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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.
SCENE I. A Seaport in Cyprus. An Open Place
near the Quay.
Enter MONTANO and two Gentlemen.
Mon. What from the cape can you discern at sea ?
FIRST GENT. Nothing at all : it is a high-wrought flood;
I cannot 'twixt the Heaven and the Main
Descry a sail.
Mon. 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?
Sec. GENT. 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 mane,
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 they bear it out.
Enter a third Gentleman.
THIRD GENT. 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 wrack and sufferance
On most part of their fleet.
ACT II Mon. How! is this true?
Sc. I THIRD GENT.
The ship is here put in,
A Veronesa ; Michael Cassio,
Lieutenant to the warlike 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
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 seaside, 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.
Cas. 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!
Mon. Is he well shipp'd ?
Cas. His bark is stoutly timber'd, and his pilot
very expert and approv'd allowance;
Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
Stand in bold cure. [A cry within: A sail, a sail, a sail!
Enter a fourth Gentleman.
Cas. What noise ?
FOURTH GENT. The Town is empty; on the brow o' the
Stand ranks of people, and they cry A sail !
1 the idea is that hope feeds on hope till it dies of surfeit.
Cas. My hopes do shape him for the Governor.
[Guns heard. SEC. GENT. 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.
SEC. GENT. I shall.
Mon. But, good Lieutenant, is your General wiv'd ?
Cas. 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?
Sec. GENT. 'Tis one Iago, Ancient to the General.
Cas. He 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?
Cas. 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,
Before, behind thee, and on every hand,
Enwheel thee round!
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 skies
Parted our fellowship. But, hark! a sail.
[Within: A sail, a sail! Guns heard. SEC. GENT. They give their greeting to the citadel :
This likewise is a friend.
See for the news.
[Exit Gentleman. Good Ancient, you are welcome; to EMILIA.] wel
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.
Iago. Sir, would she give you so much of her lips
As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,
You ’ld have enough.
Alas, she has no speech.
Iago. 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.
EMIL. You have little cause to say so.
Iago. Come on, come on; you are pictures out of
Bells in your parlours, wild-cats in your kitchens,
Saints in your injuries, Devils being offended,
Players in your huswifery, and huswives in your
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 ACT II praise me?
Sc. I 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. I am about it; but, indeed, my invention
Comes from my pate as birdlime does from frieze-
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.
Des. Well prais'd! How if she be black and witty?
Iago. 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 ale-house. What miserable praise hast thou for
her that's foul and foolish ?
Iago. There's none so foul, and foolish thereunto,
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 ;
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;
1 i.e. call for the testimony.