which are still the official designations of the field-marshals of Europe. When in actual service, he wore the knight's armour of the age, with the mantle and baton. Othello, though he could not hold this office if he were a Venetian, could not have held office at all unless a Christian in profession, and must, of course, have assumed the appropriate costume as much as if he had been a Frenchman, or a German, or a Neapolitan.

Thus much for the antiquarian accuracy of the costume, without regard to what may have been Shakespeare's own ideal portrait of the Moor. But of his intention on this point, there cannot be much doubt. He did not conceive his Moor as attired in Mohammedan costume. The Moor is one who would not “ renounce his baptism, the seals and symbols of redeemed sin.” In his last breath, he describes the “dog" whom he smote for beating a Venetian and traducing Venice, as a “malignant and a turban'd Turk.” This the Poet could not mean for a portrait of the state's own commanding general, who elsewhere speaks of his own “helm.” The Turks too, are the enemies of Venice; and no dramatic poet could have conceived so gross an incongruity as the general of any Christian state wearing the uniform and customary attire of the enemies whom he is to combat. But Othello—so far from being represented as a person negligent of these matters—is a soldier, delighting in "all quality, pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war."

[graphic][merged small][merged small]
[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed]

SCENE I.-Venice. A Street.

Rod. Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy

hate. Enter RODERIGO and Iago.

Iago. Despise me if I do not. Three great ones Rod. Tush! never tell me; I take it much un of the city, kindly,

In personal suit to make me his lieutenant, That thou, lago, who hast had my purse,

Off-capp'd to him; and, by the faith of man, As if the strings were thine, should'st know of I know my price: I am worth no worse a place; this.

But he, as loving his own pride and purposes, Iago. But you'll not hear me : if ever I did Evades them, with a bombast circumstance, dream

Horribly stuff'd with epithets of war; Of such a matter, abhor me.

And, in conclusion,

Nonsuits my mediators; “For certes," says he, As when, (by night and negligence,) the fire
“I have already chose my officer.” And what was Is spied in populous cities.

Rod. What ho! Brabantio! signior Brabantio, Forsooth, a great arithmetician,

ho! One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,

Iago. Awake! what, ho! Brabantio ! thieves ! A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife;

thieves! thieves ! That never set a squadron in the field,

Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags! Nor the division of a battle knows

Thieves thieves !
More than a spinster; unless the bookish theoric,
Wherein the tongued consuls can propose

Enter BRABANTIO, above, at a window.
As masterly as he: mere prattle, without practice, Bra. What is the reason of this terrible sum-
Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had th' election;

mons ? And I, -of whom his eyes had seen the proof, What is the matter there? At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds, Rod. Signior, is all your family within ? Christen'd and heathen,-must be be-lee'd and Iago. Are your doors lock'd ? calm'd


Why? wherefore ask you this? By debitor and creditor, this counter-caster:

Iago. Sir! you are robbed; for shame, put on He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,

your gown; And I, (God bless the mark!) his Moor-ship’s an Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul: cient.

Even now, now, very now, an old black ram Rod. By heaven, I rather would have been his Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise ! hangman.

Awake the snorting citizens with the bell, Iago. But there's no remedy: 'tis the curse of Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you. service,

Arise, I say. Preferment goes by letter, and affection,

Bra. What! have


wits? Not by the old gradation, where each second Rod. Most reverend signior, do you know my Stood heir t’ the first. Now, sir, be judge yourself,

voice ? Whether I in any just term am affin'd

Bra. Not I: what are you?
To love the Moor.

Rod. My name is Roderigo.
I would not follow him, then. Bra.

The worse welcome: Iago. O, sir! content you;

I have charg'd thee not to haunt about my doors. I follow him to serve my turn upon him:

In honest plainness thou hast heard me say, We cannot all be masters, nor all masters

My daughter is not for thee; and now, in madness, Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark

Being full of supper and distempering draughts, Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave, Upon malicious bravery dost thou come That, doting on his own obsequious bondage, To start my quiet. Wears out his time, much like his master's ass, Rod. Sir, sir, sir,For nought but provender; and when he's old, Bra.

