Othello

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Original text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Montano, and two Gentlemen.

Mon.
What from the Cape, can you discerne at Sea?

1. Gent.
Nothing at all, it is a high wrought Flood:
I cannot 'twixt the Heauen, and the Maine,
Descry a Saile.

Mon.
Me thinks, the wind hath spoke aloud at Land,
A fuller blast ne're shooke our Battlements:
If it hath ruffiand so vpon the Sea,
What ribbes of Oake, when Mountaines melt on them,
Can hold the Morties. What shall we heare of this?

2
A Segregation of the Turkish Fleet:
For do but stand vpon the Foaming Shore,
The chidden Billow seemes to pelt the Clowds,
The winde-shak'd-Surge, with high & monstrous Maine
Seemes to cast water on the burning Beare,
And quench the Guards of th'euer-fixed Pole:
I neuer did like mollestation view
On the enchafed Flood.

Men.
If that the Turkish Fleete
Be not enshelter'd, and embay'd, they are drown'd,
It is impossible to beare it out.
Enter a Gentleman.

3
Newes Laddes: our warres are done:
The desperate Tempest hath so bang'd the Turkes,
That their designement halts. A Noble ship of Venice,
Hath seene a greeuous wracke and sufferance
On most part of their Fleet.

Mon.
How? Is this true ?

3
The Ship is heere put in :
A Verennessa, Michael Cassio
Lieutenant to the warlike Moore, Othello,
Is come on Shore: the Moore himselfe at Sea,
And is in full Commission heere for Cyprus.

Mon.
I am glad on't: / 'Tis a worthy Gouernour.

3
But this same Cassio, though he speake of comfort,
Touching the Turkish losse, yet he lookes sadly,
And praye the Moore be safe; for they were parted
With fowle and violent Tempest.

Mon.
Pray Heauens he be:
For I haue seru'd him, and the man commands
Like a full Soldier. Let's to the Sea-side (hoa)
As well to see the Vessell that's come in,
As to throw-out our eyes for braue Othello,
Euen till we make the Maine, and th'Eriall blew,
An indistinct regard.

Gent.
Come, let's do so;
For euery Minute is expectancie
Of more Arriuancie.
Enter Cassio.

Cassi.
Thankes you, the valiant of the warlike Isle,
That so approoue the Moore: Oh let the Heauens
Giue him defence against the Elements,
For I haue lost him on a dangerous Sea.

Mon.
Is he well ship'd?

Cassio.
His Barke is stoutly Timber'd, and his Pylot
Of verie expert, and approu'd Allowance;
Therefore my hope's (not surfetted to death)
Stand in bold Cure.
Within. A Saile, a Saile, a Saile.

Cassio.
What noise?

Gent.
The Towne is empty; on the brow o'th'Sea
Stand rankes of People, and they cry, a Saile.

Cassio.
My hopes do shape him for the Gouernor.

Gent.
They do discharge their Shot of Courtesie,
Our Friends, at least.

Cassio.
I pray you Sir, go forth,
And giue vs truth who 'tis that is arriu'd.

Gent.
I shall.
Exit.

Mon.
But good Lieutenant, is your Generall wiu'd?

Cassio.
Most fortunately: he hath atchieu'd a Maid
That paragons description, and wilde Fame:
One that excels the quirkes of Blazoning pens,
And in th'essentiall Vesture of Creation,
Do's tyre the Ingeniuer.
Enter Gentleman.
How now? Who ha's put in?

Gent.
'Tis one Iago, Auncient to the Generall.

Cassio.
Ha's had most fauourable, and happie speed:
Tempests themselues, high Seas, and howling windes,
The gutter'd-Rockes, and Congregated Sands,
Traitors ensteep'd, to enclogge the guiltlesse Keele,
As hauing sence of Beautie, do omit
Their mortall Natures, letting go safely by
The Diuine Desdemona.

Mon.
What is she?

Cassio.
She that I spake of: / Our great Captains Captaine,
Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,
Whose footing heere anticipates our thoughts,
A Senights speed. Great Ioue, Othello guard,
And swell his Saile with thine owne powrefull breath,
That he may blesse this Bay with his tall Ship,
Make loues quicke pants in Desdemonaes Armes,
Giue renew'd fire to our extincted Spirits.
Enter Desdemona, Iago, Rodorigo, and Amilia.
Oh behold,
The Riches of the Ship is come on shore:
You men of Cyprus, let her haue your knees.
Haile to thee Ladie: and the grace of Heauen,
Before, behinde thee, and on euery hand
Enwheele thee round.

Des.
I thanke you, Valiant Cassio,
What tydings can you tell of my Lord?

Cas.
He is not yet arriu'd, nor know I ought
But that he's well, and will be shortly heere.

Des.
Oh, but I feare: / How lost you company?

Cassio.
The great Contention of Sea, and Skies
Parted our fellowship.
Within. A Saile, a Saile.
But hearke, a Saile.

Gent.
They giue this greeting to the Cittadell:
This likewise is a Friend.

Cassio.
See for the Newes:
Good Ancient, you are welcome. Welcome Mistris:
Let it not gaule your patience (good Iago)
That I extend my Manners. 'Tis my breeding,
That giues me this bold shew of Curtesie.

Iago.
Sir, would she giue you somuch of her lippes,
As of her tongue she oft bestowes on me,
You would haue enough.

Des.
Alas: she ha's no speech.

Iago.
Infaith too much:
I finde it still, when I haue leaue to sleepe.
Marry before your Ladyship, I grant,
She puts het tongue a little in her heart,
And chides with thinking.

Amil.
You haue little cause to say so.

Iago.
Come on, come on: you are Pictures out of doore:
Bells in your Parlours: Wilde-Cats in your Kitchens: Saints
in your Iniuries: Diuels being offended: Players in your
Huswiferie, and Huswiues in your Beds.

Des.
Oh, fie vpon thee, Slanderer

Iago.
Nay, it is true: or else I am a Turke,
You rise to play, and go to bed to worke.

Amil.
You shall not write my praise.

Iago.
No, let me not.

Desde.
What would'st write of me, if thou should'st praise me?

Iago.
Oh, gentle Lady, do not put me too,t,
For I am nothing, if not Criticall.

