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The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor

of Venice 1

The Tragedy of Antony and Cleo-
patra . • 123

The Tragedy of Cymbeline . . . 249




ii A


Duke op Venice.

Brabantio, a senator.

Other Senators.

Gratiano, brother to Brabantio.

Lodovico, kinsman to Brabantio.

Othello, the Moor.

Cassio, his lieutenant.

Iago, his ancient.

Roderigo, a Venetian gentleman.

Montano, Othello's predecessor in the government of

Clown, servant to Othello.

Desdemona, daughter to Brabantio and wife to Othello.
Emilia, wife to Iago.
Bianca, mistress to Cassio.

Sailor, Messenger, Herald, Officers, Gentlemen, Musicians,
and Attendants.

Scene : Venice ; a seaport in Cyprus.





Scene 1.— "Venice. A Street.

Enter Roderigo and Iago.

Rod. 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

Iago, 'Sblood, but you will not hear me ;
If ever I did dream of such a matter,
Abhor me.
Rod. 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-capped to him ; and, by the faith of man,
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 ; tcircumiocution
And, in conclusion,

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,

A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife ;

That never set a squadron in the field,

Nor the division of a battle* knows [an »rmy

More than a spinster ; unless the bookish theoric,

Wherein the toged* consuls can propose [robed

As masterly as he: mere prattle, without

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
Christen'd and heathen, must be be-lee'd and

calm'd [reckoner of counters or money

By debitor and creditor, this counter-caster*:
He, in good time, must his lieutenant be, [ensign
And I— bless the mark !— hisMoorship's ancient.*
Rod. By heaven, I rather would have been

his hangman.
Iago. Why, there 's no remedy ; 'tis the curse
of service,
Preferment goes by letter and affection,
And not by old gradation,* where [ancient practice

each second
Stood heir to the first. Now, sir, be judge your-
Whether I in any just term am affin'd* [bound
To love the Moor.

Rod. I would not follow him then.

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
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,


Act I Scene 1

For nought but provender, and when he 's old,

cashler'd :
Whip me such honest knaves. Others there are
Who, trimm'd in forms and visages* of duty, [masks
Keep yet their hearts attending on themselves,
And, throwing but shows of service on their

Do well thrive by them, and when they have

Hn'd their COats* [feathered their nesta

Do themselves homage : these fellows have some

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 ;
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 [by outward sign*
In compliment extern,* 'tis not long after
But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve
For daws* to peck at; I am not what I am. [i.e. knaves

Rod. What a fall fortune does the thick-lips
If he can carry 't thus !

Iago. Call up her father,

Rouse him ; make after him, poison his delight,
Proclaim him in the streets ; incense her kins-
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,
As it may lose some colour.

Rod. Here is her father's house ; I'll call aloud.

Iago. Do, with like timorous accent and dire


As when, by night and negligence, the fire
Is spied in populous cities.
Rod. What, ho, Brabantio ! SigniorBrabantio,

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.

Bra. What is the reason of this terrible
summons ?
What is the matter there ?

Rod. Signior, is all your family within ?

Iago. Are your doors lock'd ?

Bra. Why, wherefore ask you this ?

Iago. Zounds, sir, you 're robb'd ; for shame,
put on your gown ;
Your heart is burst,* you have lost half [broken into

your soul ;
Even now, now, very now, an old black ram
Is tupping your white ewe. Arise, arise ;
Awake the snorting citizens with the bell,
Or else the devil will make a grandsire of you.
Arise, I say.

Bra. What, have you lost your wits ?

Rod. Most reverend signior, do you know my
voice ?

Bra. Not I ; what are you ?

Rod. My name is Roderigo.

Bra. The worser welcome ;

I have charg'd thee not to haunt about my doors
In honest plainness thou hast heard me say
My daughter is not for thee ; and now, in


Act I Scene 1

Being full of supper and distempering draughts,
Upon malicious knavery dost thou come
To start my quiet.

Rod. Sir, sir, sir,—

Bra. But thou must needs he sure

My spirit and my place have in them power
To make this bitter to thee.

Rod. Patience, good sir.

Bra. What tell'st thou me of robbing? this
is Venice ;
My house is not a grange.

Rod. 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 do you service, and you think we
are ruffians, you '11 have your daughter covered
with a Barbary horse ; you'll have your nephews
neigh to you ; you '11 have coursers for cousins
and gennets for germans.

Bra. What profane wretch art thou ?

Iago. I am one, sir, that comes to tell you
your daughter and the Moor are now making
the beast with two backs.

Bra. Thou art a villain.

Iago. You are — a senator.

Bra. This thou shalt answer; I know thee,

Rod. 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
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
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 ;
Tying her duty, beauty, wit, and fortunes
In an extravagant* and wheeling* [wandering, vagabond

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
For thus deluding you.

Bra. Strike on the tinder, ho !

Give me a taper 1 call up all my people !
This accident is not unlike my dream ;
Belief of it oppresses me already. —
Light, I say ! light ! [Exit above.

Iago. Farewell ; for I must leave you.

