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Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Donald L. Bailey
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Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)


Enter Duke and Senators, set at a Table with lights
and Attendants.
325Duke. There is no Composition in these newes,
That giues them credit.
1 Sena. Indeede they are disproportioned,
My letters say, a hundred and seuen Gallies.
Du. And mine a hundred and forty.
3302 Sena. And mine two hundred:
But though they iumpe not on a iust account,
As in these cases, where they aym'd reports,
Tis oft with difference, yet doe they all confirme
A Turkish fleete, and bearing vp to Cipresse.
335Du. Nay, it is possible enough to iudgement:
I doe not so secure me to the error,
But the mayne Articles I doe approue
In fearefull sense.
Enter a Messenger.
One within. What ho, what ho, what ho?
Sailor. A messenger from the Galley.
Du. Now, the businesse?
Sailor, The Tnrkish preparation makes for Rhodes,
So was I bid report here, to the state.
Du. How say you by this change?
1 Sena. This cannot be by no assay of reason ---
Tis a Pageant,
To keepe vs in false gaze: when we consider
350The importancy of Cypresse to the Turke:
And let our selues againe, but vnderstand,
That as it more concernes the Turke then Rhodes,
So may he with more facile question beare it.
Dn. And in all confidence, hee's not for Rhodes.
Officer. Here is more newes.
Enter a 2. Messenger.
Mes. The Ottamites, reuerend and gracious,
365Steering with due course, toward the Isle of Rhodes,
Haue there inioynted with an after fleete
Of 30. saile, and now they doe resterine
Their backward course, bearing with franke appearance
370Their purposes towards Cypresse: Seignior Montano,
Your trusty and most valiant seruitor,
With his free duty recommends you thus,
And prayes you to beleeue him.
Du. Tis certaine then for Cypresse,
375Marcus Luccicos is not here in Towne.
1 Sena. Hee's now in Florence.
Du. Write from vs, wish him post, post hast dispatch.
380
Enter Brabantio, Othello, Roderigo, Iago, Cassio,
Desdemona, and Officers.
1 Sena. Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moore.
Du. Valiant Othello, we must straite imploy you,
Against the generall enemy Ottaman;
I did not see you, welcome gentle Seignior,
385We lacke your counsell, and your helpe to night,
Bra. So did I yours, good your Grace pardon me,
Neither my place, nor ought I heard of businesse
Hath rais'd me from my bed, nor doth the generall care
Take any hold of me, for my particular griefes,
390Is of so floodgate and orebearing nature,
That it engluts, and swallowes other sorrowes,
And it is still it selfe.
Du. Why, what's the matter?
Bra. My daughter, O my daughter.
395All. Dead?
Bra. I to me:
She is abus'd, stolne from me and corrupted,
By spels and medicines, bought of mountebancks,
For nature so preposterously to erre,
Saunce witchcraft could not.
Du. Who ere he be, that in this foule proceeding
Hath thus beguild your daughter of her selfe,
And you of her, the bloody booke of Law,
405You shall your selfe, read in the bitter letter,
After its owne sense, tho our proper sonne
Stood in your action.
Bra. Humbly I thanke your Grace;
Here is the man, this Moore, whom now it seemes
410Your speciall mandate, for the State affaires
Hath hither brought.
All. We are very sorry for't.
Du, What in your owne part can you say to this?
Bra. Nothing, but this is so.
415Oth. Most potent, graue, and reuerend Seigniors,
My very noble and approoued good maisters:
That I haue tane away this old mans daughter,
It is most true: true, I haue married her,
The very head and front of my offending,
420Hath this extent no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little blest with the set phrase of peace,
For since these armes of mine had seuen yeares pith,
Till now some nine Moones wasted, they haue vs'd
Their dearest action in the tented field,
425And little of this great world can I speake,
More then pertaines to feate of broyle, and battaile,
And therefore little shall I grace my cause,
In speaking for my selfe; yet by your gracious patience,
I will a round vnuarnish'd tale deliuer,
430Of my whole course of loue, what drugs, what charmes,
What coniuration, and what mighty Magicke,
(For such proceedings am I charg'd withall:)
I wonne his daughter.
435Bra. A maiden neuer bold of spirit,
So still and quiet, that her motion
Blusht at her selfe: and she in spite of nature,
Of yeares, of Countrey, credit, euery thing,
To fall in loue with what she fear'd to looke on?
