Cyprus. Before the castle.
(Cassio; Musicians; Clown; Iago; Emilia)
Cassio pays some musicians to serenade Othello, but a clown arrives to tell them that the general is in no mood for music, and pays them to stop. Cassio asks him to fetch Emilia. Iago, passing by, says he will send Emilia in himself, and promises to occupy Othello so that Cassio can speak to Desdemona uninterrupted. Emilia comes in to tell Cassio that Desdemona has already spoken for him, but that Othello is arguing that it would harm his reputation to restore Cassio. Nevertheless, she agrees to get him some time with Desdemona. (48 lines)
Enter Cassio with Musicians.
Masters, play here, I will content your pains; Something that’s brief; and bid “Good morrow, general.”
They play, and enter the Clown.
Why, masters, have your instruments been in Naples, that they speak i’ th’ nose thus?
How, sir? How?
Are these, I pray you, wind instruments?
Ay, marry, are they, sir.
O, thereby hangs a tail.
Whereby hangs a tale, sir?
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.
Well, sir, we will not.
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.
We have none such, sir.
Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I’ll away. Go, vanish into air, away!
Dost thou hear, mine honest friend?
No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you.
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 favor of speech. Wilt thou do this?
She is stirring, sir. If she will stir hither, I shall seem to notify unto her.
Do, good my friend.
In happy time, Iago.
You have not been a-bed then?
Why, no; the day had broke
Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago,
To send in to your wife. My suit to her
Is that she will to virtuous Desdemona
Procure me some access.
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
May be more free.
I humbly thank you for’t.
I never knew a Florentine more kind and honest.
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
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
To bring you in again.
Yet I beseech you,
If you think fit, or that it may be done,
Give me advantage of some brief discourse
With Desdemon alone.
Pray you come in.
I will bestow you where you shall have time
To speak your bosom freely.
I am much bound to you.