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Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
Iago. My lord, I take my leave. [Going.
doubtless, Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.
Iago. My lord, I would, I might entreat your honour To scan this thing no further; leave it to time: And though it be fit that Cassio have his place, (For, sure, he fills it up with great ability,) Yet, if you please to hold him off a while, You shall by that perceive him and his means : Note, if your lady strain his entertainment With any strong or vehement opportunity ; Much will be seen in that. In the mean time, Let me be thought too busy in my fears, (As worthy cause I have, to fear-I am,) And hold her free, I do beseesh your honour.
Oth. Fear not my government. lago. I once more take my
[Exit. Oth. This fellow's of exceeding honesty, And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit, Of human dealings: If I do prove her haggard,2 Though that her jesses 3 were my dear heartstrings,
1 Press hard his re-admission to his pay and office. ? A species of hawk, also a term of reproach applied to a
I'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind,
gone; I am abus'd; and my relief
of a dungeon, Than keep a corner in the thing I love, For others' uses. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones; Prerogativ'd are they less than the base ; 'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death; Even then this forked plague is fated to us, When we do quicken. Desdemona comes :
Enter DESDEMONA and EMILIA.
If she be false, O, then heaven mocks itself!
How now, my dear Othello?
Oth. I am to blame.
well ? Oth. I have a pain upon my forehead here. Des. Faith, that's with watching; twill away
again : Let me but bind it hard, within this hour It will be well.
4 Men of intrigue.
5 When we begin to live.
Your napkin" is too little; [He puts the Handkerchief
from him, and it drops. Let it alone. Come, I'll go
you. Des. I am very sorry that you are not well.
[Exeunt Oth, and Des. Emil. I am glad I have found this napkin; This was her first remembrance from the Moor : My wayward husband hath a hundred times Woo'd me to steal it: but she so loves the token, (For he conjur'd her, she would ever keep it) That she reserves it evermore about her, To kiss, and talk to. I'll have the work ta'en out, And give it Iago: What he'll do with it, heaven knows, not I; I nothing, but to please his fantasy.
Iago. How now! what do you here alone?
Emil. O, is that all? What will you give me now
What handkerchief? Emil. What handkerchief? Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona; That which so often you did bid me steal.
Iago. Hast stolen it from her ?
. In the north of England this term for a handkerchief is still
Emil. No, faith; she let it drop by negligence; And, to the advantage, I, being here, took’t up. Look, here it is. Iago.
A good wench; give it me. Emil. What will you do with it, that you have
been so earnest To have me filch it? Iago.
Why, what's that to you?
[Snutching it. Emil. If it be not for some purpose of import, Give it me again: Poor lady! she'll run mad, When she shall lack it.
Iago. Be not you known of t;? I have use for it. Go, leave me.
[Erit EMILIA. I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin, And let himn find it: Trifles, light as air, Are, to the jealous, confirmations strong As proofs of holy writ. This may do something. The Moor already changes with my poison :Dangerous conceits are, in their natures, poisons, Which, at the first, are scarce found to distaste; But, with a little act upon the blood, Burn like the mines of sulphur.-I did say so:
Look, where he comes ! Not poppy, nor mandra
Nor all the drowsy, syrups of the world,
7 Seem as if you knew nothing of the matter. • The mandrake has a soporifick quality.
Ha! ha! false to me? To me ?
lago. Why, how now, general? no more of that. Oth. Avaunt! be gone! thou hast set me on the
How now, my lord ?
Iago. I am sorry to hear this.
Oth. I had been happy, if the general camp,
Jago. Is it possible!—My lord,—
· The vilest of the camp. Pioneers were generally degraded