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Let it go


Emil. Disprove this villain, if thou be'st a man : Emil. By beaven, I do not ; I do not, gentlemen : Ile says, thou toldst him that his wife was false : O murderous coxcomb! what should such a fool I know thou didst not, thou 'rt not such a villain : Do with so good a wife? Speak, for my heart is full.

Llago stabs EMIL-, then runs out. Iago. I told him what I thought; and told no more Oth.

Are there no stones in beaven, Than what he found himself was apt and true.

But what serve for the thunder - Precious villain! Emil. But did you ever tell him she was false ? Gra. The woman falls; sure he has kill'd his wife. Iago. I did.

Emil. Ay, ay: 0, lay me by my mistress' side! Emil. You told a lie; an odious, damned lie;

Gra. He's gone, but his wife's kill'd. Upon my soul, a lie; a wicked lie:

Mon. 'T is a notorious villain. Take you this vezShe false with Cassio ! -Did you say with Cassio ?

pon, lago. With Cassio, mistress : Go to, charm your Which I have here recover'd from the Moor: tongue.

Come, guard the door without: let him not pass, Emil. I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to But kill him rather; I 'll after that same villain, speak;

For 't is a damned slave.

(Exit Mon My mistress here lies murther'd in her bed.


I am ret valiant yieither, All. O heavens forfend !

But every puny whipster gets my sword : Emil. And your reports have set the murther on. But why should honour outlive honesty ? Oth. Nay, stare not, masters; it is true indeed.

all, Gra. "T is a strange truth.

Emil. What did thy song bode, lady! Mon. O monstrous act!

Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan, Emil.

Villainy, villainy, villainy!- And die in music;—“Willow, willow, willow."1 think upon 't, I think,-1 smell 't-O villainy!- Moor, she was chaste; she lov'd thee, cruel Mour; I thought so then ;-I 'll kill myself for grief.- So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true; O villainy, villainy!

So speaking as I think, alas, I die. lago. What are you mad? I charge you, get you Oth. I have another weapon in this chamber, home.

It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper ;Emil. Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak ; | O, here it is :- Uncle, I inust come forth. 'Tis proper I obey him, but not now :

Gra. If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear; Perchance, lago, I will ne'er go home.

Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer. Oth. Oh! Oh! Oh!

Oth. Look in upon me then, and speak with me, Emil.

Nay, lay thee down, and roar : Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee. For thou hast kill'd the sweetest innocent,

Gra. What is the matter? That e'er did lift up eye.


Behold! I have a weapot: Oth. 0, she was foul!

A better never did itself sustain
I scarce did know you, uncle : there lies your niece, Upon a soldier's thighi: I have seen the day,
Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopp'd : That with this little arm, and this good sword,
I know this act shows horrible and grim.

I have made my way through more impediments Gra. Poor Desdemon! I am glad thy father 's dead; Than twenty times your stop:-But, O rain boast ! Thy match was mortal to bim, and pure grief

Who can control his fate! 't is not so now.
Shore his old thread in twain : did he live now, Be not afraid though you do see me weapon d;
This sight would make him do a desperate turn, Here is my journey's end, here is my buit,
Yea, curse his better angel from his side,

And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
And fall to reprobance.

Do you go back dismay'd ? 't is a lost sear; Oth. 'T is pitiful; but yet Iago knows,

Man but a rush against Othello's breast, That she with Cassio hath the act of shame

And he retires ;– Where should Othello go!A thousand times committed ; Cassio confessid it: Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starr d wench! And she did gratify his amorous works

Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compl, With that recognizance and pledge of love

This look of thine will hurl iny soul from heaven, Which I first gave ber; I saw it in his hand;

And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl! It was a handkerchief, an antique token

Even like thy chastity.My father gave my mother.

O cursed, cursed slave!-Whip me, ye devils, Emil. O heaven! O heavenly powers !

From the possession of this heavenly sight! Iago.

Come, hold your peace. Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur!
Emil. 'T will out, 't will out!-I bold my peace, Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire !

O Desdemon! dead Desdemon dead. Oh, oh.
No, I will speak as liberal as the north ; a
Let heaven, and men, and devils, let them all,

Enter Lodovico, MONTANO, Cassio, carried in a All, all, cry shame against me, yet I 'll speak.

chair, and Officers, with lago, prisoner. Iago. Be wise, and get you home.

Lod. Where is this rash and most unfortunate Emil. I will not. (Iago offers to stab his wife. Sra.

