|ACT II SCENE I||A Sea-port in Cyprus. An open place near the quay.|
|Enter MONTANO and two Gentlemen.|
|MONTANO||What from the cape can you discern at sea?|
|First Gentleman||Nothing at all: it is a highwrought flood;|
|I cannot, ‘twixt the heaven and the main,|
|Descry a sail.|
|MONTANO||Methinks the wind hath spoke aloud at land;|
|A fuller blast ne’er shook our battlements:|
|If it hath ruffian’d so upon the sea,|
|What ribs of oak, when mountains melt on them,|
|Can hold the mortise? What shall we hear of this?|
|Second Gentleman||A segregation of the Turkish fleet:||10|
|For do but stand upon the foaming shore,|
|The chidden billow seems to pelt the clouds;|
|The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous mane,|
|seems to cast water on the burning bear,|
|And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole:|
|I never did like molestation view|
|On the enchafed flood.|
|MONTANO||If that the Turkish fleet|
|Be not enshelter’d and embay’d, they are drown’d:|
|It is impossible they bear it out.|
|Enter a third Gentleman.|
|Third Gentleman||News, lads! our wars are done.||20|
|The desperate tempest hath so bang’d the Turks,|
|That their designment halts: a noble ship of Venice|
|Hath seen a grievous wreck and sufferance|
|On most part of their fleet.|
|MONTANO||How! is this true?|
|Third Gentleman||The ship is here put in,|
|A Veronesa; Michael Cassio,|
|Lieutenant to the warlike Moor Othello,|
|Is come on shore: the Moor himself at sea,|
|And is in full commission here for Cyprus.|
|MONTANO||I am glad on’t; ’tis a worthy governor.||30|
|Third Gentleman||But this same Cassio, though he speak of comfort|
|Touching the Turkish loss, yet he looks sadly,|
|And prays the Moor be safe; for they were parted|
|With foul and violent tempest.|
|MONTANO||Pray heavens he be;|
|For I have served him, and the man commands|
|Like a full soldier. Let’s to the seaside, ho!|
|As well to see the vessel that’s come in|
|As to throw out our eyes for brave Othello,|
|Even till we make the main and the aerial blue|
|An indistinct regard.|
|Third Gentleman||Come, let’s do so:||40|
|For every minute is expectancy|
|Of more arrivance.|
|CASSIO||Thanks, you the valiant of this warlike isle,|
|That so approve the Moor! O, let the heavens|
|Give him defence against the elements,|
|For I have lost us him on a dangerous sea.|
|MONTANO||Is he well shipp’d?|
|CASSIO||His bark is stoutly timber’d, his pilot|
|Of very expert and approved allowance;|
|Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,||50|
|Stand in bold cure.|
|A cry within: ‘A sail, a sail, a sail!’|
|Enter a fourth Gentleman.|
|Fourth Gentleman||The town is empty; on the brow o’ the sea|
|Stand ranks of people, and they cry ‘A sail!’|
|CASSIO||My hopes do shape him for the governor.|
|Second Gentlemen||They do discharge their shot of courtesy:|
|Our friends at least.|
|CASSIO||I pray you, sir, go forth,|
|And give us truth who ’tis that is arrived.|
|Second Gentleman||I shall.|
|MONTANO||But, good lieutenant, is your general wived?||60|
|CASSIO||Most fortunately: he hath achieved a maid|
|That paragons description and wild fame;|
|One that excels the quirks of blazoning pens,|
|And in the essential vesture of creation|
|Does tire the ingener.|
|Re-enter second Gentleman.|
|How now! who has put in?|
|Second Gentleman||‘Tis one Iago, ancient to the general.|
|CASSIO||Has had most favourable and happy speed:|
|Tempests themselves, high seas, and howling winds,|
|The gutter’d rocks and congregated sands–|
|Traitors ensteep’d to clog the guiltless keel,–||70|
|As having sense of beauty, do omit|
|Their mortal natures, letting go safely by|
|The divine Desdemona.|
|MONTANO||What is she?|
|CASSIO||She that I spake of, our great captain’s captain,|
|Left in the conduct of the bold Iago,|
|Whose footing here anticipates our thoughts|