Des.
Come on, assay. / There's one gone to the Harbour?

Iago.
I Madam.

Des.
I am not merry: but I do beguile
The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.
Come, how would'st thou praise me?

Iago.
I am about it, but indeed my inuention
comes from my pate, as Birdlyme do's from Freeze,
it pluckes out Braines and all. But my Muse labours,
and thus she is deliuer'd.
If she be faire, and wise: fairenesse, and wit,
The ones for vse, the other vseth it.

Des.
Well prais'd: How if she be Blacke and Witty?

Iago.
If she be blacke, and thereto haue a wit,
She'le find a white, that shall her blacknesse fit.

Des.
Worse, and worse.

Amil.
How if Faire, and Foolish?

Iago.
She neuer yet was foolish that was faire,
For euen her folly helpt her to an heire.

Desde.
These are old fond Paradoxes, to make Fooles
laugh i'th'Alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for
her that's Foule, and Foolish.

Iago.
There's none so foule and foolish thereunto,
But do's foule pranks, which faire, and wise-ones do.

Desde.
Oh heauy ignorance: thou praisest the worst
best. But what praise could'st thou bestow on a deseruing
woman indeed? One, that in the authorithy of her merit,
did iustly put on the vouch of very malice it selfe.

Iago.
She that was euer faire, and neuer proud,
Had Tongue at will, and yet was neuer loud:
Neuer lackt Gold, and yet went neuer gay,
Fled from her wish, and yet said now I may.
She that being angred, her reuenge being nie,
Bad her wrong stay, and her displeasure flie:
She that in wisedome neuer was so fraile,
To change the Cods-head for the Salmons taile:
She that could thinke, and neu'r disclose her mind,
See Suitors following, and not looke behind:
She was a wight, (if euer such wightes were)

Des.
To do what?

Iago.
To suckle Fooles, and chronicle small Beere.

Desde.
Oh most lame and impotent conclusion.
Do not learne of him Amillia, though he be thy husband.
How say you (Cassio) is he not a most prophane, and
liberall Counsailor?

Cassio.
He speakes home (Madam) you may rellish him more
in the Souldier, then in the Scholler.

Iago.

He takes her by the palme: I, well said,
whisper. With as little a web as this, will I ensnare as
great a Fly as Cassio. I smile vpon her, do: I will
giue thee in thine owne Courtship. You say true, 'tis so
indeed. If such tricks as these strip you out of your
Lieutenantrie, it had beene better you had not kiss'd your
three fingers so oft, which now againe you are most apt
to play the Sir, in. Very good: well kiss'd, and excellent
Curtsie: 'tis so indeed. Yet againe, your fingers to your
lippes? Would they were Cluster-pipes for your sake.
The Moore I know his Trumpet.

Cassio,
'Tis truely so.

Des.
Let's meete him, and recieue him.

Cassio.
Loe, where he comes.
Enter Othello, and Attendants.

Oth.
O, my faire Warriour.

Des.
My deere Othello.

Othe.
It giues me wonder great, as my content
To see you heere before me. / Oh my Soules Ioy:
If after euery Tempest, come such Calmes,
May the windes blow, till they haue waken'd death:
And let the labouring Barke climbe hills of Seas
Olympus high: and duck againe as low,
As hell's from Heauen. If it were now to dye,
'Twere now to be most happy. For I feare,
My Soule hath her content so absolute,
That not another comfort like to this,
Succeedes in vnknowne Fate.

Des.
The Heauens forbid
But that our Loues / And Comforts should encrease
Euen as our dayes do grow.

Othe.
Amen to rhat (sweet Powers)
I cannot speake enough of this content,
It stoppes me heere: it is too much of ioy.
And this, and this the greatest discords be
That ere our hearts shall make.

Iago.
Oh you are well tun'd now:
But Ile set downe the peggs that make this Musicke,
as honest as I am.

Othe.
Come: let vs to the Castle.
Newes (Friends) our Warres are done: / The Turkes are drown'd.
How do's my old Acquaintance of this Isle?
(Hony) you shall be well desir'd in Cyprus,
I haue found great loue among'st them. Oh my Sweet,
I prattle out of fashion, and I doate
In mine owne comforts. I prythee, good Iago,
Go to the Bay, and disimbarke my Coffers:
Bring thou the Master to the Cittadell,
He is a good one, and his worthynesse
Do's challenge much respect. Come Desdemona,
Once more well met at Cyprus.
Exit Othello and Desdemona.

Iago.

Do thou meet me presently at
the Harbour. Come thither, if thou be'st
Valiant, (as they say base men being in Loue, haue then a
Nobilitie in their Natures, more then is natiue to them)
list-me; the Lieutenant to night watches on the Court of Guard.
First, I must tell thee this: Desdemona, is directly
in loue with him.

Rod.
With him? Why,'tis not possible.

Iago.
Lay thy finger thus: and let thy soule be instructed.
Marke me with what violence she first lou'd the Moore,
but for bragging, and telling her fantasticall lies.
To loue him still for prating, let not thy discreet
heart thinke it. Her eye must be fed. And what delight
shall she haue to looke on the diuell? When the Blood is
made dull with the Act of Sport, there should be a game
to enflame it, and to giue Satiety a fresh appetite. Louelinesse
in fauour, simpathy in yeares, Manners, and Beauties: all
which the Moore is defectiue in. Now for want of these
requir'd Conueniences, her delicate tendernesse wil finde
it selfe abus'd, begin to heaue the, gorge, disrellish and
abhorre the Moore, very Nature wil instruct her in it, and
compell her to some second choice. Now Sir, this granted
(as it is a most pregnant and vnforc'd position) who
stands so eminent in the degree of this Forune, as
Cassio do's: a knaue very voluble: no further conscionable,
then in putting on the meere forme of Ciuill, and
Humaine seeming, for the better compasse of his salt,
and most hidden loose Affection? Why none, why none:
A slipper, and subtle knaue, a finder of occasion:
that he's an eye can stampe, and counterfeit Aduantages,
though true Aduantage neuer present it selfe. A diuelish
knaue: besides, the knaue is handsome, young: and hath
all those requisites in him, that folly and greene mindes
looke after. A pestilent compleat knaue, and the woman
hath found him already.

