Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Scœna Tertia.
Enter Desdemona, Cassio, and Æmilia.
1590Des. Be thou assur'd (good Cassio) I will do
All my abilities in thy behalfe.
Æmil. Good Madam do:
I warrant it greeues my Husband,
As if the cause were his.
1595Des. Oh that's an honest Fellow, Do not doubt Cassio
But I will haue my Lord, and you againe
As friendly as you were.
Cassio. Bounteous Madam,
What euer shall become of Michael Cassio,
1600He's neuer any thing but your true Seruant.
Des. I know't: I thanke you: you do loue my Lord:
You haue knowne him long, and be you well assur'd
He shall in strangenesse stand no farther off,
Then in a politique distance.
1605Cassio. I, but Lady,
That policie may either last so long,
Or feede vpon such nice and waterish diet,
Or breede it selfe so out of Circumstances,
That I being absent, and my place supply'd,
1610My Generall will forget my Loue, and Seruice.
Des. Do not doubt that: before Æmilia here,
I giue thee warrant of thy place. Assure thee,
If I do vow a friendship, Ile performe it
To the last Article. My Lord shall neuer rest,
1615Ile watch him tame, and talke him out of patience;
His Bed shall seeme a Schoole, his Boord a Shrift,
Ile intermingle euery thing he do's
With Cassio's suite: Therefore be merry Cassio,
For thy Solicitor shall rather dye,
1620Then giue thy cause away.
Enter Othello, and Iago.
Æmil. Madam, heere comes my Lord.
Cassio. Madam, Ile take my leaue.
Des. Why stay, and heare me speake.
1625Cassio. Madam, not now: I am very ill at ease,
Vnfit for mine owne purposes.
Des. Well, do your discretion.
Exit Cassio.
Iago. Hah? I like not that.
Othel. What dost thou say?
1630Iago. Nothing my Lord; or if---I know not what.
Othel. Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?
Iago. Cassio my Lord? No sure, I cannot thinke it
That he would steale away so guilty-like,
Seeing your comming.
1635Oth. I do beleeue 'twas he.
Des. How now my Lord?
I haue bin talking with a Suitor heere,
A man that languishes in your displeasure.
Oth. Who is't you meane?
1640Des. Why your Lieutenant Cassio: Good my Lord,
If I haue any grace, or power to moue you,
His present reconciliation take.
For if he be not one, that truly loues'you,
That erres in Ignorance, and not in Cunning,
1645I haue no iudgement in an honest face.
I prythee call him backe.
Oth. Went he hence now?
Des. I sooth; so humbled,
That he hath left part of his greefe with mee
1650To suffer with him. Good Loue, call him backe.
Othel. Not now (sweet Desdemon) some other time.
Des. But shall't be shortly?
Oth. The sooner (Sweet) for you.
Des. Shall't be to night, at Supper?
1655Oth. No, not to night.
Des. To morrow Dinner then?
Oth. I shall not dine at home:
I meete the Captaines at the Cittadell.
Des. Why then to morrow night, on Tuesday morne,
1660On Tuesday noone, or night; on Wensday Morne.
I prythee name the time, but let it not
Exceed three dayes. Infaith hee's penitent:
And yet his Trespasse, in our common reason
(Saue that they say the warres must make example)
1665Out of her best, is not almost a fault
T'encurre a priuate checke. When shall he come?
Tell me Othello. I wonder in my Soule
What you would aske me, that I should deny,
Or stand so mam'ring on? What? Michael Cassio,
1670That came a woing wirh you? and so many a time
(When I haue spoke of you dispraisingly)
Hath tane your part, to haue so much to do
To bring him in? Trust me, I could do much.
Oth. Prythee no more: Let him come when he will:
1675I will deny thee nothing.
Des. Why, this is not a Boone:
'Tis as I should entreate you weare your Gloues,
Or feede on nourishing dishes, or keepe you warme,
Or sue to you, to do a peculiar profit
1680To your owne person. Nay, when I haue a suite
Wherein I meane to touch your Loue indeed,
It shall be full of poize, and difficult waight,
And fearefull to be granted.
Oth. I will deny thee nothing.
1685Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this,
To leaue me but a little to my selfe.
Des. Shall I deny you? No: farewell my Lord.
Oth. Farewell my Desdemona, Ile come to thee strait.
Des. Æmilia come; be as your Fancies teach you:
1690What ere you be, I am obedient.
Oth. Excellent wretch: Perdition catch my Soule
But I do loue thee: and when I loue thee not,
Chaos is come againe.
Iago. My Noble Lord.
