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Ham. Sir, his definement suffers no perdition in Ham, What call you the carriages ? you ;--though, I know, to disade him inventorially, Hor. I knew, you must be edified by the main would dizzy the arithmetic of memory; and yet gent' ere you had done. but raw neither, in respect of his quick sail. But Osr. The carriages, sir, are the hangers. in the verity of extolment, I take him to be a soul Ham. The phrase would be more german'° to the of great article; and his infusion of such dearth' matter, if we could carry a cannon by our sides; I and rareness, as, to make true diction of him, his would, it might be hangers till then. But, on: Six semblable is his inirror; and, who else would trace Barbary horses against six French swords, their him, his umbrage, nothing more.?
assigns, and three liberal conceited carriages; that's Osr. Your lordship speaks most infallibly of him. the French bet against the Danish: Why is this
Ham. The concernancy, sir ? why do we wrap impawned, as you call it ? the gentleman in our more rawer breath ?
Ost. The king, sir, hath laid, that in a dozen Osr. Sir?
passes between yourself and him, he shall not ex. Hor. Is't not possible to understand in another ceed you three hits ;' he hath laid on twelve for tongue! You will do'l, sir, really.
nine; and it would come to immediate trial, if your Ham. What imports the nomination of this gen- lordship would vouchsafo the answer. tleman ?
Ham. How, if I answer no ? Osr. Or Laertes ?
Osr. I mean, my lord, the opposition of your perHor. His purse is empty already; all his golden son in trial. words are spent.
Ham. Sir, I will walk here in the hall : if it Ham. Of him, sir.
please his majesty, it is the breathing time of day Osr. I know, you are not ignorant
with me: let the foils be brought, the gentleman Ham. I would, you did, sir ; yet, in faith, if you willing, and the king hold his purpose, I will win did, it would not much approve me.
ne. -Well, sir. for him, if I can; if not, I will gain nothing but my Osr. You are not ignorant of what excellence shame, and the odd hits. Laertes is
Osr. Shall I deliver you so? Ham. I dare not confess that, lest I should com Ham. To this effect, sir ; after what flourish your pare with him in excellence; but, to know a man nature will. well, were to know himself.5
Ost. I commend my duty to your lordship., Osr. I mean, sir, for his weapon ; but in the
(Exit. imputation laid on him by them, in his meede he's Ham. Yours, yours. He does well to commend unfellowed.
it himself; there are no longues else for's turn. Ham. What's his weapon ?
Hor. This lapwingi? runs away with the shell on Ost. Rapier and dagger.
his head. Ham. That's two of his weapons : but, well. Ham. He did complyis with his dug, before he
Ost. The king, sir, hath wagered with him six sucked it. Thus has he, (and many more of the Barbary horses : against the which he has impawn- same bevy, 14 that, I know, the drossy age dotes ed, as I take it, six French rapiers and poniards, on,) only got the tune of the time, and outward with their assigns, as girdle, hangers, and so : habit of encounter ;'s a kind of yesty collection, Three of the carriages, in faith, are very dear to which carries them through and through the most fancy, very responsive to the hilts, mosi delicate fanned and winnowed opinions ;16 and do but blow carriages, and of very liberal conceit.
them to their trial, the bubbles are out. gentleman would see.' You shall find him containing 9 «The margent.' The gloss or commentary in old and comprising every quality which a gentleman would books was usually on the margin of the leaf. desire to contemplate for imitation. Perhaps we should 10 i. e. more a kin. “Those that are german to him, read, You shall find him the continent.'
though fifty times removed, shall come under the hang. 1 Dearth, according to Tooke, is the third person man.'— Winter's Tale. singular of the verb to dere ; it means somo cause which 11 The conditions of the wager are thus given in the dereth, i. e. maketh dear; or hurteth, or deth mischief quarto of 1603 :That dearth was, therefore, used for scarcity, as well Marry, sir, that young Laertes in twelve venies as dearness, appears from the following passage in a At rapier and dagger, do not get three odds of you." MS. petition in ihe council, by the merchanty of London, 12 · This lapwing runs away with the shell on his 6 Edw. VI.: speaking of the causes of the dearness of head. Horacio means to call'Osric a raw, unfledged, cloth, they say, 'This detriment cometh through the foolish fellow. It was a common comparison for & dearth of wool, the procurers whereof being a few in forward fool. Thus in Meres's Wits Treasury, 1598 number for the augmentation of the same.'-Conway. As the lapwing runneth away with the shell on her Papers.
head, as soon as she is hatched,' &c. This speech is a ridicule of the Euphujem, or court
· Forward lapwing, jargon of that time.
