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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's 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 wived,
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


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