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Iago. Who is 't that cry'd?

Bian. O my dear Cassio! my sweet Cassio! O Cassio! Cassio! Cassio!

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[suspect Iago. O notable strumpet!- -Cassio, may you Who they should be, that have thus mangled you? 10 Cus. No. [to seek you.

Gra. I am sorry to find you thus; I have been
Iago. Lend me a garter: So.-O, for a chair,
To bear him easily hence!

Bian. Alas, he faints:--O Cassio! Cassio! Cassio! 15
Jago. Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash
To be a party in this injury.

Patience a while, good Cassio.-Come, come;
Lend me a light.-Know we this face, or no?
Alas! my friend, and my dear countryman,
Roderigo? no:-Yes, sure; O heaven! Roderigo.
Gra. What, of Venice?

Iago. Even he, sir; did you know him?
Gra. Know him? ay.


Iago. Signior Gratiano? I cry you gentle pardon; 25 These bloody accidents must excuse my manners, That so neglected you.

Gra. I am glad to see you.

Iago. How do you, Cassio?—O, a chair, a chair!|
Gra. Roderigo!

Iago. He, he, 'tis he :-O, that's well said;

the chair:


[A chair brought in. Some good man bear him carefully from hence; I'll fetch the general's surgeon.--For you, mistress, [To Bianca. 35 Save you your labour.He that lies slain here, Cassio, [you? Was my dear friend; What malice was between Cas. None in the world; nor do I know the

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Iago. O, did he so? I charge you, go with me.
Emil. Fie, fie upon thee, strumpet!

Bian. I am no strumpet; but of life as honest,
As you that thus abuse me.

Amil. As I? foh! fie upon thee!

Iago. Kind gentlemen, let's go see poor Cassio

Come, mistress, you must tell us another tale.—
Emilia, run you to the citadel,

And tell my lord and lady what hath hap'd.-
Will you go on, I pray?-This is the night, [Aside.
That either makes me, or fordoes' me quite.



A Bed-chamber: Desdemona in bed, asleep. A light burning.

Enter Othello.

Oth. It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul,Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!It is the cause.-Yet I'll not shed her blood; Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow, And smooth as monumental alabaster.

[Takes off his sword. Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men 3. 40 Put out the light, and then-Put out the light! If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,

I can again thy former light restore, Should I repent me:-but once put out thy light, Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature, 45I know not where is that Promethean heat, That can thy light relumine.When I have pluck'd thy rose,

I cannot give it vital growth again,

It needs must wither:-I'll sniell it on the tree.500 balmy breath, that dost almost persuade

2 Dr. Johnson assigns

To fordo, as has been before observed, is to undo, to ruin, to destroy. the following meaning to this soliloquy: "I am here (says Othello in his mind) overwhelmed with horror. What is the reason of this perturbation? Is it want of resolution to do justice? Is it the dread of shedding blood? No; it is not the action that shocks me, but it is the cause, it is the cause, my soul; let me not name it to you, ye chaste stars! it is the cause."-Mr. Steevens adds, that "Othello full of horror at the cruel action which he is about to perpetrate, seems at this instant to be seeking his justification, from representing to himself the cause, i. e. the greatness of the provocation he had received." "This is the second attempt of Othello (continues Mr. Steevens) to justify what he has undertaken. First he says, It is the cause, i. e. his own cause; now he is willing to suppose himself the preventer of succeeding mischief to others." 4 Dr. Farmer observes, that "this has been considered as a very difficult line. Fielding makes Betterton and Booth dispute about it with the author himself in the other world. The punctuation recommended by Dr. Warburton (and which we have adopted), gives a spirit to it which I fear (adds he) was not intended. It seems to have been only a play upon words. To put the light out, was a phrase for to kill.”

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Oth, Peace, and be still!

Des. I will so: What's the matter?

Oth. That handkerchief, which I so lov'd, and gave thee,

Thou gav'st to Cassio.

Des, No, by my life and soul;

Send for the man, and ask him.

Oth. Sweet soul, take heed,

Take heed of perjury; thou art on thy death-bed. Des. Ay, but not yet to die.

Oth. Yes, presently:

Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin;
For to deny each article with oath,

Cannot remove, nor choak, the strong conception
That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.

Des. O, heaven, have mercy on me!
Oth. I say, Amen.

Des. And have you mercy too!-I never did
Offend you in my life; never lov'd Cassio,
But with such general warranty of heaven
As I might love: I never gave him token.

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My lord, my lord! what ho! my lord, my lord! Oth. What noise is this?-Not dead? not yet quite dead?

