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my life,

Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense,
Delighted them in any other form ;
Or that I do not yet, and ever did,
And ever will, — though he do shake me off
To beggarly divorcement, - love him dearly,
Comfort forswear me! Unkindness may do much ;
And his unkindness


defeat But never taint


love. I cannot say whore ;
It does abhor me, now I speak the word ;
To do the act that might the addition earn,
Not the world's mass of vanity could make me.

Iago. I pray you, be content; 'tis but his humour:
The business of the state does him offence,
And he does chide with you."

If 'twere no other, Iago. It is but so, I warrant. [Trumpets. Hark, how these instruments summon to supper ! The messengers of Venice stay the meat.18 Go in, and weep not; all things shall be well. –



Enter RODERIGO. How now, Roderigo !

Rod. I do not find that thou deal’st justly with


Iago. What in the contrary?
Rod. Every day thou daff'st me with some de-

ristical confession of the Church. Nevertheless, we adhere to the text as it stands in all the old copies.

H. 17 This was the phraseology of the time. To complaine, to make a quarrel, to chide with one for a thing. Expostulare et queri.” — BARET. So in the Poet's 111th Sonnet : “0, for iny sake do you with fortune chide." - The words, “ And be does chide with you,” are in both quartos, but not in the folio.

18 Thus the folio; the quarto of 1622, And the great messengers of Venice stay ;” that of 1630, “ The meat great messengers of Venice stay." VOL. X. 45




vice, Iago ; and rather, as it seems to me now, keep'st from me all conveniency, than suppliest me with the least advantage of hope. I will, indeed, no longer endure it; nor am I yet persuaded to put up in peace what already I have foolishly suffer'd.

Iago. Will you hear me, Roderigo ?

Rod. Faith, I have heard too much; for your words and performances are no kin together.19

Iago. You charge me most unjustly.

Rod. With nought but truth. I have wasted myself out of my means: the jewels you have had from me, to deliver to Desdemona, would half have corrupted a votarist : You have told me, she has receiv'd them, and return’d me expectations and comforts of sudden respect and acquaintance; but I find none.

Iago. Well; go to; very well.

Rod. Very well! go to! I cannot go to, man ; nor 'tis not very well : by this hand, I say it is very scurvy; and begin to find myself fobb'd in it.

Iago. Very well.

Rod. I tell you 'tis not very well. I will make myself known to Desdemona: if she will return me my jewels, I will give over my suit, and repent my unlawful solicitation ; if not, assure yourself, I will seek satisfaction of you.

Iago. You have said now.

Rod. Ay, and I have said nothing but what I protest intendment of doing.


19 Here a remarkable fact is met with, showing that the folio of 1623 must have been corrected while going through the press. Mr. Collier tells us that in a copy of that edition belonging to the Duke of Devonshire this speech stands thus : “ And hell gnaw bis bones. Performances are no kin together."

20 Instead of by this hand, I say it is very scurvy," the folio has, merely, “ пау,

I think it is scurvy."

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Iago. Why, now I see there's mettle in thee; and even from this instant do build on thee a better opinion than ever before. Give me thy hand, Roderigo : thou hast taken against me a most just exception; but yet, I protest, I have dealt most directly in thy affair.

Rod. It hath not appear’d.

Iago. I grant, indeed, it hath not appear'd, and your suspicion is not without wit and judgment.? But, Roderigo, if thou hast that in thee indeed, which I have greater reason to believe now than ever, — I mean, purpose, courage, and valour, this night show it: if thou the next night following enjoy not Desdemona, take me from this world with treachery, and devise engines for my life.

Rod. Well, what is it? is it within reason and compass

? Iago. Sir, there is especial commission come from Venice, to depute Cassio in Othello's place.

Rod. Is that true? why, then Othello and Desdemona return again to Venice.

Iago. O, no! he goes into Mauritania, and takes away with him the fair Desdemona, unless bis abode be linger'd here by some accident; wherein none can be so determinate, as the removing of Cassio.



21 Shakespeare knew well that most men like to be flattered on account of those endowments in which they are most deficient. Hence Iago's compliment to this snipe on his sagacity and shrewd

- MALONE. 22 This passage proves, so far as any thing said by Iago may be believed, that Othello was not meant to be a Negro, as has been represented, both on the stage and off, but a veritable Moor. His kindred, the Mauritanians, — from whose “men of royal siege be fetched his life and being," and among whom he was about to retire, - though apt enough to be confounded with the Negroes, were as different from them, externally, as brown is from black; internally, in mind and character, the difference was far greater.

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Rod. How do you mean removing of him ?

Lago. Why, by making him uncapable of Othello's place; knocking out his brains.

Rod. And that you would have me do?

Iago. Ay; if you dare do yourself a profit, and a right. He sups to-night with a harlotry, and thither will I go to him : he knows not yet of his honourable fortune. If


will watch his going thence, (which I will fashion to fall out between twelve and one, you may take him at your pleasure: I will be near to second your attempt, and he shall fall between us. Come, stand not amaz’d at it, but go along with me; I will show you such a necessity in his death, that you shall think yourself bound to put it on him. It is now high supper-time, and the night grows to waste: about it.

Rod. I will hear further reason for this.
Iago. And you shall be satisfied. [Exeunt.


Another Room in the Castle.


and Attendants. Lod. I do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no

further. Oth. O, pardon me! 'twill do me good to walk. Lod. Madam, good night; I humbly thank your

ladyship. Des. Your honour is most welcome. Oth.. Will you walk, sir ? -0!— Desdemona, Des. My lord ? Oth. Get you to bed on th’instant; I will be re


Shakespeare has the expression, “a peevish self-willid harlotry,” in two other plays.

turn'd forthwith. Dismiss your attendant there; look, it be done. Des. I will, my


[Exeunt Oth. Lod. and Attendants. Emil. How goes it now ? he looks gentler than

he did.
Des. He says he will return incontinent.
He hath commanded me to go to bed,
And bade me to dismiss you.

Dismiss me?
Des. It was his bidding; therefore, good Emilia,
Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu :
We must not now displease him.

Emil. I would you had never seen him !
Des. So would not I: my love doth so approve

him, That

his stubbornness, his checks, and

frowns Pr’ythee, unpin me - have grace and favour in them. Emil. I have laid those sheets you bade me on

the bed.
Des. All's one. Good Father ! how foolish are

our minds ! -
If I do die before thee, pr’ythee, shroud me
In one of those same sheets.

Come, come, you talk.
Des. My mother had a maid call’d Barbara :
She was in love ; and he she lov’d prov'd mad,
And did forsake her: she had a song of — willow,
An old thing 'twas, but it express'd her fortune,
And she died singing it. That song, to-night,


1 One of those side intimations of the fluctuations of passion, which we seldom meet with but in Shakespeare. He has here put into half a line what some authors would have spun out into ten set speeches. — Hazlitt.


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