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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)

    Scoena Secunda.
    Enter Othello, and Desdemona in her bed.
    3240Oth. It is the Cause, it is the Cause (my Soule)
    Let me not name it to you, you chaste Starres,
    It is the Cause. Yet Ile not shed her blood,
    Nor scarre that whiter skin of hers, then Snow,
    And smooth as Monumentall Alablaster:
    3245Yet she must dye, else shee'l betray more men:
    Put out the Light, and then put out the Light:
    If I quench thee, thou flaming Minister,
    I can againe thy former light restore,
    Should I repent me. But once put out thy Light,
    3250Thou cunning'st Patterne of excelling Nature,
    I know not where is that Promethaean heate
    That can thy Light re-Lume.
    When I haue pluck'd thy Rose,
    I cannot giue it vitall growth againe,
    3255It needs must wither. Ile smell thee on the Tree.
    Oh Balmy breath, that dost almost perswade
    Iustice to breake her Sword. One more, one more:
    Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee,
    And loue thee after. One more, and that's the last.
    3260So sweet, was ne're so fatall. I must weepe,
    But they are cruell Teares: This sorrow's heauenly,
    It strikes, where it doth loue. She wakes.
    Des. Who's there? Othello?
    Othel. I Desdemona.
    3265Des. Will you come to bed, my Lord?
    Oth. Haue you pray'd to night, Desdemon?
    Des. I my Lord.
    Oth. If you bethinke your selfe of any Crime
    Vnreconcil'd as yet to Heauen, and Grace,
    3270Solicite for it straight.
    Des. Alacke, my Lord,
    What may you meane by that?
    Oth. Well, do it, and be breefe, I will walke by:
    I would not kill thy vnprepared Spirit,
    3275No, Heauens fore-fend) I would not kill thy Soule.
    Des. Talke you of killing?
    Oth. I, I do.
    Des. Then Heauen haue mercy on mee.
    336 The Tragedie of Othello
    Oth. Amen, with all my heart.
    3280Des. If you say, I hope you will not kill me.
    Oth. Humh.
    Des. And yet I feare you: for you're fatall then
    When your eyes rowle so.
    Why I should feare, I know not,
    3285Since guiltinesse I know not: But yet I feele I feare.
    Oth. Thinke on thy sinnes.
    Des. They are Loues I beare to you.
    Oth. I, and for that thou dy'st.
    Des. That death's vnnaturall, that kils for louing.
    3290Alas, why gnaw you so your nether-lip?
    Some bloody passion shakes your very Frame:
    These are portents: but yet I hope, I hope,
    They do not point on me.
    Oth. Peace, and be still.
    3295Des. I will so: What's the matter?
    Oth. That Handkerchiefe
    Which I so lou'd, and gaue thee, thou gau'st to Cassio.
    Des. No by my Life, and Soule: send for the man,
    And aske him.
    3300Oth. Sweet Soule, take heed, take heed of Periury,
    Thou art on thy death-bed.
    Des. I, but not yet to dye.
    Oth. Presently.
    Therefore confesse thee freely of thy sinne:
    3305For to deny each Article with Oath,
    Cannot remoue, nor choake the strong Conception
    That I do grone withall. Thou art to dye.
    Des. O Heauen haue mercy on me.
    Oth. I say, Amen.
    3310Des. And haue you mercy too. I neuer did
    Offend you in my life: neuer lou'd Cassio,
    But with such generall warrantie of Heauen,
    As I might loue. I neuer gaue him Token.
    Oth. By Heauen I saw my Handkerchiefe in's hand.
    3315O periur'd woman, thou do'st stone my heart,
    And makes me call, what I intend to do,
    A Murther, which I thought a Sacrifice.
    I saw the Handkerchiefe.
    Des. He found it then:
    3320I neuer gaue it him: Send, for him hither:
    Let him confesse a truth.
    Oth. He hath confest.
    Des. What, my Lord?
    Oth. That he hath vs'd thee.
    3325Des. How? vnlawfully?
    Oth. I.
    Des. He will not say so.
    Oth. No: his mouth is stopp'd:
    Honest Iago hath 'tane order for't.
