Othello By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 3

SCENE III. Cyprus. Another Room in the Castle.

[Enter Othello, Lodovico, Desdemona, Emilia, and Attendants.]

LODOVICO.
I do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself no further.

OTHELLO.
O, pardon me; 'twill do me good to walk.

LODOVICO.
Madam, good night; I humbly thank your ladyship.

DESDEMONA.
Your honour is most welcome.

OTHELLO.
Will you walk, sir? —
O, — Desdemona, —

DESDEMONA.
My lord?

OTHELLO.
Get you to bed on the instant; I will be returned
forthwith: dismiss your attendant there: look't be done.

DESDEMONA.
I will, my lord.

[Exeunt Othello, Lodovico, and Attendants.]

EMILIA.
How goes it now? he looks gentler than he did.

DESDEMONA.
He says he will return incontinent:
He hath commanded me to go to bed,
And bade me to dismiss you.

EMILIA.
Dismiss me!

DESDEMONA.
It was his bidding; therefore, good Emilia,
Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu:
We must not now displease him.

EMILIA.
I would you had never seen him!

DESDEMONA.
So would not I: my love doth so approve him,
That even his stubbornness, his checks, his frowns, —
Pr'ythee, unpin me, — have grace and favour in them.

EMILIA.
I have laid those sheets you bade me on the bed.

DESDEMONA.
All's one. — Good faith, how foolish are our minds! —
If I do die before thee, pr'ythee, shroud me
In one of those same sheets.

EMILIA.
Come, come, you talk.

DESDEMONA.
My mother had a maid call'd Barbara;
She was in love; and he she lov'd prov'd mad
And did forsake her: she had a song of "willow";
An old thing 'twas, but it express'd her fortune,
And she died singing it: that song to-night
Will not go from my mind; I have much to do
But to go hang my head all at one side,
And sing it like poor Barbara. Pr'ythee, despatch.

EMILIA.
Shall I go fetch your night-gown?

DESDEMONA.
No, unpin me here. —
This Lodovico is a proper man.

EMILIA.
A very handsome man.

DESDEMONA.
He speaks well.

EMILIA.
I know a lady in Venice would have walked barefoot to
Palestine for a touch of his nether lip.

DESDEMONA.
[Sings.]
"The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
Sing all a green willow;
Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
Sing willow, willow, willow:
The fresh streams ran by her, and murmur'd her moans;
Sing willow, willow, willow;
Her salt tears fell from her, and soften'd the stones; — "

Lay by these: —

[Sings.]
"Sing willow, willow, willow; — "

Pr'ythee, hie thee; he'll come anon: —

[Sings.]
"Sing all a green willow must be my garland.
Let nobody blame him; his scorn I approve, — "

Nay, that's not next. — Hark! who is't that knocks?

EMILIA.
It's the wind.

DESDEMONA.
[Sings.]
"I call'd my love false love; but what said he then?
Sing willow, willow, willow:
'If I court mo women, you'll couch with mo men.'"

So get thee gone; good night. Mine eyes do itch;
Doth that bode weeping?

EMILIA.
'Tis neither here nor there.

DESDEMONA.
I have heard it said so. — O, these men, these men! —
Dost thou in conscience think, — tell me, Emilia, —
That there be women do abuse their husbands
In such gross kind?

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