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Which I have here recover'd from the Moor: Come, guard the door without: let him not pass, But kill him rather; I'll after that same villain, For 'tis a damned slave.
[Exeunt MONTANO and GRATIANO. Oth.
I am not valiant neither, But every puny whipster gets my sword:But why should honour outlive honesty? Let it go all.
Emil. What did thy song bode, lady? Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan, . And die in musick 33 ;— Willow, willow, willow. Moor, she was chaste; she lov’d thee, cruel Moor; So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true; So speaking as I think, I die,–I die. [Dies.
Oth. I have another weapon in this chamber, It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper 34; O, here it is :—Uncle, I must come forth. Gra. [Within.] If thou attempt it, it will cost
thee dear; Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.
Oth. Look in upon me then, and speak with me, Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.
Behold! I have a weapon; 33 So in The Merchant of Venice :
- he makes a swanlike end,
Fading in musick.' 34 The particular name of the ice-brook may be determined from several passages in Martial. (See lib. i. ep. 50, lib. iv. ep. 55.) It was undoubtedly the brook or rivulet called Salo (now Xalon) near Bilbilis in Celtiberia. In this the Spaniards plunged all their swords and other weapons while hot from the forge; and to the icy quality of the waters they were supposed to be indebted for their stubborn temper. See also Justin, i. 44. It should be remembered that Spain was famous for producing the best sword blades.
A better never did itself sustain
Enter Lodovico, MONTANO, CASSIO, carried in
a Chair, and Officers, with Iago, prisoner. · Lod. Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?
Oth. That's he, that was Othello; here I am.
Cracking ten thousand curbs
Appear in your impediment.'. 36 This and the six preceding lines are omitted in the first quarto. Wench originally signified only a girl or young woman. It is so used in our old version of the Scriptures, and by many of our early writers.
Oth. I look down towards his feet 37—but that's
a fable; If that thou be’st a devil, I cannot kill thee.
[OTHELLO wounds Iago. Lod. Wrench his sword from him. Iago.
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 38
Lod. O) thou Othello, that was once so good,
Why, any thing:
Lod. This wretch hath part confess'd his villany : Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?
Oth. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon. Will you, I pray you, 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 ? Gra.
Torments will ope your lips. Oth. Well, thou dost best.
Lod. Sir, you shall understand what hath befalln, 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
37 To see if, according to the common opinion, his feet be cloven. 38 The same thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra :
" 'Tis well thou’rt gone,
If it be well to live.' 39 In the snare, by the stratagem,
The death of Cassio to be undertook
Oth. O villain !
Lod. Now here's another discontented paper,
O the pernicious caitiff?How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief That was my wife's ? Cas.
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. 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 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 bis : You shall close prisoner rest, Till that the nature of your 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,
40 The first quarto reads- in the nick.'
Speak of me as I am 41 ; nothing extenuate,
41 Thus the folio. The quarto reads—- Speak of them as they are.'
42 The quarto 1622 reads—Indian. The folio has Judean. Warburton, Theobald, and Dr. Farmer think that the allusion is to Herod, who in a fit of blind jealousy threw away such a jewel in his wife Mariamne. Steevens admits the reading Judean, but thinks the allusion is not to the story of Herod, on account of the epithet base; and because the simile appears almost too apposite to be used on the occasion, and would be little more than bringing the fact into comparison with itself.' He thinks that the allusion is to the story of a Jew who not being able to find a purchaser for a very large pearl at an immoderate price, publicly threw it into the sea at Venice. Malone once objected to Júdean on account of the wrong accent, but subsequently changed his opinion, and thought the word tribe strongly favoured that reading. To this Mr. Boswell replies, that the word tribe was never alone peculiarly applicable to the Jews, bat meant a kindred, and is constantly used at this day in speaking of a peculiar race or set of Indians. That the early travellers are full of descriptions of the pearled treasures of the Indians, who may be called base on account of their ignorance, and the facility with which they would part with them, a circumstance to which two succeeding poets have alluded:
* So the unskilfull Indian those bright genis
Habington— To Castara weeping. 'Thus also in The Woman's Conquest, by Sir Robert Howard :
- Behold my queen-
Her bed is India, where she lies a pearl.' It is here figuratively used for a fair woman. I conclude with Mr. Boswell, that the arguments are strong in favour of Indian, the reading of the earliest copy.