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Give it an understanding, but no tongue.

      — Hamlet, Act I Scene 2

The Tragedy of Othello, Moor of Venice

Act IV

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Scene 1. Cyprus. Before the castle.

Scene 2. A room in the castle.

Scene 3. Another room in the castle.

---
       

Act IV, Scene 1

Cyprus. Before the castle.

      next scene .
---

[Enter OTHELLO and IAGO]

  • Iago. Will you think so?
  • Iago. What,
    To kiss in private?
  • Iago. Or to be naked with her friend in bed
    An hour or more, not meaning any harm? 2415
  • Othello. Naked in bed, Iago, and not mean harm!
    It is hypocrisy against the devil:
    They that mean virtuously, and yet do so,
    The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt heaven.
  • Iago. So they do nothing, 'tis a venial slip: 2420
    But if I give my wife a handkerchief,—
  • Iago. Why, then, 'tis hers, my lord; and, being hers,
    She may, I think, bestow't on any man.
  • Othello. She is protectress of her honour too: 2425
    May she give that?
  • Iago. Her honour is an essence that's not seen;
    They have it very oft that have it not:
    But, for the handkerchief,—
  • Othello. By heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it. 2430
    Thou said'st, it comes o'er my memory,
    As doth the raven o'er the infected house,
    Boding to all—he had my handkerchief.
  • Iago. Ay, what of that?
  • Othello. That's not so good now. 2435
  • Iago. What,
    If I had said I had seen him do you wrong?
    Or heard him say,—as knaves be such abroad,
    Who having, by their own importunate suit,
    Or voluntary dotage of some mistress, 2440
    Convinced or supplied them, cannot choose
    But they must blab—
  • Iago. He hath, my lord; but be you well assured,
    No more than he'll unswear. 2445
  • Iago. 'Faith, that he did—I know not what he did.
  • Iago. With her, on her; what you will.
  • Othello. Lie with her! lie on her! We say lie on her, when
    they belie her. Lie with her! that's fulsome.
    —Handkerchief—confessions—handkerchief!—To
    confess, and be hanged for his labour;—first, to be 2455
    hanged, and then to confess.—I tremble at it.
    Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing
    passion without some instruction. It is not words
    that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips.
    —Is't possible?—Confess—handkerchief!—O devil!— 2460

[Falls in a trance]

