Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Jessica Slights
Not Peer Reviewed

Othello (Modern)

Enter Roderigo and Iago.
Tush, never tell me! I take it much unkindly
5That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse
As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.
Iago 'Sblood, but you'll not hear me! If ever I did dream of such a matter, abhor me.
Roderigo Thou told'st me 10thou didst hold him in thy hate.
Iago Despise me if I do not. Three great ones of the city,
In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
Off-capped to him--and by the faith of man
15I know my price; I am worth no worse a place--
But he, as loving his own pride and purposes,
Evades them with a bombast circumstance
Horribly stuffed with epithets of war,
Non-suits my mediators. For "Certes," says he,
20"I have already chose my officer."
20.1And what was he?
Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
One Michael Cassio, a Florentine--
A fellow almost damned in a fair wife--
That never set a squadron in the field,
25Nor the division of a battle knows
More than a spinster, unless the bookish theoric
Wherein the tonguèd consuls can propose
As masterly as he. Mere prattle without practise
Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had th'election;
30And I--of whom his eyes had seen the proof
At Rhodes, at Cyprus, and on other grounds,
Christened and heathen--must be beleed and calmed
By debitor and creditor. This countercaster,
He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,
35And I, God bless the mark, his Moorship's ancient.
Roderigo By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.
Iago Why, there's no remedy. 'Tis the curse of service;
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
40And not by old gradation, where each second
Stood heir to th'first. Now sir, be judge yourself
Whether I in any just term am affined
To love the Moor.
Roderigo I would not follow him then.
45Iago Oh, sir, content you.
I follow him to serve my turn upon him.
We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly followed. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave
50That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,
For naught but provender, and when he's old--cashiered.
Whip me such honest knaves! Others there are
Who, trimmed in forms and visages of duty,
55Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves,
And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
Do well thrive by them--and, when they have lined their coats,
Do themselves homage. 60These fellows have some soul,
And such a one do I profess myself. For, sir,
It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago.
In following him, I follow but myself.
65Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
But seeming so for my peculiar end.
For when my outward action doth demonstrate
The native act and figure of my heart
In complement extern, 'tis not long after
70But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws to peck at. I am not what I am.
Roderigo What a full fortune does the thick-lips owe
If he can carry't thus!
Call up her father.
75Rouse him, make after him, poison his delight,
Proclaim him in the streets. Incense her kinsmen,
And, though he in a fertile climate dwell,
Plague him with flies; though that his joy be joy,
Yet throw such chances of vexation on't
80As it may lose some color.
Roderigo Here is her father's house. I'll call aloud.
Iago Do, with like timorous accent and dire yell
As when, by night and negligence, the fire
Is spied in populous cities.
85Roderigo What ho! Brabantio, Signor Brabantio, ho!
Iago Awake! What ho, Brabantio! Thieves, thieves!
Look to your house, your daughter, and your bags!
Thieves, thieves!
[Enter Brabantio above at a window.]
Brabantio What is the reason of this terrible 90summons?
What is the matter there?
Roderigo Signor, is all your family within?
Are your doors locked?
Why? Wherefore ask you this?
Iago Zounds, sir, you're robbed! For shame, put on your gown!
95Your heart is burst; you have lost half your soul.
Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise!
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you.
100Arise, I say!
What, have you lost your wits?
Roderigo Most reverend signor, do you know my voice?
Brabantio Not I. What are you?
Roderigo My name is Roderigo.
105Brabantio The worser welcome.
I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors.
In honest plainness thou hast heard me say
My daughter is not for thee. And now in madness,
Being full of supper and distempering drafts,
110Upon malicious bravery dost thou come
To start my quiet.
Sir, sir, sir--
But thou must needs be sure
My spirit and my place have in their power
115To make this bitter to thee.
Patience, good sir.
Brabantio What tell'st thou me of robbing? This is Venice;
My house is not a grange.
Most grave Brabantio,
120In simple and pure soul, I come to you.
Iago Zounds, sir, you are one of those that will not serve God if the devil bid you. Because we come to do you service and you think we are ruffians, you'll have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse, you'll have your 125nephews neigh to you, you'll have coursers for cousins and jennets for germans.
Brabantio What profane wretch art thou?
Iago I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are making the beast with two backs.
Thou art a villain.
You are a senator.
Brabantio This thou shalt answer. I know thee, Roderigo.
Roderigo Sir, I will answer anything. But I beseech you,
If't be your pleasure and most wise consent,
135As partly I find it is, that your fair daughter,
At this odd-even and dull watch o'th'night,
Transported with no worse nor better guard
But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,
To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor--
140If this be known to you and your allowance,
We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs.
But if you know not this, my manners tell me
We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe
That from the sense of all civility
145I thus would play and trifle with your reverence.
Your daughter, if you have not given her leave,
I say again, hath made a gross revolt,
Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes
In an extravagant and wheeling stranger
150Of here and everywhere. Straight satisfy yourself:
If she be in her chamber or your house,
Let loose on me the justice of the state
For thus deluding you.
Strike on the tinder, ho!
155Give me a taper. Call up all my people.
This accident is not unlike my dream;
Belief of it oppresses me already.
Light, I say, light!
Exit [Brabantio].
Farewell, for I must leave you.
160It seems not meet nor wholesome to my place
To be produced--as, if I stay, I shall--
Against the Moor. For I do know the state,
However this may gall him with some check,
Cannot with safety cast him, for he's embarked
165With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars,
Which even now stands in act, that for their souls
Another of his fathom they have none
To lead their business. In which regard,
Though I do hate him as I do hell pains,
170Yet, for necessity of present life,
I must show out a flag and sign of love--
Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely find him,
Lead to the Sagittary the raisèd search,
And there will I be with him. So farewell.
Exit [Iago].
Enter Brabantio in his nightgown, and servants with torches.
Brabantio It is too true an evil. Gone she is,
And what's to come of my despisèd time
Is naught but bitterness. Now Roderigo,
Where didst thou see her?‚--Oh, unhappy girl!--
180With the Moor sayst thou?--Who would be a father?--
How didst thou know 'twas she?--Oh, she deceives me
Past thought!--What said she to you? Get more tapers;
Raise all my kindred! Are they married think you?
Roderigo Truly, I think they are.
185Brabantio O heaven! How got she out? Oh, treason of the blood!
Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters' minds
By what you see them act. Is there not charms
By which the property of youth and maidhood
190May be abused? Have you not read, Roderigo,
Of some such thing?
Yes, sir, I have indeed.
Brabantio Call up my brother.--Oh, would you had had her!--
Some one way, some another.--Do you know
195Where we may apprehend her and the Moor?
Roderigo I think I can discover him, if you please
To get good guard and go along with me.
Brabantio Pray you, lead on. At every house I'll call--
I may command at most. Get weapons, ho,
200And raise some special officers of night!
On, good Roderigo; I will deserve your pains.
Enter Othello, Iago, [and] attendants, with torches.
Iago Though in the trade of war I have slain men,
205Yet do I hold it very stuff o'th'conscience
To do no contrived murder; I lack iniquity
Sometime to do me service. Nine or ten times
I had thought t'have yerked him here under the ribs.
'Tis better as it is.
Nay, but he prated,
And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
Against your honor
212.1That with the little godliness I have
I did full hard forbear him. But I pray you, sir,
Are you fast married? Be assured of this,
215That the magnifico is much beloved,
And hath in his effect a voice potential
As double as the duke's. He will divorce you,
Or put upon you what restraint or grievance
The law, with all his might to enforce it on,
220Will give him cable.
Let him do his spite;
My services, which I have done the signory,
Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know--
Which, when I know that boasting is an honor,
225I shall promulgate--I fetch my life and being
From men of royal siege; and my demerits
May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune
As this that I have reached. For know, Iago,
But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
230I would not my unhousèd free condition
Put into circumscription and confine
For the sea's worth. But look, what lights come yond?
Enter Cassio [and officers] with torches.
Iago Those are the raisèd father and his friends;
235You were best go in.
Not I. I must be found.
My parts, my title, and my perfect soul
Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?
Iago By Janus, I think no.
240Othello The servants of the duke? And my lieutenant?
The goodness of the night upon you, friends.
What is the news?
The duke does greet you, general,
245And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance,
Even on the instant.
What is the matter, think you?
Cassio Something from Cyprus, as I may divine.
It is a business of some heat. The galleys
250Have sent a dozen sequent messengers
This very night at one another's heels,
And many of the consuls, raised and met,
Are at the duke's already. You have been hotly called for,
When, being not at your lodging to be found,
255The Senate hath sent about three several quests
To search you out.
'Tis well I am found by you.
I will but spend a word here in the house
And go with you.
[Exit Othello.]
Ancient, what makes he here?
Iago Faith, he tonight hath boarded a land carrack.
If it prove lawful prize, he's made forever.
I do not understand.
He's married.
To who?
Marry to--
[Enter Othello.]
Come captain, will you go?
Have with you.
Cassio Here comes another troop to seek for you.
Enter Brabantio, Roderigo, [and] officers [with] torches [and weapons].
270Iago It is Brabantio. General, be advised;
He comes to bad intent.
Holla, stand there.
Signor, it is the Moor.
Down with him, thief.
[Both sides draw their swords.]
275Iago You, Roderigo? Come, sir, I am for you.
Othello Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them. Good signor, you shall more command with years than with your weapons.
Brabantio O thou foul thief, 280where hast thou stowed my daughter?
Damned as thou art, thou hast enchanted her;
For I'll refer me to all things of sense
If she in chains of magic were not bound,
Whether a maid so tender, fair, and happy,
285So opposite to marriage that she shunned
The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
Would ever have, t'incur a general mock,
Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
Of such a thing as thou--to fear, not to delight.
290Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense
That thou hast practiced on her with foul charms,
Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
That weaken motion. I'll have't disputed on--
'Tis probable and palpable to thinking.
295I therefore apprehend and do attach thee
For an abuser of the world, a practiser
Of arts inhibited and out of warrant.
Lay hold upon him; if he do resist,
Subdue him at his peril.
Hold your hands,
Both you of my inclining and the rest.
Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it
Without a prompter. Whither will you that I go
To answer this your charge?
To prison, till fit time
Of law and course of direct session
Call thee to answer.
What if I do obey?
How may the duke be therewith satisfied,
310Whose messengers are here about my side
Upon some present business of the state
To bring me to him?
'Tis true, most worthy signor.
The duke's in council, and your noble self
315I am sure is sent for.
How? The duke in council?
In this time of the night? Bring him away!
Mine's not an idle cause. The duke himself,
Or any of my brothers of the state,
320Cannot but feel this wrong as 'twere their own;
For if such actions may have passage free,
Bondslaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.
Enter Duke [and] Senators [at a table, with lights] and officers.
325Duke There is no composition in this news
That gives them credit.
1 Senator
Indeed, they are disproportioned;
My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.
And mine a hundred forty.
3302. Senator
And mine two hundred.
But though they jump not on a just account--
As in these cases where the aim reports
'Tis oft with difference--yet do they all confirm
A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus.
335Duke Nay, it is possible enough to judgment;
I do not so secure me in the error,
But the main article I do approve
In fearful sense.
Sailor (Within) What ho, what ho, what ho!
Enter Sailor.
Officer A messenger from the galleys.
Duke Now, what's the business?
Sailor The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes,
So was I bid report here to the state
345By Signor Angelo.
How say you by this change?
1 Senator
This cannot be,
By no assay of reason. 'Tis a pageant
To keep us in false gaze. When we consider
350Th'importancy of Cyprus to the Turk,
And let ourselves again but understand
That as it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes,
So may he with more facile question bear it,
For that it stands not in such warlike brace,
355But altogether lacks th'abilities
That Rhodes is dressed in. If we make thought of this,
We must not think the Turk is so unskillful
To leave that latest which concerns him first,
Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain
360To wake and wage a danger profitless.
Duke Nay, in all confidence he's not for Rhodes.
Officer Here is more news.
Enter a Messenger.
Messenger The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,
365Steering with due course toward the isle of Rhodes,
Have there injointed them with an after fleet.
1 Senator Ay, so I thought. How many, as you guess?
Messenger Of thirty sail; and now they do restem
Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance
370Their purposes toward Cyprus. Signor Montano,
Your trusty and most valiant servitor,
With his free duty, recommends you thus
And prays you to believe him.
Duke 'Tis certain then for Cyprus.
375Marcus Luccicos--is not he in town?
1 Senator He's now in Florence.
Duke Write from us to him; post-post-haste, dispatch.
1 Senator Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.
Enter Brabantio, Othello, Cassio, Iago, Roderigo, and officers.
Duke Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you
Against the general enemy Ottoman.
[To Brabantio] I did not see you. Welcome, gentle signor.
385We lacked your counsel and your help tonight.
Brabantio So did I yours. Good your grace, pardon me.
Neither my place nor aught I heard of business
Hath raised me from my bed; nor doth the general care
Take hold on me, for my particular grief
390Is of so floodgate and o'erbearing nature
That it engluts and swallows other sorrows
And it is still itself.
Why? What's the matter?
My daughter! Oh, my daughter!
3951 Senator
Ay, to me.
She is abused, stolen from me, and corrupted
By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks;
For nature so preposterously to err--
400Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense--
Sans witchcraft could not.
Duke Whoe'er he be that in this foul proceeding
Hath thus beguiled your daughter of herself,
And you of her, the bloody book of law
405You shall yourself read in the bitter letter
After your own sense, yea, though our proper son
Stood in your action.
Humbly I thank your grace.
Here is the man--this Moor, whom now it seems
410Your special mandate for the state affairs
Hath hither brought.
We are very sorry for't.
Duke [to Othello] What, in your own part, can you say to this?
Brabantio Nothing but "This is so."
415Othello Most potent, grave, and reverend signors,
My very noble and approved good masters,
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her.
The very head and front of my offending
420Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little blessed with the soft phrase of peace--
For since these arms of mine had seven year's pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
Their dearest action in the tented field--
425And little of this great world can I speak
More than pertains to feats of broils and battle,
And therefore little shall I grace my cause
In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
I will a round, unvarnished tale deliver
430Of my whole course of love--what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration, and what mighty magic--
For such proceeding I am charged withal--
I won his daughter.
A maiden never bold,
Of spirit so still and quiet that her motion
Blushed at herself, and she--in spite of nature,
Of years, of country, credit, everything--
To fall in love with what she feared to look on?
440It is a judgment maimed and most imperfect
That will confess perfection so could err
Against all rules of nature, and must be driven
To find out practises of cunning hell
Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
445That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood,
Or with some dram conjured to this effect,
He wrought upon her.
To vouch this is no proof
Without more wider and more overt test
450Than these thin habits and poor likelihoods
Of modern seeming do prefer against him.
1 Senator But, Othello, speak:
Did you by indirect and forcèd courses
Subdue and poison this young maid's affections?
455Or came it by request and such fair question
As soul to soul affordeth?
I do beseech you,
Send for the lady to the Sagittary
And let her speak of me before her father;
460If you do find me foul in her report,
The trust, the office I do hold of you
Not only take away, but let your sentence
Even fall upon my life.
Fetch Desdemona hither.
[Exeunt two or three officers.]
465Othello Ancient, conduct them; you best know the place.
[Exit Iago.]
And till she come, as truly as to heaven
I do confess the vices of my blood,
So justly to your grave ears I'll present
470How I did thrive in this fair lady's love,
And she in mine.
Say it, Othello.