I, that am cruel, am yet merciful;

40I would not have thee linger in thy pain.So, so.


Emil. What ho! my lord, my lord!
Oth. Who's there?

Amil. O, good my lord, I would speak a word with you. [dead. Oth. Yestis Æmilia:-by-and-by.She's 'Tis like, she comes to speak of Cassio's death; The noise was high.-Ha! no more moving? Still as the grave.--Shall she come in? Were't good! 50I think, she stirs again :-No.-What's the best? If she come in, she'll sure come to my wife:My wife! my wife! what wife? I have no wife; insupportable! O heavy hour!

Methinks, it should be now a huge eclipse 55 Of sun and moon; and that the affrighted globe Should yawn at alteration.

Amil. I do beseech you I may speak with you, O, good my lord!

Oth. I had forgot thee: O, come in, Æmilia: 60|Soft, by-and-by:-Let me the curtains draw.→

The meaning is, (says Dr. Johnson, who adds, that this dreadful scene is not to be endured,) "Thou hast harden'd my heart, and makest me kill thee with the rage of a murderer, when I thought to have sacrificed thee to justice with the calmness of a priest striking a victim." i, e, has taken measures, Where

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Oth. It is the very error of the moon;
She comes more near the earth than she was wont,
And makes men mad.


Emil. Cassio, my lord, hath kill'd a young Ve-10


Oth. Roderigo kill'd!

And Cassio kill'd!

Emil. No, Cassio is not kill'd.


Oth. Ay, 'twas he that told me first;

An honest man he is, and hates the slime
That sticks on filthy deeds.


Emil. My husband?

Oth. What needs this iteration, woman? say, thy husband.

Emil. O mistress, villainy hath made mocks
with love!

My husband say, that she was false?
Oth. He, woman;

I say, thy husband; Do'st understand the word?
My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.
Emil. If he say so, may his pernicious soul

Oth. Not Cassio kill'd? Then murder's out of 15 Rot half a grain a day! he lies to the heart;

And sweet revenge grows harsh.

Des. O, falsely, falsely murder'd!
Amil. Alas! what cry is that?

Oth. That! what?


She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.
Oth. Ha!

Amil. Do thy worst:

This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven,

Emil. Out, and alas! that was my lady's 20 Than thou wast worthy her.

Help! help, ho! help!-O lady, speak again
Sweet Desdemona! O sweet mistress, speak!
Des. A guiltless death I die.

Emil. Ŏ, who hath done

This deed?

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you the blacker devil!

Oth. She turn'd to folly, and she was a whore.
Emil. Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.
Oth. She was false as water 2.

Emil. Thou art rash as fire, to say
That she was false; O, she was heavenly true!

Oth. Cassio did tup her; ask thy husband else:
O, I were damn'd beneath all depth in hell,
But that I did proceed upon just grounds
To this extremity: Thy husband knew it all.
Emil. My husband?

Oth. Thy husband.

Emil. That she was false to wedlock?

Oth. Ay, with Cassio. Nay, had she been truc, If heaven would make me such another world Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,

I'd not have sold her for it.

Oth. Peace, you were best.

Emil. Thou hast not half that power to do me harm,

As I have to be hurt. O gull! O dolt! 25 As ignorant as dirt! thou hast done a deed, I care not for thy sword; I'll make thee known, Tho' I lost twenty lives:-Help! help, ho! help! The Moor hath kill'd my mistress! Murder! murder!




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That men must lay their murders on your neck.
Gra. What is the matter?

Emil. Disprove this, villain, if thou be'st a man:
He says, thou told'st him that his wife was false;
I know, thou did'st not, thou'rt not such a villain;
Speak, for my heart is full.

Iago. I told him what I thought; and told no more Than what he found himself was apt and true. Emil. But did you ever tell him, she was false? Iago. I did.

Amil. You told a lie; an odious, damned lie; 45 Upon my soul, a lie; a wicked lie:


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Mr. Steevens is of opinion, " that some theatrical direction has been omitted; and that when Othello says, Not dead? not yet quite dead? I, that am cruel, am yet merciful; I would not have thee linger in thy pain:-So, so he then stabs her, repeating the two last words, as he repeats the blow. After a repetition of wounds, Desdemona might speak again, with propriety, and yet very soon expire. The first resolution of Othello was to poison her; but from this measure he is dissuaded by the policy of lago. He is next determined to use the poniard; but, his tenderness awaking, he cannot bear to deform those beauties which he had so often approached with other sensations and for different purposes. Therefore, says he,-I'll not shed her blood, nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow, and smooth as monumental alabaster: And this resolution we are to imagine he would have kept, but that he was averse to employing those means again, which had already appeared to be uncertain in their effect." 2 As water, that will support no weight, nor keep any impression. Villainy has taken advantage to play upon the weakness of a violent passion. I have in this cause power to endure more than thou hast power to inflict. 'i. e. Apply some power, strong as a charm would be, to your tongue; for, nothing less can stop its volubility.

