Page images
[blocks in formation]

If that the Turkish fleet Be not enshelter'd and embay'd, they are drown'd;

It is impossible they bear it out.

Enter a third Gentleman.

Third Gent. News, lads! our wars are done. 20
The desperate tempest hath so bang'd the Turks
That their designment halts; a noble ship of

Hath seen a grievous wreck and sufferance
On most part of their fleet.

Mon. How is this true?
Third Gent.

Mon. But, good lieutenant, is your general wiv'd?

Cas. Most fortunately: he hath achiev'd a

That paragons description and wild fame;
One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,
And in the essential vesture of creation
Does tire the ingener.

Re-enter Second Gentleman.

[ocr errors]

How now! who has put in Second Gent. 'Tis one Iago, ancient to the general.

Cas. He has had most favourable and happy speed:

Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling

The gutter'd rocks, and congregated sands.
Traitors ensteep'd to enclog the guiltless keel, a

The ship is here put in, As having sense of beauty, do omit
Their mortal natures, letting go safely by
The divine Desdemona.

A Veronesa; Michael Cassio,

Lieutenant to the war-like Moor Othello,
Is come on shore: the Moor himself at sea,
And is in full commission here for Cyprus.
Mon. I am glad on 't; 'tis a worthy governor.
Third Gent. But this same Cassio, though he
speak of comfort


[blocks in formation]

Cas. Thanks, you the valiant of this war-like

That so approve the Moor. O! let the heavens
Give him defence against the elements,
For I have lost him on a dangerous sea.
Mon. Is he well shipp'd?


What is she?

Cas. She that I spake of, our great captain's

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

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!

and Attendants.

O! behold,
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!


[ocr errors]

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 company'
Cas. The great contention of the sea and

Cas. His bark is stoutly timber'd, and his Parted our fellowship. But, hark! a sail. pilot

Of very expert and approv'd allowance;
Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
Stand in bold cure.

[blocks in formation]


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

Cry within. A sail!-a sail!

Guns heard. Second Gent. They give their greeting to the

[blocks in formation]


[blocks in formation]

Marry, before your ladyship, I grant,
She puts her tongue a little in her heart,
And chides with thinking.

Emil. You have little cause to say so.

Jago. 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 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.
Emil. You shall not write my praise.
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. There's one gone to the harbour?

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. 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 court-
ship. 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! A trumpet heard.
The Moor! I know his trumpet.
Cas. 'Tis truly so.

Des. Let's meet him and receive him.
Cas. Lo! where he comes.

Enter OTHELLO and Attendants.


Oth. O my fair warrior!
My dear Othello!
Oth. 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 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
130 Succeeds in unknown fate.

lago. 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,

And thus she is deliver'd.

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


The heavens forbid

Des. Well prais'd! How if she be black and But that our loves and comforts should increase witty? Even as our days do grow!

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

Emil. How if fair and foolish?

Iago. She never yet was foolish that was fair, For even her folly help'd her to an heir.

Des. These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i' the alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for her that's foul and foolish? Iago. There's none so foul and foolish there

[blocks in formation]

But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.
Des. O heavy ignorance! thou praisest the
worst best. But what praise could'st 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, 150
Never lack'd gold and yet went never gay,
Fled from her wish and yet said Now I may,'
She that being anger'd, 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,—
Des. To do what?


Iago. To suckle fools and chronicle small beer. Des. 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 ?

Cas. He speaks home, madam; you may relish him more in the soldier than in the scholar.


Amen to that, sweet powers!
I cannot speak enough of this content;
It stops me here; it is too much of joy:
And this, and this, the greatest discords be 200

That e'er our hearts shall make!
lago. Aside.

Kissing her.

O! you are well tun'd now,
But I'll set down the pegs that make this music,
As honest as I am.

News, friends; our

are drown'd.

Come, let us to the castle. wars are done, the Turks

How does my old acquaintance of this isle?
Honey, you shall be well desir'd in Cyprus ;
I have found great love amongst them. O my


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, Des-

Once more well met at Cyprus.


Iago. Do thou meet me presently at the
harbour. 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 to-night watches
on the court of guard: first, I must tell thee
this; Desdemona is directly in love with him.
Rod. With him! why, 'tis not possible.
Iago. Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be
instructed. Mark me with what violence she

ashore. Farewell.
Rod. Adieu.

Erit. Iago. That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it ;

first loved the Moor but for bragging and tell- at the citadel: I must fetch his necessaries ing 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 to 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 eminent 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 finderout 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.


Rod. 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? Rod. Yes, that I did; but that was but courtesy.


Lugo. 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. Villanous thoughts, Roderigo! when these mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes the master and main exercise, the incorporate conclusion. Pish! But, sir, be you ruled by me: I have brought you from Venice. Watch you to-night; 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.

