Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)

The Tragedy of Othello

650And bring her after in the best aduantage;
Come Desdemona, I haue but an houre
Of loue, of worldly matters, and direction,
To spend with thee, we must obey the time.
Rod. Iago.
Exit Moore and Desdemona.
655Iag, What saiest thou noble heart?
Rod. What will I doe thinkest thou?
Iag. Why goe to bed and sleepe.
Rod. I will incontinently drowne my selfe.
Iag. Well, if thou doest, I shall neuer loue thee after it,
Why, thou silly Gentleman.
Rod. It is sillinesse to liue, when to liue is a torment, and then we
haue a prescription, to dye when death is our Physition.
Iag. I ha look'd vpon the world for foure times seuen yeares,
665and since I could distinguish betweene a benefit, and an iniury, I ne-
uer found a man that knew how to loue himselfe: ere I would say
I would drowne my selfe, for the loue of a Ginny Hen, I would
change my humanity with a Baboone.
670Rod. What should I do? I confesse it is my shame to be so fond,
but it is not in my vertue to amend it.
Iag. Vertue? a fig, tis in our selues, that wee are thus, or thus,
our bodies are gardens, to the which our wills are Gardiners, so that
if we will plant Nettles, or sow Lettice, set Isop, and weed vp Time;
supply it with one gender of hearbes, or distract it with many; ei-
ther to haue it sterrill with Idlenesse, or manur'd with Industry, why
the power, and corrigible Authority of this, lies in our wills. If the
ballance of our liues had not one scale of reason, to poise another of
680sensuality; the blood and basenesse of our natures, would conduct
vs to most preposterous conclusions. But wee haue reason to coole
our raging motions, our carnall stings, our vnbitted lusts; whereof
I take this, that you call loue to be a sect, or syen.
Rod. It cannot be.
Iag. It is meerly a lust of the blood, and a permission of the will:
Come, be a man; drowne thy selfe? drowne Cats and blinde Pup-
pies: I professe me thy friend, and I confesse me knit to thy deser-
690uing, with cables of perdurable toughnesse; I could neuer better
steede thee then now. Put money in thy purse; follow these warres,