Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)

The Moore of Venice.

He is a good one, and his worthinesse,
Does challenge much respect: come Desdemona,
995Once more well met at Cypres.
Iag. Doe thou meete me presently at the Harbour: come hither,
If thou beest valiant, as they say, base men being in loue, haue then
a Nobility in their natures, more then is natiue to them --- list me,
1000the Leiutenant to night watches on the Court of Guard: first I will
tell thee, this Desdemona is directly in loue with him.
Rod. With him? why tis not possible.
Iag. Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soule be instructed: marke
1005me, with what violence she first lou'd the Moore, but for bragging,
and telling her fantasticall lies; and will she loue him still for pra-
ting? let not the discreet heart thinke so. Her eye must be fed, and
what delight shall she haue to look on the Diuell? When the blood
1010is made dull with the act of sport, there should be againe to inflame
it, and giue saciety a fresh appetite. Loue lines in fauour, sympathy
in yeares, manners and beauties; all which the Moore is defectiue in:
now for want of these requir'd conueniences, her delicate tender-
1015nesse will finde it selfe abus'd, beginne to heaue the gorge, disrellish
and abhorre the Moore, very nature will instruct her to it, and com-
pell her to some second choice: now sir, this granted, as it is a most
pregnant and vnforced position, who stands so eminently in the de-
gree of this fortune, as Cassio does? a knaue very voluble, no farder
conscionable, then in putting on the meere forme of ciuill and hand-
seeming, for the better compassing of his salt and hidden affecti-
ons: A subtle slippery knaue, a finder out of occasions; that has an
1025eye, can stampe and counterfeit the true aduantages neuer present
themselues. Besides, the knaue is handsome, yong, and hath all those
requisites in him that folly and green mindes look after; a pestilent
compleate knaue, and the woman has found him already.
Rod. I cannot beleeue that in her, shee's full of most blest con-
1033.1Iag. Blest figs end: the wine shee drinkes is made of grapes: if
she had beene blest, she would neuer haue lou'd the Moore. Didst
thou not see her paddle with the palme of his hand?
Rod. Yes, but that was but courtesie.
Iag. Lechery, by this hand: an Index and prologue to the hi-
E 2