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Iago. Who is 't that cry'd?
Bian. O my dear Cassio! my sweet Cassio! O Cassio! Cassio! Cassio!
[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
Bian. Alas, he faints:--O Cassio! Cassio! Cassio! 15
Patience a while, good Cassio.-Come, come;
Iago. Even he, sir; did you know him?
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!|
Iago. He, he, 'tis he :-O, that's well said;
[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
Iago. O, did he so? I charge you, go with me.
Bian. I am no strumpet; but of life as honest,
Amil. As I? foh! fie upon thee!
Iago. Kind gentlemen, let's go see poor Cassio
Come, mistress, you must tell us another tale.—
And tell my lord and lady what hath hap'd.-
A Bed-chamber: Desdemona in bed, asleep. A light burning.
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.”
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;
Cannot remove, nor choak, the strong conception
Des. O, heaven, have mercy on me!
Des. And have you mercy too!-I never did
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!
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
Oth. It is the very error of the moon;
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
Emil. My husband?
Oth. What needs this iteration, woman? say, thy husband.
Emil. O mistress, villainy hath made mocks
My husband say, that she was false?
I say, thy husband; Do'st understand the word?
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!
Oth. That! what?
She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.
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
Emil. Ŏ, who hath done
you the blacker devil!
Oth. She turn'd to folly, and she was a whore.
Emil. Thou art rash as fire, to say
Oth. Cassio did tup her; ask thy husband else:
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!
That men must lay their murders on your neck.
Emil. Disprove this, villain, if thou be'st a man:
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:
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.
Mon. O monstrous act!
Emil. Villainy, villainy, villainy!
I think upon't, I think,-Ismell't;-Ovillainy!
O murd'rous coxcomb! what should such a fool
[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!
Mon. 'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this
Which I have here recover'd from the Moor:
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
I know, this act shews horrible and grim.
Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief
Oth. 'Tis pitiful: but yet Iago knows,
Emil. O heaven! O heavenly powers!
Amil. 'Twill out, 'twill out:-I hold my peace,
No, I will speak as lib'ral' as the north;
Emil. I will not. [lago offers to stab his wife.
Your sword upon a woman?
Emil. O thou dull Moor! that handkerchief,
I found by fortune, and did give my husband;
Iago. Villainous whore !
Amil. She give it Cassio! no, alas; I found it,
Oth. I am not valiant neither,
But every puny whipster gets my sword :-
Emil. What did thy song bode, lady?
Oth. I have another weapon in this chamber,
Gra. [within.] If thou attempt it, it will cost
Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.
Gra. What is the matter?
Upon a soldier's thigh: I have seen the day,
Do you go back dismay'd? 'tis a lost fear;
Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt,
550 cursed, cursed slave !-Whip me, ye devils,
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.
Lod. O thou Othello, that wast once so good,
Oth. Why, any thing:
An honourable murderer, if you will;
Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?
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.
From this time forth I never will speak word.
Gra. Torments will ope your lips.
Lod.Sir, yous sball understand what hath befall'n,
Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo; And here, another: the one of them imports The death of Cassio to be undertook
Oth. O villain!
Cas. Most heathenish, and most gross!
Oth. O the pernicious caitiff!
How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief
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,
Cas. I found it in my chamber:
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.