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Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire !-
Enter LODOVICO, MONTANO, Cassio, carried in a Chair,
and Officers, with Iago, prisoner.
Lod. Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?
[OTHELLO wounds Lago. Lod. Wrench his sword from him. Iago.
I bleed, sir; but not kill'd.
Lod. O thou Othello, that was once so good,
Why, any thing :
Lod. This wretch hath part confess'd his villainy:
Oth. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.
know : From this time forth I never will speak word.
Lod. What ? not to pray ?
towards his feet ;] To see if, according to the common opinion, his feet be cloven.
in the practice —} In the snare, by the stratagem.
That was my
Torments will ope your lips. Oth. Well, thou dost best.
Lod. Sir, you shall understand what hath befall’n,
Oth. O villain !
Most heathenish, and most gross!
O the pernicious caitiff?How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief
wife's ? Cas.
I found it in my chamber:
O fool! fool! fool!
Lod. You must forsake this room, and go with us;
Oth. Soft you ; a word or two, before you go.
I have done the state some service, and they know it;
[Stabs himself. 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?, More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea ! Look on the tragick loading of this bed;
[To Iago. 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,—0 enforce it!
7 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.
Myself will straight aboard ; and, to the state,
9 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 affectiori, inflexible in his resolution, and obdurate in his revenge ; the cool malignity of lago, 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 ; character of lago is so conducted, that he is from the first scene to the last hated and despised.
Even the inferior characters of this play would be very con spicuous 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 villanies.
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 of the most exact and scrupulous regularity. Johnson,
Gilbert & Rivingtox, Printers, St. Johu's Square, London.