Page images
[blocks in formation]

SCENE III. The same. 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. 1 Sen. Indeed, they are disproportion'd; My letters say, a hundred and seven gallies. Duke. And mine, a hundred and forty. 2 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!
Enter an Officer, with a Sailor.

Off. A messenger from the gallies.
Now? the business?
Sail. The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes;
So was I bid report here to the state,
By signior Angelo.

Duke. How say you by this change?
1 Sen.
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 warlike brace,
But altogether lacks the abilities

[blocks in formation]


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



Why, what's the matter? Bra. My daughter! O, my daughter! Dead? Bra. 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 pro


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 son

This cannot be, Stood in your action.

Bra. Humbly I thank your grace. Here is the man, this Moor; whom now, it seems Your special mandate, for the state affairs, Hath hither brought.

Duke & Sen. We are very sorry for it.
Duke. What, in your own part, can you say to

Bra. Nothing, but this is so.

Oth. Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
My very noble and approv'd good masters,
That I have ta'en away this old man's daughter,
It is most true; true, I have married her;
The very head and front of my offending
Hath this extent, no more. Rude am I in my

And little bless'd with the set 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 battle;
And therefore little shall I grace my cause,
In speaking for myself: Yet, by your gracious
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver

Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,

What conjuration, and what mighty magick, (For such proceeding I am charg'd withal,) I won his daughter with.


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 blood, Or with some dram conjur'd to this effect, He wrought upon her.

Oth. I do beseech you, Send for the lady to the Sagittary, And let her speak of me before her father: If you do find me foul in her report, The trust, the office, I do hold of you, Not only take away, but let your sentence Even fall upon my life.


Fetch Desdemona hither.

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

So justly to your grave cars I'll present How I did thrive in this fair lady's love, And she in mine.

To vouch this, is no proof; This only is the witchcraft I have us'd;
Without more certain and more overt test,
Here comes the lady, let her witness it.
Than these thin habits, and poor likelihoods
Of modern seeming, do prefer against him.
1 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?

| And sold to slavery; of my redemption thence,
And portance
in my travel's history:
Wherein of antres vast, and desarts 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. These things to


[blocks in formation]

Would Desdemona seriously incline:

But still the house affairs would draw her thence;
Which ever as she could with haste despatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy car
Devour up my discourse: Which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour; and found good means
To draw from her a prayer of earnest heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate,
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
But not intentively: I did consent;
And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke,
That my youth suffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of sighs:
She swore, - In faith, 'twas strange, 'twas passing

'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful:

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

me; And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her, I should but teach him how to tell my story, And that would woo her. Upon this hint, I spake; She lov'd me for the dangers I had pass'd; And I lov'd her, that she did pity them.

Enter DESDEMONA, IAGO, and Attendants. Duke. I think, this tale would win my daughter

too. Good Brabrantio,

Take up this mangled matter at the best :
Men do their broken weapons rather use,
Than their bare hands.

Bra. I pray you, hear her speak; If she confess, that she was half the wooer, Destruction on my head, if my bad blame Light on the man! - Come hither, gentle mistress; Do you perceive in all this noble company, Where most you owe obedience?


My noble father,

I do perceive here a divided duty:
you, I am bound for life, and education;
My life, and education, both do learn me
How to respect you; you are the lord of duty,

I am hitherto your daughter: But here's my husband;

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;
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 grise, 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

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 hears: 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 state. 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.


Oth. The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
My thrice-driven bed of down: I do agnize
A natural and prompt alacrity,

I find in hardness; and do undertake
These present wars against the Ottomites.
Most humbly therefore bending to your state,
I crave fit disposition for my wife;
Due reference of place, and exhibition;
With such accommodation, and besort,
As levels with her breeding.

If you please,


Be't at her father's.


Oth. Nor I. Des. Nor I; I would not there reside, To put my father in impatient thoughts, By being in his eye. Most gracious duke, To my unfolding lend a gracious ear; And let me find a charter in your voice, To assist my simpleness.

Duke. What would you, Desdemona ?

I'll not have it so.

Des. That I did love the Moor to live with him,
My downright violence and scorn 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 rights for which I love him, are bereft me,
And I a heavy interim shall support

By his dear absence: Let me go with him.

Oth. Your voices, lords :-'beseech you, let her will Ilave a free way.

