« PreviousContinue »
I therefore apprehend and do attach thee,
Hold your hands,
your charge ?
To prison : till fit time Of law, and course of direct session, Call thee to answer. Oth.
What if I do obey ?
the duke be therewith satisfied ;
'Tis true, most worthy signior,
How! the duke in council !
brothers of the state,
21, shall our statesmen be.
[Exeunt, to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts.' So in A Mad World, my Masters, by Middleton, 1608:
* And in myself sooth op adulterous motions.' To waken is to incite, to stir up. We have in the present play, • waken'd wrath And in Shakspeare's 117th Sonnet,' waken'd þate.' Brabantio afterwards asserts :
• That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood
He wrought upon her.' z! This passage has been completely misunderstood. Pagan SCENE III.
The same. A Council Chamber.
The Duke, and Senators, sitting at a Table;
Officers attending. Duke. There is no composition" in these news, That gives them credit.
1 Sen. Indeed, they are disproportion'd; My letters say, a hundred and seven galleys.
Duke. And mine, a hundred and forty.
And mine, two hundred: But though they jump not on a just account, (As in these cases, where the aim ? reports, 'Tis oft with difference), yet do they all confirm A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus.
Duke. Nay, it is possible enough to judgment; I do not so secure me in the error, But the main article I do approve In fearful sense.
Sailor. [Within.] What bo! what ho! what ho! was a word of contempt; and the reason will appear from its etymology:- Paganus, villanus vel incultus. Et derivatur a pagus quod est villa. Et quicunque habitat in villa est paganus. Præterea quicunque est extra civitatem Dei, i. e. ecclesiam, dicitur paganus. Anglice, a paynim.'—Ortus Vocabulorum, 1528. I know not whether pagan was ever used to designate a clown or rustic; but paganical and paganalian, in a kindred sense, were familiar to our elder language. Malone thinks that · Brabantio is meant to allude to the common ndition all blacks, who come from their own country both slaves and pagans; and that he uses the word in contempt of Othello. If he is suffered to escape with impunity, we may expect to see all our offices of state filled up by the pagans and bond-slaves of Africa.'
Composition for consistency. It has been before observed that news was considered of the plural number by our ancestors.
2 Aim is guess, conjecture. The quarto reads,' they aim reports. The meaning appears to be, In these cases where conjecture tells the tale.' - Aim is again used as a substantive in Julius Cæsar:
• What you would work me to, I have some aim." See also vol. i. p. 137.
Enter an Officer, with a Sailor.
Now? the business? Sailor. The Turkish preparation makes forRhodes; So was I bid report here to the state, By signior Angelo.
Duke. How say you by this change? 1 Sen.
This cannot be, By no assay
on 3; 'tis a pageant, To keep us in false gaze: When we consider The importancy of Cyprus to the Turk ; And let ourselves again but understand, That, as it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes,
he with more facile question* bear it, [For that it stands not in such warlike brace", But altogether lacks the abilities That Rhodes' is dress'd in :-if we make thought of
Duke. Nay, in all confidence, he's not for Rhodes. Off. Here is more news. 3 • Bring it to the test, examine it by reason, it will be found counterfeit.'
4 That he may carry it with less dispute, with diminished opposition.
5 i. e. in such state of defence. To arm was called to brace on the armour. The seven following lines were added since the first edition in quarto, 1622.
6 To wage is to undertake. "To wage law (in the common acceptation) seems to be to follow, to urge, drive on, or prosecute the law or law-suits; as to wage war is præliari, bellare, to drive on the war, to fight in battels as warriors do.'-- Blount's Glossography. See King Lear, p. 386, note 25.
Enter a Messenger. Mes. The Ottomites, reverend and gracious, Steering with due course toward the isle of Rhodes, Have there injointed them with an after fleet.
1 Sen. Ay, so I thought:—How many, as you
Mess. Of thirty sail : and now do they restem Their backward course, bearing with frank appear
Their purposes toward Cyprus.—Signior Montano,
Duke. Tis certain then for Cyprus,-
1 Sen. He's now in Florence. Duke. Write from us; wish 8 him pest-post-haste:
despatch. 1 Sen. Here comes Brabantio, and the valiant
Moor. Enter BRABANTIO, OTHELLO, IAGO, RODERIGO,
and Officers. Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ
you Against the general enemy Ottoman9.
7 He entreats you not to doubt the truth of this intelligence.'
8 i. e. desire him to make all possible haste.' The folio reads:
• Write from us to him, post, post-haste, dispatch.' 9 It was part of the policy of the Venetian state to employ strangers, and even Moors, in their wars. • By lande they are served of straungers, both for generals, for capitaines, and for all other men of warre, because theyr lawe permitteth not any Venetian to be capitaine over an armie by lande; fearing, I thinke, Cæsar's example.'— Thomas's History of Italye, p. 82. See also Contareni's Republic of Venice, by Lewkenor, 1599; and Howell's Letters, sect. i, let, xxviii.
I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior;
[To BRABANTIO. We lack'd your counsel and your help to-night.
Bra. So did I yours: Good your grace, pardon me; Neither my place, nor aught I heard of business, Hath rais'd me from my bed; nor doth the general
Take hold on me; for my particular grief
Why, what's the matter?
Ay, to me; She is abus'd, stol'n from me, and corrupted By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks 11: For nature so preposterously to err, Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense Sans witchcraft could not
Duke. Whoe'er he be, that, in this foul proceeding, Hath thus beguild your daughter of herself, And you of her, the bloody book of law You shall yourself read in the bitter letter,
- juvenumque prodis Publica cura.'.
Hor. Steevens would read this line thus :
* Rais'd me from bed; nor doth the general careomitting Hath and my, which he considers playhouse interpolations; by which, he says, the metre of this tragedy is too frequently deranged.
11 By the Venetian law the giving love-potions was highly criminal, as appears in the Code Della Promission del Malefico, cap. xvii. Dei Maleficii et Herbarie. Shakspeare inay not have known this, but he was well acquainted with the edicts of James I. against
- practisers Of arts inhibited, and out of warrant.' 12 This line is not in the first quarto.