  • Iago. Work on,
    My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught;
    And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,
    All guiltless, meet reproach. What, ho! my lord! 2465
    My lord, I say! Othello!
    [Enter CASSIO]
    How now, Cassio!
  • Iago. My lord is fall'n into an epilepsy: 2470
    This is his second fit; he had one yesterday.
  • Cassio. Rub him about the temples.
  • Iago. No, forbear;
    The lethargy must have his quiet course:
    If not, he foams at mouth and by and by 2475
    Breaks out to savage madness. Look he stirs:
    Do you withdraw yourself a little while,
    He will recover straight: when he is gone,
    I would on great occasion speak with you.
    [Exit CASSIO] 2480
    How is it, general? have you not hurt your head?
  • Iago. I mock you! no, by heaven.
    Would you would bear your fortune like a man!
  • Othello. A horned man's a monster and a beast. 2485
  • Iago. There's many a beast then in a populous city,
    And many a civil monster.
  • Iago. Good sir, be a man;
    Think every bearded fellow that's but yoked 2490
    May draw with you: there's millions now alive
    That nightly lie in those unproper beds
    Which they dare swear peculiar: your case is better.
    O, 'tis the spite of hell, the fiend's arch-mock,
    To lip a wanton in a secure couch, 2495
    And to suppose her chaste! No, let me know;
    And knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.
  • Othello. O, thou art wise; 'tis certain.
  • Iago. Stand you awhile apart;
    Confine yourself but in a patient list. 2500
    Whilst you were here o'erwhelmed with your grief—
    A passion most unsuiting such a man—
    Cassio came hither: I shifted him away,
    And laid good 'scuse upon your ecstasy,
    Bade him anon return and here speak with me; 2505
    The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,
    And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns,
    That dwell in every region of his face;
    For I will make him tell the tale anew,
    Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when 2510
    He hath, and is again to cope your wife:
    I say, but mark his gesture. Marry, patience;
    Or I shall say you are all in all in spleen,
    And nothing of a man.
  • Othello. Dost thou hear, Iago? 2515
    I will be found most cunning in my patience;
    But—dost thou hear?—most bloody.
  • Iago. That's not amiss;
    But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?
    [OTHELLO retires] 2520
    Now will I question Cassio of Bianca,
    A housewife that by selling her desires
    Buys herself bread and clothes: it is a creature
    That dotes on Cassio; as 'tis the strumpet's plague
    To beguile many and be beguiled by one: 2525
    He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain
    From the excess of laughter. Here he comes:
    [Re-enter CASSIO]
    As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;
    And his unbookish jealousy must construe 2530
    Poor Cassio's smiles, gestures and light behavior,
    Quite in the wrong. How do you now, lieutenant?
  • Cassio. The worser that you give me the addition
    Whose want even kills me.
  • Iago. Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on't. 2535
    [Speaking lower]
    Now, if this suit lay in Bianco's power,
    How quickly should you speed!
  • Othello. Look, how he laughs already! 2540
  • Iago. I never knew woman love man so.
  • Cassio. Alas, poor rogue! I think, i' faith, she loves me.
  • Othello. Now he denies it faintly, and laughs it out.
  • Iago. Do you hear, Cassio?
  • Othello. Now he importunes him 2545
    To tell it o'er: go to; well said, well said.
  • Iago. She gives it out that you shall marry hey:
    Do you intend it?
  • Othello. Do you triumph, Roman? do you triumph? 2550
  • Cassio. I marry her! what? a customer! Prithee, bear some
    charity to my wit: do not think it so unwholesome.
    Ha, ha, ha!
  • Othello. So, so, so, so: they laugh that win.
  • Iago. 'Faith, the cry goes that you shall marry her. 2555
  • Iago. I am a very villain else.
  • Othello. Have you scored me? Well.
  • Cassio. This is the monkey's own giving out: she is
    persuaded I will marry her, out of her own love and 2560
    flattery, not out of my promise.
  • Othello. Iago beckons me; now he begins the story.
  • Cassio. She was here even now; she haunts me in every place.
    I was the other day talking on the sea-bank with
    certain Venetians; and thither comes the bauble, 2565
    and, by this hand, she falls me thus about my neck—
  • Othello. Crying 'O dear Cassio!' as it were: his gesture
    imports it.
  • Cassio. So hangs, and lolls, and weeps upon me; so hales,
    and pulls me: ha, ha, ha! 2570
  • Othello. Now he tells how she plucked him to my chamber. O,
    I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall
    throw it to.
  • Cassio. Well, I must leave her company.
  • Iago. Before me! look, where she comes. 2575
  • Cassio. 'Tis such another fitchew! marry a perfumed one.
    [Enter BIANCA]
    What do you mean by this haunting of me?
  • Bianca. Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did you
    mean by that same handkerchief you gave me even now? 2580
    I was a fine fool to take it. I must take out the
    work?—A likely piece of work, that you should find
    it in your chamber, and not know who left it there!
    This is some minx's token, and I must take out the
    work? There; give it your hobby-horse: wheresoever 2585
    you had it, I'll take out no work on't.
  • Cassio. How now, my sweet Bianca! how now! how now!
  • Othello. By heaven, that should be my handkerchief!
  • Bianca. An you'll come to supper to-night, you may; an you
    will not, come when you are next prepared for. 2590

[Exit]

  • Iago. After her, after her.
  • Cassio. 'Faith, I must; she'll rail in the street else.
  • Iago. Will you sup there?
  • Cassio. 'Faith, I intend so. 2595
  • Iago. Well, I may chance to see you; for I would very fain
    speak with you.
  • Cassio. Prithee, come; will you?
  • Iago. Go to; say no more.

