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With Caffio's fuit: Therefore be merry, Caffio;
For thy folicitor fhall rather die,

Than give thy cause away.

Enter Othello, and Iago, at a diftance.

Emil. Madam, here comes my lord.
Caf. Madam, I'll take my leave.
Def. Why, ftay, and hear me fpeak.

Caf. Madam, not now; I am very ill at ease,

Unfit for mine own purposes.

Def. Well, do your discretion.
Iago. Ha! I like not that.

Oth. What dost thou say?

[Exit Caffio.

Iago. Nothing, my lord: or if-I know not what. Oth. Was not that Caffio, parted from my wife ? Iago. Caffio, my lord? No, fure, I cannot think it, That he would fteal away fo guilty-like, Seeing you coming.

Oth. I do believe, 'twas he.

Def. How now, my lord?

I have been talking with a fuitor here,

A man that languishes in your displeasure.
Oth. Who is't, you mean?

Def. Why, your lieutenant Caffio. Good my lord, If I have any grace, or power to move you, 'His prefent reconciliation take;

2

For, if he be not one that truly loves you,
That errs in ignorance, and not in cunning,
I have no judgment in an honeft face;

I pr'ythee, call him back.

His prefent reconciliation take :] Caffio was to be reconciled to his general, not his general to him, therefore take cannot be right. We fhould read make. WARBURTON.

To take his reconciliation, may be to accept the fubmiffion which he makes in order to be reconciled. JOHNSON.

2- and not in cunning,] Cunning, for defign, or purpose, fimply. WARBURTON.

Oth.

Oth. Went he hence now?

Def. Ay footh; fo humbled,

That he hath left part of his grief with me, 3 To fuffer with him: Good love, call him back. Oth. Not now, fweet Defdemona; fome other time.

Def. But fhall't be fhortly?

Oth. The fooner, fweet, for

you.

Def. Shall't be to-night at supper ?

Oth. No, not to-night.

Def. To-morrow dinner then?

Oth. I fhall not dine at home;

I meet the captains at the citadel.

Def. Why then, to-morrow night; or Tuesday

morn;

Or Tuesday noon, or night; or Wednesday morn ;—
I pray thée, name the time; but let it not
Exceed three days: in faith, he's penitent;
And yet his trefpafs, in our common reason,
(Save that, they fay, the wars must make examples
Out of their best) is not almost a fault

4

To incur a private check: When fhall he come ?
Tell me, Othello. I wonder in my foul,
What you could afk me, that I fhould deny,

Or ftand fo mammering on 5, What! Michael

Caffio,

That

To fuffer with him:] The first quarto reads - I fuffer with him. MALONE.

4 the wars mufi make examples

Out of their bef,] The feverity of military difcipline must not fpare the best men of the army, when their punishment may afford a wholefome example. JOHNSON.

3-fo mammering on?] To befitate, to ftand in fufpence. The word often occurs in old English writings, and probably takes its original from the French m'Amour, which men were apt often to repeat when they were not prepared to give a direct antwer. HANMER.

I find the fame word in Acolafus, a comedy, 1540: in doubs or in a mamorynge between hope and fear."

"I fland

That came a wooing with you; and fo many a time,
When I have spoke of you difpraifingly,

Hath ta'en your part; to have fo much to do
To bring him in! Trust me, I could do much,-
Oth. Pr'ythee, no more: let him come when he
will;

I will deny thee nothing.

Def. Why, this is not a boon ;

'Tis as I fhould entreat you wear your gloves,
Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm ;
Or fue to you to do a peculiar profit

To your own perfon: Nay, when I have a fuit,
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
It fhall be full of poize and difficulty,
And fearful to be granted.

Oth. I will deny the nothing:

Whereon, I do befeech thee, grant me this,-
To leave me but a little to myself.

Def. Shall I deny you? no: Farewell, my lord. Oth. Farewell, my Defdemona: I will come to thee ftraight.