He tlies with the shell on his head.' 3 Is it not possible to understand in another tongue ?
Vittoria Coromlona, You will doʻi, sir, really. This interrogatory remark 13 · He did comply with his dug, before he sucked it.' is very obscure. The sense may be, 'Is it not possible for See Act ii. Sc. 2. this fantastic fellow to understand in plainer language ? 14 The folio reads, mine more of the same bevy.'You will, however, imitate his jargon admirably, really, Mine is evidently a misprint, and more likely for manie sir.' It seems very probable that another tongue, is (i. e. many) than mine. The quarto of 1604 reads, an el cor of the press for mother tongue.'
many more of the same breed.' 4. If you did, it rould not tend much toward proving 13 Outward habit of encounter is exterior politeness me or confirming me.'-- What Hamlet would have of address. added we know noe ; but surely Shakspeare's use of 16 A kind of yesty collection, which carries them the word approre, upon all occasions, is against John through and through the most fanned and winnowed Bon's expianntion of it to recommend 10 approbation. opinions,' &c. The folio reads, fond and winnowed.There is no consistency in the commentators ; they The corruption of the quarto, prophaned and tren. rarely look at the prevalent sense of a word in the poet, noued,' is not worth attention; and I have no doubt that but explain it many ways, to suit their own views of the fond in the folio should be funned, formerly spelt
fan'd, meaning of a passage.
and sometimes even without the apostrophe. Fanned 5 I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with and winnowed are almost always coupled by old writers, him, &c.' I dare not pretend to know him, lesi I should for reasons that may be seen under those words in pretend to an equality: no man can completely know Baret's Alvearie. Só Shakspeare himself, in Troilus another, but by knowing himself, which is the utmost and Cressida : extent of human wisdom.
* Distinction with a broad and powerful fan, 6 Meed is meril. Vide King Henry VI. Part III. Puffing at all, winnours the light away." Actii. Sc. 1.
The meaning is, "These men have got the cant of the 7 Impawned. The folio reads imponed. Pignare, day, a superficial readiness of slight and cursory conItalian, signifies both to im and to lay a wager. versation, a kind of frothy collection of fashionable prat. The stakes are, indeed, a gage or pledge.
tle, which yet carries them through with the most light 8 Hangers, That part of the beli by which the sword and inconsequential judgments ; but if brought to the wils suspended.
trial by the slightest breath of rational conversation, tho
fall to play:
Enter a Lord.
Sir, in his audience, Lord. My lord, his majesty commended him to Lei my disclaiming from a purpos'd evil you by young Osric, who brings back to him, that Free me so far in your most generous thoughts, you attend him in the hall: He sends to know, if That I have shot my arrow o'er the house, your pleasure hold to play with Laertes, or that you And hurt my brother. will take longer time.
I am satisfied in naturo, Ham. I am constant to my purposes, they follow Whose motive, in this case, should stir me most the king's pleasure : if his fitness speaks, mine is To my revenge : but in my terms of honour, ready; now, or whensoever, provided I bo so able I stand aloof; and will no reconcilement,
Till by some elder masters, of known honour, Lord. The king, and queen, and all are coming I have a voice and precedent of peace, down.
To keep my name ungorg'd:6 But till that time, Ham. In happy time.
I do receive your offer'd love like love, Lord. The queen desires you, to use some gentle And will not wrong it. entertainment to Laertes, before you
I embrace it freely, Ham. She well instructs me. [Exil Lord. And will this brother's wager frankly play.Hor. You will lose this wager, my lord.
Give us the foils; come on. Ham. I do not think so; since he went into Laer.
Come, one for me. France, I have been in continual practice; I shall Ham. I'll be your foil, Laertes ; in mine ignorance win at the odds. But thou would'st not think, how Your skill shall, like a star i’ the darkest night, ill all's here about my heart : but it is no matter. Suick fiery off indeed, Hor. Nay, good my lord,
You mock me, sir. Ham. It is but foolery ; but it is such a kind of Ham. No, by this hand. gain-giving, as would, perhaps, trouble a woman. King. Give them the foils, young Osric.-Cousin
Hor. If your mind dislike any thing, obey it: 1 Hamlet, will forestal their repair hither, and say, you are You know the wager ? not fit.
