Imatges de pÓgina

He's never any thing but your true fervant.

Def. I know't, I thank you; you do love my Lord, You've known him long; and, be you well affur'd, He fhall in ftrangenefs ftand no farther off

Than in a politick distance.

Caf. Ay, but, lady,

That policy may either laft fo long,
Or feed upon fuch nice and waterish diet,
Or breed itself fo out of circumstances,
That I being abfent, and my place fupply'd,
My General will forget my love and fervice.

Def. Do not doubt that; before Æmilia here,
I give thee warrant of thy place. Affure thee,
If I do vow a friendship, I'll perform it

To the last article. My Lord fhall never reft;
I'll watch bim tame, and talk him out of patience;
His bed fhall feem a school, his board a fhrift;
I'll intermingle every thing he does

With Caffio's fuit: therefore be merry, Caffio;
For thy follicitor fhall rather die,
Then give thy cause away.

Enter Othello, and Iago, at diftance.

Emil. Madam, here comes my Lord.
Caf, Madam, I'll take my leave.
Def. Why, ftay, and hear me speak.

Caf. Madam, not now; I am very ill at ease,

Unfit for mine own purposes.

Def. Well, do your difcretion.

Iago. Hah! I like not that.

Oth. What doft thou fay?

[Exit Caffio.

Iago. Nothing, my Lord; or if I know not what. Oth. Was not that Cafio, parted from my wife? Iago. Cafio, my Lord? no, fure, I cannot think it, That he would fteal away fo guilty-like,

Seeing you coming.

Oth. I believe, 'twas he.

Def. How now, my Lord?

I have been talking with a fuitor here,
A man that languishes in your difpleasure.


Oth. Who is't you mean?

Def. Why, your lieutenant Caffio. Good my Lord, If I have any grace, or power to move you,

His prefent 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 honeft face.
I pr'ythee, call him back.

Oth. Went he hence now?

Def. I, footh, fo humbled,

That he hath left part of his grief with me,
To fuffer with him. Good love, call him back.
Oth. Not now, fweet Defdemona; fome other time.
Def. But fhall't be fhortly?

Oth. The fooner, Sweet, for you.
Def. Shall't be to-night at fupper?
Oth. Not to-night.

Def. To-morrow dinner then?
Oth. I fhall not dine at home;

I meet the Captains at the citadel.

Def. Why then to-morrow night, or Tuesday morn, Or Tuesday noon, or night, or Wednesday morn, I pr'ythee, name the time; but let it not Exceed three days; in faith, he's penitent: And yet his trefpafs, in our common reafon, (Save that, they fay, the wars must make examples Out of their beft,) is not almost a fault

'T'incur a private check. When shall he come ?
Tell me Othello. I wonder in my foul,

What you would ask me, that I would deny,
Or ftand fo mutt'ring on ? what? Michael Caffio!
That came a wooing with you, and many a time,
When I fpoke of you difpraisingly,

Hath ta'en your part, to have fo much to do
To bring him in? truft me, I could do much

Oth. Pr'ythee, no more; let him come when he will,

I will deny thee nothing.

Def. Why, this is not a boon :

'Tis as I fhould entreat you wear your gloves,

Or feed on nourishing meats, or keep you warm;


Or fue to you, to do peculiar profit

To your own perfon. Nay, when I have fuit,
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
It fhall be full of poize and difficulty,

And fearful to be granted.

Oth. I will deny thee nothing.

Whereon I do befeech thee, grant me this,
To leave me but a little to myself.

Def. Shall I deny you? no: Farewel, my Lord.
Oth. Farewel, my Desdemona, I'll come ftrait.

Def. Emilia, come; be, as your fancies teach you: Whate'er you be, I am obedient.

Manent Othello, and Iago.


Oth. Excellent Wench!-Perdition catch my foul, (22) But I do love thee; and when I love thee not,

Chaos is come again.

Iago. My noble Lord,

Oth. What doft thou fay, Iago?

Iago. Did Michael Caffio, when you woo'd my lady, Know of your love?