    3330Des. Oh, my feare interprets. What is he dead?
    Oth. Had all his haires bin liues, my great Reuenge
    Had stomacke for them all.
    Des. Alas, he is betray'd, and I vndone.
    Oth. Out Strumpet: weep'st thou for him to my face?
    3335Des. O banish me, my Lord, but kill me not.
    Oth. Downe Strumpet.
    Des. Kill me to morrow, let me liue to night.
    Oth. Nay, if you striue.
    Des. But halfe an houre.
    3340Oth. Being done, there is no pawse.
    Des. But while I say one prayer.
    Oth. It is too late. Smothers her.
    AEmilia at the doore.
    AEmil My Lord, my Lord? What hoa?
    3345My Lord, my Lord.
    Oth. What noise is this? Not dead? not yet quite dead?
    I that am cruell, am yet mercifull,
    I would not haue thee linger in thy paine?
    So, so.
    3350AEmil. within. What hoa? my Lord, my Lord?
    Oth. Who's there?
    AEmil. Oh good my Lord, I would speake a word
    with you.
    Oth. Yes: 'Tis AEmilia: by and by. Shee's dead.
    3355'Tis like she comes to speake of Cassio's death:
    The noise was high. Hah, no more moouing?
    Still as the Graue. Shall she come in? Wer't good?
    I thinke she stirres againe. No, what's best to do?
    If she come in, shee'l sure speake to my wife:
    3360My wife, my wife: what wife? I haue no wife.
    Oh insupportable! Oh heauy houre!
    Me thinkes, it should be now a huge Eclipse
    Of Sunne, and Moone; and that th'affrighted Globe
    Did yawne at Alteration.
    3365AEmil. I do beseech you
    That I may speake with you. Oh good my Lord.
    Oth. I had forgot thee: oh come in AEmilia.
    Soft, by and by, let me the Curtaines draw.
    Where art thou? What's the matter with thee now?
    3370Enter AEmilia.
    AEmil. Oh my good Lord, yonders foule Murthers
    Oth. What? now?
    AEmil. But now, my Lord.
    3375Oth. It is the very error of the Moone,
    She comes more neerer Earth then she was wont,
    And makes men mad.
    AEmil. Cassio, my Lord, hath kill'd
    A young Venetian, call'd Rodorigo.
    3380Oth. Rodorigo kill'd? and Cassio kill'd?
    AEmil. No, Cassio is not kill'd.
    Oth. Not Cassio kill'd? Then Murther's out of tune,
    And sweet Reuenge growes harsh.
    Des. O falsely, falsely murder'd.
    3385AEmil. Alas! what cry is that?
    Oth. That? What?
    AEmil. Out, and alas, that was my Ladies voice.
    Helpe, helpe hoa, helpe. Oh Ladie speake againe,
    Sweet Desdemona, oh sweet Mistris, speake.
    3390Des. A guiltlesse death, I dye.
    AEmil. Oh who hath done this deed?
    Des. No body: I my selfe, farewell:
    Commend me to my kinde Lord: oh farewell.
    Oth. Why, how should she be murdred?
    3395AEmil. Alas: who knowes?
    Oth. You heare her say her selfe, it was not I.
    AEmil. She said so: I must needs report the truth.
    Oth. She's like a Liar gone to burning hell,
    'Twas I that kill'd her.
    3400AEmil. Oh the more Angell she, and you the black-
    er Diuell.
    Oth. She turn'd to folly: and she was a whore.
    AEmil. Thou do'st bely her, and thou art a diuell.
    Oth. She was false as water.
    3405AEmil. Thou art rash as fire, to say
    That she was false. Oh she was heauenly true.
    Oth. Cassio did top her: Ask thy husband else.
    O, I were damn'd beneath all depth in hell:
    But that I did proceed vpon iust grounds
    3410To this extremity. Thy Husband knew it all.
    the Moore of Venice. 337
    AEmil. My Husband?
    Oth. Thy Husband.
    AEmil. That she was false to Wedlocke?
    Oth. I, with Cassio: had she bin true,
    3415If Heauen would make me such another world,
    Of one entyre and perfect Chrysolite,
    I'ld not haue sold her for it.
