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  • Title: Othello (Quarto 1, 1622)
  • 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 (Quarto 1, 1622)

    1110Enter Othello, Cassio, and Desdemona.
    Oth. Good Michael, looke you to the guard to night,
    Lets teach our selues the honourable stoppe,
    Not to out sport discretion.
    Cas. Iago hath directed what to doe:
    1115But notwithstanding with my personall eye
    Will I looke to it.
    Oth. Iago is most honest,
    Michael good night, to morrow with your earliest,
    Let me haue speech with you, come my deare loue,
    1120The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue,
    The profits yet to come twixt me and you,
    Good night. Exit Othello and Desdemona.
    Enter Iago.
    Cas. Welcome Iago, we must to the watch.
    1125Iag. Not this houre Leiutenant, tis not yet ten aclock: our Ge-
    nerall cast vs thus early for the loue of his Desdemena. who let vs
    not therefore blame, hee hath not yet made wanton the night with
    her; and she is sport for Ioue.
    1130Cas. She is a most exquisite Lady.
    Iag. And I'le warrant her full of game.
    Cas. Indeede she is a most fresh and delicate creature.
    Iag. What an eye she has?
    Me thinkes it sounds a parly of prouocation.
    1135Cas. An inuiting eye, and yet me thinkes right moddest.
    Iag. And when she speakes, tis an alarme to loue.
    Cas. It is indeede perfection.
    1140Iag. Well, happinesse to their sheetes ---come Leiutenant, I
    haue a stope of Wine, and heere without are a brace of Cypres Gal-
    lants, that would faine haue a measure to the health of the blacke
    Cas. Not to night, good Iago; I haue very poore and vnhappy
    1145braines for drinking: I could well wish courtesie would inuent some
    other custome of entertainement.
    Iag. O they are our friends, ---but one cup: I'le drink for you.
    1150Cas. I ha drunke but one cup to night, and that was craftily qua-
    lified to, and behold what innouation it makes here: I am vnfor-
    tunate in the infirmity, and dare not taske my weakenesse with
    any more.
    Iag. What man, tis a night of Reuells, the Gallants desire it.
    Cas. Where are they?
    Iag. Here at the dore, I pray you call them in.
    Cas. I'le do't, but it dislikes me. Exit.
    Iag. If I can fasten but one cup vpon him,
    1160With that which he hath drunke to night already,
    Hee'll be as full of quarrell and offence,
    As my young mistris dog: ---Now my sicke foole Roderigo,
    Whom loue has turn'd almost the wrong side outward,
    1165To Desdemona, hath to night caroust
    Potations pottle deepe, and hee's to watch
    Three lads of Cypres, noble swelling spirits,
    That hold their honour, in a wary distance,
    The very Elements of this warlike Isle,
    1170Haue I to night flustred with flowing cups,
    And the watch too: now mongst this flocke of drunkards,
    I am to put our Cassio in some action,
    That may offend the Isle; Enter Montanio, Cassio, and others.
    But here they come:
    If consequence doe but approoue my dreame,
    My boate sailes freely, both with winde and streame.
    Cas. Fore God they haue giuen me a rouse already.
    Mon. Good faith a little one, not past a pint,
    As I am a souldier. Iag. Some wine ho:
    And let me the Cannikin clinke, clinke,
    And let me the Cannikin clinke, clinke:
    A Souldier's a man, a life's but a span,
    1185Why then let a souldier drinke. ---Some wine boyes,
    Cas. Fore God an excellent song.
    Iag. I learn'd it in England, where indeed they are most potent
    in potting: your Dane, your Germaine, and your swag-bellied Hol-
    1190lander; drinke ho, are nothing to your English.
    Cas. Is your English man so expert in his drinking?
    Iag. Why he drinkes you with facillity, your Dane dead drunke:
    1195he sweats not to ouerthrow your Almaine; he giues your Hollander
    a vomit, ere the next pottle can be fild.
    Cas. To the health of our Generall.
    Mon. I am for it Leiutenant, and I will doe you iustice.
    1200Iag. O sweete England, ---King Stephen was a worthy peere,
    His breeches cost him but a crowne,
    He held'em sixpence all too deere,
    With that he cald the Taylor lowne,
    1205He was a wight of high renowne,
    And thou art but of low degree,
    Tis pride that puls the Countrey downe,
    Then take thine owd cloke about thee. ---Some wine ho.
