by William Shakespeare



SCENE I. A seaport in Cyprus. A Platform.

[Enter Montano and two Gentlemen.]

What from the cape can you discern at sea?

Nothing at all: it is a high-wrought flood;
I cannot, 'twixt the heaven and the main,
Descry a sail.

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?

A segregation of the Turkish fleet:
For do but stand upon the foaming shore,
The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds;
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 the enchafed flood.

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

[Enter a third Gentleman.]

News, lads! 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?

The ship is here put in,
A Veronessa; Michael Cassio,
Lieutenant to the warlike Moor Othello,
Is come on shore: the Moor himself's at sea,
And is in full commission here for Cyprus.

I am glad on't; 'tis a worthy governor.

But this same Cassio,--though he speak of comfort
Touching the Turkish loss,--yet he looks sadly,
And prays the Moor be safe; for they were parted
With foul and violent tempest.

Pray heavens he be;
For I have serv'd him, and the man commands
Like a full soldier. Let's to the sea-side, ho!
As well to see the vessel that's come in
As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello,
Even till we make the main and the aerial blue
An indistinct regard.

Come, let's do so;
For every minute is expectancy
Of more arrivance.

[Enter Cassio.]

Thanks you, the valiant of this warlike isle,
That so approve the Moor! O, let the heavens
Give him defence against the elements,
For I have lost him on a dangerous sea!

Is he well shipp'd?

His bark is stoutly timber'd, and his pilot
Of very expert and approv'd allowance;
Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
Stand in bold cure.

[Within.] A sail, a sail, a sail!

[Enter a fourth Gentleman.]

What noise?

The town is empty; on the brow o' the sea
Stand ranks of people, and they cry, "A sail!"

My hopes do shape him for the governor.

[Guns within.]

They do discharge their shot of courtesy:
Our friends at least.

I pray you, sir, go forth,
And give us truth who 'tis that is arriv'd.

I shall.


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

Most fortunately: he hath achiev'd a maid
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.]

How now! who has put in?

'Tis one Iago, ancient to the general.

Has had most favourable and happy speed:
Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds,
The gutter'd rocks, and congregated sands,--
Traitors ensteep'd to clog the guiltless keel,--
As having sense of beauty, do omit
Their mortal natures, letting go safely by
The divine Desdemona.

What is she?

She that I spake of, our great captain's captain,
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,
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! O, behold,

[Enter Desdemona, Emilia, Iago, Roderigo, and Attendants.]

The riches of the ship is come on shore!
Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.--
Hall 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?

He is not yet arrived nor know I aught
But that he's well, and will be shortly here.

O, but I fear--How lost you company?

The great contention of the sea and skies
Parted our fellowship:--but, hark! a sail.

[Within.] A sail, a sail!

[Guns within.]

They give their greeting to the citadel:
This likewise is a friend.

See for the news.

[Exit Gentleman.]

Good ancient, you are welcome:--Welcome, mistress:--[To Emilia.]
Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,
That I extend my manners; 'tis my breeding
That gives me this bold show of courtesy.

[Kissing her.]

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.

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.

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.

O, fie upon thee, slanderer!

Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk:
You rise to play, and go to bed to work.

You shall not write my praise.

No, let me not.

What wouldst thou write of me, if thou shouldst praise me?

O gentle lady, do not put me to't;
For I am nothing if not critical.

Come on, assay--There's one gone to the harbor?

Ay, madam.

I am not merry; but I do beguile
The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.--
Come, how wouldst thou praise me?

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.

Well prais'd! How if she be black and witty?

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

Worse and worse.

How if fair and foolish?

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

These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i' the
alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for her that's foul
and foolish?

There's none so foul and foolish thereunto,
But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.

O heavy ignorance!--thou praisest the worst best. But what
praise couldst 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?

She that was ever fair and never proud;
Had tongue at will and yet was never loud;
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;--

To do what?

To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.

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?

