Othello By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 3

SCENE III. Cyprus. The Garden of the Castle.

[Enter Desdemona, Cassio, and Emilia.]

DESDEMONA.
Be thou assured, good Cassio, I will do
All my abilities in thy behalf.

EMILIA.
Good madam, do: I warrant it grieves my husband
As if the cause were his.

DESDEMONA.
O, that's an honest fellow. — Do not doubt, Cassio,
But I will have my lord and you again
As friendly as you were.

CASSIO.
Bounteous madam,
Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio,
He's never anything but your true servant.

DESDEMONA.
I know't, — I thank you. You do love my lord:
You have known him long; and be you well assur'd
He shall in strangeness stand no farther off
Than in a politic distance.

CASSIO.
Ay, but, lady,
That policy may either last so long,
Or feed upon such nice and waterish diet,
Or breed itself so out of circumstance,
That, I being absent, and my place supplied,
My general will forget my love and service.

DESDEMONA.
Do not doubt that; before Emilia here
I give thee warrant of thy place: assure thee,
If I do vow a friendship, I'll perform it
To the last article: my lord shall never rest;
I'll watch him tame, and talk him out of patience;
His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift;
I'll intermingle everything he does
With Cassio's suit: therefore be merry, Cassio;
For thy solicitor shall rather die
Than give thy cause away.

EMILIA.
Madam, here comes my lord.

CASSIO.
Madam, I'll take my leave.

DESDEMONA.
Why, stay, and hear me speak.

CASSIO.
Madam, not now. I am very ill at ease,
Unfit for mine own purposes.

DESDEMONA.
Well, do your discretion.

[Exit Cassio.]

[Enter Othello and Iago.]

IAGO.
Ha! I like not that.

OTHELLO.
What dost thou say?

IAGO.
Nothing, my lord: or if — I know not what.

OTHELLO.
Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?

IAGO.
Cassio, my lord! No, sure, I cannot think it,
That he would steal away so guilty-like,
Seeing you coming.

OTHELLO.
I do believe 'twas he.

DESDEMONA.
How now, my lord!
I have been talking with a suitor here,
A man that languishes in your displeasure.

OTHELLO.
Who is't you mean?

DESDEMONA.
Why, your lieutenant, Cassio. Good my lord,
If I have any grace or power to move you,
His present reconciliation take;
For if he be not one that truly loves you,
That errs in ignorance and not in cunning,
I have no judgement in an honest face:
I pr'ythee, call him back.

OTHELLO.
Went he hence now?

DESDEMONA.
Ay, sooth; so humbled
That he hath left part of his grief with me
To suffer with him. Good love, call him back.

OTHELLO.
Not now, sweet Desdemon; some other time.

DESDEMONA.
But shall't be shortly?

OTHELLO.
The sooner, sweet, for you.

DESDEMONA.
Shall't be to-night at supper?

OTHELLO.
No, not to-night.

DESDEMONA.
To-morrow dinner then?

OTHELLO.
I shall not dine at home;
I meet the captains at the citadel.

DESDEMONA.
Why then to-morrow night; or Tuesday morn;
On Tuesday noon, or night; on Wednesday morn: —
I pr'ythee, name the time; but let it not
Exceed three days: in faith, he's penitent;
And yet his trespass, in our common reason, —
Save that, they say, the wars must make examples
Out of their best, — is not almost a fault
To incur a private check. When shall he come?
Tell me, Othello: I wonder in my soul,
What you would ask me, that I should deny,
Or stand so mammering on. What! Michael Cassio,
That came awooing with you; and so many a time,
When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,
Hath ta'en your part; — to have so much to do
To bring him in! Trust me, I could do much, —

OTHELLO.
Pr'ythee, no more; let him come when he will;
I will deny thee nothing.

DESDEMONA.
Why, this is not a boon;
'Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,
Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm,
Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit
To your own person: nay, when I have a suit
Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
It shall be full of poise and difficult weight,
And fearful to be granted.

OTHELLO.
I will deny thee nothing:
Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this,
To leave me but a little to myself.

DESDEMONA.
Shall I deny you? no: farewell, my lord.

OTHELLO.
Farewell, my Desdemona: I'll come to thee straight.

DESDEMONA.
Emilia, come. — Be as your fancies teach you;
Whate'er you be, I am obedient.

[Exit with Emilia.]

OTHELLO.
Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul,
But I do love thee! and when I love thee not,
Chaos is come again.

IAGO.
My noble lord, —

OTHELLO.
What dost thou say, Iago?

IAGO.
Did Michael Cassio, when you woo'd my lady,
Know of your love?

OTHELLO.
He did, from first to last: why dost thou ask?

IAGO.
But for a satisfaction of my thought;
No further harm.

OTHELLO.
Why of thy thought, Iago?

IAGO.
I did not think he had been acquainted with her.

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