Othello Her father loved me, oft invited me,
Still questioned me the story of my life
475From year to year--the battle, sieges, fortune
That I have passed.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days
To th'very moment that he bade me tell it,
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
480Of moving accidents by flood and field,
Of hairbreadth scapes i'th'imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the insolent foe
And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence
And portance in my traveler's history,
485Wherein of antars vast and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks, hills whose heads touch heaven,
It was my hint to speak--such was my process--
And of the cannibals that each other eat,
The anthropophagi, and men whose heads
490Do grow beneath their shoulders. These things to hear
Would Desdemona seriously incline,
But still the house affairs would draw her thence,
Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She'd come again and with a greedy ear
495Devour up my discourse; which I, observing,
Took once a pliant hour and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
500But not intentively. I did consent,
And often did beguile her of her tears
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth suffered. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of kisses;
505She swore in faith 'twas strange, 'twas passing strange;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful.
She wished she had not heard it, yet she wished
That heaven had made her such a man. She thanked me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
510I should but teach him how to tell my story
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake.
She loved me for the dangers I had passed,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used.
515Here comes the lady; let her witness it.
Enter Desdemona, Iago, [and] attendants.
Duke I think this tale would win my daughter too.
Good Brabantio, take up this mangled matter at the best.
Men do their broken weapons rather use
520Than their bare hands.
I pray you hear her speak.
If she confess that she was half the wooer,
Destruction on my head if my bad blame
Light on the man. Come hither, gentle mistress.
525Do you perceive in all this noble company
Where most you owe obedience?
My noble father,
I do perceive here a divided duty.
To you I am bound for life and education;
530My life and education both do learn me
How to respect you. You are the lord of duty;
I am hitherto your daughter. But here's my husband,
And so much duty as my mother showed
To you, preferring you before her father,
535So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord.
Brabantio God be with you! I have done.
Please it your grace, on to the state affairs.
I had rather to adopt a child than get it.
540Come hither, Moor.
[To Othello] I here do give thee that with all my heart
Which, but thou hast already, with all my heart
I would keep from thee. [To Desdemona] For your sake, jewel,
I am glad at soul I have no other child,
545For thy escape would teach me tyranny
To hang clogs on them. [To the Duke] I have done, my lord.
Duke Let me speak like yourself and lay a sentence,
Which as a grise or step may help these lovers
549.1Into your favor.
550When remedies are past, the griefs are ended
By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.
To mourn a mischief that is past and gone
Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
What cannot be preserved when fortune takes,
555Patience her injury a mockery makes.
The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief;
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.
Brabantio So let the Turk of Cyprus us beguile;
We lose it not so long as we can smile.
560He bears the sentence well that nothing bears,
But the free comfort which from thence he hears;
But he bears both the sentence and the sorrow
That, to pay grief, must of poor patience borrow.
These sentences to sugar or to gall,
565Being strong on both sides, are equivocal.
But words are words; I never yet did hear
That the bruised heart was piercèd through the ears.
I humbly beseech you proceed to th'affairs of state.
Duke The Turk with a most mighty preparation 570makes for Cyprus. Othello, the fortitude of the place is best known to you, and though we have there a substitute of most allowed sufficiency, yet opinion, a more sovereign mistress of effects, throws a more safer voice on you. You must therefore be content to slubber 575the gloss of your new fortunes with this more stubborn and boisterous expedition.
Othello The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
My thrice-driven bed of down. I do agnize
580A natural and prompt alacrity
I find in hardness, and do undertake
This present war against the Ottomites.
Most humbly therefore bending to your state,
I crave fit disposition for my wife,
585Due reference of place and exhibition,
With such accommodation and besort
As levels with her breeding.
Why, at her father's.
I will not have it so.
590Othello Nor I.
Desdemona Nor would I there reside
To put my father in impatient thoughts
By being in his eye. Most gracious duke,
To my unfolding lend your prosperous ear,
595And let me find a charter in your voice
T'assist my simpleness.
What would you, Desdemona?
Desdemona That I did love the Moor to live with him,
My downright violence and storm of fortunes
600May trumpet to the world. My heart's subdued
Even to the very quality of my lord;
I saw Othello's visage in his mind,
And to his honors and his valiant parts
Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.
605So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,
A moth of peace, and he go to the war,
The rites for why I love him are bereft me,
And I a heavy interim shall support
By his dear absence. Let me go with him.
610Othello Let her have your voice.
Vouch with me, heaven; I therefore beg it not
To please the palate of my appetite,
Nor to comply with heat the young affects
In my defunct and proper satisfaction,
615But to be free and bounteous to her mind;
And heaven defend your good souls that you think
I will your serious and great business scant
When she is with me. No, when light-winged toys
Of feathered Cupid seel with wanton dullness
620My speculative and officed instruments
That my disports corrupt and taint my business,
Let housewives make a skillet of my helm
And all indign and base adversities
Make head against my estimation.
625Duke Be it as you shall privately determine,
Either for her stay or going. Th'affair cries haste,
And speed must answer it.
1 Senator
You must away tonight.
Tonight, my lord?
This night.
With all my heart.
630Duke At nine i'th'morning here we'll meet again.
Othello, leave some officer behind
And he shall our commission bring to you,
And such things else of quality and respect
As doth import you.
So please your grace, my ancient--
A man he is of honesty and trust--
To his conveyance I assign my wife,
With what else needful your good grace shall think
To be sent after me.
Let it be so.
Goodnight to everyone--and, noble signor,
If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.
1 Senator Adieu, brave Moor, use Desdemona well.
645Brabantio Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see;
She has deceived her father, and may thee.
Exeunt [Duke, Senators, Brabantio, Cassio, Sailor, Messenger, officers, and attendants].
Othello My life upon her faith! Honest Iago,
My Desdemona must I leave to thee.
I prithee let thy wife attend on her,
650And bring them after in the best advantage.
Come Desdemona, I have but an hour
Of love, of worldly matter and direction
To spend with thee. We must obey the time.
Exeunt [Othello and Desdemona].
Roderigo Iago.
655Iago What sayst thou, noble heart?
Roderigo What will I do, think'st thou?
Iago Why, go to bed and sleep.
Roderigo I will incontinently drown myself.
Iago If thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why, 660thou silly gentleman?
Roderigo It is silliness to live when to live is torment; and then have we a prescription to die, when death is our physician.
Iago Oh, villainous! I have looked upon the world 665for four times seven years, and, since I could distinguish betwixt a benefit and an injury, I never found man that knew how to love himself. Ere I would say I would drown myself for the love of a guinea-hen, I would change my humanity with a baboon.
670Roderigo What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so fond, but it is not in my virtue to amend it.
Iago Virtue? A fig! 'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens to the which our wills are gardeners, so that if we will plant 675nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many, either to have it sterile with idleness or manured with industry--why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the beam of our lives 680had not one scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions. But we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts--whereof I take this that you 685call love to be a sect or scion.
Roderigo It cannot be.
Iago It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will. Come, be a man! Drown thyself? Drown cats and blind puppies. I have professed me thy friend, 690and I confess me knit to thy deserving with cables of perdurable toughness. I could never better stead thee than now. Put money in thy purse. Follow thou the wars; defeat thy favor with an usurped beard. I say, put money in thy purse. It cannot be long that Desdemona 695should continue her love to the Moor--put money in thy purse--nor he his to her. It was a violent commencement in her, and thou shalt see an answerable sequestration--put but money in thy purse. These Moors are changeable in their wills--fill thy purse with money. 700The food that to him now is as luscious as locusts shall be to him shortly as acerb as coloquintida. She must change for youth; when she is sated with his body, she will find the errors of her choice. Therefore, put money in thy purse. If thou wilt needs damn thyself, do 705it a more delicate way than drowning. Make all the money thou canst. If sanctimony and a frail vow betwixt an erring barbarian and a super-subtle Venetian be not too hard for my wits and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her. Therefore make money. A pox of 710drowning thyself. It is clean out of the way. Seek thou rather to be hanged in compassing thy joy than to be drowned and go without her.
Roderigo Wilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend on the issue?
715Iago Thou art sure of me--go, make money--I have told thee often, and I retell thee again and again: I hate the Moor. My cause is hearted; thine hath no less reason. Let us be conjunctive in our revenge against him. If thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a 720pleasure, me a sport. There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered. Traverse, go, provide thy money. We will have more of this tomorrow. Adieu.
Roderigo Where shall we meet i'th'morning?
725Iago At my lodging.
Roderigo I'll be with thee betimes.
Iago Go to, farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo?
727.1Roderigo What say you?
Iago No more of drowning, do you hear?
Roderigo I am changed.
Iago Go to, farewell. Put money enough in your purse.
Roderigo I'll sell all my land.
Exit [Roderigo].
Iago Thus do I ever make my fool my purse;
730For I mine own gained knowledge should profane
If I would time expend with such a snipe
But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor,
And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets
He's done my office. I know not if't be true,
735But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety. He holds me well;
The better shall my purpose work on him.
Cassio's a proper man--let me see now:
To get his place and to plume up my will
740In double knavery--How? How? Let's see:
After some time to abuse Othello's ears
That he is too familiar with his wife.
He hath a person and a smooth dispose
To be suspected, framed to make women false.
745The Moor is of a free and open nature
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by'th'nose as asses are.
I have't. It is engendered. Hell and night
750Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.
Exit [Iago].
Enter Montano, [Governor of Cyprus, with] two [other] Gentlemen.
Montano What from the cape can you discern at sea?
1 Gentleman Nothing at all; it is a high-wrought flood.
755I cannot 'twixt the heaven and the main
Descry a sail.
Montano Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land.
A fuller blast ne'er shook our battlements;
If it hath ruffianed so upon the sea,
760What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them,
Can hold the mortise? What shall we hear of this?
2 Gentleman A segregation of the Turkish fleet--
For do but stand upon the foaming shore,
The chiding billow seems to pelt the clouds,
765The wind-shaked surge with high and monstrous mane
Seems to cast water on the burning Bear
And quench the guards of th'ever-fixèd Pole.
I never did like molestation view
On the enchafèd flood.
If that the Turkish fleet
Be not ensheltered and embayed, they are drowned;
It is impossible to bear it out.
Enter a [third] Gentleman.
3 Gentleman News, lads! Our wars are done.
775The desperate tempest hath so banged the Turks
That their designment halts. A noble ship of Venice
Hath seen a grievous wreck and sufferance
On most part of their fleet.
How? Is this true?
7803 Gentleman The ship is here put in, a Veronnesa. Michael Cassio,
Lieutenant to the warlike Moor, Othello,
Is come on shore; the Moor himself at sea,
And is in full commission here for Cyprus.
Montano I am glad on't; 785'tis a worthy governor.
3 Gentleman But this same Cassio, though he speak of comfort
Touching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadly
And prays the Moor be safe, for they were parted
With foul and violent tempest.
Pray heavens he be,
For I have served him, and the man commands
Like a full soldier. Let's to the seaside, ho!
As well to see the vessel that's come in
As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello,
795Even till we make the main and th'aerial blue
An indistinct regard.
3 Gentleman
Come, let's do so;
For every minute is expectancy
Of more arrivancy.
Enter Cassio.
Cassio Thanks, you the valiant of this warlike isle
That so approve the Moor. Oh, let the heavens
Give him defense against the elements,
For I have lost him on a dangerous sea.
805Montano Is he well shipped?
Cassio His bark is stoutly timbered, and his pilot
Of very expert and approved allowance;
Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
Stand in bold cure.
(Voices within) A sail! a sail! a sail!
What noise?
1 Gentleman The town is empty; on the brow o'th'sea
Stand ranks of people, and they cry "A sail!"
Cassio My hopes do shape him for the governor.
[A shot]
8152 Gentleman They do discharge their shot of courtesy;
Our friends at least.
Cassio I pray you sir, go forth
And give us truth who 'tis that is arrived.
2 Gentleman I shall.
Exit [2 Gentleman].
820Montano But good lieutenant, is your general wived?
Cassio Most fortunately; he hath achieved a maid
That paragons description and wild fame,
One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens
And in th'essential vesture of creation
825Does tire the ingener.
Enter [2] Gentleman.
How now? Who has put in?
2 Gentleman 'Tis one Iago, ancient to the general.
Cassio He's had most favorable and happy speed.
830Tempests themselves, high seas and howling winds,
The guttered rocks and congregated sands,
Traitors ensteeped to enclog the guiltless keel,
As having sense of beauty, do omit
Their mortal natures, letting go safely by
835The divine Desdemona.
What is she?
Cassio She that I spake of, our great captain's captain,
Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,
840Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts
A sennight's speed. Great Jove, Othello guard,
And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath
That he may bless this bay with his tall ship,
Make love's quick pants in Desdemona's arms,
845Give renewed fire to our extincted spirits
And bring all Cyprus comfort--
Enter Desdemona, Iago, Roderigo, and Emilia.
Oh, behold,
The riches of the ship is come on shore!
You men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.
850Hail to thee, lady, and the grace of heaven,
Before, behind thee, and on every hand
Enwheel thee round.
I thank you, valiant Cassio.
What tidings can you tell me of my lord?
855Cassio He is not yet arrived, nor know I aught
But that he's well and will be shortly here.
Desdemona Oh, but I fear--how lost you company?
Cassio The great contention of the sea and skies
860Parted our fellowship.
(Voices within) A sail! a sail!
But hark, a sail.
[A shot]
2 Gentleman They give this greeting to the citadel;
This likewise is a friend.
See for the news.
865Good ancient, you are welcome. Welcome, mistress.
[He kisses Emilia.]
Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,
That I extend my manners. 'Tis my breeding
That gives me this bold show of courtesy.
Iago Sir, would she give you so much of her lips
870As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,
You'd have enough.
Alas, she has no speech!
Iago In faith, too much;
I find it still when I have leave to sleep.
875Marry, before your ladyship, I grant,
She puts her tongue a little in her heart
And chides with thinking.
Emilia You have little cause to say so.
Iago Come on, come on! You are pictures out of 880doors, bells in your parlors, wildcats in your kitchens, saints in your injuries, devils being offended, players in your housewifery, and housewives in your beds.
Desdemona Oh, fie upon thee, slanderer!
885Iago Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk.
You rise to play and go to bed to work.
You shall not write my praise.
No, let me not.
Desdemona What wouldst write of me, if thou shouldst 890praise me?
Iago Oh, gentle lady, do not put me to't,
For I am nothing if not critical.
Desdemona Come on, assay--there's one gone to the harbor?
895Iago Ay, madam.
Desdemona I am not merry, but I do beguile
The thing I am by seeming otherwise.
Come, how wouldst thou praise me?
Iago I am about it, but indeed my invention comes 900from my pate as birdlime does from frieze; it plucks out brains and all. But my muse labors, and thus she is delivered:
If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit;
The one's for use, the other useth it.
905Desdemona Well praised! How if she be black and witty?
If she be black and thereto have a wit,
She'll find a white that shall her blackness hit.
Worse and worse.
How if fair and foolish?
She never yet was foolish that was fair,
For even her folly helped her to an heir.
Desdemona These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i'th'alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou 915for her that's foul and foolish?
There's none so foul and foolish thereunto,
But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.
Desdemona O heavy ignorance! Thou praisest the worst best. But what praise couldst thou bestow on a 920deserving woman indeed? One that in the authority of her merit did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself.
