Internet Shakespeare Editions

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


Actus Secundus. Scena Prima.
Enter Montano, and two Gentlemen.
Mon. What from the Cape, can you discerne at Sea?
1. Gent. Nothing at all, it is a high wrought Flood:
755I cannot 'twixt the Heauen, and the Maine,
Descry a Saile.
Mon. Me thinks, the wind hath spoke aloud at Land,
A fuller blast ne're shooke our Battlements:
If it hath ruffiand so vpon the Sea,
760What ribbes of Oake, when Mountaines melt on them,
Can hold the Morties. What shall we heare of this?
2 A Segregation of the Turkish Fleet:
For do but stand vpon the Foaming Shore,
The chidden Billow seemes to pelt the Clowds,
765The winde-shak'd-Surge, with high & monstrous Maine
Seemes to cast water on the burning Beare,
And quench the Guards of th'euer-fixed Pole:
I neuer did like mollestation view
On the enchafed Flood.
770Men. If that the Turkish Fleete
Be not enshelter'd, and embay'd, they are drown'd,
It is impossible to beare it out.
Enter a Gentleman.
3 Newes Laddes: our warres are done:
775The desperate Tempest hath so bang'd the Turkes,
That their designement halts. A Noble ship of Venice,
Hath seene a greeuous wracke and sufferance
On most part of their Fleet.
Mon. How? Is this true ?
7803 The Ship is heere put in : A Verennessa, Michael Cassio
Lieutenant to the warlike Moore, Othello,
Is come on Shore: the Moore himselfe at Sea,
And is in full Commission heere for Cyprus.
Mon. I am glad on't:
785'Tis a worthy Gouernour.
3 But this same Cassio, though he speake of comfort,
Touching the Turkish losse, yet he lookes sadly,
And praye the Moore be safe; for they were parted
With fowle and violent Tempest.
790Mon. Pray Heauens he be:
For I haue seru'd him, and the man commands
Like a full Soldier. Let's to the Sea-side (hoa)
As well to see the Vessell that's come in,
As to throw-out our eyes for braue Othello,
795Euen till we make the Maine, and th'Eriall blew,
An indistinct regard.
Gent. Come, let's do so;
For euery Minute is expectancie
Of more Arriuancie.
800
Enter Cassio.
Cassi. Thankes you, the valiant of the warlike Isle,
That so approoue the Moore: Oh let the Heauens
Giue him defence against the Elements,
For I haue lost him on a dangerous Sea.
805Mon. Is he well ship'd?
Cassio. His Barke is stoutly Timber'd, and his Pylot
Of verie expert, and approu'd Allowance;
Therefore my hope's (not surfetted to death)
Stand in bold Cure.
810Within. A Saile, a Saile, a Saile.
Cassio. What noise?
Gent. The Towne is empty; on the brow o'th'Sea
Stand rankes of People, and they cry, a Saile.
Cassio. My hopes do shape him for the Gouernor.
815Gent. They do discharge their Shot of Courtesie,
Our Friends, at least.
Cassio. I pray you Sir, go forth,
And giue vs truth who 'tis that is arriu'd.
Gent. I shall.
Exit.
820Mon. But good Lieutenant, is your Generall wiu'd?
Cassio. Most fortunately: he hath atchieu'd a Maid
That paragons description, and wilde Fame:
One that excels the quirkes of Blazoning pens,
And in th'essentiall Vesture of Creation,
825Do's tyre the Ingeniuer.
Enter Gentleman.
How now? Who ha's put in?
Gent. 'Tis one Iago, Auncient to the Generall.
Cassio. Ha's had most fauourable, and happie speed:
830Tempests themselues, high Seas, and howling windes,
The gutter'd-Rockes, and Congregated Sands,
Traitors ensteep'd, to enclogge the guiltlesse Keele,
As hauing sence of Beautie, do omit
Their mortall Natures, letting go safely by
835The Diuine Desdemona.