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

[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
courtship. 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! [Trumpet within.]--
The Moor! I know his trumpet.

'Tis truly so.

Let's meet him, and receive him.

Lo, where he comes!

[Enter Othello and Attendants.]

O my fair warrior!

My dear Othello!

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 laboring 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
Succeeds in unknown fate.

The heavens forbid
But that our loves and comforts should increase
Even as our days do grow!

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

[Kissing her.]

That e'er our hearts shall make!

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

Come, let us to the castle.--
News, friends; our wars are done, the Turks are drown'd.
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 sweet,
I prattle out of fashion, and I dote
In mine own comforts.--I pry'thee, 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, Desdemona,
Once more well met at Cyprus.

[Exeunt Othello, Desdemona, and Attendants.]

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.

With him! why, 'tis not possible.

Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be instructed. Mark me
with what violence she first loved the Moor, but for bragging,
and telling 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 eminently 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 compass of his salt and most
hidden loose affection? why, none; why, none;--a slipper and
subtle knave; a finder out 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.

I cannot believe that in her; she is full of most blessed

Blest 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?

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

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. Villainous 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.


Sir, he is rash, and very sudden in choler, and haply with his
truncheon may strike at you: provoke him, that he may; for even
out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to mutiny, whose
qualification shall come into no true taste again but by the
displanting of Cassio. So shall you have a shorter journey to
your desires by the means I shall then have to prefer them; and
the impediment most profitably removed, without the which there
were no expectation of our prosperity.

I will do this, if I can bring it to any opportunity.

I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel: I must
fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell.



That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it;
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 whereof
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 judgement 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 me
For making him egregiously an ass
And practicing 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.]

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!


SCENE III. A Hall in the Castle.

[Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and Attendants.]

Good Michael, look you to the guard to-night:
Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,
Not to out-sport discretion.

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 earliest
Let me have speech with you.--Come, my dear love,--[To Desdemona]
The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;
That profit's yet to come 'tween me and you.--

[Exeunt Othello, Desdemona, and Attendants.]

[Enter Iago.]

Welcome, Iago; we must to the watch.

Not this hour, lieutenant; 'tis not yet ten o' the clock.
Our general cast us thus early for the love of his Desdemona; who
let us not therefore blame: he hath not yet made wanton the night
with her; and she is sport for Jove.

She's a most exquisite lady.

And, I'll warrant her, full of game.

Indeed, she is a most fresh and delicate creature.

What an eye she has! methinks it sounds a parley to provocation.

An inviting eye; and yet methinks right modest.

And when she speaks, is it not an alarm to love?

She is, indeed, perfection.

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.

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.

O, they are our friends; but one cup: I'll drink for you.

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.

What, man! 'tis a night of revels: the gallants desire it.

Where are they?

Here at the door; I pray you, call them in.

I'll do't; but it dislikes me.


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 offense
As my young mistress' dog. Now, my sick fool Roderigo,
Whom love hath 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 warlike 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.

[Re-enter Cassio; with him Montano and Gentlemen; followed by
Servant with wine.]

'Fore heaven, they have given me a rouse already.

Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as I am a soldier.

Some wine, ho!

" And let me the canakin clink, clink;
And let me the canakin clink.
A soldier's a man;
O, man's life's but a span;
Why then let a soldier drink."

Some wine, boys!

'Fore God, an excellent song.

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

Is your Englishman so expert in his drinking?

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

To the health of our general!

I am for it, lieutenant; and I'll do you justice.

O sweet England!

" King Stephen was and a worthy peer,
His breeches cost him but a crown;
He held them sixpence all too dear,
With that he call'd the tailor lown.
He was a wight of high renown,
And thou art but of low degree:
'Tis pride that pulls the country down;
Then take thine auld cloak about thee."

Some wine, ho!

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

Will you hear it again?

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.

It's true, good lieutenant.

For mine own part,--no offence to the general, nor any
man of quality,--I hope to be saved.

And so do I too, lieutenant.

