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    Act V. Scene II

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    Chapter 15
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    SCENE II. A bedchamber in the castle: DESDEMONA in bed asleep;
    a light burning.

    Enter OTHELLO

    OTHELLO
    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 hers than snow,
    And smooth as monumental alabaster.
    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 thy light,
    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 the rose,
    I cannot give it vital growth again.
    It must needs wither: I'll smell it on the tree.

    Kissing her

    Ah 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;
    It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.

    DESDEMONA
    Who's there? Othello?

    OTHELLO
    Ay. Desdemona.

    DESDEMONA
    Will you come to bed, my lord?

    OTHELLO
    Have you pray'd to-night, Desdemona?

    DESDEMONA
    Ay, my lord.

    OTHELLO
    If you bethink yourself of any crime
    Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace,
    Solicit for it straight.

    DESDEMONA
    Alas, my lord, what do you mean by that?

    OTHELLO
    Well, do it, and be brief; I will walk by:
    I would not kill thy unprepared spirit;
    No; heaven forfend! I would not kill thy soul.

    DESDEMONA
    Talk you of killing?

    OTHELLO
    Ay, I do.

    DESDEMONA
    Then heaven
    Have mercy on me!

    OTHELLO
    Amen, with all my heart!

    DESDEMONA
    If you say so, I hope you will not kill me.

    OTHELLO
    Hum!

    DESDEMONA
    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.

    OTHELLO
    Think on thy sins.

    DESDEMONA
    They are loves I bear to you.

    OTHELLO
    Ay, and for that thou diest.

    DESDEMONA
    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,
    They do not point on me.

    OTHELLO
    Peace, and be still!

    DESDEMONA
    I will so. What's the matter?

    OTHELLO
    That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee
    Thou gavest to Cassio.

    DESDEMONA
    No, by my life and soul!
    Send for the man, and ask him.

    OTHELLO
    Sweet soul, take heed,
    Take heed of perjury; thou art on thy deathbed.

    DESDEMONA
    Ay, but not yet to die.

    OTHELLO
    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.

    DESDEMONA
    Then Lord have mercy on me!

    OTHELLO
    I say, amen.

    DESDEMONA
    And have you mercy too! I never did
    Offend you in my life; never loved Cassio
    But with such general warranty of heaven
    As I might love: I never gave him token.

    OTHELLO
    By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in's hand.
    O perjured woman! thou dost stone my heart,
    And makest me call what I intend to do
    A murder, which I thought a sacrifice:
    I saw the handkerchief.

    DESDEMONA
    He found it then;
    I never gave it him: send for him hither;
    Let him confess a truth.

    OTHELLO
    He hath confess'd.

    DESDEMONA
    What, my lord?

    OTHELLO
    That he hath used thee.

    DESDEMONA
    How? unlawfully?

    OTHELLO
    Ay.

    DESDEMONA
    He will not say so.

    OTHELLO
    No, his mouth is stopp'd;
    Honest Iago hath ta'en order for't.

    DESDEMONA
    O! my fear interprets: what, is he dead?

    OTHELLO
    Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
    Had stomach for them all.

    DESDEMONA
    Alas! he is betray'd and I undone.

    OTHELLO
    Out, strumpet! weep'st thou for him to my face?

    DESDEMONA
    O, banish me, my lord, but kill me not!

    OTHELLO
    Down, strumpet!

    DESDEMONA
    Kill me to-morrow: let me live to-night!

    OTHELLO
    Nay, if you strive--

    DESDEMONA
    But half an hour!

    OTHELLO
    Being done, there is no pause.

    DESDEMONA
    But while I say one prayer!

    OTHELLO
    It is too late.

    He stifles her

    EMILIA
    [Within] My lord , my lord! what, ho! my lord, my lord!

    OTHELLO
    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.

    EMILIA
    [Within] What, ho! my lord, my lord!

    OTHELLO
    Who's there?

    EMILIA
    [Within] O, good my lord, I would speak a word with you!

