|Othello, the Moore of Venice|
| Act 1, Scene 3
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The DUKE and Senators sitting at a table; Officers attendingDUKE OF VENICE
There is no composition in these newsFirst Senator
That gives them credit.
Indeed, they are disproportion'd;DUKE OF VENICE
My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.
And mine, a hundred and forty.Second Senator
And mine, two hundred:DUKE OF VENICE
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.
Nay, it is possible enough to judgment:Sailor
I do not so secure me in the error,
But the main article I do approve
In fearful sense.
[Within] What, ho! what, ho! what, ho!First Officer
A messenger from the galleys.DUKE OF VENICE
Enter a Sailor
Now, what's the business?Sailor
The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes;DUKE OF VENICE
So was I bid report here to the state
By Signior Angelo.
How say you by this change?First Senator
This cannot be,DUKE OF VENICE
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
That Rhodes is dress'd in: if we make thought of this,
We must not think the Turk is so unskilful
To leave that latest which concerns him first,
Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain,
To wake and wage a danger profitless.
Nay, in all confidence, he's not for Rhodes.First Officer
Here is more news.Messenger
Enter a Messenger
The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,First Senator
Steering with due course towards the isle of Rhodes,
Have there injointed them with an after fleet.
Ay, so I thought. How many, as you guess?Messenger
Of thirty sail: and now they do restemDUKE OF VENICE
Their backward course, bearing with frank appearance
Their purposes toward Cyprus. Signior Montano,
Your trusty and most valiant servitor,
With his free duty recommends you thus,
And prays you to believe him.
'Tis certain, then, for Cyprus.First Senator
Marcus Luccicos, is not he in town?
He's now in Florence.DUKE OF VENICE
Write from us to him; post-post-haste dispatch.First Senator
Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.DUKE OF VENICE
Enter BRABANTIO, OTHELLO, IAGO, RODERIGO, and Officers
Valiant Othello, we must straight employ youBRABANTIO
Against the general enemy Ottoman.
To BRABANTIOI did not see you; welcome, gentle signior;
We lack'd your counsel and your help tonight.
So did I yours. Good your grace, pardon me;DUKE OF VENICE
Neither my place nor aught I heard of business
Hath raised me from my bed, nor doth the general care
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?BRABANTIO
My daughter! O, my daughter!DUKE OF VENICE Senator
Ay, to me;DUKE OF VENICE
She is abused, 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.
Whoe'er he be that in this foul proceedingBRABANTIO
Hath thus beguiled 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
Stood in your action.
Humbly I thank your grace.DUKE OF VENICE Senator
Here is the man, this Moor, whom now, it seems,
Your special mandate for the state-affairs
Hath hither brought.
We are very sorry for't.DUKE OF VENICE
[To OTHELLO] What, in your own part, can you say to this?BRABANTIO
Nothing, but this is so.OTHELLO
Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,BRABANTIO
My very noble and approved 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 speech,
And little bless'd with the soft phrase of peace:
For since these arms of mine had seven years' pith,
Till now some nine moons wasted, they have used
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 patience,
I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver
Of my whole course of love; what drugs, what charms,
What conjuration and what mighty magic,
For such proceeding I am charged withal,
I won his daughter.
A maiden never bold;DUKE OF VENICE
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 practises of cunning hell,
Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood,
Or with some dram conjured to this effect,
He wrought upon her.
To vouch this, is no proof,First Senator
Without more wider and more overt test
Than these thin habits and poor likelihoods
Of modern seeming do prefer against him.
But, Othello, speak:OTHELLO
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?
I do beseech you,DUKE OF VENICE
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.OTHELLO
Ancient, conduct them: you best know the place.DUKE OF VENICE
Exeunt IAGO and AttendantsAnd, till she come, as truly as to heaven
I do confess the vices of my blood,
So justly to your grave ears I'll present
How I did thrive in this fair lady's love,
And she in mine.
Say it, Othello.OTHELLO
Her father loved me; oft invited me;DUKE OF VENICE
Still question'd me the story of my life,
From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,
That I have passed.
I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
To the very moment that he bade me tell it;
Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field
Of hair-breadth scapes i' the imminent deadly breach,
Of being taken by the insolent foe
And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence
And portance in my travels' history:
Wherein of antres vast and deserts 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. This to hear
Would Desdemona seriously incline:
But still the house-affairs would draw her thence:
Which ever as she could with haste dispatch,
She'ld come again, and with a greedy ear
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 strange,
'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 loved her,
I should but teach him how to tell my story.
