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That dotes on Cassio; as 'tis the strumpet's plague,
As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;
Poor Cassio's smiles, gestures, and light behaviour
Iago. Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on't. Now, if this suit lay in Bianca's power,
How quickly should you speed?
Oth. [Aside.] Now he denies it faintly, and laughs
Iago. Do you hear, Cassio?
To tell it o'er.
Now he importunes him Go to; well said, well said. Iago. She gives it out that you shall marry her: Do you intend it?
Ha, ha, ha!
Oth. [Aside.] Do you triumph, Roman? do you triumph?
Cas. I marry her?—what! a customer? I pr'y
11 Unbookish for ignorant.
13 Othello calls him Roman ironically. Triumph brought Roman into his thoughts.
thee, bear some charity to my wit; do not think it so unwholesome. Ha, ha, ha!
Oth. [Aside.] So, so, so, so: They laugh that
Iago. 'Faith, the cry goes, that you shall marry
Cas. Pr'ythee, say true.
Iago. I am a very villain else.
Oth. [Aside.] Have you scor'd me ? Well. Cas. This is the monkey's own giving out: she is persuaded I will marry her, out of her own love and flattery, not out of my promise.
Oth. [Aside.] Iago beckons me: now he begins -the story.
Cas. She was here even now; she haunts me in every place. I was, the other day, talking on the sea-bank with certain Venetians; and thither comes this bauble, and, by this hand,1 falls me thus about my neck;
Oth. [Aside.] Crying, O, dear Cassio! as it were: his gesture imports it.
Cas. So hangs, and lolls, and weeps upon me; so hales, and pulls me: ha, ha, ha!
Oth. [Aside.] Now he tells, how she pluck'd him to my chamber. O! I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall throw it to.
Cas. Well, I must leave her company.
13 The particular force of scor'd in this place is not apparent. Its general meaning is to cut, mark, or engrave; which has no clear coherence with the context here. The nearest we can come to it, is by a line in Parolles' letter, All's Well that Ends Well, Act iv. sc. 3: "After he scores, he never pays the score;" where the word seems to be used in a sense that will bear a very intelligible application here. What that sense is, will be best gathered from the context there. See vol. iii., pages 358-9.
14 The words, "by this hand,"
are not in the folio.
Iago. Before me! look where she comes.
Cas. "Tis such another fitchew! marry, a perfum'd one. What do you mean by this haunting
Bian. Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did you mean by that same handkerchief, you gave me even now? I was a fine fool to take it. I must take out the work?. A likely piece of work, that you should find it in your chamber, and not know who left it there! This is some minx's token ; and I must take out the work! There; give it your hobby-horse: wheresoever you had it, I'll take out no work on't.
Cas. How now, my sweet Bianca! how now, how now!
Oth. [Aside.] By Heaven, that should be my handkerchief.
Bian. An you'll come to supper to-night, you may an you will not, come when you are next prepar'd for.
Iago. After her, after her.
Cas. 'Faith, I must; she'll rail in the street else. Iago. Will you sup there?
Cas. 'Faith, I intend so.
Iago. Well, I may chance to see you; for I would very fain speak with you.
Cas. Pr'ythee, come; will you?
Iago. Go to; say no more. [Exit CASSIO. Oth. How shall I murder him, Iago? Iago. Did you perceive how he laugh'd at his vice?
15 Shakespeare has alluded to the lust of this animal in King Lear. Cassio tells Iago that Bianca is as lewd, but of a better scent, the polecat being a very unfragrant animal.
Oth. O, Iago!
Iago. And did you see the handkerchief?
Oth. Was that mine?
Iago. Yours, by this hand and to see how he prizes the foolish woman your wife! she gave it him, and he hath given it his whore.
Oth. I would have him nine years a-killing. — A fine woman! a fair woman! a sweet woman!
Iago. Nay, you must forget that.
Oth. Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damn'd to-night, for she shall not live. No, my heart is turn'd to stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand. O! the world hath not a sweeter creature: she might lie by an emperor's side, and command him tasks.
Iago. Nay, that's not your way.
Oth. Hang her! I do but say what she is.-So delicate with her needle! - An admirable musician! O, she will sing the savageness out of a bear! Of so high and plenteous wit and invention! Iago. She's the worse for all this.
Oth. O, a thousand thousand times!— And then, of so gentle a condition!
Iago. Ay, too gentle.
Oth. Nay, that's certain: -but yet the pity of it, Iago! — O, Iago! the pity of it, Iago!
Iago. If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her patent to offend; for, if it touch not you, it comes near nobody.
Oth. I will chop her into messes! - Cuckold me!
Oth. With mine officer!
Oth. Get me some poison, Iago; this night:I'll not expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty unprovide my mind again. This night, Iago. 44
Iago. Do it not with poison; strangle her in her bed, even the bed she hath contaminated.
Oth. Good, good! the justice of it pleases; very
Iago. And, for Cassio, let me be his undertaker. You shall hear more by midnight.
[A Trumpet within.
What trumpet is that
Oth. Excellent good!
Iago. Something from Venice, sure. "Tis Lo
Come from the Duke; and, see, your wife is with him.16
Enter LODOVICO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants. Lod. 'Save you, worthy general!
Oth. With all my heart, sir. Lod. The Duke and senators of Venice greet you. [Gives him a Packet. Oth. I kiss the instrument of their pleasures. [Opens the Packet and reads.
Des. And what's the news, good cousin Lodovico ?
Iago. I am very glad to see you, signior: Welcome to Cyprus.
Lod. I thank you. How does lieutenant Cassio? Iago. Lives, sir.
Des. Cousin, there's fall'n between him and my lord
An unkind breach; but you shall make all well.
16 This is the reading of both quartos: the folio gives the speech thus:
"I warrant, something from Venice :
'Tis Lodovico this, comes from the Duke.