Mon. What is she?
Cassio. She that I spake of:
Our great Captains Captaine,
Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,
840Whose footing heere anticipates our thoughts,
A Senights speed. Great Ioue, Othello guard,
And swell his Saile with thine owne powrefull breath,
That he may blesse this Bay with his tall Ship,
Make loues quicke pants in Desdemonaes Armes,
845Giue renew'd fire to our extincted Spirits.
Enter Desdemona, Iago, Rodorigo, and Æmilia.
Oh behold,
The Riches of the Ship is come on shore:
You men of Cyprus, let her haue your knees.
850Haile to thee Ladie: and the grace of Heauen,
Before, behinde thee, and on euery hand
Enwheele thee round.
Des. I thanke you, Valiant Cassio,
What tydings can you tell of my Lord?
855Cas. He is not yet arriu'd, nor know I ought
But that he's well, and will be shortly heere.
Des. Oh, but I feare:
How lost you company?
Cassio. The great Contention of Sea, and Skies
860Parted our fellowship. But hearke, a Saile.
Within. A Saile, a Saile.
Gent. They giue this greeting to the Cittadell:
This likewise is a Friend.
Cassio. See for the Newes:
865Good Ancient, you are welcome. Welcome Mistris:
Let it not gaule your patience (good Iago)
That I extend my Manners. 'Tis my breeding,
That giues me this bold shew of Curtesie.
Iago. Sir, would she giue you somuch of her lippes,
870As of her tongue she oft bestowes on me,
You would haue enough.
Des. Alas: she ha's no speech.
Iago. Infaith too much:
I finde it still, when I haue leaue to sleepe.
875Marry before your Ladyship, I grant,
She puts het tongue a little in her heart,
And chides with thinking.
Æmil. You haue little cause to say so.
Iago. Come on, come on: you are Pictures out of
880doore: Bells in your Parlours: Wilde-Cats in your Kit-
chens: Saints in your Iniuries: Diuels being offended:
Players in your Huswiferie, and Huswiues in your
Beds.
Des. Oh, fie vpon thee, Slanderer
885Iago. Nay, it is true: or else I am a Turke,
You rise to play, and go to bed to worke.
Æmil. You shall not write my praise.
Iago. No, let me not.
Desde. What would'st write of me, if thou should'st
890praise me?
Iago. Oh, gentle Lady, do not put me too,t,
For I am nothing, if not Criticall.
Des. Come on, assay.
There's one gone to the Harbour?
895Iago. I Madam.
Des. I am not merry: but I do beguile
The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.
Come, how would'st thou praise me?
Iago. I am about it, but indeed my inuention comes
900from my pate, as Birdlyme do's from Freeze, it pluckes
out Braines and all. But my Muse labours, and thus she
is deliuer'd.
If she be faire, and wise: fairenesse, and wit,
The ones for vse, the other vseth it.
905Des. Well prais'd:
How if she be Blacke and Witty?
Iago. If she be blacke, and thereto haue a wit,
She'le find a white, that shall her blacknesse fit.
Des. Worse, and worse.
910Æmil. How if Faire, and Foolish?
Iago. She neuer yet was foolish that was faire,
For euen her folly helpt her to an heire.
Desde. These are old fond Paradoxes, to make Fooles
laugh i'th'Alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou
915for her that's Foule, and Foolish.
Iago. There's none so foule and foolish thereunto,
But do's foule pranks, which faire, and wise-ones do.
Desde. Oh heauy ignorance: thou praisest the worst
best. But what praise could'st thou bestow on a deser-
920uing woman indeed? One, that in the authorithy of her
merit, did iustly put on the vouch of very malice it
selfe.
Iago. She that was euer faire, and neuer proud,
Had Tongue at will, and yet was neuer loud:
925Neuer lackt Gold, and yet went neuer gay,
Fled from her wish, and yet said now I may.
