Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition
Enter Othello, Desdemona, Cassio, and attendants1
othello Good Michael, look you to the guard tonight.
2Let's teach ourselves that honourable stop
Editor’s Note3Not to outsport discretion.4
cassio Iago hath direction what to do,
5But notwithstanding, with my personal eye
6Will I look to't.Exit [Othello, with Desdemona and attendants] Enter Iago
othello Iago is most honest.
Editor’s Note7Michael, good night. Tomorrow with your earliest
Editor’s Note8Let me have speech with you.[To Desdemona]
Come, my dear love:
9The purchase made, the fruits are to ensue.
10That profit's yet to come 'tween me and you.
11[To Cassio] Good night.12
cassio Welcome, Iago. We must to the watch.Editor’s Note13
iago Not this hour, lieutenant. 'Tis not yet ten o'th' clock. Our general Editor’s Note14cast us thus early for the love of his Desdemona, who let us not 15therefore blame. He hath not yet made wanton the night with her, and 16she is sport for Jove.17
cassio She's a most exquisite lady.Editor’s Note18
iago And I'll warrant her full of game.19
cassio Indeed, she's a most fresh and delicate creature.Editor’s Note20
iago What an eye she has! Methinks it sounds a parley to provocation.Editor’s Note22
iago And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?23
cassio She is indeed perfection.Editor’s Note24
iago Well, happiness to their sheets. Come, lieutenant. I have a stoup Editor’s Note25of wine, and here without are a brace of Cyprus gallants that would 26fain have a measure to the health of black Othello.27
cassio Not tonight, good Iago. I have very poor and unhappy brains for 28drinking. I could well wish courtesy would invent some other custom 29of entertainment.30
iago O, they are our friends! But one cup. I'll drink for you.Editor’s Note31
cassio I have drunk but one cup tonight, and that was craftily qualified, Editor’s Note32too, and behold what innovation it makes here! I am infortunate in the 33infirmity, and dare not task my weakness with any more.34
iago What, man, 'tis a night of revels, the gallants desire it!35
cassio Where are they?36
iago Here at the door. I pray you call them in.37Exit
cassio I'll do't, but it dislikes me.38
iago If I can fasten but one cup upon him,
39With that which he hath drunk tonight already
40He'll be as full of quarrel and offence
41As my young mistress' dog. Now my sick fool Rodorigo,
42Whom love hath turned almost the wrong side out,
43To Desdemona hath tonight caroused
Editor’s Note44Potations pottle-deep, and he's to watch.
45Three else of Cyprus—noble, swelling spirits
Editor’s Note46That hold their honours in a wary distance,
Editor’s Note47The very elements of this warlike isle—
Editor’s Note48Have I tonight flustered with flowing cups,
49And they watch too. Now 'mongst this flock of drunkards
50Am I to put our Cassio in some action
51That may offend the isle. But here they come.Editor’s NoteEnter Cassio, Montano, and Gentlemen
Editor’s Note52If consequence do but approve my dream,
53My boat sails freely both with wind and stream.Editor’s Note54
cassio 'Fore God, they have given me a rouse already.55
montano Good faith, a little one; not past a pint, as I am a soldier.56
iago Some wine, ho!
Editor’s Note57 [Sings] And let me the cannikin clink, clink,
Editor’s Note58 And let me the cannikin clink.
59 A soldier's a man,
Editor’s Note60 O, man's life's but a span,
61 Why then, let a soldier drink.
62Some wine, boys!63
cassio 'Fore God, an excellent song.pg 2142 64
iago I learned it in England, where indeed they are most potent in Editor’s Note65potting. Your Dane, your German, and your swag-bellied Hollander—Editor’s Note66drink, ho!—are nothing to your English.67
cassio Is your Englishman so exquisite in his drinking?68
iago Why, he drinks you with facility your Dane dead drunk. He Editor’s Note69sweats not to overthrow your Almain. He gives your Hollander a 70vomit ere the next pottle can be filled.71
cassio To the health of our general!Editor’s Note72
montano I am for it, lieutenant, and I'll do you justice.73
iago O sweet England!
Editor’s Note74[Sings] King Stephen was and a worthy peer,
75 His breeches cost him but a crown;
76 He held them sixpence all too dear,
Editor’s Note77 With that he called the tailor lown.
78 He was a wight of high renown,
79 And thou art but of low degree.
Editor’s Note80 'Tis pride that pulls the country down,
81 And take thy auld cloak about thee.
82Some wine, ho!83
cassio 'Fore God, this is a more exquisite song than the other.84
iago Will you hear't again?85
cassio No, for I hold him to be unworthy of his place that does those 86things. Well, God's above all, and there be souls must be saved, and 87there be souls must not be saved.88
iago It's true, good lieutenant.89
cassio For mine own part—no offence to the general, nor any man of 90quality—I hope to be saved.91
iago And so do I too, lieutenant.92
cassio Ay, but, by your leave, not before me. The lieutenant is to be 93saved before the ensign. Let's have no more of this. Let's to our affairs. 94God forgive us our sins. Gentlemen, let's look to our business. Do Editor’s Note95not think, gentlemen, I am drunk. This is my ensign, this is my right 96hand, and this is my left. I am not drunk now. I can stand well enough, 97and I speak well enough.98
gentlemen Excellent well.99Exit
cassio Why, very well then. You must not think then that I am drunk.Editor’s Note100[Exeunt Gentlemen]
montano To th' platform, masters. Come, let's set the watch.101
iago You see this fellow that is gone before?
102He's a soldier fit to stand by Caesar
103And give direction—and do but see his vice.
105The one as long as th'other. 'Tis pity of him.
106I fear the trust Othello puts him in,
107On some odd time of his infirmity,
108Will shake this island.
montano But is he often thus?pg 2143 109
iago 'Tis evermore his prologue to his sleep.
Editor’s Note110He'll watch the horologe a double set
111If drink rock not his cradle.Enter Rodorigo
montano It were well
112The general were put in mind of it.
113Perhaps he sees it not, or his good nature
114Prizes the virtue that appears in Cassio,
115And looks not on his evils. Is not this true?116[Exit Rodorigo]
iago Editor’s Note[aside] How now, Rodorigo!
117I pray you after the lieutenant, go.118
montano And 'tis great pity that the noble Moor
119Should hazard such a place as his own second
Editor’s Note120With one of an engraffed infirmity.
121It were an honest action to say so
122To the Moor.
iago Not I, for this fair island!
123I do love Cassio well, and would do much
124To cure him of this evil.Editor’s Note[Noise within]
But hark, what noise?Enter Cassio, driving in Rodorigo125
cassio 'Swounds, you rogue, you rascal!126
montano What's the matter, lieutenant?Editor’s Note127
cassio A knave teach me my duty?—I'll beat the knave into a twiggen 128bottle.129
rodorigo Beat me?130
cassio Dost thou prate, rogue?131
montano Nay, good lieutenant, I pray you, sir, hold your hand.Editor’s Note132
cassio Let me go, sir, or I'll knock you o'er the mazard.133
montano Come, come, you're drunk.134[They fight]
iago [to Rodorigo] Away, I say. Go out and cry a mutiny.[Exit Rodorigo]
136Nay, good lieutenant. God's will, gentlemen!
137Help, ho! Lieutenant! Sir! Montano!
138Help, masters. Here's a goodly watch indeed.[A bell rung]
139Who's that which rings the bell? Diablo, ho!
140The town will rise. God's will, lieutenant,
141You'll be ashamed for ever.Enter Othello and attendants [with weapons]
othello What is the matter here?Editor’s Note142[He attacks Cassio]
montano 'Swounds, I bleed still. I am hurt to th' death.—He dies!144
iago Hold, ho, lieutenant, sir, Montano, gentlemen!
Editor’s Note145Have you forgot all place of sense and duty?
146Hold, the general speaks to you. Hold, for shame.147
othello Why, how now, ho? From whence ariseth this?
148Are we turned Turks, and to ourselves do that
Editor’s Note149Which heaven hath forbid the Ottomites?
150For Christian shame, put by this barbarous brawl.
Editor’s Note151He that stirs next to carve for his own rage
Editor’s Note152Holds his soul light. He dies upon his motion.
Editor’s Note153Silence that dreadful bell—it frights the isle
Editor’s Note154From her propriety.[Bell stops]
What is the matter, masters?
155Honest Iago, that looks dead with grieving,
156Speak. Who began this? On thy love I charge thee.157
iago I do not know. Friends all but now, even now,
Editor’s Note158In quarter and in terms like bride and groom
159Devesting them for bed; and then but now—
Editor’s Note160As if some planet had unwitted men—
161Swords out, and tilting one at others' breasts
Editor’s Note162In opposition bloody. I cannot speak
Editor’s Note163Any beginning to this peevish odds,
164And would in action glorious I had lost
165Those legs that brought me to a part of it.166
othello How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?167
cassio I pray you pardon me. I cannot speak.168
othello Worthy Montano, you were wont be civil.
169The gravity and stillness of your youth
170The world hath noted, and your name is great
Editor’s Note171In mouths of wisest censure. What's the matter,
Editor’s Note172That you unlace your reputation thus,
173And spend your rich opinion for the name
174Of a night-brawler? Give me answer to it.175
montano Worthy Othello, I am hurt to danger.
176Your officer Iago can inform you,
Editor’s Note177While I spare speech—which something now offends me—
178Of all that I do know; nor know I aught
179By me that's said or done amiss this night,
180Unless self-charity be sometimes a vice,
181And to defend ourselves it be a sin
182When violence assails us.
othello Now, by heaven,
183My blood begins my safer guides to rule,
Editor’s Note184And passion, having my best judgement collied,
Editor’s Note186Or do but lift this arm, the best of you
187Shall sink in my rebuke. Give me to know
188How this foul rout began, who set it on,
Editor’s Note189And he that is approved in this offence,
190Though he had twinned with me, both at a birth,
191Shall lose me. What, in a town of war
192Yet wild, the people's hearts brimful of fear,
Editor’s Note193To manage private and domestic quarrel
Editor’s Note194In night, and on the court and guard of safety!
195'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began't?Editor’s Note196
montano [to Iago] If partially affined or leagued in office
197Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,
198Thou art no soldier.
iago Touch me not so near.
199I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth
200Than it should do offence to Michael Cassio.
201Yet I persuade myself to speak the truth
202Shall nothing wrong him. This it is, general.
203Montano and myself being in speech,
204There comes a fellow crying out for help,
205And Cassio following him with determined sword
Editor’s Note206To execute upon him. Sir, this gentleman
207Steps in to Cassio, and entreats his pause.
208Myself the crying fellow did pursue,
209Lest by his clamour, as it so fell out,
Editor’s Note210The town might fall in fright. He, swift of foot,
Editor’s Note211Outran my purpose, and I returned, the rather
212For that I heard the clink and fall of swords
213And Cassio high in oath, which till tonight
214I ne'er might say before. When I came back—
215For this was brief—I found them close together
216At blow and thrust, even as again they were
217When you yourself did part them.
218More of this matter cannot I report,
219But men are men. The best sometimes forget.
220Though Cassio did some little wrong to him,
221As men in rage strike those that wish them best,
222Yet surely Cassio, I believe, received
Link 223From him that fled some strange indignity
Editor’s Note224Which patience could not pass.
othello I know, Iago,
Editor’s Note225Thy honesty and love doth mince this matter,
226Making it light to Cassio. —Cassio, I love thee,
Editor’s Note227But never more be officer of mine.Enter Desdemona, attended
228Look if my gentle love be not raised up.
229I'll make thee an example.231[Exeunt all but Iago and Cassio]
othello All's well, sweeting.
232Come away to bed. [To Montano] Sir, for your hurts
233Myself will be your surgeon. [To attendants] Lead him off.[Exeunt attendants with Montano]
234Iago, look with care about the town,
Editor’s Note235And silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.—
Editor’s Note236Come, Desdemona. 'Tis the soldier's life
237To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.238
iago What, are you hurt, lieutenant?239
cassio Ay, past all surgery.240
iago Marry, God forbid.241
cassio Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation. 242I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial. 243My reputation, Iago, my reputation.244
iago As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily Editor’s Note245wound. There is more sense in that than in reputation. Reputation Editor’s Note246is an idle and most false imposition, oft got without merit and lost 247without deserving. You have lost no reputation at all unless you repute Editor’s Note248yourself such a loser. What, man, there are more ways to recover Editor’s Note249the general again. You are but now cast in his mood—a punishment Editor’s Note250more in policy than in malice, even so as one would beat his offenceless 251dog to affright an imperious lion. Sue to him again, and he's yours.252
cassio I will rather sue to be despised than to deceive so good a Editor’s Note238commander with so slight, so drunken, and so indiscreet an officer. Editor’s Note254Drunk, and speak parrot, and squabble? Swagger, swear, and Editor’s Note255discourse fustian with one's own shadow? O, thou invisible spirit of 256wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee devil.257
iago What was he that you followed with your sword? What had he 258done to you?259
cassio I know not.260
iago Is't possible?261
