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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)

    1110Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and Attendants.
    Othe. Good Michael, looke you to the guard to night.
    Let's teach our selues that Honourable stop,
    Not to out-sport discretion.
    Cas. Iago, hath direction what to do.
    1115But notwithstanding with my personall eye
    Will I looke to't.
    Othe. Iago, is most honest:
    Michael, goodnight. To morrow with your earliest,
    Let me haue speech with you. Come my deere Loue,
    1120The purchase made, the fruites are to ensue,
    That profit's yet to come 'tweene me, and you.
    Goodnight. Exit.
    Enter Iago.
    Cas. Welcome Iago: we must to the Watch.
    1125Iago. Not this houre Lieutenant: 'tis not yet ten
    o'th'clocke. Our Generall cast vs thus earely for the
    loue of his Desdemona: Who, let vs not therefore blame;
    he hath not yet made wanton the night with her: and
    she is sport for Ioue.
    1130Cas. She's a most exquisite Lady.
    Iago. And Ile warrant her, full of Game.
    Cas. Indeed shes a most fresh and delicate creature.
    Iago. What an eye she ha's?
    Methinkes it sounds a parley to prouocation.
    1135Cas. An inuiting eye:
    And yet me thinkes right modest.
    Iago. And when she speakes,
    Is it not an Alarum to Loue?
    Cas. She is indeed perfection.
    1140Iago. Well: happinesse to their Sheetes. Come Lieu-
    tenant, I haue a stope of Wine, and heere without are a
    brace of Cyprus Gallants, that would faine haue a mea-
    sure to the health of blacke Othello.
    Cas. Not to night, good Iago, I haue very poore,
    1145and vnhappie Braines for drinking. I could well wish
    Curtesie would inuent some other Custome of enter-
    Iago. Oh, they are our Friends: but one Cup, Ile
    drinke for you.
    1150Cassio. I haue drunke but one Cup to night, and that
    was craftily qualified too: and behold what inouation
    it makes heere. I am infortunate in the infirmity, and
    dare not taske my weakenesse with any more.
    Iago. What man? 'Tis a night of Reuels, the Gal-
    1155lants desire it.
    Cas. Where are they?
    Iago. Heere, at the doore: I pray you call them in.
    Cas. Ile do't, but it dislikes me. Exit.
    Iago. If I can fasten but one Cup vpon him
    1160With that which he hath drunke to night alreadie,
    He'l be as full of Quarrell, and offence
    As my yong Mistris dogge.
    Now my sicke Foole Rodorigo,
    Whom Loue hath turn'd almost the wrong side out,
    1165To Desdemona hath to night Carrows'd.
    Potations, pottle-deepe; and he's to watch.
    Three else of Cyprus, Noble swelling Spirites,
    (That hold their Honours in a wary distance,
    The very Elements of this Warrelike Isle)
    1170Haue I to night fluster'd with flowing Cups,
    And they Watch too.
    Now 'mongst this Flocke of drunkards
    Am I put to our Cassio in some Action
    That may offend the Isle. But here they come.
    1175Enter Cassio, Montano, and Gentlemen.
    If Consequence do but approue my dreame,
    My Boate sailes freely, both with winde and Streame.
    Cas. 'Fore heauen, they haue giuen me a rowse already.
    Mon. Good-faith a litle one: not past a pint, as I am a
    Iago. Some Wine hoa.
    And let me the Cannakin clinke, clinke:
    And let me the Cannakin clinke.
    A Souldiers a man: Oh, mans life's but a span,
    1185Why then let a Souldier drinke.
    Some Wine Boyes.
    Cas. 'Fore Heauen: an excellent Song.
    Iago. I learn'd it in England: where indeed they are
    most potent in Potting. Your Dane, your Germaine,
    1190and your swag-belly'd Hollander, (drinke hoa) are
    nothing to your English.
    Cassio. Is your Englishmen so exquisite in his drin-
    Iago. Why, he drinkes you with facillitie, your Dane
    1195dead drunke. He sweates not to ouerthrow your Al-
    maine. He giues your Hollander a vomit, ere the next
    Pottle can be fill'd.
    Cas. To the health of our Generall.
    Mon. I am for it Lieutenant: and Ile do you Iustice.
    1200Iago. Oh sweet England.
    King Stephen was and-a worthy Peere,
    His Breeches cost him but a Crowne,
    He held them Six pence all to deere,
    With that he cal'd the Tailor Lowne:
    1205He was a wight of high Renowne,
    And thou art but of low degree:
    'Tis Pride that pulls the Country downe,
    And take thy awl'd Cloake about thee.
    Some Wine hoa.
    1210Cassio. Why this is a more exquisite Song then the o-
    Iago. Will you heare't againe?
    Cas. No: for I hold him to be vnworthy of his Place,
    that do's those things. Well: heau'ns aboue all: and
    1215there be soules must be saued, and there be soules must
    not be saued.