Very well, my lord; Ham. Not a whit, we defy augury; there is a Your grace hath laid the odds’ o'the weaker side. special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be King. I do not fear it: I have seen you both: now, 'lis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be But since he's better'd, we have therefore odds. now; if it be not now, yet it will come : the readi Laer. This is too heavy, let me see another. ness is all : Since no inan, of aught he leaves, Ham. This likes me well: These foils have all a knows ;-what is't to leave betimes. Let be.
(They prepare to play. Enter King, Queen, LAERTES, Lords, Osric, and
Osr. Ay, my good lord.
King. Set me the stoups of wine upon that King. Come, Hamlet, come, and take this hand if Hamlet give the first or second hit,
table : from me. [The King puls the hand of Laertes into that or quit in answer of the third exchange, of HAMLET.
Let all the battlements their ordnance fire: Ham. Give me your pardon, sir: I have done The king shall drink to Hamlet's better breath;
And in the cup an union shall he throw, you wrong ; But pardon it, as you are a gentleman.
Richer than that which four successive kings This presence knows, and you must needs have And let the kettle to the trumpet speak,
In Denmark's crown have worn; Give me the cups ; heard,
The trumpet to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens, the heaven to earth,
Now the king drinks to Hamlet.-Come, begin ; That might your nature, honour, and exception,
And you, the judges, bear a wary eye. Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness.
Ham. Come on, sir. Was't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never, Hamlet:
Laer. If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away,
Come, my lord. [They play. Ham,
One. And, when he's not himself, does wrong Laertes,
No. Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it.
Judgment. Who does it then? His madness: If't be so, Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;
Oxr. A hit, a very palpable hit.
Laer. His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.
Well,-again. bubbles burst; or, in other words, display their empo ask advice of older men of the sword, whether artificial tiness."
honour ought to be contented with Hamlet's apology. 1 All that passes between Hamlet and this Lord is
7 The king had wagered six Burbury horses to a few omitced in the folio,
rapiers, poniards, &c.; that is, about twenty to one.2 i. e. misgiving, a giving against, or an internal These are the odds here meant. The odds the King feeling and prognostic of evil.
means in the next speech were twelve to nine in favour 3. Since no man, of aught he leaves,- knows;- of Hamlet, by Laeries giving him three. What is it to leave belimes! This is the reading of 8. Stoup is a common word in Scotland at this day, the follo; the quarto reada, 'Since no man has aught and denotes a pewter vessel resembling our wine mea. of what he leaves. What is't to leave betimes.' Has sures; but of no determinate quantity; for there are is evidenily here a blunder for knows. Johnson thus gullon-stoups, pint-stoups, mulchkin-sloups, &c. The Interprets the passage :-- Since no man k nouns aught vessel in which water is fetched or kept is also called a of the state which he leaves, since he cannot judge what waier-sloup. A stoup of wine is therefore equivalent to other years may produce, why should we be afraid of a pitcher of wine. leaving life betimes?" Warburton's explanation is 9 An union is a precious pearl, remarkable for its very ingenious, bue perhaps strains the pver's meaning size. “And hereupon it is that our dainties and delicates farther than he intended. It is true that by death we here at Rome, &c. call them unions, as a man would lose all the goods of life ; yet seeing this loss is no say singular, and by themselves alone. To swallow a otherwise an evil than as we are sensible of it; and pearl in a draught seems to have been common to royal since death removes all sense of it, what matters it how and mercantile prodigality. Thus in the second part of soon we lose them. This argument against the fear of If You Know Not Me You Know Nobody :'death has been dilated and placed in a very striking "Here sixteen thousand pound at one clap goes, light by the late Mr. Green.-See Diary of a Lover of Instead of sugar. Gresham drinks this pearl Literature, Ipswich, 1810, 40. p. 230.--Shakspeare Unto the queen his mistress.' himself has elsewhere said, the sense of death is most According to Rondeletus, pearls were supposed to have in apprehension.'
an exhilarating quality. Uniones quæ a conchis, &c. 4 I. e. the king queen.
valde cordiale sunt.'' Under pretence of throwing a 5 This line is not in the quarto.
pearl into the cup, the King may be supposed to drop 6.i. e. unwounded. This is a piece of satire on fan. some poisonous drug into the wine. Hamlet subinstical honour. Though nature is satisfied, yet he will sequently asks him tauntiogly, 'Is the union here!"
