Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Donald L. Bailey
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Othello (Folio 1, 1623)

the Moore ofVenice.
Othe. I know Iago
Thy honestie, and loue doth mince this matter,
1370Making it light to Cassio: Cassio, I loue thee,
But neuer more be Officer of mine.

Enter Desdemona attended.

Looke if my gentle Loue be not rais'd vp:
Ile make thee an example.
1375Des. What is the matter (Deere?)
Othe. All's well, Sweeting:
Come away to bed. Sir foryour hurts,
My selfe will be your Surgeon. Lead him off:
Iago, looke with care about the Towne,
1380And silence thosewhom this vil'd brawle distracted.
Come Desdemona, 'tis the Soldiers life,
To haue their Balmy slumbers wak'd with strife.
Iago. What are you hurt Lieutenant?
Cas. I, past all Surgery.
1385Iago. Marry Heauen forbid.
Cas. Reputation, Reputation, Reputation: Oh I haue
lost my Reputation. I haue lost the immortall part of
myselfe, and what remaines is bestiall. My Reputation,
Iago, my Reputation.
1390Iago. As I am an honest man I had thought you had
receiued some bodily wound; there is more sence in that
then in Reputation. Reputation is an idle, and most false
imposition; oft got without merit, aud lost without de-
seruing. You haue lost no Reputation at all, vnlesse you
1395repute your selfe such a looser. What man, there are
more wayes to recouer the Generall againe. You are
but now cast in his moode, (a punishment more in poli-
cie, then in malice) euen so as one would beate his of-
fencelesse dogge, ro affright an Imperious Lyon. Sue to
1400him againe, and he's yours.
Cas. I will rather sue to be despis'd, then to deceiue
so good a Commander, with so slight, so drunken, and so
indiscreet an Officer. Drunke? And speake Parrat? And
squabble? Swagger? Sweare? And discourse Fustian
1405with ones owne shadow? Oh thou invisible spirit of
Wine, if thou hast no name to be knowne by, let vs call
thee Diuell.
Iago. What was he that you follow'd with your
Sword? What had he done to you?
1410Cas. I know not.
Iago. Is't possible?
Cas. I remember a masse of things, but nothing di-
stinctly: a Quarrell, but nothing wherefore. Oh, that
men should put an Enemie in their mouthes, to steale a-
1415way their Braines? that we should with ioy, pleasance,
reuell and applause, transforme our selues into Beasts.
Iago. Why? But you are now well enough: how
came you thus recouered?
Cas. It hath pleas'd the diuell drunkennesse, to giue
1420place to the diuell wrath, one vnperfectnesse, shewes me
another to make me frankly despise my selfe.
Iago. Come, you are too seuere a Moraller. As the
Time, the Place, & the Condition of this Country stands
I could hartily wish this had not befalne: but since it is, as
1425it is, mend it for your owne good.
Cas. I will aske him for my Place againe, he shall tell
me, I am a drunkard: had I as many mouthes as Hydra,
such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sen-
sible man, by and by a Foole, and presently a Beast. Oh
1430strange! Euery inordinate cup is vnbless'd, and the Ingre-
dient is a diuell.

Iago. Come, come: good wine, is a good famillar
Creature, if it be well vs'd: exclaime no more against it.
And good Lieutenant, I thinke, you thinke I loue
Cassio. I haue well approued it, Sir. I drunke?
Iago. You, or any man liuing, may be drunke at a
time man. I tell you what you shall do: Our General's
Wife, is now the Generall. I may say so, in this respect,
1440for that he hath deuoted, and giuen vp himselfe to the
Contemplation, marke: and deuotement of her parts
and Graces. Confesse your selfe freely to her: Impor-
tune her helpe to put you in your place againe. She is
of so free, so kinde, so apt, so blessed a disposition,
1445she holds it a vice in her goodnesse, not to do more
then she is requested. This broken ioynt betweene
you, and her husband, entreat her to splinter. And my
Fortunes against any lay worth naming, this cracke of
your Loue, shall grow stronger, then it was before.
1450Cassio. You aduise me well.
Iago. I protest in the sinceritie of Loue, and honest
Cassio. I thinke it freely: and betimes in the mor-
ning, I will beseech the vertuous Desdemona to vndertake
1455for me: I am desperate of my Fortunes if they check me.
Iago. You are in the right: good night Lieutenant, I
must to the Watch.
Cassio. Good night, honest Iago.
Exit Cassio.
1460Iago. And what's he then,
That saies I play the Villaine?
When this aduise is free I giue, and honest,
Proball to thinking, and indeed the course
To win the Moore againe.
1465For 'tis most easie
Th'inclyning Desdemona to subdue
In any honest Suite. She's fram'd as fruitefull
As the free Elements. And then for her
To win the Moore, were to renownce his Baptisme,
1470All Seales, and Simbols of redeemed sin:
His Soule is so enfetter'd to her Loue,
That she may make, vnmake, do what she list,
Euen as her Appetite shall play the God,
With his weake Function. How am I then a Villaine,
1475To Counsell Cassio to this paralell course,
Directly to his good? Diuinitie of hell,
When diuels will the blackest sinnes put on,
They do suggest at first with heauenly shewes,
As I do now. For whiles this honest Foole
1480Plies Desdemona, to repaire his Fortune,
And she for him, pleades strongly to the Moore,
Ile powre this pestilence into his eare:
That she repeales him, for her bodies Lust'
And by how much she striues to do him good,
1485She shall vndo her Credite with the Moore.
So will I turne her vertue into pitch,
And out of her owne goodnesse make the Net,
That shall en-mash them all.
How now Rodorigo?

Enter Rodorigo.

Rodorigo. I do follow heere in the Chace, not
like a Hound that hunts, but one that filles vp the
Crie. My Money is almost spent; I haue bin to night
exceedingly well Cudgell'd: And I thinke the issue
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