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Dramatis Perfonæ.

DUK E of Venice.
Brabanrio, a roble Venetian.
Gratiano, Brother to Brabantio.
Lodovico, Kinsman to Brabantio and Gratiano.
Ochello, the door, General for the Venetians in Cyprus.
C:Tio, bis Lieutenant-general.
Jago, Standard-bearer to Othello.
Bodorigo, « foolish Gentleman, in love with Desdemona.
Montano, ike Moor's Predacejor in the Government of Cypruse
Cli,w11, Servant to the Moor.

Desdemona, Daugiter to Brabantio, and Wife to Othello.
Æmilia, l’ife io lago.
Bianca, Courtezan, Mistress to Callio.
Oificers, Gentlemen, MeDingers, Musicians, Sailurs and Aitcndants.
SCENE, for the Firit Act, in Venice; during the

rest of the Play, in Cyprus..

A C T I.

SCENE, a Street in Venice.



Ever tell me, I take it much unkindly,

That thou, Jago, who hast had my purse, As 'if the strings were thine, shouldīt know of this?

(1) Othello.] The ground-work of this play is built on a novel of Cinthio Giraldi, (Dec. 3. Nov. 7.) who seems to have designed his tale a document to young ladies against disproportioned marriage; di non fe accompagnare con buomo, cui la natura et il cielo, et il modo della vita disgiunge da noi: That they should not link themselves to such, against whom Nature, Providence, and a different way of living have interposed a bar. Our Poet inculcates no such moral; but ra. ther, that a woman may fall in love with the virtues and shining qualities of a man, and therein overlook the difference of complexion and colour. Mr Rymer has run riot against the conduct, manners, sentiments, and diction of this play; but in fuch a strain, that one is mored rather to laugh at the freedom and coarseness of his raillery, than provoked to be downright angry at his censures. To take a short sample of his criticism; -“Shakespeare in clis play calls 'em the super-subtle Venetians; yet examine thoroughly the tragedy, there is nothing in the noble Desdemona that is not below any country chambermaid with us. And thic account he gives of their nobleinen and senate, can only be calculated for the latitude of Gotham. The character of the Venetian state is to employ strangers in their wars; but Niall a poet theace fancy, that they will let a negro to be their general? or trust a Moor 10 defend them against the Turks? With us a black-a-moor night rise to be a trumpeter; but Shakespeare would not have him less than a lieu. tenant.general. With us a Moor might marty some litile

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lage. But you'll not hear me.
If ever I did dream of fuch a matter, abhor me,

Rod. Thou told'st me, thou didst hold him in
lago. Despise me,

[thy hate.
If I do not. Three great ones of this city,
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
Off-capp'd to him: and, by the faith of man, (2)
I know my price, I'm worth no worse a place.
But he, as loving his own pride and purposes
Evades them with a bombast circumliance,
Horribly stuft with epithets of war,
And, in conclufion,
Non-suits my mediators. “ Certes," says he,
“ I have already chose my oficer."
And what was he?
Forsooth, a great arithmetician, (3)

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drab, or smallcoal wench; Shakespeare would provide him the daughter and heir of fome great lord, or privy-counsellor, and all the town should reckon it a very fuitable match. Yet the Englith are not bred up with that hatred and averfion to the Moors as are the Venetians, who suffer by a perpetual hostility from them; litora littoribus contraria. Nothing is mo:e óditus in naiure than an improbable lie, and certainly, never was any play fraught like this of Othelio with improbabilities, &c."

Thus this critic goes on ; but such reflexions require 10 ferious anftver. This !ragedy will continue to bare la ling charms enough to make us blind to fuch absurdities as the Poet thought were not worth his care.

(2) Oft capt to hiin :) Thus the oldest Quarto, and some
modern editions; but I have chose to restore the reading of
the first and second Folio jmpreliions of capt, i. Po food cap
in hand, foliciting him. So, in Antoiny ; I have ever
held iny cap af to thy fortunes.
And in Timon ;

And let his very breath, whom thou'lt observe,
Bilow off thy cap.
(3) Forfouth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Castio, a Florentine,
A felle:w alm9;t dam ved in a fair wife.] Thus has this par-

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One Michael Callio; ---" the Florentine's
" A fellow alınost damn'd in a fair wife;") -
fage ignorantly been corrupted, (as Mr Warburton likewise
faw with me;) by false pcinting, and an inadvertence to
matter of fact, through the whole course of the edicions.
By the by, this play was not publihed even fingly, that I
can find, till fix years after the Author's death; and by
that interval became more liable to crrors. I'll tubjuin the
correction, and then the reasons for it:

And, in conclusion,
Nonfoits my mediators : “ Certes," says he,
" } have already chose my officer;".
And what was he?
Forfooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Caio ;-=("the Florentine's
" A fellow almost damned in a fair wife;"* -)

"That never, &c. This pointing fets circumstances right, as I Drall immediately explain; and it gives a variety in lago reporting the behaviour of O:hello, to start into theie breaks; now, to make (thellu (peak; - then, to interrupt what Othello says, with his own private reflexions ;-----then again, to proceed with Othello's specches;--for this not only marks the inquictude of lago's mind upon the subject in hand, but likewise thews the actor in the variation of tone and gesture, whilst he (in a breath, as 't were) personates alternately Othello and himself. Besides, to come in the necellity of the change made; lago, no: Callio, was the Florentine; lage), not Callio, was the inarried man; lago's wife attends Defa demona to Cyprus; Callio las a miltrers there, a connun ftrumpet; and lago telis him in the fourthi ad;

She gives it out that you thall marry her. Which would be very absurd, if Callio had been already married at Venice. Besides, our Post follows the authority of his novel in giving the villainous ensign a fair wife. Havea fimilmente menata quelto Malvagio la dia iapl. in Cipri, In quale era bella it honestaçãowine. And it is a very good reafon for rejecting lago, because he was a married man, and might be thought too much governed by his wife to be capable of this charge. And riis was a natural objection in an uamarried general, as Othello was when he chofe his of ficers. r. lago therefore was the fellow almost damned in a fair wife; which is an expression obfcure enough to deierre a short explanation. «The Poet means, lago had fa beauti

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