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« The Turkes the while did threat the Isle

Of Cyprus with a fraye,
And thither neede Othello speede

And that without delaye.
To Cyprus steere they both, nor feare

Could touch the lady's hart;
The lord she lovde she knew was neare,

Whom death should not depart.
“ But when they came to Cyprus Isle,

To her great joye they found,
That heaven had fought the fight the while ;

The Turkes were sunk and drownd.
A storme had late assailde their fleete,

That most of them were lost:
And you will owne, it was most meete

The crescent should be crost.
“Now, while upon the Isle they stayde,

The lucklesse lotte befell,
By a false Spaniard's wicked ayde,

Which I am now to tell.
He was the Antient to the Moore,

For he so closelie wrought,
He held him honest, trusty, sure,

Until he found him nought. “Iago was the monster's name,

Who lovde the lady long;
But she denied his sute and claime,

Though with a gentle tongue.
For this he silent vengeance vowd

Upon the happie Moore,
And tooke a way, without delay,

To make his vengeance sure.
“ There was a Captain of the band,

And Cassio was his name,
In happie moode by nature pland,

Of strong and lustie frame:
He was Lieftenant to the Moore,

A post of trust and weight,
And therefore hee must partner bee

Of the foule caitive's hate.
“He whisper'd, at Othelloe's backe,

His wife had chaungde her minde, And did not like his sootie blacke,

As he full soone would finde: Bột much preferrd the ruddie dye

Of her owne countreyman; And bade him keepe a warie eye

On her deportment than. “Tut, tut! then quoth the hastie Moore,

Deepe as the throat you lie.I wish I did, quoth he, for sure

Much liefer would I die,

Then see what I my selfe have seene.

What have you seene? he crideWhat onelie would become a queane,

Not my deare general's bride.

“ Ile heare no more,

Othello said :
That I am blacke is true,
And she is faire as morning ayre;

But that she alwayes knewe.--
Well, onelie keepe a warie eye

Upon her actions now: Cassio's the man, I do not lye,

As you will soone allowe.

“ You thought she lovde you, that she came

With you to this hot Isle :
Cassio was with you, and the dame

On him did closelie smile.
I needes must grieve to see my lord

So wantonlie deceived :
Thus far, I prithee, take my word ;

It is to be believed.

“O God! what proofe hast thou of this,

What proofe that she is foule?Proofe you would have—tis not amiss,

Ile give it on my soule.

“ Cassio will talke you in his sleepe,

And speakes then of your wife :
He cannot anie secret keepe,

An it would save his life.
This showes that he may love my wife,

The doubting Moore replied :
And if tis true she loves him too,

Better they both had died.

“ Behold, my Lord, Iago said,

Know you this token true ?
And then a handkerchiefe displaide,

Which well Othello knewe:
Twas one he Desdemona gave

When they had wedded first, Wrought with embroiderie so brave.

With rage he well nie burst.

“Whence got you that? whence got you that?

Tell me, or instant die !-
She gave it Cassio ; but thereat

Why roll your yellow eye?
It is but one of tokens more

That he, I know, can bost;
And she has his, no doubt, good store :

I recke not which has most.

“Now, this same well knowne handkerchiefe

That very morne he stole ;
And thus the cruell vengefull theife

Rackde brave Othelloes soule.
His wife was true, and pure as dewe

Upon the lillie white.
No bounds his tamelesse passion knew,

But rushing from the sight,
“ He sought bis lady, as she layde

Within her virgin bed,
And there his hands of blackest shade

He dyed to gory red :
But first he chargde her with the crime,

Which ever she denyed,
And askt but for a little time,

To prove the traytor lyed. “O! twas a piteous sight to see

A thing so meeke and faire, Torne with such salvage crueltie,

By her long lovelie haire.
Then came the caitiffe to rejoyce

His blacke hart with the viewe;
But soone 'twas provde by many a voice

The Ladie had beene true.
Twas provde the handkerchiefe he stole,

And then the same he layde Where Cassio for a suertie came,

That he might be betrayde. Othello stood as one distraught

To heare what thus was showne; That Desdemona, even in thought,

To sinne had never knowne.

" He fomde, he stampt, he ravde, he tore,

To thinke upon his deede,
Then struck Iago to the floore,

But onelie made him bleede.
For deadliest tortures he was savde,

And suff'ring them he dide :
A lesson milde to traytors vilde;

May such them still betide.
Upon his Desdemona's coarse

Othello cast him than,
In agonie of deepe remorse,

A broken harted man.
With charitie, he said, relate

What you this day have seene: Thinke once how well I servde the State,

And what I once have beene.
“ Then with a dagger, that was wet

With his deare Ladies bloud,
He stabde him selfe, and thus out let

His soule in gory floud.