cassio I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, 262but nothing wherefore. O God, that men should put an enemy in their Editor’s Note263mouths to steal away their brains! That we should with joy, pleasance, 264revel, and applause transform ourselves into beasts!Editor’s Note265
iago Why, but you are now well enough. How came you thus recovered?266
cassio It hath pleased the devil drunkenness to give place to the devil Editor’s Note267wrath. One unperfectness shows me another, to make me frankly 268despise myself.269
iago Come, you are too severe a moraller. As the time, the place, and 270the condition of this country stands, I could heartily wish this had not 271befallen; but since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.272
cassio I will ask him for my place again. He shall tell me I am a Editor’s Note273drunkard. Had I as many mouths as Hydra, such an answer would stop pg 2147274them all. To be now a sensible man, by and by a fool, and presently a Editor’s Note275beast! O, strange! Every inordinate cup is unblessed, and the ingredient 276is a devil.Editor’s Note277
iago Come, come. Good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well 278used. Exclaim no more against it. And, good lieutenant, I think you 279think I love you.Editor’s Note280
cassio I have well approved it, sir.—I, drunk?281
iago You or any man living may be drunk at a time, man. I tell you 282what you shall do. Our general's wife is now the general. I may say so 283in this respect, for that he hath devoted and given up himself to the Editor’s Note284contemplation, mark, and denotement of her parts and graces. 285Confess yourself freely to her. Importune her help to put you in your Editor’s Note286place again. She is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, 287she holds it a vice in her goodness not to do more than she is requested. Editor’s Note288This broken joint between you and her husband entreat her to splinter, Editor’s Note289and—my fortunes against any lay worth naming—this crack of your 290love shall grow stronger than it was before.291
cassio You advise me well.Editor’s Note292
iago I protest, in the sincerity of love and honest kindness.Editor’s Note293
cassio I think it freely, and betimes in the morning I will beseech the 294virtuous Desdemona to undertake for me. I am desperate of my fortunes 295if they check me.Editor’s Note296
iago You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant. I must to the watch.297
cassio Good night, honest Iago.Exit Cassio298
iago And what's he then that says I play the villain,
Editor’s Note299When this advice is free I give, and honest,
Editor’s Note300Probal to thinking, and indeed the course
301To win the Moor again? For 'tis most easy
Editor’s Note302Th'inclining Desdemona to subdue
Editor’s Note303In any honest suit. She's framed as fruitful
304As the free elements. And then for her
305To win the Moor, were't to renounce his baptism,
306All seals and symbols of redeemèd sin,
307His soul is so enfettered to her love
308That she may make, unmake, do what she list,
309Even as her appetite shall play the god
Editor’s Note310With his weak function. How am I then a villain,
Editor’s Note311To counsel Cassio to this parallel course
Editor’s Note312Directly to his good? Divinity of hell!
313When devils will the blackest sins put on,
Editor’s Note314They do suggest at first with heavenly shows,
315As I do now; for whiles this honest fool
316Plies Desdemona to repair his fortune,
317And she for him pleads strongly to the Moor,
Editor’s Note319That she repeals him for her body's lust.
320And by how much she strives to do him good
321She shall undo her credit with the Moor.
322So will I turn her virtue into pitch,
323And out of her own goodness make the net
324That shall enmesh them all.Editor’s NoteEnter Rodorigo
How now, Rodorigo?325
rodorigo I do follow here in the chase, not like a hound that hunts, but Editor’s Note326one that fills up the cry. My money is almost spent, I have been tonight Link 327exceedingly well cudgelled, and I think the issue will be I shall have 328so much experience for my pains—and so, with no money at all and a 329little more wit, return again to Venice.330Exit
iago How poor are they that have not patïence!
331What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
332Thou know'st we work by wit and not by witchcraft,
333And wit depends on dilatory time.
334Does't not go well? Cassio hath beaten thee,
335And thou by that small hurt hast cashiered Cassio.
336Though other things grow fair against the sun,
337Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe.
338Content thyself a while. By th' mass, 'tis morning.
339Pleasure and action make the hours seem short.
340Retire thee. Go where thou art billeted.
341Away, I say. Thou shalt know more hereafter.
342Nay, get thee gone.Exit Rodorigo
Two things are to be done.
343My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress.
344I'll set her on. Myself a while to draw the Moor apart,
Editor’s Note345And bring him jump when he may Cassio find
346Soliciting his wife. Ay, that's the way.
Editor’s Note347Dull not device by coldness and delay.