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Othello

Act III
Othello

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Script of Act III Othello
 The play by William Shakespeare

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This section contains the script of Act III of Othello the play by William Shakespeare. The enduring works of William Shakespeare feature many famous and well loved characters.
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Script / Text of Act III Othello

ACT III
SCENE I. Before the castle.

Enter CASSIO and some Musicians 
CASSIO 
Masters, play here; I will content your pains;
Something that's brief; and bid 'Good morrow, general.'

Music

Enter Clown

Clown 
Why masters, have your instruments been in Naples,
that they speak i' the nose thus?

First Musician 
How, sir, how!

Clown 
Are these, I pray you, wind-instruments?

First Musician 
Ay, marry, are they, sir.

Clown 
O, thereby hangs a tail.

First Musician 
Whereby hangs a tale, sir?

Clown 
Marry. sir, by many a wind-instrument that I know.
But, masters, here's money for you: and the general
so likes your music, that he desires you, for love's
sake, to make no more noise with it.

First Musician 
Well, sir, we will not.

Clown 
If you have any music that may not be heard, to't
again: but, as they say to hear music the general
does not greatly care.

First Musician 
We have none such, sir.

Clown 
Then put up your pipes in your bag, for I'll away:
go; vanish into air; away!

Exeunt Musicians

CASSIO 
Dost thou hear, my honest friend?

Clown 
No, I hear not your honest friend; I hear you.

CASSIO 
Prithee, keep up thy quillets. There's a poor piece
of gold for thee: if the gentlewoman that attends
the general's wife be stirring, tell her there's
one Cassio entreats her a little favour of speech:
wilt thou do this?

Clown 
She is stirring, sir: if she will stir hither, I
shall seem to notify unto her.

CASSIO 
Do, good my friend.

Exit Clown

Enter IAGO

In happy time, Iago.

IAGO 
You have not been a-bed, then?

CASSIO 
Why, no; the day had broke
Before we parted. I have made bold, Iago,
To send in to your wife: my suit to her
Is, that she will to virtuous Desdemona
Procure me some access.

IAGO 
I'll send her to you presently;
And I'll devise a mean to draw the Moor
Out of the way, that your converse and business
May be more free.

CASSIO 
I humbly thank you for't.

Exit IAGO

I never knew
A Florentine more kind and honest.

Enter EMILIA

EMILIA 
Good morrow, good Lieutenant: I am sorry
For your displeasure; but all will sure be well.
The general and his wife are talking of it;
And she speaks for you stoutly: the Moor replies,
That he you hurt is of great fame in Cyprus,
And great affinity, and that in wholesome wisdom
He might not but refuse you; but he protests he loves you
And needs no other suitor but his likings
To take the safest occasion by the front
To bring you in again.

CASSIO 
Yet, I beseech you,
If you think fit, or that it may be done,
Give me advantage of some brief discourse
With Desdemona alone.

EMILIA 
Pray you, come in;
I will bestow you where you shall have time
To speak your bosom freely.

CASSIO 
I am much bound to you.

Exeunt

SCENE II. A room in the castle.

Enter OTHELLO, IAGO, and Gentlemen 
OTHELLO 
These letters give, Iago, to the pilot;
And by him do my duties to the senate:
That done, I will be walking on the works;
Repair there to me.

IAGO 
Well, my good lord, I'll do't.

OTHELLO 
This fortification, gentlemen, shall we see't?

Gentleman 
We'll wait upon your lordship.

Exeunt

SCENE III. The garden of the castle.

Enter DESDEMONA, CASSIO, and EMILIA 
DESDEMONA 
Be thou assured, good Cassio, I will do
All my abilities in thy behalf.

EMILIA 
Good madam, do: I warrant it grieves my husband,
As if the case were his.

DESDEMONA 
O, that's an honest fellow. Do not doubt, Cassio,
But I will have my lord and you again
As friendly as you were.

CASSIO 
Bounteous madam,
Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio,
He's never any thing but your true servant.

DESDEMONA 
I know't; I thank you. You do love my lord:
You have known him long; and be you well assured
He shall in strangeness stand no further off
Than in a polite distance.

CASSIO 
Ay, but, lady,
That policy may either last so long,
Or feed upon such nice and waterish diet,
Or breed itself so out of circumstance,
That, I being absent and my place supplied,
My general will forget my love and service.

DESDEMONA 
Do not doubt that; before Emilia here
I give thee warrant of thy place: assure thee,
If I do vow a friendship, I'll perform it
To the last article: my lord shall never rest;
I'll watch him tame and talk him out of patience;
His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift;
I'll intermingle every thing he does
With Cassio's suit: therefore be merry, Cassio;
For thy solicitor shall rather die
Than give thy cause away.

EMILIA 
Madam, here comes my lord.

CASSIO 
Madam, I'll take my leave.

DESDEMONA 
Why, stay, and hear me speak.

CASSIO 
Madam, not now: I am very ill at ease,
Unfit for mine own purposes.

DESDEMONA 
Well, do your discretion.

Exit CASSIO

Enter OTHELLO and IAGO

IAGO 
Ha! I like not that.

OTHELLO 
What dost thou say?

IAGO 
Nothing, my lord: or if--I know not what.

OTHELLO 
Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?

IAGO 
Cassio, my lord! No, sure, I cannot think it,
That he would steal away so guilty-like,
Seeing you coming.

OTHELLO 
I do believe 'twas he.

DESDEMONA 
How now, my lord!
I have been talking with a suitor here,
A man that languishes in your displeasure.

OTHELLO 
Who is't you mean?

DESDEMONA 
Why, your lieutenant, Cassio. Good my lord,
If I have any grace or power to move you,
His present reconciliation take;
For if he be not one that truly loves you,
That errs in ignorance and not in cunning,
I have no judgment in an honest face:
I prithee, call him back.

OTHELLO 
Went he hence now?

DESDEMONA 
Ay, sooth; so humbled
That he hath left part of his grief with me,
To suffer with him. Good love, call him back.

OTHELLO 
Not now, sweet Desdemona; some other time.

DESDEMONA 
But shall't be shortly?

OTHELLO 
The sooner, sweet, for you.

DESDEMONA 
Shall't be to-night at supper?

OTHELLO 
No, not to-night.

DESDEMONA 
To-morrow dinner, then?

OTHELLO 
I shall not dine at home;
I meet the captains at the citadel.

DESDEMONA 
Why, then, to-morrow night; or Tuesday morn;
On Tuesday noon, or night; on Wednesday morn:
I prithee, name the time, but let it not
Exceed three days: in faith, he's penitent;
And yet his trespass, in our common reason--
Save that, they say, the wars must make examples
Out of their best--is not almost a fault
To incur a private cheque. When shall he come?
Tell me, Othello: I wonder in my soul,
What you would ask me, that I should deny,
Or stand so mammering on. What! Michael Cassio,
That came a-wooing with you, and so many a time,
When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,
Hath ta'en your part; to have so much to do
To bring him in! Trust me, I could do much,--

OTHELLO 
Prithee, no more: let him come when he will;
I will deny thee nothing.

DESDEMONA 
Why, this is not a boon;
'Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,
Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm,
Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit
To your own person: nay, when I have a suit
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
It shall be full of poise and difficult weight
And fearful to be granted.

OTHELLO 
I will deny thee nothing:
Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this,
To leave me but a little to myself.

DESDEMONA 
Shall I deny you? no: farewell, my lord.

OTHELLO 
Farewell, my Desdemona: I'll come to thee straight.

DESDEMONA 
Emilia, come. Be as your fancies teach you;
Whate'er you be, I am obedient.

Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA

OTHELLO 
Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul,
But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
Chaos is come again.

IAGO 
My noble lord--

OTHELLO 
What dost thou say, Iago?

IAGO 
Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my lady,
Know of your love?

OTHELLO 
He did, from first to last: why dost thou ask?

IAGO 
But for a satisfaction of my thought;
No further harm.

OTHELLO 
Why of thy thought, Iago?

IAGO 
I did not think he had been acquainted with her.

OTHELLO 
O, yes; and went between us very oft.

IAGO 
Indeed!

OTHELLO 
Indeed! ay, indeed: discern'st thou aught in that?
Is he not honest?

IAGO 
Honest, my lord!

OTHELLO 
Honest! ay, honest.

IAGO 
My lord, for aught I know.

OTHELLO 
What dost thou think?

IAGO 
Think, my lord!

OTHELLO 
Think, my lord!
By heaven, he echoes me,
As if there were some monster in his thought
Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean something:
I heard thee say even now, thou likedst not that,
When Cassio left my wife: what didst not like?
And when I told thee he was of my counsel
In my whole course of wooing, thou criedst 'Indeed!'
And didst contract and purse thy brow together,
As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain
Some horrible conceit: if thou dost love me,
Show me thy thought.

IAGO 
My lord, you know I love you.

OTHELLO 
I think thou dost;
And, for I know thou'rt full of love and honesty,
And weigh'st thy words before thou givest them breath,
Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more:
For such things in a false disloyal knave
Are tricks of custom, but in a man that's just
They are close delations, working from the heart
That passion cannot rule.

IAGO 
For Michael Cassio,
I dare be sworn I think that he is honest.

OTHELLO 
I think so too.

IAGO 
Men should be what they seem;
Or those that be not, would they might seem none!

OTHELLO 
Certain, men should be what they seem.

IAGO 
Why, then, I think Cassio's an honest man.

OTHELLO 
Nay, yet there's more in this:
I prithee, speak to me as to thy thinkings,
As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of thoughts
The worst of words.

IAGO 
Good my lord, pardon me:
Though I am bound to every act of duty,
I am not bound to that all slaves are free to.
Utter my thoughts? Why, say they are vile and false;
As where's that palace whereinto foul things
Sometimes intrude not? who has a breast so pure,
But some uncleanly apprehensions
Keep leets and law-days and in session sit
With meditations lawful?

OTHELLO 
Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago,
If thou but think'st him wrong'd and makest his ear
A stranger to thy thoughts.

IAGO 
I do beseech you--
Though I perchance am vicious in my guess,
As, I confess, it is my nature's plague
To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
Shapes faults that are not--that your wisdom yet,
From one that so imperfectly conceits,
Would take no notice, nor build yourself a trouble
Out of his scattering and unsure observance.
It were not for your quiet nor your good,
Nor for my manhood, honesty, or wisdom,
To let you know my thoughts.

OTHELLO 
What dost thou mean?

IAGO 
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls:
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands:
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him
And makes me poor indeed.

OTHELLO 
By heaven, I'll know thy thoughts.

IAGO 
You cannot, if my heart were in your hand;
Nor shall not, whilst 'tis in my custody.

OTHELLO
Ha!

IAGO 
O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er
Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!

OTHELLO
O misery!

IAGO 
Poor and content is rich and rich enough,
But riches fineless is as poor as winter
To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
Good heaven, the souls of all my tribe defend
From jealousy!

OTHELLO 
Why, why is this?
Think'st thou I'ld make a lie of jealousy,
To follow still the changes of the moon
With fresh suspicions? No; to be once in doubt
Is once to be resolved: exchange me for a goat,
When I shall turn the business of my soul
To such exsufflicate and blown surmises,
Matching thy inference. 'Tis not to make me jealous
To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
Is free of speech, sings, plays and dances well;
Where virtue is, these are more virtuous:
Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw
The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt;
For she had eyes, and chose me. No, Iago;
I'll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;
And on the proof, there is no more but this,--
Away at once with love or jealousy!

IAGO 
I am glad of it; for now I shall have reason
To show the love and duty that I bear you
With franker spirit: therefore, as I am bound,
Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.
Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio;
Wear your eye thus, not jealous nor secure:
I would not have your free and noble nature,
Out of self-bounty, be abused; look to't:
I know our country disposition well;
In Venice they do let heaven see the pranks
They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience
Is not to leave't undone, but keep't unknown.

OTHELLO 
Dost thou say so?

IAGO 
She did deceive her father, marrying you;
And when she seem'd to shake and fear your looks,
She loved them most.

OTHELLO 
And so she did.

IAGO 
Why, go to then;
She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
To seal her father's eyes up close as oak-
He thought 'twas witchcraft--but I am much to blame;
I humbly do beseech you of your pardon
For too much loving you.

OTHELLO 
I am bound to thee for ever.

IAGO 
I see this hath a little dash'd your spirits.

OTHELLO 
Not a jot, not a jot.

IAGO 
I' faith, I fear it has.
I hope you will consider what is spoke
Comes from my love. But I do see you're moved:
I am to pray you not to strain my speech
To grosser issues nor to larger reach
Than to suspicion.

OTHELLO 
I will not.

IAGO 
Should you do so, my lord,
My speech should fall into such vile success
As my thoughts aim not at. Cassio's my worthy friend--
My lord, I see you're moved.

OTHELLO 
No, not much moved:
I do not think but Desdemona's honest.

IAGO 
Long live she so! and long live you to think so!

OTHELLO 
And yet, how nature erring from itself,--

IAGO 
Ay, there's the point: as--to be bold with you--
Not to affect many proposed matches
Of her own clime, complexion, and degree,
Whereto we see in all things nature tends--
Foh! one may smell in such a will most rank,
Foul disproportion thoughts unnatural.
But pardon me; I do not in position
Distinctly speak of her; though I may fear
Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
May fall to match you with her country forms
And happily repent.

OTHELLO 
Farewell, farewell:
If more thou dost perceive, let me know more;
Set on thy wife to observe: leave me, Iago:

IAGO 
[Going] My lord, I take my leave.

OTHELLO 
Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless
Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.

IAGO 
[Returning] My lord, I would I might entreat
your honour
To scan this thing no further; leave it to time:
Though it be fit that Cassio have his place,
For sure, he fills it up with great ability,
Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,
You shall by that perceive him and his means:
Note, if your lady strain his entertainment
With any strong or vehement importunity;
Much will be seen in that. In the mean time,
Let me be thought too busy in my fears--
As worthy cause I have to fear I am--
And hold her free, I do beseech your honour.

OTHELLO 
Fear not my government.

IAGO 
I once more take my leave.

Exit

OTHELLO 
This fellow's of exceeding honesty,
And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit,
Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
I'ld whistle her off and let her down the wind,
To pray at fortune. Haply, for I am black
And have not those soft parts of conversation
That chamberers have, or for I am declined
Into the vale of years,--yet that's not much--
She's gone. I am abused; and my relief
Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,
That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others' uses. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones;
Prerogatived are they less than the base;
'Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:
Even then this forked plague is fated to us
When we do quicken. Desdemona comes:

Re-enter DESDEMONA and EMILIA

If she be false, O, then heaven mocks itself!
I'll not believe't.

DESDEMONA 
How now, my dear Othello!
Your dinner, and the generous islanders
By you invited, do attend your presence.

OTHELLO 
I am to blame.

DESDEMONA 
Why do you speak so faintly?
Are you not well?

OTHELLO 
I have a pain upon my forehead here.

DESDEMONA 
'Faith, that's with watching; 'twill away again:
Let me but bind it hard, within this hour
It will be well.

OTHELLO 
Your napkin is too little:

He puts the handkerchief from him; and it drops

Let it alone. Come, I'll go in with you.

DESDEMONA 
I am very sorry that you are not well.

Exeunt OTHELLO and DESDEMONA

EMILIA 
I am glad I have found this napkin:
This was her first remembrance from the Moor:
My wayward husband hath a hundred times
Woo'd me to steal it; but she so loves the token,
For he conjured her she should ever keep it,
That she reserves it evermore about her
To kiss and talk to. I'll have the work ta'en out,
And give't Iago: what he will do with it
Heaven knows, not I;
I nothing but to please his fantasy.

Re-enter Iago

IAGO 
How now! what do you here alone?

EMILIA 
Do not you chide; I have a thing for you.

IAGO 
A thing for me? it is a common thing--

EMILIA 
Ha!

IAGO 
To have a foolish wife.

EMILIA 
O, is that all? What will you give me now
For the same handkerchief?

IAGO 
What handkerchief?

EMILIA 
What handkerchief?
Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona;
That which so often you did bid me steal.

IAGO 
Hast stol'n it from her?

EMILIA 
No, 'faith; she let it drop by negligence.
And, to the advantage, I, being here, took't up.
Look, here it is.

IAGO 
A good wench; give it me.

EMILIA 
What will you do with 't, that you have been
so earnest
To have me filch it?

IAGO 
[Snatching it] Why, what's that to you?

EMILIA 
If it be not for some purpose of import,
Give't me again: poor lady, she'll run mad
When she shall lack it.

IAGO 
Be not acknown on 't; I have use for it.
Go, leave me.

Exit EMILIA

I will in Cassio's lodging lose this napkin,
And let him find it. Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ: this may do something.
The Moor already changes with my poison:
Dangerous conceits are, in their natures, poisons.
Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,
But with a little act upon the blood.
Burn like the mines of Sulphur. I did say so:
Look, where he comes!

Re-enter OTHELLO

Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou owedst yesterday.

OTHELLO 
Ha! ha! false to me?

IAGO 
Why, how now, general! no more of that.

OTHELLO 
Avaunt! be gone! thou hast set me on the rack:
I swear 'tis better to be much abused
Than but to know't a little.

IAGO 
How now, my lord!

OTHELLO 
What sense had I of her stol'n hours of lust?
I saw't not, thought it not, it harm'd not me:
I slept the next night well, was free and merry;
I found not Cassio's kisses on her lips:
He that is robb'd, not wanting what is stol'n,
Let him not know't, and he's not robb'd at all.

IAGO 
I am sorry to hear this.

OTHELLO 
I had been happy, if the general camp,
Pioners and all, had tasted her sweet body,
So I had nothing known. O, now, for ever
Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content!
Farewell the plumed troop, and the big wars,
That make ambition virtue! O, farewell!
Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war!
And, O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove's dead clamours counterfeit,
Farewell! Othello's occupation's gone!

IAGO 
Is't possible, my lord?

OTHELLO 
Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore,
Be sure of it; give me the ocular proof:
Or by the worth of man's eternal soul,
Thou hadst been better have been born a dog
Than answer my waked wrath!

IAGO 
Is't come to this?

OTHELLO 
Make me to see't; or, at the least, so prove it,
That the probation bear no hinge nor loop
To hang a doubt on; or woe upon thy life!

IAGO 
My noble lord,--

OTHELLO 
If thou dost slander her and torture me,
Never pray more; abandon all remorse;
On horror's head horrors accumulate;
Do deeds to make heaven weep, all earth amazed;
For nothing canst thou to damnation add
Greater than that.

IAGO 
O grace! O heaven forgive me!
Are you a man? have you a soul or sense?
God be wi' you; take mine office. O wretched fool.
That livest to make thine honesty a vice!
O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world,
To be direct and honest is not safe.
I thank you for this profit; and from hence
I'll love no friend, sith love breeds such offence.

OTHELLO 
Nay, stay: thou shouldst be honest.

IAGO 
I should be wise, for honesty's a fool
And loses that it works for.

OTHELLO 
By the world,
I think my wife be honest and think she is not;
I think that thou art just and think thou art not.
I'll have some proof. Her name, that was as fresh
As Dian's visage, is now begrimed and black
As mine own face. If there be cords, or knives,
Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,
I'll not endure it. Would I were satisfied!

IAGO 
I see, sir, you are eaten up with passion:
I do repent me that I put it to you.
You would be satisfied?

OTHELLO 
Would! nay, I will.

IAGO 
And may: but, how? how satisfied, my lord?
Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on--
Behold her topp'd?

OTHELLO 
Death and damnation! O!

IAGO 
It were a tedious difficulty, I think,
To bring them to that prospect: damn them then,
If ever mortal eyes do see them bolster
More than their own! What then? how then?
What shall I say? Where's satisfaction?
It is impossible you should see this,
Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys,
As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as gross
As ignorance made drunk. But yet, I say,
If imputation and strong circumstances,
Which lead directly to the door of truth,
Will give you satisfaction, you may have't.

OTHELLO 
Give me a living reason she's disloyal.

IAGO 
I do not like the office:
But, sith I am enter'd in this cause so far,
Prick'd to't by foolish honesty and love,
I will go on. I lay with Cassio lately;
And, being troubled with a raging tooth,
I could not sleep.
There are a kind of men so loose of soul,
That in their sleeps will mutter their affairs:
One of this kind is Cassio:
In sleep I heard him say 'Sweet Desdemona,
Let us be wary, let us hide our loves;'
And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand,
Cry 'O sweet creature!' and then kiss me hard,
As if he pluck'd up kisses by the roots
That grew upon my lips: then laid his leg
Over my thigh, and sigh'd, and kiss'd; and then
Cried 'Cursed fate that gave thee to the Moor!'

OTHELLO 
O monstrous! monstrous!

IAGO 
Nay, this was but his dream.

OTHELLO 
But this denoted a foregone conclusion:
'Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.

IAGO 
And this may help to thicken other proofs
That do demonstrate thinly.

OTHELLO 
I'll tear her all to pieces.

IAGO 
Nay, but be wise: yet we see nothing done;
She may be honest yet. Tell me but this,
Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief
Spotted with strawberries in your wife's hand?

OTHELLO 
I gave her such a one; 'twas my first gift.

IAGO 
I know not that; but such a handkerchief--
I am sure it was your wife's--did I to-day
See Cassio wipe his beard with.

OTHELLO 
If it be that--

IAGO 
If it be that, or any that was hers,
It speaks against her with the other proofs.

OTHELLO 
O, that the slave had forty thousand lives!
One is too poor, too weak for my revenge.
Now do I see 'tis true. Look here, Iago;
All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven.
'Tis gone.
Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell!
Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne
To tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,
For 'tis of aspics' tongues!

IAGO 
Yet be content.

OTHELLO 
O, blood, blood, blood!

IAGO 
Patience, I say; your mind perhaps may change.

OTHELLO 
Never, Iago: Like to the Pontic sea,
Whose icy current and compulsive course
Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
To the Propontic and the Hellespont,
Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,
Shall ne'er look back, ne'er ebb to humble love,
Till that a capable and wide revenge
Swallow them up. Now, by yond marble heaven,

Kneels

In the due reverence of a sacred vow
I here engage my words.

IAGO 
Do not rise yet.

Kneels

Witness, you ever-burning lights above,
You elements that clip us round about,
Witness that here Iago doth give up
The execution of his wit, hands, heart,
To wrong'd Othello's service! Let him command,
And to obey shall be in me remorse,
What bloody business ever.

They rise

OTHELLO 
I greet thy love,
Not with vain thanks, but with acceptance bounteous,
And will upon the instant put thee to't:
Within these three days let me hear thee say
That Cassio's not alive.

IAGO 
My friend is dead; 'tis done at your request:
But let her live.

OTHELLO 
Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her!
Come, go with me apart; I will withdraw,
To furnish me with some swift means of death
For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant.

IAGO 
I am your own for ever.

Exeunt

SCENE IV. Before the castle.

Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, and Clown 
DESDEMONA 
Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant Cassio lies?

Clown 
I dare not say he lies any where.

DESDEMONA 
Why, man?

Clown 
He's a soldier, and for one to say a soldier lies,
is stabbing.

DESDEMONA 
Go to: where lodges he?

Clown 
To tell you where he lodges, is to tell you where I lie.

DESDEMONA 
Can any thing be made of this?

Clown 
I know not where he lodges, and for me to devise a
lodging and say he lies here or he lies there, were
to lie in mine own throat.

DESDEMONA 
Can you inquire him out, and be edified by report?

Clown 
I will catechise the world for him; that is, make
questions, and by them answer.

DESDEMONA 
Seek him, bid him come hither: tell him I have
moved my lord on his behalf, and hope all will be well.

Clown 
To do this is within the compass of man's wit: and
therefore I will attempt the doing it.

Exit

DESDEMONA 
Where should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?

EMILIA 
I know not, madam.

DESDEMONA 
Believe me, I had rather have lost my purse
Full of crusadoes: and, but my noble Moor
Is true of mind and made of no such baseness
As jealous creatures are, it were enough
To put him to ill thinking.

EMILIA 
Is he not jealous?

DESDEMONA 
Who, he? I think the sun where he was born
Drew all such humours from him.

EMILIA 
Look, where he comes.

DESDEMONA 
I will not leave him now till Cassio
Be call'd to him.

Enter OTHELLO

How is't with you, my lord

OTHELLO 
Well, my good lady.

Aside

O, hardness to dissemble!--
How do you, Desdemona?

DESDEMONA 
Well, my good lord.

OTHELLO 
Give me your hand: this hand is moist, my lady.

DESDEMONA 
It yet hath felt no age nor known no sorrow.

OTHELLO 
This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart:
Hot, hot, and moist: this hand of yours requires
A sequester from liberty, fasting and prayer,
Much castigation, exercise devout;
For here's a young and sweating devil here,
That commonly rebels. 'Tis a good hand,
A frank one.

DESDEMONA 
You may, indeed, say so;
For 'twas that hand that gave away my heart.

OTHELLO 
A liberal hand: the hearts of old gave hands;
But our new heraldry is hands, not hearts.

DESDEMONA 
I cannot speak of this. Come now, your promise.

OTHELLO 
What promise, chuck?

DESDEMONA 
I have sent to bid Cassio come speak with you.

OTHELLO 
I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me;
Lend me thy handkerchief.

DESDEMONA 
Here, my lord.

OTHELLO 
That which I gave you.

DESDEMONA 
I have it not about me.

OTHELLO 
Not?

DESDEMONA 
No, indeed, my lord.

OTHELLO 
That is a fault.
That handkerchief
Did an Egyptian to my mother give;
She was a charmer, and could almost read
The thoughts of people: she told her, while
she kept it,
'Twould make her amiable and subdue my father
Entirely to her love, but if she lost it
Or made gift of it, my father's eye
Should hold her loathed and his spirits should hunt
After new fancies: she, dying, gave it me;
And bid me, when my fate would have me wive,
To give it her. I did so: and take heed on't;
Make it a darling like your precious eye;
To lose't or give't away were such perdition
As nothing else could match.

DESDEMONA 
Is't possible?

OTHELLO 
'Tis true: there's magic in the web of it:
A sibyl, that had number'd in the world
The sun to course two hundred compasses,
In her prophetic fury sew'd the work;
The worms were hallow'd that did breed the silk;
And it was dyed in mummy which the skilful
Conserved of maidens' hearts.

DESDEMONA 
Indeed! is't true?

OTHELLO 
Most veritable; therefore look to't well.

DESDEMONA 
Then would to God that I had never seen't!

OTHELLO 
Ha! wherefore?

DESDEMONA 
Why do you speak so startingly and rash?

OTHELLO 
Is't lost? is't gone? speak, is it out
o' the way?

DESDEMONA 
Heaven bless us!

OTHELLO 
Say you?

DESDEMONA 
It is not lost; but what an if it were?

OTHELLO 
How!

DESDEMONA 
I say, it is not lost.

OTHELLO 
Fetch't, let me see't.

DESDEMONA 
Why, so I can, sir, but I will not now.
This is a trick to put me from my suit:
Pray you, let Cassio be received again.

OTHELLO 
Fetch me the handkerchief: my mind misgives.

DESDEMONA 
Come, come;
You'll never meet a more sufficient man.

OTHELLO 
The handkerchief!

DESDEMONA 
I pray, talk me of Cassio.

OTHELLO 
The handkerchief!

DESDEMONA 
A man that all his time
Hath founded his good fortunes on your love,
Shared dangers with you,--

OTHELLO 
The handkerchief!

DESDEMONA 
In sooth, you are to blame.

OTHELLO 
Away!

Exit

EMILIA 
Is not this man jealous?

DESDEMONA 
I ne'er saw this before.
Sure, there's some wonder in this handkerchief:
I am most unhappy in the loss of it.

EMILIA 
'Tis not a year or two shows us a man:
They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;
To eat us hungerly, and when they are full,
They belch us. Look you, Cassio and my husband!

Enter CASSIO and IAGO

IAGO 
There is no other way; 'tis she must do't:
And, lo, the happiness! go, and importune her.

DESDEMONA 
How now, good Cassio! what's the news with you?

