William Shakespeare: Othello, Act III, Scene IV
Enter Desdemona, Emilia, and 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.
Seek him, bid him come hither: tell him I have moved my lord on his behalf, and hope all will be well.
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.
I will not leave him now till Cassio Be call'd to him.
How is't with you, my lord
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.
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.
'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.
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.
A man that all his time Hath founded his good fortunes on your love, Shared dangers with you,—
I ne'er saw this before. Sure, there's some wonder in this handkerchief: I am most unhappy in the loss of it.
'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
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.
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.
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.
I prithee, do so.
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.
Pray heaven it be state-matters, as you think, And no conception nor no jealous toy Concerning you.
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.
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.
What make you from home? How is it with you, my most fair Bianca? I' faith, sweet love, I was coming to your house.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I do attend here on the general; And think it no addition, nor my wish, To have him see me woman'd.
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.