Rodo.
I cannot beleeue that in her, she's full of most
bless'd condition.

Iago.
Bless'd figges-end. The Wine she drinkes is made of
grapes. If shee had beene bless'd, shee would neuer haue
lou'd the Moore: Bless'd pudding. Didst thou not see her
paddle with the palme of his hand? Didst not marke that?

Rod.
Yes, that I did: but that was but curtesie.

Iago.
Leacherie by this hand: an Index, and obscure prologue
to the History of Lust and foule Thoughts. They met
so neere with their lippes, that their breathes embrac'd
together. Villanous thoughts Rodorigo, when these
mutabilities so marshall the way, hard at hand comes the
Master, and maine exercise, th'incorporate conclusion:
Pish. But Sir, be you rul'd by me. I haue brought you
from Venice. Watch you to night: for the Command, Ile
lay't vpon you. Cassio knowes you not: Ile not be farre
from you. Do you finde 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 fauorably minister.

Rod.
Well.

Iago.
Sir, he's rash, and very sodaine in Choller: and happely
may strike at you, prouoke him that
he may: for euen out of that will I cause these of Cyprus
to Mutiny. Whose qualification shall come into no true
taste againe, but by the displanting of Cassio. So shall you
haue a shorter iourney to your desires, by the meanes I
shall then haue to preferre them. And the impediment most
profitably remoued, without the which there were no
expectation of our prosperitie.

Rodo.
I will do this, if you can bring it to any
opportunity.

Iago.
I warrant thee. Meete me by and by at the Cittadell. I
must fetch his Necessaries a Shore. Farewell.

Rodo.
Adieu.
Exit.

Iago.
That Cassio loues her, I do well beleeu't:
That she loues him, 'tis apt, and of great Credite.
The Moore (how beit that I endure him not)
Is of a constant, louing, Noble Nature,
And I dare thinke, he'le proue to Desdemona
A most deere husband. Now I do loue her too,
Not out of absolute Lust, (though peraduenture
I stand accomptant for as great a sin)
But partely led to dyet my Reuenge,
For that I do suspect the lustie Moore
Hath leap'd into my Seate. The thought whereof,
Doth (like a poysonous Minerall) gnaw my Inwardes:
And nothing can, or shall content my Soule
Till I am eeuen'd with him, wife, for wift.
Or fayling so, yet that I put the Moore,
At least into a Ielouzie so strong
That iudgement cannot cure. Which thing to do,
If this poore Trash of Venice, whom I trace
For his quicke hunting, stand the putting on,
Ile haue our Michael Cassio on the hip,
Abuse him to the Moore, in the right garbe
(For I feare Cassio with my Night-Cape too)
Make the Moore thanke me, loue me, and reward me,
For making him egregiously an Asse,
And practising vpon his peace, and quiet,
Euen to madnesse. 'Tis heere: but yet confus'd,
Knaueries plaine face, is neuer seene, till vs'd.
Exit.
Original text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Othello's, Herald with a Proclamation.

Herald.
It is Othello's pleasure, our Noble and Valiant
Generall. That vpon certaine tydings now arriu'd, importing
the meere perdition of the Turkish Fleete: euery man put
himselfe into Triumph. Some to daunce, some to make
Bonfires, each man, to what Sport and Reuels his addition
leads him. For besides these beneficiall Newes, it is the
Celebration of his Nuptiall. So much was his pleasure
should be proclaimed. All offices are open, & there is
full libertie of Feasting from this presenr houre of fiue,
till the Bell haue told eleuen. Blesse the Isle of
Cyprus, and our Noble Generall Othello.
Exit.
Original text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and Attendants.

Othe.
Good Michael, looke you to the guard to night.
Let's teach our selues that Honourable stop,
Not to out-sport discretion.

Cas.
Iago, hath direction what to do.
But notwithstanding with my personall eye
Will I looke to't.

Othe.
Iago, is most honest:
Michael, goodnight. To morrow with your earliest,
Let me haue speech with you. Come my deere Loue,
The purchase made, the fruites are to ensue,
That profit's yet to come 'tweene me, and you.
Goodnight.
Exit.
Enter Iago.

Cas.
Welcome Iago: we must to the Watch.

Iago.
Not this houre Lieutenant: 'tis not yet ten o'th'clocke.
Our Generall cast vs thus earely for the loue of his
Desdemona: Who, let vs not therefore blame; he hath
not yet made wanton the night with her: and she is
sport for Ioue.

Cas.
She's a most exquisite Lady.

Iago.
And Ile warrant her, full of Game.

Cas.
Indeed shes a most fresh and delicate creature.

Iago.
What an eye she ha's? / Methinkes it sounds a parley to
prouocation.

Cas.
An inuiting eye:/ And yet me thinkes right modest.

Iago.
And when she speakes, / Is it not an Alarum to Loue?

Cas.
She is indeed perfection.

Iago.
Well: happinesse to their Sheetes. Come Lieutenant,
I haue a stope of Wine, and heere without are a brace of
Cyprus Gallants, that would faine haue a measure to the
health of blacke Othello.

Cas.
Not to night, good Iago, I haue very poore, and
vnhappie Braines for drinking. I could well wish Curtesie
would inuent some other Custome of entertainment.

Iago.
Oh, they are our Friends: but one Cup, Ile drinke for
you.

Cassio.
I haue drunke but one Cup to night, and that was
craftily qualified too: and behold what inouation it
makes heere. I am infortunate in the infirmity, and dare
not taske my weakenesse with any more.

Iago.
What man? 'Tis a night of Reuels, the Gallants desire
it.

Cas.
Where are they?

Iago.
Heere, at the doore: I pray you call them in.

Cas.
Ile do't, but it dislikes me.
Exit.

Iago.
If I can fasten but one Cup vpon him
With that which he hath drunke to night alreadie,
He'l be as full of Quarrell, and offence
As my yong Mistris dogge. / Now my sicke Foole Rodorigo,
Whom Loue hath turn'd almost the wrong side out,
To Desdemona hath to night Carrows'd.
Potations, pottle-deepe; and he's to watch.
Three else of Cyprus, Noble swelling Spirites,
(That hold their Honours in a wary distance,
The very Elements of this Warrelike Isle)
Haue I to night fluster'd with flowing Cups,
And they Watch too. / Now 'mongst this Flocke of drunkards
Am I put to our Cassio in some Action
That may offend the Isle. But here they come.
If Consequence do but approue my dreame,
My Boate sailes freely, both with winde and Streame.
Enter Cassio, Montano, and Gentlemen.