It seems not meet, nor wholesome to my place,
To be produc'd — as, if I stay, I shall—
Against the Moor : for, I do know, the state,
However this may gall him with some check,
Cannot with safety cast* him, for he's [dismiss

With such loud reason to the Cyprus wars,
Which even now stand in act, that, for their

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,


Act I Scene 1

I must show out a flag and sign of love,
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.


Enter, belorv, Brabantio, and Servants tvith

Bra. 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 ?— unhappy girl ! —
With the Moor, say'st thou ?— Who would be a

father !—
How didst thou know 'twas she? — O, she de-
ceives me
Past thought ! — What said she to you ?— Get

moe tapers !
Raise all my kindred !— Are they married, think

Rod. Truly, I think they are.
Bra. heaven ! — How got she out ? — O

treason of the blood !
Fathers, from hence trust not your daughters'

By what you see them act. — Is there not charms
By which the property* of youth and [disposition

May be abus'd*? Have you not read, Roderigo,
Of some such thing ? [deluded

Rod. Yes, sir, I have indeed.

Bra. Call up my brother. — O, would you had

had her 1 —
Some one way, some another. — Do you know
Where we may apprehend her and the Moor ?



Rod. I think I can discover him, if you please
To get good guard and go along with me.
Bra. 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 '11 deserve your pains.


Scene 2.— Another Street.

Enter Othello, Iago, and Attendants with

Iago. Though in the trade of war I have slain
Yet do I hold it very stuff o' the conscience
To do no contriv'd murther ; I lack iniquity
Sometimes to do me service. Nine or ten times
I had thought to have yerk'd* him here [struck
under the ribs.

Oth. 'Tis better as it is.

Iago. Nay, but he prated,

And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms
Against your honour
That, with the little godliness I have,
I did full hard forbear* him. But, I pray [spare

you, sir,
Are you fast married ? Be assur'd of this,
That the magnifico is much belov'd,
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.

Oth. Let him do his spite ;

My services which I have done the signiory

Act I Scene 2

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
From men of royal siege,* and my demerits [rank
May speak unbonneted* to as proud [without doffing cap

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
Put into circumscription and confine [undomesticat*d
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.

Oth. Not I ; I must be found :

My parts,* my title, and my perfect soul [merits
Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they ?
Iago. By Janus, I think no.

Enter Cassio, and certain Officers with torches.

Oth. The servants of the duke, and my lieu-
tenant. —
The goodness of the night upon you, friends !
What is the news ?

Cas. The duke does greet you, general,

And he requires your haste-post-haste appear-
Even on the instant.

Oth. What is the matter, think you ?

Cas. 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,
And many of the consuls, rais'd 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 quests
To search you out.

Oth. 'Tis well I am found by you.

I will but spend a word here in the house,
And go with you. [Eocit.

Cas. Ancient, what makes he here ?

I ago. Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land

Carack * ; [merchantman

If it prove lawful prize, he 's made for ever.
Cas. I do not understand.
Iago. He 's married.

Cas. To who ?

Re-enter Othello.

Iago. Marry, to — Come, captain, will you go ?
Oth. Have with you.

Cas. Here comes another troop to seek for you.
Iago. It is Brabantio. — General, be advis'd ;
He comes to bad intent.

Enter Brabantio, Roderigo, and Officers with
torches and weapons.
Oth. Holla ! stand there I

Rod. Signior, it is the Moor.
Bra. Down with him, thief I

[ They draw on both sides.
Iago. You, Roderigo ! come, sir, I am for you.
Oth. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew
will rust them. —
Good signior, you shall more command with

Than with your weapons.
Bra. O thou foul thief, where hast thou stow'd
my daughter ?

Act I Scene 2

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 hound,
Whether a maid so tender, fair, and happy,
So opposite to marriage that she shunn'd
The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,
Would ever have, to incur a general mock,
Run from her guardage to the sooty bosom
Of such a thing as thou,— to fear, not to delight.
Judge me the world, if 'tis not gross in sense
That thou hast practis'd on her with foul charms,
Abus'd her delicate youth with drugs or minerals
That weaken motion. I '11 have 't disputed on ;
'Tis probable and palpable to thinking.
I therefore apprehend and do attach* thee [arrest
For an abuser of the world, a practiser
Of arts inhibited and out of warrant. —
Lay hold upon him ; if he do resist,
Subdue him at his peril.

Oth. 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
To answer this your charge ?

Bra. To prison, till fit time

Of law and course of direct session
Call thee to answer.

Oth. What if I do obey ?

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 ?

1st Off. 'Tis true, most worthy signior

The duke 's in council, and jour noble self,
I am sure, is sent for.

Bra. How ! the duke in council I



In this time of the night ! Bring him away ;
Mine 's not an idle cause : the duke himself,
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.


Scene 3. — A Council-chamber.

The Duke and Senators sitting at a table ;
Officers attending.

Duke. There is no composition* in these news
That gives them credit. [consistency

1st Sen. Indeed, they are disproportion'd ;

My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.

Duke. And mine, a hundred and forty.

