Page images

Des. Worse and worse.
Emil. 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?


Come, let's to the castle.

Iago. There's none so foul, and foolish there- News, friends; our wars are done, the Turks are unto,

But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do. Des. O heavy ignorance!—thou praisest the worst best. But what praise could'st 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?

[blocks in formation]

Iago. [Aside.] 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 give 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.] The Moor, I know his trumpet.

Cas. 'Tis truly so.

Des. Let's meet him, and receive him.
Cas. Lo, where he comes!

Enter OTHELLO, and Attendants.

Oth. O my fair warrior!

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,
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,
'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.


The heavens forbid, But that our loves and comforts should increase, Even as our days do grow!


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,

[Kissing her.

That e'er our hearts shall make!
O, you are well tun'd now!
But I'll set down the pegs that make this musick,
As honest as I am.

[ocr errors]



How do our old acquaintance of this isle?
Honey, you shall be well desir'd 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 pr'ythee, good Iago,
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 Оrи. DES. and Attend.
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, mannere 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 eminently 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 slippery and subtle knave; a finder out 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 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 is full of most blessed condition.

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?

Rod. 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. Villainous thoughts,

Roderigo! 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. Rod. Well.

told eleven. Heaven bless the isle of Cyprus, and our noble general, Othello! [Exeunt

Iago. Sir, he is rash, and very sudden in choler; and, haply, with his truncheon 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 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.

Rod. 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.

Rod. Adieu.


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;
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,
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 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

If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trasa
For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
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,
And practising upon his peace and quiet
Even to madness. 'Tis here, but yet confus'd;
Knavery's plain face is never seen, till us'd. [Exit.

[ocr errors]

SCENE II. - A Street. Enter a Herald, with a proclamation; People following.

Her. 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 revels his addiction leads him; for, besides these beneficial news, it is the celebration of his nuptials: 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 hath

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Iago. O, they are our friends; but one cup; I'll 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 any


Iago. What, man! 'tis a night of revels; the gallants desire it.

Cas. Where are they?

Iago. Here at the door; I pray you call them in. Cas. I'll do it; but it dislikes me. [Exit CASSIO. Iago. If I can fasten but one cup upon him, 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,
Whom love has turn'd almost the wrong side out

To Desdemona hath to-night carous'd Potations pottle deep; and he's to watch:

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors]

Iago. Will you hear it again?

Cas. No; for I hold him to be unworthy of his place, that does those things. Well, Heaven's above all; and there be souls that must be saved, and there be souls must not be saved.

Iago. It's true, good lieutenant.

Cas. For mine own part, no offence to the general, nor any man of quality, I hope to be Javed.

Iago. 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 hand: - I am not drunk now; I can stand well enough, and speak well enough.


[ocr errors]


All. Excellent well.

Cas. Why, very well, then you must not think then that I am drunk. [Ext. Mon. To the platform, masters; come, let's set

Iago. You see this fellow, that is gone before;
He is a soldier, fit to stand by Cæsar
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.


But is he often thus ? Iago. 'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep: He'll watch the horologe a double set,

If drink rock not his cradle.

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?


Enter RODERIGO. Iago. How, now, Roderigo? pray you, after the lieutenant; go. [Exit RODERIGE.


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.


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.
Cas. You rogue! you rascal!
Mon. What's the matter, lieutenant ?

Cas. A knave! - teach me my duty!

I'll beat the knave into a twiggen bottle.
Rod. Beat me!


I pray you, sir, hold your hand.


Dost thou prate, rogue?
[Striking RODERIgo.
Nay, good lieutenant ;
[Staying him.


Or I'll knock you o'er the mazzard.
Cas. Drunk!
Iago. Away, I say!

Let me go, sir,

Come, come, you're drunk. [They fight. go out, and crya mutiny. [Aside to Ron. who goes out. Nay, good lieutenant, - alas, gentlemen, Help, ho!-Lieutenant,-sir,-Montano,—sir;— Help, masters! Here's a goodly watch, indeed! [Bell rings Who's that that rings the bell? Diablo, ho! The town will rise: God's will, lieutenant! hold; You will be sham'd for ever.

[ocr errors]

Enter OTHELLO, and Attendants.