1695Oth. What dost thou say, Iago?
Iago. Did Michael Cassio
When he woo'd my Lady, know of your loue?
Oth. He did, from first to last:
Why dost thou aske?
1700Iago. But for a satisfaction of my Thought,
No further harme.
Oth. Why of thy thought, Iago?
Iago. I did not thinke he had bin acquainted with hir.
Oth. O yes, and went betweene vs very oft.
1705Iago. Indeed?
Oth. Indeed? I indeed. Discern'st thou ought in that?
Is he not honest?
Iago. Honest, my Lord?
Oth. Honest? I, Honest.
1710Iago. My Lord, for ought I know.
Oth. What do'st thou thinke?
Iago. Thinke, my Lord?
Oth. Thinke, my Lord? Alas, thou ecchos't me;
As if there were some Monster in thy thought
1715Too hideous to be shewne. Thou dost mean somthing:
I heard thee say euen now, thou lik'st not that,
When Cassio left my wife. What didd'st not like?
And when I told thee, he was of my Counsaile,
Of my whole course of wooing; thou cried'st, Indeede?
1720And didd'st contract, and purse thy brow together,
As if thou then hadd'st shut vp in thy Braine
Some horrible Conceite. If thou do'st loue me,
Shew me thy thought.
Iago. My Lord, you know I loue you.
1725Oth. I thinke thou do'st:
And for I know thou'rt full of Loue, and Honestie,
And weigh'st thy words before thou giu'st them breath,
Therefore these stops of thine, fright me the more:
For such things in a false disloyall Knaue
1730Are trickes of Custome: but in a man that's iust,
They're close dilations, working from the heart,
That Passion cannot rule.
Iago. For Michael Cassio,
I dare be sworne, I thinke that he is honest.
1735Oth. I thinke so too.
Iago. Men should be what they seeme,
Or those that be not, would they might seeme none.
Oth. Certaine, men should be what they seeme.
Iago. Why then I thinke Cassio's an honest man.
1740Oth. Nay, yet there's more in this?
I prythee speake to me, as to thy thinkings,
As thou dost ruminate, and giue thy worst of thoughts
The worst of words.
Iago. Good my Lord pardon me,
1745Though I am bound to euery Acte of dutie,
I am not bound to that: All Slaues are free:
Vtter my Thoughts? Why say, they are vild, and falce?
As where's that Palace, whereinto foule things
Sometimes intrude not? Who ha's that breast so pure,
1750Wherein vncleanly Apprehensions
Keepe Leetes, and Law-dayes, and in Sessions sit
With meditations lawfull?
Oth. Thou do'st conspire against thy Friend (Iago)
If thou but think'st him wrong'd, and mak'st his eare
1755A stranger to thy Thoughts.
Iago. I do beseech you,
Though I perchance am vicious in my guesse
(As I confesse it is my Natures plague
To spy into Abuses, and of my iealousie
1760Shapes faults that are not) that your wisedome
From one, that so imperfectly conceits,
Would take no notice, nor build your selfe a trouble
Out of his scattering, and vnsure obseruance:
It were not for your quiet, nor your good,
1765Nor for my Manhood, Honesty, and Wisedome,
To let you know my thoughts.
Oth. What dost thou meane?
Iago. Good name in Man, & woman (deere my Lord)
Is the immediate Iewell of their Soules;
1770Who steales my purse, steales trash:
'Tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has bin slaue to thousands:
But he that filches from me my good Name,
Robs me of that, which not enriches him,
1775And makes me poore indeed.
Oth. Ile know thy Thoughts.
Iago. You cannot, if my heart were in your hand,
Nor shall not, whil'st 'tis in my custodie.
Oth. Ha?
1780Iago. Oh, beware my Lord, of iealousie,
It is the greene-ey'd Monster, which doth mocke
The meate it feeds on. That Cuckold liues in blisse,
Who certaine ofhis Fate, loues not his wronger:
But oh, what damned minutes tels he ore,
1785Who dotes, yet doubts: Suspects, yet soundly loues?
Oth. O miserie.
Iago. Poore, and Content, is rich, and rich enough,
But Riches finelesse, is as poore as Winter,
To him that euer feares he shall be poore:
1790Good Heauen, the Soules of all my Tribe defend
From Iealousie.
Oth. Why? why is this?
