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Iago. She never yet was foolish that was fair ; For even her folly help'd her to an heir.
Des. These are old fond paradoxes, to make fools laugh i'the alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for her that's foul and foolish?
Iago. There's none so foul, and foolish thereunto, But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.
Des. O heavy ignorance !-thou praisest the worst best. But what praise could'st thou bestow on a deserving woman indeed ? one, that, in the authority of her merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself8
Iago. She that was ever fair, and never proud;
Des. To do what?
Des. O most lame and impotent conclusion ! Do not learn of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband.-How say you, Cassio ? is he not a most profaneo and liberal counsellor ?
8one, that, in the authority of her merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself?] The sense is this, one that was so conscious of her own merit, and of the authority her character had with every one, that she durst venture to call upon
malice itself to vouch for her.
profane-] Gross of language, of expression broad and brutal.
liberal counsellor?] Liberal for licentious. VOL. IX.
Cas. He speaks home, madam ; you may relish him more in the soldier, than in the scholar.
Iago. [Aside.] He takes her by the palm : Ay, well said, whisper: with as little a web as this, will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. ' Ay, smile upon her, do ; I will gyve thee in thine own courtship. You say true ; 'tis so, indeed : if such tricks as these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had been better you had not kissed your three fingers so oft, which now again you are most apt to play the sir in.3 Very good; well kissed! an excellent courtesy !* ’tis. so, indeed. Yet again your fingers to your lips? would, they were clyster-pipes for your sake! [Trumpet.] The Moor, I know his trumpet.
Cas. 'Tis truly so.
To see you
Enter OTHELLO, and Attendants.
My dear Othello :
here before me. O my soul's joy! If after every tempest come such calms, May the winds blow till they have waken'd death! And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas, Olympus-high ; and duck again as low As hell's from heaven! If it were now to die, "Twere now to be most happy; for, I fear, My soul hath her content so absolute, That not another comfort like to this Succeeds in unknown fate.
I will gyve --] i.e. catch, shackle.
to play the sir in.] That is, to show your good breeding and gallantry.
- well kissed! an excellent courtesy!] Spoken when Cassio kisses his hand, and Desdemona courtsies.
The heavens forbid, But that our loves and comforts should increase, Even as our days do grow ! Oth.
Amen to that, sweet powers ! I cannot speak enough of this content, It stops me here; it is too much of joy: And this, and this, the greatest discords be,
[Kissing her. That e'er our hearts shall make ! Iago.
O, you are well tun'd now! But I'll set down the pegs that make this musick, As honest as I am.
Come, let's to the castle. News, friends ; our wars are done, the Turks are
drown'd. How do our old acquaintance of this isle ? Honey, you shall be well desir’d in Cyprus, I have found great love amongst them. O my sweet, I prattle out of fashion, and I dote In mine own comforts.- I pr’ythee, good Iago, Go to the bay, and disembark my coffers : Bring thou the master to the citadel ; He is a good one, and his worthiness Does challenge much respect.-Come, Desdemona, Once more well met at Cyprus.
[Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and At
tendants. Iago. Do thou meet me presently at the harbour. Come hither. If thou be'st valiant as (they say) base men, being in love, have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to them-list me. The lieutenant to-night watches on the court of
well desir'd in Cyprus,] i.e. much solicited by invitation. 6 I prattle out of fashion,] Out of method, without any settled order of discourse.
guard :—First, I must tell thee this-Desdemona is directly in love with him.
Rod. With him! why, 'tis not possible.
Iago. Lay thy finger-thuş, and let thy soul be instructed. Mark me with what violence she first loved the Moor, but for bragging, and telling her fantastical lies: And will she love him still for prating ? let not thy discreet heart think it. Her eye must be fed; and what delight shall she have to look on the devil ? When the blood is made dull with the act of sport, there should be,-again to inflame it, and to give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favour; sympathy in years, mantfers, and beauties; all which the Moor is defective in : Now, for want of these required conveniences, her delicate tenderness will find itself abused, begin to heave the gorge, disrelish and abhor the Moor; very nature will instruet her in it, and compel her to some second choice. Now, sir, this granted, (as it is a most pregnant and unforced position,) who stands so eminently in the degree of this fortune as Cassio does ? a knave very voluble; no further conscionable, than in putting on the mere form of civil and humane seeming, for the better compassing of his salt and most hidden loose affection ? why, none ; why, none : A slippery and subtle knave; a finder out of occasions; that has an eye can stamp and counterfeit advantages, though true advantage never present itself: A devilish knave! besides, the knave is handsome, young ; and hath all those requisites in him, that folly and green minds8 look after: A pestilent complete knave; and the woman hath found him already.
the court of guard : ] i.e. the place where the guard
green minds--] Minds unripe, minds not yet fully
Rod. I cannot believe that in her; she is full of most blessed condition.
Iago. Blessed fig's end! the wine she drinks is made of grapes : if she had been blessed, she would never have loved the Moor : Blessed pudding ! Didst thou not see her paddle with the palm of his hand ? didst not mark that?
Rod. Yes, that I did; but that was but courtesy.
Iago. Lechery, by this hand; an index, and obscure prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts. They met so near with their lips, that their breaths embraced together. Villainous thoughts, Roderigo! when these mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes the master and main exercise, the incorporate conclusion : Pish!-But, sir, be you ruled by me :
ruled by me: I have brought you from Venice. Watch you to-night; for the command, I'll lay't upon you: Cassio knows you not ;-I'll not be far from you: Do you find some occasion to anger Cassio, either by speaking too loud, or tainting' his discipline; or from what other course you please, which the time shall more favourably minister.
Iago. Sir, he is rash, and very sudden in choler;* and, haply, with his truncheon may strike at you: Provoke him, that he may: for, even out of that, will I cause these of Cyprus to matiny; whose qualification shall come into no true taste again, but by the displanting of Cassio. So shall you have a shorter journey to your desires, by the means I shall
condition.] Qualities, disposition of mind.
whose qualification shall come, &c.] Whose resentment shall not be so qualified or tempered, as to be well tasted, as not to retain some bitterness. The phrase is harsh, at least to our ears.