Page images
[blocks in formation]

And spoke such scurvy and provoking terms Against your honour

That, with the little godliness I have,

[blocks in formation]


What is the matter, think you?
It is a business of some heat; the galleys
Cas. Something from Cyprus, as I may divine.
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;

The senate hath sent about three several quests
When, being not at your lodging to be found,
To search you out.

'Tis well I am found by you. I will but spend a word here in the house, And go with you.

Ancient, what makes he here?
Iago. Faith, he to-night hath boarded a land

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

Iago. Cas.


He's married.

To who?

Re-enter OTHELLO.

[blocks in formation]


[blocks in formation]

I did full hard forbear him. But, I pray 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.
Let him do his spite:
My services which I have done the signiory
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 a
From men of royal siege, and my demerits
May speak unbonneted to as proud 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

For the sea's worth. But, look! what lights come yond?

Iago. These are the raised father and his friends:

You were best go in.
Not I; I must be found: 30
My parts, my title, and my perfect soul
Shall manifest me rightly. Is it they?
Iago. By Janus, I think no.

Iago. You, Roderigo! Oth. Keep up your bright swords, for the dew will rust them.

Good signior, you shall more command with years

Than with your weapons.


Bra. O thou foul thief! where hast thou stow'd my daughter?


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 bound,
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'll have 't disputed on;
'Tis probable and palpable to thinking.
I therefore apprehend and do attach thee
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.


Hold your hands,


80 | Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain,
To wake and wage a danger profitless.
Duke. Nay, in all confidence, he's not for

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?


To prison; till fit time
Of law and course of direct session
Call thee to answer.

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?


Off. 'Tis true, most worthy signior; The duke 's in council, and your noble self, I am sure, is sent for.

Bra. How! the duke in council! 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. Exeunt.

SCENE III.-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.

First Sen. Indeed, they are disproportion'd; My letters say a hundred and seven galleys. Duke. And mine, a hundred and forty. Second Sen. And mine, two hundred: But though they jump not on a just account, As in these cases, where the aim reports, '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!

Off. A messenger from the galleys.

[blocks in formation]

This cannot be,


By no assay of reason; 'tis a pageant
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 war-like brace,
But altogether lacks the abilities

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,

First Off. Here is more news.

Enter a Messenger.

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

Have there injointed them with an after fleet. First 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 appearance

Their purposes toward Cyprus. Signior Montano,

Your trusty and most valiant servitor,
With his free duty recommends you thus,
And prays you to believe him.

Duke. 'Tis certain then for Cyprus.
Marcus Luccicos, is not he in town?
First Sen. He's now in Florence.
Duke. Write from us to him; post-post-haste

First Sen. Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.


Duke. Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you

To BRABANTIO. I did not see you; welcome, Against the general enemy Ottoman. 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
Take hold on me, for my particular grief
general care

Is of so flood-gate and o'erbearing nature
That it engluts and swallows other sorrows
And it is still itself.
Why, what's the matter!
Bra. My daughter! O! my daughter.
Duke, Sen.


Ay, to me;

She is abus'd, stol'n 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 proceeding

Hath thus beguil'd your daughter of herself
And you of her, the bloody book of law
You shall yourself read in the bitter letter
After your own sense; yea, though our proper

[blocks in formation]

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 sig. niors,

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' pith,

Till now some nine moons wasted, they have us'd

Their dearest action in the tented field;
And little of this great world can I speak,
More than pertains to feats of broil and

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 charms,

What conjuration, and what mighty magic,
For such proceeding I am charg`d withal,
I won his daughter.

A maiden never bold;
Of spirit so still and quiet, that her motion
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,
Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
That with some mixtures powerful o'er the

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 him. First 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?


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. 120 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, So justly to your grave ears I'll 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 180
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 travels' history;
Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle,
Rough quarries, rocks and hills whose heads
touch heaven,


It was my hint to speak, such was the 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 hence;
Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my discourse. Which I observing, 150
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;
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

[blocks in formation]

And so much duty as my mother show'd
To you, preferring you before her father,
So much I challenge that I may profess
Due to the Moor my lord.

God be with you! I have done.
Please it your grace, on to the state affairs: 190
I had rather to adopt a child than get it.
Come hither, Moor:

I here do give thee that with all my heart
Which, but thou hast already, with all my heart
I would keep from thee. For your sake, jewel,
I am glad at soul I have no other child;
For thy escape would teach me tyranny,
To hang clogs on them. I have done, my lord.
Duke. Let me speak like yourself, and lay a

Which, as a grize or step, may help these lovers
Into your favour.


When remedies are past, the griefs are ended By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.

To mourn a mischief that is past and gone
Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
What cannot be preserv'd when fortune takes
Patience her injury a mockery makes.

The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief;

He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.


Bra. So let the Turk of Cyprus us beguile;
We lose it not so long as we can smile.
He bears the sentence well that nothing bears
But the free comfort which from thence he

But he bears both the sentence and the sorrow
That, to pay grief, must of poor patience borrow.
These sentences, to sugar, or to gall,
Being strong on both sides, are equivocal:
But words are words; I never yet did hear
That the bruis'd heart was pierced through
the ear.


I humbly beseech you, proceed to the affairs of 220 Duke. The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes for Cyprus. Othello, the fortitude of the place is best known to you; and though we have there a substitute of most allowed sufficiency, yet opinion, a sovereign mistress of effects, throws a more safer voice on you: you must therefore be content to slubber the gloss of your new fortunes with this more stubborn and boisterous expedition.


