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'T is but the fate of place, and the rough brake
That virtue must go through.

      — King Henry VIII, Act I Scene 2

The Tragedy of Othello, Moor of Venice

(complete text)

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Act I

1. Venice. A street.

2. Another street.

3. A council-chamber.

Act II

1. A Sea-port in Cyprus. An open place near the quay.

2. A street.

3. A hall in the castle.

Act III

1. Before the castle.

2. A room in the castle.

3. The garden of the castle.

4. Before the castle.

Act IV

1. Cyprus. Before the castle.

2. A room in the castle.

3. Another room in the castle.

Act V

1. Cyprus. A street.

2. A bedchamber in the castle: DESDEMONA in bed asleep;

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Act I, Scene 1

Venice. A street.

      next scene .
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[Enter RODERIGO and IAGO]

  • Roderigo. Tush! never tell me; I take it much unkindly
    That thou, Iago, who hast had my purse
    As if the strings were thine, shouldst know of this.
  • Iago. 'Sblood, but you will not hear me: 5
    If ever I did dream of such a matter, Abhor me.
  • Roderigo. Thou told'st me thou didst hold him in thy hate.
  • Iago. Despise me, if I do not. Three great ones of the city,
    In personal suit to make me his lieutenant,
    Off-capp'd to him: and, by the faith of man, 10
    I know my price, I am worth no worse a place:
    But he; as loving his own pride and purposes,
    Evades them, with a bombast circumstance
    Horribly stuff'd with epithets of war;
    And, in conclusion, 15
    Nonsuits my mediators; for, 'Certes,' says he,
    'I have already chose my officer.'
    And what was he?
    Forsooth, a great arithmetician,
    One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, 20
    A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife;
    That never set a squadron in the field,
    Nor the division of a battle knows
    More than a spinster; unless the bookish theoric,
    Wherein the toged consuls can propose 25
    As masterly as he: mere prattle, without practise,
    Is all his soldiership. But he, sir, had the election:
    And I, of whom his eyes had seen the proof
    At Rhodes, at Cyprus and on other grounds
    Christian and heathen, must be be-lee'd and calm'd 30
    By debitor and creditor: this counter-caster,
    He, in good time, must his lieutenant be,
    And I—God bless the mark!—his Moorship's ancient.
  • Roderigo. By heaven, I rather would have been his hangman.
  • Iago. Why, there's no remedy; 'tis the curse of service, 35
    Preferment goes by letter and affection,
    And not by old gradation, where each second
    Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge yourself,
    Whether I in any just term am affined
    To love the Moor. 40
  • Iago. O, sir, content you;
    I follow him to serve my turn upon him:
    We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
    Cannot be truly follow'd. You shall mark 45
    Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
    That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
    Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,
    For nought but provender, and when he's old, cashier'd:
    Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are 50
    Who, trimm'd in forms and visages of duty,
    Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves,
    And, throwing but shows of service on their lords,
    Do well thrive by them and when they have lined
    their coats 55
    Do themselves homage: these fellows have some soul;
    And such a one do I profess myself. For, sir,
    It is as sure as you are Roderigo,
    Were I the Moor, I would not be Iago:
    In following him, I follow but myself; 60
    Heaven is my judge, not I for love and duty,
    But seeming so, for my peculiar end:
    For when my outward action doth demonstrate
    The native act and figure of my heart
    In compliment extern, 'tis not long after 65
    But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
    For daws to peck at: I am not what I am.
  • Roderigo. What a full fortune does the thicklips owe
    If he can carry't thus!
  • Iago. Call up her father, 70
    Rouse him: make after him, poison his delight,
    Proclaim him in the streets; incense her kinsmen,
    And, though he in a fertile climate dwell,
    Plague him with flies: though that his joy be joy,
    Yet throw such changes of vexation on't, 75
    As it may lose some colour.
  • Roderigo. Here is her father's house; I'll call aloud.
  • Iago. Do, with like timorous accent and dire yell
    As when, by night and negligence, the fire
    Is spied in populous cities. 80
  • Roderigo. What, ho, Brabantio! Signior Brabantio, ho!
  • Iago. Awake! what, ho, Brabantio! thieves! thieves! thieves!
    Look to your house, your daughter and your bags!
    Thieves! thieves!

[BRABANTIO appears above, at a window]

  • Brabantio. What is the reason of this terrible summons?
    What is the matter there?
  • Roderigo. Signior, is all your family within?
  • Iago. Are your doors lock'd?
  • Iago. 'Zounds, sir, you're robb'd; for shame, put on
    your gown;
    Your heart is burst, you have lost half your soul;
    Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
    Is topping your white ewe. Arise, arise; 95
    Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
    Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you:
    Arise, I say.
  • Roderigo. Most reverend signior, do you know my voice? 100
  • Brabantio. The worser welcome:
    I have charged thee not to haunt about my doors:
    In honest plainness thou hast heard me say 105
    My daughter is not for thee; and now, in madness,
    Being full of supper and distempering draughts,
    Upon malicious bravery, dost thou come
    To start my quiet.
  • Brabantio. But thou must needs be sure
    My spirit and my place have in them power
    To make this bitter to thee.
  • Brabantio. What tell'st thou me of robbing? this is Venice; 115
    My house is not a grange.
  • Roderigo. Most grave Brabantio,
    In simple and pure soul I come to you.
  • Iago. 'Zounds, sir, you are one of those that will not
    serve God, if the devil bid you. Because we come to 120
    do you service and you think we are ruffians, you'll
    have your daughter covered with a Barbary horse;
    you'll have your nephews neigh to you; you'll have
    coursers for cousins and gennets for germans.
  • Iago. I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter
    and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.
  • Iago. You are—a senator.
  • Brabantio. This thou shalt answer; I know thee, Roderigo. 130
  • Roderigo. Sir, I will answer any thing. But, I beseech you,
    If't be your pleasure and most wise consent,
    As partly I find it is, that your fair daughter,
    At this odd-even and dull watch o' the night,
    Transported, with no worse nor better guard 135
    But with a knave of common hire, a gondolier,
    To the gross clasps of a lascivious Moor—
    If this be known to you and your allowance,
    We then have done you bold and saucy wrongs;
    But if you know not this, my manners tell me 140
    We have your wrong rebuke. Do not believe
    That, from the sense of all civility,
    I thus would play and trifle with your reverence:
    Your daughter, if you have not given her leave,
    I say again, hath made a gross revolt; 145
    Tying her duty, beauty, wit and fortunes
    In an extravagant and wheeling stranger
    Of here and every where. Straight satisfy yourself:
    If she be in her chamber or your house,
    Let loose on me the justice of the state 150
    For thus deluding you.
  • Brabantio. Strike on the tinder, ho!
    Give me a taper! call up all my people!
    This accident is not unlike my dream:
    Belief of it oppresses me already. 155
    Light, I say! light!

[Exit above]

  • Iago. Farewell; for I must leave you:
    It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
    To be produced—as, if I stay, I shall— 160
    Against the Moor: for, I do know, the state,
    However this may gall him with some cheque,
    Cannot with safety cast him, for he's embark'd
    With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars,
    Which even now stand in act, that, for their souls, 165
    Another of his fathom they have none,
    To lead their business: in which regard,
    Though I do hate him as I do hell-pains.
    Yet, for necessity of present life,
    I must show out a flag and sign of love, 170
    Which is indeed but sign. That you shall surely find him,
    Lead to the Sagittary the raised search;
    And there will I be with him. So, farewell.

[Exit]

[Enter, below, BRABANTIO, and Servants with torches]

  • Brabantio. It is too true an evil: gone she is;
    And what's to come of my despised time
    Is nought but bitterness. Now, Roderigo,
    Where didst thou see her? O unhappy girl!
    With the Moor, say'st thou? Who would be a father! 180
    How didst thou know 'twas she? O she deceives me
    Past thought! What said she to you? Get more tapers:
    Raise all my kindred. Are they married, think you?
  • Brabantio. O heaven! How got she out? O treason of the blood! 185
    Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters' minds
    By what you see them act. Is there not charms
    By which the property of youth and maidhood
    May be abused? Have you not read, Roderigo,
    Of some such thing? 190
  • Brabantio. Call up my brother. O, would you had had her!
    Some one way, some another. Do you know
    Where we may apprehend her and the Moor?
  • Roderigo. I think I can discover him, if you please, 195
    To get good guard and go along with me.
  • Brabantio. Pray you, lead on. At every house I'll call;
    I may command at most. Get weapons, ho!
    And raise some special officers of night.
    On, good Roderigo: I'll deserve your pains. 200

[Exeunt]

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. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 2

Another street.

      next scene .
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[Enter OTHELLO, IAGO, and Attendants with torches]

  • Iago. Though in the trade of war I have slain men,
    Yet do I hold it very stuff o' the conscience
    To do no contrived murder: I lack iniquity 205
    Sometimes to do me service: nine or ten times
    I had thought to have yerk'd him here under the ribs.
  • Iago. Nay, but he prated,
    And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms 210
    Against your honour
    That, with the little godliness I have,
    I did full hard forbear him. But, I pray you, sir,
    Are you fast married? Be assured of this,
    That the magnifico is much beloved, 215
    And hath in his effect a voice potential
    As double as the duke's: he will divorce you;
    Or put upon you what restraint and grievance
    The law, with all his might to enforce it on,
    Will give him cable. 220
  • Othello. Let him do his spite:
    My services which I have done the signiory
    Shall out-tongue his complaints. 'Tis yet to know,—
    Which, when I know that boasting is an honour,
    I shall promulgate—I fetch my life and being 225
    From men of royal siege, and my demerits
    May speak unbonneted to as proud a fortune
    As this that I have reach'd: for know, Iago,
    But that I love the gentle Desdemona,
    I would not my unhoused free condition 230
    Put into circumscription and confine
    For the sea's worth. But, look! what lights come yond?
  • Iago. Those are the raised father and his friends:
    You were best go in.
  • Othello. Not I. I must be found: 235
    My parts, my title and my perfect soul
    Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?
  • Iago. By Janus, I think no.

[Enter CASSIO, and certain Officers with torches]

  • Othello. The servants of the duke, and my lieutenant. 240
    The goodness of the night upon you, friends!
    What is the news?
  • Cassio. The duke does greet you, general,
    And he requires your haste-post-haste appearance,
    Even on the instant. 245
  • Othello. What is the matter, think you?
  • Cassio. Something from Cyprus as I may divine:
    It is a business of some heat: the galleys
    Have sent a dozen sequent messengers
    This very night at one another's heels, 250
    And many of the consuls, raised and met,
    Are at the duke's already: you have been
    hotly call'd for;
    When, being not at your lodging to be found,
    The senate hath sent about three several guests 255
    To search you out.
  • Othello. 'Tis well I am found by you.
    I will but spend a word here in the house,
    And go with you.

[Exit]

  • Cassio. Ancient, what makes he here?
  • Iago. 'Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land carack:
    If it prove lawful prize, he's made for ever.
  • Iago. He's married. 265

[Re-enter OTHELLO]

  • Iago. Marry, to—Come, captain, will you go?
  • Cassio. Here comes another troop to seek for you. 270
  • Iago. It is Brabantio. General, be advised;
    He comes to bad intent.

[Enter BRABANTIO, RODERIGO, and Officers with torches and weapons]

[They draw on both sides]

  • Iago. You, Roderigo! come, sir, I am for you.
  • Othello. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.
    Good signior, you shall more command with years 280
    Than with your weapons.
  • Brabantio. O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow'd my daughter?
    Damn'd as thou art, thou hast enchanted her;
    For I'll refer me to all things of sense,
    If she in chains of magic were not bound, 285
    Whether a maid so tender, fair and happy,
    So opposite to marriage that she shunned
    The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
    Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
    Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom 290
    Of such a thing as thou, to fear, not to delight.
    Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense
    That thou hast practised on her with foul charms,
    Abused her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
    That weaken motion: I'll have't disputed on; 295
    'Tis probable and palpable to thinking.
    I therefore apprehend and do attach thee
    For an abuser of the world, a practiser
    Of arts inhibited and out of warrant.
    Lay hold upon him: if he do resist, 300
    Subdue him at his peril.
  • Othello. Hold your hands,
    Both you of my inclining, and the rest:
    Were it my cue to fight, I should have known it
    Without a prompter. Where will you that I go 305
    To answer this your charge?
  • Brabantio. To prison, till fit time
    Of law and course of direct session
    Call thee to answer.
  • Othello. What if I do obey? 310
    How may the duke be therewith satisfied,
    Whose messengers are here about my side,
    Upon some present business of the state
    To bring me to him?
  • First Officer. 'Tis true, most worthy signior; 315
    The duke's in council and your noble self,
    I am sure, is sent for.
  • Brabantio. How! the duke in council!
    In this time of the night! Bring him away:
    Mine's not an idle cause: the duke himself, 320
    Or any of my brothers of the state,
    Cannot but feel this wrong as 'twere their own;
    For if such actions may have passage free,
    Bond-slaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.

[Exeunt]

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. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 3

A council-chamber.

      next scene .
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[The DUKE and Senators sitting at a table; Officers attending]

  • Duke of Venice. There is no composition in these news
    That gives them credit.
  • First Senator. Indeed, they are disproportion'd;
    My letters say a hundred and seven galleys. 330
  • Second Senator. And mine, two hundred:
    But though they jump not on a just account,—
    As in these cases, where the aim reports,
    'Tis oft with difference—yet do they all confirm 335
    A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus.
  • Duke of Venice. Nay, it is possible enough to judgment:
    I do not so secure me in the error,
    But the main article I do approve
    In fearful sense. 340
  • Sailor. [Within] What, ho! what, ho! what, ho!

[Enter a Sailor]

  • Sailor. The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes; 345
    So was I bid report here to the state
    By Signior Angelo.
  • First Senator. This cannot be,
    By no assay of reason: 'tis a pageant, 350
    To keep us in false gaze. When we consider
    The importancy of Cyprus to the Turk,
    And let ourselves again but understand,
    That as it more concerns the Turk than Rhodes,
    So may he with more facile question bear it, 355
    For that it stands not in such warlike brace,
    But altogether lacks the abilities
    That Rhodes is dress'd in: if we make thought of this,
    We must not think the Turk is so unskilful
    To leave that latest which concerns him first, 360
    Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain,
    To wake and wage a danger profitless.

[Enter a Messenger]

  • Messenger. The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,
    Steering with due course towards the isle of Rhodes,
    Have there injointed them with an after fleet.
  • Messenger. Of thirty sail: and now they do restem 370
    Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance
    Their purposes toward Cyprus. Signior Montano,
    Your trusty and most valiant servitor,
    With his free duty recommends you thus,
    And prays you to believe him. 375
  • Duke of Venice. 'Tis certain, then, for Cyprus.
    Marcus Luccicos, is not he in town?

[Enter BRABANTIO, OTHELLO, IAGO, RODERIGO, and Officers]

  • Duke of Venice. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you
    Against the general enemy Ottoman.
    [To BRABANTIO]
    I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior; 385
    We lack'd your counsel and your help tonight.
  • Brabantio. So did I yours. Good your grace, pardon me;
    Neither my place nor aught I heard of business
    Hath raised me from my bed, nor doth the general care
    Take hold on me, for my particular grief 390
    Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature
    That it engluts and swallows other sorrows
    And it is still itself.
  • Brabantio. Ay, to me;
    She is abused, stol'n from me, and corrupted
    By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks;
    For nature so preposterously to err, 400
    Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,
    Sans witchcraft could not.
  • Duke of Venice. Whoe'er he be that in this foul proceeding
    Hath thus beguiled your daughter of herself
    And you of her, the bloody book of law 405
    You shall yourself read in the bitter letter
    After your own sense, yea, though our proper son
    Stood in your action.
  • Brabantio. Humbly I thank your grace.
    Here is the man, this Moor, whom now, it seems, 410
    Your special mandate for the state-affairs
    Hath hither brought.
  • Duke of Venice. [To OTHELLO] What, in your own part, can you say to this?
  • Othello. Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
    My very noble and approved good masters,
    That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
    It is most true; true, I have married her:
    The very head and front of my offending 420
    Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
    And little bless'd with the soft phrase of peace:
    For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith,
    Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
    Their dearest action in the tented field, 425
    And little of this great world can I speak,
    More than pertains to feats of broil and battle,
    And therefore little shall I grace my cause
    In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,
    I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver 430
    Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,
    What conjuration and what mighty magic,
    For such proceeding I am charged withal,
    I won his daughter.
  • Brabantio. A maiden never bold; 435
    Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion
    Blush'd at herself; and she, in spite of nature,
    Of years, of country, credit, every thing,
    To fall in love with what she fear'd to look on!
    It is a judgment maim'd and most imperfect 440
    That will confess perfection so could err
    Against all rules of nature, and must be driven
    To find out practises of cunning hell,
    Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
    That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood, 445
    Or with some dram conjured to this effect,
    He wrought upon her.
  • Duke of Venice. To vouch this, is no proof,
    Without more wider and more overt test
    Than these thin habits and poor likelihoods 450
    Of modern seeming do prefer against him.
  • First Senator. But, Othello, speak:
    Did you by indirect and forced courses
    Subdue and poison this young maid's affections?
    Or came it by request and such fair question 455
    As soul to soul affordeth?
  • Othello. I do beseech you,
    Send for the lady to the Sagittary,
    And let her speak of me before her father:
    If you do find me foul in her report, 460
    The trust, the office I do hold of you,
    Not only take away, but let your sentence
    Even fall upon my life.
  • Othello. Ancient, conduct them: you best know the place. 465
    [Exeunt IAGO and Attendants]
    And, till she come, as truly as to heaven
    I do confess the vices of my blood,
    So justly to your grave ears I'll present
    How I did thrive in this fair lady's love, 470
    And she in mine.
  • Othello. Her father loved me; oft invited me;
    Still question'd me the story of my life,
    From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes, 475
    That I have passed.
    I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
    To the very moment that he bade me tell it;
    Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
    Of moving accidents by flood and field 480
    Of hair-breadth scapes i' the imminent deadly breach,
    Of being taken by the insolent foe
    And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence
    And portance in my travels' history:
    Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle, 485
    Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads touch heaven
    It was my hint to speak,—such was the process;
    And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
    The Anthropophagi and men whose heads
    Do grow beneath their shoulders. This to hear 490
    Would Desdemona seriously incline:
    But still the house-affairs would draw her thence:
    Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
    She'ld come again, and with a greedy ear
    Devour up my discourse: which I observing, 495
    Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
    To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart
    That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
    Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
    But not intentively: I did consent, 500
    And often did beguile her of her tears,
    When I did speak of some distressful stroke
    That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
    She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:
    She swore, in faith, twas strange, 'twas passing strange, 505
    'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful:
    She wish'd she had not heard it, yet she wish'd
    That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd me,
    And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
    I should but teach him how to tell my story. 510
    And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
    She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,
    And I loved her that she did pity them.
    This only is the witchcraft I have used:
    Here comes the lady; let her witness it. 515

[Enter DESDEMONA, IAGO, and Attendants]

  • Duke of Venice. I think this tale would win my daughter too.
    Good Brabantio,
    Take up this mangled matter at the best:
    Men do their broken weapons rather use 520
    Than their bare hands.
  • Brabantio. I pray you, hear her speak:
    If she confess that she was half the wooer,
    Destruction on my head, if my bad blame
    Light on the man! Come hither, gentle mistress: 525
    Do you perceive in all this noble company
    Where most you owe obedience?
  • Desdemona. My noble father,
    I do perceive here a divided duty:
    To you I am bound for life and education; 530
    My life and education both do learn me
    How to respect you; you are the lord of duty;
    I am hitherto your daughter: but here's my husband,
    And so much duty as my mother show'd
    To you, preferring you before her father, 535
    So much I challenge that I may profess
    Due to the Moor my lord.
  • Brabantio. God be wi' you! I have done.
    Please it your grace, on to the state-affairs:
    I had rather to adopt a child than get it. 540
    Come hither, Moor:
    I here do give thee that with all my heart
    Which, but thou hast already, with all my heart
    I would keep from thee. For your sake, jewel,
    I am glad at soul I have no other child: 545
    For thy escape would teach me tyranny,
    To hang clogs on them. I have done, my lord.
  • Duke of Venice. Let me speak like yourself, and lay a sentence,
    Which, as a grise or step, may help these lovers
    Into your favour. 550
    When remedies are past, the griefs are ended
    By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.
    To mourn a mischief that is past and gone
    Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
    What cannot be preserved when fortune takes 555
    Patience her injury a mockery makes.
    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief;
    He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.
  • Brabantio. So let the Turk of Cyprus us beguile;
    We lose it not, so long as we can smile. 560
    He bears the sentence well that nothing bears
    But the free comfort which from thence he hears,
    But he bears both the sentence and the sorrow
    That, to pay grief, must of poor patience borrow.
    These sentences, to sugar, or to gall, 565
    Being strong on both sides, are equivocal:
    But words are words; I never yet did hear
    That the bruised heart was pierced through the ear.
    I humbly beseech you, proceed to the affairs of state.
  • Duke of Venice. The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes for 570
    Cyprus. Othello, the fortitude of the place is best
    known to you; and though we have there a substitute
    of most allowed sufficiency, yet opinion, a
    sovereign mistress of effects, throws a more safer
    voice on you: you must therefore be content to 575
    slubber the gloss of your new fortunes with this
    more stubborn and boisterous expedition.
  • Othello. The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
    Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
    My thrice-driven bed of down: I do agnise 580
    A natural and prompt alacrity
    I find in hardness, and do undertake
    These present wars against the Ottomites.
    Most humbly therefore bending to your state,
    I crave fit disposition for my wife. 585
    Due reference of place and exhibition,
    With such accommodation and besort
    As levels with her breeding.
  • Desdemona. Nor I; I would not there reside,
    To put my father in impatient thoughts
    By being in his eye. Most gracious duke, 595
    To my unfolding lend your prosperous ear;
    And let me find a charter in your voice,
    To assist my simpleness.
  • Desdemona. That I did love the Moor to live with him, 600
    My downright violence and storm of fortunes
    May trumpet to the world: my heart's subdued
    Even to the very quality of my lord:
    I saw Othello's visage in his mind,
    And to his honour and his valiant parts 605
    Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.
    So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,
    A moth of peace, and he go to the war,
    The rites for which I love him are bereft me,
    And I a heavy interim shall support 610
    By his dear absence. Let me go with him.
  • Othello. Let her have your voices.
    Vouch with me, heaven, I therefore beg it not,
    To please the palate of my appetite,
    Nor to comply with heat—the young affects 615
    In me defunct—and proper satisfaction.
    But to be free and bounteous to her mind:
    And heaven defend your good souls, that you think
    I will your serious and great business scant
    For she is with me: no, when light-wing'd toys 620
    Of feather'd Cupid seal with wanton dullness
    My speculative and officed instruments,
    That my disports corrupt and taint my business,
    Let housewives make a skillet of my helm,
    And all indign and base adversities 625
    Make head against my estimation!
  • Duke of Venice. Be it as you shall privately determine,
    Either for her stay or going: the affair cries haste,
    And speed must answer it.
  • Duke of Venice. At nine i' the morning here we'll meet again.
    Othello, leave some officer behind,
    And he shall our commission bring to you;
    With such things else of quality and respect 635
    As doth import you.
  • Othello. So please your grace, my ancient;
    A man he is of honest and trust:
    To his conveyance I assign my wife,
    With what else needful your good grace shall think 640
    To be sent after me.
  • Duke of Venice. Let it be so.
    Good night to every one.
    [To BRABANTIO]
    And, noble signior, 645
    If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
    Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.
  • Brabantio. Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:
    She has deceived her father, and may thee. 650

[Exeunt DUKE OF VENICE, Senators, Officers, &c]

  • Othello. My life upon her faith! Honest Iago,
    My Desdemona must I leave to thee:
    I prithee, let thy wife attend on her:
    And bring them after in the best advantage. 655
    Come, Desdemona: I have but an hour
    Of love, of worldly matters and direction,
    To spend with thee: we must obey the time.

[Exeunt OTHELLO and DESDEMONA]

  • Iago. What say'st thou, noble heart?
  • Roderigo. What will I do, thinkest thou?
  • Iago. Why, go to bed, and sleep.
  • Roderigo. I will incontinently drown myself.
  • Iago. If thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why, 665
    thou silly gentleman!
  • Roderigo. It is silliness to live when to live is torment; and
    then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.
  • Iago. O villainous! I have looked upon the world for four
    times seven years; and since I could distinguish 670
    betwixt a benefit and an injury, I never found man
    that knew how to love himself. Ere I would say, I
    would drown myself for the love of a guinea-hen, I
    would change my humanity with a baboon.
  • Roderigo. What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so 675
    fond; but it is not in my virtue to amend it.
  • Iago. Virtue! a fig! 'tis in ourselves that we are thus
    or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which
    our wills are gardeners: so that if we will plant
    nettles, or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up 680
    thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs, or
    distract it with many, either to have it sterile
    with idleness, or manured with industry, why, the
    power and corrigible authority of this lies in our
    wills. If the balance of our lives had not one 685
    scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the
    blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us
    to most preposterous conclusions: but we have
    reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal
    stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this that 690
    you call love to be a sect or scion.
  • Iago. It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of
    the will. Come, be a man. Drown thyself! drown
    cats and blind puppies. I have professed me thy 695
    friend and I confess me knit to thy deserving with
    cables of perdurable toughness; I could never
    better stead thee than now. Put money in thy
    purse; follow thou the wars; defeat thy favour with
    an usurped beard; I say, put money in thy purse. It 700
    cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her
    love to the Moor,— put money in thy purse,—nor he
    his to her: it was a violent commencement, and thou
    shalt see an answerable sequestration:—put but
    money in thy purse. These Moors are changeable in 705
    their wills: fill thy purse with money:—the food
    that to him now is as luscious as locusts, shall be
    to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida. She must
    change for youth: when she is sated with his body,
    she will find the error of her choice: she must 710
    have change, she must: therefore put money in thy
    purse. If thou wilt needs damn thyself, do it a
    more delicate way than drowning. Make all the money
    thou canst: if sanctimony and a frail vow betwixt
    an erring barbarian and a supersubtle Venetian not 715
    too hard for my wits and all the tribe of hell, thou
    shalt enjoy her; therefore make money. A pox of
    drowning thyself! it is clean out of the way: seek
    thou rather to be hanged in compassing thy joy than
    to be drowned and go without her. 720
  • Roderigo. Wilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend on
    the issue?
  • Iago. Thou art sure of me:—go, make money:—I have told
    thee often, and I re-tell thee again and again, I
    hate the Moor: my cause is hearted; thine hath no 725
    less reason. Let us be conjunctive in our revenge
    against him: if thou canst cuckold him, thou dost
    thyself a pleasure, me a sport. There are many
    events in the womb of time which will be delivered.
    Traverse! go, provide thy money. We will have more 730
    of this to-morrow. Adieu.
  • Roderigo. Where shall we meet i' the morning?
  • Iago. At my lodging.
  • Iago. Go to; farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo? 735
  • Iago. No more of drowning, do you hear?
  • Roderigo. I am changed: I'll go sell all my land.

[Exit]

  • Iago. Thus do I ever make my fool my purse: 740
    For I mine own gain'd knowledge should profane,
    If I would time expend with such a snipe.
    But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor:
    And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets
    He has done my office: I know not if't be true; 745
    But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
    Will do as if for surety. He holds me well;
    The better shall my purpose work on him.
    Cassio's a proper man: let me see now:
    To get his place and to plume up my will 750
    In double knavery—How, how? Let's see:—
    After some time, to abuse Othello's ear
    That he is too familiar with his wife.
    He hath a person and a smooth dispose
    To be suspected, framed to make women false. 755
    The Moor is of a free and open nature,
    That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
    And will as tenderly be led by the nose
    As asses are.
    I have't. It is engender'd. Hell and night 760
    Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 1

A Sea-port in Cyprus. An open place near the quay.

      next scene .
---

[Enter MONTANO and two Gentlemen]

  • Montano. What from the cape can you discern at sea?
  • First Gentleman. Nothing at all: it is a highwrought flood; 765
    I cannot, 'twixt the heaven and the main,
    Descry a sail.
  • Montano. Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land;
    A fuller blast ne'er shook our battlements:
    If it hath ruffian'd so upon the sea, 770
    What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them,
    Can hold the mortise? What shall we hear of this?
  • Second Gentleman. A segregation of the Turkish fleet:
    For do but stand upon the foaming shore,
    The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds; 775
    The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous mane,
    seems to cast water on the burning bear,
    And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole:
    I never did like molestation view
    On the enchafed flood. 780
  • Montano. If that the Turkish fleet
    Be not enshelter'd and embay'd, they are drown'd:
    It is impossible they bear it out.

