Othello By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 2

SCENE II. Cyprus. A Room in the Castle.

[Enter Othello and Emilia.]

OTHELLO.
You have seen nothing, then?

EMILIA.
Nor ever heard, nor ever did suspect.

OTHELLO.
Yes, you have seen Cassio and she together.

EMILIA.
But then I saw no harm, and then I heard
Each syllable that breath made up between them.

OTHELLO.
What, did they never whisper?

EMILIA.
Never, my lord.

OTHELLO.
Nor send you out o' the way?

EMILIA.
Never.

OTHELLO.
To fetch her fan, her gloves, her mask, nor nothing?

EMILIA.
Never, my lord.

OTHELLO.
That's strange.

EMILIA.
I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest,
Lay down my soul at stake: if you think other,
Remove your thought, — it doth abuse your bosom.
If any wretch have put this in your head,
Let heaven requite it with the serpent's curse!
For if she be not honest, chaste, and true,
There's no man happy; the purest of their wives
Is foul as slander.

OTHELLO.
Bid her come hither. — Go.

[Exit Emilia.]

She says enough; yet she's a simple bawd
That cannot say as much. This is a subtle whore,
A closet-lock-and-key of villainous secrets:
And yet she'll kneel and pray; I have seen her do't.

[Enter Emilia with Desdemona.]

DESDEMONA.
My lord, what is your will?

OTHELLO.
Pray, chuck, come hither.

DESDEMONA.
What is your pleasure?

OTHELLO.
Let me see your eyes;
Look in my face.

DESDEMONA.
What horrible fancy's this?

OTHELLO.
Some of your function, mistress, [To Emilia.]
Leave procreants alone and shut the door;
Cough, or cry hem, if anybody come.
Your mystery, your mystery; — nay, despatch.

[Exit Emilia.]

DESDEMONA.
Upon my knees, what doth your speech import?
I understand a fury in your words,
But not the words.

OTHELLO.
Why, what art thou?

DESDEMONA.
Your wife, my lord; your true and loyal wife.

OTHELLO.
Come, swear it, damn thyself;
Lest, being like one of heaven, the devils themselves
Should fear to seize thee: therefore be double-damn'd. —
Swear thou art honest.

DESDEMONA.
Heaven doth truly know it.

OTHELLO.
Heaven truly knows that thou art false as hell.

DESDEMONA.
To whom, my lord? with whom? how am I false?

OTHELLO.
O Desdemona! — away! away! away!

DESDEMONA.
Alas the heavy day! — Why do you weep?
Am I the motive of these tears, my lord?
If haply you my father do suspect
An instrument of this your calling back,
Lay not your blame on me: if you have lost him,
Why, I have lost him too.

OTHELLO.
Had it pleas'd heaven
To try me with affliction; had they rain'd
All kinds of sores and shames on my bare head;
Steep'd me in poverty to the very lips;
Given to captivity me and my utmost hopes;
I should have found in some place of my soul
A drop of patience: but, alas, to make me
A fixed figure for the time, for scorn
To point his slow unmoving finger at! —
Yet could I bear that too; well, very well:
But there, where I have garner'd up my heart;
Where either I must live or bear no life, —
The fountain from the which my current runs,
Or else dries up; to be discarded thence!
Or keep it as a cistern for foul toads
To knot and gender in! — turn thy complexion there,
Patience, thou young and rose-lipp'd cherubin, —
Ay, there, look grim as hell!

DESDEMONA.
I hope my noble lord esteems me honest.

OTHELLO.
O, ay; as summer flies are in the shambles,
That quicken even with blowing. O thou weed,
Who art so lovely fair, and smell'st so sweet,
That the sense aches at thee, — would thou hadst ne'er been born!

DESDEMONA.
Alas, what ignorant sin have I committed?

OTHELLO.
Was this fair paper, this most goodly book,
Made to write "whore" upon? What committed!
Committed! — O thou public commoner!
I should make very forges of my cheeks,
That would to cinders burn up modesty,
Did I but speak thy deeds. — What committed!
Heaven stops the nose at it, and the moon winks;
The bawdy wind, that kisses all it meets,
Is hush'd within the hollow mine of earth,
And will not hear it. — What committed! —
Impudent strumpet!

DESDEMONA.
By heaven, you do me wrong.

OTHELLO.
Are not you a strumpet?

DESDEMONA.
No, as I am a Christian:
If to preserve this vessel for my lord
From any other foul unlawful touch
Be not to be a strumpet, I am none.

OTHELLO.
What, not a whore?

DESDEMONA.
No, as I shall be sav'd.

OTHELLO.
Is't possible?

DESDEMONA.
O, heaven forgive us!

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