King. Stay, give me drink : Hamlet, this pearl Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet: is thine ;
Mine and my father's death come not upon thee; Here's to thy health.-Give him the cup.
Nor thine on me!
(that [Trumpels sound; and (nanons shot off within. Ham. Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee Ham. I'll play this bout first, set it by a while. I am dead, Horario:-Wretched queen, adieu !-. Come .-.Another hit; What say you? [They play. You that look pale and tremble at this chance, Laer. A louch, a touch, I do confess.
That are but mutes or audience to this act, King. Our son shall win.
Had I but iime (as this full sergeant, death,
He's ful, and scant of breath. Is strict in his arresi,) O, I could tell you,
To the unsatisfied.
Never believe it ;
As thou'rt a man,Ham. I dare not drink yet, madam ; by and by. Give me the cup; let go; by heaven, I'll have it.Queen, Come, let me wipe thy face.
0, God !--Horatio, what a wounded name, Laer. My lord, I'll hit him now.
Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me? King.
I do not think it. If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, Laei. And yet it is almost against my conscience. Absent thee from felicity awhile,
(Aside. And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain, Ham. Come, for the third, Laertes: You do but To tell my story.-, dally;
(March afar off, and Shot within. I pray you pass with your best violence;
What warlike noise it this ! I am afcard, you make a wanton? of ine.
Ost. Young Fortinbras, with conquest come frem Lner. Say you so? come on. [They play.
Poland, Osr. Nothing neither way.
To the ambassadors of England gives Laer. Have at you now.
This warlike vollev.
0, I die, Horatio ;
I cannot live to hear the news from England:
Part them, they are incens'd. But I do prophesy the election lights Ham. Nay, come again. (The Queen falls. On Fortinbras; he has my dying voice; Osr.
Look to the queen there, ho! So tell him, with the occurrents, more or less, llor. They bleed on both sides ;-How is it, my Which have solicited,'— The rest is silence. (Dies. lord ?
Hor. Now cracks a noble heart;-Good night, Osr. How is't, Laertes?
sweet prince; Laer. Why, as a woodcock to mine own springe, And fights of angels sing thee to thy rest! Osric;
Why does the drum come hither? [March within. I am justly kill'd with mine own treachery. Ham. How does the queen ?
Enter FORTINBRAS, the English Ambassadors, King. She swoons to see them bleed.
and others. Queen. No, no, the drink, the drink,-0 my dear Fort. Where is this sight? Hamlet!
What is it, you would see? The drink, the drink ;-I am poison d ! (Dies. If anght of woe, or wonder, cease your search. Ham. O villany!-Ho! let the door be lock'd :
Fort. This quarry cries on havoc !"-0, proud Treachery! seek it out.
So bloodily hast struck ?
The sight is dismal; Unbated,' and elvenom'd: the foul practice
And our affairs from England come too late : Hath turn'd itself on me: lo, bere I lie,
The ears are senseless, ihat should give us hearing, Never to rise again : Thy mother's poison'd; To tell him, his commandment is fulốll'd, I can no more; the king, the king's to blame. That Rosencrantz and Guildeastern are dead: Ham. The point
Where should we have our thanks ? Eavenom'd too !-Then, venom, to thy work."
Not from his mouth, [Siabs the King. Had it the ability of life to thank you ; Osr. and Lords. Treason! treason!
He never gave commandment for their death. King. O, yet defend me, friends, I am but hurt. But since, so jump upon this bloody question, Ham. Here, thou incertuous, murd'rous, damned You from the Polack wars, and you from England, Dane,
Are here arriv'd; give order, that these bodies Drink off this potion :- ts the union here?
High on a stage be placed to the view; Follow my mother.
(King dies. And let me speak, to the yet unknowing world, Laer. He is justly serv'd;
How these things came about: So shall you hear It is a poison temper'd by himself.
