Act II, Scene 3
Cyprus. A castle hall.
- Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and Attendants.
Othello1 - 3
- Good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.
- Let’s teach ourselves that honorable stop,
- Not to outsport discretion.
Cassio4 - 6
- Iago hath direction what to do;
- But notwithstanding with my personal eye
- Will I look to’t.
Othello7 - 13
- Iago is most honest.
- Michael, good night. Tomorrow 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.
- Exit with Desdemona and Attendants.
- Enter Iago.
- Welcome, Iago; we must to the watch.
Iago15 - 18
- Not this hour, lieutenant; ’tis not yet ten o’ th’ clock.
- Our general cast 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.
- Indeed she’s a most fresh and delicate creature.
Iago22 - 23
- What an eye she has! Methinks it sounds a parley to
- An inviting eye; and yet methinks right modest.
- And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?
- She is indeed perfection.
Iago27 - 30
- 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.
Cassio31 - 33
- Not tonight, 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, I’ll drink for you.
Cassio35 - 38
- I have drunk but one cup tonight—and that was craftily
- qualified too—and behold what innovation it makes here. I am
- infortunate 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.
Iago43 - 58
- If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
- With that which he hath drunk tonight already,
- He’ll be as full of quarrel and offense
- As my young mistress’ dog. Now, my sick fool Roderigo,
- Whom love hath turn’d almost the wrong side out,
- To Desdemona hath tonight carous’d
- Potations pottle-deep; and he’s to watch.
- Three else of Cyprus, noble swelling spirits
- That hold their honors in a wary distance,
- The very elements of this warlike isle,
- Have I tonight 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.
- Enter Cassio, Montano, and Gentlemen; Servants follow with
- If consequence do but approve my dream,
- My boat sails freely, both with wind and stream.
- ’Fore God, they have given me a rouse already.
Montano60 - 61
- Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as I am a
Iago62 - 68
- Some wine ho!
- “And let me the canakin clink, clink;
- And let me the canakin clink.
- A soldier’s a man;
- O, man’s life’s but a span;
- Why then let a soldier drink.”
- Some wine, boys!
- ’Fore God, an excellent song.
Iago70 - 72
- I learn’d 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 exquisite in his drinking?
Iago74 - 76
- 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 fill’d.
- To the health of our general!
- I am for it, lieutenant; and I’ll do you justice.
Iago79 - 88
- O sweet England!
- “King Stephen was and—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 thy auld cloak about thee.”
- Some wine ho!
- ’Fore God, this is a more exquisite song than the other.
- Will you hear’t again?
Cassio91 - 93
- 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 sav’d, and there be souls must not be sav’d.
- It’s true, good lieutenant.
Cassio95 - 96
- For mine own part—no offense to the general, nor any man of
- quality—I hope to be sav’d.
- And so do I too, lieutenant.
Cassio98 - 104
- Ay; but by your leave, not before me; the lieutenant is to
- be sav’d before the ancient. Let’s have no more of this;
- let’s to our affairs.—God 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 hand. I am not drunk now; I can stand well
- enough, and I speak well enough.
- Excellent well.
Cassio106 - 107
- Why, very well then; you must not think then that I am
- To th’ platform, masters, come, let’s set the watch.
- The Gentlemen follow Cassio off.
Iago109 - 116
- You see this fellow that is gone before:
- He’s 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 th’ other. ’Tis pity of him.
- I fear the trust Othello puts him in,
- On some odd time of his infirmity,
- Will shake this island.
- But is he often thus?
Iago118 - 120
- ’Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep.
- He’ll watch the horologe a double set
- If drink rock not his cradle.
Montano121 - 125
- It were well
- The general were put in mind of it.
- Perhaps he sees it not, or his good nature
- Prizes the virtue that appears in Cassio,
- And looks not on his evils. Is not this true?
- Enter Roderigo.
Iago126 - 127
- Aside to him.
- How now, Roderigo?
- I pray you, after the lieutenant, go.
- Exit Roderigo.
Montano128 - 132
- 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.
Iago133 - 137
- Not I, for this fair island.
- I do love Cassio well; and would do much
- To cure him of this evil.
- Cry within:
- “Help! Help!”
- But hark, what noise?
- Enter Cassio pursuing Roderigo.
- ’Zounds, you rogue! You rascal!
- What’s the matter, lieutenant?
Cassio140 - 141
- A knave teach me my duty? I’ll beat the knave into a twiggen
- Beat me?
- Dost thou prate, rogue?
- Striking Roderigo.
- Nay, good lieutenant; I pray you, sir, hold your hand.
- Staying him.
- Let me go, sir, or I’ll knock you o’er the mazzard.
- Come, come—you’re drunk.
- They fight.
Iago148 - 154
- Aside to Roderigo.
- Away, I say; go out and cry a mutiny.
- Exit Roderigo.
- Nay, good lieutenant—God’s will, gentlemen—
- Help ho!—lieutenant—sir—Montano—sir—
- Help, masters!—Here’s a goodly watch indeed!
- A bell rung.
- Who’s that which rings the bell? Diablo, ho!
- The town will rise. God’s will, lieutenant, hold!
- You’ll be asham’d forever.
- Enter Othello and Gentlemen with weapons.
- What is the matter here?
Montano156 - 157
- ’Zounds, I bleed still,
- I am hurt to th’ death. He dies.
- Assailing Cassio again.
- Hold, for your lives!
Iago159 - 161
- Hold ho! Lieutenant—sir—Montano—gentlemen—
- Have you forgot all place of sense and duty?
- Hold! The general speaks to you; hold, for shame!
Othello162 - 171
- Why, how now ho? From whence ariseth this?
- Are we turn’d Turks, and to ourselves do that
- 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 looks dead with grieving,
- Speak: who began this? On thy love, I charge thee!
Iago172 - 180
- 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.
Othello183 - 189
- Worthy Montano, you were wont to 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.
Montano190 - 197
- Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger.
- Your officer, Iago, can inform you—
- While I spare speech, which something now offends me—
- 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.
Othello198 - 211
- Now by heaven,
- My blood begins my safer guides to rule,
- And passion, having my best judgment collied,
- Assays to lead the way. ’Zounds, if I stir,
- Or do but lift this arm, the best of you
- Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know
- How this foul rout began; who set it on;
- And he that is approv’d in this offense,
- 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?
Montano212 - 214
- If partially affin’d, or leagu’d in office,
- Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,
- Thou art no soldier.
Iago215 - 241
- Touch me not so near;
- I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth
- Than it should do offense 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 determin’d sword
- To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman
- Steps in to Cassio and entreats his pause;
- 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 tonight
- 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.
- 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, receiv’d
- From him that fled some strange indignity
- Which patience could not pass.
Othello242 - 247
- 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.
- Enter Desdemona attended.
- Look if my gentle love be not rais’d up!
- I’ll make thee an example.
- What is the matter, dear?
Othello249 - 256
- All’s well now, sweeting;
- Come away to bed.
- To Montano.
- Sir, for your hurts,
- Myself will be your surgeon.—Lead him off.
- Some lead Montano off.
- Iago, look with care about the town,
- And silence those whom this vild brawl distracted.
- Come, Desdemona, ’tis the soldiers’ life
- To have their balmy slumbers wak’d with strife.
- Exit with Desdemona, Gentlemen, and Attendants.
- What, are you hurt, lieutenant?
- Ay, past all surgery.
- Marry, God forbid!
Cassio260 - 262
- 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!
Iago263 - 272
- As I am an honest man, I had thought you had receiv’d 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 more 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
- offenseless dog to affright an imperious lion. Sue to him
- again, and he’s yours.
Cassio273 - 278
- I will rather sue to be despis’d 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!
Iago279 - 280
- What was he that you follow’d with your sword? What had he
- done to you?
- I know not.
- Is’t possible?
Cassio283 - 287
- 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 beasts!
Iago288 - 289
- Why, but you are now well enough. How came you thus
Cassio290 - 292
- It hath pleas’d the devil drunkenness to give place to the
- devil wrath: one unperfectness shows me another, to make me
- frankly despise myself.
Iago293 - 296
- 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 befall’n; but since it is as it is, mend
- it for your own good.
Cassio297 - 301
- 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 unbless’d, and the ingredient is a devil.
Iago302 - 304
- Come, come; good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be
- well us’d; exclaim no more against it. And, good lieutenant,
- I think you think I love you.
- I have well approv’d it, sir. I drunk!
Iago306 - 317
- 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 bless’d 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 before.
- You advise me well.
- I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest kindness.
Cassio320 - 322
- 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.
Iago323 - 324
- You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant, I must to the
- Good night, honest Iago.
- Exit Cassio.
Iago326 - 353
- 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
- Th’ inclining Desdemona to subdue
- In any honest suit; she’s fram’d as fruitful
- As the free elements. And then for her
- To win the Moor, were’t to renounce his baptism,
- 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
- Plies Desdemona to repair his fortune,
- 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.
- Enter Roderigo.
- How now, Roderigo?
Roderigo354 - 359
- 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 tonight exceedingly well cudgell’d; 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.
Iago360 - 379
- 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,
- 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 a while. 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—
- I’ll set her on—
- Myself a 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.