Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)


The Moore of Venice.
35

Or doe but lift this arme, the best of you
Shall sinke in my rebuke: giue me to know
1330How this foule rout began, who set it on,
And he that is approou'd in this offence,
Tho he had twin'd with me, both at a birth,
Shall loose me; what, in a Towne of warre,
Yet wild, the peoples hearts brim full of feare,
1335To mannage priuate and domesticke quarrels,
In night, and on the Court and guard of safety?
Tis monstrous. Iago, who began?
Mon. If partiality affin'd, or league in office,
Thou doest deliuer, more or lesse then truth,
1340Thou art no souldier.
Iag. Touch me not so neere,
I had rather ha this tongue out from my mouth,
Then it should doe offence to Michael Cassio:
Yet I perswade my selfe to speake the truth,
1345Shall nothing wrong him. Thus it is Generall:
Montanio and my selfe being in speech,
There comes a fellow, crying out for helpe,
And Cassio following him with determin'd sword,
To execute vpon him: Sir this Gentleman
1350Steps in to Cassio, and intreates his pause;
My selfe the crying fellow did pursue,
Lest by his clamour, as it so fell out,
The Towne might fall in fright: he swift of foote,
Out ran my purpose: and I returnd the rather,
1355For that I heard the clinke and fall of swords:
And Cassio high in oaths, which till to night,
I ne're might see before: when I came backe,
For this was briefe, I found them close together,
At blow and thrust, euen as agen they were,
1360When you your selfe did part them.
More of this matter can I not report,
But men are men, the best sometimes forget;
Tho Cassio did some little wrong to him,
As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
F 2
Yet