440It is a iudgement maimd, and most imperfect,
That will confesse perfection, so would erre
Against all rules of Nature, and must be driuen,
To finde out practises of cunning hell,
Why this should be, I therefore vouch againe,
445That with some mixtures powerfull ore the blood,
Or with some dram coniur'd to this effect,
He wrought vpon her.
Du. To youth this is no proofe,
Without more certaine and more ouert test,
450These are thin habits, and poore likelihoods,
Of moderne seemings, you preferre against him.
1 Sena. But Othello speake,
Did you by indirect and forced courses,
Subdue and poison this young maides affections?
455Or came it by request, and such faire question,
As soule to soule affoordeth?
Oth. I doe beseech you,
Send for the Lady to the Sagittar,
And let her speake of me before her father;
460If you doe finde me foule in her report,
Not onely take away, but let your sentence
Euen fall vpon my life.
Du. Fetch Desdemona hither.
Exit two or three.
465Oth. Ancient conduct them, you best know the place:
And till she come, as faithfull as to heauen,
So iustly to your graue eares I'le present,
470How I did thriue in this faire Ladyes loue,
And she in mine.
Du. Say it Othello.
Oth. Her Father loued me, oft inuited me,
Still questioned me the story of my life,
475From yeare to yeare; the battailes, seiges, fortunes
That I haue past:
I ran it through, euen from my boyish dayes,
Toth' very moment that he bade me tell it.
Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
480Of moouing accident of flood and field;
Of heire-breadth scapes ith imminent deadly breach;
Of being taken by the insolent foe:
And sold to slauery, and my redemption thence,
And with it all my trauells Historie;
485Wherein of Antrees vast, and Deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks and hils, whose heads touch heauen,
It was my hent to speake, such was the processe:
And of the Cannibals, that each other eate;
The Anthropophagie, and men whose heads
490Doe grow beneath their shoulders: this to heare,
Would Desdemona seriously incline;
But still the house affaires would draw her thence,
And euer as she could with hast dispatch,
Shee'd come againe, and with a greedy eare
495Deuoure vp my discourse; which I obseruing,
Tooke once a plyant houre, and found good meanes
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcell she had something heard,
500But not intentiuely, I did consent,
And ofren did beguile her of her teares,
When I did speake of some distressed stroake
That my youth suffered: my story being done;
She gaue me for my paines a world of sighes;
505She swore Ifaith twas strange, twas passing strange;
Twas pittifull, twas wondrous pittifull;
She wisht she had not heard it, yet she wisht
That Heauen had made her such a man: she thanked me,
And bad me, if I had a friend that loued her,
510I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would wooe her. Vpon this heate I spake:
She lou'd me for the dangers I had past.
And I lou'd her that she did pitty them.
This onely is the witchcraft I haue vs'd:
515Here comes the Lady,
Let her witnesse it.
Enter Desdemona, Iago, and the rest.
Du. I thinke this tale would win my daughter to, ----
Good Brabantio, take vp this mangled matter at the best,
Men doe their broken weapons rather vse,
520Then their bare hands.
Bra. I pray you heare her speake.
If she confesse that she was halfe the wooer,
Destruction lite on me, if my bad blame
Light on the man. Come hither gentle mistresse:
525Doe you perceiue in all this noble company,
Where most you owe obedience?
Des. My noble father,
I doe perceiue here a deuided duty:
To you I am bound for life and education;
530My life and education both doe learne me
How to respect you, you are Lord of all my duty,
I am hitherto your daughter, But heere's my husband:
And so much duty as my mother shewed
To you, preferring you before her father,
535So much I challenge, that I may professe,
Due to the Moore my Lord.
Bra. God bu'y, I ha done:
Please it your Grace, on to the State affaires;
I had rather to adopt a child then get it;
540Come hither Moore:
I here doe giue thee that, with all my heart
I would keepe from thee: for your sake Iewell,
I am glad at soule. I haue no other child,
545For thy escape would teach me tyranny,
To hang clogs on em, I haue done my Lord.
Du. Let me speake like your selfe, and lay a sentence
Which as a greese or step may helpe these louers
549.1Into your fauour.
550When remedies are past, the griefes are ended,
By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended,
To mourne a mischeife that is past and gone,
Is the next way to draw more mischiefe on;
What cannot be preseru'd when fortune takes,
555Patience her iniury a mockery makes.
The rob'd that smiles, steales something from the thiefe,
He robs himselfe, that spends a bootelesse griefe.
Bra. So let the Turke, of Cypres vs beguile,
We lose it not so long as we can smile;
560He beares the sentence well that nothing beares,
But the free comfort, which from thence he heares:
But he beares both the sentence and the sorrow,
That to pay griefe, must of poore patience borrow.
These sentences to sugar, or to gall,
565Being strong on both sides, are equiuocall:
But words are words, I neuer yet did heare,
That the bruis'd heart was pierced through the eare:
Beseech you now, to the affaires of the state.
Du. The Turke with most mighty preparation makes for Cipres:
570Othello, the fortitude of the place, is best knowne to you, and tho we
haue there a substitute of most allowed sufficiency, yet opinion, a so-
ueraigne mistresse of effects, throwes a more safer voyce on you; you
must therefore bee content to slubber the glosse of your new for-
575tunes, with this more stubborne and boisterous expedition.
Oth. The tyrant custome most great Senators,
Hath made the flinty and steele Cooch of warre,
My thrice driuen bed of downe: I doe agnize
580A naturall and prompt alacrity,
I finde in hardnesse, and would vndertake
This present warres against the Ottamites,
Most humbly therefore, bending to your State,
I craue fit disposition for my wife,
585Due reuerence of place and exhibition,
Which such accomodation? and besort
As leuels with her breeding.
Du. If you please, bee't at her fathers.
Bra. Ile not haue it so.
590Oth. Nor I.
Desd. Nor I, I would not there reside,
To put my father in impatient thoughts,
By being in his eye: most gracious Duke,
To my vnfolding lend a gracious eare,
595And let me finde a charter in your voyce,
And if my simplenesse. ----
Du. What would you ----speake.
Des. That I did loue the Moore, to liue with him,
My downe right violence, and scorne of Fortunes,
600May trumpet to the world: my hearts subdued,
Fuen to the vtmost pleasure of my Lord:
I saw Othelloes vissage in his minde,
And to his Honors, and his valiant parts
Did I my soule and fortunes consecrate:
605So that deere Lords, if I be left behinde,
A Mothe of peace, and he goe to the warre,
The rites for which I loue him, are bereft me,
And I a heauy interim shall support,
By his deare absence, let me goe with him.
610Oth. Your voyces Lords: beseech you let her will,
Haue a free way, I therefore beg it not
To please the pallat of my appetite,
Nor to comply with heate, the young affects
In my defunct, and proper satisfaction,
615But to be free and bounteous of her mind,
And heauen defend your good soules that you thinke
I will your serious and good businesse scant,
For she is with me; --- no, when light-winged toyes,
And feather'd Cupid foyles with wanton dulnesse,
620My speculatiue and actiue instruments,
That my disports, corrupt and taint my businesse,
Let huswiues make a skellett of my Helme,
And all indigne and base aduersities,
Make head against my reputation.
625Du. Be it, as you shall priuately determine,
Either for stay or going, the affaires cry hast,
And speede must answer, you must hence to night,
627.1Desd. To night my Lord?
Du. This night.
Oth. With all my heart.
630Du. At ten i'the morning here weel meete againe.
Othello, leaue some officer behind,
And he shall our Commission bring to you,
With such things else of quality or respect,
As doth concerne you.
635Oth. Please your Grace, my Ancient,
A man he is of honesty and trust,
To his conueyance I assigne my wife,
With what else needefull your good Grace shall thinke,
To be sent after me.
640Du. Let it be so:
Good night to euery one, and noble Seignior,
If vertue no delighted beauty lacke,
Your son in law is farre more faire then blacke.
1 Sena. Adue braue Moore, vse Desdemona well.
645Bra. Looke to her Moore, haue a quicke eye to see,
She has deceiu'd her father, may doe thee.
Exeunt.
Oth. My life vpon her faith: honest Iago,
My Desdemona must I leaue to thee,
I preethee let thy wife attend on her,
650And bring her after in the best aduantage;
Come Desdemona, I haue but an houre
Of loue, of worldly matters, and direction,
To spend with thee, we must obey the time.
Rod. Iago.
Exit Moore and Desdemona.
655Iag, What saiest thou noble heart?
Rod. What will I doe thinkest thou?
Iag. Why goe to bed and sleepe.
Rod. I will incontinently drowne my selfe.
Iag. Well, if thou doest, I shall neuer loue thee after it,
Why, thou silly Gentleman.
Rod. It is sillinesse to liue, when to liue is a torment, and then we
haue a prescription, to dye when death is our Physition.
Iag. I ha look'd vpon the world for foure times seuen yeares,
665and since I could distinguish betweene a benefit, and an iniury, I ne-
uer found a man that knew how to loue himselfe: ere I would say
I would drowne my selfe, for the loue of a Ginny Hen, I would
change my humanity with a Baboone.
670Rod. What should I do? I confesse it is my shame to be so fond,
but it is not in my vertue to amend it.
Iag. Vertue? a fig, tis in our selues, that wee are thus, or thus,
our bodies are gardens, to the which our wills are Gardiners, so that
if we will plant Nettles, or sow Lettice, set Isop, and weed vp Time;
supply it with one gender of hearbes, or distract it with many; ei-
ther to haue it sterrill with Idlenesse, or manur'd with Industry, why
the power, and corrigible Authority of this, lies in our wills. If the
ballance of our liues had not one scale of reason, to poise another of
680sensuality; the blood and basenesse of our natures, would conduct
vs to most preposterous conclusions. But wee haue reason to coole
our raging motions, our carnall stings, our vnbitted lusts; whereof
I take this, that you call loue to be a sect, or syen.
Rod. It cannot be.
Iag. It is meerly a lust of the blood, and a permission of the will:
Come, be a man; drowne thy selfe? drowne Cats and blinde Pup-
pies: I professe me thy friend, and I confesse me knit to thy deser-
690uing, with cables of perdurable toughnesse; I could neuer better
steede thee then now. Put money in thy purse; follow these warres,
defeate thy fauour with an vsurp'd beard; I say, put money in thy
purse. It cannot be, that Desdemona should long continue her loue
695vnto the Moore, --- put money in thy purse, -- nor he to her; it was
a violent commencement, and thou shalt see an answerable seque-
stration: put but money in thy purse. ---These Moores are change-
able in their wills: --- fill thy purse with money. The food that to
700him now, is as lushious as Locusts, shall be to him shortly as acerbe
as the Colloquintida. When shee is sated with his body, shee will
finde the error of her choyce; shee must haue change, shee must.
Therefore put money in thy purse: if thou wilt needes damme
thy selfe, doe it a more delicate way then drowning; make all
705the money thou canst. If sanctimony, and a fraile vow, betwixt an
erring Barbarian, and a super subtle Venetian, be not too hard for my
wits, and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enioy her; therefore make
money, --- a pox a drowning, tis cleane out of the way: seeke thou
710rather to be hang'd in compassing thy ioy, then to bee drowned, and
goe without her.
Rod. Wilt thou be fast to my hopes?
715Iag. Thou art sure of me ---goe, make money --- I haue told
thee often, and I tell thee againe, and againe, I hate the Moore, my
cause is harted, thine has no lesse reason, let vs be communicatiue in
our reuenge against him: If thou canst cuckold him, thou doest thy
selfe a pleasure, and me a sport. There are many euents in the womb
of Time, which will be deliuered. Trauerce, go, prouide thy money,
we will haue more of this to morrow, Adiue.
Rod. Where shall we meete i'th morning.
725Iag. At my lodging.
Rod. I'le be with thee betimes.
Iag. Go to, farewell: ---doe you heare Roderigo?
727.1Rod. what say you?
Iag. No more of drowning, doe you heare?
Rod. I am chang'd.
Exit Roderigo.
Iag. Goe to, farewell, put money enough in your purse:
Thus doe I euer make my foole my purse:
730For I mine owne gain'd knowledge should prophane,
If I would time expend with such a snipe,
But for my sport and profit: I hate the Moore,
And tis thought abroad, that twixt my sheetes
Ha's done my office; I know not, if't be true ---
735Yet I, for meere suspition in that kind,
Will doe, as if for surety: he holds me well,
The better shall my purpose worke on him.
Cassio's a proper man, let me see now,
To get this place, and to make vp my will,
740A double knauery --- how, how, --- let me see,
After some time, to abuse Othelloe's eare,
That he is too familiar with his wife:
He has a person and a smooth dispose,
To be suspected, fram'd to make women false:
745The Moore a free and open nature too,
That thinkes men honest, that but seemes to be so:
And will as tenderly be led bit'h nose --- as Asses are:
I ha't, it is ingender'd: Hell and night
750Must bring this monstrous birth to the worlds light.
750.1
Exit.