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Is, not to leav't undone, but keep't unknown'.
Oth. Dost thou say so ?
Iago. She did deceive her father, marrying you;
And so she did.
Why, go to, then;
I am bound to thee for ever.
Trust me, I fear it has.
Oth. I will not.
Should you do so, my lord, My speech should fall into such vile success As my thoughts aim not at?. Cassio's my worthy friend. My lord, I see you are moy'd. Oth.
No, not much mov'd.-
Iago. Long live she so; and long live you to think so!
Iago. Ay, there's the point :-as,—to be bold with you, -
| Is, not to leave't undone, but keep’t unknown.) So the folio, and the 4to, 1630 : the 4to, 1622, has leave and keep, and in the preceding line it omits the material word," not."
? As my thoughts aim not at.] This is the reading of both 4tos : the folio, “ Which my thoughts aim'd not.” The 4to, 1622, has“ trusty friend" for " worthy friend” of the folio, and 4to, 1630.
Distinctly speak of her”, though I may fear,
Oth. Fear not my government.
I do not in POSITION Distinctly speak of her,] The corr. fo. 1632 tells us to read suspicion for "position ;” but if suspicion were the word, we should be inclined to think that “not" had also been misprinted for but, the meaning of lago then being, “I but speak of her distinctly in suspicion.” We do not feel justified in recommending an alteration of the text.
* And HAPPILY repent.] “Happily” here, of course, means perhaps, and ought properly to have been spelt haply; but a word of three syllables was required by the line. The second " farewell ” is from the folio.
s My lord, I would, I might entreat your honour] In the 4to, 1622, this line is absurdly made the conclusion of Othello's speech.
6 Although 'tis fit] So the folio : the 4to, 1622, “Tho' it be fit;" and the 4to, 1630, “ And though 'tis fit.” In the next line but one the folio omits the neces. sary word "hold.”
And knows all QUALITIES] So the 4tos, but in the folios “ qualities" became quantities : in the corr. fo. 1632 “ qualities" is restored to its place.
8 — if I do prove her hagGARD,] A " haggard” is a wild, and, as Johnson truly says, an unreclaimed hawk. See Vol. ii. pp. 40. 684. In Sir T. Browne's
Though that her jesses were my dear heart-strings',
Enter DESDEMONA and EMILIA.
If she be false, oh! then heaven mocks itself.-
How now, my dear Othello!
Oth. I am to blame.
Religio Medici, sect. 10, we read, -" Thus I teach my haggard and unreclaimed reason to stoop to the lure of faith."
9 Though that her JESSES were my dear heart-strings,] “Jesses,” Hanmer correctly tells us, were short straps of leather tied about the foot of a hawk, by which she was held on the fist. 1 I'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind,
To prey at fortune.] The falconers, Johnson observes, always let fly the hawk against the wind; if she flies with the wind behind her, she seldom returns. If, therefore, a hawk was for any reason to be dismissed, she was let down the wind, and from that time shifted for herself, and preyed at fortune.
2 DESDEMONA comes :] Our text, here and in the next line, is that of both the 4tos: the folio has,
“ Look where she comes : If she be false, heaven mock'd itself." This is evidently wrong. Afterwards, in the question, “Why is your speech so faint?" we also follow the 4tos: the folio gives it, “Why do you speak so faintly?" another reading injurious to the measure.
Let me but bind it hard, within this hour
[Offering to bind his head'. It will be well. Oth. Your napkin is too little ;
[The napkin falls to the ground. Let it alone. Come, I'll go in with you. Des. I am very sorry that you are not well.
[Exeunt OTH. and Des. Emil. I am glad I have found this napkin. [Taking it up. 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 should ever keep it) That she reserves it evermore about her, To kiss, and talk to. I'll have the work ta'en out', And giv't Iago : what he will do with it, Heaven knows, not I; I nothing, but to please his fantasy.
Emil. Oh! is that all? What will you give me now
What handkerchief? Emil. What handkerchief!
* Offering to bind his head.] This and other stage-directions in this part of the scene are deficient in all the old copies : “ Offering to bind bis head” is a MS. note in the corr. fo. 1632. We may suppose that while Desdemona is offering to bind Othello's head, and Othello telling her to “ let it alone,” the handkerchief falls to the ground, and Emilia immediately afterwards takes it up.
4 I'll have the work TA’EN OUT,] “ Ta'en out,” in the phraseology of the time, meant copied out, not picked out. So in Middleton's "Women Beware Women,"
“She intends To take out other works in a new sampler;". a passage which the Rev. Mr. Dyce (Middleton's Works, Vol. iv. p. 520) has not thought it necessary to illustrate, not recollecting, perhaps, this passage in Shakespeare, to which it so accurately applies.
5 I nothing, but to please his fantasy.] Thus the folio, and the 4to, 1630 : the 4to, 1622, reads, “ I nothing know, but for his fantasy."
6 A thing for me?] The folio alone makes the line of twelve syllables, by reading, “ You have a thing for me? It is a common thing."
Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona;
Iago. Hast stolen it from her ?
Emil. No, 'faith: she let it drop by negligence;
A good wench; give it me.
Iago. Be not acknown on't'; I have use for it. Go; leave me.
[Exit Emilia. I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin, And let him 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 poisono: 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
Enter OTHELLO, at a distance.
? Be not ACKNOWN on't ;] So the folio: the 4to, 1630, has the word “ known" also, but with the addition of “you,"_" Be not you acknown on't.” The 4to, 1622, reads, “ Be not you known on't.” The meaning of course is, “Be not acquainted with it-know nothing about it."
8 The Moor already changes with my poison :] This line, which is in the folio, and in the 4to, 1630, is not in the 4to, 1622.
– Act upon the blood,] The 4to, 1622, alone reads art for “act,” and in the next line, minds for “mines."
1 - nor MANDRAGORA,] The “mandragora," or mandrake, has a soporific quality, and the ancients, says Steevens, used it when they wanted an opiate of the most powerful kind. In “ Antony and Cleopatra," A. i. sc. 6, the heroine exclaims, “ Give me to drink mandragora," &c.