Of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts ; lo 1 i. e. the queen drinks to thy good success.
6 To orercrou, is to overcome, to subdue. These 2 i. e. you title or play with me as if I were a child.
noblemen laboured with tooth and naile to overcrose, 3 See note on Activ. Sc. 7.
and consequently to overthrow one another. -Holin. 4 In the quarto or 1603 :-
shed's History of Ireland. “The poison'd instrument within my hand
7 The occurrents which have solicited the occur. Then venom to thy venom; die, damnd villain :
rences or incidents which have incited.' The sentence Come, drink, here lies thy union here.
is left unfinished. (King dies.
8 'This quarry cries on havoc ! To cry on, was to 5 A sergeant was a bailiff or sheriff's officer. Shakerclaim againsi. I suppose when unfair sportsinen speare, in his 741h Sonnel, has likened death to an ar. destroyed more game than was reasonable, the censure rest
was to call it havoc Johnson. when that fell arrest, Without all bail shall carry me away.'
Quarry was the term used for a heap of slaughtered
game. See Macbeth, Act iv. Sc. 3. And Joshua Silvester, in his Dubartas:
9 It has been already observed that jump and jual, And death, sergeant of the eternal Judge, or eractly, are synonymous Vide note on Act i. Sc. 1 Comes very late,' &c.
10 or carnal, bloody, and unnatural acta' Of san
of accidental judgments, casual slaughters; Be wary of his presence, lest that he of deaths put on by cunning, and forc'd cause ;
Fail in that he goes about. And, in this upshot, purposes mistook
Hor. Madam, never make doubt of that:
I think by this the news be come to court Fall'n on the inventors' heads : all this can I
He is arrivéd: observe the king, and you shall Truly deliver.
Quickly find, Hamlet being here, Fort. Let us haste to hear it.
Things fell not to his mind. And call the noblest to the audience.
Queen. But what became of Gilderstone and Rog. For me, with sorrow, I embrace my fortune ;
sencraft? I have some rights of memorya in this kingdom,
Hor. He being set ashore, they went for England, Which now to claim my vantage doth invite me.
And in the packet there writ down that doom Hor. Of that I shall have also cause to speak,
To be perform'd on them 'pointed for him : And from his mouth whose voice will draw on more; So all was done without discovery.
And by great chance he had his father's seal, But let this same be presently perform’d,
Queen. Thanks be to Heaven for blessing of the Even while men's minds are wild ; lest more mis prince. chance,
Horatio, once again I take my leave, On plots and errors, happen.
With thousand mother's blessings to my son. Fort.
Let four captains
Hor. Madam, adieu !
IF the dramas of Shakspeare were to be characterised; To have prov'd most royally: and, for his passage, it from the rest, we must allow to the tragedy of Ham
each by the particular excellence which distinguishes The soldier's music, and the rites of war,
let the praise of variety: The incidents are so numes Speak loudly for him.
rous, that the argument of the play would make a Take up the bodies :-Such a sight as this
Jong tale. The scenes are interchangeably diversified Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
with merriment and solemnity : with merriment that Go, bid the soldiers shoot. (A dead March. includes judicious and instructive observations; and
[Exeunt, bearing off the dead Bodies ; after natural sentiments of man. New characters appear which, a Peal of Ordnance is shot off.
from time to time in continual succession, exhibiting various forms of life and particular modes of conver.
sation. The following scene in the first quarto, 1803, differs much mirth, the mournful distraction of Ophelia fills'
The pretended madness of Hamlet causes w materially from the revised play, that it has been the heart with tenderness, and every personage prothought it would not be unacceptable to the reader :
duces the effect intended, from the apparition that in Enter Horatio and the Queen.
the first Act chills the blood with horror, to the fop in Hor. Madam, your son is safe arrived in Denmarke, the last, that exposes affectation to just contempt. This letter I even now receiv'd of him,
The conduct is perhaps riot 'wholly secure against Whereas he writes bow he escap'd the danger,
objections. The action is indeed for the most part in And subtle treason that the king had plotted,
continual progression ; but there are some scenes Being crossed by the contention of the winds,
which neither forward nor retard it. of the feigned He found the packet sent to the king of England,
madness of Hamlet there appears no adequate cause; Wherein he saw himself betray'd to death,
for he does nothing which he might not have done As at his next conversion with your grace
with the reputation of sanity. He plays the madman He will relate the circumstance at full.
