would be very conspicuous in any other piece, not only for their justness, but their strength." In proportion to the enormity of such a crime as adultery, should be the caution with which a suspicion of it is perinitted to be entertained ; and our great dramatic moralist was no doubt desirous of eaforring this maxim, when he made it, as he was done, the subject of no less than fonr of bis most finished productions.
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ. DUKE OF VENICE.
CLOWN, Servant to Othello.
DESDEMONA, Daughter to Brabantio, and
Wife to Othello. CASSIO, his Lieutenant.
Emilia, Wife to lago. LAGO, his Ancient.
Bianca, a Courtezan, Mistress to Cassio. RODERIGO, a Venetian Gentleman. MONTANO, Othello's predecessor in the Go-Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Musicans, vernment of Cyprus.
Sailors, Attendants, sc. Scene, for the first Act, in Venice ; during the rest of the Play, at a Sea-port in Cyprus.
| My 'mediators; for, certes, says he,
I have already chose my officer.
And what was he
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
That never set a squadron in the field, That thon, lago, who hast had my purse,
Nor the division of a battle knows As if the strings were thine,-shouldst know of More than a spinster ; unless the bookish thethis.
oric, 1 Tago. 'Sblood, but you will not hear me: Wherein the toged consuls can propose If ever I did dream of such a matter,
As masterly as he : mere prattle, without prac. Abhor me.
[tion : Rod. Thou told'st me, thou didst hold him in Is all his soldiership. But he, Sir, had the electhy hate.
And 1,--of whom his eyes bad seen tbe proof, lago. Despise me, if I do not. Three great At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds ones of the city,
Christian aud heathen,-must be be-lee'd and In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
calm'd oft capp'd to him ;-and, by the faith of man, By debitor and creditor ; this counter-caster, 1 I know my price, I am worth no worse a place : He, in good time, must his lieutenant be, But he, as loving his own pride and purposes, Eyades them, with a bombast circuinstance, t.
• Certainly Horribly stuf'd with epithets of war;
+ For reife some read life, supposing it to allude to the And, in conclusion, nonguits
denunciation in the Gospel, "Woe anto you when all men shall speak well of you."
t Theory. Rulers of the state.
It was ancicotly the • Salut Circumlocution.
practice to reckon up sums with counters.
And I, (God bless the mark !) bis Moorship's an- | Rod. My name is-Roderigo. cient.
Bra. The worse welcome :
doors; Rod. By heaven, I rather would have been his I have charg'd thee, not to haunt about me bangman.
In honest plainness thou hast beard me say lago. But there's no remedy ; 'tis the curse of My daughter is not for thee; and now, in diad, service :
ness, Preferment goes by letter and affection,
Being full of supper and distempering draughts Not by the old gradation, where each second Upon malicious bravery dost thou come Stood heir to the first. Now, Sir, be judge To start my quiet. yourself,
Rod. Sir, Sir, Sir, Sir,-Whether I in any just term am affin'd.
Bra, But thou must needs be sure, To love the Moor.
My spirit and my place have in them power Rod. I would not follow him then.
To make this bitter to thee. lago. O Sir, content you;
Rod. Patience, good sir. I follow him to serve my turn upon him:
Bra. What tellst thou me of robbing? this is We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Rod. Most grave Brabantio,
cause we come to do you service, you think we Whip me sucb bonest knaves: Others there are, are ruffians : You'll have your daughter covered Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty, with a Barbaty horse ; you'll have your pephews + Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves; neigh to youyou'll bave coursers for cousins, And, throwing but shows of service on their lords, and gennets for germans. Do well thrive by them; and, when they have Bra. What profane wretch art thou ? lin'd their coats,
lago. I am one, Sir, that comes to tell you Do themselves homage : these fellows have some your daughter and the Moor are now making the soul;
beast with two backs. And such a one do I profess myself.
Bra. Thou art a villain. For, Sir,
lago. You area senator. It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
Bra. This thou shalt answer: I know thee Were I the Moor, I would not be lago :
Roderigo. In following him, I follow but myself ;
Ror. Sir, I will answer any thing. But I be. Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
seech you, But seeming so, for my peculiar end;
Irt be your pleasure, and most wise consent, For when my outward action doth demonstrate (As partly, I find, it is,) that your fair daughter. The native act and figure of my heart
At this odd-even and dull watch o'the night, In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
Transported-with no worse nor better guard, But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier, For daws to peck at: I am not what I am. To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor,
Rod. What a full fortune does the thick-lips If this be known to you, and your allowance, If he can carry't thus !
[owet We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs : lago. Call up her father,
But if you know not this, my manners tell me, Ronse him : make after him, poison his delight, We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe Proclaim him in the streets ; incense her kins That from the sense of all civility,
[ence : . men,
If thus would play and trifle with your reverAnd, though he in a fertile climate dwell.
Your daughter, if you have not given her Plague himn with flies; though that his joy be jo
leave, Yet throw such changes of vexation on't,
I say again, bath made a gross revolt; As it may lose some colour.
Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes, Rod. Here is her father's house : l'll call in an extravagant 9 and wheeling stranger, (self ; aloud.
Of here and every where : Straigbt satisfy your. lago. Do ; with like timorous accent, and dire If she be in her chamber, or your house, yell,
Let loose on me the justice of the state
Bra. Strike on the tinder, ho!
This accident is not unlike my dream,
Belief of it oppresses me already :-
(Exit from abore. Look to your house, your daughter, and your
lago. Farewell; for I must leave you : Thieves ! thieves !
It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
To be produc'd (as, if I stay, I shall,)
Against the Moor: For, I do know, the state, Bra. What is the reason of this terrible sum- However this may gall him with some check, What is the matter there?