4 She means to say,


All. O heavens forefend!

Æmil. And your reports have set the murder on.
Oth. Nay, stare not, masters; it is true, indeed.
Gra. 'Tis a strange truth.

Mon. O monstrous act!

Emil. Villainy, villainy, villainy!

I think upon't, I think,-Ismell't;-Ovillainy!
I thought so then;-I'll kill myself for grief.-
O villainy, villainy !

O murd'rous coxcomb! what should such a fool
Do with so good a wife?

[Iago stabs his wife, then runs out. Oth. Are there no stones in heaven

[lain ! 5 But what serve for the thunder?-Precious vilGra. The woman falls; sure he has kill'd his

Iago. What, are you mad? I charge you, get 10 you home. [speak; Emil. Good gentlemen, let me have leave to "Tis proper I obey him, but not now: Perchance, Iago, I will ne'er go home.


Emil. Ay, ay; 0, lay me by my mistress' side!
Gra. He's gone; but his wife's kill'd.

Mon. 'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this


Which I have here recover'd from the Moor:
Come, guard the door without; let him not pass,
But kill him rather: I'll after that same villain,

Oth. O! O! O! [Othello looking on his wife. 15 For 'tis a damned slave. [Exeunt Mon. and Gra.

Emil. Nay, lay thee down, and roar ; For thou hast kill'd the sweetest innocent, That e'er did lift up eye.

Oth. O, she was foul!


Iscarce did know you, uncle:There lies your niece, 20
Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly

I know, this act shews horrible and grim.
Gra. Poor Desdemona! I am glad thy father's


Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief
Shore his old thread in twain: did he live now,
This sight would make him do a desperate turn;|
Yea, curse his better angel from his side,
And fall to reprobation.

Oth. 'Tis pitiful: but yet Iago knows,
That she with Cassio hath the act of shame
A thousand times.committed; Cassio confess'd it;
And she did gratify his amorous works
With that recognizance and pledge of love
Which I once gave her; I saw it in his hand;
It was an handkerchief, an antique token
My father gave my mother.

Emil. O heaven! O heavenly powers!
Jago. Come, hold your peace.

Amil. 'Twill out, 'twill out:-I hold my peace,
sir? no,

No, I will speak as lib'ral' as the north;
Let heaven, and men, and devils, let them all,
All, all, cry shame against me, yet I'll speak.
Iago. Be wise, and get you home.

Emil. I will not. [lago offers to stab his wife.
Gra. Fie!

Your sword upon a woman?

Emil. O thou dull Moor! that handkerchief,
thou speak'st of,

I found by fortune, and did give my husband;
For often, with a solemn earnestness,
(More than, indeed, belong'd to such a trifle)
He begg'd of me to steal it.

Iago. Villainous whore !

Amil. She give it Cassio! no, alas; I found it,
And I did give it my husband.
Jago. Filth, thou liest.


Oth. I am not valiant neither,

But every puny whipster gets my sword :-
But why should honour out-live honesty?
Let it go all.

Emil. What did thy song bode, lady?
Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swap,
And die in music. Willow, willow, willow.—
Moor, she was chaste; she lov'd thee, cruel Moor:
So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true;
25 So speaking as I think, I die,-I die.




Oth. I have another weapon in this chamber,
It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper;-
Or, here it is:-Uncle, I must come forth.

Gra. [within.] If thou attempt it, it will cost
thee dear;

Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.
Oth. Look in upon me then, and speak with me,
Or, naked as I ain, I will assault thee.

Re-enter Gratiano.

Gra. What is the matter?
Oth. Behold! I have a weapon:
A better never did itself sustain

Upon a soldier's thigh: I have seen the day,
That, with this little arm, and this good sword,
40I have made my way through more impediments
Than twenty times your stop:-But,O vain boast!
Who can controul his fate? 'tis not so now.-
Be not afraid, though you do see me weapon'd;
Here is my journey's end, here is my butt,
45 The very sea-mark of my utmost sail.


Do you go back dismay'd? 'tis a lost fear;
Man but a rush against Othello's breast,
And he retires;-Where should Othello go?
Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starr'd
wench 3!

Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt,
This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven,
And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl?
Even like thy chastity.-

550 cursed, cursed slave !-Whip me, ye devils,
From the possession of this heavenly sight!
Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur!
Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire !—
O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead?

