Act I, Scene 3
Venice. A council chamber.
- Enter Duke and Senators set at a table, with lights and
Duke1 - 2
- There’s no composition in these news
- That gives them credit.
First Senator3 - 4
- Indeed, they are disproportioned;
- My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.
- And mine, a hundred forty.
Second Senator6 - 10
- And mine, two hundred!
- But though they jump not on a just accompt
- (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.
Duke11 - 14
- Nay, it is possible enough to judgment.
- I do not so secure me in the error
- But the main article I do approve
- In fearful sense.
- What ho, what ho, what ho!
- Enter Sailor.
- A messenger from the galleys.
- Now? What’s the business?
Sailor18 - 20
- The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes,
- So was I bid report here to the state
- By Signior Angelo.
- Exit Sailor.
- How say you by this change?
First Senator22 - 35
- This cannot be
- By no assay of reason; ’tis a pageant
- To keep us in false gaze. When we consider
- Th’ 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 th’ abilities
- That Rhodes is dress’d in—if we make thought of this,
- We must not think the Turk is so unskillful
- 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.
- Here is more news.
- Enter the First Messenger.
First Messenger38 - 40
- The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,
- Steering with due course toward the isle of Rhodes,
- Have there injointed them with an after fleet.
- Ay, so I thought. How many, as you guess?
First Messenger42 - 47
- Of thirty sail; and now they do restem
- 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.
- Exit First Messenger.
Duke48 - 49
- ’Tis certain then for Cyprus.
- Marcus Luccicos, is not he in town?
- He’s now in Florence.
- Write from us to him, post-post-haste. Dispatch!
- Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.
- Enter Brabantio, Othello, Cassio, Iago, Roderigo, and
Duke53 - 56
- Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you
- Against the general enemy Ottoman.
- To Brabantio.
- I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior,
- We lack’d your counsel and your help tonight.
Brabantio57 - 63
- So did I yours. Good your Grace, pardon me:
- Neither my place, nor aught I heard of business,
- Hath rais’d 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?
- My daughter! O, my daughter!
Brabantio67 - 72
- Ay, to me:
- She is abus’d, stol’n from me, and corrupted
- By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks;
- For nature so prepost’rously to err
- (Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense)
- Sans witchcraft could not.
Duke73 - 78
- Who e’er he be that in this foul proceeding
- Hath thus beguil’d 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.
Brabantio79 - 82
- Humbly I thank your Grace.
- 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.
- To Othello.
- What, in your own part, can you say to this?
- Nothing, but this is so.
Othello86 - 104
- Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
- My very noble and approv’d 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 us’d
- Their dearest action in the tented field;
- And little of this great world can I speak
- More than pertains to feats of broils 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 charg’d withal)
- I won his daughter.
Brabantio105 - 117
- A maiden, never bold;
- 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 main’d, and most imperfect,
- That will confess perfection so could err
- Against all rules of nature, and must be driven
- To find out practices of cunning hell
- Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
- That with some mixtures pow’rful o’er the blood,
- Or with some dram (conjur’d to this effect)
- He wrought upon her.
Duke118 - 121
- To vouch this is no proof,
- Without more wider and more overt test
- Than these thin habits and poor likelihoods
- Of modern seeming do prefer against him.
First Senator122 - 126
- But, Othello, speak.
- 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?
Othello127 - 133
- I do beseech you,
- 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.
- Exeunt two or three.
Othello135 - 140
- Ancient, conduct them; you best know the place.
- Exit Iago.
- And, 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.
Othello142 - 184
- Her father lov’d me, oft invited me;
- Still question’d me the story of my life
- From year to year—the battles, sieges, fortunes,
- That I have pass’d.
- I ran it through, even from my boyish days
- To th’ very moment that he bade me tell it;
- Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances:
- Of moving accidents by flood and field,
- Of hair-breadth scapes i’ th’ imminent deadly breach,
- Of being taken by the insolent foe
- And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence
- And portance in my travel’s 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 my process—
- And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
- The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads
- Do grow beneath their shoulders. These things 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 lov’d her,
- I should but teach him how to tell my story,
- And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
- She lov’d me for the dangers I had pass’d,
- And I lov’d her that she did pity them.
- This only is the witchcraft I have us’d.
- Here comes the lady; let her witness it.
- Enter Desdemona, Iago, Attendants.
Duke185 - 189
- I think this tale would win my daughter too.
- Good Brabantio,
- Take up this mangled matter at the best;
- Men do their broken weapons rather use
- Than their bare hands.
Brabantio190 - 195
- I pray you hear her speak.
- 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?
Desdemona196 - 205
- My noble father,
- 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.