    1210Cas. Fore God this is a more exquisite song then the other.
    Iag. Will you hear't agen?
    Cas. No, for I hold him vnworthy of his place, that does those
    things: well, God's aboue all, and there bee soules that must bee
    Iag. It is true good Leiutenant.
    Cas. For mine own part, no offence to the Generall, nor any man
    of quality, I hope to be saued.
    1220Iag. And so doe I Leiutenant.
    Cas. I, but by your leaue, not before me; the Leiutenant is to be
    saued before the Ancient. Let's ha no more of this, let's to our af-
    faires: God forgiue vs our sins: Gentlemen, let's looke to our busi-
    nesse; Doe not thinke Gentlemen I am drunke, this is my Ancient,
    1225this is my right hand, and this is my left hand: I am not drunke now,
    I can stand well enough, and speake well enough.
    All. Excellent well.
    Cas. Very well then: you must not thinke, that I am drunke. Ex.
    Mon. To the plotforme maisters. Come, let's set the watch.
    Iag. You see this fellow that is gone before,
    He is a Souldier fit to stand by Caesar,
    1235And giue direction: and doe but see his vice,
    Tis to his vertue, a iust equinox,
    The one as long as th'other: tis pitty of him,
    I feare the trust Othello put him in,
    On some odde time of his infirmity,
    1240Will shake this Island.
    Mon. But is he often thus.
    Iag. Tis euermore the Prologue to his sleepe:
    Hee'le watch the horolodge a double set,
    If drinke rocke not his cradle.
    1245Mon. Twere well the Generall were put in minde of it,
    Perhaps he sees it not, or his good nature,
    Praises the vertues that appeares in Cassio,
    And looke not on his euills: is not this true?
    Iag. How now Roderigo, Enter Roderigo.
    I pray you after the Leiutenant, goe. Exit Rod.
    Mon. And tis great pitty that the noble Moore
    Should hazard such a place, as his owne second,
    1255With one of an ingraft infirmity:
    It were an honest action to say so to the Moore.
    Iag. Nor I, for this faire Island:
    I doe loue Cassio well, and would doe much, Helpe, helpe, within.
    1260To cure him of this euill: but harke, what noyse.
    Enter Cassi}o,driuing in Roderigo.
    Cas. Zouns, you rogue, you rascall.
    Mon. What's the matter Leiutenant?
    Cas. A knaue, teach mee my duty: but I'le beate the knaue into
    1265a wicker bottle.
    Rod. Beate me?
    Cas. Doest thou prate rogue?
    Mon. Good Leiutenant; pray sir hold your hand.
    1270Cas. Let me goe sir, or ile knocke you ore the mazzard.
    Mon. Come, come, you are drunke.
    Cas. Drunke? they fight.
    Iag. Away I say, goe out and cry a muteny. A bell rung.
    1275Nay good Leiutenant: godswill Gentlemen,
    Helpe ho, Leiutenant: Sir Montanio, sir,
    Helpe maisters, here's a goodly watch indeed,
    Who's that that rings the bell? Diablo --- ho,
    The Towne will rise, godswill Leiutenant, hold,
    1280You will be sham'd for euer.
    Enter Othello, and Gentlemen with weapons.
    Oth. What is the matter here?
    Mon. Zouns, I bleed still, I am hurt, to the death:
    Oth. Hold, for your liues.
    1285Iag. Hold, hold Leiutenant, sir Montanio, Gentlemen,
    Haue you forgot all place of sence, and duty:
    Hold, the Generall speakes to you; hold, hold, for shame.
    Oth. Why how now ho, from whence arises this?
    Are we turn'd Turkes, and to our selues doe that,
    1290Which Heauen has forbid the Ottamites:
    For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawle;
    He that stirres next, to carue forth his owne rage,
    Holds his soule light, he dies vpon his motion;
    Silence that dreadfull bell, it frights the Isle
    1295From her propriety: what's the matter masters?
    Honest Iago, that lookes dead with grieuing,
    Speake, who began this, on thy loue I charge thee.
    Iag. I doe not know, friends all but now, euen now,
    In quarter, and in termes, like bride and groome,
    1300Deuesting them to bed, and then but now,
    As if some plannet had vnwitted men,
    Swords out, and tilting one at others breast,
    In opposition bloody. I cannot speake
    Any beginning to this peeuish odds;
    1305And would in action glorious, I had lost
    These legges, that brought me to a part of it.
