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)

    The Tragedie of Othello

    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,