Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Othello (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Donald Bailey
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-466-0

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Donald Bailey
    Peer Reviewed

    Othello (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Tragedie of Othello
    The worst of words.
    Iago. Good my Lord pardon me,
    1745Though I am bound to euery Acte of dutie,
    I am not bound to that: All Slaues are free:
    Vtter my Thoughts? Why say, they are vild, and falce?
    As where's that Palace, whereinto foule things
    Sometimes intrude not? Who ha's that breast so pure,
    1750Wherein vncleanly Apprehensions
    Keepe Leetes, and Law-dayes, and in Sessions sit
    With meditations lawfull?
    Oth. Thou do'st conspire against thy Friend (Iago)
    If thou but think'st him wrong'd, and mak'st his eare
    1755A stranger to thy Thoughts.
    Iago. I do beseech you,
    Though I perchance am vicious in my guesse
    (As I confesse it is my Natures plague
    To spy into Abuses, and of my iealousie
    1760Shapes faults that are not) that your wisedome
    From one, that so imperfectly conceits,
    Would take no notice, nor build your selfe a trouble
    Out of his scattering, and vnsure obseruance:
    It were not for your quiet, nor your good,
    1765Nor for my Manhood, Honesty, and Wisedome,
    To let you know my thoughts.
    Oth. What dost thou meane?
    Iago. Good name in Man, & woman (deere my Lord)
    Is the immediate Iewell of their Soules;
    1770Who steales my purse, steales trash:
    'Tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has bin slaue to thousands:
    But he that filches from me my good Name,
    Robs me of that, which not enriches him,
    1775And makes me poore indeed.
    Oth. Ile know thy Thoughts.
    Iago. You cannot, if my heart were in your hand,
    Nor shall not, whil'st 'tis in my custodie.
    Oth. Ha?
    1780Iago. Oh, beware my Lord, of iealousie,
    It is the greene-ey'd Monster, which doth mocke
    The meate it feeds on. That Cuckold liues in blisse,
    Who certaine of his Fate, loues not his wronger:
    But oh, what damned minutes tels he ore,
    1785Who dotes, yet doubts: Suspects, yet soundly loues?
    Oth. O miserie.
    Iago. Poore, and Content, is rich, and rich enough,
    But Riches finelesse, is as poore as Winter,
    To him that euer feares he shall be poore:
    1790Good Heauen, the Soules of all my Tribe defend
    From Iealousie.
    Oth. Why? why is this?
    Think'st thou, I'ld make a Life of Iealousie;
    To follow still the changes of the Moone
    1795With fresh suspitions? No: to be once in doubt,
    Is to be resolu'd: Exchange me for a Goat,
    When I shall turne the businesse of my Soule
    To such exufflicate , and blow'd Surmises,
    Matching thy inference. 'Tis not to make me Iealious,
    1800To say my wife is faire, feeds well, loues company,
    Is free of Speech, Sings, Playes, and Dances:
    Where Vertue is, these are more vertuous.
    Nor from mine owne weake merites, will I draw
    The smallest feare, or doubt of her reuolt,
    1805For she had eyes, and chose me. No Iago,
    Ile see before I doubt; when I doubt, proue;
    And on the proofe, there is no more but this,
    Away at once with Loue, or Iealousie.

    Ia. I am glad of this: For now I shall haue reason
    1810To shew the Loue and Duty that I beare you
    With franker spirit. Therefore (as I am bound)
    Receiue it from me. I speake not yet of proofe:
    Looke to your wife, obserue her well with Cassio,
    Weare your eyes, thus: not Iealious, nor Secure:
    1815I would not haue your free, and Noble Nature,
    Out of selfe-Bounty, be abus'd: Looke too't:
    I know our Country disposition well:
    In Venice, they do let Heauen see the prankes
    They dare not shew their Husbands.
    1820Their best Conscience,
    Is not to leaue't vndone, but kept vnknowne.
    Oth. Dost thou say so?
    Iago. She did deceiue her Father, marrying you,
    And when she seem'd to shake, and feare your lookes,
    1825She lou'd them most.
    Oth. And so she did.
    Iago. Why go too then:
    Shee that so young could giue out such a Seeming
    To seele her Fathers eyes vp, close as Oake,
    1830He thought 'twas Witchcraft.
    But I am much too blame:
    I humbly do beseech you of your pardon
    For too much louing you.
    Oth. I am bound to thee for euer.
    1835Iago. I see this hath a little dash'd your Spirits:
    Oth. Not a iot, not a iot.
    Iago. Trust me, I feare it has:
    I hope you will consider what is spoke
    Comes from your Loue.
    1840But I do see y'are moou'd:
    I am to pray you, not to straine my speech
    To grosser issues, nor to larger reach,
    Then to Suspition.
    Oth. I will not.
    1845Iago. Should you do so (my Lord)
    My speech should fall into such vilde successe,
    Which my Thoughts aym'd not.
    Cassio's my worthy Friend:
    My Lord, I see y'are mou'd.
    1850Oth. No, not much mou'd:
    I do not thinke but Desdemona's honest.
    Iago. Long liue she so;
    And long liue you to thinke so.
    Oth. And yet how Nature erring from it selfe.
    1855Iago. I, there's the point:
    As (to be bold with you)
    Not to affect many proposed Matches
    Of her owne Clime, Complexion, and Degree,
    Whereto we see in all things, Nature tends:
    1860Foh, one may smel in such, a will most ranke,
    Foule disproportions, Thoughts vnnaturall.
    But (pardon me) I do not in position
    Distinctly speake of her, though I may feare
    Her will, recoyling to her better iudgement,
    1865May fal to match you with her Country formes,
    And happily repent.
    Oth. Farewell, farewell:
    If more thou dost perceiue, let me know more:
    Set on thy wife to obserue.
    1870Leaue me Iago.
    Iago. My Lord, I take my leaue.
    Othel. Why did I marry?
    This honest Creature (doubtlesse)
    Sees, and knowes more, much more then he vnfolds.