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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 honorable stop,

Not to outsport 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.
[To Desdemona]
Come, my dear love,

The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue;

That profit's yet to come 'tween me and you.

Good night. [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 casts 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. (21)

Indeed, she's a most fresh and delicate creature.

What an eye she has! methinks it

sounds a parley of provocation.

An inviting eye; and yet methinks

right modest.

And when she speaks, is it not an

alarum 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: (39)

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. [Exit.

If I can fasten but one cup upon him, (51)

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 Roderigo,

Whom love hath turn'd almost the wrong side out,

To Desdemona hath to-night caroused

Potations pottle-deep; and he's to watch:

Three lads of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits,

That hold their honors in a wary distance,

The very elements of this warlike isle, (60)

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; Servants following with wine.

'Fore God, they have given me a

rouse already.

Good faith, a little one; not past a

pint, as I am a soldier. (70)

Some wine, ho!

And let me the canakin clink, clink;
And let me the canakin clink:
A soldier's but a man;
A 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


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 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. (100)

Some wine, ho!

Why, this is a more exquisite song

than the other.

Will you hear't 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. (112)

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 speak well enough.

Excellent well.

Why, very well then; you must not

think then that I am drunk. [Exit.

To the platform, masters; come,

let's set the watch. (126)

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. (131)

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 (139)

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? (151)

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; [Staying him.

I pray you, sir, hold your hand.

Let me go, sir,

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

Come, come, you're drunk.

Drunk! [They fight.

Aside to Roderigo
Away, I say; go out, and cry a mutiny. [Exit Roderigo.

Nay, good lieutenant,--alas, gentlemen;-- (159)

Help, ho!--Lieutenant,--sir,--Montano,-sir;--

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 shamed for ever. Re-enter OTHELLO and Attendants.

What is the matter here?

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

Hold, for your lives!

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!

Why, how now, ho! from whence ariseth this?

Are we turn'd Turks, and to ourselves do that (171)

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. (179)

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. (190)

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,-- (200)

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 (210)

How this foul rant began, who set it on;

And he that is approved in this offence,

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 affined, or leagued in office,

Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,

Thou art no soldier. (220)

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 determined sword,

To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman

Steps in to Cassio, and entreats his pause: (230)

Myself the crying fellow did pursue,

Lest by his clamor--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. (240)

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, received

>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. Re-enter DESDEMONA, attended.

Look, if my gentle love be not raised 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 led 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 waked with strife. [Exeunt all but Iago and Cassio.

What, are you hurt, lieutenant? (260)

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's


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


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 unblessed 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


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


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 watch.

Good night, honest Iago. [Exit.

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 framed as fruitful

As the free elements. And then for her

To win the Moor--were't to renounce his baptism, (350)

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 (360)

Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes

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. Re-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, (381)

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; (390)

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. [Exit.

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