Before the Castlé.

Enter DESDEMONA, Cassio, and EMILIA. Des. Be thou assur’d, good Cassio, I will do All my abilities in thy behalf. Emil. Good madam, do; I know it grieves my

husband, As if the case were his. Des. O, that's an honest fellow. Do not doubt,

But I will have my lord and you again
As friendly as you were.

Bounteous madam,
Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio,
He's never any thing but your true servant.
Des. O, sir, I thank you: You do love


You have known him long; and be you well assur'd,
He shall in strangeness stand no further off
Than in a politick distance.

Ay, but, lady,
That policy may either last so long,
Or feed upon such nice and waterish diet,
Or breed itself so out of circumstance,
That, I being absent, and my place supplied,
My general will forget my love and service.

Des. Do not doubt that; before Emilia here,
I give thee warrant of thy place: assure thee,
If I do vow a friendship, I'll perform it
To the last article: my lord shall never rést;
I'll watch him tame, and talk him out of patience;

6 I'll watch him taine,] Hawks and other birds are tamed by keeping them from sleep, to which management Shakspeare alludes.

His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift;
I'll intermirgle every thing he does
With Cassio's suit: 'Therefore be merry, Cassio;
For thy solicitor shall rather die,
Than give thy cause away.

[ocr errors]

Enter Othello and Iago, at a distance. Emil.

Madam, here comes My lord. Cas. Madam, I'll take


leave. Des.

Why, stay, And hear me speak.

Cas. Madain, not now; I am very ill at ease,
Unfit for mine own purposes.

Well, well,
Do your discretion.

[Exit Cassio. Iago.

Ha! I like not that. Oth. What dost thou say? lago. Nothing, my lord: or if I know not what. Oth. Was not that Cassio, parted from my wife?

Jago. Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it,
That he would steal away so guilty-like,
Seeing you coming.

I do believe 'twas he.
Des. How now, my lord?
I have been talking with a suitor here,
A man that languishes in your displeasure.

Oth. Who is't, you mean?
Des. Why, your lieutenant Cassio. Good my

If I have any grace, or power to move you,
His present reconciliation take;
For, if he be not one that truly loves you,


? His present reconciliation take;] Tò take his reconciliation, may be to accept the submission which he makes in order to be reconciled,


That errs in ignorance, and not in cunning,
I have no judgment in an honest face:
I pr’ythee, call him back.

Went he hence now?
Des. Ay, sooth; so humbled,
That he hath left part of his grief with me;
I suffer with him. Good love, call him back.
Oth. Not now, sweet Desdemona; some other

time. Des. But shall't be shortly? Oth.

The sooner, sweet, for you. Des. Shall't be to-night at supper? Oth.

No, not to-night. Des. To-morrow dinner then? Oth.

I shall not dine at home; I meet the captains at the citadel. Des. Why then, to-morrow night; or Tuesday

morn; Or Tuesday noon, or night; or Wednesday morn;I pray thee, name the time; but let it not Exceed three days: in faith, he's penitent; And yet his trespass, in our common reason, (Save that, they say, the wars must make examples Out of their best, 9 is not almost a fault To incur a private check: When shall he come? Tell me, Othello. I wonder in my soul, What you could ask me, that I should deny, Or stand so mammering on.' What! Michael Cassio, That came a wooing with you; and many a time, When I have spoke of you dispraisingly, Hath ta'en your part; to have so much to do


and not in cunning,] Cunning, for knowledge.

the wars must make examples Out of their best,] The severity of military discipline must not spare the best men of their army, when their punishment may afford a wholesome example.

so mammering on.] To hesitate, to stand in suspense.


[ocr errors]

To bring him in. Trust me, I could do much,
Oth. Pr’ythee, no more: let him come when he

I will deny thee nothing.

Why, this is not a boon;
"Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,
Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm;
Or sue to you to do peculiar profit
To your own person: Nay, when I have a suit,
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
It shall be full of poize" and difficulty,
And fearful to be granted.

I will deny thee nothing:
Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this,
To leave me but a little to myself.

Des. Shall I deny you? no: Farewell, my lord.
Oth. Farewell, my Desdemona: I will come to

thee straight.
Des. Emilia, come:-Be it as your fancies teach

Whate'er you be, I am obedient.

[Exit, with EMILIA.
Oth. Excellent wretch ! Perdition catch my soul,
But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
Chaos is come again.

Iago. My noble lord,

What dost thou say, Iago? lago. Did Michael Cassio, when


Know of
Oth. He did, from first to last: Why dost thou ask?

1 full of poize -] i. e. of weight.

9 Excellent wretch!] The meaning of the word wretch, is not generally understood. It is now, in some parts of England, a term of the softest and fondest tenderness. It expresses the utmost degree of amiableness, joined with an idea which perhaps all tenderness includes, of feebleness, softness, and want of protection.


your love?

Think, my

Iago. But for a satisfaction of my thought;
No further harm.

Why of thy thought, Iago? lago. I did not think, he had been acquainted

with her. Oth. O, yes; and went between us very oft. lago. Indeed? Oth. Indeed! ay, indeed :-Discern’st thou aught

in that? Is he not honest? Iago.

Honest, my lord? Oth.

Ay, honest. Iago. My lord, for aught I know. Oth. What dost thou think? Iago.

lord ? Oth.

Think, my lord! ! By heaven, he echoes me, As if there were some monster in his thought Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean some

thing: I heard thee say but now,- Thou lik’dst not that, When Cassio left my wife; What did'st not like? And, when I told thee-he was of my counsel In my whole course of wooing, thou cry'dst, Indeed? And did'st contract and purse thy brow together, As if thou then had'st shut up in thy brain Some horrible conceit: If thou dost love me, Show me thy thought.

lago. My lord, you know I love you. Oth.

I think, thou dost; And, for I know thou art full of love and honesty, And weigh'st thy words before thou giv'st them

breath, Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more: For such things, in a false disloyal knave, Are tricks of custom; but, in a man that's just,

« ElőzőTovább »