She that was ever fair and never proud,
Had tongue at will, and yet was never loud,
925Never lacked gold, and yet went never gay,
Fled from her wish, and yet said "now I may."
She that being angered, her revenge being nigh,
Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly.
She that in wisdom never was so frail
930To change the cod's head for the salmon's tail.
She that could think, and ne'er disclose her mind,
See suitors following, and not look behind.
She was a wight, if ever such wights were--
Desdemona To do what?
To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.
Desdemona O most lame and impotent conclusion! Do not learn of him Emilia, though he be thy husband. How say you, Cassio, is he not a most profane and liberal counselor?
940Cassio He speaks home, madam. You may relish him more in the soldier than in the scholar.
[Cassio takes Desdemona by the hand.]
Iago [Aside] He takes her by the palm. Ay, well said, whisper! With as little a web as this will I ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon her, do! I will gyve thee 945in thine own courtship. You say true; 'tis so indeed. If such tricks as these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had been better you had not kissed your three fingers so oft, which now again you are most apt to play the sir in. Very good! Well kissed and excellent courtesy!950 'Tis so indeed. Yet again, your fingers to your lips? Would they were clysterpipes for your sake.
[Trumpet within.]
[Aloud] The Moor. I know his trumpet.
Cassio 'Tis truly so.
955Desdemona Let's meet him and receive him.
Cassio Lo, where he comes.
Enter Othello and attendants.
O my fair warrior!
My dear Othello.
960Othello It gives me wonder great as my content
To see you here before me. O my soul's joy!
If after every tempest come such calms,
May the winds blow till they have wakened death,
965And let the laboring bark climb hills of seas
Olympus-high and duck again as low
As hell's from heaven. If it were now to die,
'Twere now to be most happy, for I fear
My soul hath her content so absolute
970That not another comfort like to this
Succeeds in unknown fate.
The heavens forbid
But that our loves and comforts should increase
975Even as our days do grow.
Amen to that, sweet powers.
I cannot speak enough of this content;
It stops me here; it is too much of joy.
And this, and this--
[They kiss.]
--the greatest discords be
980That ere our hearts shall make.
Iago [Aside] Oh, you are well tuned now! But I'll set down the pegs that make this music, as honest as I am.
Othello Come, let us to the castle.
News, friends: our wars are done; 985the Turks are drowned.
How does my old acquaintance of this isle?
Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus;
I have found great love amongst them. O my sweet,
I prattle out of fashion and I dote
990In mine own comforts. I prithee, good Iago,
Go to the bay and disembark my coffers.
Bring thou the master to the citadel;
He is a good one, and his worthiness
Does challenge much respect. Come, Desdemona,
995Once more well met at Cyprus.
Exeunt [all but Iago and Roderigo].
Iago Do thou meet me presently at the harbor. Come thither, if thou be'st valiant--as they say base men being in love have then a nobility in their natures 1000more than is native to them--list me: the lieutenant tonight watches on the court of guard. First, I must tell thee this: Desdemona is directly in love with him.
Roderigo With him? Why, 'tis not possible.
Iago Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be 1005instructed. Mark me with what violence she first loved the Moor, but for bragging and telling her fantastical lies. To love him still for prating? Let not thy discreet heart think it. Her eye must be fed. And what delight shall she have to look on the devil? When the blood 1010is made dull with the act of sport, there should be a game to enflame it, and, to give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favor, sympathy in years, manners, and beauties--all which the Moor is defective in. Now, for want of these required conveniences her delicate 1015tenderness will find itself abused, begin to heave the gorge, disrelish and abhor the Moor. Very nature will instruct her in it and compel her to some second choice. Now sir, this granted (as it is a most pregnant and unforced position) who stands so eminent in the degree of 1020this fortune as Cassio does--a knave very voluble, no further conscionable than in putting on the mere form of civil and humane seeming for the better compass of his salt and most hidden loose affection? Why none, why none! A slipper and subtle knave, a finder of 1025occasion that has an eye can stamp and counterfeit advantages though true advantage never present itself. A devilish knave! Besides, the knave is handsome, young, and hath all those requisites in him that folly and green minds look after--a pestilent complete knave, and the 1030woman hath found him already.
Roderigo I cannot believe that in her; she's full of most blessed condition.
Iago Blessed fig's-end! The wine she drinks is made of grapes. If she had been blessed, she would 1035never have loved the Moor. Blessed pudding! Didst thou not see her paddle with the palm of his hand? Didst not mark that?
Roderigo Yes, that I did; but that was but courtesy.
Iago Lechery, by this hand--an index and obscure 1040prologue to the history of lust and foul thoughts. They met so near with their lips that their breaths embraced together. Villainous thoughts, Roderigo, when these mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes the master and main exercise, th'incorporate 1045conclusion--pish! But sir, be you ruled by me. I have brought you from Venice. Watch you tonight; for the command, I'll lay't upon you. Cassio knows you not; I'll not be far from you. Do you find some occasion to anger Cassio, either by speaking too loud, or 1050tainting his discipline, or from what other course you please which the time shall more favorably minister.
Roderigo Well.
Iago Sir, he's rash and very sudden in choler, and 1055haply may strike at you. Provoke him that he may, for even out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to mutiny, whose qualification shall come into no true taste again but by the displanting of Cassio. So shall you have a shorter journey to your desires by the means I 1060shall then have to prefer them, and the impediment most profitably removed without the which there were no expectation of our prosperity.
Roderigo I will do this, if you can bring it to any opportunity.
1065Iago I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel. I must fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell.
Roderigo Adieu.
Exit [Roderigo].
Iago That Cassio loves her, I do well believ't;
1070That she loves him, 'tis apt and of great credit.
The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,
Is of a constant, loving, noble nature,
And I dare think he'll prove to Desdemona
A most dear husband. Now I do love her too,
1075Not out of absolute lust (though peradventure
I stand accountant for as great a sin),
But partly led to diet my revenge,
For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
Hath leaped into my seat--the thought whereof
1080Doth like a poisonous mineral gnaw my inwards,
And nothing can or shall content my soul
Till I am evened with him, wife for wife;
Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
1085That judgment cannot cure; which thing to do,
If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace
For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moor in the right garb
1090(For I fear Cassio with my nightcap too),
Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me
for making him egregiously an ass
And practicing upon his peace and quiet
Even to madness. 'Tis here, but yet confused;
1095Knavery's plain face is never seen till used.
Exit [Iago].
Enter Othello's Herald with a proclamation.
Herald [Reading]
It is Othello's pleasure, our noble and valiant general, that upon certain tidings now arrived 1100importing the mere perdition of the Turkish fleet, every man put himself into triumph: some to dance, some to make bonfires, each man to what sport and revels his addition leads him. For besides these beneficial news, it is the celebration of his nuptial. So 1105much was his pleasure should be proclaimed. All offices are open and there is full liberty of feasting from this present hour of five till the bell have tolled eleven. Heaven bless the isle of Cyprus and our noble general Othello.
Exit [Herald].
Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and attendants.
Othello Good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.
Let's teach ourselves that honorable stop
Not to outsport discretion.
Cassio Iago hath direction what to do;
1115But notwithstanding, with my personal eye
Will I look to't.
Iago is most honest.
Michael, goodnight. Tomorrow with your earliest
Let me have speech with you. [To Desdemona] Come, my dear love,
1120The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;
That profit's yet to come 'tween me and you.
[Exeunt all but Cassio.]
Enter Iago.
Cassio Welcome, Iago. We must to the watch.
1125Iago Not this hour, lieutenant; 'tis not yet ten o'th'clock. Our general cast us thus early for the love of his Desdemona, who let us not therefore blame; he hath not yet made wanton the night with her, and she is sport for Jove.
1130Cassio She's a most exquisite lady.
Iago And I'll warrant her full of game.
Cassio Indeed she's a most fresh and delicate creature.
Iago What an eye she has! Methinks it sounds a parley to provocation.
1135Cassio An inviting eye--and yet methinks right modest.
Iago And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?
Cassio She is indeed perfection.
1140Iago Well, happiness to their sheets. Come, lieutenant, I have a stoup of wine and here without are a brace of Cyprus gallants that would fain have a measure to the health of black Othello.
Cassio Not tonight, good Iago. I have very poor 1145and unhappy brains for drinking. I could well wish courtesy would invent some other custom of entertainment.
Iago Oh, they are our friends--but one cup; I'll drink for you.
1150Cassio I have drunk but one cup tonight, and that was craftily qualified too, and behold what innovation it makes here. I am infortunate in the infirmity and dare not task my weakness with any more.
Iago What, man? 'Tis a night of revels; the 1155gallants desire it.
Cassio Where are they?
Iago Here at the door. I pray you call them in.
Cassio I'll do't, but it dislikes me.
Exit [Cassio].
Iago If I can fasten but one cup upon him
1160With that which he hath drunk tonight already,
He'll be as full of quarrel and offense
As my young mistress's dog. Now, my sick fool Roderigo,
Whom love hath turned almost the wrong side out,
1165To Desdemona hath tonight caroused
Potations pottle-deep; and he's to watch.
Three else of Cyprus--noble, swelling spirits
That hold their honors in a wary distance,
The very elements of this warlike isle--
1170Have I tonight flustered with flowing cups,
And they watch too. Now 'mongst this flock of drunkards
Am I to put our Cassio in some action
That may offend the isle. But here they come.
Enter Cassio, Montano, and Gentlemen [with wine].
If consequence do but approve my dream,
My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream.
Cassio 'Fore God, they have given me a rouse already.
Montano Good faith, a little one--not past a pint, as I am a 1180soldier.
Iago Some wine, ho!
And let me the cannikin clink, clink,
And let me the cannikin clink.
A soldier's a man; Oh, man's life's but a span,
1185Why then let a soldier drink.
Some wine, boys!
Cassio 'Fore God, an excellent song!
Iago I learned it in England, where indeed they are most potent in potting. Your Dane, your German, 1190and your swag-bellied Hollander--drink, ho!--are nothing to your English.
Cassio Is your Englishman so exquisite in his drinking?
Iago Why, he drinks you with facility your Dane 1195dead drunk. He sweats not to overthrow your Almain. He gives your Hollander a vomit ere the next pottle can be filled.
Cassio To the health of our general!
Montano I am for it, lieutenant, and I'll do you justice.
1200Iago O sweet England!
King Stephen was and-a worthy peer,
His breeches cost him but a crown;
He held them sixpence all too dear,
With that he called the tailor lown.
1205He was a wight of high renown,
And thou art but of low degree;
'Tis pride that pulls the country down,
And take thy old cloak about thee.
Some wine, ho!
1210Cassio 'Fore God, this is a more exquisite song than the other.
Iago Will you hear't again?
Cassio No, for I hold him to be unworthy of his place that does those things. Well, God's above all, and 1215there be souls must be saved, and there be souls must not be saved.
Iago It's true, good lieutenant.
Cassio For mine own part--no offense to the general nor any man of quality--I hope to be saved.
1220Iago And so do I too, lieutenant.
Cassio Ay--but by your leave, not before me. The lieutenant is to be saved before the ancient. Let's have no more of this. Let's to our affairs. God forgive us our sins. Gentlemen, let's look to our business. Do not 1225think, gentlemen, I am drunk. This is my ancient, this is my right hand and this is my left. I am not drunk now. I can stand well enough, and I speak well enough.
Gentleman Excellent well.
Cassio Why, very well then--you must not think, then, 1230that I am drunk.
Exit [Cassio].
Montano To th'platform, masters; come, let's set the watch.
Iago You see this fellow that is gone before:
He's a soldier fit to stand by Caesar
1235And give direction. And do but see his vice:
'Tis to his virtue a just equinox,
The one as long as th'other. 'Tis pity of him;
I fear the trust Othello puts him in
On some odd time of his infirmity
1240Will shake this island.
But is he often thus?
Iago 'Tis evermore his prologue to his sleep.
He'll watch the horologe a double set
If drink rock not his cradle.
It were well
The general were put in mind of it;
Perhaps he sees it not, or his good nature
Prizes the virtue that appears in Cassio
And looks not on his evils. Is not this true?
Enter Roderigo.
Iago [Aside to Roderigo] How now, Roderigo?
I pray you, after the lieutenant go.
[Exit Roderigo.]
Montano And 'tis great pity that the noble Moor
Should hazard such a place as his own second
1255With one of an ingraft infirmity.
It were an honest action to say so
To the Moor.
Not I, for this fair island;
I do love Cassio well, and would do much
1260To cure him of this evil--
(Voices within) Help! Help!
--but hark, what noise?
Enter Cassio pursuing Roderigo.
Cassio Zounds, you rogue! You rascal!
Montano What's the matter, lieutenant?
Cassio A knave teach me my duty? I'll beat the 1265knave into a twiggen bottle.
Roderigo Beat me?
Cassio Dost thou prate, rogue?
Montano Nay, good lieutenant! Pray, sir, hold your hand.
1270Cassio Let me go, sir, or I'll knock you o'er the mazard.
Montano Come, come, you're drunk.
Cassio Drunk?
[They fight.]
Iago [Aside to Roderigo] Away, I say! Go out and cry a mutiny.
[Exit Roderigo.]
1275Nay, good lieutenant. God's will, gentlemen!
Help, ho! Lieutenant! Sir Montano! Sir!
Help, masters! Here's a goodly watch indeed.
[A bell rings.]
Who's that which rings the bell? Diablo, ho!
The town will rise. God's will, lieutenant, hold.
1280You'll be ashamed forever.
Enter Othello and attendants [with weapons].
Othello What is the matter here?
Montano Zounds, I bleed still! I am hurt to th'death.
[Lunging at Cassio]
He dies!
Hold, for your lives!
1285Iago Hold, ho! Lieutenant, Sir Montano, gentlemen!
Have you forgot all place of sense and duty?
Hold. The general speaks to you--hold, for shame.
Othello Why, how now, ho? From whence ariseth this?
Are we turned Turks and to ourselves do that
1290Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?
For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl.
He that stirs next to carve for his own rage
Holds his soul light; he dies upon his motion.
Silence that dreadful bell; it frights the isle
1295From her propriety. What is the matter, masters?
Honest Iago, that looks dead with grieving,
Speak. Who began this? On thy love, I charge thee.
Iago I do not know. Friends all, but now, even now,
In quarter and in terms like bride and groom
1300Divesting them for bed; and then, but now,
As if some planet had unwitted men,
Swords out and tilting one at other's breasts
In opposition bloody. I cannot speak
Any beginning to this peevish odds.
1305And would in action glorious I had lost
Those legs that brought me to a part of it.
Othello How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?
Cassio I pray you pardon me; I cannot speak.
Othello Worthy Montano, you were wont to be civil;
1310The gravity and stillness of your youth
The world hath noted, and your name is great
In mouths of wisest censure. What's the matter
That you unlace your reputation thus,
And spend your rich opinion for the name
1315Of a nightbrawler? Give me answer to it.
Montano Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger.
Your officer Iago can inform you--
While I spare speech, which something now offends me--
Of all that I do know; nor know I ought
1320By me that's said or done amiss this night,
Unless self-charity be sometimes a vice,
And to defend ourselves it be a sin
When violence assails us.
Now, by heaven,
1325My blood begins my safer guides to rule,
And passion, having my best judgment collied,
Assays to lead the way. Zounds, if I stir,
Or do but lift this arm, the best of you
Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know
1330How this foul rout began, who set it on,
And he that is approved in this offense,
Though he had twinned with me both at a birth,
Shall lose me. What, in a town of war
Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear,
1335To manage private and domestic quarrel
In night and on the court and guard of safety?