[Exit CASSIO]

  • Othello. [Advancing] How shall I murder him, Iago?
  • Iago. Did you perceive how he laughed at his vice?
  • Iago. And did you see the handkerchief?
  • Iago. Yours by this hand: and to see how he prizes the
    foolish woman your wife! she gave it him, and he
    hath given it his whore.
  • Othello. I would have him nine years a-killing.
    A fine woman! a fair woman! a sweet woman! 2610
  • Iago. Nay, you must forget that.
  • Othello. Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damned to-night;
    for she shall not live: no, my heart is turned to
    stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand. O, the
    world hath not a sweeter creature: she might lie by 2615
    an emperor's side and command him tasks.
  • Iago. Nay, that's not your way.
  • Othello. Hang her! I do but say what she is: so delicate
    with her needle: an admirable musician: O! she
    will sing the savageness out of a bear: of so high 2620
    and plenteous wit and invention:—
  • Iago. She's the worse for all this.
  • Othello. O, a thousand thousand times: and then, of so
    gentle a condition!
  • Iago. Ay, too gentle. 2625
  • Othello. Nay, that's certain: but yet the pity of it, Iago!
    O Iago, the pity of it, Iago!
  • Iago. If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her
    patent to offend; for, if it touch not you, it comes
    near nobody. 2630
  • Othello. I will chop her into messes: cuckold me!
  • Iago. O, 'tis foul in her.
  • Iago. That's fouler.
  • Othello. Get me some poison, Iago; this night: I'll not 2635
    expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty
    unprovide my mind again: this night, Iago.
  • Iago. Do it not with poison, strangle her in her bed, even
    the bed she hath contaminated.
  • Othello. Good, good: the justice of it pleases: very good. 2640
  • Iago. And for Cassio, let me be his undertaker: you
    shall hear more by midnight.
  • Othello. Excellent good.
    [A trumpet within]
    What trumpet is that same? 2645
  • Iago. Something from Venice, sure. 'Tis Lodovico
    Come from the duke: and, see, your wife is with him.

[Enter LODOVICO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants]

  • Othello. With all my heart, sir. 2650
  • Lodovico. The duke and senators of Venice greet you.

[Gives him a letter]

  • Othello. I kiss the instrument of their pleasures.

[Opens the letter, and reads]

  • Desdemona. And what's the news, good cousin Lodovico? 2655
  • Iago. I am very glad to see you, signior
    Welcome to Cyprus.
  • Lodovico. I thank you. How does Lieutenant Cassio?
  • Desdemona. Cousin, there's fall'n between him and my lord 2660
    An unkind breach: but you shall make all well.
  • Othello. [Reads] 'This fail you not to do, as you will—'
  • Lodovico. He did not call; he's busy in the paper. 2665
    Is there division 'twixt my lord and Cassio?
  • Desdemona. A most unhappy one: I would do much
    To atone them, for the love I bear to Cassio.
  • Lodovico. May be the letter moved him;
    For, as I think, they do command him home,
    Deputing Cassio in his government. 2675
  • Othello. I am glad to see you mad.
  • Lodovico. My lord, this would not be believed in Venice,
    Though I should swear I saw't: 'tis very much:
    Make her amends; she weeps. 2685
  • Othello. O devil, devil!
    If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,
    Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.
    Out of my sight!
  • Desdemona. I will not stay to offend you. 2690

[Going]

  • Lodovico. Truly, an obedient lady:
    I do beseech your lordship, call her back.
  • Othello. What would you with her, sir?
  • Othello. Ay; you did wish that I would make her turn:
    Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on,
    And turn again; and she can weep, sir, weep; 2700
    And she's obedient, as you say, obedient,
    Very obedient. Proceed you in your tears.
    Concerning this, sir,—O well-painted passion!—
    I am commanded home. Get you away;
    I'll send for you anon. Sir, I obey the mandate, 2705
    And will return to Venice. Hence, avaunt!
    [Exit DESDEMONA]
    Cassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight,
    I do entreat that we may sup together:
    You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.—Goats and monkeys! 2710

[Exit]

  • Lodovico. Is this the noble Moor whom our full senate
    Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature
    Whom passion could not shake? whose solid virtue
    The shot of accident, nor dart of chance, 2715
    Could neither graze nor pierce?
  • Iago. He is much changed.
  • Lodovico. Are his wits safe? is he not light of brain?
  • Iago. He's that he is: I may not breathe my censure
    What he might be: if what he might he is not, 2720
    I would to heaven he were!
  • Iago. 'Faith, that was not so well; yet would I knew
    That stroke would prove the worst!
  • Lodovico. Is it his use? 2725
    Or did the letters work upon his blood,
    And new-create this fault?
  • Iago. Alas, alas!
    It is not honesty in me to speak
    What I have seen and known. You shall observe him, 2730
    And his own courses will denote him so
    That I may save my speech: do but go after,
    And mark how he continues.
  • Lodovico. I am sorry that I am deceived in him.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 2

