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(You know those names are theirs); and, in the midst,
“ So the unskillful Indian those bright gems A heart divided in two halves was placed :
Which might add majesty to diadems, Now if the rivets of those rings enclosed
'Mong the waves scatters." Fit not each other, I have forged this lie:
The second quotation is from Sir R. Howard's “WOMAN'S CoxBut if they join, you must forever part.”
« Behold my queen,
Who with no more concern I'll cast away
Than Indians do a pearl-that ne'er did know
Its value.” In the last scene of the preceding Act, Iago informs Roderigo “Judean” (or rather Iudean) is the reading of the first folio; and, that Cassio was to gup with Bianca; that he would accompany him being now generally received, we have not thought it advisable to to her house, and would take care to bring him away from thence
make a doubtful alteration, the effect of the passage being, in either between twelve and one. Cassio, too, had informed Iago that he
case, precisely the same. Those who support this last version supwould sup with Bianca, and Iago had indirectly promised to meet pose the allusion in the text is to Herod and his savage sacrifice of him at her house. The villain, however, thought it safest to waylay | Mariamne. his victim, and in the passage quoted professes a politic ignorance of Cassio's motions during the evening.
["OTHELLO” furnishes one of the very few instances in which Dr. “ Put out the light, and then-Put out the light !"
Johnson has spoken of Shakspeare's plays in anything like adequate Act V., Scene 2.
terms of eulogy. In justice to him, therefore, as well as the poet, The old copy gives the line thus :
we willingly avail ourselves on this occasion of the critic's cogent * Put out the light, and then put out the light."
THE beauties of this play impress themselves so strongly upon the The present regulation of the passage, by which so much beauty attention of the reader, that they can draw po aid from critical illus and spirit are added to it, was proposed by Mr. Upton; but it is to tration. The fiery openness of Othello, magnanimous, artless, and be found in Ayres's “ LIFE OF POPE:" it may therefore have origina credulous, boundless in his confidence, ardent in his affection, inflexted with Warburton, who thus explains it:-The meaning is, "I will ible in his resolution, and obdurate in his revenge; - the cool maput out the light, and then proceed to the execution of my purpose." lignity of Iago, silent in his resentment, subtle in his designs, and But the expression of putting out the light, bringing to mind the
studious at once of his interest and his vengeance ;-the soft simplio effects of the extinction of the light of life, he breaks short, and ity of Desdemona, confident of merit and conscious of innocence; questions himself about the effects of this metaphorical extinction, her artless perseverance in her suit, and her slowness to suspect introduced by a repetition of his first words; as much as to say,
that she can be suspected ;- are such proofs of Shakspeare's skill “ But hold, let me first weigh the reflection which this expression
in human nature as, I suppose, it is in vain to seek in any modnaturally excites."-SINGER.
ern writer. The gradual progress which Iago makes in the Moor's
conviction, and the circumstances which he employs to inflame him, “O perjured woman! thou dost stone my heart,
are so artfully natural, that though it will not, perhaps, be said of And mak'st me call what I intend to do
him, as he says of himself, that he is a man " not easily jealous," yet A murder, which I thought a sacrifice."
we cannot but pity him when at last we find him “perplexed in the Act V., Scene 2.
extreme.”—There is always danger lest wickedness, conjoined with That is, “Thou hast hardened my heart, and mak'st me kill thee abilities, should steal upon esteem, though it misses of approbation : with the rage of a murderer, when I thought to have sacrificed thee but the character of Iago is so conducted that he is, from the first to justice with the calmness of a priest striking a victim." - JOHNSON. scene to the last, hated and despised.
Even the inferior characters of this play would be very conspicu“O mistress, villany hath made mocks with love !"
ous in any other piece, not only for their justness but their strength.
Act V., Scene 2 Cassio is brave, benevolent and honest; ruined only by his want of That is, villany hath taken advantage to play upon the weakness
stubbornness to resist an insiduous invitation.-Roderigo's suspicious
credulity and impatient submission to the cheats which he sees praoof love.
tised upon him (and which by persuasion he suffers to be repeated),
exhibit a strong picture of a weak mind betrayed by unlawful desires “ Go to, charm your tongue."-Act V., Scene 2.
to a false friend and the virtue of Emilia is such as we often find. To charm is to conjure, to enchant, to lay or still as with an incan - worn loosely, but not cast off ; easy to commit small crimes, but tation. So in “ KING HENRY V.:"
quickened and alarmed at atrocious villanies. “ Charming the narrow seas
The scenes, from the beginning to the end, are busy, varied by hapTo give you a gentle pass.”
py interchanges, and regularly promoting the progress of the story:
and the narrative in the end, though it tells but what is known al “ It was a handkerchief ; an antique token
ready, yet is necessary to produce the death of Othello. Had the My father gave my mother."-Act V., Scene 2.
scene opened in Cyprus, and the preceding incidents been occasional
ly related, there had little wanting to a drama of the most exact and In the third Act, Othello states that this fatal handkerchief was
scrupulous regularity. given by his mother to his father. The transposition of giver and receiver, in the passage above quoted, was probably a mere inadvertence either of the poet or the transcriber.
All the passions, all the mind of the play, are Shakspeare's. He “ of one whose hand,
was indebted to Cinthio for the circumstances of his plot, and some Like the base Judean, threw a pearl away
individual traits of Othello's and Iago's characters, particularly of Richer than all his tribe." -Act V., Scene 2.
that of the latter. Desdemona he chastened into beauty; and the Cap
tain (Cassio), whose character in the novel is scarcely distinguishable, It has been a point much disputed whether“ Indian” or “ Judean” | he invested with qualities exactly correspondent to the purpose be is the proper reading of the text in this place. The earliest quarto was intended to fulfill. The wife of the Lieutenant (Iago) perhaps gives "Indian," and two passages are quoted from other writers the poet had better have left as he found her; for in raising Emilia which strongly support this version. The first is from Habington above insignificance, he unfortunately rendered her inexplicable. ("* To Castara weeping"):
Roderigo is his own absolute creation.-SKOTTOWE.