Puslapio vaizdai

One Michael Caffio ;-(" the Florentine's (3) " A fellow almoft damn'd in a fair wife; ”

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

(3) Forsooth, a great Arithmetician,

One Michael Caffio, a Florentine,

A Fellow almoft damn'd in a fair Wife.] Thus has this Passage ignorantly been corrupted, (as Mr. Warburton likewise faw with me ;) by false Pointing, and an Inadvertence to Matter of fact, thro' the whole Course of the Editions. By the Bye, this Play was not publish'd even fingly, that I can find, till fix Years after the Author's Death: and by that Interval became more liable to Errors.' I'll subjoin the Correction, and then the Reasons for it.

And, in Conclusion,
Nonfuits my Mediators : “ Certes, says he,
Í have already chose my Officer ;"
And what was he?
Forsooth, a great Arithmetician,
One Michael Caffio ;--"the Florentine's
A Fellow almost damn'd in a fair Wife;"-)

That never, &c. This Painting sets Circumstances right, as I shall immediately explain; and it gives a Variety, in lago reporting the Behaviour of Othello, to start into thefe Breaks ; now, to make Othello speak;

then, to interrupt what Othello says with his own private Reflexions ; then, again, to proceed with Othello's Speeches : For this not only marks the Inquietude of lago's Mind upon the Subject in hand ; but likew fhews the Actor in the Variation of Tone and Gesture, whilft he (in a Breath, as 'twere) personates alternately Othello and himself. Besides, to come to

the Necessity of the Change made ; lago, not Callio, was the Florentine ; in lago, not Casio, was the married Man ; Iago's Wife attends Desdemo

na to Cyprus ; Caffio has a Mistress there, a common Strumpet ; and lago tells him in the fourth Act,

She gives it out, that you shall marry her: Which would be very abfurd, if Caffio had been already married at Venice, Besides, our Poet follows the Authority of his Novel in giving the villanous Ensign a fair Wife. Havea fimilmente menata questo Malvagio so la sua Moglie in Cipri, la quale era bella & honefta Giovane.” And it is very good reason for rejecting lago, because he was a married Man, and might be thought too much govern'd by his Wife to be capable of

this Charge. And this was a natural Objection in an unmarried General, of as Othello was when he chose his Officers. Iago therefore was "the Fel

low almoft damn'd in a fair Wife: which is an Expresfion obfcare enough to deserve a short Explanation. The Poet means, lago had so beautiful & Wife, that she was his Heaven on Earth; that he idoliz'd her ; and forgot to think of Happiness in an After-state, as placing all his Views of

Bliss in the single Enjoyment of her. In this sense, Beauty, when it can 0 fo feduce and ingrois a Man's Thoughts, may be faid almost to damn him.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

That never fet a squadron in the field,
Nor the division of a battle knows
More than a spinster ; but the bookish theorick,
Wherein the toged counf’lors can propose (4)


Feffica, speaking of Bafanio's Happiness in a Wife, says something a most equal to this.

For having such a Blessing in his Lady,
He finds the Joys of Heaven here on Earth;
And if on Earth he do not merit it,

In Reason he should never come to Heav'n. [Merch. of Venice Beaumont and Fletcher likewise, in their King and 10 King, make Tigranes speak of such a Degree of Beauty sufficient to darn Souls.

-had She so tenopting Fair, That She could wish it of for damning Souls. 2. e. either, for that it did damn Souls; or, for Fear it should.

66 Slip on

(4) Wherein the tongued Confuls.) So the generality of the Impression read'; but the oldest Quarto has it, toged; (which gave the Hint for my Emendation ;) the Senators, that afsifted the Duke in Council, in their proper Gowns.- Iago, a little lower, says to Brabantio,

Zound's, Sir, you're robb’d: for Jhamè, put on your Gown ; Now I think, 'tis pretty certain, that lago does not mean,

your Night-gown, but your Gown of Office, your Senatorial Gown; put on your Authority, and pursue the Thief who has stole your

Daughter." Besides, there is not that Contrast of Terms betwix: tongued, as there is betwixt toged, and Soldiership. This Reading is peculiarly proper here ; and the same Opposition is almost for ever made by the Roman Writers. For Instance ; Cicero in Offic.

Cedant Arma Togæ, Idem in Pisonem.

--- Sed quòd Pacis eft Infigne & Otii, Toga: contrà autem Arma, Tumultûs atq; Belli. Vell. Paterculus de Scipione Æmiliano.

--- paternisq; Lucii Pauli Virtutibus fimillimus, omnibus Belli a: Toga dotibus, &c. Callius Ciceroni.

Etenim tua Toga omnium Armis felicior. Ovid. Metamor. lib. xv.

Cæfar in urbe fuâ Deus eft ; quem Marte Togaq;

Precipuum, &c.
Idem in Epist
. ex Ponto, li

. 2.
Jam nunc hæc à me, juvenum belloq; togâq;

Juvenal. Sat. 10.
'nocitura Toga, nocitura petuntur
And in a great Number of Passages more, that might be quoted'.