|A se’nnight’s speed. Great Jove, Othello guard,|
|And swell his sail with thine own powerful breath,|
|That he may bless this bay with his tall ship,|
|Make love’s quick pants in Desdemona’s arms,|
|Give renew’d fire to our extincted spirits||80|
|And bring all Cyprus comfort!|
|Enter DESDEMONA, EMILIA, IAGO, RODERIGO, and Attendants.|
|The riches of the ship is come on shore!|
|Ye men of Cyprus, let her have your knees.|
|Hail to thee, lady! and the grace of heaven,|
|Before, behind thee, and on every hand,|
|Enwheel thee round!|
|DESDEMONA||I thank you, valiant Cassio.|
|What tidings can you tell me of my lord?|
|CASSIO||He is not yet arrived: nor know I aught|
|But that he’s well and will be shortly here.||90|
|DESDEMONA||O, but I fear–How lost you company?|
|CASSIO||The great contention of the sea and skies|
|Parted our fellowship–But, hark! a sail.|
|Within ‘A sail, a sail!’ [Guns heard within.]|
|Second Gentleman||They give their greeting to the citadel;|
|This likewise is a friend.|
|CASSIO||See for the news.|
|Good ancient, you are welcome.|
|Let it not gall your patience, good Iago,|
|That I extend my manners; ’tis my breeding|
|That gives me this bold show of courtesy.||100|
|IAGO||Sir, would she give you so much of her lips|
|As of her tongue she oft bestows on me,|
|You’ll have enough.|
|DESDEMONA||Alas, she has no speech.|
|IAGO||In faith, too much;|
|I find it still, when I have list to sleep:|
|Marry, before your ladyship, I grant,|
|She puts her tongue a little in her heart,|
|And chides with thinking.|
|EMILIA||You have little cause to say so.|
|IAGO||Come on, come on; you are pictures out of doors,||110|
|Bells in your parlors, wild-cats in your kitchens,|
|Saints m your injuries, devils being offended,|
|Players in your housewifery, and housewives’ in your beds.|
|DESDEMONA||O, fie upon thee, slanderer!|
|IAGO||Nay, it is true, or else I am a Turk:|
|You rise to play and go to bed to work.|
|EMILIA||You shall not write my praise.|
|IAGO||No, let me not.|
|DESDEMONA||What wouldst thou write of me, if thou shouldst|
|IAGO||O gentle lady, do not put me to’t;|
|For I am nothing, if not critical.||120|
|DESDEMONA||Come on assay. There’s one gone to the harbour?|
|DESDEMONA||I am not merry; but I do beguile|
|The thing I am, by seeming otherwise.|
|Come, how wouldst thou praise me?|
|IAGO||I am about it; but indeed my invention|
|Comes from my pate as birdlime does from frize;|
|It plucks out brains and all: but my Muse labours,|
|And thus she is deliver’d.|
|If she be fair and wise, fairness and wit,||130|
|The one’s for use, the other useth it.|
|DESDEMONA||Well praised! How if she be black and witty?|
|IAGO||If she be black, and thereto have a wit,|
|She’ll find a white that shall her blackness fit.|
|DESDEMONA||Worse and worse.|
|EMILIA||How if fair and foolish?|
|IAGO||She never yet was foolish that was fair;|
|For even her folly help’d her to an heir.|
|DESDEMONA||These are old fond paradoxes to make fools laugh i’|
|the alehouse. What miserable praise hast thou for|
|her that’s foul and foolish?||140|
|IAGO||There’s none so foul and foolish thereunto,|
|But does foul pranks which fair and wise ones do.|
|DESDEMONA||O heavy ignorance! thou praisest the worst best.|
|But what praise couldst thou bestow on a deserving|
|woman indeed, one that, in the authority of her|
|merit, did justly put on the vouch of very malice itself?|
|IAGO||She that was ever fair and never proud,|
|Had tongue at will and yet was never loud,||150|
|Never lack’d gold and yet went never gay,|
|Fled from her wish and yet said ‘Now I may,’|
|She that being anger’d, her revenge being nigh,|
|Bade her wrong stay and her displeasure fly,|
|She that in wisdom never was so frail|
|To change the cod’s head for the salmon’s tail;|
|She that could think and ne’er disclose her mind,|
