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Receive it from me.-I speak not yet of proof.
I know our country disposition well;
In Venice they do let heaven see the pranks
They dare not show their husbands; their best con
Is-not to leave undone, but keep unknown.
Oth. Dost thou say so?
Iago. She did deceive her father, marrying you; And, when she seemed to shake, and fear your looks, She loved them most.
And so she did.
Why, go to, then ;
She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
He thought 'twas witchcraft.-But I am much to
I humbly do beseech you
For too much loving you.
I am bound to thee forever.
Iago. I see this hath a little dashed your spirits.
Trust me, I fear it has.
I hope you will consider, what is spoke
Comes from my love;-but I do see you are moved.
I am to pray you not to strain my speech
To grosser issues, nor to larger reach,
Than to suspicion.
Oth. I will not.
Should you do so, my lord,
My speech should fall into such vile success
1 Self-bounty for inherent generosity.
2 An expression from falconry: to seel a hawk is to sew up his eyelids. Close as oak means as close as the grain of oak.
3 Issues for conclusions.
4 Success here means consequence or event. So in Sidney's Arcadia, p. 39, ed. 1613:-" Straight my heart misgave me some evil success."
I do not think but Desdemona's honest.
Iago. Long live she so! and long live you to think so!
Not to affect many proposed matches,
Of her own clime, complexion, and degree;
Oth. Why did I marry?-This honest creature,
Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.
I Will for inclination or desire. A rank will is a lustful inclination.
2 "You shall discover whether he thinks his best means, his most power
ful interest, is by the solicitation of your lady."
3 i. e. press hard his readmission to his pay and office. Entertainment was the military term for the admission of soldiers.
(As worthy cause I have to fear-I am,)
Oth. This fellow's of exceeding honesty, And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit 2 Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,3 Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings, I'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind, To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black; And have not those softs parts of conversation That chamberers have; or, for I am declined Into the vale of years;-yet that's not much;She's gone; I am abused; and my relief Must be to loathe her. O, curse of marriage, That we can call these delicate creatures ours, And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad, And live upon the vapor of a dungeon, Than keep a corner in the thing I love,
For others' uses. Yet 'tis the plague of great ones, Prerogatived are they less than the base;
'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death;
Even then this forked plague is fated to us,
1 Do not distrust my ability to contain my passion. 2 Learned for experienced.
3 Haggard is wild, and therefore libertine. A haggard falcon was a wild hawk that had preyed for herself long before she was taken; sometimes also called a ramage falcon. Haggard was also a term of reproach, sometimes applied to a wanton.
4 Jesses are short straps of leather tied about the foot of a hawk, by which she is held on the fist.-"The falconers always let fly the hawk against the wind; if she flies with the wind behind her, she seldom returns. If, therefore, a hawk was for any reason to be dismissed, she was let down the wind, and from that time shifted for herself and preyed at fortune."
5 Men of intrigue.
6 One of sir John Harington's Epigrams will illustrate this forked plague.
"Acteon guiltless unawares espying
Naked Diana bathing in her bowre
Was plagued with hornes; his dogs did him devoure;
7 i. e. when we begin to live.
Enter DESDEMONA and EMILIA.
If she be false, O, then Heaven mocks itself!-
How now, my dear Othello?
Your dinner, and the generous islanders.
By you invited, do attend your presence.
Des. Why is your speech so faint? Are you not well?
Des. 'Faith, that's with watching; 'twill away again. Let me but bind it hard, within this hour
It will be well.
Your napkin1 is too little;
[He puts the handkerchief from him, and it drops. Let it alone. Come, I'll go in with you. Des. I am very sorry that you are not well.
[Exeunt ОTH. and DEs. Emil. I am glad I have found this napkin; This was her first remembrance from the Moor. My wayward husband hath a hundred times Wooed me to steal it; but she so loves the token, (For he conjured her she would ever keep it,) That she reserves it evermore about her, I'll have the work ta'en out,
To kiss, and talk to.
And give 't lago.
What he'll do with it, Heaven knows, not I;
I nothing, but to please his fantasy.
Iago. How now! what do you here alone?
1 In the north of England this term for a handkerchief is still used. 2 That is, copied. Her first thoughts are to have a copy made of it for her husband, and restore the original to Desdemona; but the sudden coming in of Iago, in a surly humor, makes her alter her resolution to please him.
Iago. To have a foolish wife.
Emil. O, is that all? What will you give me now For that same handkerchief?
Emil. What handkerchief?
Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona ;
Emil. No, 'faith; she let it drop by negligence;
A good wench; give it me.
Emil. What will you do with it, that you have been
To have me filch it?
Why, what's that to you?
[Snatching it. Emil. If it be not for some purpose of import, Give it me again. Poor lady! she'll run mad, When she shall lack it.
Iago. Be not you known of't; I have use for it. Go, leave me.
I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin,
Burn like the mines of sulphur.-I did say so;-—
Look, where he comes!
Not poppy, nor mandragora,3 Nor all the drowsy sirups of the world,
1 That is, I, being opportunely here, took it up.
2 "Seem as if you knew nothing of the matter." The folio reads, "Be not acknown on't."
3 The mandrake has a soporific quality, and the ancients used it when they wanted an opiate of the most powerful kind.