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SCENE changes to the Street before the Palace,
Re-enter Caffio, meeting Bianca. Bian. AVE you, friend Casio.
How is it with you, my most fair Bianca?
Bian. And I was going to your lodging, Cali.
Cnf. Pardon me, Bianca :
[Giving her Desdemona's Handkerchief. Take me this work out.
Bian. Oh Caffio, whence came this? This is some token from a newer friend : Of thy felt absence now I feel a cause: Is't come to'this! well, well.
Caf. Go to, woman : Throw your vile guesses in the Devil's teeth, From whence you have them. You are jealous now, That this is from some mistress, some remembrance ? No, in good troth, Bianca.
Bian. Why, whose is it?
Caf. I know not neither; I found it in my chamber; I like the work well: ere it be demanded, As like enough it will, I'd have it copied : Take it, and do't, and leave me for this time.
Bian. Leave you? wherefore ?
Caf. I do attend here on the General,
Bian. Why, I pray you?
Fian. But that you do not love me;
Cofi''Tis but a little way that I can bring you,
Brun.'Tis very good; I must be circumstanc'd. [Exe.
SCENE, a Court before the Palaceon
Enter Othello, ard lago.
Oh. Think so, lago?
lago. Or to be naked with her friend in bed, An hour or more, not meaning any harm?
Oth. Naked in bed, lago, and not mean harm? (43) It is hypocrify againit the Devil: They ihat mean virtuously, and yet do so, The Devil their virtue tempts, and they teinpt heav'n.. (43) Naked in bed, Tago, and mean no barm?
H is bypocrisy against the devil.] This passage puts me in mind of a fingular fet of devotees in the primitive cburcb of both sexes, (whom S. Cyprian condemns in one of his epiftles) and which had continued a confiderable time, as we may fee from Dodwell's Cyprianic Dissertations, where we have a full account of themi There were several of both sexes, who had made their vows and professions of chastity; and, as the extreameft trial of their virtue , fcrupled not to lie paked together in bed. Some had been excommunicated for it of the female sex, who yet stuck to their innocence, and offer'd 10 undergo any trials of their virginity. Whether our Author had these dissembling devotees in his mind or no, I dare not pretend to say: but some of the feet, if I remember right, were detected and brought to puriffiment in his time,
lago. If they do nothing, 'tis a venial flip: But if I give my wife a handkerchief
Oih. What then ?
lago. Why then, 'tis hers, my Lord; and, being hers, She may, I think, bestow't on any man.
Oth. She is protectress of her honour too ; May she give that?
lago. Her honour is an essence that's not feen,
Oth. By heav'n, I would most gladly have forgot it;
la: 0. Ay, what of that?
lago. What if I said, I'd seen him do you wrong?
-as knaves be fucb'abroad,
Eut they must blab.] I alter'd this, as I have now reformd the text, in the Appendix to my SHAKESPEARE Reffor'd. I cannot un. derstand the vulgar reading, which postelles the copies. My emendation makes the sense of the passage easy and intelligible: that there are some fuch long-tongued knaves in the world, who, if they thro' the force of importunity. extort a favour from their mistress, or if thro'. ber opun fondness they make her pliant to their desires, cannot help boasting of their success. To convince, here, is not, as in the. common acceptation, to make sensible of the truth of any thing by: reasons and arguments; but to overcome, get the better of, &c. So, in Macbeib;
-his two chamberlains Will I with wine and waffel so convince, &c. And, again;
-their malady convinces. The great array of art..
Oth, Hath he said any thing?
lago. He hath, My Lord; but be you well affur'd, No more than he'll unswear.
Oth. What hath he said?
Oih. With her ?
Oih. Lie with her! lie on her! lie with her! that's fuisome : handkerchief-confeffions- handkerchiefhandherchief-to confess, and be hang'd for his laboorFirst, to be hang'd, and then-to confefs !-I tremble at it-Nature would not inveft herself in such fhadowing without some instruction. It is not words, that shake me thus--pish-nofes, ears, and lips-is't possible ! confess!-handkerchief!-oh devil – [Falls in à trance.
lago. Work on, My medicine, work! thus credulous fools are caught; And many worthy and chaste dames ev’n thus, All guiltlefs, meet reproach. What hoa ! my Lord! My Lord, I say, Othello,
Enter Caflio. How now, Cofio ?
Caf. What's the matter?
And, so, in Cymbeline;
Your Italy contains none lo accomplish'd a courtier to convince the honour of my iniftress.
To supple, (a verb form’d from the adjective) 'tis well known, bignifies, to make pliant and flexible : and is, -particularly, a term in surgery, when any part fwoln and Aiff is, by fomentations, &c. reduced, and made soft and pliable. I find the word used in our Author's time, in the sense that I here make it bear, Fit.
And you, mas broker,
it fupple, Sir,
Staple of Nexus. He's monstrous vex'd, and mufty at my chefs-play,
But this shall suppie him, when he has read it. Spanish Curate. Cypr. Thought and afection cannot be controllid. Pbil. Yet may’e be bent and suppled with extreams.. Dumb Knigblo
lago. My Lord is fell into an Epilepsy,
lago. No, forbear,
head? Oth. Doft thou mock me?
lago. I mock you not, by heav'n;
fortunes like a man. Oth. A horned man's a monster, and a beast.
Iago. There's many a beast, then, in a populous city,
Oth. Did he confess it?
Oth. Oh, thou art wife; 'tis certain.
lago. Stand you awhile apart,