|See suitors following and not look behind,|
|She was a wight, if ever such wight were,–|
|DESDEMONA||To do what?||160|
|IAGO||To suckle fools and chronicle small beer.|
|DESDEMONA||O most lame and impotent conclusion! Do not learn|
|of him, Emilia, though he be thy husband. How say|
|you, Cassio? is he not a most profane and liberal|
|CASSIO||He speaks home, madam: You may relish him more in|
|the soldier than in the scholar.|
|IAGO||Aside He takes her by the palm; ay, well said,|
|whisper: with as little a web as this will I||170|
|ensnare as great a fly as Cassio. Ay, smile upon|
|her, do; I will gyve thee in thine own courtship.|
|You say true; ’tis so, indeed: if such tricks as|
|these strip you out of your lieutenantry, it had|
|been better you had not kissed your three fingers so|
|oft, which now again you are most apt to play the|
|sir in. Very good; well kissed! an excellent|
|courtesy! ’tis so, indeed. Yet again your fingers|
|to your lips? would they were clyster-pipes for your sake!|
|The Moor! I know his trumpet.||180|
|CASSIO||‘Tis truly so.|
|DESDEMONA||Let’s meet him and receive him.|
|CASSIO||Lo, where he comes!|
|Enter OTHELLO and Attendants.|
|OTHELLO||O my fair warrior!|
|DESDEMONA||My dear Othello!|
|OTHELLO||It gives me wonder great as my content|
|To see you here before me. O my soul’s joy!|
|If after every tempest come such calms,|
|May the winds blow till they have waken’d death!|
|And let the labouring bark climb hills of seas|
|Olympus-high and duck again as low||190|
|As hell’s from heaven! If it were now to die,|
|‘Twere now to be most happy; for, I fear,|
|My soul hath her content so absolute|
|That not another comfort like to this|
|Succeeds in unknown fate.|
|DESDEMONA||The heavens forbid|
|But that our loves and comforts should increase,|
|Even as our days do grow!|
|OTHELLO||Amen to that, sweet powers!|
|I cannot speak enough of this content;|
|It stops me here; it is too much of joy:|
|And this, and this, the greatest discords be||200|
|That e’er our hearts shall make!|
|IAGO||[Aside] Oh, you are well-tun’d now!|
|But I’ll set down the pegs that make this music,|
|As honest as I am.|
|OTHELLO||Come, let us to the castle.|
|News, friends; our wars are done, the Turks|
|How does my old acquaintance of this isle?|
|Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus;|
|I have found great love amongst them. O my sweet,|
|I prattle out of fashion, and I dote||210|
|In mine own comforts. I prithee, good Iago,|
|Go to the bay and disembark my coffers:|
|Bring thou the master to the citadel;|
|He is a good one, and his worthiness|
|Does challenge much respect. Come, Desdemona,|
|Once more, well met at Cyprus.|
|Exeunt OTHELLO, DESDEMONA, and Attendants.|
|IAGO||Do thou meet me presently at the harbour. Come|
|hither. If thou be’st valiant,– as, they say, base|
|men being in love have then a nobility in their|
|natures more than is native to them–list me. The|
|lieutenant tonight watches on the court of||220|
|guard:–first, I must tell thee this–Desdemona is|
|directly in love with him.|
|RODERIGO||With him! why, ’tis not possible.|
|IAGO||Lay thy finger thus, and let thy soul be instructed.|
|Mark me with what violence she first loved the Moor,|
|but for bragging and telling her fantastical lies:|
|and will she love him still for prating? let not|
|thy discreet heart think it. Her eye must be fed;|
|and what delight shall she have to look on the|
|devil? When the blood is made dull with the act of||230|
|sport, there should be, again to inflame it and to|
|give satiety a fresh appetite, loveliness in favour,|
|sympathy in years, manners and beauties; all which|
|the Moor is defective in: now, for want of these|
|required conveniences, her delicate tenderness will|
|find itself abused, begin to heave the gorge,|
|disrelish and abhor the Moor; very nature will|