Oth. He did, from first to laft; why doft thou ask? Iago. But for a fatisfaction of my thought,

No farther harm.

Oth. Why of thy thought, Iago?

Iago. I did not think, he'd been acquainted with it.

(22) Excellent Wretch! Perdition catch my Soul,

But I do love thee; &c.] Tho' all the printed Copies concur in this Reading, I think it is very reasonably to be suspected. Othello is exclaiming here with Admiration and rapturous Fondnets: but Wretch can scarce be admitted to be used, unlefs in Compaffion or Contempt. I make no queftion, but the Poet wrote;

Excellent Wench! - Perdition catch my Soul, &c.

It is to be observ'd, that, in SHAKESPEARE's time, Werth, Lafs, and Girl were not used in that low and vulgar Acceptation as they are at this time of day; but very frequently with Dignity.


Oth. Oh, yes, and went between us very oft.
Iago. Indeed!

Oth. Indeed! ay, indeed. Difcern'ft thou aught in that? Is he not honeft?

Jago. Honeft, my Lord?

Oth. Honeftay, honeft.

Iago. My Lord, for aught I know.

Oth. What doft thou think?

Iago. Think, my Lord!

Oth. Think, my Lord! why, by heav'n, thou ccho'ft me; As if there were fome monfter in thy thought,

Too hideous to be fhewn. Thou doft mean fomething:
I heard thee fay but now, thou lik'dft not that,
When Caffio left my wife. What did'ft not like?
And when I told thee, he was of my counfel,
In my whole courfe of wooing; thou cry'dft, indeed?
And didft contract and purfe thy brow together,
As if thou then hadft fhut up in thy brain
Some horrible conceit: if thou doft love me,
Shew me thy thought.

Iago. My Lord! you know, I love you.
Oth. I think, thou doft:

And for I know, thou art full of love and honesty,
And weigh'ft thy words before thou giv'ft them breath,
Therefore thefe ftops of thine fright me the more :
For fuch things, in a falfe difloyal knave,

Are tricks of cuftom; but, in a man that's juft,
They're cold dilations working from the heart,
That paffion cannot rule.

Iago. For Michael Caffio,

I dare be sworn, I think, that he is honeft.
Oth. I think fo too.

Iago. Men fhould be what they feem.

Or those that be not, 'would they might feem none ! Oth. Certain, men fhould be what they feem. Iago. Why, then, I think, Caffio's an honeft mán. Oth. Nay, yet there's more in this;

I pray thee, fpeak to me as to thy thinkings,


As thou doft ruminate; and give thy worft of thoughts The worft of words.

Iago. Good my Lord, pardon me.

Tho I am bound to every act of duty,

I am not bound to that, all flaves are free to;
Utter my thoughts!-Why, fay, they're vile and falfe;
As where's that Palace, whereinto foul things
Sometimes intrude not? who has a breast so pure,
But fome uncleanly apprehenfions

Keep leets and law-days, and in feffions fit
With meditations lawful?

Oth. Thou dost confpire against thy friend, lago, If thou but think'ft him wrong'd, and mak'ft his ear A ftranger to thy thoughts.

Iago. I do befeech you,

Though, I perchance, am vicious in my guefs,-
(As, I confefs, it is my nature's plague
To fpy into abuse; and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not;) I intreat you then,
From one that fo imperfectly conceits,

Your wisdom would not build yourself a trouble
Out of my scattering and unfure obfervance :
It were not for your quiet, nor your good,
Nor for my manhood, honefly, and wisdom,
To let you know my thoughts.

Oth. What doft thou mean?

Iago. Good name in man and woman, dear my Lord, Is the immediate jewel of their fouls.

Who fteals my pure, fteals trafh; 'tis fomething, nothing; 'Twas mine, 'tis his; and has been flave 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. I'll know thy thoughts

heart were in

Iago. You cannot, if my
Nor ihall not, whilft 'tis in my cuftody.
Oth. Ha!

your hand;

Iago. Oh, beware, my Lord, of jealoufy; It is a green-ey'd monfter, which doth mock


« AnteriorContinua »