    OTHELLO
    Yes: 'tis Emilia. By and by. She's dead.
    'Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio's death.--
    The noise was here. Ha! no more moving?
    Still as the grave. Shall she come in? were't good?--
    I think she stirs again:--no. What's best to do?
    If she come in, she'll sure speak to my wife:
    My wife! my wife! what wife? I have no wife.
    O 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.

    EMILIA
    [Within] I do beseech you
    That I may speak with you, O, good my lord!

    OTHELLO
    I had forgot thee: O, come in, Emilia;
    Soft; by and by. Let me the curtains draw.
    Where art thou?

    Unlocks the door

    Enter EMILIA

    What's the matter with thee now?

    EMILIA
    O, my good lord, yonder's foul murders done!

    OTHELLO
    What, now?

    EMILIA
    But now, my lord.

    OTHELLO
    It is the very error of the moon;
    She comes more nearer earth than she was wont,
    And makes men mad.

    EMILIA
    Cassio, my lord, hath kill'd a young Venetian
    Call'd Roderigo.

    OTHELLO
    Roderigo kill'd!
    And Cassio kill'd!

    EMILIA
    No, Cassio is not kill'd.

    OTHELLO
    Not Cassio kill'd! then murder's out of tune,
    And sweet revenge grows harsh.

    DESDEMONA
    O, falsely, falsely murder'd!

    EMILIA
    Alas, what cry is that?

    OTHELLO
    That! what?

    EMILIA
    Out, and alas! that was my lady's voice.
    Help! help, ho! help! O lady, speak again!
    Sweet Desdemona! O sweet mistress, speak!

    DESDEMONA
    A guiltless death I die.

    EMILIA
    O, who hath done this deed?

    DESDEMONA
    Nobody; I myself. Farewell
    Commend me to my kind lord: O, farewell!

    Dies

    OTHELLO
    Why, how should she be murder'd?

    EMILIA
    Alas, who knows?

    OTHELLO
    You heard her say herself, it was not I.

    EMILIA
    She said so: I must needs report the truth.

    OTHELLO
    She's, like a liar, gone to burning hell:
    'Twas I that kill'd her.

    EMILIA
    O, the more angel she,
    And you the blacker devil!

    OTHELLO
    She turn'd to folly, and she was a whore.

    EMILIA
    Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.

    OTHELLO
    She was false as water.

    EMILIA
    Thou art rash as fire, to say
    That she was false: O, she was heavenly true!

    OTHELLO
    Cassio did top her; ask thy husband else.
    O, I were damn'd beneath all depth in hell,
    But that I did proceed upon just grounds
    To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.

    EMILIA
    My husband!

    OTHELLO
    Thy husband.

    EMILIA
    That she was false to wedlock?

    OTHELLO
    Ay, with Cassio. Nay, had she been true,
    If heaven would make me such another world
    Of one entire and Perfect chrysolite,
    I'ld not have sold her for it.

    EMILIA
    My husband!

    OTHELLO
    Ay, 'twas he that told me first:
    An honest man he is, and hates the slime
    That sticks on filthy deeds.

    EMILIA
    My husband!

    OTHELLO
    What needs this iteration, woman? I say thy husband.

    EMILIA
    O mistress, villany hath made mocks with love,
    My husband say that she was false!

    OTHELLO
    He, woman;
    I say thy husband: dost understand the word?
    My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.

    EMILIA
    If he say so, may his pernicious soul
    Rot half a grain a day! he lies to the heart:
    She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.

    OTHELLO
    Ha!

    EMILIA
    Do thy worst:
    This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven
    Than thou wast worthy her.

    OTHELLO
    Peace, you were best.

    EMILIA
    Thou hast not half that power to do me harm
    As I have to be hurt. O gull! O dolt!
    As ignorant as dirt! thou hast done a deed--
    I care not for thy sword; I'll make thee known,
    Though I lost twenty lives.--Help! help, ho! help!
    The Moor hath kill'd my mistress! Murder! murder!

    Enter MONTANO, GRATIANO, IAGO, and others

    MONTANO
    What is the matter? How now, general!

    EMILIA
    O, are you come, Iago? you have done well,
    That men must lay their murders on your neck.

