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    Act IV. Scene II

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    Chapter 12
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    SCENE II. 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 villanous secrets
    And yet she'll kneel and pray; I have seen her do't.

    Enter DESDEMONA with EMILIA

    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
    [To EMILIA] Some of your function, mistress;
    Leave procreants alone and shut the door;
    Cough, or cry 'hem,' if any body come:
    Your mystery, your mystery: nay, dispatch.

    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 pleased 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 of 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 you not 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 saved.

    OTHELLO
    Is't possible?

    DESDEMONA
    O, heaven forgive us!

    OTHELLO
    I cry you mercy, then:
    I took you for that cunning whore of Venice
    That married with Othello.

    Raising his voice

    You, mistress,
    That have the office opposite to Saint Peter,
    And keep the gate of hell!

    Re-enter EMILIA

    You, you, ay, you!
    We have done our course; there's money for your pains:
    I pray you, turn the key and keep our counsel.

    Exit

    EMILIA
    Alas, what does this gentleman conceive?
    How do you, madam? how do you, my good lady?

    DESDEMONA
    'Faith, half asleep.

    EMILIA
    Good madam, what's the matter with my lord?

    DESDEMONA
    With who?

    EMILIA
    Why, with my lord, madam.

    DESDEMONA
    Who is thy lord?

    EMILIA
    He that is yours, sweet lady.

    DESDEMONA
    I have none: do not talk to me, Emilia;
    I cannot weep; nor answer have I none,
    But what should go by water. Prithee, tonight
    Lay on my bed my wedding sheets: remember;
    And call thy husband hither.

    EMILIA
    Here's a change indeed!

    Exit

    DESDEMONA
    'Tis meet I should be used so, very meet.
    How have I been behaved, that he might stick
    The small'st opinion on my least misuse?

    Re-enter EMILIA with IAGO

    IAGO
    What is your pleasure, madam?
    How is't with you?

    DESDEMONA
    I cannot tell. Those that do teach young babes
    Do it with gentle means and easy tasks:
    He might have chid me so; for, in good faith,
    I am a child to chiding.

    IAGO
    What's the matter, lady?

    EMILIA
    Alas, Iago, my lord hath so bewhored her.
    Thrown such despite and heavy terms upon her,
    As true hearts cannot bear.

    DESDEMONA
    Am I that name, Iago?

    IAGO
    What name, fair lady?

    DESDEMONA
    Such as she says my lord did say I was.

    EMILIA
    He call'd her whore: a beggar in his drink
    Could not have laid such terms upon his callat.

    IAGO
    Why did he so?

    DESDEMONA
    I do not know; I am sure I am none such.

    IAGO
    Do not weep, do not weep. Alas the day!

    EMILIA
    Hath she forsook so many noble matches,
    Her father and her country and her friends,
    To be call'd whore? would it not make one weep?

    DESDEMONA
    It is my wretched fortune.

    IAGO
    Beshrew him for't!
    How comes this trick upon him?

    DESDEMONA
    Nay, heaven doth know.

    EMILIA
    I will be hang'd, if some eternal villain,
    Some busy and insinuating rogue,
    Some cogging, cozening slave, to get some office,
    Have not devised this slander; I'll be hang'd else.

    IAGO
    Fie, there is no such man; it is impossible.

    DESDEMONA
    If any such there be, heaven pardon him!

    EMILIA
    A halter pardon him! and hell gnaw his bones!
    Why should he call her whore? who keeps her company?
    What place? what time? what form? what likelihood?
    The Moor's abused by some most villanous knave,
    Some base notorious knave, some scurvy fellow.
    O heaven, that such companions thou'ldst unfold,
    And put in every honest hand a whip
    To lash the rascals naked through the world
    Even from the east to the west!

    IAGO
    Speak within door.

    EMILIA
    O, fie upon them! Some such squire he was
    That turn'd your wit the seamy side without,
    And made you to suspect me with the Moor.

    IAGO
    You are a fool; go to.

