List iconOthello:
Act 3, scene 3
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Act 3, scene 3



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Entire Play

In Venice, at the start of Othello, the soldier Iago announces his hatred for his commander, Othello, a Moor. Othello has…

Act 1, scene 1

In the streets of Venice, Iago tells Roderigo of his hatred for Othello, who has given Cassio the lieutenancy that…

Act 1, scene 2

Iago warns Othello about Brabantio’s anger, but Othello is confident in his own strength and in his love for Desdemona….

Act 1, scene 3

The duke and the senators discuss the movements of the Turkish fleet and conclude that its target is, indeed, Cyprus….

Act 2, scene 1

The Turkish fleet is destroyed in a storm, while Cassio and then Desdemona, Emilia, and Iago arrive safely at Cyprus….

Act 2, scene 2

Othello proclaims a public celebration.

Act 2, scene 3

Iago gets Cassio drunk, making it easy for Roderigo to provoke Cassio into a brawl, first with Roderigo, then with…

Act 3, scene 1

Cassio arrives with musicians to honor Othello and Desdemona. As Iago has recommended, Cassio asks Emilia to arrange a meeting…

Act 3, scene 2

Othello prepares to tour Cyprus’s fortifications.

Act 3, scene 3

Desdemona’s interview with Cassio is cut short by the arrival of Othello. Cassio leaves hastily in order to avoid speaking…

Act 3, scene 4

Desdemona, still actively seeking to have Cassio reinstated, is worried about the loss of her handkerchief. Her anxiety about it…

Act 4, scene 1

Iago continues to torment Othello with vivid descriptions of Desdemona’s alleged sexual activity. Othello falls into an epileptic seizure. Iago…

Act 4, scene 2

Othello questions Emilia about Cassio and Desdemona’s relationship, acting as if Emilia is the mistress of a brothel and Desdemona…

Act 4, scene 3

Othello, walking with Lodovico, orders Desdemona to go to bed and to dismiss Emilia. As Emilia helps Desdemona prepare for…

Act 5, scene 1

In the dark streets of Cyprus, Roderigo attacks Cassio, who, uninjured, stabs Roderigo. Iago then wounds Cassio in the leg….

Act 5, scene 2

Desdemona is asleep in bed when Othello enters. He kisses her and wakes her and once again charges her with…

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Scene 3
Enter Desdemona, Cassio, and Emilia.

 Be thou assured, good Cassio, I will do
 All my abilities in thy behalf.
 Good madam, do. I warrant it grieves my husband
 As if the cause were his.
5 O, that’s an honest fellow! Do not doubt, Cassio,
 But I will have my lord and you again
 As friendly as you were.
CASSIO  Bounteous madam,
 Whatever shall become of Michael Cassio,
10 He’s never anything but your true servant.
 I know ’t. I thank you. You do love my lord;
 You have known him long; and be you well assured
 He shall in strangeness stand no farther off
 Than in a politic distance.
CASSIO 15 Ay, but, lady,
 That policy may either last so long,
 Or feed upon such nice and waterish diet,
 Or breed itself so out of circumstance,
 That, I being absent and my place supplied,
20 My general will forget my love and service.
 Do not doubt that. Before Emilia here,
 I give thee warrant of thy place. Assure thee,
 If I do vow a friendship, I’ll perform it
 To the last article. My lord shall never rest:
25 I’ll watch him tame and talk him out of patience;
 His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift;
 I’ll intermingle everything he does
 With Cassio’s suit. Therefore be merry, Cassio,

ACT 3. SC. 3

 For thy solicitor shall rather die
30 Than give thy cause away.

Enter Othello and Iago.