|instruct her in it and compel her to some second|
|choice. Now, sir, this granted,–as it is a most|
|pregnant and unforced position–who stands so|
|eminent in the degree of this fortune as Cassio||240|
|does? a knave very voluble; no further|
|conscionable than in putting on the mere form of|
|civil and humane seeming, for the better compassing|
|of his salt and most hidden loose affection? why,|
|none; why, none: a slipper and subtle knave, a|
|finder of occasions, that has an eye can stamp and|
|counterfeit advantages, though true advantage never|
|present itself; a devilish knave. Besides, the|
|knave is handsome, young, and hath all those|
|requisites in him that folly and green minds look||250|
|after: a pestilent complete knave; and the woman|
|hath found him already.|
|RODERIGO||I cannot believe that in her; she’s full of|
|most blessed condition.|
|IAGO||Blessed fig’s-end! the wine she drinks is made of|
|grapes: if she had been blessed, she would never|
|have loved the Moor. Blessed pudding! Didst thou|
|not see her paddle with the palm of his hand? didst|
|not mark that?||260|
|RODERIGO||Yes, that I did; but that was but courtesy.|
|IAGO||Lechery, by this hand; an index and obscure prologue|
|to the history of lust and foul thoughts. They met|
|so near with their lips that their breaths embraced|
|together. Villanous thoughts, Roderigo! when these|
|mutualities so marshal the way, hard at hand comes|
|the master and main exercise, the incorporate|
|conclusion, Pish! But, sir, be you ruled by me: I|
|have brought you from Venice. Watch you to-night;|
|for the command, I’ll lay’t upon you. Cassio knows||270|
|you not. I’ll not be far from you: do you find|
|some occasion to anger Cassio, either by speaking|
|too loud, or tainting his discipline; or from what|
|other course you please, which the time shall more|
|IAGO||Sir, he is rash and very sudden in choler, and haply|
|may strike at you: provoke him, that he may; for|
|even out of that will I cause these of Cyprus to|
|mutiny; whose qualification shall come into no true||280|
|taste again but by the displanting of Cassio. So|
|shall you have a shorter journey to your desires by|
|the means I shall then have to prefer them; and the|
|impediment most profitably removed, without the|
|which there were no expectation of our prosperity.|
|RODERIGO||I will do this, if I can bring it to any|
|IAGO||I warrant thee. Meet me by and by at the citadel:|
|I must fetch his necessaries ashore. Farewell.|
|IAGO||That Cassio loves her, I do well believe it;|
|That she loves him, ’tis apt and of great credit:|
|The Moor, howbeit that I endure him not,|
|Is of a constant, loving, noble nature,|
|And I dare think he’ll prove to Desdemona|
|A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too;||300|
|Not out of absolute lust, though peradventure|
|I stand accountant for as great a sin,|
|But partly led to diet my revenge,|
|For that I do suspect the lusty Moor|
|Hath leap’d into my seat; the thought whereof|
|Doth, like a poisonous mineral, gnaw my inwards;|
|And nothing can or shall content my soul|
|Till I am even’d with him, wife for wife,|
|Or failing so, yet that I put the Moor|
|At least into a jealousy so strong||310|
|That judgment cannot cure. Which thing to do,|
|If this poor trash of Venice, whom I trash|
|For his quick hunting, stand the putting on,|
|I’ll have our Michael Cassio on the hip,|
|Abuse him to the Moor in the rank garb–|
|For I fear Cassio with my night-cap too–|
|Make the Moor thank me, love me and reward me.|
|For making him egregiously an ass|
|And practising upon his peace and quiet|
|Even to madness. ‘Tis here, but yet confused:||320|
|Knavery’s plain face is never seen tin used.|
Othello, Act 2, Scene 2
Explanatory Notes for Act 2, Scene 1
From Othello. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard.