    Iago. It's true, good Lieutenant.
    Cas. For mine owne part, no offence to the Generall,
    nor any man of qualitie: I hope to be saued.
    1220Iago. And so do I too Lieutenant.
    Cassio. I: (but by your leaue) not before me. The
    Lieutenant is to be saued before the Ancient. Let's haue
    no more of this: let's to our Affaires. Forgiue vs our
    sinnes: Gentlemen let's looke to our businesse. Do not
    1225thinke Gentlemen, I am drunke: this is my Ancient, this
    is my right hand, and this is my left. I am not drunke
    now: I can stand well enough, and I speake well enough.
    Gent. Excellent well.
    Cas. Why very well then: you must not thinke then,
    1230that I am drunke. Exit.
    Monta. To th'Platforme (Masters) come, let's set the
    Iago. You see this Fellow, that is gone before,
    He's a Souldier, fit to stand by Caesar,
    1235And giue direction. And do but see his vice,
    'Tis to his vertue, a iust Equinox,
    t t 3 The
    320The Tragedie of Othello
    The one as long as th'other. 'Tis pittie of him:
    I feare the trust Othello puts him in,
    On some odde time of his infirmitie
    1240Will shake this Island.
    Mont. But is he often thus?
    Iago. 'Tis euermore his prologue to his sleepe,
    He'le watch the Horologe a double Set,
    If Drinke rocke not his Cradle.
    1245Mont. It were well
    The Generall were put in mind of it:
    Perhaps he sees it not, or his good nature
    Prizes the vertue that appeares in Cassio,
    And lookes not on his euills: is not this true?
    1250Enter Rodorigo.
    Iago. How now Rodorigo?
    I pray you after the Lieutenant, go.
    Mon. And 'tis great pitty, that the Noble Moore
    Should hazard such a Place, as his owne Second
    1255With one of an ingraft Infirmitie,
    It were an honest Action, to say so
    To the Moore.
    Iago. Not I, for this faire Island,
    I do loue Cassio well: and would do much
    1260To cure him of this euill, But hearke, what noise?
    Enter Cassio pursuing Rodorigo.
    Cas. You Rogue: you Rascall.
    Mon. What's the matter Lieutenant?
    Cas. A Knaue teach me my dutie? Ile beate the
    1265Knaue into a Twiggen-Bottle.
    Rod. Beate me?
    Cas. Dost thou prate, Rogue?
    Mon. Nay, good Lieutenant:
    I pray you Sir, hold your hand.
    1270Cassio. Let me go (Sir)
    Or Ile knocke you o're the Mazard.
    Mon. Come, come: you're drunke.
    Cassio. Drunke?
    Iago. Away I say: go out and cry a Mutinie.
    1275Nay good Lieutenant. Alas Gentlemen:
    Helpe hoa. Lieutenant. Sir Montano:
    Helpe Masters. Heere's a goodly Watch indeed.
    Who's that which rings the Bell: Diablo, hoa:
    The Towne will rise. Fie, fie Lieutenant,
    1280You'le be asham'd for euer.
    Enter Othello, and Attendants.
    Othe. What is the matter heere?
    Mon. I bleed still, I am hurt to th'death. He dies.
    Othe. Hold for your liues.
    1285Iag. Hold hoa: Lieutenant, Sir Montano, Gentlemen:
    Haue you forgot all place of sense and dutie?
    Hold. The Generall speaks to you: hold for shame.
    Oth. Why how now hoa? From whence ariseth this?
    Are we turn'd Turkes? and to our selues do that
    1290Which Heauen hath forbid the Ottamittes.
    For Christian shame, put by this barbarous Brawle:
    He that stirs next, to carue for his owne rage,
    Holds his soule light: He dies vpon his Motion.
    Silence that dreadfull Bell, it frights the Isle,
    1295From her propriety. What is the matter, Masters?
    Honest Iago, that lookes dead with greeuing,
    Speake: who began this? On thy loue I charge thee?
    Iago. I do not know: Friends all, but now, euen now.
    In Quarter, and in termes like Bride, and Groome
    1300Deuesting them for Bed: and then, but now:
    (As if some Planet had vnwitted men)
    Swords out, and tilting one at others breastes,
    In opposition bloody. I cannot speake
    Any begining to this peeuish oddes.
    1305And would, in Action glorious, I had lost
    Those legges, that brought me to a part of it.
    Othe. How comes it (Michaell) you are thus forgot?
    Cas. I pray you pardon me, I cannot speake.
    Othe. Worthy Montano, you were wont to be ciuill:
    1310The grauitie, and stillnesse of your youth
    The world hath noted. And your name is great
    In mouthes of wisest Censure. What's the matter
    That you vnlace your reputation thus,
    And spend your rich opinion, for the name
    1315Of a night-brawler? Giue me answer to it.