Think'st thou, I'ld make a Life ofIealousie;
To follow still the changes of the Moone
1795With fresh suspitions? No: to be once in doubt,
Is to be resolu'd: Exchange me for a Goat,
When I shall turne the businesse of my Soule
To such exufflicate , and blow'd Surmises,
Matching thy inference. 'Tis not to make me Iealious,
1800To say my wife is faire, feeds well, loues company,
Is free of Speech, Sings, Playes, and Dances:
Where Vertue is, these are more vertuous.
Nor from mine owne weake merites, will I draw
The smallest feare, or doubt ofher reuolt,
1805For she had eyes, and chose me. No Iago,
Ile see before I doubt; when I doubt, proue;
And on the proofe, there is no more but this,
Away at once with Loue, or Iealousie.
Ia. I am glad of this: For now I shall haue reason
1810To shew the Loue and Duty that I beare you
With franker spirit. Therefore (as I am bound)
Receiue it from me. I speake not yet of proofe:
Looke to your wife, obserue her well with Cassio,
Weare your eyes, thus: not Iealious, nor Secure:
1815I would not haue your free, and Noble Nature,
Out of selfe-Bounty, be abus'd: Looke too't:
I know our Country disposition well:
In Venice, they do let Heauen see the prankes
They dare not shew their Husbands.
1820Their best Conscience,
Is not to leaue't vndone, but kept vnknowne.
Oth. Dost thou say so?
Iago. She did deceiue her Father, marrying you,
And when she seem'd to shake, and feare your lookes,
1825She lou'd them most.
Oth. And so she did.
Iago. Why go too then:
Shee that so young could giue out such a Seeming
To seele her Fathers eyes vp, close as Oake,
1830He thought 'twas Witchcraft.
But I am much too blame:
I humbly do beseech you of your pardon
For too much louing you.
Oth. I am bound to thee for euer.
1835Iago. I see this hath a little dash'd your Spirits:
Oth. Not a iot, not a iot.
Iago. Trust me, I feare it has:
I hope you will consider what is spoke
Comes from your Loue.
1840But I do see y'are moou'd:
I am to pray you, not to straine my speech
To grosser issues, nor to larger reach,
Then to Suspition.
Oth. I will not.
1845Iago. Should you do so (my Lord)
My speech should fall into such vilde successe,
Which my Thoughts aym'd not.
Cassio's my worthy Friend:
My Lord, I see y'are mou'd.
1850Oth. No, not much mou'd:
I do not thinke but Desdemona's honest.
Iago. Long liue she so;
And long liue you to thinke so.
Oth. And yet how Nature erring from it selfe.
1855Iago. I, there's the point:
As (to be bold with you)
Not to affect many proposed Matches
Of her owne Clime, Complexion, and Degree,
Whereto we see in all things, Nature tends:
1860Foh, one may smel in such, a will most ranke,
Foule disproportions, Thoughts vnnaturall.
But (pardon me) I do not in position
Distinctly speake of her, though I may feare
Her will, recoyling to her better iudgement,
1865May fal to match you with her Country formes,
And happily repent.
Oth. Farewell, farewell:
If more thou dost perceiue, let me know more:
Set on thy wife to obserue.
1870Leaue me Iago.
Iago. My Lord, I take my leaue.
Othel. Why did I marry?
This honest Creature (doubtlesse)
Sees, and knowes more, much more then he vnfolds.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 by the worth of mine eternall Soule,
2005Thou had'st bin better haue bin borne a Dog
Then answer my wak'd wrath.
Iago. Is't come to this?
Oth. Make me to see't: or (at the least) so proue it,
That the probation beare no Hindge, nor Loope,
2010To hang a doubt on: Or woe vpon thy life.
Iago. My Noble Lord.
Oth. If thou dost slander her, and torture me,
Neuer pray more: Abandon all remorse
On Horrors head, Horrors accumulate:
2015Do deeds to make Heauen weepe, all Earth amaz'd;
For nothing canst thou to damnation adde,
Greater then that.
Iago. O Grace! O Heauen forgiue me!
Are you a Man? Haue you a Soule? or Sense?
2020God buy you: take mine Office. Oh wretched Foole,
That lou'st to make thine Honesty, a Vice!
Oh monstrous world! Take note, take note (O World)
To be direct and honest, is not safe.
I thanke you for this profit, and from hence
2025Ile loue no Friend, sith Loue breeds such offence.
Oth. Nay stay: thou should'st be honest.
Iago. I should be wise; for Honestie's a Foole,
And looses that it workes for.
Oth. By the World,
2030I thinke my Wife be honest, and thinke she is not:
I thinke that thou art iust, and thinke thou art not:
Ile haue some proofe. My name that was as fresh
As Dians Visage, is now begrim'd and blacke
As mine owne face. If there be Cords, or Kniues,
2035Poyson, or Fire, or suffocating streames,
Ile not indure it. Would I were satisfied.