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.--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:--I am
not drunk now; I can stand well enough, and I speak well enough.

Excellent well.

Why, very well then: you must not think, then, that I am drunk.


To the platform, masters; come, let's set the watch.

You see this fellow that is gone before;--
He is a soldier fit to stand by Caesar
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,
On some odd time of his infirmity,
Will shake this island.

But is he often thus?

'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep:
He'll watch the horologe a double set
If drink rock not his cradle.

It were well
The general were put in mind of it.
Perhaps he sees it not, or his good nature
Prizes the virtue that appears in Cassio,
And looks not on his evils: is not this true?

[Enter Roderigo.]

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

[Exit Roderigo.]

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;
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, driving in Roderigo.]

You rogue! you rascal!

What's the matter, lieutenant?

A knave teach me my duty! I'll beat the knave into
a twiggen bottle.

Beat me!

Dost thou prate, rogue?

[Striking Roderigo.}

Nay, good lieutenant; I pray you, sir, hold your hand.

Let me go, sir, or I'll knock you o'er the mazard.

Come, come, you're drunk.


[They fight.]

Away, I say! go out and cry a mutiny.

[Aside to Roderigo, who goes out.]

Nay, good lieutenant,--alas,, gentlemen:--
Help, ho!--Lieutenant,--sir,--Montano,--sir:--
Help, masters!--Here's a goodly watch indeed!

[Bell rings.]
Who's that that rings the bell?--Diablo, ho!
The town will rise: God's will, lieutenant, hold;
You will be sham'd forever.

[Re-enter Othello and Attendants.]

What is the matter here?

Zounds, I bleed still; I am hurt to the death.

Hold, for your lives!

Hold, ho! lieutenant,--sir,--Montano,--gentlemen,--
Have you forgot all place of sense and duty?
Hold! the general speaks to you; hold, hold, for shame!

Why, how now, ho! from whence ariseth this?
Are we turn'd Turks, and to ourselves do that
Which Heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?
For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl:
He that stirs next to carve for his own rage
Holds his soul light; he dies upon his motion.--
Silence that dreadful bell; it frights the isle
From her propriety.--What is the matter, masters?--
Honest Iago, that look'st dead with grieving,
Speak, who began this? on thy love, I charge thee.

I do not know:--friends all but now, even now,
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!

How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?

I pray you, pardon me; I cannot speak.

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 you unlace your reputation thus,
And spend your rich opinion for the name
Of a night-brawler? give me answer to it.

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 sometimes 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 judgement 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 offensc,
Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth,
Shall lose me.--What! in a town of war
Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear,
To manage private and domestic quarrel,
In night, and on the court and guard of safety!
'Tis monstrous.--Iago, who began't?

If partially affin'd, or leagu'd in office,
Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,
Thou art no soldier.

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
When you yourself did part them.
More of this matter cannot I report;--
But men are men; the best sometimes forget:--
Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,--
As men in rage strike those that wish them best,--
Yet surely Cassio, I believe, receiv'd
From him that fled some strange indignity,
Which patience could not pass.

I know, Iago,
Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
Making it light to Cassio. Cassio, I love thee;
But never more be officer of mine.--

[Renter Desdemona, attended.]

Look, if my gentle love be not rais'd up!--
I'll make thee an example.

What's the matter?

All's well now, sweeting; come away to bed.
Sir, for your hurts, myself will be your surgeon:
Lead him off.

[To Montano, who is lead off.]

Iago, look with care about the town,
And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.--
Come, Desdemona: 'tis the soldiers' life.
To have their balmy slumbers wak'd with strife.

[Exeunt all but Iago and Cassio.]

What, are you hurt, lieutenant?

Ay, past all surgery.

Marry, heaven forbid!

Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my
reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what
remains is bestial.--My reputation, Iago, my reputation!