Ep. 1.


As masterly as he ; meer prattle, without practice,
Is all his soldiership he had th' election ;
And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof
At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds
Christian and heath'n, muit be belee'd and calm'd (5)
By Debitor, and Creditor, this Counter-caster ;
He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,
And I, (God bless the mark !) his Moor-hip’s Ancient.

Rod. By heav'n, I rather would have been his hangman.

Iago. But there's no remedy, 'tis the curse of fervice ; Preferment goes by letter and affection, And not by old gradation, where each secondStood heir to th' first. Now, Sir, be judge your self, If I in any just term am assign’d To love the Moor.

Rod. I would not follow him then.

Iago. O Sir, content you ; But now let me proceed to explain, why I have ventured to substitute Counsellors in the Room of Consuls : and then, I hope, the Alteration will not appear arbitrary. The Venetian Nobility, 'tis well known, conftitute the great Council of the Senate, and are a Part of the Administration ; and summond to assist and counsel the Doge, who is Prince of the Senate; and, in that Regard, has only Precedency before the other Magistrates. So that, in this Respect," they may very properly be calld Counselfors

. Again, when the Officer comes from the Duke to Brabantio, in a subsequent Scene of this Act, he says,

The Duke's in Council, and your Noble felfą

I'm sure, is fent for.
And when Brabantio comes into the Senate, the Duke fays to him ;

We lack'd your Counsel, and your Help to Night.
Now Brabantio was a Senator, but no Conful. Besides, tho' the Go-
vernment of Venice was Democratic at first, under Consuls and Tribunes ;
that Form of Power has been totally abrogated, since Doges have been
elected: And whatever Consuls of other States may be resident there, yet
they have no more a Voice, or Place, in the publick Councils, or in
what concerns Peace or War ;; than foreign Ambassadors can have in our

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

(5) Must be led and calm d.) There is no Consonance of Metaphor in

these two Terms. I have chose to read with the first Folio, and several all other of the old Editions. Belee'd is a Sea-Term as well as calm'd; and a

Ship is said to be beleed, when the lies close under the Wind, on the Lee-
Shore ; makes no Sail.

I follow him to serve my turn upon him.
We cannot all be masters, nor all '

Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,
For nought but provender, and when he's old, calheir'd
Whip me such honeft knaves Others there are,
Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of dutý,
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves;
And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
Well thrive by them; and when they've lin'd their coats,
Do themselves homage. These folks have some soul,
And such a one do I profefs my felf.
It is as fure as you are Rodorigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago :
In following him, I follow but my self.
Heav'n is my judge, not I, for love and duty;
But, seeming so, for my peculiar end :
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
.. The native act and figure of my heart, vi
In compliment extern, 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my neeve,
For daws to peck at ; I'm not what I feem.

Rod. What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe,
If he can carry her thus?
Iago. Call


her father ; 1
Rouse him, make after him, poison his delight.o!
Proclaim him in the streets, incenfe her kinsmen.
And tho’he in a fertile climate dwell,
Plague him with flies: tho' that his joy be joy, "
Yet throw such changes of vexation on't,
As it may lose some colour,

Rod. Here is her father's house, I'll call aloud.

Iago. Do, with like timorous accent, and dire yell,
As when, by night and negligence, the fire :
Is spied in populous cities.

Rod. What, ho! Brabantio! Signior Brabantio! ho.
Iago. Awake! what, ho ! Brabantio ! ho ! thieves !


Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags :
Thieves ! thieves !

[ocr errors]


Brabantio appears above, at a window.
Bra, What is the reason of this terrible summons ?
What is the matter there?

Rod. Signior, is all your family within ?
Iago. Are all doors lock’d?
Bra. Why? wherefore ask


Iago. Zounds ! Sir, you're robb’d: for shame, put

on your Gown;
Your heart is burst, you have lost half

Ev'n now, ev'n very now, an old black ram
Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise, ,
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the Devil will make a grandfire of you.
Arise, I say.
Bra. What, have you


Rod. Most reverend signior, do you



voice? Bra. Nor I, what are you

Rod. My name is Rodorigo,

Bra. The worse welcome ;
I've charg'd thee not to haunt about my doors ;
In honest plainness thou hast heard me say,
My daughter's not for thee. And now in madness,
Being full of supper and distemp’ring draughts,
Upon malicious bravery dost thou come
To start my quiet.

Rod. Sir, Sir, Sir

Bra. But thou must needs be sure,
My spirit and my place have in their power
To make this bitter to thee.

Rod. Patience, good Sir.

Bra. What tell’łt thou me of robbing? this is Verice : My house is not a grange.

ins Rod. Most grave Brabantio, In simple and pure soul, I come to you.

Iago. Zounds ! Sir, you are one of those that will not serve God, if the Devil bid you. Because we come to do you service, you think we are ruffians, you'll have your


« AnkstesnisTęsti »