Page images
PDF
EPUB

you must therefore be content to slubbero the gloss of your new fortunes, with this more stubborn and boisterous expedition.

Oth. The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
My thrice-driven bed of down.' I do agnize
A natural and prompt alacrity,
I find in hardness ; and do undertake
These present wars against the Ottomites.
Most humbly therefore bending to your state,
I crave fit disposition for my wife ;
Due reference of place, and exhibition ;'
With such accommodation, and besort,
As levels with her breeding.

Duke. If you please,
Be't at her father's.

Bra. I'll not bave it so.
Oth. Nor I.

Des. Nor I; I would not there reside,
To put my father in impatient thoughts,
By being in his eye. Most gracious duke,
To my unfolding lend a gracious ear ;
And let me find a charter in your voice,
To assist my simpleness.

Duke. What would you, Desdemona!

Des. That I did love the Moor to live with him,
My downright violence and storm of fortunes*
May trumpet to the world ; my heart's subdued
Even to the very quality of my lord :'
I saw Othello's visage in his mind ; 6
And to his honours and his valiant parts,
Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.
So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,
A moth of peace, and he go to the war,
The rites, for which I love him, are bereft me,
And I a heavy interim shall support
(9) To slubber is to obscure. STEEVENS.

A driven bed, is a bed for which the feathers are selected, by driving with a fan, which separates the light from the heavy. JOHNSON

[2] Agnize, acknowledge, confess, avow. STEEVENS. (3) Echibition is allowance. The word is at present used only at the universities.

Breach of common rules and obligations. JOHNSON. 15) Quality here means profession. MALONE.

(6) It must raise no wonder, that I loved a man of an appearance so little engag-. ingi I saw his face only in his mind; the greatness of

his character reconciled me to his form. JOHNSON

[ocr errors]

A

By his dear absence : Let me go with him.

Oth. Your voices, lords :-'beseech you, let her will
Have a free way.
Vouch with me, heaven ; I therefore beg it not,
To please the palate of my appetite;
Nor to comply with heat, the young affects,
In
my

distinct and proper satisfaction ;
But to be free and bounteous to her mind :
And heaven defend your good souls, that you

think
I will your serious and great business scant,
For she is with me : No, when light-wing'd toys
Of feather’d Cupid seel with wanton dulness
My speculative and active instruments,
That my disports corrupt and taint my business,
Let housewives make a skillet of my helm,
And all indign and base adversities
Make head against my estimation !

Duke. Be it as you shall privately determine,
Either for her stay, or going : the affair cries—haste,
And speed must answer it; you must hence to-night.

Des. To-night, my lord ?
Duke. This night.
Oth. With all my heart.
Duke. At nine i’ the morning here we'll meet again,
-Othello, leave some officer behind,
And he shall our commission bring to you ;
With such things else of quality and respect,
As doth import you.

Oth. Please your grace, my ancient ;
A man he is of honesty, and trust;
To his conveyance I assign my wife,
With what else needful your good grace shall think
To be sent after me.

Duke. Let it be so.
Good-night to every one.-And, noble signior, [To BRA.
If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.

1 Sen. Adieu, brave Moor! use Desdemona well.

Bra. Look to her, Moor; have a quick eye to see ;
She has deceiv'd her father, and may

thee.
[Exeunt Duke, Senators, Officers, &c.
[7] To defend is to forbid. From defendre, Fr.
(81 Delighted is used by Shakespeare in the sense of delighting or delightful. See
Cymbeline, act v.

“Whom best I love, I cross, to make my gift,
* The more delayed, delighted."

STEEVENS.

T.

Oth. My life upon her faith.—Honest lago,
My Desdemona must I leave to thee ;
I pr’ythee, let thy wife attend on her;
And bring them after in the best advantage.-
Come, Desdemona ; I have but an hour
Of love, of worldly matters and direction,
To spend with thee : we must obey the time.

[Exe. Othello and DESDEMONA. Rod. lago. lago. What say'st thou, noble heart? Rod. What will I do, thinkest thou ? lago. Why, go to bed, and sleep. Rod. I will incontinently drown myself Iago. Well, if thou dost, I shall never love thee after it. Why, thou silly gentleman !

Rod. It is silliness to live, when to live is a torment; and then have we a prescription to die, when death is our physician.

lago. O villanous ! I have looked upon the world for four times seven years ! and since I could distinguish between a benefit and an injury, I never found a man that knew how to love himself. Ere I would say, I would drown myself for the love of a Guinea-hen, I would change my humanity with a baboon.

