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Her father lov'd me; oft invited me;
Still question'd me the story of my life,

From year to year; the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have pass'd.

I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
To the very moment that he made me tell it
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances;
Of moving accidents, by flood, and field;

Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' the imminent deadly breach;

O being taken by the insolent foe,

And sold to slavery: of my redemption thence,
And portance* in my travel's history:


These things to hear,

Would Desdemona seriously incline:

ut still the house affairs would draw her thence; Which ever as she could with haste despatch, he'd come again, and with a greedy ear Devour up my discourse: Which I observing, Took once a pliant hour; and found good means To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart, That I would all my pilgrimage dilate, Whereof by parcelst 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 strange;

"Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful;

She wish'd, she had not heard it: yet she wish'd That heaven had made her such a man: she thank'd


And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,

should but teach him how to tell my story,


My behaviour.

† Parts.

Intention and attention were once synonymous.

And that would woo her. Upon this hint, I spake:
She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd;
And I lov'd her, that she did pity them.



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
Suceeds in unknown fate.

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Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul,
But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
Chaos is come again.


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By heaven, he echoes me,

As if there were some monster in his thought
Too hideous to be shown.-Thou dost mean som


I heard thee say but now-Thou lik'dst not that,
When Cassio left my wife; What did❜st not like?
And, when I told thee-he was of my counsel
In my whole course of wooing, thou cry'dst, Indeed?
And didst contract and purse thy brow together,
As if thou then had'st shut up in thy brain

Some horrible conceit: If thou dost love me,
Show me thy thought.

Iago. My lord, you know I love you.

Oth. I think, thou dost; And, for I know thou art full of love and honesty, And weigh'st thy words before thou giv'st them breath,―

Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more: For such things, in a false disloyal knave,

Are tricks of custom; but in a man that's just,

They are close denotements, working from the heart, That passion cannot rule.


Good name, in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls:

Who steals my purse, steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;

'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands; But he, that filches from me my good name, Robs me of that, which not enriches him,

And makes me poor indeed.

This fellow's of exceeding honesty,

And knows all qualities with a learned spirit,
Of human dealings: If I do prove her haggard,*
Though that her jessest were my dear heart-strings,
I'd whistle her off, and let down the wind,
To pray at fortune. Haply, for I am black;
And have not those soft parts of conversation,
That chambererst have:-Or, for I am declin'd
Into the vale of years; yet that's not much;-
She's gone; I am abus'd, and my relief

Must be to loath her. O curse of marriage,
That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,

* A species of hawk, also a term of reproach applied to

a wanton.

+ Straps of leather by which a hawk is held on the fist. Men of intrigue.

Than keep a corner in the thing I love,

For other's uses.


Trifles, light as air,

Are, to the jealous, confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ.

lago. Look, where he comes! [Enter Othello. Not poppy, nor mandragora,*

Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,

Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou ow'dst† yesterday.


To me?

Ha! ha! false to me?

Iago. Why, how now, general? no more of that. Oth. Avaunt! be gone! thou hast set me on the rack:

I swear, 'tis better to be much abus'd,
Than but to know't a little.

How now, my lord?
Oth. What sense had I of her stolen hours of lust?
I saw it not, thought it not, it harm'd not me:
I slept the next night well, was free and merry;
I found not Cassio's kisses upon her lips:
He that is robb'd, not wanting what is stolen,
Let him not know it, and he's not robb'd at all.
Iago. I am sorry to hear this.

Oth. I had been happy, if the general camp, Pioneerst and all, had tasted her sweet body, So I had nothing known: O now, for ever, Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content! Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars, That make ambition virtue! O, farewell! Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump, The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife, The royal banner; and all quality,

Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war! And O you mortal engines, whose rude throats * The mandrake has a soporific quality.

† Possessed'st.

The vilest of the camp. Pioneers were degraded soldiers.


The immortal Jove's dread clamours counterfeit, Farewell! Othello's occupation's gone!

Iago. Is it possible!-My lord,

Oth. Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore; Be sure of it; give me the occular proof:

[Taking him by the throat. Or, by the worth of mine eternal soul,

Thou hadst been better have been born a dog,
Than answer my wak'd wrath.


Is it come to this?

Oth. Make me to see it; or (at the least) so prove it, That the probation bear no hinge, nor loop,

To hang a doubt on: or, wo upon thy life!

Iago. My noble lord

Oth. If thou doth slander her, and torture me, Never pray more: abandon all remorse:*

On horror's head horrors accumulate:

Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amaz'd, For nothing canst thou to damnation add,

Greater than that.

Iago. O grace! O heaven defend me! Are you a man? have you a soul, or sense?— God be wi' you; take mine office.-O wretched fool, That liv'st to make thine honesty a vice!

O monstrous world! Take note! take note, O world, To be direct and honest, is not safe.

I thank you for this profit; and, from hence,

I'll love no friend, since love breeds such offence.
Oth. Nay, stay:-Thou should'st be honest.
Iago. I should be wise: for honesty's a fool,
And loses that it works for.

By the world,
I think my wife be honest, and think she is not;
I think that thou art just, and think thou art not;
Pll have some proof: Her name, that was as fresh
As Dian's visage, is now begrim'd and black

As mine own face.-If there be cords, or knives,
Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,


I'll not endure it.-Would, I were satisfied!

* All tenderness, all pity.

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