Othello By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 4

SCENE IV. Cyprus. Before the Castle.

[Enter Desdemona, Emilia, and Clown.]

DESDEMONA.
Do you know, sirrah, where Lieutenant Cassio lies?

CLOWN.
I dare not say he lies anywhere.

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 anything 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 catechize 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, faith, my lord.

OTHELLO.
That is 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 a 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 wive,
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 dy'd in mummy which the skillful
Conserv'd of maiden's 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 of the way?

DESDEMONA.
Heaven bless us!

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