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Lod. Wrench his sword from him.

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. Oh thou Othello! that wert once so good,
Fall’n in the practice of a damned slave',
What shall be said to thee?

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 villainy.

and he consent in Cassio's death?
Oth. Ay.
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, you know. From this time forth I never will speak word.

Lod. What! not to pray ?

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

Lod. Sir, you shall understand what hath befall'n,
Which, as I think, you know not. Here is a letter,
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. Oh villain !

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.


of a DAMNED slave,) The folio reads “of a cursed slave,” in opposition to the two other authorities. “ Practice " is, of course, contrivance, as in Vol. iv. p. 370, and in various other places.

9 – I ask your pardon.] The folio alone has “ I ask your pardon,” the 4tos. you for “your ;” and in this part of the scene there are some other trifling variations not requiring especial notice, and not at all affecting the sense.

1- in the INTERIM] “ Interim " is the word in the folio and in the 4to, 1630 : it is nick in the 4to, 1632. In the next line the folio reads, “Oh thou pernitious caitiff!”


Oh, the pernicious caitiff !--
How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief,
That was my wife's ?

I found it in my chamber;
And he himself confess’d, but even now?,
That there he dropp'd it, for a special purpose,
Which wrought to his desire.

Oh 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
That I was cast : and even but now he spake,
After long seeming dead,-- Iago hurt him,
Iago set him on.
Lod. You must forsake this room, and go

with us :
Your power and your command is taken off,
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


fault be known
To the Venetian state.-Come; bring him 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,
When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
Speak of me as I am *, nothing extenuate,
Nor set 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,
Perplex'd in the extreme; of one, whose hand,
Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away',

? And he bimself confess'd, but even now,] The folio and 4to, 1630, read confess'd it but even now," and the 4to, 1622, “confess'd it even now.” The sense clearly requires the omission of it.

3 — Come; bring him away.] The folio, 1623, omits “him,” found in the other old copies : the corr. fo. 1632 has them for “him ;” but the change is not required, unless we suppose Lodovico to refer to Othello as well as to Iago.

• Speak of me as I am,] Thus the folio and 4to, 1630: the earlier 4to, “Speak of them as they are."

5 Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away,] The folio has Iudean, and the 4to, 1622, Indian, and to these authorities the commentators referred; but they left unnoticed the 4to, 1630, which, like the earlier 4to, has Indian. Theobald, Warburton, and Malone, are at variance whether the 4to, 1622, reads Iudean or Indian ; but there can be no doubt that Indian is there the word. The meaning

Richer than all his tribe; of one, whose subdued eyes,
Albeit unused to the melting mood,
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
Their medicinal gumo. 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,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him—thus.

[He stabs himself®. Lod. Oh bloody period ! Gra.

All that's spoke is marr’d.
Oth. I kiss'd thee, ere I kill'd thee :--no way but this,
Killing myself, to die upon a kiss. [Dies on the bed'.

Cas. This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon,
For he was great of heart.

Oh Spartan dog!
More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea,
Look on the tragic loading of this bed';

[TO LAGO This is thy work: the object poisons sight; is very clear, the allusion obscure ; and the probability is, that Shakespeare referred to some known fable of the time, now lost. Theobald contended for a reference to the story of Herod and Mariamne. It was formerly thought that the balance of the old texts was equal, folio being Iudean, and the 4to, 1622 Indian, and it is somewhat surprising that, on a question of the kind, no resort was ever had to the other contemporary authority, differing in many places from the 4to, 1622, and from the folio, 1623, and printed from some separate manuscript. Had Iudean of the folio, 1623, been right, the word would hardly have been printed Indian, in the 4to, 1630, supposing the editor to have referred to the folio. On the whole, we reprint “Indian.”

6 Their MEDICINAL gum.] Here again the 4to, 1630, comes to our aid on the balance of evidence, the folio reading medicinable, and the 4to, 1622, “medicinal :" the 4to, 1630, also has “medicinal.”

? WHERE a malignant and a turban'd Turk] The corr. fo. 1632 has When for “Where.” We may presume, perhaps, that the actor of the part of Othello, whom the old annotator saw, recited When for “Where;" and the two words were, as we have seen, often confounded by the old printers.

8 He stabs himself ] A stage-direction from the corr. fo. 1632, and such have usually been the words employed in modern editions, derived from the 4to, 1622 : they are wanting in the folio, 1623, and, almost of course, in subsequent impressions in the same form.

9 Dies ON THE BED.] So the corr. fo. 1632, for the ordinary stage-direction, Dies. Othello casts himself upon the bed where Desdemona was lying, and thus “died upon a kiss :” in this way he became part of the “ tragic loading of the bed” mentioned by Lodovico. The usual stage-direction, “Falling upon Desdemona," seems needlessly coarse and clumsy.

1 Look on the tragic loading of this bed ;] Here the text of the folio is evidently preferable to that of the two 4tos, which absurdly have lodging for " loading :" this fact seems to show that for the 4to, 1630, the folio, 1623, was not resorted to.

Let it be hid.—Gratiano, keep the house,
And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor,
For they succeed on you ’:--To you,


Remains the censure of this hellish villain;
The time, the place, the torture:-Oh, enforce it!
Myself will straight aboard, and to the state
This heavy act with heavy heart relate.



? For they succeed on you.] The two 4tos. read “For they succeed to you :" our text is that of the folio, 1623. Gratiano was uncle to Desdemona; and it is hardly to be supposed that Othello left any known heirs behind him : Gratiano, therefore, took possession of "the fortunes of the Moor " in right of his niece. “Censure,” in the next line, means, as not unfrequently before, sentence.

3 Exeunt.] Such is the final stage-direction in the folio, 1623 : in the 4to, 1622, it is Exeunt omnes; but it seems probable, that the performers, of old, did not go out, but that the curtains in front of the stage were closed before them, and before the “ tragic loading " of the bed, which could not easily have been removed. Exeunt may only mean, that the actors who remained alive, retreated so far back on the stage, that the curtains could be drawn between them and the audience.




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