Iago. I see you are eaten vp with Passion:
I do repent me, that I put it to you.
You would be satisfied?
2040Oth. Would? Nay, and I will.
Iago. And may: but how? How satisfied, my Lord?
Would you the super-vision grossely gape on?
Behold her top'd?
Oth. Death, and damnation. Oh!
2045Iago. It were a tedious difficulty, I thinke,
To bring them to that Prospect: Damne them then,
If euer mortall eyes do see them boulster
More then their owne. What then? How then?
What shall I say? Where's Satisfaction?
2050It is impossible you should see this,
Were they as prime as Goates, as hot as Monkeyes,
As salt as Wolues in pride, and Fooles as grosse
As Ignorance, made drunke. But yet, I say,
If imputation, and strong circumstances,
2055Which leade directly to the doore of Truth,
Will giue you satisfaction, you might haue't.
Oth. Giue me a liuing reason she's disloyall.
Iago. I do not like the Office.
But sith I am entred in this cause so farre
2060(Prick'd too't by foolish Honesty, and Loue)
I will go on. I lay with Cassio lately,
And being troubled with a raging tooth,
I could not sleepe. There are a kinde of men,
So loose of Soule, that in their sleepes will mutter
2065Their Affayres: one of this kinde is Cassio:
In sleepe I heard him say, sweet Desdemona,
Let vs be wary, let vs hide our Loues,
And then (Sir) would he gripe, and wring my hand:
Cry, oh sweet Creature: then kisse me hard,
2070As if he pluckt vp kisses by the rootes,
That grew vpon my lippes, laid his Leg ore my Thigh,
And sigh, and kisse, and then cry cursed Fate,
That gaue thee to the Moore.
Oth. O monstrous! monstrous!
2075Iago. Nay, this was but his Dreame.
Oth. But this denoted a fore-gone conclusion,
'Tis a shrew'd doubt, though it be but a Dreame.
Iago, And this may helpe to thicken other proofes,
That do demonstrate thinly.
2080Oth. Ile teare her all to peeces.
Iago. Nay yet be wise; yet we see nothing done,
She may be honest yet: Tell me but this,
Haue you not sometimes seene a Handkerchiefe
Spotted with Strawberries, in your wiues hand?
2085Oth. I gaue her such a one: 'twas my first gift.
Iago. I know not that: but such a Handkerchiefe
(I am sure it was your wiues) did I to day
See Cassio wipe his Beard with.
Oth. If it be that.
2090Iago. If it be that, or any, it was hers.
It speakes against her with the other proofes.
Othel. O that the Slaue had forty thousand liues:
One is too poore, too weake for my reuenge.
Now do I see 'tis true. Looke heere Iago,
2095All my fond loue thus do I blow to Heauen. 'Tis gone,
Arise blacke vengeance, from the hollow hell,
Yeeld vp (O Loue) thy Crowne, and hearted Throne
To tyrannous Hate. Swell bosome with thy fraught,
For 'tis of Aspickes tongues.
2100Iago. Yet be content.
Oth. Oh blood, blood, blood.
Iago. Patience I say: your minde may change.
Oth. Neuer Iago. Like to the Ponticke Sea,
Whose Icie Current, and compulsiue course,
2105Neu'r keepes retyring ebbe, but keepes due on
To the Proponticke, and the Hellespont:
Euen so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace
Shall neu'r looke backe, neu'r ebbe to humble Loue,
Till that a capeable, and wide Reuenge
2110Swallow them vp. Now by yond Marble Heauen,
In the due reuerence of a Sacred vow,
I heere engage my words.
Iago. Do not rise yet:
Witnesse you euer-burning Lights aboue,
2115You Elements, that clip vs round about,
Witnesse that heere Iago doth giue vp
The execution of his wit, hands, heart,
To wrong'd Othello's Seruice. Let him command,
And to obey shall be in me remorse,
2120What bloody businesse euer.
Oth. I greet thy loue,
Not with vaine thanks, but with acceptance bounteous,
And will vpon the instant put thee too't.
Within these three dayes let me heare thee say,
2125That Cassio's not aliue.
Iago. My Friend is dead:
'Tis done at your Request.
But let her liue.
Oth. Damne her lewde Minx:
2130O damne her, damne her.
Come go with me a-part, I will withdraw
To furnish me with some swift meanes of death
For the faire Diuell.
Now art thou my Lieutenant.
2135Iago. I am your owne for euer.