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Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Donald Bailey
Peer Reviewed

Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)

The Moore of Venice.

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
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.