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Home > Othello > ACT III - SCENE IV. Before the castle.

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ACT III - SCENE IV. Before the castle.
Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, and Clown

DESDEMONA
1    Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant Cassio lies?
Clown
2    I dare not say he lies any where.
DESDEMONA
3    Why, man?
Clown
4    He's a soldier, and for one to say a soldier lies,
5    is stabbing.
DESDEMONA
6    Go to: where lodges he?
Clown
7    To tell you where he lodges, is to tell you where I lie.
DESDEMONA
8    Can any thing be made of this?
Clown
9    I know not where he lodges, and for me to devise a
10   lodging and say he lies here or he lies there, were
11   to lie in mine own throat.
DESDEMONA
12   Can you inquire him out, and be edified by report?
Clown
13   I will catechise the world for him; that is, make
14   questions, and by them answer.
DESDEMONA
15   Seek him, bid him come hither: tell him I have
16   moved my lord on his behalf, and hope all will be well.
Clown
17   To do this is within the compass of man's wit: and
18   therefore I will attempt the doing it.
Exit

DESDEMONA
19   Where should I lose that handkerchief, Emilia?
EMILIA
20   I know not, madam.
DESDEMONA
21   Believe me, I had rather have lost my purse
22   Full of crusadoes: and, but my noble Moor
23   Is true of mind and made of no such baseness
24   As jealous creatures are, it were enough
25   To put him to ill thinking.
EMILIA
26   Is he not jealous?
DESDEMONA
27   Who, he? I think the sun where he was born
28   Drew all such humours from him.
EMILIA
29   Look, where he comes.
DESDEMONA
30   I will not leave him now till Cassio
31   Be call'd to him.
Enter OTHELLO
32   How is't with you, my lord
OTHELLO
33   Well, my good lady.
Aside
34   O, hardness to dissemble!--
35   How do you, Desdemona?
DESDEMONA
36   Well, my good lord.
OTHELLO
37   Give me your hand: this hand is moist, my lady.
DESDEMONA
38   It yet hath felt no age nor known no sorrow.
OTHELLO
39   This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart:
40   Hot, hot, and moist: this hand of yours requires
41   A sequester from liberty, fasting and prayer,
42   Much castigation, exercise devout;
43   For here's a young and sweating devil here,
44   That commonly rebels. 'Tis a good hand,
45   A frank one.
DESDEMONA
46   You may, indeed, say so;
47   For 'twas that hand that gave away my heart.
OTHELLO
48   A liberal hand: the hearts of old gave hands;
49   But our new heraldry is hands, not hearts.
DESDEMONA
50   I cannot speak of this. Come now, your promise.
OTHELLO
51   What promise, chuck?
DESDEMONA
52   I have sent to bid Cassio come speak with you.
OTHELLO
53   I have a salt and sorry rheum offends me;
54   Lend me thy handkerchief.
DESDEMONA
55   Here, my lord.
OTHELLO
56   That which I gave you.
DESDEMONA
57   I have it not about me.
OTHELLO
58   Not?
DESDEMONA
59   No, indeed, my lord.
OTHELLO
60   That is a fault.
61   That handkerchief
62   Did an Egyptian to my mother give;
63   She was a charmer, and could almost read
64   The thoughts of people: she told her, while
65   she kept it,
66   'Twould make her amiable and subdue my father
67   Entirely to her love, but if she lost it
68   Or made gift of it, my father's eye
69   Should hold her loathed and his spirits should hunt
70   After new fancies: she, dying, gave it me;
71   And bid me, when my fate would have me wive,
72   To give it her. I did so: and take heed on't;
73   Make it a darling like your precious eye;
74   To lose't or give't away were such perdition
75   As nothing else could match.
DESDEMONA
76   Is't possible?
OTHELLO
77   'Tis true: there's magic in the web of it:
78   A sibyl, that had number'd in the world
79   The sun to course two hundred compasses,
80   In her prophetic fury sew'd the work;
81   The worms were hallow'd that did breed the silk;
82   And it was dyed in mummy which the skilful
83   Conserved of maidens' hearts.
DESDEMONA
84   Indeed! is't true?
OTHELLO
85   Most veritable; therefore look to't well.
DESDEMONA
86   Then would to God that I had never seen't!
OTHELLO
87   Ha! wherefore?
DESDEMONA
88   Why do you speak so startingly and rash?
OTHELLO
89   Is't lost? is't gone? speak, is it out
90   o' the way?
DESDEMONA
91   Heaven bless us!
OTHELLO
92   Say you?
DESDEMONA
93   It is not lost; but what an if it were?
OTHELLO
94   How!
DESDEMONA
95   I say, it is not lost.
OTHELLO
96   Fetch't, let me see't.
DESDEMONA
97   Why, so I can, sir, but I will not now.
98   This is a trick to put me from my suit:
99   Pray you, let Cassio be received again.
OTHELLO
100  Fetch me the handkerchief: my mind misgives.
DESDEMONA
101  Come, come;
102  You'll never meet a more sufficient man.
OTHELLO
103  The handkerchief!
DESDEMONA
104  I pray, talk me of Cassio.
OTHELLO
105  The handkerchief!
DESDEMONA
106  A man that all his time
107  Hath founded his good fortunes on your love,
108  Shared dangers with you,--
OTHELLO
109  The handkerchief!
DESDEMONA
110  In sooth, you are to blame.
OTHELLO
111  Away!
Exit

