Imatges de pÓgina
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Content thyself awhile.-By the mass,' 'tis morning; Pleasure, and action, make the hours seem short. Retire thee; go where thou art billeted.

Away, I say; thou shalt know more hereafter; Nay, get thee gone. [Exit ROD.] Two things are to be done,

My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress;

I'll set her on;

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Myself, the while, to draw the Moor apart,
And bring him jump3 when he may Cassio find
Soliciting his wife. Ay, that's the way;
Dull not device by coldness and delay.

[Exit.

ACT III.

SCENE I. Before the Castle.

Enter CASSIO and some Musicians.

Cas. Masters, play here, I will content your pains, Something that's brief; and bid-good morrow, gen[Music.

eral.4

Enter Clown.

Clo. Why, masters, have your instruments been at Naples, that they speak i' the nose thus?

I Mus. How, sir, how!

Clo. Are these, I pray you, called wind instruments? 1 Mus. Ay, marry, are they, sir.

Clo. O, thereby hangs a tail.

1 The folio reads, In troth; an alteration made in the playhouse copy by the interference of the master of the revels.

2 Some modern editions read, "Myself the while will draw."

3 i. e. just at the time.

4 It was usual for friends to serenade a new-married couple on the morning after the celebration of the marriage, or to greet them with a morning-song to bid them good-morrow.

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1 Mus. Whereby hangs a tale, sir?

Clo. Marry, sir, by many a wind-instrument that I know. But, masters, here's money for you; and the general so likes your music, that he desires you of all loves,1 to make no more noise with it.

1 Mus. Well, sir, we will not.

Clo. If you have any music that may not be heard, to't again; but, as they say, to hear music, the general does not greatly care.

1 Mus. We have none such, sir.

Clo. Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away. Go; vanish into air; away.

2

[Exeunt Musicians. Cas. Dost thou hear, my honest friend? Clo. No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you. Cas. Pr'ythee, keep up thy quillet. There's a poor piece of gold for thee; if the gentlewoman that attends the general's wife be stirring, tell her there's one Cassio entreats her a little favor of speech. Wilt thou do this? Clo. She is stirring, sir; if she will stir hither, I shall seem to notify unto her.

Enter IAGO.

[Exit.

Cas. Do, good my friend.-In happy time, Iago.
Iago. You have not been abed, then?
Cas. Why, no; the day had broke

Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago,
To send in to your wife. My suit to her
Is, that she will to virtuous Desdemona

Procure me some access.

Iago.

I'll send her to you presently;

And I'll devise a mean to draw the Moor
Out of the way, that your converse and business
May be more free.

[Exit.

Cas. I humbly thank you for't. I never knew

A Florentine more kind and honest.3

1 i. e. for love's sake. We have this adjuration again in The Merry

Wives of Windsor.

2 See Hamlet, Act v. Sc. i.

Sc. i. p. 371.

3 Cassio was, undoubtedly, a Florentine, as appears by the first scene of the play, where he is expressly called one. Iago was a Venetian.

VOL. VII.

57

Enter EMILIA.

1

Emil. Good morrow, good lieutenant; I am sorry For your displeasure; but all will soon be well. 'The general, and his wife, are talking of it; And she speaks for you stoutly. The Moor replies, That he you hurt, is of great fame in Cyprus,

And great affinity; and that, in wholesome wisdom, 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,2
To bring you in again.

Cas.

Yet, I beseech you,-

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

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4

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

Iago.

Well, my good lord, I'll do't.

Oth. This fortification, gentlemen,-shall we see't ? Gent. We'll wait upon your lordship.

[Exeunt.

Cassio means to say, I never experienced more honesty and kindness

even in one of my own countrymen.

1 i. e. the displeasure you have incurred from Othello.

2 This line is wanting in the folio.

3 This speech is omitted in the first quarto.

4 Thus the quarto 1622; folio, "to the senate."

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SCENE III. Before the Castle.

Enter DESDEMONA, CASSIO, and EMILIA.

Des. Be thou assured, good Cassio, I will do
All my abilities in thy behalf.

Emil. Good madam, do; I know it grieves my
husband,

As if the case1 were his.

Des. O, that's an honest fellow. Do not doubt,

Cassio,

But I will have my lord and you again

As friendly as you were.

Cas.

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 assured He shall in strangeness stand no further off

Than in a politic distance.

Cas.

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.

Des. Do not doubt that; before Emilia here,
I give thee 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,3 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.

1 Folio reads, “As if the cause were his."

2 Thus the quarto of 1622. The folio reads, "I know't, I thank you.'

3 Hawks and other birds are tamed by keeping them from sleep.

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And hear me speak.

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

Unfit for mine own purposes.

Des.

Do your discretion.

Iago.

Well, well,

[Exit CASSIO.

Ha! 1 like not that.

Oth. What dost thou say?

Iago. Nothing, my lord; or if--I know not what. Oth. Was not that Cassio, parted from my wife? Iago. Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it, That he would steal away so guiltylike,

Seeing you coming.

Oth.

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 lord, 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,2
I have no judgment in an honest face.

I pr'ythee call him back.

Oth.

Went he hence now?

Des. Ay, sooth; so humbled,

That he hath left part of his grief with me;

I suffer with him. Good love, call him back.

Oth. Not now, sweet Desdemona; some other time. Des. But shall't be shortly?

Oth.

The sooner, sweet, for you.

1 i. e. "take his present atonement," or submission. The words were formerly synonymous.

2 Cunning here signifies knowledge, the ancient sense of the word.

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