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and her husband, entreat her to splinter; and, my fortunes against any lay 29 worth naming, this crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before. Cas. You advise me well.

Iago. I protest, in the sincerity of love, and honest kindness.

Cas. I think it freely; and, betimes in the morning, I will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me: I am desperate of my fortunes, if they check me here.

Iago. You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant; I must to the watch.

Cas. Good night, honest Iago. [Exit CASSIO.
Iago. And what's he then, that says, I play the

When this advice is free 30, I give, and honest,
Probal to thinking, and (indeed) the course
To win the Moor again? For, 'tis most easy
The inclining 31 Desdemona to subdue



honest suit: she's fram'd as fruitful 32 As the free elements. And then for her

To win the Moor,—were't to renounce his baptism, All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,

His soul is so enfetter'd to her love,

That she may make, unmake, do what she list,
Even as her appetite shall play the god

With his weak function. How am I then a villain,
To counsel Cassio to this parallel course 33,
Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!

29 Bet or wager.

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30 i. e. liberal. Such as honest openness or frank good will would give. There may be such a contraction of the word probable as that in the next line, but it has not yet been met with elsewhere. Churchyard has many abbreviations equally violent. 31 Inclining here signifies compliant.

32 Corresponding to benigna, aplovn. Liberal, bountiful as the elements, out of which all things were produced.

33 Parallel course for course level or even with his design.

When devils will their blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows 34,
As I do now: For while this honest fool
Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes,
And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,
I'll pour this pestilence 35 into his ear,-
That she repeals 36 him for her body's lust;
And, by how much she strives to do him good,
She shall undo her credit with the Moor.

So will I turn her virtue into pitch;

And out of her own goodness make the net,
That shall enmesh them all.-How now, Roderigo?

Enter RODerigo.

Rod. I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound that hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money is almost spent; I have been to-night exceedingly well cudgelled; and, I think, the issue will be I shall have so much experience for my pains and so, with no money at all, and a little more wit, return to Venice.

Iago. How poor are they, that have not patience!-
What wound did ever heal, but by degrees?
Thou know'st we work by wit, and not by witchcraft?
And wit depends on dilatory time.

Does't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee,
And thou, by that small hurt, hath cashier'd Cassio;
Though other things grow fair against the sun,
Yet fruits, that blossom first, will first be ripe 37 :

34 When devils mean to instigate men to commit the most atro cious crimes, they prompt or tempt at first with heavenly shows, &c.

35 Pestilence for poison.

36 i. e. recalls him, from the Fr. rappeler.

37 The blossoming or fair appearance of things, to which Iago alludes, is the removal of Cassio. As their plan had already blossomed, so there was good ground for expecting that the fruits of it would soon be ripe.

Content thyself awhile. By the mass 38, 'tis morning; Pleasure, and action, make the hours seem short.Retire thee; go where thou art billeted:

Away, I say; thou shalt know more hereafter: Nay, get thee gone. [Exit ROD.] Two things are to be done,

My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress;
I'll set her on;

Myself, the while, to draw 39 the Moor apart,
And bring him jump 40 when he may Cassio find
Soliciting his wife; Ay, that's the way;
Dull not device by coldness and delay.



SCENE I. Before the Castle.

Enter CASSIO and some Musicians.

Cas. Masters, play here, I will content your pains, Something that's brief; and bid-good morrow, [Musick.


Enter Clown.

Clo. Why, masters, have your instruments been at Naples, that they speak i'the nose thus??

38 The folio reads-In troth, an alteration made in the playhouse copy by the interference of the master of the revels.

39 Some modern editions read-' Myself the while will draw.' But the old copies are undoubtedly right. An imperfect sentence was intended. Iago is ruminating upon his plan. 40 i. e. just at the time. So in Hamlet:

'Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour.'

It was usual for friends to serenade a new married couple on the morning after the celebration of the marriage, or to greet them with a morning song to bid them good morrow. See Romeo and Juliet, Act iii. Sc. 5. Ritson's note about the waits is nothing to the purpose.


2 So in The Merchant of Venice: The bagpipe sings i'the

1 Mus. How, sir, how!

Clo. Are these, I pray you, called wind instruments?

1 Mus. Ay, marry, are they, sir. Clo. O, thereby hangs a tail.

1 Mus. Whereby hangs a tale, sir?

Clo. Marry, sir, by many a wind instrument that I know. But, masters, here's money for you; and the general so likes your musick, that he desires you of all loves3, to make no more noise with it.

1 Mus. Well, sir, we will not.

Clo. If you have any musick that may not be heard, to't again: but, as they say, to hear musick, the general does not greatly care.

1 Mus. We have none such, sir.

Clo. Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away: Go; vanish into air; away.

[Exeunt Musicians. Cas. Dost thou hear, my honest friend? Clo. No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you.

Cas. Pr'ythee, keep up thy quillets1. There's a poor piece of gold for thee: if the gentlewoman that attends the general's wife be stirring, tell her, there's one Cassio entreats her a little favour of speech: Wilt thou do this?

Clo. She is stirring, sir; if she will stir hither, I shall seem to notify unto her.

Enter IAGO.


Cas. Do, good my friend.-In happy time, Iago.
Iago. You have not been a-bed then?
Cas. Why, no; the day had broke

nose.' Rabelais somewhere speaks of a blow over the nose with a Naples cowl-staff.' The allusion is obvious.

3 i. e. for love's sake. We have this adjuration again in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

See vol. ii. p. 368, note 22, and Hamlet, Act v. Sc. i.

Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago,
To send in to your wife: My suit to her
Is, that she will to virtuous Desdemona
Procure me some access.


I'll send her to you presently;

And I'll devise a mean to draw the Moor
Out of the way, that your converse and business
May be more free.
Cas. I humbly thank you for't. I never knew
A Florentine more kind and honest 5.


Emil. Good morrow, good lieutenant: I am sorry
For your displeasure; but all will soon be well.
The general, and his wife, are talking of it;
And she speaks for you stoutly: The Moor replies,
That he, you hurt, is of great fame in Cyprus,
And great affinity; and that, in wholesome wisdom,
He might not but refuse you: but, he protests, he
loves you;

And needs no other suitor, but his likings,
To take the saf'st occasion by the front7,
To bring you in again.


Yet, I beseech you,

5 In consequence of this line a doubt has been entertained concerning the country of Iago. Cassio was undoubtedly a Florentine, as appears by the first scene of the play, where he is expressly called one. That Iago was a Venetian is proved by a speech in the third scene of this act, and by what he says in the fifth act, after having stabbed Roderigo:—

Iago. Alas, my dear friend and countryman Roderigo! 'Gra. What, of Venice?

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Iago. Yes.'

All that Cassio means to say in the present passage is, I never experienced more honesty and kindness even in one of my own countrymen.

6 i. e. the displeasure you have incurred from Othello.

7 This line is wanting in the folio.

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