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Lod. Where is that viper ? bring the villain forth.
Oth. I look down towards his feet: but that's a fable.
If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill thee. 285

[Wounds Iago. Lod. Wrench his sword from him. Iago.

I bleed, sir, but not kill'd. Oth. I am not sorry neither : I'ld have thee live;

For, in my sense, 'tis happiness to die. Lod. O thou Othello, that wert once so good, Fall'n in the practice of a damned slave,

290 What shall be said to thee? Oth.

Why, any thing:
An honourable murderer, if you will;

For nought did I in hate, but all in honour.
Lod. This wretch hath part confess'd his villany:
Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?

295 Oth. Ay. Cas. Dear general, I never gave you cause. Oth. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.

283. that] Ff, this Q 1. 285. that] omitted Q 1. 286. Wrench] Wring Q1. 289. wert] Qq, was Ff.


290. damned] Qq, cursed Ff.

297. never gave] Ff; did never give Qq, Jennens. 298. your] Ff; you Qq, Globe, Rolfe.

284. a fable] The devil's cloven foot The reference to “viper" in the prebecame a very common vulgar belief vious line is to another fable, whence later. Perhaps from stage representa- vipers were made the types of ingratitions. Ben Jonson and Massinger both tude; not the least of Iago's many refer to it. I find it in Greene's Looking- unpardonable sins.

Othello means Glass for London (Routledge, p. 138), that since Iago has not cloven feet, the 1594 :

belief is untrue. “Some are so carnalDevil . Thou hast never a shoe fit lie minded that a spirit is no sooner

spoken of, but immediately they thinke Adam. Why, sir, we shoe horned of a blacke man with cloven feet, a

beasts, as well as you. [Aside] paire of hornes, a taile, clawes, and eies
O good Lord ! let me sit down as broad as a bason," Scot's Discoverie
and laugh; hath never a cloven of Witchcraft (rept. p. 426), 1584.
foot; a devil, quoth he! .

289. so good) an important testimony [Beats him." to Othello's earlier repute.

293. did

for me.

Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil

Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body? 300 Iago. Demand me nothing; what you know, you know :

From this time forth I never will speak word.
Lod. What, not to pray?

Torments will ope your lips.
Oth. Well, thou dost best,
Lod. Sir, you shall understand what hath befall'n, 305

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.

310 Oth. O villain ! Cas.

Most heathenish and most gross!
Lod. Now here's another discontented paper, wie

Found in his pocket too; and this, it seems,
Roderigo meant to have sent this damned villain;
But that, belike, Iago in the interim

315 Came in and satisfied him. 299. 7] omitted Q i. 309, 310. undertook By] undertooke-by Qq. 315. interim) nicke Q 1.

299. demi-devil] worse than a devil. tator, and are therefore “suspected.” Iago is human in form, but he is a But Othello has asked for information ; bastard, with a devil for one parent. Iago will not give it ; why should he not A genuine devil is a higher order of be satisfied ? How otherwise is Cassio being. So of Caliban, at the end of to be fully restored to his rightful place The Tempest: “this demi-devil-For in Othello's estimation before all is he's a bastard one” (Dowden).

over? Were these remarks to close 312 et seq.] Macmillan quotes the drama, they would appear trivial, Brandes (agreeing with him)" that but as a circumstantial preliminary, to

these remarks of Lodovico are nerve. give one breath for the final deed, they less and feeble and detract from the are wholly appropriate. effect of the scene. This passage is

315. belike] probably. not Shakespeare's and ought to be 315. in the interim) Ben Jonson used expunged." Macmillan's objection is this phrase a little earlier, Cynthia's that they give information already Revels, 111. i., 1600: “In the interim, possessed by the reader and the spec- you may.”


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O the pernicious caitiff! How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief

That was my wife's?

I found it in my chamber :
And he himself confess'd but even now
That there he dropp'd it for a special purpose 320

Which wrought to his desire.

O fool! fool! fool!
Cas. 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 325
After long seeming dead, Iago hurt him,

Iago set him on.
Lod. 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, 330
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 nature of your fault be known

To the Venetian state. Come, bring away. 335 Oth. 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, 340

316. O the] Qq, Oh thou Ff. 317. that] a Qq. 318. wife's] wifes Qq, wives Ff. 319. but] it Q 1; it but Ff, Q 2, 3. 335. bring] Ff, Steevens (1793), Dyce, Cambridge ; bring him Qg, Globe, Craig. 336. before you go] omitted Q 1. 340. me as I am] of them as they are Q 1, Jennens.

325. cast] dismissed. See 1. i. 150, and 1. i. 31.

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

345 Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,

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341. then must you] then you must Q 2, 3. 345. Indian] Qg, F 2, 3, 4; Iudean F 1, Johnson, Steevens; Judian Theobald, Globe, Cambridge, etc.

