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The very head and front of my offending 80 Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my speech,
And little bless'd with the soft phrase of peace.
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver 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.
Bra. A maiden never bold; 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 judgement maim'd and most imperfect That will confess perfection so could err Against all rules of nature, and must be driven To find out practices of cunning hell, Why this should be. I therefore vouch again That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood, Or with some dram conjured to this effect, He wrought upon her.
Duke. To vouch this, is no proof, Without more wider and more overt test Than these thin habits and poor likelihoods Of modern seeming do prefer against him. First Sen. 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 As soul to soul affordeth?
I do beseech
Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
It was my hint to speak,-such was the process;
'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful:
And bade me, if I had a friend that loved her,
She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,
Take up this mangled matter at the best:
Bra. 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: Do you perceive in all this noble company Where most you owe obedience?
My noble father,
And so much duty as my mother show'd
Bra. 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. Come hither, Moor:
I here do give thee that with all my heart
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief. 209
Oth. The tyrant custom, most grave senators, Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war My thrice-driven bed of down: I do agnize A natural and prompt alacrity
I find in hardness, and do undertake
Be 't at her father's.
Oth. Nor I.
Nor I; I would not there reside,
Duke. What would you, Desdemona?
My downright violence and storm of fortunes
If you please,
I'll not have it so.
First Sen. You must away to-night. Oth. With all my heart. Duke. At nine i' the morning here we'll meet again. 280
Othello, leave some officer behind,
To be sent after me. Duke.
So please your grace, my ancient; A man he is of honesty and trust: To his conveyance I assign my wife, With what else needful your good grace shall think
Let it be so.
Good night to every one. [To Brab.] And, noble signior,
If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
She has deceived her father, and may thee.
Rod. I will incontinently drown myself.
Iago. If thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why, thou silly gentleman!
Rod. It is silliness to live when to live is torment; and then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician. 311
lago. O villanous! I have looked upon the world for four times seven years; and since I could distinguish 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.
Rod. What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so fond; but it is not in my virtue to amend it. 321
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 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 scale of reason to poise another of sen suality, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclu sions but we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect or scion.
Rod. It cannot be.
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 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 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 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 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 be not 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.
Rod. Wilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend on the issue? 370
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 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 We will have more of this to-morrow. 380
Iago. At my lodging.
Where shall we meet i' the morning?
Go to; farewell. Do you hear, Rode
What say you?
No more of drowning, do you hear? I am changed: I'll go sell all my land. [Exit. Iago. Thus do I ever make my fool my purse: 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; 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 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. 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 Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light. [Exit. 410
SCENE I. A Sea-port in Cyprus. An open place near the quay.
Enter MONTANO and two Gentlemen. Mon. What from the cape can you discern at sea? First Gent. Nothing at all: it is a highwrought flood;
Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at
I cannot, 'twixt the heaven and the main,
Sec. Gent. A segregation of the Turkish fleet: For do but stand upon the foaming shore, The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds; The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous
Mon. How is this true? Third Gent. 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. Mon. I am glad on't; 'tis a worthy governor. Third Gent. 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.
Their mortal natures, letting go safely by The ship is here put in, The divine Desdemona. Mon.
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, Even till we make the main and the aerial blue An indistinct regard.
Fourth Gent. The town is empty; on the brow o' the sea Stand ranks of people, and they cry 'A sail!' Cas. My hopes do shape him for the governor. [Guns heard. Sec. Gent. They do discharge their shot of courtesy: Our friends at least. Cas. I pray you, sir, go forth, And give us truth who 'tis that is arrived. Sec. Gent. I shall. Mon. But, good lieutenant, is your general wived? Cas. Most fortunately: he hath achieved a maid
That paragons description and wild fame;
What is she? Cas. She that I spake of, our great captain's captain,
Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,
Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, IAGO, RODERIGO, and Attendants.
Des. I thank you, valiant Cassio. What tidings can you tell me of my lord? Cas. He is not yet arrived: nor know I aught But that he's well and will be shortly here. Des. O, but I fear-How lost you company? Cas. The great contention of the sea and skies Parted our fellowship-But, hark! a sail.
[Within A sail, a sail!' Guns heard. Sec. Gent. They give their greeting to the citadel:
This likewise is a friend.
Emil. You have little cause to say so.
Iago. Come on, come on; you are pictures out of doors,
Bells in your parlours, wild-cats in your kitchens, Saints in your injuries, devils being offended, Players in your housewifery, and housewives in
Des. O, fie upon thee, slanderer! Iago. Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk: You rise to play and go to bed to work. Emil. You shall not write my praise. Iago. No, let me not. Des. What wouldst thou write of me, if thou shouldst praise me?
Iago. O gentle lady, do not put me to't; For I am nothing, if not critical.
Des. Come on, assay. There's one gone to the harbour? Iago. Ay, madam.
Des. 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; 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,
Iago. If she be black, and thereto have a wit, She'll find a white that shall her blackness fit. Des. Worse and worse.
How if fair and foolish?
Iago. She never yet was foolish that was fair; For even her folly help'd her to an heir.
Des. These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i' the alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for her that's foul and foolish? 141
Iago. There's none so foul and foolish thereunto, But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do. Des. 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?
Iago. She that was ever fair and never proud, Had tongue at will and yet was never loud, 150 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, 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, She was a wight, if ever such wight were,Des. To do what?
Iago. To suckle fools and chronicle small beer. Des. O most lame and impotent conclusion! Do not learn of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband. How say you, Cassio? is he not a most profane and liberal counsellor?
Cas. 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, whisper: with as little 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 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! [Trumpet within.] The Moor! I know his trumpet. 180
Cas. 'Tis truly so.
May the winds blow till they have waken'd death!
Enter OTHELLO and Attendants.
Oth. O my fair warrior! Des. My dear Othello ! Oth. It gives me wonder great as my content To see you here before me, O my soul's joy!" If after every tempest come such calms,
The heavens forbid But that our loves and comforts should increase, Even as our days do grow!
Oth. Amen to that, sweet powers! I cannot speak enough of this content; It stops me here; it is too much of joy: And this, and this, the greatest discords be 200 [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, As honest as I am.
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 to-night watches on the court of guard:-first, I must tell thee this -Desdemona is directly in love with him.
Rod. 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, 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 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 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 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, none; why, none a slipper and subtle knave, a finder of occasions, that has an eye can stamp and counter