« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Iago. My noble lord,
What dost thou say, Iago? Iago. Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my
lady, Know of your love?
Oth. He did, from first to last: Why dost thou ask?
Iago. But for a satisfaction of my thought;
Why of thy thought, Iago?
with her. Oth. O, yes; and went between us very oft. Iago. Indeed ? Oth. Indeed! ay, indeed :--Discern'st thou aught
in that? Is he not honest? Iago.
Honest, my lord ?
Think, my lord ?
Think, my lord!
And mar the seeds within !' There is the same thought in Muretus, a Latin poet of the sixteenth century:
• Tune meo elabi possis de pectore, Lacci
Aut ego, dum vivam, non meminisse tui?
Tetras in antiquum sit reditura chaos.'
• Cesset amor, pariter cessabunt foedera rerum;
I heard thee say but now,- Thou lik’dst not that, When Cassio left my wife; What did'st not like? And, when I told thee-he was of my
Iago. My lord, you know I love you.
I think, thou dost: And, for 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, They are close denotements14, working from the heart, That passion cannot rule. Iago.
For Michael Cassio,I dare be sworn, I think that he is honest.
Oth. I think so too.
Men should be what they seem; Or, those that be not,'would, they might seem none 15!
Oth. Certain, men should be what they seem.
Oth. Nay, yet there's more in this:
14 Thus the earliest quarto. The first folio reads-close dilations. Which Johnson says was intended for cold delations,” i. e. occult and secret accusations, working involuntary from the heart. The second folic reads-cold dilations,' which Warburton explains 'cold keeping back a secret,' which men of phlegmatic constitutions, whose arts are not swayed or governed by their passions, we find can do: while more sanguine tempers reveal themselves at once, and without reserve. Upton says dilations comes from the Latin dilationes, delayings, pauses.
15 I believe the meaning is,' would they might no longer seem or bear the shape of men.'-Johnson.
As thou dost ruminate; and give thy worst of thoughts
Good my lord, pardon me;
false,As where's that palace, whereinto foul things Sometimes intrude not 17 ? who has a breast so pure, But some uncleanly apprehensions Keep leets 18, and law-days, and in session sit With meditations lawful?
Oth. Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago, If thou but think'st him wrong’d, and mak’st his ear A stranger to thy thoughts. Iago.
I do beseech you,Though I, perchance, am vicious in my guess, As, I confess, it is my nature's plague To spy into abuses: and, oft, my jealousy Shapes faults that are not,-I entreat you then,
16 • I am not bound to do that which even slaves are not bound to do. So in Cymbeline :
-No perfection is so absolute
ape of Lucrece. 18 • Who has so virtuous a breast that some impure conceptions and uncharitable surmises will not sometimes enter into it; hold a session there, as in a regular court, and“ bench by the side of authorised and lawful thoughts. In the poet's thirtieth sonnet we find the same imagery:
• When to the sessions of sweet silent thoughts
I sammon up remembrance of things past. A leet is also called a law day. • This court, in whose manor soever kept, was accounted the king's court, and commonly held ,every half year, it was a meeting of the hundred' to certify the king of the good manners and government of the inhabitants,' &c.
From one that so imperfectly conjects 19,
What dost thou mean? Iago. Good name, in man,
my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls: Who steals my purse, steals trash 20; 'tis something,
nothing; 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thou
heart were in
hand; Nor shall not, whilst 'tis in my custody.
Iago. 0, beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-ey'd monster, which doth make 29 19 i. e, conjectures. Thus the quarto 1622. The folio reads:
and of my jealousy
Would take no notice.' 20 The sacred writings were perbaps in the poet's thoughts: ' A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour than silver and gold. Proverbs, xxii, 1.
• Nanc ager Umbreni sub nomine nuper Ofelli
Horat. Sat, lib. ii. 2.
• Nunc mea, mox hujus, set postea nescio cujas.' 2 The old copy reads mock. The emendation is Hanmer's. Steevens attempted to justify the old reading; but his arguments are not convincing; and the slight alteration of the text
The meat it feeds on: That cuckold lives in bliss,
Oth. O misery!
Iago. Poor, and content, is rich, and rich enough; But riches, fineless 23, is as poor as winter, To him that ever fears he shall be poor :Good heaven, the souls of all my
tribe defend From jealousy! Oth.
Why! why is this? Think'st thou, I'd make a life of jealousy, To follow still the changes of the moon With fresh suspicions ? No: to be once in doubt, Is-once to be resolv’d: Exchange me for a goat,
renders it so much more clear, elegant, and poetical, and has been so well defended by Malone and others, that I have not. hesitated to adopt it. The following passages have been adduced in confirmation of Hanmer's reading. At the end of the third Act Desdemona remarks on Othello's jealousy:
. Alas the day! I never gave him cause.' To which Emilia replies :
* But jealous fools will not be answer'd so,
Begot upon itself, born on itself.' And in Daniel's Rosamond, 1592 ; a poem which Shakspeare has more than once imitated in Romeo and Juliet:
• O Jealousy
Happy were lovers, if they never knew thee.' The same idea occurs in Massinger's Picture, where Matthias, speaking of the groundless jealousy he entertained of Sophia's possible inconstancy, says :
but why should I nourish
Or can be false.' 23 i. e. endless, unbounded. Warburton observes that this is finely expressed-winter producing no fruits.