SCENE I. Cyprus. Before the castle.
Enter OTHELLO and IAGO
Naked in bed, Iago, and not mean harm!
It is hypocrisy against the devil:
They that mean virtuously, and yet do so,
The devil their virtue tempts, and they tempt heaven.
Her honour is an essence that’s not seen;
They have it very oft that have it not:
But, for the handkerchief,–
By heaven, I would most gladly have forgot it.
Thou said’st, it comes o’er my memory,
As doth the raven o’er the infected house,
Boding to all–he had my handkerchief.
If I had said I had seen him do you wrong?
Or heard him say,–as knaves be such abroad,
Who having, by their own importunate suit,
Or voluntary dotage of some mistress,
Convinced or supplied them, cannot choose
But they must blab–
Lie with her! lie on her! We say lie on her, when
they belie her. Lie with her! that’s fulsome.
confess, and be hanged for his labour;–first, to be
hanged, and then to confess.–I tremble at it.
Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing
passion without some instruction. It is not words
that shake me thus. Pish! Noses, ears, and lips.
–Is’t possible?–Confess–handkerchief!–O devil!–
Falls in a trance
My medicine, work! Thus credulous fools are caught;
And many worthy and chaste dames even thus,
All guiltless, meet reproach. What, ho! my lord!
My lord, I say! Othello!
Enter CASSIOHow now, Cassio!
The lethargy must have his quiet course:
If not, he foams at mouth and by and by
Breaks out to savage madness. Look he stirs:
Do you withdraw yourself a little while,
He will recover straight: when he is gone,
I would on great occasion speak with you.
Exit CASSIOHow is it, general? have you not hurt your head?
Good sir, be a man;
Think every bearded fellow that’s but yoked
May draw with you: there’s millions now alive
That nightly lie in those unproper beds
Which they dare swear peculiar: your case is better.
O, ’tis the spite of hell, the fiend’s arch-mock,
To lip a wanton in a secure couch,
And to suppose her chaste! No, let me know;
And knowing what I am, I know what she shall be.
Stand you awhile apart;
Confine yourself but in a patient list.
Whilst you were here o’erwhelmed with your grief–
A passion most unsuiting such a man–
Cassio came hither: I shifted him away,
And laid good ‘scuse upon your ecstasy,
Bade him anon return and here speak with me;
The which he promised. Do but encave yourself,
And mark the fleers, the gibes, and notable scorns,
That dwell in every region of his face;
For I will make him tell the tale anew,
Where, how, how oft, how long ago, and when
He hath, and is again to cope your wife:
I say, but mark his gesture. Marry, patience;
Or I shall say you are all in all in spleen,
And nothing of a man.
That’s not amiss;
But yet keep time in all. Will you withdraw?
OTHELLO retiresNow will I question Cassio of Bianca,
A housewife that by selling her desires
Buys herself bread and clothes: it is a creature
That dotes on Cassio; as ’tis the strumpet’s plague
To beguile many and be beguiled by one:
He, when he hears of her, cannot refrain
From the excess of laughter. Here he comes:
Re-enter CASSIOAs he shall smile, Othello shall go mad;
And his unbookish jealousy must construe
Poor Cassio’s smiles, gestures and light behavior,
Quite in the wrong. How do you now, lieutenant?
Ply Desdemona well, and you are sure on’t.
Speaking lowerNow, if this suit lay in Bianco’s power,
How quickly should you speed!
I marry her! what? a customer! Prithee, bear some
charity to my wit: do not think it so unwholesome.
Ha, ha, ha!
This is the monkey’s own giving out: she is
persuaded I will marry her, out of her own love and
flattery, not out of my promise.
She was here even now; she haunts me in every place.
I was the other day talking on the sea-bank with
certain Venetians; and thither comes the bauble,
and, by this hand, she falls me thus about my neck–
Now he tells how she plucked him to my chamber. O,
I see that nose of yours, but not that dog I shall
throw it to.
‘Tis such another fitchew! marry a perfumed one.
Enter BIANCAWhat do you mean by this haunting of me?
Let the devil and his dam haunt you! What did you
mean by that same handkerchief you gave me even now?
I was a fine fool to take it. I must take out the
work?–A likely piece of work, that you should find
it in your chamber, and not know who left it there!
This is some minx’s token, and I must take out the
work? There; give it your hobby-horse: wheresoever
you had it, I’ll take out no work on’t.
An you’ll come to supper to-night, you may; an you
will not, come when you are next prepared for.
Yours by this hand: and to see how he prizes the
foolish woman your wife! she gave it him, and he
hath given it his whore.
Ay, let her rot, and perish, and be damned to-night;
for she shall not live: no, my heart is turned to
stone; I strike it, and it hurts my hand. O, the
world hath not a sweeter creature: she might lie by
an emperor’s side and command him tasks.
Hang her! I do but say what she is: so delicate
with her needle: an admirable musician: O! she
will sing the savageness out of a bear: of so high
and plenteous wit and invention:–
If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her
patent to offend; for, if it touch not you, it comes
Get me some poison, Iago; this night: I’ll not
expostulate with her, lest her body and beauty
unprovide my mind again: this night, Iago.
Something from Venice, sure. ‘Tis Lodovico
Come from the duke: and, see, your wife is with him.
Enter LODOVICO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants
May be the letter moved him;
For, as I think, they do command him home,
Deputing Cassio in his government.
My lord, this would not be believed in Venice,
Though I should swear I saw’t: ’tis very much:
Make her amends; she weeps.
O devil, devil!
If that the earth could teem with woman’s tears,
Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.
Out of my sight!
Ay; you did wish that I would make her turn:
Sir, she can turn, and turn, and yet go on,
And turn again; and she can weep, sir, weep;
And she’s obedient, as you say, obedient,
Very obedient. Proceed you in your tears.
Concerning this, sir,–O well-painted passion!–
I am commanded home. Get you away;
I’ll send for you anon. Sir, I obey the mandate,
And will return to Venice. Hence, avaunt!
Exit DESDEMONACassio shall have my place. And, sir, tonight,
I do entreat that we may sup together:
You are welcome, sir, to Cyprus.–Goats and monkeys!
Is this the noble Moor whom our full senate
Call all in all sufficient? Is this the nature
Whom passion could not shake? whose solid virtue
The shot of accident, nor dart of chance,
Could neither graze nor pierce?
He’s that he is: I may not breathe my censure
What he might be: if what he might he is not,
I would to heaven he were!
It is not honesty in me to speak
What I have seen and known. You shall observe him,
And his own courses will denote him so
That I may save my speech: do but go after,
And mark how he continues.