A room in the castle.

      next scene .
---

[Enter OTHELLO and EMILIA]

  • Othello. You have seen nothing then?
  • Emilia. Nor ever heard, nor ever did suspect.
  • Othello. Yes, you have seen Cassio and she together.
  • Emilia. But then I saw no harm, and then I heard 2740
    Each syllable that breath made up between them.
  • Othello. What, did they never whisper?
  • Othello. Nor send you out o' the way?
  • Othello. To fetch her fan, her gloves, her mask, nor nothing?
  • Emilia. I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest,
    Lay down my soul at stake: if you think other, 2750
    Remove your thought; it doth abuse your bosom.
    If any wretch have put this in your head,
    Let heaven requite it with the serpent's curse!
    For, if she be not honest, chaste, and true,
    There's no man happy; the purest of their wives 2755
    Is foul as slander.
  • Othello. Bid her come hither: go.
    [Exit EMILIA]
    She says enough; yet she's a simple bawd
    That cannot say as much. This is a subtle whore, 2760
    A closet lock and key of villanous secrets
    And yet she'll kneel and pray; I have seen her do't.

[Enter DESDEMONA with EMILIA]

  • Othello. Pray, chuck, come hither. 2765
  • Othello. Let me see your eyes;
    Look in my face.
  • Othello. [To EMILIA] Some of your function, mistress; 2770
    Leave procreants alone and shut the door;
    Cough, or cry 'hem,' if any body come:
    Your mystery, your mystery: nay, dispatch.

[Exit EMILIA]

  • Desdemona. Upon my knees, what doth your speech import? 2775
    I understand a fury in your words.
    But not the words.
  • Desdemona. Your wife, my lord; your true
    And loyal wife. 2780
  • Othello. Come, swear it, damn thyself
    Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves
    Should fear to seize thee: therefore be double damn'd:
    Swear thou art honest.
  • Othello. Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.
  • Desdemona. To whom, my lord? with whom? how am I false?
  • Othello. O Desdemona! away! away! away!
  • Desdemona. Alas the heavy day! Why do you weep?
    Am I the motive of these tears, my lord? 2790
    If haply you my father do suspect
    An instrument of this your calling back,
    Lay not your blame on me: If you have lost him,
    Why, I have lost him too.
  • Othello. Had it pleased heaven 2795
    To try me with affliction; had they rain'd
    All kinds of sores and shames on my bare head.
    Steep'd me in poverty to the very lips,
    Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes,
    I should have found in some place of my soul 2800
    A drop of patience: but, alas, to make me
    A fixed figure for the time of scorn
    To point his slow unmoving finger at!
    Yet could I bear that too; well, very well:
    But there, where I have garner'd up my heart, 2805
    Where either I must live, or bear no life;
    The fountain from the which my current runs,
    Or else dries up; to be discarded thence!
    Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads
    To knot and gender in! Turn thy complexion there, 2810
    Patience, thou young and rose-lipp'd cherubin,—
    Ay, there, look grim as hell!
  • Desdemona. I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.
  • Othello. O, ay; as summer flies are in the shambles,
    That quicken even with blowing. O thou weed, 2815
    Who art so lovely fair and smell'st so sweet
    That the sense aches at thee, would thou hadst
    ne'er been born!
  • Desdemona. Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed?
  • Othello. Was this fair paper, this most goodly book, 2820
    Made to write 'whore' upon? What committed!
    Committed! O thou public commoner!
    I should make very forges of my cheeks,
    That would to cinders burn up modesty,
    Did I but speak thy deeds. What committed! 2825
    Heaven stops the nose at it and the moon winks,
    The bawdy wind that kisses all it meets
    Is hush'd within the hollow mine of earth,
    And will not hear it. What committed!
    Impudent strumpet! 2830
  • Desdemona. No, as I am a Christian:
    If to preserve this vessel for my lord
    From any other foul unlawful touch 2835
    Be not to be a strumpet, I am none.
  • Othello. I cry you mercy, then:
    I took you for that cunning whore of Venice
    That married with Othello.
    [Raising his voice]
    You, mistress, 2845
    That have the office opposite to Saint Peter,
    And keep the gate of hell!
    [Re-enter EMILIA]
    You, you, ay, you!
    We have done our course; there's money for your pains: 2850
    I pray you, turn the key and keep our counsel.

