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
Scene I. A Sea-port in Cyprus.
Enter Montana and tivo Gentlemen.
Mon. What from the cape can you discern at
1 Gen. Nothing at all : it is a high-wrought
I cannot, 'twixt the heaven and the main,
Descry a sail.
M on. Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at
A fuller blast ne'er shook our battlements :
If it hath ruffianed so upon the sea,
What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them,
Can hold the mortise ? What shall we hear of this ?
2 Gen. A segregation of the Turkish fleet :
For do but stand upon the foaming shore,
The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds ;
The wiud-shaked surge, with high and monstrous
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.
Mon. If that the Turkish fleet
Be not enshelter'd and embay'd, they 're drown'd ;
It is impossible to bear it out.
Enter a third Gentleman.
3 Gen. News, lads ! our wars are done.
The desperate tempest hath so bang' d the Turks,
That their designment halts. A noble ship of
Hath seen a grievous wrack and sufferance
On most part of their fleet.
M on. How ! is this true ?
3 Gen. 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.
Mon. I am glad on't ; 'tis a worthy governor.
3 Gen. But this same Cassio, though he speak
Touching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadly,
And prays the Moor be safe ; for they were parted
With foul and violent tempest.
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 aeriel blue
An indistinct regard.
3 Gen. Come, let 's do so ;
For every minute is expectancy
Of more arrivance.
Cas. Thanks, you the valiant of this warlike
That so approve the Moor ! O, let the heavens
Give him defence against the elements,
For I have lost him on a dangerous sea.
Mon. Is he well shipp'd ?
Cas. His bark is stoutly timbered, and his pilot
Of very expert and approved allowance ;
Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
Stand in bold cure.
A cry within : ' A sail, a sail, a sail ! '
Enter a fourth Gentleman.
Cas. What noise?
4 Gen. The town is empty ; on the brow o'
Stand ranks of people, and they cry A sail !
Cas. My hopes do shape him for the governor.
2 Gen. 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.
2 Gen. I shall. Erit.
Mon. But, good lieutenant, is your general
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE,
ACT H., Sc. 1.
Cas. Most fortunately : he hath achieved a
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.
How now ! who has put in ?
2 Gen. 'Tis one lago, ancient to the general.
Cas. Has had most favourable and happy speed :
Tempests themselves, high seas and howling winds,
The gutter'd rocks and congregated sands,
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.
Mon. What is she ?
Cas. She that I spake of, our great captain's
Left in the conduct of the bold lago,
Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts
A se'nnight's speed. Great Jove, Othello guard,
And swell his sail with thine own powerful
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, lago, Roderigo and
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,
Enwheel thee round !
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.
2 Gen. They give their greeting to the citadel :
This likewise is a friend.
Cos. See for the news. Exit Gentleman.
Good ancient, you are welcome. [To Emilia.]
Welcome, mistress :
Let it not gall your patience, good lago,
That I extend my manners ; 'tis my breeding
That gives me this bold show of courtesy.
lago. Sir, would she give you so much of her
As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,
You 'Id have enough.
Des. Alas, she has no speech.
lago. In faith, too much ;
I find it still, when I have leave to sleep :
Marry, before your ladyship, I grant,
She puts her tongue a little in her heart,
And chides with thinking.
Emi. You have little cause to say so.
lago. Come on, come on ; you are pictures out
Bells in your parlours, wild-cats in your kitchens,
Saints in your injuries, devils being offended,
Players in your housewifery, and housewives in
Des. 0, fie upon thee, slanderer !
lago. Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk :
You rise to play and go to bed to work.
Emi. You shall not write my praise.
lago. No, let me not.
Des. What wouldst thou write of me, if thou
shouldst praise me ?
lago. 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 ?
lago. Ay, madam.
Des. I am not merry ; but I do beguile
The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.
Come, how wouldst thou praise me?
lago. 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 delivered.
If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit,
The one's for use, the other useth it.
Des. Well praised ! How if she be black and
lago. If she be black, and thereto have a wit,
She '11 find a white that shall her blackness fit.
Des. Worse and worse.
Emi. How if fair and foolish ?
lago. 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 ?
lago. There 's none so foul and foolish there-
But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.
Des. 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 ?
lago. 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 angered, 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 wights were,
Des. To do what ?
lago. To suckle fools and chronicle small beer
Des. 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.
lago. \_AsideJ] He takes her by the palm: ay
well said, 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 owi
courtship. You say true ; 'tis so, indeed : i:
such tricks as these strip you out of your lieu
tenantry, it had been better you had not kissec
ACT IL, Sc. 1.