As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some
bodily wound; there is more sense in that than in reputation.
Reputation is an idle and most false imposition; oft got without
merit and lost without deserving: you have lost no reputation at
all, unless you repute yourself such a loser. What, man! there
are ways to recover the general again: you are but now cast in
his mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice; even so as
one would beat his offenceless dog to affright an imperious lion:
sue to him again, and he is yours.

I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so
good a commander with so slight, so drunken, and so indiscreet an
officer. Drunk? and speak parrot? and squabble? swagger?
swear? and discourse fustian with one's own shadow?--O thou
invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by,
let us call thee devil!

What was he that you followed with your sword?
What had he done to you?

I know not.

Is't possible?

I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a
quarrel, but nothing wherefore.--O God, that men should put an
enemy in their mouths to steal away their brains! that we
should, with joy, pleasance, revel, and applause, transform
ourselves into beasts!

Why, but you are now well enough: how came you thus recovered?

It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place to the
devil wrath: one unperfectness shows me another, to make me
frankly despise myself.

Come, you are too severe a moraler: as the time, the place,
and the condition of this country stands, I could heartily
wish this had not befallen; but since it is as it is, mend it for
your own good.

I will ask him for my place again;--he shall tell me I am a
drunkard! Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would
stop them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool,
and presently a beast! O strange!--Every inordinate cup is
unbless'd, and the ingredient is a devil.

Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be
well used: exclaim no more against it. And, good lieutenant,
I think you think I love you.

I have well approved it, sir.--I drunk!

You, or any man living, may be drunk at a time, man.
I'll tell you what you shall do. Our general's wife is now the
general;--I may say so in this respect, for that he hath
devoted and given up himself to the contemplation, mark, and
denotement of her parts and graces:--confess yourself freely to
her; importune her help to put you in your place again: she is of
so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, she holds it
a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested:
this broken joint between you and her husband entreat her to
splinter; and, my fortunes against any lay worth naming, this
crack of your love shall grow stronger than it was before.

You advise me well.

I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest kindness.

I think it freely; and betimes in the morning I will
beseech the virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me; I am
desperate of my fortunes if they check me here.

You are in the right. Good-night, lieutenant; I must to the

Good night, honest Iago.


And what's he, then, that says I play the villain?
When this advice is free I give and honest,
Probal to thinking, and, indeed, the course
To win the Moor again? For 'tis most easy
The inclining Desdemona to subdue
In any honest suit: she's fram'd as fruitful
As the free elements. And then for her
To win the Moor,--were't to renounce his baptism,
All seals and symbols of redeemed sin,--
His soul is so enfetter'd to her love
That she may make, unmake, do what she list,
Even as her appetite shall play the god
With his weak function. How am I, then, a villain
To counsel Cassio to this parallel course,
Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!
When devils will the blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,
As I do now: for whiles this honest fool
Plies Desdemona to repair his fortune,
And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,
I'll pour this pestilence into his ear,--
That she repeals him for her body's lust;
And by how much she strives to do him good,
She shall undo her credit with the Moor.
So will I turn her virtue into pitch;
And out of her own goodness make the net
That shall enmesh them all.

[Enter Roderigo.]

How now, Roderigo!

I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound that
hunts, but one that fills up the cry. My money is almost
spent; I have been to-night exceedingly well cudgelled; and I
think the issue will be--I shall have so much experience for my
pains: and so, with no money at all and a little more wit, return
again to Venice.

How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
Thou know'st we work by wit, and not by witchcraft;
And wit depends on dilatory time.
Does't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee,
And thou, by that small hurt, hast cashier'd Cassio;
Though other things grow fair against the sun,
Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe:
Content thyself awhile.--By the mass, 'tis morning;
Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.--
Retire thee; go where thou art billeted:
Away, I say; thou shalt know more hereafter;
Nay, get thee gone.[Exit Roderigo.]--
Two things are to be done,--
My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress;
I'll set her on;
Myself the while to draw the Moor apart,
And bring him jump when he may Cassio find
Soliciting his wife. Ay, that's the way;
Dull not device by coldness and delay.




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