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If I do die before thee, 'pr’ythee, shroud me
In one of those same sheets.

Come, come, you talk.
Des. My mother had a maid call’d-Barbara;
She was in love; and he, she lov'd, prov'd mad,
And did forsake her: she had a song of—willow,
An old thing 'twas, but it express'd her fortune,
And she died singing it: That song, to-night,
Will not go from my mind; I have much to do 3,
But to go hang my head all at one side,
And sing it like poor Barbara. ’Pr’ythee, despatch.
Emil. Shall I


fetch your night-gown? Des.

No, unpin me here.This Lodovico is a proper man.

Emil. A very handsome man.

And he speaks well. Emil. I know a lady in Venice, who would have walked barefoot to Palestine, for a touch of his nether lip.

2 Mad must here be accepted as meaning wild, unruly, fickle. As a constant mind meant a firm or sound one, inconstancy would of course be considered a species of madness.

3 From I have much to do to Nay, that's not next was inserted after the first edition in quarto, 1622, as was likewise the remaining part of the song. Desdemona means to say, I have much ado to do any thing but hang my head, &c. “This (says Dr. Johnson) is perhaps the only insertion made in the latter editions which has improved the play: the rest seem to have been added for the sake of amplification or ornament. When the imagination had subsided, and the mind was no longer agitated by the horror of the action, it became at leisure to look round for specious additions. This addition is natural. Desdemona can at first hardly forbear to sing the song; she endeavours to change her train of thought, but her imagination at last prevails, and she sings it.”—The ballad, in two parts, printed from the original in black letter in the Pepys collection, is to be found in Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, vol. i. p. 192,

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Des. The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,

Sing all a green willow; [Singing.
Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,

Sing willow, willow, willow:
The fresh streams ran by her, and murmur'd her


Sing willow, 8c.
Her salt tears fell from her, and soften’d the stones ;
Lay by these:

Sing willow, willow, willow ; 'Pr’ythee, hie thee; he'll come anon.

Sing all a green willow must be my gar-

Let nobody blame him, his scorn I approve, -
Nay, that's not next.-Hark! who is it that knocks?

Emil. It is the wind.
Des. I calld my love, false love; but what said

he then?

Sing willow, &c.
If I court mo women, you'll couch with mo men“.
So, get thee gone; good night. Mine eyes do itch;
Doth that bode weeping ?

'Tis neither here nor there. Des. I have heard it said so.—0, these men,

these men !

4 This couplet is not in the original ballad, which is the comxplaint not of a woman forsaken, but of a man rejected. These Tines were properly added when it was accommodated to a wo


5 This as well as the following speech is omitted in the first quarto.

Dost thou in conscience think,—tell me, Emilia, -
That there be women do abuse their husbands
In such


kind ? Emil.

There be some such, no question. Des. Would'st thou do such a deed for all the

world? Emil. Why, would not you? Des.

No, by this heavenly light! Emil. Nor I neither by this heavenly light; I might do't as well i'the dark. Des. Would'st thou do such a deed for all the

world? Emil. The world is a huge thing: 'Tis a great price For a small vice.

Des. Good troth, I think thou would'st not.

Emil. By my troth, I think I should; and undo't, when I had done. Marry, I would not do such a thing for a joint-ring 6; nor for measures of lawn; nor for gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty exhibition: but, for the whole world,-Why, who would not make her husband a cuckold, to make him a monarch? I should venture purgatory for't.

Des. Beshrew me, if I would do such a wrong for the whole world.

Emil. Why, the wrong is' but a wrong i’ the world; and, having the world for your labour, 'tis a wrong in your own world, and you might quickly make it right.

6 A joint-ring was anciently a common token among lovers See Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, ed. 1632, 544. Their nature will be best understood by a passage in Dryden's Don Sebastian :

- a curious artist wrought them,
With joints so close as not to be perceiv'd;
Yet are they both each other's counterpart:

and, in the midst,
A heart divided in two halves was placed.'

Des. I do not think there is any such woman.

Emil. Yes, a dozen; and as many To the vantage?, as would store the world they

play'd for. But, I do think, it is their husbands' faults If wives do fall: Say, that they slack their duties, And pour our treasures into foreign laps 8 ; Or else break out in peevish jealousies, Throwing restraint upon us; or, say, they strike us, Or scant our former having in despite : Why, we have galls; and, though we have some

grace, Yet we have some revenge. Let husbands know, Their wives have sense 10° like them: they see, and

smell, And have their palates both for sweet and sour, As husbands have. What is it that they do, When they change us for others ? Is it sport? I think it is; And doth affection breed it? I think, it doth; Is’t frailty, that thus errs ? It is so too: And have not we affections ? Desires for sport? and frailty, as men have ? Then, let them use us well: else, let them know, The ills we do, their ills instruct us to 11. Des. Good night, good night; Heaven me such

usage 12 send, Not to pick bad from bad; but, by bad, mend!

[Exeunt. 7 i. e. to boot, over and above. The remaining part of this speech is omitted in the first quarto. 8 So in Shakspeare's 142d Sonnet :

• Robb’d other beds' revenues of their rents.' 9 Our former allowance of expense.

10 Sense is here used, as in Hamlet, for sensation, or sensual appetites. See p. 273, ante.

1 The old copy reads, “their ills instruct us so.'

12 • Such uses' is the reading of the folio; but the first quarto has 'such usage, which Dr. Johnson prefers, I think, without



SCENE I. · A Street.

Enter Iago and RODERIGO.
Iago. Here, stand behind this bulk; straight will

he come;
Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home:
Quick, quick; fear nothing; I'll be at thy elbow:
It makes us, or it mars us; think on that,
And fix most firm thy resolution.

Rod. Be near at hand; I may miscarry in't. Iago. Here, at thy hand; be bold, and take thy sword.

[Retires to a little distance. Rod. I have no great devotion to the deed; And yet he has given me satisfying reasons :'Tis but a man gone :-forth, my sword; he dies.

[Goes to his stand. Iago. I have rubb’d this young quat almost to

the sense, And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio, Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other, Every way makes my gaino: Live Roderigo, He calls me to a restitution large

1 A quat, in the midland counties, is still used for a pimple, which by rubbing is made to smart, or rubbed to sense. Roderigo is called a quat by the same mode of speech as a low fellow is now termed in low language a scab. To rub to the sense is to rub to the quick. This explanation by Dr. Jobpson had previously appeared in the British Magazine, 1748, p. 425. So in The Devil's Law Case, 1623 :- 7 yong quat! incontinence is plagued in all the creatures of the world. The word is also used in Decker's Gul's Hornbook. 2 The quartos read my game.'

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