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SCENE II.

A Bedchamber : DESDEMONA in bed asleep. A Light

burning.

Enter OTHELLO.

Oth. 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 her's 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:“
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;

61, e. The light of life.

6

It strikes, where it doth love.-She wakes

Des. Who's there! Othello?
Oth.

Ay, Desdemona.
Des. Will you come to bed, my

lord ?
Oth. Have you pray'd to night, Desdemona?
Des.

Ay, my lord.
Oth. If you bethink yourself of any crime,
Unreconcil'd 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;
No,--Heaven forfend !7I would not kill thy soul.

Des. Talk you of killing?
Oth.

Ay, I do.
Des.

Then, heaven
Have
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:

for

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,

mercy on me!

7 Forbid.

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,
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 : 8
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.

8 A sacrifice atoning for thy crime.

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. 9

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.
Oth. Out, strumpet! Weep'st thou for him to my

face?
Des. O, banish me, my lord, but kill me not.
Oth. Down, strumpet!
Des. Kill me to-morrow, let me live to-night.
Oth. Nay, if you strive,
Des.

But half an hour.
Oth.

Being done, There is no pause. Des.

But while I say one prayer. Oth. It is too late.

[He smothers her. Emil. [1Vithin.] My lord, my lord! what ho! my

lord!

my

lord! Oth. What noise is this ? -Not dead! not yet quite

dead?
I, that am cruel, am yet merciful ;
I would not have thee linger in thy pain. -
So, so."

9 Has taken measures. " It is supposed that some theatrical direction has been omitted, and that, when Othello says, “So, so." he then

Emil. [Within.] What ho! my lord, my lord !
Oth.

Who's there? Emil. [IVithin.] 0, good my lord, I would speak a

word with you. Oth. Yes;—'tis Emilia :-by and by-She's dead. 'Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio's death : The noise was high.-Ha! no more moving ? Still as the grave. Shall she come in? Were't good? I think, she stirs again :-No.-What's the best? If she come in, she'll sure speak to my wife: My wife! my wife! what wife ?-I have no wife: 0, insupportable! O heavy hour! Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse Of sun and moon; and that the affrighted globe Should yawn at alteration. Emil. [Within.] 1 do beseech you I may speak with

you, O, good my lord !

Oth. I had forgot thee: O, come in, Emilia:Soft,-by and by :-Let me the curtains draw.Where art thou? What's the matter with thee now?

[Unlocks the door.

Enter EMILIA.

Emil. O, good my lord, yonder's foul murder done.
Oth. What? now?
Emil.

But now, my

lord ! Oth. It is the very error of the moon ; She comes more near the earth than she was wont; And makes men mad.

stabs her. After the repetition of wounds, Desdemona might speak again with propriety, and yet very soon expire.

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