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Come, mistress, you must tell us another tale.
A Bedchamber : DESDEMONA in bed asleep. A
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 hers 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:
8 — or fordoes me quite.] To fordo, is to undo, to ruin, to destroy. 9 It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul,
Let me not name it-] The abruptness of this soliloquy makes it obscure. The meaning, I think, is this:-I am here (says Othello in his mind) overwhelmed with horror. What is the reason of this perturbation? Is it want of resolution to do justice? Is it the dread of shedding blood ? No; it is not the action that shocks me, but it is the cause, it is the cause, my soul ; let'me not name it to you, ye chaste stars! it is the cause. JOHNSON
'Put out the light, and then put out the light:] This is one of the passages in which, by a modern regulation, our poet's words have obtained a meaning, which in my opinion was not in his thoughts. Mr. Upton was the first person who introduced the conceit in this line, which has been adopted since his book appeared, by pointing it thus: Put out the light, and then--Put out the light! &c.
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
thy rose, I cannot give it vital growth again, It needs must wither: -I'll smell it on the tree.
Des. Who's there? Othello?
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;
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.
Why I should fear, I know net, sainer, quillinefs Iknow not,but ypt:Sfeed, I four.
Published by I'&. (Rirington S!Pails Church IJuly 4-180 7.
Ay, I do.
No,-Heaven forefend. I would not kill thy soul.”
Des. Talk you of killing?
Amen, with all
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.
Yes, presently : Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin;
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.