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'Pray you, come in;
I am much bound to you.
SCENE II. A Room in the Castle.
Enter OTHELLO, IAGO, and Gentlemen.
Well, my good lord, I'll do't. Oth. This fortification, gentlemen,-shall we see't? Gent. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt.
SCENE III. 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 2 were his. Des. O, that's an honest fellow.—Do not doubt,
Cassio, But I will have
lord and As friendly as you were.
8 This speech is omitted in the first quarto. 1 Thus tbe quarto 1622. Folio to the senate.' 2 Folio reads- As if the cause were bis.'
Bounteous madam, Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio, He's never any thing but your true servant.
Des. O, sir 3, I thank you: You do love my lord:
Ay, but, lady,
Des. Do not doubt that; before Emilia here,
3 Thus the quarto 1622. The folio reads— I know't, I thank you.'
4 • 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 readmission at that time improper, that I may be quite forgotten.'—Johnson.
5 Hawks and other birds are tamed by keeping them from sleep. To this Shakspeare alludes. So in Cartwright's Lady Errant:
We'll keep you
• They've watch'd my hardy violence so tame.'
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. Des.
Well, well, Do your discretion.
[Exit Cassio. Iago.
Ha! I like not that.
I do believe 'twas he.
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 lord, If I have any grace, or power to move you, His present reconciliation 6 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. Oth.
Went he hence now?
6 i. e. ' take his present atonement,' or submission. The words were formerly synonymous.
7 Cunning here signifies knowledge, the ancient sense of the word.
Des. Ay, sooth; so humbled,
Oth. Not now,sweet Desdemona; some other time.
The sooner, sweet, for you.
No, not to-night. Des. To-morrow dinner then?
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;I
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 best8), 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
Cassio, That came a wooing with you 10, and so many a time, When I have spoke of you dispraisingly, Hath ta’en your part; to have so much to do To bring him in! Trust me, I could do much,
Oth. "Pr’ythee, no more: let him come when he
I will deny thee nothing.
8 The severity of military discipline must not spare the best men of the army, when their punishment may afford a wholesome example.
9 So hesitating, in such doubtful suspense. So in Lyly Euphues, 1580:- Neither stand in a mamering whether it be best to depart or not.' The quarto 1622 reads-muttering.
10 See Act i. Sc. 2, note 15.
Why, this is not a boon; 'Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves, Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm; Or sue to you to do peculiar profit To your own person : Nay, when I have a suit, Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed, It shall be full of poize 11 and difficulty, And fearful to be granted. Oth.
I will deny thee nothing: Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this, To leave me but a little to myself.
Des. Shall I deny you? no: Farewell, my lord. Oth. Farewell, my Desdemona: I will come to
thee straight. Des. Emilia, come:- -Be it as your fancies teach
you; Whate'er you be, I am obedient.
[Exit with EMILIA. Oth. Excellent wretch12! Perdition catch my soul, But I do love thee! and when I love thee not, Chaos is come again
11 i. e. of weight.
12 • The meaning of the word wretch is not generally understood. It is now in some parts of England a term of the foodest and softest tenderness. It expresses the utmost degree of amiableness, joined with an idea which perhaps all tenderness includes, of feebleness, softness, and want of protection. Othello, considering Desdemona as excelling in beauty and virtue, soft and timorous by her sex, and by her situation absolutely in his power, calls her Excellent wretch! It may be expressed, ' Dear, harmless, helpless excellence.'-Johnson. Sir W. Davenant, in his Cruel Brother, uses the word twice with the same meaning:• Excellent wretch! with a timorous modesty she stifleth up ber utterance.
13 I think with Malone that Othello is meant to say, ' Ere I cease to love thee, the world itself shall be reduced to its primitive chaos. So in Venus and Adonis :
• For he being dead, with him is beauty slain,
And beauty dead, black Chaos comes again.' Shakspeare's meaning is more fully expressed in The Winter's Tale :