« ElőzőTovább »
Caf. There is, besides, in Rodorigo's letter,
Your Pow'r and your Command is taken off,
Oth. Soft you ; a word or two, before you go.
Speak of me, as I am; Nothing extenuate, Nor set down aught in malice.
Then must you speak Of one that loved not wisely, but too well ; Of one, not easily jealous, but being wrought, Perplex'd in the extream ; of one, whose hand, Like the base Judean, threw a pearl away Richer than all his cribe ; of one, whose subdued eyes,
8 Speak of me as I am ;-) The elder Quorio, as the genuine and carly copies read, Speak of them more eligible reading. Mr. Pope as they are. The present read- thinks, this was cccafioned proba. ing has more force.
bly by the word tribe just after : 9
of one, whose hand, I have many reasons to oppose Like the base Indian, threw a this opinion. In the first place, pearl away
the most ignorant Indian, I beRicher than all his tribe;] Ilieve, is so far the reverse of the have restored Judian, from the dung hill-cock in the fable, as to
Albeit unused to the melting mood,
know the estimation of a pearl, add, that our author might write beyond that of a barley corn. Judian, or Judean (if that should So that, in that respect, the be alledg’d as any objection) inthought itself would not be just. fead of Judæan, with the same Then, if our author had design'd licence and change of accent, as, to reficet on the ignorance of the in his Anthony and Cleopatra, he Indian without any farther re Mortens the second syllable of proach, he would have callid Euphrates in pronunciation : him rude, and not base. Again, which was a liberty likewise I am perfuaded, as my friend taken by Spencer, of whom our Mr. Warburton long ago ob- author was a studious imitator. serv'd, the phrase is not here li
THEOBALD. teral, but metapbovical: and, by Like the base INDIAN, tbrew a his piarl, our author very pro. pearl away.) The elder perly means a fine woman. But quarto reads JUDJAN, and this Mr. Pope objects farther to read is certainly right. And by the ing Judian, because, to make Judian is meant Herod, whose Jense of this, we must pre-suppose usage to Mariamne is so apposite Some particular story of a Jew al. to the speaker's case, that a more luded 10; which is much less ob- proper instance could not be vious: But has Shakespeare ne thought of. Besides, he was the ver done this, but in this fingle subject of tragedy at that time, instance? I am fatisfied in his as appears from the words in Fidian, he is alluding to Herod; Hamlet, where an ill player is who, in a fit of blind jealousy, described, threw away such a jewel of a wife
-10 out herod Herod. as Marianne was to him. What The metaphorical term of a pearl can be more parallel in circum- for a fine woman, is so common stance, than the conduct of He as scarce to need examples. In rod and Othello? Nor was the Troilus and Cressida, a lover says story so little obvious, as Mr. of his mistress, Pope seeins to imagine: for, in There she lies a PEARL. the year 1613, the Lady Eliza. And again, beth Carew published a Trage W'by fue is a PEARL wbose di, callid MARIAM, the fair
WARBURTON. Queen of JEHRY. I shall only
I took by th' throat the circumcised dog,
[Falling upon Desdem. Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.
(dies. Caf. This did I fear, but thought he had no wear
pon, For he was great of heart.
Lod. Oh Spartan dog! More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea! Look on the tragick loading of this bed ; (To lago, This is thy work; the object poisons sight, Let it be hid. Gratiano, keep the house, And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor, For they succeed to you. 'To you, Lord Gover,
nor, Remains the cenfure of this hellish villain,
To you, lord Governor,' which he thus censures. To eno Remains the cenfure of this tertain the audience (fays he) with
bellish villain:] Rymer, fomething new and surprising, ao who had neither vigour of ima- gainst common sense and nature, gination to make a poet, nor he would pass upon us a close, disitrength of judgment to make a fembling, false, ungrateful rascal, critic, as appears from his Edgar instead of an open-hearted, frank, and his Remarks on Shakespeare, plain-dealing foldier, 'a character had yet just enough to play the constantly worn by them for fome buffoon and caviller. His criti- thousands of years in the world. cisms on the Poets of the loft age, This hath the appearance of with only a mixture of trite re. sense, being founded on that marks, transcribed from the rule of Nature and Arifttle, that French commentators on Aristotle, each character should have manare one continued heap of igno- ners convenient to the age, sex, sance and insolence. Almost the and condition. only remark on Shakespeare, Ætatis cujufque nolandi funt which, I think, deserves an an tibi mores, &c. fwer, is upon Iago's character, fays Horace. Bor how has our
The time; the place; the torture; oh! inforce it.
critic applied it? According to that they can draw no aid from this rule it is confessed, that'a critical illustration. foldier should be brave, gene. openness of Othello, magnanirous, and a man of honour. mous, artless, and credulous, This is to be his dramatic cha- boundless in his confidence, arracter. But either one or more of dent in his affection, inflexible any order may be brought in. If in bis resolution, and obdurate only one, then the character of in his revenge; the cool maligthe order takes its denomination nity of Iago, filent in his resentfrom the manners of that one. ment, subtle in his designs, and Had therefore the only soldier in studious at once of his interest this play been lago, the rule had and his vengeance; the soft fimbeen transgressed, and Rymer's plicity of Desdemona, confident censure well founded. For then of merit, and conscious of innothis eternal villain must have gi- cence, her artless perseverance ven the character of the soldiery; in her suit, and her slowness to which had been unjust and un- suspect that she can be suspected, natural. But if a number of the are such proofs of Shakespeare's fame order be represented, then kill in human nature, as, I fupthe character of the order is ta- pose, it is vain to seek in any ken from the manners of the modern writer.
The gradual majority ; and this, according to progress which Iago makes in the nature and common sense. Now Moor's convi&ion, and the cir. in this play there are many of cumstances which he employs to the order of the soldiery, and inflame him, are so artfully naall, excepting lago, represented tural, that, though it will peras open, generous, and brave, haps not be said of him as he From these, the soldier's charac. says of himself, that he is a man ter is to be taken; and not from not easily jealous, yet we cannot lago, who is brought as an ex but pity him when at last we ception to it, unless it be unna find him perplexed in the extreme. tural to suppose there could be There is always danger left an exception: or that a villain wickedness conjoined with abili. ever insinuated himself into that ties should steal upon efteem, corps. And thus Shakes;eare though it misses of approbation ; stands clear of this impertinent but the character of lago is so criticism.
WARB. conducted, that he is from the
first scene to the last hated and The beauties of this play despised. impress themselves so strongly up Even the inferiour characters on the attention of the reader, of this play would be very con
spicuous in any other piece, not crimes, but quickened and alarmonly for their juftness but their ed at atrocious villanies, strength. Caffio is brave, bene The Scenes from the beginvolent, and honest, ruined only ning to the end are busy, varied by his want of stubbornness to by happy interchanges, and rerefift an infidious invitation. Ro- gularly promoting the progresdorigo's suspicious credulity, and lion of the fory; and the narimpatient submission to the cheats rative in the end, though it tells which he sees practised upon but what is known already, yet him, and which by persuasion is necessary to produce the death he suffers to be repeated, exhi- of Othello. bit a strong picture of a weak Had the scene opened in Cymind betrayed by unlawful de- prus, and the preceding incifires, to a false friend ; and the dents been occasionally related, virtue of Æmilia is such as we there had been little wanting to often find, worn loosely, but not a drama of the most exact and caft off, easy to commit small scrupulous regularity.