    Oth. How came it Michael, you were thus forgot?
    Cas. I pray you pardon me, I cannot speake.
    Oth. Worthy Montanio, you were wont to be ciuill,
    1310The grauity and stilnesse of your youth,
    The world hath noted, and your name is great,
    In men 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't?
    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 doe know, nor know I ought
    1320By me, that's sed or done amisse this night,
    Vnlesse selfe-charity be sometime a vice,
    And to defend our selues it be a sinne,
    When violence assayles vs.
    Oth. Now by heauen
    1325My blood begins my safer guides to rule,
    And passion hauing my best iudgement coold,
    Assayes to leade the way. Zouns, if I stirre,
    Or doe 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 approou'd in this offence,
    Tho he had twin'd with me, both at a birth,
    Shall loose me; what, in a Towne of warre,
    Yet wild, the peoples hearts brim full of feare,
    1335To mannage priuate and domesticke quarrels,
    In night, and on the Court and guard of safety?
    Tis monstrous. Iago, who began?
    Mon. If partiality affin'd, or league in office,
    Thou doest deliuer, more or lesse then truth,
    1340Thou art no souldier.
    Iag. Touch me not so neere,
    I had rather ha this tongue out from my mouth,
    Then it should doe offence to Michael Cassio:
    Yet I perswade my selfe to speake the truth,
    1345Shall nothing wrong him. Thus it is Generall:
    Montanio 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
    1350Steps in to Cassio, and intreates his pause;
    My selfe the crying fellow did pursue,
    Lest by his clamour, as it so fell out,
    The Towne might fall in fright: he swift of foote,
    Out ran my purpose: and I returnd the rather,
    1355For that I heard the clinke and fall of swords:
    And Cassio high in oaths, which till to night,
    I ne're might see before: when I came backe,
    For this was briefe, I found them close together,
    At blow and thrust, euen as agen they were,
    1360When you your selfe did part them.
    More of this matter can I not report,
    But men are men, the best sometimes forget;
    Tho 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 indignity,
    Which patience could not passe.
    Oth. I know Iago,
    Thy honesty and loue doth mince this matter,
    1370Making it light to Cassio: Cassio, I loue thee,
    But neuer more be Officer of mine. Enter Desdemona, with others.
    Looke if my Gentle loue be not raisde vp:
    I'le make thee an example.
    1375Desd. What is the matter?
    Oth. All's well now sweeting:
    Come away to bed: sir, for your hurts,
    My selfe will be your surgeon; leade him off;
    Iago, looke with care about the Towne,
    1380And silence those, whom this vile brawle distracted.
    Come Desdemona: tis the Souldiers life,
    To haue their balmy slumbers wak'd with strife,
    Iag, What are you hurt Leiutenant?
    1383.1Exit Moore, Desdemona, and attendants.
    Cas. I, past all surgery.
    1385Iag. Mary God forbid.
    Cas. Reputation, reputation, I ha lost my reputation:
    I ha lost the immortall part sir of my selfe,
    And what remaines is beastiall, my reputation,
    Iago, my reputation.
    1390Iag. As I am an honest man, I thought you had receiu'd some
    bodily wound, there is more offence in that, then in Reputation: re-
    putation is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit,
    and lost without deseruing, You haue lost no reputation at all, vn-
    lesse you repute your selfe such a loser; what man, there are wayes
    to recouer the Generall agen: you are but now cast in his moode, a
    punishment more in pollicy, then in malice, euen so, as one would
    beate his offencelesse dog, to affright an imperious Lyon: sue to
    1400him againe, and hees yours.
    Cas. I will rather sue to be despis'd, then to deceiue so good a
    Commander, with so light, so drunken, and indiscreete an Officer:
    1405O thou inuisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to bee knowne
    by, let vs call thee Diuell.
    Iag. What was he, that you followed with your sword?
    What had he done to you?
    1410Cas. I know not.
    Iag. Ist possible?
    Cas. I remember a masse of things, but nothing distinctly; a
    quarrell, but nothing wherefore. O God, that men should put an
    enemy in there mouthes, to steale away there braines; that wee
    1415should with ioy, Reuell, pleasure, and applause, transforme our
    selues into beasts.
