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DES. O, but I fear-How lost you company?
[Cry within, A sail! a sail! Then guns heard. 2 GENT. They give their greeting to the citadel ;
This likewise is a friend.
[Kissing her. Iago. Sir, would she give you so much of her lips
As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,
You 'd have enough. DES.
Alas, she has no speech.
I find it still when I have lista to sleep:
And chides with thinking.
You have little cause to say so.
Bells in your parlours; wild cats in your kitchens ;
Players in your huswifery; and huswives in your beds b.
You rise to play, and go to bed to work.
No, let me not.
For I am nothing if not critical.
The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.
Come, how wouldst thou praise me?
Comes from my pate as birdlime does from frize,-
a List, in the quarto; leave in the folio.
These lines are printed as prose in the folio, but are arranged as we give them in the quarto. The sentiments are an amplification of some proverbial slanders which were current in Shakspere's day
And thus she is deliver'da.
The one 's for use, the other useth it.
She 'll find a white that shall her blackness fit.
For even her folly help'd her to an heir.
miserable praise hast thou for her that 's foul and foolish ? Iago. There's none so foul, and foolish thereunto,
But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do. DES. O heavy ignorance !--thou praisest the worst best. But what praise
couldst thou bestow on a deserving woman indeed ? one, that, in the authority
of her merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself? Iago. She that was ever fair, and never proud;
Had tongue at will, and yet was never loud;
She was a wight, if ever such wights were,
though he be thy husband.-How say you, Cassio ? is he not a most profane
and liberald counsellor ? Cas. He speaks home, madam; you may relish him more in the soldier than in
the scholar. Iago. [Aside.] He takes her by the palm : Ay, well said, whisper: with as little
a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon her,
do; I will gyve thee in thine own courtship. You say true; 't is so, a These lines are also printed as prose in the folio.
b “ To change the cod's head for the salmon's tail" is to exchange the more delicate fare for the coarser. In the household book of Queen Elizabeth it is directed that “the master cooks shall have to fee all the salmons' tails.” • Wights. The quarto, wight.
Liberal—licentious. • The quarto reads, I will catch you in your own courtesies. Courtship is used for paying courtesies, as in Richard II.
“ Observ'd his courtship to the common people."
indeed: if such tricks as these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had been better you had not kissed your three fingers so oft, which now again you are most apt to play the sir in. Very good! well kissed, and excellent courtesya! 't is so, indeed. Yet again your fingers to your lips ? would they were clyster-pipes for your sake!--[Trumpet.] The Moor, I know his
Enter OTHELLO and Attendants.
My dear Othello!
To see you here before me. O my soul's joy!
Succeeds in unknown fate.
The heavens forbid But that our loves and comforts should increase,
Even as our days do grow !
Amen to that, sweet powers !
[Kissing her. That e'er our hearts shall make ! LAGO.
O, you are well tund now! a Courtesy. Johnson has a note upon this: "Spoken when Cassio kisses his hand, and Desdemona courtsies." A courtesy, courtsy, curtsy, was anciently used for any courteous mode of demeanour, and not, as Johnson receives it, as exclusively a female action. The reading of the quarto is__"Well kiss'd! an excellent courtesy."
The term warrior applied to a lady is somewhat startling. In the third Act Desdemona says of herself, “ Unhandsome warrior that I am." Steevens says that it was a term of endearment which we derive from the old French poets, and that Ronsard, in his sonnets, frequently calls the ladies guerrières. But we cannot avoid thinking that Othello playfully salutes his wife as a warrior, in compliment to her resolution not to
" be left behind,
A moth of peace, and he go to the war." When Desdemona repeats the word in the third Act, the name which her husband has given her may, in the same manner, be floating in her memory. We have no parallel use of the word in Shakspere.
But I 'll set down the pegs a that make this music,
Come; let us to the castle.-
[Exeunt OTH., Des., and Attend. Iago. Do thou meet me presently at the harbour. Come thither. If thou
be'st valiant, (as they say, base men being in love have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to them,) list me. The lieutenant to-night watches on the court of guard :—First, I must tell thee this-Desdemona
is direetly in love with him. Rod. With him! why, 't is not possible. Iago. Lay thy finger-thus, and let thy soul be instructed. Mark me with what
violence she first loved the Moor, but for bragging and telling her fantastical lies : And will she love him still for prating? Let not thy discreet heart think itd. Her eye must be fed; and what delight shall she have to look on the devil? When the blood is made dull with the act of sport, there should be, again to inflame it and to give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favour ; sympathy in years, manners, and beauties; all which the Moor is defective in: Now, for want of these required conveniences, her delicate tenderness will find itself abused, begin to heave the gorge, disrelish and abhor the Moor; very nature will instruct her in it, and compel her to some second choice. Now, sir, this granted, as it is a most pregnant and unforced position,) who stands so eminent in the degree of this fortune as Cassio does ;-a knave very voluble ; no further conscionable than in putting on the mere form of civil and humane seeming, for the better compassing of his salt and most hidden loose affection? why, none ; why, none : A slipper and subtle knave e; a finder of occasions : that has an eye can stamp and counterfeit advantages, though true advantage never present itself: A devil
ish knave ! besides, the knave is handsome, young; and hath all those re• Set down. In some modern editions this is let down, which is certainly the meaning of set down. • The quarto of 1622 reads
“ How do, our old acquaintance of the isle?" In the folio acquaintance is used in the singular as a noun of multitude. • Thither. The quarto reads hither.
The folio reads, To love him still for prating, let not, &c. • The quarto reads, " A subtle slippery knave."
quisites in him that folly and green minds look after: A pestilent complete
knave; and the woman hath found him already. Rod. I cannot believe that in her ; she is full of most bless'd condition. Iago. Bless'd fig's end! the wine she drinks is made of grapes : if she had
been bless'd, she would never have loved the Moor: Bless'd pudding! Didst
thou not see her paddle with the palm of his hand ? didst not mark that? Rod. Yes, that I did; but that was but courtesy. Lago. Lechery, by this hand; an index and obscure prologue to the history of
lust and foul thoughts. They met so near with their lips that their breaths embraced together. Villainous thoughts, Roderigo! When these mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes the master and main exercise, the incorporate conclusion: Pish!-But, sir, be you ruled by me: I have brought you from Venice. Watch you to-night; for the command, I 'll lay't upon you: Cassio knows you not ;—I'll not be far from you: Do you find some occasion to anger Cassio, either by speaking too loud, or tainting his discipline, or from what other course you please, which the time shall more
favourably minister. Rod. Well. Lago. Sir, he's rash, and very sudden in choler; and, haply ", may strike at you.
Provoke him that he may: for even out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to mutiny; whose qualification shall come into no true taste again, but by the displanting of Cassio. So shall you have a shorter journey to your desires, by the means I shall then have to prefer them; and the impediment most profitably removed, without the which there were no expectation of our
prosperity. Rod. I will do this, if you can bring it to any opportunity . Iago. I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel. I must fetch his
necessaries ashore. Farewell. Rod. Adieu.
(Exit. Iago. That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it;
That she loves him, 't is apt, and of great credit :
a We find in the quarto, “ Haply with his truncheon may strike at you."
The quarto reads, “ If I can bring it to any opportunity." Bat Roderigo is not one of those who relies upon himself; and the reading of the folio, “ If you can bring it to any opportunity," is far more characteristic. lago replies to this expression of reliance upon him, “I warrant thee."