'Tis monstrous! Iago, who began't?
Montano If, partially affined or leagued in office,
Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,
1340Thou art no soldier.
Touch me not so near.
I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth
Than it should do offence to Michael Cassio;
Yet I persuade myself to speak the truth
1345Shall nothing wrong him. This it is, general:
Montano and myself being in speech,
There comes a fellow crying out for help,
And Cassio following with determined sword
To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman
1350Steps in to Cassio and entreats his pause;
Myself the crying fellow did pursue,
Lest by his clamor, as it so fell out,
The town might fall in fright. He, swift of foot,
Outran my purpose, and I returned then, rather
1355For that I heard the clink and fall of swords,
And Cassio high in oath, which till tonight
I ne'er might say before. When I came back--
For this was brief--I found them close together
At blow and thrust, even as again they were
1360When you yourself did part them.
More of this matter cannot I report,
But men are men; the best sometimes forget.
Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
1365Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
From him that fled some strange indignity
Which patience could not pass.
I know, Iago,
Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
1370Making it light to Cassio.--Cassio, I love thee,
But never more be officer of mine.
Enter Desdemona, attended.
Look if my gentle love be not raised up.
I'll make thee an example.
What is the matter, dear?
All's well, sweeting.
Come away to bed. [To Montano] Sir, for your hurts
Myself will be your surgeon. Lead him off.
[Montano is led off.]
Iago, look with care about the town,
1380And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.
Come, Desdemona; 'tis the soldier's life
To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.
Exeunt [Othello, Desdemona, and attendants.]
Iago What, are you hurt, lieutenant?
Cassio Ay, past all surgery.
1385Iago Marry, God forbid.
Cassio Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation.
1390Iago As I am an honest man, I had thought you had received some bodily wound; there is more sense in that than in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost without deserving. You have lost no reputation at all unless you 1395repute yourself such a loser. What, man, there are more ways to recover the general again. You are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice--even so as one would beat his offenseless dog to affright an imperious lion. Sue to 1400him again and he's yours.
Cassio I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so indiscrete an officer. Drunk? and speak parrot? and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse fustian 1405with one's own shadow? O thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil!
Iago What was he that you followed with your sword? What had he done to you?
1410Cassio I know not.
Iago Is't possible?
Cassio I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O God, that men should put an enemy in their mouths to steal 1415away their brains! that we should with joy, pleasance, revel and applause transform ourselves into beasts!
Iago Why, but you are now well enough. How came you thus recovered?
Cassio It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give 1420place to the devil wrath; one unperfectness shows me another to make me frankly despise myself.
Iago Come, you are too severe a moraler. As the time, the place, and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen; but since it is as 1425it is, mend it for your own good.
Cassio I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me I am a drunkard. Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a beast--Oh, 1430strange! Every inordinate cup is unblessed, and the ingredient is a devil.
Iago Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used; exclaim no more against it. And, good lieutenant, I think you think I love 1435you.
Cassio I have well approved it, sir--I drunk?
Iago You, or any man living, may be drunk at a time, man. I tell you what you shall do: our general's wife is now the general. I may say so in this respect, 1440for that he hath devoted and given up himself to the contemplation, mark, and devotement of her parts and graces. Confess yourself freely to her; importune her help to put you in your place again. She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition 1445she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested. This broken joint between you and her husband entreat her to splinter, and, my fortunes against any lay worth naming, this crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.
1450Cassio You advise me well.
Iago I protest in the sincerity of love and honest kindness.
Cassio I think it freely; and betimes in the morning I will beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake 1455for me. I am desperate of my fortunes if they check me.
Iago You are in the right. Goodnight, lieutenant. I must to the watch.
Cassio Goodnight, honest Iago.
Exit Cassio.
1460Iago And what's he, then, that says I play the villain,
When this advice is free I give, and honest,
Probal to thinking, and, indeed, the course
To win the Moor again? 1465For 'tis most easy
Th'inclining Desdemona to subdue
In any honest suit. She's framed as fruitful
As the free elements. And then for her
To win the Moor were to renounce his baptism,
1470All seals and symbols of redeemèd sin;
His soul is so enfettered to her love
That she may make, unmake, do what she list
Even as her appetite shall play the god
With his weak function. How am I then a villain
1475To counsel Cassio to this parallel course
Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!
When devils will the blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,
As I do now. For whiles this honest fool
1480Plies Desdemona to repair his fortune,
And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,
I'll pour this pestilence into his ear:
That she repeals him for her body's lust;
And by how much she strives to do him good,
1485She shall undo her credit with the Moor.
So will I turn her virtue into pitch,
And out of her own goodness make the net
That shall enmesh them all.
Enter Roderigo.
How now, Roderigo?
Roderigo I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound that hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money is almost spent, I have been tonight exceedingly well cudgeled, and I think the issue 1495will be I shall have so much experience for my pains, and so, with no money at all and a little more wit, return again to Venice.
Iago How poor are they that have not patience?
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
1500Thou know'st we work by wit and not by witchcraft,
And wit depends on dilatory time.
Does't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee,
And thou by that small hurt hath cashiered Cassio.
Though other things grow fair against the sun,
1505Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe.
Content thyself awhile. By the mass, 'tis morning;
Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.
Retire thee; go where thou art billeted.
Away, I say; thou shalt know more hereafter.
1510Nay, get thee gone.
Exit Roderigo.
Two things are to be done:
My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress;
I'll set her on.
1513.1Myself awhile to draw the Moor apart
And bring him jump when he may Cassio find
1515Soliciting his wife. Ay, that's the way;
Dull not device by coldness and delay.
Exit [Iago].
Enter Cassio, Musicians, and Clown.
Cassio Masters, play here--I will content your pains--1520something that's brief, and bid "Good morrow, general."
[The musicians play.]
Clown Why, masters, have your instruments been in Naples that they speak i'th'nose thus?
Musician How, sir? How?
Clown Are these, I pray you, wind instruments?
1525Musician Ay, marry, are they, sir.
Clown Oh, thereby hangs a tale.
Musician Whereby hangs a tale, sir?
Clown Marry, sir, by many a wind instrument that I know. But, masters--here's money for you--and the 1530general so likes your music that he desires you for love's sake to make no more noise with it.
Musician Well, sir, we will not.
Clown If you have any music that may not be heard, to't again. But, as they say, to hear music the 1535general does not greatly care.
Musician We have none such, sir.
Clown Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away. Go, vanish into air, away.
Exit Musicians.
Cassio Dost thou hear, mine honest friend?
1540Clown No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you.
Cassio Prithee keep up thy quillets. There's a poor piece of gold for thee. If the gentlewoman that attends the general's wife be stirring, tell her there's one Cassio 1545entreats her a little favor of speech. Wilt thou do this?
Clown She is stirring, sir. If she will stir hither, I shall seem to notify unto her.
Do, my good friend.
Exit Clown.
Enter Iago.
In happy time, Iago.
1550Iago You have not been abed then?
Cassio Why, no; the day had broke before we parted.
I have made bold, Iago, to send in to your wife.
My suit to her is that she will to virtuous Desdemona
Procure me some access.
I'll send her to you presently,
And I'll devise a mean to draw the Moor
Out of the way, that your converse and business
May be more free.
Exit [Iago].
I humbly thank you for't.
I never knew 1560a Florentine more kind and honest.
Enter Emilia.
Emilia Good morrow, good lieutenant. I am sorry
For your displeasure, but all will sure be well.
The general and his wife are talking of it,
1565And she speaks for you stoutly. The Moor replies
That he you hurt is of great fame in Cyprus
And great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdom
He might not but refuse you. But he protests he loves you
And needs no other suitor but his likings
1569.1To take the safest occasion by the front
1570To bring you in again.
Yet I beseech you,
If you think fit, or that it may be done,
Give me advantage of some brief discourse
With Desdemon alone.
Pray you come in.
I will bestow you where you shall have time
To speak your bosom freely.
I am much bound to you.
Enter Othello, Iago, and Gentlemen.
Othello These letters give, Iago, to the pilot,
And by him do my duties to the Senate.
[Othello hands Iago some papers.]
That done, I will be walking on the works;
Repair there to me.
Well, my good lord, I'll do't.
Othello This fortification, gentlemen, shall we see't?
Gentlemen We'll wait upon your lordship.
Enter Desdemona, Cassio, and Emilia.
1590Desdemona Be thou assured, good Cassio, I will do
All my abilities in thy behalf.
Emilia Good madam, do. I warrant it grieves my husband
As if the cause were his.
1595Desdemona Oh, that's an honest fellow. Do not doubt, Cassio,
But I will have my lord and you again
As friendly as you were.
Bounteous madam,
Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio,
1600He's never anything but your true servant.
Desdemona I know't. I thank you. You do love my lord;
You have known him long, and be you well assured
He shall in strangeness stand no farther off
Than in a politic distance.
Ay, but, lady,
That policy may either last so long,
Or feed upon such nice and waterish diet,
Or breed itself so out of circumstances
That I being absent and my place supplied,
1610My general will forget my love and service.
Desdemona Do not doubt that. Before Emilia here,
I give thee warrant of thy place. Assure thee,
If I do vow a friendship, I'll perform it
To the last article. My lord shall never rest:
1615I'll watch him tame and talk him out of patience;
His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift;
I'll intermingle everything he does
With Cassio's suit. Therefore be merry, Cassio,
For thy solicitor shall rather die
1620Than give thy cause away.
Enter Othello and Iago.
Madam, here comes my lord.
Madam, I'll take my leave.
Why stay, and hear me speak.
1625Cassio Madam, not now. I am very ill at ease,
Unfit for mine own purposes.
Desdemona Well, do your discretion.
Exit Cassio.
Ha? I like not that.
What dost thou say?
1630Iago Nothing, my lord; or if--I know not what.
Othello Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?
Iago Cassio, my lord? No sure, I cannot think it
That he would steal away so guilty-like,
Seeing your coming.
I do believe 'twas he.
Desdemona How now, my lord?
I have been talking with a suitor here,
A man that languishes in your displeasure.
Othello Who is't you mean?
1640Desdemona Why, your lieutenant, Cassio. Good my lord,
If I have any grace or power to move you,
His present reconciliation take;
For if he be not one that truly loves you,
That errs in ignorance and not in cunning,
1645I have no judgment in an honest face.
I prithee call him back.
Went he hence now?
Aye, sooth, so humbled
That he hath left part of his grief with me
1650To suffer with him. Good love, call him back.
Othello Not now, sweet Desdemon--some other time.
But shall't be shortly?
The sooner, sweet, for you.
Shall't be tonight, at supper?
No, not tonight.
Tomorrow dinner, then?
I shall not dine at home;
I meet the captains at the citadel.
Desdemona Why then, tomorrow night, or Tuesday morn,
1660On Tuesday noon or night, or Wednesday morn.
I prithee name the time, but let it not
Exceed three days. In faith, he's penitent;
And yet his trespass, in our common reason--
Save that they say the wars must make example
1665Out of her best--is not almost a fault
T'incur a private check. When shall he come?
Tell me, Othello. I wonder in my soul
What you would ask me that I should deny
Or stand so mamm'ring on? What? Michael Cassio,
1670That came a-wooing with you, and so many a time
When I have spoke of you dispraisingly
Hath ta'en your part--to have so much to do
To bring him in? By'r Lady, I could do much--
Othello Prithee, no more. Let him come when he will;
1675I will deny thee nothing.
Why, this is not a boon;
'Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,
Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm,
Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit
1680To your own person. Nay, when I have a suit
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
It shall be full of poise and difficult weight,
And fearful to be granted.
I will deny thee nothing.
1685Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this:
To leave me but a little to myself.
Desdemona Shall I deny you? No! Farewell, my lord.
Othello Farewell, my Desdemona. I'll come to thee straight.
Desdemona Emilia, come. [To Othello] Be as your fancies teach you.
1690Whate'er you be, I am obedient.
Exeunt [Desdemona and Emilia].
Othello Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul
But I do love thee! And when I love thee not,
Chaos is come again.
My noble lord--
What dost thou say, Iago?
Iago Did Michael Cassio, when you wooed my lady,
1697.1Know of your love?
He did, from first to last.
Why dost thou ask?
1700Iago But for a satisfaction of my thought,
No further harm.
Why of thy thought, Iago?
Iago I did not think he had been acquainted with her.
Othello Oh yes, and went between us very oft.
1705Iago Indeed?
Othello Indeed? Ay, indeed. Discern'st thou aught in that?
Is he not honest?
Iago Honest, my lord?
Othello Honest? Ay, honest.
1710Iago My lord, for aught I know.
Othello What dost thou think?
Iago Think, my lord?
Othello "Think, my lord?" By heaven, thou echo'st me
As if there were some monster in thy thought
1715Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean something.
I heard thee say even now, thou lik'st not that
When Cassio left my wife. What didst not like?
And when I told thee he was of my counsel
Of my whole course of wooing, thou cried'st "Indeed?"
1720And didst contract and purse thy brow together
As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain
Some horrible conceit. If thou dost love me,
Show me thy thought.
My lord, you know I love you.
I think thou dost;
And for I know thou'rt full of love and honesty,
And weigh'st thy words before thou giv'st them breath,
Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more.
For such things in a false disloyal knave
1730Are tricks of custom, but in a man that's just,
They're close dilations, working from the heart,
That passion cannot rule.
For Michael Cassio,
I dare be sworn, I think that he is honest.
I think so too.
Men should be what they seem,
Or those that be not, would they might seem none.
Othello Certain, men should be what they seem.
Iago Why then, I think Cassio's an honest man.
1740Othello Nay, yet there's more in this.
I prithee speak to me as to thy thinkings,
As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of thoughts
The worst of words.
Good my lord, pardon me.
1745Though I am bound to every act of duty,
I am not bound to that all slaves are free to.
Utter my thoughts? Why, say they are vile and false--
As where's that palace whereinto foul things
Sometimes intrude not? Who has that breast so pure
1750Wherein uncleanly apprehensions
Keep leets and law-days, and in sessions sit
With meditations lawful?
Othello Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago,
If thou but think'st him wronged and mak'st his ear
1755A stranger to thy thoughts.
I do beseech you,
Though I perchance am vicious in my guess--
As I confess it is my nature's plague
To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
1760Shapes faults that are not--that your wisdom
From one that so imperfectly conceits
Would take no notice, nor build yourself a trouble
Out of his scattering and unsure observance.
It were not for your quiet nor your good,
1765Nor for my manhood, honesty, and wisdom
To let you know my thoughts.
What dost thou mean?
Iago Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
1770Who steals my purse, steals trash--'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands--
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
1775And makes me poor indeed.
I'll know thy thoughts.
Iago You cannot, if my heart were in your hand,
Nor shall not, whilst 'tis in my custody.
Oh, beware, my lord, of jealousy.
It is the green-eyed monster, which doth mock
The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But oh, what damnèd minutes tells he o'er
1785Who dotes yet doubts, suspects yet soundly loves?
Othello Oh, misery!
Iago Poor and content is rich, and rich enough,
But riches fineless is as poor as winter
To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
1790Good God, the souls of all my tribe defend
From jealousy.
Why? Why is this?
Think'st thou I'd make a life of jealousy,
To follow still the changes of the moon
1795With fresh suspicions? No! To be once in doubt
Is to be resolved. Exchange me for a goat
When I shall turn the business of my soul
To such exsuffilate and blowed surmises
Matching thy inference. 'Tis not to make me jealous
1800To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances;
Where virtue is, these are more virtuous.
Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw
The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt,
1805For she had eyes and chose me. No, Iago,
I'll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;
And on the proof, there is no more but this:
Away at once with love or jealousy.
Iago I am glad of this, for now I shall have reason
1810To show the love and duty that I bear you
With franker spirit. Therefore, as I am bound,
Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.
Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio.
Wear your eyes thus, not jealous nor secure.
1815I would not have your free and noble nature
Out of self-bounty be abused. Look to't.
I know our country disposition well.
In Venice they do let God see the pranks
They dare not show their husbands; 1820their best conscience
Is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown.
Othello Dost thou say so?
Iago She did deceive her father, marrying you;
And when she seemed to shake and fear your looks,
1825She loved them most.
And so she did.
Why, go to then.
She that so young could give out such a seeming
To seel her father's eyes up close as oak
1830He thought 'twas witchcraft--but I am much to blame.
I humbly do beseech you of your pardon
For too much loving you.
I am bound to thee forever.
1835Iago I see this hath a little dashed your spirits.
Not a jot, not a jot.
I'faith, I fear it has.
I hope you will consider what is spoke
Comes from your love. 1840But I do see you're moved.
I am to pray you not to strain my speech
To grosser issues, nor to larger reach
Than to suspicion.
I will not.
Should you do so, my lord,
My speech should fall into such vile success,
Which my thoughts aimed not. Cassio's my worthy friend.
My lord, I see you're moved.
No, not much moved.
I do not think but Desdemona's honest.
Iago Long live she so, and long live you to think so.
Othello And yet how nature, erring from itself--
1855Iago Ay, there's the point--as, to be bold with you,
Not to affect many proposed matches
Of her own clime, complexion, and degree,
Whereto we see in all things nature tends--
1860Foh! One may smell in such a will most rank,
Foul disproportions, thoughts unnatural.
But, pardon me, I do not in position
Distinctly speak of her, though I may fear
Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
1865May fall to match you with her country forms,
And happily repent.
Farewell, farewell.
If more thou dost perceive, let me know more.
Set on thy wife to observe. 1870Leave me, Iago.
Iago [Starting to exit] My lord, I take my leave.
Othello Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless
Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.
1875Iago [Returning] My lord, I would I might entreat your honor
To scan this thing no farther; leave it to time.
Although 'tis fit that Cassio have his place--
For sure he fills it up with great ability--
Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,
1880You shall by that perceive him and his means.
Note if your lady strain his entertainment
With any strong or vehement importunity;
Much will be seen in that. In the meantime,
Let me be thought too busy in my fears,
1885(As worthy cause I have to fear I am),
And hold her free, I do beseech your honor.
Fear not my government.
I once more take my leave.
Exit [Iago].
Othello This fellow's of exceeding honesty,
1890And knows all qualities with a learned spirit
Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
I'd whistle her off and let her down the wind
To prey at fortune. Haply for I am black
1895And have not those soft parts of conversation
That chamberers have, or for I am declined
Into the vale of years--yet that's not much--
She's gone. I am abused and my relief
Must be to loathe her. Oh, curse of marriage,
1900That we can call these delicate creatures ours
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad
And live upon the vapor of a dungeon
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others' uses. Yet 'tis the plague to great ones,
1905Prerogatived are they less than the base;
'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death.
Even then this forkèd plague is fated to us
When we do quicken. Look where she comes--
Enter Desdemona and Emilia.
1910If she be false, heaven mocked itself;
I'll not believe't.
How now, my dear Othello?
Your dinner, and the generous islanders
By you invited, do attend your presence.
I am to blame.
Why do you speak so faintly?
Are you not well?
Othello I have a pain upon my forehead, here.
Desdemona Why, that's with watching; 'twill away again.
1920Let me but bind it hard; within this hour
It will be well.
[Desdemona tries to bind Othello's head with her handkerchief.]
Your napkin is too little.
[The handkerchief falls.]
Let it alone. Come, I'll go in with you.
Desdemona I am very sorry that you are not well.
Exeunt [Othello and Desdemona].
1925Emilia [Picking up the handkerchief] I am glad I have found this napkin.
This was her first remembrance from the Moor.
My wayward husband hath a hundred times
Wooed me to steal it, but she so loves the token--
For he conjured her she should ever keep it--
1930That she reserves it evermore about her
To kiss and talk to. I'll have the work taken out
And give't Iago. What he will do with it,
Heaven knows, not I;
I nothing but to please his fantasy.
Enter Iago.
Iago How now? What do you here alone?
Emilia Do not you chide; I have a thing for you.
Iago You have a thing for me? It is a common thing--
1940Emilia Ha?
Iago To have a foolish wife.
Emilia Oh, is that all? What will you give me now
For that same handkerchief?
What handkerchief?
1945Emilia What handkerchief?
Why that the Moor first gave to Desdemona,
That which so often you did bid me steal.
Iago Hast stolen it from her?
Emilia No, but she let it drop by negligence,
1950And, to th'advantage, I, being here, took't up.
Look, here 'tis.
A good wench. Give it me.
Emilia What will you do with't, that you have been
So earnest to have me filch it?
[Iago snatches the handkerchief.]
Why, what is that to you?
Emilia If it be not for some purpose of import,
Giv't me again. Poor lady, she'll run mad
When she shall lack it.
Be not acknown on't;
1960I have use for it. Go, leave me.
Exit Emilia.
I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin
And let him find it. Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ. This may do something.
1965The Moor already changes with my poison.
Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons,
Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,
But with a little act upon the blood,
Burn like the mines of sulfur. I did say so.
Enter Othello.
Look where he comes. Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday.
Ha, ha! False to me?
Iago Why, how now, general? No more of that.
Othello Avaunt, be gone! Thou hast set me on the rack.
I swear 'tis better to be much abused
Than but to know't a little.
How now, my lord?
Othello What sense had I in her stolen hours of lust?
I saw't not, thought it not, it harmed not me.
I slept the next night well, fed well, was free and merry.
I found not Cassio's kisses on her lips.
1985He that is robbed, not wanting what is stolen,
Let him not know't, and he's not robbed at all.
Iago I am sorry to hear this.
Othello I had been happy if the general camp,
Pioneers and all, had tasted her sweet body,
1990So I had nothing known. Oh, now, forever
Farewell the tranquil mind; farewell content;
Farewell the plumèd troops and the big wars
That makes ambition virtue! Oh, farewell!
Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,
1995The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!
And O you mortal engines whose rude throats
The immortal Jove's dread clamors counterfeit,
2000Farewell! Othello's occupation's gone.
Iago Is't possible, my lord?
Othello Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore!
Be sure of it. Give me the ocular proof,
[Othello grabs Iago.]
Or, by the worth of mine eternal soul,
2005Thou hadst been better have been born a dog
Than answer my waked wrath.
Is't come to this?
Othello Make me to see't, or at the least so prove it
That the probation bear no hinge nor loop
2010To hang a doubt on, or woe upon thy life!
Iago My noble lord--
Othello If thou dost slander her and torture me,
Never pray more; abandon all remorse,
On horror's head horrors accumulate,
2015Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed,
For nothing canst thou to damnation add
Greater than that.
O grace! O heaven forgive me!
Are you a man? Have you a soul? or sense?
2020God b'wi'you, take mine office. O wretched fool
That lov'st to make thine honesty a vice!
O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world,
To be direct and honest is not safe.
I thank you for this profit, and from hence
2025I'll love no friend sith love breeds such offense.
Othello Nay, stay; thou shouldst be honest.
Iago I should be wise, for honesty's a fool
And loses that it works for.
By the world,
2030I think my wife be honest, and think she is not;
I think that thou art just, and think thou art not.
I'll have some proof. Her name, that was as fresh
As Dian's visage, is now begrimed and black
As mine own face. If there be cords or knives,
2035Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,
I'll not endure it. Would I were satisfied.
Iago I see you are eaten up with passion;
I do repent me that I put it to you.
You would be satisfied?
Would? Nay, and I will.
Iago And may--but how? how satisfied, my lord?
Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on?
Behold her topped?
Death and damnation! Oh!
2045Iago It were a tedious difficulty, I think,
To bring them to that prospect. Damn them then,
If ever mortal eyes do see them bolster
More than their own. What then? How then?
What shall I say? Where's satisfaction?
2050It is impossible you should see this
Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys,
As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as gross
As ignorance made drunk. But yet, I say,
If imputation and strong circumstances,
2055Which lead directly to the door of truth,
Will give you satisfaction, you might have't.
Othello Give me a living reason she's disloyal.
Iago I do not like the office;
But sith I am entered in this cause so far--
2060Pricked to't by foolish honesty and love--
I will go on: I lay with Cassio lately,
And, being troubled with a raging tooth,
I could not sleep. There are a kind of men
So loose of soul that in their sleeps will mutter
2065Their affairs; one of this kind is Cassio.
In sleep I heard him say "Sweet Desdemona,
Let us be wary; let us hide our loves."
And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand,
Cry "O sweet creature!", then kiss me hard,
2070As if he plucked up kisses by the roots
That grew upon my lips, then laid his leg
O'er my thigh, and sighed, and kissed, and then
Cried "Cursèd fate that gave thee to the Moor!"
Oh, monstrous! monstrous!
Nay, this was but his dream.
Othello But this denoted a foregone conclusion;
'Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.
Iago And this may help to thicken other proofs
That do demonstrate thinly.
I'll tear her all to pieces!
Iago Nay, yet be wise, yet we see nothing done;
She may be honest yet. Tell me but this:
Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief
Spotted with strawberries in your wife's hand?
2085Othello I gave her such a one; 'twas my first gift.
Iago I know not that, but such a handkerchief--
I am sure it was your wife's--did I today
See Cassio wipe his beard with.
If it be that--
2090Iago If it be that, or any, it was hers.
It speaks against her with the other proofs.
Othello Oh, that the slave had forty thousand lives!
One is too poor, too weak for my revenge.
Now do I see 'tis true. Look here, Iago:
2095All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven--'tis gone!
Arise, black vengeance from the hollow hell.
Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne
To tyrannous hate. Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,
For 'tis of aspics' tongues.
Yet be content.
[Othello kneels.]
Othello Oh, blood, blood, blood!
Iago Patience, I say. Your mind may change.
Othello Never, Iago. Like to the Pontic Sea,
Whose icy current and compulsive course
2105Ne'er keeps retiring ebb but keeps due on
To the Propontic and the Hellespont,
Even so my bloody thoughts with violent pace
Shall ne'er look back, ne'er ebb to humble love,
Till that a capable and wide revenge
2110Swallow them up. Now, by yon marble heaven,
In the due reverence of a sacred vow,
I here engage my words.
Do not rise yet.
Witness, you ever-burning lights above,
2115You elements that clip us round about,
[Iago kneels.]
Witness that here Iago doth give up
The execution of his wit, hands, heart
To wronged Othello's service. Let him command,
And to obey shall be in me remorse,
2120What bloody business ever.
[Othello and Iago rise.]
I greet thy love
Not with vain thanks but with acceptance bounteous,
And will upon the instant put thee to't.
Within these three days let me hear thee say
2125That Cassio's not alive.
My friend is dead;
'Tis done at your request. But let her live.
Othello Damn her, lewd minx! 2130Oh, damn her, damn her!
Come, go with me apart; I will withdraw
To furnish me with some swift means of death
For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant.
2135Iago I am your own forever.
Enter Desdemona, Emilia, and Clown.
Desdemona Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant Cassio lies?
2140Clown I dare not say he lies anywhere.
Desdemona Why, man?
Clown He's a soldier, and for me to say a soldier lies, 'tis stabbing.
Desdemona Go to! Where lodges he?
2145Clown To tell you where he lodges is to tell you where I lie.
Desdemona Can anything be made of this?
Clown I know not where he lodges, and for me to devise a lodging, and say he lies here or he lies there, were 2150to lie in mine own throat.
Desdemona Can you inquire him out and be edified by report?
Clown I will catechize the world for him--that is, make questions and by them answer.
2155Desdemona Seek him, bid him come hither, tell him I have moved my lord on his behalf, and hope all will be well.
Clown To do this is within the compass of man's wit, and therefore I will attempt the doing it.
Exit Clown.
2160Desdemona Where should I lose the handkerchief, Emilia?
Emilia I know not, madam.
Desdemona Believe me, I had rather lose my purse
Full of crusadoes; and but my noble Moor
2165Is true of mind and made of no such baseness
As jealous creatures are, it were enough
To put him to ill thinking.
Is he not jealous?
Desdemona Who, he? I think the sun where he was born
2170Drew all such humors from him.
Look where he comes.
Enter Othello.
Desdemona I will not leave him now till Cassio
Be called to him. How is't with you, my lord?
2175Othello Well, my good lady. [Aside] Oh, hardness to dissemble!
How do you, Desdemona?
Well, my good lord.
Give me your hand.
[Othello takes Desdemona's hand.]
This hand is moist, my lady.
2180Desdemona It hath felt no age, nor known no sorrow.
Othello This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart--
Hot, hot and moist. This hand of yours requires
A sequester from liberty--fasting and prayer,
Much castigation, exercise devout--
2185For here's a young and sweating devil here
That commonly rebels. 'Tis a good hand,
A frank one.
You may indeed say so,
For 'twas that hand that gave away my heart.
2190Othello A liberal hand. The hearts of old gave hands,
But our new heraldry is hands, not hearts.
Desdemona I cannot speak of this. Come, now your promise.
Othello What promise, chuck?
2195Desdemona I have sent to bid Cassio come speak with you.
Othello I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me;
Lend me thy handkerchief.
Here, my lord.
That which I gave you.
I have it not about me.
Othello Not?
Desdemona No, faith, my lord.
Othello That's a fault. That handkerchief
Did an Egyptian to my mother give.
2205She was a charmer and could almost read
The thoughts of people. She told her while she kept it
'Twould make her amiable and subdue my father
Entirely to her love, but if she lost it,
Or made a gift of it, my father's eye
2210Should hold her loathed, and his spirits should hunt
After new fancies. She, dying, gave it me,
And bid me, when my fate would have me wived,
To give it her. I did so; and, take heed on't,
Make it a darling like your precious eye.
2215To lose't or give't away were such perdition
As nothing else could match.
Is't possible?
Othello 'Tis true. There's magic in the web of it:
A sybil that had numbered in the world
2220The sun to course two hundred compasses,
In her prophetic fury sewed the work;
The worms were hallowed that did breed the silk,
And it was dyed in mummy, which the skillful
Conserved of maidens' hearts.
I'faith, is't true?
Othello Most veritable; therefore look to't well.
Desdemona Then would to God that I had never seen't!
Othello Ha? Wherefore?
Desdemona Why do you speak so startingly and rash?
2230Othello Is't lost? Is't gone? Speak, is't out o'th'way?
Desdemona Heaven bless us!
Othello Say you?
Desdemona It is not lost; but what and if it were?
Othello How?
2235Desdemona I say it is not lost.
Othello Fetch't, let me see't.
Desdemona Why so I can; but I will not now.
This is a trick to put me from my suit.
Pray you, let Cassio be received again.
2240Othello Fetch me the handkerchief, my mind misgives.
Desdemona Come, come!
You'll never meet a more sufficient man--
The handkerchief.
A man that all his time
Hath founded his good fortunes on your love,
Shared dangers with you--
The handkerchief.
