Page images
PDF
EPUB

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,
That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd

thy rose,
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.--She wakes-

Des. Who's there! Othello?
Oth.

Ay, Desdemona.
Des. Will you come to bed, my lord?
Oih. Have you pray'd to-night, Desdemona?
Des.

Oth. If you bethink yourself of any crime, Unreconciľd 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;

Ay, my lord.

I entirely agree with Dr. Farmer, that this regulation gives a spirit to this passage that was not intended. The poet, I think, meant merely to say,~" I will now put out the lighted taper which I hold, and then put out the light of life;" and this introduces his subsequent reflection and comparison, just as aptly, as supposing the latter words of the line to be used in the same sense as in the beginning of it, which cannot be done without destroying that equivoque and play of words of which Shakspeare was so fond, MALONE.

THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Des.

Why I should fear, I knew net, since quillinefs Thinow not, but yet. I feel, Ifear.

[ocr errors]

Publishd by I'& CRivington S'Pauls Church Identy 4-804.

Ay, I do.

you; for

No,-Heaven forefend.— I would not kill thy soul.?

Des. Talk you of killing?
Oth,
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 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.

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

loving:-
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 lov'd, 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, presently:
Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin;
For to deny each article with oath,

I would not kill thy soul.] Othello appears to have been a favourite of his author; for he has bestowed on him that piety which he had refused to Hamlet.

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 lov'd 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 perjur'd woman! thou dost stone my heart,
And mak'st me call, what I intend to do,-
A murder, which I thought a sacrifice:3
I saw the handkerchief.
Des.

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

He hath confess'd.
Des. What, my lord?
Oth. That he hath-us'd thee.
Des.

How? unlawfully? Oth. Ay: Des. He'll not say so. Oth.

No, his mouth is stoppid; Honest Iago hath ta'en order for't.4

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 betray'd, and I undone.

3 A murder, which I thought a sacrifice:) 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 justice with the calmness of a priest striking a victim.

I am glad that I have ended my revisal of this dreadful scene, It is not to be endured. JOHNSON.

hath ta'en order for't.] i. e. has taken measures,

4

« PreviousContinue »