EMILIA
112  Is not this man jealous?
DESDEMONA
113  I ne'er saw this before.
114  Sure, there's some wonder in this handkerchief:
115  I am most unhappy in the loss of it.
EMILIA
116  'Tis not a year or two shows us a man:
117  They are all but stomachs, and we all but food;
118  To eat us hungerly, and when they are full,
119  They belch us. Look you, Cassio and my husband!
Enter CASSIO and IAGO

IAGO
120  There is no other way; 'tis she must do't:
121  And, lo, the happiness! go, and importune her.
DESDEMONA
122  How now, good Cassio! what's the news with you?
CASSIO
123  Madam, my former suit: I do beseech you
124  That by your virtuous means I may again
125  Exist, and be a member of his love
126  Whom I with all the office of my heart
127  Entirely honour: I would not be delay'd.
128  If my offence be of such mortal kind
129  That nor my service past, nor present sorrows,
130  Nor purposed merit in futurity,
131  Can ransom me into his love again,
132  But to know so must be my benefit;
133  So shall I clothe me in a forced content,
134  And shut myself up in some other course,
135  To fortune's alms.
DESDEMONA
136  Alas, thrice-gentle Cassio!
137  My advocation is not now in tune;
138  My lord is not my lord; nor should I know him,
139  Were he in favour as in humour alter'd.
140  So help me every spirit sanctified,
141  As I have spoken for you all my best
142  And stood within the blank of his displeasure
143  For my free speech! you must awhile be patient:
144  What I can do I will; and more I will
145  Than for myself I dare: let that suffice you.
IAGO
146  Is my lord angry?
EMILIA
147  He went hence but now,
148  And certainly in strange unquietness.
IAGO
149  Can he be angry? I have seen the cannon,
150  When it hath blown his ranks into the air,
151  And, like the devil, from his very arm
152  Puff'd his own brother:--and can he be angry?
153  Something of moment then: I will go meet him:
154  There's matter in't indeed, if he be angry.
DESDEMONA
155  I prithee, do so.
Exit IAGO
156  Something, sure, of state,
157  Either from Venice, or some unhatch'd practise
158  Made demonstrable here in Cyprus to him,
159  Hath puddled his clear spirit: and in such cases
160  Men's natures wrangle with inferior things,
161  Though great ones are their object. 'Tis even so;
162  For let our finger ache, and it indues
163  Our other healthful members even to that sense
164  Of pain: nay, we must think men are not gods,
165  Nor of them look for such observances
166  As fit the bridal. Beshrew me much, Emilia,
167  I was, unhandsome warrior as I am,
168  Arraigning his unkindness with my soul;
169  But now I find I had suborn'd the witness,
170  And he's indicted falsely.
EMILIA
171  Pray heaven it be state-matters, as you think,
172  And no conception nor no jealous toy
173  Concerning you.
DESDEMONA
174  Alas the day! I never gave him cause.
EMILIA
175  But jealous souls will not be answer'd so;
176  They are not ever jealous for the cause,
177  But jealous for they are jealous: 'tis a monster
178  Begot upon itself, born on itself.
DESDEMONA
179  Heaven keep that monster from Othello's mind!
EMILIA
180  Lady, amen.
DESDEMONA
181  I will go seek him. Cassio, walk hereabout:
182  If I do find him fit, I'll move your suit
183  And seek to effect it to my uttermost.
CASSIO
184  I humbly thank your ladyship.
Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA

Enter BIANCA

BIANCA
185  Save you, friend Cassio!
CASSIO
186  What make you from home?
187  How is it with you, my most fair Bianca?
188  I' faith, sweet love, I was coming to your house.
BIANCA
189  And I was going to your lodging, Cassio.
190  What, keep a week away? seven days and nights?
191  Eight score eight hours? and lovers' absent hours,
192  More tedious than the dial eight score times?
193  O weary reckoning!
CASSIO
194  Pardon me, Bianca:
195  I have this while with leaden thoughts been press'd:
196  But I shall, in a more continuate time,
197  Strike off this score of absence. Sweet Bianca,
Giving her DESDEMONA's handkerchief
198  Take me this work out.
BIANCA
199  O Cassio, whence came this?
200  This is some token from a newer friend:
201  To the felt absence now I feel a cause:
202  Is't come to this? Well, well.
CASSIO
203  Go to, woman!
204  Throw your vile guesses in the devil's teeth,
205  From whence you have them. You are jealous now
206  That this is from some mistress, some remembrance:
207  No, in good troth, Bianca.
BIANCA
208  Why, whose is it?
CASSIO
209  I know not, sweet: I found it in my chamber.
210  I like the work well: ere it be demanded--
211  As like enough it will--I'ld have it copied:
212  Take it, and do't; and leave me for this time.
BIANCA
213  Leave you! wherefore?
CASSIO
214  I do attend here on the general;
215  And think it no addition, nor my wish,
216  To have him see me woman'd.
BIANCA
217  Why, I pray you?
CASSIO
218  Not that I love you not.
BIANCA
219  But that you do not love me.
220  I pray you, bring me on the way a little,
221  And say if I shall see you soon at night.
CASSIO
222  'Tis but a little way that I can bring you;
223  For I attend here: but I'll see you soon.
BIANCA
224  'Tis very good; I must be circumstanced.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE IIIACT IV, SCENE I (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II

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