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Gra.

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. O villain !
Cas.

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.
Oth.

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
After long seeming dead, -- Iago hurt him,
Iago set him on.
Lod. You must forsake this and

go
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 your fault be known
To the Venetian state : - Come, bring him away.

Oth. Soft you; a word or two, before you go.

he spake,

room,

with us;

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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 Júdean, threw a pearl away,
Richer than all his tribe?; of one, whose subdu'd eyes,
Albeit unused to the melting mood,
Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
Their medicínal gum: 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,

[Stabs himself.

7

of one, whose hand,
Like the base Júdean, threw a pearl away,

Richer than all his tribe;] The commentators are at variance on this passage, some considering it as an allusion to the story of Herod and Mariamne, and others to that of a Jew who threw away a pearl of great worth, because he could not get his price for it. We shall subjoin a remark of Mr. Steevens, which vindicates the propriety of an edition like the present.

Either we are partial to discoveries which we make for ourselves, or the spirit of controversy is contagious; for it usually happens that each possessor of an ancient

copy

of our author is led to assert the superiority of all such readings as have not been exhibited in the notes, or received into the text of the last edition. On this account our present republication • (and more especially in the celebrated plays) affords a greater number of these diversities than were ever before obtruded on the publick. A time however may arrive, when a complete body of variations being printed, our readers may luxuriate in an ample feast of thats and whiches ; and thenceforward it may be prophecied, that all will unite in a wish that the selection had been made by an editor, rather than submitted to their own labour and sagacity.

* The edition of 1803 in 21 volumes.

Lod. O bloody period !
Gra.

All, that's spoke, is marr’d. Oth. I kiss'd thee, ere I kill'd thee; - No way but this,

[Falling upon DESDEMONA. Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.

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

O Spartan dog, 8 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; Let it be hid.- Gratiano, keep the house, And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor, For they succeed to you. - To you, lord governor, Remains the censure of this hellish villain ; The time, the place, the torture, - enforce it! Myself will straight aboard; and, to the state, This heavy act with heavy heart relate. [Exeunt. ?

9

8 0 Spartan dog,] The dogs of Spartan race were reckoned among those of the most fierce and

savage

kind. the censure - ] i e. the sentence, i The beauties of this play impress themselves so strongly upon the attention of the reader, that they can draw no aid from critical illustration. The fiery openness of Othello, magnanimous, artless, and credulous, boundless in his confidence, ardent in his affection, inflexible in his resolution, and obdurate in his revenge; the cool malignity of Iago, silent in his resentment, subtle in his designs, and studious at once of his interest and his vengeance; the soft simplicity of Desdemona, confident of merit, and conscious of innocence, her artless perseverance in her suit, and her slowness to suspect that she can be suspected, are such proofs of Shakspeare's skill in human nature, as, 'I suppose, it is vain 'to seek in any modern writer. The gradual progress which lago makes in the Moor's conviction, and the circumstances which he employs to enflame him, are so artfully natural, that, though it will perhaps not be said of him as he says of himself, that he is a man not easily jealous, yet we cannot but pity him, when at last we find him perplexed in the extreme.

There is always danger, lest wickedness, conjoined with abilities, should steal upon esteem, though it misses of approbation; but the character of lago is so conducted, that he is from the first scene the last hated and despised.

Even the inferior characters of this play would be very conspicuous in any other piece, not only for their justness, but their strength. Cassio is brave, benevolent, and honest; ruined only by his want of stubbornness to resist an insidious invitation. Roderigo's suspicious credulity, and impatient submission to the cheats which he sees practised upon him, and which by persuasion he suffers to be repeated, exhibit a strong picture of a weak mind betrayed by unlawful desires to a false friend; and the virtue of Emilia is such as we often find, worn loosely, but not cast off, easy to commit small crimes, but quickened and alarmed at atrocious villainies.

The scenes from the beginning to the end are busy, varied by happy interchanges, and regularly promoting the progression of the story; and the narrative in the end, though it tells but what is known already, yet is necessary to produce the death of Othello.

Had the scene opened in Cyprus, and the preceding incidents been occasionally related, there had been little wanting to a drama of the most exact and scrupulous regularity. Johnson.

THE END,

LONDON: Printed by A. & R. Spottiswoode,

New-Street-Square.

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