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 my distinct 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 active 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


And speed must answer it; you must hence tonight.

Des. To-night, my lord?

This night.


With all my heart. Duke. At nine i'the morning here we'll meet again.

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.

Oth. 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 shall think To be sent after me.


Let it be so. — Good night to every one. — And, noble signior, [To BRABANTIO.

If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.

1 Sen. Adieu, brave Moor! use Desdemona well. Bra. Look to her, Moor; have a quick eye to


She has deceiv'd her father, and may thee.
[Exeunt DUKE, Senators, Officers, &c.
Oth. My life upon her faith. Honest lago,
My Desdemona must I leave to thee;
I pr'ythee, 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.

Rod. Iago.

Jago. What say'st thou, noble heart?
Rod. What will I do, thinkest thou?
Iago. Why, go to bed, and sleep.
Rod. I will incontinently drown myself.

Iago. Well, if thou dost, I shall never love thee after it. Why, thou silly gentleman!

Rod. It is silliness to live, when to live is a torment: and then have we a prescription to die, when death is our physician.

Iago. O villainous! I have looked upon the world for four times seven years! and since I could distinguish between a benefit and an injury, I never found a man that knew how to love bimself. Ere I would say, I would drown myself for the love of a Guinea-hen, I would change my humanit with a baboon.

Rod. What should I do? I confess, it is

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

shame to be so fond; but it is not in 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 steril 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.

Rod. It cannot be.

Iago. 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 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, and thou shalt see an answerable se

questration; -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. 1 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.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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, and 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.


SCENE I.-A Sea-port Town in Cyprus. A Platform.

Enter MONTANO and Two Gentlemen.

Mon. What from the cape can you discern at sea? 1 Gent. Nothing at all: it is a high-wrought 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 them, Can hold the mortise? what shall we hear of this? 2 Gent. A segregation of the Turkish fleet: fo but stand upon the foaming shore,

chiding billow seems to pelt the clouds ;

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


I have't; — it is engender'd : - - Hell and night Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light. [Exit.

The wind-shak'd surge, with high and monstrous main,

Seems to cast water on the burning bear,
And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole:
I never did like molestation view
On th' enchafed flood.


If that the Turkish fleet Be not inshelter'd and embay'd, they are drown'd ; It is impossible they bear it out.

Enter a Third Gentleman.

3 Gent. News, lord! our wars are done; The desperate tempest hath so bang'd the Turks, That their designment halts: A noble ship of Venice Hath seen a grievous wreck and sufferance On most part of their fleet.


How is this true?

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

That he may bless this bay with his tall ship,
Make love's quick pants in Desdemona's arms,
Give renew'd fire to our extincted spirits,
And bring all Cyprus comfort! — Ó, behold,

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;


The riches of the ship is come on shore!
Ye 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!


I thank you, valiant Cassio. What tidings can you tell me of my lord? Cas. He is not yet arriv'd; nor know I aught But that he's well, and will be shortly here. Des. O, but I fear; How lost you compani Cas. The great contention of the sea and skies Parted our fellowship: But, hark! a sail.

[Cry within, A sail, a sail! Then guns heard. 2 Gent. They give their greeting to the citadel; This likewise is a friend.


[ocr errors]

Good ancient, you are welcome ; —


Let it not gall your patience, good lago,
That I extend my manners; 'tis my breeding
That gives me this bold show of courtesy.

See for the news. [Exit Gentleman. Welcome, mis[TO EMILIA.

[Kissing her.

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


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.

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.

Des. O, fye upon thee, slanderer!

Iago. Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk; You rise to play, and go to bed to work. Emil. You shall not write my praise. Iago. No, let me not. Des. What would'st thou write of me, if thou should'st praise me?

Iago. O gentle lady, do not put me to't;

For I am nothing, if not critical.

Des. Come on, assay:



What is she?

Cas. She that I spake of, our great captain's And thus she is deliver'd.


There's one gone to the

Iago. Ay, 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 invention Comes from my pate, as birdlime does from frize, It plucks out brains and all: But my muse labours,

If she be fair and wise, — fairness, and wit,
The one's for use, the other useth it.

Des. Well prais'd! How if she be black and witt Iago. If she be black, and thereto have a wit She'll find a white that shall her blackness fit.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »