Internet Shakespeare Editions

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


Actus 2.
Scœna 1.
Enter Montanio, Gouernor of Cypres, with
two other Gent#lemen.
Montanio.
VVhat from the Cape can you discerne at Sea?
Gent. Nothing at all, it is a high wrought flood,
755I cannot twixt the hauen and the mayne
Descry a saile.
Mon. Me thinkes the wind does speake aloud at land,
A fuller blast ne're shooke our Battlements:
If ic ha ruffiand so vpon the sea.
760What ribbes of Oake, when the huge mountaine mes lt,
Can hold the morties, --- What shall we heare of this?
Gent. A segregation of the Turkish Fleete:
For doe but stand vpon the banning shore,
The chiding billow seemes to pelt the cloudes,
765The winde shak'd surge, with high and monstrous mayne,
Seemes to cast water, on the burning Beare,
And quench the guards of th'euer fired pole,
I neuer did, like molestation view,
On the inchafed flood.
770Mon. If that the Turkish Fleete
Be not inshelter'd, and embayed, they are drown'd,
It is impossible they beare it out.
Enter a third Gentleman.
Gent. Newes Lords, your warres are done:
775The desperate Tempest hath so bang'd the
Turke,
That their designement halts: Another shippe of Venice hath seene
A greeuous wracke and sufferance
On most part of the Fleete.
Mon. How, is this true?
780Gent. The shippe is heere put in:
A Veronessa, Michael Cassi}o,
Leiutenant to the warlike Moore Othello,
Is come ashore: the Moore himselfe at Sea,
And is in full Commission here for Cypres,
785Mon. I am glad on't, tis a worthy Gouernour.
Gent. But this same Cassio, tho he speake of comfort,
Touching the Turkish losse, yet he lookes sadly,
And prayes the Moore be safe, for they were parted,
With foule and violent Tempest.
790Mon. Pray Heauen he be:
For I haue seru'd him, and the man commands
Like a full Souldier:
Lets to the sea side, ho,
As well to see the vessell that's come in,
As to throw out our eyes for braue Othello.
Gent. Come, lets doe so,
For euery minute is expectancy
Of more arriuance,
Enter Cassio.
Cas. Thankes to the valiant of this worthy Isle,
That so approue the Moore, and let the heauens
Giue him defence against their Elements,
For I haue lost him on a dangerous sea.
805Mon. Is he well shipt?
Cas. His Barke is stoutly timberd, and his Pilate
Of very expert and approu'd allowance,
Therefore my hope's not surfeited to death,
Stand in bold cure.
Enter a Messenger.
810Mess. A saile, a saile, a saile.
Cas. What noyse?
Mess. The Towne is empty, on the brow o'th sea,
otand ranckes of people, and they cry a sayle.
Cas. My hopes doe shape him for the guernement.
815Gen. They doe discharge the shot of courtesie,
Our friend at least.
A shot.
Cas. I pray you sir goe forth,
And giue vs truth, who tis that is arriu'd.
Gent. I shall.
Exit.
820Mon. But good Leiutenant, is your Generall wiu'd?
Cas. Most fortunately, he hath atchieu'd a maide,
That parragons description, and wild fame:
One that excells the blasoning pens,
And in the essentiall vesture of creation,
824.1Does beare all excellency: --- now, who has put in?
Enter 2. Gentleman.
Gent. Tis one Iago, ancient to the Generall,
He has had most fauourable and happy speede,
830Tempests themselues, by seas, and houling windes,
The guttered rocks, and congregated sands,
Traitors enscerped; to clog the guiltlesse Keele,
As hauing sence of beauty, do omit
Their common natures, letting goe safely by
835The diuine Desdemona.
Mon. What is she?
Cas. She that I spoke of, our great Captains Captaine,
Left in the conduct of the bold Iago.
840Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts
A sennights speede ---great Ioue Othello guard,
And swell his saile with thine owne powerfull breath,
That he may blesse this Bay with his tall shippe,
And swiftly come to Desdemona's armes.
Enter Desdemona, Iago, Emillia, and Roderigo
.
845Giue renewd fire,
To our extincted spirits.
845.1And bring all Cypresse comfort, ---O behold
The riches of the ship is come ashore.
Ye men of Cypres, let her haue your knees:
850Haile to thee Lady: and the grace of heauen,
Before, behinde thee, and on euery hand,
Enwheele thee round.
Desd. I thanke you valiant Cassio:
What tidings can you tell me of my Lord?
855Cas. He is not yet arriued, nor know I ought,
But that hee's well, and will be shortly here.
Desd. O but I feare: ---how lost you company?
[within.]
A saile, a saile.
Cas. The great contention of the sea and skies
860Parted our fellowship: but harke, A saile.
Gent. They giue their greeting to the Cittadell,
This likewise is a friend.