[mons | Cannot with safety cast || him ; for he's embark'd Rod. Signior, is all your family within i
With such loud reason to the Cyprus' wars, lago. Are your doors lock'd ?
(Which even now stand in act,) that, for their Bra. Why? wherefore ask you this
souls, lago. 'Zounds, Sir, you are robb'd; for shame, / Another of his fathom they have not, put on your gown ;
soul; To lead their business ; in which regard, Your heart is burst, you have lost half your Though I do hate him as I do hell pains, Even now, very now, an old black ram
Yet, for necessity of present life, Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise ;
I must show out a flag and sign of love, Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you :
find him, Arise, I say.
Lead to the Sagittary the rais'd search ; Bra, What, have you lost your wits ?
And there will I be with him. So, farewell. Rod. Most reverend signior, do you know my
(Exit. voice ? Bra. Not 1; What are you?
• A lone farm house. Nephews, here means grande
A Spanish horse.
Enter belou, BRABANTIO, and Servants with | Tago. By Janus, I think no.
oth. The servants of the duke, and my lieuBra. It is too true an evil : gone she is :
tenant. And what's to come of my despised time,
The goodness of the night upon you, friends! Is nought but bitterness.--Now, Roderigo,
What is the news ? Where didst thou see her?-0 unhappy girl!
Cas. The duke does greet you, general ; With the Moor, say'st thou 1-Who would be a
And he requires your haste-post-baste appearance, father
Even on the instant. Hov didst thou know 'twas she? O thou de
Oth. What is the matter, think you !
Cas. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine ; ceiv'st me Past thought I-What said she to you :-Get more
It is a business of some heat : The gallies
Have sent a dozen sequent • messengers tapers ;
[you Raise all my kindred.- Are they married think
This very night at one another's heels; Rod. Truly, I think, they are.
And many of the consuls, rais'd, and met, Bra. O heaven !-How got she out!-0 trea
Are at the duke's already : You have been hotly
call'd for; son of the blood ! Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters'
When, being not at your lodging to be found, minds
The senate hath sent about three several quests, By what you see them act.--Are there not charms
To search you out.
Oth, 'Tis well I am found by you.
| I will but spend a word here in the house. of some such thing?
And go with you.
(Erit. Rod, Yes, Sir; i have indeed.
Cas. Ancient, what makes me bere ? Bra. Call up my brother. that you had lago. 'Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land
had her 1 Some one way, some another.-Do you know
If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever. Where we may apprehend her and the Moor?
Cas. I do not understand. Rod. I think, I can discover bim, if you please
lago. He's married. To get good guard, and go along with me.
Cas. To who? Bra. Pray you, lead on. At every house I'll
Re-enter OTHELLO. call;
! Iago. Marry, to-Come, captain, will you go? I may command at most :-Get weapons, hol
och. Have with you. And raise some special officers of night.On, good Roderigo ;-I'll deserve your pains.
Cas. Here comes another troop to seek for you. Exeunt. Enter BRABANTIO, RODERIGO, and Officers of
Night with Torches and Weapons. SCENE II.-The same.- Another Street. Iago. It is Brabantio :-general, be advised:
He comes to bad intent. Enter OTHELLO, Iago, and Attendants.
Oth. Holla I stand there ! lago. Though in the trade of war I have slain Rod. Signior, it is the Moor. men,
Bra. Down with him, thief! Yet do I hold it very stuff o'the conscience,
[They draw on both sides. To do no contriv'd murder; I lack iniquity
go. You, Roderigo I come, Sir, I am for you, Sometimes, to me do service : Nine or ten times Oth. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew 1 bad thought to have yerk'd him here under the
will rust them. ribs.
Good signior, you shall more command" with Oth. 'Tis better as it is.
Than with your weapons. lago. Nay, but he prated,
Bra, o thou foul thief, where last thou stow'd And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
my daughter? Against your honour,
Damn'd as thou art, thou hast enchanted her : That, with the little godliness I have,
For I'll refer me to all things of sense,
Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy,
So opposite to marriage, tbat she shunu'd And bath, in his effect, a voice potential
The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,' As double as the duke's; he will divorce you ; Would every have, to incur a general nock,' Or put upon you what restraint and grievance Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom The law (with all his might, to enforce it on.) of such a thing as thou: to fear not to delight. Will give bim cable.
Judge me the world, if'tis not gross in sense, Oth. Let him do bis spite :
That thou hast practis'd on her with foul cbarins : My services, which I have done the signiory, Abus'd her delicate youth with drugs, or miu. Shall out-tougue bis complaints. "sis yet to
[our, That waken motion : l'll have it disputed on; (Whicla, when I know that boasting is an hon. 'Tis probable, and palpable to thinking. I shall promulgate,) I fetch my life and being |I therefore apprehend and do attach thee, From men of royal siege, + and my demerits i For an abuser of the world, a practiser. May speak, unbonnetted, to as proud a fortune | or arts inhibited and out of warrant As this that I have reach'd : For know, Iago, Lay hold upon him ; if he do resist, But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
Subdue bim at his peril. I would not my unhoused free condition
Oth. Hold your hands, Put into circumspection and confine
Both you of my inclining, and the rest : For the sea's worth. But, look ! what lights come Were it my cué to fight, I should have known it yonder 1
Without a prompter. Where will you that I go
To answer this your charge ?
Bra. To prison : till fit time
of law, and course of direct session,
[friends :1 Oth. What if I do obey ? Oth. Not I:I must be found:
How may the duke be therewith satisfied; My parts, my title, and my perfect soul,
Whose messengers are here about any side, Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?
Upon some present business of the state,
To bring ine to bini ? The title of a Senator.
+ Men who have sat tapon royal thrones. Demerits has the same
+ A web vesel aidening in Shakspeare as merits,