She that being angred, her reuenge being nie,
Bad her wrong stay, and her displeasure flie:
She that in wisedome neuer was so fraile,
930To change the Cods-head for the Salmons taile:
She that could thinke, and neu'r disclose her mind,
See Suitors following, and not looke behind:
She was a wight, (if euer such wightes were)
Des. To do what?
935Iago. To suckle Fooles, and chronicle small Beere.
Desde. Oh most lame and impotent conclusion. Do
not learne of him Æmillia, though he be thy husband.
How say you (Cassio) is he not a most prophane, and li-
berall Counsailor?
940Cassio. He speakes home (Madam) you may rellish
him more in the Souldier, then in the Scholler.
Iago. He takes her by the palme: I, well said, whis-
per. With as little a web as this, will I ensnare as great
a Fly as Cassio. I smile vpon her, do: I will giue thee
945in thine owne Courtship. You say true, 'tis so indeed.
If such tricks as these strip you out of your Lieutenan-
trie, it had beene better you had not kiss'd your three fin-
gers so oft, which now againe you are most apt to play
the Sir, in. Very good: well kiss'd, and excellent Curt-
950sie: 'tis so indeed. Yet againe, your fingers to your
lippes? Would they were Cluster-pipes for your
sake.
The Moore I know his Trumpet.
Cassio, 'Tis truely so.
955Des. Let's meete him, and recieue him.
Cassio. Loe, where he comes.
Enter Othello, and Attendants.
Oth. O, my faire Warriour.
Des. My deere Othello.
960Othe. It giues me wonder great, as my content
To see you heere before me.
Oh my Soules Ioy:
If after euery Tempest, come such Calmes,
May the windes blow, till they haue waken'd death:
965And let the labouring Barke climbe hills of Seas
Olympus high: and duck againe as low,
As hell's from Heauen. If it were now to dye,
'Twere now to be most happy. For I feare,
My Soule hath her content so absolute,
970That not another comfort like to this,
Succeedes in vnknowne Fate.
Des. The Heauens forbid
But that our Loues
And Comforts should encrease
975Euen as our dayes do grow.
Othe Amen to rhat (sweet Powers)
I cannot speake enough of this content,
It stoppes me heere: it is too much of ioy.
And this, and this the greatest discords be
980That ere our hearts shall make.
Iago. Oh you are well tun'd now: But Ile set downe
the peggs that make this Musicke, as honest as I am.
Othe. Come: let vs to the Castle.
Newes (Friends) our Warres are done:
985The Turkes are drown'd.
How do's my old Acquaintance of this Isle?
(Hony) you shall be well desir'd in Cyprus,
I haue found great loue among'st them. Oh my Sweet,
I prattle out of fashion, and I doate
990In mine owne comforts. I prythee, good Iago,
Go to the Bay, and disimbarke my Coffers:
Bring thou the Master to the Cittadell,
He is a good one, and his worthynesse
Do's challenge much respect. Come Desdemona,
995Once more well met at Cyprus.
Exit Othello and Desdemona.
Iago. Do thou meet me presently at the Harbour.
Come thither, if thou be'st Valiant, (as they say base men
being in Loue, haue then a Nobilitie in their Natures,
1000more then is natiue to them) list-me; the Lieutenant to
night watches on the Court of Guard. First, I must tell
thee this: Desdemona, is directly in loue with him.
Rod. With him? Why,'tis not possible.
Iago. Lay thy finger thus: and let thy soule be in-
1005structed. Marke me with what violence she first lou'd
the Moore, but for bragging, and telling her fantasticall
lies. To loue him still for prating, let not thy discreet
heart thinke it. Her eye must be fed. And what delight
shall she haue to looke on the diuell? When the Blood
1010is made dull with the Act of Sport, there should be a
game to enflame it, and to giue Satiety a fresh appetite.