Brabantio206 - 215
- God be with you! I have done.
- 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.
Duke216 - 226
- Let me speak like yourself, and lay a sentence,
- Which as a grise or step, may help these lovers
- Into your favor.
- 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 preserv’d when Fortune takes,
- Patience her injury a mock’ry makes.
- The robb’d that smiles steals something from the thief;
- He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.
Brabantio227 - 237
- So let the Turk of Cyprus us beguile,
- 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 bruis’d heart was pierced through the ear.
- I humbly beseech you proceed to th’ affairs of state.
Duke238 - 244
- The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes for Cyprus.
- Othello, the fortitude of the place is best known to you;
- and though we have there a substitute of most allow’d
- 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 boist’rous expedition.
Othello245 - 255
- The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
- Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
- My thrice-driven bed of down. I do agnize
- A natural and prompt alacrity
- I find in hardness; and do undertake
- This 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.
Duke256 - 257
- If you please,
- Be’t at her father’s.
- I will not have it so.
- Nor I.
Desdemona260 - 265
- Nor I; I would not there reside,
- 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
- T’ assist my simpleness.
- What would you, Desdemona?
Desdemona267 - 278
- That I did love the Moor to live with him,
- My downright violence, and storm of fortunes,
- May trumpet to the world. My heart’s subdu’d
- Even to the very quality of my lord.
- I saw Othello’s visage in his mind,
- And to his honors 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 why I love him are bereft me,
- And I a heavy interim shall support
- By his dear absence. Let me go with him.
Othello279 - 293
- Let her have your voice.
- 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 seel with wanton dullness
- My speculative and offic’d 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!
Duke294 - 296
- Be it as you shall privately determine,
- Either for her stay or going; th’ affair cries haste,
- And speed must answer it.
- You must away tonight.
- Tonight, my lord?
- This night.
- With all my heart.
Duke301 - 305
- At nine i’ th’ morning here we’ll meet again.
- Othello, leave some officer behind,
- And he shall our commission bring to you;
- And such things else of quality and respect
- As doth import you.
Othello306 - 310
- So please your Grace, my ancient;
- A man he is of honesty and trust.
- To his conveyance I assign my wife,
- With what else needful your good Grace shall think
- To be sent after me.
Duke311 - 315
- Let it be so.
- Good night to every one.
- To Brabantio.
- And, noble signior,
- If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
- Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.
- Adieu, brave Moor, use Desdemona well.
Brabantio317 - 318
- Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see;
- She has deceiv’d her father, and may thee.
- Exeunt Duke, Senators, Officers, etc.
Othello319 - 325
- My life upon her faith! Honest Iago,
- 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 wordly matter and direction,
- To spend with thee. We must obey the time.
- Exit with Desdemona.
- What say’st thou, noble heart?
- What will I do, think’st thou?
- Why, go to bed and sleep.
- I will incontinently drown myself.
Iago331 - 332
- If thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why, thou silly
Roderigo333 - 334
- It is silliness to live, when to live is torment; and then
- have we a prescription to die, when death is our physician.
Iago335 - 339
- O villainous! I have look’d upon the world for four 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.
Roderigo340 - 341
- What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so fond,
- but it is not in my virtue to amend it.
Iago342 - 354
- Virtue? A fig! ’Tis in ourselves that we are thus 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 tine, supply it with one gender of
- herbs or distract it with many, either to have it sterile
- with idleness or manur’d with industry—why, the power and
- corrigible authority of this lies in our wills. If the beam
- 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 prepost’rous 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.
Iago356 - 379
- It is merely a lust of the blood and a permission of the
- will. Come, be a man! Drown thyself? Drown cats and blind
- puppies! I have profess’d 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 favor with an
- usurp’d beard. I say put money in thy purse. It cannot be
- long that Desdemona should continue her love to the Moor—put
- money in thy purse—nor he his to her. It was a violent
- commencement in her, 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 acerb as the 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 super-subtle Venetian be 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 hang’d in
- compassing thy joy than to be drown’d and go without her.
- Wilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend on the issue?
Iago381 - 388
- Thou art sure of me—go make money. I have told thee often,
- and I retell 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 deliver’d. Traverse, go,
- provide thy money. We will have more of this tomorrow.
- Where shall we meet i’ th’ morning?
- At my lodging.
- I’ll be with thee betimes.
- Go to, farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo?
- What say you?
- No more of drowning, do you hear?
- I am chang’d.
- Go to, farewell. Put money enough in your purse.
- I’ll sell all my land.
Iago398 - 419
- 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
- H’as 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—fram’d 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 th’ nose
- As asses are.
- I have’t. It is engend’red. Hell and night
- Must bring this monstrous birth to the world’s light.