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Or Tuesday noon, or night, or Wednesday morn,
I pr'ythee, name the time; but let it not
Exceed three days; in faith, he's penitent,
And yet his treipafs, in our common reafon,
Save that, they fay, the wars muft make examples
Out of their beft, is not almoft'a fault

T'incur a private check. When shall he come?
T-1 me, Orbello. I wonder in my foul,

What you should ask me, that I would deny,
Or Bland fo mummering on? What? Michael Caffio!
That came a wooing with you, and many a time,
When I have fpoke of you difpraisingly,

Fath ta'en your part, to have fo much to do
To bring him in? Truft me, I could do much-
Ob. Pr'ythee, no more.


I will deny thee nothing.

Let him come when he

Def. Why, this is not a boon.

'Tis as I fhould entreat you wear your gloves,
Or feed on nounfhing meats, or keep you warm;
Or for to you, to do peculiar profit

To your own perfon. Nay, when I have fuit,
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
It fhalt be full of poife and difficulty,

And fearful to be granted.

Ob. I will deny thee nothing;

Whereon I do befeech thee, grant me this,

To leave me but a little to myself.

Def. Shall I deny you? No. Farewel, my Lord.
Oth. Farewel, my Defdemona; I'll come ftraight.
Def. Emilia, come.

Be as your fancies teach you :

Whate'er you be, I am obedient.

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muft not fpare the best men of the army, when their punishment may afford a wholesome example.


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Manent Othello, and Iago.

Oth. 5 Excellent Wretch!Perdition catch my foul,

But I do love thee; and when I love thee not,

Chaos is come again.

Iago. My noble Lord,

Oth. What doft thou fay, Iago?

Iago, Did Michael Caffio, when you woo'd my lady,

Know of your love?

Oth. He did, from first to last. Why doft thou afk?

5 Excellent Wretch! Perdition flood. It is now, in fome parts of

catch my foul,

But I do love thee; &c.] Tho' all the printed copies concur in this reading, I think, it is very reasonably to be fufpected. Othello is exclaiming here with admiration and rapturous fondnefs: but Wretch can fcarce be admitted to be used, unless in compaffion or contempt. I make no queftion, but the poet wrote; Excellent Wench!-Perdition

catch my foul, &c.

It is to be observ'd, that, in SHAKESPEARE's time, Wench, Lafs, and Girl, were not used in that low and vulgar acceptation as they are at this time of day; but very frequently with dignity. THEOBALD. The meaning of the word wretch, is not generally under

England, a term of the fofteft and fondeft tenderness. It expreffes the utmoft degree of amiableness, joined with an idea, which perhaps all tenderness includes, of feeblenefs, softness, and want of protection. Othello, confidering Desdemona as excelling in beauty and virtue, soft and timorous by her fex, and by her fituation abfolutely in his power, calls her, Excellent Wretch. It may be expreffed,


Dear, harmless, helpless Excellence.

-when I love thee not, Chaos is come again.] When my love is for a moment fufpended by fufpicion, I have nothing in my mind but difcord, tumult, perturbation, and confufion.

Cc 4


Tago. But for a fatisfaction of my thought, No farther harm.

Oth. Why of thy thought, Iago?

Iago. I did not think, he had been acquainted with


Oth. Oh, yes, and went between us very oft.
Iago. Indeed!

Oth. Indeed! ay, indeed. Difcern'st thou aught in that?

Is he not honeft?

Iago. Honeft, my Lord?

Oth. Honeft? ay, honeft.

Iago. My Lord, for aught I know.

Oth. What doft thou think?

Iago. Think, my Lord!-

Oth. Think, my Lord! why doft thou echo


As if there were some monfter in thy thought,

Too hideous to be fhewn? Thou doft mean fome

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I heard thee fay but now, thou lik'dft not that,-
When Caffio left my wife. What did❜ft not like?
And when I told thee, he was of my counsel,
In my whole course of wooing, thou cry'dft, indeed?
And didit contract and purfe thy brow together,
As if thou then hadft fhut up in thy brain
Somé horrible conceit. If thou doft love me,
'Shew me thy thought.

Iago. My Lord, you know, I love you.
Oth. I think, thou doft:

And for I know, thou art full of love and honesty,
And weigh'ft thy words before thou giv❜ft them


Therefore these ftops of thine fright me the more.
For fuch things, in a falfe difloyal knave,

Are tricks of cuftom; but, in a man that's juft,


They're close dilations working from the heart, That paffion cannot rule.

Iago. For Michael Caffio,

I dare be fworn, I think, that he is honeft.

Oth. I think fo too.

Iago. Men fhould be what they feem;

Or, thofe that be not, 'would they might feem none!
Oth. Certain, men fhould be what they feem.
Iago. Why, then, I think, Caffio's an honeft man,
Oth. Nay, yet there's more in this;

I pray thee, speak to me as to thy thinkings,
As thou doft ruminate; and give thy worft of

The worft of words..

Iago. Good my Lord, pardon me.
Though I am bound to every act of duty,

I am not bound to that, all slaves are free to.
Utter my thoughts!Why, fay, they're vile and

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tions, except that the earlier quarto has clofe denotements; which was the authour's first expreffion, afterwards changed by him, not to cold dilation, for cold is read in no ancient copy; nor, I believe, to clofe dilations, butto clofe delations; to occult and fecret accufations, working involuntarily from the heart, which tho' refolved to conceal the fault, can not rule its paffion of resentment.

8. Or, thofe that be not, would they might feem NONE!] There is no fenfe in this reading.. I fuppofe Shakespear wrote,


would they might feem WARB. I believe the meaning is, would they might no longer feem, or bear the shape of men. As

As where's that Palace, whereinto foul things Sometimes intrude not? Who has a breast fo pure, But fome uncleanly apprehenfions

Keep leets and law-days, and in feffions fit With meditations lawful?

Oth. Thou doft confpire againft thy friend, Tago, If thou but think'ft him wrong'd, and mak'ft his ear A ftranger to thy thoughts.


Iago. I do befeech you,

Though, Iperchance, am vicious in my guefs, As, I confefs, it is my nature's plague

To fpy into abufe; and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not'; I intreat you then,
From one that fo improbably conceits,
Your wisdom would not build yourself a trouble
Out of my scattering and unfure observance.
It were not for your quiet, nor your good,
Nor for my manhood, honefty, and wisdom,
To let you know my thoughts.

Oth. What doft thou mean?

Iago. Good name in man and woman, dear my Lord,

Is the immediate jewel of their fouls,

? Keep leets and law-days,-] i.e. govern. A metaphor, wretchedly forced and quaint. WARB. Rather vifit than govern, but vifit with authoritative intrufion, I THOUGH I, perchance, am

vicious in my guess,] Not to mention that, in this reading, the fentence is abrupt and broken, it is likewife highly abfurd. I befeech you give yourself no uneafinefs from my unfure obfervance, though I am vicious in my guess. For his being an ill gueffer was a reafon why Othello fhould not be

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