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Oth. Pr’ythee, no more : let him come when he

will ;

I will deny thee nothing.

Des. 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 suit,
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
It shall be full of poize and difficulty,
And fearful to bę granted.

Otb. 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.
Def. Æmilia, come. — Be it as your fancies teach

you: Whate'er you be, I am obedient. [Exit with Æmil. Oth. ? Excellent wretch ! —Perdition catch my

soul, But I do love thee! and 3 when I love thee not, Chaos is come again.

Iago. 2 Excellent wretch !-- Perdition catch my soul,

But I do love thee ! &c.). The meaning of the word wretch, is not generally understood. It is now, in some parts of England, a term of the softest and findest teu er ess. It expresies the utmost degree of amiableness, joined with an idea, which perhaps all tenderness includes, of feebleness, fofiness, and want of protection. Othello, considering D demona as excelling in beauty and virtue, soft and timorous by her fex, and by her situation absolutely in his power, calls her, Excellent wretch! It may be expreffed,

Dear, barmiefs, belpless Excellence. JOHNSON.

-when I love thee not, Chaos is cone again.) When my love is for a moment sur pended by fufpicion, I have nothing in my mind but difcord, tumult, perturbation, and confusion. JOHNSON. Vol. X.




Iago. My noble lord
Oih. What dost thou say, lago?
lago. Did Michael Castio, when you woo'd my

Know of your love?
Oth. He did, from first to last. Why dost thou

ask ?
Iago. But for a satisfaction of my thought ;
No farther harm.

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

Oth. Oh, yes; and went between us very oft.
Iago. Indeed ?
Oih. Indeed ! ay, indeed. Discern'st thou aught

in that?
Is he not honest ?

lago. Honest, my lord?
Oib. Honest ? ay, honest.
lago. My lord, for aught I know.
Oth. What dost thou think?
lago. Think, my lord ?-
Oib. Think, my lord ! — By heaven he echoes

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As if there were some monster in his thought
Too hideous to be shewn. Thou doft mean fome-

I heard thee say but now, thou lik dt not that
When Cassio left my wife. What didst not like?
And, when I told thee, he was of my counsel,
In my whole course of wooing, thou cry'dft, indeed?
- And didst contract and purse thy brow together,
As if thou then hadft shut up in thy brain

-When I love thee not, Chaos is come again.] There is another meaning poffible. When I cease to love thee, the world is at an end; i. e. there remains nothing valuable or important. The first explanation is more elegant, the second perhaps more easy. STEEVENS.

Some horrible conceit. If thou dost love me,
Shew me thy thought.
Tago. My lord, you know I love

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 thein

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, 4 They are close delations working from the heart, That passion cannot rule.

Iago. For Michael Casio
I dare be sworn, I think that he is honest.

Oth. I think so too.

Iago. Men should be what they seem ; s Or, those that be not, 'would they might seem none !

Oth. Certain, men should be what they seem.
Iago. Why, then, I think Cassio's an honest man.

Oth. Nay, yet there's more in this :

pray thee, speak to me as to thy thinkings, + They are cold dilations working from the heart,

That passion cannot rule.] i. e. these stops and breaks are cold dilations, or cold keeping back a secret, which men of phlegmatic constitutions, whose hearts are not swayed or governed by their passions, we find, can do: while more fanguine tempers reveal themselves at once, and without reserve. But the Oxford Editor for cold dilations, reads distillations. WARB.

I know not why the modern editors are satisfied with this reading, which no explanation can clear. They might easily have found, that it is introduced without authority. The old copies uniformly give, close dilations, except that the earlier quarto has clofe denotements; which was the author's first ex. pression, afterwards changed by him, not to cold dilations, for cold is read in no ancient copy; nor, I believe, to close dilations, but to close delations ; to occult and secret accusations, working involuntarily from the heart, which, though resolved to conceal the fault, cannot rule its passion of resentment. JOHNSON.

s Or, those that be not, 'would they might seem nonE!] There is no fense in this reading. I suppose Shakespeare wrote, 'would they might seem K NAVES.

WARRURTON. I believe the meaning is, would they might no longer seem, or bear the hape of men. JOHNSON. Ee 2


As thou doft ruminate ; and give thy worst of

thoughts The worst of words.

Iago. Good my lord, pardon me. Though I am bound to every act of duty, I am not bound to that all Naves are free to. Utter my thoughts !--Why, say, they are vile and

false As where's that palace whereinto foul things Sometimes intrude not? Who has a breast fo

pure, But some uncleanly apprehensions

Keep leets and law-days, and in session sit With meditations lawful ?

Oth. Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago, If thou but think'st him wrong'd, and mak'st his ear A stranger to thy thoughts.

Iago. I do beseech you, 7 Though I perchance, am vicious in my guess,


6 Keep leets and law-days,-) i. e. govern. A metaphor, wretchedly forced and quaint. WARBURTON.

Rather visit than govern, but visit with authoritative intrufion. JONSON.

7 THOUGH I, perchance, am vicious in my guess) Not to mention that, in this reading, the sentence is abrupt and broken, it is likewise highly absurd. I beseech you give yourself no uneasiness from my unsure observance, though I am vicious in my guess. For his being an ill guesser was a reason why Othello Ihould not be uneasy: in propriety, therefore, it should either have been, though I am not vicious, or because I am vicious. It appears then we Mould read:

I do befeech you,

THINK I, perchance, am vicious in my guess. Which makes the sense pertinent and perfect WARBURTON.

Thou Iperchance, am vicious in my guess,] That abruptness in the speech which Dr. Warburton complains of, and would alter, may be easily accounted for. Iago seems desirous by this ambiguous hint, Though I to inflame the jealousy of Othello, which he knew would be more effe&ually done in this manner, than by any expression that bore a determinate meaning. The jealous Othello would fill up the pause in the speech, wnich lago turns off at last to another purpose, and find a


my thoughts.

(As, I confess, it is my nature's plague
To spy into abuse; and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not) that your wiflom yet,
From one that fo 8 improbably conceits,
Would take no notice, nor build yourself a trouble
Out of his scattering and unsure observance.
It were not for your quiet, nor your good,
Nor for my manhood, honesty, or wisdom,
To let you

Oth. What dost thou mean?
Iago. Good name, in man and woman, dear my

lord, Is the immediate jewel of their fouls : Who steals my purse, steals trash ; 'tis something, no

thing; 'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been save to thousands; But he, that filches from me my good name, Robs me of that, which not enriches him, And makes me poor indeed.

Oth. By heaven, I'll know thy thought

Iago. You cannot, if my heart were in your hand; Nor shall not, whilst 'tis in my custody.

Oih. Ha!

Iago. Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-ey'd monster, 9 which doth make

more certain cause of discontent, and a greater degree of torture arising from the doubtful consideration how it might have concluded, than he could have experienced had the whole of what he enquired after been reported to him with every circumftance of aggravation.

We may suppose hiin imagining to himself, that Iago mentally continued the thought thus, Though I - know more than I choose to speak of.

Vicious in my guess does not mean that he is an ul-gulir, but that he is apt to put the worst construction on every thing he attempts to account for. STEEVENS.

-imperfectly conceits,] In the old quarto it is,

improbably conceits, Which I think preferable. JOHNSON.

-which doth mock The meat it feeds on.-] i. e. loaths that which nourishes



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