most when he treats Ophelia with so much rudeness, Queen. Then I perceive there's treason in his looks, which seems to be useless and wanton cruelty. That seem'd to sugar o'er his villanics :
Hamlet is, through the whole piece, rather an in. But I will sooth and please him for a time,
strument than an agent. After he has, by the strala. For murderous minds are always jealous
gem of the play, convicted the King, he makes no But know not you, Horatio, where he is ?'
attempt to punish him; and his death is at last effected Hor. Yes, madam, and he hath appointed mo
by an incident which Hamlet had no part in producing. To meet him on the east side of the city
The catastrophe is not very happily produced ; the To-morrow morning.
exchange of weapons is rather an expedient of neces. Queen. O fail not, good Horatio, and withal com.sity, than a stroke of art. A scheme might easily be mend me
formed to kill Hamlet with the dagger, and Laertes
with the bowl. A mother's care to him, bid him a while
The poet is accused of having shown little regard to
poetical justice, and may be charged with equal ne. guinary and unnatural acts, to which the perpetrator glect of poetical probability. The apparition left the was instigated by concupiscence or "carnal stings.' regions of the dead to little purpose ; the revenge which The allusion is to the murder of old Hamlet by his bro. he demands is not obtained, but by the death of him! ther, previous to his incestuous union with Gertrude. that was required to take it; and the gratification which
l'i. e, instigated, produced. Instead of forced would arise from the destruction of an usurper and a cause,' the quartos read, for no cause.'
murderer, is abated by the untimely death of Ophelia, 2 i. e. some rights which are remembered in this the young, the beautiful, the harmless, and the pious kingdom
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.
, Gio Giraldi Cinthio, entitled Hecatommithi, being mark; with the strange Adventures of lago, Prince of the seventh novel of the third decad. No English Saxonie, 410, 1605. It may indeed be urged, that these translation of so early a date as the age of Shakspeare names were adopted from the tragedy before us: bat has hitherto been discovered:
but the work was trans- every reader who is conversant with the peculiar style lated into French by Gabriel Chappuys, Paris, 1584. and method in which
the work of honest John Rey: The version is not a faithful one: and Dr. Farmer nolds is composed, will acquit him of the slightest suspects that through this medium the novel came familiarity with the scenes of Shakspeare-Steerens. into English.
The time of this play may be ascertained from the The name of Othello may have been suggested by following circumstances : -Selymus the Second formed some tale which has escaped our researches, as it oc- bis design against Cyprus in 1569, and took it in 1571. curs in Reynold's God's Revenge against Adultery, This was the only attempt the Turks ever made ufon standing in one of his arguments as follows:- She that island after it came into the hands of the Vene marries Othello, an old German soldier.' This history tians, (which was in 1473,) wherefore the time must (the eighth) is professed to be an Italian one; and here fall in with some part of that interval We learn from also the name of lago occurs. It is likewise found in the play, that there was a junction of the Turkish set
at Rhodes, in order for the Invasion of Cyprus ; that note to this play, would compare it to a picture from it first came sailing towards Cyprus ; then went to the school of Raphael. Poetry is certainly the pabu. Rhodes, there met another squadron, and then re. lum of art, and this drama, as every other of our im. sumed its way to Cyprus. These are real historical mortal bard, offers a series of pictures to the imagina. facts, which happened when Mustapha, Selymus's tion of such varied hues, that artists of every school general, attacked Cyprus, in May, 1570; which is might from hence be furnished with subjects. What therefore the true period of this performance.--See Schlegel means to say appears to be, that it abounds in Knolle's History of the Turks, p. 938, 846, 867.--Recd. strongly contrasted scenes, but that gloom predominates.
