William Shakespeare's Othello is the tale of the green-eyed monster.
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Othello, the Moor of Venice

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Act IV. Scene III.

Scene III.—Another Room in the Castle.

DESDEMONA, EMILIA, and Attendants.

Lod. I do beseech you, sir, trouble yourself
no further.
Oth. O! pardon me; 'twill do me good to
Lod. Madam, good night; I humbly thank
your ladyship.
Des. Your honour is most welcome.
Oth. Will you walk, sir?
O! Desdemona,—
Des. My lord?
Oth. Get you to bed on the instant; I will be
returned forthwith; dismiss your attendant there;
look it be done.
Des. I will, my lord.
Emil. How goes it now? he looks gentler
than he did.
Des. He says he will return incontinent;
He hath commanded me to go to bed,
And bade me to dismiss you.
Emil. Dismiss me!
Des. It was his bidding; therefore, good
Give me my nightly wearing, and adieu:
We must not now displease him.
Emil. I would you had never seen him.
Des. So would not I; my love doth so approve
That even his stubbornness, his checks and
Prithee, unpin me,—have grace and favour in
Emil. I have laid those sheets you bade me
on the bed.
Des. All's one. Good faith! how foolish are
our minds!
If I do die before thee, prithee, shroud me
In one of those same sheets.
Emil. Come, come, you talk.
Des. 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 'wil-
An old thing 'twas, but it expressed her for-
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. Prithee, dispatch.
Emil. Shall I go fetch your night-gown?
Des. No, unpin me here.
This Lodovico is a proper man.
Emil. A very handsome man.
Des. He speaks well.
Emit. I know a lady in Venice would have
walked barefoot to Palestine for a touch of his
nether lip. 40
Des. 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
Lay by these:—
Sing willow, willow, willow:
Prithee, hie thee; he'll come anon.—
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 it that
Emil. It is the wind.
Des. I call'd my love false love; but what said he
Sing willow, willow, willow:
If I court moe women, you'll couch with moe
So, get thee gone; good night. Mine eyes do
Doth that bode weeping?
Emil. 'Tis neither here nor there.
Des. 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?
Emil. There be some such, no question.
Des. Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the
Emil. Why, would not you?
Des. No, by this heavenly light!
Emil. Nor I neither by this heavenly light;
I might do't as well i' the dark.
Des. Wouldst thou do such a deed for all the
Emil. The world is a huge thing; 'tis a great
For a small vice.
Des. In troth, I think thou wouldst not.
Emil. In troth, I think I should, and undo't
when I had done. Marry, I would not do such
a thing for a joint-ring, nor measures of lawn,
nor for gowns, petticoats, nor caps, nor any petty
exhibition; but for the whole world, who would
not make her husband a cuckold to make him
a monarch? I should venture purgatory for't.
Des. Beshrew me, if I would do such a wrong
For the whole world.
Emil. Why, the wrong is but a wrong i' the
world; and having the world for your labour,
'tis a wrong in your own world, and you might
quickly make it right.
Des. I do not think there is any such woman.
Emil. Yes, a dozen; and as many to the
vantage, as would store the world they play'd
But I do think it is their husbands' faults
If wives do fall. Say that they slack their
And pour our treasures into foreign laps,
Or else break out in peevish jealousies,
Throwing restraint upon us; or, say they strike
Or scant our former having in despite;
Why, we have galls, and though we have some
Yet have we some revenge. Let husbands know
Their wives have sense like them; they see and
And have their palates both for sweet and sour,
As husbands have. What is it that they do
When they change us for others? Is it sport?
I think it is; and doth affection breed it?
I think it doth; is't frailty that thus errs?
It is so too; and have not we affections,
Desires for sport, and frailty, as men have?
Then, let them use us well; else let them know,
The ills we do, their ills instruct us so.
Des. Good night, good night; heaven me such
usage send,
Not to pick bad from bad, but by bad mend!
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