Internet Shakespeare Editions

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  • 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)

    Othello, the Moore of Venice.
    1Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.
    Enter Rodorigo, and Iago.
    NEuer tell me, I take it much vnkindly
    5That thou (Iago) who hast had my purse,
    As if ye strings were thine, should'st know of this.
    Ia. But you'l not heare me. If euer I did dream
    Of such a matter, abhorre me.
    Rodo. Thou told'st me,
    10Thou did'st hold him in thy hate.
    Iago. Despise me
    If I do not. Three Great-ones of the Cittie,
    (In personall suite to make me his Lieutenant)
    Off-capt to him: and by the faith of man
    15I know my price, I am worth no worsse a place.
    But he (as louing his owne pride, and purposes)
    Euades them, with a bumbast Circumstance,
    Horribly stufft with Epithites of warre,
    Non-suites my Mediators. For certes, saies he,
    20I haue already chose my Officer. And what was he?
    For-sooth, a great Arithmatician,
    One Michaell Cassio, a Florentine,
    (A Fellow almost damn'd in a faire Wife)
    That neuer set a Squadron in the Field,
    25Nor the deuision of a Battaile knowes
    More then a Spinster. Vnlesse the Bookish Theoricke:
    Wherein the Tongued Consuls can propose
    As Masterly as he. Meere pratle (without practise)
    Is all his Souldiership. But he (Sir) had th'election;
    30And I (of whom his eies had seene the proofe
    At Rhodes, at Ciprus, and on others grounds
    Christen'd, and Heathen) must be be-leed, and calm'd
    By Debitor, and Creditor. This Counter-caster,
    He (in good time) must his Lieutenant be,
    35And I (blesse the marke) his Mooreships Auntient.
    Rod. By heauen, I rather would haue bin his hangman.
    Iago. Why, there's no remedie.
    'Tis the cursse of Seruice;
    Preferment goes by Letter, and affection,
    40And not by old gradation, where each second
    Stood Heire to'th'first. Now Sir, be iudge your selfe,
    Whether I in any iust terme am Affin'd
    To loue the Moore?
    Rod. I would not follow him then.
    45Iago. O Sir content you.
    I follow him, to serue my turne vpon him.
    We cannot all be Masters, nor all Masters
    Cannot be truely follow'd. You shall marke
    Many a dutious and knee-crooking knaue;
    50That (doting on his owne obsequious bondage)
    Weares out his time, much like his Masters Asse,
    For naught but Prouender, & when he's old Casheer'd.
    Whip me such honest knaues. Others there are
    Who trym'd in Formes, and visages of Dutie,
    55Keepe yet their hearts attending on themselues,
    And throwing but showes of Seruice on their Lords
    Doe well thriue by them.
    And when they haue lin'd their Coates
    Doe themselues Homage.
    60These Fellowes haue some soule,
    And such a one do I professe my selfe. For (Sir)
    It is as sure as you are Rodorigo,
    Were I the Moore, I would not be Iago:
    In following him, I follow but my selfe.
    65Heauen is my Iudge, not I for loue and dutie,
    But seeming so, for my peculiar end:
    For when my outward Action doth demonstrate
    The natiue act, and figure of my heart
    In Complement externe, 'tis not long after
    70But I will weare my heart vpon my sleeue
    For Dawes to pecke at; I am not what I am.
    Rod. What a fall Fortune do's the Thicks-lips owe
    If he can carry't thus?
    Iago. Call vp her Father:
    75Rowse him, make after him, poyson his delight,
    Proclaime him in the Streets. Incense her kinsmen,
    And though he in a fertile Clymate dwell,
    Plague him with Flies: though that his Ioy be Ioy,
    Yet throw such chances of vexation on't,
    80As it may loose some colour.
    Rodo. Heere is her Fathers house, Ile call aloud.
    Iago. Doe, with like timerous accent, and dire yell,
    As when (by Night and Negligence) the Fire
    Is spied in populus Citties.
    85Rodo. What hoa: Brabantio, Siginor Brabantio, hoa.
    Iago. Awake: what hoa, Brabantio: Theeues, Theeues.
    Looke to your house, your daughter, and your Bags,
    Theeues, Theeues.
    Bra.Aboue. What is the reason of this terrible
    90Summons? What is the matter there?
    Rodo. Signior is all your Familie within?
    Iago. Are your Doores lock'd?
    Bra. Why? Wherefore ask you this?
    Iago. Sir, y'are rob'd, for shame put on your Gowne,
    the Moore of Venice. 311
    95Your heart is burst, you haue lost halfe your soule
    Euen now, now, very now, an old blacke Ram
    Is tupping your white Ewe. Arise, arise,
    Awake the snorting Cittizens with the Bell,
    Or else the deuill will make a Grand-sire of you.
    100Arise I say.