    Mon. Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger,
    Your Officer Iago, can informe you,
    While I spare speech which something now offends me.
    Of all that I do know, nor know I ought
    1320By me, that's said, or done amisse this night,
    Vnlesse selfe-charitie be sometimes a vice,
    And to defend our selues, it be a sinne
    When violence assailes vs.
    Othe. Now by Heauen,
    1325My blood begins my safer Guides to rule,
    And passion (hauing my best iudgement collied)
    Assaies to leade the way. If I once stir,
    Or do but lift this Arme, the best of you
    Shall sinke in my rebuke. Giue me to know
    1330How this foule Rout began: Who set it on,
    And he that is approu'd in this offence,
    Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth,
    Shall loose me. What in a Towne of warre,
    Yet wilde, the peoples hearts brim-full of feare,
    1335To Manage priuate, and domesticke Quarrell?
    In night, and on the Court and Guard of safetie?
    'Tis monstrous: Iago, who began't?
    Mon. If partially Affin'd, or league in office,
    Thou dost deliuer more, or lesse then Truth,
    1340Thou art no Souldier.
    Iago. Touch me not so neere,
    I had rather haue this tongue cut from my mouth,
    Then it should do offence to Michaell Cassio.
    Yet I perswade my selfe, to speake the truth
    1345Shall nothing wrong him. This it is Generall:
    Montano and my selfe being in speech,
    There comes a Fellow, crying out for helpe,
    And Cassio following him with determin'd Sword
    To execute vpon him. Sir, this Gentleman,
    1350Steppes in to Cassio, and entreats his pause;
    My selfe, the crying Fellow did pursue,
    Least by his clamour (as it so fell out)
    The Towne might fall in fright. He, (swift of foote)
    Out-ran my purpose: and I return'd then rather
    1355For that I heard the clinke, and fall of Swords,
    And Cassio high in oath: Which till to night
    I nere might say before. When I came backe
    (For this was briefe) I found them close together
    At blow, and thrust, euen as againe they were
    1360When you your selfe did part them.
    More of this matter cannot I report,
    But Men are Men: The best sometimes forget,
    Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
    As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
    1365Yet surely Cassio, I beleeue receiu'd
    From him that fled, some strange Indignitie,
    Which patience could not passe.
    the Moore of Venice. 321
    Othe. I know Iago
    Thy honestie, and loue doth mince this matter,
    1370Making it light to Cassio: Cassio, I loue thee,
    But neuer more be Officer of mine.
    Enter Desdemona attended.
    Looke if my gentle Loue be not rais'd vp:
    Ile make thee an example.
    1375Des. What is the matter (Deere?)
    Othe. All's well, Sweeting:
    Come away to bed. Sir for your hurts,
    My selfe will be your Surgeon. Lead him off:
    Iago, looke with care about the Towne,
    1380And silence those whom this vil'd brawle distracted.
    Come Desdemona, 'tis the Soldiers life,
    To haue their Balmy slumbers wak'd with strife. Exit.
    Iago. What are you hurt Lieutenant?
    Cas. I, past all Surgery.
    1385Iago. Marry Heauen forbid.
    Cas. Reputation, Reputation, Reputation: Oh I haue
    lost my Reputation. I haue lost the immortall part of
    myselfe, and what remaines is bestiall. My Reputation,
    Iago, my Reputation.
    1390Iago. As I am an honest man I had thought you had
    receiued some bodily wound; there is more sence in that
    then in Reputation. Reputation is an idle, and most false
    imposition; oft got without merit, aud lost without de-
    seruing. You haue lost no Reputation at all, vnlesse you
    1395repute your selfe such a looser. What man, there are
    more wayes to recouer the Generall againe. You are
    but now cast in his moode, (a punishment more in poli-
    cie, then in malice) euen so as one would beate his of-
    fencelesse dogge, ro affright an Imperious Lyon. Sue to
    1400him againe, and he's yours.
    Cas. I will rather sue to be despis'd, then to deceiue
    so good a Commander, with so slight, so drunken, and so
    indiscreet an Officer. Drunke? And speake Parrat? And
    squabble? Swagger? Sweare? And discourse Fustian
    1405with ones owne shadow? Oh thou invisible spirit of
    Wine, if thou hast no name to be knowne by, let vs call
    thee Diuell.
    Iago. What was he that you follow'd with your
    Sword? What had he done to you?
    1410Cas. I know not.
    Iago. Is't possible?
    Cas. I remember a masse of things, but nothing di-
    stinctly: a Quarrell, but nothing wherefore. Oh, that
    men should put an Enemie in their mouthes, to steale a-
    1415way their Braines? that we should with ioy, pleasance,
    reuell and applause, transforme our selues into Beasts.