EMILIA Madam, here comes my lord.
CASSIO Madam, I’ll take my leave.
DESDEMONA Why, stay, and hear me speak.
 Madam, not now. I am very ill at ease,
35 Unfit for mine own purposes.
DESDEMONA Well, do your discretion.Cassio exits.
 Ha, I like not that.
OTHELLO  What dost thou say?
 Nothing, my lord; or if—I know not what.
40 Was not that Cassio parted from my wife?
 Cassio, my lord? No, sure, I cannot think it
 That he would steal away so guiltylike,
 Seeing your coming.
OTHELLO I do believe ’twas he.
DESDEMONA 45How now, my lord?
 I have been talking with a suitor here,
 A man that languishes in your displeasure.
OTHELLO Who is ’t you mean?
 Why, your lieutenant, Cassio. Good my lord,
50 If I have any grace or power to move you,
 His present reconciliation take;
 For if he be not one that truly loves you,
 That errs in ignorance and not in cunning,
 I have no judgment in an honest face.
55 I prithee call him back.
OTHELLO  Went he hence now?

ACT 3. SC. 3

DESDEMONA Yes, faith, so humbled
 That he hath left part of his grief with me
 To suffer with him. Good love, call him back.
60 Not now, sweet Desdemon. Some other time.
 But shall ’t be shortly?
OTHELLO  The sooner, sweet, for you.
 Shall ’t be tonight at supper?
OTHELLO  No, not tonight.
DESDEMONA 65Tomorrow dinner, then?
OTHELLO I shall not dine at home;
 I meet the captains at the citadel.
 Why then tomorrow night, or Tuesday morn,
 On Tuesday noon or night; on Wednesday morn.
70 I prithee name the time, but let it not
 Exceed three days. In faith, he’s penitent;
 And yet his trespass, in our common reason—
 Save that, they say, the wars must make example
 Out of her best—is not almost a fault
75 T’ incur a private check. When shall he come?
 Tell me, Othello. I wonder in my soul
 What you would ask me that I should deny,
 Or stand so mamm’ring on? What? Michael Cassio,
 That came a-wooing with you, and so many a time,
80 When I have spoke of you dispraisingly,
 Hath ta’en your part—to have so much to do
 To bring him in! By ’r Lady, I could do much—
 Prithee, no more. Let him come when he will;
 I will deny thee nothing.
DESDEMONA 85Why, this is not a boon!
 ’Tis as I should entreat you wear your gloves,
 Or feed on nourishing dishes, or keep you warm,

ACT 3. SC. 3

 Or sue to you to do a peculiar profit
 To your own person. Nay, when I have a suit
90 Wherein I mean to touch your love indeed,
 It shall be full of poise and difficult weight,
 And fearful to be granted.
OTHELLO I will deny thee nothing!
 Whereon, I do beseech thee, grant me this,
95 To leave me but a little to myself.
 Shall I deny you? No. Farewell, my lord.
 Farewell, my Desdemona. I’ll come to thee straight.
 Emilia, come.—Be as your fancies teach you.
 Whate’er you be, I am obedient.
Desdemona and Emilia exit.
100 Excellent wretch! Perdition catch my soul
 But I do love thee! And when I love thee not,
 Chaos is come again.
IAGO  My noble lord—
 What dost thou say, Iago?
IAGO 105 Did Michael Cassio,
 When you wooed my lady, know of your love?
 He did, from first to last. Why dost thou ask?
 But for a satisfaction of my thought,
 No further harm.
OTHELLO 110 Why of thy thought, Iago?
 I did not think he had been acquainted with her.
 O yes, and went between us very oft.
IAGO Indeed?

ACT 3. SC. 3

 Indeed? Ay, indeed! Discern’st thou aught in that?
115 Is he not honest?
IAGO Honest, my lord?
OTHELLO Honest—ay, honest.
 My lord, for aught I know.
OTHELLO  What dost thou think?
IAGO 120Think, my lord?
 “Think, my lord?” By heaven, thou echo’st me
 As if there were some monster in thy thought
 Too hideous to be shown. Thou dost mean
125 I heard thee say even now, thou lik’st not that,
 When Cassio left my wife. What didst not like?
 And when I told thee he was of my counsel
 In my whole course of wooing, thou cried’st
130 And didst contract and purse thy brow together
 As if thou then hadst shut up in thy brain
 Some horrible conceit. If thou dost love me,
 Show me thy thought.
IAGO My lord, you know I love you.
OTHELLO 135I think thou dost;
 And for I know thou ’rt full of love and honesty
 And weigh’st thy words before thou giv’st them
 Therefore these stops of thine fright me the more.
140 For such things in a false, disloyal knave
 Are tricks of custom; but in a man that’s just,
 They’re close dilations working from the heart
 That passion cannot rule.
IAGO  For Michael Cassio,
145 I dare be sworn I think that he is honest.
 I think so too.