[Exit]

  • Emilia. Alas, what does this gentleman conceive?
    How do you, madam? how do you, my good lady?
  • Emilia. Good madam, what's the matter with my lord?
  • Emilia. Why, with my lord, madam.
  • Emilia. He that is yours, sweet lady. 2860
  • Desdemona. I have none: do not talk to me, Emilia;
    I cannot weep; nor answer have I none,
    But what should go by water. Prithee, tonight
    Lay on my bed my wedding sheets: remember;
    And call thy husband hither. 2865
  • Emilia. Here's a change indeed!

[Exit]

  • Desdemona. 'Tis meet I should be used so, very meet.
    How have I been behaved, that he might stick
    The small'st opinion on my least misuse? 2870

[Re-enter EMILIA with IAGO]

  • Iago. What is your pleasure, madam?
    How is't with you?
  • Desdemona. I cannot tell. Those that do teach young babes
    Do it with gentle means and easy tasks: 2875
    He might have chid me so; for, in good faith,
    I am a child to chiding.
  • Iago. What's the matter, lady?
  • Emilia. Alas, Iago, my lord hath so bewhored her.
    Thrown such despite and heavy terms upon her, 2880
    As true hearts cannot bear.
  • Iago. What name, fair lady?
  • Desdemona. Such as she says my lord did say I was.
  • Emilia. He call'd her whore: a beggar in his drink 2885
    Could not have laid such terms upon his callat.
  • Iago. Why did he so?
  • Desdemona. I do not know; I am sure I am none such.
  • Iago. Do not weep, do not weep. Alas the day!
  • Emilia. Hath she forsook so many noble matches, 2890
    Her father and her country and her friends,
    To be call'd whore? would it not make one weep?
  • Iago. Beshrew him for't!
    How comes this trick upon him? 2895
  • Emilia. I will be hang'd, if some eternal villain,
    Some busy and insinuating rogue,
    Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office,
    Have not devised this slander; I'll be hang'd else. 2900
  • Iago. Fie, there is no such man; it is impossible.
  • Desdemona. If any such there be, heaven pardon him!
  • Emilia. A halter pardon him! and hell gnaw his bones!
    Why should he call her whore? who keeps her company?
    What place? what time? what form? what likelihood? 2905
    The Moor's abused by some most villanous knave,
    Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.
    O heaven, that such companions thou'ldst unfold,
    And put in every honest hand a whip
    To lash the rascals naked through the world 2910
    Even from the east to the west!
  • Iago. Speak within door.
  • Emilia. O, fie upon them! Some such squire he was
    That turn'd your wit the seamy side without,
    And made you to suspect me with the Moor. 2915
  • Iago. You are a fool; go to.
  • Desdemona. O good Iago,
    What shall I do to win my lord again?
    Good friend, go to him; for, by this light of heaven,
    I know not how I lost him. Here I kneel: 2920
    If e'er my will did trespass 'gainst his love,
    Either in discourse of thought or actual deed,
    Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense,
    Delighted them in any other form;
    Or that I do not yet, and ever did. 2925
    And ever will—though he do shake me off
    To beggarly divorcement—love him dearly,
    Comfort forswear me! Unkindness may do much;
    And his unkindness may defeat my life,
    But never taint my love. I cannot say 'whore:' 2930
    It does abhor me now I speak the word;
    To do the act that might the addition earn
    Not the world's mass of vanity could make me.
  • Iago. I pray you, be content; 'tis but his humour:
    The business of the state does him offence, 2935
    And he does chide with you.
  • Iago. 'Tis but so, I warrant.
    [Trumpets within]
    Hark, how these instruments summon to supper! 2940
    The messengers of Venice stay the meat;
    Go in, and weep not; all things shall be well.
    [Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA]
    [Enter RODERIGO]
    How now, Roderigo! 2945
  • Roderigo. I do not find that thou dealest justly with me.
  • Iago. What in the contrary?