[Enter a third Gentleman]

  • Third Gentleman. News, lads! our wars are done. 785
    The desperate tempest hath so bang'd the Turks,
    That their designment halts: a noble ship of Venice
    Hath seen a grievous wreck and sufferance
    On most part of their fleet.
  • Third Gentleman. The ship is here put in,
    A Veronesa; Michael Cassio,
    Lieutenant to the warlike Moor Othello,
    Is come on shore: the Moor himself at sea,
    And is in full commission here for Cyprus. 795
  • Montano. I am glad on't; 'tis a worthy governor.
  • Third Gentleman. But this same Cassio, though he speak of comfort
    Touching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadly,
    And prays the Moor be safe; for they were parted
    With foul and violent tempest. 800
  • Montano. Pray heavens he be;
    For I have served him, and the man commands
    Like a full soldier. Let's to the seaside, ho!
    As well to see the vessel that's come in
    As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello, 805
    Even till we make the main and the aerial blue
    An indistinct regard.
  • Third Gentleman. Come, let's do so:
    For every minute is expectancy
    Of more arrivance. 810

[Enter CASSIO]

  • Cassio. Thanks, you the valiant of this warlike isle,
    That so approve the Moor! O, let the heavens
    Give him defence against the elements,
    For I have lost us him on a dangerous sea. 815
  • Cassio. His bark is stoutly timber'd, his pilot
    Of very expert and approved allowance;
    Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
    Stand in bold cure. 820

[A cry within 'A sail, a sail, a sail!']

[Enter a fourth Gentleman]

  • Fourth Gentleman. The town is empty; on the brow o' the sea
    Stand ranks of people, and they cry 'A sail!' 825
  • Cassio. My hopes do shape him for the governor.

[Guns heard]

  • Second Gentleman. They do discharge their shot of courtesy:
    Our friends at least.
  • Cassio. I pray you, sir, go forth, 830
    And give us truth who 'tis that is arrived.

[Exit]

  • Montano. But, good lieutenant, is your general wived?
  • Cassio. Most fortunately: he hath achieved a maid 835
    That paragons description and wild fame;
    One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,
    And in the essential vesture of creation
    Does tire the ingener.
    [Re-enter second Gentleman] 840
    How now! who has put in?
  • Cassio. Has had most favourable and happy speed:
    Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds,
    The gutter'd rocks and congregated sands— 845
    Traitors ensteep'd to clog the guiltless keel,—
    As having sense of beauty, do omit
    Their mortal natures, letting go safely by
    The divine Desdemona.
  • Cassio. She that I spake of, our great captain's captain,
    Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,
    Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts
    A se'nnight's speed. Great Jove, Othello guard,
    And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath, 855
    That he may bless this bay with his tall ship,
    Make love's quick pants in Desdemona's arms,
    Give renew'd fire to our extincted spirits
    And bring all Cyprus comfort!
    [Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, IAGO, RODERIGO, and Attendants] 860
    O, behold,
    The riches of the ship is come on shore!
    Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.
    Hail to thee, lady! and the grace of heaven,
    Before, behind thee, and on every hand, 865
    Enwheel thee round!
  • Desdemona. I thank you, valiant Cassio.
    What tidings can you tell me of my lord?
  • Cassio. He is not yet arrived: nor know I aught
    But that he's well and will be shortly here. 870
  • Desdemona. O, but I fear—How lost you company?
  • Cassio. The great contention of the sea and skies
    Parted our fellowship—But, hark! a sail.

[Within 'A sail, a sail!' Guns heard]

  • Second Gentleman. They give their greeting to the citadel; 875
    This likewise is a friend.
  • Cassio. See for the news.
    [Exit Gentleman]
    Good ancient, you are welcome.
    [To EMILIA] 880
    Welcome, mistress.
    Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,
    That I extend my manners; 'tis my breeding
    That gives me this bold show of courtesy.

[Kissing her]

  • Iago. Sir, would she give you so much of her lips
    As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,
    You'll have enough.
  • Iago. In faith, too much; 890
    I find it still, when I have list to sleep:
    Marry, before your ladyship, I grant,
    She puts her tongue a little in her heart,
    And chides with thinking.
  • Emilia. You have little cause to say so. 895
  • Iago. Come on, come on; you are pictures out of doors,
    Bells in your parlors, wild-cats in your kitchens,
    Saints m your injuries, devils being offended,
    Players in your housewifery, and housewives' in your beds.
  • Iago. Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk:
    You rise to play and go to bed to work.
  • Emilia. You shall not write my praise.
  • Iago. No, let me not.
  • Desdemona. What wouldst thou write of me, if thou shouldst 905
    praise me?
  • Iago. O gentle lady, do not put me to't;
    For I am nothing, if not critical.
  • Desdemona. Come on assay. There's one gone to the harbour?
  • Iago. Ay, madam. 910
  • Desdemona. I am not merry; but I do beguile
    The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.
    Come, how wouldst thou praise me?
  • Iago. I am about it; but indeed my invention
    Comes from my pate as birdlime does from frize; 915
    It plucks out brains and all: but my Muse labours,
    And thus she is deliver'd.
    If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit,
    The one's for use, the other useth it.
  • Desdemona. Well praised! How if she be black and witty? 920
  • Iago. If she be black, and thereto have a wit,
    She'll find a white that shall her blackness fit.
  • Emilia. How if fair and foolish?
  • Iago. She never yet was foolish that was fair; 925
    For even her folly help'd her to an heir.
  • Desdemona. These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i'
    the alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for
    her that's foul and foolish?
  • Iago. There's none so foul and foolish thereunto, 930
    But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.
  • Desdemona. O heavy ignorance! thou praisest the worst best.
    But what praise couldst thou bestow on a deserving
    woman indeed, one that, in the authority of her
    merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself? 935
  • Iago. She that was ever fair and never proud,
    Had tongue at will and yet was never loud,
    Never lack'd gold and yet went never gay,
    Fled from her wish and yet said 'Now I may,'
    She that being anger'd, her revenge being nigh, 940
    Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly,
    She that in wisdom never was so frail
    To change the cod's head for the salmon's tail;
    She that could think and ne'er disclose her mind,
    See suitors following and not look behind, 945
    She was a wight, if ever such wight were,—
  • Iago. To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.
  • Desdemona. O most lame and impotent conclusion! Do not learn
    of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband. How say 950
    you, Cassio? is he not a most profane and liberal
    counsellor?
  • Cassio. He speaks home, madam: You may relish him more in
    the soldier than in the scholar.
  • Iago. [Aside] He takes her by the palm: ay, well said, 955
    whisper: with as little a web as this will I
    ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon
    her, do; I will gyve thee in thine own courtship.
    You say true; 'tis so, indeed: if such tricks as
    these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had 960
    been better you had not kissed your three fingers so
    oft, which now again you are most apt to play the
    sir in. Very good; well kissed! an excellent
    courtesy! 'tis so, indeed. Yet again your fingers
    to your lips? would they were clyster-pipes for your sake! 965
    [Trumpet within]
    The Moor! I know his trumpet.
  • Cassio. Lo, where he comes! 970

[Enter OTHELLO and Attendants]

  • Othello. It gives me wonder great as my content
    To see you here before me. O my soul's joy! 975
    If after every tempest come such calms,
    May the winds blow till they have waken'd death!
    And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas
    Olympus-high and duck again as low
    As hell's from heaven! If it were now to die, 980
    'Twere now to be most happy; for, I fear,
    My soul hath her content so absolute
    That not another comfort like to this
    Succeeds in unknown fate.
  • Desdemona. The heavens forbid 985
    But that our loves and comforts should increase,
    Even as our days do grow!
  • Othello. Amen to that, sweet powers!
    I cannot speak enough of this content;
    It stops me here; it is too much of joy: 990
    And this, and this, the greatest discords be
    [Kissing her]
    That e'er our hearts shall make!
  • Iago. [Aside] O, you are well tuned now!
    But I'll set down the pegs that make this music, 995
    As honest as I am.
  • Othello. Come, let us to the castle.
    News, friends; our wars are done, the Turks
    are drown'd.
    How does my old acquaintance of this isle? 1000
    Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus;
    I have found great love amongst them. O my sweet,
    I prattle out of fashion, and I dote
    In mine own comforts. I prithee, good Iago,
    Go to the bay and disembark my coffers: 1005
    Bring thou the master to the citadel;
    He is a good one, and his worthiness
    Does challenge much respect. Come, Desdemona,
    Once more, well met at Cyprus.

[Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants]

  • Iago. Do thou meet me presently at the harbour. Come
    hither. If thou be'st valiant,— as, they say, base
    men being in love have then a nobility in their
    natures more than is native to them—list me. The
    lieutenant tonight watches on the court of 1015
    guard:—first, I must tell thee this—Desdemona is
    directly in love with him.
  • Roderigo. With him! why, 'tis not possible.
  • Iago. Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be instructed.
    Mark me with what violence she first loved the Moor, 1020
    but for bragging and telling her fantastical lies:
    and will she love him still for prating? let not
    thy discreet heart think it. Her eye must be fed;
    and what delight shall she have to look on the
    devil? When the blood is made dull with the act of 1025
    sport, there should be, again to inflame it and to
    give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favour,
    sympathy in years, manners and beauties; all which
    the Moor is defective in: now, for want of these
    required conveniences, her delicate tenderness will 1030
    find itself abused, begin to heave the gorge,
    disrelish and abhor the Moor; very nature will
    instruct her in it and compel her to some second
    choice. Now, sir, this granted,—as it is a most
    pregnant and unforced position—who stands so 1035
    eminent in the degree of this fortune as Cassio
    does? a knave very voluble; no further
    conscionable than in putting on the mere form of
    civil and humane seeming, for the better compassing
    of his salt and most hidden loose affection? why, 1040
    none; why, none: a slipper and subtle knave, a
    finder of occasions, that has an eye can stamp and
    counterfeit advantages, though true advantage never
    present itself; a devilish knave. Besides, the
    knave is handsome, young, and hath all those 1045
    requisites in him that folly and green minds look
    after: a pestilent complete knave; and the woman
    hath found him already.
  • Roderigo. I cannot believe that in her; she's full of
    most blessed condition. 1050
  • Iago. Blessed fig's-end! the wine she drinks is made of
    grapes: if she had been blessed, she would never
    have loved the Moor. Blessed pudding! Didst thou
    not see her paddle with the palm of his hand? didst
    not mark that? 1055
  • Roderigo. Yes, that I did; but that was but courtesy.
  • Iago. Lechery, by this hand; an index and obscure prologue
    to the history of lust and foul thoughts. They met
    so near with their lips that their breaths embraced
    together. Villanous thoughts, Roderigo! when these 1060
    mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes
    the master and main exercise, the incorporate
    conclusion, Pish! But, sir, be you ruled by me: I
    have brought you from Venice. Watch you to-night;
    for the command, I'll lay't upon you. Cassio knows 1065
    you not. I'll not be far from you: do you find
    some occasion to anger Cassio, either by speaking
    too loud, or tainting his discipline; or from what
    other course you please, which the time shall more
    favourably minister. 1070
  • Iago. Sir, he is rash and very sudden in choler, and haply
    may strike at you: provoke him, that he may; for
    even out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to
    mutiny; whose qualification shall come into no true 1075
    taste again but by the displanting of Cassio. So
    shall you have a shorter journey to your desires by
    the means I shall then have to prefer them; and the
    impediment most profitably removed, without the
    which there were no expectation of our prosperity. 1080
  • Roderigo. I will do this, if I can bring it to any
    opportunity.
  • Iago. I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel:
    I must fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell.

[Exit]

  • Iago. That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it;
    That she loves him, 'tis apt and of great credit:
    The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,
    Is of a constant, loving, noble nature, 1090
    And I dare think he'll prove to Desdemona
    A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too;
    Not out of absolute lust, though peradventure
    I stand accountant for as great a sin,
    But partly led to diet my revenge, 1095
    For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
    Hath leap'd into my seat; the thought whereof
    Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards;
    And nothing can or shall content my soul
    Till I am even'd with him, wife for wife, 1100
    Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
    At least into a jealousy so strong
    That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,
    If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash
    For his quick hunting, stand the putting on, 1105
    I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
    Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb—
    For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too—
    Make the Moor thank me, love me and reward me.
    For making him egregiously an ass 1110
    And practising upon his peace and quiet
    Even to madness. 'Tis here, but yet confused:
    Knavery's plain face is never seen tin used.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 2

A street.

      next scene .
---

[Enter a Herald with a proclamation; People following]

  • Herald. It is Othello's pleasure, our noble and valiant
    general, that, upon certain tidings now arrived,
    importing the mere perdition of the Turkish fleet,
    every man put himself into triumph; some to dance,
    some to make bonfires, each man to what sport and 1120
    revels his addiction leads him: for, besides these
    beneficial news, it is the celebration of his
    nuptial. So much was his pleasure should be
    proclaimed. All offices are open, and there is full
    liberty of feasting from this present hour of five 1125
    till the bell have told eleven. Heaven bless the
    isle of Cyprus and our noble general Othello!

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 3

A hall in the castle.

      next scene .
---

[Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, CASSIO, and Attendants]

  • Othello. Good Michael, look you to the guard to-night: 1130
    Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,
    Not to outsport discretion.
  • Cassio. Iago hath direction what to do;
    But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye
    Will I look to't. 1135
  • Othello. Iago is most honest.
    Michael, good night: to-morrow with your earliest
    Let me have speech with you.
    [To DESDEMONA]
    Come, my dear love, 1140
    The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;
    That profit's yet to come 'tween me and you.
    Good night.

[Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants]

[Enter IAGO]

  • Cassio. Welcome, Iago; we must to the watch.
  • Iago. Not this hour, lieutenant; 'tis not yet ten o' the
    clock. Our general cast us thus early for the love
    of his Desdemona; who let us not therefore blame:
    he hath not yet made wanton the night with her; and 1150
    she is sport for Jove.
  • Cassio. She's a most exquisite lady.
  • Iago. And, I'll warrant her, fun of game.
  • Cassio. Indeed, she's a most fresh and delicate creature.
  • Iago. What an eye she has! methinks it sounds a parley of 1155
    provocation.
  • Cassio. An inviting eye; and yet methinks right modest.
  • Iago. And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?
  • Cassio. She is indeed perfection.
  • Iago. Well, happiness to their sheets! Come, lieutenant, I 1160
    have a stoup of wine; and here without are a brace
    of Cyprus gallants that would fain have a measure to
    the health of black Othello.
  • Cassio. Not to-night, good Iago: I have very poor and
    unhappy brains for drinking: I could well wish 1165
    courtesy would invent some other custom of
    entertainment.
  • Iago. O, they are our friends; but one cup: I'll drink for
    you.
  • Cassio. I have drunk but one cup to-night, and that was 1170
    craftily qualified too, and, behold, what innovation
    it makes here: I am unfortunate in the infirmity,
    and dare not task my weakness with any more.
  • Iago. What, man! 'tis a night of revels: the gallants
    desire it. 1175
  • Iago. Here at the door; I pray you, call them in.
  • Cassio. I'll do't; but it dislikes me.

[Exit]

  • Iago. If I can fasten but one cup upon him, 1180
    With that which he hath drunk to-night already,
    He'll be as full of quarrel and offence
    As my young mistress' dog. Now, my sick fool Roderigo,
    Whom love hath turn'd almost the wrong side out,
    To Desdemona hath to-night caroused 1185
    Potations pottle-deep; and he's to watch:
    Three lads of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits,
    That hold their honours in a wary distance,
    The very elements of this warlike isle,
    Have I to-night fluster'd with flowing cups, 1190
    And they watch too. Now, 'mongst this flock of drunkards,
    Am I to put our Cassio in some action
    That may offend the isle.—But here they come:
    If consequence do but approve my dream,
    My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream. 1195

[Re-enter CASSIO; with him MONTANO and Gentlemen; servants following with wine]

  • Cassio. 'Fore God, they have given me a rouse already.
  • Montano. Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as I am
    a soldier.
  • Iago. Some wine, ho! 1200
    [Sings]
    And let me the canakin clink, clink;
    And let me the canakin clink
    A soldier's a man;
    A life's but a span; 1205
    Why, then, let a soldier drink.
    Some wine, boys!
  • Cassio. 'Fore God, an excellent song.
  • Iago. I learned it in England, where, indeed, they are
    most potent in potting: your Dane, your German, and 1210
    your swag-bellied Hollander—Drink, ho!—are nothing
    to your English.
  • Cassio. Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?
  • Iago. Why, he drinks you, with facility, your Dane dead
    drunk; he sweats not to overthrow your Almain; he 1215
    gives your Hollander a vomit, ere the next pottle
    can be filled.
  • Cassio. To the health of our general!
  • Montano. I am for it, lieutenant; and I'll do you justice.
  • Iago. O sweet England! 1220
    King Stephen was a worthy peer,
    His breeches cost him but a crown;
    He held them sixpence all too dear,
    With that he call'd the tailor lown.
    He was a wight of high renown, 1225
    And thou art but of low degree:
    'Tis pride that pulls the country down;
    Then take thine auld cloak about thee.
    Some wine, ho!
  • Cassio. Why, this is a more exquisite song than the other. 1230
  • Iago. Will you hear't again?
  • Cassio. No; for I hold him to be unworthy of his place that
    does those things. Well, God's above all; and there
    be souls must be saved, and there be souls must not be saved.
  • Iago. It's true, good lieutenant. 1235
  • Cassio. For mine own part,—no offence to the general, nor
    any man of quality,—I hope to be saved.
  • Iago. And so do I too, lieutenant.
  • Cassio. Ay, but, by your leave, not before me; the
    lieutenant is to be saved before the ancient. Let's 1240
    have no more of this; let's to our affairs.—Forgive
    us our sins!—Gentlemen, let's look to our business.
    Do not think, gentlemen. I am drunk: this is my
    ancient; this is my right hand, and this is my left:
    I am not drunk now; I can stand well enough, and 1245
    speak well enough.
  • All. Excellent well.
  • Cassio. Why, very well then; you must not think then that I am drunk.

[Exit]

  • Montano. To the platform, masters; come, let's set the watch. 1250
  • Iago. You see this fellow that is gone before;
    He is a soldier fit to stand by Caesar
    And give direction: and do but see his vice;
    'Tis to his virtue a just equinox,
    The one as long as the other: 'tis pity of him. 1255
    I fear the trust Othello puts him in.
    On some odd time of his infirmity,
    Will shake this island.
  • Iago. 'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep: 1260
    He'll watch the horologe a double set,
    If drink rock not his cradle.
  • Montano. It were well
    The general were put in mind of it.
    Perhaps he sees it not; or his good nature 1265
    Prizes the virtue that appears in Cassio,
    And looks not on his evils: is not this true?

[Enter RODERIGO]

  • Iago. [Aside to him] How now, Roderigo!
    I pray you, after the lieutenant; go. 1270

[Exit RODERIGO]

  • Montano. And 'tis great pity that the noble Moor
    Should hazard such a place as his own second
    With one of an ingraft infirmity:
    It were an honest action to say 1275
    So to the Moor.
  • Iago. Not I, for this fair island:
    I do love Cassio well; and would do much
    To cure him of this evil—But, hark! what noise?

[Cry within: 'Help! help!']

[Re-enter CASSIO, driving in RODERIGO]

  • Cassio. You rogue! you rascal!
  • Montano. What's the matter, lieutenant?
  • Cassio. A knave teach me my duty!
    I'll beat the knave into a twiggen bottle. 1285
  • Cassio. Dost thou prate, rogue?

[Striking RODERIGO]

  • Montano. Nay, good lieutenant;
    [Staying him] 1290
    I pray you, sir, hold your hand.
  • Cassio. Let me go, sir,
    Or I'll knock you o'er the mazzard.
  • Montano. Come, come,
    you're drunk. 1295

[They fight]

  • Iago. [Aside to RODERIGO] Away, I say; go out, and cry a mutiny.
    [Exit RODERIGO]
    Nay, good lieutenant,—alas, gentlemen;— 1300
    Help, ho!—Lieutenant,—sir,—Montano,—sir;
    Help, masters!—Here's a goodly watch indeed!
    [Bell rings]
    Who's that which rings the bell?—Diablo, ho!
    The town will rise: God's will, lieutenant, hold! 1305
    You will be shamed for ever.

[Re-enter OTHELLO and Attendants]

  • Montano. 'Zounds, I bleed still; I am hurt to the death.

[Faints]

  • Iago. Hold, ho! Lieutenant,—sir—Montano,—gentlemen,—
    Have you forgot all sense of place and duty?
    Hold! the general speaks to you; hold, hold, for shame!
  • Othello. Why, how now, ho! from whence ariseth this? 1315
    Are we turn'd Turks, and to ourselves do that
    Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?
    For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl:
    He that stirs next to carve for his own rage
    Holds his soul light; he dies upon his motion. 1320
    Silence that dreadful bell: it frights the isle
    From her propriety. What is the matter, masters?
    Honest Iago, that look'st dead with grieving,
    Speak, who began this? on thy love, I charge thee.
  • Iago. I do not know: friends all but now, even now, 1325
    In quarter, and in terms like bride and groom
    Devesting them for bed; and then, but now—
    As if some planet had unwitted men—
    Swords out, and tilting one at other's breast,
    In opposition bloody. I cannot speak 1330
    Any beginning to this peevish odds;
    And would in action glorious I had lost
    Those legs that brought me to a part of it!
  • Othello. How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?
  • Cassio. I pray you, pardon me; I cannot speak. 1335
  • Othello. Worthy Montano, you were wont be civil;
    The gravity and stillness of your youth
    The world hath noted, and your name is great
    In mouths of wisest censure: what's the matter,
    That you unlace your reputation thus 1340
    And spend your rich opinion for the name
    Of a night-brawler? give me answer to it.
  • Montano. Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger:
    Your officer, Iago, can inform you,—
    While I spare speech, which something now 1345
    offends me,—
    Of all that I do know: nor know I aught
    By me that's said or done amiss this night;
    Unless self-charity be sometimes a vice,
    And to defend ourselves it be a sin 1350
    When violence assails us.
  • Othello. Now, by heaven,
    My blood begins my safer guides to rule;
    And passion, having my best judgment collied,
    Assays to lead the way: if I once stir, 1355
    Or do but lift this arm, the best of you
    Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know
    How this foul rout began, who set it on;
    And he that is approved in this offence,
    Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth, 1360
    Shall lose me. What! in a town of war,
    Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear,
    To manage private and domestic quarrel,
    In night, and on the court and guard of safety!
    'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began't? 1365
  • Montano. If partially affined, or leagued in office,
    Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,
    Thou art no soldier.
  • Iago. Touch me not so near:
    I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth 1370
    Than it should do offence to Michael Cassio;
    Yet, I persuade myself, to speak the truth
    Shall nothing wrong him. Thus it is, general.
    Montano and myself being in speech,
    There comes a fellow crying out for help: 1375
    And Cassio following him with determined sword,
    To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman
    Steps in to Cassio, and entreats his pause:
    Myself the crying fellow did pursue,
    Lest by his clamour—as it so fell out— 1380
    The town might fall in fright: he, swift of foot,
    Outran my purpose; and I return'd the rather
    For that I heard the clink and fall of swords,
    And Cassio high in oath; which till to-night
    I ne'er might say before. When I came back— 1385
    For this was brief—I found them close together,
    At blow and thrust; even as again they were
    When you yourself did part them.
    More of this matter cannot I report:
    But men are men; the best sometimes forget: 1390
    Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
    As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
    Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
    From him that fled some strange indignity,
    Which patience could not pass. 1395
  • Othello. I know, Iago,
    Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
    Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee
    But never more be officer of mine.
    [Re-enter DESDEMONA, attended] 1400
    Look, if my gentle love be not raised up!
    I'll make thee an example.
  • Othello. All's well now, sweeting; come away to bed.
    Sir, for your hurts, myself will be your surgeon: 1405
    Lead him off.
    [To MONTANO, who is led off]
    Iago, look with care about the town,
    And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.
    Come, Desdemona: 'tis the soldiers' life 1410
    To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.

[Exeunt all but IAGO and CASSIO]

  • Iago. What, are you hurt, lieutenant?
  • Cassio. Ay, past all surgery.
  • Iago. Marry, heaven forbid! 1415
  • Cassio. Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost
    my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of
    myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation,
    Iago, my reputation!
  • Iago. As I am an honest man, I thought you had received 1420
    some bodily wound; there is more sense in that than
    in reputation. Reputation is an idle and most false
    imposition: oft got without merit, and lost without
    deserving: you have lost no reputation at all,
    unless you repute yourself such a loser. What, man! 1425
    there are ways to recover the general again: you
    are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in
    policy than in malice, even so as one would beat his
    offenceless dog to affright an imperious lion: sue
    to him again, and he's yours. 1430
  • Cassio. I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so
    good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so
    indiscreet an officer. Drunk? and speak parrot?
    and squabble? swagger? swear? and discourse
    fustian with one's own shadow? O thou invisible 1435
    spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by,
    let us call thee devil!
  • Iago. What was he that you followed with your sword? What
    had he done to you?
  • Iago. Is't possible?
  • Cassio. I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly;
    a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. O God, that men
    should put an enemy in their mouths to steal away
    their brains! that we should, with joy, pleasance 1445
    revel and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!
  • Iago. Why, but you are now well enough: how came you thus
    recovered?
  • Cassio. It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place
    to the devil wrath; one unperfectness shows me 1450
    another, to make me frankly despise myself.
  • Iago. Come, you are too severe a moraler: as the time,
    the place, and the condition of this country
    stands, I could heartily wish this had not befallen;
    but, since it is as it is, mend it for your own good. 1455
  • Cassio. I will ask him for my place again; he shall tell me
    I am a drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra,
    such an answer would stop them all. To be now a
    sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a
    beast! O strange! Every inordinate cup is 1460
    unblessed and the ingredient is a devil.
  • Iago. Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature,
    if it be well used: exclaim no more against it.
    And, good lieutenant, I think you think I love you.
  • Cassio. I have well approved it, sir. I drunk! 1465
  • Iago. You or any man living may be drunk! at a time, man.
    I'll tell you what you shall do. Our general's wife
    is now the general: may say so in this respect, for
    that he hath devoted and given up himself to the
    contemplation, mark, and denotement of her parts and 1470
    graces: confess yourself freely to her; importune
    her help to put you in your place again: she is of
    so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition,
    she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more
    than she is requested: this broken joint between 1475
    you and her husband entreat her to splinter; and, my
    fortunes against any lay worth naming, this
    crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.
  • Iago. I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest kindness. 1480
  • Cassio. I think it freely; and betimes in the morning I will
    beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me:
    I am desperate of my fortunes if they cheque me here.
  • Iago. You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant; I
    must to the watch. 1485

[Exit]

  • Iago. And what's he then that says I play the villain?
    When this advice is free I give and honest,
    Probal to thinking and indeed the course 1490
    To win the Moor again? For 'tis most easy
    The inclining Desdemona to subdue
    In any honest suit: she's framed as fruitful
    As the free elements. And then for her
    To win the Moor—were't to renounce his baptism, 1495
    All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,
    His soul is so enfetter'd to her love,
    That she may make, unmake, do what she list,
    Even as her appetite shall play the god
    With his weak function. How am I then a villain 1500
    To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,
    Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!
    When devils will the blackest sins put on,
    They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,
    As I do now: for whiles this honest fool 1505
    Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes
    And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,
    I'll pour this pestilence into his ear,
    That she repeals him for her body's lust;
    And by how much she strives to do him good, 1510
    She shall undo her credit with the Moor.
    So will I turn her virtue into pitch,
    And out of her own goodness make the net
    That shall enmesh them all.
    [Re-enter RODERIGO] 1515
    How now, Roderigo!
  • Roderigo. I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound that
    hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money is
    almost spent; I have been to-night exceedingly well
    cudgelled; and I think the issue will be, I shall 1520
    have so much experience for my pains, and so, with
    no money at all and a little more wit, return again to Venice.
  • Iago. How poor are they that have not patience!
    What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
    Thou know'st we work by wit, and not by witchcraft; 1525
    And wit depends on dilatory time.
    Does't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee.
    And thou, by that small hurt, hast cashier'd Cassio:
    Though other things grow fair against the sun,
    Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe: 1530
    Content thyself awhile. By the mass, 'tis morning;
    Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.
    Retire thee; go where thou art billeted:
    Away, I say; thou shalt know more hereafter:
    Nay, get thee gone. 1535
    [Exit RODERIGO]
    Two things are to be done:
    My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress;
    I'll set her on;
    Myself the while to draw the Moor apart, 1540
    And bring him jump when he may Cassio find
    Soliciting his wife: ay, that's the way
    Dull not device by coldness and delay.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 1

Before the castle.

      next scene .
---

[Enter CASSIO and some Musicians]

  • Cassio. Masters, play here; I will content your pains;
    Something that's brief; and bid 'Good morrow, general.'