CASSIO 
Madam, my former suit: I do beseech you
That by your virtuous means I may again
Exist, and be a member of his love
Whom I with all the office of my heart
Entirely honour: I would not be delay'd.
If my offence be of such mortal kind
That nor my service past, nor present sorrows,
Nor purposed merit in futurity,
Can ransom me into his love again,
But to know so must be my benefit;
So shall I clothe me in a forced content,
And shut myself up in some other course,
To fortune's alms.

DESDEMONA 
Alas, thrice-gentle Cassio!
My advocation is not now in tune;
My lord is not my lord; nor should I know him,
Were he in favour as in humour alter'd.
So help me every spirit sanctified,
As I have spoken for you all my best
And stood within the blank of his displeasure
For my free speech! you must awhile be patient:
What I can do I will; and more I will
Than for myself I dare: let that suffice you.

IAGO 
Is my lord angry?

EMILIA 
He went hence but now,
And certainly in strange unquietness.

IAGO 
Can he be angry? I have seen the cannon,
When it hath blown his ranks into the air,
And, like the devil, from his very arm
Puff'd his own brother:--and can he be angry?
Something of moment then: I will go meet him:
There's matter in't indeed, if he be angry.

DESDEMONA 
I prithee, do so.

Exit IAGO

Something, sure, of state,
Either from Venice, or some unhatch'd practise
Made demonstrable here in Cyprus to him,
Hath puddled his clear spirit: and in such cases
Men's natures wrangle with inferior things,
Though great ones are their object. 'Tis even so;
For let our finger ache, and it indues
Our other healthful members even to that sense
Of pain: nay, we must think men are not gods,
Nor of them look for such observances
As fit the bridal. Beshrew me much, Emilia,
I was, unhandsome warrior as I am,
Arraigning his unkindness with my soul;
But now I find I had suborn'd the witness,
And he's indicted falsely.

EMILIA 
Pray heaven it be state-matters, as you think,
And no conception nor no jealous toy
Concerning you.

DESDEMONA 
Alas the day! I never gave him cause.

EMILIA 
But jealous souls will not be answer'd so;
They are not ever jealous for the cause,
But jealous for they are jealous: 'tis a monster
Begot upon itself, born on itself.

DESDEMONA 
Heaven keep that monster from Othello's mind!

EMILIA 
Lady, amen.

DESDEMONA 
I will go seek him. Cassio, walk hereabout:
If I do find him fit, I'll move your suit
And seek to effect it to my uttermost.

CASSIO 
I humbly thank your ladyship.

Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA

Enter BIANCA

BIANCA 
Save you, friend Cassio!

CASSIO 
What make you from home?
How is it with you, my most fair Bianca?
I' faith, sweet love, I was coming to your house.

BIANCA 
And I was going to your lodging, Cassio.
What, keep a week away? seven days and nights?
Eight score eight hours? and lovers' absent hours,
More tedious than the dial eight score times?
O weary reckoning!

CASSIO 
Pardon me, Bianca:
I have this while with leaden thoughts been press'd:
But I shall, in a more continuate time,
Strike off this score of absence. Sweet Bianca,

Giving her DESDEMONA's handkerchief

Take me this work out.

BIANCA 
O Cassio, whence came this?
This is some token from a newer friend:
To the felt absence now I feel a cause:
Is't come to this? Well, well.

CASSIO 
Go to, woman!
Throw your vile guesses in the devil's teeth,
From whence you have them. You are jealous now
That this is from some mistress, some remembrance:
No, in good troth, Bianca.

BIANCA 
Why, whose is it?

CASSIO 
I know not, sweet: I found it in my chamber.
I like the work well: ere it be demanded--
As like enough it will--I'ld have it copied:
Take it, and do't; and leave me for this time.

BIANCA 
Leave you! wherefore?

CASSIO 
I do attend here on the general;
And think it no addition, nor my wish,
To have him see me woman'd.

BIANCA 
Why, I pray you?

CASSIO 
Not that I love you not.

BIANCA 
But that you do not love me.
I pray you, bring me on the way a little,
And say if I shall see you soon at night.

CASSIO 
'Tis but a little way that I can bring you;
For I attend here: but I'll see you soon.

BIANCA 
'Tis very good; I must be circumstanced.

Exeunt

 

Script of Act III Othello by William Shakespeare Personae 

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