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Enter Gentleman.

How now? who has put in?

Gent. 'Tis one Iago, Ancient to the General. Caf. H'as had moft favorable and happy fpeed; Tempests themselves, high feas, and howling winds; The gutter'd rocks, and congregated fands, Traitors enfteep'd to clog the guiltlefs keel ; As having fenfe of beauty, do omit

Their mortal natures, letting fafe go by

The divine Defdemona.

Mont. What is fhe?

Caf. She that i fpake of, our great Captain's Captain,

Left in the conduct of the bold Iago:

Whole footing here anticipates our thoughts,
A fe'nnight's speed. Great Jove, Othello guard!
And fwell his fail with thine own powerful breath,
That he may blefs this bay with his tall fhip,
Make love's quick pants in Defdem na's arms,
Give renew'd fire to our extincted spirits,
"And bring all Cyprus comfort-


Enter Defdemona, Iago, Rodorigo, and Æmilia.

O behold!

The riches of the fhip is come on fhore.

Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.
Hail to thee, lady! and the grace of heav'n,
Before, behind thee, and on every hand
Enwheel thee round.


Def. I thank you, valiant Caffio,

What tidings can you tell me of my Lord?
Caf. He is not yet arriv'd, nor know I aught
But that he's well, and will be shortly here.
Def. O, but I fear-How loft you company?
Caf. The great contention of the fea and fkies
Parted our fellowship. But, hark, a fail!
Within. A fail, a fail! ·

[Sound of Cannon. Gent. They give this greeting to the Citadel:

This likewife is a friend.

Caf. See for the news.

Good Ancient, you are welcome. Welcome, mistress.

Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,

[To Æmilia.

That I extend my manners. 'Tis my breeding,

That gives me this bold fhew of courtely. [Killes her. Iago. Sir, would fhe give you so much of her lips, As of her tongue fhe oft beftows on me,

You'd have enough.

Def. Alas! fhe has no fpeech.
Jago. In faith, too much;

I find it ftill, when I have lift to sleep.
Marry, before your ladyship, I grant,
She puts her tongue a little in her heart,
And chides with thinking.

Emil. You have little caufe to say so.

Iago. Come on, come on; you're pictures out of doors,

Bells in your parlours, wild-cats in your kitchens, 3 Saints in your injuries, devils being offended, Players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds!

Def. O, fy upon thee, flanderer!

Iago. Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk; You rife to play, and go to bed to work.

3 When you have a mind to do injuries, you put on an air of


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Emil. You fhall not write my praise.
Jago. No, let me not.

Def. What wouldst thou write of me, if thou
fhou'dft praise me?

Iago. Oh gentle lady, do not put me to't, For I am nothing, if not critical.


Def. Come, one affay. There's one gone to the harbour?

Iago. Ay, Madam.

Def. I am not merry; but I do beguile The thing I am, by feeming otherwise. -Come, how wouldst thou praise me?

Iago. I am about it; but, indeed, invention Comes from my pate, as birdlime does from freeze, It plucks out brains and all. But my mufe labours, And thus fhe is delivered,

If he be fair and wife, fairness and wit,
The one's for ufe, the other ufeth it.

Def. Well prais'd. How if fhe be black and witty?
Iago. If he be black, and thereto have a wit,

She'll find a white that fhall her blackness fit.

Def. Worfe and worse.

Emil. How, if fair and foolish?

Iago. She never yet was foolish, that was fair;
For ev'n ber folly helpt her to an heir.

Def. Thefe are old fond paradoxes, to make fools laugh i' th' alehouse. What miferable praise haft thou for her that's foul and foolish?

4 -critical.] That is, cenforious.

5 She never get was foolish, &c.] We may read,

She ne'er was yet so forlifh that

was fair,

But ev'n her folly help'd her to an heir.

Yet I believe the common reading to be right: The law makes the power of cohabitation a proof that a man is not a natural; therefore, fince the foolisheft woman, if pretty, may have a child, no pretty woman is ever foolish.

Iago. There's none fo foul and foolish thereunto,

But does foul pranks, which fair and wife ones do.

Def. O heavy ignorance! thou praisest the worst best. But what praise couldft thou bestow on a deserving woman indeed? one, that in the authority of her merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself?

Iago. She that was ever fair, and never proud,

Had tongue at will, and yet was never loud;
Never lackt gold, and yet went never gay,
Fled from her wish, and yet faid, now I may;
She that when anger'd, her revenge being nigh,
Bade her wrong tay, and ber difpleafure fly;
She that in wifdom never was fo frail
To change the cod's head for the falmon's tail;

6 One, that in the authority of her merit, did juftly put on the vouch of very malice itself?] Tho' all the printed copies agree in this reading, I cannot help fufpecting it. If the text fhould be genuine, I confefs, it is above my understanding. In what fenfe can merit be faid to put on the vouch of malice? I fhould rather think, merit was fo fafe in itself, as to repel and put off all that malice and envy could advance and affirm to its prejudice. I have ventur'd to reform the text to this construction, by writing put down, a very flight change that makes it intelligible. THEOB.

One, that in the authority of ber merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself?] The editor, Mr. Theobald, not un

derftanding the phrafe, To put on the vouch of malice, has alter'd it to put down, and wrote a deal of unintelligible ftuff to justify his blunder. To put on the vouch of any one, fignifies, to call upon any one to vouch for another. So that the fenfe of the place is this, One that was fo confcious of her own merit, and of the authority her character had with every one, that she durft venture to call upon malice itself to vouch for her. This was fome commendation. And the character only of the clearest virtue; which could force malice, even against its nature, to do justice. WARB.

To put on the vouch of malice, is to affume a character vouched by the teftimony of malice itfelf.


She that could think, and ne'er difclose her mind, See fuitors following, and ne'er look behind; She was a wight, if ever fuch wight were Def. To do what?

Iago. To fuckle fools, and chronicle fmall beer.

Def. Oh moft lame and impotent conclufion! Do not learn of him, Emilia, tho' he be thy husband. How fay you, Caffio, is he not a moft profane and 9 liberal counsellor?

Caf. He fpeaks home, Madam; you may relish him more in the foldier, than in the fcholar.

Iago. [Afide.] He takes her by the palm; ay, well faid. Whisper. With as little a web as this, will I enfnare as great a fly as Caffio. Ay, fmile upon her, do. I will gyve thee in thine own courtship. You fay true, 'tis fo, indeed. If fuch tricks as thefe ftrip

7 To fuckle fools, and chronicle

fmail beer.] In this line there feems to be more humour defigned, than I can easily discover or explain. Why fhould the fuckle fools? Perhaps, that there to whom nature had denied wit, might derive it from a lady to whom it was given in fo much fuperfluity. She would be a avight to chronicie fmall beer, in allufion, I fuppofe, to the Roman practice, of marking the jars with the name of the Conful. The appearance of fuch a woman would make an æra; but as the merit of the best woman is but small, that æra might be properly applied to the diftinc tion of the different ages of fmall beer.

profane] Grofs of language,

of expreffion broad and brutal. So Brabantio, in the firit act, calls Iago, profane wretch.

9 liberal counfelior?] Liberal, for licentious. WARB. How Jay you, Caffio? Is he not a most profane and liberal counfellor] But in what respect was Iago a counselior? He caps fentences, indeed; but they are not by way of advice, but defeription: what he fays, is, Reflexions on character and conduct in life. For this reafon, I am very apt to think, our author wrote cenfurer. THEOB.

Counsellor feems to mean, not fo much a man that gives courfel, as one that difcouries fearletly and volubly. A talker.

I will gyve thee] i. e. catch,



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