Page images


Which they dare swear peculiar; your case is better.
O, 'tis the spite of hell, the fiend's arch-mock,
To lip a wanton in a secure couch,
And to suppose her chaste! No, let me know;
And, knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.

Oth. O, thou art wise ; 'tis certain.

Stand you awhile apart;
Confine yourself but in a patient list.?
Whilst you were here, ere while mad with your

(A passion most unsuiting such a man,)
Cassio came hither: I shifted him away,
And laid good 'scuse upon your ecstasy ;
Bade him anon return, and here speak with me;
The which he promis’d. Do but encave yourself, »
And mark the feers, the gibes, and notable scorns,
That dwell in every region of his face;
For I will make him tell the tale anew,-
Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when
He hath, and is again to cope your wife;

say, but mark his gesture. Marry, patience;
Or I shall say, you are all in all in spleen,
And nothing of a man.

Dost thou hear, Iago ?
I will be found most cunning in my patience;
But (dost thou hear ?) most bloody.

That's not amiss ; But yet keep time in all. Will



[OTHELLO withdraws. Now will I question Cassio of Bianca, A housewife, that, by selling her desires, Buys herself bread and clothes : it is a creature,


[ocr errors]

in a secure couch,] In a couch in which he is lulled into a false security and confidence in his wife's virtue.

list.] List, or lists, is barriers, bounds. Keep your temper, says Iago, within the bounds of patience. encave yourself,] Hide yourself in a private place.


That dotes on Cassio, -as 'tis the strumpet's plague,
To beguile many, and be beguild by one ;-
He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain
From the excess of laughter : -Here he comes:-

Re-enter Cassio. As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad; And his unbookish jealousy* must construe Poor Cassio's smiles, gestures, and light behaviour, Quite in the wrong. How do you now, lieutenant?

Cas. The worser, that you give me the addition, Whose want even kills me.

Iago. Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure of't. Now, if this suit lay in Bianca's power,

[Speaking lower. How quickly should you speed ? Cas.

Alas, poor caitiff! Oth. Look, how he laughs already! [Aside. Iago. I never knew a woman love man so. Cas. Alas, poor rogue! I think i'faith, she loves


Oth. Now he denies it faintly, and laughs it out.

[Aside. Iago. Do you hear, Cassio ? Oth.

Now he importunes him To tell it o'er : Go to ; well said, well said. [Aside. Iago. She gives it out, that you shall

marry Do you intend it? Cas.

Ha, ha, ha! Oth. Do you triumph, Roman ? do you triumphs


her :

4 And his unbookish jealousy -] Unbookish, for ignorant.

5 Do you triumph, Roman? do you triumph?] Othello calls him Roman ironically. Triumph, which was a Roman ceremony, brought Roman into his thoughts. What (says he) you are now triumphing as great as a Roman? Johnson.

that you

Cas. I marry her!-whata customer! I pr’ythee, bear some charity to my wit; do not think it so unwholesome. Ha, ha, ha! Oth. So, so, so, so: They laugh that win.

[Aside. Iago. 'Faith, the cry goes,


Cas. Pr’ythee, say true.
Iago. I am a very villain else.
Oth. Have you scored me?? Well. [Aside.

Cas. This is the monkey's own giving out: she is persuaded I will marry her, out of her own love and Hattery, not out of my promise. Oih. Iago beckons me; now he begins the story.

[ Aside. Cas. She was here even now; she haunts me in every place. I was, the other day, talking on the sea-bank with certain Venetians; and thither comes this bauble; by this hand, she falls thus about my neck ; Olh. Crying, O dear Cassio! as it were : his

gesture imports it.

[Aside. Cas. So hangs, and lolls, and weeps upon me; so hales, and pulls me: ha, ha, ha!

Oth. Now he tells, how she plucked him to my chamber: 0, I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall throw it to.

[Aside. Cas. Well, I must leave her company. Iago. Before me! look, where she comes.

Enter BIANCA. Cas. "Tis such another fitchew !8 marry, a per


a customer!] A common woman, one that invites.


* Have ynu scored me?] Have you made my reckoning? have you settled the term of my life? The old quarto reads-stored me? Have you disposed of me? have you laid me up ? fitchew!!] A pole-cat.


pared for.

fumed one.—What do you mean by this haunting of me?

Bian. Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did you mean by that same handkerchief, you gave me even now? I was a fine fool to take it. I must take out the whole work ?-A likely piece of work, that you should find it in your chamber, and not know who left it there! This is some minx's token, and I must take out the work? There,-give it your hobby horse : wheresoever you had it, I'll take out no work on't.

Cas. How now, my sweet Bianca ? how now? how now? Oth. By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!

[Aside. Bian. An you'll come to supper to-night, you may: an you will not, come when you are next pre

[Exit. Iago. After her, after her. Cas. 'Faith I must, she'll rail in the street else. Iago. Will you sup there? Cas. 'Faith, I intend so.

Iago. Well, I may chance to see you ; for I would

very fain speak with you. Cas. Prythee, come; Will you ? Iago. Go to; say no more. [Erit Cassio. Oth. How shall I murder him, Iago?

Iago. Did you perceive how he laughed at his vice?

Oth. O, Iago!
Iago. And did you see the handkerchief?
Oih. Was that mine?

Iago. Yours, by this hand : and to see how he prizes the foolish woman, your wife! she gave

it him, and he hath given it his whore.

Oth. I would have him nine years a killing : A fine woman! a fair woman! a sweet woman!

my hand.

Iago. Nay, you must forget that.

Oth. Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damned to-night; for she shall not live: No, my heart is turned to stone; I strike it, and it hurts O, the world hath not a sweeter creature : she might lie by an emperor's side, and command him tasks.

Iago. Nay, that's not your way.

Oth. Hang her! I do but say what she is :-So delicate with her needle ! -An admirable musician! O, she will sing the savageness out of a bear !--Of so high and plenteous wit and invention !

Iago. She's the worse for all this.

Oth. O, a thousand, a thousand times :- And then, of so gentle a condition !'

Iago. Ay, too gentle.

Oth. Nay, that's certain : But yet the pity of it, Iago !-0, Iago, the pity of it, Iago !

Iago. If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her patent to offend; for, if it touch not you, it comes near nobody.

Oth. I will chop her into messes :--Cuckold me!
Iago. 0, 'tis foul in her.
Oth. With mine officer !
Iago. That's fouler.

Oth. Get me some poison, Iago ; this night I'll not expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty unprovide my mind again :-this night, Iago.

lago. Do it not with poison, strangle her in her bed, even the bed she hath contaminated.

Oth. Good, good: the justice of it pleases ; very good.

9 No, my heart is turned to stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand.] This thought as often as it occurs to Shakspeare, is sure to be received, and as often counteracts his pathos.

And then of so gentle a condition ! i. e. of so sweet a disposition.


« PreviousContinue »