Cas.
'Fore heauen, they haue giuen me a rowse already.

Mon.
Good-faith a litle one: not past a pint, as I am
a Souldier.

Iago.
Some Wine hoa.
And let me the Cannakin clinke, clinke:
And let me the Cannakin clinke.
A Souldiers a man:
Oh, mans life's but a span,
Why then let a Souldier drinke.
Some Wine Boyes.

Cas.
'Fore Heauen: an excellent Song.

Iago.
I learn'd it in England: where indeed they are most
potent in Potting. Your Dane, your Germaine, and your
swag-belly'd Hollander, (drinke hoa) are nothing to
your English.

Cassio.
Is your Englishmen so exquisite in his drinking?

Iago.
Why, he drinkes you with facillitie, your Dane dead
drunke. He sweates not to ouerthrow your Almaine. He
giues your Hollander a vomit, ere the next Pottle can be
fill'd.

Cas.
To the health of our Generall.

Mon.
I am for it Lieutenant: and Ile do you
Iustice.

Iago.
Oh sweet England.
King Stephen was and-a worthy Peere,
His Breeches cost him but a Crowne,
He held them Six pence all to deere,
With that he cal'd the Tailor Lowne:
He was a wight of high Renowne,
And thou art but of low degree:
'Tis Pride that pulls the Country downe,
And take thy awl'd Cloake about thee.
Some Wine hoa.

Cassio.
Why this is a more exquisite Song then the
other.

Iago.
Will you heare't againe?

Cas.
No: for I hold him to be vnworthy of his Place,
that do's those things. Well: heau'ns aboue all: and there
be soules must be saued, and there be soules must not be
saued.

Iago.
It's true, good Lieutenant.

Cas.
For mine owne part, no offence to the Generall,
nor any man of qualitie: I hope to be saued.

Iago.
And so do I too Lieutenant.

Cassio.
I: (but by your leaue) not before me. The
Lieutenant is to be saued before the Ancient. Let's haue
no more of this: let's to our Affaires. Forgiue vs our
sinnes: Gentlemen let's looke to our businesse. Do not
thinke Gentlemen, I am drunke: this is my Ancient, this
is my right hand, and this is my left. I am not drunke
now: I can stand well enough, and I speake well enough.

Gent.
Excellent well.

Cas.
Why very well then: you must not thinke then, that I
am drunke.
Exit.

Monta.
To th'Platforme (Masters) come, let's set the
Watch.

Iago.
You see this Fellow, that is gone before,
He's a Souldier, fit to stand by Casar,
And giue direction. And do but see his vice,
'Tis to his vertue, a iust Equinox,
The one as long as th'other. 'Tis pittie of him:
I feare the trust Othello puts him in,
On some odde time of his infirmitie
Will shake this Island.

Mont.
But is he often thus?

Iago.
'Tis euermore his prologue to his sleepe,
He'le watch the Horologe a double Set,
If Drinke rocke not his Cradle.

Mont.
It were well
The Generall were put in mind of it:
Perhaps he sees it not, or his good nature
Prizes the vertue that appeares in Cassio,
And lookes not on his euills: is not this true?
Enter Rodorigo.

Iago.
How now Rodorigo?
I pray you after the Lieutenant, go.

Mon.
And 'tis great pitty, that the Noble Moore
Should hazard such a Place, as his owne Second
With one of an ingraft Infirmitie,
It were an honest Action, to say
so / To the Moore.

Iago.
Not I, for this faire Island,
I do loue Cassio well: and would do much
To cure him of this euill,
But hearke, what noise?
Enter Cassio pursuing Rodorigo.

Cas.
You Rogue: you Rascall.

Mon.
What's the matter Lieutenant?

Cas.
A Knaue teach me my dutie? Ile beate the Knaue into
a Twiggen-Bottle.

Rod.
Beate me?

Cas.
Dost thou prate, Rogue?

Mon.
Nay, good Lieutenant: / I pray you Sir, hold
your hand.

Cassio.
Let me go (Sir) / Or Ile knocke you o're the Mazard.

Mon.
Come, come: you're drunke.

Cassio.
Drunke?

Iago.

Away I say: go out and cry a Mutinie.
Nay good Lieutenant. Alas Gentlemen:
Helpe hoa. Lieutenant. Sir Montano:
Helpe Masters. Heere's a goodly Watch indeed.
Who's that which rings the Bell: Diablo, hoa:
The Towne will rise. Fie, fie Lieutenant,
You'le be asham'd for euer.
Enter Othello, and Attendants.

Othe.
What is the matter heere?

Mon.
I bleed still,
I am hurt to th'death. He dies.

Othe.
Hold for your liues.

Iag.
Hold hoa: Lieutenant, Sir Montano, Gentlemen:
Haue you forgot all place of sense and dutie?
Hold. The Generall speaks to you: hold for shame.

Oth.
Why how now hoa? From whence ariseth this?
Are we turn'd Turkes? and to our selues do that
Which Heauen hath forbid the Ottamittes.
For Christian shame, put by this barbarous Brawle:
He that stirs next, to carue for his owne rage,
Holds his soule light: He dies vpon his Motion.
Silence that dreadfull Bell, it frights the Isle,
From her propriety. What is the matter, Masters?
Honest Iago, that lookes dead with greeuing,
Speake: who began this? On thy loue I charge thee?

Iago.
I do not know: Friends all, but now, euen now.
In Quarter, and in termes like Bride, and Groome
Deuesting them for Bed: and then, but now:
(As if some Planet had vnwitted men)
Swords out, and tilting one at others breastes,
In opposition bloody. I cannot speake
Any begining to this peeuish oddes.
And would, in Action glorious, I had lost
Those legges, that brought me to a part of it.

Othe.
How comes it (Michaell) you are thus forgot?

Cas.
I pray you pardon me, I cannot speake.