    AEmil. My Husband?
    Oth. I, 'twas he that told me on her first,
    3420An honest man he is, and hates the slime
    That stickes on filthy deeds.
    AEmil. My Husband?
    Oth. What needs this itterance, Woman?
    I say, thy Husband.
    3425AEmil. Oh Mistris,
    Villany hath made mockes with loue:
    My Husband say she was false?
    Oth. He, Woman;
    I say thy Husband: Do'st vnderstand the word?
    3430My Friend, thy Husband; honest, honest Iago.
    Aemil. If he say so, may his pernicious Soule
    Rot halfe a graine a day: he lyes to'th'heart,
    She was too fond of her most filthy Bargaine.
    Oth. Hah?
    3435AEmil. Do thy wotst:
    This deede of thine is no more worthy Heauen,
    Then thou was't worthy her.
    Oth. Peace, you were best.
    AEmil Thou hast not halfe that powre to do me harm,
    3440As I haue to be hurt. Oh Gull, oh dolt,
    As ignorant as durt: thou hast done a deed
    (I care not for thy Sword) Ile make thee known,
    Though I lost twenty liues. Helpe, helpe, hoa, helpe:
    The Moore hath kill'd my Mistris. Murther, murther.
    3445Enter Montano, Gratiano, and Iago.
    Mon. What is the matter? How now Generall?
    AEmil. Oh, are you come, Iago: you haue done well,
    That men must lay their Murthers on your necke.
    Gra. What is the matter?
    3450AEmil. Disproue this Villaine, if thou bee'st a man:
    He sayes, thou told'st him that his wife was false:
    I know thou did'st not: thou'rt not such a Villain.
    Speake, for my heart is full.
    Iago. I told him what I thought,
    3455And told no more
    Then what he found himselfe was apt, and true.
    AEmil. But did you euer tell him,
    She was false?
    Iago. I did.
    3460AEmil. You told a Lye an odious damned Lye:
    Vpon my Soule, a Lye; a wicked Lye.
    Shee false with Cassio?
    Did you say with Cassio?
    Iago. With Cassio, Mistris?
    3465Go too, charme your tongue.
    Emil. I will not charme my Tongue;
    I am bound to speake,
    My Mistris heere lyes murthered in her bed.
    All. Oh Heauens, forefend.
    3470Emil. And your reports haue set the Murder on.
    Othello. Nay stare not Masters,
    It is true indeede.
    Gra. 'Tis a strange Truth.
    Mont. O monstrous Acte.
    3475Emil. Villany, villany, villany:
    I thinke vpon't, I thinke: I smel't: O Villany:
    I thought so then: Ile kill my selfe for greefe.
    O villany! villany!
    Iago. What, are you mad?
    3480I charge you get you home.
    Emil. Good Gentlemen, let me haue leaue to speake:
    'Tis proper I obey him; but not now:
    Perchance Iago, I will ne're go home.
    Oth. Oh, oh, oh.
    3485Emil. Nay; lay thee downe, and roare:
    For thou hast kill'd the sweetest innocent,
    That ere did lift vp eye.
    Oth. Oh she was fowle!
    I scarse did know you Vnkle, there lies your Neece,
    3490Whose breath (indeed) these hands haue newly stopp'd:
    I know this acte shewes horrible and grim.
    Gra. Poore Desdemon:
    I am glad thy Father's dead,
    Thy Match was mortall to him: and pure greefe
    3495Shore his old thred in twaine. Did he liue now,
    This sight would make him do a desperate turne:
    Yea, curse his better Angell from his side,
    And fall to Reprobance.
    Oth. 'Tis pittifull: but yet Iago knowes
    3500That she with Cassio, hath the Act of shame
    A thousand times committed. Cassio confest it,
    And she did gratifie his amorous workes
    With that Recognizance and pledge of Loue
    Which I first gaue her: I saw it in his hand:
    3505It was a Handkerchiefe, an Antique Token
    My Father gaue my Mother.
    Emil. Oh Heauen! oh
    heauenly Powres!
    Iago. Come, hold your peace.
    Emil. 'Twill out, 'twill out. I peace?
