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He might not but refuse you : but, he protests, he

loves you;

And needs no other suitor, but his likings,
To take the saf'st occasion by the front,
To bring you in again.

Yet, I beseech you,
If you think fit, or that it may be done,-
Give me advantage of some brief discourse
With Desdemona alone.

Pray you, come in;
I will bestow you where you shall have time
To speak your bosom freely.

I am much bound to you *.



A Room in the Castle.

Enter OTHELLO, Iago, and Gentlemen.
Oth. These letters give, lago, to the pilot;
And, by him, do my duties to the state 5:
That done, I will be walking on the works,
Repair there to me.

Well, my good lord, I'll do't.
Oth. This fortification, gentlemen,-shall we

see't ? Gent. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt.

3 To take the saf'st occasion by the front, ] This line is wanting in the folio. STEEVENS.

4 I am much bound to you.] This speech is omitted in the first quarto. STEEVENS.

- to the stATE:] Thus the quarto 1622. Folio,-to the senate. MALONE.


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Before the Castle.

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 6. 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 my lord :
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.


6 As if the CASE were his.] The folio reads-As if the cause were his. STEEVENS.

7 0, sir, I thank you :) Thus the quarto 1622. The folio reads--I know't, I thank you. MALONE.

8 That policy may either last so long,] He may either of himself think it politick to keep me out of office so long, or he may be satisfied with such slight reasons, or so many accidents may make him think my re-admission at that time improper, that I may be quite forgotten. Johnson.

Des. Do not doubt that; before Emilia here, I give thée warrant of thy place : assure thee, If I do vow a friendship, I'll perform it To the last article : my lord shall never rest; I'll watch him tame?, and talk him out of patience; His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift; I'll intermingle every thing he does With Cassio s suit : Therefore be merry, Cassio; For thy solicitor shall rather die, Than give thy cause away.

Enter OTHELLO and Iago, at a distance. Emil.

Madam, here comes My lord.

Cas. Madam, I'll take my leave.

Why, stay, And hear me speak.

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

Well, well,
Do your discretion.

[Erit Cassio.


9 I'll wateh him tame,] It is said, that the ferocity of beasts, insuperable and irreclaimable by any other means, is subdued by keeping them from sleep. Johnson.

Hawks and other birds are tamed by keeping them from sleep, and it is to the management of these that Shakspeare alludes. So, in Cartwright's Lady Errant :

we'll keep you,
As they do hawks, watching until you leave

“Your wildness.” Again, in Monsieur D’Olive, 1606 : your only way to deal with women and parrots, is to keep them waking.Again, in Sir W. D'Avenant's Just Italian, 1630:

“ They've watch'd my hardy violence so tame.Again, in The Booke of Haukynge, Huntyng, &c. bl. 1. no date : Wake her all nyght, and on the morrowe alì daye, and then she will be previ enough to be reclaymed.” Steevens.

Well, well] The adverb--well, has been repeated for the sake of measure.


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Ha! I like not that.
Oth. What dost thou say?
lago. Nothing, my lord : or if-I know not what.
Orh. Was not that Cassio, parted from my wife ?
Iago. Cassio, my lord ? No, sure, I cannot think

That he would steal away so guilty-like,
Seeing you coming.
Отн. .

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

Went he hence now ?
Des. Ay, sooth; so humbled,
That he hath left part of his grief with me;
I suffer with him 4. Good love, call him back.

2 His present reconciliation TAKE;] Cassio was to be reconciled to his general, not his general to him, therefore take cannot be right. We should read-make. WARBURTON.

To take his reconciliation, may be to accept the submission which he makes in order to be reconciled. Johnson.

3 -- and not in CUNNING.] Cunning, for design, or purpose simply. WARBURTON.

Perhaps rather for knowledge, the ancient sense of the word. So, in Measure for Measure: “ In the boldness of my cunning I will lay myself in hazard.” The opposition which seems to have been intended between cunning and ignorance, favours this interpretation. Malone.

4 I suffer with him.] Thus the quarto 1622. The folio reads -To suffer with him. MALONE.

Orh. Not now, sweet Desdemona; some other

Des. But shall't be shortly?
Отн. .

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

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

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;

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") 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


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5 — 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. Johnson. The old copies read her best. Mr. Rowe made this neces

emendation. MALONE.

- SO MAMMERING on.) To hesitate, to stand in suspense. The word often occurs in old English writings, and probably takes its original from the French M'Amour, which men were apt often to repeat when they were not prepared to give a direct answer.

HANMER. I find the same word in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540 : “ I stand in doubt, or in a mamorynge between hope and fear.”

Again, in Thomas Drant's translation of the third satire of the second book of Horace, 1567 : “Yes, when she daygnes to send for him, then mameryng

he doth doute.' Again, Henry Wotton's address to the favourable and well

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