Othello By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 3

She did deceive her father, marrying you;
And when she seem'd to shake and fear your looks,
She loved them most.

And so she did.

Why, go to then;
She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
To seal her father's eyes up close as oak, —
He thought 'twas witchcraft, — but I am much to blame;
I humbly do beseech you of your pardon
For too much loving you.

I am bound to thee for ever.

I see this hath a little dash'd your spirits.

Not a jot, not a jot.

Trust me, I fear it has.
I hope you will consider what is spoke
Comes from my love; but I do see you're mov'd: —
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
Which my thoughts aim'd not. Cassio's my worthy friend: —
My lord, I see you're mov'd.

No, not much mov'd.
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 judgement,
May fall to match you with her country forms,
And happily repent.

Farewell, farewell:
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 your honour
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 meantime,
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'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind
To prey at fortune. Haply, for I am black,
And have not those soft parts of conversation
That chamberers have; or for I am declin'd
Into the vale of years, — yet that's not much, —
She's gone; I am abus'd, 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 vapor of a dungeon,
Than keep a corner in the thing I love
For others' uses. Yet, 'tis the plague of great ones:
Prerogativ'd 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:
If she be false, O, then heaven mocks itself! —
I'll not believe't.

[Re-enter Desdemona and Emilia.]

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 she drops it.]

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 conjur'd 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.

[Re-enter Iago.]

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 that same handkerchief?

What handkerchief?

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