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ACT II

Sc. I

See suitors following, and not look behind ;

She was a wight, if ever such wight were—
DES. To do what?

159

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 liberal1
counsellor ?

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

your

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 courtship. You say true; 'tis so, indeed: if such tricks as these strip you out of lieutenantry, it had been better you had not kiss'd your three fingers so oft, which now again you are most apt to play the Sir in. Very good; well kiss'd! 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.

CAS. 'Tis truly so.

DES. Let's meet him and receive him.

CAS. Lo, where he comes!

Enter OTHELLO and Attendants.

ОTн. O my fair Warrior!
DES.
My dear Othello!
ОTH. 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
Succeeds in unknown fate.

1 licentious.

180

190

DES.

The Heavens forbid

But that our loves and comforts should increase,
Even as our days do grow!
Отн.

I cannot speak enough of this content;
It stops me here; it is too much of joy :

Amen to that, sweet Powers!

And this, and this, the greatest discords be [kissing her.

That e'er our hearts shall make!

IAGO [aside.]

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

Отн.

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.
them. O
I prattle out of fashion, and I doat

In mine own comforts. I pr'ythee, 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

200

O my Sweet,

Does challenge much respect. Come, Desdemona, 210
Once more well met at Cyprus.

Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants. 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 him.

in love with

ROD. With him! why, 'tis not possible.
IAGO. Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be instructed.
Mark me with what violence she first lov'd 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,

219

ACT II
Sc. I

ACT II
Sc. I

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 requir'd conveniences, her delicate tenderness will find itself abus'd, 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 unforc'd 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 finder 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.

249

IAGO. Blessed fig's-end! the wine she drinks is made of grapes: if she had been blessed, she would never have lov'd 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.
IAGO. Lechery, by this hand; an index and obscure pro-
logue to the history of lust and foul thoughts. They
met so near with their lips, that their breaths embrac'd
together. Villainous thoughts, Roderigo! when these
mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes
the master and main exercise, the incorporate conclu-
sion: pish! But, Sir, be you rul'd 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 occa-
sion 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. ROD. Well.

269

IAGO. Sir, he is rash, and very sudden in choler, and haply 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.1 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 remov'd, without the which there were no expectation of our prosperity.

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

280

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

[exit.

IAGO. 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 judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,

If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trace

2

For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip;
Abuse him to the Moor in the right garb,3
For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too;

290

300

1 i.e. their professional repute shall not savour well again unless Cassio be condemned.

2 i.e. If this poor creature, whom I follow in order to quicken his pursuit.

3 fashion.

ACT II
Sc. I

ACT II
Sc. I

Make the Moor thank me, love me, and reward me,
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.

[exit.

SCENE II. The Same. 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 arriv'd, 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 proclaim'd. 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!

[exeunt.

SCENE III. The Same. A Hall in the Castle.
Enter OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, Cassio, and Attendants.
OTH. Good Michael, look you to the guard to-night :
Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop,
Not to outsport discretion.

CAS. Iago hath direction what to do;

But, notwithstanding, with my personal eye
Will I look to 't.

Отн.

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
Good night.

you.

IO

[Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants.

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