Othe.
Worthy Montano, you were wont to be ciuill:
The grauitie, and stillnesse of your youth
The world hath noted. And your name is great
In mouthes of wisest Censure. What's the matter
That you vnlace your reputation thus,
And spend your rich opinion, for the name
Of a night-brawler? Giue me answer to it.

Mon.
Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger,
Your Officer Iago, can informe you,
While I spare speech which something now offends me.
Of all that I do know, nor know I ought
By me, that's said, or done amisse this night,
Vnlesse selfe-charitie be sometimes a vice,
And to defend our selues, it be a sinne
When violence assailes vs.

Othe.
Now by Heauen,
My blood begins my safer Guides to rule,
And passion (hauing my best iudgement collied)
Assaies to leade the way. If I once stir,
Or do but lift this Arme, the best of you
Shall sinke in my rebuke. Giue me to know
How this foule Rout began: Who set it on,
And he that is approu'd in this offence,
Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth,
Shall loose me. What in a Towne of warre,
Yet wilde, the peoples hearts brim-full of feare,
To Manage priuate, and domesticke Quarrell?
In night, and on the Court and Guard of safetie?
'Tis monstrous: Iago, who began't?

Mon.
If partially Affin'd, or league in office,
Thou dost deliuer more, or lesse then Truth,
Thou art no Souldier.

Iago.
Touch me not so neere,
I had rather haue this tongue cut from my mouth,
Then it should do offence to Michaell Cassio.
Yet I perswade my selfe, to speake the truth
Shall nothing wrong him. This it is Generall:
Montano and my selfe being in speech,
There comes a Fellow, crying out for helpe,
And Cassio following him with determin'd Sword
To execute vpon him. Sir, this Gentleman,
Steppes in to Cassio, and entreats his pause;
My selfe, the crying Fellow did pursue,
Least by hisclamour (as it so fell out)
The Towne might fall in fright. He, (swift of foote)
Out-ran my purpose: and I return'd then rather
For that I heard the clinke, and fall of Swords,
And Cassio high in oath: Which till to night
I nere might say before. When I came backe
(For this was briefe) I found them close together
At blow, and thrust, euen as againe they were
When you your selfe did part them.
More of this matter cannot I report,
But Men are Men: The best sometimes forget,
Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
Yet surely Cassio, I beleeue receiu'd
From him that fled, some strange Indignitie,
Which patience could not passe.

Othe.
I know Iago
Thy honestie, and loue doth mince this matter,
Making it light to Cassio: Cassio, I loue thee,
But neuer more be Officer of mine.
Enter Desdemona attended.
Looke if my gentle Loue be not rais'd vp:
Ile make thee an example.

Des.
What is the matter (Deere?)

Othe.
All's well, Sweeting: / Come away to bed.
Sir for your hurts, / My selfe will be your Surgeon. Lead him off:
Iago, looke with care about the Towne,
And silence those whom this vil'd brawle distracted.
Come Desdemona, 'tis the Soldiers life,
To haue their Balmy slumbers wak'd with strife.
Exit.

Iago.
What are you hurt Lieutenant?

Cas.
I, past all Surgery.

Iago.
Marry Heauen forbid.

Cas.
Reputation, Reputation, Reputation: Oh I haue lost
my Reputation. I haue lost the immortall part of myselfe,
and what remaines is bestiall. My Reputation, Iago, my
Reputation.

Iago.
As I am an honest man I had thought you had receiued
some bodily wound; there is more sence in that
then in Reputation. Reputation is an idle, and most false
imposition; oft got without merit, aud lost without
deseruing. You haue lost no Reputation at all, vnlesse you
repute your selfe such a looser. What man, there are
more wayes to recouer the Generall againe. You are but now cast
in his moode, (a punishment more in policie, then in
malice) euen so as one would beate his offencelesse dogge, ro
affright an Imperious Lyon. Sue to him againe, and he's
yours.

Cas.
I will rather sue to be despis'd, then to deceiue so
good a Commander, with so slight, so drunken, and so
indiscreet an Officer. Drunke? And speake Parrat? And
squabble? Swagger? Sweare? And discourse Fustian with
ones owne shadow? Oh thou invisible spirit of Wine, if
thou hast no name to be knowne by, let vs call thee Diuell.

Iago.
What was he that you follow'd with your
Sword? What had he done to you?

Cas.
I know not.

Iago.
Is't possible?

Cas.
I remember a masse of things, but nothing distinctly:
a Quarrell, but nothing wherefore. Oh, that
men should put an Enemie in their mouthes, to steale away
their Braines? that we should with ioy, pleasance, reuell
and applause, transforme our selues into Beasts.

Iago.
Why? But you are now well enough: how came you
thus recouered?

Cas.
It hath pleas'd the diuell drunkennesse, to giue place
to the diuell wrath, one vnperfectnesse, shewes me another
to make me frankly despise my selfe.

Iago.
Come, you are too seuere a Moraller. As the Time,
the Place, & the Condition of this Country stands I
could hartily wish this had not befalne: but since
it is, as it is, mend it for your owne good.

Cas.
I will aske him for my Place againe, he shall tell me,
I am a drunkard: had I as many mouthes as Hydra, such
an answer would stop them all. To be now a sensible
man, by and by a Foole, and presently a Beast. Oh strange!
Euery inordinate cup is vnbless'd, and the Ingredient
is a diuell.

Iago.
Come, come: good wine, is a good famillar Creature, if
it be well vs'd: exclaime no more against it. And good
Lieutenant, I thinke, you thinke I loue you.

Cassio.
I haue well approued it, Sir. I drunke?

Iago.
You, or any man liuing, may be drunke at a time man.
I tell you what you shall do: Our General's Wife, is
now the Generall. I may say so, in this respect, for that
he hath deuoted, and giuen vp himselfe to the Contemplation,
marke: and deuotement of her parts and Graces.
Confesse your selfe freely to her: Importune her helpe to
put you in your place againe. She is of so free, so kinde, so
apt, so blessed a disposition, she holds it a vice in her
goodnesse, not to do more then she is requested. This
broken ioynt betweene you, and her husband, entreat her
to splinter. And my Fortunes against any lay worth
naming, this cracke of your Loue, shall grow stronger, then
it was before.