  • Roderigo. Every day thou daffest me with some device, Iago;
    and rather, as it seems to me now, keepest from me
    all conveniency than suppliest me with the least 2950
    advantage of hope. I will indeed no longer endure
    it, nor am I yet persuaded to put up in peace what
    already I have foolishly suffered.
  • Iago. Will you hear me, Roderigo?
  • Roderigo. 'Faith, I have heard too much, for your words and 2955
    performances are no kin together.
  • Iago. You charge me most unjustly.
  • Roderigo. With nought but truth. I have wasted myself out of
    my means. The jewels you have had from me to
    deliver to Desdemona would half have corrupted a 2960
    votarist: you have told me she hath received them
    and returned me expectations and comforts of sudden
    respect and acquaintance, but I find none.
  • Iago. Well; go to; very well.
  • Roderigo. Very well! go to! I cannot go to, man; nor 'tis 2965
    not very well: nay, I think it is scurvy, and begin
    to find myself fobbed in it.
  • Roderigo. I tell you 'tis not very well. I will make myself
    known to Desdemona: if she will return me my 2970
    jewels, I will give over my suit and repent my
    unlawful solicitation; if not, assure yourself I
    will seek satisfaction of you.
  • Iago. You have said now.
  • Roderigo. Ay, and said nothing but what I protest intendment of doing. 2975
  • Iago. Why, now I see there's mettle in thee, and even from
    this instant to build on thee a better opinion than
    ever before. Give me thy hand, Roderigo: thou hast
    taken against me a most just exception; but yet, I
    protest, I have dealt most directly in thy affair. 2980
  • Iago. I grant indeed it hath not appeared, and your
    suspicion is not without wit and judgment. But,
    Roderigo, if thou hast that in thee indeed, which I
    have greater reason to believe now than ever, I mean 2985
    purpose, courage and valour, this night show it: if
    thou the next night following enjoy not Desdemona,
    take me from this world with treachery and devise
    engines for my life.
  • Roderigo. Well, what is it? is it within reason and compass? 2990
  • Iago. Sir, there is especial commission come from Venice
    to depute Cassio in Othello's place.
  • Roderigo. Is that true? why, then Othello and Desdemona
    return again to Venice.
  • Iago. O, no; he goes into Mauritania and takes away with 2995
    him the fair Desdemona, unless his abode be
    lingered here by some accident: wherein none can be
    so determinate as the removing of Cassio.
  • Roderigo. How do you mean, removing of him?
  • Iago. Why, by making him uncapable of Othello's place; 3000
    knocking out his brains.
  • Roderigo. And that you would have me to do?
  • Iago. Ay, if you dare do yourself a profit and a right.
    He sups to-night with a harlotry, and thither will I
    go to him: he knows not yet of his horrorable 3005
    fortune. If you will watch his going thence, which
    I will fashion to fall out between twelve and one,
    you may take him at your pleasure: I will be near
    to second your attempt, and he shall fall between
    us. Come, stand not amazed at it, but go along with 3010
    me; I will show you such a necessity in his death
    that you shall think yourself bound to put it on
    him. It is now high suppertime, and the night grows
    to waste: about it.
  • Roderigo. I will hear further reason for this. 3015
  • Iago. And you shall be satisfied.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 3

Another room in the castle.

       
---

[Enter OTHELLO, LODOVICO, DESDEMONA, EMILIA and Attendants]

  • Lodovico. I do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no further.
  • Othello. O, pardon me: 'twill do me good to walk. 3020
  • Lodovico. Madam, good night; I humbly thank your ladyship.
  • Othello. Will you walk, sir?
    O,—Desdemona,—
  • Othello. Get you to bed on the instant; I will be returned
    forthwith: dismiss your attendant there: look it be done.