[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

My downright violence and storm of fortunes
May trumpet to the world; my heart 's subdued
Even to the very quality of my lord;

I saw Othello's visage in his mind,
And to his honours and his valiant parts
Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.
So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,
A moth of peace, and he go to the war,
The rites for why I love him are bereft me,
And I a heavy interim shall support
By his dear absence. Let me go with him.
Oth. Let her have your voices.

Vouch with me, heaven, I therefore beg it not
To please the palate of my appetite,
Nor to comply with heat, the young affects
In me defunct, and proper satisfaction,
But to be free and bounteous to her mind;
And heaven defend your good souls that you


I will your serious and great business scant For she is with me. No, when light-wing'd toys


Of feather'd Cupid seel with wanton dulness
My speculative and offic'd instruments,
That my disports corrupt and taint my business,
Let housewives make a skillet of my helm,
And all indign and base adversities
Make head against my estimation !

Duke. Be it as you shall privately determine, Either for her stay or going. The affair cries haste,

And speed must answer it.

First Sen. You must away to-night.
With all my heart.
Duke. At nine i' the morning here we'll meet

Othello, leave some officer behind,
And he shall our commission bring to you;
With such things else of quality and respect
As doth import you.

So please your grace, my ancient ;
A man he is of honesty and trust:
To his conveyance I assign my wife,
With what else needful your good grace shali

[blocks in formation]

She has deceiv'd her father, and may thee.
Exeunt DUKE, Senators, Officers, etc.
Oth. My life upon her faith! Honest Iago,
My Desdemona must I leave to thee:
I prithee, let thy wife attend on her;
And bring them after in the best advantage.
Come, Desdemona; I have but an hour
Of love, of worldly matters and direction,
To spend with thee: we must obey the time.


[blocks in formation]

Iago. O villanous; I have looked upon the world for four times seven years, and since I could distinguish betwixt a benefit and an injury, I never found a man that knew how to love himself. Ere I would say, I would drown myself for the love of a guinea-hen, I would change my humanity with a baboon.

Rod. What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so fond; but it is not in my virtue to amend it.


Iago. Virtue! a fig! 'tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners; so that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many, either to have it sterile with idleness or manured with industry, why, the power and corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one scale of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions; but we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts, whereof I take this that you call love to be a sect or scion. 337

Rod. It cannot be.

lago. It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the will. Come, be a man. Drown thyself drown cats and blind puppies. I have professed me thy friend, and I confess me knit to thy deserving with cables of perdurable toughness; I could never better stead thee than now. Put money in thy purse; follow these wars; defeat thy favour with an un. usurped beard; I say, put money in thy purse. It cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her love to the Moor,-put money in thy purse, nor he his to her: it was a violent commencement in her, and thou shalt see an answerable sequestration; put but money in thy purse. These Moors are changeable in their wills;fill thy purse with money :-the food that to him now is as luscious as locusts, shall be to him shortly as bitter as coloquintida. She must change for youth: when she is sated with his body, she will find the error of her choice. She must have change, she must therefore, put money in thy purse. If thou wilt needs damn thyself, do it a more delicate way than drowning. Make all the money thou canst. If sanctimony and a frail vow betwixt an erring barbarian and a supersubtle Venetian be not too hard for my wits and all the tribe of hell, thou shalt enjoy her; therefore make money. A pox of drowning thyself! it is clean out of the way; seek thou rather to be hanged in compassing thy joy than to be drowned and go without her. Rod. Wilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend on the issue?


Iago. Thou art sure of me: go, make money. I have told thee often, and I re-tell thee again and again, I hate the Moor: my cause is hearted; thine hath no less reason. Let us be conjunctive in our revenge against him; if thou canst cuckold him, thou dost thyself a pleasure, me a sport. There are many events in the womb of time which will be delivered. Traverse; go: provide thy money. We will have more of this to-morrow. Adieu.

Rod. Where shall we meet i' the morning? Iago. At my lodging.


Rod. I'll be with thee betimes.
Iago. Go to; farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo?
Rod. What say you?

Iago. No more of drowning, do you hear?
Rod. I am changed. I'll sell all my land.
Iago. Go to; farewell! put money enough in
your purse.
Exit RODERIGO. 390
Thus do I ever make my fool my purse;
For I mine own gain'd knowledge should pro-

If I would time expend with such a snipe
But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor,
And it is thought abroad that 'twixt my sheets
He has done my office: I know not if't be


Yet I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety. He holds me well;
The better shall my purpose work on him.
Cassio's a proper man; let me see now:
To get his place and to plume up my will
In double knavery; how, how? Let's see:
After some time, to abuse Othello's ear
That he is too familiar with his wife :
He hath a person and a smooth dispose
To be suspected, fram'd to make women false.
The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by the nose
As asses are.


I have 't; it is engender'd: hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's


SCENE I.-A Sea-port Town in Cyprus. An Open Place near the Quay.

Enter MONTANO and two Gentlemen.

Mon. What from the cape can you discern at sea?

First Gent. Nothing at all: it is a highwrought flood;

I cannot 'twixt the heaven and the main
Descry a sail.

Mon. Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land;

A fuller blast ne'er shook our battlements;
If it hath ruffian'd so upon the sea,
What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on

Can hold the mortise? What shall we hear of this?

Second Gent. A segregation of the Turkish fleet;

For do but stand upon the foaming shore, The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds ;


« PreviousContinue »