Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Donald L. Bailey
Not Peer Reviewed

Othello (Folio 1, 1623)


310
The Tragedie of Othello
THE TRAGEDIE OF

Othello, the Moore of Venice.



1
Actus Primus. Scœna Prima.



Enter Rodorigo, and Iago.

Rodorigo.
NEuer tell me, I take it much vnkindly
5That thou (Iago) who hast had my purse,
As if ye strings were thine, should'st know of this.
Ia. But you'l not heare me. If euer I did dream
Of such a matter, abhorre me.
Rodo. Thou told'st me,
10Thou did'st hold him in thy hate.
Iago. Despise me
If I do not. Three Great-ones of the Cittie,
(In personall suite to make me his Lieutenant)
Off-capt to him: and by the faith of man
15I know my price, I am worth no worsse a place.
But he (as louing his owne pride, and purposes)
Euades them, with a bumbast Circumstance,
Horribly stufft with Epithites of warre,
Non-suites my Mediators. For certes, saies he,
20I haue already chose my Officer. And what was he?
For-sooth, a great Arithmatician,
One Michaell Cassio, a Florentine,
(A Fellow almost damn'd in a faire Wife)
That neuer set a Squadron in the Field,
25Nor the deuision of a Battaile knowes
More then a Spinster. Vnlesse the Bookish Theoricke:
Wherein the Tongued Consuls can propose
As Masterly as he. Meere pratle (without practise)
Is all his Souldiership. But he (Sir) had th'election;
30And I (of whom his eies had seene the proofe
At Rhodes, at Ciprus, and on others grounds
Christen'd, and Heathen) must be be-leed, and calm'd
By Debitor, and Creditor. This Counter-caster,
He (in good time) must his Lieutenant be,
35And I (blesse the marke) his Mooreships Auntient.
Rod. By heauen, I rather would haue bin his hangman.
Iago. Why, there's no remedie.
'Tis the cursse of Seruice;
Preferment goes by Letter, and affection,
40And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood Heire to'th'first. Now Sir, be iudge your selfe,
Whether I in any iust terme am Affin'd
To loue the Moore?
Rod. I would not follow him then.
45Iago. O Sir content you.
I follow him, to serue my turne vpon him.
We cannot all be Masters, nor all Masters


Cannot be truely follow'd. You shall marke
Many a dutious and knee-crooking knaue;
50That (doting on his owne obsequious bondage)
Weares out his time, much like his Masters Asse,
For naught but Prouender, & when he's old Casheer'd.
Whip me such honest knaues. Others there are
Who trym'd in Formes, and visages of Dutie,
55Keepe yet their hearts attending on themselues,
And throwing but showes of Seruice on their Lords
Doe well thriue by them.
And when they haue lin'd their Coates
Doe themselues Homage.
60These Fellowes haue some soule,
And such a one do I professe my selfe. For (Sir)
It is as sure as you are Rodorigo,
Were I the Moore, I would not be Iago:
In following him, I follow but my selfe.
65Heauen is my Iudge, not I for loue and dutie,
But seeming so, for my peculiar end:
For when my outward Action doth demonstrate
The natiue act, and figure of my heart
In Complement externe, 'tis not long after
70But I will weare my heart vpon my sleeue
For Dawes to pecke at; I am not what I am.
Rod. What a fall Fortune do's the Thicks-lips owe
If he can carry't thus?
Iago. Call vp her Father:
75Rowse him, make after him, poyson his delight,
Proclaime him in the Streets. Incense her kinsmen,
And though he in a fertile Clymate dwell,
Plague him with Flies: though that his Ioy be Ioy,
Yet throw such chances of vexation on't,
80As it may loose some colour.
Rodo. Heere is her Fathers house, Ile call aloud.
Iago. Doe, with like timerous accent, and dire yell,
As when (by Night and Negligence) the Fire
Is spied in populus Citties.
85Rodo. What hoa: Brabantio, Siginor Brabantio, hoa.
Iago. Awake: what hoa, Brabantio: Theeues, Theeues.
Looke to your house, your daughter, and your Bags,
Theeues, Theeues.
Bra.Aboue. What is the reason of this terrible
90Summons? What is the matter there?
Rodo. Signior is all your Familie within?
Iago. Are your Doores lock'd?
Bra. Why? Wherefore ask you this?
Iago. Sir, y'are rob'd, for shame put on your Gowne,
Your