Louelinesse in fauour, simpathy in yeares, Manners,
and Beauties: all which the Moore is defectiue in. Now
for want of these requir'd Conueniences, her delicate
1015tendernesse wil finde it selfe abus'd, begin to heaue the,
gorge, disrellish and abhorre the Moore, very Nature wil
instruct her in it, and compell her to some second choice.
Now Sir, this granted (as it is a most pregnant and vn-
forc'd position) who stands so eminent in the degree of
1020this Forune, as Cassio do's: a knaue very voluble: no
further conscionable, then in putting on the meere forme
of Ciuill, and Humaine seeming, for the better compasse
of his salt, and most hidden loose Affection? Why none,
why none: A slipper, and subtle knaue, a finder of occa-
1025sion: that he's an eye can stampe, and counterfeit Ad-
uantages, though true Aduantage neuer present it selfe.
A diuelish knaue: besides, the knaue is handsome, young:
and hath all those requisites in him, that folly and greene
mindes looke after. A pestilent compleat knaue, and the
1030woman hath found him already.
Rodo. I cannot beleeue that in her, she's full of most
bless'd condition.
Iago. Bless'd figges-end. The Wine she drinkes is
made of grapes. If shee had beene bless'd, shee would
1035neuer haue lou'd the Moore: Bless'd pudding. Didst thou
not see her paddle with the palme of his hand? Didst not
marke that?
Rod. Yes, that I did: but that was but curtesie.
Iago. Leacherie by this hand: an Index, and obscure
1040prologue to the History of Lust and foule Thoughts.
They met so neere with their lippes, that their breathes
embrac'd together. Villanous thoughts Rodorigo, when
these mutabilities so marshall the way, hard at hand
comes the Master, and maine exercise, th'incorporate
1045conclusion: Pish. But Sir, be you rul'd by me. I haue
brought you from Venice. Watch you to night: for
the Command, Ile lay't vpon you. Cassio knowes you
not: Ile not be farre from you. Do you finde some oc-
casion to anger Cassio, either by speaking too loud, or
1050tainting his discipline, or from what other course
you please, which the time shall more fauorably mi-
nister.
Rod. Well.
Iago. Sir, he's rash, and very sodaine in Choller: and
1055happely may strike at you, prouoke him that he may: for
euen out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to Mutiny.
Whose qualification shall come into no true taste a-
gaine, but by the displanting of Cassio. So shall you
haue a shorter iourney to your desires, by the meanes I
1060shall then haue to preferre them. And the impediment
most profitably remoued, without the which there were
no expectation of our prosperitie.
Rodo. I will do this, if you can bring it to any oppor-
tunity.
1065Iago. I warrant thee. Meete me by and by at the
Cittadell. I must fetch his Necessaries a Shore. Fare-
well.
Rodo. Adieu.
Exit.
Iago.That Cassio loues her, I do well beleeu't:
1070That she loues him, 'tis apt, and of great Credite.
The Moore (how beit that I endure him not)
Is of a constant, louing, Noble Nature,
And I dare thinke, he'le proue to Desdemona
A most deere husband. Now I do loue her too,
1075Not out of absolute Lust, (though peraduenture
I stand accomptant for as great a sin)
But partely led to dyet my Reuenge,
For that I do suspect the lustie Moore
Hath leap'd into my Seate. The thought whereof,
1080Doth (like a poysonous Minerall) gnaw my Inwardes:
And nothing can, or shall content my Soule
Till I am eeuen'd with him, wife, for wift.
Or fayling so, yet that I put the Moore,
At least into a Ielouzie so strong
1085That iudgement cannot cure. Which thing to do,
If this poore Trash of Venice, whom I trace
For his quicke hunting, stand the putting on,
Ile haue our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moore, in the right garbe
1090(For I feare Cassio with my Night-Cape too)
Make the Moore thanke me, loue me, and reward me,
For making him egregiously an Asse,
And practising vpon his peace, and quiet,
Euen to madnesse. 'Tis heere: but yet confus'd,
1095Knaueries plaine face, is neuer seene, till vs'd.
Exit.