Document:  All > Shakespeare > Tragedies > Othello > Act I, scene III

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	[The DUKE and Senators sitting at a table; Officers

DUKE OF VENICE: There is no composition in these news
	That gives them credit.

First Senator: Indeed, they are disproportion'd;
	My letters say a hundred and seven galleys.

DUKE OF VENICE: And mine, a hundred and forty.

Second Senator: And mine, two hundred:
	But though they jump not on a just account,--
	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.

DUKE OF VENICE: 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.

Sailor: [Within]  What, ho! what, ho! what, ho!

First Officer: A messenger from the galleys.

	[Enter a Sailor]

DUKE OF VENICE: Now, what's the business?

Sailor: The Turkish preparation makes for Rhodes;
	So was I bid report here to the state
	By Signior Angelo.

DUKE OF VENICE: How say you by this change?

First Senator: This cannot be,
	By no assay of reason: 'tis a pageant,
	To keep us in false gaze. When we consider
	The 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 the abilities
	That Rhodes is dress'd in: if we make thought of this,
	We must not think the Turk is so unskilful
	To leave that latest which concerns him first,
	Neglecting an attempt of ease and gain,
	To wake and wage a danger profitless.

DUKE OF VENICE: Nay, in all confidence, he's not for Rhodes.

First Officer: Here is more news.

	[Enter a Messenger]

Messenger: The Ottomites, reverend and gracious,
	Steering with due course towards the isle of Rhodes,
	Have there injointed them with an after fleet.

First Senator: Ay, so I thought. How many, as you guess?

Messenger: 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.

DUKE OF VENICE: 'Tis certain, then, for Cyprus.
	Marcus Luccicos, is not he in town?

First Senator: He's now in Florence.

DUKE OF VENICE: Write from us to him; post-post-haste dispatch.

First Senator: Here comes Brabantio and the valiant Moor.


DUKE OF VENICE: Valiant Othello, we must straight employ you
	Against the general enemy Ottoman.


	I did not see you; welcome, gentle signior;
	We lack'd your counsel and your help tonight.

BRABANTIO: So did I yours. Good your grace, pardon me;
	Neither my place nor aught I heard of business
	Hath raised 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.

DUKE OF VENICE: Why, what's the matter?

BRABANTIO: My daughter! O, my daughter!

Senator: |

BRABANTIO: Ay, to me;
	She is abused, stol'n from me, and corrupted
	By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks;
	For nature so preposterously to err,
	Being not deficient, blind, or lame of sense,
	Sans witchcraft could not.

DUKE OF VENICE: Whoe'er he be that in this foul proceeding
	Hath thus beguiled 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.

BRABANTIO: 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.
Senator: |

DUKE OF VENICE: [To OTHELLO]  What, in your own part, can you say to this?

BRABANTIO: Nothing, but this is so.

OTHELLO: Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,
	My very noble and approved 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 used
	Their dearest action in the tented field,
	And little of this great world can I speak,
	More than pertains to feats of broil 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 charged withal,
	I won his daughter.

BRABANTIO: 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 maim'd and most imperfect
	That will confess perfection so could err
	Against all rules of nature, and must be driven
	To find out practises of cunning hell,
	Why this should be. I therefore vouch again
	That with some mixtures powerful o'er the blood,
	Or with some dram conjured to this effect,
	He wrought upon her.

DUKE OF VENICE: 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 Senator: 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?

OTHELLO: 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.

DUKE OF VENICE: Fetch Desdemona hither.

OTHELLO: Ancient, conduct them: you best know the place.

	[Exeunt IAGO and Attendants]

	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.

DUKE OF VENICE: Say it, Othello.

OTHELLO: Her father loved me; oft invited me;
	Still question'd me the story of my life,
	From year to year, the battles, sieges, fortunes,
	That I have passed.
	I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
	To the very moment that he bade me tell it;
	Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,
	Of moving accidents by flood and field
	Of hair-breadth scapes i' the imminent deadly breach,
	Of being taken by the insolent foe
	And sold to slavery, of my redemption thence
	And portance in my travels' 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 the process;
	And of the Cannibals that each other eat,
	The Anthropophagi and men whose heads
	Do grow beneath their shoulders. This 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 loved her,
	I should but teach him how to tell my story.
	And that would woo her. Upon this hint I spake:
	She loved me for the dangers I had pass'd,
	And I loved her that she did pity them.
	This only is the witchcraft I have used:
	Here comes the lady; let her witness it.