2nd Sen. And mine, two hundred ;

But though they jump* not on a just [agree

account, —
As in these cases, where the aim* reports, [conjecture
'Tis oft with difference— yet do they all confirm
A Turkish fleet, and bearing up to Cyprus.

Duke. 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.

Sailor. [Within] What, ho! what, ho!
what, ho !

1st Off. A messenger from the galleys.

Enter a Sailor.
Duke. Now, what 's the business ?

Sailor. The Turkish preparation makes for
Rhodes ;
So was I bid report here to the state
By Signior Angelo.


Act I Scene 3

Duke. How say you by this change ?

1st Sen. This cannot be,

By no assay* of reason ; 'tis a pageant, [i.e. test
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,
For that it stands not in such warlike brace, *
But altogether lacks the abilities [state of defenc*
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,
Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain,
To wake and wage a danger profitless.

Duke. Nay, in all confidence, he 's not for

1st Off. Here is more news.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,
Steering with due course towards the isle of

Have there injointed them with an after fleet.
1st Sen. Ay, so I thought. How many, as

you guess ?
Mess. Of thirty sail ; and now they do re-stem
Their backward course, bearing with frank

Their purposes toward Cyprus. Signior Mon-

Your trusty and most valiant servitor,
With his free duty recommends you* thus,
And prays you to believe him. [commends himself to you
Duke. 'Tis certain, then, for Cyprus.



Marcus Luccicos, is not he in town ?

1st Sen. He 's now in Florence.

Duke. Write from us to him ; post-post-haste

1st Sen. Here comes Brabantio and the val-
iant Moor.

Enter Brabantio, Othello, Iago, Roderigo,
and Officers.

Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight
employ you
Against the general enemy Ottoman.
[To Brabantio] I did not see you; welcome,

gentle signior ;
We lack'd your counsel and your help to-night.

Bra. So did I yours. Good your grace, pardon
me ;
Neither my place nor aught I heard of business
Hath rais'd me from my bed, nor doth the

general care
Take hold on me, for my particular grief
Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature
That it engluts and swallows other sorrows
And it is still itself.

Duke. Why, what 's the matter ?

Bra. My daughter ! O, my daughter !

Duke and Senators. Dead?

Bra. Ay, to me ;

She is abus'd, stolen from me, and corrupted
By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks ;
For nature so preposterously to err,
Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,
Sans witchcraft could not.

Duke. Whoe'er he be that in this foul pro-
Hath thus beguil'd your daughter of herself


Act I Scene 3

And you of her, the bloody book of law
You shall yourself read in the bitter letter
After your own sense ; yea, though ovir proper*

son [own

Stood in your action.

Bra. Humbly I thank your grace.

Here is the man, this Moor, whom now, it seems,
Your special mandate for the state affairs
Hath hither brought.

Duke and Senators. We are very sorry for 't.

Duke. [To Othello] What, in your own part,
can you say to this ?

Bra. Nothing, but this is so.

Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approv'd 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
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my

And little bless'd with the soft phrase of peace :
For since these arms of mine had seven years'

Till now some nine moons wasted,* they have [past

US U [most important

Their dearest* action in the tented field ;
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

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver
Of my whole course of love ; what drugs, what

What conjuration, and what mighty magic, —
For such proceeding I am charg'd withal, —

" B 17


I won his daughter.

Bra. A maiden never bold ;

Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion* [impulse
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
That will confess perfection so could err
Against all rules of nature, and must be driven
To find out practices* of cunning hell, [stratagems
Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
That with some mixtures powerful o'erthe blood,
Or with some dram conjur'd 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 [commonplace

1st 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 ?

Oth. 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,
The trust, the office I do hold of you,
Not only take away, but let your sentence
Even fall upon my life.

Duke. Fetch Desdemona hither.

Oth. Ancient, conduct them ; you best know
the place. [Exeunt Iago and attendants.
And, till she come, as truly as to heaven
I do confess the vices of my blood,


Act I Scene 3

So justly to your grave ears I '11 present
How I did thrive in this fair lady's love,
And she in mine.
Duke. Say it, Othello.
Oth. Her father lov'd me, oft invited me,
Still question'd me the story of my life
From year to year, —the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have pass'd.

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,
Of hair-breadth scapes i' the imminent deadly

Of being taken by the insolent foe
And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence,
And portance* in my travel's history ; [behaviour
Wherein of antres* vast and deserts idle, leaves
Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads

touch heaven,
It was my hint* to speak, — such was the [occasion

process :
And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
Do grow beneath their shoulders. This to hear
Would Desdemona seriously incline :
But still* the house affairs would draw her [ever

thence ;
Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse : which I observing,
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, [attentively



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

'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 lov'd her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story,
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I

spake ;
She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd,
And I lov'd her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have us'd. —
Here comes the lady ; let her witness it.

E titer Desdemona, Iago, and A ttendants.

Duke. 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
Than their bare hands.

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 mis-
tress ;
Do you perceive in all this noble company
Where most you owe obedience ?

Des. My noble father,

I do perceive here a divided duty :
To you I am bound for life and education ;

Act I Scene 3

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

And so much duty as my mother show'd

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