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Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat,
That can thy light relume. When I have plucked

thy rose,
I cannot give it vital growth again;
It needs must wither. I'll smell it on the tree.-

[Kissing her.
() balmy breath, that dost almost persuade
Justice to break her sword !-One more, one more.-
Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee,
And love thee after.-One more, and this the last;
So sweet was ne'er so fatal. I must weep,
But they are cruel tears. This sorrow's heavenly;
It strikes where it doth love. She wakes-

Des. Who's there? Othello?
Oth.

Ay, Desdemona.
Des. Will you come to bed, my lord ?
Oth. Have you prayed to-night, Desdemona ?
Des.

Ay, my lord
Oth. If you bethink yourself of any crime,
Unreconciled as yet to Heaven and grace,
Solicit for it straight.

Des. Alas, my lord, what may you mean by that?

Oth. Well, do it, and be brief; I will walk by.
I would not kill thy unprepared spirit ;
No, Heaven forfend I would not kill thy soul.

Des. Talk you of killing ?
Oth.

Ay, I do.
Des.

Then, Heaven Have mercy on me! Oth.

Amen, with all my heart ! Des. If you say so, I hope you will not kill me. Oth. Humph!

Des. And yet I fear you; for you are fatal then, When your eyes roll so. Why I should fear, I know

not, Since guiltiness I know not; but yet I feel I fear.

en

1 Thus the folio. relumine.

The first quarto-returne; the second quarto

Oth. Think on thy sins.
Des.

They are loves I bear to you.
Oth. Ay, and for that thou diest.
Des. That death's unnatural, that kills for lov-

ing: -
Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip?
Some bloody passion shakes your very frame.
These are portents; but yet, I hope, I hope
They do not point on me.
Oth.

Peace, and be still !
Des. I will so. What's the matter?
Oth. That handkerchief, which I so loved, 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’rt on thy death-bed.

Des. Ay, but not yet to die.
Oth.

Yes, présently.
'Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin;
For to deny each article with oath,
Cannot remove, nor choke the strong conception,
That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.

Des. Then, Lord have mercy on me!
Oth.

I say, amen.
Des. And have you mercy too! I never did
Offend you in my life ; never loved Cassio,
But with such general warranty of Heaven
As I might love. I never gave him token.

Oth. By Heaven, I saw my handkerchief in his hand. O perjured woman ! thou dost stone my heart, And mak'st me call, what I intend to do, A murder, which I thought a sacrifice : ' I saw the handkerchief.

vall,

1 « This line is difficult. Thou hast hardened my heart, and makest me kill thee with the rage of a murderer, when I thought to have sacrificed thee to jusuce with the calmness of a priest striking a victim. I am glad that I have ended this dreadful scene; it is not to be endured.'--Johnson.

VOL. VII. 64

Des. He found it, then;
I never gave it him.-Send for him hither,
And let him confess a truth.
Oth.

He hath confessed.
Des. What, my lord ?
Oth. That he hath-used thee.
Des.

How ? unlawfully ?
Oth. Ay.
Des.

He'll not say so. Oth.

No, his mouth is stopped ; Honest lago hath ta'en order for’t.

Des. My fear interprets, then,–What, is he dead ?

Oth. Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge Had stomach for them all.

Des. Alas! he is betrayed, and I undone.
Oth. Out, strumpet! weep'st thou for him to my

face?
Des. O, banish me, my lord, but kill me not.
Oth. Down, strumpet !
Des. Kill me to-morrow ; let me live to-night.
Oth. Nay, if you strive,-

But half an hour.
Oth.

Being done, There is no pause.” Des.

But while I say one prayer. Oth. It is too late.3

[He smothers her. Emil. [Within.] My lord, my lord! what, ho! my

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

dead ? 1, that am cruel, am yet merciful; I would not have thee linger in thy pain. So, so.

Des.

1 The quarto 1622 reads :

“ That he hath- uds death." 2 The first quarto omits this speech.

3 After this speech of Othello, the elder quarto adds an invocation from Desdemona, consisting only of the sacred name thrice repeated.

4 It is supposed that some theatrical direction has been omitted, and

Emil. [Within.] What, ho! my lord, my lord!
Oth.

Who's there?
Emil. [Within.] O good my lord, I would speak a

word with you. Oth. Yes ;-tis Emilia ;—by and by.—She's dead. '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 ? I think she stirs again.—No.—What's the best? If she come in, she'll sure speak to my wife. My wife! my wife! what wife?- I have no wife. 0, insupportable! 0, heavy hour! Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse Of sun and moon; and that the affrighted globe Should yawn at alteration. Emil. [Within.] I do beseech you I may speak with

you, O good my lord !

Oth. I had forgot thee. O, come in, Emilia.Soft,—by and by.-Let me the curtains draw.Where art thou ? What's the matter with thee now?

[Unlocks the door.

Enter Emilia.

Emil. O good my lord, yonder's foul murder done.
Oth. What? now?
Emil.

But now, my lord !
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, has killed a young Venetian,
Called-Roderigo.
Oth.

Roderigo killed!
And Cassio killed ?
Emil.

No, Cassio is not killed.

)

IS

that, when Othello says, “ So, 80," he renews his attempt to smother her. Steevens thinks it is here intended that he should stab her.

Oth. Not Cassio killed? Then murder's out of

tune,
And sweet revenge grows harsh.

Des. O, falsely, falsely murdered !
Emil.

Alas! what cry is that? Oth. That! what?

Emil. Out, and alas! that was my lady's voice.-
Help! help, ho! help!-0 lady, speak again!
Sweet Desdemona ! O sweet mistress, speak!

Des. A guiltless death I die.
Emil.

O, who hath done This deed ?

Des. Nobody; I myself; farewell.
Commend me to my kind lord ; 0, farewell. [Dies.

Oth. Why, how should she be murdered ?
Emil.

Alas, who knows?
Oth. You heard her say herself, it was not I.
Emil. She said so; I must needs report the truth.

Oth. She's like a liar, gone to burning hell; 'Twas I that killed her. Emil.

0, the more angel she, And you the blacker devil !

Oth. She turned to folly, and she was a whore.
Emil. Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.
Oth. She was false as water."
Emil.

Thou art rash as fire, to say That she was false ; 0, she was heavenly true!

Oth. Cassio did tup her; ask thy husband else.
0 I were damned beneath all depth in hell,
But that I did proceed upon just grounds
To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.

Thylon just ero, in hell,"

My hus

Oth.

Oth. Thy husband.
Emil. That she was false to wedlock ?
Oth.

Ay, with Cassio.
Nay, had she been true,
If Heaven would make me such another world

11. e. as unstable, as deceitful. In Genesis, xlix. Jacob applies a similar term to Reuben.

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