I 'Id whistle her off and let her down the wind,
To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black
And have not those soft parts of conversation
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. curse of marriage,
That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites ! I had rather be a
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*
Prerogatived are they less than the base ;
'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 !
I '11 not believe 't.
Des. How now, my dear Othello !
Your dinner, and the generous islanders
By you invited, do attend your presence.
Oth. I am to blame
Des. Why do you speak so faintly ?
Are you not well ?
Oth. I have a pain upon my forehead here.
Des. Why, that's with watching; 'twill away
Let me but bind it hard, within this hour
It will be well.
ACT III., Sc. 3.
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.
Oth. Your napkin is too little :
He puts the handkerchief from him,
and it drops.
Let it alone. Come, I '11 go in with you.
Des. I am very sorry that you are not well.
Exeunt Othello and Desdemona.
Emi. 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,
For he conjured her she should ever keep it,
That she reserves it evermore about her
To kiss and talk to. I '11 have the work ta'en out,
And give 't lago : what he will do with it
Heaven knows, not I ;
I nothing but to please his fantasy.
lago. How now ! what do you here alone ?
Emi. Do not you chide ; I have a thing for you.
lago. A thing for me ? it is a common thing
lago. To have a foolish wife.
Emi. 0, is that all? What will you give me now
For that same handkerchief ?
lago. What handkerchief ?
Emi. What handkerchief !
Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona ;
That which so often you did bid me steal.
lago. Hast stol'n it from her ?
Emi. No, but she let it drop by negligence,
And, to th' advantage, I, being here, took 't up.
Look, here it is.
lago. A good wench.. Give it me.
Emi. What will you with 't, that you have
been so earnest
To have me filch it ?
lago. [Snatching it. ] Why, what's that to you ?
Emi. If it be not for some purpose of import,
Give 't me again. Poor lady, she '11 run mad
When she shall lack it.
lago. 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
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,
But with a little act upon the blood,
Burn like the mines of sulphur. I did say so :
Look, where he comes !
Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday.
Oth. Ha ! ha ! false to me ?
lago. Why, how now, general ! no more of that.
Oth. 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.
lago. How now, my lord !
Oth. What sense had I of her stol'n hours of
I saw 't not, thought it not, it harmed 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.
lago. I am sorry to hear this.
Oth. I had been happy, if the general camp,
Pioners and all, had tasted her sweet body,
So I had nothing known. 0, now, for ever
Farewell the tranquil mind ! farewell content !
Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars,
That make ambition virtue ! 0, farewell !
Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war !
And, you mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove's dread clamours counterfeit,
Farewell ! Othello's occupation's gone !
lago. Is 't possible, my lord ?
Oth. Villain, be sure thou prove my love a
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 !
lago. Is 't come to this ?
Oth. Make me to see 't ; or, at the least, so
That the probation bear no hinge or loop
To hang a doubt on ; or woe upon thy life !
lago. My noble lord,
Oth. 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
Greater than that.
lago. O grace ! heaven forgive me !
Are you a man ? have you a soul or sense ?
God be wi' you; take mine oifice. wretched
That livest to make thine honesty a vice !
monstrous world ! Take note, take note,
To be direct and honest is not safe.
1 thank you for this profit ; and from hence
I '11 love no friend, sith love breeds such offence.
Oth. Nay, stay : thou shouldst be honest.
lago. I should be wise, for honesty 's a fool
And loses that it works for.
Oth. By the world,
I think my wife be honest and think she is not ;
I think that thou art just and think thou art
I '11 have some proof. Her name, that was as
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 '11 not endure it. Would I were satisfied !
lago. I see, sir, you are eaten up with passion :
I do repent me that I put it to you.
You would be satisfied ?
Oth. Would ! nay, I will.
lago. And may : but, how ? how satisfied, my
Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on
Behold her topp'd ?
Oth. Death and damnation ! !
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.
ACT III., Sc. 4.
lago. It were a tedious difficulty, I think,
To bring them to that prospect : damn them
If ever mortal eyes do see them bolster 1
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,
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.