[Music]

[Enter Clown]

  • Clown. Why masters, have your instruments been in Naples, 1550
    that they speak i' the nose thus?
  • Clown. Are these, I pray you, wind-instruments?
  • Clown. O, thereby hangs a tail. 1555
  • Clown. Marry. sir, by many a wind-instrument that I know.
    But, masters, here's money for you: and the general
    so likes your music, that he desires you, for love's
    sake, to make no more noise with it. 1560
  • Clown. If you have any music that may not be heard, to't
    again: but, as they say to hear music the general
    does not greatly care.
  • Clown. Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away:
    go; vanish into air; away!

[Exeunt Musicians]

  • Cassio. Dost thou hear, my honest friend?
  • Clown. No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you. 1570
  • Cassio. Prithee, keep up thy quillets. There's a poor piece
    of gold for thee: if the gentlewoman that attends
    the general's wife be stirring, tell her there's
    one Cassio entreats her a little favour of speech:
    wilt thou do this? 1575
  • Clown. She is stirring, sir: if she will stir hither, I
    shall seem to notify unto her.
  • Cassio. Do, good my friend.
    [Exit Clown]
    [Enter IAGO] 1580
    In happy time, Iago.
  • Iago. You have not been a-bed, then?
  • Cassio. Why, no; the day had broke
    Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago,
    To send in to your wife: my suit to her 1585
    Is, that she will to virtuous Desdemona
    Procure me some access.
  • Iago. I'll send her to you presently;
    And I'll devise a mean to draw the Moor
    Out of the way, that your converse and business 1590
    May be more free.
  • Cassio. I humbly thank you for't.
    [Exit IAGO]
    I never knew
    A Florentine more kind and honest. 1595

[Enter EMILIA]

  • Emilia. Good morrow, good Lieutenant: I am sorry
    For your displeasure; but all will sure be well.
    The general and his wife are talking of it;
    And she speaks for you stoutly: the Moor replies, 1600
    That he you hurt is of great fame in Cyprus,
    And great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdom
    He might not but refuse you; but he protests he loves you
    And needs no other suitor but his likings
    To take the safest occasion by the front 1605
    To bring you in again.
  • Cassio. Yet, I beseech you,
    If you think fit, or that it may be done,
    Give me advantage of some brief discourse
    With Desdemona alone. 1610
  • Emilia. Pray you, come in;
    I will bestow you where you shall have time
    To speak your bosom freely.
  • Cassio. I am much bound to you.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 2

A room in the castle.

      next scene .
---

[Enter OTHELLO, IAGO, and Gentlemen]

  • Othello. These letters give, Iago, to the pilot;
    And by him do my duties to the senate:
    That done, I will be walking on the works;
    Repair there to me. 1620
  • Iago. Well, my good lord, I'll do't.
  • Othello. This fortification, gentlemen, shall we see't?

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 3

The garden of the castle.

      next scene .
---

[Enter DESDEMONA, CASSIO, and EMILIA]

  • Desdemona. Be thou assured, good Cassio, I will do
    All my abilities in thy behalf.
  • Emilia. Good madam, do: I warrant it grieves my husband,
    As if the case were his.
  • Desdemona. O, that's an honest fellow. Do not doubt, Cassio, 1630
    But I will have my lord and you again
    As friendly as you were.
  • Cassio. Bounteous madam,
    Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio,
    He's never any thing but your true servant. 1635
  • Desdemona. I know't; I thank you. You do love my lord:
    You have known him long; and be you well assured
    He shall in strangeness stand no further off
    Than in a polite distance.
  • Cassio. Ay, but, lady, 1640
    That policy may either last so long,
    Or feed upon such nice and waterish diet,
    Or breed itself so out of circumstance,
    That, I being absent and my place supplied,
    My general will forget my love and service. 1645
  • Desdemona. Do not doubt that; before Emilia here
    I give thee warrant of thy place: assure thee,
    If I do vow a friendship, I'll perform it
    To the last article: my lord shall never rest;
    I'll watch him tame and talk him out of patience; 1650
    His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift;
    I'll intermingle every thing he does
    With Cassio's suit: therefore be merry, Cassio;
    For thy solicitor shall rather die
    Than give thy cause away. 1655
  • Emilia. Madam, here comes my lord.
  • Cassio. Madam, I'll take my leave.
  • Cassio. Madam, not now: I am very ill at ease,
    Unfit for mine own purposes. 1660

[Exit CASSIO]

[Enter OTHELLO and IAGO]

  • Iago. Ha! I like not that.
  • Iago. Nothing, my lord: or if—I know not what.
  • Othello. Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?
  • Iago. Cassio, my lord! No, sure, I cannot think it,
    That he would steal away so guilty-like,
    Seeing you coming. 1670
  • Desdemona. How now, my lord!
    I have been talking with a suitor here,
    A man that languishes in your displeasure.
  • Desdemona. Why, your lieutenant, Cassio. Good my lord,
    If I have any grace or power to move you,
    His present reconciliation take;
    For if he be not one that truly loves you,
    That errs in ignorance and not in cunning, 1680
    I have no judgment in an honest face:
    I prithee, call him back.
  • Desdemona. Ay, sooth; so humbled
    That he hath left part of his grief with me, 1685
    To suffer with him. Good love, call him back.
  • Othello. Not now, sweet Desdemona; some other time.
  • Othello. The sooner, sweet, for you.
  • Desdemona. Shall't be to-night at supper? 1690
  • Othello. I shall not dine at home;
    I meet the captains at the citadel.
  • Desdemona. Why, then, to-morrow night; or Tuesday morn; 1695
    On Tuesday noon, or night; on Wednesday morn:
    I prithee, name the time, but let it not
    Exceed three days: in faith, he's penitent;
    And yet his trespass, in our common reason—
    Save that, they say, the wars must make examples 1700
    Out of their best—is not almost a fault
    To incur a private cheque. When shall he come?
    Tell me, Othello: I wonder in my soul,
    What you would ask me, that I should deny,
    Or stand so mammering on. What! Michael Cassio, 1705
    That came a-wooing with you, and so many a time,
    When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,
    Hath ta'en your part; to have so much to do
    To bring him in! Trust me, I could do much,—
  • Othello. Prithee, no more: let him come when he will; 1710
    I will deny thee nothing.
  • Desdemona. Why, this is not a boon;
    'Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,
    Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm,
    Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit 1715
    To your own person: nay, when I have a suit
    Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
    It shall be full of poise and difficult weight
    And fearful to be granted.
  • Othello. I will deny thee nothing: 1720
    Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this,
    To leave me but a little to myself.
  • Desdemona. Shall I deny you? no: farewell, my lord.
  • Othello. Farewell, my Desdemona: I'll come to thee straight.
  • Desdemona. Emilia, come. Be as your fancies teach you; 1725
    Whate'er you be, I am obedient.

[Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA]

  • Othello. Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul,
    But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
    Chaos is come again. 1730
  • Iago. My noble lord—
  • Othello. What dost thou say, Iago?
  • Iago. Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my lady,
    Know of your love?
  • Othello. He did, from first to last: why dost thou ask? 1735
  • Iago. But for a satisfaction of my thought;
    No further harm.
  • Othello. Why of thy thought, Iago?
  • Iago. I did not think he had been acquainted with her.
  • Othello. O, yes; and went between us very oft. 1740
  • Othello. Indeed! ay, indeed: discern'st thou aught in that?
    Is he not honest?
  • Iago. Honest, my lord!
  • Iago. My lord, for aught I know.
  • Iago. Think, my lord!
  • Othello. Think, my lord!
    By heaven, he echoes me, 1750
    As if there were some monster in his thought
    Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean something:
    I heard thee say even now, thou likedst not that,
    When Cassio left my wife: what didst not like?
    And when I told thee he was of my counsel 1755
    In my whole course of wooing, thou criedst 'Indeed!'
    And didst contract and purse thy brow together,
    As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain
    Some horrible conceit: if thou dost love me,
    Show me thy thought. 1760
  • Iago. My lord, you know I love you.
  • Othello. I think thou dost;
    And, for I know thou'rt full of love and honesty,
    And weigh'st thy words before thou givest them breath,
    Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more: 1765
    For such things in a false disloyal knave
    Are tricks of custom, but in a man that's just
    They are close delations, working from the heart
    That passion cannot rule.
  • Iago. For Michael Cassio, 1770
    I dare be sworn I think that he is honest.
  • Iago. Men should be what they seem;
    Or those that be not, would they might seem none!
  • Othello. Certain, men should be what they seem. 1775
  • Iago. Why, then, I think Cassio's an honest man.
  • Othello. Nay, yet there's more in this:
    I prithee, speak to me as to thy thinkings,
    As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of thoughts
    The worst of words. 1780
  • Iago. Good my lord, pardon me:
    Though I am bound to every act of duty,
    I am not bound to that all slaves are free to.
    Utter my thoughts? Why, say they are vile and false;
    As where's that palace whereinto foul things 1785
    Sometimes intrude not? who has a breast so pure,
    But some uncleanly apprehensions
    Keep leets and law-days and in session sit
    With meditations lawful?
  • Othello. Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago, 1790
    If thou but think'st him wrong'd and makest his ear
    A stranger to thy thoughts.
  • Iago. I do beseech you—
    Though I perchance am vicious in my guess,
    As, I confess, it is my nature's plague 1795
    To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
    Shapes faults that are not—that your wisdom yet,
    From one that so imperfectly conceits,
    Would take no notice, nor build yourself a trouble
    Out of his scattering and unsure observance. 1800
    It were not for your quiet nor your good,
    Nor for my manhood, honesty, or wisdom,
    To let you know my thoughts.
  • Iago. Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, 1805
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
    Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands:
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him 1810
    And makes me poor indeed.
  • Othello. By heaven, I'll know thy thoughts.
  • Iago. You cannot, if my heart were in your hand;
    Nor shall not, whilst 'tis in my custody.
  • Iago. O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
    It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
    The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
    Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
    But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er 1820
    Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!
  • Iago. Poor and content is rich and rich enough,
    But riches fineless is as poor as winter
    To him that ever fears he shall be poor. 1825
    Good heaven, the souls of all my tribe defend
    From jealousy!
  • Othello. Why, why is this?
    Think'st thou I'ld make a lie of jealousy,
    To follow still the changes of the moon 1830
    With fresh suspicions? No; to be once in doubt
    Is once to be resolved: exchange me for a goat,
    When I shall turn the business of my soul
    To such exsufflicate and blown surmises,
    Matching thy inference. 'Tis not to make me jealous 1835
    To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
    Is free of speech, sings, plays and dances well;
    Where virtue is, these are more virtuous:
    Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw
    The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt; 1840
    For she had eyes, and chose me. No, Iago;
    I'll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;
    And on the proof, there is no more but this,—
    Away at once with love or jealousy!
  • Iago. I am glad of it; for now I shall have reason 1845
    To show the love and duty that I bear you
    With franker spirit: therefore, as I am bound,
    Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.
    Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio;
    Wear your eye thus, not jealous nor secure: 1850
    I would not have your free and noble nature,
    Out of self-bounty, be abused; look to't:
    I know our country disposition well;
    In Venice they do let heaven see the pranks
    They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience 1855
    Is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown.
  • Iago. She did deceive her father, marrying you;
    And when she seem'd to shake and fear your looks,
    She loved them most. 1860
  • Iago. Why, go to then;
    She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
    To seal her father's eyes up close as oak-
    He thought 'twas witchcraft—but I am much to blame; 1865
    I humbly do beseech you of your pardon
    For too much loving you.
  • Othello. I am bound to thee for ever.
  • Iago. I see this hath a little dash'd your spirits.
  • Othello. Not a jot, not a jot. 1870
  • Iago. I' faith, I fear it has.
    I hope you will consider what is spoke
    Comes from my love. But I do see you're moved:
    I am to pray you not to strain my speech
    To grosser issues nor to larger reach 1875
    Than to suspicion.
  • Iago. Should you do so, my lord,
    My speech should fall into such vile success
    As my thoughts aim not at. Cassio's my worthy friend— 1880
    My lord, I see you're moved.
  • Othello. No, not much moved:
    I do not think but Desdemona's honest.
  • Iago. Long live she so! and long live you to think so!
  • Othello. And yet, how nature erring from itself,— 1885
  • Iago. Ay, there's the point: as—to be bold with you—
    Not to affect many proposed matches
    Of her own clime, complexion, and degree,
    Whereto we see in all things nature tends—
    Foh! one may smell in such a will most rank, 1890
    Foul disproportion thoughts unnatural.
    But pardon me; I do not in position
    Distinctly speak of her; though I may fear
    Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
    May fall to match you with her country forms 1895
    And happily repent.
  • Othello. Farewell, farewell:
    If more thou dost perceive, let me know more;
    Set on thy wife to observe: leave me, Iago:
  • Iago. [Going] My lord, I take my leave. 1900
  • Othello. Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless
    Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.
  • Iago. [Returning] My lord, I would I might entreat
    your honour
    To scan this thing no further; leave it to time: 1905
    Though it be fit that Cassio have his place,
    For sure, he fills it up with great ability,
    Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,
    You shall by that perceive him and his means:
    Note, if your lady strain his entertainment 1910
    With any strong or vehement importunity;
    Much will be seen in that. In the mean time,
    Let me be thought too busy in my fears—
    As worthy cause I have to fear I am—
    And hold her free, I do beseech your honour. 1915
  • Iago. I once more take my leave.

