Abbildungen der Seite

Put into circumscription and confine

For the sea's worth.

Othello's Relation to the Senate of his wooing Desdemona.

Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approved good masters,
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her :
The very head and front of my offending

Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little bless'd with the set phrase of peace;

For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field;

And little of this great world can I speak,

More than pertains to feats of broil and battle;
And therefore little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself; yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver


my whole course of love: what drugs, what charms, What conjuration, and what mighty magic

(For such proceeding I am charged withal) I won his daughter with.


Her father lov'd me: oft invited me ;
Still question'd me the story of my life,
From year to year; the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have pass'd.

I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
To the very moment that he bade me tell it.
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field;

Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' the imminent deadly breach
Of being taken by the insolent foe,

And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,
And portance in my travel's history.

Wherein of antres vast, and deserts idle,+

Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven,

It was my hint to speak, such was the process;
And of the Cannibals that each other eat,

The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders.

These things to hear,

Would Desdemona seriously incline:

But still the house affairs would draw her thence,
Which ever as she could with haste despatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse: which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not intentively: I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:
She swore,


-in faith, 't was strange, 'twas passing

'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful :

She wish'd she had not heard it: yet she wish'd

That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd


And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,

* Behaviour.

+ Idle is used to signify barren.

Intention and attention were once synonymous. Attentively.

I should but teach him how to tell my story,

And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake :

She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd;

And I lov'd her that she did pity them.

This only is the witchcraft I have used.


Othello's joy at Desdemona's arrival at Cyprus.

O my soul's joy!

If after every tempest come such calms,

May the winds blow till they have waken'd death!
And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas
Olympus-high, and duck again as low

As hell's from heaven! If it were now to die,
'T were now to be most happy; for, I fear,
My soul hath her content so absolute,
That not another comfort like to this
Succeeds in unknown fate.


Othello's passionate love for Desdemona.

Excellent wretch * Perdition catch my soul,
But I do love thee! and when I love thee noi,
Chaos is come again.

Othello's mistaken estimate of Iago's character.

I know thou art full of love and honesty,

And weigh'st thy words before thou giv'st them breath,-
Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more :
For such things, in a false disloyal knave,
Are tricks of custom; but, in a man that's just,

*Used here as a term of endearment.

They are close denotements, working from the heart, That passion cannot rule.


Good name, in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls;

Who steals my purse, steals trash; 't is something, nothing;

"Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he, that filches from me my good name,

Robs me of that which not enriches him,

And makes me poor

Trifles, light as air,



Are, to the jealous, confirmations strong

As proofs of Holy Writ.

[blocks in formation]

Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content!
Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars,
That make ambition virtue! O, farewell!
Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner; and all quality,

Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!
And O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove's dread clamours counterfeit,
Farewell! Othello's occupation's gone!

Iago's Hypocrisy.

O wretched fool,

That liv'st to make thine honesty a vice !—

O monstrous world!

Take note, take note, O world,

To be direct and honest is not safe.

I thank you for this profit; and, from hence,

I'll love no friend, since love breeds such offence.

Othello's Story of the Handkerchief.

That handkerchief

Did an Egyptian to my mother give;

She was a charmer,* and could almost read

The thoughts of people. She told her, while she

kept it,

'T would make her amiable, and subdue my father Entirely to her love; but if she lost it,

Or made a gift of it, my father's eye

Should hold her loathly, and his spirits should hunt
After new fancies. She, dying, gave

it me ;
And bid me, when my fate would have me wive,
To give it her. I did so and take heed of't,
Make it a darling like your precious eye,

To lose or give't away, were such perdition,
As nothing else could match.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

'Tis true; there's magic in the web of it:
A sibyl, that had number'd in the world
The sun to make two hundred compasses,
In her prophetic fury sew'd the work:

The worms were hallow'd that did breed the silk ;
And it was dyed in mummy, which the skilful
Conserv'd of maidens' hearts.

A Lover's Computation of Time.

What! keep a week away? seven days and nights? Eight score eight hours? and lover's absent hours,

* An Enchantress.


« ZurückWeiter »