Abbreviations. — A.-S. = Anglo-Saxon: M.E. = Middle English (from the 13th to the 15th century) ; Fr. = French ; Ger. = German ; Gr. = Greek ; Cf. = compare (Lat. confer) ; Abbott refers to the excellent Shakespearean Grammar of Dr. Abbott; Schmidt, to Dr. Schmidt’s invaluable Shakespeare Lexicon.
3. ‘Twixt the heaven and the main, on the horizon.
9. Mortise, a hole in a piece of wood to receive the tenon in carpentry.
12. Chidden, and so, angry.
13. Shaked, the old infinitive being shaken, Elizabethan writers frequently used the form ofed for the participle.
15. Molestation, disturbance.
17,18. Enchaf’d, enshelter’d, embay’d. En was a favorite prefix with Shakespeare, especially in this play. We shall find also encave, enwheel, enfetter’d, enmesh. Perhaps with participles he likes some kind of prefix as a substitute for the old prefix.
22. Their plan is foiled.
23. Sufferance, damage, loss.
26. A ship equipped by the inland city of Verona.
41. We may expect fresh arrivals any moment.
50. Not in danger from being overloaded with fear.
62. Paragons, a Spanish word formed by two prepositions— para, con — outdoes.
63. Quirks, tricks.
64. 65. In her natural beauty baffles the clever person who would describe her. Ingener, contriver. Hamlet (iii. 4, 206), “The ingener hoist with his own petard.”
67. He has was often pronounced and written has.
69. Gutter’d, worn into channels.
70. Who conspire to delay.
71. From a mere love of beauty.
72. Mortal, here deadly, fatal.
76. Who lands here a week sooner than we expected.
79. Tall, a stock epithet for ships. Merchant of Venice I, 6: “The carcases of many a tall ship lie buried.”
82. Riches, may be for richesse, a singular noun.
97. He explains to Iago that it would be hyper-modesty if he merely gave her a formal greeting.
105. When I wish to sleep.
115. I will not come to you for a character or an epitaph.
123. I beguile my sadness by appearing merry.
126. I am working at it.
127. Birdlime, a glutinous substance. Frize, or frieze, cloth of Friesland, from which, being rough, it was difficult to remove stains without tearing away the nap.
130, 131. The clever woman finds a means to make use of her charms.
133. Thereto, besides. Black, a brunette.
143. A plain woman is as dangerous as any other.
148. Put on the vouch, dare venture to call upon malice itself to vouch for her. S. T. Coleridge remarked that Shakespeare puts all sarcasms upon women into the mouth of villains.
156. By the despised salmon’s tail he means Othello, whom she had chosen in preference to the wealthy, curled darlings of Venice.
161. His bathos means, she is only fit to have silly children, and keep the tally at a beer-house.
165. Liberal, wanton. Profane, gross.
171. Gyve, etc., fetter thee in thy courtesies.
185. I am as delighted as surprised.
194. There cannot be much more such happiness in store for me.
203. The pegs on which the strings of the instrument are strained, and so loosen the strings and cause discords.
206. Desir’d, loved.
208. Out of fashion, more than good breeding allows.
221. Directly, manifestly, unmistakably.
223. Lay thy finger thus, on thy lips.
229. Favor, face.
230. Sympathy in years. Perhaps here, as in Midsummer Nigkfs Dream, 1. i, 137, Shakespeare is thinking of his own marriage.
236. Pregnant, evident, clear. Position, assertion, capable of being defended.
240. Salt, wanton.
241. Slipper, slippery.
242. Stamp, make valid and current.
249. Condition, temper.
283. Qualification, they will be appeased only by the dismissal of Cassio.
288. Without the which, the removal of which.
296. Apt, natural,
312. Trash, drift-wood found under trees. Perhaps both are hunters’ words.
313. Putting on, instigation.
314. To have at an advantage. Cf. “Now, infidel, I have you on the hip.” — Merchant of Venice, iv. i, 334.
315. Garb, form, manner.
321. Evil plans are developed as they proceed.
How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Othello. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard, 1892.