[Exit]

  • Othello. This fellow's of exceeding honesty,
    And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit, 1920
    Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,
    Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
    I'ld whistle her off and let her down the wind,
    To pray at fortune. Haply, for I am black
    And have not those soft parts of conversation 1925
    That chamberers have, or for I am declined
    Into the vale of years,—yet that's not much—
    She's gone. I am abused; and my relief
    Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,
    That we can call these delicate creatures ours, 1930
    And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
    And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,
    Than keep a corner in the thing I love
    For others' uses. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones;
    Prerogatived are they less than the base; 1935
    'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:
    Even then this forked plague is fated to us
    When we do quicken. Desdemona comes:
    [Re-enter DESDEMONA and EMILIA]
    If she be false, O, then heaven mocks itself! 1940
    I'll not believe't.
  • Desdemona. How now, my dear Othello!
    Your dinner, and the generous islanders
    By you invited, do attend your presence.
  • Desdemona. Why do you speak so faintly?
    Are you not well?
  • Othello. I have a pain upon my forehead here.
  • Desdemona. 'Faith, that's with watching; 'twill away again:
    Let me but bind it hard, within this hour 1950
    It will be well.
  • Othello. Your napkin is too little:
    [He puts the handkerchief from him; and it drops]
    Let it alone. Come, I'll go in with you.
  • Desdemona. I am very sorry that you are not well. 1955

[Exeunt OTHELLO and DESDEMONA]

  • Emilia. I am glad I have found this napkin:
    This was her first remembrance from the Moor:
    My wayward husband hath a hundred times
    Woo'd me to steal it; but she so loves the token, 1960
    For he conjured her she should ever keep it,
    That she reserves it evermore about her
    To kiss and talk to. I'll have the work ta'en out,
    And give't Iago: what he will do with it
    Heaven knows, not I; 1965
    I nothing but to please his fantasy.

[Re-enter Iago]

  • Iago. How now! what do you here alone?
  • Emilia. Do not you chide; I have a thing for you.
  • Iago. A thing for me? it is a common thing— 1970
  • Iago. To have a foolish wife.
  • Emilia. O, is that all? What will you give me now
    For the same handkerchief?
  • Iago. What handkerchief? 1975
  • Emilia. What handkerchief?
    Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona;
    That which so often you did bid me steal.
  • Iago. Hast stol'n it from her?
  • Emilia. No, 'faith; she let it drop by negligence. 1980
    And, to the advantage, I, being here, took't up.
    Look, here it is.
  • Iago. A good wench; give it me.
  • Emilia. What will you do with 't, that you have been
    so earnest 1985
    To have me filch it?
  • Iago. [Snatching it] Why, what's that to you?
  • Emilia. If it be not for some purpose of import,
    Give't me again: poor lady, she'll run mad
    When she shall lack it. 1990
  • Iago. Be not acknown on 't; I have use for it.
    Go, leave me.
    [Exit EMILIA]
    I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin,
    And let him find it. Trifles light as air 1995
    Are to the jealous confirmations strong
    As proofs of holy writ: this may do something.
    The Moor already changes with my poison:
    Dangerous conceits are, in their natures, poisons.
    Which at the first are scarce found to distaste, 2000
    But with a little act upon the blood.
    Burn like the mines of Sulphur. I did say so:
    Look, where he comes!
    [Re-enter OTHELLO]
    Not poppy, nor mandragora, 2005
    Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
    Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
    Which thou owedst yesterday.
  • Iago. Why, how now, general! no more of that. 2010
  • Othello. Avaunt! be gone! thou hast set me on the rack:
    I swear 'tis better to be much abused
    Than but to know't a little.
  • Iago. How now, my lord!
  • Othello. What sense had I of her stol'n hours of lust? 2015
    I saw't not, thought it not, it harm'd not me:
    I slept the next night well, was free and merry;
    I found not Cassio's kisses on her lips:
    He that is robb'd, not wanting what is stol'n,
    Let him not know't, and he's not robb'd at all. 2020
  • Iago. I am sorry to hear this.
  • Othello. I had been happy, if the general camp,
    Pioners and all, had tasted her sweet body,
    So I had nothing known. O, now, for ever
    Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content! 2025
    Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars,
    That make ambition virtue! O, farewell!
    Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
    The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
    The royal banner, and all quality, 2030
    Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war!
    And, O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
    The immortal Jove's dead clamours counterfeit,
    Farewell! Othello's occupation's gone!
  • Iago. Is't possible, my lord? 2035
  • Othello. Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore,
    Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof:
    Or by the worth of man's eternal soul,
    Thou hadst been better have been born a dog
    Than answer my waked wrath! 2040
  • Iago. Is't come to this?
  • Othello. Make me to see't; or, at the least, so prove it,
    That the probation bear no hinge nor loop
    To hang a doubt on; or woe upon thy life!
  • Iago. My noble lord,— 2045
  • Othello. If thou dost slander her and torture me,
    Never pray more; abandon all remorse;
    On horror's head horrors accumulate;
    Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed;
    For nothing canst thou to damnation add 2050
    Greater than that.
  • Iago. O grace! O heaven forgive me!
    Are you a man? have you a soul or sense?
    God be wi' you; take mine office. O wretched fool.
    That livest to make thine honesty a vice! 2055
    O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world,
    To be direct and honest is not safe.
    I thank you for this profit; and from hence
    I'll love no friend, sith love breeds such offence.
  • Othello. Nay, stay: thou shouldst be honest. 2060
  • Iago. I should be wise, for honesty's a fool
    And loses that it works for.
  • Othello. By the world,
    I think my wife be honest and think she is not;
    I think that thou art just and think thou art not. 2065
    I'll have some proof. Her name, that was as fresh
    As Dian's visage, is now begrimed and black
    As mine own face. If there be cords, or knives,
    Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,
    I'll not endure it. Would I were satisfied! 2070
  • Iago. I see, sir, you are eaten up with passion:
    I do repent me that I put it to you.
    You would be satisfied?
  • Iago. And may: but, how? how satisfied, my lord? 2075
    Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on—
    Behold her topp'd?
  • Iago. It were a tedious difficulty, I think,
    To bring them to that prospect: damn them then, 2080
    If ever mortal eyes do see them bolster
    More than their own! What then? how then?
    What shall I say? Where's satisfaction?
    It is impossible you should see this,
    Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys, 2085
    As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as gross
    As ignorance made drunk. But yet, I say,
    If imputation and strong circumstances,
    Which lead directly to the door of truth,
    Will give you satisfaction, you may have't. 2090
  • Othello. Give me a living reason she's disloyal.
  • Iago. I do not like the office:
    But, sith I am enter'd in this cause so far,
    Prick'd to't by foolish honesty and love,
    I will go on. I lay with Cassio lately; 2095
    And, being troubled with a raging tooth,
    I could not sleep.
    There are a kind of men so loose of soul,
    That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs:
    One of this kind is Cassio: 2100
    In sleep I heard him say 'Sweet Desdemona,
    Let us be wary, let us hide our loves;'
    And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand,
    Cry 'O sweet creature!' and then kiss me hard,
    As if he pluck'd up kisses by the roots 2105
    That grew upon my lips: then laid his leg
    Over my thigh, and sigh'd, and kiss'd; and then
    Cried 'Cursed fate that gave thee to the Moor!'
  • Iago. Nay, this was but his dream. 2110
  • Othello. But this denoted a foregone conclusion:
    'Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.
  • Iago. And this may help to thicken other proofs
    That do demonstrate thinly.
  • Othello. I'll tear her all to pieces. 2115
  • Iago. Nay, but be wise: yet we see nothing done;
    She may be honest yet. Tell me but this,
    Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief
    Spotted with strawberries in your wife's hand?
  • Othello. I gave her such a one; 'twas my first gift. 2120
  • Iago. I know not that; but such a handkerchief—
    I am sure it was your wife's—did I to-day
    See Cassio wipe his beard with.
  • Iago. If it be that, or any that was hers, 2125
    It speaks against her with the other proofs.
  • Othello. O, that the slave had forty thousand lives!
    One is too poor, too weak for my revenge.
    Now do I see 'tis true. Look here, Iago;
    All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven. 2130
    'Tis gone.
    Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell!
    Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne
    To tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,
    For 'tis of aspics' tongues! 2135
  • Iago. Yet be content.
  • Iago. Patience, I say; your mind perhaps may change.
  • Othello. Never, Iago: Like to the Pontic sea,
    Whose icy current and compulsive course 2140
    Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
    To the Propontic and the Hellespont,
    Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,
    Shall ne'er look back, ne'er ebb to humble love,
    Till that a capable and wide revenge 2145
    Swallow them up. Now, by yond marble heaven,
    [Kneels]
    In the due reverence of a sacred vow
    I here engage my words.
  • Iago. Do not rise yet. 2150
    [Kneels]
    Witness, you ever-burning lights above,
    You elements that clip us round about,
    Witness that here Iago doth give up
    The execution of his wit, hands, heart, 2155
    To wrong'd Othello's service! Let him command,
    And to obey shall be in me remorse,
    What bloody business ever.

[They rise]

  • Othello. I greet thy love, 2160
    Not with vain thanks, but with acceptance bounteous,
    And will upon the instant put thee to't:
    Within these three days let me hear thee say
    That Cassio's not alive.
  • Iago. My friend is dead; 'tis done at your request: 2165
    But let her live.
  • Othello. Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her!
    Come, go with me apart; I will withdraw,
    To furnish me with some swift means of death
    For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant. 2170
  • Iago. I am your own for ever.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 4

Before the castle.

      next scene .
---

[Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, and Clown]

  • Desdemona. Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant Cassio lies?
  • Clown. I dare not say he lies any where. 2175
  • Clown. He's a soldier, and for one to say a soldier lies,
    is stabbing.
  • Clown. To tell you where he lodges, is to tell you where I lie. 2180
  • Clown. I know not where he lodges, and for me to devise a
    lodging and say he lies here or he lies there, were
    to lie in mine own throat.
  • Desdemona. Can you inquire him out, and be edified by report? 2185
  • Clown. I will catechise the world for him; that is, make
    questions, and by them answer.
  • Desdemona. Seek him, bid him come hither: tell him I have
    moved my lord on his behalf, and hope all will be well.
  • Clown. To do this is within the compass of man's wit: and 2190
    therefore I will attempt the doing it.

[Exit]

  • Desdemona. Where should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?
  • Desdemona. Believe me, I had rather have lost my purse 2195
    Full of crusadoes: and, but my noble Moor
    Is true of mind and made of no such baseness
    As jealous creatures are, it were enough
    To put him to ill thinking.
  • Emilia. Is he not jealous? 2200
  • Desdemona. Who, he? I think the sun where he was born
    Drew all such humours from him.
  • Emilia. Look, where he comes.
  • Desdemona. I will not leave him now till Cassio
    Be call'd to him. 2205
    [Enter OTHELLO]
    How is't with you, my lord
  • Othello. Well, my good lady.
    [Aside]
    O, hardness to dissemble!— 2210
    How do you, Desdemona?
  • Othello. Give me your hand: this hand is moist, my lady.
  • Desdemona. It yet hath felt no age nor known no sorrow.
  • Othello. This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart: 2215
    Hot, hot, and moist: this hand of yours requires
    A sequester from liberty, fasting and prayer,
    Much castigation, exercise devout;
    For here's a young and sweating devil here,
    That commonly rebels. 'Tis a good hand, 2220
    A frank one.
  • Desdemona. You may, indeed, say so;
    For 'twas that hand that gave away my heart.
  • Othello. A liberal hand: the hearts of old gave hands;
    But our new heraldry is hands, not hearts. 2225
  • Desdemona. I cannot speak of this. Come now, your promise.
  • Desdemona. I have sent to bid Cassio come speak with you.
  • Othello. I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me;
    Lend me thy handkerchief. 2230
  • Othello. That is a fault.
    That handkerchief
    Did an Egyptian to my mother give;
    She was a charmer, and could almost read
    The thoughts of people: she told her, while 2240
    she kept it,
    'Twould make her amiable and subdue my father
    Entirely to her love, but if she lost it
    Or made gift of it, my father's eye
    Should hold her loathed and his spirits should hunt 2245
    After new fancies: she, dying, gave it me;
    And bid me, when my fate would have me wive,
    To give it her. I did so: and take heed on't;
    Make it a darling like your precious eye;
    To lose't or give't away were such perdition 2250
    As nothing else could match.
  • Othello. 'Tis true: there's magic in the web of it:
    A sibyl, that had number'd in the world
    The sun to course two hundred compasses, 2255
    In her prophetic fury sew'd the work;
    The worms were hallow'd that did breed the silk;
    And it was dyed in mummy which the skilful
    Conserved of maidens' hearts.
  • Othello. Most veritable; therefore look to't well.
  • Desdemona. Then would to God that I had never seen't!
  • Desdemona. Why do you speak so startingly and rash?
  • Othello. Is't lost? is't gone? speak, is it out 2265
    o' the way?
  • Desdemona. It is not lost; but what an if it were?
  • Desdemona. Why, so I can, sir, but I will not now.
    This is a trick to put me from my suit:
    Pray you, let Cassio be received again. 2275
  • Othello. Fetch me the handkerchief: my mind misgives.
  • Desdemona. Come, come;
    You'll never meet a more sufficient man.
  • Desdemona. A man that all his time
    Hath founded his good fortunes on your love,
    Shared dangers with you,—

[Exit]

  • Emilia. Is not this man jealous?
  • Desdemona. I ne'er saw this before. 2290
    Sure, there's some wonder in this handkerchief:
    I am most unhappy in the loss of it.
  • Emilia. 'Tis not a year or two shows us a man:
    They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;
    To eat us hungerly, and when they are full, 2295
    They belch us. Look you, Cassio and my husband!