    3510No, I will speake as liberall as the North;
    Let Heauen, and Men, and Diuels, let them all,
    All, all, crie shame against me, yet Ile speake.
    Iago. Be wise, and get you home.
    Emil. I will not.
    3515Gra. Fye, your Sword vpon a Woman.
    Emil. Oh thou dull Moore,
    That Handkerchiefe thou speak'st of
    I found by Fortune, and did giue my Husband:
    For often, with a solemne earnestnesse,
    3520(More then indeed belong'd to such a Trifle)
    He begg'd of me, to steale't.
    Iago. Villanous Whore.
    Emil. She giue it Cassio? No, alas I found it,
    And I did giu't my Husband.
    3525Iago. Filth, thou lyest.
    Emil. By Heauen I do not, I do not Gentlemen:
    Oh murd'rous Coxcombe, what should such a Foole
    Do with so good a wife?
    Oth. Are there no stones in Heauen,
    3530But what serues for the Thunder?
    Precious Villaine.
    Gra. The woman falles:
    Sure he hath kill'd his Wife.
    Emil. I, I: oh lay me by my Mistris side.
    3535Gra. Hee's gone, but his wife's kill'd.
    Mon. 'Tis a notorious Villain: take you this weapon
    Which I haue recouer'd from the Moore:
    Come guard the doore without, let him not passe,
    But kill him rather. Ile after that same villaine,
    3540For 'tis a damned Slaue. Exit.
    vv5 Oth.
    338 The Tragedie of Othello
    Oth. I am not valiant neither:
    But euery Punie whipster gets my Sword.
    But why should Honor out-liue Honesty?
    Let it go all.
    3545AEmil. What did thy Song boad Lady?
    Hearke, canst thou heare me? I will play the Swan,
    And dye in Musicke: Willough, Willough, Willough.
    Moore, she was chaste: She lou'd thee, cruell Moore,
    So come my Soule to blisse, as I speake true:
    3550So speaking as I thinke, alas, I dye.
    Oth. I haue another weapon in this Chamber,
    It was a Sword of Spaine, the Ice brookes temper:
    Oh heere it is: Vnkle I must come forth.
    Gra. If thou attempt it, it will cost thee deere;
    3555Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.
    Oth. Looke in vpon me then, and speake with me,
    Or naked as I am I will assault thee.
    Gra. What is the matter?
    Othel. Behold, I haue a weapon:
    3560A better neuer did it selfe sustaine
    Vpon a Soldiers Thigh. I haue seene the day,
    That with this little Arme, and this good Sword,
    I haue made my way through more impediments
    Then twenty times your stop. But (oh vaine boast)
    3565Who can controll his Fate? 'Tis not so now.
    Be not affraid, though you do see me weapon'd:
    Heere is my iournies end, heere is my butt
    And verie Sea-marke of my vtmost Saile.
    Do you go backe dismaid? 'Tis a lost feare:
    3570Man but a Rush against Othello's brest,
    And he retires. Where should Othello go?
    Now: how dost thou looke now? Oh ill-Starr'd wench,
    Pale as thy Smocke: when we shall meete at compt,
    This looke of thine will hurle my Soule from Heauen,
    3575And Fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my Girle?
    Euen like thy Chastity. O cursed, cursed Slaue!
    Whip me ye Diuels,
    From the possession of this Heauenly sight:
    Blow me about in windes, roast me in Sulphure,
    3580Wash me in steepe-downe gulfes of Liquid fire.
    Oh Desdemon! dead Desdemon: dead. Oh, oh!
    Enter Lodouico, Cassio, Montano, and Iago,
    with Officers.
    Lod. Where is this rash, and most vnfortunate man?
    3585Oth. That's he that was Othello: heere I am.
    Lod. Where is that Viper?
    Bring the Villaine forth.
    Oth. I look down towards his feet; but that's a Fable,
    If that thou bee'st a Diuell, I cannot kill thee.
    3590Lod. Wrench his Sword from him.
    Iago. I bleed Sir, but not kill'd.
    Othel. I am not sorry neither, Il'd haue thee liue:
    For in my sense, 'tis happinesse to die.
