Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)


2
The Tragedy of Othello

More then a Spinster, vnlesse the bookish Theorique,
Wherein the toged Consuls can propose
As masterly as he: meere prattle without practise,
Is all his souldier-shippe: but he sir had the election,
30And I, of whom his eyes had seene the proofe,
At Rhodes, at Cipres, and on other grounds,
Christian and Heathen, must be led, and calm'd,
By Debitor and Creditor, this Counter-caster:
: He in good time, must his Leiutenant be,
35And I, God blesle the marke, his Worships Ancient.
Rod. By heauen I rather would haue bin his hangman.
Ia. But there's no remedy,
Tis the curse of seruice,
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
40Not by the olde gradation, where each second
Stood heire to the first:
Now sir be iudge your selfe,
Whether I, in any iust tearme am assign'd
to loue the Moore.
Rod. I would not follow him then.
45Ia. O sir, content you.
I follow him to serue my turne vpon him,
We cannot be all masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truely followed, you shall marke .
Many a dutious and knee-crooking knaue,
50That doting on his owne obsequious bondage,
Weares out his time much like his masters Asse,
For noughe but prouender, and when hee's old cashierd,
Whip mee such honest knaues:
Others there are, who trimd in formes,
And vissages of duty, keepe yet their hearts,
55Attending on themselues, and throwing
But shewes of seruice on their Lords,
Doe well thriue by 'em,
And when they haue lin'd their coates,
Doe themselues homage,
60Those fellowes haue some soule,
And