    Iag. Why, but you are now well enough: how came you thus
    Cas. It hath pleasde the Diuell drunkennesse, to giue place to
    1420the Diuell wrath; one vnperfectnesse, shewes me another, to make
    me frankely despise my selfe.
    Iag. Come, you are too seuere a morraler; as the time, the place,
    the condition of this Countrey stands, I could heartily wish, this
    had not so befalne; but since it is as it is, mend it, for your own good.
    Cas. I will aske him for my place againe, hee shall tell me I am a
    drunkard: had I as many mouthes as Hydra, such an answer would
    stop em all: to be now a sensible man, by and by a foole, and pre-
    sently a beast. Euery vnordinate cup is vnblest, and the ingredience
    is a diuell.
    Iag. Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be
    well vs'd; exclaime no more against it; and good Leiutenant, I
    thinke you thinke I loue you.
    Cas. I haue well approou'd it sir, ---I drunke?
    Iag. You, or any man liuing may bee drunke at some time: I'le
    tell you what you shall do, --our Generals wife is now the Gene-
    rall; I may say so in this respect, for that he has deuoted and giuen vp
    1440himselfe to the contemplation, marke and deuotement of her parts
    and graces. Confesse your selfe freely to her, importune her, shee'll
    helpe to put you in your place againe: she is so free, so kind, so apt,
    so blessed a disposition, that shee holds it a vice in her goodnesse,
    1445not to doe more then shee is requested. This braule betweene
    you and her husband, intreate her to splinter, and my fortunes
    against any lay, worth naming, this cracke of your loue
    shall grow stronger then twas before.
    1450Cas. You aduise me well.
    Iag. I protest in the sincerity of loue and honest kindnesse.
    Cas. I thinke it freely, and betimes in the morning, will I be-
    seech the vertuous Desdemona, to vndertake for me; I am desperate
    1455of my fortunes, if they checke me here.
    Iag. You are in the right:
    Good night Leiutenant, I must to the watch.
    Cas. Good night honest Iago. Exit.
    1460Iag. And what's he then, that sayes I play the villaine,
    When this aduice is free I giue, and honest,
    Proball to thinking, and indeed the course,
    To win the Moore agen? For tis most easie
    The inclining Desdemona to subdue,
    In any honest suite, she's fram'd as fruitfull,
    As the free Elements: and then for her
    To win the Moore. wer't to renounce his baptisme,
    1470All seales and symbols of redeemed sin,
    His soule is so infetter'd to her loue,
    That she may make, vnmake, doe 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 parrallell course.
    Directly to his good: diuinity of hell,
    When diuells will their blackest sins put on,
    They doe suggest at first with heauenly shewes,
    As I doe now: for while this honest foole
    1480Plyes Desdemona to repaire his fortunes,
    And she for him, pleades strongly to the Moore:
    I'le poure this pestilence into his eare,
    That she repeales him for her bodyes lust;
    And by how much she striues to doe him good,
    1485She shall vndoe her credit with the Moore,
    So will I turne her vertue into pitch,
    And out of her owne goodnesse make the net
    That shall enmesh em all: Enter Roderigo.
    How now Roderigo?
    Rod. I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound that hunts, but
    one that filles vp the cry: my money is almost spent, I ha bin to night
    exceedingly well cudgeld: I thinke the issue will be, I shall haue so
    1495much experience for my paines, as that comes to, and no money at
    all, and with that wit returne to Venice.
    Iag. How poore are they, that ha not patience?
    What wound did euer heale, but by degrees?
    1500Thou knowest we worke by wit, and not by wichcraft,
    And wit depends on dilatory time.
    Do'st not goe well? Cassio has beaten thee,
    And thou, by that small hurt, hast casheird Cassio,
    Tho other things grow faire against the sun,
    1505But fruites that blosome first, will first be ripe,
    Content thy selfe awhile; bi'the masse tis morning;
    Pleasure, and action, make the houres seeme short:
    Retire thee, goe where thou art bill ted,
    Away I say, thou shalt know more hereafter:
    1510Nay get thee gon. Some things are to be done,
    My wife must moue for Cassio to her mistris,
    I'le set her on.
    My selfe awhile, to draw the Moore apart,
    And bring him iumpe, when he may Cassio finde,
    1515Soliciting his wife: I, that's the way,
    Dull not deuise by coldnesse and delay.
    1516.1 Exeunt.