I'faith, you are to blame.
Exit Othello.
Is not this man jealous?
I ne'er saw this before.
Sure there's some wonder in this handkerchief;
I am most unhappy in the loss.
2255Emilia 'Tis not a year or two shows us a man.
They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;
They eat us hungerly, and when they are full
They belch us.
Enter Iago and Cassio.
2260Look you, Cassio and my husband.
Iago There is no other way; 'tis she must do't--
And lo, the happiness! Go and importune her.
Desdemona How now, good Cassio, what's the news with you?
2265Cassio Madam, my former suit: I do beseech you
That by your virtuous means I may again
Exist and be a member of his love,
Whom I, with all the office of my heart,
Entirely honor. I would not be delayed.
2270If my offense be of such mortal kind
That nor my service past, nor present sorrows,
Nor purposed merit in futurity
Can ransom me into his love again,
But to know so must be my benefit;
2275So shall I clothe me in a forced content
And shut myself up in some other course
To fortune's alms.
Alas, thrice-gentle Cassio,
My advocation is not now in tune;
2280My lord is not my lord, nor should I know him
Were he in favor as in humor altered.
So help me every spirit sanctified
As I have spoken for you all my best,
And stood within the blank of his displeasure
2285For my free speech. You must awhile be patient.
What I can do, I will; and more I will
Than for myself I dare. Let that suffice you.
Is my lord angry?
He went hence but now,
2290And certainly in strange unquietness.
Iago Can he be angry? I have seen the cannon
When it hath blown his ranks into the air
And, like the devil, from his very arm
Puffed his own brother--and is he angry?
2295Something of moment then. I will go meet him;
There's matter in't indeed if he be angry.
I prithee do so.
Exit [Iago].
Something sure of state,
Either from Venice or some unhatched practise
Made demonstrable here in Cyprus to him,
2300Hath puddled his clear spirit; and in such cases
Men's natures wrangle with inferior things,
Though great ones are their object. 'Tis even so.
For let our finger ache and it endues
Our other healthful members even to a sense
2305Of pain. Nay, we must think men are not gods,
Nor of them look for such observancy
As fits the bridal. Beshrew me much, Emilia.
I was, unhandsome warrior as I am,
Arraigning his unkindness with my soul;
2310But now I find I had suborned the witness,
And he's indicted falsely.
Pray heaven it be
State matters, as you think, and no conception
Nor no jealous toy concerning you.
2315Desdemona Alas the day! I never gave him cause.
Emilia But jealous souls will not be answered so;
They are not ever jealous for the cause,
But jealous for they're jealous. It is a monster
Begot upon itself, born on itself.
2320Desdemona Heaven keep the monster from Othello's mind.
Emilia Lady, amen.
Desdemona I will go seek him. Cassio, walk here about.
If I do find him fit, I'll move your suit And seek to effect it to my uttermost.
2325Cassio I humbly thank your ladyship.
Exeunt Desdemona and Emilia.
Enter Bianca.
'Save you, friend Cassio.
What make you from home?
How is't with you, my most fair Bianca?
2330I'faith, sweet love, I was coming to your house.
Bianca And I was going to your lodging, Cassio.
What, keep a week away? Seven days and nights?
Eight score eight hours? And lovers' absent hours
More tedious than the dial eight score times?
2335Oh, weary reckoning!
Pardon me, Bianca.
I have this while with leaden thoughts been pressed,
But I shall in a more continuate time
Strike off this score of absence. Sweet Bianca,
2340Take me this work out.
[Cassio gives Desdemona's handkerchief to Bianca.]
O Cassio, whence came this?
This is some token from a newer friend.
To the felt absence now I feel a cause.
Is't come to this? Well, well.
Go to, woman!
Throw your vile guesses in the devil's teeth,
From whence you have them. You are jealous now
That this is from some mistress, some remembrance?
No, by my faith, Bianca.
Why, whose is it?
Cassio I know not neither; I found it in my chamber.
I like the work well; ere it be demanded,
As like enough it will, I would have it copied.
2355Take it and do't, and leave me for this time.
Bianca Leave you? Wherefore?
Cassio I do attend here on the general,
And think it no addition nor my wish
To have him see me womaned.
Why, I pray you?
Not that I love you not.
But that you do not love me.
I pray you bring me on the way a little,
And say if I shall see you soon at night.
2365Cassio 'Tis but a little way that I can bring you,
For I attend here, but I'll see you soon.
Bianca 'Tis very good. I must be circumstanced.
Enter Othello and Iago.
Will you think so?
Think so, Iago?
To kiss in private?
An unauthorized kiss?
2375Iago Or to be naked with her friend in bed
An hour or more, not meaning any harm?
Othello Naked in bed, Iago, and not mean harm?
It is hypocrisy against the devil.
They that mean virtuously and yet do so,
2380The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt heaven.
Iago If they do nothing, 'tis a venial slip;
But if I give my wife a handkerchief--
Othello What then?
Iago Why then 'tis hers, my lord, and, being hers,
2385She may, I think, bestow't on any man.
Othello She is protectress of her honor too;
May she give that?
Iago Her honor is an essence that's not seen;
They have it very oft, that have it not.
2390But for the handkerchief--
Othello By heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it!
Thou saidst--Oh, it comes ore my memory
As doth the raven o'er the infectious house,
Boding to all--he had my handkerchief.
Ay, what of that?
That's not so good now.
Iago What if I had said I had seen him do you wrong?
Or heard him say--as knaves be such abroad
Who, having by their own importunate suit
2400Or voluntary dotage of some mistress
Convincèd or supplied them, cannot choose
But they must blab--
Hath he said anything?
Iago He hath, my lord, but be you well assured,
2405No more than he'll unswear.
What hath he said?
Iago Faith, that he did--I know not what he did.
What? What?
With her?
Iago With her, on her--what you will.
Othello Lie with her? Lie on her? We say "lie on her" when they belie her. Lie with her? Zounds, that's fulsome! Handkerchief! Confessions! Handkerchief!--To 2415confess and be hanged for his labor. First to be hanged and then to confess! I tremble at it. Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion without some instruction. It is not words that shakes me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips!--Is't possible? Confess? 2420Handkerchief? O devil!
[Othello] falls in a trance.
Iago Work on,
My medicine works! Thus credulous fools are caught,
And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,
All guiltless, meet reproach. What ho! My lord?
2425My lord, I say! Othello!
Enter Cassio.
How now, Cassio?
Cassio What's the matter?
Iago My lord is fallen into an epilepsy.
2430This is his second fit; he had one yesterday.
Rub him about the temples.
No, forbear.
The lethargy must have his quiet course;
If not, he foams at mouth and by and by
Breaks out to savage madness. Look, he stirs.
2435Do you withdraw yourself a little while.
He will recover straight. When he is gone,
I would on great occasion speak with you.
[Exit Cassio.]
How is it, general? Have you not hurt your head?
Dost thou mock me?
I mock you not, by heaven!
Would you would bear your fortune like a man.
Othello A hornèd man's a monster and a beast.
Iago There's many a beast then in a populous city,
And many a civil monster.
Did he confess it?
Good sir, be a man.
Think every bearded fellow that's but yoked
May draw with you. There's millions now alive
That nightly lie in those unproper beds,
2450Which they dare swear peculiar. Your case is better.
Oh, 'tis the spite of hell, the fiend's arch-mock,
To lip a wanton in a secure couch
And to suppose her chaste. No, let me know,
And, knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.
Oh, thou art wise, 'tis certain.
Stand you awhile apart;
Confine yourself but in a patient list:
Whilst you were here, o'erwhelmèd with your grief--
A passion most unsuiting such a man--
2460Cassio came hither. I shifted him away
And laid good 'scuses upon your ecstasy,
Bade him anon return and here speak with me,
The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,
And mark the fleers, the gibes and notable scorns
2465That dwell in every region of his face.
For I will make him tell the tale anew:
Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when
He hath and is again to cope your wife.
I say, but mark his gesture--marry, patience!
2470Or I shall say you're all in all in spleen
And nothing of a man.
Dost thou hear, Iago?
I will be found most cunning in my patience,
But--dost thou hear?--most bloody.
That's not amiss,
But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?
[Othello withdraws.]
Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,
A huswife that by selling her desires
Buys herself bread and cloth. It is a creature
2480That dotes on Cassio--as 'tis the strumpet's plague
To beguile many and be beguiled by one.
He, when he hears of her, cannot restrain
From the excess of laughter. Here he comes.
Enter Cassio.
2485As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;
And his unbookish jealousy must conster
Poor Cassio's smiles, gestures, and light behaviors
Quite in the wrong. How do you, lieutenant?
Cassio The worser that you give me the addition
2490Whose want even kills me.
Iago Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on't.
Now if this suit lay in Bianca's power,
How quickly should you speed.
Alas, poor caitiff!
2495Othello [Aside] Look how he laughs already.
Iago I never knew a woman love man so.
Cassio Alas, poor rogue, I think i'faith she loves me.
Othello [Aside] Now he denies it faintly and laughs it out.
Do you hear, Cassio?
[Aside] Now he importunes him
To tell it o'er. Go to, well said, well said.
Iago She gives it out that you shall marry her.
Do you intend it?
Cassio Ha, ha, ha!
2505Othello [Aside] Do you triumph, Roman? Do you triumph?
Cassio I marry? What, a customer?
Prithee bear some charity to my wit;
Do not think it so unwholesome. Ha, ha, ha!
Othello [Aside] So, so, so, so! They laugh that wins.
2510Iago Faith, the cry goes that you marry her.
Cassio Prithee say true.
Iago I am a very villain else.
Othello [Aside] Have you scored me? Well.
Cassio This is the monkey's own giving out.
2515She is persuaded I will marry her
Out of her own love and flattery, not out of my promise.
Othello [Aside] Iago beckons me; now he begins the story.
Cassio She was here even now; she haunts me in every place. I was the other day talking on the 2520seabank with certain Venetians, and thither comes the bauble and, by this hand, she falls me thus about my neck.
Othello [Aside] Crying "O dear Cassio!" as it were; his gesture imports it.
Cassio So hangs, and lolls, and weeps upon me; 2525so shakes and pulls me. Ha, ha, ha!
Othello [Aside] Now he tells how she plucked him to my chamber. Oh, I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall throw it to.
Cassio Well, I must leave her company.
2530Iago Before me! Look where she comes.
Enter Bianca.
Cassio 'Tis such another fitchew--marry, a perfumed one!
What do you mean by this haunting of me?
Bianca Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What 2535did you mean by that same handkerchief you gave me even now? I was a fine fool to take it! I must take out the work? A likely piece of work, that you should find it in your chamber and know not who left it there. This is some minx's token, and I must take out the work? 2540There, give it your hobby-horse! [Bianca throws down the handkerchief.] Wheresoever you had it, I'll take out no work on't.
Cassio How now, my sweet Bianca? How now? How now?
Othello [Aside] By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!
2545Bianca If you'll come to supper tonight, you may; if you will not, come when you are next prepared for.
Exit [Bianca].
Iago After her, after her!
Cassio Faith, I must; she'll rail in the streets else.
Iago Will you sup there?
2550Cassio Faith, I intend so.
Iago Well, I may chance to see you, for I would very fain speak with you.
Cassio Prithee come, will you?
Iago Go to, say no more.
[Exit Cassio.]
2555Othello [Coming forward] How shall I murder him, Iago?
Iago Did you perceive how he laughed at his vice?
Othello Oh, Iago!
Iago And did you see the handkerchief?
Othello Was that mine?
2560Iago Yours, by this hand--and to see how he prizes the foolish woman your wife; she gave it him, and he hath given it his whore.
Othello I would have him nine years a-killing! A fine woman, a fair woman, a sweet woman!
2565Iago Nay, you must forget that.
Othello Ay, let her rot and perish and be damned tonight, for she shall not live. No, my heart is turned to stone; I strike it and it hurts my hand. Oh, the world hath not a sweeter creature! She might lie by an 2570emperor's side and command him tasks.
Iago Nay, that's not your way.
Othello Hang her, I do but say what she is: so delicate with her needle, an admirable musician--Oh, she will sing the savageness out of a bear--of so high 2575plenteous wit and invention!
Iago She's the worse for all this.
Othello Oh, a thousand, a thousand times--and then of so gentle a condition!
Iago Ay, too gentle.
2580Othello Nay, that's certain--but yet the pity of it, Iago! Oh, Iago, the pity of it, Iago!
Iago If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her patent to offend; for if it touch not you, it comes near 2585nobody.
Othello I will chop her into messes--cuckold me?
Iago Oh, 'tis foul in her.
Othello With mine officer?
Iago That's fouler.
2590Othello Get me some poison, Iago, this night. I'll not expostulate with her lest her body and beauty unprovide my mind again. This night, Iago.
Iago Do it not with poison. Strangle her in her bed, even the bed she hath contaminated.
2595Othello Good, good--the justice of it pleases! Very good.
Iago And for Cassio, let me be his undertaker. You shall hear more by midnight.
Excellent good--
[A trumpet sounds.]
What trumpet is that same?
Iago I warrant something from Venice.
Enter Lodovico, Desdemona, and attendants.
'Tis Lodovico, this, comes from the duke.
See, your wife's with him.
Lodovico God save you, worthy general.
2605Othello With all my heart, sir.
Lodovico [Giving Othello a letter] The Duke and the Senators of Venice greet you.
Othello I kiss the instrument of their pleasures.
Desdemona And what's the news, good cousin Lodovico?
Iago I am very glad to see you, signor.
2610Welcome to Cyprus.
Lodovico I thank you. How does Lieutenant Cassio?
Iago Lives, sir.
Desdemona Cousin, there's fallen between him and my lord
An unkind breach, but you shall make all well.
Are you sure of that?
My lord?
Othello [Reading]
"This fail you not to do, as you will . . . "
Lodovico He did not call; he's busy in the paper.
Is there division 'twixt my lord and Cassio?
2620Desdemona A most unhappy one. I would do much
T'atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.
Fire and brimstone!
My lord?
Are you wise?
What, is he angry?
Maybe the letter moved him.
For, as I think, they do command him home,
Deputing Cassio in his government.
By my troth, I am glad on't.
My lord?
I am glad to see you mad.
Why, sweet Othello?
[Striking her] Devil!
2635Desdemona I have not deserved this.
Lodovico My lord, this would not be believed in Venice,
Though I should swear I saw't. 'Tis very much.
Make her amends; she weeps.
O devil, devil!
2640If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,
Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.--
Out of my sight!
[Starting to exit] I will not stay to offend you.
Lodovico Truly obedient lady!
2645I do beseech your lordship call her back.
[Returning] My lord?
What would you with her, sir?
Lodovico Who I, my lord?
2650Othello Ay, you did wish that I would make her turn.
Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on
And turn again. And she can weep, sir, weep;
And she's obedient, as you say, obedient,
Very obedient.--Proceed you in your tears!--
2655Concerning this, sir--O well-painted passion!--
I am commanded home.--Get you away!
I'll send for you anon.--Sir, I obey the mandate
And will return to Venice.--Hence, avaunt!--
[Exit Desdemona.]
Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight
2660I do entreat that we may sup together.
You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.--Goats and monkeys!
Exit [Othello].
Lodovico Is this the noble Moor whom our full senate
Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature
2665Whom passion could not shake? Whose solid virtue
The shot of accident nor dart of chance
Could neither graze nor pierce?
He is much changed.
