Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)


The Moore of Venice
71

The fountaine, from the which my currant runnes,
2755Or else dryes vp, to be discarded thence,
Or keepe it as a Cesterne, for foule Toades
To knot and gender in: turne thy complexion there,
Patience thy young and rose-lip'd Cherubin,
I here looke grim as Hell.
2760Des. I hope my noble Lord esteemes me honest.
Oth. O I, as summers flies, are in the shambles,
That quicken euen with blowing:
O thou blacke weede, why art so louely faire?
Thou smell'st so sweete, that the sence akes at thee,
2765Would thou hadst ne're bin borne.
Des. Alas, what ignorant sinne haue I committed?
Oth. Was this faire paper, this most goodly booke,
Made to write whore on? --- What, committed?
Heauen stops the nose at it, and the Moone winkes,
The bawdy wind, that kisses all it meetes,
2775Is husht within the hallow mine of earth,
And will not hear't: -- what committed, - impudent strumpet.
Des. By heauen you doe me wrong.
Oth. Are not you a strumpet?
Des. No, as I am a Christian:
2780If to preserue this vessell for my Lord,
From any hated foule vnlawfull touch,
Be not to be a strumpet, I am none.
Oth. What, not a whore?
Des. No, as I shall be saued.
Enter Emillia.
2785Oth. Ist possible?
Des. O heauen forgiuenesse.
Oth. I cry you mercy,
I tooke you for that cunning whore of Venice,
That married with Othello: you mistresse,
That haue the office opposite to S. Peter,
And keepes the gates in hell, I, you, you, you;
We ha done our course; there's money for your paines,
I pray you turne the key, and keepe our counsell.
Exit.
2795Em. Alas, what does this Gentleman conceiue?
K 4
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