Page images

HIS PATHETIC UPBRAIDING OF DESDEMONA. Des. Upon my knees, what doth your speech im

I understand a fury in your words,
But not the words.

Oth. Why, what art thou ?

Your wife, my lord : your true And loyal wife.

Oth. Come, swear it, damn thyself; Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves Should fear to seize thee: therefore be double-damn'd, Swear—thou art honest. Des.

: Heaven doth truly know it. Oth. Heaven truly knows, that thou art false as


Des. To whom, my lord ? with whom? How am I

false ?
Oth. O Desdemona! away! away! away!

Des. Alas, the heavy day!—Why do you weep ?
Am I the occasion of these tears, my lord ?
If, haply, you my father do suspect,
An instrument of this your calling back,
Lay not your blame on me; if you have lost him,
Why, I have lost him too.

Had it pleased Heaven
To try me with affliction; had He rain'd
All kinds of sores and shames on my bare head;
Steep'd me in poverty to the very lips;
Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes ;
I should have found in some part of my soul
A drop of patience; but (alas !) to make me
A fix'd figure, for the hand of Scorn
To point his slow unmoving finger at,-
0! 0!
Yet could I bear that too; well, very well :

But there, where I have garner'd up* my heart;
Where either I must live, or bear no life;
The fountain from the which my current runs,
Or else dries up; to be discarded thence !
Or keep it as a cistern, for foul toads
To knot and gender in !-Turn thy complexion there!
Patience, thou young and rose-lipp'd cherubim;
Ay, there, look grim as hell !


Des. I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.

Oth. O, ay; as summer flies are in the shambles, That quicken even with blowing. Othou weed, Who art so lovely fair, and snell'st so sweet,

* Treasured up.

That the sense aches at thee.—'Would thou hadst ne'er been born!


Oth. Mistress, —

My lord ?

What would you with her, sir ?
Lod. Who, I my lord ?

Oth. Ay: you did wish that I would make her turn :
Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on,
And turn again ; and she can weep, sir, weep;
And she's obedient, as you say,-obedient,
Very obedient :-proceed you in your tears.-
Concerning this, sir,–0 well-painted passion !
I am commanded home :--get you away;
I'll send for you anon.—Sir, I obey the mandate,
And will return to Venice.—Hence, avaunt !

[Exit Desdemona.
Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, to-night,
I do entreat that we may sup together.
You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.-Goats and monkies !



SCENE. A Bedchamber : Desdemona in bed, asleep. A light

It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul, -
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars !-
It is the cause.—Yet I'll not shed her blood;
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow,
And smooth as monumental alabaster.

[Takes off his sword.
Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.
Put out the light, and then put out the light :*

*i. e., The light of life.

If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can again thy former light restore,
Should I repent me: but once put out thine,
Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat, [rose,
That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd thy
I cannot give it vital growth again,
It needs must wither :-'I'll smell it on the tree.-

[Kissing her.
O 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.


Had she been true,
If Heaven would make me such another world
Of one entire and perfect chrysolite, *
I'd not have sold her for it.


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 loved not wisely, but too well :
Of one not easily jealous, but, being wrought,

* A precious stone.

Perplex'd in the extreme; of one, whose hand,
Like the base Judean, threw a pearl away,
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 gum. Set you down this :
And say, besides,—that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turban’d Turk
Beat a Venetian, and traduced the state,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him—thus.

[Stabs himself.



1 IM


0, then, I see, Queen Mab hath been with you. She is the fairies' midwife; and she comes

« PreviousContinue »