Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Donald L. Bailey
Peer Reviewed

Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)


The Moore of Venice.
13

Euen fall vpon my life.
Du. Fetch Desdemona hither.
Exit two or three.
465Oth. Ancient conduct them, you best know the place:
And till she come, as faithfull as to heauen,
So iustly to your graue eares I'le present,
470How I did thriue in this faire Ladyes loue,
And she in mine.
Du. Say it Othello.
Oth. Her Father loued me, oft inuited me,
Still questioned me the story of my life,
475From yeare to yeare; the battailes, seiges, fortunes
That I haue past:
I ran it through, euen from my boyish dayes,
Toth' very moment that he bade me tell it.
Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
480Of moouing accident of flood and field;
Of heire-breadth scapes ith imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the insolent foe:
And sold to slauery, and my redemption thence,
And with it all my trauells Historie;
485Wherein of Antrees vast, and Deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks and hils, whose heads touch heauen,
It was my hent to speake, such was the processe:
And of the Cannibals, that each other eate;
The Anthropophagie, and men whose heads
490Doe grow beneath their shoulders: this to heare,
Would Desdemona seriously incline;
But still the house affaires would draw her thence,
And euer as she could with hast dispatch,
Shee'd come againe, and with a greedy eare
495Deuoure vp my discourse; which I obseruing,
Tooke once a plyant houre, and found good meanes
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcell she had something heard,
500But not intentiuely, I did consent,
And ofren did beguile her of her teares,
C 3
Wheu