Oth. Give me a living reason she 's disloyal.
lago. 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 ;
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 :
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
Cry sweet creature ! and then kiss me hard,
As if he pluck' d up kisses by tile roots
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 I
Oth. monstrous ! monstrous !
lago. Nay, this was but his dream.
Oth. But this denoted a foregone conclusion :
*Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.
lago. And this may help to thicken other
That do demdnstrate thinly.
Oth. I '11 tear her all to pieces.
lago. Nay, but be wise : yet we see nothing
She may be honest yet. Tell me but this,
Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief
Spotted with strawberries in your wife's hand ?
Oth. I gave her such a one ; 'twas my first gift.
lago. I know not that : but such a handker-
I am sure it was your wife's did I to-day
See Cassio wipe his beard with.
Oth. If it be that,
lago. If it be that, or any that was hers,
It speaks against her with the other proofs.
Oth. 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, la.go ;
All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven.
Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell !
Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne
To tyrannous hate ! Swell, bosom, with thy
For 'tis of aspics' tongues !
lago. Yet be content.
Oth. O, blood, blood, blood !
lago. Patience, I say ; your mind perhaps may
Oth. Never, lago. Like to the Pontic sea,
Whose icy current and compulsive course
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
Swallow them up. Now, by yond marble heaven,
In the due reverence of a sacred vow
I here engage my words.
lago. Do not rise yet.
Witness, you ever-burning lights above,
You elements that clip us round about,
Witness that here lago doth give up
The execution of his wit, hands, heart,
To wrong'd Othello's service ! Let him com-
And to obey shall be in me remorse,
What bloody business ever.
Oth. I greet thy love,
Not with vain thanks, but with acceptance
And will upon the instant put thee to 't :
Within these three days let me hear thee say
That Cassio 's not alive.
lago. My friend is dead ; 'tis done at your
But let her live.
Oth. Damn her, lewd minx !
0, damn her ! 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 thoti my lieutenant.
lago. I am your own for ever. Exeunt.
Scene IV. 'Before the Castle.
Enter Desdemona, Emilia and Clown.
Des. Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant
Cassio lies ?
Clo. I dare not say he lies any where.
Des. Why, man ?
Clo. He's a soldier, and for one to say a
soldier lies, is stabbing.
Des. Go to : where lodges he ?
Clo. To tell you where he lodges, is to tell you
where I lie.
Des. Can any thing be made of this ?
Clo. 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.
Des. Can you inquire him out, and be edified
by report ?
Clo. I will catechize the world for him ; that
is, make questions, and by them answer.
Des. Seek him, bid him 'come hither : tell him
I have moved my lord on his behalf, and hope all
will be well.
Clo. To do this is within the compass of man's
wit : and therefore I will attempt the doing it.
Des. Where should I lose that handkerchief,
Emi. I know not, madam.
Des. Believe me, I had rather have lost my
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.
Emi. Is he not jealous ?
ACT III., Sc. 4.
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.
Des. Who, he ? I think the sun where he was
Drew all such humours from him.
Emi. Look, where he comes.
Des. I will not leave him now till Cassio
Be called to him.
How is 't with you, my lord ?
Oth. Well, my good lady. [Aside,] 0, hard-
ness to dissemble !
How do you, Desdemona ?
Des. Well, my good lord.
Oth. Give me your hand : this hand is moist,
Des. It yet hath felt no age nor known no
Oth. This argues f ruitfulness and liberal heart :
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,
A frank one.
Des. You may, indeed, say so ;
For 'twas that hand that gave away my heart.
Oth. A liberal hand : the hearts of old gave
But our new heraldry is hands, not hearts.
Des. I cannot speak of this. Come now, your
Oth. What promise, chuck?
Des. I have sent to bidCassio come speak /with
Oth. I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me ;
Lend me thy handkerchief.
Des. Here, my lord.
Oth. That which I gave you,
Des. I have it not about me.
Des. No, indeed, my lord.
Oth. That is a fault.
Did an Egyptian to my mother give ;
She was a charmer, and could almost read
The thoughts of people : she told her, while she
'Twpuld make her amiable and subdue my father
Entirely to her love, but if she lost it
Or made a gift of it, my father's eye
Should hold her loathed and his spirits should
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 5
To lose 't or give 't away were such perdition
As nothing else could match.
