Othello By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 3

OTHELLO.
The tyrant custom, most grave senators,
Hath made the flinty and steel couch of war
My thrice-driven bed of down: I do agnize
A natural and prompt alacrity
I find in hardness; and do undertake
These present wars against the Ottomites.
Most humbly, therefore, bending to your state,
I crave fit disposition for my wife;
Due reference of place and exhibition;
With such accommodation and besort
As levels with her breeding.

DUKE.
If you please,
Be't at her father's.

BRABANTIO.
I'll not have it so.

OTHELLO.
Nor I.

DESDEMONA.
Nor I. I would not there reside,
To put my father in impatient thoughts,
By being in his eye. Most gracious duke,
To my unfolding lend your prosperous ear;
And let me find a charter in your voice
To assist my simpleness.

DUKE.
What would you, Desdemona?

DESDEMONA.
That I did love the Moor to live with him,
My downright violence and storm of fortunes
May trumpet to the world: my heart's subdu'd
Even to the very quality of my lord:
I saw Othello's visage in his mind;
And to his honors and his valiant parts
Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.
So that, dear lords, if I be left behind,
A moth of peace, and he go to the war,
The rites for which I love him are bereft me,
And I a heavy interim shall support
By his dear absence. Let me go with him.

OTHELLO.
Let her have your voices.
Vouch with me, heaven, I therefore beg it not
To please the palate of my appetite;
Nor to comply with heat, — the young affects
In me defunct, — and proper satisfaction;
But to be free and bounteous to her mind:
And heaven defend your good souls, that you think
I will your serious and great business scant
For she is with me: no, when light-wing'd toys
Of feather'd Cupid seel with wanton dullness
My speculative and offic'd instruments,
That my disports corrupt and taint my business,
Let housewives make a skillet of my helm,
And all indign and base adversities
Make head against my estimation!

DUKE.
Be it as you shall privately determine,
Either for her stay or going: the affair cries haste,
And speed must answer it.

FIRST SENATOR.
You must away to-night.

OTHELLO.
With all my heart.

DUKE.
At nine i' the morning here we'll meet again. —
Othello, leave some officer behind,
And he shall our commission bring to you;
With such things else of quality and respect
As doth import you.

OTHELLO.
So please your grace, my ancient, —
A man he is of honesty and trust, —
To his conveyance I assign my wife,
With what else needful your good grace shall think
To be sent after me.

DUKE.
Let it be so. —
Good night to everyone. — [To Brabantio.] And, noble signior,
If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.

FIRST SENATOR.
Adieu, brave Moor; use Desdemona well.

BRABANTIO.
Look to her, Moor, if thou hast eyes to see:
She has deceiv'd her father, and may thee.

[Exeunt Duke, Senators, Officers. &c.]

OTHELLO.
My life upon her faith! — Honest Iago,
My Desdemona must I leave to thee:
I pr'ythee, let thy wife attend on her;
And bring them after in the best advantage. —
Come, Desdemona, I have but an hour
Of love, of worldly matters and direction,
To spend with thee: we must obey the time.

[Exeunt Othello and Desdemona.]

RODERIGO.
Iago, —

IAGO.
What say'st thou, noble heart?

RODERIGO.
What will I do, thinkest thou?

IAGO.
Why, go to bed and sleep.

RODERIGO.
I will incontinently drown myself.

IAGO.
If thou dost, I shall never love thee after. Why, thou silly
gentleman!

RODERIGO.
It is silliness to live when to live is torment; and then
have we a prescription to die when death is our physician.

IAGO.
O villainous! I have looked upon the world for four times seven
years, and since I could distinguish betwixt a benefit and an
injury, I never found man that knew how to love himself. Ere I
would say I would drown myself for the love of a Guinea-hen, I
would change my humanity with a baboon.

RODERIGO.
What should I do? I confess it is my shame to be so fond,
but it is not in my virtue to amend it.

IAGO.
Virtue! a fig! 'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus.
Our bodies are gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners;
so that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and
weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it
with many, either to have it sterile with idleness or manured
with industry; why, the power and corrigible authority of this
lies in our wills. If the balance of our lives had not one scale
of reason to poise another of sensuality, the blood and baseness
of our natures would conduct us to most preposterous conclusions:
But we have reason to cool our raging motions, our carnal stings,
our unbitted lusts; whereof I take this, that you call love, to
be a sect or scion.

RODERIGO.
It cannot be.

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