[Enter CASSIO and IAGO]

  • Iago. There is no other way; 'tis she must do't:
    And, lo, the happiness! go, and importune her.
  • Desdemona. How now, good Cassio! what's the news with you? 2300
  • Cassio. Madam, my former suit: I do beseech you
    That by your virtuous means I may again
    Exist, and be a member of his love
    Whom I with all the office of my heart
    Entirely honour: I would not be delay'd. 2305
    If my offence be of such mortal kind
    That nor my service past, nor present sorrows,
    Nor purposed merit in futurity,
    Can ransom me into his love again,
    But to know so must be my benefit; 2310
    So shall I clothe me in a forced content,
    And shut myself up in some other course,
    To fortune's alms.
  • Desdemona. Alas, thrice-gentle Cassio!
    My advocation is not now in tune; 2315
    My lord is not my lord; nor should I know him,
    Were he in favour as in humour alter'd.
    So help me every spirit sanctified,
    As I have spoken for you all my best
    And stood within the blank of his displeasure 2320
    For my free speech! you must awhile be patient:
    What I can do I will; and more I will
    Than for myself I dare: let that suffice you.
  • Iago. Is my lord angry?
  • Emilia. He went hence but now, 2325
    And certainly in strange unquietness.
  • Iago. Can he be angry? I have seen the cannon,
    When it hath blown his ranks into the air,
    And, like the devil, from his very arm
    Puff'd his own brother:—and can he be angry? 2330
    Something of moment then: I will go meet him:
    There's matter in't indeed, if he be angry.
  • Desdemona. I prithee, do so.
    [Exit IAGO]
    Something, sure, of state, 2335
    Either from Venice, or some unhatch'd practise
    Made demonstrable here in Cyprus to him,
    Hath puddled his clear spirit: and in such cases
    Men's natures wrangle with inferior things,
    Though great ones are their object. 'Tis even so; 2340
    For let our finger ache, and it indues
    Our other healthful members even to that sense
    Of pain: nay, we must think men are not gods,
    Nor of them look for such observances
    As fit the bridal. Beshrew me much, Emilia, 2345
    I was, unhandsome warrior as I am,
    Arraigning his unkindness with my soul;
    But now I find I had suborn'd the witness,
    And he's indicted falsely.
  • Emilia. Pray heaven it be state-matters, as you think, 2350
    And no conception nor no jealous toy
    Concerning you.
  • Desdemona. Alas the day! I never gave him cause.
  • Emilia. But jealous souls will not be answer'd so;
    They are not ever jealous for the cause, 2355
    But jealous for they are jealous: 'tis a monster
    Begot upon itself, born on itself.
  • Desdemona. Heaven keep that monster from Othello's mind!
  • Desdemona. I will go seek him. Cassio, walk hereabout: 2360
    If I do find him fit, I'll move your suit
    And seek to effect it to my uttermost.
  • Cassio. I humbly thank your ladyship.

[Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA]

[Enter BIANCA]

  • Bianca. Save you, friend Cassio!
  • Cassio. What make you from home?
    How is it with you, my most fair Bianca?
    I' faith, sweet love, I was coming to your house.
  • Bianca. And I was going to your lodging, Cassio. 2370
    What, keep a week away? seven days and nights?
    Eight score eight hours? and lovers' absent hours,
    More tedious than the dial eight score times?
    O weary reckoning!
  • Cassio. Pardon me, Bianca: 2375
    I have this while with leaden thoughts been press'd:
    But I shall, in a more continuate time,
    Strike off this score of absence. Sweet Bianca,
    [Giving her DESDEMONA's handkerchief]
    Take me this work out. 2380
  • Bianca. O Cassio, whence came this?
    This is some token from a newer friend:
    To the felt absence now I feel a cause:
    Is't come to this? Well, well.
  • Cassio. Go to, woman! 2385
    Throw your vile guesses in the devil's teeth,
    From whence you have them. You are jealous now
    That this is from some mistress, some remembrance:
    No, in good troth, Bianca.
  • Bianca. Why, whose is it? 2390
  • Cassio. I know not, sweet: I found it in my chamber.
    I like the work well: ere it be demanded—
    As like enough it will—I'ld have it copied:
    Take it, and do't; and leave me for this time.
  • Bianca. Leave you! wherefore? 2395
  • Cassio. I do attend here on the general;
    And think it no addition, nor my wish,
    To have him see me woman'd.
  • Cassio. Not that I love you not. 2400
  • Bianca. But that you do not love me.
    I pray you, bring me on the way a little,
    And say if I shall see you soon at night.
  • Cassio. 'Tis but a little way that I can bring you;
    For I attend here: but I'll see you soon. 2405
  • Bianca. 'Tis very good; I must be circumstanced.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

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.

      next scene .
---

[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]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 1

Cyprus. A street.

      next scene .
---

[Enter IAGO and RODERIGO]

  • Iago. Here, stand behind this bulk; straight will he come:
    Wear thy good rapier bare, and put it home:
    Quick, quick; fear nothing; I'll be at thy elbow:
    It makes us, or it mars us; think on that,
    And fix most firm thy resolution. 3140
  • Roderigo. Be near at hand; I may miscarry in't.
  • Iago. Here, at thy hand: be bold, and take thy stand.

[Retires]

  • Roderigo. I have no great devotion to the deed;
    And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons: 3145
    'Tis but a man gone. Forth, my sword: he dies.
  • Iago. I have rubb'd this young quat almost to the sense,
    And he grows angry. Now, whether he kill Cassio,
    Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other,
    Every way makes my gain: live Roderigo, 3150
    He calls me to a restitution large
    Of gold and jewels that I bobb'd from him,
    As gifts to Desdemona;
    It must not be: if Cassio do remain,
    He hath a daily beauty in his life 3155
    That makes me ugly; and, besides, the Moor
    May unfold me to him; there stand I in much peril:
    No, he must die. But so: I hear him coming.

[Enter CASSIO]

  • Roderigo. I know his gait, 'tis he.—Villain, thou diest! 3160

[Makes a pass at CASSIO]

  • Cassio. That thrust had been mine enemy indeed,
    But that my coat is better than thou know'st
    I will make proof of thine.

[Draws, and wounds RODERIGO]

[IAGO from behind wounds CASSIO in the leg, and exit]

  • Cassio. I am maim'd for ever. Help, ho! murder! murder!

[Falls]

[Enter OTHELLO]

  • Othello. The voice of Cassio: Iago keeps his word.
  • Cassio. O, help, ho! light! a surgeon!
  • Othello. 'Tis he:—O brave Iago, honest and just, 3175
    That hast such noble sense of thy friend's wrong!
    Thou teachest me. Minion, your dear lies dead,
    And your unblest fate hies: strumpet, I come.
    Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted;
    Thy bed, lust-stain'd, shall with lust's blood be spotted. 3180

[Exit]

[Enter LODOVICO and GRATIANO]

  • Cassio. What, ho! no watch? no passage? murder! murder!
  • Gratiano. 'Tis some mischance; the cry is very direful.
  • Lodovico. Two or three groan: it is a heavy night:
    These may be counterfeits: let's think't unsafe
    To come in to the cry without more help. 3190
  • Roderigo. Nobody come? then shall I bleed to death.

[Re-enter IAGO, with a light]

  • Gratiano. Here's one comes in his shirt, with light and weapons.
  • Iago. Who's there? whose noise is this that ones on murder? 3195
  • Iago. Did not you hear a cry?
  • Cassio. Here, here! for heaven's sake, help me!
  • Iago. What's the matter?
  • Gratiano. This is Othello's ancient, as I take it. 3200
  • Lodovico. The same indeed; a very valiant fellow.
  • Iago. What are you here that cry so grievously?
  • Cassio. Iago? O, I am spoil'd, undone by villains!
    Give me some help.
  • Iago. O me, lieutenant! what villains have done this? 3205
  • Cassio. I think that one of them is hereabout,
    And cannot make away.
  • Iago. O treacherous villains!
    What are you there? come in, and give some help.

[To LODOVICO and GRATIANO]

  • Iago. O murderous slave! O villain!

[Stabs RODERIGO]

  • Roderigo. O damn'd Iago! O inhuman dog! 3215
  • Iago. Kill men i' the dark!—Where be these bloody thieves?—
    How silent is this town!—Ho! murder! murder!—
    What may you be? are you of good or evil?
  • Lodovico. As you shall prove us, praise us.
  • Iago. Signior Lodovico? 3220
  • Iago. I cry you mercy. Here's Cassio hurt by villains.
  • Iago. How is't, brother!
  • Cassio. My leg is cut in two. 3225
  • Iago. Marry, heaven forbid!
    Light, gentlemen; I'll bind it with my shirt.

[Enter BIANCA]

  • Bianca. What is the matter, ho? who is't that cried?
  • Iago. Who is't that cried! 3230
  • Bianca. O my dear Cassio! my sweet Cassio! O Cassio,
    Cassio, Cassio!
  • Iago. O notable strumpet! Cassio, may you suspect
    Who they should be that have thus many led you?
  • Gratiano. I am to find you thus: I have been to seek you.
  • Iago. Lend me a garter. So. O, for a chair,
    To bear him easily hence!
  • Bianca. Alas, he faints! O Cassio, Cassio, Cassio!
  • Iago. Gentlemen all, I do suspect this trash 3240
    To be a party in this injury.
    Patience awhile, good Cassio. Come, come;
    Lend me a light. Know we this face or no?
    Alas my friend and my dear countryman
    Roderigo! no:—yes, sure: O heaven! Roderigo. 3245
  • Iago. Even he, sir; did you know him?
  • Iago. Signior Gratiano? I cry you gentle pardon;
    These bloody accidents must excuse my manners, 3250
    That so neglected you.
  • Iago. How do you, Cassio? O, a chair, a chair!
  • Iago. He, he 'tis he. 3255
    [A chair brought in]
    O, that's well said; the chair!
  • Gratiano. Some good man bear him carefully from hence;
    I'll fetch the general's surgeon.
    [To BIANCA] 3260
    For you, mistress,
    Save you your labour. He that lies slain
    here, Cassio,
    Was my dear friend: what malice was between you?
  • Cassio. None in the world; nor do I know the man. 3265
  • Iago. [To BIANCA] What, look you pale? O, bear him out
    o' the air.
    [CASSIO and RODERIGO are borne off]
    Stay you, good gentlemen. Look you pale, mistress?
    Do you perceive the gastness of her eye? 3270
    Nay, if you stare, we shall hear more anon.
    Behold her well; I pray you, look upon her:
    Do you see, gentlemen? nay, guiltiness will speak,
    Though tongues were out of use.

[Enter EMILIA]

  • Emilia. 'Las, what's the matter? what's the matter, husband?
  • Iago. Cassio hath here been set on in the dark
    By Roderigo and fellows that are scaped:
    He's almost slain, and Roderigo dead.
  • Emilia. Alas, good gentleman! alas, good Cassio! 3280
  • Iago. This is the fruit of whoring. Prithee, Emilia,
    Go know of Cassio where he supp'd to-night.
    [To BIANCA]
    What, do you shake at that?
  • Bianca. He supp'd at my house; but I therefore shake not. 3285
  • Iago. O, did he so? I charge you, go with me.
  • Emilia. Fie, fie upon thee, strumpet!
  • Bianca. I am no strumpet; but of life as honest
    As you that thus abuse me.
  • Emilia. As I! foh! fie upon thee! 3290
  • Iago. Kind gentlemen, let's go see poor Cassio dress'd.
    Come, mistress, you must tell's another tale.
    Emilia run you to the citadel,
    And tell my lord and lady what hath happ'd.
    Will you go on? I pray. 3295
    [Aside]
    This is the night
    That either makes me or fordoes me quite.

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 2

A bedchamber in the castle: DESDEMONA in bed asleep;

       
---

a light burning.

[Enter OTHELLO]

  • Othello. It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul,—
    Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!—
    It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood;
    Nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow, 3305
    And smooth as monumental alabaster.
    Yet she must die, else she'll betray more men.
    Put out the light, and then put out the light:
    If I quench thee, thou flaming minister,
    I can again thy former light restore, 3310
    Should I repent me: but once put out thy light,
    Thou cunning'st pattern of excelling nature,
    I know not where is that Promethean heat
    That can thy light relume. When I have pluck'd the rose,
    I cannot give it vital growth again. 3315
    It must needs wither: I'll smell it on the tree.
    [Kissing her]
    Ah balmy breath, that dost almost persuade
    Justice to break her sword! One more, one more.
    Be thus when thou art dead, and I will kill thee, 3320
    And love thee after. One more, and this the last:
    So sweet was ne'er so fatal. I must weep,
    But they are cruel tears: this sorrow's heavenly;
    It strikes where it doth love. She wakes.
  • Othello. Have you pray'd to-night, Desdemona?
  • Othello. If you bethink yourself of any crime 3330
    Unreconciled as yet to heaven and grace,
    Solicit for it straight.
  • Desdemona. Alas, my lord, what do you mean by that?
  • Othello. Well, do it, and be brief; I will walk by:
    I would not kill thy unprepared spirit; 3335
    No; heaven forfend! I would not kill thy soul.
  • Desdemona. Then heaven
    Have mercy on me! 3340
  • Desdemona. If you say so, I hope you will not kill me.
  • Desdemona. And yet I fear you; for you are fatal then
    When your eyes roll so: why I should fear I know not, 3345
    Since guiltiness I know not; but yet I feel I fear.
  • Othello. Ay, and for that thou diest.
  • Desdemona. That death's unnatural that kills for loving. 3350
    Alas, 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.
  • Othello. That handkerchief which I so loved and gave thee
    Thou gavest to Cassio.
  • Desdemona. No, by my life and soul!
    Send for the man, and ask him. 3360
  • Othello. Sweet soul, take heed,
    Take heed of perjury; thou art on thy deathbed.
  • Othello. Yes, presently:
    Therefore confess thee freely of thy sin; 3365
    For to deny each article with oath
    Cannot remove nor choke the strong conception
    That I do groan withal. Thou art to die.
  • Desdemona. And have you mercy too! I never did
    Offend you in my life; never loved Cassio
    But with such general warranty of heaven
    As I might love: I never gave him token.
  • Othello. By heaven, I saw my handkerchief in's hand. 3375
    O perjured woman! thou dost stone my heart,
    And makest me call what I intend to do
    A murder, which I thought a sacrifice:
    I saw the handkerchief.
  • Desdemona. He found it then; 3380
    I never gave it him: send for him hither;
    Let him confess a truth.
  • Othello. That he hath used thee. 3385
  • Othello. No, his mouth is stopp'd;
    Honest Iago hath ta'en order for't. 3390
  • Desdemona. O! my fear interprets: what, is he dead?
  • Othello. Had all his hairs been lives, my great revenge
    Had stomach for them all.
  • Desdemona. Alas! he is betray'd and I undone.
  • Othello. Out, strumpet! weep'st thou for him to my face? 3395
  • Desdemona. O, banish me, my lord, but kill me not!
  • Desdemona. Kill me to-morrow: let me live to-night!
  • Othello. Being done, there is no pause.