But thou must needs be sure, cashier'd :

My spirit, and my place, have in them power Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are, To make this bitter to thee. Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,


Patience, good sir. Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves, Bra. What tellist thou me of robbing? this is And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,

Venice; Do well thrive by them; and when they have lin'd My house is not a grange. their coats,


Most grave Brabantio, Do themselves homage: these fellows have some In simple and pure soul I come to you. soul;

Iago. 'Zounds, sir! you are one of those, that And such a one do I profess myself. For, Sir, will not serve God, is the devil bid you.

Because It is as sure as you are Roderigo,

we come to do you service, and you think we are Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago :

ruffians, you'll have your daughter covered with a In following him, I follow but myself;

Barbary horse: you'll have your nephews neigh to Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty, you; you'll have coursers for cousins, and gennets But seeming so, for my peculiar end :

for germans. For when my outward action doth demonstrate Bra. What profane wretch art thou ? The native act and figure of my heart

Iago. I am one, sir, that comes to tell you, your In compliment extern, 'tis not long after

daughter and the Moor are now making the beast But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve

with two backs. For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.

Bra. Thou art a villain. Rod. What a full fortune does the thick-lips Iago.

You are-a senator. owe,

Bra. This thou shalt answer: I know thee, If he can carry't thus!

Call up her father;

Rod. Sir, I will answer any thing. But I be-
Rouse him: make after him, poison his delight,
Proclaim him in the streets : incense her kinsmen: If 't be your pleasure, and most wise consent,
And though he in a fertile climate dwell,

(As partly, I find, it is) that your fair daughter, Plague him with flies: though that his joy be joy, || At this odd-even and dull watch o' the night, Yet throw such changes of vexation on't,

Transported with no worse nor better guard, As it may lose some colour.

But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier, Rod. Here is her father's house: I'll call aloud. To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor,lago. Do; with like timorous accent, and dire If this be known to you, and your allowance, yell,

We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs;

seech you,

But if you know not this, my manners tell me, Iago. Farewell, for I must leave you; We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe, It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place, That from the sense of all civility,

To be produc'd (as if I stay I shall) I thus would play and trifle with your reverence: Against the Moor: for, I do know, the state,Your daughter, if you have not given her leave, However this may gall him with some check, I say again, hath made a gross revolt,

Cannot with safety cast him; for he's embark'd Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes,

With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars, In an extravagant and wheeling stranger,

(Which even now stand in act) that, for their souls, Of here and everywhere. Straight satisfy yourself: Another of his fathom they have none, If she be in her chamber, or your house,

To lead their business; in which regard, Let loose on me the justice of the state

Though I do hate him as I do hell pains, For thus deluding you.

Yet for necessity of present life, Bra.

Strike on the tinder, ho! I must show out a flag and sign of love, Give me a taper!-call up all my people! Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely This accident is not unlike my dream;

find him, Belief of it oppresses me already.

Lead to the Sagittary the raised search; Light, I say! light!

[Erit from above. And there will I be with him. So, farewell. (Exit.

[graphic][merged small]

Enter BRABANTio, and Servants with torches. Rod.

Yes, sir; I have, indeed. Bra. It is too true an evil: gone she is ;

Bra. Call up my brother.—O, would you had

had her! And what's to come of my despised time, Is nought but bitterness.-Now, Roderigo,

Some one way, some another.—Do you know Where didst thou see her?—0, unhappy girl!

Where we may apprehend her and the Moor? With the Moor, say'st thou ?-Who would be a

Rod. I think, I can discover him, if you please father?

To get good guard, and go along with me. How didst thou know 'twas she?-O! she de Bra. Pray you, lead on. At every house I'll ceives me

call; Past thought.-What said she to you ?-Get more

I may command at most.–Get weapons, ho! tapers !

And raise some special officers of night.Raise all my kindred !—Are they married, think On, good Roderigo ;—I'll deserve your pains. you?

[Ereunt. Rod. Truly, I think, they are.

SCENE II.-The Same. Another Street. Bra. O heaven !-How got she out?—0, trea

son of the blood !Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters'

Enter OTHELLO, Iago, and Attendants, with

torches. minds By what you see them act.- Are there not charms, Iago. Though in the trade of war I have slain By which the property of youth and maidhood

men, May be abus'd ?-Have you not read, Roderigo, Yet do I hold it very stuff o' the conscience Of some such thing?

To do no contriv'd murder: I lack iniquity

« VorigeDoorgaan »