Fie! Oth. That 's he that was Othello; here I am. Your sword upon a woman?

Lod. Where is that viper? bring the villain forth. Emil. O thou dull Moor! that handkerchief thou Oth. I look down towards his feet;- but that's a speak’st of

fable : I found by fortune, and did give my husband

If that thou best a devil I cannot kill thee. For often with a solemn earnestness, (More than, indeed, belong'd to such a trifle,,

Lod. Wrench his sword from him. He hegg'd of me to steal it.


I bleed, sir; but not kild. * Lugo. Villainous whore !

Oth. I am not sorry neither; I'd have thee live; Emil. She give it Cassio! no, alas, I found it, For, in my sense, 't is happiness to die. And I did give 't my husband.

Ice-brook's temper. The practice of the Spaniards to #piper lago. Filth, thou liest.

their swords by planning ther, when hot from the forge, una * ieber al is ised in the sense of unrestrained -- incontrolleil. waiers of au icy coldness, is noticed by Martial and Justis.

sir ? no;

man ?

[OTH, wounds lago.

Lod. O thou Othello, that was once so good, And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave,Fall'n in the practice of a cursed slave,

If there be any cunning cruelty, What shall be said to thee?

That can torment him much, and hold him long, Oth. Why, anything:

It shall be his: You shall close prisoner rest, An honourable murderer, if you will;

Till that the nature of your fault be known For nought I did in hate, but all in honour.

To tbe Venetian state: -Come, bring away. Lod. This wretch hath part confess'd his villainy: Oth. Soft you; a word or two, before you go. Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?

I have done the state some service, and they know 't; Oih. Ay.

No more of that:-1 pray you, in your letters, Cas. Dear general, I never gave you cause.

When you shall these unlucky deeds relate, Oth. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon. Speak of me as I am ; nothing exteriuate, Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil,

Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak Why he bath thus ensnar'd my soul and body? Of one that lov'd not wisely, but too well; lago. Demand me nothing: what you know, you of one, not easily jealous, but, being wrought, know :

Perplex'd in the extreme; of one, whose hand, From this time forth I never will speak word.

Like the base Indian," threw a pearl away, Lod. What? not to pray?

Richer than all his tribe; of one, whose subdu'd eyes, Gra.

Torments will ope your lips. Albeit unused to the melting mood,
Oth. Well, thou dost best.

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
Lod. Sir, you shall understand what bath befall’n, Their medicinable gum: Set you down this :
Which, as I think, you know not: Here is a letter, And say, besides,—that in Aleppo once,
Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo;

Where a malignant and a turbau'd Turk
And here, another : the one of them imports

Beat a Venetian, and traduc'd the state, The death of Cassio to be undertook

I took by the throat the circumcised dog, By Roderigo.

And smote him-tbus.

Stabs himself. Oth. O villain!

Lod. O bloody period !
Most heathenish and most gross! Gra.

All that is spoke is marr'd. Lod. Now here's another discontented paper,

Oth. I kiss'd thee, ere I kill'd thee ;-No way but Found in his pocket too; and this, it seems,

this, Roderigo meant to have sent this damned villain; Killing myself to die upon a kiss.

[ Dies. But that, belike, lago in the interim

Cas. This did I fear, but thought he had no weapou; Came in and satisfied him.

For he was great of heart.
O thou pernicious caitif!


O Spartan dog! How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief

More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea! That was my wife's ?

Look on the tragic loading of this bed ; [To lago. Cas.

I found it in my chamber; This is thy work : the object poisons sight;And he himself confess'd, but even now,

Let it be hid.-Gratiano, keep the house, That there he dropp'd it, for a special purpose, And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor, Which wrought to his desire.

For they succeed on you.—To you, lord governor,
O fool! fool! fool!

Remains the censure of this hellish villain;
Cas. There is, besides, in Roderigo's letter,- The time, the place, the torture,-0 enforce it!
How he upbraids lago, that he made him

Myself will straight aboard; and, to the state,
Brave me upon the watch ; whereon it came

This beavy act with heavy heart relate. (Exeunt. That I was cast : And even but now he spake,

a Indian. Boswell, in a very sensible note, shows that tribe After long seeming dead, -lago hurt him,

meant in Shakspere's day kindred; that base is used in the sense lago set him on

of ignorant; and, what is very important, that two poets after Lod. You must forsake this room, and go with us ;

Shakspere have described the Indians as casting away jewels

of which they knew not the value. The ordinary reading is Your power and your command is taken off,

" Judean."