The first edition of this play, of which we have any Much has been written on the subject of this drama; certain knowledge, was printed by N. O. for Thomas and there has been some difference or opinion in re Walkly, to whom it was entered on the stationers' gard to the rank in which it deserves to be placed. Books, October 6, 1621. The most material variations For my own part I should not hesitate to place it on of this copy from the first folio are pointed out in the the first. Perhaps this preference may arise from the
The minute differences are so numerous, that circumstance of the domestic nature of its action, which to have specified them would only have fatigued the lays a stronger hold upon our sympathy; for over. reader. Walkly's Preface will follow these Prelimi. powering as is the pathos of Lear, or the interest ex. nary Remarks.
cited by Macbeth, it comes less near to the business of Malone first placed the date of the composition of life. this play in 1611, upon the ground of the allusion, sup. In strong contrast of character, in delineation of the posed by Warburton, to the creation of the order of workings of passion in the human breast, in manifesbaronets. (See Act iji. Sc. 4, note.) On the same tations of profound knowledge of the inmost recesses ground Mr. Chalmers attributed it to 1614; and Dr. of the heart, this drama exceeds all that has ever Drake assigned the middle period of 1612.' But this issued from mortal pen. It is indeed true that no allusion being controverted, Malone subsequently af- eloquence is capable of painting the overwhelming fixed to it the date of 1604, because, as he asserts, catastrophe in Othello,—the pressure of feelings which we know it was acted in that year.' He has not measure out in a moment the abysses of eternity.' stated the evidence for this decisive fact; and Mr. Bos. well was unable to discover it among his papers; but gives full credit to it, on the ground that Mr. Malone WALKLY'S PREFACE* TO OTHELLO, never expressed himself at random.' The allusion to Pliny, translated by Philemon Holland, in 1601, in the
ED. 1622, 4to. simile of the Pontic Sea ; and the supposed imitation of a passage in Cornwallis's Essays, of the same date, referred to in the note cited above, seem to have influ. THE STATIONER TO THE READER. enced Mr. Malone in settling the date of this play. To set forth a booke without an Epistle, were like What is more certain is, that it was played before King James at court, in 1613; which circumstance is to the old English proverbe, ' A blew coat without a gathered from the MSS. of Vertue the Engraver. badge;' and the author being dead, I thought good
If (says Schlegel) Romeo and Juliet shines with to take that piece of worke upon me: To commend the colours of the dawn of morning, but a dawn whose it, I will not; for that which is good, I hope every purple clouds already announce the thunder of a sul. iry day, Othello is, on the other hand, a strongly bolder, because the Author's name is sufficient to
man will commend without intreaty: and I am the shaded picture ; we might call it a tragical Rembrandt.' vent his worke. Thus leaving every one to the tion and dramatic poetry be admitted,--for I have my liberty of judgment, I have ventured to print this doubts of their propriety,--this is a far more judicious play, and leave it the generall censure. Yours, ascription than thai of Steevens, who, in a concluding
PERSONS REPRESENTED. DUKE of Venice.
Clown, Servant to Othello.
DESDEMONA, Daughter to Braba tio, and Wife to
EMILIA, Wife to lago.
BLANCA, a Courtesun, Mistress to Cassio.
Officers, Gentlemen, Messengers, Musicians, SaiRODERIGO, a Venetian Gentleman.
lors, Attendants, doc. Montano, Othello's Preilecessor in the Government SCENE, for the first Act, in Venice; during the of Cyprus.
rest of the Play, at a Seaport in Cyprus.
lago. Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones
of the city, SCENE I. Venice. A Street. Enter Rode- In personal suit to make me his lieutenant, RIGO and IAGO.
Oft capp'd' to him ;-and, by the faith of man, Roclerigo.
I know my price, I am worth no worse a place :
But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
Evades them, with a bombast circumstance,?
And, in conclusion, nonsuits
My mediators; for, certes, says he,
I have already chose my officer.
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, 1 To cap is to salute by taking off the cap: it is still A follow almost damn'd in a fair wife ;' an academic phrase. The folio reads, 'Oticapp'd.' 2 Circumstance signifies circumlocution.
4 The folio reads, dambd. This passage has given And therefore without circumstance, to the point, rise to inuch discussion). Mr. Tyrwhitt thought that we Instruct me what I am ?
should read, “almost damnd in a fair life ;' alluding to The Picture, by Massinger. the judgment denounced in the Gospel against those of 8 lago means to represent Cassio as a man merely whom all men speak well. I should be contented to conversant with ciril matters, and who knew no more adope his emendation, but with a different interpre. of a sqadron than the number of men it contained. He tation : ' A fellow almost damnd (i. e. lost from afterwards calls him 'this counter-castor.'
luxurious habite) in the serene or equable lenor of