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If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
Des. Who's there! Othello?
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.
Ay, I do.
No,–Heaven forefend. I would not kill thy soul."
Des. Talk you of killing?
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.
They are loves I bear to you.
Peace, and be still!
Thou gav'st to Cassio.
No, by my life and soul;
Sweet soul, take heed, Take heed of perjury; thou'rt on thy death-bed.
Des. Ay, but not yet to die.
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,
Des. Then, Lord have mercy on me!
I say, amen. Des. And have you mercy too !—I never did Offend
my life; never lov’d Cassio,
He found it then;
He hath confess'd.
How? unlawfully? Oth. Ay. Des.
He'll not say so. Oth.
No, his mouth is stoppid; Honest Iago hath ta'en order for't.*
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.
S 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 jastice 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,