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.
your three fingers so oft, which now again you
are most apt to play the sir in. Very good ; well
kissed ! and 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.
Cas. 'Tis truly so.
Des. Let's meet him and receive him.
Cas. Lo, where he comes !
Enter Oth&Llo 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. my soul's joy !
If after every tempest come such calms,
May the winds blow till they have wakened 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,
'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.
Des. 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
That e'er our hearts shall make !
logo. \_Aside.~\ O, you are well tuned now !
But I '11 set down the pegs that make this music,
As honest as I am.
Oth. Come, let us to the castle.
News, friends ; our wars are done, the Turks are
How does my old acquaintance of this isle ?
Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus ;
I have found great love amongst them. my
I prattle out of fashion, and I dote
In mine own comforts. I prithee, good lago,
Go to the bay and disembark my coffers :
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.
lago. Do thou meet me presently at the har-
bour. 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 thce
this Desdemona is directly in love with him.
Rod. With him ! why, 'tis not possible.
lago. 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 un-
forced 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 coun-
terfeit advantages, though true advantage never
present itself; a devilish knave. Besides, the
knave is handsome, young, and hath all those
requisites in him that folly and green minds look
after. A pestilent complete knave, and the woman
hath found him already.
Rod. I cannot believe that in her; she's full
of most blessed condition.
lago. 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 pud-
ding ! Didst thou not see her paddle with the
palm of his hand ? Didst not mark that ?
Rod. Yes, that I did; but that was but courtesy.
lago. 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. Villainous
thoughts, Eoderigo ! when these 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 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.
lago. 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 taste again but by the displauting 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 was no expec-
tation of our prosperity.
Rod. I will do this, if I can bring it to any
lago. I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at
the citadel : I must fetch his necessaries ashore.
Rod. Adieu. E,nt.
lago. 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,
And I dare think he '11 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,
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.
ACT II., Sc. 3.
But partly led to diet my revenge,
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,
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 trace
For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
I '11 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
And practising upon his peace and quiet
Even to madness. 'Tis here, but yet confused :
Knavery's plain face is never seen till used. Exit.
Scene ILA Street.
Enter a Herald with a proclamation.
Her. It is Othello's pleasure, our noble and
valiant general, that, upon certain tidings now ar-
rived, 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 revels his addiction leads him :
for, besides these beneficial news, it is the cele-
bration 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 till the bell have told eleven. Heaven
bless the isle of Cyprus and our noble general
Othello ! Exeunt.
Scene III. A Hall in the Castle.
Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio and
Oth. Good Michael, look you to the guard to-
Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,
Not to outsport discretion.
Cas. lago hath direction what to do ;
But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye
Will I look to 't.
Oth. lago is most honest.
Michael, goodnight : to-morrow with your earliest
Let me have speech with you. Comej my dear
The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue ;
That profit 's yet to come 'tween me and you.
Exeunt Othello, Desdemona and Attendants.
Cas. Welcome, lago ; we must to the watch.
lago. 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 she is sport for Jove.
Cas. She 's a most exquisite lady.
lago. And, I '11 warrant her, full of game.
Cas. Indeed, she's a most fresh and delicate
lago. What an eye she has ! methinks it sounds
a parley of provocation.
Cas. An inviting eye ; and yet methinks right
lago. And when she speaks, is it not an alarum
to love ?
Cas. She is indeed perfection.
lago. Well, happiness to their sheets ! Come,
lieutenant, I have a stoup of wine ; and here with-
out are a brace of Cyprus gallants that would fain
have a measure to the health of black Othello.
Cas. Not to-night, good lago : I have very
poor and unhappy brains for drinking : I could
well wish courtesy would invent some other cus-
tom of entertainment.
lago. O, they are our friends ; but one cup :
I '11 drink for you.
Cas. I have drunk but one cup to-night, and
that was craftily qualified too, and, behold, what
innovation it makes here : I am unfortunate in
the infirmity, and dare not task my weakness with
lago. What, man '. 'tis a night of revels : the
gallants desire it.
Cas. Where are they ?
lago. Here at the door ; I pray you, call them in.
Cas. I '11 do 't ; but it dislikes me. Exit.
lago. If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
With that which he hath drunk to-night already,
He '11 be as full of quarrel and offence
As my young mistress' dog. Now, my sick fool
Whom love hath turned almost the wrong side
To Desdemona hath to-night caroused
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 flustered with flowing cups,
And they watch too. Now, 'mongstthis flock of
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.