Def. Æmilia, come : -Be it as your fancies teach

you;

Whate'er you be, I am obedient. [Exit with Emil. Oth. Excellent wretch! Perdition catch

my foul, But

Again, in Thomas Drant's tranflation of the third Satire of the fecond Book of Horace, 1567:

"Ye, when the daygnes to fend for him, then mammeryng he dothe doure STEEVENS.

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6 full of poize-] i. e. or weight. So, in The Dumb Knight, 1633:

Again,

"They are of poize fufficient-"

"But we are all preft down with other poize." STEVENS. 7 Excellent wretch !-Perdition catch mp foul,

But I do love thee! &c.] The meaning of the word suretch, is not generally underfood. It is now, in fome parts of England a term of the fofteft and fondeft tenderness. It expreffes the utmoft degree of amiablenefs, joined with an idea, which per

haps:

But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
Chaos is come again.

Iago.

haps all tenderness includes, of feeblenefs, foftnefs, and want of protection. Othello, confidering Desdemona as excelling in beauty and virtue, foft 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. JOHNSON.

"Ex

Sir W. D'Avenant ufes the fame expreffion in his Cruel Bro ther, 1630, and with the fame meaning. It occurs twice cellent wretch! with a timorous modesty she stifleth up her utterance." STEEVENS.

8 - 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, tu mult, perturbation, and confufion. JOHNSON,

when I love thee not,

Chaos is come again.] There is another meaning poffible. When I ceafe to love thee, the world is at an end; i. e. there remains nothing valuable or important. The first explanation may be more elegant, the fecond is perhaps more eafy. Shakspeare has the fame thought in his Venus and Adonis:

"For he being dead, with him his beauty flain,

"And, beauty dead, black Chaos comes again." STEEVENS. The paffage does not ftrike me in the fame light in which it appeared to Dr. Johnfon; as Othello hath not at this time the fmalleft doubt of his wife's fidelity. He means, I think, to say, -ere I ccafe to love thee, the world itself shall be reduced to its primitive chaos. Shakspeare probably preferred-" Chaos is come again," to "Chaos hall come again," as more bold and expreffive. Muretus, a poet of the 16th century, has exactly the fame thought:

"Tunc meo clabi poffis de pectore, Lacci,

"Aut ego, dum vivam, non meminiffe tui?
Ante vel iftius mundi compage foluta
"Tetras in antiquum fit reditura Chaos;'

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The

This line of Muretus is here quoted from an incorrect edition. The falfe quantity in it, however, was fufficiently obvious; but as fuch miftakes are fometimes to be met with among modern writers of Latin verfe, (especially the Pocta Italorum) I paffed over the prefent imperfection with pointing it out to the public. Yet perhaps we fhould read with an older copy of this author, printed at Paris in his life-time :

Tetras in antiquum, &c.

i. e. quaternio elementorum, the four elements out of which the universe was made. MALONE.

Lago. 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 laft: Why doft thou afk?

Iago. But for a fatisfaction of my thought; No further harm.

Oth. Why of thy thought, Iago?

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

Oth. O, yes; aud went between us very oft.
Iago. Indeed?

Ork. Indeed! ay, indeed ;-Difcern'ft thou aught

' in that?

Is he not honeft?

Iago. Honeft, my lord?

Oib. Honeft! ay, honest.

Iago. My lord, for aught I know.

Oth. What doft thou think?

Iago. Think, my lord?

Oth. Think, my lord!-By heaven, he echoes

me,

As if there were fome monfter in his thought

9

'Too

The meaning of Shakspeare appears very clearly from the fol lowing paffage in the Winter's Tale, where the fame thought is more fully expreffed :

66

It cannot fail

"But by the violation of my faith--and then
"Let nature crush the fides of the earth together,
"And marthe feeds within." MALONE.

9-ber.] So all the old copies. Rowe altered the word to it.

9

eldeft

By beaven be echoes me,

MALONE.

As if there were fome monfier in his thought, &c.] Thus the
quarto: The lecond quarto reads:
Why dost thou echo me,

As if there were fome monster in thy thought, &c.

The

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