    Iago. Why? But you are now well enough: how
    came you thus recouered?
    Cas. It hath pleas'd the diuell drunkennesse, to giue
    1420place to the diuell wrath, one vnperfectnesse, shewes me
    another to make me frankly despise my selfe.
    Iago. Come, you are too seuere a Moraller. As the
    Time, the Place, & the Condition of this Country stands
    I could hartily wish this had not befalne: but since it is, as
    1425it is, mend it for your owne good.
    Cas. I will aske him for my Place againe, he shall tell
    me, I am a drunkard: had I as many mouthes as Hydra,
    such an answer would stop them all. To be now a sen-
    sible man, by and by a Foole, and presently a Beast. Oh
    1430strange! Euery inordinate cup is vnbless'd, and the Ingre-
    dient is a diuell.
    Iago. Come, come: good wine, is a good famillar
    Creature, if it be well vs'd: exclaime no more against it.
    And good Lieutenant, I thinke, you thinke I loue
    Cassio. I haue well approued it, Sir. I drunke?
    Iago. You, or any man liuing, may be drunke at a
    time man. I tell you what you shall do: Our General's
    Wife, is now the Generall. I may say so, in this respect,
    1440for that he hath deuoted, and giuen vp himselfe to the
    Contemplation, marke: and deuotement of her parts
    and Graces. Confesse your selfe freely to her: Impor-
    tune her helpe to put you in your place againe. She is
    of so free, so kinde, so apt, so blessed a disposition,
    1445she holds it a vice in her goodnesse, not to do more
    then she is requested. This broken ioynt betweene
    you, and her husband, entreat her to splinter. And my
    Fortunes against any lay worth naming, this cracke of
    your Loue, shall grow stronger, then it was before.
    1450Cassio. You aduise me well.
    Iago. I protest in the sinceritie of Loue, and honest
    Cassio. I thinke it freely: and betimes in the mor-
    ning, I will beseech the vertuous Desdemona to vndertake
    1455for me: I am desperate of my Fortunes if they check me.
    Iago. You are in the right: good night Lieutenant, I
    must to the Watch.
    Cassio. Good night, honest Iago.
    Exit Cassio.
    1460Iago. And what's he then,
    That saies I play the Villaine?
    When this aduise is free I giue, and honest,
    Proball to thinking, and indeed the course
    To win the Moore againe.
    1465For 'tis most easie
    Th'inclyning Desdemona to subdue
    In any honest Suite. She's fram'd as fruitefull
    As the free Elements. And then for her
    To win the Moore, were to renownce his Baptisme,
    1470All Seales, and Simbols of redeemed sin:
    His Soule is so enfetter'd to her Loue,
    That she may make, vnmake, do what she list,
    Euen as her Appetite shall play the God,
    With his weake Function. How am I then a Villaine,
    1475To Counsell Cassio to this paralell course,
    Directly to his good? Diuinitie of hell,
    When diuels will the blackest sinnes put on,
    They do suggest at first with heauenly shewes,
    As I do now. For whiles this honest Foole
    1480Plies Desdemona, to repaire his Fortune,
    And she for him, pleades strongly to the Moore,
    Ile powre this pestilence into his eare:
    That she repeales him, for her bodies Lust'
    And by how much she striues to do him good,
    1485She shall vndo her Credite with the Moore.
    So will I turne her vertue into pitch,
    And out of her owne goodnesse make the Net,
    That shall en-mash them all.
    How now Rodorigo?
    1490Enter Rodorigo.
    Rodorigo. I do follow heere in the Chace, not
    like a Hound that hunts, but one that filles vp the
    Crie. My Money is almost spent; I haue bin to night
    exceedingly well Cudgell'd: And I thinke the issue
    t t 3 will
    322The Tragedie of Othello
    1495will bee, I shall haue so much experience for my paines;
    And so, with no money at all, and a little more Wit, re-
    turne againe to Venice.
    Iago.How poore are they that haue not Patience?
    What wound did euer heale but by degrees?
    1500Thou know'st we worke by Wit, and not by Witchcraft
    And Wit depends on dilatory time:
    Dos't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee,
    And thou by that small hurt hath casheer'd Cassio:
    Though other things grow faire against the Sun,
    1505Yet Fruites that blossome first, will first be ripe:
    Content thy selfe, a-while. Introth 'tis Morning;
    Pleasure, and Action, make the houres seeme short.
    Retire thee, go where thou art Billited:
    Away, I say, thou shalt know more heereafter:
    1510Nay get thee gone. Exit Roderigo.
    Two things are to be done:
    My Wife must moue for Cassio to her Mistris:
    Ile set her on my selfe, a while, to draw the Moor apart,
    And bring him iumpe, when he may Cassio finde
    1515Soliciting his wife: I, that's the way:
    Dull not Deuice, by coldnesse, and delay. Exit.