    Lod. Oh thou Othello, that was once so good,
    3595Falne in the practise of a cursed Slaue,
    What shall be saide to thee.
    Oth. Why any thing:
    An honourable Murderer, if you will:
    For nought I did in hate, but all in Honour.
    3600Lod. This wretch hath part confest his Villany:
    Did you and he consent in Cassio's death.
    Oth. I.
    Cas. Deere Generall, I neuer gaue you cause.
    Oth. I do beleeue it, and I aske your pardon:
    3605Will you, I pray, demand that demy-Diuell,
    Why he hath thus ensnar'd my Soule and Body.
    Iag. Demand me nothing: what you know, you know:
    From this time forth, I neuer will speake word.
    Lod. What? not to pray?
    3610Gra. Torments will ope your lips.
    Oth. Well, thou dost best.
    Lod. Sir,
    You shall vnderstand what hath befalne,
    (Which, as I thinke, you know not) heere is a Letter
    3615Found in the pocket of the slaine Rodorigo,
    And heere another, the one of them imports
    The death of Cassio, to be vndertooke
    By Rodorigo.
    Oth. O Villaine!
    3620Cassio. Most Heathenish, and most grosse.
    Lod. Now, heere's another discontented paper
    Found in his pocket too: and this it seemes
    Rodorigo meant t'haue sent this damned villaine:
    But that (belike) Iago in the interim
    3625Came in, and satisfi'd him.
    Oth. Oh thou pernitious Caitiffe;
    How came you (Cassio) by that Handkerchiefe
    That was my wiues?
    Cassio. I found it in my Chamber:
    3630And he himselfe confest it but euen now,
    That there he dropt it for a speciall purpose,
    Which wrought to his desire.
    Othel. O Foole, foole, foole!
    Cassio. There is besides, in Rodorigo's Letter,
    3635How he vpbraides Iago, that he made him
    Braue me vpon the Watch: whereon it came
    That I was cast: and euen but now he spake
    (After long seeming dead) Iago hurt him,
    Iago set him on.
    3640Lod. You must forsake this roome, and go with vs:
    Your Power, and your Command is taken off,
    And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this Slaue,
    If there be any cunning Crueltie,
    That can torment him much, and hold him long,
    3645It shall be his. You shall close Prisoner rest,
    Till that the Nature of your fault be knowne
    To the Venetian State. Come, bring away.
    Oth. Soft you; a word or two before you goe:
    I haue done the State some seruice, and they know't:
    3650No more of that. I pray you in your Letters,
    When you shall these vnluckie deeds relate,
    Speake of me, as I am. Nothing extenuate,
    Nor set downe ought in malice.
    Then must you speake,
    3655Of one that lou'd not wisely, but too well:
    Of one, not easily Iealious, but being wrought,
    Perplexed in the extreame: Of one, whose hand
    (Like the base Iudean) threw a Pearle away
    Richer then all his Tribe: Of one, whose subdu'd Eyes,
    3660Albeit vn-vsed to the melting moode,
    Drops teares as fast as the Arabian Trees
    Their Medicinable gumme. Set you downe this:
    And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
    Where a malignant, and a Turbond-Turke
    3665Beate a Venetian, and traduc'd the State,
    I tooke by th'throat the circumcised Dogge,
    And smoate him, thus.
    Lod. Oh bloody period.
    Gra. All that is spoke, is marr'd.
    3670Oth. I kist thee, ere I kill'd thee: No way but this,
    Killing my selfe, to dye vpon a kisse. Dyes
    the Moore of Venice. 339
    Cas. This did I feare, but thought he had no weapon:
    For he was great of heart.
    Lod. Oh Sparton Dogge:
    3675More fell then Anguish, Hunger, or the Sea:
    Looke on the Tragicke Loading of this bed:
    This is thy worke:
    The Obiect poysons Sight,
    Let it be hid. Gratiano, keepe the house,
    3680And seize vpon the Fortunes of the Moore,
    For they succeede on you. To you, Lord Gouernor,
    Remaines the Censure of this hellish villaine:
    The Time, the Place, the Torture, oh inforce it:
    My selfe will straight aboord, and to the State,
    3685This heauie Act, with heauie heart relate. Exeunt.