Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

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

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    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Donald Bailey
    Peer Reviewed

    Othello (Folio 1, 1623)

    314 The Tragedie of Othello
    470How I did thriue in this faire Ladies loue,
    And she in mine.
    Duke. Say it Othello.
    Othe. Her Father lou'd me, oft inuited me:
    Still question'd me the Storie of my life,
    475From yeare to yeare: the Battaile, Sieges, Fortune,
    That I haue past.
    I ran it through, euen from my boyish daies,
    To th'very moment that he bad me tell it.
    Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances:
    480Of mouing Accidents by Flood and Field,
    Of haire-breadth scapes i'th'imminent deadly breach;
    Of being taken by the Insolent Foe,
    And sold to slauery. Of my redemption thence,
    And portance in my Trauellours historie.
    485Wherein of Antars vast, and Desarts idle,
    Rough Quarries, Rocks, Hills, whose head touch heauen,
    It was my hint to speake. Such was my Processe,
    And of the Canibals that each others eate,
    The Antropophague, and men whose heads
    490Grew beneath their shoulders. These things to heare,
    Would Desdemona seriously incline:
    But still the house Affaires would draw her hence:
    Which euer as she could with haste dispatch,
    She'l'd come againe, and with a greedie eare
    495Deuoure vp my discourse. Which I obseruing,
    Tooke once a pliant houre, and found good meanes
    To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
    That I would all my Pilgrimage dilate,
    Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
    500But not instinctiuely: I did consent,
    And often did beguile her of her teares,
    When I did speake of some distressefull stroke
    That my youth suffer'd: My Storie being done,
    She gaue me for my paines a world of kisses:
    505She swore in faith 'twas strange: 'twas passing strange,
    'Twas pittifull: 'twas wondrous pittifull.
    She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
    That Heauen had made her such a man. She thank'd me,
    And bad me, if I had a Friend that lou'd her,
    510I should but teach him how to tell my Story,
    And that would wooe her. Vpon this hint I spake,
    She lou'd me for the dangers I had past,
    And I lou'd her, that she did pitty them.
    This onely is the witch-craft I haue vs'd.
    515Here comes the Ladie: Let her witnesse it.

    Enter Desdemona, Iago, Attendants.

    Duke. I thinke this tale would win my Daughter too,
    Good Brabantio, take vp this mangled matter at the best:
    Men do their broken Weapons rather vse,
    520Then their bare hands.
    Bra. I pray you heare her speake?
    If she confesse that she was halfe the wooer,
    Destruction on my head, if my bad blame
    Light on the man. Come hither gentle Mistris,
    525Do you perceiue in all this Noble Companie,
    Where most you owe obedience?
    Des. My Noble Father,
    I do perceiue heere a diuided dutie.
    To you I am bound for life, and education:
    530My life and education both do learne me,
    How to respect you. You are the Lord of duty,
    I am hitherto your Daughter. But heere's my Husband;
    And so much dutie, as my Mother shew'd

    To you, preferring you before her Father:
    535So much I challenge, that I may professe
    Due to the Moore my Lord.
    Bra. God be with you: I haue done.
    Please it your Grace, on to the State Affaires;
    I had rather to adopt a Child, then get it.
    540Come hither Moore;
    I here do giue thee that with all my heart,
    Which but thou hast already, with all my heart
    I would keepe from thee. For your sake (Iewell)
    I am glad at soule, I haue no other Child;
    545For thy escape would teach me Tirranie
    To hang clogges on them. I haue done my Lord.
    Duke. Let me speake like your selfe:
    And lay a Sentence,
    Which as a grise, or step may helpe these Louers.
    550When remedies are past, the griefes are ended
    By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.
    To mourne a Mischeefe that is past and gon,
    Is the next way to draw new mischiefe on.
    What cannot be presern'd, when Fortune takes:
    555Patience, her Iniury a mock'ry makes.
    The rob'd that smiles, steales something from the Thiefe,
    He robs himselfe, that spends a bootelesse griefe.
    Bra. So let the Turke of Cyprus vs beguile,
    We loose it not so long as we can smile:
    560He beares the Sentence well, that nothing beares,
    But the free comfort which from thence he heares.
    But he beares both the Sentence, and the sorrow,
    That to pay griefe, must of poore Patience borrow.
    These Sentences, to Sugar, or to Gall,
    565Being strong on both sides, are Equiuocall.
    But words are words, I neuer yet did heare:
    That the bruized heart was pierc'd through the eares.
    I humbly beseech you proceed to th'Affaires of State.
    Duke. The Turke with a most mighty Preparation
    570makes for Cyprus: Othello, the Fortitude of the place is
    best knowne to you. And though we haue there a Substi-
    tute of most allowed sufficiencie; yet opinion, a more
    soueraigne Mistris of Effects, throwes a more safer
    voice on you : you must therefore be content to slubber
    575the glosse of your new Fortunes, with this more stub-
    borne, and boystrous expedition.
    Othe. The Tirant Custome, most Graue Senators,
    Hath made the flinty and Steele Coach of Warre
    My thrice-driuen bed of Downe. I do agnize
    580A Naturall and prompt Alacartie,
    I finde in hardnesse: and do vndertake
    This present Warres against the Ottamites.
    Most humbly therefore bending to your State,
    I craue fit disposition for my Wife,
    585Due reference of Place, and Exhibition,
    With such Accomodation and besort
    As leuels with her breeding.
    Duke. Why at her Fathers?
    Bra. I will not haue it so.
    590Othe. Nor I.
    Des. Nor would I there recide,
    To put my Father in impatient thoughts
    By being in his eye. Most Grcaious Duke,
    To my vnfolding, lend your prosperous eare,
    595And let me finde a Charter in your voice
    T'assist my simplenesse.
    Duke. What would you Desdemona?
    Des. That I loue the Moore, to liue with him,
    My downe-right violence, and storme of Fortunes,