344. Perplex'd] This word had a tion even in the identity of the two first stronger meaning than it now has. In syllables, Judas and sudean?”. This Skeat's Dictionary I find it “em- explanation requires the word “base" barrassed.” Cotgrave explains it “at to be used in that worst sense, in which his wit's end." It meant as much as I cannot conceive it possible that our word “distracted” or “ in despair.” Othello would use it, even indirectly, Compare Cymbeline, iv. iii. 9; and the of himself. That is an objection. I following lines from Chloris, by Wm. find no difficulty in the "verse” accent, Smith (Grosart reprint, p. II), 1596: since if it be laid on Judéan, as we I seeing my love in perplexed should do, the first foot of the line is plight,

Like the báse , and scans harmoniously A sturdy bat from of an oke I rest, enough. Or it may be pronounced as And with the ravishour continue “Hercūlean,” “Epicūrean," etc. But fight

the fact of the word “Judean” being in Till,” etc.,

the Folio text is the strongest argument where the maiden is at her last extrem- in its support, and were it not for the ity; and compare Peele, Edward I. superior value attached thereto, no (ed. 1874, p. 406), 1593: “Ah didst hesitation would be felt in discarding it. thou know how Mary is perplex’d, My hesitation was finally removed by a Soon woulds thou come to Wales and passage in Ben Jonson's Discoveries, rid me of this pain ; But, O, I die .. which refers to such a fable as the [Dies” (in torture).

simile requires. True, it does not con345. Indian . . . pearl] If we are tain the word Indian, but it was so to judge by the space used in notes universally the custom to connect pearls of commentators, this passage stands with Indians, that the one term would fourth in the list of difficult passages inevitably suggest the other. Numerous in Othello. The first Folio reading examples of Indian” plus "pearl” “Judean” increases the difficulty. The are assembled in Furness's note, and as Folio reading is not to be rejected with- many more might be adduced. The out serious thought. What appears to passage only shows that there was such me most in its favour is that which a fable, and expels the word “ Judean.' Halliwell urged, and which Furness It is in Ben Jonson's Explorata, or believed to be the true explanation. Discoveries (first published in 1641), The epithet "base" appears to support Periodi, etc. (415a) : " Whatsoever “Iudean," which, if correct, notwith loseth the grace and clearness, converts standing that the idea has been ridiculed into a riddle: the obscurity is marked, [by Coleridge], probably refers to Judas but not the value. That perisheth, and Iscariot. And Furness adds, “ Is there is passed by, like the pearl in the fable.” not, may I be permitted to add, sugges- Passages adduced from Habington and

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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,

350 348. Drop] Drops Q 1, F1. 349. medicinal] medicinall Qq, medicinable Ff. Howard, Carew and Glapthorne, seem and whether they were good to keepe to me not only to refer to Othello's away sicknesse, death, or other miswords, but also to announce the fact fortune of this life, or no,” Giles that they had nothing to add, no fresh Fletcher, Russe Common Wealth, 1588 data to give, to the “fable.” After (Hakluyt, i. p. 553, reprint 1809), all “Judean” may be merely a misprint 1599. for Indian, obviously a likely one. 348, 349.] The metaphor here seems “ India” is actually misprinted Judah to be from Holland's Plinie, with some in the Quarto of Peele's Battle of modifications (xii. ch. 14, 15). In Alcazar, iii. 1. Nothing less than an ch. 15, speaking of Myrrhe and the apologue, a legend, or an established trees that yield it,” we are told they historical anecdote would satisfy the are found " in many quarters of Arabia reading here. Of passages earlier ... they sweate out of themselves a than Othello, showing the ignorance certaine liquor called stacte, which is of the base Indian in preferring very good Myrrhe." But the words of useful to ornamental articles, two Othello come nearest to the account of may be selected as the best of those the liquor called Opobalsamum "that in Furness. Collier quoted Drayton, goeth beyond all others” from Jewry. Legend of Matilda, 1594 (Spenser Soc. * This feat [of incision] being wrought, ed. Poenis, 1888, p. 453): “The there issueth out of the wound a certaine wretched Indian spurnes the golden juice or liquor, which they call opobal. ore.” The other was given by “H. K.”

it commeth forth by small in Notes and Queries from Nashe's drops : and as it thus weepeth, the teares Pierce Pennilesse, 1593: "like the ought to be received in wooll." A little Indians that have store of gold and lower we are told that "it entreth into precious stones and yet are ignorant of many medicinable confections.” In their value." Macmillan's two apposite the same chapter is an account of the quotations (of late date) were previously "gums” called Storax, Galbanum, and cited by Boswell. For the barter of Sagapenum. The first of these is that pearls by Indians, see Pliny, xxxiv. ch. called “Maujoin” in Cotgrave; "the 17. The fable must deal with a blunder Arabian gum called Benine.” or an accident to be fully acceptable. 349. medicinal] Elsewhere in Shake. This is a strong argument against the speare, except in Winter's Tale, 11. iii. above interpretation of the Judean” 37, the word is “medicinable," as the reading, since Othello is the Indian, Folio reads in the present instance. and the treachery belongs to Iago. An The form medicinable" is frequent in example may be quoted, though un- Holland's Plinie. Cotgrave gives both fortunately of a Tartarian, not of an forms, both in French and English, Indian : "In the storie of Pachymerius and distinguishes between the separate the Greeke . . . I remember he telleth words as active and passive ; i.e. "heal. to the same purpose of one Nogas a ing, curing," and "healable, curable.” Tartarian captaine .,

who refused a No such distinction occurs in Shake. present of Pearle and other iewels sent speare. unto him from Michael Palæologus : 350. Aleppo] The Venetians had a asking withall for what use they served, monopoly, practically, of trade in




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