Des. Is 't possible ?
Oth. 'Tis true: there's magic in the web
A sibyl, that had number'd in the world
The sun to course two hundred compasses,
In her prophetic fury sewed 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.
Des. Indeed ! is 't true ?
Oth. Most veritable ; therefore look to 't well.
Des. Then would to God that I had never
seen 't !
Oth. Ha! wherefore?
Des. Why do you speak so star tin gly and rash ?
Oth. Is't lost? is 't gone? speak, is it out o'
the way ?
Des. Bless us !
Cth. Say you ?
Des. It is not lost ; but what and if it were ?
Des. I say, it is not lost.
Oth. Fetch 't, let me see 't.
Des. Why, so I can, sir, but 1 will not now.
This is a trick to put me from my suit :
Pray you, let Cassio be received again.
Oth. Fetch me the handkerchief : my mind
Des. Come, come ;
You '11 never meet a more sufficient man.
Oth. The handkerchief !
Des. I pray, talk me of Cassio.
Oth. The handkerchief !
Des. A man that all hie time
Hath founded his good fortunes on your love,
Shared dangers with yon,
Oth. The handkerchief !
Des. In sooth, you are to blame.
Ofh. Away! Exit.
Emi. Is not this man jealous ?
Des. I ne'er saw this before.
Sure, there 's some wonder in this handkerchief :
I am most unhappy in the loss of it.
Emi. 'Tis not a year or two shows us a man :
They are all but stomachs, and we all but food ;
They eat us hungerly, and when they are full,
They belch us. Look you, Cassio and my hus-
Enter Cassio and lago.
lago. There is no other way ; 'tis she must do 't:
And, lo, the happiness ! go, and importune her.
Des. How now, good Cassio ! what's the news
with you ?
Cas. 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.
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 ;
So shall I clothe me in a forced content,
And shut myself up in some other course,
To fortune's alms.
Des. Alas, thrice-gentle Cassio !
My advocation is not now in tune ;
My lord is not my lord ; nor should I know him,
Were he in favour as in humour altered.
So help me every spirit sanctified,
As I have spoken for you all my best
And stood within the blank of his displeasure
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.
lago. Is my lord angry ?
Emi. He went hence but now,
And certainly in strange unquietness.
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.
ACT IV., Sc. 1.
lago. Can. he be angry ? I have seen the
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?
Something of moment then : I will go meet him :
There's matter in 't indeed, if he be angry.
Des. I prithee, do so. Exit lago.
Something, sure, of state,
Either from Venice, or some unhatch'd practice
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 ;
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,
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.
Emi. Pray heaven it be state-matters, as you
And no conception nor no jealous toy
Des. Alas the day ! I never gave him cause.
Emi. But jealous souls will not be answered so;
They are not ever jealous for the cause,
But jealous for they are jealous. It is a monster
Begot upon itself, born on itself.
Des. Heaven keep that monster from Othello's
Emi. Lady, amen.
Des. I will go seek him. Cassio, walk here-
If I do find him fit, I '11 move your suit
And seek to effect it to my uttermost.
Cas. I humbly thank your ladyship.
Exeunt Desdemona and Emilia.
Bia. Save you, friend Cassio !
Cas. What make you from home ?
How is it with you, my most fair Bianca ?
Indeed, sweet love, I was coming to your house.
Bia. And I was going to your lodging, Cassio.
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 ?
weary reckoning !
Cas. Pardon me, Bianca :
1 have this while with leaden thoughts been prest :
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.
Bia. 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.
Cas. Go to, woman !
Throw your vile guesses in the devil's teeth,
Prom whence you have them. You are jealous
That this is from some mistress, some remem-
No, in good troth, Bianca.
Bia. Why, whose is it ?
Cas. I know not, neither : I found it in my
I like the work well : ere it be demanded
As like enough it will I 'Id have it copied :
Take it, and do 't ; and leave me for this time.
Bia. Leave you ! wherefore ?
Cas. I do attend here on the general ;
And think it no addition, nor my wish,
To have him see me woman' d.
Bia. Why, I pray you ?
Cas. Not that I love you not.
Bia. 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.