ACT 3. SC. 3

IAGO  Men should be what they seem;
 Or those that be not, would they might seem none!
OTHELLO Certain, men should be what they seem.
150 Why then, I think Cassio’s an honest man.
OTHELLO Nay, yet there’s more in this.
 I prithee speak to me as to thy thinkings,
 As thou dost ruminate, and give thy worst of
155 The worst of words.
IAGO  Good my lord, pardon me.
 Though I am bound to every act of duty,
 I am not bound to that all slaves are free to.
 Utter my thoughts? Why, say they are vile and
160 false—
 As where’s that palace whereinto foul things
 Sometimes intrude not? Who has that breast so
 But some uncleanly apprehensions
165 Keep leets and law days and in sessions sit
 With meditations lawful?
 Thou dost conspire against thy friend, Iago,
 If thou but think’st him wronged and mak’st his ear
 A stranger to thy thoughts.
IAGO 170 I do beseech you,
 Though I perchance am vicious in my guess—
 As, I confess, it is my nature’s plague
 To spy into abuses, and oft my jealousy
 Shapes faults that are not—that your wisdom
175 From one that so imperfectly conceits
 Would take no notice, nor build yourself a trouble
 Out of his scattering and unsure observance.
 It were not for your quiet nor your good,
 Nor for my manhood, honesty, and wisdom,
180 To let you know my thoughts.

ACT 3. SC. 3

OTHELLO  What dost thou mean?
 Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
 Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
 Who steals my purse steals trash. ’Tis something,
185 nothing;
 ’Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to
 But he that filches from me my good name
 Robs me of that which not enriches him
190 And makes me poor indeed.
OTHELLO By heaven, I’ll know thy thoughts.
 You cannot, if my heart were in your hand,
 Nor shall not, whilst ’tis in my custody.
IAGO 195 O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
 It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
 The meat it feeds on. That cuckold lives in bliss
 Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;
 But O, what damnèd minutes tells he o’er
200 Who dotes, yet doubts; suspects, yet strongly loves!
OTHELLO O misery!
 Poor and content is rich, and rich enough;
 But riches fineless is as poor as winter
 To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
205 Good God, the souls of all my tribe defend
 From jealousy!
OTHELLO Why, why is this?
 Think’st thou I’d make a life of jealousy,
 To follow still the changes of the moon
210 With fresh suspicions? No. To be once in doubt
 Is once to be resolved. Exchange me for a goat
 When I shall turn the business of my soul

ACT 3. SC. 3

 To such exsufflicate and blown surmises,
 Matching thy inference. ’Tis not to make me jealous
215 To say my wife is fair, feeds well, loves company,
 Is free of speech, sings, plays, and dances well.
 Where virtue is, these are more virtuous.
 Nor from mine own weak merits will I draw
 The smallest fear or doubt of her revolt,
220 For she had eyes, and chose me. No, Iago,
 I’ll see before I doubt; when I doubt, prove;
 And on the proof, there is no more but this:
 Away at once with love or jealousy.
 I am glad of this, for now I shall have reason
225 To show the love and duty that I bear you
 With franker spirit. Therefore, as I am bound,
 Receive it from me. I speak not yet of proof.
 Look to your wife; observe her well with Cassio;
 Wear your eyes thus, not jealous nor secure.
230 I would not have your free and noble nature,
 Out of self-bounty, be abused. Look to ’t.
 I know our country disposition well.
 In Venice they do let God see the pranks
 They dare not show their husbands. Their best
235 conscience
 Is not to leave ’t undone, but keep ’t unknown.
OTHELLO Dost thou say so?
 She did deceive her father, marrying you,
 And when she seemed to shake and fear your looks,
240 She loved them most.
OTHELLO And so she did.
IAGO Why, go to, then!
 She that, so young, could give out such a seeming,
 To seel her father’s eyes up close as oak,
245 He thought ’twas witchcraft! But I am much to