Re-enter Cassio ; with him Montano and Gentle-
men ; Servants following with wine.
Cas. 'Fore God, they have given me a rouse
Mon. Good faith, a little one ; not past a pint,
as I am a soldier.
lago. Some wine, ho !
[Sings.'] And let me the canakin clinic, clink ;
And let me the canakin clink :
A soldier 's a man ;
A life 's but a span;
Why, then, let a soldier drink.
Some wine, boys !
Cas. 'Fore Heaven, an excellent song.
lago. I learned it in England, where, indeed,
they are most potent in potting : your Dane,
your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander
Drink, ho ! are nothing to your English.
Cas. Is your Englishman so exquisite in his
lago. Why, he drinks you with facility your
Dane dead drunk ; he sweats not to overthrow
your Almain ; he gives your Hollander a vomit,
ere the next pottle can be filled.
ACT II., Sc. 3.
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.
Cas, To the health of our general !
Mon. I am for it, lieutenant, and I '11 do you
logo. O sweet England !
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,
And thou art but of low degree :
'Tis pride that pulls the country down ;
Then take thine auld cloak about thee.
Some wine, ho !
Cas. Why, this is a more exquisite song than
lago. Will you hear 't again ?
Cas. 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.
lago. It's true, good lieutenant.
Cas. For mine own part, no offence to the
general, nor any man of quality, I hope to be
lago. And so do I too, lieutenant.
Cas. Ay, but, by your leave, not before me ;
the lieutenant is to be saved before the ancient.
Let 's 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 speak well enough.
All. Excellent well.
Cas. Why, very well then ; you must not think
then that I am drunk. Exit.
Mon. To the platform, masters ; come, let 's
set the watch.
lago. 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.
I fear the trust Othello puts him in,
On some odd time of his infirmity,
Will shake this island.
Mon. But is he often thus ?
logo. 'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep :
He '11 watch the horologe a double set,
If drink rock not his cradle.
Mon. It were well
The general were put in mind of it.
Perhaps he sees it not, or his good nature
Prizes the virtue that appears in Cassio,
And looks not on his evils. Is not this true ?
lago. How now, Eoderigo !
I pray you, after the lieutenant; go.
Mon. 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
So to the Moor.
lago. Not I, for this fair island :
I do love Cassio well, and would do much
To cure him of this evil But, hark ! what noiso ?
A cry within : ' Help ! help ! '
Re-enter Cassio, driving in Roderigo.
Cas. You rogue ! you rascal !
Mon. What's the matter, lieutenant?
Cas. A knave teach me my duty !
I '11 beat the knave into a twiggen bottle.
Rod. Beat me !
Cas. Dost thou prate, rogue?
Mon. Nay, good lieutenant ;
I pray you, sir, hold your hand.
Cas. Let me go, sir,
Or I '11 knock you o'er the mazzard.
Mon. Come, come, you 're drunk.
Cas. Drunk? They fight.
lago. [Aside to Roderigo. ,] Away, I say ; go
out, and cry a mutiny. Exit Roderigo.
Nay, good lieutenant, alas, gentlemen ;
Help, ho ! Lieutenant, sir, Montano, sir ;
Help, masters ! Here 's a goodly watch indeed !
Who's that which rings the bell ? Diablo, ho !
The town will rise. Fie, fie, lieutenant, hold !
You '11 be ashamed for ever.
Re-enter Othello and Attendants.
Oth. What is the matter here ?
Mon. I bleed still; I am hurt to the death.
Oth. Hold, for your lives !
lago. Hold, ho ! Lieutenant, sir, Montano,
Have you forgot all sense of place and duty ?
Hold ! the general speaks to you; hold, hold, for
Oth. Why, how now, ho ! from whence ariseth
Are we turned Turks, and to ourselves do that
Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites ?
For Christian shame, put by this barbarous
He that stirs next to carve for his own rage
Holds his soul light ; he dies upon his motion.
Silence that dreadful bell : it frights the isle
From her propriety. What is the matter,
Honest lago, that look'st dead with grieving,
Speak, who began this ? On thy love, I charge
lago. I do not know : friends all but now, even
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
Any beginning to this peevish odds ;
And would in action glorious I had lost
Those legs that brought me to a part of it !
Oth. How comes it, Michael, you are thus
Cas. I pray you, pardon me ; I cannot speak.
Oth. Worthy Montano, you were wont to be