This storie true you oft times knew

By actors playde for meede;
But still so well, twas hard to tell

If twas not truth in deede.

“ Dick Burbidge, that most famous man,

That actor without peere,
With this same part his course began,

And kept it manie a yeare.
Shakespeare was fortunate, I trowe,

That such an actor had :
If we had but his equall now,
For one I should be glad.”

Finis ?.

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It will be observed that, although Shakespeare is to be traced throughout, some circumstances, almost of brutality, are introduced, for the sake of gratifying the taste of the lower orders, for whose amusement the ballad was intended, while, probably, the theatres remained closed by the authority of the state: it is evident that the writer spoke at random, when he asserted that Burbadge began his career with Othello, for it is well ascertained that he was an actor of high celebrity many years before Shakespeare's

Othello was written, and we have no hint that there was any older play upon the same subject.

There are two 4to. editions of “Othello," one bearing date in 1622, the year before the first folio of “Mr. William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies” appeared, and the other printed in 1630. An exact copy of the title-page of the 4to. of 1622, will be found in the usual place, and that published in 1630 differs only in the imprint, which is "by A. M. for Richard Hawkins," &c. We have had frequent occasion in our notes to refer to this latest 4to, which has, indeed, been mentioned by the commentators, but nothing like sufficient attention has been paid to it. It was unquestionably printed from a manuscript different from that used for the 4to. of 1622, or for the folio of 1623; and it presents a number of various readings, some of which singularly

? A name or the initials of a name were originally placed at the conclusion of this production, of which we never heard of a printed copy: that name, or its initials, have been carefully erased, and are not now legible. The MS. containing the ballad is of a date somewhat posterior to the Civil Wars, and it is written in a small 4to. volume, which also includes a copy of the Ikon Basilike: the Ikon Basilike fills one side of each page, and various ballads, some of them by celebrated authors of Shakespeare's time, and earlier and later, are written on the other side of the page. A full account of this MS., with the names of the authors of its different portions, may be found in “ New Particulars regarding the Works of Shakespeare, in a letter addressed to the Rev. A. Dyce by J. Payne Collier,”' 8vo, 1836, p. 44. It is the same MS. that contains “ The Enchanted Island," on the story of Shakespeare's “ Tempest,” (but with entirely different names,) which is printed in our Introduction to that drama.

illustrate the original text of "Othello." It is not necessary to enter into this point bere, because our foot-notes establish that the 4to. of 1630, instead of being “of no authority," as Malone asserted, is of much value, with reference to the true reading of some important passages '.

Walkley, the publisher of the 4to. of 1622, thus entered that edition on the Stationers' Registers, shortly previous to its appearance :

“6 Oct. 1621.
Tho. Walkely] Entered for his, to wit, under the handes of

Sir George Buck and of the Wardens: The Tragedie of

Othello, the Moore of Venice.” It is perhaps not too much to presume, that this impression, though dated 1622, had come out at the close of 1621; and that it preceded the folio of 1623 is obvious from the fact, that “Othello" was not included in their list by Blunt and Jaggard, the publishers of the folio of 1623, when they made their entry in the Stationers' Register, because they were aware that it had already been printed, and that it was the property of another bookseller. The 4to. of 1622 was introduced by the following address :

“ The Stationer to the Reader. “ To set forth a book without an epistle were like to the old English proverb, “A blue coat without a badge;' and the author being dead, I thought good to take that piece of work upon me. To commend it I will not, for that which is good, I hope, every man will commend without entreaty; and I am the bolder, because the author's name is sufficient to vent his work. Thus leaving every one to the liberty of judgment, I have ventured to print this play, and leave it to the general censure. Yours,

“ THOMAS WALKLEY." The publishers of the folio of 1623, most likely, purchased Walkley's interest in “Othello" at a date posterior to the entry of their undertaking at Stationers' Hall, and thus became entitled to include it in their noble volume.

3 As one proof, we may refer to the well-known passage in A. iii. sc. 3, where Othello likens his jealous fury to

" the Pontick sea, Whose icy current and compulsive course

Ne'er keeps retiring ebb, but keeps due on," &c.
Here “ keeps retiring ebb,” as the text stands in the 4to, 1622, and in the folio,
1623, must be wrong, and Pope substituted “ Ne'er knows retiring ebb;' but the
4to, 1630, which Pope never saw, shows us what was the poet's word, viz. :-

“ Whose icy current and compulsive course
Ne'er feels retiring ebb."


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