ACT 3. SC. 3

 I humbly do beseech you of your pardon
 For too much loving you.
OTHELLO I am bound to thee forever.
250 I see this hath a little dashed your spirits.
 Not a jot, not a jot.
IAGO  I’ faith, I fear it has.
 I hope you will consider what is spoke
 Comes from my love. But I do see you’re moved.
255 I am to pray you not to strain my speech
 To grosser issues nor to larger reach
 Than to suspicion.
OTHELLO I will not.
IAGO Should you do so, my lord,
260 My speech should fall into such vile success
 As my thoughts aim not at. Cassio’s my worthy
 My lord, I see you’re moved.
OTHELLO  No, not much moved.
265 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 proposèd matches
270 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
275 Distinctly speak of her, though I may fear
 Her will, recoiling to her better judgment,
 May fall to match you with her country forms
 And happily repent.

ACT 3. SC. 3

OTHELLO  Farewell, farewell!
280 If more thou dost perceive, let me know more.
 Set on thy wife to observe. Leave me, Iago.
IAGO, beginning to exit My lord, I take my leave.
 Why did I marry? This honest creature doubtless
 Sees and knows more, much more, than he unfolds.
IAGO, returning 
285 My lord, I would I might entreat your Honor
 To scan this thing no farther. Leave it to time.
 Although ’tis fit that Cassio have his place—
 For sure he fills it up with great ability—
 Yet, if you please to hold him off awhile,
290 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—
295 As worthy cause I have to fear I am—
 And hold her free, I do beseech your Honor.
OTHELLO Fear not my government.
IAGO I once more take my leave.He exits.
 This fellow’s of exceeding honesty,
300 And knows all qualities with a learnèd 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
305 And have not those soft parts of conversation
 That chamberers have, or for I am declined
 Into the vale of years—yet that’s not much—
 She’s gone, I am abused, and my relief
 Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage,
310 That we can call these delicate creatures ours
 And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad

ACT 3. SC. 3

 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;
315 Prerogatived are they less than the base.
 ’Tis destiny unshunnable, like death.
 Even then this forkèd plague is fated to us
 When we do quicken. Look where she comes.

Enter Desdemona and Emilia.

 If she be false, heaven mocks itself!
320 I’ll not believe ’t.
DESDEMONA  How now, my dear Othello?
 Your dinner, and the generous islanders
 By you invited, do attend your presence.
OTHELLO I am to blame.
325 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.
OTHELLO 330 Your napkin is too little.
 Let it alone.The handkerchief falls, unnoticed.
 Come, I’ll go in with you.
 I am very sorry that you are not well.
Othello and Desdemona exit.
EMILIA, picking up the handkerchief 
 I am glad I have found this napkin.
335 This was her first remembrance from the Moor.
 My wayward husband hath a hundred times
 Wooed me to steal it. But she so loves the token
 (For he conjured her she should ever keep it)
 That she reserves it evermore about her

ACT 3. SC. 3

340 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.

Enter Iago.

IAGO How now? What do you here alone?
345 Do not you chide. I have a thing for you.
 You have a thing for me? It is a common thing—
IAGO To have a foolish wife.
 O, is that all? What will you give me now
350 For that same handkerchief?
IAGO  What handkerchief?
EMILIA What handkerchief?
 Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona,
 That which so often you did bid me steal.
IAGO 355Hast stol’n it from her?
 No, faith, she let it drop by negligence,
 And to th’ advantage I, being here, took ’t up.
 Look, here ’tis.
IAGO  A good wench! Give it me.
360 What will you do with ’t, that you have been so
 To have me filch it?
IAGO, snatching it  Why, what is that to you?
 If it be not for some purpose of import,
365 Give ’t me again. Poor lady, she’ll run mad
 When she shall lack it.

