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SCENE I. Before the Castle.
Enter OTHELLO and IAGO.
Iago. Will you think so ?
Think so, lago?
What? To kiss in private ? Oth.
An unauthorized kiss. Iago. Or to be naked with her friend abed, An hour, or more, not meaning any harm ?
Oth. Naked abed, Iago, and not mean harm? It is hypocrisy against the devil. They that mean virtuously, and yet do so, The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt Heaven.
Iago. So they do nothing, 'tis a venial slip;
Oth. What then ?
Oth. She is protectress of her honor too; May she give that?
sago. Her honor is an essence that's not seen ;
Iago. Ay, what of that
That's not so good, now.
1 The raven was thought to be a constant attendant on a house infected with the plague.
Iago. What if I had said I had seen him do you
Hath he said any thing?
well assured, No more than he'll unswear. Oth.
What hath he said ? Iago. 'Faith, that he did,
I know not what he did. Oth. What? what ?
Oth. With her ?
will. Oih. Lie with her! lie on her !-We say lie on her, when they belie her. Lie with her! that's fulsome. -Handkerchief, — confessions, — handkerchief. — To confess, and be hanged for his labor. First to be hanged, and then to confess : -I tremble at it. Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion, without some instruction. It is not words that shake me thus.—Pish !—Noses, ears, and lips.—Is it possible ? — Confess!-Handkerchief!-0 devil!
[Falls in a trance. Iago. Work on, My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools
caught; 1 For supplied, Theobald would here read suppled, i. e. softened, subdued. Steevens thinks that supplied is the true reading, and with a sense that may be collected from the following passage in Measure for Measure :
“ And did supply thee at the summer-house." 2 What remains of this speech, from to confess, is wanting in the 4to.
3 “The starts and broken reflections in this speech (says Warburton) have something in them very terrible, and show the mind of the speaker to be in inexpressible agonies.”.
There is a difference of opinion between the commentators; some thinking, with Warburton, that the words “ Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion, without some instruction," allude to his own feelings; others, that they advert to the story about Cassio's dream, which had been invented and told him by Iago.
And many worthy and chaste dames, even thus,
Cas. What is the matter?
Iago. My lord is fallen into an epilepsy;
Cas. Rub him about the temples.
[Exit Cassio. How is it, general ? have you not hurt your
head? Oth. Dost thou mock me? Juro.
I mock you! no, by Heaven; 'Would you would bear your fortunes like a man.
Oth. A horned man's a monster, and a beast.
Oth. Did he confess it?
Good sir, be a man;
Oth. O, thou art wise ; 'tis certain.
1 Unproper for common.
Stand you awhile apart: Confine yourself but in a patient list. Whilst you were here, ere while mad with your grief, (A passion most unsuiting such a man,) Cassio came hither.
I shifted him away, And laid good 'scuse upon your ecstasy ; Bade him anon return, and here speak with me; The which he promised. Do but encave yourself, And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns, That dwell in every region of his face; For I will make him tell the tale anew,Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when He hath, and is again to cope your wife. I say, but mark his gesture. Marry, patience ; Or I shall say, you are all in all in spleen, And nothing of a man. Oth.
Dost thou hear, Iago ?
Iago. That's not amiss ;
[OTHELLO withdraws. Now will I question Cassio of Bianca, A housewife, that, by selling her desires, Buys herself bread and clothes. It is a creature That dotes on Cassio,—as 'tis the strumpet's plague, To beguile many, and be beguiled by one ; He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain From the excess of laughter !—Ilere he comes.
As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;
I i. e. within the bounds of patience.
The folio reads "o'erwhelmed with your grief." 3 Hide yourself in a private place. 4 Unbookish for ignorant.
Cas. The worser, that you give me the addition, Whose want even kills me.
Iago. Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure oft. Now, if this suit lay in Bianca's power,
[Speaking lower. How quickly should you speed ? Cas.
Alas, poor caitiff! Oth. Look, how he laughs already!
[ Aside. lago. I never knew a woman love man so. Cas. Alas, poor rogue! I think, i'faith, she loves me. Oth. Now he denies it faintly, and laughs it out.
[Aside. Iago. Do you hear, Cassio ? Oth.
Now he importunes him To tell it o'er. Go to; well said, well said. [Aside. Iago. She gives it out that you
Ha, ha, ha! Oth. Do you triumph, Roman?' do you triumph ?
[Åside. Cas. I marry her !—what ? a customer!? 1 prythee, bear some charity to my wit; do not think it so unwholesome. Ha, ha, ha!
Oth. So, so, so, so. They laugh that win. [ Aside.
Iago. 'Faith, the cry goes that you shall marry her.
Cas. Prythee, say true.
Cas. This is the monkey's own giving out; she is persuaded I will marry her, out of her own love and fattery, not out of my promise. Oth. Iago beckons me; now he begins the story:
1 Othello calls him Roman ironically. 2 A common woman.
3 i. e.“ have you numbered my days ?" To score is to tale or tell, to number, or mark as on a tally. But perhaps it only means," have you marked me?” as beasts are scored or marked when purchased for slaughter. The old quarto reads “have you stored me?"