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Emilia, run you to the citadel,
And tell my Lord and lady what hath happ'd.
[Exeunt, Iago following.
A Bed-chamber: Defdemona is discovered afleep in ber bed:
Enter Othello, with a Light and a Sword.
Oth. 3T is the caufe, it is the caufe, my foul;
Let me not name it to you, you chafte Stars! It is the caufe.Yet I'll not fhed her Blood, Nor fcar that whiter skin of hers than fnow, And smooth as monumental alabafter.
[Lays down the fword.
Yet fhe muft die; elfe fhe'll betray more men.
3 It is the caufe, it is the caufe, my foul;
Let me not name it ] The abruptness of this foliloquy makes it obfcure, The meaning I think is this. I am here, fays Othello in his mind, overwhelmed with horror. What is the reafon of this perturbation? Is it want of refolution to do juffice? Is it the dread of hedding blood? No; it is not the action that forks me, but it is the cause, it is the cause, my foul; let me not name it to you, ye chafte ftars! it is the Caufe
4 Pút out the light, and then
put out the light.] This, I conceive, to have been the poet's meaning, Othello, ftruck in part with remorfe at the murder he's going to do, thinks it beft to do it in the dark; this compunc tion of nature, in the hurry and perturbation of thought, and thofe remains of tenderness fill combating in his bosøm, ftrikės him into an inftant reflexion, that if he puts out the light he can rekindle it; but if he once puts out the light of her life, that will be extinguifh'd for ever. Gg 4 While
Should I repent: but once put out thy light,
[Sets down the taper.
I cannot give it vital growth again;
It needs muft wither.I'll fmell it on the tree;
[Kiffing her. Oh balmy breath, that doft almoft perfuade Juftice to break her fword?-One more; one more. Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee, And love thee after-One more; that's the laft. So fweet, was ne'er fo fatal! I must weep, But they are cruel tears. 5 This forrow's heavenly; It ftrikes, where it doth love.She wakesDef. Who's there? Othello?
Oth. Ay, Desdemona.
Def. Will you come to bed, my Lord?
Oth. If you bethink yourself of any crime-
While he is bufied in this contemplation, he throws his eyes towards her; and then, footh'd with her beauteous appearance, fets down the light, to go and kifs her. Upon this, Desdemona wakes; and they continue in difcourfe together till he ftifles her. THEOB.
Put out the light, and thenPut out the light?-] So it should be printed. The meaning is, I will put out the light, and then proceed to the execution of my purpose. But the expreffion of putting out the light, bringing to mind the effects of the extinction of the light of life,
he breaks fhort, and questions himself about the effects of this metaphorical extinction, introduced by a repetition of his first words, as much as to say, But hold, let me firft weigh the reflexions which this expreffion fo naturally excites. WARB
5--This Scrrow's heavenly ;] This tenderness, with which I lament the punishment which juftice compels me to inflict, is a holy paffion.
I wish these two lines could be honestly ejected. It is the fate of Shakespeare to counteract his own pathos.
Solicit for it ftraight.
Def. Alack, my Lord,
What may you mean by that?
Oth. Well, do it, and be brief. I will walk by.
No, heavens forefend! I would not kill thy foul.
Oth. Ay, I do.
Def. Then heaven have mercy on me!
Oth. Amen, with all my heart.
Def. If you fay fo, I hope you will not kill me.
Def. And yet I fear you; for you're fatal then, When your eyes rowl fo. Why I fhould fear, I know
Since guilt I know not; yet, I feel, I fear.
Oth. Think on thy fins.
Def. They're Loves I bear to you.
Oth. Ay, and for that thou dy'st.
Def. That death's unnatural, that kills for loving.
Alas, why gnaw you fo your nether lip?
Some bloody paffion shakes your very frame;
They do not point on me.
Oth. Peace, and be still.
Def. I will fo. What's the matter?
Which I fo lov'd, and gave thee,
Def. No, by my life and foul.
And ask him.
thou gav'ft Caffio.
Send for the man,
Oth. Sweet Soul, take heed, take heed of perjury; Thou art on thy death-bed.
Def. Ay, but not yet to die.
Therefore confefs thee freely of thy fin;
For to deny each article with oath,
Cannot remove, nor choak the ftrong conception
That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.
Def. And have you mercy too!-I never did
As I might love. I never gave him token.
Oth. By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in's hand, Oh perjur'd woman! thou doft ftone my heart, And mak'ft me call, what I intend to do,
A murder, which I thought a facrifice. I faw the handkerchief.
Def. He found it then;
I never gave it him. Send for him hither,
Oth. He hath confeft.
Def. What, my Lord?
Oth. That he hath-us'd thee.
Def. How unlawfully?
Def. He will not say so.
Oth. No, his mouth is stopp'd.
Honeft Iago hath ta'en order for 't.
Def. My fear interprets then. What, is he dead? Oth. Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
Had ftomach for them all.
Def. Alas, he is betray'd, and I undone.
6 A muraer, which I thought a facrifice.] This line is difficult. Thou haft harden'd my heart, and makeft me kill thee with the rage of a murderer, when I thought to have facrificed thee to juftice with the calmnefs of prieft ftriking a victim.
It must not be omitted, that one of the elder quarto's reads, thou doft fone thy heart; which I
fufpect to be genuine, The meaning then will be, thou forceft me to difmifs thee from the world in the ftate of the murdered without preparation for death, when I intended that thy punishment hould have been a facrifice attoning for thy crime.
I am glad that I have ended my revifal of this dreadful scene. It is not to be endured. Otb.
Oth. Out, ftrumpet! Weep'ft thou for him to my face?
Def. Oh banish me, my Lord, but kill me not.
Def. Kill me to-morrow, let me live to-night.
Def. But half an hour.
Oth. Being done, there is no pause.
Def. But while I fay one prayer.
Oth. It is too late.
[He fmothers ber,
S CEN E VII.
Emilia, at the door.
Emil. My Lord, my Lord! What hoa! my Lord, my Lord!
Oth. What noife is this? Not dead? not yet quite dead?
I, that am cruel, am yet merciful;
I would not have thee linger in thy pain.
Emil. within.] What hoa! my Lord, my Lord! Oth. Who's there?
Emil. Oh, my good Lord, I would fpeak a word with you.
Oth. Yes, 'tis Emilia.-By and by-She's dead. 'Tis like, fhe comes to fpeak of Caffio's death; The noife was high. Ha, no more moving? Still as the Grave. Shall the come in? Were't good? I think, she stirs again. No. What's the beft? If the come in, fhe'll, fure, fpeak to my wife? My wife! my wife! What wife? I have no wife. Oh infupportable! oh heavy hour!
Methinks, it should be now a huge eclipfe