ACT 3. SC. 3

IAGO  Be not acknown on ’t.
 I have use for it. Go, leave me.Emilia exits.
 I will in Cassio’s lodging lose this napkin
370 And let him find it. Trifles light as air
 Are to the jealous confirmations strong
 As proofs of holy writ. This may do something.
 [The Moor already changes with my poison;]
 Dangerous conceits are in their natures poisons,
375 Which at the first are scarce found to distaste,
 But with a little act upon the blood
 Burn like the mines of sulfur.

Enter Othello.

 I did say so.
 Look where he comes. Not poppy nor mandragora
380 Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world
 Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
 Which thou owedst yesterday.
OTHELLO  Ha, ha, false to me?
 Why, how now, general? No more of that!
385 Avaunt! Begone! Thou hast set me on the rack.
 I swear ’tis better to be much abused
 Than but to know ’t a little.
IAGO  How now, my lord?
 What sense had I of her stol’n hours of lust?
390 I saw ’t not, thought it not; it harmed not me.
 I slept the next night well, fed well, was free and
 I found not Cassio’s kisses on her lips.
 He that is robbed, not wanting what is stol’n,
395 Let him not know ’t, and he’s not robbed at all.
IAGO I am sorry to hear this.

ACT 3. SC. 3

 I had been happy if the general camp,
 Pioners and all, had tasted her sweet body,
 So I had nothing known. O, now, forever
400 Farewell the tranquil mind! Farewell content!
 Farewell the plumèd troops and the big wars
 That makes ambition virtue! O, farewell!
 Farewell the neighing steed and the shrill trump,
 The spirit-stirring drum, th’ ear-piercing fife,
405 The royal banner, and all quality,
 Pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war!
 And O you mortal engines, whose rude throats
 Th’ immortal Jove’s dread clamors counterfeit,
 Farewell! Othello’s occupation’s gone!
IAGO 410Is ’t possible, my lord?
 Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore!
 Be sure of it. Give me the ocular proof,
 Or, by the worth of mine eternal soul,
 Thou hadst been better have been born a dog
415 Than answer my waked wrath.
IAGO  Is ’t come to this?
 Make me to see ’t, or at the least so prove it
 That the probation bear no hinge nor loop
 To hang a doubt on, or woe upon thy life!
IAGO 420My noble lord—
 If thou dost slander her and torture me,
 Never pray more. Abandon all remorse;
 On horror’s head horrors accumulate;
 Do deeds to make heaven weep, all Earth amazed;
425 For nothing canst thou to damnation add
 Greater than that.
IAGO  O grace! O heaven forgive me!
 Are you a man? Have you a soul or sense?

ACT 3. SC. 3

 God b’ wi’ you. Take mine office.—O wretched fool,
430 That liv’st to make thine honesty a vice!—
 O monstrous world! Take note, take note, O world:
 To be direct and honest is not safe.—
 I thank you for this profit, and from hence
 I’ll love no friend, sith love breeds such offense.
OTHELLO 435Nay, stay. Thou shouldst be honest.
 I should be wise; for honesty’s a fool
 And loses that it works for.
[OTHELLO  By the world,
 I think my wife be honest and think she is not.
440 I think that thou art just and think thou art not.
 I’ll have some proof! Her name, that was as fresh
 As Dian’s visage, is now begrimed and black
 As mine own face. If there be cords, or knives,
 Poison, or fire, or suffocating streams,
445 I’ll not endure it. Would I were satisfied!]
 I see you are eaten up with passion.
 I do repent me that I put it to you.
 You would be satisfied?
OTHELLO  Would? Nay, and I will.
450 And may; but how? How satisfied, my lord?
 Would you, the supervisor, grossly gape on,
 Behold her topped?
OTHELLO  Death and damnation! O!
 It were a tedious difficulty, I think,
455 To bring them to that prospect. Damn them then
 If ever mortal eyes do see them bolster
 More than their own! What then? How then?
 What shall I say? Where’s satisfaction?
 It is impossible you should see this,
460 Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkeys,