Amil. By heaven, I do not; I do not, gentle-60 Dead? O! O! O!

1 Liberal is free, under no controul. 2 Steel is hardened by being put red-hot into very cold Wench originally signified only a young woman,



Enter Lodovico, Cassio brought in; Montano, with Iago, prisoner; and Officers.

Lod. Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?

Oth. That's he that was Othello; here I am. Lod. Where is that viper? bring the villain forth.

Oth. I look down towards his feet';-but that's a fable.

If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill thee.
[Othello wounds Iago.
Lod. Wrench his sword from him.
Iago. I bleed, sir; but not kill'd.
Oth. I am not sorry neither; I'd have thee live;
For, in my sense, 'tis happiness to die.

Lod. O thou Othello, that wast once so good,
Fall'n in the practice of a cursed slave,
What shall be said to thee?

Oth. Why, any thing:

An honourable murderer, if you will;
For nought I did in hate, but all in honour.
Lod. This wretch hath part confess'd his vil-

Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?
Oth. Ay.

Oth. O fool! fool! fool!

Cas. There is, besides, in Roderigo's letter,How he upbraids Iago, that he made him Brave me upon the watch; whereon it came 5 That I was cast: And even but now he spake, After long seeming dead,-Iago hurt him, Iago set him on.

[us: Lod. You must forsake this room, and go with Your power and your command is taken off, 10 And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave,If there be any cunning cruelty,

That can torment him much, and hold him long, It shall be his: You shall close prisoner rest, Till that the nature of your fault be known 15 To the Venetian state.-Come, bring hin away. Oth. Soft you; a word or two, before you go. I have done the state some service, and they know it;

No more of that:-I pray you, in your letters, 20 When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate, Norset down aught in malice: then must you speak Of one, that lov'd not wisely, but too well; Of one, not easily jealous, but, being wrought, 25 Perplex'd in the extreme; of one, whose hand, Like the base Judean ', threw a pearl away Richer than all his tribe; of one, whose subdu'd eyes,

Cas. Dear general, I never gave you cause.
Oth. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.
Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil,
Why he hath thus ensnar'd my soul and body?
Iago. Demand me nothing: What you know, 30
you know:

From this time forth I never will speak word.
Lod. What? not to pray?

Gra. Torments will ope your lips.
Oth. Well, thou dost best.

Lod.Sir, yous sball understand what hath befall'n,
Which, as I think, you know not: Here is


Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo; And here, another: the one of them imports The death of Cassio to be undertook

By Roderigo.

Oth. O villain!


Cas. Most heathenish, and most gross!
Lod. Now here's another discontented paper,
Found in his pocket too; and this, it seems,
Roderigo meant to have sent this damned villain;
But that, belike, Iago in the interim
Came in and satisfied him.

Oth. O the pernicious caitiff!

How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief
That was my wife's?

Albeit unused to the melting mood, Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees Their med'cinable gum: Set you down this: And say, besides,-that in Aleppo once, Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk Beat a Venetian, and traduc'd the state, 35I took by the throat the circumcised dog, And smote him-thus. [Stabs himself.



Lod. O bloody period!

Gra. All that is spoke, is marr'd.

Oth. I kiss'd thee, ere I kill'd thee;-No way but this, [Falling upon Desdemonů.

Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.


Cas. This did I fear, but thought he had no


For he was great of heart.

Lod. O Spartan dog*,

More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea! Look on the tragic loading of this bed; [To Iago. This is thy work: the object poisons sight;Let it be hid.-Gratiano, keep the house, 50 And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor, For they succeed on you.-To you, lord governor, Remains the censure of this hellish villain; The time, the place, the torture,-O, inforce it! Myself will straight aboard; and, to the state,

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Cas. I found it in my chamber:
And he himself confess'd, but even now,
That there he dropp'd it for a special purpose, 55 This heavy act with heavy heart relate.
Which wrought to his desire.


To see if, according to the common opinion, his feet be cloven. 2 i. e. in the snare, by the stratagem. By the Judean (which is the reading of the elder quarto, and adopted by Theobald and Warburton), the latter says, is meant Herod, whose usage to Mariamnè is so apposite to the speaker's case, that a more proper instance could not be thought of. Besides, he was the subject of a tragedy at that time, as appears from the words in Hamlet, where an ill player is described "_to out-herod Herod."-The metaphorical term of a pearl for a fine woman, is so common as scarce to need examples. The dogs of Spartan race, says Hanmer, were reckoned among those of the

most fierce and savage kind.

1. e. the sentence.

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