Othello, Act 3-Scene 3
90 Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul,
91 But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
92 Chaos is come again.
93 My noble lord—
93 What dost thou say, Iago?
94 Did Michael Cassio, when you woo’d my lady,
95 Know of your love?
96 He did, from first to last: why dost thou ask?
97 But for a satisfaction of my thought;
98 No further harm.
98 Why of thy thought, Iago?
99 I did not think he had been acquainted with her.
100 O, yes; and went between us very oft.
102 Indeed! ay, indeed: discern’st thou aught in that?
103 Is he not honest?
103 Honest, my lord?
104 Honest! ay, honest.
104 My lord, for aught I know.
105 What dost thou think?
105 Think, my lord!
106 Think, my lord! By heaven, he echoes me,
107 As if there were some monster in his thought
108 Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean something:
109 I heard thee say even now, thou likedst not that,
110 When Cassio left my wife: what didst not like?
111 And when I told thee he was of my counsel
112 In my whole course of wooing, thou criedst “Indeed!”
113 And didst contract and purse thy brow together,
114 As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain
115 Some horrible conceit. If thou dost love me,
116 Show me thy thought.
117 My lord, you know I love you.
117 I think thou dost;
118 And, for I know thou’rt full of love and honesty,
119 And weigh’st thy words before thou givest them breath,
120 Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more;
121 For such things in a false disloyal knave
122 Are tricks of custom, but in a man that’s just
123 They are close dilations, working from the heart
124 That passion cannot rule.
124 For Michael Cassio,
125 I dare be sworn I think that he is honest.
126 I think so too.
126 Men should be what they seem;
127 Or those that be not, would they might seem none!
128 Certain, men should be what they seem.
129 Why, then, I think Cassio’s an honest man.
130 Nay, yet there’s more in this:
131 I prithee, speak to me as to thy thinkings,
132 As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of thoughts
133 The worst of words.
133 Good my lord, pardon me:
134 Though I am bound to every act of duty,
135 I am not bound to that all slaves are free to.
136 Utter my thoughts? Why, say they are vile and false;
137 As where’s that palace whereinto foul things
138 Sometimes intrude not? Who has a breast so pure,
139 But some uncleanly apprehensions
140 Keep leets and law-days and in session sit
141 With meditations lawful?
142 Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago,
143 If thou but think’st him wrong’d and makest his ear
144 A stranger to thy thoughts.
144 I do beseech you—
145 Though I perchance am vicious in my guess,
146 As, I confess, it is my nature’s plague
147 To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
148 Shapes faults that are not—that your wisdom yet,
149 From one that so imperfectly conceits,
150 Would take no notice, nor build yourself a trouble
151 Out of his scattering and unsure observance.
152 It were not for your quiet nor your good,
153 Nor for my manhood, honesty, or wisdom,
154 To let you know my thoughts.
154 ‘Zounds, what dost thou mean?
155 Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
156 Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
157 Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
158 ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands:
159 But he that filches from me my good name
160 Robs me of that which not enriches him
161 And makes me poor indeed.
162 By heaven, I’ll know thy thoughts.
163 You cannot, if my heart were in your hand;
164 Nor shall not, whilst ’tis in my custody.
165 O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
166 It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
167 The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss
168 Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
169 But, O, what damned minutes tells he o’er
170 Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!
171 O misery!
172 Poor and content is rich and rich enough,
173 But riches fineless is as poor as winter
174 To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
175 Good heaven, the souls of all my tribe defend
176 From jealousy!
176 Why, why is this?
177 Think’st thou I’ld make a life of jealousy,
178 To follow still the changes of the moon
179 With fresh suspicions? No! to be once in doubt
180 Is once to be resolved. Exchange me for a goat,
181 When I shall turn the business of my soul
182 To such exsufflicate and blown surmises,
183 Matching thy inference. ‘Tis not to make me jealous
184 To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
185 Is free of speech, sings, plays and dances well;
186 Where virtue is, these are more virtuous.
187 Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw
188 The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt;
189 For she had eyes, and chose me. No, Iago;
190 I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;
191 And on the proof, there is no more but this,—
192 Away at once with love or jealousy!
193 I am glad of it; for now I shall have reason
194 To show the love and duty that I bear you
195 With franker spirit: therefore, as I am bound,
196 Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.
197 Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio;
198 Wear your eye thus, not jealous nor secure.
199 I would not have your free and noble nature,
200 Out of self-bounty, be abused; look to’t.
201 I know our country disposition well;
202 In Venice they do let heaven see the pranks
203 They dare not show their husbands; their best conscience
204 Is not to leave’t undone, but keep’t unknown.
205 Dost thou say so?
206 She did deceive her father, marrying you;
207 And when she seem’d to shake and fear your looks,
208 She loved them most.
208 And so she did.
208 Why, go to then;
209 She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
210 To seel her father’s eyes up close as oak,
211 He thought ’twas witchcraft—but I am much to blame;
212 I humbly do beseech you of your pardon
213 For too much loving you.
213 I am bound to thee for ever.
214 I see this hath a little dash’d your spirits.
215 Not a jot, not a jot.
215 I’ faith, I fear it has.
216 I hope you will consider what is spoke
217 Comes from my love. But I do see you’re moved:
218 I am to pray you not to strain my speech
219 To grosser issues nor to larger reach
220 Than to suspicion.
221 I will not.
221 Should you do so, my lord,
222 My speech should fall into such vile success
223 As my thoughts aim not at. Cassio’s my worthy friend—
224 My lord, I see you’re moved.
224 No, not much moved:
225 I do not think but Desdemona’s honest.
226 Long live she so! and long live you to think so!
227 And yet, how nature erring from itself,—
228 Ay, there’s the point: as—to be bold with you—
229 Not to affect many proposed matches
230 Of her own clime, complexion, and degree,
231 Whereto we see in all things nature tends—
232 Foh! one may smell in such, a will most rank,
233 Foul disproportions, thoughts unnatural.
234 But pardon me; I do not in position
235 Distinctly speak of her; though I may fear
236 Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
237 May fall to match you with her country forms
238 And happily repent.
238 Farewell, farewell!
239 If more thou dost perceive, let me know more;
240 Set on thy wife to observe: leave me, Iago:
241 My lord, I take my leave.
242 Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless
243 Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.
244 My lord, I would I might entreat your honor
245 To scan this thing no further; leave it to time:
246 Though it be fit that Cassio have his place,
247 For sure, he fills it up with great ability,
248 Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,
249 You shall by that perceive him and his means:
250 Note, if your lady strain his entertainment
251 With any strong or vehement importunity;
252 Much will be seen in that. In the mean time,
253 Let me be thought too busy in my fears—
254 As worthy cause I have to fear I am—
255 And hold her free, I do beseech your honor.
256 Fear not my government.
257 I once more take my leave.