    GRATIANO
    What is the matter?

    EMILIA
    Disprove this villain, if thou be'st a man:
    He says thou told'st him that his wife was false:
    I know thou didst not, thou'rt not such a villain:
    Speak, for my heart is full.

    IAGO
    I told him what I thought, and told no more
    Than what he found himself was apt and true.

    EMILIA
    But did you ever tell him she was false?

    IAGO
    I did.

    EMILIA
    You told a lie, an odious, damned lie;
    Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie.
    She false with Cassio!--did you say with Cassio?

    IAGO
    With Cassio, mistress. Go to, charm your tongue.

    EMILIA
    I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to speak:
    My mistress here lies murder'd in her bed,--

    All
    O heavens forfend!

    EMILIA
    And your reports have set the murder on.

    OTHELLO
    Nay, stare not, masters: it is true, indeed.

    GRATIANO
    'Tis a strange truth.

    MONTANO
    O monstrous act!

    EMILIA
    Villany, villany, villany!
    I think upon't, I think: I smell't: O villany!--
    I thought so then:--I'll kill myself for grief:--
    O villany, villany!

    IAGO
    What, are you mad? I charge you, get you home.

    EMILIA
    Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak:
    'Tis proper I obey him, but not now.
    Perchance, Iago, I will ne'er go home.

    OTHELLO
    O! O! O!

    He falls on the bed

    EMILIA
    Nay, lay thee down and roar;
    For thou hast kill'd the sweetest innocent
    That e'er did lift up eye.

    OTHELLO
    [Rising] O, she was foul!
    I scarce did know you, uncle: there lies your niece,
    Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopp'd:
    I know this act shows horrible and grim.

    GRATIANO
    Poor Desdemona! I am glad thy father's dead:
    Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief
    Shore his old thread in twain: did he live now,
    This sight would make him do a desperate turn,
    Yea, curse his better angel from his side,
    And fall to reprobation.

    OTHELLO
    'Tis pitiful; but yet Iago knows
    That she with Cassio hath the act of shame
    A thousand times committed; Cassio confess'd it:
    And she did gratify his amorous works
    With that recognizance and pledge of love
    Which I first gave her; I saw it in his hand:
    It was a handkerchief, an antique token
    My father gave my mother.

    EMILIA
    O heaven! O heavenly powers!

    IAGO
    Come, hold your peace.

    EMILIA
    'Twill out, 'twill out: I peace!
    No, I will speak as liberal as the north:
    Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,
    All, all, cry shame against me, yet I'll speak.

    IAGO
    Be wise, and get you home.

    EMILIA
    I will not.

    IAGO offers to stab EMILIA

    GRATIANO
    Fie!
    Your sword upon a woman?

    EMILIA
    O thou dull Moor! that handkerchief thou speak'st of
    I found by fortune and did give my husband;
    For often, with a solemn earnestness,
    More than indeed belong'd to such a trifle,
    He begg'd of me to steal it.

    IAGO
    Villanous whore!

    EMILIA
    She give it Cassio! no, alas! I found it,
    And I did give't my husband.

    IAGO
    Filth, thou liest!

    EMILIA
    By heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen.
    O murderous coxcomb! what should such a fool
    Do with so good a woman?

    OTHELLO
    Are there no stones in heaven
    But what serve for the thunder?--Precious villain!

    He runs at IAGO IAGO, from behind, stabs EMILIA, and exit

    GRATIANO
    The woman falls; sure, he hath kill'd his wife.

    EMILIA
    Ay, ay: O, lay me by my mistress' side.

    GRATIANO
    He's gone, but his wife's kill'd.

    MONTANO
    'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon,
    Which I have here recover'd from the Moor:
    Come, guard the door without; let him not pass,
    But kill him rather. I'll after that same villain,
    For 'tis a damned slave.

    Exeunt MONTANO and GRATIANO

    OTHELLO
    I am not valiant neither,
    But ever puny whipster gets my sword:
    But why should honour outlive honesty?
    Let it go all.

    EMILIA
    What did thy song bode, lady?
    Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan.
    And die in music.