What is the matter here?
Mon. I bleed still, I am hurt to the death.
[He faints.
Iago Hold, hold, lieutenant, sir, Montano,-

Oth. Hold, for your lives.

Have you forgot all sense of place and duty? Hold, hold! the general speaks to you; hold, for shame!

Oth. Why, how now, ho! from whence ariseth this?

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.
Silence that dreadful bell, it frights the isle
From her propriety. What is the matter, mas-

ters ?

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

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 another's breast,
In opposition bloody. I cannot speak
Any beginning to this peevish odds;
And 'would in action glorious I had lost
These legs, that brought me to a part of it!

Oth. How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?
Cas. I pray you, pardon me, I cannot speak.
Oth. 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,
And spend your rich opinion, for the name
Of a night-brawler? give me answer to it.

Mon. Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger; Your officer, Iago, can inform you While I spare speech, which something now offends


Of all that I do know: nor know I aught
By me that's said or done amiss this night;
Unless self-charity be sometime a vice;
And to defend ourselves it be a sin,
When violence assails us.

Oth. 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, 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 approv'd in this offence, Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth, Shall lose me. What! in a town of war, Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear, To manage private and domestick quarrel, In night, and on the court and guard of safety! 'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began it? Mon. If partially affin'd, or leagu'd in office, Thou dost deliver more or less than truth, Thou art no soldier.

[ocr errors]


Touch me not so near: I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth, 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; And Cassio following him with determin'd sword, To execute upon him: Sir, this gentleman Steps in to Cassio, and entreats his pause;



[ocr errors]

Myself the crying fellow did pursue,
Lest, by his clamour, (as it so fell out,)
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,
(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 can I not report:

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

To have their balmy slumbers wak'd with strife.
[Exeunt all but IAGO and CASSIO.
Iago. What, are you hurt, lieutenant?
Cas. Ay, past all surgery.

[ocr errors]

Iago. Marry, heaven forbid !

Cas. Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part, sir, of myself, and what remains is bestial. My reputation, Iago, my reputation.

Iago. As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily wound; there is more offence 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! 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 is your's.

Cas. 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 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?

Cas. I know not.

Iago. Is it possible?

Cas. I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore. 0, that men should put an enemy in their mouths, to steal away their brains! that we should, with joy, revel, pleasure, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!

[blocks in formation]

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.

Cas. 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 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.


[ocr errors]

Cas. I have well approved it, sir. I drunk! Iago. You, or any man living, may be drunk at some time, man. I'll tell you what you shall do. Our general's wife is now the general; · I 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 graces : confess yourself freely to her; importune her; she'll help to put you in your place again: she is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, that she holds it a vice in her goodness, not to do more than she is requested: This broken joint, between 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

Cas. You advise me well.

Iago. I protest, in the sincerity of love, and honest kindness.

Cas. 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 check me here.


Iago. You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant; I must to the watch.

Cas. Good night, honest Iago.
Iago. And what's he then, that says,-I play the

When this advice is free, I give, and honest,
Probal to thinking, and (indeed) the course
To win the Moor again? For 'tis most easy
The inclining Desdemona to subdue

Before the Castle.

Enter CASSIO, and some Musicians.

Cas. Masters, play here, I will content your pains, Something that's brief; and bid-good-morrow, general. [Musick.

[ocr errors]

Enter Clown.

Clo. Why, masters, have your instruments been at Naples, that they speak i'the nose thus?

1 Mus. How, sir, how!


In any honest suit; she's fram'd as fruitful
As the free elements. And then for her
To win the Moor, - were't to renounce his baptism,
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,
To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,
Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!
When devils will their blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,
As I do now: For while this honest fool
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,
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.-How now, Roderigo?


Rod. I do follow here in the chace, 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 have so much experience for my pains: and so, with no money at all, and a little more wit, return 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; 3 And wit depends on dilatory time. Does't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee, And thou, by that small hurt, hath cashier'd Cassio. Though other things grow fair against the sun, Yet fruits, that blossom first, will first be ripe : Content thyself a while.-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. [Erit Ron.] 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,
And bring him jump when he may Cassio find
Soliciting his wife: ;- Ay, that's the way;
Dull not device by coldness and delay.


criindhungsreich •

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »