Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
ACT III, SCENE III. The garden of the castle.
Not a jot, not a jot.
I’ faith, I fear it has.
I hope you will consider what is spoke
Comes from my love. But I do see you’re moved:
I am to pray you not to strain my speech
To grosser issues nor to larger reach
Than to suspicion.
I will not.
Should you do so, my lord,
My speech should fall into such vile success
As my thoughts aim not at. Cassio’s my worthy friend–
My lord, I see you’re moved.
No, not much moved:
I do not think but Desdemona’s honest.
Long live she so! and long live you to think so!
And yet, how nature erring from itself,–
Ay, there’s the point: as–to be bold with you–
Not to affect many proposed matches
Of her own clime, complexion, and degree,
Whereto we see in all things nature tends–
Foh! one may smell in such a will most rank,
Foul disproportion thoughts unnatural.
But pardon me; I do not in position
Distinctly speak of her; though I may fear
Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
May fall to match you with her country forms
And happily repent.
If more thou dost perceive, let me know more;
Set on thy wife to observe: leave me, Iago:
[Going] My lord, I take my leave.
Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless
Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.
[Returning] My lord, I would I might entreat
To scan this thing no further; leave it to time:
Though it be fit that Cassio have his place,
For sure, he fills it up with great ability,
Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,
You shall by that perceive him and his means:
Note, if your lady strain his entertainment
With any strong or vehement importunity;
Much will be seen in that. In the mean time,
Let me be thought too busy in my fears–
As worthy cause I have to fear I am–
And hold her free, I do beseech your honour.
Fear not my government.
I once more take my leave.
This fellow’s of exceeding honesty,
And knows all qualities, with a learned spirit,
Of human dealings. If I do prove her haggard,
Though that her jesses were my dear heartstrings,
I’ld whistle her off and let her down the wind,
To pray at fortune. Haply, for I am black
And have not those soft parts of conversation
That chamberers have, or for I am declined
Into the vale of years,–yet that’s not much–
She’s gone. I am abused; and my relief
Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,
That we can call these delicate creatures ours,
And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad,
And live upon the vapour of a dungeon,
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others’ uses. Yet, ’tis the plague of great ones;
Prerogatived are they less than the base;
‘Tis destiny unshunnable, like death:
Even then this forked plague is fated to us
When we do quicken. Desdemona comes:
Re-enter DESDEMONA and EMILIA
If she be false, O, then heaven mocks itself!
I’ll not believe’t.
How now, my dear Othello!
Your dinner, and the generous islanders
By you invited, do attend your presence.
I am to blame.
Why do you speak so faintly?
Are you not well?
I have a pain upon my forehead here.
‘Faith, that’s with watching; ’twill away again:
Let me but bind it hard, within this hour
It will be well.
Your napkin is too little:
He puts the handkerchief from him; and it drops
Let it alone. Come, I’ll go in with you.
I am very sorry that you are not well.
Exeunt OTHELLO and DESDEMONA
I am glad I have found this napkin:
This was her first remembrance from the Moor:
My wayward husband hath a hundred times
Woo’d me to steal it; but she so loves the token,
For he conjured her she should ever keep it,
That she reserves it evermore about her
To kiss and talk to. I’ll have the work ta’en out,
And give’t Iago: what he will do with it
Heaven knows, not I;
I nothing but to please his fantasy.
How now! what do you here alone?
Do not you chide; I have a thing for you.
A thing for me? it is a common thing–
To have a foolish wife.
O, is that all? What will you give me now
For the same handkerchief?
Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona;
That which so often you did bid me steal.
Hast stol’n it from her?
No, ‘faith; she let it drop by negligence.
And, to the advantage, I, being here, took’t up.
Look, here it is.
A good wench; give it me.
What will you do with ‘t, that you have been
To have me filch it?
[Snatching it] Why, what’s that to you?
If it be not for some purpose of import,
Give’t me again: poor lady, she’ll run mad
When she shall lack it.
Be not acknown on ‘t; I have use for it.
Go, leave me.
I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin,
And let him find it. Trifles light as air
Are to the jealous confirmations strong
As proofs of holy writ: this may do something.
The Moor already changes with my poison:
Dangerous conceits are, in their natures, poisons.
Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,
But with a little act upon the blood.
Burn like the mines of Sulphur. I did say so:
Look, where he comes!
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