Cassio.
You aduise me well.

Iago.
I protest in the sinceritie of Loue, and honest
kindnesse.

Cassio.
I thinke it freely: and betimes in the morning, I will
beseech the vertuous Desdemona to vndertake for me:
I am desperate of my Fortunes if they check me.

Iago.
You are in the right: good night Lieutenant, I must
to the Watch.

Cassio.
Good night, honest Iago.
Exit Cassio.

Iago.
And what's he then, / That saies I play the Villaine?
When this aduise is free I giue, and honest,
Proball to thinking, and indeed the course
To win the Moore againe. / For 'tis most easie
Th'inclyning Desdemona to subdue
In any honest Suite. She's fram'd as fruitefull
As the free Elements. And then for her
To win the Moore, were to renownce his Baptisme,
All Seales, and Simbols of redeemed sin:
His Soule is so enfetter'd to her Loue,
That she may make, vnmake, do what she list,
Euen as her Appetite shall play the God,
With his weake Function. How am I then a Villaine,
To Counsell Cassio to this paralell course,
Directly to his good? Diuinitie of hell,
When diuels will the blackest sinnes put on,
They do suggest at first with heauenly shewes,
As I do now. For whiles this honest Foole
Plies Desdemona, to repaire his Fortune,
And she for him, pleades strongly to the Moore,
Ile powre this pestilence into his eare:
That she repeales him, for her bodies Lust'
And by how much she striues to do him good,
She shall vndo her Credite with the Moore.
So will I turne her vertue into pitch,
And out of her owne goodnesse make the Net,
That shall en-mash them all.
Enter Rodorigo.
How now Rodorigo?

Rodorigo.
I do follow heere in the Chace, not like a Hound
that hunts, but one that filles vp the Crie. My Money is
almost spent; I haue bin to night exceedingly well
Cudgell'd: And I thinke the issue will bee, I shall haue so
much experience for my paines; And so, with no money
at all, and a little more Wit, returne againe to Venice.

Iago.
How poore are they that haue not Patience?
What wound did euer heale but by degrees?
Thou know'st we worke by Wit, and not by Witchcraft
And Wit depends on dilatory time:
Dos't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee,
And thou by that small hurt hath casheer'd Cassio:
Though other things grow faire against the Sun,
Yet Fruites that blossome first, will first be ripe:
Content thy selfe, a-while. In troth 'tis Morning;
Pleasure, and Action, make the houres seeme short.
Retire thee, go where thou art Billited:
Away, I say, thou shalt know more heereafter:
Nay get thee gone.
Exit Roderigo.
Two things are to be done:
My Wife must moue for Cassio to her Mistris:
Ile set her on
my selfe, a while, to draw the Moor apart,
And bring him iumpe, when he may Cassio finde
Soliciting his wife: I, that's the way:
Dull not Deuice, by coldnesse, and delay.
Exit.
Modern text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Montano and two Gentlemen

MONTANO
What from the cape can you discern at sea?

FIRST GENTLEMAN
Nothing at all; it is a high-wrought flood.
I cannot 'twixt the heaven and the main
Descry a sail.

MONTANO
Methinks the wind does speak aloud at land;
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?

SECOND GENTLEMAN
A segregation of the Turkish fleet:
For do but stand upon the banning shore,
The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds;
The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous mane,
Seems to cast water on the burning Bear
And quench the guards of th' ever-fixed Pole.
I never did like molestation view
On the enchafed flood.

MONTANO
If that the Turkish fleet
Be not ensheltered and embayed, they are drowned:
It is impossible they bear it out.
Enter a Gentleman

THIRD GENTLEMAN
News, lads! Our wars are done:
The desperate tempest hath so banged the Turks
That their designment halts. A noble ship of Venice
Hath seen a grievous wrack and sufferance
On most part of their fleet.

MONTANO
How! Is this true?

THIRD GENTLEMAN
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.

MONTANO
I am glad on't; 'tis a worthy governor.

THIRD GENTLEMAN
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.

MONTANO
Pray heaven he be:
For I have served him, and the man commands
Like a full soldier. Let's to the sea-side, 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 th' aerial blue
An indistinct regard.

THIRD GENTLEMAN
Come, let's do so;
For every minute is expectancy
Of more arrivance.
Enter Cassio

CASSIO
Thanks, you the valiant of this warlike isle
That so approve the Moor! O, let the heavens
Give him defence against the elements,
For I have lost him on a dangerous sea.

MONTANO
Is he well shipped?

CASSIO
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.
Cry within (‘ A sail, a sail, a sail!’)

CASSIO
What noise?

FOURTH GENTLEMAN
The town is empty; on the brow o'th' sea
Stand ranks of people, and they cry ‘ A sail!’

CASSIO
My hopes do shape him for the Governor.
Salvo

SECOND GENTLEMAN
They do discharge their shot of courtesy:
Our friends at least.

CASSIO
I pray you, sir, go forth,
And give us truth who 'tis that is arrived.

SECOND GENTLEMAN
I shall.
Exit

MONTANO
But, good Lieutenant, is your General wived?

CASSIO
Most fortunately: he hath achieved a maid
That paragons description and wild fame;
One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,
And in th' essential vesture of creation
Does tire the ingener.
Enter Second Gentleman
How now? Who has put in?

SECOND GENTLEMAN
'Tis one Iago, Ancient to the General.

CASSIO
He's had most favourable and happy speed:
Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds,
The guttered rocks and congregated sands,
Traitors enscarped to clog the guiltless keel,
As having sense of beauty, do omit
Their mortal natures, letting go safely by
The divine Desdemona.

MONTANO
What is she?

CASSIO
She that I spake of, our great Captain's Captain,
Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,
Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts
A se'nnight's speed. Great Jove, Othello guard,
And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath,
That he may bless this bay with his tall ship,
Make love's quick pants in Desdemona's arms,
Give renewed fire to our extincted spirits
And bring all Cyprus comfort.
Enter Desdemona, Emilia, Iago, Roderigo, and attendants
O, behold,
The riches of the ship is come on shore!
You 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.

DESDEMONA
I thank you, valiant Cassio.
What tidings can you tell me of my lord?

