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Home > Othello > ACT II - SCENE I. A Sea-port in Cyprus. An open place near the quay.

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ACT II - SCENE I. A Sea-port in Cyprus. An open place near the quay.
Enter MONTANO and two Gentlemen

1    What from the cape can you discern at sea?
First Gentleman
2    Nothing at all: it is a highwrought flood;
3    I cannot, 'twixt the heaven and the main,
4    Descry a sail.
5    Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land;
6    A fuller blast ne'er shook our battlements:
7    If it hath ruffian'd so upon the sea,
8    What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them,
9    Can hold the mortise? What shall we hear of this?
Second Gentleman
10   A segregation of the Turkish fleet:
11   For do but stand upon the foaming shore,
12   The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds;
13   The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous mane,
14   seems to cast water on the burning bear,
15   And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole:
16   I never did like molestation view
17   On the enchafed flood.
18   If that the Turkish fleet
19   Be not enshelter'd and embay'd, they are drown'd:
20   It is impossible they bear it out.
Enter a third Gentleman

Third Gentleman
21   News, lads! our wars are done.
22   The desperate tempest hath so bang'd the Turks,
23   That their designment halts: a noble ship of Venice
24   Hath seen a grievous wreck and sufferance
25   On most part of their fleet.
26   How! is this true?
Third Gentleman
27   The ship is here put in,
28   A Veronesa; Michael Cassio,
29   Lieutenant to the warlike Moor Othello,
30   Is come on shore: the Moor himself at sea,
31   And is in full commission here for Cyprus.
32   I am glad on't; 'tis a worthy governor.
Third Gentleman
33   But this same Cassio, though he speak of comfort
34   Touching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadly,
35   And prays the Moor be safe; for they were parted
36   With foul and violent tempest.
37   Pray heavens he be;
38   For I have served him, and the man commands
39   Like a full soldier. Let's to the seaside, ho!
40   As well to see the vessel that's come in
41   As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello,
42   Even till we make the main and the aerial blue
43   An indistinct regard.
Third Gentleman
44   Come, let's do so:
45   For every minute is expectancy
46   Of more arrivance.

47   Thanks, you the valiant of this warlike isle,
48   That so approve the Moor! O, let the heavens
49   Give him defence against the elements,
50   For I have lost us him on a dangerous sea.
51   Is he well shipp'd?
52   His bark is stoutly timber'd, his pilot
53   Of very expert and approved allowance;
54   Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
55   Stand in bold cure.
A cry within 'A sail, a sail, a sail!'

Enter a fourth Gentleman

56   What noise?
Fourth Gentleman
57   The town is empty; on the brow o' the sea
58   Stand ranks of people, and they cry 'A sail!'
59   My hopes do shape him for the governor.
Guns heard

Second Gentlemen
60   They do discharge their shot of courtesy:
61   Our friends at least.
62   I pray you, sir, go forth,
63   And give us truth who 'tis that is arrived.
Second Gentleman
64   I shall.

65   But, good lieutenant, is your general wived?
66   Most fortunately: he hath achieved a maid
67   That paragons description and wild fame;
68   One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,
69   And in the essential vesture of creation
70   Does tire the ingener.
Re-enter second Gentleman
71   How now! who has put in?
Second Gentleman
72   'Tis one Iago, ancient to the general.
73   Has had most favourable and happy speed:
74   Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds,
75   The gutter'd rocks and congregated sands--
76   Traitors ensteep'd to clog the guiltless keel,--
77   As having sense of beauty, do omit
78   Their mortal natures, letting go safely by
79   The divine Desdemona.
80   What is she?
81   She that I spake of, our great captain's captain,
82   Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,
83   Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts
84   A se'nnight's speed. Great Jove, Othello guard,
85   And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath,
86   That he may bless this bay with his tall ship,
87   Make love's quick pants in Desdemona's arms,
88   Give renew'd fire to our extincted spirits
89   And bring all Cyprus comfort!
90   O, behold,
91   The riches of the ship is come on shore!
92   Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.
93   Hail to thee, lady! and the grace of heaven,
94   Before, behind thee, and on every hand,
95   Enwheel thee round!
96   I thank you, valiant Cassio.
97   What tidings can you tell me of my lord?
98   He is not yet arrived: nor know I aught
99   But that he's well and will be shortly here.
100  O, but I fear--How lost you company?
101  The great contention of the sea and skies
102  Parted our fellowship--But, hark! a sail.
Within 'A sail, a sail!' Guns heard