[Exeunt OTHELLO, LODOVICO, and Attendants]

  • Emilia. How goes it now? he looks gentler than he did. 3030
  • Desdemona. He says he will return incontinent:
    He hath commanded me to go to bed,
    And bade me to dismiss you.
  • Desdemona. It was his bidding: therefore, good Emilia,. 3035
    Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu:
    We must not now displease him.
  • Emilia. I would you had never seen him!
  • Desdemona. So would not I. my love doth so approve him,
    That even his stubbornness, his cheques, his frowns— 3040
    Prithee, unpin me,—have grace and favour in them.
  • Emilia. I have laid those sheets you bade me on the bed.
  • Desdemona. All's one. Good faith, how foolish are our minds!
    If I do die before thee prithee, shroud me
    In one of those same sheets. 3045
  • Desdemona. My mother had a maid call'd Barbara:
    She was in love, and he she loved proved mad
    And did forsake her: she had a song of 'willow;'
    An old thing 'twas, but it express'd her fortune, 3050
    And she died singing it: that song to-night
    Will not go from my mind; I have much to do,
    But to go hang my head all at one side,
    And sing it like poor Barbara. Prithee, dispatch.
  • Emilia. Shall I go fetch your night-gown? 3055
  • Desdemona. No, unpin me here.
    This Lodovico is a proper man.
  • Emilia. I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot 3060
    to Palestine for a touch of his nether lip.
  • Desdemona. [Singing] The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
    Sing all a green willow:
    Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
    Sing willow, willow, willow: 3065
    The fresh streams ran by her, and murmur'd her moans;
    Sing willow, willow, willow;
    Her salt tears fell from her, and soften'd the stones;
    Lay by these:—
    [Singing] 3070
    Sing willow, willow, willow;
    Prithee, hie thee; he'll come anon:—
    [Singing]
    Sing all a green willow must be my garland.
    Let nobody blame him; his scorn I approve,- 3075
    Nay, that's not next.—Hark! who is't that knocks?
  • Desdemona. [Singing] I call'd my love false love; but what
    said he then?
    Sing willow, willow, willow: 3080
    If I court moe women, you'll couch with moe men!
    So, get thee gone; good night Ate eyes do itch;
    Doth that bode weeping?
  • Emilia. 'Tis neither here nor there.
  • Desdemona. I have heard it said so. O, these men, these men! 3085
    Dost thou in conscience think,—tell me, Emilia,—
    That there be women do abuse their husbands
    In such gross kind?
  • Emilia. There be some such, no question.
  • Desdemona. Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world? 3090
  • Emilia. Nor I neither by this heavenly light;
    I might do't as well i' the dark.
  • Desdemona. Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the world? 3095
  • Emilia. The world's a huge thing: it is a great price.
    For a small vice.
  • Desdemona. In troth, I think thou wouldst not.
  • Emilia. In troth, I think I should; and undo't when I had
    done. Marry, I would not do such a thing for a 3100
    joint-ring, nor for measures of lawn, nor for
    gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty
    exhibition; but for the whole world,—why, who would
    not make her husband a cuckold to make him a
    monarch? I should venture purgatory for't. 3105
  • Desdemona. Beshrew me, if I would do such a wrong
    For the whole world.
  • Emilia. Why the wrong is but a wrong i' the world: and
    having the world for your labour, tis a wrong in your
    own world, and you might quickly make it right. 3110
  • Desdemona. I do not think there is any such woman.
  • Emilia. Yes, a dozen; and as many to the vantage as would
    store the world they played for.
    But I do think it is their husbands' faults
    If wives do fall: say that they slack their duties, 3115
    And pour our treasures into foreign laps,
    Or else break out in peevish jealousies,
    Throwing restraint upon us; or say they strike us,
    Or scant our former having in despite;
    Why, we have galls, and though we have some grace, 3120
    Yet have we some revenge. Let husbands know
    Their wives have sense like them: they see and smell
    And have their palates both for sweet and sour,
    As husbands have. What is it that they do
    When they change us for others? Is it sport? 3125
    I think it is: and doth affection breed it?
    I think it doth: is't frailty that thus errs?
    It is so too: and have not we affections,
    Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?
    Then let them use us well: else let them know, 3130
    The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.
  • Desdemona. Good night, good night: heaven me such uses send,
    Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend!

[Exeunt]

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