Lodovico Are his wits safe? Is he not light of brain?
2670Iago He's that he is; I may not breathe my censure.
What he might be--if what he might, he is not--
I would to heaven he were.
What? Strike his wife?
Iago Faith, that was not so well; yet would I knew
2675That stroke would prove the worst.
Is it his use?
Or did the letters work upon his blood
And new-create his fault?
Alas, alas!
2680It is not honesty in me to speak
What I have seen and known. You shall observe him
And his own courses will denote him so
That I may save my speech; do but go after
And mark how he continues.
2685Lodovico I am sorry that I am deceived in him.
Enter Othello and Emilia.
Othello You have seen nothing then?
Emilia Nor ever heard, nor ever did suspect.
2690Othello Yes, you have seen Cassio and she together.
Emilia But then I saw no harm; and then I heard
Each syllable that breath made up between them.
Othello What? Did they never whisper?
Emilia Never, my lord.
2695Othello Nor send you out o'th'way?
Emilia Never.
Othello To fetch her fan, her gloves, her mask, nor nothing?
Emilia Never, my lord.
Othello That's strange.
2700Emilia I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest,
Lay down my soul at stake. If you think other,
Remove your thought; it doth abuse your bosom.
If any wretch have put this in your head,
Let heaven requite it with the serpent's curse,
2705For if she be not honest, chaste, and true,
There's no man happy. The purest of their wives
Is foul as slander.
Bid her come hither--go.
Exit Emilia.
She says enough; yet she's a simple bawd
2710That cannot say as much. This is a subtle whore,
A closet lock and key of villainous secrets,
And yet she'll kneel and pray--I have seen her do't.
Enter Desdemona and Emilia.
My lord, what is your will?
Pray you, chuck, come hither.
What is your pleasure?
Let me see your eyes;
Look in my face.
What horrible fancy's this?
Othello [To Emilia] Some of your function, mistress,
2720Leave procreants alone and shut the door,
Cough or cry "hem!" if anybody come.
Your mystery, your mystery--nay, dispatch!
Exit Emilia.
Desdemona [Kneeling] Upon my knee, what doth your speech import?
I understand a fury in your words,
But not the words.
Why? What art thou?
Desdemona Your wife, my lord, your true and loyal wife.
Othello Come, swear it; damn thyself,
Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves
Should fear to seize thee. Therefore be double damned:
2730Swear thou art honest.
Heaven doth truly know it.
Othello Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.
Desdemona [Rising] To whom, my lord? With whom? How am I false?
2735Othello Ah Desdemon, away, away, away.
Desdemona Alas the heavy day! Why do you weep?
Am I the motive of these tears, my lord?
If haply you my father do suspect
An instrument of this your calling back,
2740Lay not your blame on me; if you have lost him,
I have lost him too.
Had it pleased heaven
To try me with affliction, had they rained
All kind of sores and shames on my bare head,
2745Steeped me in poverty to the very lips,
Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes,
I should have found in some place of my soul
A drop of patience. But, alas, to make me
The fixèd figure for the time of scorn
2750To point his slow and moving finger at!
Yet could I bear that too, well, very well;
But there where I have garnered up my heart,
Where either I must live or bear no life,
The fountain from the which my current runs
2755Or else dries up--to be discarded thence--
Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads
To knot and gender in! Turn thy complexion there,
Patience, thou young and rose-lipped cherubin;
I here look grim as hell.
2760Desdemona I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.
Othello Oh ay, as summer flies are in the shambles,
That quicken even with blowing. O thou weed,
Who art so lovely fair and smell'st so sweet
That the sense aches at thee,
2765Would thou had'st ne'er been born!
Desdemona Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed?
Othello Was this fair paper, this most goodly book,
Made to write "whore" upon? What committed?
Committed? O thou public commoner,
2770I should make very forges of my cheeks
That would to cinders burn up modesty
Did I but speak thy deeds. What committed?
Heaven stops the nose at it and the moon winks;
The bawdy wind that kisses all it meets
2775Is hushed within the hollow mine of earth
And will not hear't--what committed?--impudent strumpet!
Desdemona By heaven, you do me wrong.
Are not you a strumpet?
No, as I am a Christian.
2780If to preserve this vessel for my lord
From any other foul unlawful touch
Be not to be a strumpet, I am none.
What, not a whore?
No, as I shall be saved.
Is't possible?
O heaven, forgive us.
Othello I cry you mercy then.
I took you for that cunning whore of Venice
That married with Othello.
Enter Emilia.
[To Emilia] You, mistress,
That have the office opposite to Saint Peter
And keeps the gate of hell. You, you! Ay, you.
We have done our course. [Giving her money] There's money for your pains.
I pray you turn the key and keep our counsel.
Exit [Othello].
2795Emilia Alas, what does this gentleman conceive?
How do you, madam? How do you, my good lady?
Desdemona Faith, half asleep.
Emilia Good madam, what's the matter with my lord?
With who?
Why, with my lord, madam.
Who is thy lord?
He that is yours, sweet lady.
Desdemona I have none. Do not talk to me, Emilia.
2805I cannot weep, nor answers have I none
But what should go by water. Prithee tonight
Lay on my bed my wedding sheets, remember,
And call thy husband hither.
Here's a change indeed.
Exit [Emilia].
2810Desdemona 'Tis meet I should be used so, very meet.
How have I been behaved that he might stick
The smallest opinion on my least misuse?
Enter Iago and Emilia.
Iago What is your pleasure, madam? 2815How is't with you?
Desdemona I cannot tell. Those that do teach young babes
Do it with gentle means and easy tasks.
He might have chid me so, for in good faith
I am a child to chiding.
What is the matter, lady?
Emilia Alas, Iago, my lord hath so bewhored her,
Thrown such despite and heavy terms upon her
That true hearts cannot bear it.
Am I that name, Iago?
What name, fair lady?
Desdemona Such as she said my lord did say I was.
Emilia He called her whore! A beggar in his drink
Could not have laid such terms upon his callet.
Iago Why did he so?
2830Desdemona I do not know; I am sure I am none such.
Iago Do not weep, do not weep--alas the day!
Emilia Hath she forsook so many noble matches,
Her father, and her country, and her friends,
To be called whore? Would it not make one weep?
It is my wretched fortune.
Beshrew him for't!
How comes this trick upon him?
Nay, heaven doth know.
Emilia I will be hanged if some eternal villain,
2840Some busy and insinuating rogue,
Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office,
Have not devised this slander; I will be hanged else.
Iago Fie, there is no such man! It is impossible.
Desdemona If any such there be, heaven pardon him.
2845Emilia A halter pardon him and hell gnaw his bones.
Why should he call her whore? Who keeps her company?
What place? What time? 2850What form? What likelihood?
The Moor's abused by some most villainous knave,
Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.
O heavens, that such companions thou'd'st unfold
And put in every honest hand a whip
2855To lash the rascals naked through the world
Even from the east to th'west.
Speak within door.
Emilia Oh, fie upon them! Some such squire he was
That turned your wit the seamy side without
2860And made you to suspect me with the Moor.
You are a fool; go to.
Alas, Iago,
What shall I do to win my lord again?
Good friend, go to him; for by this light of heaven,
2865I know not how I lost him.
[She kneels.]
Here I kneel.
If ere my will did trespass 'gainst his love,
Either in discourse of thought or actual deed,
Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense
Delighted them in any other form,
2870Or that I do not yet, and ever did,
And ever will--though he do shake me off
To beggarly divorcement--love him dearly,
Comfort forswear me. [She stands.] Unkindness may do much,
And his unkindness may defeat my life,
2875But never taint my love. I cannot say "whore."
It does abhor me now I speak the word;
To do the act that might the addition earn,
Not the world's mass of vanity could make me.
Iago I pray you be content; 'tis but his humor.
2880The business of the state does him offence,
2880.1And he does chide with you.
If 'twere no other--
It is but so, I warrant.
[Trumpets within]
Hark how these instruments summon to supper.
The messengers of Venice stays the meat.
2885Go in, and weep not; all things shall be well.
Exeunt Desdemona and Emilia.
Enter Roderigo.
How now Roderigo?
Roderigo I do not find 2890that thou deal'st justly with me.
Iago What in the contrary?
Roderigo Every day thou doff'st me with some device, Iago, and rather, as it seems to me now, keep'st from me all conveniency, then suppliest me with the least 2895advantage of hope. I will indeed no longer endure it. Nor am I yet persuaded to put up in peace what already I have foolishly suffered.
Iago Will you hear me, Roderigo?
Roderigo Faith, I have heard too much, and your words and 2900performances are no kin together.
Iago You charge me most unjustly.
Roderigo With naught but truth. I have wasted myself out of my means; the jewels you have had from me to deliver Desdemona would half have corrupted a 2905votarist. You have told me she hath received them, and returned me expectations and comforts of sudden respect and acquaintance, but I find none.
Iago Well, go to, very well.
Roderigo "Very well, go to!" I cannot "go to," man, nor 2910tis not "very well." By this hand, I say 'tis very scurvy, and begin to find myself fopped in it.
Iago Very well.
Roderigo I tell you, 'tis not very well! I will make myself known to Desdemona. If she will return me my 2915jewels, I will give over my suit and repent my unlawful solicitation. If not, assure yourself, I will seek satisfaction of you.
Iago You have said now.
Roderigo Ay, and said nothing but what I protest 2920intendment of doing.
Iago Why, now I see there's mettle in thee, and even from this instant do build on thee a better opinion than ever before. Give me thy hand, Roderigo. Thou hast taken against me a most just 2925exception, but yet I protest I have dealt most directly in thy affair.
Roderigo It hath not appeared.
Iago I grant indeed it hath not appeared, and your suspicion is not without wit and judgment. 2930But, Roderigo, if thou hast that in thee indeed which I have greater reason to believe now than ever--I mean purpose, courage, and valor--this night show it. If thou the next night following enjoy not Desdemona, take me from this world with 2935treachery and devise engines for my life.
Roderigo Well, what is it? Is it within reason and compass?
Iago Sir, there is especial commission come from Venice to depute Cassio in Othello's place.
2940Roderigo Is that true? Why then Othello and Desdemona return again to Venice.
Iago Oh no, he goes into Mauritania and taketh away with him the fair Desdemona, unless his abode be lingered here by some accident, 2945wherein none can be so determinate as the removing of Cassio.
Roderigo How do you mean removing him?
Iago Why, by making him uncapable of Othello's place--knocking out his brains.
2950Roderigo And that you would have me to do.
Iago Ay, if you dare do yourself a profit and a right. He sups to night with a harlotry, and thither will I go to him. He knows not yet of his honorable fortune. If you will watch his going thence--which 2955I will fashion to fall out between twelve and one--you may take him at your pleasure. I will be near to second your attempt, and he shall fall between us. Come, stand not amazed at it, but go along with me; I will show you such a necessity in his death that 2960you shall think yourself bound to put it on him. It is now high supper time, and the night grows to waste. About it.
Roderigo I will hear further reason for this.
Iago And you shall be satisfied.
Enter Othello, Lodovico, Desdemona, Emilia, and attendants.
Lodovico I do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no further.
Othello Oh, pardon me; 'twill do me good to walk.
2970Lodovico Madam, good night; I humbly thank your ladyship.
Desdemona Your honor is most welcome.
Othello Will you walk, sir? O Desdemona--
Desdemona My lord.
2975Othello Get you to bed on th'instant. I will be returned forthwith. Dismiss your attendant there; look't be done.
Desdemona I will, my lord.
Exeunt [Othello, Lodovico, and attendants].
Emilia How goes it now? He looks gentler than he did.
2980Desdemona He says he will return incontinent,
And hath commanded me to go to bed,
And bid me to dismiss you.
Dismiss me?
Desdemona It was his bidding; therefore, good Emilia,
2985Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu.
We must not now displease him.
Emilia I would you had never seen him.
Desdemona So would not I; my love doth so approve him
That even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns--
2990Prithee unpin me--have grace and favor in them.
Emilia I have laid those sheets you bade me on the bed.
Desdemona All's one. Good faith, how foolish are our minds?
If I do die before thee, prithee shroud me
In one of these same sheets.
Come, come, you talk.
Desdemona My mother had a maid called Barbary;
She was in love, and he she loved proved mad
And did forsake her. She had a "Song of Willow"--
An old thing 'twas, but it expressed her fortune,
3000And she died singing it. That song tonight
Will not go from my mind; I have much to do
But to go hang my head all at one side
And sing it like poor Barbary. Prithee dispatch.
Shall I go fetch your nightgown?
No, unpin me here.
This Lodovico is a proper man.
A very handsome man.
He speaks well.
Emilia I know a lady in Venice would have walked
3010Barefoot to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip.
[Singing] The poor soul sat singing by a sycamore tree,
Sing all a green willow;
Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee.
Sing willow, willow, willow.
3015The fresh streams ran by her and murmured her moans,
Sing willow, willow, willow;
Her salt tears fell from her and softened the stones.
Sing willow--
Lay by these.--
[Singing] willow, willow.--
3019.1Prithee, hie thee; he'll come anon.
[Singing] Sing all a green willow must be my garland.
Let nobody blame him, his scorn I approve.
Nay, that's not next. Hark, who is't that knocks?
Emilia It's the wind.
[Singing] I called my love false love, but what said he then?
3025Sing willow, willow, willow;
If I court more women, you'll couch with more men.
So get thee gone, goodnight. Mine eyes do itch;
Doth that bode weeping?
'Tis neither here nor there.
3030Desdemona I have heard it said so. Oh, these men, these men!
Dost thou in conscience think--tell me, Emilia--
That there be women do abuse their husbands
In such gross kind?
There be some such, no question.
3035Desdemona Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?
Why, would not you?
No, by this heavenly light.
Emilia Nor I neither, by this heavenly light;
I might do't as well i'th'dark.
3040Desdemona Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world?
Emilia The world's a huge thing;
It is a great price for a small vice.
Desdemona In troth, I think thou wouldst not.
Emilia In troth, I think I should, and undo't when 3045I had done. Marry, I would not do such a thing for a joint ring, nor for measures of lawn, nor for gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty exhibition. But for all the whole world--'ud's pity!--who would not make her husband a cuckold to make him a monarch? I should 3050venture purgatory for't.
Desdemona Beshrew me if I would do such a wrong
For the whole world.
Emilia Why, the wrong is but a wrong i'th'world; and having the world for your labor 'tis a wrong in 3055your own world, and you might quickly make it right.
Desdemona I do not think there is any such woman.
Emilia Yes, a dozen--and as many to th'vantage as would store the world they played for.
But I do think it is their husbands' faults
3060If wives do fall. Say that they slack their duties
And pour our treasures into foreign laps;
Or else break out in peevish jealousies,
Throwing restraint upon us; or say they strike us,
Or scant our former having in despite.
3065Why, we have galls; and though we have some grace,
Yet have we some revenge. Let husbands know
Their wives have sense like them; they see, and smell,
And have their palates both for sweet and sour,
As husbands have. What is it that they do
3070When they change us for others? Is it sport?
I think it is. And doth affection breed it?
I think it doth. Is't frailty that thus errs?
It is so too. And have not we affections,
Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?
3075Then let them use us well; else let them know,
The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.
Desdemona Good night, good night. God me such uses send,
Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad, mend.
Enter Iago and Roderigo.
Iago Here, stand behind this bulk; straight will he come.
Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home.
3085Quick, quick, fear nothing; I'll be at thy elbow.
