Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Othello (Folio 1, 1623)


the Moore of Venice.
325
1875Iago. My Lord, I would I might intreat your Honor
To scan this thing no farther: Leaue it to time,
Although 'tis fit that Cassio haue his Place;
For sure he filles it vp with great Ability;
Yet if you please, to him off a-while:
1880You shall by that perceiue him, and his meanes:
Note if your Lady straine his Encertainment
With any strong, or vehement importunitie,
Much will be seene in that: In the meane time,
Let me be thought too busie in my feares,
1885(As worthy cause I haue to feare I am)
And hold her free, I do beseech your Honor.
Oth. Feare not my gouernment.
Iago. I once more take my leaue.
Exit.
Oth. This Fellow's of exceeding honesty,
1890And knowes all Quantities with a learn'd Spirit
Of humane dealings. If I do proue her Haggard,
Though that her Iesses were my deere heart-strings,
I'ld whistle her off, and let her downe the winde
To prey at Fortune. Haply, for I am blacke,
1895And haue not those soft parts of Conuersation
That Chamberers haue: Or for I am declin'd
Into the vale of yeares (yet that's not much)
Shee's gone. I am abus'd, and my releefe
Must be to loath her. Oh Curse of Marriage!
1900That we can call these delicate Creatures ours,
And not their Appetites? I had rather be a Toad,
And liue vpon the vapour of a Dungeon,
Then keepe a corner in the thing I loue
For others vses. Yet 'tis the plague to Great-ones,
1905Prerogatiu'd are they lesse then the Base,
'Tis destiny vnshunnable, like death:
Euen then, this forked plague is Fated to vs,
When we do quicken. Looke where she comes:

Enter Desdemona and Æmilia.

1910If she be false, Heauen mock'd it selfe:
Ile not beleeue't.
Des. How now, my deere Othello?
Your dinner, and the generous Islanders
By you inuited, do attend your presence.
1915Oth. I am too blame.
Des. Why do you speake so faintly?
Are you not well?
Oth. I haue a paine vpon my Forehead, heere.
Des. Why that's with watching, 'twill away againe.
1920Let me but binde it hard, within this houre
It will be well.
Oth. Your Napkin is too little:
Let it alone: Come, Ile go in with you.
Exit.
Des. I am very sorry that you are not well.
1925Æmil. I am glad I haue found this Napkin:
This was her first remembrance from the Moore,
My wayward Husband hath a hundred times
Woo'd me to steale it. But she so loues the Token,
(For he coniur'd her, she should euer keepe it)
1930That she reserues it euermore about her,
To kisse, and talke too. Ile haue the worke tane out,
And giu't Iago: what he will do with it
Heauen knowes, not I:
I nothing, but to please his Fantasie.

1935
Enter Iago.
Iago. How now? What do you heere alone?
Æmil. Do not you chide: I haue a thing for you.

Iago. You haue a thing for me?
It is a common thing---
1940Æmil. Hah?
Iago. To haue a foolish wife.
Æmil. Oh, is that all? What will you giue me now
For that same Handkerchiefe.
Iago. What Handkerchiefe?
1945Æmil. What Handkerchiefe?
Why that the Moore first gaue to Desdemona,
That which so often you did bid me steale.
Iago. Hast stolne it from her?
Æmil. No: but she let it drop by negligence,
1950And to th'aduantage, I being heere, took't vp:
Looke, heere 'tis.
Iago. A good wench, giue it me.
Æmil. What will you do with't, that you haue bene
so earnest to haue me filch it?
1955Iago. Why, what is that to you?
Æmil. If it be not for some purpose of import,
Giu't me againe. Poore Lady, shee'l run mad
When she shall lacke it.
Iago. Be not acknowne on't:
1960I haue vse for it. Go, leaue me.
Exit Æmil.
I will in Cassio's Lodging loose this Napkin,
And let him finde it. Trifles light as ayre,
Are to the iealious, confirmations strong,
As proofes of holy Writ. This may do something.
1965The Moore already changes with my poyson:
Dangerous conceites, are in their Natures poysons,
Which at the first are scarse found to distaste:
But with a little acte vpon the blood,
Burne like the Mines of Sulphure. I did say so.
1970
Enter Othello.
Looke where he comes: Not Poppy, nor Mandragora,
Nor all the drowsie Syrrups of the world
Shall euer medicine thee to that sweete sleepe
Which thou owd'st yesterday.
1975Oth. Ha, ha, false to mee?
Iago. Why how now Generall? No more of that.
Oth. Auant, be gone: Thou hast set me on the Racke:
I sweare 'tis better to be much abus'd,
Then but to know't a little.
1980Iago. How now, my Lord?
Oth. What sense had I, in her stolne houres of Lust?
I saw't not, thought it not: it harm'd not me:
I slept the next night well, fed well, was free, and merrie.
I found not Cassio's kisses on her Lippes:
1985He that is robb'd, not wanting what is stolne,
Let him not know't, and he's not robb'd at all.
Iago. I am sorry to heare this?
Oth. I had beene happy, if the generall Campe,
Pyoners and all, had tasted her sweet Body,
1990So I had nothing knowne. Oh now, for euer
Farewell the Tranquill minde; farewell Content;
Farewell the plumed Troopes, and the bigge Warres,
That makes Ambition, Vertue! Oh farewell;
Farewell the neighing Steed, and the shrill Trumpe,
1995The Spirit-stirring Drum, th'Eare-piercing Fife,
The Royall Banner, and all Qualitie,
Pride, Pompe, and Circumstance of glorious Warre:
And O you mortall Engines, whose rudethroates
Th'immortall Ioues dread Clamours, counterfet,
2000Farewell: Othello's Occupation's gone.
Iago. Is't possible my Lord?
Oth. Villaine, be sure thou proue my Loue a Whore;
Be sure of it: Giue me the Occular proofe,
Or