ACT IV
Scene 2
 

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 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 anybody 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 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 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. [Raises 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 callet.

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 villainous 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 doth 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 humor:
The business of the state does him offense,
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. By this hand, I say 'tis very scurvy, and begin to find
myself fopped 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 do 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 judgement. But, Roderigo, if thou hast that
in thee indeed, which I have greater reason to believe now than
ever, I mean purpose, courage, and valor, 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
tonight with a harlotry, and thither will I go to him. He knows
not yet of his honorable fortune. If you will watch his going
thence, which his 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 supper-time, and the night grows to
waste. About it.

RODERIGO
I will hear further reason for this.

IAGO
And you shall be satisfied.

Exeunt.