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The Tragedy of Othello, Moor of Venice

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Act III, Scene 1

Before the castle.


[Enter CASSIO and some Musicians]

  • Cassio. Masters, play here; I will content your pains;
    Something that's brief; and bid 'Good morrow, general.'


[Enter Clown]

  • Clown. Why masters, have your instruments been in Naples, 1550
    that they speak i' the nose thus?
  • Clown. Are these, I pray you, wind-instruments?
  • Clown. O, thereby hangs a tail. 1555
  • Clown. Marry. sir, by many a wind-instrument that I know.
    But, masters, here's money for you: and the general
    so likes your music, that he desires you, for love's
    sake, to make no more noise with it. 1560
  • Clown. If you have any music that may not be heard, to't
    again: but, as they say to hear music the general
    does not greatly care.
  • Clown. Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away:
    go; vanish into air; away!

[Exeunt Musicians]

  • Cassio. Dost thou hear, my honest friend?
  • Clown. No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you. 1570
  • Cassio. Prithee, keep up thy quillets. There's a poor piece
    of gold for thee: if the gentlewoman that attends
    the general's wife be stirring, tell her there's
    one Cassio entreats her a little favour of speech:
    wilt thou do this? 1575
  • Clown. She is stirring, sir: if she will stir hither, I
    shall seem to notify unto her.
  • Cassio. Do, good my friend.
    [Exit Clown]
    [Enter IAGO] 1580
    In happy time, Iago.
  • Iago. You have not been a-bed, then?
  • Cassio. Why, no; the day had broke
    Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago,
    To send in to your wife: my suit to her 1585
    Is, that she will to virtuous Desdemona
    Procure me some access.
  • Iago. I'll send her to you presently;
    And I'll devise a mean to draw the Moor
    Out of the way, that your converse and business 1590
    May be more free.
  • Cassio. I humbly thank you for't.
    [Exit IAGO]
    I never knew
    A Florentine more kind and honest. 1595

[Enter EMILIA]

  • Emilia. Good morrow, good Lieutenant: I am sorry
    For your displeasure; but all will sure be well.
    The general and his wife are talking of it;
    And she speaks for you stoutly: the Moor replies, 1600
    That he you hurt is of great fame in Cyprus,
    And great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdom
    He might not but refuse you; but he protests he loves you
    And needs no other suitor but his likings
    To take the safest occasion by the front 1605
    To bring you in again.
  • Cassio. Yet, I beseech you,
    If you think fit, or that it may be done,
    Give me advantage of some brief discourse
    With Desdemona alone. 1610
  • Emilia. Pray you, come in;
    I will bestow you where you shall have time
    To speak your bosom freely.
  • Cassio. I am much bound to you.