CASSIO
He is not yet arrived; nor know I aught
But that he's well, and will be shortly here.

DESDEMONA
O, but I fear! How lost you company?

CASSIO
The great contention of the sea and skies
Parted our fellowship.
(Cry within) ‘ A sail, a sail!’
But hark, a sail!

FIRST GENTLEMAN
They give their greeting to the citadel,
This likewise is a friend.

CASSIO
See for the news.
Good Ancient, you are welcome. Welcome, mistress.
Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,
That I extend my manners. 'Tis my breeding
That gives me this bold show of courtesy.
He kisses Emilia

IAGO
Sir, would she give you so much of her lips
As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,
You'd have enough.

DESDEMONA
Alas, she has no speech.

IAGO
In faith, too much.
I find it still when I have list to sleep.
Marry, before your ladyship, I grant
She puts her tongue a little in her heart
And chides with thinking.

EMILIA
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 your beds.

DESDEMONA
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.

EMILIA
You shall not write my praise.

IAGO
No, let me not.

DESDEMONA
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.

DESDEMONA
Come on, assay. There's one gone to the harbour?

IAGO
Ay, madam.

DESDEMONA
(aside) 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 frieze –
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.

DESDEMONA
Well praised! How if she be black and witty?

IAGO
If she be black, and thereto have a wit,
She'll find a white that shall her blackness fit.

DESDEMONA
Worse and worse.

EMILIA
How if fair and foolish?

IAGO
She never yet was foolish that was fair,
For even her folly helped her to an heir.

DESDEMONA
These are old fond paradoxes to make fools
laugh i'th' alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for
her that's foul and foolish?

IAGO
There's none so foul and foolish thereunto,
But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.

DESDEMONA
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;
Never lacked 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 wight were –

DESDEMONA
To do what?

IAGO
To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.

DESDEMONA
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?

CASSIO
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 a 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
(aloud) The Moor! I know his trumpet.

CASSIO
'Tis truly so.

DESDEMONA
Let's meet him and receive him.

CASSIO
Lo, where he comes!
Enter Othello and attendants

OTHELLO
O, my fair warrior!

DESDEMONA
My dear Othello!

OTHELLO
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 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.

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

OTHELLO
Amen to that, sweet Powers!
I cannot speak enough of this content;
It stops me here; it is too much of joy.
They kiss
And this, and this the greatest discords be
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.

OTHELLO
Come, let's to the castle.
News, friends; our wars are done; the Turks are drowned.
How does my old acquaintance of this isle?
Honey, you shall be well desired 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 prithee, 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 all except Iago and Roderigo

IAGO
(to soldiers, who go off)
Do thou meet me presently at
the harbour. (To Roderigo) 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 tonight watches on the court of
guard. First, I must tell thee this: Desdemona is directly
in love with him.

RODERIGO
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 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 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 slipper 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.

RODERIGO
I cannot believe that in her: she's 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?

RODERIGO
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, th' incorporate conclusion.
Pish! But, sir, be you ruled by me. I have brought you
from Venice. Watch you tonight: 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.

RODERIGO
Well.

IAGO
Sir, he's 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.

RODERIGO
I will do this, if you 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.

RODERIGO
Adieu.
Exit

IAGO
That Cassio loves her, I do well believe't:
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 leaped 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 evened with him, wife for wife;
Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
That judgement cannot cure. Which thing to do
If this poor trash of Venice, whom I leash
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 confused:
Knavery's plain face is never seen till used.
Exit
Modern text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Herald, with a proclamation

HERALD
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 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!
Exit
Modern text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and attendants

OTHELLO
Good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.
Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,
Not to outsport discretion.

CASSIO
Iago hath direction what to do;
But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye
Will I look to't.

OTHELLO
Iago is most honest.
Michael, good night. Tomorrow with your earliest
Let me have speech with you. (To Desdemona) Come, my dear love,
The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue:
That profit's yet to come 'tween me and you.
Good night.
Exeunt Othello, Desdemona, and attendants
Enter Iago

CASSIO
Welcome, Iago; we must to the watch.

IAGO
Not this hour, Lieutenant; 'tis not yet ten o'th' 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.

CASSIO
She is a most exquisite lady.

IAGO
And, I'll warrant her, full of game.

CASSIO
Indeed, she is a most fresh and delicate creature.

IAGO
What an eye she has! Methinks it sounds a parley to
provocation.

CASSIO
An inviting eye, and yet methinks right modest.

IAGO
And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?

CASSIO
She is indeed perfection.

IAGO
Well, happiness to their sheets! Come, Lieutenant,
I have a stoup of wine; and here without are a brace of
Cyprus gallants that would fain have a measure to the
health of black Othello.

CASSIO
Not tonight, good Iago. I have very poor and
unhappy brains for drinking. I could well wish courtesy
would invent some other custom of entertainment.

IAGO
O, they are our friends! But one cup; I'll drink for
you.

CASSIO
I have drunk but one cup tonight, 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 more.

IAGO
What, man! 'Tis a night of revels; the gallants desire
it.

CASSIO
Where are they?

IAGO
Here, at the door: I pray you call them in.

CASSIO
I'll do't, but it dislikes me.
Exit

IAGO
If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
With that which he hath drunk tonight already,
He'll be as full of quarrel and offence
As my young mistress' dog. Now my sick fool Roderigo,
Whom love hath turned almost the wrong side out,
To Desdemona hath tonight caroused
Potations pottle-deep; and he's to watch.
Three else of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits –
That hold their honours in a wary distance,
The very elements of this warlike isle –
Have I tonight flustered with flowing cups,
And they watch too. Now 'mongst this flock of drunkards,
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.
Enter Cassio with Montano and Gentlemen, and
servants with wine

CASSIO
'Fore God, they have given me a rouse already.

MONTANO
Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as I am
a soldier.

IAGO
Some wine, ho!
(sings) And let me the canakin clink, clink;
And let me the canakin clink;
A soldier's a man
O, man's life's but a span;
Why, then, let a soldier drink.
Some wine, boys.

CASSIO
'Fore God, an excellent song.

IAGO
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.

CASSIO
Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?

IAGO
Why, he drinks you with facility your Dane dead
drunk; he sweats not to overthrow your Almaine; he
gives your Hollander a vomit, ere the next pottle can be
filled.