	[Enter DESDEMONA, IAGO, and Attendants]

DUKE OF VENICE: 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.

BRABANTIO: 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?

DESDEMONA: 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.

BRABANTIO: God be wi' 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.

DUKE OF VENICE: Let me speak like yourself, and lay a sentence,
	Which, as a grise or step, may help these lovers
	Into your favour.
	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 preserved when fortune takes
	Patience her injury a mockery makes.
	The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief;
	He robs himself that spends a bootless grief.

BRABANTIO: 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 bruised heart was pierced through the ear.
	I humbly beseech you, proceed to the affairs of state.

DUKE OF VENICE: 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 allowed 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 boisterous expedition.

OTHELLO: The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
	Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
	My thrice-driven bed of down: I do agnise
	A natural and prompt alacrity
	I find in hardness, and do undertake
	These 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.

DUKE OF VENICE: If you please,
	Be't at her father's.

BRABANTIO: I'll not have it so.


DESDEMONA:      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,
	To assist my simpleness.

DUKE OF VENICE: What would You, Desdemona?

DESDEMONA: 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 subdued
	Even to the very quality of my lord:
	I saw Othello's visage in his mind,
	And to his honour 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 which I love him are bereft me,
	And I a heavy interim shall support
	By his dear absence. Let me go with him.

OTHELLO: Let her have your voices.
	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 seal with wanton dullness
	My speculative and officed 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!

DUKE OF VENICE: Be it as you shall privately determine,
	Either for her stay or going: the affair cries haste,
	And speed must answer it.

First Senator: You must away to-night.

OTHELLO: With all my heart.

DUKE OF VENICE: At nine i' the morning here we'll meet again.
	Othello, leave some officer behind,
	And he shall our commission bring to you;
	With such things else of quality and respect
	As doth import you.

OTHELLO: So please your grace, my ancient;
	A man he is of honest and trust:
	To his conveyance I assign my wife,
	With what else needful your good grace shall think
	To be sent after me.

DUKE OF VENICE: Let it be so.
	Good night to every one.


		   And, noble signior,
	If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
	Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.

First Senator: Adieu, brave Moor, use Desdemona well.

BRABANTIO: Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:
	She has deceived her father, and may thee.

	[Exeunt DUKE OF VENICE, Senators, Officers, &c]

OTHELLO: 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 worldly matters and direction,
	To spend with thee: we must obey the time.



IAGO: What say'st thou, noble heart?

RODERIGO: What will I do, thinkest thou?

IAGO: Why, go to bed, and sleep.

RODERIGO: I will incontinently drown myself.

IAGO: If thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why,
	thou silly gentleman!

RODERIGO: It is silliness to live when to live is torment; and
	then have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.

IAGO: O villainous! I have looked 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.

RODERIGO: What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so
	fond; but it is not in my virtue to amend it.

IAGO: 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
	thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs, or
	distract it with many, either to have it sterile
	with idleness, or manured with industry, why, the
	power and corrigible authority of this lies in our
	wills. If the balance 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 preposterous 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.

RODERIGO: It cannot be.

IAGO: 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 professed 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 favour with
	an usurped beard; I say, put money in thy purse. It
	cannot be that Desdemona should long continue her
	love to the Moor,-- put money in thy purse,--nor he
	his to her: it was a violent commencement, 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 bitter as 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 supersubtle Venetian 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 hanged in compassing thy joy than
	to be drowned and go without her.

RODERIGO: Wilt thou be fast to my hopes, if I depend on
	the issue?

IAGO: Thou art sure of me:--go, make money:--I have told
	thee often, and I re-tell 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 delivered.
	Traverse! go, provide thy money. We will have more
	of this to-morrow. Adieu.

RODERIGO: Where shall we meet i' the morning?

IAGO: At my lodging.

RODERIGO: I'll be with thee betimes.

IAGO: Go to; farewell. Do you hear, Roderigo?

RODERIGO: What say you?

IAGO: No more of drowning, do you hear?

RODERIGO: I am changed: I'll go sell all my land.


IAGO: 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
	He has 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, framed 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 the nose
	As asses are.
	I have't. It is engender'd. Hell and night
	Must bring this monstrous birth to the world's light.



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