[He stifles her]

  • Emilia. [Within] My lord, my lord! what, ho! my lord, my lord! 3405
  • Othello. What noise is this? Not dead? not yet quite dead?
    I that am cruel am yet merciful;
    I would not have thee linger in thy pain: So, so.
  • Emilia. [Within] What, ho! my lord, my lord!
  • Emilia. [Within] O, good my lord, I would speak a word with you!
  • Othello. Yes: 'tis Emilia. By and by. She's dead.
    'Tis like she comes to speak of Cassio's death.—
    The noise was here. Ha! no more moving?
    Still as the grave. Shall she come in? were't good?— 3415
    I think she stirs again:—no. What's best to do?
    If she come in, she'll sure speak to my wife:
    My wife! my wife! what wife? I have no wife.
    O insupportable! O heavy hour!
    Methinks it should be now a huge eclipse 3420
    Of sun and moon, and that the affrighted globe
    Should yawn at alteration.
  • Emilia. [Within] I do beseech you
    That I may speak with you, O, good my lord!
  • Othello. I had forgot thee: O, come in, Emilia; 3425
    Soft; by and by. Let me the curtains draw.
    Where art thou?
    [Unlocks the door]
    [Enter EMILIA]
    What's the matter with thee now? 3430
  • Emilia. O, my good lord, yonder's foul murders done!
  • Othello. It is the very error of the moon;
    She comes more nearer earth than she was wont, 3435
    And makes men mad.
  • Emilia. Cassio, my lord, hath kill'd a young Venetian
    Call'd Roderigo.
  • Othello. Roderigo kill'd!
    And Cassio kill'd! 3440
  • Emilia. No, Cassio is not kill'd.
  • Othello. Not Cassio kill'd! then murder's out of tune,
    And sweet revenge grows harsh.
  • Emilia. Alas, what cry is that? 3445
  • Emilia. Out, and alas! that was my lady's voice.
    Help! help, ho! help! O lady, speak again!
    Sweet Desdemona! O sweet mistress, speak!
  • Emilia. O, who hath done this deed?
  • Desdemona. Nobody; I myself. Farewell
    Commend me to my kind lord: O, farewell!

[Dies]

  • Othello. Why, how should she be murder'd? 3455
  • Othello. You heard her say herself, it was not I.
  • Emilia. She said so: I must needs report the truth.
  • Othello. She's, like a liar, gone to burning hell:
    'Twas I that kill'd her. 3460
  • Emilia. O, the more angel she,
    And you the blacker devil!
  • Othello. She turn'd to folly, and she was a whore.
  • Emilia. Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.
  • Othello. She was false as water. 3465
  • Emilia. Thou art rash as fire, to say
    That she was false: O, she was heavenly true!
  • Othello. Cassio did top her; ask thy husband else.
    O, I were damn'd beneath all depth in hell,
    But that I did proceed upon just grounds 3470
    To this extremity. Thy husband knew it all.
  • Emilia. That she was false to wedlock?
  • Othello. Ay, with Cassio. Nay, had she been true, 3475
    If heaven would make me such another world
    Of one entire and Perfect chrysolite,
    I'ld not have sold her for it.
  • Othello. Ay, 'twas he that told me first: 3480
    An honest man he is, and hates the slime
    That sticks on filthy deeds.
  • Othello. What needs this iteration, woman? I say thy husband.
  • Emilia. O mistress, villany hath made mocks with love, 3485
    My husband say that she was false!
  • Othello. He, woman;
    I say thy husband: dost understand the word?
    My friend, thy husband, honest, honest Iago.
  • Emilia. If he say so, may his pernicious soul 3490
    Rot half a grain a day! he lies to the heart:
    She was too fond of her most filthy bargain.
  • Emilia. Do thy worst:
    This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven 3495
    Than thou wast worthy her.
  • Emilia. Thou hast not half that power to do me harm
    As I have to be hurt. O gull! O dolt!
    As ignorant as dirt! thou hast done a deed— 3500
    I care not for thy sword; I'll make thee known,
    Though I lost twenty lives.—Help! help, ho! help!
    The Moor hath kill'd my mistress! Murder! murder!

[Enter MONTANO, GRATIANO, IAGO, and others]

  • Montano. What is the matter? How now, general! 3505
  • Emilia. O, are you come, Iago? you have done well,
    That men must lay their murders on your neck.
  • Emilia. Disprove this villain, if thou be'st a man:
    He says thou told'st him that his wife was false: 3510
    I know thou didst not, thou'rt not such a villain:
    Speak, for my heart is full.
  • Iago. I told him what I thought, and told no more
    Than what he found himself was apt and true.
  • Emilia. But did you ever tell him she was false? 3515
  • Emilia. You told a lie, an odious, damned lie;
    Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie.
    She false with Cassio!—did you say with Cassio?
  • Iago. With Cassio, mistress. Go to, charm your tongue. 3520
  • Emilia. I will not charm my tongue; I am bound to speak:
    My mistress here lies murder'd in her bed,—
  • All. O heavens forfend!
  • Emilia. And your reports have set the murder on.
  • Othello. Nay, stare not, masters: it is true, indeed. 3525
  • Emilia. Villany, villany, villany!
    I think upon't, I think: I smell't: O villany!—
    I thought so then:—I'll kill myself for grief:— 3530
    O villany, villany!
  • Iago. What, are you mad? I charge you, get you home.
  • Emilia. Good gentlemen, let me have leave to speak:
    'Tis proper I obey him, but not now.
    Perchance, Iago, I will ne'er go home. 3535

[He falls on the bed]

  • Emilia. Nay, lay thee down and roar;
    For thou hast kill'd the sweetest innocent
    That e'er did lift up eye. 3540
  • Othello. [Rising] O, she was foul!
    I scarce did know you, uncle: there lies your niece,
    Whose breath, indeed, these hands have newly stopp'd:
    I know this act shows horrible and grim.
  • Gratiano. Poor Desdemona! I am glad thy father's dead: 3545
    Thy match was mortal to him, and pure grief
    Shore his old thread in twain: did he live now,
    This sight would make him do a desperate turn,
    Yea, curse his better angel from his side,
    And fall to reprobation. 3550
  • Othello. 'Tis pitiful; but yet Iago knows
    That she with Cassio hath the act of shame
    A thousand times committed; Cassio confess'd it:
    And she did gratify his amorous works
    With that recognizance and pledge of love 3555
    Which I first gave her; I saw it in his hand:
    It was a handkerchief, an antique token
    My father gave my mother.
  • Emilia. O heaven! O heavenly powers!
  • Iago. Come, hold your peace. 3560
  • Emilia. 'Twill out, 'twill out: I peace!
    No, I will speak as liberal as the north:
    Let heaven and men and devils, let them all,
    All, all, cry shame against me, yet I'll speak.
  • Iago. Be wise, and get you home. 3565

[IAGO offers to stab EMILIA]

  • Gratiano. Fie!
    Your sword upon a woman?
  • Emilia. O thou dull Moor! that handkerchief thou speak'st of 3570
    I found by fortune and did give my husband;
    For often, with a solemn earnestness,
    More than indeed belong'd to such a trifle,
    He begg'd of me to steal it.
  • Iago. Villanous whore! 3575
  • Emilia. She give it Cassio! no, alas! I found it,
    And I did give't my husband.
  • Iago. Filth, thou liest!
  • Emilia. By heaven, I do not, I do not, gentlemen.
    O murderous coxcomb! what should such a fool 3580
    Do with so good a woman?
  • Othello. Are there no stones in heaven
    But what serve for the thunder?—Precious villain!

[He runs at IAGO IAGO, from behind, stabs EMILIA, and exit]

  • Gratiano. The woman falls; sure, he hath kill'd his wife. 3585
  • Emilia. Ay, ay: O, lay me by my mistress' side.
  • Gratiano. He's gone, but his wife's kill'd.
  • Montano. 'Tis a notorious villain. Take you this weapon,
    Which I have here recover'd from the Moor:
    Come, guard the door without; let him not pass, 3590
    But kill him rather. I'll after that same villain,
    For 'tis a damned slave.

[Exeunt MONTANO and GRATIANO]

  • Othello. I am not valiant neither,
    But ever puny whipster gets my sword: 3595
    But why should honour outlive honesty?
    Let it go all.
  • Emilia. What did thy song bode, lady?
    Hark, canst thou hear me? I will play the swan.
    And die in music. 3600
    [Singing]
    Willow, willow, willow,—
    Moor, she was chaste; she loved thee, cruel Moor;
    So come my soul to bliss, as I speak true;
    So speaking as I think, I die, I die. 3605

[Dies]

  • Othello. I have another weapon in this chamber;
    It is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper:—
    O, here it is. Uncle, I must come forth.
  • Gratiano. [Within] If thou attempt it, it will cost thee dear: 3610
    Thou hast no weapon, and perforce must suffer.
  • Othello. Look in upon me then and speak with me,
    Or, naked as I am, I will assault thee.

[Re-enter GRATIANO]

  • Othello. Behold, I have a weapon;
    A better never did itself sustain
    Upon a soldier's thigh: I have seen the day,
    That, with this little arm and this good sword,
    I have made my way through more impediments 3620
    Than twenty times your stop: but, O vain boast!
    Who can control his fate? 'tis not so now.
    Be not afraid, though you do see me weapon'd;
    Here is my journey's end, here is my butt,
    And very sea-mark of my utmost sail. 3625
    Do you go back dismay'd? 'tis a lost fear;
    Man but a rush against Othello's breast,
    And he retires. Where should Othello go?
    Now, how dost thou look now? O ill-starr'd wench!
    Pale as thy smock! when we shall meet at compt, 3630
    This look of thine will hurl my soul from heaven,
    And fiends will snatch at it. Cold, cold, my girl!
    Even like thy chastity. O cursed slave!
    Whip me, ye devils,
    From the possession of this heavenly sight! 3635
    Blow me about in winds! roast me in sulphur!
    Wash me in steep-down gulfs of liquid fire!
    O Desdemona! Desdemona! dead!
    Oh! Oh! Oh!
    [Enter LODOVICO. MONTANO, CASSIO carried in a chair,] 3640
    and Officers with IAGO, prisoner]
  • Lodovico. Where is this rash and most unfortunate man?
  • Othello. That's he that was Othello: here I am.
  • Lodovico. Where is that viper? bring the villain forth.
  • Othello. I look down towards his feet; but that's a fable. 3645
    If that thou best a devil, I cannot kill thee.

[Wounds IAGO]

  • Iago. I bleed, sir; but not kill'd.
  • Othello. I am not sorry neither: I'ld have thee live; 3650
    For, in my sense, 'tis happiness to die.
  • Lodovico. O thou Othello, thou wert once so good,
    Fall'n in the practise of a damned slave,
    What shall be said to thee?
  • Othello. Why, any thing: 3655
    An honourable murderer, if you will;
    For nought I did in hate, but all in honour.
  • Lodovico. This wretch hath part confess'd his villany:
    Did you and he consent in Cassio's death?
  • Cassio. Dear general, I never gave you cause.
  • Othello. I do believe it, and I ask your pardon.
    Will you, I pray, demand that demi-devil
    Why he hath thus ensnared my soul and body?
  • Iago. Demand me nothing: what you know, you know: 3665
    From this time forth I never will speak word.
  • Lodovico. Sir, you shall understand what hath befall'n, 3670
    Which, as I think, you know not. Here is a letter
    Found in the pocket of the slain Roderigo;
    And here another: the one of them imports
    The death of Cassio to be undertook
    By Roderigo. 3675
  • Cassio. Most heathenish and most gross!
  • Lodovico. Now here's another discontented paper,
    Found in his pocket too; and this, it seems,
    Roderigo meant to have sent this damned villain; 3680
    But that belike Iago in the interim
    Came in and satisfied him.
  • Othello. O the pernicious caitiff!
    How came you, Cassio, by that handkerchief
    That was my wife's? 3685
  • Cassio. I found it in my chamber:
    And he himself confess'd but even now
    That there he dropp'd it for a special purpose
    Which wrought to his desire.
  • Cassio. There is besides in Roderigo's letter,
    How he upbraids Iago, that he made him
    Brave me upon the watch; whereon it came
    That I was cast: and even but now he spake,
    After long seeming dead, Iago hurt him, 3695
    Iago set him on.
  • Lodovico. You must forsake this room, and go with us:
    Your power and your command is taken off,
    And Cassio rules in Cyprus. For this slave,
    If there be any cunning cruelty 3700
    That can torment him much and hold him long,
    It shall be his. You shall close prisoner rest,
    Till that the nature of your fault be known
    To the Venetian state. Come, bring him away.
  • Othello. Soft you; a word or two before you go. 3705
    I have done the state some service, and they know't.
    No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,
    When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,
    Speak of me as I am; nothing extenuate,
    Nor set down aught in malice: then must you speak 3710
    Of one that loved not wisely but too well;
    Of one not easily jealous, but being wrought
    Perplex'd in the extreme; of one whose hand,
    Like the base Indian, threw a pearl away
    Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes, 3715
    Albeit unused to the melting mood,
    Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees
    Their medicinal gum. Set you down this;
    And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
    Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk 3720
    Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,
    I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
    And smote him, thus.

[Stabs himself]

  • Othello. I kiss'd thee ere I kill'd thee: no way but this;
    Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.

[Falls on the bed, and dies]

  • Cassio. This did I fear, but thought he had no weapon; 3730
    For he was great of heart.
  • Lodovico. [To IAGO] O Spartan dog,
    More fell than anguish, hunger, or the sea!
    Look on the tragic loading of this bed;
    This is thy work: the object poisons sight; 3735
    Let it be hid. Gratiano, keep the house,
    And seize upon the fortunes of the Moor,
    For they succeed on you. To you, lord governor,
    Remains the censure of this hellish villain;
    The time, the place, the torture: O, enforce it! 3740
    Myself will straight aboard: and to the state
    This heavy act with heavy heart relate.

[Exeunt]

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