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A Room in the Castle.
Enter OTHELLO and EMILIA. Oth. You have seen nothing, then ? Emil. Nor ever heard ; nor ever did suspect. Oth. Yes, you have seen Cassio and she together.
Emil. But then I saw no harm; and then I heard Each syllable that breath made up between them.
Oth. What, did they never whisper?
Never, my lord.
Never. Oth. To fetch her fan, her gloves, her mask, nor
nothing? Emil. Never, my lord. Oth.
Emil. I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest,
If you think other,
[Exit Emilia. She says enough ;-yet she's a simple bawd That cannot say as much. This is a subtle whore,
1 There are great difficulties in ascertaining the place of this scene. What Othello says in an early part of it to Emilia—“Leave procreants alone, and shut the door,”and his subsequent address to her as he goes out, decisively point out a room in Othello's castle as the place of the scene; and coinpel us to place the interlocutors there, however inconsistent with Roderigo's entry, and lago's address to Desdemona, “Go in and weep not.” The truth is, that our Poet and his audience, in this instance, as in many others, were content, from want of scenery, to consider the very same spot, at one and the same time, as the outside and inside of a house.
2 The quarto reads “ of her sex.”'
A closet-lock-and-key of villanous secrets :
Re-enter Emilia, with DESDEMONA.
'Pray, chuck, come hither. Des. What is your pleasure ? Oth.
Let me see your eyes; Look in my face. Des.
What horrible fancy's this? Oth. Some of your function, mistress; [To Emilia. Leave procreants alone, and shut the door; Cough, or cry—Hem, if any body come. Your mystery, your mystery ;-nay, despatch.
[Exit Emilia. Des. Upon my knees, what doth your speech
Oth. Why, what art thou?
Your wife, my lord; your true
Come, swear it, damn thyself; Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves Should fear to seize thee: therefore be double-damned, Swear-thou art honest. Des.
Heaven doth truly know it. Oth. Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell. Des. To whom, my lord? with whom? How am I
false? Oth. O Desdemona !-away! away! away!
Des. Alas, the heavy day! Why do you weep? Am I the occasion of these tears, my lord? If, haply, you my father do suspect, An instrument of this your calling back, Lay not your blame on me; if you have lost him, Why, I have lost him too.
1 This line is not in the folio.
Had it pleased Heaven To try me with affliction ; had he rained All kinds of sores, and shames, on my bare head; Steeped me in poverty to the very lips ; Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes ; I should have found in some part of my soul A drop of patience: but (alas !) to make me A fixed figure, for the time of scorn To point his slow, unmoving finger at, 0!0! Yet could I bear that too; well, very well : But there, where I have garnered up my heart; Where either I must live, or bear no life; The fountain from the which my current runs, Or else dries up; to be discarded thence, Or keep it as a cistern, for foul toads To knot and gender in !—Turn thy complexion there! Patience, thou young and rose-lipped cherubim; Ay, there, look grim as hell ! 2 Des. I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.
Oth. O, ay; as summer flies are in the shambles, That quicken even with blowing. O thou weed, Who art so lovely fair, and smell'st so sweet, That the sense aches at thee.-'Would thou hadst
ne'er been born! Des. Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed ? Oth. Was this fair paper, this most goodly book, ,
1 Rowe reads " the hand of scorn,” a satisfactory emendation; and it is to be wished that there was sufficient authority to admit it into the text. Steevens thinks the old reading right, saying, that Othello takes his idea from a clock.
The folio reads and moving instead of unmoving ; but the reading adopted in the text is probably correct, and the meaning seems to be, that the finger of scorn never moves from, or ceases to point at its object.
2 " At such an object do thou, patience, thyself change color; at this do thou, even thou, rosy cherub as thou art, look grim as hell.” The old copies have, “I here look grim as hell.” I was written for ay; and here was an evident error of the press for there. Theobald made the correction. 3 The quarto reads :
“O thou black weed, why art so lovely fair?
Made to write whore upon ? What committed !
By Heaven, you do me wrong.
No, as I am a Christian.
Oth. What, not a whore ?
No, as I shall be saved.
I cry you mercy, then; I took you for that cunning whore of Venice, That married with Othello.-You, mistress,
Re-enter EMILIA. That have the office opposite to saint Peter, And keep the gate of hell; you! you! ay, you ! We have done our course; there's money for your
pains ; I pray you, turn the key, and keep our counsel. [Exit.
Emil. Alas, what does this gentleman conceive ? How do you, madam ? how do you, my good lady?
Des. Faith, half asleep.
? This and the three following lines are not in the first quarto.
2 This expression is from Sacred Writ :-"To possess his vessel in sanctification.”
Why, with my lord, madam.
• He that is yours, sweet lady.
Exit. Des. 'Tis meet I should be used so, very meet. How have I been behaved, that he might stick The small'st opinion on my great'st abuse ? ?
Re-enter Emilia, with Iago. lago. What is your pleasure, madam ? How is it
with you? Des. I cannot tell. Those that do teach young
What's the matter, lady?
Des. Am I that name, Iago ?
What name, fair lady?
. He called her whore; a beggar in his drink Could not have laid such terms upon his callet.»
Iago. Why did he so ?
1 This and the following speech are not in the quarto.
2 This is the reading of the quarto; which Dr. Johnson thought preferable to the reading of the folio-on my least misuse.
3 A callet is a trull, a drab. The word is of great antiquity in the English language. VOL. VII.