Page images
PDF
EPUB

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.

Jago. Not I, for this fair island:
I do love Cassio well; and would do much
To cure him of this evil. But hark! what noise ?

[Cry within, -Help! help!
Re-enter Cassio, driving in RODERIGO.
Cas. You rogue! you rascal !
Mon. What's the matter, lieutenant ?

Cas. A knave !-teach me my duty !
I'll beat the knave into a twiggent bottle.
Rod. Beat me!
Cas. Dost thou prate, rogue ?

[Striking RODERIGO. Mon. Nay, good lieutenant,

[Staying him. I pray you, Sir, hold your hand.

Cas. Let me go, Sir,
Or I'll knock you o'er the mazzard.

Mon. Come, come, you're drunk.
Cas. Drunk!

[They fight. Iago. Away, I say! go out, and cry-a mutiny!

(Aside to Rod. who goes out.
Nay, good lieutenant,-alas, gentlemen,-
Help, ho !-Lieutenant -Sir,--Montano, Sir;-
Help, masters !-Here's a goodly watch, indeed! [Bell rings.
Who's that that rings the bell? - Diablo, ho !
The town will rise, God's will, lieutenant ! hold;
You will be shamed for ever.

Enter OTHELLO, and Attendants.
Oth. What is the matter here?
Mon. I bleed still, I am hurt to the death ;-he dies !
Oth. Hold, for your lives.
Iago. Hold, hold, lieutenant, Sir, Montano,-gentlemen,-
Have you forgot all sense of place and duty ?
Hold, hold! the general speaks to you; hold, for shame!

Oth. Why, how now, bo ! 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 look'st dead with grieving,
Speak, who began this? on thy love, I charge thee.

Iago. I do not know ;-friends all but now, even now,
In quarter, and in terms like bride and groom
Divesting them for bed : and then, but now
(As if some planet had unwitted men),
* Rooted.

Wicker.

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
These legs, that brought me to a part of it!

Oth. How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot ?*
Cas. I pray you, pardon me, I cannot speak.
Oth. Worthy Montano, you were wont 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.

Mon. 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 sometime a vice;
And to defend ourselves it be a sin,
When violence assails us.

Oth. Now, by heaven,
My blood begins my safer guides to rule;
And passion, having my best judgment collied,
Assays to lead the way: If once 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 approved 8 in this offence,
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 it?

Mon. If partially affined, || or leagued in office,
Thou dost deliver more or less than truth,
Thou art no soldier.

Iago. Touch me not so near :
I had rather have this tongue cut from my mouth,
Than it should do offence 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 determined 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 clamour (as it so fell out),
* Have thus forgot yourself. + Care of one's self. 1 Darkened.
Convicted by proof.

| Related by nearness of office.

1

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 to-night,
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 can I not 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, received,
From him that fled, some strange indignity,
Which patience could not pass.

Oth. 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 raised up :-
I'll make thee an example.

Des. What's the matter, dear ?

Oth. All's well now, sweeting; Come away to bed.
Sir, for your hurts,
Myself will be your surgeon: Lead him off.

[To MONTANO, who is led off.
Iago, look with care about the town;
And' silence those whom this vile brawl distracted.-
Come, Desdemona; 'tis the soldiers' life,
To have their balmy slumbers waked with strife.

[Exeunt all but Iago and Cassio. Iago. What, are you hurt, lieutenant ? Cas. Ay, past all surgery. Iago. Marry, heaven forbid !

Cas. Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part, Sir, of myself; and what remains is bestial.-My reputation, Iago, my reputation.

Iago. As I am an honest man, I thought you had received some bodily wound; there is more offence 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 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 offenceless dog, to affright au imperious lion: sue to him again, and he's yours.

Cas. I will rather sue to be despised, than to deceive so good a commander, with so slight, so drunken, and so indiscreet an officer. Drunk! and speak parrot? t and squabble? swagger? * Dismissed in his anger.

+ Talk idly.

swear ? and discourse fustian with one's own shadow ?-0 thou invisible spirit of wine, if thou hast no name to be known by, let us call thee-devil!

Iago. What was he that you followed with your sword ? What had he done to you?

Cas. I know not.
Iago. Is it possible ?

Cas. I remember a mass of things, but nothing distinctly; a quarrel, but nothing wherefore.-0, that men should put an enemy in their mouths, to steal away their brains! that we should, with joy, revel, pleasure, and applause, transform ourselves into beasts!

Iago. Why, but you are now well enough: How came you thus recovered ?

Cas. It hath pleased the devil, drunkenness, to give place to the devil, wrath : one unperfectness shows me another, to make me frankly despise myself.

Iago. 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 befallen; but, since it is as it is, mend it for your own good.

Cas. 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 unblessed, and the ingredient is a devil.

Iago. Come, come, good wine is a good familiar creature, if it be well used; exclaim no more against it. And, good lieutenant, I think, you think I love you.

Cas. I have well approved it, Sir.-I drunk !

Iago. You, or any man living, may be drunk at some 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 bimself to the contemplation, mark, and denotement of her parts and graces :-confess yourself freely to her; importune her; she'll help to put you in your place again : she is of so free, so kind, so apt, so blessed a disposition, that 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.

Cas. You advise me well.
Iago. I protest in the sincerity of love, and honest kindness.

Cas. 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.

Iago. You are in the right. Good night, lieutenant; I must to the watch. Cas. Good night, honest Iago.

[Exit Cassio. Iago. And what's he then, that says,-I play the villain ? When this advice is free, I give, and honest, Probal to thinking, t and (indeed) the course * Wager.

+ Of probable suggestion.

To win the Moor again ? For, 'tis most easy
The inclining* Desdemona to subdue
In any honest suit; she's framed as fruitful
As the freet 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 parallelf course,
Directly to his good ? Divinity of hell!
When devils will their blackest sins put on,
They do suggests at first with heavenly shows,
As I do now: For while this honest fool
Plies Desdemona to repair his fortunes,
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.-How now, Roderigo ?

Enter RODERIGO. Rod. 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 to-night exceedingly well cudgelled; and, I think, the issue will be I shall have so much experience for my pains: and so, avith no money at all, and a little more wit, return to Venice.

Iago. 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, hath cashier'd Cassio : Though other things grow fair against the sun, Yet fruits, that blossom first, will first be ripe: Content thyself awhile.-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 Rod.) Two things are to be done, My wife must move for Cassio to her mistress; I'll set her on; Myself, the while, to draw the Moor apart, And bring him jumps when he may Cassio find Soliciting

his wife :- Ay, that's the way; Dull not device by coldness and delay.

[Erit. * Compliant. † Liberal.

Even.

$ Tempt. | Recalls.

| Just at the time.

« PreviousContinue »