Cas. So speakes this voice:
865Good Ancient, you are welcome, welcome Mistresse,
Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,
That I extend my manners, tis my breeding,
That giues me this bold shew of courtesie.
Iag. For would she giue you so much of her lips,
870As of her tongue, she has bestowed on me,
You'd haue enough.
Des. Alas! shee has no speech.
Iag. I know too much.
I finde it, I; for when I ha list to sleepe,
875Mary, before your Ladiship I grant,
She puts her tongue a little in her heart,
And chides with thinking.
Em. You ha little cause to say so.
Iag. Come on, Come on, you are Pictures out adores:
880Bells in your Parlors: Wildcats in your Kitchins:
Saints in your iniuries: Diuells being offended:
Players in your houswifery; and houswiues in your beds.
O fie vpon thee slanderer.
885Iag. Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turke,
You rise to play, and goe to bed to worke.
Em. You shall not write my praise.
Iag. No, let me not.
Desd. What wouldst thou write of me,
890If thou shouldst praise me?
Iag. O gentle Lady, doe not put me to't,
For I am nothing, if not Criticall.
Desd. Come on, assay ---there's one gone to the Harbor?
895Iag. I Madam.
Desd. I am not merry, but I doe beguile
The thing I am, by seeming otherwise:
Come, how wouldst thou praise me?
Iag. I am about it, but indeed my inuention
Comes from my pate, as birdlime does from freeze,
900It plucks out braine and all: but my Muse labors,
And thus she is deliuer'd:
If she be faire and wise, fairenesse and wit;
The one's for vse, the other vsing it.
905Desd. Well praisde: how if she be blacke and witty?
Iag, If she be blacke, and thereto haue a wit,
Shee'le finde a white, that shall her blacknesse hit.
Desd. Worse and worse.
910Em. How if faire and foolish?
Iag. She neuer yet was foolish, that was faire,
For euen her folly helpt her, to a haire.
Des. These are old paradoxes, to make fooles laugh i'the Alehouse,
What miserable praise hast thou for her,
915That's foule and foolish?
Iag. There's none so foule, and foolish thereunto,
But does foule prankes, which faire and wise ones doe.
Desd. O heauy ignorance, that praises the worst best: but what
praise couldst thou bestow on a deseruing woman indeed? one,
920that in the authority of her merrits, did iustly put on the vouch of
very malice it selfe?
Iag. She that was euer faire, and neuer proud,
Had tongue at will, and yet was neuer lowd,
925Neuer lackt gold, and yet went neuer gay,
Fled from her wish, and yet said, now I may:
She that being angred, her reuenge being nigh,
Bad her wrong stay, and her displeasure flye;
She that in wisedome, neuer was so fraile,
930To change the Codshead for the Salmons taile.
She that could thinke, and ne're disclose her minde,
She was a wight, if euer such wight were.
Des. To doe what?
935Iag. To suckle fooles, and chronicle small Beere.
Des. O most lame and impotent conclusion:
Doe not learne of him Emillia, tho he be thy husband;
How say you Cassio, is he not a most prophane and liberall
Counsellour?
940Cas. He speakes home Madam, you may rellish him
More in the Souldier then in the Scholler.
Iag. He takes her by the palme; I well sed, whisper: as little a
webbe as this will ensnare as great a Flee as Cassio. I smile vpon
her, doe: I will catch you in your owne courtesies: you say true,
945tis so indeed. If such trickes as these strip you out of your Leiute-
nantry, it had beene better you had not rist your three fingers so oft,
which now againe, you are most apt to play the sir in: good, well
kist, an excellent courtesie; tis so indeed: yet againe, your fingers at
950your lips? Would they were Clisterpipes for your sake. --- The
Moore, I know his Trumpet.
Trumpets within.
953.1
Enter Othello ,and Attendants.
Cas. Tis truely so.
955Des. Lets meete him, and receiue him.
Cas. Loe, where he comes.
Oth. O my faire Warriour.
Des. My deare Othello.
960Oth. It giues me wonder great as my content,
To see you here before me: O my soules ioy,
If after euery tempest, come such calmenesse,
May the winds blow, till they haue wakened death,
965And let the labouring Barke clime hills of seas,
Olympus high, and duck againe as low,
As hell's from Heauen: If it were now to dye,
T'were now to be most happy, for I feare
My soule hath her content so absolute,
970That not another comfort, like to this
Succeeds in vnknowne Fate,
Des. The Heauens forbid,
But that our loues and comforts should increase,
975Euen as our dayes doe growe.
Oth. Amen to that sweete power,
I cannot speake enough of this content,
It stops me heere, it is too much of ioy:
And this, and this, the greatest discord be,
they kisse.
980That ere our hearts shall make.
Iag. O, you are well tun'd now,
But I'le set downe the pegs, that make this musique,
As honest as I am.
Oth. Come, let vs to the Castle:
Newes friends, our warres are done, the Turks are drownd:
How doe our old acquaintance of the Isle;
Honny, you shall be well desir'd in Cypres;
I haue found great loue amongst them: O my sweete,
I prattle out of fashion, and I dote,
990In mine one comforts: I preethee good Iago,
Goe to the Bay, and disimbarke my Coffers;
Bring thou the Master to the Cittadell;
He is a good one, and his worthinesse,
Does challenge much respect: come Desdemona,
995Once more well met at Cypres.
Exit.
Iag. Doe thou meete me presently at the Harbour: come hither,
If thou beest valiant, as they say, base men being in loue, haue then
a Nobility in their natures, more then is natiue to them --- list me,
1000the Leiutenant to night watches on the Court of Guard: first I will
tell thee, this Desdemona is directly in loue with him.
Rod. With him? why tis not possible.
Iag. Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soule be instructed: marke
1005me, with what violence she first lou'd the Moore, but for bragging,
and telling her fantasticall lies; and will she loue him still for pra-
ting? let not the discreet heart thinke so. Her eye must be fed, and
what delight shall she haue to look on the Diuell? When the blood
1010is made dull with the act of sport, there should be againe to inflame
it, and giue saciety a fresh appetite. Loue lines in fauour, sympathy
in yeares, manners and beauties; all which the Moore is defectiue in:
now for want of these requir'd conueniences, her delicate tender-
1015nesse will finde it selfe abus'd, beginne to heaue the gorge, disrellish
and abhorre the Moore, very nature will instruct her to it, and com-
pell her to some second choice: now sir, this granted, as it is a most
pregnant and vnforced position, who stands so eminently in the de-
gree of this fortune, as Cassio does? a knaue very voluble, no farder
conscionable, then in putting on the meere forme of ciuill and hand-
seeming, for the better compassing of his salt and hidden affecti-
ons: A subtle slippery knaue, a finder out of occasions; that has an
1025eye, can stampe and counterfeit the true aduantages neuer present
themselues. Besides, the knaue is handsome, yong, and hath all those
requisites in him that folly and green mindes look after; a pestilent
compleate knaue, and the woman has found him already.
Rod. I cannot beleeue that in her, shee's full of most blest con-
dition.
1033.1Iag. Blest figs end: the wine shee drinkes is made of grapes: if
she had beene blest, she would neuer haue lou'd the Moore. Didst
thou not see her paddle with the palme of his hand?
Rod. Yes, but that was but courtesie.
Iag. Lechery, by this hand: an Index and prologue to the hi-
1040story of lust and foule thoughts: they met so neere with their lips,
that their breathes embrac'd together. When these mutualities
so marshall the way, hand at hand, comes the maine exercise, the in-
corporate conclusion. But sir, be you rul'd by mee, I haue brought
you from Venice: watch you to night, for your command I'le lay't
vpon you, Cassio knowes you not, I'le not be farre from you, do you
finde some occasion to anger Cassio, either by speaking too loud, or
1050tainting his discipline, or from what other cause you please; which
the time shall more fauourably minister.
Rod. Well.
Iag. Sir he is rash, and very suddain in choler, and haply with his
1055Trunchen may strike at you; prouoke him that he may, for euen out
of that, will I cause these of Cypres to mutiny, whose quallification
shall come into no true trust again't, but by the displanting of Cassio:
So shall you haue a shorter iourney to your desires by the meanes I
1060shal then haue to prefer them, & the impediment, most profitably re-
mou'd, without which there were no expectation of our prosperity.
Rod. I will doe this, if I can bring it to any opportunity.
1065Iag. I warrant thee, meete me by and by at the Cittadell; I must
fetch his necessaries ashore. --- Farewell.
Rod. Adue. Exit.
Iag. That Cassio loues her, I doe well beleeue it;
1070That she loues him, tis apt and of great credit;
The Moore howbe't, that I indure him not,
Is of a constant, noble, louing nature;
And I dare thinke, hee'le proue to Desdemona,
A most deere husband: now I doe loue her too,
1075Not out of absolute lust, tho peraduenture.
I stand accountant for as great a sin,
But partly lead to diet my reuenge,
For that I doe suspect the lustfull Moore,
Hath leap'd into my seate, the thought whereof
1080Doth like a poisonous minerall gnaw my inwards,
And nothing can, nor shall content my soule,
Till I am euen with him, wife, for wife:
Or failing so, yet that I put the Moore,
At least, into a Iealousie so strong,
1085That Iudgement cannot cure; which thing to doe,
If this poore trash of Venice, whom I crush,
For his quicke hunting, stand the putting on,
I'le haue our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moore, in the ranke garbe,
1090(For I feare Cassio, with my nightcap to)
Make the Moore thanke me, loue me, and reward me,
For making him e#gregiously an Asse,
And practising vpon his peace and quiet,
Euen to madnesse: tis here, but yet confus'd,
1095Knaueries plaine face is neuer seene, till vs'd.
Exit.