Cas. 'Tis but a little way that I can bring you ;
For I attend here : but I '11 see you soon.
Bia. 'Tis very good ; I must be circumstanced.
Scene I. Cyprus. Before the Castle.
Enter Othello and lago.
logo. Will you think so ?
Think so, lago \
To kiss in private ?
Oth. An unauthorised kiss.
lago. Or to be naked with her friend in bed
An hour or more, not meaning any harm ?
Oth. Naked in bed, lago, 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
lago. So they do nothing, 'tis a venial slip :
But if I give my wife a handkerchief,
Olh. What then?
lago. Why, then, 'tis hers, my lord ; and, being
She may, I think, bestow t on any man.
Oth. She is protectress of her honour too :
May she give that ?
lago. Her honour is an essence that f s not seen ;
They have it very oft that have it not :
But, for the handkerchief,
Oth. By heaven, I would most gladly have for-
Thou said'st O, it comes o'er my memory,
As doth the raven o'er the infectious house,
Boding to all he had my handkerchief .
lago. Ay, what of that ?
Oth. That's not so good now.
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,
Convinced or supplied them, cannot choose
But they must blab
Oth. Hath he said any thing ?
lago. He hath, my lord;- but be you well
No more than he '11 unswear.
Oth. What hath he said ?
ACT IV., Sc. 1.
OTHELLO, THE MOOR OF VENICE.
lago. Why, that he did I know not what he did.
Oth. What? what?
Oih. With her ?
lago. With her, on her ; what you will.
Oth. Lie with her ! lie on her ! We say lie on
her, when they belie her. Lie with her ! that 's
fulsome. Handkerchief confessions handker-
chief ! To confess, and be hanged for his labour ;
first, to be hanged, and then to confess. 1
tremble at it. Nature would not invest herself
in such shadowing passion without some instruc-
tion. It is not words that shakes me thus. Pish !
Noses, ears and lips. Is 't possible ? Confess
handkerchief ! devil ! Falls in a trance.
lago. Work on.
My medicine, work ! Thus credulous fools are
And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,
All guiltless, meet reproach. What, ho ! my lord !
My lord, I say ! Othello !
How now, Cassio !
Gas. What 's the matter ?
lago. My lord is fall'n into an epilepsy :
This is his second fit ; he had one yesterday.
Gas. Rub him about the temples.
lago. No, forbear ;
The lethargy must have his quiet course :
If not, he foams at mouth and by and by
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.
How is it, general ? have you not hurt your head ?
Oth. Dost thou mock me ?
lago. I mock you ! no, by heaven.
Would you would bear your fortune like a man.
Oth. A horned man 's a monster and a beast.
logo. There 's many a beast then in a populous
And many a civil monster.
Oth. Did he confess it ?
lago. Good sir, be a man ;
Think every bearded fellow that's but yoked
May draw with you. There 's millions now alive
That nightly lie in those unproper beds
Which they dare swear peculiar. Your case is
O, 'tis the spite of hell, the fiend's arch-mock,
To lip a wanton in a secure couch,
And to suppose her chaste ! No, let me know ;
And knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.
Oth. 0, thou art wise ; 'tis certain.
lago. Stand you awhile apart ;
Confine yourself but in a patient list.
Whilst you were here o'erwhelmed with your
A passion most unsuiting such a man
Cassio came hither : I shifted him away,
And laid good 'sense upon your ecstacy,
Bade him anon return and here speak with me ;
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
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.
Oth. Dost thou hear, lago ?
I will be found most tunning in my patience ;
But dost thou hear ? most bloody.
lago. That 's not amiss ;
But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw ?
Now will 1 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
To beguile many and be beguiled by one :
He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain
From the excess of laughter. Here he conies :
As he shall smile, Othello shall go mad ;
And his unbookish jealousy must construe
Poor Cassio's smiles, gestures and light behaviour,
Quite in the wrong. How do you now, lieutenant ?
Cas-. The worser that you give me the addition
Whose want even kills me.
lago. Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure
Now, if this suit lay in Bianca's power,
How quickly should you speed !
Cas. Alas, poor caitiff !
Oth. Look, how he laughs already !
lago. I never knew woman love man so.