It makes us or it mars us; think on that,
And fix most firm thy resolution.
Roderigo Be near at hand; I may miscarry in't.
Iago Here, at thy hand. Be bold, and take thy stand.
[Iago withdraws.]
3090Roderigo I have no great devotion to the deed,
And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons.
'Tis but a man gone. [Drawing his sword] Forth my sword: he dies!
Iago [Aside] I have rubbed this young quat almost to the sense,
And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio,
3095Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,
Every way makes my gain. Live Roderigo,
He calls me to a restitution large
Of gold and jewels that I bobbed from him
As gifts to Desdemona.
3100It must not be! If Cassio do remain,
He hath a daily beauty in his life
That makes me ugly; and besides, the Moor
May unfold me to him; there stand I in much peril.
No, he must die. But so--I hear him coming.
Enter Cassio.
Roderigo I know his gate, 'tis he. Villain, thou diest!
[Roderigo attacks Cassio.]
Cassio That thrust had been mine enemy indeed,
But that my coat is better than thou know'st.
[Drawing his sword] I will make proof of thine.
[Cassio wounds Roderigo.]
Oh, I am slain!
[Iago wounds Cassio in the leg from behind and exits.]
Cassio I am maimed forever! Help, ho! Murder, murder!
[Enter Othello above.]
Othello [Aside] The voice of Cassio. Iago keeps his word.
Oh, villain that I am!
[Aside] It is even so.
Cassio Oh, help ho! Light! A surgeon!
Othello [Aside] 'Tis he. O brave Iago, honest and just,
That hast such noble sense of thy friend's wrong,
3120Thou teachest me. Minion, your dear lies dead,
And your unblest fate hies. Strumpet, I come.
Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted.
Thy bed, lust-stained, shall with lust's blood be spotted.
Exit Othello.
Enter Lodovico and Gratiano.
Cassio What ho! No watch? No passage? Murder, murder!
Gratiano 'Tis some mischance; the voice is very direful.
Cassio Oh, help!
3130Lodovico Hark!
Roderigo O wretched villain!
Lodovico Two or three groan. 'Tis heavy night.
These may be counterfeits; let's think't unsafe
To come into the cry without more help.
3135Roderigo Nobody come? Then shall I bleed to death.
Enter Iago [with a light and sword.]
Lodovico Hark!
Gratiano Here's one comes in his shirt, with light and weapons.
3140Iago Who's there? Whose noise is this that cries on murder?
We do not know.
Do not you hear a cry?
Here, here! For heaven sake, help me!
What's the matter?
Gratiano This is Othello's ancient, as I take it.
Lodovico The same indeed, a very valiant fellow.
Iago What are you here that cry so grievously?
Cassio Iago? Oh, I am spoiled, undone by villains.
3150Give me some help.
Iago Oh, me, lieutenant! What villains have done this?
Cassio I think that one of them is hereabout
And cannot make away.
O treacherous villains!
[To Lodovico and Gratiano] What are you there? Come in and give some help.
Oh, help me there!
That's one of them.
Iago O murd'rous slave! O villain!
[Iago stabs Roderigo.]
3160Roderigo O damned Iago! O inhuman dog!
Iago Kill men i'th'dark? Where be these bloody thieves?
How silent is this town? Ho, murder, murder!
What may you be? Are you of good or evil?
3165Lodovico As you shall prove us, praise us.
Iago Signor Lodovico?
Lodovico He, sir.
Iago I cry you mercy--here's Cassio hurt by villains.
Gratiano Cassio?
3170Iago How is't brother?
Cassio My leg is cut in two.
Iago Marry, heaven forbid--Light, gentlemen!
I'll bind it with my shirt.
Enter Bianca.
3175Bianca What is the matter, ho? Who is't that cried?
Who is't that cried?
O my dear Cassio,
My sweet Cassio--O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!
Iago O notable strumpet. Cassio, may you suspect
3180Who they should be that have thus mangled you?
Cassio No.
Gratiano I am sorry to find you thus;
I have been to seek you.
Lend me a garter. So--
[Iago binds Cassio's leg.]
O for a chair 3185to bear him easily hence!
Bianca Alas, he faints. O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!
Iago Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash
To be a party in this injury.
Patience awhile, good Cassio. Come, come,
3190Lend me a light. Know we this face or no?
Alas, my friend and my dear countryman
Roderigo? No--Yes, sure! O heaven, Roderigo!
Gratiano What, of Venice?
Iago Even he, sir. Did you know him?
3195Gratiano Know him? Ay.
Iago Signor Gratiano? I cry your gentle pardon.
These bloody accidents must excuse my manners
That so neglected you.
Gratiano I am glad to see you.
3200Iago How do you, Cassio?--Oh, a chair, a chair!
Gratiano Roderigo?
He, he, 'tis he.
[Enter attendants with a chair.]
Oh, that's well said, the chair.
Some good man bear him carefully from hence;
3205I'll fetch the general's surgeon. For you, mistress,
Save you your labor. He that lies slain here, Cassio,
Was my dear friend. What malice was between you?
Cassio None in the world; nor do I know the man.
Iago [To Bianca] What? Look you pale? [To attendants] Oh, bear him out o'th'air.
[Exeunt attendants carrying off Cassio in the chair, and Roderigo's body.]
3210[To Lodovico and Gratiano] Stay you, good gentlemen. [To Bianca] Look you pale, mistress?
[To Lodovico and Gratiano] Do you perceive the gastness of her eye?
Nay, if you stare, we shall hear more anon.
Behold her well. I pray you, look upon her.
Do you see, gentlemen? Nay, guiltiness will speak
3215Though tongues were out of use.
[Enter Emilia.]
Emilia Alas, what is the matter? What is the matter, husband?
Iago Cassio hath here been set on in the dark
By Roderigo and fellows that are scaped;
3220He's almost slain, and Roderigo quite dead.
Emilia Alas, good gentleman! Alas, good Cassio!
Iago This is the fruits of whoring. Prithee, Emilia,
Go know of Cassio where he supped tonight.
What, do you shake at that?
3225Bianca He supped at my house, but I therefore shake not.
Iago Oh, did he so? I charge you go with me.
Emilia O fie upon thee, strumpet!
Bianca I am no strumpet, but of life as honest
As you that thus abuse me.
As I? Fie upon thee!
Iago Kind gentlemen, let's go see poor Cassio dressed.
Come, mistress, you must tell's another tale.
Emilia, run you to the citadel
3235And tell my lord and lady what hath happed.
Will you go on afore? [Aside] This is the night
That either makes me or fordoes me quite.
Enter Othello [with a light], and Desdemona in her bed.
3240Othello It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul.
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars.
It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood,
Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow
And smooth as monumental alabaster--
3245Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.
Put out the light, and then put out the light--
If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
I can again thy former light restore
Should I repent me. But once put out thy light,
3250Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
I know not where is that Promethean heat
That can thy light relume. When I have plucked thy rose,
I cannot give it vital growth again;
3255It needs must wither. I'll smell thee on the tree.
[He kisses her.]
O balmy breath, that dost almost persuade
Justice to break her sword--one more, one more.
[He kisses her.]
Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee
And love thee after--one more, and that's the last.
[He kisses her.]
3260So sweet was ne'er so fatal. I must weep,
But they are cruel tears. This sorrow's heavenly;
It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.
Who's there? Othello?
Ay, Desdemona.
3265Desdemona Will you come to bed, my lord?
Have you prayed tonight, Desdemon?
Ay, my lord.
Othello If you bethink yourself of any crime
Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace,
3270Solicit for it straight.
Desdemona Alack, my lord, what may you mean by that?
Othello Well, do it, and be brief; I will walk by.
I would not kill thy unpreparèd spirit.
3275No, heavens forfend!--I would not kill thy soul.
Talk you of killing?
Ay, I do.
Then heaven have mercy on me.
Amen, with all my heart.
3280Desdemona If you say so, I hope you will not kill me.
Othello Humh.
Desdemona And yet I fear you, for you're fatal then
When your eyes roll so. Why I should fear I know not,
3285Since guiltiness I know not; but yet I feel I fear.
Think on thy sins.
They are loves I bear to you.
Othello Ay, and for that thou diest.
Desdemona That death's unnatural that kills for loving.
3290Alas, why gnaw you so your nether lip?
Some bloody passion shakes your very frame.
These are portents; but yet I hope, I hope,
They do not point on me.
Peace, and be still.
3295Desdemona I will so. What's the matter?
Othello That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee,
Thou gav'st to Cassio.
No, by my life and soul!
Send for the man and ask him.
Sweet soul, take heed;
Take heed of perjury; thou art on thy deathbed.
Ay, but not yet to die.
Yes, presently.
Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin;
3305For to deny each article with oath
Cannot remove nor choke the strong conception
That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.
O heaven have mercy on me!
I say amen.
3310Desdemona And have you mercy too. I never did
Offend you in my life, never loved Cassio
But with such general warranty of heaven
As I might love. I never gave him token.
Othello By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in's hand.
3315O perjured woman, thou dost stone my heart,
And makes me call what I intend to do
A murder, which I thought a sacrifice.
I saw the handkerchief.
He found it then.
3320I never gave it him. Send for him hither.
Let him confess a truth.
He hath confessed.
What, my lord?
That he hath--'ud's death!--used thee.
How? Unlawfully?
He will not say so.
Othello No, his mouth is stopped.
Honest Iago hath ta'en order for't.
3330Desdemona Oh, my fear interprets. What, is he dead?
Othello Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
Had stomach for them all.
Desdemona Alas, he is betrayed, and I undone.
Othello Out, strumpet! Weep'st thou for him to my face?
3335Desdemona Oh, banish me, my lord, but kill me not.
Othello Down, strumpet.
Desdemona Kill me tomorrow; let me live tonight.
Nay, if you strive.
But half an hour.
Being done, there is no pause.
But while I say one prayer.
Othello It is too late.
[Othello] smothers her.
Emilia [is heard] at the door.
Emilia [Within] My lord, my lord? What ho? 3345My lord, my lord!
Othello What noise is this? Not dead? Not yet quite dead?
I that am cruel am yet merciful;
I would not have thee linger in thy pain--
[Smothering her again] So, so.
(Within) What ho? My lord, my lord?
Who's there?
Emilia O good my lord, I would speak a word with you.
Othello Yes--'Tis Emilia.--By and by!--She's dead.
3355'Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio's death.
The noise was high. Ha, no more moving?
Still as the grave. Shall she come in? Were't good?
I think she stirs again. No. What's best to do?
If she come in, she'll sure speak to my wife--
3360My wife, my wife--what wife? I have no wife.
Oh, insupportable! Oh, heavy hour!
Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse
Of sun and moon, and that th'affrighted globe
Did yawn at alteration.
[Within] I do beseech you
That I may speak with you. O good my lord.
Othello I had forgot thee. O come in, Emilia.
Soft,--By and by!--let me the curtains draw.
[He closes the bed curtains.]
Where art thou? What's the matter with thee now?
[He unlocks the door.] Enter Emilia.
Emilia O my good lord, yonder's foul murders done.
What? Now?
But now, my lord.
3375Othello It is the very error of the moon;
She comes more nearer Earth than she was wont,
And makes men mad.
Cassio, my lord, hath killed
A young Venetian called Roderigo.
3380Othello Roderigo killed? And Cassio killed?
Emilia No, Cassio is not killed.
Othello Not Cassio killed? Then murder's out of tune,
And sweet revenge grows harsh.
Desdemona Oh, falsely, falsely murdered.
O Lord! What cry is that?
That? What?
Emilia Out and alas, that was my lady's voice!
[She opens the bed curtains.]
Help, help, ho, help! O lady, speak again.
Sweet Desdemona, O sweet mistress, speak.
3390Desdemona A guiltless death I die.
Emilia Oh, who hath done this deed?
Desdemona Nobody--I myself. Farewell--
Commend me to my kind lord--Oh, farewell.
[Desdemona dies.]
Why, how should she be murdered?
Alas, who knows?
Othello You heard her say herself, it was not I.
Emilia She said so; I must needs report the truth.
Othello She's like a liar gone to burning hell;
'Twas I that killed her.
3400Emilia Oh, the more angel she, and you the blacker devil.
Othello She turned to folly, and she was a whore.
Emilia Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.
She was false as water.
Thou art rash as fire
To say that she was false. Oh, she was heavenly true.
Othello Cassio did top her; ask thy husband else.
Oh, I were damned beneath all depth in hell,
But that I did proceed upon just grounds
3410To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.
My husband?
Thy husband.
That she was false to wedlock?
Othello Ay, with Cassio. Had she been true,
3415If heaven would make me such another world
Of one entire and perfect chrysolite,
I'd not have sold her for it.
My husband?
Othello Ay, 'twas he that told me on her first.
3420An honest man he is, and hates the slime
That sticks on filthy deeds.
My husband?
Othello What needs this iterance, woman? I say, thy husband.
3425Emilia O mistress, villainy hath made mocks with love--
My husband say she was false?
He, woman;
I say thy husband--dost understand the word?--
3430My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.
Emilia If he say so, may his pernicious soul
Rot half a grain a day; he lies to th'heart.
She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.
Othello Ha?
3435Emilia Do thy worst.
This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven,
Than thou wast worthy her.
Peace, you were best.
Emilia Thou hast not half that power to do me harm
3440As I have to be hurt. O gull, O dolt,
As ignorant as dirt, thou hast done a deed--
[Othello threatens Emilia with his sword.]
I care not for thy sword; I'll make thee known
Though I lost twenty lives. Help, help, ho, help!
The Moor hath killed my mistress. Murder, murder!
Enter Montano, Gratiano, and Iago.
Montano What is the matter? How now, general?
Emilia Oh, are you come, Iago? You have done well,
That men must lay their murders on your neck.
Gratiano What is the matter?
3450Emilia [To Iago] Disprove this villain, if thou be'st a man.
He says thou told'st him that his wife was false.
I know thou didst not; thou'rt not such a villain.
Speak, for my heart is full.
Iago I told him what I thought, 3455and told no more
Than what he found himself was apt and true.
Emilia But did you ever tell him she was false?
Iago I did.
3460Emilia You told a lie, an odious damnèd lie,
Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie.
She false with Cassio? Did you say with Cassio?
Iago With Cassio, mistress. 3465Go to, charm your tongue.
Emilia I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to speak.
My mistress here lies murdered in her bed.
All O heavens forfend!
3470Emilia And your reports have set the murder on.
Othello Nay, stare not, masters; it is true indeed.
'Tis a strange truth.
O monstrous act!
3475Emilia Villainy, villainy, villainy!
I think upon't, I think I smell't. O villainy--
I thought so then--I'll kill myself for grief!
O villainy! Villainy!
Iago What, are you mad? 3480I charge you get you home.
Emilia Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak.
'Tis proper I obey him, but not now.
Perchance, Iago, I will ne'er go home.
Oh, Oh, Oh!
[Othello falls on the bed.]
Nay, lay thee down and roar,
For thou hast killed the sweetest innocent
That ere did lift up eye.
Oh, she was foul!
I scarce did know you, uncle. There lies your niece,
3490Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopped.
I know this act shows horrible and grim.
Gratiano Poor Desdemon, I am glad thy father's dead;
Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief
3495Shore his old thread in twain. Did he live now,
This sight would make him do a desperate turn;
Yea, curse his better angel from his side
And fall to reprobance.
Othello 'Tis pitiful, but yet Iago knows