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The first edition of King Lear' was published in the most perfect specimen of the dramatic art existing 1608; two other editions were published by Butter in in the world." We can understand this now. But if the same year. It is remarkable that a play of which any writer before the commencement of the present een three editions were demanded in one year should not tury, and indeed long after, had talked of the comedy have been reprinted till it was collected in the folio of of Lear' as being “ universal, ideal, and sublime," and 1623. Whether . Lear' was piratical, or whether a limited had chosen that as the excellence to balance against publication was allowed, it is clear, we think, that by the intense power of the choral poetry" of Æschylus some interference the continued publication was stopped. and Sophocles, he would have been referred to the au

The text of the folio, in one material respect, differs thority of Voltaire, who, in his letter to the Academy, considerably from that of the quartos. Large passages describes such works of Shakspere as forming an which are found in the quartos are omitted in the folio : obscure chaos, composed of murders and buffooneries, there are, indeed, some lines found in the folio which of heroism and meanness.” are not in the quartos, amounting to about fifty. These In certain schools of criticism, even yet, the notion are scattered passages, not very remarkable when de- that Lear' "may be judged to be the most perfect tached, but for the most part essential to the progress of specimen of the dramatic art existing in the world" the action or to the development of character. On the would be treated as a mere visionary conceit; and we other hand the lines found in the quartos which are not should still be reminded that Shakspere was a “wild in the folio amount to as many as two hundred and and irregular genius," producing these results because twenty-five; and they comprise one entire scene and one he could not help it. In France are still heard the or two of the most striking connected passages in the feeble echoes of the contest between the disciples of the drama. It would be easy to account for these omissions, romantic and the classic schools. by the assumption that in the folio edition the original Poor Nahum Tate did not unfitly represent his age play was cut down by the editors; for . Lear,' without when he said of Lear,' “ It is a heap of jewels, unstrung the omissions, is perhaps the longest of Shakspere's and unpolished, yet so dazzling in their disorder that I plays, with the exception of “Hamlet.' But this theory soon perceived I had seized a treasure." would require us to assume, also, that the additions to There is only one mode in which such a production the folio were made by the editors. These comprise as the “Lear' of Shakspere can be understood—by several such minute touches as none but the band of the study, and by reverential reflection. The age which master could have superadded.

produced the miserable paroly of Lear' that till within The story of • Lear' belongs to the popular literature a few years had banished the · Lear' of Shakspere from of Europe. It is a pretty episode in the fabulous chro- the stage, was, as far as regards the knowledge of the nicles of Britain ; and whether invented by the monkish highest efforts of intellect,

presumptuous, artificial, historians, or transplanted into our annals from some and therefore empty age. Tate was tolerated because foreign source, is not very material. In the 'Gesta Shakspere was not read. We have arrived, in some Romanorum,' the same story is told of Theodosius, degree, to a better judgment, because we have leamt tv “a wise emperor in the city of Rome.”

judge more humbly. We have learnt to compare the Shelley, in his eloquent · Defence of Poetry,' pub- highest works of the highest masters of poetry, not by the lished in his • Posthumous Essays,' &c., has stated the pedantic principle of considering a modern great only grounds for bis belief that the ‘Lear' of Shakspere may to the extent in which he is an imitator of an ancient, sustain a comparison with the master-pieces of the Greek but by endeavouring to comprehend the idea in which tragedy. “The modern practice of blending comedy the modern and the ancient each workel. The Cordewith tragedy, though liable to great abuse in point of lia of Shakspere and the Antigone of Sophocles hare practice, is undoubtedly an extension of the dramatic many points of similarity; but they each belong to circle; but the comedy should be as in “King Lear,' a different system of art. It is for the highest minds universal, ideal, and sublime. It is, perhaps, the inter- only to carry their several systems to an approach to ver.cion of this principle which determines the balance the perfection to which Shakspere and Sophocles bare in favour of King Lear' against the 'Edipus Tyran- carried them. It was for the feeblest of imitators, in a nus' or the · Agamemnon,' or, if you will, the trilogies feeble age, to produce such parodies as those of Tate, with which they are connected; unless the intense power under the pretence of substituting order for irregularity, of the choral poetry, especially that of the latter, should but in utter ignorance of the principle of order which be considered as restoring the equilibrium. “King Lear," was too skilfully framed to be visible to the grossness of if it can sustain that comparison, may be judged to be their taste.

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