Second Gentleman
103  They give their greeting to the citadel;
104  This likewise is a friend.
105  See for the news.
Exit Gentleman
106  Good ancient, you are welcome.
107  Welcome, mistress.
108  Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,
109  That I extend my manners; 'tis my breeding
110  That gives me this bold show of courtesy.
Kissing her

111  Sir, would she give you so much of her lips
112  As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,
113  You'll have enough.
114  Alas, she has no speech.
115  In faith, too much;
116  I find it still, when I have list to sleep:
117  Marry, before your ladyship, I grant,
118  She puts her tongue a little in her heart,
119  And chides with thinking.
120  You have little cause to say so.
121  Come on, come on; you are pictures out of doors,
122  Bells in your parlors, wild-cats in your kitchens,
123  Saints m your injuries, devils being offended,
124  Players in your housewifery, and housewives' in your beds.
125  O, fie upon thee, slanderer!
126  Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk:
127  You rise to play and go to bed to work.
128  You shall not write my praise.
129  No, let me not.
130  What wouldst thou write of me, if thou shouldst
131  praise me?
132  O gentle lady, do not put me to't;
133  For I am nothing, if not critical.
134  Come on assay. There's one gone to the harbour?
135  Ay, madam.
136  I am not merry; but I do beguile
137  The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.
138  Come, how wouldst thou praise me?
139  I am about it; but indeed my invention
140  Comes from my pate as birdlime does from frize;
141  It plucks out brains and all: but my Muse labours,
142  And thus she is deliver'd.
143  If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit,
144  The one's for use, the other useth it.
145  Well praised! How if she be black and witty?
146  If she be black, and thereto have a wit,
147  She'll find a white that shall her blackness fit.
148  Worse and worse.
149  How if fair and foolish?
150  She never yet was foolish that was fair;
151  For even her folly help'd her to an heir.
152  These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i'
153  the alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for
154  her that's foul and foolish?
155  There's none so foul and foolish thereunto,
156  But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.
157  O heavy ignorance! thou praisest the worst best.
158  But what praise couldst thou bestow on a deserving
159  woman indeed, one that, in the authority of her
160  merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself?
161  She that was ever fair and never proud,
162  Had tongue at will and yet was never loud,
163  Never lack'd gold and yet went never gay,
164  Fled from her wish and yet said 'Now I may,'
165  She that being anger'd, her revenge being nigh,
166  Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly,
167  She that in wisdom never was so frail
168  To change the cod's head for the salmon's tail;
169  She that could think and ne'er disclose her mind,
170  See suitors following and not look behind,
171  She was a wight, if ever such wight were,--
172  To do what?
173  To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.
174  O most lame and impotent conclusion! Do not learn
175  of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband. How say
176  you, Cassio? is he not a most profane and liberal
177  counsellor?
178  He speaks home, madam: You may relish him more in
179  the soldier than in the scholar.
180   He takes her by the palm: ay, well said,
181  whisper: with as little a web as this will I
182  ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon
183  her, do; I will gyve thee in thine own courtship.
184  You say true; 'tis so, indeed: if such tricks as
185  these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had
186  been better you had not kissed your three fingers so
187  oft, which now again you are most apt to play the
188  sir in. Very good; well kissed! an excellent
189  courtesy! 'tis so, indeed. Yet again your fingers
190  to your lips? would they were clyster-pipes for your sake!
Trumpet within
191  The Moor! I know his trumpet.
192  'Tis truly so.
193  Let's meet him and receive him.
194  Lo, where he comes!
Enter OTHELLO and Attendants

195  O my fair warrior!
196  My dear Othello!
197  It gives me wonder great as my content
198  To see you here before me. O my soul's joy!
199  If after every tempest come such calms,
200  May the winds blow till they have waken'd death!
201  And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas
202  Olympus-high and duck again as low
203  As hell's from heaven! If it were now to die,
204  'Twere now to be most happy; for, I fear,
205  My soul hath her content so absolute
206  That not another comfort like to this
207  Succeeds in unknown fate.
208  The heavens forbid
209  But that our loves and comforts should increase,
210  Even as our days do grow!
211  Amen to that, sweet powers!
212  I cannot speak enough of this content;
213  It stops me here; it is too much of joy:
214  And this, and this, the greatest discords be
Kissing her
215  That e'er our hearts shall make!
216   O, you are well tuned now!
217  But I'll set down the pegs that make this music,
218  As honest as I am.
219  Come, let us to the castle.
220  News, friends; our wars are done, the Turks
221  are drown'd.
222  How does my old acquaintance of this isle?
223  Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus;
224  I have found great love amongst them. O my sweet,
225  I prattle out of fashion, and I dote
226  In mine own comforts. I prithee, good Iago,
227  Go to the bay and disembark my coffers:
228  Bring thou the master to the citadel;
229  He is a good one, and his worthiness
230  Does challenge much respect. Come, Desdemona,
231  Once more, well met at Cyprus.
Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants

232  Do thou meet me presently at the harbour. Come
233  hither. If thou be'st valiant,-- as, they say, base
234  men being in love have then a nobility in their
235  natures more than is native to them--list me. The
236  lieutenant tonight watches on the court of
237  guard:--first, I must tell thee this--Desdemona is
238  directly in love with him.
239  With him! why, 'tis not possible.
240  Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be instructed.
241  Mark me with what violence she first loved the Moor,
242  but for bragging and telling her fantastical lies:
243  and will she love him still for prating? let not
244  thy discreet heart think it. Her eye must be fed;
245  and what delight shall she have to look on the
246  devil? When the blood is made dull with the act of
247  sport, there should be, again to inflame it and to
248  give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favour,
249  sympathy in years, manners and beauties; all which
250  the Moor is defective in: now, for want of these
251  required conveniences, her delicate tenderness will
252  find itself abused, begin to heave the gorge,
253  disrelish and abhor the Moor; very nature will
254  instruct her in it and compel her to some second
255  choice. Now, sir, this granted,--as it is a most
256  pregnant and unforced position--who stands so
257  eminent in the degree of this fortune as Cassio
258  does? a knave very voluble; no further
259  conscionable than in putting on the mere form of
260  civil and humane seeming, for the better compassing
261  of his salt and most hidden loose affection? why,
262  none; why, none: a slipper and subtle knave, a
263  finder of occasions, that has an eye can stamp and
264  counterfeit advantages, though true advantage never
265  present itself; a devilish knave. Besides, the
266  knave is handsome, young, and hath all those
267  requisites in him that folly and green minds look
268  after: a pestilent complete knave; and the woman
269  hath found him already.
270  I cannot believe that in her; she's full of
271  most blessed condition.
272  Blessed fig's-end! the wine she drinks is made of
273  grapes: if she had been blessed, she would never
274  have loved the Moor. Blessed pudding! Didst thou
275  not see her paddle with the palm of his hand? didst
276  not mark that?
277  Yes, that I did; but that was but courtesy.
278  Lechery, by this hand; an index and obscure prologue
279  to the history of lust and foul thoughts. They met
280  so near with their lips that their breaths embraced
281  together. Villanous thoughts, Roderigo! when these
282  mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes
283  the master and main exercise, the incorporate
284  conclusion, Pish! But, sir, be you ruled by me: I
285  have brought you from Venice. Watch you to-night;
286  for the command, I'll lay't upon you. Cassio knows
287  you not. I'll not be far from you: do you find
288  some occasion to anger Cassio, either by speaking
289  too loud, or tainting his discipline; or from what
290  other course you please, which the time shall more
291  favourably minister.
292  Well.
293  Sir, he is rash and very sudden in choler, and haply
294  may strike at you: provoke him, that he may; for
295  even out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to
296  mutiny; whose qualification shall come into no true
297  taste again but by the displanting of Cassio. So
298  shall you have a shorter journey to your desires by
299  the means I shall then have to prefer them; and the
300  impediment most profitably removed, without the
301  which there were no expectation of our prosperity.
302  I will do this, if I can bring it to any
303  opportunity.
304  I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel:
305  I must fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell.
306  Adieu.

307  That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it;
308  That she loves him, 'tis apt and of great credit:
309  The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,
310  Is of a constant, loving, noble nature,
311  And I dare think he'll prove to Desdemona
312  A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too;
313  Not out of absolute lust, though peradventure
314  I stand accountant for as great a sin,
315  But partly led to diet my revenge,
316  For that I do suspect the lusty Moor
317  Hath leap'd into my seat; the thought whereof
318  Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards;
319  And nothing can or shall content my soul
320  Till I am even'd with him, wife for wife,
321  Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor
322  At least into a jealousy so strong
323  That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,
324  If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash
325  For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,
326  I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,
327  Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb--
328  For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too--
329  Make the Moor thank me, love me and reward me.
330  For making him egregiously an ass
331  And practising upon his peace and quiet
332  Even to madness. 'Tis here, but yet confused:
333  Knavery's plain face is never seen tin used.

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