    Singing

    Willow, willow, willow,--
    Moor, she was chaste; she loved thee, cruel Moor;
    So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true;
    So speaking as I think, I die, I die.

    Dies

    OTHELLO
    I have another weapon in this chamber;
    It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper:--
    O, here it is. Uncle, I must come forth.

    GRATIANO
    [Within] If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear:
    Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.

    OTHELLO
    Look in upon me then and speak with me,
    Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.

    Re-enter GRATIANO

    GRATIANO
    What is the matter?

    OTHELLO
    Behold, I have a weapon;
    A better never did itself sustain
    Upon a soldier's thigh: I have seen the day,
    That, with this little arm and this good sword,
    I have made my way through more impediments
    Than twenty times your stop: but, O vain boast!
    Who can control his fate? 'tis not so now.
    Be not afraid, though you do see me weapon'd;
    Here is my journey's end, here is my butt,
    And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.
    Do you go back dismay'd? 'tis a lost fear;
    Man but a rush against Othello's breast,
    And he retires. Where should Othello go?
    Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starr'd wench!
    Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt,
    This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven,
    And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl!
    Even like thy chastity. O cursed slave!
    Whip me, ye devils,
    From the possession of this heavenly sight!
    Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur!
    Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!
    O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead!
    Oh! Oh! Oh!

    Enter LODOVICO. MONTANO, CASSIO carried in a chair, and Officers with IAGO, prisoner

    LODOVICO
    Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?

    OTHELLO
    That's he that was Othello: here I am.

    LODOVICO
    Where is that viper? bring the villain forth.

    OTHELLO
    I look down towards his feet; but that's a fable.
    If that thou best a devil, I cannot kill thee.

    Wounds IAGO

    LODOVICO
    Wrench his sword from him.

    IAGO
    I bleed, sir; but not kill'd.

    OTHELLO
    I am not sorry neither: I'ld have thee live;
    For, in my sense, 'tis happiness to die.

    LODOVICO
    O thou Othello, thou wert once so good,
    Fall'n in the practise of a damned slave,
    What shall be said to thee?

    OTHELLO
    Why, any thing:
    An honourable murderer, if you will;
    For nought I did in hate, but all in honour.

    LODOVICO
    This wretch hath part confess'd his villany:
    Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?

    OTHELLO
    Ay.

    CASSIO
    Dear general, I never gave you cause.

    OTHELLO
    I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.
    Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil
    Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?

    IAGO
    Demand me nothing: what you know, you know:
    From this time forth I never will speak word.

    LODOVICO
    What, not to pray?

    GRATIANO
    Torments will ope your lips.

    OTHELLO
    Well, thou dost best.

    LODOVICO
    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.

    OTHELLO
    O villain!

    CASSIO
    Most heathenish and most gross!

    LODOVICO
    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.

    OTHELLO
    O the pernicious caitiff!
    How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief
    That was my wife's?

    CASSIO
    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.

    OTHELLO
    O fool! fool! fool!

    CASSIO
    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 he spake,
    After long seeming dead, Iago hurt him,
    Iago set him on.

    LODOVICO
    You must forsake this room, and go with us:
    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.

    OTHELLO
    Soft you; a word or two before you go.
    I have done the state some service, and they know't.
    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 loved 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 Indian, threw a pearl away
    Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,
    Albeit unused to the melting mood,
    Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
    Their medicinal gum. Set you down this;
    And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
    Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk
    Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
    I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
    And smote him, thus.

    Stabs himself

    LODOVICO
    O bloody period!

    GRATIANO
    All that's spoke is marr'd.

    OTHELLO
    I kiss'd thee ere I kill'd thee: no way but this;
    Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.

    Falls on the bed, and dies

    CASSIO
    This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon;
    For he was great of heart.

    LODOVICO
    [To IAGO] O Spartan dog,
    More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea!
    Look on the tragic loading of this bed;
    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 on you. To you, lord governor,
    Remains the censure of this hellish villain;
    The time, the place, the torture: O, enforce it!
    Myself will straight aboard: and to the state
    This heavy act with heavy heart relate.

    Exeunt
    Chapter 15
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