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SCENE III. Another Room in the Castle.


Lod. I do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no


Oth. O, pardon me; 'twill do me good to walk. Lod. Madam, good night; I humbly thank your ladyship.

Des. Your honour is most welcome.




Will you walk, sir?

My lord?

Oth. Get you to bed on the instant, I will be returned forthwith: dismiss your attendant there; look, it be done.

Des. I will, my lord.

[Exeunt OTH. LOD. and Attendants.

Emil. How goes it now? he looks gentler than

he did.

Des. He says he will return incontinent;

He hath commanded me to go to bed,

And bade me to dismiss you.


Dismiss me!

Des. It was his bidding; therefore, good Emilia, Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu: We must not now displease him.

Emil. I would, you had never seen him!

Des. So would not I; my love doth so approve him, That even his stubbornness, his checks, and frowns,— Pr'ythee, unpin me,-have grace and favour in them. Emil. I have laid those sheets you bade me on the bed.

Des. All's one:-Good father1! how foolish are our minds!

A The quarto of 1622 reads ' good faith.'

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 mad2,
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 go fetch your night-gown?


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, &c.

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 call'd my love, false love; but what said ke 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 5.-O, these men,

these men!

This couplet is not in the original ballad, which is the complaint not of a woman forsaken, but of a man rejected. These lines 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 gross kind?


There be some such, no question.

Des. Would'st thou do such a deed for all the


Emil. Why, would not you?


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.


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; 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 9 in despite :

Why, we have galls; and, though we have some


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


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.

11 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


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