[blocks in formation]

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 leap'd into my seat; the thought wherecf
Doth like a poisonous mineral gnaw my inwards:
And nothing can or shall content my soul
Till I am even'd with him, wife for wife;
Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
At least into a jealousy so strong
That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,
If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash
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

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

For making him egregiously an ass
And practising upon his peace and quiet
Even to madness. 'Tis here, but yet confus'd:
Knavery's plain face is never seen till us'd.

SCENE II-A Street.


Enter a Herald with a proclamation; People following.

Her. 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!

[ocr errors]


SCENE III-A Hall in the Castle. Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, CASSIO, and Attendants,

Oth. Good Michael, look you to the guard to-

Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,
Not to out-sport discretion.

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

Iago is most honest.
Michael, good night; to-morrow with your

Let me have speech with you. To DESDEMONA.
Come, my dear love,

The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue ;

[blocks in formation]

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

Cas. She is indeed perfection.


lago. 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.

Cas. Not to-night, 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.

40 Cas. I have drunk but one cup to-night, 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.

Cas. Where are they?

Iago. Here at the door; I pray you, call

them in.



Cas. I'll do 't; but it dislikes me.
lago. If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
With that which he hath drunk to-night already,
He'll be as full of quarrel and offence
As my young mistress' dog. Now, my sick fool,

Whom love has turn'd almost the wrong side out,
To Desdemona hath to-night carous'd
Potations pottle-deep; and he's to watch.
Three lads of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits,
That hold their honours in a wary distance,
The very elements of this war-like isle,
Have I to-night fluster'd 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.

And let me the canakin clink, clink;

And let me the canakin clink:

A soldier's a man ;

A life's but a span;

Why then let a soldier drink.

Some wine, boys!

Cas. 'Fore God, an excellent song.


they are most potent in potting: your Dane, lago. I learned it in England, where indeed your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander, -drink, ho!-are nothing to your English.

Cas. Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?

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


Cas. To the health of our general!
Mon. I am for it, lieutenant; and I'll do you

[blocks in formation]

Cas. Why, this is a more exquisite song than the other.

Iago. Will you hear 't again?

Cas. 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.

lago. It is true, good lieutenant.


Cas. 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.

Cas. 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 hand. I am not drunk now; I can stand well enough, and speak well enough.

All. Excellent well.


Cas. Why, very well then; you must not think then that I am drunk. Exit. Mon. To the platform, masters; come, let's set the watch.


lago. You see this fellow that is gone before; He is a soldier fit to stand by Cæsar And give direction; and do but see his vice; 'Tis to his virtue a just equinox, The one as long as the other; 'tis pity of him. I fear the trust Othello puts him in, Cas. 'Fore God, they have given me a rouse On some odd time of his infirmity, Will shake this island. already.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Iago. Aside to him. How now, Roderigo! I pray you, after the lieutenant; go.


Exit RODERIGO. Mon. 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.

Not I, for this fair island: 150
I do love Cassio well, and would do much
To cure him of this evil. But hark! what noise?
Cry within: Help! Help!'
Re-enter CASSIO, pursuing RODERIGO.
Cas. You rogue! you rascal !

What's the matter, lieutenant? Cas. A knave teach me my duty! I'll beat the knave into a twiggen bottle. Rod. Beat me!



Dost thou prate, rogue? Striking RODERIGO. Nay, good lieutenant; Staying him.

I pray you, sir, hold your hand.

Or I'll knock you o'er the mazzard.

Cas. Drunk!

Let me go, sir, Come, come; you're drunk. They fight. lago. Aside to RODERIGO. Away, I say! go out and cry a mutiny! Exit RODERIGO. Nay! good lieutenant! God's will, gentlemen! Help, ho! Lieutenant! Sir! Montano! Sir! 161 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 sham'd for ever.

Re-enter OTHELLO and Attendants.

What is the matter here?
Mon. 'Zounds! I bleed still; I am hurt to the

Oth. Hold, for your lives!

lago. Hold, ho! Lieutenant! Sir! Montano! gentlemen!

Have you forgot all sense of place and duty? Hold! the general speaks to you; hold, hold for shame!


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

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 other's breast,
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!
Oth. How came it, Michael, you are thus

Cas. I pray you, pardon me; I cannot speak. Oth. Worthy Montano, you were wont 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 unlace
your reputation thus
And spend your rich opinion for the name
Of a night-brawler? give me answer to it.

[ocr errors]

Mon. 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 sometime a vice,
And to defend ourselves it be a sin
When violence assails us.



Now, by heaven, My blood begins my safer guides to rule, And passion, having my best judgment collied, Assays to lead the way. If I once 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 approv'd in this offence, Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a Shall lose me. What! in a town of war, Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear, In night, and on the court and guard of safety! To manage private and domestic quarrel, 'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began 't?


Mon. If partially affin'd, or leagu'd 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. Thus it is, general.
Montano and myself being in speech,
There comes a fellow crying out for help,
And Cassio following him with determin'd 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 return'd the rather
For that I heard the clink and fall of swords,
And Cassio high in oath, which till to-night
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 20

« PreviousContinue »