    Bra. What, haue you lost your wits?
    Rod. Most reuerend Signior, do you know my voice?
    Bra. Not I: what are you?
    Rod. My name is Rodorigo.
    105Bra. The worsser welcome:
    I haue charg'd thee not to haunt about my doores:
    In honest plainenesse thou hast heard me say,
    My Daughter is not for thee. And now in madnesse
    (Being full of Supper, and distempring draughtes)
    110Vpon malitious knauerie, dost thou come
    To start my quiet.
    Rod. Sir, Sir, Sir.
    Bra. But thou must needs be sure,
    My spirits and my place haue in their power
    115To make this bitter to thee.
    Rodo. Patience good Sir.
    Bra. What tell'st thou me of Robbing?
    This is Venice : my house is not a Grange.
    Rodo. Most graue Brabantio,
    120In simple and pure soule, I come to you.
    Ia. Sir: you are one of those that will not serue God,
    if the deuill bid you. Because we come to do you seruice,
    and you thinke we are Ruffians, you'le haue your Daugh-
    ter couer'd with a Barbary horse, you'le haue your Ne-
    125phewes neigh to you, you'le haue Coursers for Cozens :
    and Gennets for Germaines.
    Bra. What prophane wretch art thou?
    Ia. I am one Sir, that comes to tell you, your Daugh-
    ter and the Moore, are making the Beast with two backs.
    130Bra. Thou art a Villaine.
    Iago. You are a Senator.
    Bra. This thou shalt answere. I know thee Rodorigo.
    Rod. Sir, I will answere any thing. But I beseech you
    If't be your pleasure, and most wise consent,
    135(As partly I find it is) that your faire Daughter,
    At this odde Euen and dull watch o'th'night
    Transported with no worse nor better guard,
    But with a knaue of common hire, a Gundelier,
    To the grosse claspes of a Lasciuious Moore:
    140If this be knowne to you, and your Allowance,
    We then haue done you bold, and saucie wrongs.
    But if you know not this, my Manners tell me,
    We haue your wrong rebuke. Do not beleeue
    That from the sence of all Ciuilitie,
    145I thus would play and trifle with your Reuerence.
    Your Daughter (if you haue not giuen her leaue)
    I say againe, hath made a grosse reuolt,
    Tying her Dutie, Beautie, Wit, and Fortunes
    In an extrauagant, and wheeling Stranger,
    150Of here, and euery where: straight satisfie your selfe.
    If she be in her Chamber, or your house,
    Let loose on me the Iustice of the State
    For thus deluding you.
    Bra. Strike on the Tinder, hoa:
    155Giue me a Taper: call vp all my people,
    This Accident is not vnlike my dreame,
    Beleefe of it oppresses me alreadie.
    Light, I say, light. Exit.
    Iag. Farewell: for I must leaue you.
    160It seemes not meete, nor wholesome to my place
    To be producted, (as if I stay, I shall,)
    Against the Moore. For I do know the State,
    (How euer this may gall him with some checke)
    Cannot with safetie cast-him. For he's embark'd
    165With such loud reason to the Cyprus Warres,
    (Which euen now stands in Act) that for their soules
    Another of his Fadome, they haue none,
    To lead their Businesse. In which regard,
    Though I do hate him as I do hell apines,
    170Yet, for necessitie of present life,
    I must show out a Flag, and signe of Loue,
    (Which is indeed but signe) that you shal surely find him
    Lead to the Sagitary the raised Search:
    And there will I be with him. So farewell. Exit.
    175Enter Brabantio, with Seruants and Torches.
    Bra. It is too true an euill. Gone she is,
    And what's to come of my despised time,
    Is naught but bitternesse. Now Rodorigo,
    Where didst thou see her? (Oh vnhappie Girle)
    180With the Moore saist thou? (Who would be a Father?)
    How didst thou know 'twas she? (Oh she deceaues me
    Past thought:) what said she to you? Get moe Tapers:
    Raise all my Kindred. Are they married thinke you?
    Rodo. Truely I thinke they are.
    185Bra. Oh Heauen: how got she out?
    Oh treason of the blood.
    Fathers, from hence trust not your Daughters minds
    By what you see them act. Is there not Charmes,
    By which the propertie of Youth, and Maidhood
    190May be abus'd? Haue you not read Rodorigo,
    Of some such thing?
    Rod. Yes Sir: I haue indeed.
    Bra. Call vp my Brother: oh would you had had her.
    Some one way, some another. Doe you know
    195Where we may apprehend her, and the Moore?
    Rod. I thinke I can discouer him, if you please
    To get good Guard, and go along with me.
    Bra. Pray you lead on. At euery house Ile call,
    (I may command at most) get Weapons (hoa)
    200And raise some speciall Officers of might:
    On good Rodorigo, I will deserue your paines. Exeunt.