    DESDEMONA
    O good Iago,
    What shall I do to win my lord again?
    Good friend, go to him; for, by this light of heaven,
    I know not how I lost him. Here I kneel:
    If e'er my will did trespass 'gainst his love,
    Either in discourse of thought or actual deed,
    Or that mine eyes, mine ears, or any sense,
    Delighted them in any other form;
    Or that I do not yet, and ever did.
    And ever will--though he do shake me off
    To beggarly divorcement--love him dearly,
    Comfort forswear me! Unkindness may do much;
    And his unkindness may defeat my life,
    But never taint my love. I cannot say 'whore:'
    It does abhor me now I speak the word;
    To do the act that might the addition earn
    Not the world's mass of vanity could make me.

    IAGO
    I pray you, be content; 'tis but his humour:
    The business of the state does him offence,
    And he does chide with you.

    DESDEMONA
    If 'twere no other--

    IAGO
    'Tis but so, I warrant.

    Trumpets within

    Hark, how these instruments summon to supper!
    The messengers of Venice stay the meat;
    Go in, and weep not; all things shall be well.

    Exeunt DESDEMONA and EMILIA

    Enter RODERIGO

    How now, Roderigo!

    RODERIGO
    I do not find that thou dealest justly with me.

    IAGO
    What in the contrary?

    RODERIGO
    Every day thou daffest me with some device, Iago;
    and rather, as it seems to me now, keepest from me
    all conveniency than suppliest me with the least
    advantage of hope. I will indeed no longer endure
    it, nor am I yet persuaded to put up in peace what
    already I have foolishly suffered.

    IAGO
    Will you hear me, Roderigo?

    RODERIGO
    'Faith, I have heard too much, for your words and
    performances are no kin together.

    IAGO
    You charge me most unjustly.

    RODERIGO
    With nought but truth. I have wasted myself out of
    my means. The jewels you have had from me to
    deliver to Desdemona would half have corrupted a
    votarist: you have told me she hath received them
    and returned me expectations and comforts of sudden
    respect and acquaintance, but I find none.

    IAGO
    Well; go to; very well.

    RODERIGO
    Very well! go to! I cannot go to, man; nor 'tis
    not very well: nay, I think it is scurvy, and begin
    to find myself fobbed in it.

    IAGO
    Very well.

    RODERIGO
    I tell you 'tis not very well. I will make myself
    known to Desdemona: if she will return me my
    jewels, I will give over my suit and repent my
    unlawful solicitation; if not, assure yourself I
    will seek satisfaction of you.

    IAGO
    You have said now.

    RODERIGO
    Ay, and said nothing but what I protest intendment of doing.

    IAGO
    Why, now I see there's mettle in thee, and even from
    this instant to build on thee a better opinion than
    ever before. Give me thy hand, Roderigo: thou hast
    taken against me a most just exception; but yet, I
    protest, I have dealt most directly in thy affair.

    RODERIGO
    It hath not appeared.

    IAGO
    I grant indeed it hath not appeared, and your
    suspicion is not without wit and judgment. But,
    Roderigo, if thou hast that in thee indeed, which I
    have greater reason to believe now than ever, I mean
    purpose, courage and valour, this night show it: if
    thou the next night following enjoy not Desdemona,
    take me from this world with treachery and devise
    engines for my life.

    RODERIGO
    Well, what is it? is it within reason and compass?

    IAGO
    Sir, there is especial commission come from Venice
    to depute Cassio in Othello's place.

    RODERIGO
    Is that true? why, then Othello and Desdemona
    return again to Venice.

    IAGO
    O, no; he goes into Mauritania and takes away with
    him the fair Desdemona, unless his abode be
    lingered here by some accident: wherein none can be
    so determinate as the removing of Cassio.

    RODERIGO
    How do you mean, removing of him?

    IAGO
    Why, by making him uncapable of Othello's place;
    knocking out his brains.

    RODERIGO
    And that you would have me to do?

    IAGO
    Ay, if you dare do yourself a profit and a right.
    He sups to-night with a harlotry, and thither will I
    go to him: he knows not yet of his horrorable
    fortune. If you will watch his going thence, which
    I will fashion to fall out between twelve and one,
    you may take him at your pleasure: I will be near
    to second your attempt, and he shall fall between
    us. Come, stand not amazed at it, but go along with
    me; I will show you such a necessity in his death
    that you shall think yourself bound to put it on
    him. It is now high suppertime, and the night grows
    to waste: about it.

    RODERIGO
    I will hear further reason for this.

    IAGO
    And you shall be satisfied.

    Exeunt
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