Rod. What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so fond ; but it is not in virtue to amend it.

lago. Virtue ? a fig! 'tis in ourselves, that we are thus, or thus. Our bodies are our gardens ; to the which, our wills are gardeners : so that if we will plant nettles, or sow lettuce ; set hyssop, and weed up thyme ; supply it with one gender of herbs, or distract it with many; either to have it steril with idleness, or manured with industry; why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions : But we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts ; whereof I take this, that you call-love, to be a sect, or scion.

Rod. It cannot be. lago. It is merely a lust of the blood, and a permission of the will. Come, be a man, Drown thyself ? drown cats, and blind puppies. I have professed me thy friend,

(9) A guinea-hen was anciently the cánt term for a prostitute. .STEEVENS

now,

and I confess me knit to thy deserving with cables of perdurable toughness. I could never better stead thee than

Put

money in thy purse ; follow these wars ; defeat thy favour with an usurped beard ;' I say, put money in thy purse. It cannot be, that Desdemona should long continue her love to the Moor,-put money in thy purse ;-nor he his to her : it was a violent commencement, and thou shalt see an answerable sequestration ;---put but money in thy purse.—These Moors are changeable in their wills ;-fill thy purse with money : the food that to him now is as luscious as locusts, shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida. She must change for youth": when she is sated with his body, she will find the error of her choice.--She must have change, she must : therefore put money in thy purse.--If thou wilt needs damn thyself, do it a more delicate way than drowning. Make all the

money thou canst : If sanctimony and a frail vow, betwixt an erring Barbariant and a supersubtle Venetian, be not too hard for my wits, and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her ; therefore make money. A pox of drowning thyself! It is clean out of the way : seek thou rather to be hanged in compassing thy joy, than to be drowned and go without her.

Rod. Wilt thou bę fast to my hopes, if I depend on the issue ? lago. Thou 'art sure of me ;-Go, make money :

:-1 have told thee often, and I re-tell thee again and again, I hate the Moor : My cause is hearted ; thine hath no less reason : Let us be conjunctive in our revenge against him : if thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a pleasure, and me a sport. There are many events in the womb of time, which will be delivered.

Traverse ; go ; provide thy money. We will have more of this to-mor

Adieu. Rod. Where shall we meet i’the morning ? lago. At my lodging. Rod. I'll be with thee betimes. lago. Go to ; farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo ? (1) Thus, in Don Quixote, Cardenio defeated his favour by cutting off his beard, and the Barver his, by putting one on.

[2] We may read, it was a violent commencement, and thou shalt see an answerable sequel. An opposition of terms seems intended.

(3] That viscous substance which the pod of the locust contains, is, perhaps, of all others, the most luscious. From its likeness to honey, in consistency and tlavour, the locust is called the honey-tree also. Its seeds, enclosed in a long pod, lie buried in the juice. [4 Erring, for errant. So in Hamlet :

Tb' extravagant and erring spirit hies to his confine."

row.

HENLEY

JOHNSON

HENLEY.

STEEVENS.

Rod. What say you ? lago. No more of drowning, do you hear. Rod. I am changed. I'll sell all my land. lago. Go to ; farewell : put money enough in your purse.

[Erit RODERIGO Thus do I ever make my fool my purse : For I mine own gain'd knowledge should profane, If I would time expend with such a spipe, But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor; And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets He has done my office : I know not if't be true ; But I, for mere suspicion in that kind, Will do, as if for surety. He holds me well ; The better shall my purpose work on him. Cassio's a proper man : Let me see now ; To get his place, and to plume up my will ; A double knavery,-How ? how ?-Let me see :After some time, to abuse Othello's ear, That he is too familiar with his wife :He hath a person, and a smooth dispose, To be suspected ;. fram’d to make women false. The Moor is of a free and open nature, That thinks men honest, that but seem to be so ; And will as tenderly be led by the nose, As asses are. I have't ;--it is engender'd :--Hell and night Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.

[Exit.

ACT II. SCENE I.-A Seaport Town in Cyprus. A Platform. En

ter Montano and two Gentlemen. Mon. What from the cape can you discern at sea ?

1 Gent. Nothing at all : it is a high-wrought flood;
I cannot, 'twixt the heaven and the main,
Descry a sail.

Mon. Methinks, the wind hath spoke aloud at land ;
A fuller blast ne'er shook our battlements :
If it hath ruffian'd so upon the sea,
What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them,
Can hold the mortise ? what shall we hear of this ?

2 Gent. A segregation of the Turkish fleet : For do but stand upon the foaming shore,

« PreviousContinue »