And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,
And I loved her that she did pity them.
This only is the witchcraft I have used:
Here comes the lady; let her witness it.
Enter DESDEMONA, IAGO, and Attendants
I think this tale would win my daughter too.BRABANTIO
Take up this mangled matter at the best:
Men do their broken weapons rather use
Than their bare hands.
I pray you, hear her speak:DESDEMONA
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,BRABANTIO
I do perceive here a divided duty:
To 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 wi' you! I have done.DUKE OF VENICE
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.
Let me speak like yourself, and lay a sentence,BRABANTIO
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 preserved when fortune takes
Patience her injury a mockery makes.
The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief;
He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.
So let the Turk of Cyprus us beguile;DUKE OF VENICE
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 bruised heart was pierced through the ear.
I humbly beseech you, proceed to the affairs of state.
The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes forOTHELLO
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.
The tyrant custom, most grave senators,DUKE OF VENICE
Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
My thrice-driven bed of down: I do agnise
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,BRABANTIO
Be't at her father's.
I'll not have it so.OTHELLO
Nor I; I would not there reside,DUKE OF VENICE
To put my father in impatient thoughts
By being in his eye. Most gracious duke,
To my unfolding lend your prosperous ear;
And let me find a charter in your voice,
To assist my simpleness.
What would You, Desdemona?DESDEMONA
That I did love the Moor to live with him,OTHELLO
My downright violence and storm 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 honour 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 rites for which I love him are bereft me,
And I a heavy interim shall support
By his dear absence. Let me go with him.
Let her have your voices.DUKE OF VENICE
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 me defunct--and proper satisfaction.
But to be free and bounteous to her mind:
And heaven defend your good souls, that you think
I will your serious and great business scant
For she is with me: no, when light-wing'd toys
Of feather'd Cupid seal with wanton dullness
My speculative and officed 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!
Be it as you shall privately determine,First Senator
Either for her stay or going: the affair cries haste,
And speed must answer it.
You must away to-night.OTHELLO
With all my heart.DUKE OF VENICE
At nine i' the morning here we'll meet again.OTHELLO
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.
So please your grace, my ancient;DUKE OF VENICE
A man he is of honest 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.First Senator
Good night to every one.
To BRABANTIOAnd, noble signior,
If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.
Adieu, brave Moor, use Desdemona well.BRABANTIO
Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:OTHELLO
She has deceived her father, and may thee.
Exeunt DUKE OF VENICE, Senators, Officers, & c
My life upon her faith! Honest Iago,RODERIGO
My Desdemona must I leave to thee:
I prithee, 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.
Exeunt OTHELLO and DESDEMONA
What say'st thou, noble heart?RODERIGO
What will I do, thinkest thou?IAGO
Why, go to bed, and sleep.RODERIGO
I will incontinently drown myself.IAGO
If thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why,RODERIGO
thou silly gentleman!
It is silliness to live when to live is torment; andIAGO
then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.
O villainous! I have looked upon the world for fourRODERIGO
times seven years; and since I could distinguish
betwixt a benefit and an injury, I never found man
that knew how to love himself. Ere I would say, I
would drown myself for the love of a guinea-hen, I
would change my humanity with a baboon.
What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be soIAGO
fond; but it is not in my virtue to amend it.
Virtue! a fig! 'tis in ourselves that we are thusRODERIGO
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 sterile
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.
It cannot be.IAGO
It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission ofRODERIGO
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 thou the 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 sequestration:--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: 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 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.
Wilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend onIAGO
Thou art sure of me:--go, make money:--I have toldRODERIGO
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, 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.
Where shall we meet i' the morning?IAGO
At my lodging.RODERIGO
I'll be with thee betimes.IAGO
Go to; farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo?RODERIGO
What say you?IAGO
No more of drowning, do you hear?RODERIGO
I am changed: I'll go sell all my land.IAGO
Thus do I ever make my fool my purse:
For I mine own gain'd knowledge should profane,
If I would time expend with such a snipe.
But for my sport and profit. I hate the Moor:
And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets
He has done my office: I know not if't be true;
But I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do as if for surety. He holds me well;
The better shall my purpose work on him.
Cassio's a proper man: let me see now:
To get his place and to plume up my will
In double knavery--How, how? Let's see:--
After some time, to abuse Othello's ear
That he is too familiar with his wife.
He hath a person and a smooth dispose
To be suspected, framed to make women false.
The Moor is of a free and open nature,
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by the nose
As asses are.
I have't. It is engender'd. Hell and night
Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.
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