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If heaven would make me such another world

Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,

I'ld not have sold her for it.

Emil. My husband!



Ay, 'twas he that told me first: 145

An honest man he is, and hates the slime

That sticks on filthy deeds.

My husband!

Oth. What needs this iteration? woman, I say
I say thy


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


He, woman; 150 I say thy husband: dost understand the word? My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago. Emil. If he say so, may his pernicious soul

145. me first] Qq, me on her first Ff. 148. iteration? woman, ПQq, Jennens, Globe; itterance, woman? I Ff, Steevens (1793), Craig. 149-152. Emil. O Iago] omitted Q I. 150. that] Q 2, 3; omitted Ff.


143. chrysolite] "A kind of iasper Chrysolith," J. Rider, Biblioth. Schol., 1589. "A chrysolite; a kind of Jasper of a golden lustre, or colour" (Cotgrave). We must have recourse again to Pliny, xxxvii. 8: "The Topaze or Chrysolith, hath a singular greene colour by it selfe, for which it is esteemed very rich; and when it was first found, it surpassed all others in price; they were discovered first in an Isle of Arabia called Chitis. . Of which Chrysolite, Ptolomæus Philadelphus, king of Egypt, caused the statue of his wife Arsinoë to be made, foure cubits long . . . of all pretious stones it is the largest: this propertie it hath above all other gems, That only it commeth under the file to be polished for noble men; whereas all others be scoured with grindstones coming out

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Rot half a grain a day! he lies to the heart:
She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.


Oth. Ha!

Emil. Do thy worst:

This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven
Than thou wast worthy her.


Peace, you were best.
Emil. Thou hast not half the 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 has kill'd my mistress! Murder! murder!

Enter MONTANO, GRATIANO, IAGO, and others. Mon. What is the matter? How now, general! Emil. O, are you come, Iago? you have done well,

That men must lay their murders on your neck.


165. has]

160. the] Qq, Steevens, etc., Craig; that Ff, Globe. 163. I . . .`sword] in parenthesis Ff; known] know Qq. 164. ho! help!] O, helpe; Qq. Qq, Steevens, etc., Craig; hath Ff, Globe.

159. you were best] An old idiom retained from Chaucer's time. See I. ii. 30, above, and Abbott's Grammar, 230.

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160, 161.]"I have in this cause more power to endure than thou hast power to inflict" (Johnson). Malone parallels the sentiment from Henry VIII. III. ii. 387, and 2 Henry VI. IV. i. 130. 168. lay on your neck] hold you responsible, lay it to your charge. An expression not elsewhere in Shakespeare. I find it in The Hye Way to the Spyttal Hous (circa 1535), Hazlitt's Early Popular Poetry, iv. 53: "Self wylled people, that can not be in rest,

But in the lawe do ever wrythe

and wrest,

And wyll not fall to ony agree. ment,

Tyll in theyr neckes is lay'd by jugement

The costes and charges, and so are made full bare."

"Neck" is used in several other obsolete phrases, where we would say "back." Here, perhaps the metaphor is from laying the yoke on the neck of beasts of burthen. Another example of the above phrase occurs in Udall's Erasmus (Roberts' rept. p. 327), 1542: "The mistristfulnesse of the Byzancian he layed on the necke of the Charetes."

Gra. What is the matter?

Emil. 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. 175 Emil. But did you ever tell him she was false?

Iago. I did.

Emil. You told a lie, an odious, damned lie;

Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie!

She false with Cassio!

Iago. With Cassio, mistress.

Did you say with Cassio? 180

Go to, charm your tongue.

Emil. I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to


My mistress here lies murder'd in her bed.

All. O heavens forfend!

Emil. And your reports have set the murder on.
Oth. Nay, stare not, masters: it is true indeed.


Gra. 'Tis a strange truth.

Mon. O monstrous act!


Villany, villany, villany!

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


169. Gra.] All Q 1. 172. thou'rt] Ff, thou art Qq. 183-191. My .. villany!] omitted Q 1. 183. bed.] Ff, Q2, Steevens, etc., Craig ; bed,- Dyce, Globe. 185. murder] murther (spelling indiscriminate, as 183, etc.). smell't: O villany] smell a villany Q 2, 3.

181. charm your tongue] be silent, as if by enchantment. A common expression in Shakespeare and Jonson. Compare Taming of the Shrew, I. i. 214, and 2 Henry VI. IV. i. 64; idem (3) v. v. 31. Sometimes " tongue" is omitted,


as in Jonson's Bart. Fair, ii. I: "Justice Overdo: he is the man must charm you."

190. I thought so then] See note at line 138, above, and at "Be not acknown on 't," III. iii. 320, which latter speech

O villany, villany!

Iago. What, are you mad? I charge you, get you home.
Emil. Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak:

'Tis proper I obey him, but not now.
Perchance, Iago, I will ne'er go home.

Oth. O! O!
O! O!




[Falling on the bed.

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

[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.

Gra. Poor Desdemon! 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, 205
Yea, curse his better angel from his side,

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Oth. 'Tis pitiful; but yet Iago knows

That she with Cassio hath the act of shame

A thousand times committed; Cassio confess'd it: 210
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.

Emil. O heaven! O heavenly powers!
Iago. Come, hold your peace.



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No, I will speak as liberal as the north:

209. hath] Q1, Ff; had Q2, 3. 212. that] the QI. 216. O... powers!] O God, O heavenly God. Q 1. 217. Come] Zouns Q 1, Cambridge; 'Twill out, 'twill out.] Twill out, twill: Q 1. 217, 218. I peace! No,] I peace? No, Ff, Theobald, Globe; I hold my peace sir, no, Qq (ending line no), Steevens, Craig. 218. I. north] Ff, Globe, Cambridge; Ile be in speaking, liberall as the north Q 2, 3; I'le be in speaking, liberall as the ayre Q 1.

210.] Jonson says here: "This is another passage which seems to suppose a longer space comprised in the action of this play than the scenes include." See note at III. iii. 293.

212. recognizance] recognition, acknowledgment. Properly a legal term, as old as Chaucer's time, and occurring in Hamlet, v. i. 113. Lyly introduced the term in Mother Bombie, iv. 3: "Your eloquence passes my recognoscence. Lucio. I never heard that before" (1594).

215.] Othello would appear here to have forgotten his original statement in III. iv.; but Steevens thinks this a proof of Shakespeare's art. The original account was purposely ostentatious, to alarm his wife the more. Here the truth suffices.

218. liberal] free spoken. See II. i. 164 (note).

218. as the north] Commentators have explained this to mean north wind, with a reference to Cymbeline,

I. iii. 36: "the tyrannous breathing of the north." The first Quarto reads "air," of which see below. I believe the reference to be to the north country, and the freedom of their (northerns') speech, especially in asseverations. Emilia, in the next line, uses their favourite invocation at this time, to the devil. Greene introduces "Bohan, a Scot," in his James IV., expressly, apparently, to swear by the deil. Howell says in a noble protest against swearing, Letters, iv. 12, 1628: "The Irishman swears by his five wounds, the Scot bids the Devil hale his soul, yet for variety of oaths the English roarer puts down all"; and Ram Alley, v. 1611 "The devil take my soul, etc.,

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That oath doth show thou art a northern knight"; and Massinger, City Madam, ii. 2: "May the great fiend, etc., as the Scotchman says." Compare, too, Andrew Borde, Boke of Knowledge, ch. iv., 1542, speaking of "the natural disposition of a Scotyshe


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