CASSIO
To the health of our General!

MONTANO
I am for it, Lieutenant; and I'll do you
justice.

IAGO
O, sweet England!
(sings) King Stephen was and-a worthy peer,
His breeches cost him but a crown;
He held them sixpence all too dear;
With that he called 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!

CASSIO
'Fore God, this is a more exquisite song than the
other.

IAGO
Will you hear't again?

CASSIO
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.

IAGO
It's true, good Lieutenant.

CASSIO
For mine own part – no offence to the General,
nor any man of quality – I hope to be saved.

IAGO
And so do I too, Lieutenant.

CASSIO
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. God 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 I speak well enough.

GENTLEMEN
Excellent well.

CASSIO
Why, very well; you must not think then that I
am drunk.
Exit

MONTANO
To th' platform, masters; come, let's set the
watch.

IAGO
You see this fellow that's 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 th' other. 'Tis pity of him.
I fear the trust Othello puts in him,
On some odd time of his infirmity,
Will shake this island.

MONTANO
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.

MONTANO
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
(aside) How now, Roderigo!
I pray you after the Lieutenant go!
Exit Roderigo

MONTANO
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.

IAGO
Not I, for this fair island!
I do love Cassio well and would do much
To cure him of this evil.
(Cry within) ‘ Help! Help!’
But hark, what noise?
Enter Cassio, pursuing Roderigo

CASSIO
Zounds, you rogue, you rascal!

MONTANO
What's the matter, Lieutenant?

CASSIO
A knave teach me my duty? I'll beat the knave into
a twiggen bottle.

RODERIGO
Beat me?

CASSIO
Dost thou prate, rogue?
He strikes Roderigo

MONTANO
Nay, good Lieutenant; I pray you, sir, hold
your hand.

CASSIO
Let me go, sir, or I'll knock you o'er the mazzard.

MONTANO
Come, come, you're drunk.

CASSIO
Drunk!

IAGO
(to Roderigo)
Away, I say; go out and cry a mutiny.
Exit Roderigo
Nay, good Lieutenant. God's will, gentleman!
Help, ho! Lieutenant! Sir! Montano! Sir!
Help, masters. Here's a goodly watch indeed.
Bell rings
Who's that which rings the bell? Diablo, ho!
The town will rise. God's will, Lieutenant, hold!
You will be shamed for ever!
Enter Othello and attendants

OTHELLO
What is the matter here?

MONTANO
Zounds, I bleed still.
I am hurt to th' death.

OTHELLO
Hold for your lives!

IAGO
Hold, ho, Lieutenant, sir, Montano, gentlemen!
Have you forgot all sense of place and duty?
Hold! The General speaks to you: hold, for shame!

OTHELLO
Why, how now, ho! From whence ariseth this?
Are we turned 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, masters?
Honest Iago, that looks dead with grieving,
Speak, who began this? On thy love I charge thee.

IAGO
I do not know. Friends all but now, even now,
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 others' breasts
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.

OTHELLO
How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?

CASSIO
I pray you, pardon me: I cannot speak.

OTHELLO
Worthy Montano, you were wont to 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.

MONTANO
Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger.
Your officer, Iago, can inform you,
While I spare speech, which something now offends me,
Of all that I do know; nor know I aught
By me that's said or done amiss this night,
Unless self-charity be sometimes a vice,
And to defend ourselves it be a sin
When violence assails us.

OTHELLO
Now, by heaven,
My blood begins my safer guides to rule,
And passion, having my best judgement collied,
Assays to lead the way. Zounds, if I 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 approved in this offence,
Though he had twinned 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 domestic quarrel
In night, and on the court and guard of safety,
'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began't?

MONTANO
If partially affined or leagued in office,
Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,
Thou art no soldier.

IAGO
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. This it is, General.
Montano and myself being in speech,
There comes a fellow, crying out for help,
And Cassio following with determined sword
To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman
Steps in to Cassio and entreats his pause:
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 returned the rather
For that I heard the clink and fall of swords
And Cassio high in oath, which till tonight
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:
But men are men; the best sometimes forget.
Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
From him that fled some strange indignity
Which patience could not pass.

OTHELLO
I know, Iago,
Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee,
But nevermore be officer of mine.
Enter Desdemona, attended
Look, if my gentle love be not raised up.
I'll make thee an example.

DESDEMONA
What is the matter, dear?

OTHELLO
All's well now, sweeting: come away to bed.
Sir, for your hurts myself will be your surgeon.
Montano is led off
Iago, look with care about the town
And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.
Come, Desdemona, 'tis the soldiers' life
To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.
Exeunt all but Iago and Cassio

IAGO
What, are you hurt, Lieutenant?

CASSIO
Ay, past all surgery.

IAGO
Marry, God forbid!

CASSIO
Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost
my reputation! I have lost the immortal part 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 sense 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's
yours.

CASSIO
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?

CASSIO
I know not.

IAGO
Is't possible?

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

IAGO
Why, but you are now well enough! How came you
thus recovered?

CASSIO
It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place
to the devil wrath: one unperfectness shows me another,
to make me frankly despise myself.

IAGO
Come, you are too severe a moraller. As the time,
the place and the condition of this country stands, I
could heartily wish this had not so befallen: but since
it is as it is, mend it for your own good.

CASSIO
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 ingredience
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.

CASSIO
I have well approved it, sir. I drunk!

IAGO
You or any man living may be drunk at a 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 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.

CASSIO
You advise me well.

IAGO
I protest in the sincerity of love and honest
kindness.

CASSIO
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.

CASSIO
Good night, honest Iago.
Exit

IAGO
And what's he then that says I play the villain,
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
Th' inclining Desdemona to subdue
In any honest suit. She's framed 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 enfettered 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 the blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows
As I do now. For whiles 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.
Enter Roderigo
How now, Roderigo?

RODERIGO
I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound
that hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money is
almost spent; I have been tonight 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 again 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,
And wit depends on dilatory time.
Does't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee.
And thou by that small hurt hath cashiered Cassio.
Though other things grow fair against the sun,
Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe.
Content thyself awhile. By th' 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.
Exit Roderigo
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.
Exit
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL