« ForrigeFortsett »
THE beauties of this play (says Johnson) impress themselves so strongly upon the attention of the Reader, that they can draw no aid from critical illustration. The fiery openness of Othello, magnanimous, artless, and credulous, boundless in his confidence, ardent in his affection, inflexible in his resolution, and obdurate in his revenge; the cool malignity of lago, silent in his resentment, subtle in his designs, and Itudious at once of his interest and his vengeance; the soft fimplicity of Defdeexona, confident of merit, and conscious of innocence, her artless perseverance in her suit, and her Downess to suspect that the can be suspected are such proofs of Skakespear's skill in human nature, as, I suppose, it is vain to seek in any modern writer, The gradual progress which lago makes in the Moor's conviction, and the circumstances which he employs to inflame him, are so artfully natural, that, though it will perhaps not be said of him as he says of himself, that he is a man nos casily jealous, yet we cannot but pity him, when at last we find him perplexed in the extreme.
The Life and Death of King
Is reputation away, Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
SCENE III. Cowardice.
That which in mean men we entitle patience,
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
SCENE VI. Banishment, Confolation under it.
(2) All places that the eye of heaven visits, Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
(1) See Othello, p. 210.
(2) All, &c.] Similar to this is the beginning of the 5th act of Palor Fido.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus :
There is no virtue liké necessity,
And think not, that the king did banish thee;
But thou the king. Woe doth the heavier fit
Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
Go say, I sent thee forth to purchase honour,
And not the king exil'd thee. Or fuppofe,
Devouring pestilence hangs in our air,
And thou art flying to a fresher clime.
Look, what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
To lye that way thou go'st, not whence thou com'ft:
Suppofe the finging-birds, muficians;
The grass, whereon thou tread'st, the presence-floor ;
The flow'rs, fair ladies ; and thy steps, no more
Than a delightful measure or a dance.
For gnarling forrow hath less pow'r to bite
The man, that mocks at it, and sets it light.
Thoughts, ineffectual to moderate Affliction.
Oh, who can hold a fire in his hand,
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetité;:
By bare imagination of a feaft?
Or wallow naked in December snow,
By thinking on fantastic summer's heat?
Oh, no, the apprehension of the good
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse ;.
Fell forrow's tooth doth never rankle inore
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the fore,
SCENE VIL Popularity . Ourself, and Busby Bagot here, and Green, Observ'd his courtship to the common people;
All places are our country, where we're well ;
Which to the wise, is wherefoe’er: dwell.
How he did seem to dive into their hearts,
With humble and familiar courtesy,
What reverence he did throw away on slaves ;
Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles,
And patient under-bearing of his fortune :
As 'twere to banish their affects with him.
Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench:
A brace of dray-men bid, God speed him well!
And had the tribute of his supple knee:
With,- Thanks my countrymen, my loving friends.
As were our England in reverfion his,
And he our subjects' next degree in hope.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd ifle,
This earth of majesty, this feat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi Paradise,
This fortress built by nature for herself,
Against infection, and the hand of war
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the filver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or of a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shores beats back the envious fiege
Of watry Neptune, is bound in with shame,
With inky blots, and rotten parchment-bonds.
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
SCENE V. Grief.
Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows,
Which shew like grief itself, but are not so:
For forrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears,
Divides one thing entire to many objects ;
Like perspectives, which, rightly gaz’d upon,
Shew nothing but confusion ; ey'd awry,
SCENE VI. Hope, deceitful.
I will despair, and be at enmity
With cozening hope ; he is a flatterer,
A parafite, a keeper-back of death ;
Who gently would diffolve the bands of life,
Which falle hopes linger in extremity.
SCENE XI. The Prognostics of War. The bay-trees in our country all are wither'd, And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven ; The pale-fac'd moon looks bloody on the earth ; And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change : Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap.
Richard to England, on his Arrival.
As a long-parted mother (3) with her child
Plays fondly with her tears, and similes in meeting;
So weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
And do thee favour with my royal hands.
Feed not thy sovereign's foe, my entle earth,
(3) With, &c.] The sonse seems evidently to require from.