ACT 3. SC. 3

 As salt as wolves in pride, and fools as gross
 As ignorance made drunk. But yet I say,
 If imputation and strong circumstances
 Which lead directly to the door of truth
465 Will give you satisfaction, you might have ’t.
 Give me a living reason she’s disloyal.
IAGO I do not like the office,
 But sith I am entered in this cause so far,
 Pricked to ’t by foolish honesty and love,
470 I will go on. I lay with Cassio lately,
 And being troubled with a raging tooth
 I could not sleep. There are a kind of men
 So loose of soul that in their sleeps will mutter
 Their affairs. One of this kind is Cassio.
475 In sleep I heard him say “Sweet Desdemona,
 Let us be wary, let us hide our loves.”
 And then, sir, would he gripe and wring my hand,
 Cry “O sweet creature!” then kiss me hard,
 As if he plucked up kisses by the roots
480 That grew upon my lips; then laid his leg
 O’er my thigh, and sighed, and kissed, and then
 Cried “Cursèd fate that gave thee to the Moor!”
 O monstrous! Monstrous!
IAGO  Nay, this was but his
485 dream.
 But this denoted a foregone conclusion.
 ’Tis a shrewd doubt, though it be but a dream.
 And this may help to thicken other proofs
 That do demonstrate thinly.
OTHELLO 490I’ll tear her all to pieces.
 Nay, but be wise. Yet we see nothing done.

ACT 3. SC. 3

 She may be honest yet. Tell me but this:
 Have you not sometimes seen a handkerchief
 Spotted with strawberries in your wife’s hand?
495 I gave her such a one. ’Twas my first gift.
 I know not that; but such a handkerchief—
 I am sure it was your wife’s—did I today
 See Cassio wipe his beard with.
OTHELLO  If it be that—
500 If it be that, or any that was hers,
 It speaks against her with the other proofs.
 O, that the slave had forty thousand lives!
 One is too poor, too weak for my revenge.
 Now do I see ’tis true. Look here, Iago,
505 All my fond love thus do I blow to heaven.
 ’Tis gone.
 Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hell!
 Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne
 To tyrannous hate! Swell, bosom, with thy fraught,
510 For ’tis of aspics’ tongues!
IAGO Yet be content.
OTHELLO O, blood, blood, blood!
 Patience, I say. Your mind perhaps may change.
 Never, [Iago. Like to the Pontic Sea,
515 Whose icy current and compulsive course
 Ne’er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
 To the Propontic and the Hellespont,
 Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace
 Shall ne’er look back, ne’er ebb to humble love,
520 Till that a capable and wide revenge
 Swallow them up. He kneels. Now by yond marble

ACT 3. SC. 4

 In the due reverence of a sacred vow,
 I here engage my words.
IAGO 525 Do not rise yet.Iago kneels.
 Witness, you ever-burning lights above,
 You elements that clip us round about,
 Witness that here Iago doth give up
 The execution of his wit, hands, heart
530 To wronged Othello’s service! Let him command,
 And to obey shall be in me remorse,
 What bloody business ever.They rise.
OTHELLO  I greet thy love
 Not with vain thanks but with acceptance
535 bounteous,
 And will upon the instant put thee to ’t.
 Within these three days let me hear thee say
 That Cassio’s not alive.
IAGO  My friend is dead.
540 ’Tis done at your request. But let her live.
OTHELLO Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her, damn
 Come, go with me apart. I will withdraw
 To furnish me with some swift means of death
545 For the fair devil. Now art thou my lieutenant.
IAGO I am your own forever.
They exit.