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Or Tuesday noon, or night, or Wednesday morn,
T'incur a private check. When shall he come?
What you should ask me, that I would deny,
Fath ta'en your part, to have fo much to do
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,
To your own perfon. Nay, when I have fuit,
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.
Be as your fancies teach you :
Whate'er you be, I am obedient.
muft not fpare the best men of the army, when their punishment may afford a wholesome example.
S CE NE V.
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.
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.
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
I heard thee fay but now, thou lik'dft not that,-
Iago. My Lord, you know, I love you.
And for I know, thou art full of love and honesty,
Therefore these ftops of thine fright me the more.
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!
I pray thee, speak to me as to thy thinkings,
The worft of words..
Iago. Good my Lord, pardon me.
I am not bound to that, all slaves are free to.
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
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