Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)


The Moore of Venice.
49

Iag.To scan this thing no further, leaue it to time,
Tho it be fit, that Cassio haue his place,
For sure he fills it vp with great ability:
Yet if you please to hold him off awhile,
1880You shall by that perceiue him and his meanes;
Note if your Lady straine her entertainement,
With any strong or vehement importunity,
Much will be seene in that, in the meane time,
Let me be thought too busie in my feares,
1885As worthy cause I haue, to feare I am;
And hold her free, I doe beseech your honour.
Oth. Feare not my gouernement.
Iag. I once more take my leaue.
Exit
Oth. This fellowe's of exceeding honesty,
1890And knowes all qualities, with a learned spirit
Of humaine dealing: if I doe prooue her haggard,
Tho that her Iesses were my deare heart strings,
I'de whistle her off, and let her downe the wind,
To prey at fortune. Happily, for I am blacke,
1895And haue not those soft parts of conuersation,
That Chamberers haue, or for I am declind
Into the valt of yeares; yet that's not much,
Shee's gone, I am abus'd, and my releife
Must be to lothe her: O curse of marriage,
1900That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites: I had rather be a Toade,
And liue vpon the vapor in a dungeon,
Then keepe a corner in a thing I loue,
For others vses: yet tis the plague of great ones,
1905Prerogatiu'd are they lesse then the base,
Tis desteny, vnshunnable, like death:
Euen then this forked plague is fated to vs,
When we doe quicken: Desdemona comes,
1910If she be false, O then heauen mocks it selfe,
I'le not beleeue it.
Enter Desdemona and Emillia.
Desd. How now my deare Othello?
H
Your