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Or, by the worth of mine eternal soul 55,
Thou hadst been better have been born a dog, :
Than answer my wak'd wrath.

Is it come to this?
Oth. Make me to see it; or (at the least) so prove it,
That the probation bear no hinge, nor loop,
To hang a doubt on: or, woe upon thy life!

Iago. My noble lord,

Oth. If thou dost slander her, and torture me, Never pray more: abandon all remorse 56. On horror's head horrors accumulate: Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amaz’d, For nothing canst thou to damnation add, Greater than that. Iago.

O grace! O heaven, defend me! Are you a man? have you a soul, or sense?-God be wi' you; take mine office.—0 wretched fool, That liv'st to make thine honesty, a vice !O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O

world, To be direct and honest, is not safe.I thank you for this profit; and, from hence, I'll love no friend, since love breeds such offence.

Oth. Nay, stay :-Thou should'st be honest.

Iago. I should be wise; for honesty's a fool,
And loses that it works for.

By the world,
I think


wife be honest, and think she is not; I think that thou art just, and think thou art not; I'll have some proof: Her name, that was as fresh As Dian's visage, is now begrim'd and black

55 The quarto of 1622 reads 'man's eternal soul.' Perhaps an opposition was designed between man and dog.

56 i. e. all tenderness of nature, all pity; the sense in which remorse is most frequently used by Shakspeare.

As mine own face 57. If there be cords, or knives,
Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,
I'll not endure it 58.—'Would, I were satisfied !

Iago. I see, sir, you are eaten up with passion:
I do repent me, that I put it to you.
You would be satisfied ?



I will. Iago. And may: but, how? how satisfied, my lord? Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on? Behold her tupp'd ? Oth.

Death and damnation ! O! Iago. It were a tedious difficulty, I think, To bring them to that prospect: Damn them then, If ever mortal


do see them bolster, More than their own! What then? how then? What shall I say? Where's satisfaction ? It is impossible you should see this, Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys, As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as gross As ignorance made drunk. But yet, I say, If imputation, and strong circumstances, Which lead directly to the door of truth, Will give you satisfaction, you may have it.

Oth. Give me a living 59 reason she's disloyal.

Iago. I do not like the office:
But, sith I am enter'd in this cause so far,-

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57 A similar image is found in Marlowe's Lust's Dominion ; where the Moor says:

Cardinal, this disgrace Shall dye thy soul as inky as my face.' 58 So in Pericles :

If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,

Untied I still my virgin knot will keep.' 59 A living reason is a reason founded on fact and experience, not on surmise and conjecture; a reason that convinces the understanding as perfectly as if the fact were exhibited to the life.

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clusion is used for experiment or trial in several other places of

ir Prick'd to it by foolish honesty and love,

I will go on. I lay with Cassio lately;
And, being troubled with a raging tooth,
I could not sleep,
There are a kind of men so loose of soul,
That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs;
One of this kind is Cassio :
In sleep I heard him say,-Sweet Desdemona,
Let us be wary, let us hide our loves!
And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand,
Cry,—0, sweet creature! and then kiss me hard,
As if he pluck'd up kisses by the roots,
That grew upon my lips: then laid his leg
Over my thigh, and sigh’d, and kiss’d; and then
Cried, -Cursed fate, that gave thee to the Moor!

Oth. O monstrous! monstrous !

Nay, this was but his dream.
Oth. But this denoted a foregone conclusion 6o ;
'Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream 61.

Iago. And this may help to thicken other proofs,
That do demonstrate thinly.

I'll tear her all to pieces.
Iago. Nay, but be wise: yet we see nothing done 62,

may be honest yet. Tell me but this,-

you not sometimes seen a handkerchief,

Spotted with strawberries, in your wife's hand ? 1

Oth. I gave her such a one; 'twas my first gift.

Iago. I know not that: but such a handkerchief
(I am sure it was your wife's), did I to-day
See Cassio wipe his beard with.

69 Some foregone conclusion is some former experience,

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these plays.

61 The old quarto gives this line to Iago, as well as which follow; in the folio it is given to Othello.

62 Iago says, 'Yet we see nothing done ;' as an secret mock of what Othello had before said,-Give


oblique me the


lar proof.



If it be that,Iago. If it be that, or any that was hers, It speaks against her with the other proofs.

Oth. O, that the slave had forty thousand lives; One is too poor, too weak for my revenge ! Now do I see 'tis true 63.—Look here, Iago; All my

fond love thus do I blow to heaven 64 :

'Tis gone.

Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow 65 cell!

up, O love, thy crown, and hearted throne 66, To tyrannous hate! swell, bosom, with thy fraught 67; For 'tis of aspicks' tongues !

Iago. Pray, be content.
63 The quarto reads · Now do I see 'tis tune.'
64 So in Marlowe's Lust's Dominion:

• Are these your fears? thus blow them into air.' This was perhaps caught from Ho ce:

• Tradam protervis in mare Creticum

Portare ventis.' 65 Hollow, which has been stigmatized by Warburton as a poor unmeaning epithet, gives the idea of what Milton calls

the void profound

Of unessential night.' Or the inane profundum of Lucretius. It is used indeed in Milton himself. Paradise Lost, b. i. v. 314:

• He call'd so loud, that all the hollow deep

Of hell resounded.' And in book i.:

• A shout that tore hells concave.' Jasper Heywood, in his translation of Seneca's Thyestes, 1560, had long before used the phrase :• Where most prodigious ugly things the hollow hell

doth hide.' And Arthur Hall, in his translation of Homer's eighth Iliad :

• Into the hollow dreadful hole which Tartare men do call.'

66 The heart on which thou wast enthroned. So in Twelfth Night:

• It gives a very echo to the seat

Where love is thron'd.'
See Romeo and Juliet, Act v. Sc. 1, ab init.

67 i. e. swell, because the fraught thou art charged with is of poison.


O, blood, Iago, blood ! Iago. Patience, I say; your mind, perhaps, may

change. Oth. Never, Iago. Like to the Pontick sea 68, Whose icy current and compulsive course Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on To the Propontick, and the Hellespont; Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace, Shall ne'er look back, ne'er ebb to humble love, Till that a capable 69 and wide revenge Swallow them up.-Now, by yond' marble bea

ven 70

In the due reverence of a sacred vow [Kneels.
I here engage my words.

Do not rise yet.

[Kneels. Witness, you ever-burning lights above! You elements that clip us round about! Witness, that here Iago doth give up

68 From the word Like to marble heaven, inclusively, is not found in the quarto 1622. Pope thinks that it would be better omitted, as an unnatural excursion in this place. Shakspeare probably derived his knowledge upon this subject from the second book and ninety-seventh chapter of Pliny's Natural History, 1601:— And the sea Pontus evermore floweth and runneth out into Propontis; but the sea never retireth backe againe within Pontus.' Mr. Edwards conceived this simile might allude to Sir Philip Sidney's device, whose impress Camden, in his Remains, says, was the Caspian sea, with this motto, Sine refluxu.

69 Capable seems to be here used for capacious, comprehensive. Nashe, in his Pierce Pennilesse, 1592, employs the word in the same manner:- Then belike, quoth I, you make this word, Dæmon, a capable name, of gods, of men, of devils.' 70 This expression occurs in Soliman and Perseda, 1599:

• Now by the marble face of the welkin,' &c. So in Marston's Antonio and Mellida, 1602:

. And pleas'd the marble heavens.' VOL. X.


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