Puslapio vaizdai

The Soldiers' musick, and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him-
Take up the body : such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here thews much amiss.
Go, bid the Soldiers shoot.

[Exeunt, marching : after which, a peal of Ordnance

are shot off

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DUKE-of Venice.
Brabantio, a noble Venetian.
Graciano, Brother to Brabantio.
Lodovico, Kinsman to Brabantio and Gratiano.
Othello, the Moor, General for the Venetians in Cypruś.
Callio, bis Lieutenant-Generale
Lago, Standard-bearern to Othello.

Rodorigo, a foolish Gentleman, in love with Defdemona.
Montano, the Moor's Predecessor in the Government of Cyprus.
Clown, Servant to the Moor.


Desdemona, Daughter to Brabantio, and Wife to Othello.
Æmilia, Wife to lago.
Bianca, Curtezan, Mistress to Cassio.

Oficers, Gentlemen, Mesengers, Musicians,


and Attendants.

SCENE, for the First Act, in Venice;

during the rest of the Play, in Cyprus.


O T HELL 0, (1)

The Moor of VENICE.

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Enter Rodorigo and lago.

Ever tell me, I take it much unkindly, ,

That thou; Iago, who haft had my purse,

As if the strings were thine, shouldit know

of this.

Iago. But you'll not hear mie. If ever I did dream of such a matter, abhor me. Rod. Thou told'st me, thou didit hold him in thy hate. A a 2


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(1) Othello.] The Groundwork of this play is built on a Novel of Cinthio Giraldi, (Dec. 3. Nov. 7.) who seems to have design d his Tale a Document to young Ladies against disproportion'd Marriages : di rion se accompagnare con huomo, cui la Natura & il cielo, & il modo della Vita difgiunge da noi : That they should not link themselves to such, against whom Nature, Providence, and a different way of Living have interpos'd a Bar. Our Poet inculcates no such Moral : but rather, that a Woman may fall in Love with the Virtues and shining Qualities of a Man; and therein overlook the Difference of Complexion and Colour. Mr. Rymer has run riot against the Conduct, Manners, Sentiments, and Diction, of this Play : but in such a Strain, that one is mov'd rather to laugh at the


Tago. Despise me,
If I do not. Three Great ones of the city,
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
Of-cap'd to him; and, by the faith of man, (2)
I know my price, I'm worth no worse a Place.
But he, as loving his own pride and purpose,
Evades them with a bombaft circumstance,
Horribly stuft with epithets of war;
And, in conclufion,
Nor-suits my mediators. “ Certes, says he,
“ I have already chofe my officer:".
And what was he?
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,

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Freedom and Coarseness of his Raillery, than provok'd to be downright angry at his Censures. To take a short Sample of his Criticism ;Shakespeare in this Play calls 'em the fuper-fubtle Venetians : yet exa“ mine thoroughly the Tragedy, there is nothing in the noble Desdemo.

na, that is not below any Country Chamber-maid with us. And the “ Account, he gives of their Noblemen and Senate, can only be calcu“ lated for the Latitude of Gotham. The Character of the Venetiar “ State is to employ Strangers in their Wars: but fhall a Poet thence

fancy, that they will set a Negro to be their General? or trust a Meer

to defend them against the Turk ?- With us a Black-a-moor might rife " to be a Trumpeter ; but Shakespeare would not have him less than a “ Lieutenant-General. With us a Moor might marry some little Drab, “ or Smallcoal-Wench ; Shakespeare would provide him the Daughter " and Heir of fome great Lord, or Privy-Counfellour : and all the Town “ should reckon it a very suitable Match. Yet the English are not bred

up with that Hatred and Averfion to the Moors, as are the Venetians « who suffer by a perpetual Hoftility from them. Littora littoribus con « traria.

Nothing is more odious in Nature than an improbable Lie: “ and certainly never was any Play fraught like this of Othello with Im“ probabilities.” Evc.

Thus this Critick goes on ; but such Reflexions require no serious An fwer. This Tragedy will continue to have lasting Charms enough to make us blind to such Absurdities, as the Poet thought were not worth his Care.

(2) Oft capt to him:] Thus the oldest Quarto, and some modern Editions; but I have chose to restore the Reading of the first and second Folio Impressions, Off-capt; i. e. ftood Cap in Hand, foliciting him. So, in Anthony; I have ever held my Cap off to thy Fortunes. And in Timon ;

And let his very Breath, whom thoul's obferve,
Blow off thy Cap.


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